Xaris stood next to the table that James was at, naturally hovering near some tree where could feel some sort of comfort in the big city. As soon as he started waiting though, more signed up for James and joined him and some others in this area.
One of the people who signed up spoke out, revealing her face a little more, being the same drow he had spotted earlier.
“My name is Aelistae. It would honour me to learn the names your mothers gave you.”
Xaris looked up at her, and smiled. She was brave to be exposing herself like this, but obviously she trusted well.
In a quiet, slightly shy voice, Xaris spoke up.
" my...My name is Xaris. What I usually go by if a full name is needed is Xaris Vhathei."
He paused to look full at her, and then smiled.
" I am glad to be with all of you."
Maybe it was because they shared dark skin, or because they both were different, but Xaris felt a slightly connection between him and Aelistae
Having her own words thurst back at her, with obvious amusement, from Aelistae caused Linnix to smile and laugh out loud. "Ha! haa-ha-haa!", she blurted, then composed herself quickly. "I am, at that, but the wealth I seek is not always in gold or tangible valuables. The local information I can glean from Bart is of no small value to me, and maybe I can get even more useful information from some of his friends while being associated with him. And you can also provide information for me as well, but I will not be so bold as to start thursting a tirade of questions at you before we have broken bread together." She smiled genuinely. " .... not yet. Oh, but I will. I am an ever-curious sort, I am."
At Aelistae's next question, she quickly volunteered, "My name is Linnix. Linnix Wolfette ap Bye. " She then turned to pay attention to those Aelistae spoke to next, to gather names from those willing to give them.
Posted on 2008-02-06 at 22:25:19.
Edited on 2008-02-06 at 22:28:40 by Zonk
Nebulos knew immediately that his choice would be Gafgerion. He had known of him for some time and was actually a little excited about pleasing him. He knew that he was a man of dark talent, but then again .. so was he. A warmage was typically good for one thing. Destruction! Nebulos thought to himself If I do well here, I wonder what my reward shall be. I hope something great Stepping forward, Nebulos signed the paper. Saying nothing, he nodded to Gafgerion and gave him a smile.
Now Barrb began to feel odder than she had felt in a long time. There was one human in the smallish group gathered near Bart the Farmer, and that female human was a full half-foot shorter than Barrb herself. She identified, kind of, with the gnome as a warrior, but the appearance of his equipment and dress showed him to me more of a "survivalist" sort than the mercenary she had come to be. At least one more of mixed blood besides herself was present, so far. That one had a racial lineage she could identify, but did not act as did those of the dark elven heritage Barrb had encountered. The other was simply unknown to Barrb. A race she had never seen. Elven descent, obviously, but not identifiable to Barrb. Here was an opportunity to learn something new. But now was not the time. That would wait until they were on their way...
At the dark female's question of mother-given names, Barrb was taken a bit by surprise. This one was definitely different. And because of that one revelation, she answered without hesitation, but without interrupting anyone else, "Barrbarra Ienn. Warrior and currently blank shield." Her name was pronounces, slowly, as "bar-BAR-a ee-YENN", obviously to make sure the pronunciation was understood by all.
To the gnome, after a few minutes of introductions, she said, "It looks as if you and I will be the strong arms of this group. I am sure that all here are capable in their own rights, but I am also certain that we will be the cause of most of the physically protective defense, as it were. " She smiled at him and nodded. "Do you agree"?
Posted on 2008-02-06 at 23:08:31.
Edited on 2008-02-06 at 23:10:49 by Longshadow
Xaris looked up to the tall woman, whos names was so kindly pronounced out. He smiled.
"It looks like we might be."
He looked at the ground, and up at her again. He wanted to make more conversation, but he just couldn't. He was also a little weary of this individual, of her human heritage. But also drawn to her by her elven looks. He couldn't make out which she was. Xaris felt uneasy about that, and slightly backed away, smiling at her to try an not make her feel uncomfortable.
The groups had been formed, though many an incredulous stare were given as some of the applicant’s quills refused to sign their name to the page, as though the instrument itself had judged the writer unworthy of the cause. No small amount of commotion was caused as those who thought higher of themselves than the magical writing implement did threw audible and often derogatory comments into the air. The rejected however were soon ushered out of the courtyard by armed guards, where they could find solace in a tankard or some other means; safely away from the Queen-Monarch.
Zacharius’ group stood like a mercenary army, a dozen of the roughest, rowdiest warriors and rogues any could find, clad in different armors and weapons rattling as they exited the courtyard, Zacharius filling their ears with boasts of their would be success and leading them towards his smithy, boasting about his wares all the louder.
Gareth smiled and cavorted merrily with the handful of clients who had taken an oath to prevail in his name. He flirted with a pair of females dressed in leathers, daggers and crossbows hanging from their hips, while chattering aloft with a trio of flamboyantly dressed individuals, one male bearing a great sword, another a strange instrument which seemed like a bow with multiple strings, the third, a simple dress of flowing silk which accentuated her supple features, tanned legs which rose from heel to hip in toned perfection, and all bore the crest of a traveling group, a silver flute set across an embossed crimson heart. Finally there was a man who shifted uneasily from foot to foot, his dark and unappealing attire causing him to stand out from the other’s like a sore spot, his features hidden within the deep recesses of a cowl and cloak.
As for those who had answered Gafgerion’s call and passed his quill’s judgment, the four of them were quickly taken away from the courtyard through a magical doorway of shimmering blue light.
It would seem that each sponsor’s identifiable profession had garnered applicants of similar fields; all save for the small band of would be heroes who gathered by Bartholomew James. As the crowd parted, Bart approached those who had answered his plea, and he fell to his knees before them, so he was at the height of the Forest-Gnome before him, tears flowing freely from his eyes.
“Thank the Gods good sirs and ladies, truly you are the answer to my family’s prayers.” Bart looked towards Aelistae a little longer than the others, but eventually shook his head and smiled. “I know not where you all come from, but I know where we shall be heading. The quill does not lie, and I believe the heaven’s shall shine upon us this day. “
The white robed woman strode up to the man, and placed a pale hand under his chin, lifting his eyes to hers as she removed her hood, revealing a beautiful face unparalleled by any other, even the Queen-Monarch herself. The woman’s eyes were of a green which rivaled the most perfect emerald, her face softer and free of any imperfections. Her hair was platinum hued, filled with rays of sunlight as it swayed in the gentle early morning breeze. With a gentle lift, Bart rose to stand before her, wiping the dirt from his knees. “Kneel not good sir, for we are all equals in the eyes of the Lady.” The woman turned, her slightly pointed ears portrayed her Elvish heritage, but there was something more than that, something magical about her.
(Auto Knowledge Nature Check for Loriel: 16/d20 + 12 = 28vs DC 20 *Success!* PM to follow)
“I am Elesia Silversong, humble follower of the Lady Luck, may her good fortune reward us all. The tides of fate are changing, and like the grains of sand upon the shores of life, we too will change, adapt or be swept away in obscurity. My good people, let us not be such grains, for we have within us all the capacity to stand tall against all obstacles, and I look forward to the time we have before us.” With that she gave an incredibly graceful bow to each in turn, her white robes flowing off her form as though an extension of her self.
(Allowing for introductions and such here)
Bart was smiling from ear to ear as each introduced themselves in turn. “Please, I know everyone is in a hurry to make way towards the keep, but we should ensure a strong meal to fill our bellies before hitting the road. While I fear those wizardly fellows will simply poof their in an instant, I believe it will be us who will free the structure, and those who look upon it for a chance of freedom from the dangers that currently hold it in their power. If you would do us the honor, my wife has prepared satchels of hearty grain and rice for the road, and has sewn water skins from what materials she could. I would not hear a rumbly tummy while on this excursion. So I will venture to the farm that I can gather my wares, the provisions, and meet you all at the northern gates in one hours time. I shall bring my strongest horse, and a wagon along with it to carry supplies. I bid you all prepare and meet me in haste.” Bart made sure to reach out and shake each member’s hands nodding his head in appreciation. “I know I’ve said it before, and this will surely not be the last time I say it, but thank you all, truly so kind people. I’ll do what I can to help. A warrior I am not, but I’ve a strong back, and knowledge of the land. Please let me aid you in any way I can.”
(Allowing for any further conversation, Bartholomew hurries home to make final preparations for departure. You have one hour with which to shop in Darromar, a Metropolis where almost anything is available. PM me for interest in anything beyond mundane or masterwork weapons)
Posted on 2008-02-06 at 23:50:54.
Edited on 2008-02-07 at 22:56:19 by Kaelyn
When the blue illumination had faded, Nebulos found he was no longer in the central courtyard of Darromar. In fact, he wasn’t in Darromar at all any longer. Surrounding him now stood three others aside from Gafgerion, each looking around with glances of curiosity and skepticism. Gafgerion walked a few paces away from the quartet of scholarly strangers, before turning to face them and tapping his cane on the rocky surface beneath their feet. As he did so, veins of red light crackled out through the floor, and soon up the walls and into the ceiling of a cavern, illuminating the room in a soft red glow. Revealed by the newfound light however was more than what once was simple darkness, for all around him were dozens of skeletons, some whole and armored, others only partially completed.
Gafgerion gave a uninhibited laugh, which sounded like wind rusting through a graveyard on a cold dark night. “My guests, meet my friends, for we shall all be working closely in the coming days.” As he spoke, the empty sockets of the skeletons filled with an eerie red glow, similar to that which emanated from his cane.
“Come now, introduce yourselves, for you shall all be working together to further a common goal. I will have that keep, and you will be well rewarded.”
A scholar dressed in a simple blue traveling robe shifted uneasily as he looked around. The chamber was approximately 40’ in diameter, with 20’ ceilings capped in stalagmites reaching down like deadly fangs. “I am Parsius,” he said. And this… this is not exactly what I had in mind when I signed up for this.”
“Oh shut up ye coward,” came a reply, as a young spry gnome with wiry facial hair lowered his hood and revealed curious beady little eyes. “the name’s Ganden Whippersnapper, but ye can call me Whip. You’ve managed to reincarnate inanimate corpses? Cool!” The gnome did nothing to hide his amazement at what lay before him. Going so far as to approach and examine one of the skeleton’s which towered over him running ruddy little fingers along its frame.
The third fellow, was not actually a fellow at all. The woman was half-elven, her beautiful face marred by an awful scar which ran from her left ear down across her cheek to the corner of her mouth. Shimmering eyes reflected the soft light, and her raven hair only served to accentuate her face all the more.
“I am Mistress Serena.” She said with a slight bow. “The means do not concern me, only the results, and the promise of compensation. The sooner we get this over with, the sooner I can return to my studies.”
Far more pairs of eyes than attached to living forms turned to regard Nebulos, expecting an answer, while Gafgerion laughed his eerie laugh all the more.
Posted on 2008-02-07 at 00:18:32.
Edited on 2008-02-07 at 00:25:28 by Kaelyn
Barrbarra hustled back to the inn where her belongings were, inventoried them carefully, then packed them hurriedly. Stopping at the innkeepers counter, she then paid for her stay [noted in PM, with purchases] before she made for the stable to reclaim her mount and take the time to inventory the gear she had stashed there as well. After paying the stabler, she heads for the gate to meet Bart and the others
[Search checks 6/20 + 4 = 10 and 7/20 + 4 = 11 . Spot checks 13/20 + 4 = 17, and 2/20 + 4 = 6. ]
[If no gear is missing, she will add 5 gp each to innkeeper and stabler for honesty, and tips the ostler 5 silver pieces for her animal's care. If any gear is missing, notify in PM. She will then threaten each with retribution, then she'll replace the missing gear along with the other purchases.]
Linnix was in a hurry, but then again, she wasn't. She knew she had plenty of time to do what she needed to do, because she didn't need to do much to be ready. Back at her inn room, she changed into her "sturdy gear": heavy trousers bloused shirt, sturdy boots, and wide belt. She picked up her skirt and blouse and rolled them up in a tight bundle, then stuffed the bundle into her backpack and grabbed it, the belt pouch, and her weapons to carry to the stable to get Tock and her cart.
[any items missing will be covered in PM ]
Before she picked up Tock, though, she had to find a few things. A kit and some wine. Should be simple enough to find. Once that's done, she'd go pick up the animal and cart and head for the gate to meet Bart and her companions.
Aelistae cocked her head as Linnix expressed her desire to learn more about her. It was difficult for her to tell whether the young woman was serious or not, especially since she knew so little about humans and their mannerisms. In the end, though, she decided to take Linnix’s words on faith.
“I would be happy to converse later if you have questions you would wish to ask.”
As first Xaris and then Barrb introduced themselves, Aelistae nodded politely to them both. From the elven woman, however, there was silence. It was not something that surprised the drow, because of all surface races the elves had reason to hate and fear the Illythiri. Even those surface elves that joined the Eilistraeen in their moonlight ceremonies were slow to trust her kind.
‘And yet it still hurts,’ she thought, glancing briefly at Loriel. ’Although perhaps it is something else that holds her tongue.’
Aelistae was not convinced, but she did not have much time to think over the matter. Bart approached the small group with tears in his eyes, and prostated himself before them. Then came a beautiful woman who lifted the farmer from the place he had taken upon the earth, and introduced herself as a follower of Tymora.
Aelistae returned the woman’s bow with a nod of her head. “I am Aelistae D’Vrann, Blade Sister of Eilistraee.”
After the others had introduced themselves once more Bart offered them all a hearty handshake in the human fashion, and the promise to meet them all by the city gates with supplies in an hour.
The drow woman nodded her assent, and then swiftly left to make her own preparations. There was not much to do. She slipped back into the inn at which she stayed, careful not to show her face to any of its patrons. She gathered her few belongings quickly, and then slipped out once more, leaving the money that she owed upon the bed in which she had slept.
The only problem she had as she made her way to the rendezvous at the city gate was that it was impossible to hide herself as she had done before. She wore an intricately crafted sword strapped to her back and carried a bow that she could not hide beneath her cloak. In addition the backpack she wore prevented her cloak from enveloping her completely and exposed the black chain mail and form fitting leathers that she was clad in.
If Aelistae cared much about the awkward glances she received, however, she did not show it. She had found some purpose after long months of travel, and it gave her strength.
As Aelistae moved through the winding streets of the capital, she bore the grace of a dancer, but the trappings of a warrior. Blackened links covered her frame, but even they did not stand out in the morning sun as did her skin. The priestess had not ventured through Darromar before, and the vast metropolis seemed an encroaching maze as she made her way silently towards the north. Awkward glances seemed to turn into condemning stares, as common folk parted her path as though she were a leper, and a small following of unruly looking characters had begun to shadow her every move. Aelistae continued along her way, she did not want to cause a commotion, though her sensitive Elven hearing could hear their padded footfalls as they moved about her. She picked up a fellow in front of her speak to a woman on his arm that she should meet him by the north gate, that he would head there now and await her return. With a parting peck on the cheek the woman continued on while the man turned down a side street.
Thinking to follow the man, to make quick time towards the gate, she turned down the side street herself, and continued down the narrow alley with buildings looming overhead on each side. She continued down roughly forty feet, before the man ahead of her turned around to face her, revealing a rugged and unshaven face.
“Don’t ye know it’s rude te follow a stranger?”
“Especially when yer all alone ye pointy eared night rat” Came a reply as two more unscrupulous men, one wielding a club at his side, the other a crossbow leveled at her rounded the corner and stepped up to prevent her escape.
“Now I dunno what your kind’s doing up here, but we’ve ‘ad it rough enough without ye cavern crawlin spider-bitch worshippin negrelf’s showin up in our cities.”
“You tell em Amar,” came a rouse from the man before her, who slowly drew a previously concealed dagger.
“I’m not completely without mercy though.” Amar said with a sneer. “While I bet I could fetch a high price fer your body, dead or alive mind you, I do so hate the spill blood before lunch. So I’ll tell ye what. Hand over that interesting lookin weapon, along with yer purse, and we may just let ye crawl back under the rock ye dared come from.”
The threats only elicited grim chuckles from the other two ruffians, who took a step forward to emphasize the point.
(Amar and the crossbowman are roughly 35’ behind you, while the dagger wielding man is approximately 20’ in front of you. The walls are wood and mortar and rise roughly 10 feet before scattered shuttered windows peer out over the alley, the rooftops are just over 22’ up, and flat.)
Nebulos placed a wicked grin on his face as he examined the others. Nebulos he replied, his rough voice echoing in the chamber.
Stepping forward he continued Lord Gafgerion, your mastery of the necromatic arts is something I look forward to experiencing. I know that I will learn much from your powerful art.
As for you, Parsius, do not be concerned with these Nebulos walked over to an undead warrior When the enemy strikes, it will be good to have those with no fear. I hope that your fear of the unknown does not slow us down. Next, Nebulos turned to the gnome. Whip, I see you share my enthusiasm for the art our patron has provided to help us. I look forward to seeing them in action. As for you, m'lady, I too am interested in the reward. I wonder what wonderful magic item our Lord has prepared for us. I know that a man of his power and reputation has something quite valuable in mind
Looking back over at Gafgerion to see his response, Nebulos waited patiently for the patron's instructions.
Posted on 2008-02-07 at 18:53:31.
Edited on 2008-02-07 at 19:43:59 by Devalero
“Mai’ai,” Aelistae cursed softly in the language of the drow.
She desired to find some measure of acceptance among the humans of Tethyr and to pay for past sins. She believed that she was embarking on a road that would allow her to make some progress towards that goal, and so had allowed her guard to fall.
She had never been so foolish.
Looking upon the unshaven features of the man before her, and catching the looks of his companions out of the corner of her eye, Aelistae knew there was little she could say to convince them to leave her in peace. She saw the same mixture of hunger and hatred on their faces that she had seen in drow raiding parties: that which led the Menzoberranzenar to hunt their prey without mercy and remorse. And could she blame them for hating her? Had she not committed crimes that deserved their hatred?
‘No,’ she answered to herself, clenching her jaw, ‘I am not like them. I am not like her.’
“I wish I could give you what you want, but I can’t. I wish I could explain to you that you are wrong about me, but I think your ears are closed to my pleas. I…I am sorry.”
All of a sudden Aelistae was surrounded by a thick, impenetrable darkness. In a flurry of activity she began to clamber up one of the walls to her right, heading for where she remembered there to be a window. She hoped that she would be able to reach it and force her way through, while the men remained confused by her ruse. Time would tell whether she would succeed.
OOC: ‘Mai’ai’ = Idiot
Aelistae is dropping a globe of darkness upon the earth beneath her feet, and hoping to climb 10’ and then force her way through a window. That’s probably 2 rounds of actions rather than 1, but I’m hoping her assailants are too confused or hampered to actually strike at her.
The alleyway filled with an impenetrable darkness, and the would be thieves, reacted with surprising speed. The man alone on the far side of the alley pushed his back to the wall while the crossbowman fired a bolt into the darkness. The projectile cleared the darkness and sailed down the alleyway out of everyone’s view into the next lane. Only a shrill scream alerted those in the alley that the projectile had hit some innocent bystander. Aelistae meanwhile had stuck her fingers to the wall itself, doing all she could to find footholds and hand grips in the wooden walls to climb herself up. She successfully managed to climb the 10’ to a window, wooden shutters clamped shut kept the possible freedom of the inside just out of her grasp.
Below, the trio of street thugs clamored about the alleyway, while one of them whistled a shrill call, to which footsteps above Aelistae could be heard.
The selection of wines took more time than Linnix had figured it would, but then she hadn't figured on the number of choices she would have to choose from in this city. And she was not behind schedule -- yet. She made her way from the bodega toward the stables, watching where she was going, but also what was going on around her. Upon returning to the stable, she collected her horse, cart, and gear. Hitching Tock up to the cart outside the stable, she enjoyed the morning freshness. Later in in the day, when chamberpots have been emptied and more animals hae passed through the streets, it might not smell so pleasant. Climing into the cart she clucked at Tock and mouthed a command she hadn't heard since she left her father's small farm. "Ho! Gi'up, Tock!"