Gafgerion let his laughter fade until an uncomfortable silence filled the chamber. He sneered at the quartet of scholarly strangers, particularly Parsius. “You know, in youth one expects to find enthusiasm and intrigue, yet now I see only fear and uncertainty in your eyes.” Gafgerion stepped forward in an uneven shuffle and reached forward pointing a thin boney hand at Parsius. The skin barely clung to his fingers, and he waved them at the young wizard as if chastising a child.
“Now now. You signed the parchment, your in this for the long haul aren’t you? Or would you prefer I send you back to where you came from?”
Parsius looked around to everything that surrounded him and he slowly nodded his head. “I’m sorry master Gafgerion, but I want no part of Necromancy.”
Gafgerion merely smiled all the wider, his finger taking on a greenish glow. “No part of necromancy? Why necromancy is as much a part of any living being as it is anything not. Everything must come from something, would you commit the same line of thinking to a bird summoned from the weave? Or a stone wall fashioned from simple clay? Creation, Summoning, Evocation, Necromancy, all hold similar ties. Tis a shame really, for I know all too well that you are aware that Necromancy is a forbidden School in Tethyr, as it is in much of Faerun. However, I cannot allow one so weak minded as you to risk exposing my vision.”
Parsius backed away and put his hands up in a defensive posture, sweat beading across his temple as he fumbled through the incantations of a spell.
“Allow me to be your mentor in one final lesson Parsius.” Gafgerion said with a smirk. “Allow me to show you the powers that mastering life and death allow.” with that, he pointed a withered finger at Parsius, whose connotations of his spell began to slur and stammer as his attempt at escape fizzled on his lips. A green glow enveloped Parsius, who simply fell to the floor dead in the span of his last heartbeat.
Gafgerion turned to face the other three who were still with him. “Any other non-believers?” His smile only grew wider. Turning he wiggled his fingers while crushing a shimmering powder and sprinkling it into the air. “Come now, there is much to do, much to see.” With a final release of magical energies he added: “And Parsius pick yourself up, there is work to be done. “To the surprise of some, and interest of all, Parsius rose from his prone position, his eyes filled with an unholy red light. And he shambled slowly along with the others.
Moving into the darkness, only the red lines of magical energy serving as illumination Gafgerion led the others into a small alcove which housed a single table of ancient wood. There, upon the table sat four items. Each one, a simple brooch in the form of a iron serpent wrapped around a gilded leaf. “These, are yours for the taking. Each will allow a single use of a variety of powers. But the lesson of discovering their powers is yours to undertake.” Gafgerion cackled another little laugh as he stuck one of the brooch’s on Parius’ robe, tapping him lightly on the side of his pale, expressionless face. “There there, doesn’t that look good?… What, no answer? How ungrateful.” With another cackle he moved on past the alcove into another chamber leaving the three other scholars alone.
Aelistae heard the footsteps above her, and knew that any escape over the roof-tops was closed. Her situation was desperate, and she quickly realized that the only hope she had was to get through the shuttered window that barred her way.
‘Open, open,’ she pleaded, as she pushed at the shutters. When that did not work she reached to her calf, produced a dagger and shoved it between the two planks of wood that sealed her only escape. It was a manoeuvre borne of desperation but she was hoping it would not take much skill to flip the latch that held the shutters in place.
OOC: I’m assuming that using a dagger while perched at a window-sill is doable since it’s a light weapon. If using the dagger doesn’t work, she’ll try to break down the shutters with her fists and the butt of the dagger.
Posted on 2008-02-07 at 20:27:00.
Edited on 2008-02-07 at 20:34:38 by Ginafae
Xaris walked through the streets, looking at all the stores, and entered some of them, purchasing some things he thought he would need. Some thunder stones and tangle foot bags looked like a good choice, and after his out around the market, he decided to head towards the gate.
He walked towards the gate, well where he thought the gate was atleast, his first time being in this city. He asked some people who pointed him in the direction, and he started to make his way towards it, back pack and what little gear he had on his back, along with his sword, javelins, and on his side a new sling with some stones.
The priestess of Ellistrae was desperate, escape her only viable option. She removed a dagger and slid the thin blade between the twin boards which served as shutters, and sighed a sigh of relief as she felt the latch pop open. Perched precariously on the window sill, she replaced her dagger and opened one side of the shutter, to which she was met with devastating news. Behind the shutters of wood were bars of iron, any hope of escape stolen from her in her moment of hope.
The footsteps above her closed, but then a gasp from above coupled with the sounds of a quick shuffling of feet had Aelistra’s attention turned skyward, where she was met with a pair of male bodies tumbling over the side of the building much to her surprise.
As the bodies of her would be assailants crumpled to the alley floor below, a ladder of rope unraveled over the side of the building aside the window upon which Aelistae was perched.
After a few moments a voice from on high broke Aelistae’s determined thought process. “Would the princess like for me to pack a picnic while I wait? Or shall I simply take my leave and leave you to your… suitors.?” The voice was filled with a foreign accent the likes of which Aelistae had never heard. It was spoken in common, with a husky melodic tone complimenting the sarcastic nature of his little quip.
The sound of a crossbow bolt rattling off the building to her immediate right would serve as further incentive.
“I…” Aelistae stuttered finding herself lost for words. The clanging of a crossbow bolt to her right, quickly reminded her that none were needed. Now was not the time to question who, what or why, but merely to accept the help that was offered and escape her precarious position.
She quickly placed the dagger she was holding into its sheath beneath her boot, and then grabbed the ladder that had been slung over the side of the building. A moment later she began to clamber upwards.
As Gafgarion acted, Nebulos struggled over how to respond to the situation. It was true that Necromancy was a forbidden form of magic, but Nebulos had always found the reasoning for this a bit obscure and unreasonable. For what he could tell it was just another way that society had found something evil in something natural. Why would the magic exist if not to be used. It's not like regular magic was twisted until it became necromancy. If it wasn't forbidden, Nebulos himself may have become a Necromancer.
However, something about Gafgarion's actions bothered him. This young man had been a bit of a coward, that much was true .. but to just kill him for what seemed to be spite. Nebulos didn't know if he had the stomach for such an act. On the one hand, he understood Gafgarion's concern .. but on the other hand .. if Gafgarion was so powerful, he needn't worry about one person going to "tell on him" at all. The more he thought about it the more Nebulos thought that Gafgarion did it just out of pure enjoyment. Any excuse to expand his undead army. He would certainly have to watch his back and choose his words carefully. Nebulos certainly wasn't keen on ending up another mindless zombie pet of Gafgarion, no matter how much he admired the art.
He decided to let it go and support his patron's decision I think he'll be less in the way as a walking corpse. There is no place here for cowards Walking over to the table Nebulos picked up the brooch and examined it. Interesting he thought as he placed it on his cloak. Anyone have any guess as to what this might do? If not, I guess we shall have to wait and see although I'm no good at activating magical items blindly. Perhaps there is some kind of trigger involved
Posted on 2008-02-07 at 22:14:06.
Edited on 2008-02-07 at 22:14:44 by Devalero
And so up she climbed, above the darkness which enveloped her, and above the dangers of the ruffians below. As she reached the lip of the rooftop, a leather gloved hand met her and hoisted her up to the rooftop. There, before her was a man in his early thirties dressed in fineries befitting a noble, but bearing the weathering of a man who had long traveled the roads of the world.
“Ah, the rumors of an Illithyri gracing us this day, but they did not do justice to the beauty that stands before me. You are far from home Aelistae D’Vrann, Blade Siister of Ellistrae, and I fear the common folk do not look upon the moon and her Ladyship in the same light as you.” The stranger took a step back to give Aelitstae a once over. “Forgive me, my name is Nash Lambert, and I couldn’t help but overhearing you earlier at the Queen-Monarch’s proceedings. Do not think me one to eavesdrop, but one can never be to careful in these days of ulterior motives and vested interests. It would appear to me that other’s too have taken an interest in you priestess, though I dare say they are not nearly as innocent as my own. This is the closest I have been to one of your kind, so forgive me if my eyes linger, or wander anywhere they should not for I mean no disrespect, and my wife would certainly hang me herself were she to think me fraternizing with any woman, much less yourself.”
Ash took a look around from where he was standing, and pointed a distance of some half dozen blocks to the north, where the gates of the city could be seen rising above the rooftops.
“While my curiosities would bid me entice you with food and fun I have a wife who will be wondering about my prolonged absence, and you have companions awaiting your arrival. Stick to the rooftops when available, and stick to the main thoroughfare when not. The looks may be more plentiful, but it will certainly be safer than any more back alley side ventures.” Turning to Aelistae he grinned a slight smirk and spoke with obvious sarcasm “Oh, and welcome to ‘civilzation.’
With that he stood there and ran his fingers through his sandy locks, a slight smile upon his lips.
Posted on 2008-02-07 at 22:37:07.
Edited on 2008-04-06 at 21:06:55 by Kaelyn
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
"I thnak you for your offer of breakfast but I have several things I need to take care of first. I will meet you in one hour at the gate, and ake care of my own breakfast." Loriel politely declined his offer.. She had taken care of herself for many years and liked it take way.
Loriel truthfully had a few things she wanted do in the city in the hour she had been given. She looked for a nearby inn to satisfy perhaps two of her errands in one place. Ranger, Wolf-dog and mount moved together through the now almost empty city center to a find decent inn. And Moonshadow would make the choice. When they found the first Moonshadow muzzle lifted in the air her sensitive nostril analysizing what she smelled. If Moon shadow moved foreard Loriel would go in if she turned away she wouldn't enter. Moonshadow moved away from the first but stopped at the second and moved foreard. Okay agrees Loriel and moves to the hitching post.
Outside the inn Loriel ties up Moria to the hitching rail ansd she calls for a stableboy. "Hallo, Stable boy." once one appears (boy, girl, or man) she continues, "I will tie my mare here and I wont be long but I would like you to bring her a bucket of oats. and I will purchase two sacks of corn and barley as well filled to the brim. I will inspect them for cleanlisness and quality if they meet my needs I will purchase both." Moonshadow steps out from Moira's shadow and follow Loriel into the inn. The massive wolf dog cross is her constant companion.
Loriel sride quickly inside th einn, she does not have time to waste and any of here errands and that includes breakfast."
"Innkeeper" she calls out." What do you have that is ready quickly." and I need a double bowl of last nights meat stew in a big bowl. Moonshadow's appetite was commenserate with her size. In the forest Soonshadow could hunt which she often did providing for the both of them. Here in the city it was Loriel's responsibility ot make sure Mooonshadow was feed. They were a team their skills complimented each other. The whole being stronger than the sum of it parts, Loriel's skills mind, knowledge, training, weapons were her contributing while Moonshadow's were her ears, eyes and nose her speed and power that were her part.
Breakfast ordered Loriel asks the innkeeper, "Do you have extra hot pepper spice for sale? "The hotter the better and if you don't where can I find a shop that sells such things."
Posted on 2008-02-08 at 01:11:16.
Edited on 2008-02-11 at 05:57:42 by Brianna
The hood Aelistae had worn had finally conceded defeat and had slipped from her head entirely. Aelistae, however, made no move to replace it. The man before her – the man who had rescued her – knew who and what she was and yet did not seem to care. She peered into the blues of his eyes looking for some sign of deceit, but she could find none.
“I had hoped…” Aelistae muttered with a shake of her head that freed more of her white bangs of hair, “I suppose it doesn’t matter what I had hoped.”
“But you saved my life,” she added looking again at the man who had introduced himself as Ash. He was perhaps a little too tall for the preference of most drow, and his clothes seemed bizarre to her eyes.
’He is handsome, though’ Aelistae concluded, a strange smile playing across her lips.
On an impulse she stood on her tips of her feet, pulled the man closer and brushed her lips against his. It was not a lengthy, lover’s kiss, and she soon broke it, but the smile that she wore remained in place.
She bowed before him in more sober fashion. “You have my thanks.”
A crash and a curse in the street below her warned her that she should not linger, and with a final wave at Ash she quickly departed. The buildings of Darromar huddled together and so it was not hard for Aelistae to jump from one roof-top to the other, until the gates of the city neared.
A short while later she found herself near Bart’s rendezvous, where Linnix, Barrbarra and Xaris were already waiting. Aelistae moved to join them, still sporting that smile.
Posted on 2008-02-08 at 10:00:52.
Edited on 2008-02-08 at 20:04:52 by Ginafae
The hour had passed for the companions, some more easily and profitable than others. Loriel Xaris, Linnix, and Barrbarra had all been able to locate what provisions and extra equipment they had sought without incident or trouble, while Aelistae had come dangerously close to confrontation and bloodshed, leaving that ally with the loss of a few stolen heartbeats, and the admiration and kindness of a handsome stranger in the green.
As the priestess of Ellistrae approached the open gates of the city, she recognized Loriel, Xaris, Linnix, Barrbarra, Elesia and Bart were all awaiting her arrival. Bart sat atop an aging mare; the beast was tied to a simple wagon, upon which was stocked numerous barrels (6) and a couple small footlockers against the upper rail. There remained almost three feet of length remaining in the wagon, the width reaching four feet across from rail to rail. Both Bart and Elesia waved openly towards Aelistae as she neared, and they in turn received more than one dubious stare from onlookers as they openly accepted the drow amongst their company.
Loriel stood next to Moira, securing a small bag of some potent smelling spices. “Imported from Calimshan” was printed across the side of the pouch in bold black ink. Moonshadow, pawed at her nose standing next to her master, and soon circled around to the other side of Moira to be away from the ground mudpeppers held within. Finally, the companions were together, and they were ready to depart.
After seating and travelling arrangements were made, along with a general marching order decided upon, the group needed to decide how they were going to approach the keep’s location. Looking at a map of the region Bart had brought along, it seemed roughly 300 miles cutting directly across the wilderness, and the Sulduskoon River if they made a straight shot for the Keep, or they could travel around along the trade way, past Castle Tethyr and then north to Zazesspur, cutting back east towards the Keep’s location. Doing so while safer would add considerable travel time to the already lengthy expedition. Bart judges the route would cover almost 500 miles of terrain, but mentions that with less chance of encounters and more used roads, they may actually be able to cover more terrain per day than across the unfamiliar wilderness.
“I’ve packed enough food to keep us fed for a couple tendays, mounts and pets included. While rice, breads, water and some simple dried meats may not be the most luxurious of meals, they are staples of any campaign, and they saw us through the war, so they should suffice for our trip. So, with that in mind, I put the decision to you my friends. Do we stick to the trafficked roads, or cut north west into the wild?”
Posted on 2008-02-10 at 00:37:44.
Edited on 2008-02-10 at 00:38:32 by Kaelyn
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Loriel had never traveled over this particular terrain between here and their destination. She had no input to add. However, one thing was clear, the wagons would never make it over rough ground and river crossing would be difficult, especially if the rivers were deep and fast. To many unknowns for her to be comfortable making any positive suggestion.
When Bart arrived in his wagon and the old mare. Loriel shook her head. Then Linnix arrived driving a cart as well. Their fate was sealed as far as Loriel was concerned--they would have to travel by road. Neither of these folk seemed to have the slightest realization of how poor a choice of transport these choices were.
Walking over to Linnix she asks her. "Can you not ride that animal? This cart will slow us down considerably, two even more so. if you can get a saddle and bridle it would be of great benefit to our movement rate."
After taking to Linnix she moves over to Bart and talks to him about the dame thing?
"Can you not procure pack mules for these supplies. They are sturdier and more capable of negotiated the unknown terrain than any wagon. Especially if there is a chance to move across country and save us some time and distance.. With these two carts we will be slowed mightly. Mules can carry about 100 lbs each of supplies, and move over difficult terain better than horse can. With these wagons it will be difficult to make more than 15-20 miles a day over relatively dry flat terrain. If it rains hard we will be mired down unable to move for days. They are slow up hills and even slower doen hills."
Looking over the old mare. "I hate to say it I don't think this mare will make it the whole way if she is pushed at all and if she were to go lame we would nave no backup. She might be fine for your farm but not out in cross country terrain."
You should get some mules or pack horses and repack these supplies on them. If you then want to ride this mare she might be up to that much. An another consideration is if we lose the wagon everything is gone, if we lose a pack only part of the supplies will be lost."
This was not an auspicious start for this adventure. Sponsor or not he seemed to have few skills in organizing a trek into the wilds.
Posted on 2008-02-10 at 03:44:31.
Edited on 2008-02-11 at 06:09:50 by Brianna
Aelistae knew the road before her was likely to be difficult, but the drow woman could barely conceal her excitement. It would be the first time in her life that she would associate at length with any of the surface races, and she longed to learn more about them. But more than that, her heart was still beating rapidly after her flight from some of Darromar’s less wholesome citizens.
Aelistae raised the fingers of her right hand to her lips, recalling the kiss she had stolen from Ash. She smiled as she wondered what the human had made of her actions and whether he had been amused or shocked by her behaviour.
‘Probably both,’ she thought, with a sly grin.
The smile remained intact as Elesia and Bart waved in her direction, and invited her to join them.
Aelistae replied with a nod to greet each of her travelling companions, and then effortlessly lifted herself to sit upon the back of Linnix’s cart. “I hope you don’t mind if I sit here, Linnix? she asked the woman.
[Assuming Linnix agrees:]
The drow priestess rose to her knees and then quickly unstrapped her sheathed sword, unslung her bow, and removed her backpack. Bart explained that the journey would be a long one, and Aelistae reasoned that she might as well make herself as comfortable as possible. She rested her bow near her, and kept her sword upon her lap, knowing that in the wilds it was wise to have weapons near.
Aelistae heard the question Bart posed to the group, and then Loriel’s concerns. Aelistae cocked her head slightly and shifted in her seat so she could face the elvish woman.
“Forgive me sister, but do you think even several animals would be able to carry so many supplies?” she asked in her accented Common as she motioned towards the large barrels and footlockers that were stowed in Bart’s wagon. “And more to the point, I am not a very competent rider.”
Aelistae left unsaid her suspicion that Bart would struggle to afford a pack of mules in addition to the supplies he had already procured, largely to spare the human’s dignity.
“If you truly think it best that Linnix leave her cart behind, then I bow to your wisdom, sister. But in my opinion it would be better to leave now. It would take hours to make changes, and we do not want to give our rivals too much of a head start. Plus, as a friend recently reminded me, many folk do not look kindly upon my kind regardless of my intentions.”
The drow woman’s eyes shifted to those nearby who were already casting dangerous glances in her direction. If it bothered the priestess, however, she did not show it, choosing instead to bury their hostility beneath the same smile she had earlier worn.
“I know little of Tethyr, and little of what dangers or difficulties would await us if we do take the shorter road. Which course would you suggest?” Aelistae finished her question by glancing at each of her companions.
Linnix smiled as Aelistae joined her in the cart, then motioned for the dark elven woman to place her gear in the back. She was about to answer Aelistae's question about preferences when Loriel rode up next to the cart. "Can you not ride that animal? ..."
Linnix turned to stare, drop jawed, at Loriel. "Nope. Tock has been reliable and faithful so far and I trust him. And I trust this cart. And if I have to abandon the cart, I have a saddle in the back to use, thank you." She then turns away to ignore Loriel, a slightly bemused look on her face as she shakes her head..
However, upon hearing her tirade to Bart, she hops off her cart and approaches Loriel, shouting, "HEY, MISSY!"
She approaches Loriel only as close as the wolf-dog will let her and states, "The man is our sponsor, and I think he knows the best route to the place we seek. I don't know if you know how to get there, but I don't! And if he says we may be able to get there quicker by road, and with less hassles, I will go with him because of that knowledge. Are you in such a hurry to get there that you would ride full-tilt across unknown country? You may be one to listen to in battle, but demands such as you have placed here at this time are out of place with people you have just met and have no real knowledge of."
Turning to Bart, she says, "Good sponsors, I will follow your judgement until I find no reason to. You have made no demands, only suggestions. If you do not mind, I will continue to bring my cart and ride behind you in case of any breakage to either of our vehicles. You have shown more wisdom here than even I myself, and you have given freely and willingly. I apologize, sincerely, for all of us."
That said, she turns and stalks back to her cart and remounts, anger visible in every step. She looks at Aelistae, her face flushed in anger, then quickly calmed herself and tried to smile. "Well, I think you know my answer now." She chuckles lightly.
Posted on 2008-02-10 at 18:22:53.
Edited on 2008-02-10 at 18:27:13 by Zonk
Barrb heard what Loriel said to Linnix and was about to reprimand her for being a bit too forward. When Linnix answered her in a straightforward manner, refusing to give up her cart, Barrb saw no reason to say anything after the exchange.
But she rankled a bit when Loriel presumed to ask Bart if he could get pack animals and spread the gear out among them, rather than slow the group down with the wagon and the old mare. Telling the sponsor what he "needed" to do? Denigrating the old mare, who has probably sturdier from having done more work in her lifetime than Loriel's own animal? Enough was enough. Barrb began to ride over to Loreil.
But again, Linnix jumped in to try and straighten Loriel out, chastising her for making demands of their sponsor, and stating her position and thoughts. She then strode back to her cart, fuming.
Barrb spoke softly, trying to keep the sarcasm she felt out of her voice, because she did not want any animosities within the group. It weakened their effectiveness. "Loriel, you mention replacing the wagon with pack animals for the the upcoming terrain, which you yourself call 'unknown'. If such is true, why not defer to the one who would know the terrain better than any of us here, even me. And I know somewhat of the terrain you question, having traveled it to get here. And I came with large wagons, larger than this wagon Bart has for us. And one or two wagons are more easily defended than a bunch of scared mules loaded down with goods. It's also easier to retrieve a wagon than six or ten of those scared mules that have taken off in all directions. No, I also favor the quick and easy route that our sponsor -- our sponsor -- suggested. The roads. I will not wrong-say you, but I am uneasy with demanding from those whom one should get to know before making those demands."
"Elesia, Bart, I also apologize to you for some others here. I prefer to ride in the front or the far back in a group such as this. Either is for maximum defense. Where would you prefer that I ride?"
[If, or when, Bart tells her his preference, she will ride to take that position. If he leaves the decision up to her, she will ride point.]
Posted on 2008-02-10 at 18:29:44.
Edited on 2008-02-10 at 19:15:28 by Longshadow
Linnix also notes that Xaris doesn't seem to have a mount. "Xaris, if you wish, you may ride with Aelistae and me, or I am sure that Bart and Elesia would not mind you on their wagon, either. if you prefer to ride, I can let you sit Tock's back, in front of the cart. I'm pretty sure he won't mind."
Posted on 2008-02-10 at 19:25:58.
Edited on 2008-02-10 at 19:26:50 by Zonk