Shadowdancer: Ascent from Darkness

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Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar
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Shadowdancer: Ascent from Darkness

Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:30 am

so i decided to delete the previous and try this again. so any thoughts, suggestions, critics or criticism, feel free to tell me.
there are probably many grammer or spelling problems (microsoft doesnt catch them all or i miss some. and of course some of my shorthand way of writing doesnt always help.

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The frigid wind blows across the northern landscape; snow piles up as the beginning of the winter in now in session. Miles beneath this northern harshland of the Spine of the World, lies a 6 mile elliptical shaped cavern with the ceiling rising nine hundred feet at its tallest. Beautiful carved stalagmites and stalactites are covered in many hues of faerie fire. A cavern beaming with activity, dark beauty and magic. And a place of the deepest darkest horrors and nightmares.

The Underdark.
Deepearth. The Realms Below. The Night Below. The Lightless Lands. These and many more names are given to the vast, lawless world that lies beneath the surface world. To those who live beneath the rays of the Fiery Orb, it is a land of Horror and nightmares. Twisting labyrinthine passages filled with a dreadful silence broken only by the screams of fierce predators. Eerie Caverns with darkness reaching higher than sight allows, or smaller than a man. Whatever you call it, it is a perilous wilderland of dark caverns, crevices, and labyrinthine passages. No surface dweller has ever seen all its depths and corners, nor encountered the countless unknown beings that lurk within it's lightlessness.
Despite being such a desolate and dangerous place, it is teeming with life, even holding vast cities that rival some of those on the surface. Illithids, Beholders, Svirfneblin, Duergar, and a plethora of other races call the Underdark their home with the most well known subterranean race, the Drow. Races who carve a life from the living stone, or claw their way to the top of the predators through guile and strength.
The stuff of legend and the name used to strike fear into unruly children. The Drow rule the subterranean realms with an evil smile and a barbed whip; seeking to quench their unholy desires and grasping for power within their stronghold. The dark elves, or drow, of the Underdark are cruel, ambitious creatures that seek power and advancement. Following the path of Lloth, the drow descended deep into the earth millennium ago, forced from the light they loved. Black of skin and heart, the drow live in an environment which mirrors their malicious souls. Far beneath the earth, away from the cruel sun, they reign as supreme masters of the perilous caverns of the Underdark. They are a mysterious, almost unknowable race. They are beautiful beyond description; their warriors move with preternatural speed and grace; their minds are labyrinths full of subtle and deadly twists.
The struggle for power can manifest in many ways. Priestesses vie for Lloth's favor through the performance of brutal rites and devious plots. They willingly climb over the bodies of their sisters and mothers on their path to the coveted title of Matron and more power. For to drow, station is everything. Warriors constantly test each other, and slay each other- for little more than jealousy or potential threat. Wealthy drow strive to have the finest mansions and the most elaborate parties. Artisans work to be known for the quality of their crafts and the power of their customers.
The Spider Queen Lloth, their capricious and malevolent deity, encourages this kind of behavior, believing that it leads to the ultimate strengthening of the drow race. However, drow are not totally rabid, mindless killers, but highly intelligent beings. They are driven to gain power, but they also appreciate the subtle and clever twists that aid the acquisition of this power. A successful coup, a devious plot, a cunning revenge, a darkly amusing prank- these are things the drow value as surfacers might appreciate a painting.

Those who find their way into the regions around The City of Dark Waters find themselves in rock hewn tunnels, some of dwarf design some by Drow design. tunnels branch from the eastern side of the cavern winding for miles a labyrinth of mazes and dead ends for those who do not know the way. Very few ever find their way to the city unless allowed or by sheer chance. This region of the underdark is ripe with resources and left alone by surface dwellers and most underdark races alike.
This is Lith My’athar.
This stronghold is far from vulnerable. Surrounded by an ever growing fortification of adamantite mithril and other magically enchanted materials this city is virtually indestructible from any conventional warfare methods known to the world of Faerun. The walls of the ever expanding cavern are littered with enchanted devices that keep out would be destructive spells from penetrating from outside the city. As one finally does approach the city gates, along the largest tunnel and main route to and from the city, finds them guarded by several drow warriors ready and prepared. The enforced stone gates span the height and width of the tunnel. Guards maintain constant watch via scrying crystals placed in the surrounding rock. These gates cannot be opened from the outside, by force or magic, thus the first line of defense for the city.

Enter the first gate. before you lays a large open plain of mushroom fields and rothe herds- Eastmyr. The 18th house, House Tirin stands alone among the flat plain, a single spiral reaching to the top of the cavern. The marked out road leads twords the powerful gated drawbridge. The mighty Niar'haanin d' Renor Vlos flowing south, cuts the cavern nearly in half. This precious flow provides the city with fresh water, a booming fishing industry and a strong navy. Rich fungi farms, beds of moss and giant mushrooms tended to by slaves along the shores and great herds of deep rothe keep the city well fed. Known for its great Arial and seafaring navies, the deep waters allow smaller ships from nearby cities to bring forth exotic trades and wealth. Currently in service are thirteen seafaring vessels, 2 Arial vessels and, one sea based outpost in Skullport. The naval yard run by House Dlaen' Del'Amatar sits on the shore of Niar'haanin d' Renor Vlos and its tributary, Ryrrl.
Again magic defenses protect the main part of the city, monitored by elder students of the Priestess academy. This magically controlled bridge can also be dropped completely should the enemy manage to reach it. Crossing the bridge, passing thru both gates, you find yourselves in the market district. This area is the most varied and tolerant district and the industrial part of the city; located there, a permanent trade fair that attracted merchants and buyers from across the Underdark. During business hours this part of the city can be as busy as any metropolis on the surface. Someones are always coming and going. Trainee wizards, clerics and warriors are paid to patrol the Bazaar, providing a firm, yet unobtrusive law-enforcement. Several permanent enchantments and buffers suppress sounds, vibrations and noises in the 6 mile wide cavern. Hundreds of shops made of buildings or stalls line the numerous dark alleys. Almost anything can be purchased here: slaves, weapons, armor, poisons, enchanted items, and provisions for journeys through the Underdark or to the surface. Even death can be purchased at a price.
After hours and the occasional brave visitor will enjoy Darkwalk, the city’s most famous tavern, inn and bathhouse; ran and owned by members of treea dal Har'oloth assassin’s guild. Guilds are also fairly common within this part of the city and they function in and out of the Underdark. These guilds are given free reign to govern themselves as they chose so long as they do not openly side with one house against another house.
Directly in the center is the city’s pride and joy (if there can be such thing as joy in the Underdark)- the Academy. The spiraling twisting school of the Arcane Arts- Sorcere; the ziggurat structured warrior school- Melee-Magthere and the largest spidershaped- Arach-Tilinith, the school for turning females into priestess of the Lady of Chaos. Between the three schools is located a large dome-shaped black marble building; the city’s largest and most elaborate temple dedicated to Lloth. Atop of the spider is the clock. A twenty foot Firmanent Stone, it is an alchemically based stalagmite that relates time according to the position of the sun or moon on the surface magically. Within the temple itself, in a small secluded room is the council chambers. Beneath the temple, and known only to the ruling house is the Red Sister’s base- a group the best skilled assassin.
Hidden and tucked away to the west is Exarz, the city’s slums. Homeless rogues, non-drow, and the lower class dwell in apartments, hovels, or worse. Here, a small band of a heretic rebel church of followers of the Masked Lord make their base. South? Raethlaine. You find small mansions and large homes of the wealthy non-nobles and higher classed merchants. Not swallowed in squaller, these homes make even rich surfacers feel self conscious. Hidden among its ranks is the 15th house, House Helvighym, the secret heretic rebel base for followers of the Dark Maiden. The oldest original house of the cavern, it was established shortly after the Dark Descent.
Deciding to head north? Ah the best for last. Even from the farthest point, the raised plateau can be seen- the Brozen, where the thirteen noble houses stand boldly overlooking the city. These house compounds are carved from the carvern, stalagtites and stalagmites. Walled and enchanted mithril adamantine alloys have been installed in each to ward off would be enemies. First House Mae'Vir, the largest carved stalagmite of the cavern, stands in front of the bridge across the river’s tributary as a statement to the city of its power.

The social order is maintained by a ruling council, consisting of a member from the top five houses (Mae’Vir, Kilanatlar, Ischarri, Haelra, Vharzyym) and top two guilds. At the head of this council sits My’rune Mae’Vir, the unofficial ruler of the city. The first house boasts of over 2000 foot soldiers and its own personal drow navy. Their ships are fitted with crystals that are enchanted with directional levitation spell so as to allow them to fly through the air.
Second House Kilanatlar is known for its skilled rogues, salves, dyes and poisons. Third House Ischarri, ruled by Matron Maelra, is a fairly new house compared to most others specializing in the crafting of powerful magic weapons and armors. Founded by Matron Moriana, Fourth House Haelra often produces the cities magical trinkets such as wands and exotic scrolls and tomes. Fifth House Vharzyym is known to be the most eccentric of the ruling houses. Most of the noble children are gifted in druidic magics and are known for the repitor of creatures from every corner of the world.
The houses in this city do not compete with each other as most drow cities do but they by the size of their standing armies and their prowess in battle. That is not to say that there are not some subtle more secretive assaults on other houses, but there is rarely any open warfare. Though occasionally a house may try to destroy another in one fell swoop, these attacks are only acknowledged if they fail (in good Ilythiiri manner). If a house is successfully destroyed the excepted shift in hierarchy is observed and life moves on.
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:18 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:40 am

Her hand reached for the ornate carved door. The presence about her, powerful, beautiful, deadly. A matron mother and ruler of the second house. And among all the females of the city, she is one of the most beautiful. Silvery tresses were pulled up into an elaborate hairstyle and arranged atop her head like a diadem. A single dyed red streak ran thru thru on her left side fell across her almond shaped eyes. A simple black high priestess ceremonial robe trimmed in red and purple fell around her lithe form. In her decorated hand five snakes of her dreadful scourge writhed and squirmed eager for the taste of flesh. Thick lips curled into smile that quickly faded as she waddled into the now open doors of the house chapel. Matron Shyntyl Kilanatlar was in the first year (of 2) of her fifth pregnancy. Though only half way thru the gestation period, she was large enough to be thought nearing the end of the second year. Unknown to all but two, the lovely matron carried twins.
The room dark as her soul, suddenly became illuminated with the magical faerie fire of reds and blues. A carved obsidian and black sapphire statue of a spider hung from the center of the dome shaped ceiling. Veins of mithril ran thru the entire compound resembling spiderwebs woven in the natural stone. The path between the two section of seats was wide enough to accommodate the larger than normal female with amble room and yet still fit the entire compound of 800 people. Tonight it was a family affair only. Carefully stepping up onto the platform she turned to wait for the gathered to arrive. Sweat had gathered on her ebon face and suddenly her face became stoic and in thought. One year since the day.
She remembered clearly-
Sitting in the crossed legged position of intense communion and study, a sudden bolt of fiery pain brought her from her contemplations. She looked down at the source of her pain; her flat muscular abdomen held a violet spider tattoo branding. Matron Shyntyl was supposed barren after her last birth child had been born almost 4 centuries before. The last two children, Myrurra and Neeryrd had been taken from House Vendee. She would now be carrying twins; Lloth had visited her, helped her conceive and chosen these unborn children. House Kilanatlar had been chosen to bring about a new order of chaos to Lith My'athar. The City of Dark Waters had grown prosperous and beyond wealthy with a relatively unspoken peace- stagnant. Open House warfare had all but stopped. The city had become the closest to ever resembling a normal city. The Spider Queen had grown bored with her city. And it was time to begin sowing these 'new' seeds.
There was one major condition; the female would be completely Lloth's. Matron Shyntyl had agreed; what high priestess wouldn't? Lloth's cold spiderlike hand transformed to a beautiful black hand and touched her belly. The sheer pain nearly knocked Shyntyl out sending her into shock. A soft melodic voice whispered through her body:
"With the blessings of the Spider you will serve.
I bless you with these gifts I leave.
Light that blinds the eyes will no more.
My message shall you carry therefore.
Aware you shall be of all near.
For I hold you in claws so dear.
But should you turn,
forever their will be a yearn.
a path of death and blood never cease.
never to find rest or peace"

Today the words had been whispered to her again. As the voice stilled, the image of Lloth pulling her hand back sent a shock of pain coursing through Shyntyl sitting in the gigantic heated tub of her suite. Then all was quiet. Whispers among the house had grown since it had been obvious the matron was with child. But none had been privy to the secret. Today she was to tell the Kilanatlar family.
She slowly stood up from the tub, water dripping off her unclad form. G'eldriina, Shyntyl's personal servant, guard and whatever the matron's whim was, hurried over with the robe.
"Fetch the rest of my House, and quickly before I find a new play toy."
Without hesitation G'eldriina had did as her mistress commanded.
Shyntyl, dressed, had hurried to the chapel.

Wiping her face, not to appear undignified, the matron paced as she waited for her children and patrons to join her in the chapel. The snakes feeling their mistress own emotion responded themselves with excitement.
******
Rhylaun, former house patron, weapon-master and favorite lover of Shyntyl watched with disapproval as secondboy Neeryrd practice the difficult parry, and fail. Dressed in black spidersilk and elven chain, Rhyluan was imposing with a badboy dark side and exoticness unknown among the population. Taller than most, even the normally taller females and slender with sharp elven features made the five century male handsome and desirable for any matron. Eyes of reddish orange and streaks of coppery red mingling with natural white hair he was the envy of all. Despite his looks, he was rather opinionated and at times downright blasphemous. However, it was his skills that kept the rebel around. Had it been any other male, their heart would have already been on the altar to Lloth centuries ago. Rhylaun was versatile, master in all of the drow fighting techniques. Matron Shyntyl had intended to have someone in the Kilanatlar House mastered in each, if not multiple styles. On the other hand, Neeryrd was the almost opposite. Not sired of either beautiful parents, the current youngest was short and almost stalky. A round face with a parrot like nose and nonparallel green eyes. Clothing was hard to fit the male, so he was often dressed in a solid mithril breastplate. Not as strong as either Shyntyl or Rhylaun desired, the boy was learning to handle the greatsword rather well. But his attacks were simple and less efficient than could be achieved. Neeryrd was being prepped before he was to join in a surface raid with the fifth year students of Melee Magthere. Matron Shyntyl had requested permission to allow the boy 3 days home in secret training for his blooding- the coming of age ritual in which maturing drow must hunt down and kill an intelligent or dangerous creature from the surface. Those who fail their blooding are often never seen again; tho it might be noted that the number of driders increases after this time.
"Matron ask too much of her incompetent son," the weapon-master grumbled under his breath, still dissatisfied with the skill level of the boy.
"NO!" Rhylaun shouted smacking him upside the back of the head, "You are an idiot to leave your flank so vulnerable. Even a stupid rivvil could have just caught you off guard. On the surface, they will have a slight advantage up there. So I suggest you get it right. Now, AGAIN!"
A soft knock at the house gym startled the boy. Rhylaun scoffed then answered, "What? I'm bus-."
"All house members are required to report to the chapel, NOW. Matron's orders," G'eldriina repeated, and then left before any objections could be made.
Rhylaun turned to Neeryrd trying hard to maintain his rising fury, "We will finish this later, now go before you lose your hand."
Neeryrd bowed before the older male and quietly exited the gym. Rhylaun sat on the bench, head in hands and whispered a quick silent prayer to the Masked Lord.
******
Home for on a 2 day leave from her teaching at the academy, Xullafay, eldest daughter and high priestess, heard the summons. Things were close to a pivotal change, there was no doubt about it. She had felt it for a year now, but her communions had been more cryptic recently than she could remember ever being. She stirred from her studies, adorned her ceremonial black and purple robe, tucked her own three headed snake whip into her belt, and rose to answer her mother. Xullafay had known for some time that her mother carried not one but two unborn children. Twins among drow were rare; even rarer for both to survive. One or the other normally killed off the competition. She also had learned early that it was a third son and fifth daughter.
As Xullafay entered the chapel, most everyone was gathered. Shortly after her entrance, Rhylaun entered. He looked around helplessly. He hated this place, the chapel with its sculptures of the Spider Queen leering down at him from every angle, and Shyntyl towering above him. The fire now burned in the eight-legged brazier that resembled, as everything in the chapel seemed to resemble, a spider.
"We have gathered," Xullafay's raspy voice broke thru eyes narrowed at the patron. About to have her say so, the matron raised a hand to silence her daughter.
This was an important meeting and the matron mother knew the male's delay was intentional.
"When I call, I expect an immediate response!" the matron directed her blazing eyes toward Rhylaun. "Were it not for your prowess in battle and skill with the blade, I would have already given your heart to Lloth for your blasphemous attitude, Qu'el'saruk." Attention to the chapel guards and with a wave of her hand dismissed them. "Now, we can begin. Guards! Make sure none interrupt us."
(a few months later)
Matron Shyntyl stumbled as the pain wrecked her again from her abdomen. It was too soon, yet the growing puddle of fluid said otherwise. They were coming. Unable to hold it in, her voice rose into a scream. The pain was not normal labor pains. Something was going wrong. G'eldriina returned, arms full of towels, to her mistress scrambling along the floor twords the bed.
"Erinsi!" the servant cried out for the birthing slave as she helped pick up the large woman to get her to the bed.
Another scream echoed thru the room. Erinsi and Xullafay entered followed by Myrurra and Zebeycyrl.
"the children come…." Another scream, "NOW"
Erinsi got into position, maneuvering the matron's leg and preparing a spell. The daughters had gathered around as Alylin entered.
"fashionable late," Myrurra smarted to the older sister.
The retort was drowned out by another scream. A new pain, almost as if in distress, overcame the matron, and it nearly caused her to pass out.
"so..much…blood," Myrurra whispered.
Concerns grew on everyone's faces. The children had to be delivered now, or they would not make it. Directed to begin expelling the two inside, Matron Shyntyl did. Erinsi managed to grasp hold of a small palm, working her dexterous finger to extract the first child. Pulling, she noticed that a chord was wrapped around the shoulder and pulling tighter by the moment.
"The first is a son," the maid started when she was quick to notice the chord was not the males own.
The maid motioned over one of the priestess to help, the fast movement of hands and look of foreboding caused the eldest daughter to step over.
"Hold him," Erinsi commanded before she realized that she just said that to a high priestess.
Xullafay was about to tell her off.
"do it!" screamed Matron Shyntyl before the daughter even considered now the time to 'remove' her mother from power. Xullafay had considered it, for a few seconds, but matron even in this temporary weakened state would be a powerful foe and formidable; it was not worth the risk at the moment. Not when the Spider Queen had promised to bring forth their house to a higher level of power.
Xullafay held the extracted son as Erinsi worked to removed the second child. A foot first then the body. At the neck the male's chord was wrapped around the girl. Erinsi groaned but biting her lip continued to work the girl out. The smaller girl was slightly ashen, air being cut off at the moment with her twin's lifeline around her neck. The cords were carefully cut and removed before the first cries of life were heard. The girl's color began to return to normal obsidian hue as her soft cries started. Matron Shyntyl breathed a heavy sigh and closed her eyes. After much trouble two babies were laid on the table, another slave called in to clean them up.
Zebeycyrl, the second daughter knelt to take the son and place him on an altar in preparation of a sacrifice. The sacrificial dagger, a blade of curving adamantine and ivory hilt laying beside the sleeping infant. Zebeycyrl unsheathed the blade, a look of pleasure on her face, and began to raise her hands.
"Stop," a hoarse yet commanding whisper came, a hand pointing. All turned to look at the ragged mother then twords the carving on the wall. Upon the giant spider golem was a smirking pair of sensuous lips. An image of a spider descended onto the table with the boy before vanishing.
"Lloth," deep breaths to maintain herself, "is pleased without his death," another deep labored breath, "the boy shall live."
The daughter, known for her hatred of males, narrowed her pinkish eyes, a scowl equal to any matrons. Xullafay, understood what her sisters did not and had reluctantly agreed with the matron. A small tiff began between the priestesses, leaving Alylin and Myrurra to remain silent and out of it, fearful to take either side. Xullafay was the eldest and held much respect and power as a high priestess. Zebeycyrl, one of the Red Sisters was a skilled assassin and deadly with a blade. Neither were an option for the younger sisters to cross. The argument continued for a few minutes, neither giving in.
"SILENCE all. If Lloth doesn't require him, then so be it. She has made it known," Shyntyl called putting an end to all the arguments.
Zebeycyrl wisely held her tongue, despite the urge to get the last word. And as if the matron had read her mind, she sat up on the bed enough to look her second daughter in the eyes.
"Take the children. Wean them to words and teach them all that they will need to know to be a noble in House Kilanatlar."
"Alylin or Myrurra are younger. And I have my duties," she shrieked.
Had Alylin been born second, she would have been the preferred daughter to join the prestigious group of Red Sisters. She was better skilled and less volatile than the second daughter. But it wasn't to be so. Plus, Alylin was only home on special occasions, as needed by her family. She spent most of her time on special assignments. Myrurra, the youngest daughter before the newborn, was the least intelligent and ambitious, of the Kilanatlar children and only the Kilanatlar name had made her a priestess and graduate. Matron Shyntyl did not believe she could do the task. Not after what they learned Lloth had intended for the children. The eldest daughter was obviously not the answer, a mistress of the school and next matron in line. Before protest could be countered, the look of her mother silenced her. That look conveyed the threat of failure. Yet it conveyed more; if Zebeycyrl managed to please the matron, then no doubt her favor and status in the family would rise. Zebeycyrl wanted nothing more than to continue her work with the Red Sisters but she obeyed, knowing the consequences of disobedience.
The twins were individually wrapped snuggly in a special spidersilk cloth upon being cleaned up. Alylin picked up the girl who yawn before opening her eyes the first time. Maroon shown with the use of the girl's darkvision, but shortly the color changed to a violet hue then back to maroon.
"Her eyes, they are not normal," she began. Xullafay took the bundled girl who just stared back. Was it amusement in those eyes? She wondered as they again began to turn more violet.
"This is the child?" the assassin asked incredulously, "she's a freak!" despite being a rather beautiful baby, she would not be considered much among her people who had such high value to physical attractiveness.
"What about the boy?" Myrurra asked as Alylin reached to pick him up.
His eyes already open, looked back at the drowess holding him. One eye was crimson, while the other was an orange tint obviously from the sire. The boy had a few sprouts of hair, some silvery while others were clearly reddish. Tho it was not spoken, everyone there knew who had fathered the children.
"He's a freak too," the eldest daughter spoke, "I mean look!" showing him to the others.
The children were set back down on their temporary bed in preparation for the transfer of care to Zebeycyrl.
"What are they to be called?" Alylin asked.
"Nilrae and Zarae Zyne," she said lastly before drifting into a light sleep.
The children had to learn basic motor and language skills, as did children of all the intelligent races, but a drow also had to be grilled on the precepts that bound the chaotic society together. Raising the two would cost her about 10 years, not long time for a elf but enough to possibly be replaced or surpassed. Thus Zebeycyrl devoted herself to the task the many years as a stringent and overbearing wean mother, continuously punishing both, allowing them to feel the seething anger she had against her mother.
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:43 am

From her velvet covered black marble seat of power the high priestess matron mother tapped her neatly manicured hands. It had been about five years since the twin's birth, and the matron had returned to her former slim figure and looked as if she always had. Currently she was dressed richly. Instead of her robes, a black dress with purple bodice showing taunt lean muscular abs. A magical metallic belt with spidery designs complimented the silk diaporous skirt with webbing features. Her hair was pulled up and pinned with ivory holders and finished with the headpiece of nobility. Never without her scourge, the five snakes heads were calm and quiet at her side.
The door to the antechamber opened, first stepped in the girl followed by the boy, both looking no more than a 5 year old human child. Stopping within five feet of the throne both stood at attention; while Zarae's head was up and her eyes looking around at the large chamber, Nilrae's head bowed and staring at his feet. Taught thoroughly, often by means of whips and threats of torture, he learned his inferior role as a male many times.
Matron Shyntyl stood up thoroughly looking over the twins. How much alike they looked. Both with heads full of red-streaked silvery hair. They took on both parents looks and structure- tall, lean, and lithe. The main difference, apart from gender of course, was their eyes. Despite this 'defect' in them, the matron overlooked it.
Zarae watching the small spider walking across the ceiling did not seam to notice her mother had crossed her arms impatiently. Nilrae peeked his head slightly, still fearing the whip to come down on him any moment. The youngest boy tried to clear his throat softly, and inconspicuously nudge his sister. Finally Shyntyl had it, the snap of her fingers echoing through the room was enough even scare the easily distracted girl. Zarae jumped, face forward, eyes large and taking on a bluish hue. A hand roughly grabbed her chin pulling her face up to look her matron mother up in the face.
"my youngest dalharil has a rather rebellious spirit, I am told," the 6 century old female began, "and a troublemaker. If this keeps up I regret having to break such fire of my dalhari. But I will not tolerate disrespectful behavior of a future priestess. UNDERSTOOD?"
She released Zarae's face and stood staring at the girl. Considering arguing that the missing items were not her fault and that they 'accidentally' ended up in her room she crossed her arms not thinking about it. Zebeycyrl had asked for it anyway; she'd challenged the girl to. Another look sobered the rebellious girl back up and her arms went back to her side. The matron then stood before the down cast boy. The snakes of the whip allowed to edge closer to his face, forked tongues darting out as if to taste. Nilrae tried hard to maintain himself, to not flinch and yet keep his head down as one snake went below under his chin. It took every bit of will power, but fear of the matron's wrath if he disappointed was worse than those tongues.
"My son seams to know his role and station well. I am impressed."
Turning to the second daughter in the back she nodded approvingly. Zebeycyrl relaxed slightly but she was only half way thru the weaning years. The next bit would be the true test of her, especially with the girl. Even thinking of it made her frustrated. The matron turned to go back to her throne, a wave to dismiss the twins. Nilrae quickest to turn was stopped with a clearing of his mother's throat.
"Resuming your duties, begin today with this room."
Nilrae dropped his head lower, taking the rags from his belt and the bucket that seam to appear next to the entrance he got to work. Zarae was hurried off back to her room for another indoctrination lesson.
******
"The matron seams less than pleased with your progress. If you spent as much time in your studies as you do getting out of them, you would already be on par with any of Kilanatlar children," the rather grumpy assassin began.
The door, partially ajar, opened to a young female drow, a simple house soldier taken from a minor house last year. She bowed in respect and slowly backed out of the room. Zebeycyrl snorted derisively as she headed to the door.
A hand on the knob, she turned back to speak, "I expect you to be able to levitate to the ceiling by the time I return."
The door closed with a hard thud leaving Zarae to herself. Her sister didn't know, but the girl had figured out how to already. It was shakey at times and not totally reliable but she had been able to levitate for a year. Of course just out of spite, she would not perform like a slave just to appease her sister. Making her look bad in front of their mother was much more fun. Zarae stood arms crossed, her tongue out at the closed door her sister just left. She would have scoffed to emphasize her point, but there was no reason to. Instead she ran over to the door placing her ear on it and listened until she was sure. Scrambling over to the table, the girl began rifling thru the small drawer. Last time she'd been imprisoned in this room was for practicing her alphabet in the silent hand code and learning new and harder words. The few parchment were flung to the floor along with a closed vial of everdark ink.
"Not here," she said to herself slamming the draw and sitting on the chair to think, "where did I hide it?"
******
Izzmurss, elderboy and House Kilanatlar wizard sat in his study. The robes of a high wizard were draped on the back of his chair. The drow was stripped down to only his trouser. A look of intense concentration was on his harsh face as he thought out the spell. The security of his personal room was ensured by the warding runes outside his doors, and the solitude of his private study protected by a magical shield. This study was a low-domed chamber lit by the single candle on his desk. Today was the day to put his plans into motion. He had been working out a century long plot of undermining Gulhrys and taking over as head master of Sorcere. Izzmurss had invented Shadow Dye during his first year at the academy centuries ago when House Kilanatlar was only the sixth house; this success, along with the favor of Lloth and skill of the house had brung them up to the second house the following year.
House Mae'Vir was the largest consumers of Shadow Dye; it could be rubbed on the skin and into the hair to blacken it like shadow as camouflage ones heat signature as well as a piwafwi without the problems of a cloak. Now he was working on a new concoction, a mind altering dye disguised as an age defying salve. If it worked, then over time he would be the head of the Arcane school.
The silent alarms of his study alerted him of the intruder.
******
Nilrae working on his own levitation to reach the ceiling's chandelier made it half way before falling again. His rag was dripping water that gathered into a puddle beside the soap bucket. No ladders were provided and climbing the statues had been off limits, discovered the first time he had to clean the chambers. Landing harsh on his tush, he tossed the rags and had started to pout. Maybe their sister would never notice? He was not that lucky, never that lucky. Kicking the bucket harder than intended sent it sprawling all over the floor. Nilrae groaned again, missing the encroaching footsteps at the door. Standing back up he looked around for something to dry the mess. The only problem was every cloth in the stupid room was being used as something important. Finally he decided on what the least likely to be noticed before drying. the matron had left over an hour ago and he didn't think she'd come back here for a while, possibly even the next day. Hopping up quickly he took the velvet cloth and began drying up the soapy spilled water. Then hurried it back to the throne and placed it as it was just as the door opened.
'Busted' he thought annoyed and scared.
******
Zarae hopped up from the chair and picked up the ink. She knew it was the very expensive one prize for it glowing abilities for writing when no light was available. Pocketing it, she began looking for something to use on the door lock. The pen still in the drawer was thin enough, but the girl was concerned it would not be tough enough. If she could only remember where she put that small piece of metal. Scratching her head, her sensitive finger ran over the small hairclip that was holding unruly locks out of her face.
"this," inspecting it, "might work. Pausing to listen at the door again, she stuck the smaller end in the tiny hole and began working on the lock. Zarae had not perfected lock-picking yet, but the mechanism was simple, for the time being. And she'd been practicing every time Zebeycyrl locked her in a room. The last room the drowling had been unsuccessful before her sister returned. Zarae chuckled; she'd gotten in a lot of trouble that day. Wasted the entire time trying to break out of the room that day. The tumblers of the lock clicked, just a few more and she get it.
******
Zebeycyrl would not normally have gone to see her older brother, but things had been close to a breaking point. She only had at least 5 years left at the most with the twins, then they would move into training with Rhylaun; soon they would be off her hands and she would continue her work with the Red Sisters. She knew she sat off Izzmurss alarm and she made no attempt to hide her presence; why would she, she was a female, a priestess and elite assassin. Few would even attempt something against one so powerful and favored by Lloth.
Izzmurss groaned. He figured it would be one of his sisters and her interruption would cost him time. Standing up to lower the ward, he allowed Zebeycyrl to enter.
"What brings my dear sister to my studies?" he responded with a slight bow.
Zebeycyrl ignored his deliberate sarcasm. She would put the male in his place soon enough.
"Let's get to business," her eyes narrowed evilly.
Everyone knew how well warded his room was so she knew she could speak frank without worry of being scryed or overheard. She only had to worry that Izzmurss would use this meeting against her. She began melodically, "Someone is sabotaging my work. As much as I would love to rid the two myself," her anger boiling and then suppressed, "I need you to, lets say, keep an eye on Alylin and Myrurra. I know that you are one of the best and can …"
"First of all," he interrupted, "Both have Lloth's favor, and Alylin seams hardly a concern. Her business keeps her away. Besides, scrying a priestess, well…"
Zebeycyrl held her rage in check from his interruption and continued, "Let me word this better, when I remove my competition and Xullafay is no longer a concern, I will need a House wizard." she let it go at that. It wasnt a matter of the rulership being usurped, all matrons knew that it would happen one day. It was just a matter of when and which ambitious daughter would do it.
The last thing Izzmurss wanted to do was get caught in between his sisters, fighting for position as the next Matron Mother. Zebeycyrl, the cruelest of the Kilanatlar daughters, was not the best option. In fact this was the first hint that the second daughter sought to over throw the eldest. It wasn't unheard of, just that her position in the Red Sister made him think she was not one to care. She was proving otherwise. Finally, with resignation he nodded.
"It is good we never had this conversation my brother," she whispered as she turned to leave.
It pleased her, the blatant reminder of the power females wielded over males.
When all was silent, he plopped into his chair, flipped through his spell book, and settled in for a long night.
******
"What are you up to male?" the raspy voice came. It was not Zebeycyrl, but Xullafay who had entered. The high priestess had been home for the day and was scheduled to return to the academy in the morning. Nilrae turned quickly, hands behind him, and bowed his eyes as a pageprince should.
He started to stutter a response, "um…noth- cleaning and readjusting mother's seat," he managed to bluff at the last second.
"That's matron mother to you male," correcting him quickly. Xullafay looked around seeing nothing out of place with a quick glance then turned to head out. "I suggest you finish the ceiling before she returns," the priestess replied before exiting the chambers deciding she wasnt in the mood to whip the drowling.
When the doors closed, the boy breathed out a sigh of relief. It had been close. Had she walked up to the platform no doubt she'd discover what he did. finishing adjusting the velvet cover, he hurried back to his bucket and rag and attempted it again.
The door slid ajar, the hard work success. Now she had the hard task of what to do. Knowing her twin brother would still likely be cleaning, maybe she would head that way. It would be nice to get back that stuff spider her sister took away from her. Something about ruining a beautiful gown. Zarae spent a day making it from one of the old dresses Zebeycyrl used for parties. And figuring out how to use the needle without stabbing one's finger was hard work! Besides, how could she go wrong with a spider after all? Weren't they oh so sacred?
The girl scoffed as she silently tip-toed down the corridor twords the antechamber. Stopping often to listen for footsteps or peek around a corner before passing a four way. Zarae passed the stairs to the fourth floor, and considered seeing what all was up there. She knew her mother's room was up there along with Xullafay's. And all those treasures to get her hands on...no, not today she decided at last and continued to the stairs and then down to the first floor and the double doors of the antechamber.
Listening, ear on the door, she heard the sounds of a thump. The door open as Zarae hurried inside to see her brother highly frustrated. His countenance changed quickly when the door opened, but was so relieved to see Zarae.
"So wanna do something?" the girl asked, her eyes becoming violet hued and a look of pure mischief showing.
"I haven't finished yet. And I cant get up their all the way," he pointed to the web styled chandelier of orange faerie fire. Nilrae did look rather exhausted. No doubt from cleaning the room.
Zarae thought a moment, "how about I help you finish," she started.
"The catch?" he asked already figuring she had something planned. His twin was always up to something. And often dragging him into it- even if he would have agreed anyway.
"I want Shade back!" upset over the fact her toy been taken away.
"Every time we do something I get the worse punishment, see," showing her a healing bruise from the rod that was used when the dye was put into Zebeycyrl's glass.
"Alright. I can do it myself. Just thought I'd see if you wanted to."
"I didn't say I didn't," he replied looking up to the ceiling, before handing her the rag.
After ten minutes, and a couple failed tries of levitating, the room was finished and both were heading up twords Zebeycyrl's study room.
"How do I explain my absence?" he signed to her in the silent hand code as they approached the study.
"Maybe we will be done before she returns?" Zarae signed back.
Nilrae sighed before replying, "I hope you know what you're doing." Which translated, 'This whipping better be worth it.'
The study was easy to find, the largest door on the third floor. Xullafay's room was larger, but it was on the floor with the matron's. Alylin kept a small room as she was always in and out of the compound while Myrurra, not a biological child of the matron, was given a room equal to Alylin's in size. The male's rooms were on the second floor with the gym, war room and many storage rooms. The first floor contained rooms such as the dining hall, kitchen and non-family members, and the main entrance to the house chapel- a three story chamber located in the center of entire compound. The basement contained the fodder slave quarters, torture rooms and other nasty places.
"alright, you keep an eye out, I'll see about the lock," Zarae signed to Nilrae.
Unspoken, but he assumed that meant if they got caught, he could get away first. He walked up to the turn in the corridor and stood watch, as best as a 5 year old could. After 5 minutes he sat down rather board. Picking up a small black burnt piece of something, he sketched a few doodles on the floor. A large circle, a trapiziod bottem and another circle for the head with snake like hair and a large frown. He chuckled as he added horns and a tail. He then drew a another smaller circle with lines for legs and arms, then what could be guessed a club in hand, the picture above the female getting ready to beat her with the club.
The makeshift lockpick was inserted as she got to work. This one was more complicated than any she'd messed with before. And their was no way she was getting in. after ten minutes, she 'pssst' Nilrae to come and try.
"We need something else," she signed after another ten or so minutes were wasted.
"This is not as fun as you implied."
"Well do something inside to make up for this?" putting on the best face to get him to continue.
Sitting back against the door, they tried to think of something to use. With how much time they already spent, Nilrae was thinking of telling her to give up. of course Zarae would protest as she was stubbornly determined to get Shade back. And truthfully he wanted his own toy back. His was a small stuffed black dragon one of the slave's infants traded for his dinner. Of course he'd gotten caught and it taken, as well as the slave punished.
Both about to call it quits for the day, when Zarae looked up to notice a small strange device. She nudged Nilrae then using him to stand on, pulled it. all tumblers on the door clicked unlocked. Hopping down and waiting to see if any came around the corner they entered the room.
Both paused at how luxuroious it was. And it was only the study. Tons of paintings and wall hangings. The L shaped desk with hundreds of papers, scrolls, and things neither knew. A wardrobe of bone, ivory and marble in the back. Beside it 4 bookshelves that reached to the ceiling. Another door which no doubt was her personal bedchambers was opposite the desk.
"Check that" he signed indicating the wardrobe while heading to the room's closet.
******
Zebeycyrl was below in the basement. The slaves had begun a fight amongst themselves, causing the halt of work and some of the goblins to rebel. When she had showed up to deal with the situation, they joined together to attack the assassin and a house soldier. The assassin felt her personal room alarms go off. Someone had entered her room; but at the moment there was little to do about it. The young male warrior charged in, longsword cutting thru a line of goblins and kobolds. Her mace swung connecting with bone in a sickening crunch; the kobold fell back taking another down with him. Aiming the wand at the group of goblins attempting to flank, a glob of greenish goo flew out sticking the leaders in the ramble fast to the floor. A pitiful makeshift dagger came in at her leg, the goblin sliding to come up at her legs. But the magical wards around the assassin could not be penetrated by the stone weapon. A thick heeled boot kicked another skull in as the large mace swung in and knock back 2 more slaves, their ribs shattered in the impact. The male was held back by his mistress. The slaves came on her more hesitantly, as she turned to the group. Bloodlust not settled, she put away the wand as if to be finished, discreetly reaching for a more devious one, a red ceramic baton with a tiny sapphire. When the slaves lowered their arms into a more relaxed state, a fireball shot forth to the front group. Fires licked their leather hides as they rolled screaming. The rest back up fearful the drowess would release it on them.
"Who is the ringleader?" she commanded.
20 fingers pointed to a large male goblin dressed in a ragged loincloth.
"Take him," she told the warrior. Then to the slaves, "let this be a lesson for you all."
The male released a quarrel from his hand crossbow, then dragged the paralyzed goblin off, followed by Zebeycyrl.
******
"I got them," came Nilrae's voice, "she had them in her trash," brushing off the stuffed toys and handing Zarae her own. She grabbed it, hugged it tight then nodded that they better get out, and quick. Nilrae, on his way out stole one of the rolled parchments. The twins closed the door and hurried back down the halls.
"Wait, here. Put them in my room. I'll bring yours after dinner."
Hiding both under Zarae's bed, they then headed back to where they were suppose to be; her in the empty room and Nilrae in the antechamber. No one was in there so there would be no whipping today. Unless they were trapping him.
Zarae was thankful her sister was not around. She wondered where Zebeycyrl might be when her stomach grumbled for food.
"It must be close to supper."
Zebeycyrl left the dark and musky room, spots of dark red stains on her blue robes. She had a mused smirk on her face, until she remembered that someone had entered her study. A few curses she hurried up to her floor, while working to not look undignified.
The door was closed, even the top latch. She whispered a spell allowing her to see if anyone should be invisible. Nothing. Another spell, the room and nearly everything on her glowed. Walking thru she looked for traps or scrying devices in anything that glowed. Yet all the magic, everything glowing, was as it should. She sat down in her chair, elbows on the desk running her fingers through her bone white hair.
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar
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Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:48 am

The next several weeks went the same as before. The twins' wean mother had not caught on that that the two broke into her room. Zebeycyrl had assumed it was either Alylin or Myrurra, the latter more likely. To her it meant that the dull sister was underhandedly more devious than previously thought. Izzmurss had not revealed anything of interest. Somehow the adopted sister was managing keeping her plans very well hidden. Zebeycyrl easily by-passed the pudgy daughter's room wards. Dull purple faerie fire was gathered on a single chandelier. The room was luxurious as any other noble, tho much less so than the matron's blood daughters. A small fur rug sat in the middle of the room. Beside the balcony window, a plush chair of green material. The bed was covered in mounds of silky covers and 3 large pillows. Only two wall hangings were found; scenes of a battle depicted, including the dark elves slaughtering their surface cousins and a large spider above the battle smiling with glee. A night stand held a few personal items, nothing noteworthy. The dresser made of a material popular on the surface- oak, stood beside her stone bookshelf. A large black basin surrounded by small candles was filled with water. It was the scrying bowl from the academy, the assassin noted condescendingly. Her desk top was empty except one tome. The Red Sister walked over to the desk peering down to the parchment pages. Reading the script, thanks to the soft glow of magical light, she flipped thru the pages.
******
The slaves cleaning the street stopped to move out of the way, before falling to a knee until she passed by. The cloaked drowess walked in, the sign hanging above the arched door covered with yellow faerie fire. The crimson material contrasting from the normally dark colors of the patrons inside. Had secrecy been important she would not have wore her house piwafwi in the color she loved. Darkwalk was semi busy for mid day. the floor below was where most action was. There a bathhouse, massage parlor, and rumored among the males, a small brothel.
Alylin strode with prideful arrogance due her station. People cleared out of her way, males bowed their head in respect of the noble. One or few considered taking her when she was alone, but the risk wasn't worth it; if she was a high priestess or even a foot soldier of one of the top five houses, they would regret living. The priestess extended a hand to the barkeep, a small pouch held before him. He was a tall lean drow with cropped and dyed auburn hair. A scar ran from his left temple, across his eye and to the left nostril hole. The pointed end of his ear was raggedly missing from whatever fight he survived. His clothing showed him as a middle class merchant, classy tan shirt beneath elven chain. No visible weapon could be seen, but no doubt he was armed. Setting the decanter before a couple at the bar, he reached out to take it. Alylin, pulled back, her face waiting expectantly. She wasn't smiling. Her poise was calm, and regal.
The voice was even gentle, but those amber eyes looked on with coldness, "You know the deal."
Looking around, then leaning forward, motioning she do also, he whispered a few words then stood back up. He leered at her as she scanned the room. Alylin sized up the intended target. Pleased for now, she turned to hand it to him, and then walked over to a table in the back.
Three tables away sat another couple. A drowess of dusky skin (instead of the darker black) dressed in white leather and blondish tinted hair leaned back in the booth. A male of straight white hair that barely touched mid way on his sharp ears and black skin that spoke for his full drow heritage sat across from her. The waitress set two glasses on the table after collecting the 2 coins. She accepted the money with a suggestive smile, stuffing the money in a silk bag hanging from her pants flap. The male leaned forward in the booth, and watched with desire in his crimson eyes as the waitress walked off before beginning to sip his spiced Falarian wine. The female in white seamed to be in deep contemplation, her hands interlinked before her as she listened to the male before her begin.
Despite Alylin's acute hearing, the noise of the tavern was overshadowing the conversation. Conformation would not be possible, so it was trust the word of the barkeep, a male no less, or wait for a more opportune time. So the priestess watched, trying to decide how to begin. Several more customers entered as others left, including a small group coming from upstairs, the inn part of the tavern. Many other males disappeared below for hours. Alylin managed to wait patiently the entire time, not leaving from her spot. Golden eyes wonder to the dancers of the floor. Their movements impressive as skilled professional dancers kept beat with the random changes of tune. The dances continued for the next hour, but Alylin managed to remain in her spot, having ordered a light meal of Tarsk- salty pork-like meat, with a side of smothered mushrooms.
The crowd grew as the day waned. Watching the dances, a small metal object was missed as the woman in white passed it to the male. Movement caught her attention, the woman dressed in white standing up and preparing to leave. The priestess then discreetly stood up, dropped a few more coins on the partially empty plate and followed. A whispered spell of invisibility hid her as she followed out the door.
A smile decorated her face as she watched the other female turn down a narrow alley. Alylin realized quickly the woman was trying to throw her off and had sense the red cloaked presence following her. There was no way she would be lead to the base. A change in plans, tho not unpleasurable for the priestess. The heretic paused at a junction looked back then turned right, away from her intended destination. Alylin brung forth her hand crossbow and hurried her pace to the corner of the alley. Cursing silently, she didn't see the woman anymore. She'd managed to get away, and rather quickly the now upset drowess thought bitterly. Alylin walked on looking around for her target.
Celofraie had slipped into a small shop, standing out of sight from the window. She peeked out to see the window as the other woman, who was disguised with a spell, walk by. Celofraie knew immediately that the woman was hunting her. Not able to see which house insignia she wore, there was no doubt the other priestess was one of the top ruling houses. Trying to slow her nervous breath as a shop slave was watching confused. The gnome said nothing to the drow woman but continued to clean. Celofraie then decided the noble had moved far enough for her to slip out and try to get back. The door made no sound as the woman in white slipped out then hurry back the way she came. Alylin reached the end and was about to turn down another but just happen to look back to see a flash turn down a corner.
"I got you," she said to herself, the wicked smile increasing.
Alylin paused and whispered the words, her hand on the adamantine disk around her neck and was suddenly transformed into a cloudlike vapor. Moving as fast as the wind in a storm she covered ground unimaginable fast. Passing over the buildings to cut off the other woman. Celofraie hurried turning back down the alley, and deciding to go another route when a mist stood before her. She knew she had no choice but to fight. Her hands shot forth. A cone of fiery, white moonlight sprung out at Alylin.
Pain wrecked her body as the mist formed back into the priestess. "You will have to do better than that," the hurting Alylin growled.
By now a small crowd had gathered at the entrance to the alley to enjoy the show. Some were shouting curse while others cheered. A few street cleaners gathered to watch only to be shooed away by low class drow. A pinch of powdered iron in her fingers the spell effects were instantaneous. An antimagic zone went up around them. All magical effects stopped, any spells on their persons no longer in effect, and the weapons became as regular weapons. They two would have to fight on equal grounds; Alylin knew she was the better fighter.
Celofraie drew her shortsword but did not advance. She held no pretense, it was already clear the woman in white was a singled out as a heretic. No charade would work. The Eilistraeen instead spoke. "Don't you tire of this," hand motioning around her, "existence? Of constantly look over your shoulder waiting for the evitable day a blade from the shadows finds a kink and sinks its poisoned tip in."
"What makes you think I have to worry?" Alylin replied, realizing what she could do now. Drop the other woman's defenses and make her think she might be interested.
"An over ambitious sibling desiring to take your place or remove the competition. The unending struggle of having to prove your worth to a fickle goddess who cares little for you above anything more than a toy."
Alylin feigned interest as the other woman continued to speak pulling forth her sword which took the form of a rapier. sparks flew as they connected before them. The women circled each other, blade striking blade. But Celofraie continued to speak and try to reason with the priestess, tried to give her the Dark Maiden's message. This went on for a good 10 minutes, Alylin playing the game well. Finally, tired of her rambling, and spotting her chance, she pulled the hand crossbow and released a quarrel.
Celofraie heard the click and drove to roll out of range. The bolthead cut a red line across her neck as she tumbled and rolled back up. The burning sensation of poison streaming thru her blood was clear. Which poison she didn't know. Her limbs were not getting heavy and a sleep feeling was not overcoming her. It wasn't the famous sleep poison. No time to neutralize the poison as her muscles locked up and she began to convulse, the potent substance attacking her nervous system.
Walking over to the woman who'd fallen to the ground, "Velkyn Ogglin is just one my house is known for," the priestess replied with cold glee.
Her victim went into grand mal seizures her back arching and twisting violently as her lithe body jerked every which way. Alylin then pulled out another vial a blood red in color. The crowd grew silent as they watched in anticipation for the bloodletting.
Kneeling down to the convulsing woman, "tell me what I want and I will make your death more merciful," she whispered.
Celofraie thru her shaking managed a few words out, "nnnnoooone beyond rrrreeedddemmtion."
Alylin rolled her amber eyes and reached down to grab a handful of hair. The crowds booed as the priestess dragged the woman away from the viewers. A dilapidated building was not far and Celofraie was hauled inside, picked her up and threw up against the wall. "Let's try this again. Just one little word and I can make this stop."
Celofraie remained silent, for the sake of hundreds of lives, silent. A bladed cut across her flawless face, but she did not scream. The antimagic zone spell still in effect, she was without her spells. This time a tiny strip of metal was jabbed into her shoulder to pin her to the wall. the shakes of the heretic ripping flesh. A few slaps, just for humiliation drew blood from her lips.
Getting nowhere, the red liquid vial was held up. "Last chance. Tho I do think I will enjoy the show."
"A… rrrrightful ppplaccce…. yyyya in…Light. Cccome live iiiinnnn peace."
Frustrated, Alylin roughly grabbed her face and poured the liquid down her throat then stepped back to watch. Her victim gushed blood from her mouth, eyes, nose, ears and hole in her body. Bruises developed all over her body which burst open to pour out Celofraie's lifeblood; added to the convulsion still continuing, blood was sprayed all over the dusty shop. Alylin thought it particularly entertaining if regrettably short when the body went limp.
******
House Helvighym was just a rumor, a fainted whisper for Velnarin. Words spoken with shame from the mouth of his family of low ranked House Omat. But for him these words were a beacon of light in the absolute and chaotic darkness that for millennia swallowed his kind. These words were just the excuse, the fateful push on his back that told him "Leave this place. Seek the moonlight"
It was a night 1 year ago when Velnarin completed his 10 year training in Melee Magthere as a fighter when the unavoidable celebration feast took place. Priestess graduates had the right to demand the male graduates to do whatever pleased them, as long as the males were returned as found. He was later staying in his cell, more commonly called a bedroom, thinking of the events that transpired. How shallow all these physical pleasures were? What was the meaning of celebration in something that with no doubt would lead you in the loss of your life for Lloth...for nothing. What a blasphemous thought! If the priestesses knew...But Lloth and her cruelty had no place in the heart and mind of Velnarin. And then he saw it. A beautiful lute, remnant of a surface raid on an elven hamlet. he kept it as trophy; what a stupid trophy his instructors always saying, but he never noticed it before. He took it on his arms. He touched the strings. He couldn't believe it, he could find rhythm, meaning, balance in the sound, in the music.
He slept like a human would, and he saw a dream. A distant figure dancing on top of a hill in the forefront of a full moon. The music was bringing him tears but the voice, this melodic, commanding and beautiful voice was calling him, "Velnarin, come to me."
He woke up immediately. He found his body full with sweat. He knew. He had to leave!
And now there he was, leaving his house seeking refuge, seeking House Helvighym. Only he knew how he managed to come there. What dangers and perils he would cross only for a rumor, only for a glimpse of light.
******
Alylin had yet to determine the rebel base. She had tortuously killed the Eilistraeean and still had not learned anything. The woman had still offered her 'redemption'. Alylin scoffed at the notion, spitting her contempt at the dead traitor and heretic. What bothered Alylin most was the peaceful look on her face as she died, despite the agonizing death. The notion of rejecting the Spider Queen and finding an existence outside of Lloth's influence was madness. Yet that dead female did, and died with a smile. Searching the dead body revealed nothing of importance. Unknowingly to her of their importance, she found a key ring with silver keys and a sword pendent necklace. It held a dull magical glow of a holy symbol. Quickly cutting off a finger and ear and snatching the keyring and necklace she kicked the dead woman before leaving her corpse to rot in the shop.
******
The next day, Matron or rather Lady Erelae Helvighym, had received word of the murder of her youngest daughter. On her knees at her bed distraught with grief and emotional pain she wept, an emotion so rare among drow. She also knew that no matter how tremendous the torture of her beloved daughter, she would never give up the location. But the sadness and grief were almost unbearable, to imagine what Celofraie went thru. At least she knew her daughter was with the Eilistraee now.
******
Alylin couldn't shake the events from her thoughts however; especially that she was still no closer to her goal. Her next mission had been to hunt down the male that had been in Darkwalk. She had an idea. based on his clothing style and rich taste, he was from Raethlaine, a wealthy non-noble. It was a start, but not a good one.
Alylin, unseen, walked through the Raethlaine district. Her mind kept wondering back to the recent incident. How could she die so peacefully. Lloth was not merciful, even to her own faithful, much less any unfaithful heretic. Would the woman even go to the abyss? Could one really escape Lloth's claws. 'No, I will not think about that,' Alylin scolded herself. She pulled out the keyring, wondering what it could be when an idea hit her. She could pretend to be seeking that false goddess in hopes that they would lead her to her destination. Those females were too trusting and it would be their end. A wicked smile crept on her face as she thought more about her plan.
******
Lillintha Helvighym was busy with business. As a leader in the rebel base, she was in charge of keeping the House out of suspicion and Lloth's eyes. During her sleepless rest, Lillintha had received a vision. A seeking drow male. She dressed in the black robes of a priestess of Lloth, barely keeping her revulsion down as the fabric touched her skin. She hated this work, but knew that lives of the refuges were at stake as well as the redemption of future drow. She touched her holy symbol and prayed to the Dark Maiden for strength and insight. There was no doubt about the dream, it was figuring out who was a real seeker and who was trying to infiltrate.
Velnarin was tired of wandering mindlessly the streets of Raethlaine. He was yearning for a nice hot bath along with tender slim fingers touching his body and relaxing his muscles. Now he was at the very steps of his goal and no idea what to expect. In his lonely journey he was thinking of a nice and full-of-light drowess welcoming him through a door of a beautiful House. he knew this was just a naive thought but it would be perfect, wouldn't it? But among his thoughts even the not so encouraging he didn't expecting that.
The gate of the compound opened and there she was, the drow female of his vision. But instead of a priestess of light there was standing a common priestess of Lloth, fearful and deadly.
"In what kind of madness did I walked myself in?" he thought barely avoiding panic.
He should look relax, he should hide his fear as the instructors taught him. His mind started to work in lightning speed to find an excuse. He swore instantly that he would never be again so careless. His arms instantly moved to his sword and touched it ready to put them in action.
Lillintha saw the male's reaction and divine guidance led her to send a mental message for the male to see who she was. She entered his mind, in a soft whisper, "welcome young male. Yes it is I you seek. See past my disguise. A rightful place awaits you in the light. Come in peace."
Suddenly a silver light surrounded her only a true seeker could see. Lillintha started to walk twords the male. Velnarin was in furious anger for his mistake, his lack of perception. Then he heard it. The strange calming warm voice in his mind calling him, telling him that he actually reached the place that he was looking. The voice asking him to look beyond Lloth's veil and believe the unbelievable. He turned and faced the female that was coming to him. If it was another deception he wouldn't fall easy in it. If she was coming for his death, well she had to pay a price. Lillintha walked within a few feet and paused, waiting for his response to her. No one else was out in the city at this late hour except a few rogues and the patrol. She held her hands out non-threateningly. No snake-headed whip could be seen, for they would only work for Lloth's faithful and favored.
"Why do fear Velnarin? Why do you anger? Yes I know you. Eilistraee knows you and offers you what you seek. My disguise is nothing more than an attempt to secure the safety of all who seek redemption."
She grabbed the keyring from her pouch and produced a tiny silver unusual looking key. A seeker would need one so those inside the house would know who he was.
Velnarin saw the lack of hostility in the female's body language. Shortly after he heard the voice again in his mind he decided to go in. He was too tired, to weary. If it was his time then it was his time. But he didn't believe that. The female that was standing in the entrance was so beautiful, in a different kind of way. Yes he has seen beautiful. Had experienced the seductive look and touch of the Spider Queen's priestesses. But this one was different. The beauty was coming from her eyes like hidden light and her face was strange, it was kind. So he approached her and looked in her palm. He saw the small silver token. Then he looked at her and he saw a smile. A smile that filled his heart with warmth and strength. She gave him the piece and touched him gently on the shoulder.
"go in," she whispered to him, "you are expected."
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:21 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:54 am

She progressed quickly through the tunnel, her hair flowing behind her. Now in at the end of her first decade she had grown into a rather beautiful drow child of Matron Shyntyl. The mop of red streaked silky silver hair contrasted with baby skin that had the sheen and texture of black satin. Angular elven features delicate and sharp. Lean and thin with the build of a runner. Above all, she had insatiable curiosity and a genuine love of adventure and trouble making.
Nilrae was leading the way down the tunnel. He too had become as handsome as his own sire, the near spitting image. his head sported wavy locks of the same natural red streaks mingled among silvery strands adding to that exoticness. his face the ideal among drow, he would one day have priestess swooning over him.
The day had started with hours of ranting, rambling diatribe, endless eulogies, tales and prophecies of Lloth's power and of the rewards of loyal servants. Swallowing every sarcastic and humorous comment or thought, the girl had sat in the chair, completely miserable. She hated these indoctrination sessions! Memorizing proper social protocol, conduct, and etiquette for a future priestess was so boring. And to make things worse, she had been locked in her own room, again. It seamed there could be no worse hell than prison. Zarae just could not understand why Zebeycyrl made her study those endless tomes or why she got angry over little things- like the dye in her glass of wine. The girl thought it a great prank, plus she hadn't gotten caught in the act. Zebeycyrl's teeth had been stained green, "to match her amulet."
Nilrae had been her salvation for the day. Usually assigned the never-ending task of cleaning the House chapel or throne room after his shorter lessons, cleaning the lab that day was pure or divine luck. The lock picks he managed to steal, he pocketed just in time to be 'escorted' back to his own bedchamber prison. As soon as Zebeycyrl had left him alone, he opened his door in a matter of minutes and snuck down to Zarae's room which was still currently on the second floor. He slipped her the lock picks under the door after a previously determined patterned knock. From much practice the last month, it only took a few moments to open the lock. Then sneaking down the corridor, they entered the anteroom.
No one was there.
Everyone in the immediate family had been told of the secret passage, ever in the case of a house invasion. It would only open to one with the Kilanatlar House insignia; the emblem a silvery token engraved with a spider and the house glyph on its reverse side, it possessed its own magic- a dweomer distinct to that house. only a noble of House Kilanatlar could carry one.
Nilrae checked the doors while Zarae then check the room. Still no one around- Perfect. She stepped up to the correct wall, waved hers in the right spot, and the secret door slid open. Looking back and then down the tunnel they entered as the door was closing.
Laughing at their luck, Nilrae smacked Zarae on the arm, "you're the spider," and took off down the tunnel. He glanced back and called, "no cheating this time."
With a mischievous, Zarae's eyes grew more violet; the hunt was on.
Zebeycyrl could sense something was up, the assassin able sense minute changes most perceptive drow would miss. Slipping out of her meditative state, she whispered a spell. The door to Zarae's room looked, to the average eye, like she had left it hours ago. But she knew something was not right. Her magical sight did not reveal anything new or different. Unlocking the door, Zebeycyrl saw that Zarae was gone. Her fury and eyes grew redder. She walked to the next door, the boy's chambers and unbolted Nilrae's room to find it empty also.
Zarae's natural athletic endurance and dexterity brought her closer to Nilrae. Unfortunately for him, he paused to look back for his pursuer. Zarae used this opportunity, the piwafwi hiding her heat shadow as she slipped by. The pause was just long enough for Zarae to jump him from behind.
"I don't need to cheat. You give me every advantage. Plus my superior skills," she laughed.
Rolling his multicolored eyes, "whatever."
Flashing his house insignia in front of the wall opened the warded secret door to the city. Another glance back for pursers they both exited the tunnel. Before them, the City of Dark Waters. The twins had planned to visit the market to find books and possibly get into a little trouble. Zarae's curiosity about the surface had been sparked when she overheard a conversation between the house males about a surface raid's success.
"I want to stop by this Bruhaonar's shop. I've heard he has collected a myriad of items from the surface world, especially tomes," she reminded Nilrae who stood fascinated with the dark beauty of his city. Zarae had to admit to herself how much she admired her city and would have stood in awe if she had not been so determined.
It was relatively early as the two walked rather proudly pass the mighty noble houses of the Brozen. Little activity occurred on the plateau, especially so early; some soldiers at post, a few merchants leaving to head to the market, and slaves cleaning up the streets. then of course the spiders that were everywhere and mingling freely among the city. The two walked unhindered, slaves quick to move out of the way of the nobles. Nilrae had to remind himself that they were on tight time schedule else they would just mosey along and enjoy being out of the compound by themselves the first time. The real challenge would be getting back before Zebeycyrl or worse, Matron Shyntyl, found out they snuck out. Leaving the House compound without permission was forbidden, if cought. But that would be dealt with later they told themselves.
They reached the bridge that led down into the rest of the city. Lucky for them, Bruhaonar's was on the north end of the market district. Before stepping onto the bridge, Nilrae opened is belt pouch and pulled out a small bag of shimery dust that resembled powdered graphite. The dust however appeared to change colors.
"Sprinkle this on me," he said, handing Zarae the bag, "I need to appear older."
"And if we get into a fight? We haven't actually been trained to fight yet. Wait, why you?"
"because I thought ahead to take it." he said matter-of-factly, "but we'll slip through the crowds in the shadows. I know you're better at it. And your aim is perfect enough with your throwing knives, but as a last resort, I took this potion," he retorted.
"O, Zeb is gunna kill you when she finds her potion gone…" she replied laughing, "let's go then."
Zarae sprinkled the powder on Nilrae, who to the normal eye grew several inches and 2 decades. He now appeared to be a low class first year student from the Academy.
"Anyone spellcaster is gunna see through your magical disguise," she reminded him as she handed him the empty leather bag. Shrugging, he pulled the cowl of his piwafwi tight to better hide his face along with Zarae as they stepped onto the bridge over the tributary Ryrrl. They traveled swathed in their piwafwis, faces hidden by the deep cowl of the hood.
Ryrrl was flowing smoothly as the city's river was calm during this season. The dark water looked like black glass. Niar'haanin d' Renor Vlos was rich with life. Deep in its depths dwelled blind cavefish, a favorite delicacy of nobles and dakhree from which a rare poison was taken from the toxin sacs of the fish. Zarae paused on the bridge pointing to a large dark object in the water. Nilrae nudged her along, peeking a glance back to the object.
As they entered the market place, life in the city seam to pick up pace immediately; the shops were opening up, vendors beginning to peddle their wares. Despite the business of the morning, it was relatively quiet. The two stop by a booth ran by Dwallum, a duergar merchant. Numerous gems, pieces of jewelry, and precious stones were carefully guarded. Seeing the young drows, enter his booth, he knew he needed to keep an extra eye on them, but he was busy dealing with a customer complaining about the amulet's crookedness. The magical disguised Nilrae purposely had the mischievous look of a trouble maker, drawing the attention to himself. Zarae was becoming a rather nimble and a practiced thief, always snatching things around the house that were a challenge, all just for the thrill of stealing things. Of course a hard whack with a metal rod the first few times made her more determined to not get caught. Just then a bright ruby caught her eye, the sparkle reflected from the citt's faerie fire coated buildings drawing her in. She knew it was worth a lot of gold, radiating magical energies. Nilrae knew his part when Zarae signaled to him discreetly.
He walked to the far end of the stall, faking a stumble and crashed into the table of uncut gems. Nothing was damaged or spilled, but the distraction was enough for her to snatch the ruby, pocket it and replace it with an inferior clone she taken from the house. She then walked to another table to pretend to look at jewelry.
Pointing a finger at Nilrae, "watch your step incompetent moss-headed pixie."
Dwallum finished up with his customer and walked over to Zarae, "I'm watching you closely. Now what do ye want, thurzh."
"Now, that's no way to treat potential customers now," the magically disguised Nilrae jested, "might I decide doing your apprentice a favor by removing his competition," he bluffed. Turning to Zarae, "come, let's go sister."
Playing the part well, she turned and left as Nilrae followed her out of the booth. They continued to stroll down the street passing a few stores to reach Bruhaonar's shop. Most of the permanent buildings were stationed in the northern part, including Bruhaonar's while transitory merchants dwelled in the southern part. Far enough away, she paused to look in her pouch. Her prize was magical indeed. On impulse, it was held up to her eye looking at Nilrae. She could see through the disguise.
"A gem of true seeing? oh, I'm good!"
******
Bruhaonar was an old drow, close to seven centuries old. Most people knew he had been blinded long ago but was in no way weak or feeble; his loss of sight heightened his remaining senses beyond normal ability. Few knew that Lady Erelae Helvighym and thus Eilistraee gave him magical sight, a radar sense that functioned similar to echolocation. The bard hd the choice to have his sight returned, but with wisdom turned his weakness into a gift for the sake of the rebel base.
Bruhaonar opened up his shop and waited behind the counter. His inventory included many gadgets and gizmos from the surface world- stuff most people would consider junk. Most importantly to Zarae, his shop contained books and journals of trips to the surface world. The 'encyclopedias' contained studies, firsthand accounts, and simple information on most topics ranging from weather to land formations, from magic to different races of Toril.
Entering the store, Zarae headed directly to the book shelves, glancing through the titles while Nilrae walked down the aisles. Zarae selected four books from the self and walked over to the counter. She set the books down to reach into her money pouch. Not knowing that old Bruhaonar was blind, she began to grow impatient at his slow progression twords her. She looked up from the books to speak when she saw his milky unfocused eyes.
"How much? I have fo-" she asked.
"Four silver pieces, one silver per book" he interrupted.
"in that case, here's a gold coin. I'll browse for a few more," excitedly she responded, not caring he seamed to 'see.'
Nilrae observed the conversation as he continued to browse the wares. Many of the items seamed to appear to have been navigational tools, such as compasses and light sources. One item especially caught his eye, a rock shaped bundle. It was wrapped in thick brown leather. He picked it up and began to unwrap it before Bruhaonar bellowed out to him, "that's a gem of continual light, you open it, you will blind yourself quickly."
Nilrae knew it would not blind him the same way it would other drow. He had been 'blessed' with the ability to endure all forms of light like a surface and could recover twice as quickly as others. but such a tool among the darkness of their world would have some use.
"I have a small vial of Jal wun Jivvin. I will trade," he asked hopefully.
The old drow could 'see' the excitement in the boy's face about the surface junk and the girls desire for the journals. He could also tell the two were only in their first decade. Their manerism and dress, along with spending such money on generally useless stuff told the old bard these were nobles. Chuckling, a few thoughts he kept to himself. Perhaps he would mention it to Lady Erelae. Nilrae walked over to the counter and handed the shop owner the vial. Bruhaonar held the vial up, spoke a few arcane words, and nodded, "done, but your product is worth more than that simple dweomer."
"Our family specializes in poisons and dyes. Especially one that is a favorite among the nobles and rogues."
"Shadow dye, I have a few jars in store," amused Bruhaonar, putting the vial into the alchemy cabinet.
The twins finished up their business and headed out the door.
They needed to hurry and get back.
As they rushed down the alleys past a few of the stores and venders, from the side street, a cloaked figure watched the two. He knew from their dress that they were wealthy and guessed they were young and inexperienced. Houseless rogues were forced to find their survival by any means possible, usually thieving. Pharn was once part of a wealthy House S'sril, a house that had been defeated by House Asbodela a decade ago. Alakara had been the third daughter to Matron S'sril but had been studying at Sorcere, rare for a female, when news of her house fell reached her. She quickly aligned herself with Pharn, a house solider and fled to Exarz in exile. There they built a small guild, the Blackened Fist, with other houseless rogues and preyed on unsuspecting wealthy in the marketplace.
The magical disguise of Nilrae had worn off and it made both drowlings easy targets. Zarae could sense someone watching them. Her heightened senses were rarely wrong. She quickly signed to Nilrae, "do you sense it? Someone's following us."
Discreetly looking around he signed back, "yeah, for a while too, since we left Bruhaonar's."
His hand instinctively went for his hidden knife as they continued down the street.
"I have an idea," Zarae signed discretly, "we'll lead him to a secluded alley; I'll levitate above you and lie in wait. While you bait them, I'll ambush."
Shaking his head, "Sounds good, but why do I always have to be the bait?" He knew what her response would be though.
"I'm female and because your better at being bait."
Nilrae saw the perfect alley and both turned down it.
"That rock, when he tries to corner you, open it up. Got it?"
Nilrae nodded and waited, pretending to be lost. Zarae levitated above and cloaked herself in invisibility, listening for her cue.
Pharn thought his luck was turning out well for today. The two spoiled kids just turned down a dead end. Drawing his dagger he turned down the alley to just one drow, he didn't think much of it; they were kids after all. He grinned as he drew closer to the red streaked silver haired boy. Nilrae was always better at faking expressions. His façade of terror and confusion seamed to be working perfectly; Zarae may be better at sneaking and stealing, but her eyes could give her away and she had a hard time being so serious, thus he was a better deceiver in bluffing. He quickly turned around his knife drawn and standing defensively. He waited as Pharn drew closer. As he reached the marked spot, Nilrae dropped the blade, it clank loudly onto the stone. the signal. closing his eyes and opening his other hand, a blinding light shot forth stunning the surprised Pharn. The thief's head suddenly burned in agony, and he reeled backwards, trying to get away from the light. For eyes accustomed to blackness, tuned in to heat emanations, the intrusion of such radiance came in a blinding flash of agony. Zarae released her levitation dropping onto Pharn, the pommel of her small blade striking Pharn's temple, knocking him out cold. His body hit the ground with a soft thud as Zarae landed atop of him. The girl jumped up and dusted herself off.
She kicked the unconscious male in the ribs to be sure he was out and then spit on him, "Underestimate a Kilanatlar next time, shebali, it may be my blade in your head."
Putting the stone away, and resheathing his blade, Nilrae bent down and searched his belonging. But he found nothing but a few coins and some pipeweed. The two dragged the unconscious male into the corner propping him up, placing the herbs in his hand, and staged it like he passed out intoxicated.
They hurried the rest of the way home without incident.
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:55 am

Upon entering the house stood Matron Shyntyl. She was in the anteroom talking to Sornhrae, another one of her consorts, and one who had not been given the Kilanatlar noble name. The twins realized they were caught as their mother's face suddenly turned amused and furious at the same time.
"Next time listen before you enter," Zarae signed secretly to her brother.
Matron Shyntyl dismissed Sornhrae and turned to her youngest children as they bowed their heads in respect and faliure.
"Well, what should I do now? You know sneaking out of the compound is forbidden. I am rather amused though. My children are rather resourceful and clever. How did you manage to escape from Zebeycyrl's watch?"
Neither answered. Instead they waited for their punishment that was coming.
"Unfortunately you didn't think too much ahead to not get caught in the first place."
The snake headed whip came down, first on Zarae. The fangs bit in with burning agony and wreaking pain. Then Matron Shyntyl turned and Nilrae felt the sting. His own punishment lasting until he could barely move. Then with no further word, she left the two to think about it.
A lowly half drow entered the room right after the matron left, kneeling down to the two still curled up on the floor. "You are expected to be on time for supper," the servant's soft voice spoke. She had to get them changed and ready within the hour or else the three would be in trouble.
Zarae moved first the pain slowly leaving her. She sat up, seeing Nilrae twitching from pain. The servant helped her to her feet, then moved over to Nilrae. He winched as she touched his shoulder but was unable at the moment to pull back from her.
Nilrae currently curled up on his bed. He wanted so bad to be cursing his mother, but fear of her wrath, and of Lloth's, he instead turned them on himself, for getting caught and on the faerie elves as he had been taught. He grabbed a pillow and tried yanking it in hope of ripping it. Anything to vent his anger on. it too went flying across the room. A soft knock on the door and he paused, his breath heavy and sweat covering his face. Another knock and the door creaked open. A look of confusion was on the half drow's face at the mess. She could only sigh and shake her head.
"Supper time."
******
Zarae paced her room rubbing the back of her neck where one set of fangs sank in. She too was upset; she'd gotten them into trouble- again. Mostly, angry because she'd gotten caught. A few blades were in the dresser, stuck hard and fast. She walked over to her bed, picked up Shade and stared at the stuff toy's eight eyes with an intense glare. "I know Zeb did this. We will get her back!" she declared intently.
Of course Zarae would not let their punishment stop her from getting out. She would just have to become more creative and devious. Shade went back to her bed under the covers as a knock on her door alerted her.
Both the twins were escorted to the dining hall, where everyone else of the immediate family had already gathered. The room was large and divided into two rooms. The first room was bigger and full of small round tables and stone chair where the house workers and non-family members ate. Orange faerie fire covered a small chandelier in the center. Three long murals ran along the wall. Near the divider a statue of a drow female upper half and spider body guarded the entrance to the other half of the dining hall. In the second part was two tables. The smaller one in the furtherst corner round with six stone chairs with red velvet cushions. A 12 foot rectangular table stood in the center. A large plush stone chair covered with purple coverings sat at the end. On the side was eight similar chairs with blue coverings. Soft red faerie fire lined the ceiling in even spaced locations. Two stone spider golems guarded the door to the kitchen.
The males were seated at the round table the females at the other. Matron Shyntyl sat at the head, her face blank as the last two entered. Xullafay and Zebeycyrl closest to her. Myrurra next to Zebeycyrl, Alylin actually home and next to Xullafay. Zarae took her seat, one away from Alylin. Nilrae sat down at the male's table, furthest chair from the matron mother. He said nothing, but his eyes were redder than usual. Neeryrd grinned at the boy's misfortune; word already reached what happened earlier.
kitchen slaves, a male halfling and young half orc female brung out the trays. A ceramic decanter of scalding Kal-da, a drink made of diluted Ka-la-na wine, mixed with lemon juice and stinging spices, and a crystal decanter of Orbb Jhinrae, a dark red surupy sweetly tart beverage made from secretion of sacred spiders, was placed on the table. Each female was handed a crystal glass. The halfling returned to the back with another tray and headed over to the males. A pitcher of Pagar-Sa-Tarna, a spiced fermented brew made from Sa-Tarna grain, and a pitcher of Rence beer. Small ceramic glasses were set before each male.
The half orc began her task setting out the dishes and silverware, first to all the females then to the males. The halfling returned to the back to get the meals ready while the half orc began pouring drinks. The room was rather quiet, not a lot of talk occurring at either table. Zarae's leg bounced as she sat uncomfortable in the large room. Only once a month, a supper was required that they eat together, which also meant being on time. Progress reports were usually the first topic followed by boring conversations on city news, house business, and other things she didn't care about. There was little she could do other than squirm and entertain herself with her imagination. Zebeycyrl many times looked over to the young girl, giving her an evil eye scowl. When the assassin looked away, Zarae would make a secret face at her sister then continue to silently grumble. Matron Shyntyl's elbows on the table, fingers folded together and watched her youngest daughter. Xullafay had begun small talk with Alylin over her business with the rebel group. Myrurra sat gulping down the wine then waited as the slave poured her another glass, joining in the conversation when mention of a trip to Skullport came up in conversation.
Matron Shyntyl sipped her wine, still quiet, but now with a an amused look watching the girl entertain herself.
Then as if multitasking and listening the entire time, "No Myrurra. You will not be going," the matron said casually, "Neither is Zebeycyrl or Alylin to join in. Matron Mae'vir wants her own daughters, no other's."
"What!" came Xullafay, "they exclude our house?" she asked incredulously.
"they are up to something rather underhandly," Myrurra replied, "fearing their place in the city so she must strengthen their position."
"so why was it mentioned in your council meeting?" Alylin asked.
"Rhylaun is to go along with a leading male from the other four. Mae'Vir does not fear the males, underestimating our weapon-master. Besides, Xullafay, you do not like sailing," the matron slyly insulting her daughter.
"Zarae," the matron said firmly, "we will discuss today's incident after supper."
The girl sighed wondering if she could sneak out before the conclusion of dinner.
******
Conversation at the males table was slightly more relaxed, less business. Sornhrae was doing the most speaking, mostly gossip and dark tales occurring in the city. Rhylaun poured himself another glass of Rence then leaned back in his chair, gloved fingers tapping the table. The conversation naturally turned to Skullport. Rhylaun and Gulhrys, House Mae'Vir house wizard, would be heading a small group on one of the ships to the outpost. Of course, the weaponmaster had plans of his own unknown to any. He would need to meet with a contact from treea dal Har'oloth.
The door opened and several trays were carried out with dishes of hot food. A plate of smoked wingfish, lichen salad, baked Kes, and Marnosk cheese was set before the matron. Plates were set before each female, their dishes each something they enjoyed. Zarae who'd been using her knife to draw on her napkin finally received her meal, her stomach growling as it was set on the table- fried rothe strips with cave fisher sauce and sautéed mushrooms. Zarae tried to wait as long as she could, hoping to draw out supper as long as possible. Another growl of the stomach, she couldn't wait, reaching for the hot piece of meat and dipping it into the red sauce.
Nilrae hated the taste of alcohol but drank what was given. his plate finally set before him, he didn't wait to eat. A plate of steamed mollusk with mushroom flour noodles and rothe cheese sauce. The males all dug into their plates as chatter became the crunching and munching of delicious delicacies. The fork twirled around the noodles and into the hungry boys mouth.
Rhylaun finally broke the silence, "During the next week, Sornhrae, you will stand in my place."
"What? Why him? He does not even wear the Kilanatlar name!" Neeryrd exclaimed.
"I would advise secondboy to watch his tongue and place," Izzmurss spoke, "or else he may find himself shown his place."
Rhylaun, who was not amused at the wizard's intrusion ignored them both and continued, "Nilrae," getting the boys attention, "you are commanded to be up and ready before business hours."
Neeryrd's mouth hung open, Nilrae giving him a smug look before quickly hiding it; but the boy could not hide the excitement in his eyes. Despite how bad today had gone, he was going to get to journey on one of the famed ships of Lith My'Athar!
******
Velnarin walked the white light lined halls, impressed by the shear amount of subtlety that went into the house's design and architecture. He had been here 5 years and it was a place he could truly call home. Sure part of it looked like any other house in the city; the compound was like any other drow place. A grand hall decorated with random geometric shapes as murals on the walls highlighted with numerous colors of faerie fire greeted any guest, both dwellers of the house and enemies. Carved figures of dancing drow stood beside the fake throne. They had a had a wavy appearance, indicating they were disguised. Gifts from the Dark Maiden, any not of her faith saw only two priestess standing beside a marble chair. The 3 level stone house also had mithril veins enforcing the walls, rooms, a chapel, a dining hall, kitchen, gym, all the basics a house had. But what was different was the complex deeper inside the cavern. A complex that held a couple hundred people of many races- many of the non-drow inhabitant rescued slaves who had stayed. Many of the surface races over time were returned to the Light Above. the classrooms were unique to the studies: magic training, history/religion, and other important school studies. The gyms were rather neutral and the dorms were fitted to the younglings, dived into male and female sections and washrooms and further divided by age categories. Other rooms included teacher rooms, storage, a cafeteria and the grandest room of all. The Cavern of Song, a dome shaped cavern and no illusions effected the carvings. The center held a large statue made in the replica of the Dark Maiden; hands above her head, a sword between them. The statue's hair flowed around her unclad body down to her feet. A beach ball sized whitish blue ball of faerie fire was permanently set above to represent the moon and bath the cavern in its light. It was the closest to the real moon they could get 6 miles underground.
Velnarin turn a corridor coming to a closed door. He rubbed her hands on his black shirt trying to remove any nervousness. He didn't even know why he was. Eva had bring news that Lady Erelae requested to see him as soon as possible. So he stood at her door wondering what she could want. From inside he heard, "come in."
Velnarin entered, stunned by the normalcy of the priestess's room. It was decorated with art, for elves loved art, but it was nothing he imagined it. Not the over rich furniture or expenses in the room. Instead, its walls were decorated in geometric designs that one could imagine a spider shape. Tho to many it would appear as something else. A whitish ball of faerie fire illuminated the room in a soft silvery glow. Lady Erelae sat up from her desk a warm smile on her face as she motioned for him to come on in as she closed the thick tome.
"I assure you, there is nothing sly going on nor any tricks. You may close the door."
He chuckled nervously, but he didn't doubt her words. Walking over twords her he gave a courteous bow then looked into her warm turquoise eyes. Lady Helvighym was as beautiful as a 3rd century drow, even if she had been in her sixth century. her presence warm and peaceful, even if she was always busy.
"Vendui Lady Helvighym, guiding mother of this esteemed house and priestess of the Dark Maiden."
The older drowess rolled her eyes playfully but said nothing of it; "Vendui abbil," her face then showing concern, determination, and a few other emotions Velnarin had not figured out yet. "Sit please," she continued pulling out a chair for him then likewise sitting herself. He did so, eyes not leaving her face. Only in the rebel house could he look a female in the face and not fear for his life.
Straitening herself to begin, "I know you have not been here long. But I asked you because of your expertise and former position within your house. I have a mission for you," she paused to gage his reaction before continuing, "At the 6 hour, a ship is heading to Skullport. As you know our city has an outpost there. What most do not know is a group of fellow believers are there. Ithlyn is a contact. I need you to meet up with her sometime within the time you are there. Every person on that ship will clearly be serving their own house, so you will not be the only one to slip off."
"Why me? Are there not more qualified to do this?"
"Possibly. But I trust your capabilities. This will be an information gathering mission. Simple, but very vital." She stood up and walked over to desk and pulled out a bundle of leather wrapped parchments.
Velnarin seamed to think hard about it; 'trust' that was a word that was rare as sun among the drow. Uncertainly filled him. But when he looked back up to the woman clutching the bundle, he nodded his agreement.
"This is what you will need to get on the ship." handing them to the male, "you will be a low level house soldier of Mae'Vir. These papers will identify you as proof that you belong in the crew."
"And if discovered by my house? Omat must believe the matron's favored son dead? How would it look if he suddenly showed up as a Mae'Vir solider?"
"Only the ruling house are going."
"I do not know how the first thing about a ship."
"If you look, your position, tho lowly, has you as a soldier and you will be below decks most of the time."
"If I get caught. Or worse? What…" he tried to choke back the thoughts, "what if they discover you or this place?" he did not believe he would be strong enough, not like Lady Erelae's daughter had been.
"Lady Silverhair is with you. She will guide you."
******
Supper nearing its end, the slaves were getting the meals for the rest of the workers prepared. Dessert had been served, Tastas- soft, rounded, succulent candies, usually covered with a coating of syrup or fudge, and molasses. The slave did not place the plate of candy before the girl, the matron not allowing her the treat. Zarae picked at the last strip of rothe and the two mushrooms, peeking a glance back at her mother who was now enjoying her sweet treat along with the other daughters.
"Finish it or it will be taken," the matron finally said in annoyance at the girl's attempted tactics. Zarae sighed and did so.
Hopping off the chair to head out she finished her meal. by now everyone had cleared the room, leaving only Zarae and her mother. The other half of the dining room had become nearly full as drinks were served to each table. Zarae walked solemnly twords the anteroom.
Running free among the city. Laughing as she was chased by her brother. They paused to watch the small fight break out, Zarae and Nilrae betting on a winner. Nilrae won the bet and the two walked off laughing at the after match. The two walked off deciding to visit the navy yard to see one of the magnificent ships. But before getting to far, they stopped off to take a dip in the cold flowing waters.
Then she was in a room full of hundred of colors, most she didn't know what they were. Fabric lining the room to go with the rainbow of light filling the spaces above. Zarae spun in a circle, adding more movements until it became a dance. Her hair flowed around her like a silky cloth, capturing the light and appearing to glow. Her movements became more complex and more elaborate, adding jumps and midair twirls. Cloth between her fingers spun with her and swirled around her lithe and graceful frame.

Or so Zarae imagined as her mother voice continued in the background, mostly unheard by the girl who was stuck in her mind. Somehow she manage to keep her head and eyes forward and remain still. Zarae only picked up a few words here and there. Matron Shyntyl pacing in front of the girl. So distracted the girl didn't notice her mother stop and look at her.
"Nothing to say?" the voice broke thru, a face staring scornfully at her.
"There's not enough color in here," came out before she could stop it.
A slap, not often used by the matron on a female stung the girl's face and knocking her to the ground. The matron rubbed her temples in frustration, Zarae staying on the ground, not looking up.
"get up and act like my dalhari!"
The girl bit back, wisely so, a retort she had. Slowly standing to her feet as the mark on her face showed up. she bowed her head, her now dark bluish eyes didn't hold the lively flame usually there. For once the matron had no idea what to do. Never had she had a daughter such as the girl before her. The girl was creative, clever, even resourceful, but she had still yet to learn her place.
"Get out of my sight."
Zarae didn't waste any time, and was out as fast as she could move. Zebeycyrl was summoned in shortly after into the chamber. The look on her mother's face told her this would not go well at all.
"10 years you had been given to get her ready to become a proper priestess," the matron replied evenly, her back to the second daughter looking up at the statue behind the throne. "When I selected you, I had believed you the more capable. The most likely to succeed. Lloth has great plans for our house, and that child will be a key to Mae'Vir's undoing and our rise in power like we have never seen before," her voice rising as she spoke, turning to face the assassin, "Yet she finds time to not only escape, but to sneak off into the city from under your very nose!"
"The girl, she does not listen, she refuses to work. She spends all her time rebelling against me. She is impossible to work with."
"Your excuses are as tiring as her disrepect. Your failure is a disgrace to this house and to the Spider Queen," her voice coldly calm again. The matron then turned her back again to her daughter, unafraid of a blade or attack- another subtle reminder the power and favor Shyntyl had with Lloth. A dangerous thought occurred to Zebeycyrl, she could try to remove her mother now and hope to remove her older sister. But the assassin knew it was too risky now. Her mother had to lose favor or be weakened in some other way.
"You have three more years until otherwise noted."
"What!"
Matron Shyntyl turned her head to her daughter daring her to continue. Zebeycyrl too wisely kept her mouth shut. Sooner or later she would be slipping that blade into her mother heart and claiming the covet title of matron. Dismissed Zebeycyrl had turned to exit.
"If she is able to find time to learn such skills, she is not busy enough."
******
A pounding woke her from her rest, her hand instantly reaching for the blade she always kept under her pillow. Again another pounding when she groggily realized it was next door. Getting up, she tip toed over to the door and put her ear to it. Nilrae's door opened and a muffled conversation followed. A few words stood out- 'go' 'leaving now' and a name she hadn't heard of- Siasta. The girl cracked her door just enough to peek out and see Nilrae close his door and follow the usually silent sword guy. 'I wonder where they're going?' she thought to herself. When they were far enough away, she quietly closed her door behind her and followed. 'Averl's recent tips were more useful than I thought,' she thought to herself. One of servant had been teaching her tricks and better methods of sneaking around in exchange for small things or minor favors; Zarae always thought that they were nothing and agreed. And now to sneak around the weapon-master, the epitome of stealth… Or at least she thought anyway. The girl was getting better and rather skilled for her age, but he knew she was following them and said nothing.
Pausing at the entrance to the foyer of the house, she watched as he gave a few last instructions to Nilrae and head twords the exit. The tall male turned Zarae's direction, winked and then exit the house.
"Well, that just aint fair."
A small contingent of 4 soldiers awaited for Rhylaun and Nilrae as they walked into the courtyard of the compound. Moving to attention until they were in the midst then turned to follow around the two nobles. The group made their way thru the Brozen, early enough that there were few out in the district; but soon other small contingencies from the other 4 top houses too were heading to the House Mae'Vir compound. The Kilanatlar's were greeted by a short male of ashen color skin and grayish white hair. His face had a permanent hard look and sneering lips made him very imposing despite his short height. Pulling his deep purple piwafwi around him tightly, he motioned for the two to follow and the guards to leave. Nilrae looked to the faces of those around him then shrugged.
They followed around the south side twords the Mae'Vir dock. Closer they got, the more excited the boy got, ignoring the rest going on around him.
Before them, the Siasta. a marvelous ship of dark colored wood and mithril reinforced; it was narrow, less than 10 feet across for fitting thru the tunnels and 18 feet long with two 5 foot high decks below. On the side a black shield like sigil with a red black widow- a sigil of the first house. Three mast, able to extend or shrink as needed, that could unfurl ominous black sails with the same red black widow. magic was its power, enchanted with crystals that could allow the ship to fly; this crystal remained hidden to all but Gulhrys. A demonic dragon head on the front set with a red gems in the eyes. Watching it long enough, it seamed the eyes would grow brighter then dimmer while a small black fog seeped from it mouth. Workers swarm the decks preparing the ship to leave within the hour. Walking among the males a high priestess directing and threatening with her 4 headed scourge of fangs.
Led down to the boarding plank, they fell into line to load as House Ischarri's man handed over his documents. Behind Rhylaun and Nilrae a young man stood. He was dressed as a low level house soldier of Mae'Vir but he did not have the demeanor of house. Nilrae watched him in slight interest, believing the man nervous about sailing. Most drow never set foot on such grandeur as Lith My'Athar's ships. The City of Dark Waters was one of the few cities to have a port.
******
Velnarin dressed in the clothing provided by Lillintha. He still was unsure about the task, spending the night preparing and praying. Maryne had helped the young man prepare and provide a comforting hand.
"Lady Erelae has faith in you. Relax!" she said giggling as she noticed her hand had ticked Velnarin.
he turned to take her hand gently and kiss it, "I do not worry about my part, I have done it for 3 decades. I worry that if I were to be discovered that they may discover this place. The priestesses have mind reading spells."
Maryne smiled pulling out a small ring. The band of mithril and silver, an ancient script was engraved in the metal. She held it up twords his face, "this will stop any prying. But staying hidden and out of the way is your best bet."
He took the ring as she leaned over to kiss him a good luck.
Velnarin made his way, the paperwork ready and playing his part well, the first group of sailors boarding the vessel. He eventually got in line behind a red streaked hair male and a drowling that was definitely his son. Had he known the houses better, he would know right away that the red piwafwis were Kilanatlar nobles.
"the boy is with me," came in front of Velnarin roughly.
The line moved on, paperwork handed over, assignments given and then directed where to head next. The disguised Velnarin was directed to the lowest deck and hurried there as quick as he could. 5 soldiers in what he guessed was equal rank were there stowing belongings. Four others, younger students of Melee Magthere entered followed by two drowlings.
Within the hour the ship pulled out from Mae'Vir's port and was sailing twords the main river to head south.
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar
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Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:02 pm

Zarae sighed in slight frustration. She didn't know what was going on, but somehow Nilrae was getting to go out in the city. Maybe she should have paid attention during last evening's dinner. Oh well now. It was still early, very early. No one was out and about in the compound much, less inside. Perfect. Unable to go back to her rest she decided to see Averl. Heading upstairs to her room, she searched for something to use in payment for another lesson. Shuffling thru her trunk at the foot of her bed, Zarae had a collection of random things she'd taken over the years whenever she found something of interest- a couple of small gems, a few vials of poisons, and a strange flask of some liquid all hidden beneath spare linens.
"Guess this will have to do," she said to herself, pulling out the flask and holding it up to faerie fire that served as a light. She only hoped it wasn't something that would come backfire on her later. Still dressed in her night shirt she closed the trunk lid and hurried out and down twords the servant quarters.
******
Nilrae watched the crew work the ship down the river. The drawbridge rising for them to pass and into the cavern they went. The boat fit nicely in the narrow river tunnel, magic guiding it keeping it from running into walls with the wild waters.
The high priestess stepped out of her quarters on the back side of the ship. Nilrae couldn't make out what was said as he was too much focused on all the activity going on around him. Though he managed to see her walk over to a powerfully robed male wizard. Rhylaun walked up to Nilrae, watching him with interest, before placing a hand on the boys shoulder. He was rather glad of the boy interested in the ship. He intended to train Nilrae to manage the small ship Kilanatlar had when he was of age. In turn, Nilrae would be apart the Masked Lord's plans. Oh what fun it would be to 'corrupt' Shyntyl's youngest son.
The priestess called out to Rhylaun to join her and the Mae'Vir wizard, the weapon-mater rolling his eyes but motioned to her he was on his way. "I suggest you get to work boy," he whispered before walking off.
All drowlings were assigned menial jobs slaves usually did. But the ship contained no slaves at the moment. And the ones they would pick up would be chained until delivered to Lith My'Athar.
Velnarin stood in the door way watching the drowlings scrubbing the floor. He hid the sadness he felt watching them, the reminder of his first 3 decades in House Omat. To be treated just barely better than a slave because he was male. In the corner an older boy watched as the smallest one finished his section quickly to be allowed to head up on the deck. The older drowling decided that the other boy had to go; he was threat to him. But he could not attack now. The key was as long as you were not caught. Velnarin, saw that look and knew instantly. He'd have to watch the two or someone would end up dead, himself included.
Nilrae walked up behind Velnarin at that moment, 'reporting for work'. Directed to the back, Nilrae was given the chore of helping prepare the first meal.
******
The halls of the house were still quiet as the girl hurried swiftly down the corridor. The door quickly opening and nearly ran into her as she skidded to a stop in a matter of seconds. A male exited, surprised by the sudden appearance of the girl. His surprise was momentary as his attitude returned to his usual defeated manor.
"Watch it!" Zarae called out to the surface elf slave then ignored him to enter the room he left.
The room was rectangular long, and crowded with 50 bunk beds in shambles permeated with a smell of body sweat and unclean linens. The back held a tiny room that served as a washroom. Yellow and orange faerie fire was covering the ceiling, allowing those without the natural darkvision to see. Two or three trunks were piled in a corner, open with changes of clothing inside.
A cough from the smell was held back at the overwhelming stench that hit her nose. And this was the better off slaves and servants; she'd hate to go down to the basement with the goblins, kobolds, and similar slaves. Some slaves and servants were getting dressed to begin work for the day. At that time 5 of the night shift returned to the room. Zarae slipped among the people trying not to touch anything. A small scuffle over a clean shirt finished with one of the slaves hitting the floor. Several scowled as the noble moved among them, few trying to intimidate the girl or even threaten her. Moving on with no cares or fear, she found who she was looking for. A short pale woman of auburn hair and half elven descent.
Averl sat on her bed on the top bunk, one of the cleanest in the chamber, legs dangling over a bunk containing a sick male halfling. Bright emerald eyes looked up to see the girl heading twords her a flack in hand. She shook her head, knowing exactly why she was their but surprised the girl had returned so soon. Dexterous hands buttoned the jerkin and slipped on leather slippers. Feet hit softly on the stone, hands motioning the girl to follow even before Zarae could speak.
Averl led Zarae to a relatively empty storage room. The stone door creaking slightly both entered. The servant cleared her throat and Zarae cast white faerie fire above them.
"I suppose that is payment? Tho I didn't expect you to return so soon," Averl spoke first.
"I probably wont be able to get away as much for a while now and I was already up."
"Very well," her hand out to take her payment.
They spent half an hour practicing techniques and new tricks of moving silently and hiding among the shadows of the boxes and equipment. Zarae's skill was improving, her steps growing quieter every session, her being spotted by the skilled servant harder each time. Averl would correct her when needed with suggestions, moving her posture, smacking areas that where wrong.
"More toe. Use the light patterns to your advantage. Good. turn and change…now. Alright, do it again. Move from the door to a spot of your choosing without me knowing as I set up the next part."
While the girl continued to practice, Averl set up the dummy with an old robe. Small bells were attached to it in various places. Then she took an empty flask and set it inside one of the hidden pockets. Then also set a box down over in the middle of the room, fixing the locking mechanism and setting a tiny dart trap. She didn't hear Zarae moving, about to praise the girls work, when she turned to see Zarae still at the door.
"what are you waiting for?"
"you didn't hear me did you? There's more to it than just not being heard if I remember you telling me right," the girl smarted off crossing her arms with a fake smug look.
Averl rolled her eyes trying to hid the small smile on her face. The noble daughter at times was so comical in her actions. She had a hard time believing this girl would one day be a cold hearted walking instrument of death and betrayal, an embodiment of evil. How life here in this hell would change her. And it was these things she reminded herself not to let the girl get to her.
Zarae used the distraction she sensed in her teacher to moved around the room and begin working on the lock. It wasn't until the trap was sprung with an "ouch" when she realized Zarae had gotten so far. Zarae shook her hand from the pinhole wiping the blood on her night shirt, the tiny dart having stuck her hard in the finger.
"let's practice some some hand eye coordination. You have the ability to remove objects in stationary places with no one observing. but we will test others. I have hidden a few items somewhere on the dummy. Remove the items without the bells ringing."
"what?" confused at the lesson, but then welcoming the challenge.
After an hour and a half, it was decided that the day's lesson was done. Zarae had to get dressed, eat breakfast and be ready for another day in less than 30 minutes, meanwhile not getting caught that she had been with Averl. Bare feet made no sound as she traversed the corridors and stairs to the second floor. No one was in the halls she could see. Zarae hurried into her room, threw on a baggy shirt that could pass as a short dress, trousers and clipped the belt in place. Slippers on and grabbing the knife from her desk, she rushed out the door, down the stairs and to the dining hall. Neeryrd was the only one currently in there, the half orc standing between the two tables waiting to serve.
After breakfast, Zebeycyrl guided Zarae to the room for the day's lessons, the girl grudgingly following. Back to the desk, Zarae opened the tome, but waited for Zebeycyrl to leave so she could sneak out. But after a while, Zarae noticed that her sister had yet to leave. Looking up from the tome she peeked back to see the assassin looking over a pile of parchments.
Zebeycyrl decided to stay after yesterday's fiasco. She might would have preferred to catch the brat in the act, but she managed to slip by her many times without notice. So instead, she'd torture by not allowing her to break out at all. Plus it would allow some time to prepare for her mission to Charrvhel'raugaust, Lith My'athar's a rival city.
The day passed agonizingly slow, and for the first time she actually got some of her studies in. today's covered ancient history of the elves and the twisted version of the Crown Wars and Dark Descent. Some of it had been interesting at least. Zarae thought some of it was sketchy. But she didn't know better, so she had to believe it was true- the Ilythiiri Dark Elves only protecting their lands in answer to the aggressions of Ar-tel-quessir, Sun elves' and Sy-tel-quessir, Wild Elves' attacks. Lloth, the Spider Queen came to the Ilythiiri, gave them the power to defeat those trying to destroy them and avenge themselves from High Mages who attacked. The faerie elves and their gods betrayed the Ilythiiri and turned them into their current form and banish them from the light. The Spider Queen again took them under her claws, gave them the power to forge their kingdom in the Underdark and one day would conquer all.
It was the end of the day, Zarae yawned when Zebeycyrl finished the lesson for supper and finally dismissed her. The girl ate quietly, only the presence of Myrurra this time in the dining hall. Unlike Zebeycyrl or Xullafay, the adopted daughter didn't seam to look down on her as much. At least not so obviously and blatantly. And if Zarae had known better, she might would have caught on that her sister feared, as all older siblings did, being removed by a younger rival trying for a better position.
Zarae tried to start a conversation with her sister while eating, but the priestess seamed so focused on something, she didn't respond, move or even appear to blink when called. Instead, getting up, with Myrurra still deep in thought as she looked down to her rothe roast mumbling to herself, Zarae snuck over to her sister and went reaching for a pocket. Myrurra happen to notice something odd, reaching down to feel a hand. The young priestess quickly snapped out of her 'trance' to the girl she caught. Zarae gave her best innocent smile, pulling her hand back and both going behind her back.
"Imagine if I had been an enemy," Zarae bluffed, her eyes returning back to their normal maroon, "you could have been dead already. I…thought…"
"Next time it might be an enemy who slices that smile off that pretty little face," Myrurra spat pushing Zarae back to fall on her rump hard before getting up from the table to leave the room.
"what and roll over top me?" Zarae retorted bitterly as she stood beside the table, not thinking before speaking.
Myrurra stopped half way out the room and turned to her insolent sister, a look of hatred and threat together. The stalky girl was touchy about her size and any jabs about her weight. Her face was bright red in both their darkvision and normal vision. Myrurra's hand went to the platinum disk around her neck, and began the words of a spell.
Zarae knew she erred as magical energies started to gather. She might had been 'chosen' but Lloth was fickle and only the strongest, most resourceful, and skilled survived. Instinctively, she started to pulled the knife from her belt and prepared to throw it, Myrurra's spell nearly complete. grabbng a plate off the table Zarae flung it like a frizbee at her head. Myrurra not having any defensive spells up at the moment, flinched losing concentration, her spell fizzing out.
"You are dead!"
The blade slide from the belt and released from her hand, just missing the ticked-off priestess and clanking to the floor. Zarae scrambled to her feet quickly and took off running for the kitchen, the sounds of crashing plates followed by a rampaging Myrurra not nearly as quick. She looked around the room, the slaves frozen in fear, the one trying to clean up backing out of the way before... but the priestess grabbed him by the shirt, hauled him to his toes growling the question, "where is she?"
The slave shaking with fear could not manage a coherent statement and none of the others bothered to stand up for the male. Zarae, using the tricks from her lessons, slipped around the backside of the kitchen to get behind.
"you as slow as your brain," Zarae mocked then took off again.
Myrurra threw the slave into the stone counter and followed after the girl, preparing to release a spell. Believing Zarae had entered the dining hall, Myrurra spoke the words of a true seeing spell and searched the room in every dark corner and cubby. But Zarae had changed at the last minute, finding a small trap door the slaves had made and entered quietly, dropping 5 feet to the stone tunnel. Small rods of dull continual light lined the wall at 10 foot intervals. Zarae ran down it, not looking for traps or other possible dangers, turning around an L shaped corner and stopping to listen. It then hit the girl that the slaves had a secret tunnel to begin with. That would be punishable by death if anyone of her sisters or especially her mother found out.
She might use this to her advantage.
Still no sounds of anyone entering the tunnel. At least she hoped so. Following it, it lead to another a dead end. The slaves were obviously still working on it she noted annoyed now. So she could stay put and wait it out, go back and hope that Myrurra was searching else where in the house, or…then she spotted it. Still in progress and hidden by lack of light, a partial door. Intrigued, her eyes brilliant violet, she walked over to it. She didn't spot any traps, no hidden switches or anything out of the ordinary.
******
Myrurra continued to search the room, her foot hitting the adamantine blade that was thrown at her. Reaching to pick it up, she decided she'd kill the girl with her own blade, if she could find her. Three others entered the dining hall to see the priestess bending to look under the male's tables.
"I believe Myrurra has lost her mind," Xullafay sneered to Alylin. Izzmurss wisely kept his mouth shut taking his seat.
"Matron's little pet will not live to her next birthday," Myrurra snapped.
"You keep your hands off her or I will personally remove you myself," the eldest daughter spoke, the snake heads of her whip becoming more active.
With a huff and a few mumbled choice words, Myrurra left, put in her place.
"I would not mind if that girl got thrown around a few times, but I will not have her acting as if she is one of us. She only bears the Kilanatlar name because Matron Shyntyl needed daughters," the eldest said offhandedly.
******
"Ouch," shaking her finger after the sharp object imbedded in the door cut her. The excess material of her large shirt and gathered and bundled around her hands to attempt to push it open. With hard work the door budged open enough for her to slip in. the other side was a shaft going up straight beyond her vision. To her left, a tunnel she would need to crawl to enter. Activating her levitation, she rose in the air slowly up the shaft, counting the distance she traveled. A hollow thunk, her head hit something hard. "Stupid…thing, " she grunted rubbing the sore spot. She couldn't see even with her darkvision, which meant some darkness spell. Her hand reached up to feel that it was not stone, but a material similar to her sister's desk- tree if she remembered right; a material common on the surface. She pushed up on it as hard as she could, but the object didn't budge. Defeated, she levitated back down, hoping the spell wouldn't expire before she cleared the nearly 100 feet.
Shoes touched down quietly onto the stone, Zarae looking back up wondering which room she had been at. She knew she was either basement level or lower. Her guess, below the basement. That made her only more curious. Everyone knew the lowest level slaves and of course a room few spoke of without fearing. Kneeling down, she peered down the small tunnel. It occurred to her that it could be dangerous, but less so than returning and falling into her sister's hands. Zarae got down onto her knees then entered the tunnel.
The passage was long and the girl had been in it over several hours, yet it kept on going. Many times she wondered if she should turn back, but adventure and fear of her life kept her going. Another thunk into a hard object with her head, the sound echoing down the long tunnel she'd traversed. "if I run into another hard object…" rubbing the spot. She reached out believing it was a dead end, to brush against a small metal knob. "a door!" her voice echoing, then her hand slapping over her mouth.
Holding her breath she pulled on the knob, the door scraping hard on the stone but opened. Dull light flooded into the tunnel, indicating she was inside the house. Out of the tunnel she did not recognize where she was. The smell was worse than anything she'd ever smelt, not only was their body odors, waste, and foul moldy smells, there was the smell of fire, and burning of flesh. There was a door in front of her and a door down the hall. The sounds of small light feet, grunting and soft voices in a harsh guttural language.
"the basement? This is disgusting!"
******
Nilrae had been assigned to serving dinner to the crew and cleaning the dishes with the other drowlings and now he finally had time to sit down and enjoy the left over scraps. At least the others around his age were also given the same treatment. Eating his smoked fish, he noticed the strange behavior of two of the guys- one scowling and giving another looks that if they could kill. Nilrae shuddered thankful they weren't directed at him. The other boys finished and left, leaving him alone. He sat there a while, the sounds of movement above and below quieting down and the boat sailing smoothly on the river. The door opened and in entered 4 younger males, house soldiers of Mae'Vir no doubt, a board in hand with a bag of stone pieces. The board unfolded, it was webbed shaped with marked circles of red and purple. The bag was emptied, marble and onyx pieces falling out, followed by 2 octahedral ivory dice with magically warmed images incised on the faces. The pieces included Warrior, Slave, Priestess, orc slave soldier and Mage. Two pieces were carnelian with a black or white piece embedded, larger than the others and carved with feminine features- the mother pieces. This was a game of strategy, the objective to capture the opponent's mother piece. Similar to chess like games on the surface. However, the chaotic nature of Drow society was manifested in the game with the Spider Dice. Rather than move a piece on their turn, a player could choose instead to roll. Rolling the rare double spiders, one could capture and move an opponent's piece as their own to move. The sava board set up, the older male moved the dice to the side and took his first move, the orc moving its allotted moves. Nilrae moved to watch the game before him rather intrigued by it. another male, seeing his interested explained the rules as the players alternatively moved.
******
Velnarin sat on his cot in meditation. It had gotten late, the Siasta rather quiet except for the random groans of losing a round of dice and cards, small chatter on deck, or the sounds of resting bodies in his own cabin. He had done rather well, the high priestess never gave him a second thought much less noticed such a lowly male. He sat up and rolled out of his cot to head up on deck. Velnarin walked to the rail, leaning on it to peer down into the black waters.
Below deck, the older drowling looked over to see his rival in rest, eyes closed and back against the wall.
"He who watches his back meets death from the front," the drowling whispered the familiar proverb with a wicked smile standing over the younger drowling. A knife from the kitchen was in hand as he knelt down to plunge the blade in.
The other boy with an aptitude for magic, had sensed someone, instinctively releasing a spell of darkness over them, and rolling away from an attack. A small orb of acid few from his hands to strike his attacker in the darkness. Then he, grabbing a mop, swung the handle to strike in the lower back. The boy grunted in pain as it burned in his back, falling forward onto the cot. But he kicked out, foot connecting with stomach, the other boy nearly crumpling in half at the power. Knife still in hand, he pushed himself off the cot to attack, the stick coming in to hit in the shin.
Crashing of furniture and the sounds of struggle had not only woke up the other drowlings, but those above and beside heard it. The younger priestess slammed the door open, a magical web shot out at them capturing both boys. They struggled in the web, but it did no good, unable to get free. Both knew they were in trouble. The older boy more than upset over his failure.
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar
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Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:16 pm

The next day was much the same as before, Zarae's sister not leaving the room and torturing the girl. Of course she struggled more than ever to stay awake, having spent most of yesterday's evening trying to get out of the cavern tunnel. By the time she'd gotten back to her room, she was fully exhausted, collapsing onto her bed into a true sleep. A number of times, Zebeycyrl got up to smack her on the back of her already sore head to wake her up. The day finished with less adventure, and Zarae gladly returning to her room to rest.
The next several days were like any other, jam packed full of things she was suppose to have already learned. Myrurra hadn't been seen since the incident, neither had her favorite knife. But if the loss of the blade was all she suffered, she was thankful. At least she came out an advantage- a new way to get sneak out, even if it was more time consuming, and blackmail. The girl realized how much she missed having Nilrae around.
******
It had been 4 days, since they left, the journey having taken longer than expected due to unforeseen circumstances. Nilrae was forced to stay aboard with the other drowlings while docked in Skullport. He cursed his luck, stuck on board, as he made his move on the sava board, the priestess piece capturing the wizard piece.
"your go, even if you are nearly beat," the Kilanatlar boy mocked.
The skinny wizard in training studied his options. His mother piece only had two options. The priestess marble piece between the wizard's fingers as he tried to decide his next move. Then he saw a move. The orc piece moved to his opponents promotion zone.
"Ha! Return my wizard."
"You are still going to lose," Nilrae mumbled setting the piece on the board to replace the orc.
******
Velnarin managed to get away after the ship docked. Now he carefully slipped thru the crowds, his hood low over his eyes. He finally managed to find the tavern in the southern part of the port, Lodge of the Beastlord. The male rolled his eyes reading the name, but cautiously entered. The tavern was larger than it appeared, holding 20 imported oak tables with 6 chairs each. A counter of stone ran the course of the rectangular building, a swing door blocking the way to the back. To the side, a set of stairs leading to another floor. Rods of continual light served as torches spaced along the wall. Tapestries of battle scenes, tavern scenes and explicit scenes were along the walls. A raise platform along one wall served as a stage.
A middle-aged woman with brown hair and dark skin tended the bar, while four men who had the look of hardcore thugs were gambling at a table near the back, mostly cards, but there were dice on the table as well, one flipping a coin as another called "heads". A couple of humans looked tipsy. In another corner, 5 drow sat with empty plates and mugs. Another man, one in traveling clothes was sitting at the bar, drinking an amber liquid. A group of pirates walked over to an empty table pulling out their own deck of cards. On stage, a beautiful half drowess danced. Faerie fire of purple lined the stone and four pillars. She twirled and smiled as a disguised Velnarin entered. She was dressed in a top of white leather that showed a bare midriff and no straps. Her slitted skirt of white leather flowed down yet showing off her lean muscular legs and allowing fully unrestricted motion of her form. Well-made boots, also leather, rode up to her thighs doubling as scabbards for a pair of rapiers. Unlike most half drows, she was paler, bearing a tanned skin that could pass off as an elf of the surface. Her eyes were the color of clear ice in a glacier. Long platinum blond hair was free around her to fall to her waist. Standing against a wall was an interesting cloaked figure, his black hood pulled far forward, and his shadow dancing against the wall, morphing and swirling, unlike anything the torchlight in the room would have cast he stood. He kept his arms crossed, the steel wolf heads of his bracers covering his fists as he peered forward, watching the gathering with careful eyes.
Velnarin walked to a table and sat down. He wasn't sure who to look for; he could only hope Ithlyn would find him. A well built waitress walked over to his table took his order. After she left, his fingers tapped the table as he studied the patrons. He then noticed the stage was empty, the dancer finished her routine. Maybe someone else would entertain him until the contact showed.
Just then the woman from stage was sitting at his table, a smile of warmth on her face with her piercing icy eyes seaming to peer deep into his own. Velnarin swallowed as his glass of honey mead was set before him. Normally he would have bowed his eyes to a female, but she was only half drow and thus generally considered inferior to any drow. He waited for her to speak sipping his drink and studying her.
"I don't suppose you know who I am. I was informed Matron Erelae," using the disguise title just in case this male was not who she was looking for, "sent you?" She also waited to see his reactions.
The male set the glass down, interlocked his fingers and leaned forward, "Lady Erelae has sent me," he started, "Ithlyn?"
Her smile grew as she placed a hand on his, "come then. You have little time left."
Velnarin flipped a coin onto the table, chugged the rest of his drink and hurried after the woman. Shortly after they left, the cloaked figure followed after them.
Ithlyn led Velnarin to a tiny 1 room building, locking the door behind her. She signed for him to cast darkness in front of the door and windows to ensure privacy as long as possible.
"I have the documents as she needs. And things are worse than she feared," her voice barely above a whisper and handing him the scroll tube. "Do not open it where it might be seen by anyone. And do not let it fall into enemy hands whatever you do. Destroy it first. Lives depend on it."
"Can I ask what?"
The cloaked figure had lost track of the two, but he had a general idea where she had gone. He had reasoned what and who she was. What he did not expect was the male who she sat with. He walked to the first building to search, when in the corner of his eye he saw a well dressed drow with a dark red piwafwi. He didn't even need the male to uncover his head to know who it was. But just incase, his hand flipped down, finger upward and curled- a symbol of a dead spider. The drow did likewise, then pulled back his hood showing himself.
"We are closer than ever. The Dancers are up to something. And they have one of your ship's men in their ranks."
"Yes I had believed so. Tho I have yet to discover which," Rhylaun replied, "the Mae'Vir priestess seams oblivious to it all."
The cloaked figure nodded, "my men are trying to get into the city as we speak. We even have some on the inside, priestessess," he replied with a wicked grin.
"So it is true. Our humble city has been graced with a Masked Traitor?" his hand rubbed his chin at the thought. If he could get to his daughter, then maybe she could be trained for such a job. And the first ruling house with a Masked Traitor would serve their cause well. "treea dal Har'oloth will begin in a fortnight. That house will be the attention of the ruling council and so much focus and finding those traitors they will leave an open door for out next step."
"Vhaeraun guard you abbil," the cloaked figure replied before turning to leave.
******
Zarae pulled her backpack from her city excursion onto her bed. Inside were the books she purchased from the old drow. Quickly she tossed her belt to the floor followed by her shoes. Then she curled up on bed to enjoy some reading. About to open the first one, she got up off her bed, pushed the pile of clothes in front of the door again then returned to her bed- her makeshift warning system.
Sounding out the words in the strange tongue, she read the title to Shade who sat on the bed with her, "Des...ert of Sec...rets." Looking to her stuffed spider toy, "sounds interesting, what do you think?"
After an hour of reading, which had progressed very slowly do to her lack of knowledge of the language, the girl passed out, her head on the tome. It wasn't till early the next day she arose slightly stiff from the way she had been laying. A yawn and stretch she hopped off her bed, and to her washroom.
The stone tub was the largest piece in the tiny room. Unlike the other females who had earned it, Zarae's tub did not yet have a way to heat the water apart from bringing it in manually, no magical slab of stone that could warm the water. The container above, suspended to be able to tip it and able to pour water into tub; then when filled enough, tip it back up to stop the water flow. An ingenious idea to use such a simple device. She pulled the stopper out and spoke the command word, "falanni."
Water flowed out by the gallon, and when it was enough for her, she put the stopper back in. Her clothing dropped at her feet, a towel grabbed from the small cabinet, she got into the cold water.
Shivering at first, she waited until she got use to it, and then began scrubbing off any dirt or uncleanness, the soap bubbling up on her sponge. Uncorking the vial of shampoo, it filled the room with an aloe and mint smell. She took a good whiff of it; the smell of incense that often filled the house was too much for her. She preferred the simple smells and something different than the strong sickly sweet or musky perfumes of sister. The liquid in hand was scrubbed into her hair. Dressed and ready for another long day, Zarae hurried to breakfast then to the room for studies.
Another boring lesson, this time on proper etiquette and behavior of a priestess. Since having been in the basement, she had found the tack room for the lizards and was determined to ride one. So she spent the day imagining what it was like. Of course she'd seen them out in the city, and the commander of the soldiers often rode into the compound on one. Even the weapon-master had his own lizard- one of the best bred. Maybe tonight's adventure would be to the stable. It would be risky, but worth it.
Zebeycyrl continued on for hours, Zarae wondering if she would and could actually die from boredom. Pretending to take notes, she ended up doodling all over the expensive paper and using all the ink in the vial. Thankfully, her sister never came to see her 'note taking'. Finally, she let the girl go for an hour lunch, Zarae not hesitating getting out of the room. Stopping by the kitchen she found the half orc stirring a large pot of stew as the halfling pulled out a tray of Kes. Both ignored her for the most part, moving out of the noble's way so she could pass them no problem and not raising their eyes to her. One of the three dish washers in the back whistling a tune to himself never heard the girl enter. The other two were putting dishes away after drying. Two gnomes were scrubbing the floors while a half elf was cutting up chunks of meat. Zarae walked over to the elven male. he stopped his work, bowed, his hazel eyes staring down at the floor, never looking up to her.
"don't forget to smoke some," she said randomly walking by to the stone larder and opening the door to a magically chilled closest Zarae looked around for something to eat. "Where are some of those surface foods? The round red ones?" grabbing a sausage from a wrapped bundle.
The male sighed but motioned for her to another cupboard. Opening the door, it was larger with hundreds more kinds of foods, half of which she had no idea what they were. Spying the red fruit, she stepped in to grab it before the slave could grab it for her.
"Thanks," she mumbled thru a bite of the juicy fruit. Swallowing the bite, "heat this up."
The male took the sausage and set in on a hot pan for a few moments on each side then scooped it onto a plate and handed it to her. Chewing the rothe sausage she also headed over to the other side of the kitchen. One of the gnomes who'd been scrubbing the floor was heading twords her direction, the bucket in hand bloacking his view that he couldn't see that Zarae was also walking his direction. The girl expecting him to stop and move out of her way bit into her apple again. Then suddenly the gnome sloshed the soapy water all over her trying to avoid colliding. Zarae looked annoyed, the gnome instantly cowering and falling to his knees.
"I'm so sorry mistress. I didn't see you there, please forgive me," he pleaded in the commercial language of trade- Undercommon. Instead, she simply pulled the shirt off, leaving her in a simple undershirt. Then walked on by him, stepping nimbly over the spilt water.
"You might want to clean it up," she replied over her shoulder tucking the shirt into her belt.
Zarae then slipped out of the kitchen and dining hall to the head to the main door of the house. Two adolescent minotaurs stood guarding the adamantine doors. Of course it couldn't be that easy. Maybe she could trick them? Maybe at shift change? Yes that would be best. Zarae also decided that she would have to steal some disguise potion just in case. Eh, no problem. Few make notice of missing things around the house anymore.
The girl still had some time before her lunch break was over, so she hurried to the stairwell, up to the second floor and over twords her oldest brother's alchemy lab. He spent a lot of time in his study so she hoped he wasn't in there currently. None of the house guards patrolling bothered her, use to seeing the child running around the house by now. They bowed their eyes and let her pass before continuing on. Finding the correct room was easy, the open door down the hall from her own bedroom. Stopping to peek in, she noticed Zebeycyrl speaking with Izzmurss over by the far table. Curious as always, she tried to listen in, but the surrounding sounds of the chemicals, fizzing and popping, mixing humming, and grinding of equipment blocked the conversation. And unknown to her, a spell to keep ease droppers from hearing what was around them. Her small piwafwi was pulled around her thin frame, her hood up around her face all to hide her heatshadow. Zarae moved her back against the wall, peeked in again, then quietly as she had been training, slipped inside. Staying against the darkness along the wall she moved around the room, ducking behind a desk when it seamed they turned to a presence in the room. Violet eyes peered up over the counter to see them go back to their conversation. She continued to the next counter, watching her siblings as she slinked across the floor. Unfortunately, she didn't see the hidden container, stubbing her foot and knee and unable to contain a small yelp.
Immediately the two turned twords the girl, Zebeycyrl, hands on her hips after she relaxed in posture and realizing who it was. Her brother rolled his eyes, dismissed the spell and exited the back door. Zebeycyrl, scowled at the girl walking over to grab her by the ear and pulling her.
"Stop, ouch! Stop it!" swiping futilely at her sister as she started to pull her to the exit.
Zarae then balled her fist and slammed it into Zebeycyrl stomach. Fist connected with magical armor, doing nothing more than annoying the assassin. With great strength, Zebeycyrl shoved Zarae so hard into the floor, it stunned the girl.
"You are not a drider only by the mercy of our Matron Mother. And it is wearing thin."
That stopped the girl. Zarae didn't even have a retort. Driders were hated by drow. To be turned into a drider was a fate almost worse than death. The curse causing one to become a bloated, distorted half spider; to be shamed, shunned, and driven into the wilds of the Underdark and eventually driven insane. The changing into a drider itself was a hideous torture and a punishment usually reserved for offending or failing.
Slowly standing, holding onto the counter to balance herself, she kept her head submissive and remained quiet. Zebeycyrl exited the room, but not before reminding the girl she only had about 10 minutes. Her sister gone, Zarae then rushed over to the cabinet that contained hundreds of vials. Opening it made her sigh aloud in defeat. None where labeled, and all mixed together with no order. She dragged a stool over and climbed atop to look closer. The magical energies surrounding the ones on the high self were ones she knew she was looking for.
"Nope. Not that one. I don't wanna know what that is. Too dark. Too red. Shesh!" rummaging thru while balancing on the stool. Izzmurss had returned, unknown to Zarae as she was so focused on the vials. Intrigued and curious, he crossed his arms and watched from behind. After a minute or two, he cleared his throat and began tapping his foot.
Zarae flinched knowing she was caught. It wasn't the smell of a musky perfume behind her. A good sign. Leaning up to peek around, she saw her oldest brother.
"I was..um…"
His snowy brow arched waiting for an answer, rather curious about his youngest sister. By know everyone had heard of the troublemaker she had become and he suspected her the root of several issues, including items no longer in their place.
Zarae quick to think of something, "how about an 'I owe you' if you show me the right vial?"
The male laughed at the girl, Zarae not pleased at his actions, clearly shown by her crossing her own arms and a non-amused facial reaction. Her eyes were no longer violet but changing into their normal maroon. She knew being female she was higher than him…or would be. A fact he rubbed in her face openly while he could. Until she'd proven herself, she'd be just a drowling.
"Why would I ever agree to that? What can you do for me?"
Zarae figuring no harm in it, stood up from her leaning position to turn and face him, "you help me and I get even on Zeb. At best, you get pleasure knowing that she's gunna be utterly miserable this next couple years," a sly grin, eyes fading back to violet, "At worst, I take the blame and you are never associated with it."
Izzmurss actually considered her words. Maybe it was because it would be humorous to watch the girl try while riling up the house priestesses and the small war that would ensue, or the fact that his sister would be the target he wasn't sure; at least it would keep Zebeycyrl busier than she was. His own sly smile was a silent agreement.
"What are you looking for?"
******
The ship was loaded, all the newly acquired slaves below in cramped quarters chained and gagged. Each male of the ruling houses had also returned, slaves carrying trunks and chest between them. The high priestess and her younger sister were last to board, riding in on float disk. Rhylaun was standing beside her and Gulhrys each directing different groups on the deck. House soldiers were setting riggings and preparing to set sail from the port.
Nilrae was alternating between watching the men at work and looking back over the port they were leaving. One of the males pointed east of Skull Island, seeing only a faintly visible scratched outline in the stone. Nilrae standing close enough to the male began searching for what he pointed out.
"What is that?" he asked.
"Not sure. But I heard there were portals here that were large enough for ships to pass thru."
"If that's a portal, what do you do, run into the wall?"
The young male shrugged and went back to work. The priestess began chanting, the purple gem in the bow glowing softly active with power and magical energies. The anchor pulled up, the rope holding them to the dock unhitched, the Siasta once again moving on the dark waters twords home. Nilrae watched it a few moments then moved on walking to the forcastle deck at the bow leaning onto the short bowsprit to watch the Sargauth river flow beneath them. He seamed to feel the water call out to him, a longing of the freedom of the water, The quiet depths of cold darkness below him, the small flow of air in his shoulder length hair. He sighed longingly as they heading into the cavern tunnel.
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar
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Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:53 am

The ship moved fast upstream, the magic of the gems allowing the ship to travel without the rowing of oars. By dinner time the ship was halfway home. Rhylaun stood next to Nilrae explaining more of the ships workings, the port Skullport, and even why they only now used the gems. They were used only in emergencies and return trips that were up stream. Even now it was dangerous, the control of the ship while it was in used had to be precise and accurate or they could risk crashing. The priestess spent the entire time in such focus in guiding the ship she hadn't been seen since they departed. Even her younger sister hadn't been seen, forced to guard her as she controlled the ship. It was known by the males of the ruling houses how dangerous a place it would put her. So Matron Mae'Vir always assigned two daughters for such trips.
Seeing a scrapple begin, Rhylaun drew his katana and headed over to deal with it. Nilrae spent the rest of trip on the bowsprit knowing he'd be home later this day. He took out his knife and the small chuck of zurkhwood and began carving on it the rest of the journey. The tunnels became more familiar, the lights of the city further down coming on the horizon. Shouts grew in the background, commands to the crew to prepare, the deck's population growing in that instant. The ship moved to the side to allow a trader ship from a neighboring city to pass.
The ship docked back at House Mae'Vir, the slaves unloaded still in chains and gagged. Gulhrys divided up each among the houses. Those left over would be used for maintenance of the city and owned by the top three guilds. The assortment of trunks and chest were next unloaded as a assortment of guards from each of the houses were at dock waiting for their arrivals.
******
Sitting utterly bored in the corner in darkness for hours was not the adventure she was imagining. But there she was, still waiting for the shift change. The vial twirled in her hands, not even worried she could dropped it. Boredom seam to make her not think as clearly, to throw caution aside or become more careless. Bored now with twirling the vial between her fingers, she opened the small pouch to see what else she had snatched lately. Some coins, a few carved figurines from stones, other odds and ends from around the house. Nothing interesting. She pulled out the coin and began flipping it and catching it, then moved on to more elaborate catches.
It was nearly another hour before she heard hoofs hitting the stone floor drawing closer. Zarae hopped up, stretched and waited as two more minotaurs headed down the hall from the basement, a drow male fighter behind them. The vial was uncorked and the lavender colored liquid drank. To the normal eye, she now looked like one of the young women commanders clothed in mithril elven chain, a black thick piwafwi, and a longsword on her back. The most important part of the disguise, a small keystone similar to her own insignia that any of the house soldiers of House Kilanatlar. each one was magically scrutinized to be allowed entry into the house one disk attuned to only one person; a magical protection should it ever fall into an enemy hand.
The male motioned for the door guards to follow him back and the two replacements to take their place, the collars around their neck making them obey. Zarae stepped out, carrying her head high and as a superior female and walked to the door. The soldier was about to speak to her, but her well played scowl reminded him of his place and he only nodded and bowed his head in submission.
"Door," she commanded with authority.
The one on the left reached to open it, the one on the right motioning to show credentials. She opened the neckpurse the vial provided her in her disguise and showed it to the guards. The large re-enforced doors opened and the disguised girl was outside the house again. The doors closed behind her, magically silenced.
The 18 foot high fence and gate extended around the House itself. Above the gate was a great spider of oynx suspended and weaved into mithril wires giving it a spider in a web appearance. Its eyes and body glowed with purple and red faerie fire. Wisp Lichen clung to the House on the clutter of stalagmites and stalagmites that formed the compound itself. The plant was placed there to protect the House from overhead attacks including levitating and flying enemies, soldiers on subterranean lizards, and even teleportation inside the House, to add to the re-enforced mithril veins and magical wards, and acting like a spider's web. It secreted an adhesive from its dangling strands that could hold large creatures and paralyze them while slowly and painfully digesting them. This, along with,Shriekers and the Violet Mushrooms that were controlled by the House's wizard and weapon-master, the high priestesses, and by the Matron herself made the compound an impenetrable fortress. Most importantly, it was the favor of Lloth that allowed these defenses to work and protect the house from invasion.
With a grin at her perceived success, she turned to head to the lizard stable. Two bored males were standing at the house door, bowed in respect to the commander they didn't recognize.
"Good work…males."
One looked questionably at a disguised Zarae, the other male shrugging. The door guards watched her in interest trying hard to not laugh aloud. Zarae pulled and pulled on the door but it absolutely refused to open. There was no side entrance, and until she was inside, no way of knowing if there was a back entrance. Looking for a key hole or locking mechanism was also futile as there was none.
"How in the Demonweb pits does one get in?"
Barely audible footsteps in the courtyard were coming her way, soldiers who patrolled the courtyard. She leaned back against the door thinking she was busted and she would have to bluff carefully her way out. She really did wish Nilrae was here, he usually did a better job at it.
One of the soldiers began to figure out what was going on rather quickly, nudged his companion and leaned over to whisper. A grin on his face forming with thought how to use the knowledge. But any ideas were stopped as an older drowess warrior came into view. Her hair pinned into a bun and her armor blazingly showing her rank, she was another commander, only this time, a real one.
"Report!"
For some reason, one of door guards discreetly sighed to Zarae to use her insignia before the true commander stepped in front of him. He then directed the commander's eyes to the stable door just as the girl stepped inside.
The smell was much better than the basement, but one could definitely tell that creatures lived here. Before her was a long hall with 4 stalls on each side. Spiraling stairs in the back lead to the stable's other two levels. Sounds of light rustling of padded feet on soft material came from inside the stalls. At the far end was a regular door which she guessed as storage of equipment or lizard feed. The girl took a deep breath then walked over to the first stall. Inside she didn't see anything, not even a heat signature, but she heard the heavy breathing. Looking up, attached to the ceiling of the stall he looked down at her. The lizard crawled to the floor from the ceiling still watching the person peering back at him.
It was horse-sized chameleon like lizard with wide-splayed legs and a body that was built low to the ground. The darkness didn't show the thick pale lime colored scales that covered his body nor the dark stripes that ran along his back. On the floor, he stood mostly on his back legs, the front ones slightly smaller. The lizards could be ridden bipedal or quadpedel. His own rosy eyes were looking her direction, but it was his sense of smell that was so keen and acute. A long sticky tongue then reached out to a bowl bring in some meal Zarae couldn't make out. Curious she walked over to another stall; the lizard in it was curled up on a raised mound eyes closed. She wasn't sure, but it seamed like that lizard may have had a nest with eggs. The next stall was a smaller lizard and the one making the most noise. It circled around the stall, including climbing the walls and ceiling. She guessed him to be a younger lizard and probably a new acquirement. One of the stall doors at the end was magically guarded. She guessed this was the weaponmaster's own mount, so she wasn't going get too close. Drawing closer she spotted short mushrooms around that door, ones similar to those around the compound and especially the gate. Shriekers- noisy fungi often trained to be guards. Their name came from the sounds they made, a loud ear piercing shriek and available in numerous tunes to the preference of the keepers.
Inside the stall, the largest lizard she'd ever seen, even bigger than the ones used by the mounted patrols of the city! His temperament was different, anger and ready to stampede anybody like an untrained stallion from the surface. His eyes were a blazing crimson. He kicked at the door a few times before going back to the corner snorting. Walking back to the front, she stood at the curious lizard's stall again. He had gone back to feeding while she explored, looking back her direction when he smelt her draw close again.
"Will you let me pet you?" she asked the subterranean lizard as he continued chewing.
She unhatched the lock, upon figuring it out, and slid the door ajar. Her moves were cautious and slow. He could easily trample her with little effort. The lizard remained as he was making no moves. Zarae soon was standing in front, her hand reaching out to his head to rub the smooth scales. Her fingers bumped leather that she knew was a halter. The lizard ignored her rubbing his head as he slurped up the last of his food. Bored, his nostrils sniffed her hand, nosing it then crawled over to the back of the stall and lay down. Sounds from the juvenile lizard echoed in the stable then quieted agan.
Feeling much braver, she stepped closer to the lizard sided, her hands laying on him to judge his reaction. He knelt lower to the ground Zarae naively believing he was going to just let her ride. Beside him, she activated her levitation spell to rise up into the air, pushing off the wall to be directly above him. Then lowering herself slowly, she held her breath to mount his back.
The door of the stable opened suddenly, startling her and causing her to lose her concentration and fall hard onto the lizard. This in turn startled him and he began to rear up, climbing up the wall to remove the sudden dropped load on his back. Zarae had nothing to hold onto, and was easily tossed like a ragdoll, the back of her head slamming into the floor. Hot liquid flowed out, her hair growing damper by the moment. Pain and light exploded behind her eyes before blackness overtook her.
******
Velnarin managed to slip away in the midst of the chaos surrounding the unloading of the slaves and cargo meanwhile being extremely cautious to not be followed. The document was hidden well, he doubt any would find it without reading his past memories. Crossing the bridge without getting caught was the hardest task, the guards eyed him hands on crossbows, but nonetheless let the Mae'Vir soldier go.
In the marketplace, he found an empty alley, the lizard mount patrol having just passed nodding in respect. Finding a dark corner hidden from any faerie fires of shops, Velnarin changed out of the disguise and dressed in his normal clothing; then to double his efforts of keeping his mission secret, the male went to work on a quick disguise. Within minutes the fighter looked like an elder male; snowy shoulder length hair had graying roots and skin looking ashen. The hood low over his face Velnarin made his way tword House Helvighym. In the midst of the busy maarrketplace, he had the sense of being followed. There was no one seen, but he could not get past the sense that someone was there. No drow would shake it off. To let down one's guard is to wait for death. Taking no chances, Velnarin turned to head into Darkwalk.
The place was busy, the tables crowded and plenty of waitresses moving around. It reminded one of a disturbed ant nest. Slipping thru the throng of people Velnarin walked to the back door that consisted of a magical beaded curtain and another male standing in front of it guarding the door. The man was very clean, to the point that he looked like polished black marble. Long white hair was pulled back and held in place by three metal clasps of remarkable craftmenship. His clothes were exquisite, made with silk and velvet. They were brightly colored, light blue robes trimmed in silver silk. He looked like a wizard rather than a merchant or bouncer. The wizard looked up to Velnarin eying him with icy glances and seeming to try to read Velnarin. A hand was held up as the fighter tried to enter; Velnarin did not know what to do. He'd never been to place like this. Recalling the conversation in Skullport and the documents, he knew who and what ran this place. His demeanor changed quickly, pulling out a large square yellow agate and tear drop shaped ruby colored garnet stone. It was the majority of his money, but he had no choice. The guard looked at the male, looking him up and down then stepping aside to allow Velnarin to pass.
Just as it had been said in Skullport, the males were in the city. They split up taking different directions yet knowing exactly where to go. Three had entered Darkwalk at the same time as Velnarin. The fighter who had entered before them was rather suspicious to the guy. The leader, a darkmsk, signing to another to keep eyes on him. Inside the tavern, however, they lost sight of him. A lanky half drow waitress tripped in front of the three by an angry wealthy noble female. The tray of wine goblets flew from her onto the two front males. The darkmask was trying hard to not bust out laughing at his companions. Half the patrons went quiet in that moment. Those laughing made it obvious who was powerful. The waitress tried to apologize to the males. The female noble priestess, her dress and hair style indicating she was of a lower noble house, stood up. Her red orbs were bright with cruelty looking over the pitiful waitress who begin to clean up the spilt drinks with her shirt. The three males moved on thru the crowd to blend in. The noble was not pleased pointed to the three males walking away. Crowds parted, most heads slightly bowed. The darkmask refused to acknowledge her, his back the one the priestess saw. Born on the surface where males were not inferior, he would not give her that curtsey. His companions, wise to the ways of the drow cities tried to get him to stop but he signed he knew what he was doing. They could not afford to get caught, thus stepped away leaving the darkmask on his own. The female kicked the half drow woman, pushing her out of the way. Her face was red with rage at his blatant disrespect and to add salt to the wound, he was male.
"Stop, you insolent male," she spat as if it was a spell command.
He continued to ignore her, no one getting involved. But then he turned partially to face her with an amused sparkle in his purple eyes, the corner of his mouth curved upwards ever so slightly. With cat like grace, he hopped on the table, winking to his companion with a hint that this was a distraction and for them to go.
"Cast off the tyranny of Lloth! Reclaim your birthright and rightful place in the Night Above. Destroy the existing matriarchies of the twisted Spider Queen!" his voice rang loudly to be finished with the sealing of his fate, "Damnation to your Spider Witch!" at the priestess
Her rage was barely contained in that moment, her face contorted "Heretic!" she screamed the pronouncement.
******
Velnarin passed thru the barrier seconds before the incident above began. The hall was wide enough for 3 men abreast to walk thru. The doors were evenly spaced at ten foot intervals. Unlike most of the buildings in the city, no faerie fire lined the halls below. A second hint that only drows, unless a collared slave worker, were allowed down here. The hall at the end went left and right with more rooms. Steam seeped out from the left, the bathhouse.
The noise was different, soft moans and groans as masseuses worked on sore achy muscles. Of course other more 'involved' activities were heard further down the right hall. Eerie haunting melodies played softly in the background. Smells of oils, incense, mixed with a moist warm air were the second most notable things down there. Velnarin breathed in the scents that flooded his nose before deciding where to go. Another look back to see if any followed, and then he headed into the double door.
******
The noble female pulled out a wand, chanted the words, and pointed it at him. Crowds watched the spectacle with glee at the blood that would for sure flow. Secretly the majority of the males were cheering the heretic a well as considering his words. Webbing shot out of the ceramic wand at the heretic who nimbly flipped off the table and vanished from sight. The web managed to nab a bystander gluing him to the wall. Her longsword drawn she anticipated his move, an adamantine shield clanking with metal and she spun in place to block the invisible blade. Pivoting in a blur of motion, the darkmask had another blade fly from his hand aimed for a vital area. At the last moment, the female blocked again then came in a furious whirl; sword dipping and diving, slicing at every angle, the male working hard to keep up with her expertise. Again he came on, a sweeping strike for her neck. She ducked, her shield taking the blow. The hit struck hard, the vibrations sending the woman staggering slightly, but she stayed on her feet solidly. Neither were a novice. He backed flipped out of a slash at his less protected chest. The priestess closed the distance between herself and the darkmask, striking his inner thigh at the last second. He growled in pain spinning away as she attempted a shield bash into his nose.
A shadowy glow suddenly surrounded him as he lifted his hands up and called on his god. The cut knitted itself together, the bloodflow stopped. She knew it, calling on Lloth in that moment also. The fickle Spider Queen answered and a purplish glow of energy surrounded her. It was deity verses deity.
******
The two males hurried thru the marketplace. Their leader had still not returned, but neither had the priestess. The lizard mount patrol passed them by paying no notice, followed by a litter carried by four orcs. The crowds stopped and cleared the way allowing the group to pass. Both males did likewise, taking a knee. Street cleaner, mostly kobolds, fell onto their belly. One kobold, his position in a terrible spot, was unable to move fast enough as a lizard's foot fell with a sickening crunch onto the skull. The trampling did not stop as the slaves walked over his lifeless body.
The procession far enough, the people went back to their business.
"We must hurry," one signed to his companion.
******
Inside the double doors there was a female drow with a magical collar, a battle captive from rival city, to welcome visitors. Two doors were on the left, a locker room and a steam room. Before him another door that lead into the bath itself. Velnarin entered the locker room and placed his pack into an empty cubby. The document however was secure. Then his clothing went into the cubby leaving him fully unclad. Drow had few inhibition and were not exactly squeamish or shy.
Before exiting, he walked over to the collared drowess, placing a tiger eye quartz in her hand and whispered a question. Her eyes light up as she tucked it into her top and whispered to him. She handed him a towel that he wrapped around his waist. Smiling sweetly, she opened the doors allowing him to enter the room.
The bathhouse was long, the floor back marble with statues of female drow that served as pillars. A single chandelier of orange faerie fire bathed the room in an amber glow. The contained water was in the center of the room, steam rolling off the top of the waters. Stone benches were along the edge of the pool. The pool itself was divided into two parts. the front bath was about four feet deep often used for just sitting and relaxing. This was where most spent their time. The second bath was deep enough to dive into. In the back a raised platform that had hot water spilling into the pools from the heat source deep in the cavern. To stop overflow a small arm size tunnel carried water way to be cleaned and reused.
Both baths were occupied with a number of guys chatting and gossiping. A few drowess slaves were carrying trays of wine goblets and decanters to the various groups. An unspoken rule existed here, any assassinations and thefts or basic problems were to be taken outside the leisure level of Darkwalk; this was relatively well kept among the guest. Thus being one of the few places a drow could genuinely relax for a few moments in their life and stave off fear of inevitable death; to be a few hours free of scheming backstabbers eager to increase their own stations by pulling down those ahead of them and crushing their inferiors underfoot in a life of were one had to remain always guarded, prepared and expecting the blade to finish them.
Another slaved walked over to hand him a goblet filled with a black liquid. The smell was earthy and strong. He knew exactly what it was. A strong intoxicant acting more like a drug than an alcoholic beverage, it was one of the most sought after beverages in the world. Aphyon karliik, Death Head, a powerful wine, it was made by the drow from a poisonous mushroom found only in the deepest parts of the Underdark. He had to be careful with such a drink.
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:44 am

The two clerics were currently at a standstill, both equally powerful. The inside of the tavern however was a mess with a large number of the patrons having escaped the fury of the spell fight. Finally, the darkmask activated his onyx ring and charged. The priestess prepared a counterspell when suddenly they were being pulled away, the tug of planer travel. Both had done it before and were accustom to what to expect. But it did not ease up on the sensations that most would scream in terror and pain. Then it stopped.
Around them was similar terrain and landmarks, but dark and bleak, lacking in color and light like a moonless night. At first glance it might appear they were at the river in the city. The air was normal. However, the river was thick and ichorous. Surrounding them was a shadowy reflection, a dark mirage, and a mirror image of Lith My'Athar. They were on the Plane of Shadows. Around them lurked shadow creature, ready to strike out at the trespassers, but remained just out of sight and range. The powerful clerics, dangerous and fully protected, stood circling each other, the sick feeling that followed the magical travel fading quickly.
"Where is your Spider Queen now? You kill me; you still have to find a way back. And I surely will not let you live," the darkmask mocked in utter contempt.
As he spoke the area around them began to quake beneath their feet, the priestess not familiar with this plane stumbled as the male was now levitating above and preparing his next spell. His hands shot out at her, a flame, void of light, sprang forth to hit the priestess. The flames licked at her protection wards but did not burn her. She fell unceremoniously on a knee to the now still ground. An unnerving smile curved her lips, the chanted words reaching its crescendo. A green ray shot forth from her outstretched hands covering the darkmask with a shimmering emerald field. His smug smile was gone, replaced with pure unadulterated hatred for the priestess. Now she would pay!
Instantly from his hand hundreds of tiny bladed spinning disk appeared and flew at her. Before they had even reached her, a command word was spoken. A shadow shaped like a mask flew from him at her attacking her face and releasing the spell stored within. The ice spell burned her skin, freezing it so bad that soon she had lost feeling in her face. The disk cut thru her protection wards, but only left hundreds of superficial scratches. Each began bleeding as Lloth's magic did not regenerate the wounds. She struggled to pull the shadow mask off as it destroyed her face. The darkmask laughed but did not waste his chance. A sword in hand, glowing with pure negative energy, was thrust at the priestess into her side, cutting thru the adamantine chain, sliding between ribs and sinking deep into her lungs. Her scream was ear piercing, or woulda been had it been more than a muffle. His booted heel went to her chest and roughly pushed her off his blade. She fell hard to the ground, life blood pouring and pumping out with each heartbeat. Believing her finished, he turned his back to her and began walking off. She however had one last trick up her sleeve; death might claim her, but she would not go down alone. Shadow creatures lurking just out of sight drew closer to the fallen prey. Sounds of unearthly communication passed between them. Shaky blood covered hands pulled out a bloodstone amulet, raised high in the hair and smashed into the floor.
The darkmask turned to the shattering of the stone, perplexed at first, until the spell effects began, his body began to impode within, collapsing itself. It was his voice screaming in agony and then he was nothing but an empty husk of his former self. Believing she would see her goddess soon, the priestess rolled over to her back closing her eyes to slip into unconsciousness before they jumped her.
******
Velnarin took his glass and headed over to a bench and set it down beside the towel he pulled from his waist. Dipping a toe in the water was hot, almost too hot and thus just right. He slipped in to the tub carefully allowing himself to adjust before leaning against the wall to sit on the underwater bench. The other males around eyed the new comer but continued their conversation. And for that Velnarin was glad.
He kept eyes on the door as the time passed. As far as he knew no one had entered after him. And the drowess hadn't spoken. He could only hope that whoever hadn't paid her more. Some of the other guys left leaving him with only two others. One, an elder male, indicated by the graying of his white hair, and strong magical energy surrounding him motioned for Velnarin to come over. Taking a deep breath and sending a prayer to the Lady, Velnarin grabbed his glass and slipped over twords them.
Thankfully they did just want to chat, Velnarin listening as they spoke while keeping up his act. So well that he learned the older male was one of the leaders of a guild on his list. Without being too obvious, he tried to ask some questions as he continued the angle of being a seeker in hopes the males would reveal more information and more of their plans; but most importantly what they intended with House Helvighym.
Nearly an hour later, and a lot of useful information, he was alone in the bath. He spent that time in silent songs and meditation. there still no sight of whoever had been following him, Velnarin got out of the hot water, his towel handed to him and walked back to the locker room. Looking around to see no one was there, the hair clip was pulled out, the shrunken document checked. It was still there. Pulling up wet white locks, he reclipped it securely and dressed. Turning to leave, he almost missed it, a rolled parchment tucked away in the corner of the cubby. Still nobody around he sat on the bench to read it, breathing out a sigh of relief before laughing aloud in the room. An invitation to meet again.
The dangerous and illegal document tucked away, Velnarin walked out of the doors, a friendly smile and nod to the drowess before walking the long hall.
Upstairs chairs were strewn around, the tables overturned and scorched. Plates of wasted foods and beverages were being cleaned by a number of slaves. Most importantly, the barkeep was highly agitated and steaming in their darkvision. Velnarin was surprised by everything, motioned for a nearby waitress to come over.
"what happened?" he whispered into her ear. To which she explained everything. He nodded to the female, tossing her a copper, the last of his money, and exited the tavern.
Velnarin managed to get thru the marketplace unhindered and no one following him. Back at the gate of House Helvighym, he showed the metallic disk, what the house used for insignias to the guard. This adamantine oval had glyphs that almost looked like a quarter moon, and a figure with a sword. To the unknowing, the picture could pass off as a strange weapon with normal arcane spelling. The guard nodded activating the locking mechanism to open.
"She has been waiting for you," the guard replied, closing the gate behind Velnarin.
Once inside he was able to relax and his mood increased tenfold. "well, I better hurry to see Lady Helvighym."
The courtyard had a number of younger student aged drowlings running thru a number of drills. Standing to watch, he noted the teacher. He could always pick her out of a crowd, his stomach filling with small bats and heart skipping a few beats. He had trouble understanding those unfamiliar emotions, thoughts.
Consorts and relationships are always for practical reasons, not romantic ones, nor about caring about another beyond what they could do. Among the cruel and self-centered dark elves, love is practically unheard of. Most often, in the rare cases where drow develop some affection for each other, it is usually when the male is an excellent physical specimen, has provided excellent service, and has never caused embarrassment to the female. Those bonds are more like that of a spoiled or insensitive human matron and her pampered lapdog; the male a cherished pet that will still be put down if it misbehaves too much.
Yet here he was staring longingly at Maryne. She finally turned around after dismissing the students, he hadn't even noticed his surrounding, an older student calling out his name.
"Velnarin," he finally heard, turning to face who summoned him. The student chuckled, clasping a hand to his back. "You better watch out."
Velnarin cleared his throat turning to Neera, then shaking his head. Neera left allowing Maryne to run over to him and wrap her arms around the male. He returned the hug embracing her hard as he dared, the two spinning like love-struck teenagers. Maryne then unexpectantly laid her lips on his own.
Eva, bad timing, stepped out to the two hating to disturb them, but there were important things to be dealt with. "Lady Erelrae needs to see you as soon as possible."
Sitting down as the stone desk, Erelrae sat, Lillintha standing on the other side, arms leaning, both were pondering over a pile of parchments. Lillintha slid the one on top to the side pointing to a one below. A soft knock on the door followed by Eva opening it to enter followed by Velnarin.
"Velnarin! I am glad to see you," Lady Erelrae standing up to greet him.
The fighter pulled the hair clip out and handed it over, "Ithlyn and I decided that it was wiser to take another security measure. Just dispel it."
Lillintha took the clip, casting the correct spell, and holding the precious papers. She hurried over to the desk where the faerie fire was brighter and read over the document. Erelrae, Eva, and Velnarin joined her at the desk.
"so its true," Eva hoarsely spoke.
"yes it seams so."
"I always suspected them. But never these," Lillintha replied.
"I also have other information. Received just today," Velnarin said handing over the newer document from the tavern.
******
Orange tinted eyes opened, a swirling sensation flooded her. A dull pain in the back of her head caused a groan to escape as she tried to move, the pain in her head only growing in intensity with each movement. Then she noticed material wrapped around her head tightly. The room was spinning and she could not remember what happened.
"Easy," a soft melodious voice spoke.
Her stomach felt queasy. Then darkness overcame her again, she sat her head falling back onto the feather pillow. Another hour later she opened her eyes again, attempted to sit up a hand holding her back. The nurse then adjusted the bandages after bringing a wet rag to her forehead.
"What…happened," Zarae asked vision cleared enough to see Erinsi at her bed.
"You were found in the stable unresponsive and bleeding from the head on the floor. Have I have taken care of the wound but you still need to be careful."
Zarae tried sitting up, moving too quickly and regretting it right away. Erinsi eased her back to the pillow. A cup in hand she helped Zarae take a sip then set it on her nightstand.
"Thankfully for you, you were found before being trampled. Leave the bandage on. I will be back later."
"Why cant I just get a healing potion?"
"Because you are to learn your lesson from this. Zebeycyrl's orders." Erinsi, remaining unemotional, stood up and headed to the door. Standing beside it leaning against the wall, stood her twin brother. The woman motioned the okay for him to enter as she walked off down the hall. Nilrae waited another minute then closed the door behind him.
"You know," he started, "you not suppose to get into trouble I cant get you out of."
She opened her eyes not expecting her brother to be there. The surprise was replaced with a genuine smile. "I didn't expect to see you back," protesting with a crossing of her arms and a fake, 'hmph'.
"You had been out for three days."
"Three days!" her stomach growled just then to remind her. She looked around the room to see if any food had been left. And to her disappointment, none was found.
"Don't worry. I spent the trip doing basically what I do here."
Zarae wanted to ask many questions, but food was on her mind so she would grill him later about it. Pushing the covers off her took a lot of effort, but they were moved far enough for her to get out. She paused often from the exertion that sapped her strength. Nilrae wasn't sure if he should make her stay, which of course could lead to a fight with her, or help her since she was determined no matter what. Seeing her in only her smallclothes, he grabbed a long shirt, grey spiderweb faintly running thru the black material, and tossed it at her.
"Hey!" unballing it and sliding it carefully over her head, trying to be careful and not tug on the bandage.
Nilrae stood at the door cracking it enough to peek out into the hall. Behind him the sound of a soft thud as Zarae fell to the floor crumpling to the rug at her bed. Her brother rolling his eyes hurried over to help her stand up, Zarae being stubborn and pushing him away to do it herself.
"Be that way. I don't care," crossing his arms as he stared as his sister struggling to get up.
The two eventually made it to an empty dining hall. By that late hour only the cleaners were left in the kitchen, and two gnomes cleaning the tables. Zarae sat fully exhausted and worn out into a seat.
"Get me some bread?" she asked, her head in her hands, her elbows on the table so everything would stop spinning.
"Oh? now you want my help?"
"Don't make me pull the gender card," she obviously joked lifting her head up to look at his less than amused look. He remained standing next to her as if waiting, arms crossed and tapping his foot, playfully also. He knew she didn't use the fact she was female with them but rarely. And it almost always was in jokes. But since she started it, he'd make her ask for it.
Sighing, "Fine…I need your help," she mumbled under her breath.
"What was that?"
"I cant do it. Will you help me out? There, happy now?"
"Slightly so."
A few minutes he walked back out if the kitchen with a small half loaf of mushroom flour bread and a chunk of roast rothe on one plate and a dark brown square of something Zarae hadn't seen before on another. Between juggling the two small saucers were two ceramic goblets of Marnosk milk. The food was just what she needed, only managing a few bites of the loaf and meat. Nilrae enjoyed his surface treat, chocolate he heard Rhylaun call it. It was rather bitter, but just sweet enough to be enjoyable. After Zarae had enough, Nilrae helped her back to her room before turning into his own bed.
The next couple days the girl was given to recover. But she had to return to her schedule by the third day no matter what. And she had to be caught up with everything. Not that Zarae cared. She was far behind what any daughter preparing to be a priestess should be at. As much as Zebeycyrl forced her to learn and study, Zarae could barely retain it. It was useless when she could be learning things she thought were important. that may have been the way to power for a drowess, but she didn't want it. Adventuring, traveling, a carefree life was the choice for her. But Zarae had no choice in it. She would be a priestess, or else. Zarae spent most her time with Shade in bed and with one of the tomes she bought. When she finished one, she moved on to another, an even more difficult one. One of the days during Nilrae's small bit of free time he and Zarae talked about his trip to Skullport, the events of the ship, even a game he learned. She in turn told him of her plans in getting Zeb back and how their older brother was in on it, somewhat. After her three free days, Zarae grudgingly returned to her studies with Zebeycyrl. Nilrae was now allowed to join to learn what he needed to know about the Spider Queen; males only learned what was deemed necessary for them, never allowed to become a priest. The assassin separated the two trouble makers on each side of the room, and kept a rather active eye on them. The twins most of the time were signing smart elic comments to each other during the week's lessons, Zarae of course the main root of it all.
The rest of the year dragged on for twins. Most of the lessons were repetitive of things that were meant to be learned years ago. "Fear is as strong as steel, while love and respect are soft, useless feelings that none can lean on. The weak must be weeded out. The weak must be eliminated. And all who impugn the faith must perish." Whenever the twins could, they spent their free time pulling small pranks on each sister, their oldest brother providing help or needed supplies. He managed to stay out of any suspicion, leaving the items in places they would find them and running messages thru Averl. The twins were not above small things that were just plain annoying- stained clothing, ruined shoes, and nasty foods replacing the original, to missing items of semi-importance.
The rift between Zebeycyrl and Myrurra grew with many heated debates and threats on each other's lives. Alylin teamed up with both against the other, smart to play both sisters against each other in hopes they would destroy each other and reveal the brains behind the mishaps. Xullafay received the fewest pranks but there were little things that put her on edge when she was home.
Nilrae and Zarae would watch from a distance as the sisters tore into each other. Family dinners were more interesting as the matron was growing very suspicious of the events occurring yet remained an amused spectator; it was dogma of the Spider Queen that only the strongest survived. Her replacement could only be the strongest, smartest, and best daughter. Most of the twin's animosity, however, was reserved for that sister they resented. Pranks on her grew darker and would have been lethal had she not been as observant and weary. Their attacks ranged from small spike traps, loose vicious creatures in her room, to oil slicks and ice. Izzmurss would pretend to help Zebeycyrl spy on Myrurra and Alylin never giving her anything of use. Zebeycyrl had spells in check, but had no choice to believe that the wizard was on her side. Every high priestess could read the thoughts of another and the wizard managed to pass detection despite helping his younger siblings to complete each coup. Neeryrd remained neutral as long as he could; eventually siding with Xullafay. Rhylaun and Sornhrae did stay neutral or better and wisely with Matron Shyntyl, and House soldiers loyal to whoever was in charge, loyalty to the paycheck.
Thru the rest of the previous year, the rebel house had come to an illithid standoff. Both knew the identities of the other, both had a representative on the city's council, and both were on the lookout for the next move from the other meanwhile trying to stay out of the spotlight of the Lloth church. Spies were continuous sent into the other's guild to watch the other on who would make the first move. The Vhaeraunites continued to be based in the slums and the Eilistraeens in House Helvighym.
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:29 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:46 am

The red armor was a contrast from her normal blue priestess robes. A spidersilk top reinforced with mithril and adamantine chain and magically equipped to protect from any weapon. The leggings were the same rich bright scarlet red; added to the uniform, knee high mithril and leather boots and bracers. Zebeycyrl threw the last of her needed items inside the pack, including the Red Sister assassin mask and six vials of deadly poison. Lastly she strapped the siangham to her back and hooked four spider shaped shurikens on her belt. Her personal handmaid brung in the Kilanatlar piwafwi.
"The other red one," she commanded slipping the stiletto in her hair to hold it up into a tight neat bun.
Zebeycyrl magically warded her chest, her wardrobe and closet after setting the deadly poison traps on each. She wasn't taking any more chances with either Myrurra or Alylin, especially Myrurra. The handmaid returned with a similar cloak, however, it was brighter red and capable of changing colors by will of the wearer. The Red Sister was ready for her task to Charrvhel'raugaust, and glad to get away from raising her mother's brats.
It was early in the day, the firmament stone showing it the equivalent of the surface predawn, as the assassin stepped out onto the third floor balcony. The maid came and placed in on her shoulders, moving in front to fasten it with a spider shaped cloak pin. The faerie fire of the city refracted in the ruby, giving a glowing effect.
"Clean the washroom and double secure the locks when you are finished," Zebeycyrl said giving the woman her final instructions before walking back into her room after the maid and securing her balcony doors with a strong ward.
Papers in hand she hurried down to the dining hall to enjoy a fine breakfast before leaving. Lizard eggs with rothe bacon, mushroom flour toasted bread, and Bos yogurt was served with a glass of Falarian wine. The house wizard always up at this time entered the dining hall with a silent groan. There was no way she would leave him to eat in peace and he was tired of being grilled for answers. She held a fake grin with his entrance motion him over to her.
******
Time for the twins to get up, the wakeup call a knock on each door. The half drowess then opened Nilrae's door first to him sitting up on the bed and stretching from his reverie.
"Dress quickly. You are to summon to the anteroom first before breakfast."
She then hurried over to Zarae's door, the girl the most stubborn to get moving in the early hours. She forced the door open, shoving the piles of clothing enough to enter, metallic cups with stones clanking to the stone floor. Only the amount of curtains and rugs kept the sound from echoing everywhere. The sound however was enough to disturb even a sleeping human- the girl's intent. Zarae was up, the covers over her head and curled up into a ball against the wall.
"Get up. Matron Shyntyl wants to see you, now," she announced, not willing to fight her again, "If your late, it is on both of us this time." Ladayiir waited, the girl not moving from her spot. She walked over shaking Zarae roughly and pulling on the covers while Zarae was holding them as much as she could. Same thing they went thru every day. "We don't have time for this. That whip will be on both our hides."
"You say that a lot," came mumbled under the blanket, "at least mine will hurt less."
Ladayiir stood straight up, crossed her arms and walked into the wash room. A moment later she walked out with a bowl of cold water. "Last warning."
"Ooo, I am sooo scared," an annoyed voice mocked.
With a straight face the water dumped on the girl, ice cold water soaking thru all the layers. The girl jumped up quickly, throwing out a few indecipherable words at the woman as well as her pillow. Ladayiir had good reflexes, bringing the bowl up in front of her face as the pillow flew at her. A small knife inside of the fluff clanked with the bowl.
"Next time I throw the blade," the girl replied grumpily still beneath now soaking blankets. "Hand me a towel, now."
"I gave you a warning and I said get moving. Now shall I get more water?"
"I suggest you watch how you speak to me," smarted back.
But Zarae did get up, throwing her night shirt at the half drow and pulling clean clothing on. Her eyes were rather redder than usual. Nilrae stood at the door watching and waiting as Ladayiir whirled on Zarae and walked to the door. Not before reminding her she was to be in the antechamber
Led down the stairs and to the large room, it was not just their mother but also Zebeycyrl. Zarae tried hard not to roll her eyes at the punishment she assumed was forthcoming. She figured Zebeycyrl had discovered their most recent pranks. Small pieces of meat seasoning in her wash bowl and tub. Tho it might have been the gluing of her scented soap vials. No, she decided it had to be something else when she noted Zeb dressed in her ceremonial suit. When both were in front of the matron the assassin began.
"I am traveling for the next tenday, thus you will not meet with me," she started, narrowing her eyes at the twins excitement at the news, nonetheless continued, "Alylin will meet with you part of the time."
"You may have this as free time, however the rules still apply," the matron added with a straight face, curious what her youngest daughter might try now over the next few days. There was no doubt the girl was the root of the chaos occurring. The house was had remained in highest regards with the capricious Spider Queen. This daughter that prophesied to bring a new order of chaos to the city, and with that more power to the family. The best part was how the girl managed to stay unknown and unseen in it all. As long as the Zarae kept her place and did not cause the house to lose favor, Matron Shyntyl would allow the girl to continue.
Zebeycyrl continued to speak to the twins, Zarae doing a very good job of tuning her sister's voice out. Nilrae kept his head lowered wishing he could do something besides stare at the floor. His stomach growled for breakfast and his face froze in fear, to afraid to move without permission and unable to stop it. He half expected a whip to strike, and thankful when it didn't. Neither drowling missed the words of being dismiss and it didn't take long for either to hurry to the dining hall for food.
"What are gunna do until Zeb gets back?" Nilrae asked a mouth full of the rothe bacon at the table.
Zarae did have a few idea, some of which would get them into serious trouble, if caught. They'd do a better job this time. The half orc entered with a pitcher of rothe milk noticing the noble daughter sitting at the males table. Shrugging before carefully pouring the liquid into their ceramic glasses and then returning to the kitchen.
"Actually…" she started, leaning closer to her, "I thought about taking one of the boats out onto the river and follow Ryrrl outside the city," she whispered.
"Into the surrounding tunnels?"
A nod to confirm followed by that mischievous smile and violet tinted orbs.
"We don't know the tunnels," Nilrae said, pointing out a flaw in her idea.
"And?"
"And… How do we plan to navigate," forgetting to lower his voice.
"Stolen maps. And I might can sucker one of the slaves into helping us. Especially now that security is getting tougher."
"Yeah, thanks to you and your fiasco in the stables."
"Shut up! I did not intend whoever to suddenly open the door. Beside, you're getting off from the topic."
"Well," thinking, "they are just slaves. But I don't know how you intend to steal the map itself. We cant talk to Izzmurss this time. And Neeryrd is…" he looked quizzically at her, "what?" he asked finally.
Zarae's grin had grown; she had thought this out quite a bit. At least parts of it. They still had to figure out how not to get caught. Managing the boat on the river they would figure out when they got to it. It didn't cross their minds was the fact that out in the wilds of the Underdark it was extremely dangerous- and that was an understatement.
"Well, you gunna tell me?"
"Not here."
Rolling his eyes playfully as he finished his bacon, Nilrae got up to leave, Zarae motioning him to follow her. The kitchen slaves sighed as the girl entered. The dish washer pointing out the correct cold storage. Nilrae just followed watching each of the slaves at work. He rarely came back into the kitchen, but it always did make him feel better- Someone treated worse than he was.
Zarae stepped inside the storage and pulled out a round green fruit and tossed it to Nilrae. Catching it, he moved past her to another shelf pulling out a wrapped bundle. Inside dark squares. He grabbed a piece handing her one as she grabbed some rothe jerky.
"What is it?" she asked sniffing it.
"Chocolate."
Bundles in hand, she was still unsure of the item as they walked out of the kitchen and headed up stairs to her room. But one bite into the treat made it worth it. She'd have to raid the kitchen more often for it. Nilrae laughed at her, "told you." Opening her door, she shoved the piles of stuff out of her way and set the collected rations onto a desk. Nilrae closed the door as Zarae rifled thru her desk drawer for the map she stolen.
"Were did you get it then?"
A few things flew out of her drawer to add to the general mess of the room, mostly documents, notes from her lessons, and useless papers. Zarae bit her bottom lip in thought opening another drawer. "Actually, Neeryrd. He just doesn't know it."
"Should I ask how?"
Zarae shook her head and pulled out the old crinkled parchment with an 'ah ha!'. Nilrae's eyes grew large upon seeing it. Zarae then motioned they go to Nilrae's room just in case.
"You know, he started blaming me for him losing something like that; threaten me too. That was a miserable day!"
"I needed a challenge that day. But if it makes you feel better, I almost got caught."
"Slightly so."
The map was unfurled, both pondering over it and planning their outing, discussing tactic of getting out, ways of getting back in, where they might go, and which slave to 'recruit' for it. They had gathered needed items over the course of the day. Alylin had only meet with the twins part of the day, giving them plenty of time for preparations. Dinner went quick and the twins were back in their room.
Zarae slipped on the simple black leather boots, sticking a blade in each. Her belt snapped closed, holding a sheathed dagger and a pouch of miscellaneous items, including small spider shaped shurikens, her stolen gem of true seeing, a couple of smoke bombs and some potion vials. Lastly she braided her hair and pinned it onto her head. Heading out the door, she grabbed her piwafwi opening Nilrae's door. He was adjusting his own boots, dropping a blade in each also. Zarae tossed him his piwafwi before both were heading down to the first floor. Looking around first, they headed to the slave quarters to find Averl. She wasn't in the room. Zarae headed to the storage rooms on the first floor.
Opening each one, they found her finally. The room was full of dummies with different style dresses and suits lined against the wall. The half elven woman was sitting at a stone table, different cloths around her as she worked on the stitching of a gown. She looked up to the matron's daughter and son walking twords her. Finishing the stitch and setting it down she hopped up to greet them.
"This is a strange hour to come by," her voice low.
"I have a favor."
An auburn brow rose as she cocked her head looking at the two, but willing to hear her proposal. Zarae explained her plan, Averl deeply considering it. Truthfully, if the daughter demanded, she could not refuse as a slave. The girl could even have her killed for knowing this information. But Averl had something Zarae wanted, the training and skills she was teaching the girl.
"Alright. What are you planning to exchange for this?"
In that double-edged smile of hers, Zarae leaned up and whispered a replied, "how about this. I work on getting you out of this house?" Of course it was a bluff, and Averl knew. But the idea of freedom… most every slave heard whispered rumors of a group of rebels in the city who tried to free slaves and even return some to the surface.
"But I need something upfront," making sure to not allow any expressions of hope show. She was dealing with a dark elf after all.
Zarae pulled out a new sewing kit she'd acquired from the house. Nilrae took out the dark chocolate square and handed it to the slave. Still in thought, Averl decided to take the deal. Nilrae stayed with Averl allowing Zarae to go grab one of the goblin slaves. A dirty ragged cloak over her selected 'victim' he was marched to meet up with Averl and Nilrae.
"Alright, lets move out," she signed to Nilrae.
They hurried down the hall, stopping before turning to another corridor that lead to the doors they wanted. Nilrae and Zarae would throw darkness spells at the guards, while Averl stole the keys. The goblin would run down the corridor with the smoke bomb. The girl promised he'd get his freedom, just not how he would get it. Zarae knew he would die and the goblin for some reason did not grasp that. Maybe it was that paralyzing thing called hope. A strange feeling she swallowed down quickly at the thought; she hadn't lied, completely.
Shrugging any thoughts of it off quickly, Zarae motioned for Nilrae to slip in closer twords the door. His simple piwafwi hid his heat shadow well, as no faerie fire lit this portion of the house. The guards were drow and would see the presence of a body easy in the utter blackness. When her brother was within ten feet he released several globes of impenetrable darkness around then. Zaare pushed the goblin slave out into the dark hall holding the smoking container. He stumbled at first dropping the bomb. Scrambling to pick it up he ran twords the doors, just as he had been instructed.
As the clumsy male got closer to the door, smoke filling the corridor, the guards were coughing and chocking while trying to stay on alert and be ready to strike. Averl used the cover to move in the steal the keys of the one of their belts. The goblin turned to the left, unknown to him a dead end hall, spouting in his harsh guttural language,
"Not seen, not felt,
not heard, not smelt.
Behind stars and under hills,
empty holes it fills.
comes first and follows after,
Ends life, kills laughter."
One of the guards chased after the loose slave, Averl having quickly gained the key without difficulty. She was already moving back to the twins, setting the key in Nilrae's hand when the goblin reached the end of the hall. Zarae then began her part.
"Another one is on the loose!" her voice commanding and as similar to her mother's in sound she could make, "take him down!"
The second guard was stunned at the voice, but fear the wrath of either the Matron or one of her elder daughters made him take off into the darkness, polearm leading.
"Now!" Nilrae whispered to Zarae.
Both carefully hurried to the door, arms along the walls to feel their way. Nilrae dismissed the globes of darkness at the door as Zarae added some behind them to cover their exit. The key slide in and clicked. The second guard did not mistake that sound turned to head back to the door still unable to see. The door slammed as he cleared the other side of the darkness. He stood dumbfounded a moment, not sure who had just exited for the dock, much less why all the show about it. The other guard had chased the goblin slave and pinned him in the corner, shouts of promised freedom pleading from his lips and thin arms before him in a pitiful defense. Amber eyes went wide as the spearhead sunk deep into his leather skin, piercing his heart. He collapsed his lifeblood spilling onto the floor, the guard laughing at the goblin as he continued to slam the spear into him.
"Where's the other one?" the second guard called down the hall.
The twins stood in the strange corridor leaning against the door listening. The hall stretched about ten feet, a single door on the south side. No faerie fire lit this hall wither. But both had keen eyes that could see as if it daylight. The door itself held a slightly higher heat than the rest of the stone clear in the twins darkvision were the door was. Wards in place on the door let only family members of a certain blood line pass thru. The ceiling was low, just above their heads. No guards were here because it was within the cavern walling itself and the dock was magically controlled by someone inside the house.
Nilrae then stood up straight, dropped his hood, and spun on Zarae, "The answer is darkness. But how did you get the goblin to quote that?"
"Promised his life and freedom hinged on it. Thought it would make that more interesting."
"Oh! Nicely played then."
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar
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Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:13 am

Standing before next door, they just had to figure out how it opened. Neither key that had been pilfered from the guard fit in what appeared to be a key hole. And neither drowlings' lockpicks worked. Nilrae then tried his house insignia as they did for the secret tunnel, waving it in front of the hole. A locking mechanism clicked, but the ward remained in place. Zarae impatient and losing too much time, just pushed the door not thinking about the consequences of setting off magical traps. However it did not go off on her, the door slowly grating on the stone floor as it opened. Nilrae, seeing nothing happened, helped her push until it was opened enough for both to squeeze out. Outside and standing on the dock, the door automatically closed behind them, causing both twins to jump at the sudden unexpected sound.
"So far so good."
The cavern wall was on both sides of them, the door behind them camouflaged into the stone. The dock they stood on was five feet wide and six feet long. On their right a small inlet of sharp rocks covered in slimy algae and small tiny mushrooms. Neither saw the fishing boat that should have been their. No ropes and no indication there had ever been one. Both knew that several of the poisons House Kilanatlar was known for came from a fish that dwelt in the river. Both sat on the dock almost defeated. Nilrae had an idea; deep in thought and concentration, he reached deep within to tap into the advanced magical abilities available by his noble heritage. Glittery gold auras lit up on both the drowlings and all around them. Their insignias shone brightest, the most powerful magic around them. Their piwafwi's showed slight bit of magic, the gold aura dull on the cloth. If Zarae had her pack open, a number of items inside would be glowing as well. The door was aglow as bright as their insignias. At the end of the dock, they saw the tell tell signs of the boat they had been looking for. An invisible rope tied to a post while the invisible boat's outline was highlighted under the dock.
"I think I found it," he called to her running to the end of the dock and began pulling on the invisible rope. He tugged hard, but it didn't budge.
"There's got to be an easier way," Zarae replied standing beside Nilrae, "apart from getting into the water?"
"Try standing on those and pushing it out from underneath."
Zarae sighed. Her cloak and pack was set down first on the dock. Then she sat on the edge, her foot stretching out to the slippery jagged rocks to feel for a foothold. Trying hard to balance, she leaned between the dock and the rock, maneuvering herself to a position to push. The aura of the magical detection spell still in place, she could make out the canoe like boat clearly. The girl pushed trying to move it out the side and maintain herself in position above the water.
Nilrae, lying on his stomach on the boards, "can't move it that way. It has to go forward. The rope is wrapped a specific way."
A frustrated sigh from Zarae, she moved her foot lower on the algae slick stone to steady herself and push again. The boat moved too much and Zarae lost her balance plummeting into the freezing waters with a loud 'SLASH'. Her knee caught the edge of an underwater rock pulling a gash on her right leg.
In the water, it felt like hundreds of needles and daggers stabbing into her. Kicking and moving her arms she tried to keep her head above water as the pain of the water nearly paralyzed her. Her head rammed into a support post, making her dizzy to add to the creeping hypothermia. The water around her grew darker with blood. Between mouth full of water and coughing she called out for help. Neither had ever been taught to swim. Worse, were the dangers that lurked in the depths of the waters. Blood would draw vicious predatory water creatures upon them if she didn't get out.
Nilrae sprang from his position as soon as he heard the splash, running over to the side and reaching out a hand to grab. With Zarae's flailing to stay above water it was hard, but finally he managed to grasp her hand and pull her twords the rocks, straining to keep himself from tumbling headfirst into the water. An object bumped into her foot then vanished. Her free hand reached out to the rocks for a handhold adding tiny scratches and both of them working to pull her out of the water and back onto the dock. She looked a little bluer, shivering violently. Nilrae grabbed her cloak to wrap around her, as she sat on the dock. Then pulled off his own cloak and placed it around her. The city cavern remained a constant 75 degrees, so his cloak was less needed. He also noticed red water dripping off her onto the dock.
"I.. I.. I…ddddont knnnnnow wwhatttt happennnn," she tried to get out between chattering teeth.
"I think you also cut yourself."
Moving the cloaks to look, she saw there was a 3 inch long gash from the knee twords the back of the leg. It didn't look too deep and at the moment it didn't hurt.
"That's gunna leave a scar," pulling out a cloth and ripping it into long shreds before wrapping it around the wound.
Zarae nodded, not attempting to speak till she quit shivering. Nilrae sat down, feet dangling over the edge to peer down into the water, a dark shadow disappearing beneath them. Looking back twords the house then to the small tunnel that Ryrrl leaked into, he figured their adventure was done with.
"Head back in then?"
She narrowed her orange tinted eyes and shook her head. No way was she gunna quit now! Instead a shaky hand reached for her pack. One of the potions she'd gotten from her older brother might have been useful. Pulling out two light blue in color, she handed them to Nilrae to hold looking for the anther one. She found it, the color a purplish hue with swirls of red and blue. Still shaking she had trouble grasping the cork, much less holding it still. Nilrae placing one of the healing potions in his pack, and the other in her hers, he tipped it twords her, pulling the cork quickly and then pushed it into her mouth before she shook all the liquid out.
"Next time, get a potion of swimming," he jested as the effects began to take place.
Shivering slowed down, and she began return to her normal color again. After a few more minutes she tossed Nilrae his cloak. She was still cold, but moving would warm her up. especially paddling and steering the boat.
"Thanks," slipping off her boots to dump out water followed by squeezing out the water in her shirt. "Alright, let's get moving. We already lost too much time."
With hard work they got their watercraft in the best spot out just as Nilrae's spell expired. The boat again was invisible. Close to giving up, Zarae dug thru her pack again to pull out the small ruby. Looking thru it she directed Nilrae how to get in and find the paddles. Zarae then hopped in before putting her gem away.
******
Elbows were resting on the armrest of throne, finger tips touching near her mouth in thought. On float disk in front of her were Xullafay and Alylin. Both daughters were in priestess robes, all three sitting relatively relaxed and conversing.
"You still have to decide the pageprince's course," Xullafay continued, "He is nearing his eleventh year. It is time he begin his next stage. Is he to be a mage or a warrior?"
Matron Shyntyl looked over to Alylin, brows raised with the obvious question.
"He is a very intelligent male no doubt. His problem solving skills are up there with any wizard. He also has the ability to be a formidable warrior." Alylin shifted to lean more to the right, "Izzmurss is a wizard, and Neeryrd is a warrior as well as Rhylaun. We have a few skilled mages ranked among the House soldiers."
Xullafay nodded waiting for her younger sister to get to her point.
"If the weapon-master is as skilled and good as you believe, then why not train him as both? Rhylaun could whip him up in fighter better than half those in the Academy in half the time one of those inferior houses take. And if his skill is more suited to Sorcere, then he won't leave for a while anyway. But a battle mage would be a nice addition. Not to mention what we will have to do once the time is right."
"Really? Rhylaun is that skilled? Then explain Neeryrd," the eldest sister snarked sarcastically.
"He's a Kilanatlar only in name. House Vandee is poor stock."
"True," Xullafay conceded.
The matron looked at both, a quiet warning to each. She then sat up straight, "G'eldriina!" The woman walked forward from the back, then took a knee before the matron. "Fetch the elderboy."
"Yes ilharess," The woman replied, then whirled and headed out of the room for Izzmurss.
"What about the girl's progress? Zeb tells me how difficult she is."
"She too is intelligent and a wild card at that. Learning the material is not as much of the problem as she tends to refuse to learn it. There is no sense of desire to be a priestess, no drive or motivation for power. I also sense some other things in the girl that make her weak. She needs to be hardened and soon." Alylin then looked to Xullafay then back to her mother who was contemplating the words. "Zebeycyrl would be right on most accounts. Tho I think half of the problems stem from Zebeycyrl. The girl is a pure rebel and Zarae hates her with a passion. I would not be surprised if Zarae ended up attempting to strike her."
Xullafay had a sense that her mother favored the girl, allowing her to get away with things otherwise would not. The high priestess knew the root of the problems that had been occurring. Alylin had confirmed it plainly.
"I don't how she is going to accomplish what you believe, this…prophesy if you will," Xullafay spoke up what was on her mind. No point in hiding it when her mother could just read her mind. "This girl is of no use to our house. And how long before the Spider Queen tires of it? We all know she would not pass a test of loyalty as of now."
"But," Alylin started a new plot forming in her head, "if we cultivate that…hatred. Give her a reason and a taste of power,"
"Oh so send her to get killed? Zebeycyrl would no doubt kill her in minutes."
A grin of amusement on her face, "No. of course not yet anyway." If Zebeycyrl was killed, the third daughter would be the replacement in the Red Sisters. Alylin would have to wait to use the girl on the assassin, if that could ever happen. "That will come later. The twins are rather close. We can assume that when she comes of age, that will change. If not, we make it. I refer to something else. One of the slaves she is particular fond of. If Zarae were to believe she turned on her…"
"What and make the girl kill or force their death?"
"Why not?"
"a slave. How do you expect a slave to have that kind of effect?"
"trust me." Both daughters laughed at the thought. Alylin continued, "This slave is like a beloved pet. Or a favorite mount. Force her to willingly slay that pet."
Matron Shyntyl's lips curved into an amused wicked smile brushing the dyed streak of hair out of her face. "Alylin, start training the girl in magic."
******
The tributary's water was flowing so they needed little help in getting moving twords the tunnel in the western cavern wall. Ducking from the overhead magical gate, they exited their homecity for the first time. The water was flowing faster, their craft picking up speed. Both struggled to control the boat to avoid the rocks and rapid waters. The creek turned southward and widened. Their speed continued to increase, the movement blowing loose strands of hair and billowing their cloaks behind them. Zarae was laughing at the wild ride, her eyes brilliant violet and a rush of excitement and adventure filled her as she clutched the side to maintain her balance. Nilrae too was enjoying the ride, but he was wiser to keep focus and pay attention to their surroundings. Ahead of them the water dropped 3 feet in a small waterfall, Nilrae tapping Zarae's shoulder to prepare for it.
Freezing water soaked them as their vessel dropped the next level, the rocking thrashing throwing them about and almost capsizing. Neither could contain the laughing from the rush of the danger they were in. The paddles back out to steer they continued onward, the water tunnel turning a corner. The ceiling was low enough that both could stretch up to reach it. The water then picked up speed again. In the distance he spotted it. The water dropped away, a mist gathered at the top of the low ceiling. To the left was a small rocky shore.
"Waterfall!" Nilrae called back to Zarae over the roaring waters, having spotted it first, "head for that," pointing to shore.
Both paddled hard, straining hard against the speed of the water. Their boat caught on an outcropping of rocks holding it enough for Nilrae to jump nimbly to shore, rope in hand. Zarae followed, her jump with more flare as she added a handspring to land softly.
"Show off!"
"Yeah? I can do better," jumping backward to her hand then springing back up. Finished with hands in the air with a 'ta-da!'
"Whatever."
Secured packs, and a double check of supplies, the twins headed up a path among the broken boulders that led to a small tunnel. The sides were smooth and worn down by water that had one time filled this area.
"ready?" Zarae signed eager to explore.
He nodded, more cautious than his sister but equally excited and eager. Zarae decided to take lead, pulling her camouflaging piwafwi tight about her. Nilrae did likewise following at an equal pace. They were invisible against the stone, and with his agile and practiced movements, they made not a sound. The tunnel stretched deep into the cavern, curving and turning in zig-zag patterns. Both kept an ear out and eyes opened for dangerous creatures. Ahead the tunnel broke into two branches, the twins stopping to decide which way. The one on the left remained simple before curving sharply in an 'L' shape further down, the heat in the stone allowing them to see as far all the way to the turn. The one on the right twisted and snaked around, but a soft bluish light tinted the distance. It was this tunnel that held a soft constant dripping trickle.
"Left or right?" Zarae signed.
"Right looks much more fun."
"Agreed. Right it is then."
Down the path they traversed, the tunnel's glow growing as they moved closer. After nearly an hour, the tunnel dipped down before giving way to a large cavern room. The ceiling flew away further than their darkvision could see. Stalagmites littered the floor and no doubt stalactites dotted the ceiling. A staggering variety of lichen, fungi, and cave moss covered the floor, walls, and ledges. Curly, dark blue ferns surrounded a small pool, and pale silvery moss hung, like a lacy veil in draping folds from a ledge. Mushrooms sizing from tiny to as large as a full grown man grew in fields in the back. Water ran in rivulets down the walls to gather in the pool; at the end of the pool, the overflow went to another pool a few inches lower and continued this pattern until it hit the floor and flowed out as a small stream to vanish into a hole in the cavern wall. Far across the room opposite of the pool and various tunnels, the floor fell away to nothingness. A great open space, that was dozens of miles in breadth and virtually bottomless. There was no smells of harmful minerals and no sense of stagnate water. Tunnels and alcoves were scattered all around. Eerie blue and green light filled the cavern like a strange radiation. In the center was a unique plant. Barren branches that were pale and gnarled, it seamed more dead than alive. Red buds were sprouted on it sparingly. Luurden was a rare tree that produced its fruit only once every four years. The bitter red fruit could be used to make rare Underdark wines and elixirs.
The twins stood dumbfounded over their discovery. Zarae looking over to Nilrae and gave him a playful punch to hold in a triumphal laugh. As awesome as this place was, realization soon hit Nilrae that it would not be unoccupied. Zarae was already stepping into the cavern room before he could remind her to be very careful. Cave moss would ensure vermin would be lurking. A vial of glowing ink came out of her pack. She didn't want to forget the tunnel that lead back, so dipping a finger in, she wrote on the wall their house glyph, a crude spider atop a sword. To her, it was claiming it. Once they could secure the place it would be their own little refuge. Maybe she could get some slaves out here and build a hovel to stay within. So many ideas came to her. Then pulling out the map, she marked a spot she reasoned it was located at. The ink and map and now a pen out, Zarae walked around the edges of the large room counting the passage ways and crudely mapped the area. Notes of plants and rock formations, and any other features that would be useful. Standing at the edge of the abyss, she was tempted to drop a rock to see just how far. In a recess in the far back was cask-shaped fungus 8 feet in height and 5 feet in diameter. The outer layer was tough and woody. 'Barrelstalk' she noted. If the running water source ran out or food was scarce, the fungus' inner flesh was edible, and its center is filled with a reservoir of water of 20 to 50 gallons. This cavern was defiantly a good find.
Maybe too good.
In the back of her mind she knew that a place like this would not be safe without securing it. If she ever did get all her ideas to work, she'd have to get a whole crew of people out her. Continuing on her course was a pile of bones covered in mineral, cave pearl. It was polished to a round and smooth shape by the flowing water that had carved this area long ago. It was orange and pink tinted and nearly spherical. Only part not round was what connected it to the rock. Her mapping tools put away, and unsheathing the dagger, she chipped away at the rock until the part she wanted was loose. It would be worth some coin that was for sure. Cave pearl in her pouch, the dagger was resheathed and she continued her course. Nilrae carefully headed to the strange stalked plant and carefully picked the few plants that had bloomed.
Zarae then tip-toed to the pool, when a soft 'thump' noise stopped her. It was barely audible, but she knew it was close. The adamantine dagger slid from the leather sheath. Seeing nothing and blade before her, she moved beside the pool to look in. Suddenly something jumped out of a dark shadow spot twords her, startling her. Jumping back and prepared to attack, Nilrae snuck up behind her and used that moment to poke Zarae in the sides. She twirled on him brandishing the blade at him. He barely could contain his laugh as the large toad continued to hop away.
"That is not funny!" her fast hand movements showing that so.
Nilrae was still trying to hold in his noise in, but could no longer do so, doubled over laughing, his voice echoing in the room. Zarae slapped a hand over his mouth to muffle the sounds he was making.
"Some of these toads are poisonous. That one is as big around as me. Now…shhhush!" her voice whispered into his ear.
His laughing slowed down and the girl moved her hands away. Taking a deep breath and wiping away tears that formed, he signed back to her, "but it was a toad!"
Zarae rolled her eyes and stepped back over twords the water. Outside of the pool looked like a small puddle of water that resembled a small spring. No heed was given it as a boot stepped into it. It was quickly discovered that it was no puddle. The slime began eating at her boot. Luck was not with them then, and a tiny swarm of giant cockroaches spilled out at them. She stuck the shoe into the flowing stream, the slime setting off a chain reaction and causing an explosion of acid to fly out around them, killing the roaches that were within the 10 foot radius. Nilrae and Zarae also took a hit of the flying acid, burning holes into their cloaks and clothing and splotches on their sides.
the pain throbbed in both drowlings, as they pulled out the precious light blue liquid and gulped it down. A healing potion gone from something stupid, they felt some of the more serious of the burns nit back together and the pain ebb away.
"Next time, assume the water is the enemy," a slightly frustrated boy signed.
"At least the bugs are dead," Zarae smarted off.
"I think we might want to think about heading back. It will take a few hours to get back up the creek. Plus we want to save this for another day I think."
Zarae wasn't ready to head back just yet. Instead, she headed to a column where faerzress was heavy. Taking out her dagger she chipped away a few chunks and placed them into her pack.
"What are you doing?" he whispered
Pausing long enough to sign a reply, "I read about this. This is very valuable and useful- faerzress."
Nilrae paused and eyes searched the cavern. He didn't see it, but he felt a presence. Knew something was there, just out of their range. He instinctively drew a dagger and moved to put his back to her. his gazed moved up to the alcoves and ledges. It had to be up there. The girl sensed it also as she worked to gather chunks of the radiating stone.
"Hurry up," his free hand moved in front of her face to sign.
Her pack already in front of her, she dropped the rocks in and pulled out the spider shaped shurikens. Back to back they circled and slowly moved for the marked tunnel. Neither knew what to expect and neither were prepared to fight.
Above them in a high alcove the noises did not go unheard. Chittering among the two went unheard far below. Crimson eyes staring down below at the pieces of heat shadows shown. Swirls of destructive, anarchic urges filled their minds seeing a hated enemy below. They were cursed, turned into a hideous creature for their failure and driven away. The smaller one stayed back in the tunnel that used as their nest sporting a recent injury from an unwanted guest who shared the cavern. Crude spear in hand, he looked back to the female then to the cavern floor.
Web shout out from his backside and he began lowering himself to the cavern, determined to keep his claim on it.
But it was not only them but another creature who was interested in the two below, their reason more primal- food. Spiny pads held it secure to the ceiling. It did not see them, but it knew its next meal was there.
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:55 pm

Nilrae motioned they head back for the tunnel, both standing back to back, Nilrae leading. Zarae elbowed her bother to scoot that way and move together. The two got a few feet from the tunnel then a long fleshy spiny object shot down and wrapped around Zarae's neck. She began to rise in the air, struggling to breathe as tentacle constricted around her while pulling her off the ground. Nilrae in that moment did a diving roll forward. His timing was perfect. In place of where he just was, a spear stuck into the moss covered stone. Cursing sounded off in a familiar tongue above in the darkness. Back up onto his feet, he moved to a crouching defensive position. For the first time, he was truly fearful they would not make it through this. He stepped back, hearing Zarae above struggling with whatever had her.
His face froze in pure horror as the being descended before him, the tormented body of a drow elf from the waist up, though bloated and pale with and its lower body resembling a spider. The creature was the epitome of punishment. It could be barely distinguished if it was a male, so bloated was its torso. Spider legs touched the floor, angry hateful eyes looking at what it once was long ago- a beautiful male of power and skill. A greatsword of adamantine was unsheathed from his back as he advanced on the drowling. A trembling hand reached for the pouch for anything to use as Nilrae continued to backpeddle. Fingers clasped around the leather bundle pulling the string loose. The sword slashed at his head, Nilrae ducked and rolled coming up under eight arachnid legs. Eyes closed in preparation, the stone came out just as the drider jumped back into a blinding light. An unnatural scream came from the drider, and Nilrae used the distraction to slice up at a spider body. The blade did little damage, only leaving a simple cut, but it was enough that black ichor dribbled out.
Over 200 feet from the floor, Zarae was about to become dinner. However, the daylight spell light up the area. Zarae saw the creature as the light filled the dark cavern. It was a strange humanoid creature with long tentacled arms, and a lot of teeth! Small and deadly, often spelling doom for weak beings. It screeched in an other-worldly sound. Closing her eyes in pain with small tears forming in the corner of her eyes, she slashed at the arm that held her tightly. Metal struck air a few times before making contact, biting into flesh. The chocker released, now wounded and blinded; Zarae free falling nearly 150 feet.
Trying to escape the light and attack the drowling attacking his weak underbelly, adamantine went between two legs to nick a shoulder. Nilrae trying to maintain closed eyes did not see the blade and cried out. The drider lifted himself up into the air to escape the blinding light, unprepared for what was coming his way.
Zarae gasping for air was trying to concentrate on getting her levitation spell active; she did not see the spider being coming up to meet her. The girl thudded on the driders back, a soft crunch beneath her. Hands hitting exoskeleton first, the blade sank into a plate joint followed by her stomach hitting with a 'oof'. Both were spiraling twords the ground. Again webbing shot forth to try to catch himself. The drider was yanked from beneath her, including her dagger, causing her to spin and tumble thru the air.
Keeping his eyes closed and leather covering in hand, Nilrae pounced at it, hands feeling around blindly until he bump into it. He covered it partially turning into a directional lightbeam. Above his head he heard the grunting and whipping of the cloak as his sister fell. Attempting to duck as she was over his head, she suddenly paused in her descent, knocking him down to the moss covered stone floor as she hovered above him. Zarae peeked to see Nilrae and the ground a foot below her. A sigh of relief, she released the levitation and tumbled on her brother as he was attempting to get up.
"Just couldn't let me get out of the way first," he whispered.
"And land on the hard ground?" whispering back harshly. While she could breathe normally again, her voice was hoarse and bruising was already forming.
"Let's get moving. I don't know how long either will stay away."
Looking to her brother, she nodded, and then both were running twords the glowing mark dropping a few globes of darkness to cover their back ends. The stone forced back into his pack, the cavern went pitch black again. Boots touched down silent as one could in a full run back down the expanse of narrow, broken walls, passing the tunnel division and on twords their watercraft. Exiting the tunnel they slowed to catch their breath.
Groans escaped them both remembering they would have to paddle upstream. Pain in Nilrae's shoulder returned now that the adrenaline was wearing off.
Nilrae looking back to see if any had followed, "use…the…seeing…" he managed between deep breaths leaning on a boulder.
She only nodded, pulling out the ruby, and jumping into the boat first to sit on the wooden bench. "No chance you have any tricks left?"
He shook his head, stretching his arms and preparing for the upcoming misery. It was then he had the idea, a few hours too late; if either had taken the magical decanter of water that was used for the tubs, it could have been used to propel the boat. He kicked a loose stone for not thinking of it before. The rock skidded down the tunnel, echoing all the way down.
"shhhh!" Zarae warned, her hands signing fast, "Sense that?"
"What?"
A growling sound echoed twords them down from the darkness and a loud clacking noise. The clacking resounded clearly echoing off the stone walls of the tunnels as it got closer.
"shhhh!"
His multicolored eyes grew wide, "it wasn't me!" he signed running to push the boat and hop in.
"Paddle fast!"
As the boat moved slowly forward with their strenuous workout, the monstrous biped came into view. it was barely distinguishable from the blurring coolness, its bony exoskeletons matching the surrounding stone. Rising to nine feet tall it had a head like a vulture and a neck of crested feathers with bird like legs Its body resembled a beetle with mottled grey chitinous exoskeleton covered with sharp studs. Instead of hands, paws or claws, its front limbs ended in hooks; surrounded by red feathers it had the multifaceted eyes of an insect. The hook horror stampeded twords their boat, stomping the rocks as if they were dirt clods. He had heard their running with hearing ten times more keen than a drow. It did not seam bothered by the fast moving water in its path, stepping down to chase after the drowlings. They did not have to be reminded of urgency. Zarae turned and released one of the spider shaped blades. It bounced off his exoskeleton and plunked into the water. She didn't wait to see the results, returning to her paddle. The hook horror mistakenly thought the waters were shallow, and sunk to it bird neck with his second step. No hands to swim and the force of the water, it was overswept and carried down and over the water fall.
The twins, beyond exhaustion and pain, neared the magical gate. The water was easier in flow, and it allowed then to ease up on the furious paddling they spent grueling hours doing. The boat bumped lightly into the dock, Nilrae throwing the rope over the post to secure it before pulling it close. He climbed up and just collapsed to the dock followed by Zarae.
"I may actually sleep like a rivval tonight," she said closing her eyes, her body threatening to collapse there.
Nilrae forced himself up, weakly pulling on her arm for them to get back inside. The stone door closed behind them as they reached the house door. The key clicked and the door opened to two new guards as two drowlings entered.
"Halt," the first one called, the command almost as effective as spell.
Zarae was not in a good mood anymore, her face showing the agitation in the drow's darkvision. She spun on her heals, holding up her house insignia and began chewing the guard out. He looked to his companion and shrugged. The other took the disk from her inspected it, much to her annoyance, before returning it and also checking Nilrae's. When sure they were not imposters, the guards sent them along.
"Should we report this?" the younger guard whispered to the older one. He could only shrug confused.
Zarae closed the door behind her, leaning on it to pull off her dirty boots and tossing them to the side. She headed for her soft bed, the belt clanking onto the fur rug and her pack and piwafwi dropped onto the desk. Stumbling to her bed she collapsed onto it with a content smile, her head falling nicely onto the soft silk pillow. Nilrae did likewise, slipping off his boots and pushing them into his closet and dropping his belongings onto his Zurkhwood desk. He barely made it to the bed before falling into an actual sleep.
A knock at the door less than a minute after closing her eyes was heard. Zarae groaned, pulling the pillow over her head. The knock intensified, startling Nilrae in the next room. He too groaned pulling his blanket over his face as the knocked next door continued.
Ladayiir opened the door, rolling her eyes. Instead of trying to fight with the girl she headed straight into the washroom for a bowl of water. Zarae didn't miss the footsteps onto the ceramic floor, already knowing what the woman was after.
"I thought we had this time off," came from under the pillow.
"Yes, there have been some change of plans."
Zarae groaned louder clearly making her protest heard.
"I have the water. Shall I use it?"
Again a pillow sailed at Ladayiir's head, the half drow nimbly stepping aside of the clumsy toss. She stepped up to the bed noticing the girl was already dressed and rather dirty. A glance around she saw the muddy boots, the cloak and the backpack out. The smell of moss permeating around her and her stuff. She then noticed the dark coloration around her neck.
"Wild night?"
A grunt from Zarae but she did not move. The bowl was set on the nightstand so Ladayiir could begin to go through her stuff, particularly the backpack. Zarae shot up, tossing a blade at the woman, it sticking fast into the desk. Ladayiir stopped, her eyes flashing. She turned on her heel and crossed her arms daring the girl.
"I am up. So you can get lost," Zarae snapped sitting on the edge and letting her feet drape off the side.
"Good. You dont have time to bathe and eat. I suggest you choice quickly."
"Whatever," stepping onto the fur rug and heading to her washroom.
******
Nilrae was actually given another hour before the knock on his door came. As worn out as he was, and Ladayiir could plainly see it, he was still easier to get up and going. He yawned and sluggishly got up.
"I would suggest a bath right away. Today, you are to be in the alchemy lab."
The boy sniffed his shirt before pulling it off and tossing it into a basket. Starting twords his washroom, he turned to look at Ladayiir with a perplexed look but said nothing as he got into the cold water.
Nilrae washed and ate quickly before heading to meet with Izzmurss. He wasn't sure what was in store for him, but it no doubt included cleaning of some sort; he always cleaned the areas slaves were not allowed. Soon, he knew he would be promoted. At least he hoped. Nilrae paused and stood at the thick stone door in thought over his options. Not that the drowling male had any, but it was nice to pretend. The wizard opened the door and ushered the boy in quickly.
The tables were cluttered with papers, scrolls, equipment, and other things a powerful wizard needed, the same as it always had been. What was different was a candelabra of six red wax candles all lit. Each were tiny flames, but to his eyes it was a brilliant intrusion. Nilrae flinched but his eyes adjusted accordingly. Rather quickly Izzmurss noted. A desk, off to the side with a single candle was piled with tomes, parchments, and ink. The house wizard, his face a scowl, was dressed different than Nilrae had ever seen. A blue wizard robe of spidersilk, trimmed with silver and white geometrical arcane signs along the arms, and sides. Inside the robes were purple velvet and designs that resembled an ancient language. Unknown to any but the wizard was a dozen of hidden pockets containing all his spell components, wands, and spell book. His black leather belt held an ivory wand and dagger. Navy blue plain leggings and knee high boots that were re-enforced with adamantine were visible when he walked and the robes parted. Nilrae guessed this was one of his ceremonious or teaching robes. Three rings adorned each hand, the magic energies surrounding each powerful; but not as powerful as the amulet on his neck. It glowed with some power the boy could never guess, much less imagine.
"Sit," a slight metallic rasp beneath his melodious elven voice.
The wizard remained standing erect and graceful as a dancer, hands behind his back as Nilrae took a seat at the desk prepared for him. Izzmurss closed the door of the lab with his foot; the door magically silenced so that it made no noise. Nilrae saw the slight irritation in his brothers face and was sure today would not go so well. Being exhausted and barely conscious would make the day worse. His eyes began to droop, when the slamming of a tome before him startled him.
"The matron mother asked I begin you in magic. Thus you are with me until it's decided otherwise. Understood?"
Nilrae nodded, then gulped.
"All elves can become proficient in magic. Every drow possesses a degree of magical talent and innate abilities. What I will do is teach you how to harness these abilities through research and learning."
Izzmurss opened the tome before Nilrae. The pages were blank except the first page. On it was filled arcane words that Nilrae couldn't read.
"This will be your spell book until you make your own. This for your own researched spells," Izzmurss began, "Never allow another wizard access to your spellbook. Never share secrets. And never read magic with untrained eyes!" He closed the tome and scooted it to the side. Pointing to another book, Nilrae grabbed it and set it before him, opening to the first page.
"First things first," watching Nilrae's reactions to what had been said, "there is more to magic than just flinging magical energies. First a spell requires a spoken incantation. These are what are written in a spellbook. Many spells require a measured and precise movement of the hand."
Izzmurss traced a deft, magical pattern in the air with the fingers of one hand, pulling out a pork rind, all while chanting the words. The magical energy grew and the wizard created a greasy coating on Nilrae's stool. The boy jumped up to see the effects of the simple spell.
"As you also saw, many spells require one or more physical substances or objects as the catalyst. These objects are kept in your spell component pouch. A wizard must always keep these around, for spell components are annihilated by the spell energies in the casting process."
Izzmurss then began another spell, his dexterous fingers moving delicately, a diamond in hand given to the boy. Diamond dust was then sprinkled on Nilrae as he neared the end of the words and focused on the diamond in the boy's hands. The effects were instantous and the spell landed on the boy.
"Many of the more powerful spells have a focus component," he stated hand reaching for the diamond. As soon as it left the boys hands the spell was gone from him.
******
Zarae sat down in her chair in the study and leaned her head on the desk. Alylin hadn't arrived yet, so the girl would close her eyes until she heard the door creaked. 'It would only be a few minutes,' she told herself. However, Zarae fell hard asleep and did not hear her sister enter the room. Alylin smirked, as she walked over to the girl snoozing on the desk. Waiting a few minutes and nothing happening, her boot went on the stool leg and pushed out. Zarae awoke then as her seat carried her to the fur rug, landing on her left side. Her eyes blazed crimson red as she looked to her sister. The girl had nothing on her at the moment to throw at her sister.
"Get up, now! I have a new lesson in mind for you."
Zarae too tired to come up with a response got up, putting the stool upright but not sitting onto it just in case her sister wanted to push her again. Alylin motioned for her to sit. A purple candle was light, the bright intrusion startling the girl for a second. Following the candle was a sickly-sweet incense. Alylin then sat a leather bound tome down before Zarae. On the cover was words or symbols or both she didn't know. The large symbolic spider however was distinct. it was some unholy text, she guessed, of the Spider Queen. It made her uneasy as she stared at it, a cold darkness that ran down her spine.
"You should already know the basics of being a priestess of Lloth," Alylin began, her back to Zarae as she paced in front of the desk and began her spill, "Soon you will be feeling the draw, hearing the call," the older sister paused, spun and stared at Zarae, amber eyes to maroon, "The ultimate aim of every priestess is to achieve and keep the Favor of Lloth. In doing this you gain and keep limitless and ultimate power."
Zarae was barely paying attention, but she had become a near expert at pretending to listen while someone droned on in the background. What was harder was the ability to remain awake. Soon images of returning to the cavern blurred everything. She eventually missed anything that was said. The girl nodded when Alylin stared her face to face. Pleased, the older sister left Zarae alone with the tome, a smirk on her ebon face as she headed down to the first floor. Looking back to the door, then to the book, Zarae then just laid her head onto the desk and closed her eyes.
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:55 pm

Zarae walked through the white powdery stuff piled around her ankles. Tall plants were similar to the stalks of the giant mushrooms with a strange green cap way above her head all around her. Her hood down, a breeze blew thru her red-streaked silver hair. The same white stuff that was on the ground began falling around her, gathering in her hair and melting into water once it sat on her warm face. She reached out to catch it in her bare hands, but it became ice cold water.
Zarae looked up at the strange plant and for no reason at all, tried to climb it. Their wasnt much of handholds this low and she lost grip the first attempt. Determined, she activated her levitation floating up to a low branch. The top part of the 'mushroom' was green spiky and bundled in clusters. Out into the horizon and thru the green canopy of plant material was a vast and endless 'cavern' ceiling far above and as brilliant as the black sapphires that drow loved. A large round disk in the sky, brilliant white, was just barely peeking out from behind the distant land. Dotting the sapphire sky were thousands of lesser lights that to her eyes showed not only white, but host of other colors. Everywhere she looked was green, bright and vivid in the brilliant light of the moon. She couldn't believe that was the dreaded sun. Her eyes were violet, not blue with fear nor crimson with anger or hate. It was nothing like what she would have expected, experienced none of the fear or loathing she had been taught she should feel. Rather a consuming lust to see such wonders and adventure.
Sounds of slivery music reached her keen ears from far in the distance. The sound was so intriguing and clearly drow in nature. But instead of conveying dark fears or lust, it seam to give a since of a new feeling, joy. A compelling and drawing, similar to what she told she would feel from the Spider Queen. Was this Lloth?
Levitating back down, she continued to trudge on in the direction she guessed it came from. The sounds of a soft pounding and creaking stopped her. Zarae fell to the snow clutching her head as the pounding echoed in her mind and was nearing an exploding point
.
The dwarf slave, a once proud Duergar now reduced to a blacksmith slave of Kilanatlar, was covered in black suet from the furnace. The leather apron around his waist held the few tools that he was allowed. In hand he held months of hard work, a black metal ring. In the metal was eight tiny silver spiders with ruby chips for eyes adorn in an engraved web design. Matching it, a fang-shaped crystal dangling from a loop of finely wrought silver chain in the center of a spiderweb medallion.
He knocked softly a few times before opening the door. His face was scared badly, the prominent old wound running from the left side of his face, across his eye and nose to the corner of the right side of his lip then running down his neck to hide beneath the slave collar. His skin was charcoal grey with a bald bed and a snowy white beard matched with an equally stolid expression. His own reddish tinted eyes looked surprised to see the napping drowling. He pulled the door realizing he had the wrong room, backing up into a metal tray and the halfling carrying the lunch. The plates, the mug, and the newly crafted jewelry clanked loudly to the bare marble floor.
Zarae's head flew up from the desk with a startle and confused where she was for a moment. The scrambling slaves cleaning up were on the edge of her vision, but her mind was still in among the mushroom like plants and white powdery stuff. It had to be what some called a dream. The desk just high enough to make things worse, the halfling set the tray of spilled food before the girl rearranging the items, trying to clean up the mess. She fully expected punishment, her eyes cast low as every slave had to for a noble. When no strike or attack was forthcoming, she dared a peek to the girl staring off to the ceiling.
"I will return with a replacement," the slave softly spoke, her voice interrupting the girl.
"Whatever," Zarae replied waving her off and too caught up in her thoughts to care either way. The halfling exiting the room turned to Zarae calling her back and running up to meet her. "Bring me the grey pack under in the bottom drawer on the nightstand in my room and I'll consider forgiving you this mess," she whispered into the slave's ear.
"where?"
The halfling nodded and hurried out to accomplish the task. Returning in five minutes, bag in hand, the slave handed it over. Again Zarae dismissed her with a wave and sat back down onto the stool. The halfling surprised the drowling didn't call her to be punished, wasted no time in getting back down to the first floor. The first book came out and was sat on the desk, the unholy book of the Spider Queen scooted over to accommodate her own tome.
The entry was a similar to the one she had just dreamed about. However the writer of the journel used words she didn't know the meaning of. With no pictures in this book, another book was set beside it to find articles and entries on the words she read over. She flipped all through the book, no words of 'blueridge' or 'needleleaf' pines were found. Had she understood they were trees, she might have searched for 'trees'. The rest of the day was spent in this task, until she fell asleep again upon the books.
Eventually her dream took a very dark turn.
Zebeycyrl was barely breathing as she lay sprawled on her stomach on the cold stone; a pool of red liquid ran twords the girl's bare feet. the sword in hand was covered in dark blood. Zarae stood stunned for a moment.
"Feel the cold steel in your hands, swing your weapon, feel the icy touch of your blade soar through the air and pierce their skin and draw blood. Watch the life in their eyes fade as you pull that two edged blade out. Lloth is not a merciful deity."
The scenery changed again. Only this time they were in the House chapel. Zebercyrl was shackled and restrained to the spider shaped altar. Pungent smells of burned incense and blood reached her nose. The braziers on each side were lit giving a yellowish glow to the room. A haze thick as soup was over the room. Zarae stood beside the altar, looming over her paralyzed sister, the ceremonial blade in hand- a spider-shaped adamantine wavy kris whose eight descending legs were the blades. The smell of poison mingled with the rest of the awful smells of that chamber. A poison greatly favored by matron mothers for use in their tortures. Brewed from the venom of the ghostyk, it attacks the central nervous system, rendering its victim completely incapable of movement, though fully capable of feeling pain.
"What do you want?" a soft raspy feminine voice asked.
She held the knife over the heart of the immoveable Zebeycyrl, looking into her eyes with strangely blackish hued lifeless orbs. A color no one had ever seen in the mood shifting eyes of the girl. Years of boiling and simmering hate. Something egged her on as she raised the blade higher in preparation, nothing to stay her hand.
whispers of 'yesssss' just barely audible continued to goad her.
"DO IT"

******
The tall and lanky female was built lean like a runner. Instead of the dark beautiful ebon color skinned, she was a paler ashen grey with short shoulder-length bluish slivery hair. Somewhere along her family history was non-drow ancestors; this left her with a rather unremarkable plain appearance. A perfect undercover agent, a Masked Traitor. Usually such priestesses who play the deadly game worked in Lloth's clergy, but this one instead was sent into the rival rebel base- to pretend to be a former spider-kisser pretending to be a seeker and follower of the Dancing Lady. Vastyrr was up to the challenge. The goal while spying was eventually taking out Lady Erelrae. Zhayemd believed the house would not be able to maintain its façade if the priestess was removed, and thus either destroy itself or call the council down on itself.
The end of her trial period was nearing. Every seeker was given a time period, normally between four to six moon cycles, to prove that they were genuine. Many spies were uncovered during these times. Vastyrr had managed to convince everyone even up to now, and was ready for the next stage of her plan.
Deeper in the house compound, singing began. It happened everyday about this same time Vastyrr noted in a message she was preparing. The Evening Song she had learned. It made no sense but to keep her cover, she would join those in the main house and watch them sing and dance. In fact, the Masked Traitor learned that these nutballs found any excuse to dance.
Vastyrr finished the message and entered the chapel, the room similar to other drow house's chapels except the lack of art of the Spider Queen. The benches had been scooted back to accommodate the six dancers with ample room. Twelve stood around singing and three sat watching. Taking a seat next to the three onlookers, one of the dancers leaped into the air to land before Vastyrr and reached out a hand to pull her up and join. So far, Vastyrr had not been asked to participate. It was that that had helped her to maintain her cover. Vastyrr shook her head pretending to be self conscious. Maryne, her assigned mentor, continued to encourage her to come out and join.
"I am not ready to dance just yet," she lied.
Maryne, didn't want to push the female. She knew her background, or what Vastyrr had falsely revealed; she believed the former priestess was having trouble moving past her previous life. Maryne smiled and rejoined her dancing with Velnarin. Both were overfilled with joy and it reflected in their song and dance; Maryne has hoped Vastyrr would join in her joy. Later, when it was equivalent to midnight in the world above, Maryne and Velnarin would have a Love-Binding ceremony.
Vastyrr just sat and watched the two; completely sure she had fooled everyone; the Masked Lord had protected her and kept her identity secure. the ceremony would be the best time to strike. An ultimate slap in the Dark Maiden's face to desecrate such an event. The dancing ladies were utter fools she muttered to herself with a hidden sadistic smile.
******
Half an hour later, the Evening Song had finished and preparations were beginning. Lady Erelrae first met with Maryne alone in the Cavern of Song. Door secure, the high priestess began a spell. Around them the magical energies fell. A spell on her to ascertain truth was told while questioning the young woman as to her love for Velnarin, her motives in seeking to be united, and her willingness to serve Eilistraee faithfully and venerate her "in truth" through the binding.
The two spent a number of hours in discussion, Lady Erelrae very pleased with Maryne's response. Hand in hand, the high priestess prayed with the bride calling down Eilistraee's regard upon them both. As Lady Erelrae neared the end of her prayer, her eyes turned to bright pupilless orbs of silver. The two embraced in friendship, their robes falling to the floor and the two dancing. Erelrae continued her silent praying as both twirled and spun in graceful movements. Silvery moonfire fell on both women, glowing as brilliant as the full moon on a clear winter night. It was a sign of blessing from the Dark Dancer herself. After sweat gleamed off both moonclad women, each heavy in breath with damp hair clumped to their slick bodies, the high priestess embraced Maryne.
"You have danced and been found worthy little sister."
The Lady of House Helvighym repeated the preparations with Velnarin, Eilistraee signaling her approval. Their true natures had been revealed and it had been shown no deceptions, no illusions, and no lies among either supplicant. In another room, tables were set up for the feast while kitchen folks prepared meats and other dishes of the surface world. Some decorations were added to the room, sheets of sky blue velvet on tables and flowers that few of the house inhabitants had ever seen.
When it was close to midnight the Cavern of Song was filled with moonfire, but it could not equal in the beauty of the statue of the Dark Maiden in the center of the cavern. Tonight it seamed so much more realistic, as if Eilistraee was there herself. Everyone gathered was barefoot and dressed in ankle-length overrobes of a white spidersilk. These had been made over the course of the year by Eva for such an event. How long had she been wanting to be apart of such an event as a Love Binding Ceremony.
The throngs of people of the house filed into the cavern, Vastyrr included. A strange tingling sensation washed over her that made her very uncomfortable and uneasy the longer she was in the room. As if something knew she didn't belong, knew what she was planning. For now she would grin and bear it. The guest formed a circle around the perfectly round cavern joining hands together. Velnarin and Maryne following Lady Erelrae stepped out twords the center near the statue. Maryne was dressed in the whitest material possible, the fabric looked as if it made of light itself, contrasting her obsidian skin and complimenting her snowy hair which was full of small blue flowers. The groom wore a simple robe that would make a wizard envious. The spidersilk material rich and well crafted with the small gothic designs along the ends of the sleeves.
The high priestess' own robe fell softly to the smooth stone floor once she was in place. To begin, she spoke the words to a simple spell, moonglow manifesting around her. "Dark Dancer, we gather here and call on you to watch this love binding and make it firm before you and all gathered," the high priestess voice echoed in the cavern. Then she called to all the gathered, "Witness this union of love."
Eva stepped forth garnishing a mithril goblet set with 6 moonstones, the 'loving cup'. Inside was a rare black vintage wine that had been consecrated to the Lady and prepared by the clergy. Erelrae took the cup, holding it out before Velnarin and Maryne, directing the two supplicants to face each other and drink from it simultaneously. The wine was sweet and smoky-tasting and nothing like what they had before. Erelrae then took the cup and handed it back to Eva. She bid the couple kiss each other. Velnarin took Maryne's hand and pulled her to him. Erelrae walked behind each of the supplicants, touching each in the small of their backs and causing a glowing white aura to surround them each. Erelrae took their hands and clasped then together.
"Now you each must ask Eilistraee for Her blessing on your union."
The couple did, Eva then stepping forward with two interlocking pendants in hand. The adamantine circle had a sword engraved; when pulled apart they had a curving edge and half the sword. Together they took it and pulled it apart then each place their half around the other's neck. Hands were rejoined and a scarlet ribbon was bound around their clasped hands.
Lady Erelrae clapped her hands, the two turned partially to face the high priestess as she made her announcement, "bound before the Lady."
And then the festivities began. The presiding priestess began a rhythmic chant, other priestess and priest joining in. The song was simple, repetitive, and rather haunting- rising and falling twice, then on its third descent became a syncopated staccato five-note fall, and from then on swept into the same rise, but maintained the five-note descent. Dancing broke out among the people, all surrounding the newly bound couple who danced hands bound together. When folks tired, they would head to the prepared tables to enjoy fellowship and a deliciously prepared meal.
Vastyrr worked to keep her revulsion over the ceremony down and keep her face with fake joy. She was able to stay hidden when the dancing broke out and slipped among the crowd twords the food. Tho she was dressed in the ridiculous robe and barefoot like everyone else, she had her hair pulled up with a disguised blade. The blade itself coated with a deadly Haszak poison.
******
The Red Sisters had been sent undercover to Charrvhel'raugaust. Certain select females were chosen to be removed. Only Nyssa Mae'Vir knew that it some of their targets were a Test of Lloth. The main mission, one Nyssa herself was responsible to take care of, was a major power in the rival city. Lith My'athar and Charrvhel'raugaust had been to war several centuries ago. The battle ended in a standstill, neither gaining the upper hand. A relative fickle peace treaty was established between the two, but both periodically sent assassins to strike at the ruling houses. The Red Sisters had given Lith My'athar the upper hand the last decades.
Today the assassin of Kilanatlar, dressed in the purple-trimmed black vestments of a tenth year priestess, rode in a litter carried by four bugbears to her temporary base, located in the eastern part of the rival city. Zebeycyrl had been disguised as a daughter of a commoner house nearing graduation from the academy. The litter was lowered at the gate to the tiny compound. A paid off merchant serving as her guard stretched out a hand for her to take. He kept his eyes to the ground even after she released his hand. The assassin looked around and handed the merchant a pouch and a scroll. Pocketing both, the male listened to the instructions then hurried off to do his mistress' will. The gates opened, more paid off warriors standing at attention until their mistress was inside. Entering her abode and walking to her room, a slave brung in a plate with a glass goblet. Goblet in hand, she fell easily onto her cushioned bed and sipped the rare wine. The air was painted with scents as distinct and vivid as colors, most confiscated incense from her rival. There was no need to worry about intruders. The houses in any drow city, even those of the commoners, were virtual fortresses protected by magic and ingenious hidden devices.
This task had gone well despite the difficulty. The intended target and second daughter of the Second House of Charrvhel'raugaust. When Zebeycyrl finally managed to get Shakti alone inside the empty classroom, she struck. The battle ensued for a couple hours, before the ingenuity of the assassin had won her the day. Shakti had almost won, but Lloth's favor was not with her and her snake headed whip failed her. The last thing Shakti would hear was Zebeycyrl's malicious laugh as she revealed the truth of her identity in the last few second's of her life. The poison blade cutting across the rival's vulnerable throat. Shakti slumped to the ground as her blood flooded and pooled on the black marble floor. The sight drove Zebeycyrl into a frenzy of vicious delight, and she continued to thrust the blade into the lifeless priestess again and again. When all her fury was spent, Zebeycyrl tucked the weapon away, her chest rising and falling rapidly and a rare expression of calm suffused her face.
Now she only had to wait for word from Nyssa and the other three Red Sisters and decide how she would celebrate her victory. There were a few males outside she could make use of. Maybe torture a few slaves, she thought as she finished the glass and stretched out onto the bed.
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar
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Postby Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar » Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:04 am

"Your voice must roll that syllable. Try again," Izzmurss replied stoically. "Kyirilan ela oycc eo irecala illw irecwla kyilanam."
The practiced wizard repeated the phrase of the simple cantrip. He did not move his hands so as to actually cast the spell. Each word made the air crackle with power, but it did nothing and fizzled out as intended. It was about learning how to chant the arcane words of spells, how to get the right pitch, the correct tones, the proper phonetic combination. The wand tapped Nilrae's jaw. So he adjusted his head to better pronounce the words. The wizard nodded as his fourth attempt at the phrase was correct.
"Let's try a harder phrase," Izzmurss began.
"Ela anirel, ela fecw,
ela laestgo, ela stecw.
Anira ailmanir kya latyill,
ane tymaa ytyel liill."
The energy was stronger, but again it did not have the required parts and thus only fizzled out after the words were finished. The two continued most of the day, only breaking for a short lunch before returning to practicing. Nilrae found that he thoroughly enjoyed the lesson. He had been interested in magic for a while and had a sharp mind for spells. The words, once he got them correct, came quicker and easier, and by the end of the day he was able to spit out the words to five different cantrips perfectly and a number of higher level spells. Eventually Izzmurss released Nilrae for the day, and for once the bot didn't hurry to get away.
Nilrae grabbed a dinner to go, eager to get back to his room and practice. So enthralled with magic, he didn't even think to go see his twin sister. Sitting at his desk reading and biting into the Sullage, he realized how tired he was. After fighting to stay awake, he climbed into his bed to rest for the night. After all, a wizard had to rest for spells to work properly and regain them.
******
The blade began to quiver in her hand, hesitation. It lowered as if she was going to refuse to give in. Zarae even stood their shaking her head, then she raised it again as Zebercyrl's mocking voice echoed in the drowling's mind. Crowds appeared in the chapel; the entire house had been gathered. Matron Shyntyl looked on behind the altar nodding her approval.
The room went dark as the fires of the braziers were supernaturally blown out. An unnatural light appeared around the statue of the Spider Queen. The statues ruby gems glowed with an iridescent red as if in use of darkvision.
"yessss my child. This is your desire," Zarae heard the voice of her mother, "power comes only to she who is strong enough, cunning enough to snatch it from the failing hands of those who no longer deserve it. Claim your right as my dalhari."
The blade came down to plunge into the sacrifice…

BAM
One of Zarae's own books was dropped onto the desk. Zarae jerked awake so hard that she lost her balance and fell off the stool. Looking up to angry amber eyes standing over her, Alylin tapped her foot in annoyance while Zarae picked herself up off the floor- again.
"I am beginning to see why Zeb has such problems with you," her hand rubbing her forehead.
"What are you gunna do? Threaten to turn me into a drider? Zeb has used that so often, I want to laugh. If mother wanted me one, I would be already."
Alyling stood up straight now holding the girls backback, "oh?" then set it on the desk. Picking up the journal her other hand held a globe of controlled fire. Zarae's held her breath; the threat of burning her books stopped her in her tracks. She remained on the floor, her eyes turning crimson and narrowing at her sister threateningly. Alylin dismissed the fire, tossing the books to the side. Standing before the girl, she reached down and grabbed her by the shirt and hoisted her to her feet and onto the stool.
"True," Alylin replied rather calmly, "You may become drider bait yet still." Another one of Zarae's books was picked up and Alylin absent-mindedly flipped through the pages. "Unlike our dear older sister, I have nothing to lose in your refusal to learn. Thus I have no qualms about resorting to more…extreme methods. I understand what motivates you."
That book too was tossed, the map of the cavern falling out. Zarae remained silent, trying to keep her eyes from looking at it to draw attention. But Alylin's keen ears heard it. The older sister picked up the rolled paper and held it. Zarae watched to see what would happen, hoping that Alylin might just toss the paper without looking.
"Get get out of my sight."
Zarae didn't hesitate, scrambling to get her books, get out and head to her room. Closing her door behind her, she leaned on it. Her map and information from last night was all gone. Proof of leaving the compound now in someone's hands. She tossed her backpack to the pile of clothing on the floor and slump onto her bed. Her stuff toy spider Shade tight in her arms, her head hit the soft pillow. Shortly after, she fell again into a real sleep.
******
Vastyrr stood off to the side watching, her eyes concentrating on Lady Erelrae. More gathered around the food as the night went on. By now half the guest had discarded their sweaty robes. Vastyrr knew that Erelrae would be protected by magical protection even if she had no physical weapons. She also knew Erelrae would be at her must vulnerable after such festivity. Now the masked traitor waited for the most opportune time.
Time passed, and many of the guest had left from exhaustion or to continue partying in more seclude and personal ways. Erelrae made her way over twords Vastyrr, and stood beside her.
"You seam still troubled. Maryne tells me you are still dealing with things," Lady Erelrae began after sipping her wine. "Any thoughts after tonight?"
Vastyrr noted the glow on the matron had gone now and she looked as before, and worn out. The glass was scooted over, her hands in front of her on the table picking at her finger nails. To any, it would appear she was trying to gather her thoughts. The woman looked to Erelrae, and then began chewing on her nails.
"I have never seen Maryne so…. Anyway…I am confused, more than anything."
"Wish to discuss?" despite being exhausted, Erelrae was still willing to talk.
"Privately?"
"As you wish."
Erelrae walked quietly from the wedding festivities down the dark hall, leading a rather quiet Vastyrr to a classroom. The further from the Cavern of Song they got, the more somber Erelrae became. Sadness was hidden in her eyes and praying it would not come true. Entering first, Erelrae walked over twords a desk. Vastyrr looked back behind her down the corridor; seeing no others, she pulled the hair pin out and shook her hair loose. Her back still to Erelrae, Vastyrr secretly flipped the blade in hand, the corner of her mouth curved upwards ever so slightly. To any unaware, it would look as if the 'former priestess' was gathering her thoughts. Lady Erelrae cautiously stepped closer, a hand moving to the sword pendent and a silent prayer on her lips. She was alert and vigilant despite her exhaustion; unlike Vastyrr believed, her guard was not down.
Spinning with lightning reflexes, the blade lunged for the high priestess' heart. Just before the poisoned blade could taste flesh, Erelrae with equally lightning reflexes spun and turned away. The edge of the blade did however scratch a bare arm. Her free arm instantly went to the gash. Her eyes locking with Vastyrr with pity and anger at betrayal. Vastyrr laughed waiting for the effects to begin. After a few moments passed and nothing, her face turned to a hideous scowl.
"I'll carve you like a piece of meat, spoon out your insides and force feed you your bowls!" Vastyrr screamed.
A dark shadow appeared taking the form of a half-mask of blackest velvet and flew from her to attack the rival priestess. Erelrae finished her spell, brilliant divine radiance surrounded her. The shadow mask was stopped dissipating back into nothingness. Vastyrr flinched as the blinding holy light stung her eyes. A black flame void of light gathered in the masked traitors hand and flew to meet moonfire between the two exploding into a black and white miniature explosion.
"Is this what you truly want? Redemption is not beyond you. You know the message…"
"Trade in one tyranny for her daughter? She is no different than Lloth! With the Spider Queen's son we are all equal! You and everyone here is pathetic, dancing fools!" Vastyrr knowing the high priestess was magically more powerful, moved like a blur, the blade aimed for a vital region.
Erelrae answered with another spell. Vastyrr was stopped in place, blinded and deafened as the holy word spewed from the high priestess of Eilistraee. By now, Eva and a few other priestesses had opened the door and stood stunned at what they saw. Erelrae had tears in her eyes as she looked to the other women, especially her older daughter. Vastyrr had learned too much to be allowed to just leave. Lillintha hurried to her mother noticing the blood.
"Are you alright?" blue light glowing around the daughter's hand as she touched the gash.
"I will be fine physically," turning to place her hands on the desk leaning on it after the spell had sealed up her arm.
"We know what must be done," Eva spoke up motioning the others to take ahold of a temporarily paralyzed Vastyrr.
Erelrae waved a hand to dismiss the others, then stood up to face them, "Not here in the complex. Blind and gag her soon as well as secure her hands then take her to the portal."
Eva gave her a confused look then understood.
******
The next several days the twins were given off with no scheduled study lessons. However, Nilrae requested time with the wizard to learn more. Izzmurss almost denied the drowling, busy with his other plans, but instead decided to continue. Maybe he could mold the boy to his advantage.
While Nilrae spent the remaining days with Izzmurss, Zarae found herself restless and bored. She had attempted to search for her map to no avail. Alylin either destroyed it or kept it hidden. Zarae decided to spend her time with Averl learning more tricks and practice her skills. The free time was short lived; being woken up to Ladayiir again singled the end of that freedom. Back in the room, the tome was placed before her. Zarae waited patiently for Alylin to leave so she could sneak out. Her mind was made up to visit the market again, especially Bruhaonar's shop.
When she was sure enough time for her sister to be away, she hopped up from her stool and headed to the door. As her hand made contact with the handle, electricity shot thru her dropping her to knees. Trying to catch her breath and keep from slipping into the blackness overcoming her, she remained on the floor; sounds around her became muffled. Some time passed when she moved from her spot, her muscles aching. Zebeycyrl had never given the girl enough credit, assuming better locks would keep her in. Alylin had added traps to the door, traps Zarae couldn't disarm.
Sitting on the fur rug Zarae felt defeated, "Ssussun." She wasn't getting out today. The girl grudgingly headed back to the desk, pulling the tome closer to her. Staring at it for a long time before she opened it, the opened book gave her chills. The script was inside was familiar, the same vocabulary for the most part, but had a much more elaborate grammar and complex structure and archaic words that did not exist in the normal dialect.
The first thing her eyes noticed was an old proverb, ulu z'hin maglust dal qu'ellar lueth valsharess zhah ulu z'hin wund lil phalar. "To walk apart from House and Queen is to walk into the grave."
A sigh of boredom she read over the first couple pages, not expecting much. It began with words of exaltation to the Spider Queen, a list of so called promises and gifts she would bestow- the same thing that was drilled into her for most of her life. The next pages were simple drow proverbs and sayings, nothing special or phrases she hadn't heard before. Zarae flipped thru a few more pages until she caught sight of an ink drawing. It was like many of the murals in the house, a battle scene of dark elven warriors against light elven warriors. The background was different. The land barren and featureless and new drawings of demons involved. Remembering her history, it was a battle from the elven wars. The next several page confirmed it, the story written in even older language than high drowic. Another ink drawing, only it was scene the girl didn't recognize. Turning to read the story, she learned quickly; it was the supposed story of how the beautiful Araushnee become Lloth. She was a member of the elven pantheon and consort to the creator of elves, Corellon. In his love, he made her the patron of artisans, elven destiny, and-later by Corellon's decree, the keeper of those elves who shared her darkly beautiful features.
Zarae continued to read- the two children were born to the Spider Queen. Of course everything she read made Lloth appear as the victim and everyone else doing the wrong on the Spider Queen. The next pages detailed how Araushnee turned against her lover and betrayed him, this depicted as his tyrannical rule over his lover and how she broke free. Araushnee aided Gruumsh One-Eye in his battle with Corellon and then she set Malar on his tail after he was weakened. When this failed, Araushnee raised a host of hostile powers to assault Arvandor. The assault failed, and everything was revealed leading to the banishment of Araushnee and her children to the abyss. It was then that the name Lloth was assumed and she conquered a considerable portion of that plane.
Zarae had never been told of these things, and to her it sounded a bit jaded. But she couldn't stop reading. The rest of the history was what she already knew, the drow conquered the Underdark. The tome then held a blank page separating the two halves. The next section contained prayers to the Spider Queen; just reading over them, she could feel the power in the air. The room filled with a sense of electricity dancing on the edges of the conscious as a rush of adrenaline flooded the mind and coldness chilled the skin.
The unlocking mechanism of the door startled Zarae, Alylin opening the door with a sneer on her face.
"How long before you tried the door?" asking as she walked over twords the desk and surprised to see the girl reading the tome.
Not answering Zarae closed it and gave her sister an angry glare; Alylin dismissed Zarae with a laugh on her expense. The girl wasn't hungry, her mind thinking over the information from the day. So she walked over to the balcony door, waved her house insignia in front and stepped out. Leaning on the rail, the top floor balcony above her, she could see across the Brozen. The cavern wall that formed the small lake blocked any views of the main part of the city. In one of the small noble houses neighboring the Kilanatlar compound, she watched a couple of people fighting surrounded by a group of onlookers. The larger male carried a sword similar to Neeryrd's own. A smaller male, one who could easily get knocked over kept the larger opponent at bay. He would nimbly step aside the chops that would have surely cleaved him in half. Then he would vanish from sight to appear behind his enemy. The larger guy, no novice and rather quick for his size, would move at the last moment to block any strikes at his back. The fight had thoroughly caught her attention distracting her from her thoughts. She found herself betting on the smaller opponent, his style and his skill something she appreciated. A style that most of her house were versed in very well. The greatsword slashed at the other's stomach, the tip catching the edge of the armor and throwing him into the wall. It looked as if the fight was done for, and if she had bet any coin, it would be lost. But at the last second the smaller male rolled to the side clutching his own bleeding side. Darkness hid both from sight, someone dropping a unpenetrable globe. Zarae sighed with frustration as her view was obscured; had she been in a seat, she would be on its edge waiting with anticipation of the next move. The smaller male rolled out and was back on his feet, the smaller swords parrying a blow of the great sword that came out of the darkness and stumbling from the power of greatsword. The distance she was, she couldn't hear but she saw his laugh as a poof of smoke appeared and a group of tentacles appeared and grappled the larger male. Another item, this time it looked like some bottle, but she wasn't totally sure, came out. The lean male circled the tangled guy, the darkness dismissed, taunting him. Then the item was thrown at the feet of the bigger guy, flames appearing and burning the tangled male alive. She could the agony on his face as the others watching the fight laughed at his misery. The lean male then slid his sword into the back of his opponent before walking off with the others.
The fight done, it was back to normal. The streets of the Brozen were the least busy of the city, mostly occupied with a patrol, house soldier or processions head to or from the rest of the city.
Eventually Zarae headed back into the house and down to the second floor to see what Nilrae was doing. A few knocks on his door with no answer, she cracked it to see he wasn't in there. It would be another evening of nothing, until an idea popped in her head. She closed the door and headed down to the slave rooms. Looking to see who was in there and most expendable, a halfling entered behind the girl to head to her bunk. 'Perfect' Zarae thought with a sly smile on her face.
"At the first hour, I will meet you at the house door."
Leaving the smelly room, Zarae went on a hunt for Zebeycyrl's handmaid, Stoella. It took some convincing, and promising of a vial of antitoxin, one of the best bargaining tools with the house servants, to get her involved. When the hour drew close the halfling hurried over to join up with the other two. Tucked securely was a leather bag under Zarae's shirt.
Zarae looked over to Stoella, "Alright, get us out the door."
The handmaid walked over twords the minotaur guards. Holding up her keystone, similar to a house insigna but for high level servants, the guard moved to open the door. She strolled out motioning the halfling and a disguised Zarae were with her. Outside, the house soldier, the same ones last time Zarae snuck out, nodded to his companion and hid a chuckle after whispering something she didn't hear. The other guard shook his head and motioned with his hand three. The girl just ignored them, all three heading into the stables.
Handing the halfling the bag, "fill'er up!" Zarae replied walking over to one of the lizard's stall while he shoveled manure into the bag. This time she was a bit more timid as she entered the lizard's stall, walking carefully and cautiously to it. The lizard nosed her hand and she gently rubbed his scales. Above on the second floor of the stable, she heard one of the stable keepers moving around, heading to the stairs in the back. Seeing a halfling scooping lizard waste they watched a while then headed back to her office.
The bag full, Zarae made the halfling male carry it; a guard nudged the other, holding out a hand while his companion handed over a few coins when the three exited the stable. Knowing the drill, Zarae showed her insignia and the handmaid her keystone.
Hurrying up the stairs, none of the slaves or house patrol said anything, more interested in betting what the girl was up to. In front of Zebeycyrl's door, Zarae gave a quick look around to make sure no one else was about.
"Get me in," Zarae replied impatiently.
"First, since I will be the one blamed for it happening, I suggest you raise the ante."
"Excuse me?"
"I want compensation."
"How about you do as you're told slave?"
"I fear your sister more than you, drowling." Stoella was rather unphased by the girl, and clearly not intimidated by her. Zarae was a bit irritated, but she should have known that this would have happened.
"Is not the fact that we are getting back at my sister with humiliation enough?"
Stoella shook her head.
"What then?" she growled, her eyes turning reddish now.
"A favor. My mistress has something of mine. And eventually, you will get it back for me. And if you think of reneging, I just sell you out."
Believing it a bluff Zarae even rolled her eyes in purposeful disrespect; she was not intimidated by a mere slave. "Fine," she lied with a smirk. "Now, get in there!" Zarae motioning for the halfling to follow, "closet, under the bed, wardrobe, and bathroom. And place this in there," handing Stoella a small piece of ripped cloth. "Put it somewhere inconspicuous."
For half an hour, the girl paced the hall before then stepping out onto the balcony. When the slaves were finished, she handed the halfling a vial, who gladly accepted it and hurried back to his room. Stoella gave Zarae a look, a reminder of the deal.
"Whatever," the girl replied and closed the door behind herself. If she could, she would kill Stoella just for that; the nerve to think she could blackmail Zarae- a noble and daughter of the matron mother. That did not sit well with her at all. Zarae interlocked her fingers and stretched her arms glaring as the handmaid of Zebeycyrl walked away. If the slave didn't watch her place, she could get Zeb to take care of her. Zeb was always going through handmaids anyway. It wouldn't be hard. That's assuming that Zeb let Stoella live after this, Zarae thought with a half grin. In a few days the lizard manure was to be removed so that only the stench remained and no evidence of any prank.
Last edited by Zarae Zyne Kilanatlar on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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