With only three episodes left in the Exandria Unlimited miniseries, the overall plot of the story needed to move forward in a big way. Episode Six of the series, titled “The Gift Among the Green” certainly delivered on that, with quiet moments of revelation followed by a stunning turn of events at the end. The climax of the story is approaching and there’s no guarantee that all of these wonderful characters will reach the end intact.
Obviously, spoilers ahead, so don’t read this if you haven’t watched the episode yet.
Four days have passed since the end of the previous episode. The party are nearly at the destination revealed to them by Melora, the Wildmother (one of the Prime Deities of the Exandrian pantheon). The party discusses the Purple Lady Opal’s sister Ted warned her about, concluding that it could possibly be Myr’atta Niselor, a member of the Verdant Guard that protect the city of Syngorn. Their encounter with Myr’atta in the fourth episode was tense, to say the least. Myr’atta’s attitude toward the party was cold at best, unnecessarily hostile in some cases.
The group arrives at a waterfall leading to the city of Niirdal-Poc, one of the ruins of Qoniira, which leads to a delightful sequence where everyone but Dorian strip down and jump into the water, enjoying themselves after a long journey. Unexpectedly, the party finds the city is not uninhabited. Instead, there are a wide variety of people living within the city and Fy’ra Rai is welcomed as a returned visitor. The Fire Genasi Monk explains that while she was not born in the city, she claims it as her home now after the Wildmother led her there. We learn more about the region. Niirdal-Poc was the capital of the Qoniira Tetrarchy, each city ruled by a Tetrarch. Now, Niirdal-Poc is the only city remaining, with the five Tetrachs serving as the ruling council.
Among those secrets are others revealed during a lovely dining scene with Genar Elam (who has a massive dog named Googal), an old friend of Fy’ra Rai. During the meal, we learn that Dorian’s real name is Bronte and that “Dorian Storm” really is a stage name he has taken since leaving his family. Opal opens up more to the group, explaining that her actual name is Georgina and her sister Ted’s name is Theodora. From a storyteller and gamemaster perspective, these kinds of scenes are what you hope for at the table, since it’s mainly the players creating their own stories in real-time, making split-second decisions that show more of who their characters are. The group also finds out from Genar that the rune they found on the Ash-Hole (which is always going to be the “canon” name for the mesa that appeared in Episode Two) means “place of burning”, which isn’t ominous at all.
After the break, the party ventures from Genar’s home and enters the central plaza, where Dariax has a moment with a status of the Observer, a lesser deity of the setting. As a Divine Soul Sorcerer, Dariax’s magic comes from a deity in much the same way that a Cleric’s magic does. They still function as a Sorcerer from a game mechanics standpoint but it’s one of the more interesting backstory ideas for the class that makes for intriguing roleplay, which is no doubt the reason Matthew Mercer took the class. During the meeting with the Tetrarch Thrascuur, the party learns that the rune etched in the Ash-Hole is a marker for a place brimming with the power of creation, which will likely cause a fair amount of destruction as whatever is being “born” will not be without turmoil.
Opal has a long scene where she sees her reflection in one of Thrascuur’s mirrors but it is not her that she sees. Instead of seeing herself, she sees a woman with white hair and eyes of different colors. Angered by Thrascuur’s statements regarding magic, since Opal’s magic is not innate but drawn from her sister Ted’s presence, Opal lashes out before later apologizing for her disrespectful outburst. Aimee Carrero continues to shine in this format, bringing all of the young Opal’s petulance and naivety to the forefront. As a woman from a small town, all of this is new to Opal, so there’s a mix of wide-eyed astonishment at the wonders of the world and also the arrogance of a young person who thinks they know more than they actually do.
The meeting with the Tetrarch ends but as the party is leaving, Opal is attacked and subdued by hooded individuals, who quickly depart. The rest of the party pursues them. In the battle that follows, it is shown that these assailants are members of the Verdant Guard of Syngorn, no doubt sent by Myr’atta to retrieve Opal. The final elf warns that she is going to take away everything Opal holds dear because the young Warlock does not deserve what she has before escaping. Based on the epilogue of the episode, Myr’atta is after Ted for some reason which has yet to be revealed. By the end of the fight, Opal feels her magic leave her again as Ted sleeps, giving some credence to the idea that Ted is not dead but caught in some kind of extra-dimensional space.
The episode ends with Fy’ra Rai leaving the group to go in search of her own sibling, who it is revealed is still alive in the north of Exandria. She pulls Dorian aside, concerned that he is losing himself to the power of the Circlet (which he is). Dorian confirms that he will do anything to protect his new family (the party), but that can be taken in a completely different way. Dorian’s brush with the Spider Queen has left its mark on him. Where that journey takes him and the remainder of the party now that they have the information Gilmore was looking is up in the air. I’m intrigued to see how the story ends as we head into the final two episodes.