Skari-dono Icelanders! Roll Out Karma: 102/11 1514 Posts
Dim Lights of Sharn - Eberron
And so it begins... 10th day of Eyre, 998 YK – Irian and Lamannia are Coterminous
Dark clouds have gathered over Sharn, the city of towers. Rain has been pouring all over the streets for the past few days and has even caused flooding down in the depths of the city. If the plane of Irian wouldn’t be coterminous, even the faintest light from the sun would certainly not be seen. Yet, within the walls there is warmth. Friends still gather despite the pouring of rain and the dark hours. During the day, business is as usual. During the night, taverns are full.
This night, unknown heroes of the Last War have gathered in the Lone Tower Tavern in the Downstairs district of Lower Menthis Plateau in Sharn. They were contacted by an old comrade in arms who needs their help. The Lone Tower Tavern is far from the finest of taverns, even in this district. A fist-fight has erupted between three orcs and four dwarves in one corner, a drunkard has passed out at the bar, a lusting gnome is getting physical with two humans and a group of five goblins have gathered to sing drinking songs with couple of elves.
But they all steer clear of the heroes’ table. There is something eerie about Draven IreDante that creeps them out too much to stand close. And if that wouldn’t be enough, two women sit by that table and are armed and armored. The two friends sit side by side; Adysine Stone keeps an eye for that fight between the orcs and the dwarves and an arm on the hilt of her blade if that fight draws too close, and Nel d’Deneith keeps her own eyes on a cloaked figure in the corner with a greatsword leaning on the back of his chair. Although that blind man sitting by the table doesn’t seem menacing, but Mongiere Quinn'esherm is more than capable in battle. Lastly, but certainly not the least, is the bard of the group, Discq Damari, who had his eyes on the elven maid and his firm grip around his tankard of ale. Not many knew how this group of warriors had served in the Last War, but their service had been valuable.
The door to the Lone Tower Tavern opens and a familiar face enters with a Warforged following. The Human is dressed in a long vest with a small bag hanging from one shoulder over his torso. His hair reaches just above his shoulders and appears darker than it actually is because of how it is wet. The man is well bearded and he has a black patch over his right eye where he was scarred during the war. His left cheek is covered in the least Dragonmark of Finding, something he boasts himself for having and serves him well in his occupation. He is recognized as Landiir d’Tharashk by his comrades and his occupation is that of a master inquisitive.
“My friends, I’m glad you could make it,” he says before sitting down. He points at the Warforged, who is dressed rather womanly and has a sheathed longsword at her side. “This is Edge, my assistant and muscle. You can never be too careful in this city, specially not while the Depths are flooding.”
The elven maid walks over and takes Landiir’s order, a jug of ale. “I’m sorry that this isn’t a social call,” he says. “I assume you’ve read the news, or heard the stories about the murder at the embassy.” He pauses to have a drink of his ale. “It wasn’t the ambassador who was killed,” his voice turns to whisper, “it was Maurd. Our own Maurd Dalaan is dead. Murdered on his way from the embassy.”
The conversation is briefly interrupted by a drunk elf who asks the table to join him and his friends in singing, but he is quickly turned away. “The Watch has the murder weapon,” Landiir says as he continues, “but no other lead on the murderer, except that it was a woman. The woman apparently got close enough to shoot Maurd with a crossbow while his own bodyguards were standing next to him and when she ran away she dropped the weapon. I would investigate this matter myself if I weren’t occupied by those Warforged killings. The Watch is keeping me on a short leash for that matter. They hired one named Arner Makeith to investigate the embassy murder. I swear, that Dwarf couldn’t find a fly on the back of his hand if he was looking for it. Why they would give such an important job to such an idiot I don’t know. That is why I called on you, my friends. I want you to help me by investigating Maurd’s murder without the Watch or Arner knowing about it. If not to bring justice to the murderer, then to avenge our fallen comrade!” Landiir takes another drink from his ale.
It had been a long day. The clouds above had chosen today to bestow upon them a great deal of rain, and Discq had spent much of the day indoors, not wanting to get wet. After all, he had just combed his hair. Discq would have most likely spent the entire day inside, had it not been for the summons from his old friend Landiir d’Tharashk he would most likely have spent the day indoors, but that was not to be.
"Stupid blighter has no sense of timing...", Discq muttered to himself as he starred out at the rain beyond his window. "There's never an emergency on a sunny day is there..."
It was late at night when he had met up with the rest of his old "friends" from the Last War, and the setting was hardly ideal, although one of the elves handing out drinks was rather attractive, he'd have to talk to her later. All of them had made it seemed, although Discq privately wished a few of them had not. Draven had an odd habit of looking large and brooding which seemed to keeping all the comely waitresses away from the table tonight, something he seemed to be doing more than usual tonight much to Discq's dismay, although that was partially acceptable as Nel and Adysine had made it, and although they never admitted in Discq was quite sure they were both madly in love with him. Mongiere had made it as well, surprising Discq as he was sure the poor man would have plummeted to his death from one of the many towers of Sharn. Man must have some skill, or maybe he was just lucky, Discq didn't know but was glad he'd made it all the same. Discq always felt safe with more people around anyway.
It wasn't long until Landiir arrived, and filled them in on what was going on. Discq was barely listening, his attention mostly on that comely waitress across the room who at this very moment was bending over to hand out some mead to some goblins. Leaning back as far as his chair would go, he lost his balance when he heard Landiir's jolting whisper, “It wasn’t the ambassador who was killed it was Maurd. Our own Maurd Dalaan is dead. Murdered on his way from the embassy!”
Discq's apparent lack of attention was covered however a nearby elf caroused drunkenly into the table. Regaining his balance behind the apparent distraction he leaned in, hoping to disguise his rather obvious lust for the waitress as being knocked around by the elf. He listened as Landiir told them the remainder of what he knew, occasionally glancing over toward the waitress while he did. He thought over what Landiir had said, thinking of Maurd as he did. He didn't really have anything to do recently, and his coin purse was looking rather empty. Almost before he realized he had started he was talking, quite drunkenly too.
"Wells...I can't speak for the rest of us Landiir, but I'm in. I agree that out friend does deserve justice and if the Watch won't help I'm with you one hundred percent. However as much as I liked old Maurd, I would prefer we did not start tonight as I have...other matters to attend to shall we say..."
Having said his piece, Discq made no attempt to hide his intent and staggered drunkenly across the tavern, tankard in hand, toward the comely elf maid.
"Definitely going to regret tonight tomorrow..." he thought to himself. "I've got to stop making promises while I'm drinking..."
As he passed Draven he heard his companion mutter a subtle insult about his hair. Turning his heard as he walked he managed to mutter something along the lines of "Well...those pants...those pants make you look *hic*...fat." before continuing off towards the maid.
Posted on 2007-08-01 at 20:59:10.
Edited on 2007-08-02 at 00:20:05 by Grugg
He had been the first to arrive, earlier in the day, and with his arrival, half the tavern had cleared. He had found the darkest table in the nicest plot of shadow the Lone Tower Inn had to offer, and had spent the time since, hunched over a mug of ale. His raven hair spilled over his shoulders and back, and hung like a veil around his face, nearly to the table, and his golden eyes, though not currently burning, gleamed in the lamplight like a cats. Discq had arrived shortly after, and Draven had made it an objective to point out
“When last I saw you, your tunic was a bit tighter round the chest and looser round the waist! Good to see you’ve been eating well.”
Ah…the evening may hold some entertainment after all. Not that Discq would have any luck with his usual wooing at this table tonight. He would flash a bar maid an inviting grin, only to have Draven flash the same woman a most cynical grin, accompanied by a flash of his eyes. Needless to say, the only people joining them were the others from their old group, whom Draven didn’t bother greeting.
They talked idly while Draven watched dully as a gnome groped two humans, and wondered if he could stick said gnome the booth with a dagger. When Landiir d’Tharashk and his war-forged bodyguard strolled into the tavern, Draven had only nodded to the man in greeting, but listened intently.
The news he heard was dire, and Draven felt the typical ‘very little’. He eyed the man with cold eyes, and thought about the dead half elf for a moment. He had never liked Maurd Dalaan. Had always been about as frooty as the man currently leaning back in his chair, eyeing the backside of a half elf maid…which Draven would not deny, was in far better taste then some of his (Discq’s) previously escapades. Nomatter, his death should have been unsettling. Draven resisted the urge to tip the bards chair, and instead spoke with his course, gravelly voice.
“Maurd Dalaan survived the Great War, to die in the grandest city in Breland. Despite the Irony, death has a way of catching up with us…don’t you think? If his killer had been so careless as to let herself be seen, and to hand the weapon to the hands of city watch, then she was either being oh so generous, or she’s a sloppy little amature…Now which do you suspect?”
A drunken elf struck the table and Discq caught himself loudly. Draven cast him a glare before taking a sip of his ale and finalizing.
“No doubt she was hired by someone, and a someone who can afford to pay to end anothers life.”
Draven grinned wolfishly and added
“Funny bit that is, aint it?”
“No matter. You have not told us what business Maurd Dalaan had in the embassy, or what motives may lie behind a sloppy little killer with a crossbow…”
Draven threw his hair over his shoulder, took a swig of his ale, and glanced sidelong at the bard, as he began to speak, already volunteering his services, before standing and making his way towards the elf-wench he had been eying earlier. As he passed, Draven muttered
“Fix yer hair mate. Looks as if you've been stranded in the rain.”
Posted on 2007-08-02 at 00:00:34.
Edited on 2007-08-02 at 01:15:27 by Valimar
The Lone Tower Tavern; A place where the native denizens of the Lower Menthis plateau could gather free from the rain outside, and where more reputable—either good or bad—folk could find meeting places out of the sight of the local law. Nel d’Deneith had arrived early in the evening, knowing that an old acquaintance had called her and her companions to a meeting. As heroes of the Last War one would think each and every member of the group Nel referred to as ‘The Crimson Blades would have been heartily rewarded, living now a life of well deserved luxury and respect. Such however was not the case. These heroes were unsung, unknown, and in truth many, like the man who entered the room with a warforged companion preferred it that way. Nel lifted her cool green eyes from the cloaked man in the corner of the room, taking to memory any significant markings on his person, or more notably, his weapon.
Meetings in secrecy were always a sordid affair, and when done in public, one had to presume that every last set of eyes and ears in the place worked for, or as a potential enemy. Whatever their dear friend Landiir d’Tharashk needed to speak with them about must have been important indeed. To have the need for muscle as a City Watch Inquisitor, meant to Nel that the man had cause to fear for his safety, and as he recounted the tale of Maurd Dalaan’s assassination, another man from their past whom she admired and respected, she came to understand that his fears may hold some merit.
Discq, bless his hedonistic heart had heard enough for the evening, already tossing his name into the hat as it were, the request and all relative info could wait until his current mission had been successfully finished; the complete and utter domination of one curvaceous bar-maid. Nel smiled and shook her head, giving Discq a slap on the rear as he stumbled past adding “Go get her tiger,” with a charming little chuckle. The man was lecherous and motivated by a head which sat not upon his shoulders, but after the things they had all seen in the War, she could not deny him all he had earned and more.
Completely opposite to the man who sat across from her. Draven was a man of few words, and even fewer ambitions. The dark warrior spoke little about his past, little about his life, little about anything other than the current task at hand. Nel had met him handling his own ‘contract’ near the end of the War, and had come to find a kinship with the man who like her held many a skeleton in his past’s closet, though little did she know that phrase probably rung truer than she realized. They had come to terms with one another, a joining of forces more out of convenience than anything to be confused with friendship or loyalty, but as the years past, Draven never chose to take a different path, and Nel despite never actually mouthing it was grateful to have him by her side.
The only one who had been at her side both on and off the battlefield was Adysine, her only true ‘friend’ of the group. Perhaps it was because she was female, perhaps it was because she was loyal to Nel’s family House, but the two women had trained together in the Blademark’s and had become inseparable ever since. It sometimes pained Nel that her best friend new so little about the woman Nel truly was, but as she thought about the past she need only remind her that it was for Adysine’s safety.
Mongiere Quinn'esherm, blind, unimposing, wise beyond his years or his lack of vision would seem to allow. Perhaps the only one with tale’s spun about him; the blind man was heralded as a bardic legend, having survived a rather vicious battle between his allied Breland forces and the Karnath army of dread. Nel had heard the tale many times, embellished and downplayed according to the minstrel who spun it, but she had seen the man in action, and knew the heart of the tale to be true. Something inside him, something she herself could not see drove him with more precision and accuracy than his eyes could ever grant.
“Landiir my old friend. You’ve worked these streets as enforcer and peacekeeper long before bearing the title of inquisitor. If you’ve been pulled from the embassy case in lieu of the warforged incidents, and another roughneck brought in I can’t help but think perhaps someone doesn’t want your keen eyes, or sense of justice around the embassy.”
“No matter. You have not told us what business Maurd Dalaan had in the embassy, or what motives may lie behind a sloppy little killer with a crossbow…” Draven was right. Maurd was a talented aristocrat, and had his hands in the pockets of more than one man’s business Nel would surmise, but to be assassinated by a single crossbow bolt, while flanked by bodyguards seemed sloppy indeed.
“Agreed. Maurd wasn’t a stupid man. To think him without some ward or protective on his person is pushing my imagination, but he was a politician, he better perhaps than any of us knows the deception involved behind such a profession. To think him struck down so easily doesn’t sit well with me. Perhaps there was poison or some other variable involved, there are too many unknowns right now, and with the Watch having both the body and the murder weapon, investigating this while remaining anonymous won’t be easy. You know as well as I that the ‘law’ doesn’t like people snooping around or butting into their affairs.” Nel took a sip of her wine, before sitting back.
“Anything more you can tell us would only further our cause. Maurd deserves justice, and if not something so righteous, then vindication will do me fine as well.”
Adysine spent most of the day out enjoying the rain. While she enjoyed the relative peace that the end of the war has brought, she's been feeling a little restless, the extra time given to her by her ring of sustenance didn't help any either.
She went straight to the Lone Tower Tavern after getting the summons, soaked through from hours of walking and standing in the rain and saw a few of the others there already ||Good, I don't have to do any talking then|| was the first thought to her mind as she walked over to the others and took a seat beside Nel, greeting her while nodding at the others.
She took a quick note on who was here, Disq, who was eying an elven maid between drinks, decent in a fight but better in a condition that required a more gentle approach, when you could take his mind off of women long enough. Draven, who Adysine still doesn't trust fully, but has proven himself an ally time and again, and certainly someone Adysine didn't want to fight against, as strange and unbelievable as some of the rumors were about him, she wouldn't be surprised if any if not all turn out to be true. Adysine was surprised to see Mongiere there, mainly because of his blindness in such a perilous city, but after seeing how perceptive the man could be in combat, it makes a little sense. Most importantly, her friend Nel was there, basically the only person she could truly call friend, the two have gone through a lot together, on and off the battlefield and for that Adysine was thankful.
Adysine was watching the brawl in the middle of the tavern, on edge in case someone decided to bring it their way when Landiir entered, followed by a warforged. He walked over to them and greeted everyone, Adysine nodded in greeting, letting him know she was listening to him as she continued to watch the brawl, staring one way while listening to something from the other direction is a habit of Adysine's that most find annoying. She continued to watch as he introduced Edge and started the conversation, one sentence he said though, made her turn, completely focused on the discussion at hand.
“it was Maurd. Our own Maurd Dalaan is dead. Murdered on his way from the embassy.”
Adysine knew and respected Maurd, he knew very little of fighting, but he had a way with people Adysine never dreamed of even coming close to, he deserved better than to be killed, especially the way Landiir described it. The discussion was interrupted by a drunken elf walking up and asking them if they wanted to join him and his friends, but changed his mind after seeing the gray eyed glare he got from Adysine.
Adysine shifted in her seat, snorting in annoyance as Disq blew Landiir off and went after the elven waitress. ||Ah well, I can't expect anything else from him, he's a good man, despite his excessive love of women, I do hope his head hurts horribly in the morning though|| She then returned her attention to the topic at hand, her body language letting everyone know she's in, Maurd's murder needs to be avenged, she'll do whatever she can to help
(*sigh* got ready to start typing and hit writer's block, oh well, I'd like to think I did a decent enough job)
“This is The Lone Tower milord,” I heard the servant say, “will you require my assistance within, or shall I say good eve and depart?” With a smile, I reached my calloused hands up to the man’s shoulder, creeping from that reference to the soft skin of his neck. He remained clean shaven, as was proper for a house servant. His hair dripped rain upon the curve of my knuckles, the poor man was drenched, as was I, though a cloak I had stolen from my father’s coat chamber left my clothing merely damp. A torrent of sound surrounded the nature of a storm. The rain ploughing into the ground as if it were the thousand footsteps of an army in heaven. The whistle of the wind between the many towers of Sharn, as though the fury of the elements forbade the end of man. The thunder, as though the gods beat their drums of war. I had been told about lightning, felt its shape in a jagged shard of glass, and told it’s colour was that of my sightless eyes. It was almost flattering, though surrounding me lay darkness. Darkness, however, without the context of light, I knew not what that meant… though I knew it was something I feared.
“No Sebastian,” I said, gently cupping my fingers around his neck, “though I am a weak man, I rather care that my friends do not see me as such… You may return home, I do not know how long this may take.” Slowly, I unhanded him, let him slip into the void. The world of the blind was a guessing game. Each step was a leap into the abyss, as was the last, and those yet to come. After feeling around for a moment, I found the handle of the entrance door, and breached the perimeter of the establishment. Shuffling myself out of the way of traffic, I pressed my back against the wall, and took in my surroundings. The smell of the air was muggy, like the rot of leather, which was probably not far from the truth. Many who ventured this tavern were likely soldiers, mercenaries, or plain adventurers. Pick pockets frequented these places as well I imagined - thieves, who were notorious for dressing in leather…
I listened. The sound of tones out of key, as the gluttony of what sounded like shrieking cats became apparent in the lack of volume control. There was someone yelling; it was a powerful, booming voice that rose above the din of the tavern. A wooden thud, as though a table or chair had been pushed into a wall, or levelled to the hardened floor. The chime of glasses, perhaps a toast, or simply a bar maiden retrieving empties. With all this noise, only one thing struck me as familiar, and odd. Not a sound, but yet… the screaming of my soul. Draven.
He was gravity, unlike any other in my life, I could feel this man, and if there were a chance that someone else possessed this trait, the coincidence would be astonishing… for tonight, I had been summoned by an old ally, and being summoned alone was unlikely. No, Landiir would want the full force of The Crimson Blades. Knowing this, I slowly stumble forward, towards the black hole, that pulled at the pit in my heart. Guiding myself forward with a numb hand, I felt a sudden grasping claw upon my wrist, as a harsh voice teemed into the sockets of my mind. “Are you lost?”
It was him all right, as I had thought, at once feeling berated for the curse that was forced upon me. No matter, my temper would remain as cold as the icicles within his chest. “I have found exactly what I was looking for, so, in a sense no. Though, I am surrounded by the haze of a world at all times unfamiliar. I am lost in my findings, one could say. How are you, unseen stranger?”
With a scoff, Draven IreDante released his hold upon my arm, and being that he was inept of salutations, I preceded to find a chair among the many stranded in the wake of patrons prior. There, I realized, after some concentration that Draven was not the only acquaintance who had made it here on this cold rainy night. In fact, Discq had arrived all ready, and was nearly comatose due to his inebriated manner. A quick start, even for him. The ladies were not too far behind, though they gave little in the way of greetings, perhaps they had nodded, for what little use it was to me.
Then finally the man of the hour arrived. Landiir d’Tharashk, and an assistant he referred to as Edge. A Warforged name if ever there was one. Ironic, in that Landiir had also introduced the construct as his muscle, a physical impossibility, yet an undeniable truth. ‘Why had he summoned us here,’ I thought, ‘was there no better place than such a frequented establishment?’
“…Our own Maurd Dalaan is dead. Murdered on his way from the embassy…”
Maurd Dalaan was a memorable man. Though I hadn’t fought with him personally, he had been one of very few who could transform his voice, mask it from my sensitive hearing. Sometimes I believed that he were a stranger in the midst of friends. Perhaps they are all strangers... As Landiir described the incident in more detail, I began to question the merit of the information he bore. Maurd was not likely assassinated in such a blunder, what more was missing from this puzzle? If only I could see the edges of the jigsaw, to feel them without being able to grasp the connection of the whole made it all quite useless. I lacked a deductive mind… physicians related me as slower than most. Though my mother insisted that the time it took was due to my focus, and not my derisive flaw.
Draven and Nel requested more insight into the matter, whilst Discq threw his guarantee of assistance into the air to be snatched with the repercussions of immediate choice - the kind that lacked consideration. Though I myself wanted to help my old friend Landiir, I was concerned that if our company were caught investigating this secretive matter, it would tarnish our names - my name, and the name of my house. What would father think then… that I were a scoundrel. There were laws for a reason, though this was more than that, this was a broken rule. One that left a member of our own deceased, and discarded, without appropriate exploration into the wrongdoing of an incognito faction. What else lie beneath the innuendo of Landiir’s story, where lay the intrinsic value of a life now gone…
Posted on 2007-08-02 at 15:10:58.
Edited on 2007-08-02 at 15:26:01 by Philosopher
Skari-dono Icelanders! Roll Out Karma: 102/11 1514 Posts
Discq nigh instantly offers his assistance in the matter, although it seems as he doesn't fully grasp what the matter is about. Discq then leaves to hit on the elven waitress, who unfortunatly does not seem to have any interest in mingling with this or any guest at the tavern this night.
Landiir listened as both Draven and Nel asked their questions about the murder. "The killer could have been either way. As I've been told, Maurd had been having his bodyguards close by for the past few weeks, like he was scared something like this might happen." Again, another pause while Landiir takes a sip. "Yes, the City Watch has the body and the murder weapon, which is in Arner Makeith's hands, but like I said Makeith is a fool and half-blind one at that. Makeith took the crossbow for examination, but didn't bother having a look at the bolt, which I have." Landiir smiles in his victory as he draws forth the bolt that had been pulled out from Maurd's cold and stiff body. "Poison was exactly what I thought, but with the Watch watching me I can't get a safe access to examine the bolt for any trace of such a thing. Plus, I doubt I would know what to look for."
Landiir takes one look around to make absolutely certain that no one is listening or watching. "Maurd was a diplomat at the embassy, and had his own room and office there. I don't know anything else about this except that Maurd used to keep a diary back in the war. If he still kept one to this day it might help you in the investigation. Makeith doesn't know about his diary, since I didn't think he needed to know."
The whole table hears a slapping sound and then some curses in elvish over something Discq apparently said to the maid.
Landiir shortly later stands up after finishing his ale. "I'm sorry but I cannot linger. I must get back to my home to work on what few clues I have on the warforged case, unless I want the Watch to start wonder where I had gone. I hope all goes well for you and if you need any assistance you can find me at my home in the Oakbridge district in Middle Northedge." After that, he walks out of the Lone Tower Tavern and Edge follows close behind.
The fight between the orcs and the dwarves has ended when the dwarves who still remain concious run out after Landiir. The orcs do not give chase, but rather laugh in their victory and sit back at their table. The elves and goblins have mostly stopped singing as the group has mostly passed out. The cloaked figure still sits where he has been for the past minutes and has yet to taste his ale. Shortly after the dwarves run out, the gnome leaves with the two women at each his side. The Crimson Blades are soon to make their decision on whether they should investigate the death of Maurd or not.
Nel listened intently as Landiir explained in more detail what he knew concerning the case. Noticing thecloaked man still sitting there, not touching his ale she continued albeit in a hushed tone. “There are other’s about who may be partaking of this conversation without our consent so be warned. This Arner Markeith seems a halfwit, possibly under the enemies employ to ensure the murderer never found and the case buried. Who earns the title of Inquisitor by overlooking key factors, some as obvious as the actual murder weapon?” Nel reached over to grasp Landiir’s hand and gave it a firm grip. “I’ll do what I may, as I’m sure will our fellow Blades, to ensure Maurd’s murder is avenged. As she removed her hands, she subtly took the bolt with her, storing it away in her Bag of Holding beneath the table. (Sleight of Hand Check if necessary)
Finishing her wine and laughing at the predicament Discq had found himself in yet again concerning the opposite sex, she quietly added. “Unless absolutely necessary, I’d say we adjourn here and discuss anything further back at headquarters.” Landiir obviously felt the same on the matter and quickly took his leave, leaving the ‘heroes’ to their drinks and their thoughts.
Switching the conversation to something lighter and off the topic of importance, Nel chuckles as the gnome leaves with two women at his side. “Disqc was shown up by a man half his size with twice his skill, let us buy him a few more rounds that on the morrow he need not remember this embarrassment. Barkeep!...”(Proceed to order whatever Discq had been drinking)
Posted on 2007-08-02 at 17:30:01.
Edited on 2007-08-02 at 17:31:30 by Kaelyn
As the party listened to Landiir’s responses, Draven cracked his neck impatiently and let his fire-flicked eyes bounce from one member of the party to the next. The settled on Nel for a moment, and followed her clear emerald eyes to the figure in the corner of the room. He could read her face well enough to know she had been watching the figure, and if there was one member of the group who’s insight Draven trusted most, it was Nel’s. It had been years since the two had met; or rather, Draven had met Nel and her friend Adysine; but since that time, the two had had their own share of adventures into the shadows. The two were similar in many ways, and when it came to infiltrating, spying, or overall sneaking into other peoples properties and businesses, and coming back out with either a sought after item in hand, or a corpse in their wake, there was no better duo. Not that Draven had met.
Yet the two were alike in other ways as well. The talents they possessed both came from a shadowed past, and while Draven had never cared enough to ask; he could read that she held many a dark secret of her own. It was no secret that Nel d’Denieth was not only a part of House Denieth, but also possessed one of the linear marks, and yet clearly she came from a past that was shadier then the sun baked courtyards and gold-laced halls of the Denieth enclaves. Draven knew enough about the woman’s history, and knew about her struggles at a young age. They almost rang home with him…almost. Yet he was certain there was a shadow in the young woman’s past that she was trying to outrun.
There had been times where he had almost been tempted to offer his aid to her. They were nearly kindred spirits, and he knew full well what it was like to flee from a shadowed past. However, with the burden that Draven Ire’Dante carried, his empathy for others was always short-lived. Hide from your past, while you can, M’dear. It always catches you. Be grateful for the shadow that haunts you. There is a much deeper darkness out there then you can imagine….
And while there had been times when it seemed a true friendship, perhaps more, was beginning to evolve between the two, Draven had never failed to step back into the shadows, and to erect a barrier that could not be penetrated. Nel, would never guess why. Could never; and it was better that way. Some evils should never be brought on others…
A loud slap drew Draven’s attention, and he found himself smirking at the wounded bard and the offended elf. Landiir stood to rise, and Draven watched silently as Nel so graciously bestowed her affections on him. Draven knew Nel well, and he knew her motives. He wondered silently if she succeeded. The Gnome stood to rise with his arms around both the women. Draven felt the rising urge once again to stick a dagger in his forehead, but his thoughts were drawn back to Nel.
“Unless absolutely necessary, I’d say we adjourn here and discuss anything further back at headquarters.”
Pushing his chair back, Draven stood. He was a tall man, and immensely menacing when at his full height. Grabbing his massive, sheathed blade from the back of his chair, and downing the remainder of his ale, he cast a glance once more at the lone figure in the booth. His eyes narrowed, and a flicker of yellow light danced for a moment behind them.
The group was busy staring at the bard. Nel spoke again.
“Disqc was shown up by a man half his size with twice his skill, let us buy him a few more rounds that on the morrow he need not remember this embarrassment. Barkeep!...”
Draven sneered and slung his sword over his back.
“Perhaps he would learn from the embarrassment.”
Without a word he headed for the door.
Posted on 2007-08-04 at 19:24:42.
Skari-dono Icelanders! Roll Out Karma: 102/11 1514 Posts
As Draven stands up, so does the cloaked figure. He grabs his Greatsword and unsheaths it. He then walks towards the table of heroes in a menacing way and as he comes closer the light from the lanterns reveal his orcish face. Both his chainmail and his blade are stained from past bloodsheds and his scarred face is a point in fact that he is experienced warrior. He has no facial hair, but his hair is shoulder length, dark and greasy.
"NEL!" he calls out with a powerful voice. "Your days are told, human filth, for I am Groar, the unkillable, and I will have your head in the name of the Daask!" His blade is obviously of at least masterwork quality, and his muscular arms tell that a good swing could cleave a normal man.
"Comrades! To arms!" His last words signals the three orcs in the corner who instantly draw forth their weapons. The barkeep hides behind the counter while the elves and goblins either hide or make their way towards the exit. "Leave no human alive!" calls the voice of Groar.
As the orcish man is revealed, and makes known his allegiance to the crime organization of Daask, Nel calmly gave a non-chalant gesture of dismissal with her dainty hands.
"Another street rat from Daask comes to claim my head, and another poor bartender finds more blood to clean from their floors. Blades to arms!, but big toothed and ugly is mine if you don't mind. We've a dance to finish it seems."
Calmly Nel stood from the comfort of her chair, subtly shifting her stance to one that would allow her to best navigate the chairs and table to her advantage. She drew forth her short sword, but made no threatenening gestures with it. She would let Groar come to her, like a fly to the spider. Activating her Dragonmark, she grinned and beckoned the large warrior forward. The first move had already been made.
(Nel is forfeiting her Initiative until directly after Groar, and is taking a full Defensive Stance and Max Combat Expertise bonus to AC. When it is her turn again, she'll drop all defensive bonuses, utilize her Improved Feint ability to attempt to Deny Daask his Dex to AC, and strike for Sneak attack.)
Anyone who knows Nel enough knows that though she's all for showing her strength in one on one combat, but she values the team more than personal glory or jeopardizing their safety. So feel free to let the orc think it's him vs Nel.. then stick him in the back
Posted on 2007-08-05 at 15:18:53.
Edited on 2007-08-05 at 19:37:13 by Kaelyn
Listening to the conversation at hand, it became evident that the murder was likely staged, at least in my eyes. Why else would the embassy send in a worthless pawn to investigate such a lethal crime, especially against someone as important as an ambassador? As the conversation grew in depth, and it was now apparent that the investigator was capricious in the collection of evidence, as he had been negligent in collecting the actual bolt that killed our dear friend Maurd. Nevertheless, this was a positive turn in events, as the Crimson Blades would be more likely to determine the poison coating used to kill with.
I felt of anguish when Landiir mentioned Maurd’s diary. There were very many things a blind man was incapable of doing… one such thing being reading. It brought forth feelings of uselessness that thundered through the foundations of my soul at times of great despair. It made me glad that my eyes were covered, as I wondered if this torture I felt reverberated through the cold static of my sightless eyes, as though in my blindness, it was possible to peer directly into my mind. Eyes are a one way mirror, and the reason for my fault lay in the fact that these mirrors had been placed in reverse by whatever gods have made me. Thus, I wear the blindfold, to ensure that the book of my soul lay closed, bound by cloth, as if it were not figurative, but a literal manifest of thoughts and fears.
Landiir bids them farewell, and more than anything else, I hear the clang of metal pound and scrape across the floor of the tavern towards the door… furthering my belief that edge is in fact Warforged. Then there was the screech of a chair, coming from the direction that Draven held fast within his darkness. Were we preparing to head out? The base would be difficult to find from The Lone Tower, if I lost the rest of the group that is, but if the one who stood was Draven, perhaps he was leaving alone. After all, Nel had just requested more liquor from the Bartender.
Poor Discq, though, I felt no pity for the man… I had never even seen the uncanny beauty of elven women, as they had been described. Woman, at least as far as I could tell, were afraid of my blindness… or perhaps I was ugly, and unable to tell. My mother tells me I look like a girl, though I refuse to let her cut my hair, it feels comforting when the bangs grow to cover my useless eyes, and the feel of the wind blowing through my mane soothes the occasional headache - headaches I receive due to pressure changes throughout the day. Even still, what I would secretly give to feel the hairless curve of an elven maid, though this was a fanciful dream. To touch without sight is in some ways a curse. Often I have found beauty in things most horrid to others, such as the tingling creep of a tarantula on my back, or the cool slime of an earthworm…
A loud shout from the corner of the room broke me away from my thoughts, and allowed the fear of the dark to return to my cloudy existence. There was a man looking for Nel, and he did not come alone. I stood, knocking my chair as far away from me as possible, bringing back the mental notes of the objects around me, which included a table at my front, and a few chairs surrounding me. Grasping the top knot of my makeshift holster, I pulled free the spiked chain from my side, holding it firmly with both hands in the centre ring. After hearing the man call for his comrades, I listened intently to the movement around me. Some time before there had been the sounds of a bout, and now there had been silence from that corner for quite some time. In fact, if my judgement was sober, the stumbling of drunken creatures in retreat had been a hint that there was a victor… I wondered if the winners were any worse for the ware. Likely not.
“My friends! Give me direction… I do not wish to be left in the dark!” I cried out. My allies had known me long enough, and would utter out the direction of my enemy as if pointing to the coordinates on a map. For some time now, I had been able to discern with preternatural ability, the direction of north. Likely something to do with the magnetic polarity of the poles, and the iron deposits in the blood of my nose. Regardless, north was a tickle in my facial cavities… though not overwhelming in the least.
As I readied myself for an attack, I began to concentrate on the area surrounding me. Listening for the knocking of arrows, the whirl of a sling, preparing for the impossible reflexes of my mentor’s teaching to protect me, as if in my limbs lay his voice, and in my mind his sight.
(This is to say that Mongiere will take a ready action, and if/when an enemy attacks, I will pre-emptively strike out with my spiked chain, keeping in mind my reach is 10 feet. This is of course assuming my initiative is high enough to hold my action for them. If not I guess I’ll pray for a dodge!)
Posted on 2007-08-06 at 00:28:16.
Edited on 2007-08-06 at 11:32:38 by Philosopher
Adysine was just starting to stand up and leaver herself when a dark-clad figure leapt up and shouted at Nel, "NEL! Your days are told, human filth, for I am Groar, the unkillable, and I will have your head in the name of the Daask! Comrades! To arms! Leave no human alive!"
Adysine continued to rise, drawing her dual shortswords and turning to face the orcs as Nel issued her commands, in which Adysine replied with a smirk, "You can have that one, he looks like he's a terrible dance partner, I'm gonna go try my luck with those three over there, one of them surely knows how to dance."
The air in front of Adysine seemed to shimmer for a heartbeat, only noticeable to those paying close attention, before returning to normal. "Mongiere, there's four orcs besides Groar, who's (gives near exact location), the other three are, (gives locations for all three)" Adysine quickly said before moving towards the three orcs.
(activating aberrant dragonmark, moving to the three orcs and attacking if possible, in position to back away if need be)
She was quite beautiful, and voluptuous too. Almost perfect by Discq's standards, not as if that really mattered. If the chairs at the table had been wearing skirts the barkeeper would probably have had to hide them. Regardless, he hadn't had a woman all day, surely it was the right time now.
"You...", he said somewhat sluggishly, slightly regretting his overindulgence of liquor a few moments before. "...have the nicest arse in all of Sharn." It was not exactly what he had intended to say to her when he got near, but it was what came out. Hopefully she found it flattering. The resulting slap hardly reassured him.
It had taken him a moment to regain his senses (not to mention his balance) and it seemed in that moment it all went to hell. The cloaked stranger with the large blade had drawn it, and had bustled over towards where his comrades sat, shouting challenges and threats as he went. Mongiere and the lovely ladies had quickly drawn their weapons as well, and it seemed as if combat was moments away. Thinking quickly, Discq decided the best spot for him to be would be somewhere safe, supporting his comrades out of arms way suited him just fine. With two fast arm movements and a choice verse Discq disappeared with a faint pop, and headed off to find a way to get behind the bar.
(OOC: Invisibility then move behind the bar at the earliest opportunity and get out his harp, with the intent to start support allies next round.)
(OOOOC: 3500th post.)
Posted on 2007-08-13 at 03:37:56.
Edited on 2007-08-13 at 13:39:08 by Valimar
For Draven, the end of their meeting with Inquisitive Landiir d’Tharashk had also been the conclusion of both his own interest and business in the Lone Tower Tavern. Discq was a drunken idiot, which was usual; and Nel certainly seemed fixed on further encouraging entertainment at the bards expense. The others seemed comfortable and content to once again be in one anothers company. It was almost like old times. Only one small detail needed to be amended. Draven found his chance to disappear.
He had better things to do then sit in a pub, listening to pointless stories about irrelevant adventures. He certainly had better things to do then laugh at a belligerent and self-degraded bard…although he did occasionally find humor in tormenting the poor man. He didn’t care to ‘catch up’ with the others. The only person he currently felt motivated to speak with was Nel d’Dennith; and that would be in private.
In the meantime, he had other business to tend to. Growling a pleasant bit of conversation concerning Discq Damari’s questionable circumstances, Draven slid his chair back. The legs protested with a loud screech against the worn, wooden floor. Lifting his blade from it’s resting place against the table, Draven turned towards the door, but stopped. His head was slightly bowed, and his long, black hair draped his pale face like a curtain, but almost casually he tilted his head towards the approaching figure.
So he was an Orc after all. By his gate, and the blade he now carried, unsheathed, it was obvious he was here for one purpose. A fight. Draven had had his suspicions. His golden, cat-like eyes studied the Orc as he spoke. He noted the stains the armor, and the worn grooves in the hilt of the great sword he bore. This man was experienced. His flexing biceps were the size of a Halflings torso, and the blade of the great sword glimmered in the dull tavern lamplight. He held power on his side, and his blade honed by the skill of a master swordsmith in the least. Draven felt his own muscles tense. The steady rhythm of his heart began to increase.
Dravens glare flashed to the corner of the pub. Three more orcs sat, watching and waiting. They would be joining the fray.
The Orc roared. The tavern went silent. Draven could feel a grin. A genuine grin, spreading across his still down turned face.
"Your days are told, human filth, for I am Groar, the unkillable, and I will have your head in the name of the Daask! Comrades! To arms!"
His last words signals the three orcs in the corner who instantly draw forth their weapons. The barkeep hides behind the counter while the elves and goblins either hide or make their way towards the exit.
"Leave no human alive!"
His own excitement peaked, and Draven felt his eyes flare. The room took a faint, yellow/white tint. His pupils had become pinpoints of light. His comrades, of course, were familiar with his eyes. Not that it didn’t disturb them still. He was…as far as any of his companions could tell, a human…or something close to a human. But why his eyes were so..unnatural..none of them knew. To an opponent, the cold light could be altogether unnerving, even terrifying…To an Orc…particularly a member of house Daask, they would probably go either unnoticed, or simply warily regarded. Not that it mattered. Draven had no use for intimidation. Not now at least. He had other, more interesting talents.
Before the Orc had even finished speaking, Grishnak was unsheathed. It’s tip sticking into the floor, and both Dravens hands resting on it’s hilt. His head was still somewhat bowed, but his burning orbs were locked on Groar. His lips were peeled back, revealing a toothy, wolfish grin.
"Another street rat from Daask comes to claim my head, and another poor bartender finds more blood to clean from their floors. Blades to arms!, but big toothed and ugly is mine if you don't mind. We've a dance to finish it seems."
The voice was Nel’s. Draven nodded softly, as if partaking in a conversation, before adding.
“And I thought you might have been a tax collector. Silly me.”
It wasn’t unlike him to take on this change of mood. Infact it was clear over the years that the times Draven was happiest was when he was fighting…recklessly and without regard, and particularly against great odds. It almost seemed Draven Ire’Dante was a man with a death wish. Yet death only ever seemed to find those he crossed blades with.
His smile became predatory. Almost a snarl. He hefted the massive, Dai-Katana that was Grishnak, and whispered an ancient and unheard word to it. The glossy, onyx surface paled as a coat of frost crept over it, coating the spidery runes that down the length of the blade. Grishnak was a blade as cold as death.
The Orcs began to make their way forward. Mongiere asked for guidance and Adysine responded, before making her way toward the three that accompanied Groar. Draven flashed a glance at the orc leader, as he and Nel prepared for combat. She would need to hold on a bit…
Stepping around the table, Draven strolled towards the battle. His long black coat billowed about his ankles like a swaying shadow, and the cold of Grishnak emanated as a palpable longing. A thirst. Admittedly a Tavern was a strange place for a battle to the death. But then, Draven had been waiting for far too long to let this pass up.
Approaching the nearest of the orcs, Draven could feel the growing rage. The swelling hatred and disgust. The black void that was his soul opened, and unleashed the fury and the rage he always kept so pent up. The burning hunger and the desire to end the life of the orc before him surged through his movement, and flashed in his eyes. Grishnak cut through the air with merciless lust for the warmth of life….
(Will fight the nearest of the three orcs Adysine is not engaged with…before moving into step two of my battle plan )