If Essek is under the effect of the Wild Magic Surge:
You turn into a potted plant until the start of your next turn. While a plant, you are incapacitated and have vulnerability to all damage. If you drop to 0 hit points, your pot breaks, and your form reverts.
Everything is fine; they are laughing, dancing around each other as they fly in circles. Trails of purple and orange magic swirl around them, leaving a temporary evidence of their showboating. It’s exhilarating--Caleb hasn’t had this much fun just playing with magic in--well, in a long time.
Essek hasn’t, either, based on the giant grin on his face, fangs poking out of his mouth in the most endearing way. The laughter is infectious, as is the joy they share as they-- flirt, oh , they are flirting, aren’t they?--with one another.
Which is why it’s so startling when Essek disappears.
Well, not disappears, exactly. One moment, he is flying around, laughing with Caleb, and the next moment he is gone, and there is a plant in his place. A purple succulent, one who lacks Essek’s affinity for gravity, it seems, and begins to fall rapidly down to the bottom of the Aeorian ruins.
The scream comes before Caleb can think better of it, and immediately he dives , leaving his party behind, rushing as fast as gravity will let him to try and catch what Essek has become.
Luck is his as he manages to grab the potted plant while still in the air. He cradles the plant like one might cradle a baby, keeping it close to his chest while his mind races through his spellbook. Would polymorph work in a situation like this? Could he fix Essek with Transmogify? He doesn’t have any clay but maybe he can find--
He crashes into the floor of B-9, landing on his back as to protect the plant Essek. He doesn’t even want to think about what may happen to his friend if something were to damage his plant form.
Bruised and battered, he feels the weight shift in his arms, and suddenly instead of holding on tightly to a potted plant, he is holding on equally tightly to a handsome, disheveled drow.
He doesn’t let go, adrenaline rushing through him still, causing him to hold tightly to Essek’s body. Essek’s face is flushed a deeper color of purple, brighter than his normal plum color, and any moment now common sense is going to come rushing back to him but right now it’s as far as it’s ever been. Right now, however, his brain is obsessed with Essek--the feeling of him on top of him, the weight of his humanoid body, the fact that he can feel his breath on his and hear his heartbeat through their clothing.
“Are you alright?” Caleb asks, trying not to think of how warm Essek is on top of him.
“I’m alright,” Essek laughs, fangs still poking out of his mouth. “Ah--magic is weird, here. I forgot, I--” he bites at his lips. “Thank you for catching me.”
“Any time,” Caleb says breathlessly. Essek is so close to him right now that he could kiss him.
Before he can follow that thought, though, Essek coughs suddenly, sprouts of purple flower petals escaping his mouth as he does so.
They freeze for just a moment, and then simultaneously they break into laughter once again, the situation so strange and wonderful that they can’t do anything else.
Your clothing and armor disintegrates, leaving you vulnerable and lowering your AC for the next hour.
They are spinning around each other, showing off their magical prowess as they fly in circles around the rest of the Mighty Nein. They get ahead of the group a little bit, distracted and in their own little world of their powerplay--
And then Essek is naked , as nude as he was the day he was born, and Caleb’s brain short circuits just a little bit, distracted by the sight of luscious plum colored skin, a lithe chest that he longs to touch, and of course, the lower body--
Two things happen that snap him back to reality: the first is Essek’s little shriek of realization, startled by his sudden circumstances. The second is the wolf-whistles and cat-calls that come from Jester and Veth above him.
Embolden, he shrugs off his outermost jacket layer, and flies closer to Essek and hands him his coat. Quickly mid-air, Essek wraps the coat around himself, and Caleb ignores the heat that rises in his body at the image of Essek wearing his clothing.
The coat is too big on him; it looks almost ridiculous. Bare-foot and bare-legs showing, wrapped in nothing but a too large Imperial brown coat--but it is endearing, too, how cute it is.
The Mighty Nein land softly on the floor of B-9, and Jester whistles again. “Essek, you got a cute butt!”
“Yeah, dude!” Beau continues. “I don’t even like dudes but you got a fine ass! Impressive for a dude who floats everywhere--what, do you do squats in the morning or something?”
“ Honestly ,” Fjord huffs, already digging through his pack for a spare pair of pants to give Essek, and Caleb tries not to notice the way Essek smells just a little bit like him for the rest of the day.
If Caleb is under the effect of the Wild Magic Surge:
You cast Polymorph on yourself. If you fail the saving throw, you turn into a sheep for the spell's duration.
Essek has not felt this light and free at any time in his life. At least, as far back as he can remember. Maybe when he was a child he was this carefree, but that was so long ago he no longer recalls it.
Maybe it was stupid to waste a spell just on showing off to Caleb, but he can’t help himself. There’s something about Caleb that brings out the joy in him, the joy of magic and the joy of--of something unspeakable, something unnamable, at least in Essek’s experience.
Which is why it’s so startling to see Caleb’s form shift once again. One moment, they are flying in circles around each other, dancing in their arcane manner, and the next Caleb is a bright orange sheep.
A bright orange sheep that cannot fly.
“Baaaaaaa!” The sheep yells, clearly distressed, and Essek springs into action, zooming past the rest of the Nein to grab the sheep. He manages to catch it, luckily, and with grace and precision the two of the land softly on the floor of B-9.
“Baa!” The sheep bleats cheerfully, clearly grateful for the rescue. He nuzzles his horns up against Essek, seeming to want attention. Flustered and overwhelmed, Essek runs his hands through the soft wool of Caleb, enjoying the peaceful baas the other creature is making.
The rest of the Nein land shortly afterwards. “Do we think it’s permanent?” Jester asks, pulling an old pastry out of her bag to hand to the sheep Caleb. He scarfs it down happily.
“I hope not,” Essek murmurs, one hand still in Caleb’s orange-colored wool.
They continue onward, wrapping a leash around the sheep to make sure it stays with the group. Essek keeps him close to him, his mind racing through worst case scenarios. Of all the possible ends for Caleb, losing his mind is perhaps the worst one Essek can imagine.
“I won’t let you stay like this, friend,” Essek whispers mid-trek. The sheep nuzzles against him, seeking affection. “I’ll find some way to turn you back. I promise.”
An hour later, Caleb returns to his human form, half of Essek’s scarf chewed up in his mouth. “Baa?” He says, teasingly, and Essek has never felt more relief before in his life.
Roll a d10. Your age changes by a number of years equal to the roll. If the roll is odd, you get younger (minimum 1 year old). If the roll is even, you get older.
They dance the entire way down to B-9, laughing as they go. They swirl, getting closer and then farther apart, like two fireworks blazing across the night’s sky. They are entangled in each other’s magic, twirling and tangoing in their own arcane manner as they go.
So Essek will have to be forgiven for not noticing the changes in Caleb’s appearance at first. He doesn’t notice how the lines across Caleb’s face shift and disappear, how the bags underneath his eyes shrink until they are unnoticeable. He doesn’t notice the scars across his body disappearing and fading, as if they had never existed, as if they haven’t happened yet.
It’s only when they land that he notices the youthfulness of Caleb’s face, as if he was suddenly a spry 24 year old human versus his 33 year old self.
Of course, he hardly knows or understands how youth works in humans, so he simply smiles at his friend. “You seem energetic,” he says, as Caleb bounces about the ruins, a skip in his step that wasn’t there before.
“I feel better. Lighter, like I’m years younger,” Caleb confesses. In truth, his appearance hasn’t changed that much--not enough that the rest of the Mighty Nein don’t hardly notice. If Essek didn’t spend so much time looking at Caleb’s face, maybe he wouldn’t notice, either. “Like the time that was stolen from me has been returned.”
“I’m glad, my friend,” Essek smiles quietly, like they are sharing a secret between the two of them. “It suits you.”
“Much worse things could have happened, that’s for sure,” Caleb grins back, his freckles seeming starker without the lines on his face.
If both of them were under the effects of a Wild Magic Surge
You fall madly in love with the person physically closest to you.
There is a brief pink light surrounding them for just a moment, and then it’s gone. They stop their dance for a moment, hovering in the air as they wait for something to happen--a physical change, a summoning, a monster--anything.
Minutes go by, however, and nothing happens. “What do you think that was about?” Caleb asks, waiting in the back with Essek. The rest of the Mighty Nein have continued their float downward, and now it’s the two of them who have stayed behind.
“A wild magic surge?” Essek speculates. “Magic is strange here--maybe we triggered something when we cast fly?”
“Yeah, but what did we trigger?” Caleb asks curiously. “I don’t feel any different, do you?”
“No,” Essek confesses. “Everything is normal as far as I can tell.”
Caleb runs a hand through his ponytail. “Hair isn’t falling out.”
“Thank the gods,” Essek laughs, and then takes in a deep breath. “I don’t smell pastries like we did this morning.”
“Strange. Maybe it was just that pink light?”
“We could have fared much worse than that.”
“This is true,” Caleb laughs, and Essek’s heart feels lighter, the way it always does when he has the pleasure of watching Caleb’s face light up. “I suppose we should get back to the others?”
“After you,” he offers, and flies off after him.