Whenever you reached a key point in the story you were generally rewarded with some beautiful sight, and some climatic moment. But this was none of these. It was just some dusty, forgotten, room with a single, bare, chest in it. Perhaps there was something more to the story.
Almost immediatly The Kender skittered forward to inspect and touch the chest, not doubt trying to find a way inside to grab whatever shiny objects were inside. Shaking his head slightly and grinning, Teros strode forward behind The Kendor and knelt down to inspect the chest.
"There's nothing here? Is this another puzzle?"
Teros frowned and looked over at The Kender beside him, awaiting to see what he would do.
September 6th/Saturday Central Ralnaria
Indeed it seemed that this chest was infact, the only artifact in this room. If the party was disappointed, Elandor at least, was not one to show it. Without a second thought, he was into the room and kneeling beside the chest. Teros followed and knelt beside him. The surface was plain and smooth; a burnished, rich colored wood, but nothing altogether unusual, or even beautiful. Infact, compared to the room they had just come from, with it’s walls lined with silver shields, accenting the unworldly beauty of the life sized, silver statue of Lavuria, this was like breaking through walls of gold to find a dusty, mop pantry.
That is, until Elandor lifted the lid to the chest, and a myriad of swirling color and brilliant light washed over the room. Their curiosity awoken, the group huddled over the chest in the small, dusty room. They would be the first mortals, and the second beings, only to the gods themselves to lay eyes upon the artifact within.
What could it possibly be? The item within the chest was about the size of a small plate, and equally flat, though it’s shape was slightly more of that of a shuriken. It possessed four corners, and the sides between were slightly curved, accenting the corners so that it was shaped like a star. On the end of each of the four corners, was a gleaming, metallic hoop, (a very pale, goldish metal none of the group recognizes) and what looked like the cup of a ring. (the part that holds the diamond…I forget what they are called…). The four “Cups” were perhaps half the length of a human finger. If they were meant to hold diamonds, then these diamonds must be the size of a fist!
Far more astonishing, was the center surface of the “plate”. It was smooth, and metallic, but it swirled and danced with color. Greens, blues, gray/browns, reds and oranges writhed and swam within each other, and their light cast a glow on the parties faces, like the patterns cast on the walls of an underwater cave. Of equal note, was the gap in the very midst of the swirling plate. It seemed something was to be placed here as well.
Reaching in, Elandor touched the surface of the plate. Instantly, the swirling colors focused around his hand, like water in a skin that had been popped, the energy now had a place to go. Elandor did not withdraw, however, and to any that looked at him, he did not seem to see the plate, or the chest, or even the room. His eyes were blank. The light that outlined his hand began to blend into one color. Blue.
(To speed the storyline)
As soon as his hand touched the plate, it was as if the plate had become a portal, and had drawn him within, down, down, down, until Elandor realized he was falling through clouds and sky. No. he wasn’t falling, he was flying! The gray/white of cloud cleared and Elandor was looking down at a pale, brown land. A sea of sand. Far to his left, like a green and blue snake, a river wound it’s way through the land. Directly below him, the ruined, black city of Hajin Ra looked like a sore. Had Elandor attempted to control his flight, he would have realized he could not. He was drawn on a path. Swooping over the Land of Glass, he flew faster than any bird or windship could possibly hope. Southeast he flew, over the river, and over the Gold and Ivory city of El Jalnine. The river opened up and he was over the sea. He could smell the salt sea, and saw fish jumping. A massive tail slapped the water as a whale submersed. Southeast he continued until a ring of islands appeared. How odd, that a ring of islands would form such a perfect circle. Swirling over the islands, like a leaf in the wind, he witnessed that in the center was a terrible Maelstrom. So powerful was it’s force, that he could actually see to the very bottom of the ocean, between the swirl of water. Suddenly he was falling, falling. No, he was drawn down much faster than if he were falling. He would have screamed, but the force was too intense. The roar of the maelstrom thundered around him as he fell, and in an instant he realized that at the center of this maelstrom was a temple. A temple at the bottom of the sea. The vision began to break, like scenes from a dream. He a shell, and 3 pearls, each gathered from each of the four surrounding islands. 3 pearls placed into 3 holes in the shell, and cast into the maelstrom….He plunged into the maestrom as if he was the shell, and was drawn into its force. As if water were washing over him, blurring his vision, the scene disappeared. Elandor fell backwards from the chest, and Teros caught him.
(Elandor you are conscious and….well..you can decide how your character would react to such an experience. I have written your experience here to save time. You don’t have to repeat the whole experience. Just SAY you do..if you so choose, and the others can simply reread. Also, if anyone else touches the surface of the plate, they will experience the vision identically. It happens again and again, as many times as you touch it, and though you feel like the vision takes several minutes to occur, it only takes about 5 seconds.)
The crumbling of the demon-wall was a sight to behold...at least before it became to bright to look at! Such a spectacular display of light leaving the party in darkness was a bit of a dissapointment to Rinrin. She had to admit she was expecting something at least a little bit more extravagant - especially in the room that was revealed. The small dusty chest seemed rather insignificant compared to what was done to reach it.
Elandor and Teros both knelt in front of the chest, clearly eager to see what was inside. Rinrin dearly wished to see as well, but she was still in an unreal frame of mind, thinking that, perhaps, if she poked the chest, the room would suddenly turn into the fantastically decorated room that she had imagined. The near-empty, dusty place was preferable to someplace teeming with enemies, however.
While she was thinking all this, the chest had been opened to reveal an entrancing object. Elandor picked it up, and no sooner had he done so than his eyes went blank. His senses returned momentarily, and the entire group huddled around, excited upon hearing/discovering what the 'plate' revealed to them. Conjori sniffed the colourful object dubiously, tensing when Rinrin herself went to place her hand on it. It truely was an experience unlike anything the small gnome had ever encountered before! She really was flying!!
After everyone had a turn with the 'vision' the plate gave them ((assuming everyone does so)), Rinrin looked around at everyone, her eyes bright and cheerful.
"I guess that's where we have to go next, then, huh? I wonder how you get to the bottom of the sea safely?? And I wonder what goes in the cups...maybe God Stones fit there? What do you all think?"
((Sorry if this is crap...I think it covers everything.))
Elandor was flying. How he had missed the leap into the air from the underground chamber with the chest, he didn’t know. Actually, he didn’t care. This was amazing! For the second time in his quest he defied the laws of his ancestors. Kender do not fly … it was a joke!
Elandor twirled around and saw the brown land upside down. The city of glass, molten into blackness, passed under him. Somewhere down there were his companions. Elandor dove down, eyes closed in enjoyment, to go tell them of his new flying feat. When he opened his eyes, he found himself still gliding at high speed over the vast deserts. The city of Hajin Ra was far behind him. How could this be? He definitely had steered downwards.
His arms started flapping wildly around him, trying to control direction. The rogue found he could not. There was nothing else left to do but enjoy the ride.
And what a ride it was! The little man was oohing and aahing all around the globe it seemed. He saw the places of his dreams. But whatever happened on this long journey, nothing exceeded the boost of adrenaline that rushed through his body at the sight of the whale. The giant tail rose like a magnificent leaf on invisible wind. It waved at Elandor in majestic grandeur. The kender waved back frantically. That creature must be the king of the ocean. he thought. And he’s waving at me!
As the tail splashed its way beneath the surface Elandor yelled out to it: “Bye! Tell all your friends Elandor said hi! I’ll come visit you one day, when all this saving the world stuff is over!”
He could see himself riding the waves on the back of his new friend. The whale and the kender, friends for life. But his vision was interrupted by a new sight. Islands forming into a perfect ring, in their center a vortex of water. Elandor wanted to go back, to warn the whale not to there, but again he found he could not. He wanted to scream, in an effort to come through to his friend, but he was sucked down with such force. The very air got stolen from his lungs. An anger built up inside the kender. He felt himself starting to change. He turned into a shell, and with three pearls from three of the surrounding islands he plunged himself into the maelstrom, like a cannonball into a mighty castle. He noticed a temple, but didn’t think much of it. What was important now was stopping the swirl of water before the whale would get there.
As he drowned himself under tons of water the vision ended. Elandor found himself by the chest, Teros’ hands supporting his back. He looked up at the warrior.
“We need to go save the whale! We must stop the maelstrom, because I think I didn’t quite do it yet. There’s no time to waste. Who knows when my friend arrives at the ring of islands.”
After Rinrin’s turn he was glad somebody else saw how badly they needed to go.
“God Stones? No, pearls. I need to change into a shell and then you guys have to put three pearls in me, since I won’t have any more arms to do it myself. And then you must cast me into the maelstrom, so we can save my friend, the king of the sea!”
Although Scourge had figured on the solution to the shield room being the reflection of light, his bade Orion not to speak it witha shake of his head. Perhaps at this point it would be better for them to work on it themselves. Soon the party had a plan, and within second the little kender was climbing the rope thrown by Teros. When Elandor hung the shield on the hook and it reflected the light of the warrior's shield up onto the goddess Scourge watched in silence. It was truly a sight to remember and he mentally thanked Erenal for allowing him to witness such an event.
As Marie pulled the crystal from the bowl and handed it to Teros, Scourge noticed the similiarity to the indent in the shield they had found earlier, although he would not imagine the response when the two of them were joined. The blast of light blinded him for a moment, and Orion kicked and flapped his wings as he too was startled. When Teros finally angled his shield down, preventing the light from refracting into them anymore Scourge reopened his eyes. It was then that he noticed the kender inspecting a small black hole in the wall. As intrigued as Elandor seemed, they had something to do, and the small one's curiousity would have to be denied this time.
When the had reached the demon wall once more, Scourge waited for Teros to turn the light onto the shield. After a brief period of nervous waiting when nothing occured, the beam focused in on the demon's forhead, causing veins of light to spread throughout its body. Within seconds, the wall had collapsed, and the group was overcome with a cloud of dust. After they had finished coughing and both the dust and light had disappeared it was revealed that their endevours had yielded, of all things, a small wooden chests.
"There's nothing here? Is this another puzzle?" the desert warrior asked, obviously disappointed at the lack of reward.
"Such is the will of the gods." Orion intoned from Scourge's shoulder. "Perhaps you should be grateful that we have found this."
Quick as a wink Elandor was at the chest, and having opened it instantly seemed to go inert. Falling backwards, he was caught by Teros before he hit the floor. Rising, he recanted the story of his vision to the group. Rinrin, enticed, reached in and touched the object, going through seemingly the same experience as the kender. Scourge thought perhaps it would be prudent for him to do this to, as if his comrades described it well, this was definately of some importance, perhaps a map of some kind.
After he touched the plate and experienced the same vision as the others, Scourge's mind was full of thought, and he made sure Orion didn't start cracking them out. What was the meaning of this? Surely they weren't being sent to rescue this "sea god" as Elandor had guessed, but what if they were. Scourge did not know what to make of this, and waited for the others to try it and give their opinions before he himself decided.
September 6th/Saturday Central Ralnaria
So it was that the first part in their long and perilous was accomplished. They had made the journey from the Elf, protected Valinor Forest, to Elderast, the capital of the North Kingdom of Thollin. They had endured the disastrous flight windship flight, that had taken them over a week to the south, as the Raven Flies. They had lost several of their own, to the barbaric North-Man, Thrundier, but they had also met Rinrin, Cleric of Inenhalla. Against all odds, they made it from the northlands, to Hajin Ra, and had passed the tests that had been set before them. Perhaps a few wondered what Falienor Anfa’las might think. The Lord of Celeval had ordered the party lead from his treetop city at sword-point. Surely he had never expected them to make it this far. Doubt even had begun to surface in Tharanduils deep eyes. He hadn’t said it, and infact, verbally, his faith remained with the party; but the Elder, it seemed, had even begun to question the prophecies. Well what would he say now?
They had acquired the Talisman of Deliverance, but for all the thrill that it’s vision inducing properties gave, it had greater purpose. It was a map. A map of astounding properties. Most likely the most artifact in Noldaria, next to the Light and Shadow Stones. For this would be their way to the Light Stone. How ironic that it would lie within a city, punished by the Lavuria, who’s magnificent statue now stood as radiant as the sun, beneath blackened palaces of glass. Perhaps the legends were false then? Perhaps this was never really a city? Then who had built this metropolis? Perhaps Lavuria had entrusted the citizens of Hajin Ra to protect the secret of the Talisman, and they had threatened to use it? Or perhaps the stories were true after all.
After each member (who chooses) had taken their turn with the experience, the group began to make their way back to the statue, and the pile of dust that had once been his demonic foe. The shield nolonger lit the room. Infact the diamond imbedded in it’s face nolonger even glowed. It was cold and pale, like a dead moon.
Rinrin had proposed a question that Elandor had been quick to attempt to answer as they reached the wall that they had roped down. It took a moment for the group to realize, but…the rope…was gone. They had left it to climb back up when they had descended. Looking up, they were greeted by three silhouettes. At the top of the pit. All three held torches, but the figure in the center dropped it into the pit like a coin in a well. The torched looked like a comet, hurling in flame wreathed fury towards them. Vilyamar stepped back just as it landed in a burst of sparks where he had been standing.
“We meet again!”
The voice was soft and deep, and full of mock surprise. The voice belonged to Ihsan, The Snake.
“Let me see if I can remember your names.”
The black wrapped figure spoke as if they were old acquaintances, meeting by accident in the food market. The two crossbows he held, pointed at them hinted this wasn’t as casual a meeting as his voice let on.
“Marie, Elandor, Rinrin……Vilra…I’m no good with Elvish. I see you have friends with you! I don’t believe we’ve met, yet, but some of my lads said one of your kind tried to cut himself like a lamb on the docks. A poor fisherman slipped on the blood.”
There was scoffing laughter and figures began to line the pit. They all held crossbows. Probably 15 of them.
Ihsan spoke again, and his voice was almost mocking.
“Now did you forget to let me know when you were leaving? How impolite! Is that how all northerners are? Well, I suppose it’s alright. I forgive you.”
The figure made a mock bow and there was much laughter. He certainly was enjoying this.
“Tell you what. This is you’re chance to make things right. I found something that belongs to you. It’s not much, but who am I to steal from another man?”
One of the two torch toting figures held up their rope.
“Now I would love to return this to you, but…It seems you have some items that belong to us! I’nt that something?”
A change came over his voice. Dark and threatening.
“You’ve got whatever it is you came for. Now you’ll give us what we came for. Ye see that shield? Yes. The one that was glowing like the sun. There’s more where that came from. Bring us the treasure and we’ll let you up. No harm, no crime.”
I knew this man wasn’t to be trusted! Elandor thought to himself. And there is no way I’m going to hand him any of the treasure in this dungeon.
He looked at the chest behind him, and noticed the magical plate was still there. They faced a problem now. When they touched the plate it showed a beautiful vision; the way to the first Godstone. But when the vision completed, they were flung backwards. So, how were they going to take it with them? They couldn’t leave it behind for those scoundrels to pick it up and follow their trail again. He leaned upon his hoopak and thought deeply. Then he regarded his elbow, and his gaze went down to the stick that was a symbol of his race. His hoopak, a sling as well as a staff, would aid him without battle this time.
He opened his backpack and aimed his weapon at the plate inside the chest. Using the telekinetic powers he tried to let the thing float into his pack. This way they were sure to bring the thing and not arouse the suspicion of the thugs. (assuming he succeeds: ) To complete the trick he closed the lid of the chest before moving to the other members of his party.
(will continue or post another one once we have a proper view on who’s telling the thugs we’re collecting the treasure.)
“You’ve got whatever it is you came for. Now you’ll give us what we came for. Ye see that shield? Yes. The one that was glowing like the sun. There’s more where that came from. Bring us the treasure and we’ll let you up. No harm, no crime.”
No harm, no crime indeed Rinrin thought. The small gnome looked to her dog, his shining eyes all she needed to know his confidence in her. With a deep breath, she ignored the dark tone of his voice and put on her most charming smile.
"So, all you're wanting are the shields? Well, there's no harm in that, as you say. I think we have a deal, then!" Rinrin supressed a tiny laugh and gave Conjori a pat on the head.
"We'll be back in no time, just be ready to lift us out with the treasure, yeah?"
((Rinrin will wait a moment for a response before responding accordingly/heading back off down the hall. Don't want to provoke their attack, now!))
Ihsahn peered from behind the black cloth that enwrapped his face, down at the little gnome. His eyes, Rinrin noticed, were an odd, pale color she color she could not place in the torchlight.
"We have the rope ready."
He began but hesitated a moment, before adding almost casually.
"However, I do not feel so safe about being left alone while you go delving through treasures. I would feel much safer if one of your kind stayed back to keep us company."
Pointed one hand at Damien, he said.
"You. You will stay, until the others have delivered the treasure. All the more reason for haste.”
The crossbows seemed to focus on Damien, like hungry wolves around a wounded deer.
Rinrin smiled, trying to erase the eery feeling his eyes gave her. No suprise there... She looked over to Damien and gave him a confident nod, hoping he would understand her meaning, before turning her head back up to Ihsahn and shrugging her shoulders slightly.
"Alright. It's only fair. We'll be back in no time at all!"
She turned and left the room with the others, leaving Damien to stand alone with the dark-clothed man and his gang. She felt terrible leaving him so vulnerable, but she prayed it would work out in the end. Once out of sight and hearing of the gang, she spoke up before anyone could lay question to her actions.
"Right. I know this is a bit of a long shot, but I'll cast ghost sound as a distraction. Scourge, if you could cast dancing lights over Damien at the same time to cover his break, he should be able to get out easily enough." Rinrin couldn't help but smile, "It seems that now's the time for that dark cavern we bypassed earlier!"
(Rinrin gave me her response and I added it in with my post.)
Ihsan's arrival and subsequent demand for treasure hardly surprised Scourge. Although personally he knew very little of the man on a personal level, he had thought that this person was without integrity. After Damien was singled out and the crossbowmen encircled the pit Scourge knew they were not going to get out this way. It was then that his thoughts turned to the tunnel little Elandor had found earlier, and he prayed that the gods had granted this wisdom to his allies.
As they headed back into the temple Rinrin quickly discussed a plan.
"Scourge, if you could cast dancing lights over Damien at the same time to cover his break, he should be able to get out easily enough."
Scourge listened silently, as always. Nodding in agreement, he brought the spell to the forefront of his mind. Hopefully Damien would be able to slip away without to much reprisal, and the group would be able to make it to their escape route. It was in the gods hands now, and Scourge knew there was nothing more he could do then play his part.
As The Kender began to collapse Teros's instincts took over and he caught the small, limp, figure before he bashed his head open on the ground. He was only out for a few seconds, but when he came to he started to rant on about a while and malestorm. Teros decided it was best to remain silent, instead watching as the other members of the party touched the object. First Rinrin and then Scourge. Being curious, and seeing it was safe, Teros reached out and gently touched it.
The "vision" that followed was incredible, but it wasn't as strange as The Kender made it sound. Then again, he made everything sound so fantastic.
When the vision ended Teros jolted and let out a slight gasp as his fingers withdrew from the object. For a few seconds he thought over what he had seen, having the sort of look one usually has after waking up from a dream that affected them moreso than normal. Occassionaly his eyes would dart up to look at someone who was talking, but for the most part he seemed stuck in his own little world, content to just let things flow by as he normally was. Eventually he noticed the group was leaving the room, and he followed behind everyone else. His mind, however, cleared fast enough to remember the shield that had opened the way to the artifact, and he paused for a moment to take it. It may have lost its magical properties, but it was still holy.
Though he was content within the warm blanket of his thoughts, something changed. It took him a moment to fully realized what had changed, but then he saw it: The rope was gone. In fact, there were people here. Apparently the leader knew the group and he was here to plunder the goods of this holy site.
Immediately Teros was torn. They had a duty to the world, but he had a duty to Lavuria. Such a man had no right to touch or even see the items within, and the thought of him selling it someone disgusted him. But what could be done? Rinrin already had a plan in motion, and there really was nothing that could be done. He could only carry out the plan and pray.
"Lavuria curse you. Such a sad fate when her children turn against their mother." he muttered in Ralnarian, loud enough for those around him to hear, but not loud enough for them to really think he was doing anything other than rambling. With that last comment, he prepared do his part in the plan..which really consisted of nothing other than running.
Secretly smiling Elandor did his best to look as upset as possible. He had guessed this would happen. It was exactly the reason why he had not wanted to travel with those thugs.
He wanted to open his mouth to speak, but Rinrin was faster. At first the kender believed she was really thinking of handing them the treasure. But soon her plan became clear. It appealed greatly to the small rogue. With the others he slowly walked away from the crossbows, but as soon as they were out of view he took a sprint. Arriving first at the hole in the wall, Elandor felt a sense of I told you so. With more joy then a goblin with a dead rat he jumped into the hole and waited for the others to follow.
September 6th/Saturday/Mid Afternoon
Hajin Ra-Underground River
Her first bluff had put them out of reach of Ihsahn’s bolt, but had Rinrin helped them to safety, or made matters worse? Damien still stood, looking pale and miserable beneath the steady aim of over a dozen men. The little gnome was quick to relay her plan to the rest of the party, who listened intently, and agreed to go with it. What else could be done? The party had apparently made up their minds not to willingly hand over the wealth of Lavuria to this group of miscreants. If Ihsahn wanted to steal from a Goddess, he would have to do it himself.
Counting to three, Rinrin set into weaving her spell. Scourge patiently waited, giving her a slight head start. The plan was for her magical sounds to distract Ihsahn and his men to the point of letting up their guard. Then, Scourge would cast his own spell, sending visual distractions and hopefully a clouding effect, giving Damien enough time to leap into the hallway with the rest of the group.
The spell was cast, and even the party tensed slightly. The corridor was filled with the sounds of clashing steel, and the cries of dying men. A ghostly, invisible battle raged around them. Damien looked at them now, and nodded. He understood. Scourge was already setting his hands into motion, weaving the intricate pattern of light and motion. Suddenly, an explosion of glimmering, dancing greens, pinks, and blues erupted over Damiens head like Fireworks on Midsummer’s Feast. Though they could not see the lip of the pit, they could hear cries of surprise, and, Rinrin was certain she heard Ihsahn curse. Without hesitation, Damien leapt towards the group, landing in a summersault, and stumbled into their midst.
Without hesitation, the party turned and fled towards the hole in the wall. Elandor lead the way, like a child running to the Yule Tree. Behind them, Ihsahn’s voice was loud and demanding. They must be descending into the pit!
Reaching the hole in the wall, Elandor wasted no time in running through the kender sized crevice, and into the darkness beyond, where he promptly tripped, and slid across a very slick, damp floor. The rest of the group, save Rinrin, were forced to drop down and crawl through, and they did so without hesitation. Sputtering flames lit their surroundings. Marie held a torch. They would need to run now, and run they did. Picking a direction (left), they fled with whatever speed the gods had graced them with, but they never heard or saw Ihsahn the Snake, or his men give chase. The cavern they fled through was smooth, but natural, dipping lower in the center of the snakelike, 200 foot wide and endlessly long tunnel, as if it had once been formed of water. Infact, it was still very wet, and in the next half hour, Elandor was able to witness Teros, and Scourge loose their footing and with little grace, slide across the floor, which now descended at an ever so slight angle.
Eventually they felt confident, or exhausted enough to slow to a walk. If Ihsahn and his men wanted to give chase, they would have only one real direction to choose from. It would be a matter of who moved the fastest, however, it was appealing to think that he would rather loot the room that stood beside the hole in the wall, then chase a group of liars. With time now to study the cavern they stood in, they realized why the floor was so slippery. An ever so slight layer of water slid over it’s surface, coating a gray, green algae. Ahead, they could hear very clearly, the sounds of pounding water. Their options were to press forward or go back. The choice was obvious.
The group pressed forward, and the pound of falling water grew louder. At last they came to the source, and a crossroads of sorts. Running across their path and forming a T was an underground river. It flowed to their left, and was perhaps 50 feet wide. Directly ahead of them, a mighty waterfall roared from the darkness above. The water churned and boiled, and a heavy, wet mist stuck to their skin. Strange mushrooms clung to the smooth walls, and they glowed a strange, pale blue light. The water was black as the darkness above, in their light. The torch, at least, would no longer be necessary. Quite possibly this was a good thing, as a glowing torch in a blackened cave is like a beacon.
However, of the entire scene, one detail puzzled them. A small boat sat, pulled onto the rocks before them. Where had it come from? Why was it here? Who’s was it? They had passed noone, and they had seen no other passages on their way. They had been treking for perhaps an hour now, and half of it was at a run. The boat itself looked normal enough. It was small, though big enough to fit them all. It was wooden and old and beaten, but it looked sturdy. After much discussion, it was decided that they would take it. After all, this was the only way, and if Ihsahn had decided to pursue them, or was waiting for them, then surely they would be in trouble. He passed himself off as an understanding man, but surely it was a rogues charm and nothing more.
So it was that the group loaded themselves into the boat, withdrew the four little paddles that they found under the benches, and made their way into the water. The first moments were terrifying. The waterfall beckoned them with a force they did not expect, and they had been dragged through white, frothing water, and very nearly under it’s crushing curtain, before they had taken control of the water, and had found the current of the river. Now, soaked and cold, and very thirsty (will you drink?), and very tired, they allowed the river to take them. And it did, very quickly. The tunnel narrowed, and descended so that at times, it felt almost as if they were falling, but there was nothing they would be able to do to stop the boat, or prevent any crash they might have. So they clung to the rails and prayed to whichever god they held dearly.
They spent perhaps an hour, endouring this, before at last, the river slowed, and broadened, and very likely deepened. The passage was now perhaps 100 feet wide, and overhead, the fluorescent caps of massive mushrooms lit their way like chandeliers. To the left, the wall gave way, and a shore could be seen, smooth and alluring. However, two structures were set upon it, and they looked very much like guard towers. They were infact, made of wood, and between them, a crude gate stood. In the dim light, it was impossible to see who held it, but as the group peered, the boat suddenly shuddered and wobbled. Gripping the sides, the group tried frantically to pierce the dark water; to catch any glimpse of what had hit them. But they wouldn’t need to. The thing revealed itself willingly. Emerging from the blackened water, a slender silver body encircled them like a massive Eel. Frilly spines lined it’s back, and it submerged once more, before a terrible crash from below sent the nose of the boat into the air, and casting Vilyamar into the water behind the boat. As he sputtered to catch his breath and reclaim the boat, a scaley head lifted from the water and peered at the boat and the party. A powerful, jagged beak gaped beneath two, frighteningly intelligent eyes. It was hard to tell if this was a giant eel or a dragon!
When it spoke, even Vilyamar, who at this point was halfway back into the boat, soaken wet and shivering, froze with terror.
“Ye shalt feed mine gullet before thou shalt pass. I shalt claim wich of ye dies to provide thous gift.”
Without hesitation, the beast lunged forward, and in one swift, terrible bite, too the nose of the boat off. Water poured in in a turrent, and immediately the group found themselves half swimming, half clinging to an already submersed boat. The beast lifted it’s head again and closed in on Teros. It’s face came within a foot of him, and he was certain it was sniffing him.
(Fight or negotiate. You are very certain it is going to attack without much hesitation
The flight from the group of defilers was rather hectic. Although they had escaped immediate threat with a few simple spells, the threat of being chased still remained and the group rushed through the darkness, making a quick decision to turn left rather than right. As they rushed through the darkness the ground grew wet, and occassionaly Teros lost his footing and would slide. However the kept up with the group.
Eventually the sound of water came, which would explain why the ground was wet, and soon came to an underground river. Perhaps if they were not fleeing for their lives it would of been a sight to marvel at for a second. The room was illuminated with a soft glow from strange mushrooms. For Teros it was very peaceful, even with the powerful roar of the waterfall. But there was no time to linger, the pause was only for a moment because the group spotted a boat. There wasn't much of a decision, they had to take it.
At first the decision to get on the boat seemed like a huge mistake. The waters pulled them with more force than any of them had expected to the waterfall. They very nearly came to death before they managed to regain control of the boat and get it away from the crushing pillar of water. That last burst of effort had pushed some of the last reserves Teros had, and once they were free of the pull, the simply let the river take them.
As he leaned against the side of the boat he noticed that the others looked tired as well. The adrenaline was leaving their bodies, and now they all that running, fighting, and paddling was catching up with them. Giving a tired smile at Marie he turned and looked down at the water as it flowed by. There wasn't really anything of interest, he couldn't really see anything at all since the water was so dark A few times he thought he saw something, but he dismissed it the top water rushing by and reflected some of the dim light back at him. However he did notice how thristy he was, and for a second he was tempted to reach into the water and drink. But the water was dark, and probably deep. It probably wasn't safe to reach into it, much less DRINK it.
As the water drove them along swiftly he turned his gaze upwards, and soon noticed that the ceiling turned into a beautiful glow of mushrooms. He could hear the movement of the group around him and, with a bit of hesistance, sat back up looked around. The room was bigger now, but that wasn't the most interesting thing. Ahead of them was actually a shore, and on the shore were buildings. Excitement filled Teros as the thought of meeting people filled his mind. Perhaps even descendants. who had escaped Lavuria's wrath and fled to where she could not shine!
Suddenly the boat shuddered and rocked. As a reflex Teros gripped the side of the boat and glanced at the other party members to see what they were doing. Most were alarmed and trying to find what had caused this. Teros thought that perhaps they had merely hit something, but as soon as he thought that a giant....thing rose from the water. It looked like a dragon and a eel at the same time, and it gazed at them with intelligence. This had to be the Dragon Eel that he had heard of in stories before.
Almost as quickly as he had come up, he was gone again. But this time the quickly felt his presence as he crashed into the boat, sending the nose of it into the air. Teros clung to the side of the boat and the board under him and focused on holding on, not wanting to share the water with that terrifying thing. He heard a splash behind him before the boat fell back down the water and allowed him to relax a bit, though his right hand still clung to the side of the boat.
Again the giant creature shot up from the water, but this time it spoke to them. When he spoke, everyone stopped moving. They all froze and listened to his message, which basically came down to someone being eaten. Before anyone could react the beast bit off the front of their boat, and sent the group into a panic. No one wanted into the water. But soon Teros found himself clinging to the sinking ship and at the same time kicking his feet to stay up in the water.
And thats when the beast moved up on him. It gazed at him, and then seemingly sniffed him. Perhaps it was deciding if he would make a decent meal or not. Fear gripped Teros for a moment, and he gazed back at the thing with wide eyes. Teros did not want to die, and he was certain that he couldn't kill the thing before it ate him. His mind raced, and so he talked to the thing.
"Mighty Dragon Eel, please hear me out. We are servants of the Gods, here to save the world that you live in as surely as we do!" his voice grew more confident. "We did not mean to disturb your lair, but we were fleeing from a large group of men who were defiling the holy places of Lavuria. I can see the intelligence in your eyes! Stop for a moment and let us speak. You are certainly powerful, but the Gods are more powerful than you. It would be a mistake to devour men and women who claim to be under a divine quest and possibly incur the wrath of these Gods! Speak with us for a moment, and set aside your hunger. There can be no harm in a short conversation to decide if we are a safe meal or if we're even a decent meal!"
Teros gazed up at the beast, having pushed the fear back so that it barely showed. He tried to hold its gaze, to show confidence. He made no move for his weapons, or to look for support from his allies. Neither would save him.
Posted on 2006-12-22 at 14:10:45.
Edited on 2006-12-22 at 16:24:12 by Jalem
September 6th/Saturday/EveningCentral Ralnaria
Compared to the thundering, liquid voice of the dragon-shaped eel, Teros’ own cracked pleas sounded insignificant and small. This was a creature worth revering. This was a beast worthy of worship, and very likely was by the tribes of sea dwelling races that the group had heard of in stories.
However weak he seemed, Teros’ words did seem to strike with the monster, and it pulled back its head so that it towered over them like a dripping, silver pillar. It regarded him for a moment, and if it was human, it might have been laughing.
“Servants of the Gods? I have partaken of few of them in mine day. Yet ye art the first to declare thyself on ‘holy quest’.”
The monster lowered it’s head once more, and it’s sharp, bony beak came within inches of Teros’ face. One snap and his head and half his torso would be missing.
“If thou lies to me, I shall devour all of thee. Prove thy quest.”