Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
The ranger swings up easily from the ground to her saddle.
"Let's get on that trail The day is young and the sooner we get moving after him the better," proposes Loriel.
Loriel sets Moonshadow on the trail of the bandit with a simple motion of her hand to her companion. Via her telepathic link she sends <> They were a close team and they moved off together.
The huge wolf-dog bitch moves forward with alacrity. Moonshadow moved forward eagerly to hunt down the man,he had caused her pain and she was not one to forget an injury. Muzzle to the trail she followed it and a quick a pace as she could keep to the scent trail. Her keen nose picked up the least scent. This one was easy, the man's scent was strong. Stong with fear and sweat and the scent was fresh. Moonshadow filled her nose with the sweaty man smell as she ran hot on the trail.
Loriel followed riding behind with her bow ready with an a arrow notched.
Posted on 2008-03-06 at 18:20:14.
Edited on 2008-03-06 at 18:49:21 by Brianna
“It might well be evil,” Aelistae replied as she placed the scroll she had been examining back in its case. “But examining it could tell us more about these men we just fought. We can stow it safely for now and talk about it later.”
The drow priestess knelt down upon the earth and picked up the singed, but largely intact cloak that Loriel had salvaged. Without physically touching the surface of the item, she carefully wrapped it in the folds of the cloak, before handing it Bart so that he could stow it away.
“Oh, there’s this as well,” she added, waving the scroll case with an apologetic smile. “It contains a spell I recognize. I hope you don’t mind if I keep it?”
[OOC: I’m guessing only Elesia would be able to use the scroll safely apart from Aelistae. If any others would rather have it, feel free to say]
“I wish we had more time for introductions or to discuss this attack, but I think Loriel’s right. Let’s ride and see if we can chase down that last human.”
With that said Aelistae scampered away to fetch Daisy. It was time to find some answers to the riddle.
As Aelistae is wrapping the disc in the remnants of the cloak, some of the blackened ash is wiped clear from the disc's surface revealing a portion of an image underneath.
Elesia simply bows her head to Aelistae. "Please, if you can make use of the scroll's contents, then by all means do so." With that she returns to Sunshine and mounts, preparing for the trek aknew.
Posted on 2008-03-06 at 18:46:08.
Edited on 2008-03-06 at 18:53:13 by Kaelyn
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Kas mounts as the others do, the idea to chase the man down was right, first for information and secondly for retribution.
Still hurting, but saying nothing of it, she signals her stallion to kneel so that she did not over strain her remaining burns and her newly healed skin. She movements are deliberate, testing the extent of her remaining injuries as she mounts.
Once in the saddle she draws her longsword, to have it ready when they finally run the man down.
As she made to hand over the disk to Bart, Aelistae caught out of the corner of her eye the hint of an image upon the disk. Tilting her head curiously, the drow woman pulled back the fabric of the cloak a little to see if she could make any sense of it.
As Aelistae gently pulls back the cloth once more, a little more of the black is removed. What she see's beneath is a blackened field, with hints of green, that have not been burned away. It is the upper left corner of the disc that is revealed, it would appear as though a beam of light is shooting out of something.. more of the disc would need to be uncovered to be certain what.
Posted on 2008-03-06 at 19:38:33.
Edited on 2008-03-06 at 19:43:36 by Kaelyn
There were many things about humankind that Aelistae did not know or understand. The human settlements she had seen lacked the brutal beauty of drow cities or the simple elegance of the elves. Human concepts of marriage and fidelity were something Aelistae found strangely exotic. And concepts of kingship were something alien to her. But even Aelistae knew of the Black Hand, and seeing that image upon the disk sent a shudder through her.
“Bane,” she muttered, as she handed the wrapped up item to Bart.
“The image bears the image of the Bane, the Lord of Darkness,” she repeated in a slightly louder and more confident tone. “If we knew nothing else about the man that ran away, that would be enough to chase him.”
Aelistae clambered onto Daisy’s saddle, and trotted to Loriel’s side.
“Lead on, Sister.”
OOC: Aelistae assist on Loriel’s survival rolls to track the bandit (if needed)
Posted on 2008-03-06 at 21:18:13.
Edited on 2008-03-07 at 10:50:45 by Ginafae
Xaris dusted himself off of the old dead skin flaking away, and looked at the raw new skin underneath. Deep in green and grey, his skin grew back. Hair grew to its original length and his over all feel came back to almost as if he was new again. He gave a smile and a nod to Aelistae, thanking her subtley for the healing.
He walked slowly over, sheathing his gnomish greatsword and looked at the symbol. In all of his years traveling the region, he had stumbled upon the symbol once or twice. Whether it be in a passing story on the road, or on a tattered cloth strayed about, he had seen it before, and it was bane.
He didnt know much about humans, only his personal experiences, which made him to believe most to be evil creatures. But these...banites seemed to be one of the most cruel of them all.
He walked over to his mount of before, and waited until she was ready to move out. A little retribution was dealt on this bridge, killing evil to save good hearted people. And to seal the deal, he needed to be apart of finding this one last human.
So the decision had been made. Dealing with the disc would have to come later, for now, catching the escaped Banite was the top priority. Bartholomew wasn’t exactly fond of chasing down a disciple of the Dark Lord, but he wasn’t about to let his entire company off and leave him standing there alone with aught but a evil relic and an old mare for companionship. Everyone mounted up, with Loriel and Moonshadow leading the way. Loriel’s tracking skills, and Moonshadow’s keen sense of smell were more than enough to keep on the fleeing man’s trail. It took less than a half hour after their departure to catch up to the fleeing man… who was no longer fleeing. They came across his body, nailed to the ground, crucified. Iron pegs through his wrists and ankles. What was perhaps even more appalling, was the fact that the man was still alive, though definitely in pain. A single pair of hoofed tracks lead away from his body, back towards the east.
A soft sigh escaped from Aelistae’s lips, and a quiet sadness fell over her as she gazed down at the human.
If Aelistae had been born on the surface, where torture and cruelty were something to be abhorred, she would have shed a tear at seeing a man being crucified. But she had born in Menzoberranzen where even noble drow were sacrificed in ways so depraved as to defy comprehension. At night, when she closed her eyes, she could still see the sacrificial altars of Lolth, hear the screams of the dying and smell the sickly-sweet scent of freshly shed blood. Memories of Menzoberranzen tortured her still. The only advantage was that it had her hardened her to the cruelties of other races.
“There’s nothing I can do for him,” she whispered sadly to the others. “I have no more blessings of the Lady to give, or at least none that will save him.”
The drow priestess slowly dismounted from Daisy, and walked over to the suffering individual. Falling to her knees by his side, she slowly drew her sword and placed it blade first into the soft, yielding earth.
“I don’t know if you can hear me, but if you can, know that I have no wish to see you suffer like this. If you help us, I swear by the Lady I shall give you a swift, merciful death.”
OOC: I’ll wait to see if he can still talk before adding any more.
The man hears Aelistae's words, and thrashes on the spikes, causing blood to spurt and pour from his wounds. He spits up blood at Aelistae in response to her words, his tongue having too been cut out long ago. Even if he wanted to tell her something, he would be unable to.
Elesia moved aside the man, her beautiful complexion turned slightly pale at the grim sight before her. "This man looks like he's been sacrificed. This is horrid, even for one such as him."
It was Bart who surprised the rest of the party by speaking. "No Elesia, not sacrificed.... Judged, juried, and sentenced. This is the work of the Cardinal." As eyes turned to the simple farmer he began to recant the tale.
Some years ago, a Knight of the Silver Chalice, annointed by the archbishop and honored by the royal family was sent deep into the mountains on a quest most holy. It is said what he found in the depths of that rock was enough to change the man's very soul. Upon his return his sense of logic and honour had been skewed-- he would kill instead of offering pennance or mercy, invoke Tyr in the name of unjust things, that the line between good and rightly and cruel had been blurred, and that Tyr himself had forsaken him, casting him down out of knighthood and paladinship.
The man, whose name for the life of me I cannot remember, had come from a long and noble line of knights, and with his honour stripped from him was left with nothing of value. And so he turned and left. It is said he travelled the lands both below and out of sight of the sun's warmth searching for answers, and what he found, well... was his own sense of justice. It is said he's gone so far as CandleKeep and the Edificant Library, and even those resevoirs of knowledge and religion outside human realms. Whatever he became, Tethyr apparently, was not something he could simply give up. He returned a changed man. people knew of him, but he simply for many years went by the title of 'Cardinal', though he never spoke of a patron or assosciation to which he belonged."
Bartholomew looked at the Banite once more and continued. "He's wanted by the law, yet the law does not move swiftly to find him, for that single man does more in his vigilante vigilance in a tenday than the militia does in a month. It is the church that seeks him with fervor I'd imagine. Can't have a single man upsetting the balance of things and all I'd reckon. I've personally only seen him once from afar, the man is the stuff of legends. And truthfully, I think the world could use a few more Cardinals about."
Bartholomew moved over to the Banite and offered no prayer for the man's suffering, only calmy stated words. "Had you walked a simpler, honest road, perhaps yours would not have ended this day. m'lady, please be quick with your business we have much more road to cover this day." With that he turned away from the scene and remounted Alice, cantering her around and awaiting the others.
Posted on 2008-03-07 at 13:47:29.
Edited on 2008-03-07 at 13:50:21 by Kaelyn
A fleck of the man’s blood stained Aelistae’s dark cheek, as she peered into the man’s eyes and listened to his desperate gurgling. A tear glimmered in her eye and she felt a fresh wave of pity for the poor wretch.
‘If only Lolth’s chosen were forced to look into the eyes of those they sacrificed,’ she thought to herself, ‘perhaps then they would hesitate before bringing their prey to the altar.’
Bart, however, did not share Aelistae’s empathy. He informed her and her companions of who he thought was responsible, and he told them all that he agreed with what ‘the Cardinal’ had done.
Aelistae spun to face the farmer, to tell him that he was wrong, that there was a difference between a swift death to punish the wicked and torturing them for one’s own sick pleasure. But the words never made it to her throat before Bart walked away. Aelistae stared at the human’s back and shed that tear – both for the man who had been crucified and in response to the callous attitude of her patron.
“Jallil, jous dosst ka'lith ulu nindol quortek. Xun naut ori'gato ukta gheut l'huthin dro maglust,”* she whispered in prayer as her hands closed around the comforting hilt of her sword.
“May your soul find some rest,” she added in the inelegant tongue of the surface.
With that said, she lifted her sword from its perch in the earth and sent it plunging down to skewer the man’s heart and quickly end his life.
She knelt by the dead man’s side for a moment, and gently closed his eyes, before remounting Daisy in silence.
OOC: *“Lady, take pity upon him. Do not let him wander the afterlife unclaimed.”
Posted on 2008-03-07 at 15:24:11.
Edited on 2008-03-07 at 15:28:52 by Ginafae