The orange bearded warrior nodded his tattooed head a couple of times and grunted in reply. "Yes. We need to turn this world upside down… Again."
Gortag nodded again. "Aye. We need to set the humans and the dwarves and the elves free again even if it will be damn hard. However I'm sure more of the leeches will be heading our way very soon, so we'd better get moving. And even if I'd like nothing more than to kill all of the monsters on the way, we may need to hide for a while… and observe and plan. It's something I've never been good at, but I need to learn quick now, won't I?"
The dwarf spoke again grinning maliciously. "But let's make sure we leave a sign for all the nasties out there. A warning of a kind. Just enough to install a spark of fear into the corrupted hearts of theirs. That's all."
A smirk crossed Seluraiiel's lips as she listened to Gortag. If he wanted to lay quiet for a time and work from the shadows that would certainly save her the time of convincing him to do so. In the many years of her long waiting and planning had served the faery well and she had every intention of continuing to do so.
Just as Seluraiiel moved to respond Slayer shot her a look of warning and sprung into action. In but a heartbeat Gortag was standing before a vacant eyed human and in another the human lay unconcious from the quick strike of the dwarf's meaty fist. The silver haired faery narrowed her eyes as she watched the scene unfold. She had little doubt that the thrall was merely a forerunner and soon his masters would be upon them. A sigh escaped the faery's lips as she glided across the temple to stand beside the dwarf. There beside the dwarf Seluraiiel opened herself to the Sight to seek what danger approached.
The Kobold flashed his badge across the bars, and the human slave opened the gate slowly letting it's rusted hinges squeal into the night. 'Why do all Vampires have to live in houses as old as they are?' the seargant thought. He stalked through the gate followed by a squad of four goblin guards armed to the teeth with silver. The human scanned them all warily, "I'm afraid my master is out at the moment..."
Wyck's grinn was studded with sharp tiny teeth. "That's alright, we'll wait." He signaled the guards into positions hidden behind the courtyard's shrubbery. Then he turned to the slave once more. "Your master is accused of creating spawn without a license. Any attempt to aid him in resisting or avoiding arrest will result in you being charged as an accomplish... Do we have an understanding?" The human nodded meekly after a long minute's strain. Obviously he was torn between his fear of his master and his fear of the courts which did not deal gently with human criminals. "Good, now go transmit that understanding to the rest of his servants. I want no interference."
After the human had scurried off, Wyck did what kobolds did best, he vanished into the shadows to wait in ambush.
In Seluraiiel's mind's eye a picture of a desolate slope scoured by slave labor appears. Thralls stand about idle, their tools lying at their feet. Meanwhile their controllers have larger worries. They rush down the hill in an angry pack, six Illithids (CL-16) in all. At the head of the group march two minotaur mind-slaves (CL-10), armed with battle axes their hafts as long as any of their masters are tall.
One of the Illithid (CL-20) carries a staff which radiates magic visible to the Seeress. He directs the creatures as they approach a gaping shaft at the base of the slope. Cautiously they begin to surround the excavation. Then the minotaurs, signaled by invisible commands, approach the ladder leading down into the dark.
[Character Knowledge- The temple had more than one entrance. A sub chamber was linked to an underground river to provide potable water. If the room isn't collapsed and the river hasn't shifted its course this may provide an escape route, if you'd rather avoid a fight.]
Posted on 2010-06-11 at 22:05:33.
Edited on 2010-06-11 at 22:08:10 by madscirat
Finally, he was rid of her incessant chatter. Her youthful enthusiasm ceased to be compelling, and was grating on his nerves.
He forced a smile when his coach dropped her off at her abode, and assured her that his offices would be contacting her. He'd have to make sure they didn't contact her for a week or two, as that was all he could stand.
The ride home was quiet. While several races were nocturnal in Gleech the noise level tended to die down in the wee hours of the morning, and as his carriage driver steered him off the well beaten roads towards the southern hills where Ndaxur lies, the vampire's mind drifted to simpler times.
Arriving at the front gate, the coachman was yelling for the gate to be opened. Vodokon could feel the coach shift as the goblin climbed off the high driver's seat to investigate why the gate was not being opened. The Lord of Ndaxur smirked as he knew the pleasure the goblin would extract by beating the slave who fell asleep at his post. The sounds of the gate opening ensued, and then the carriage was drawn through the gate house onto the private road. The carriage rocked again as the coachman climbed up to his seat, and the carriage started moving forward again.
Eastern Forest around Gleech
Kal watched Terral walk away for a moment, and once she was sure he was not watching she slipped into the dense cover of the forest to do what she did best, stay out of sight. Certain he would not attempt to follow her again if he could not find her she continued through the forest toward the hellish city she and her mother had escaped all those years ago. The trek was rather uneventful once she had gotten rid of the boy, only the occasional forest creature running scared crossed her hidden path, or at least thats all she ever noticed. Once she neared the outskirts of the forest she left the denser cover and returned to the clearer path so as not to draw too much suspicion by sneaking around. What she saw when she arrived at the gate was not at all what she had expected.
...The glint of silver, bane of both vampire and lycanthrope, showed through the bushes. The Lord of Ndaxur had not lived several centuries to be so quickly ambushed by a pack of goblins. He spied several more hints of the hated metal, a total of atleast three assassins. It was not the first time his manor had been attacked by oppurtunists hoping to stake a claim to the riches of several lifetimes of successful legal practice. The last time had been fifty years ago and the vampire could only guess that its gory conclusion had faded from the memory of Gleech's more unscrupulous residents.
The attackers remained motionless as the carraige neared the house. He could only assume they were waiting to make their move once he exited his compartment...
When he saw the first blade, he assumed he could talk circles around the opponent, avoid a fight whatsoever. When he saw the next two, he had enough confidence in his abilities, that he was sure he could outmatch them. But with the myriad of silver tips showing themselves through the foliage, perhaps this would have a different outcome.
Turning into mist was always an interesting feeling, his senses were all skewed. The temperature always felt colder, he could no longer feel with his hands, now he felt with him mind. His sense of sight lessened, he could not see as far, nor as clearly, but he could see everything around him, in front in back, above and below. Smell and taste became one, and these were greatly improved, while sound and sight grew duller.
A passerby would think there was a fire inside the coach, as it was leaking smoke as it drove up to the carriage house. Vodokon floated over the grounds, engulfing the kobolds in a low mist taking precise care to memorize their locations.
The kobolds move swiftly and quietly towards the carriage, Vodokon moved towards the house. If there were to be a fight, he would want the narrow passages he was familiar with to pick off the attackers one at a time.
Rematerializing inside the back door, he removed his cape, and drew his rapier. He hoped this would not take too long, the sun was eminent, and this fight could turn dangerous. He was glad he'd solved the problem in the ballroom.
He could hear them assault his coach driver, yapping kobold voices could be heard, as they broke into his coach. He cracked his joints as he prepared himself. Scratching at the back door announced their progress. Where were his servants, he thought to himself. They should be doing something back in this corner. They would know his schedule and be ready to welcome him back to his abode.
His grip tightened on the hilt as the knob was slowly turned, tiny clawed hands could be seen as the door squeaked open.
Vodonkon's blade reflected candle light as beady eyes and pointy teeth made their way around the door.
Kal can barely see the gates over the jumbled line of commerce backed up against its iron face. Horses, oxen, and basalisk driven carts and wagons all wait, their wheels still, their drivers sullen. The traveler at the back of the line and therefore closest to Kal looks to be a slaver from the Nine Crowns. Two bearded devils protect his human cargo as the merchant, a sly looking infernal argues with a guard.
"All do respect to your Mayor but I'm on a tight schedule here. These are no normal slaves. They are specifically bred research subjects for the Arcane Academy. Certainly a civil servant as dedicated to the city's well being as yourself would see the need to prioritize magical research.."
The Hobgoblin only snorted immune to the devil's charisma, "the gates are closed to all western traffic, especially traffic with the Nine Crowns. You can find lodging in Brimshear until the gates are reopened."
"But this is absurd..."
"Move along sir." Being creatures of lawful planes, the devils knew when they had encountered an immovable object. Their leader slipped into the driver's seat and whipped his black steeds into motion. The vehicle joined the disappointed flow of traffic streaming away from the Gate and toward the goblin hovel of Brimshear which encircled the city.
"I hope I don't have to repeat that ag.." the hobgoblin started, moving along the line to Kal. As expected, he mistook her for a pure-blood of her species, "my lady, a thousand pardons. We don't see many dragons coming through the gates on foot. Please move to the head of the line. They'll do a standard check to verify you're not a shapeshifter or a magician wearin' sum illusion and they'll let you through."
Kal was used to the treatment. In Gleech as well as many Goblin cities, the dragons were members of an elite aristocracy. Though not officially above the law, the law did tend to 'bend' at their discretion.
Kal always did enjoy the treatment at the gates, and at times let it go to her head, this would be one of those time especially after witnessing the treatment the Devils had received.
Looking the ugly guard up and down she gave an annoyed humph and addressed him crossly, "It doesn't matter how I come to the gates, does it? I am here from my native plane ((plane of earth, since she is Amethyst-blooded)), come to hunt relics of the old world and expand my hoard. I will forgive your disrespect this once, and only this once!"
With that she made her way to the front of the line, basking in the utter dismay displayed by the other travellers waiting or getting turned away. Arriving at the gate she waited for the usual business that took place upon all her visits to the city.
The Sight took hold and in a flash Seluraiiel saw the approach of many illithids and their thralls. Although there was little doubt she and the dwarf could take on the monsters her mind drifted to escape. Now was not the time for a full on assault, for now working from the shadows would be best.
The faery turned her attention to the human thrall. He still stood immobile held in mid stride by her charm and that same charm would give her control of his body. With a thought she twisted the magics that held him and he began to move towards the deeper chamber of the temple. It was a violation to be sure but she did not have the luxury of time to earn his trust and leaving him here was not an option - she had plans for the man yet.
"Gortag my friend," Seluraiiel began, "it is time we make our way out of this temple. The mindflayers are nearly upon us and I think for now it would be best we remain hidden. To the river below."
Her amber eyes moved over the temple chamber one last time before she turned and followed the human into the temple's depths. The underground river would provide their path away, if not she would take both Gortag and the human into the world between the worlds. No illithid would find or follow them there, of that Seluraiiel was certain.
Posted on 2010-06-25 at 21:06:08.
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 65/3 975 Posts
I'll be back.
After knocking out the second thrall, Gortag turned to face Seluraiiel to converse their options. Though the elven lady was certainly powerful enough to use her vision without needing to concentrate too much on the effort, the Slayer decided to let her do her thing in peace without interruptions. They'd worked enough together for the dwarf to notice the slight changes on the beautiful face as the sorceress was looking somewhere where his own green eyes could not see. Gortag could wait. After all, that's what the two of them had been doing for more than a few lifetimes it seemed.
True enough. A few heartbeats later Seluraiiel's gaze locked with Gortags and there was a slight smile on the immortal lips as she turned her attention to the slave she'd already freed from the grasp of the mind flayers. In no time the human started moving again though not freely, but under the control of a new master… or mistress. Gortag cast a look at his companion and could see a wrinkle on her brow. It was clearly painful for the lady to use another being so; especially when the controlled one was not an evil creature, but an innocent one instead.
Right now, however, the Slayer knew there was little else she could do. Gortag himself wouldn't have wasted a second thought for the fate of the human thrall, but yet he respected the decision of his companion. Seluraiiel would try to save the man if it was at all possible and to that the dwarf had no objections. Alone, the two of them could probably do a great deal of damage to the monsters running freely above the ground as well as under it, but it would not be enough. They would need a resistance working in the shadows until there was an army strong enough to take on the enemy out in the open. And even if one man was not much, it was still a start.
Therefore Gortag nodded to his friend when Seluraiiel suggested leaving without a fight through the hidden waterway they both knew had been running underneath the temple all those years ago. "Aye. As much as I'd like to strike down the damn squids running the slaving enterprise in here, I agree. That'll have to wait for now. The bastards will get to taste the blade of my axe later."
The tattooed warrior rolled his shoulders, stretched his neck and cast a final look at the unconscious human lying on the temple floor. No, the man would not be showing his master anything for a while. The Slayer could only hope the tentaclehead would get to share the heavy headache its thrall would be having when he woke up. Shaking his head sadly at the destruction of the once beautiful temple, the dwarf turned his back at the ruined building and followed the fairy sorceress into the darkness.
Beyond the tall iron gates, Kal found herself in a city truly as chaotic as the minds of those goblins inhabiting it. Bridges and walkways crisscrossed the space above her connecting houses which stood at every angle not perpindicular with the ground. Above them zeppilins traversed the sky leaving black trails of smoke in their wake.
The citizenry of Gleech was as amalgamated as its architecture and it engulfed the half dragon like a poluted ocean of flesh. Many were goblinoids, others were feral beasts from the nearby forests, gnolls and werebeasts; all gave her a wider bearth than other pedestrians.
Within moments the encircling walls of the Arena rose into view. Many humans, some kin of men and women at the camp, had met their bloody ends upon its dusty stage. Kal could hear the cheers of fans carry down the crowded streets and behind them, the screams.
Kal had always hated having to pass the Arena, the smell of blood and the piercing screams that could be heard even over the feral cheers of the crowd always made her sick deep in the pit of her stomach. She would have loved to just be able to rush in and stop the madness, destroy the Arena, and free the slaves, but she was no idiot, she knew to try such a feat was suicide and she had a job to do here and it would be done despite having to pass the Arena.
She headed to the one place she knew would trade the goods she had and not ask too many questions about where they came from, the Sewer Rat's Blackmarket. She hated the sewers, she hated the Wererat that called himself the Sewer Rat, and she hated the shady figures that did business with him. However she would continue to deal with him out of pure necessity and pretend to like it.
She made her way quickly to the alleyway that housed the sewer entrance the Sewer Rat called home and climbed down the ladder, trying not to gag on the horrible stench. Once she was off the ladder she pulled back her hood exposing her lavender scaled head, knowing the Rat would recognize her as a regular customer he approached his counter and greeted him as usual, "Always nice to smell you again my friend, I have some more items that may interest you, I hope you will give me a fair price as you have in the past." The hideous fence smiled, showing his rotting yelling teeth and hissed a greeting, "Always good to see you in my humble hole Vorel, what can I take off your hands this fine day?"
Fiddling through her various pockets Kal pulled out a handful of Old World coins, an Ivory Statuette she had lifted during her last visit into town, and a silk spell component pouch embroidered with silver threads. "I trust an upstanding and fine businessman such as yourself can appreciate the value of these items and give me a fair amount of credits to spend up top on things I need."
((I never mentioned it before, but when dealing with most of the citizens of Gleech she uses the alias Vorel Kethend, draconic for Beautiful Gem.))