WAKE UP The words reverberate through your soul, and echo in your mind; an ever dinning drone. Your eyes snap open, the drone but a failing memory as it is replaced with the anxiety of current circumstance. Bare to the skin, you lay shivering on a clammy dirt floor, shadows bouncing off a roughly hewn and rounded wall, the only light a torch that stands upon a gilded pedestal in the centre of the room. You see no door, stairways, pits in the floor, Just four more naked bodies, crumpled upon the cold dirt. They stir as you stir, feel as you feel, search as you search, and come to a realization very much the same. You do not know these creatures, nor how you have arrived in this ungodly hole.
Your mind struggles to remember, only to find that the simplest of things elude you. You cannot remember the days, the weeks, you know nothing of love, of loss. You know not your name. You find no allegiance to yourself... There is no one within you. You are keenly aware of your skills;your trade. You know the path you walk in life, but cannot see the wake of your tread, the connections that bind you to an evolving web of consequences has been lost to you. There is a hole, and you are born within it.
Five victims of an unknown abduction: one ebony skinned elf with an effervescent beauty, rare yellow eyes and hair that shone like starlight; a mongrelfolk whose appearance was the starkest contrast to such beauty and was actually quite repulsive; an aging human male scarred and scruffy, graying and mundane; the exotic lupin, with its mysterious origins and hound like appearance, his golden eyes nearly aglow in the torchlight, a bold contrast to the pitch of his fur; and lastly, an earthly toned kobold, and his piercing red eyes, an atypical specimen whose demeanor seemed anything but meek.
With no knowledge of their allegiances, they were faced with the daunting tasks of sorting themselves out, finding the bare necessities of survival, and moving on from this oblivion. What that meant for each of them was surely divergent. Would they seek out their captor? Would they attempt to escape this purgatory? Or would they simply perish in the halls of this forgotten dungeon?
From the shadows appeared a drow who approached her emasculated kin, and before she could question this newest stranger, she spoke in turn. "Tsk, tsk, tsk. Now Nyx, what have you gone and gotten us into this time?" The woman was nearly a mirrored image of the elf upon the ground, with but minor differences. Both their eyes were the unique yellow hue of outcasts, however the stranger wore a silken weave, primitive and yet masterfully crafted, as though spiders had woven her a most brilliant web. Her face was the same chiseled perfection, but rather than showing an everlasting youth, it struck out like hard marble in its vision of eternity.
In any case the Drow did not find this name familiar, nor the face of her accuser, aside from the obvious, almost twin like resemblance. None of the others in the room batted an eye at this new arrival, for in fact they could not see her. Nor did they hear her. There were some among them with a nose so keen as to be able to smell another creature within these walls... Just not this creature. Not this lady.
Posted on 2014-06-24 at 04:58:28.
Edited on 2014-06-25 at 04:15:26 by Philosopher
The kobold's eyes fluttered open, struggling for a moment with the piercing torch light. As his eyes adjusted to the light, his mind fumbled around to make sense of his place, to locate himself. Each moment that passed brought nothing, no recollection of this place, of the creatures around him... or even of himself... save for maybe... power...
The small reptile could feel it, feel it course through his blood. It ran hot through his veins. Though he did not know from whence it came, the power inside gave him confidence. His forked tongue licked his lips as he gathered himself up onto his feet.
His red eyes viewed the creatures around him more critically now, instinct trying to assess whether they be friend or foe. Intuition suggested they were as confused as he was.
Taking a step away from the others, the small kobold asked coolly, not harshly, merely with confidence, "Who are you? And where are we?"
Harsh reality struck the man as his eyes slowly opened; he did not know where he'd come from but he was quite certain it had not been this place. His bare skin felt the grit of the dirt beneath him, and his eyes traced a path around his new surroundings. The poorly formed but rounded wall showed no signs of an exit, and it's stony hew exuded a cold that bothered him as he struggled to remember what led him to this place.
His eyes trailed down, the flickering light of the torch casting dancing shadows along the walls as the others stirred. Had there been others before? Thoughts raced through his mind. He knelt down, his fingers idly running through the dirt of the floor. Something about being connected to the earth even in such a small way kept him feeling safe.
Among the others, a small Kobold with earthy toned skin and piercing eyes that gave the man pause was the first to rise. It surveyed the room as well, and the man met it looked over his naked form. The creature seemingly made up its mind as it strode forward and asked of the group without hesitation.
Who are you? And where are we?"
The man remained silent, words escaping him as he realised just how little he could remember of himself. He had no knowledge of the room they'd found themselves in, nor did the others if his suspicions were correct. He looked down, noticing his fingers absently playing with the dirt they all rested on, and turned back to face the Kobold.
"It seems we are trapped here, though that is all I can say, dragon-kin.", he gestured towards the others, "Perhaps they may be of greater assistance in this question we seemingly share."
The voice elicted a snort from a misshapen mass curled up against the pedestal. He stood up suddenly, hitting his head on the brazier. It was impossible to tell if he were of orc, dwarf, or elf descent, but looking down it was clear he was at least part halfling. He rubbed the sore spot for a moment while taking in his surroundings. Dirt floor, ostensibly stone walls. Naked things over there. Gods, the smells in here were ferocious!
First of all, it smelled like lantern oil had been spilled all over the place, but beneath that it smelled moldy and wet. He stalked the room in a wide circle, cautiously, looking at the others. Smelling the others. He knew their species by their scent. Human, Kobold, Drow, Dogman. At this last he felt a curious spike of fear in his spine, raising a line of hair from his neck to his ass. Instinctively, he stepped away from the Lupin and back to the Kobold, who was talking.
"Who are you? And where are we?" The warmth of his breath was practically visible, and the scent from it was revealing. Here was something more. Something hiding just beneath the surface. It was the human who answered him, not yet even standing.
"It seems we are trapped here, though that is all I can say, dragon-kin. Perhaps they may be of greater assistance in this question we seemingly share." he said, gesturing to the remainder of the group.
"I know nothing," the ugly one scoffed, curling his upper lip to reval a row of sharp yellow teeth. He stared at the drow with one golden eye and one black. "Let's ask her. She smells like a liar."
What he meant was she smelled like she was hiding something. It was feral, unkempt. Quite the perfume for such a pretty lady. Despite his limited memory and somewhat limited imagination, this struck him as dishonest and put her at odds with the rest, at least in his mind. The answer they got from her would be telling.
Posted on 2014-06-24 at 23:26:21.
Edited on 2014-06-25 at 03:48:41 by Schnozzle
His eyes snapped open, though he remained still on the floor. His nose was assaulted, the scent of lycanthropy thick in the air. Had he been captured by them? Did he have enemies among them? Or... was he perhaps one himself?
He shook his head sharply, repressing an urge to growl at the very thought. Just its presence angered him, even if he could not remember why.
His head turned to face the voice. Kobold. Cowardly vermin. He was sure of his assessments, though he cannot recall ever meeting a Kobold, or hearing about any. Who? Where? Something they'd all like to know.
It was at this point the canine realized what was bothering him so. His armor. His blades. Gone. Something important about that, but it was gone from his mind, like everything else. Thinking about it too long hurt.
Another voice. Human. Cautious and courteous. For now.
The third spoke, and this time he growled readily, snarling at the.... thing. This one stank of rodent, to the point of being repugnant. As he stood, he found himself reaching for a weapon he no longer carried, and stopped, confused.
He shook his head again, nostrils flaring as he turned to the final member, whom those words had been addressed to. She smelled of elf. Drow and.... something else? He could not identify it, which just added to his confusion as he looked around, trying to get his bearings.
With no idea where he was or who he was with... or who HE was for that matter, he decided it was most prudent to remain silent, and observe.
She felt the earth beneath her and the primal magick that emanated from its depths. With the passion of a lover it caressed her skin and danced with the dark magick that coursed through her veins. Caught between these twisting currents, she lay on the earth writhing in ecstasy.
Like a cold snap, the hardness of the world slammed into her, jarring her yellow eyes open. The sudden presence of light burned in her vision drawing a hiss from her lips as she moved into a darker corner of the room. Clinging to the stone wall she blinked for a moment as her sensitive eyes adjusted to the horrid torchlight. It was a nasty thing and she barely resisted the urge to extinguish its flame and plunge the room into soothing darkness.
It was a spartan hole with nary a door or window to let in even a draft. How then had she come here? The thought was joined by the realization that she had not even the faintest glimmer of an answer. Searching within herself, the dark elf found a twin emptiness. There were no memories, no history, no self. She just simply was, a thought that she found oddly comforting. If there was nothing then it simply could become anything. Taking solace in this discovered freedom, the ebon skinned elf braved glancing into the brightness.
She was not alone. Four other bodies lay huddled around the room and were slowly beginning to stir. Just as with her own being, she had no memory of these creatures but found herself filled with an odd excitement and hungry curiosity.
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Nin Nyx, vel'bol inbal dos alus lu'aslu udossa wund nin?
It was a familiar musical voice so much like her own, and yet she could not name who it belonged to. The woman who stood before her wore a face that was so much a mirror of her own, but there was no recognition within her mind. Still, she felt something stir within her, if not recognition, then warmth and love. That much was there even when she stared back at the drowess in confusion. Why did she keep saying Nyx? Was that her name?
As if in answer to her thought the woman raised a sardonic eyebrow. Ol kluthak dos inbal tlus kyo'feirys xunlar k'olah usst ssinssrigg, jhal Usstan wo naut ori'gato dos gotfrer uns'aa.
With those words her yellow eyes seemed to burn a bit brighter as if in promise of things to come. The pair stared into one another's twin faces for a time before turning their onto the others in the room. What a strange collection they were! The first to catch her eye was the diminutive kobold who confidently stepped forward to address them. She found it odd that such a humble creature would see fit to address her in so casual a manner. Not one in the room seemed to avert their eyes when she looked upon them. She could not say why, but it seemed unnatural to her. The kobold, the greying human, the uncanny dog man, and even the overgrown vermin all looked directly upon her. As she studied them in turn, she found the dark elven woman beside her smoldering with rage.
Cha'kohk! Nindolen usstan'sargh auflaqui lor ditronw a udossa xuil nau suidaim!
Those words cut into her mind and she found herself narrowing her own eyes as she returned their stares. One by one they banded together studying one another and seeking to puzzle out what spirited them away. Then the most wretched among them leered at her with mismatched eyes. Such ugliness should never have been allowed to grow!
He sneered at her showing pointed yellow teeth, "I know nothing. Let's ask her. She smells like a liar."
The other woman's hiss mirrored her own rage. Meeting the wretched cur's glare she spat, "Oh yes! It was me who brought us to this place. I made sure there were no windows to enjoy your fetid stench all the more."
((OOC: Drow Translations:
"Tsk, tsk, tsk. Now Nyx, what have you gone and gotten us into now"
"It seems you've been wiped utterly clean my love, but I won't let you forget me."
"Blasphemy! These arrogant curs look directly at us with no shame!"
Posted on 2014-06-25 at 04:39:27.
Edited on 2014-06-25 at 12:26:02 by Nimu
Nobody knew anything, or if they did, none of them were talking. Least of all the cur, who growled as he passed close. The mongrel twitched his keen nose, his overlarge nostrils flaring. "Henh " So here they were, trapped like rats. He looked again at what passed for his companions. The drow was an enticing little piece. The ugly one stared at her a moment too long, contemplating the addition of drow blood to the general mongreloid gene pool. She noticed.
"Henh." He turned away from her and began a sort of cursory search of their surroundings. Doing so, he found he had no memory of sun, light, or sky. He knew the words, but in his soul he wanted only to scrabble in the darkness.
[[OOC: Search the room]]
Posted on 2014-06-26 at 02:01:00.
Edited on 2014-06-26 at 12:02:35 by Schnozzle
He growled louder as the rodent passed near, subsiding when it passed him by without speaking or touching. Had it layed a finger on him, he would have killed it, weapons or no.
He looked around again, frowning as he remembered the elf's words. He generally liked elves, but this one appeared to be loud. Brash. Not endearing qualities to the large Lupin. Determined that the rat wouldn't get everything, if there was anything to get, he set out towards the other end and began looking around, gradually moving about the room, coming no clooser to the vermin than necessary.
The dragon-kin listened and watched those that shared his space. He gathered none of the others knew where this space was and not one seemed to recognize any of the others.
And, yet, there was more. Tension grew within the walls of the space: a deep-rooted emnity between the dog-man and the mongrel-breed, made visible in how they sniffed and growled lowly at one another, keeping their distance as they began to search the room; distain and sarcasm from the dark skinned, pointy-earred woman. All within the space of moments.
The kobold found it difficult to comprehend. In his mind, all were valuable: workers, soldiers... food, if needed. No, the dragon-kin was in no mood for a fight now, not yet. Not when each might have something to offer to help him remembered, to fit the pieces back together, to get out of here... wherever here might be.
Still, should the mongrel or the dog wish to mix it up, the kobold wouldn't stop them. And the pointy-earred... well, she was welcome to her haughty sarcasm... somewhere, somehow, the kobold felt... used to being treated this way. Used to people overlooking... underestimating his power.
The kobold gave his head a little shake to clear his thoughts. Moving toward the center, he went and examined the torch and the pedestal on which it stood.
After the overgrown vermin broke his glare from hers, she watched the ratman begin to scuttle around the room twitching his nose about. The dark elf maintained her glare on the mongrel for a time before she stopped to spare a glower for each of the men in the room. There was something about their maleness that offended her. She had little understanding of why, but it offended her all the same.
Lor! L'nesstren ragarrl l'cuass'ili. Nind orn veldri jal nind ragar dal udossa. Udos z'klaen ragar ol ust!
The other drow spoke again and her yellow eyes widened at sense of those words. These men would surely seek to keep anything they discovered to themselves. Something deep within her would simply not allow another to so quickly gain the upper hand. Rising to her feet with renewed determination, the dark elf began to search the room with a zealous intensity.
((OOC: Search the entire room and pedestal, look in particular for secret doors.
Drow Translation: Look! The men search the room. They will hide whatever they find from us. We must find it first!))
Posted on 2014-06-26 at 23:12:23.
Edited on 2014-06-27 at 02:03:20 by Nimu
Five strangers fumbled about in the cramped hole they had found themselves in unwillingly and unwittingly. Tensions rose as they made their odd acquaintance. Two of them, the mongrel and the hound, found themselves at immediate odds, the very scent of each spewing 'enemy' into the confines they were forced to share. While the old man set to digging for comfort, and winding up with a fistful of worms and snails, the mongrel paced and snorted, throwing accusations towards the fairest of the group, an ebony maiden that quickly showed her mouth was full of venom.
As if a trigger had been sprung, suddenly the group of misfits were examining their rounded cage, looking for ways out, weaknesses in the foundation, or anything that might help them. The mongrel and the hound took to searching different sides of the room, whilst the kobold examined the pedestal in the middle. Not to be outdone by her overwhelmingly male counterparts, the drow kept a watchful eye on all that searched through the rutty hole, her unseen friend insistent upon the need to procure anything of value before the men secreted it away. The old man, well, he continued his search for the treasures of the earth.
It was the kobold that first laid eyes upon something seemingly valuable. The torch upon the gilded pedestal was actually no torch at all, but a strangely disguised oil lamp, conical in shape and crystalline in body. Furthermore he saw something within the lamp, a key, which could prove the solution to the question, 'how does one escape this room?' The ornamentation upon the rim of the pedestal also caught his eye, and curiosity getting the better of him, he twisted the three rings that surrounded the apex of the column. They formed various words and patterns as they were moved about on their axis. It seemed to be some sort of puzzle, or perhaps a message, though the kobold did not recognize the language. Only the symbols. Sun, moon, a set of scales, and death. "How odd," he thought out loud, "what could it mean?"
The drow had been watching the kobold's progress, abandoning the mongrel and the hound to their fruitless search. She had made note of the key within the torch shaped lamp, and watched as the kobold moved the rings atop the pedestal. Her friend whispered her opinions about the language, though the drow could not recognize the words regardless of her 'knowledge' of them.
Posted on 2014-07-04 at 04:59:12.
Edited on 2014-07-04 at 05:00:48 by Philosopher
Gaer zhah naubol!
Nodding in agreement with the other woman's frustration, the drow girl passed around the room's periphery once more. Like all of her kind she possessed keen vision with the uncanny ability to pierce even the deepest of shadows. Once again her gaze found nothing. With a shrug she set her focus on the center of the room and found another had already begun to investigate the pedestal. Gripped with curiosity the dark elf moved in closer watching the diminutive creature with intent yellow eyes.
Bwael, Nyx. Kyori l'lotha kuma veirne.
There it was again. Nyx. The woman kept on speaking it as if Nyx were her name. Familiarity grew as the word echoed through her mind. Nyx. It did have a pleasant ring to it but it was decidedly much too curt to be her name. Something more flowing and poetic suited her far better, something like La Lalalalaa. Her eyes lit up a bit as the sing-song syllables danced in her head and so, the dark elf decided to give them voice. La Lalalalaa truly rolled off the tongue with a lovely ease. It was perfect, it was right, it was her name.
With a celebratory light dancing in her eyes, La Lalalalaa sang her newly discovered name as she approached the pedestal. The song stopped abruptly as her feet touched the ground before it. Something was different here and she adjusted her footing to test the earth beneath her. It felt weak, as if there was nothing but air below. That spoke of other possibilities, perhaps even caverns or tunnels below. Holding onto this knowledge she turned her full attention onto the pedestal and the kobold that stood across from her. Even in the brightness of the light she could see that it was not a torch but a strange crystal lamp of sorts from which dangled a small key. Noting that the little reptilian man had not only discovered the key but also had begun to peruse the pedestal itself, La Lalalalaa laid an obsidian hand on the gilded surface. His small, clawed hands began to twist the patterned rings before them and she noticed the strange runes formed patterns in a sequence so akin to language.
A second dark hand lay upon the twisting rings of the pedestal and slowly began to trace the glyphs etched into its surface. The other dark elf smiled and leaned in close to her.
Nindolen t'awen ph'ji saph l'zeklet'tau xanairess d'l'trelao. Ol zhah vec'end ulu ragar folt plynnithus ghil. Xuat dos talinth ussta ssinssrigg?
A curious light filled her eyes at the realization that she stared at the language of the Gods. She stared at the twisting rings with an intensity that would have melted stone. Try as she might, the meaning of the writing remained a mystery to her. It seemed mere knowledge of the language would not be enough to unlock its meaning. The unfortunate reality of her reliance on those she was imprisoned with dawned on her.
"Dogman!" She barked in the common tongue. "Bring your twitching nose over this way. The ground is hollow, perhaps you will sniff something out."
Assuming he would comply, La Lalalalaa turned her attention back to the kobold and smiled as sweetly as she could, "Look what we've discovered here little one. Might you read the celestial tongue?"
((OOC: Drow Translations:
There is nothing!
Good, Nyx. Watch the little kobold closely.
These symbols are so like the celestial language of the divine. It is odd to find such writing here. Don't you think my love?))
Henh. The mongrel-man hunched along the corners and cracks of the little room, his nose close enough to the ground that he could have smelled an ant's trail. There was nothing here. Not even a crack between the stones big enough for a fingernail. It was appalling on some level he couldn't express. Henh. There had to be something to find.
"La Lalalalaa!" A singsong voice lifted the ratlike creature from his search. His black hair hung limp over his dark eye, but his golden one was sharp. It must have been delight that loosed her tongue, for she was looking at a key, dangling from the crystalline torch. As her gaze fell on the pedestal and its rings, his followed.
She barked a command at the dog, somehow missing the irony, before turning to address the kobold. "Look what we've discovered here little one. Might you read the celestial tongue?" She and the lizard twisted and turned the mechanism, but what the mongrel saw was hardly Celestial.
The words were in a language written before the first human scratched his name into the rough cave walls. They filled his stomach with a burn stronger than any liquor, and as he watched the wheels turn the words changed and flashed, diappeared then reappeared again. Some of the infernal text was upside down, some was backward. Some of it seemed inside out. His gaze remained unbroken for what felt like several minutes. The others must have felt it too.
A glimmer struck the corner of his eye. The key still dangled from the torch, and noone had moved to take it. The corner of his mouth twitched. He crouched again, searching around the base of the pedestal with a vigor, putting as much stone between pureblood and himself as this tiny world would allow.
He looked up at the rings again, and beyond them the crystalline torch. Suddenly, he launched upward, springing from the pedestal and lunging for the dangling, flashing key.
The drow, who proclaimed herself to be "La Lalalalaa" had discovered the floor to be hollow, and asked the hound, in a somewhat brackish manner to see if he could sniff anything out. The hound did obey, and moved closer to the pedestal to investigate. The search was a bust however, all the scents in the room were somewhat confused, and the air became thicker by the moment as the lamp burned its foul oil, and the smoke mixed in the air. The kobold, questioned on an affinity for Celestial twitched his head as though to say no, but then, surrounding the words, the emptiness between the carvings, was the written tongue of ancient dragons. Alas, it was syllabic, and he could take days pondering the ways the sounds formed words. It was of little consequence at that point though, for the mongrel had been lurking around since attention became drawn towards the centre of the room.
With what little patience his twitchy form could render, the mongrel watched as the kobold examined the rings, revolving them around the pedestal and searching for shapes and words. Perhaps something to explain this room, this prison, or even a way out. What hit him instead was a story that belonged within the confines of a holy book, or perhaps a rendition of a holy war. Either way, the perversion of holy words did not illuminate an escape. Well then. Enough of this patience crap!
The mongrel moved around the pedestal, perhaps looking for traps, or pressure plates. Finding nothing of it, he lunged for the burning lamp, yanking it from atop the pedestal and lording over it's contents. How now, will he get the key out of the bottom of a burning crystal torch?
A question for later perhaps... When the mongrel removed the torch, it set of a mechanism underneath the pedestal that caused the whole column to lower into the floor, revealing a chamber below. The light did not touch the floor of it, but there was a tattered hemp ladder staked to the side leading down into the darkness. Only the drow could see to the bottom. It was a long drop through what seemed like an old refashioned well. At the bottom there was a pattern, a pentacle, and some writing that she could not read from this distance. The enclosed tunnel of the well's walls did not allow for anything else of note to be taken in about the room.
The nameless kobold jumped back a bit in self-preservation as the mongrel-rat made a sudden leap towards him to grab up the lantern. The lizard creature could feel the warmth inside his belly run hot, and a tongue of flame licked his lips.
"Careful, frie..." he began to say. But the shift in the ground and the appearance of a hole deeper into the bowels of this unknown place silenced him. He moved closer to the edge to peer down into the darkness, but he could not see the floor below. A lonely hemp ladder hung, leading down into the gloom.
How I wish I had some wings, the lizard thought glumly to himself.
"I shall make the climb down first," the kobold said to the group, "Unless someone else desires the honor?"
OOC:If noone objects, the Kobold shall begin his climb to the floor, keeping alert to his surroundings.