"You're done, Ody."
"But-- he can't--"
His narrator stepped up into his personal space. "Are you arguing with me, player?"
Ody dropped his gaze. "No, Mendax."
"That's what I thought. --Okay, line up, folks. Character sheets out, time for an update." She paused until the flurry of pages passed. "Ten percent health or two points, whichever is higher. Speed and ex at a quarter; strength at half; magic at zero. For every point of Charisma, your soul recovers ten percent faster with halving diminishing returns. Any questions?"
The rogue raised her hand.
"What's the base recovery rate?"
Mendax glanced at me, and I shrugged, then held up two fingers. She nodded. "Forty-eight hours. Anything else? --No? Good. You're dismissed, and back to camp for the lot of you."
While the five of them trundled off, the Winter Lady stepped out of the shadows and stood next to me. Mendax faced us.
"Thanks for the card. She offered it back.
"Keep it. I've spares. You never know when you might need me."
Mendax tucked it back into her pocket. "Thanks. --So... do you two do this often?"
Maeve smiled. "Don't ask me, I only met him tonight, but from what I hear, it's a 'yes.'"
"An NPC freestyling on your arm, you must be special indeed, Callidus Igni. Who is your narrator?"
"Secondus, when he is available." I smirked.
Mendax gaped at me.
Maeve glanced between us and burst out laughing. "Oh, I love it when you do that!"
I raised an eyebrow at her, and she covered her mouth, which did nothing but further emphasize her reaction.
Mendax stuttered, as if her brain was still rebooting. "Wait-- you're that-- you--"
"Yes," I interrupted.
"He talks about you a lot. --Not like that. You're the epitome of players, in his eyes, and not because you never drop character, but because you play honestly."
"I don't fault you for doubting."
"Thanks. --So, where are you off to now?"
"Right, no narrator to tell you where you need to be. Mind if I tag along for a little bit?"
I tilted my head toward the Winter Lady, letting her make the call.
Maeve stepped around, linking arms with Mendax instead, picked a direction, and started walking. "So tell me, Mendax. When was the last time you got to play?" While waiting for the reply, Maeve turned and winked at me.
It was then that I realized we were heading deeper into the woods, along Ody's original heading.