Okay, imagine you are in a dark alley, late at night, all alone. Except suddenly, you’re not alone: a dark figure flows out from the shadows. You can make out that he’s a cloaked man at about the same time you see the naked sword in his hand and the crossbow slung over his shoulder. He tells you that if you give him all your money and valuables, you won’t get hurt.
Your hands are ice when they reach into your pocket, shaking with fear. But then, they harden with steely anticipation. Instead of your valuables, you pull out your tiny, half-inch-long dagger and wield it threateningly.
Yeah. That’s what claws are like.
You still remember your run-in with the imps from a few days ago. Specifically, you remember the gigantic bolts of lightning they hurled at you. Your magic absorption powers might help, but with your luck you’d still rather play it safe than sorry.
With the shopkeeper’s permission, you pre-buy the magic scroll of Lightning Shield.
Just to be one hundred percent official and professional, you write her a formal and professionally signed I.O.U.. Professionally.
Yeah, the rest of those scrolls are Summon Xivilai. If they’re anything like the Xivilai wands back home, they’re way outside your price range and not really intended for combat scenarios.
You let Rajirra know that you bought a scroll of Shock Shield. You know, in case of either of you need it. She flatly congratulates you and continues clearing the stairs. You use your telekinesis to help her out a little.
Just to make sure, you ask her if she’s completely certain she only saw two imps up there. Since, you know, your plan relies on there just being two. She replies that she is. You ask how she can be; if it’s a storage room, wouldn’t there be barrels and stuff they could be hiding behind? Rajirra says that she. Is. Certain. You nod, and say you don’t have any reason to not believe her. You’re just kind of nervous about it, since you had this thing recently where you thought everything was going good, but then it turned out it was just the effects of a charm potion, so you just want to check that she’s completely –
Rajirra shoots you a glare that says that you should stop asking if she’s certain about the imps.
You very, very carefully sneak up the stairs, trying to keep your footsteps as light as possible. In the tense silence, you can hear your heart pounding in your ears.
Rajirra asks what you’re doing. You tell her that you’re being sneaky, so the two of you will have the element of surprise. She tells you to knock it off; she can hear you breathing down her back and it’s creepy.
Sorry, you say. You just want to make sure everything goes according to plan and there aren’t any more unexpected surprises.
Nothing ever goes according to plan in a fight. It (she gestures at you) must act quickly and on intuition, and if it has the right kind of intuition, it won’t die. If its reactions are poor, it will.
That’s… a little grim and depressing, you say, but it sounds like she has experience. You ask her if she was ever a soldier.
No, she says, just quick enough to think on her feet and deal with danger.
That thing where you take any potential life-advancement and obsesses over it so hard that you crushes it in your well-manicured hands. And Rajirra knows.
Just roll with it.
You, ah… you guess you’re probably stressing over the details a little too much, yeah. You tell her you’re going to talk about something else. You ask her what kind of fighting style she has. Like, you want to make sure you know what to expect from her when she gets in there, and-
Rajirra interrupts you to remark that she just climbed out of a well, yet somehow it manages to seem both less circular and less like a brick wall than this conversation.
You tell her you’re sorry; you get talky when you’re nervous. But you just want to figure out if she’s more of a frenzied berserker who’s going to rush forward, or a careful and precise-
Yes, she replies. Sure, those.
Oh, that’s… okay.
Behold! Here we are. Rajirra asks if you’re ready, or if you need a few more minutes to get lost in panicking and overthinking things.
Wow, you say. You already said you were sorry.
Yes, she says, but every moment it delays is another moment she isn’t getting paid for having endured this. Is it ready?
The most they’re going to do is throw lightning at you, inside a wood and stone house; so nothing is going to explode or suddenly catch fire. Not to mention a significant amount of whatever they throw at you will be absorbed by you.
Just stick to beaning them over the head with whatever heavy non-breakable object you can control with telekinesis and if you absolutely -must- use a fire spell, make sure it’s a concentrated short-range attack, like a flamethrower to the eyes – nothing that’s going to fly away from you and burn the house down.
The worst thing that could possibly happen to you here is you get a little bit beat up/electrocuted. No pain, no gain.
You remember everything she told you, about how this is going to be easy. You try to remember everything the dark elf ghost taught you about witchhunting, just in case things go south. You remind yourself that, if anything does go wrong, you’ve got a scroll for protection, and a well-armed partner who can back you up.
You also remind yourself that this is only your first stop tonight, and that you’ve still got matters to attend to after this. Very important matters.
Rajirra asks why you just ruined that pair of gloves. You lie and say it was so you could get your claws out easier. You know. Claw fighting. You’re all about that.
Additional resource credits:
Cider – Background work