- Mar 27, 2005
CHRONICLES OF AEOS
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
COUNTRY OF N A I H I L H E I M.
TOWN OF I V E R D A L E.
Storm clouds loomed overhead with the crackle and rumbling of thunder as a few streaks of lightening streaked down in the distance. The smell of burnt ozone filled the air, followed by the scent of smouldering fire. Finally the rain began to drizzle down upon the summit landing, turning the dirty into mud with the sound of squishy and icky clopping foot falls echoed up the road that lead up to the edge of the summit. A couple individuals upon horseback arrived, clad in dark brown hooded cloaks, followed by another clopping of hooves, bringing another couple clad in hooded cloaks upon horseback. Both of them came to a stop beside one another and looked out towards a large settlement town of ramshackle buildings, hovels, and huts, even some tents two hundred meters away.
“Well, we're here,” said the Rider on the back of the second horse of reddish-brown fur, “Shall we get in somewhere for the evening, before we're downpoured upon?” Two small tusks peaked up from the corners of his mouth as he spoke, and then he pulled his long, beige cloak tighter over his deep blue long coat, which was buttoned upon upon the right side.
The lead horse's main Rider looked over towards his Orc-ish compatriot, then up into the sky as the rain slowly, though steadily began to increase, before finally gazing down upon the town in the distance. “Well.. can't argue with that.”
“I agree, and it'll be much easier to track down once the storm has passed,” said the lead Rider upon the second horse, this time a fairer skinned woman, with wisps of dirty blond hair hanging down either side of her face from within the hood of her olive cloak.
“It's about time for some booze and a hearty meal!” spoke up the Rider upon the back of the lead horse, with a large, brass hilt great sword upon the back of her brown cloak.
“Well then, let's head in, but keep your eyes about,” replied the lead Rider as he shook the reins to get the horse moving forward.
The rest of them acknowledged him and then the second hose followed. It didn't take them too long to enter the settlement, though they weren't being overly stealthy either as they were in a hurry ti get in before the storm worsened. Yet, three of the four Adventurers noticed within the shadows, several eyes peering out at them as they traversed the center road of the town.
“Logan,” said the second lead Rider quietly, “We're we're being watched closely.”
“Yeah, could feel their eyes on us,” he replied, while still keeping an eye out for a tavern or an inn. Sadly nothing was sticking out in the darkness yet, until he finally felt a pat upon his shoulder from his companion behind him.l “What is it?” Then he noticed her pointing up ahead at a what looked to be a sign with a lit lantern upon the top of the doorway beside it.
“Place with scribbles,” she told him.
“Thanks, Nef,” he whispered back. He squinted a bit, trying to make out what the sign said in the dim light, and eventually surmised it to be the Lost Anchor inn.
A moment later the rain began to really downpour upon them, and the stom above worsened, roaring with thunder, and rapidly streaking bolts of white-blue lightening about the sky. Even a tress nearby lit ablaze suddenly some distance away from the town. It had brought a sense of urgency to the group and they quickly followed Logan's trail towards the in, and quickly dismounted, and tied up their reins.
“Excuse me, pardon me, I have a spellbook, and wish it to stay dry!” exclaimed the tusked fellow quietly while he hurried towards the door of the tavern, and quickly entered.
Logan and the other two simply watched, and Logan shook his head.
Nef on the other hand sauntered over, enjoying the rain upon her bare, semi-muscular and toned, navy skinned arms. “It's been a while,” she chuckled, waiting near the door as she allowed the downpour to soak her furs and clothes, and slick her bare abdomen, cleavage, neck and face. “Fresh water, haha!”
Logan and the final Rider both looked at one another, then went back to grabbing their gear off the horses before heading towards the entrance. “Well that makes one of us enjoying the weather,” said Logan.
“She's free-spirited for, what do you expect?” said the second Rider, taking the lead and opening the door and entering the taven without anymore delay.
“Kyra's got a point,” said Nef, gliding her hands through her now soaked hair, then letting it lay across one shoulder, down the front of her. “Should know how I am now.”
“Oh, I'm not surprised, in fact very little surprises me anymore,” replied Logan, which was true, after being on this current quest, and the beasts they've come across, surprises were few and far between for him. “I'll see you inside. Enjoy the rain bath.”
“Oh I am...,” she purred sensually, and started to dance in the thunderstorm.
Inside the Lost Anchor the Orc-ish mage quickly flipped back his hood on his cloak, revealing black hair tied back into a short ponytail, and shaved around the lower back and sides. Next he shook off the rain the best he could, while hurriedly making his way over to a small, round table towards the far left of the room. Flopping into the auburn leather, semi-round booth seat, he quickly started to unpack his side satchel, and pull out this large, brown, leather bound tome. As he looked it over he let out a sigh of relief as he felt it was still dry. “Oh thank the gods...,” he said, then looked around till his eyes found the bar at the back of the establishment, and raised a hand with one finger up to grab the barkeep's attention.
“Ah yes, barkeep, if you'd be so kind, I'd like a tea, please,” said the Orc-ish gentleman. Then he unbuttoned his coat, and reached in to grab a pair of gilded framed, round glasses, and placed them on.
“Sure, one tea comin' up,” answered a small, halfling gentleman that appeared to be in his mid-fifties, with curly, blond hair, and wispy eyebrows. He was also clad in a pair of brown, leather overalls, a dark green vest, and a yellowed tunic. He placed down the cup he was cleaning and quickly shuffled off his seat, disappearing under the counter.
“Couldn't you find a smaller table?” asked Kyra as he sauntered up to the side of the table and grabbed a backed stool to sit upon. Then she opened up the cloak a little to reveal her green and brown sleeveless long coat and leather jacket. Pulling the long coat open revealed her cross-belt with with sheathed, twin, golden hilt, curved short swords, brown pants and thigh-high leather boots, before taking the seat.
The Orc-like Wizard simply looked around, actually searching for a smaller table. Kyra noticed right away and smirked, but then leaned over and gently touched his wrist, feeling sorry for asking him such a question.
“I was kidding, Udak,” Kyra said.
“Of course,” he said, then cleared his throat, “Of course you were. Silly me.” He went back to looking into his spell book, turning a few pages before stopping and reading, trying to look busy.
Kyra tapped his wrist reassuringly and said, “Don't worry about it, dear.”
Udak simply smiled, enjoying hearing that word, although she usually said it to everyone at some point. It was still nice and made him feel a little warm inside. Being a Half-Orc didn't offer the luxury of such things quite often, so he'd take whatever he could get. Then he continued reading up a current spell he was attempting to learn.
After a moment, Kyra leaned back and shouted to the bar, “Barkeep, an ale if you'd please!”
“Sure, one ale, comin' up!” replied the Halfling from under the bar counter.
Logan slowly wandered through the field of tables, and patrons, conscious and unconscious, until finally making over to there table, sitting down on the opposite side, as he swung his secondary belt off, with two blades sheathed to it. Doing so had revealed his cirmson, studded leather knee-length coat, his black armed jacket, and dark brown leather pants, and matching belt with coin pouch attached to the side. Then after adjusting and tying up the swords, buckling the secondary belt, he slung it over his shoulders like a sash, placing the blades' hilts behind his right shoulder. One was a long sword, the other a short one. Pulling down his hood finally revealed his short, though now soaked, and messy, brown hair, and stubble much more clearly.
“Another ale as well, barkeep,” he chimed in.
“How long to you think the storm will last?” asked Logan, glancing over at Kyra while he placed his fingerless-gloved hands before the candle in the middle of the table, in some odd attempt at drying them. Although the heat, though very little, was a comfort.
She gave him a quizzical look in return and simply just leaned back in her chair, hands folded in front of her, before sitting up, tugging down her bracers a bit, “Do I look like a Druid?”
Logan gently rubbed the top of one ear in response. “Thought maybe you had some unique natural ability to determine that?”
Finally she pulled down her hood and revealed her dirty blond hair, tied up and back, with two wisps danging at the sides, and a pair of small, pointed ears. “That's Half-Elf,” she answered annoyingly, “and no.” Then she leaned back into her seat, and crossed her ornate, bracer-covered arms.
Suddenly the door had opened again, this time with Nef waltzing in, dancing her little “rain” dance as it were into the large, table-filled room. There she made her way towards the far right of the room, and danced before the raging fireplace, made of stone and with a large, ornate mantle with a head of a dead beast handing up above it. Smiling happy as she looked up at it, she went wide-eyed with amazement. “Wow....!” she exclaimed, “Wonder what that this was?”
“What a kid,” admired Logan, resting his cheek upon his hand as he watched her from afar.
“She sure is precious,” added Kyra, finally receiving her ale, while the Halfling brought their drinks over, and quickly took a gulp.
“Indeed,” replied Udak, glancing up for a moment, then took a sip of his tea, “Funny how she's the one that usually is protecting us.”
“Yeah, suppose that is a little funny, but I won't knock it,” said Logan, staring into his tankard of amber-colored ale, “Probably should be dead, and would have been if it wasn't for Nef.”
“Nefel certainly comes in handy, and for a Drow, she's alright,” said Kyra with one hand behind her hand, leanding back and downing her ale.
“I take it there is still some animosity towards the Drow, even with Half-Elves?” questioned Udak as he held tea up close to his mouth, allowing the steaming aroma of the steeped liqueid to fill his nostrils.
The Half-Elf Ranger sighed happily after chugging back her drink and then quietly replied, “In this realm at least. But I'm not one of them, guess that's what made me the kind of black sheep in my family. Least until the dead rose, and then I became the only family.” Then she turned back tot he bar and called out, “Another ale, if you'd please!”
Udak and Logan both looked at each other knowingly, or at least they felt they should have know once she started to chug that first ale. They both then took a drink of their respective beverages, looking straight down at the table, hoping that maybe this time she'd let it go.
“Well you do have us,” replied Udak, wiping a bit of tea from his lip, before placing the cup back down , and offered a warming smile.
“Yeah, so you're not alone,” Logan added, raising his tankard.
Just after the tankard was raised Nef came over to the table, and slammed her hands upon it excitedly, causing the tea to spill a bit, nearly missing hte opened spell book. Udak was startled, and a little annoyed, but was mainly worried for the book until noticing it was still fine, and let out a small sigh of relief. Logan looked up over at her with surprise but still smiled as she looked really happy. Kyra on the other shook her head slightly, with her eyes closed, and then quickly sat back up once her ale had arrived.
“Ah!” she gasped in relief and snatched it up quickly, “Thank you my good man!”
“Welcome,” he replied, then out of ear shot as he waddled back to his bar, said, “Rowdy bunch.”
“Enjoying the storm?” asked Logan, taking another sip of his ale.
Nef then quickly grabbed another stool nearby, pulled it over and quickly sat down, still smiling from ear-to-ear. Then she spoke, showing off a pair of incisor-like fangs, “I love the rain. Always have, and storms, they're so cool! It's exciting, and I enjoy being outside. Makes me feel free.”
Suddenly came the clearing of Udak's throat which caught the attention of everyone at the table. Then he looked up, noticing everyone staring at him while he was in mid-page turn. “Ummm, I was just clearing my throat.”
“Something to say?” asked Kyra, holding her tankard between her knees as she leaned forward, waiting curiously for his response.
“Well....,” began Udak, placing down his glasses, and then intertwining his finger together before him, upon the open book, “I am wondering two things.”
They looked at him, waiting for the explanation of both things, Nef a little anxiously. Logan and Kyra both were a bit curious, but weren't in too much of a hurry. In fact Logan was sure of what one of them was.
“Where do we begin to look for our quarry? For all we know these people could be in league with the Lizardfolk, and plotting our demise as we speak.” explained the Orc-ish Wizard, “Oh, and who's got the bill?”
“Aren't you ray of sunshine,” replied Kyra.
“Well at least one of us is positive,” said Logan, glancing to Nef.
She looked down upon her eagle skull belt buckle, and adjusted the two charcoal and white feathers attached to either side of it. Then she looked up to the group, uncertain of what they were discussing, “Hmph?”
“It's alright, I got it,” said Logan starting to stand, and reaching over towards his coin pouch.
“No, no, you got the last time,” Kyra interjected, and got up quicker.
“Alright,” replied Logat, then sat back down.
“Oh, bring me some grub while you're there, I'm starved,” said Nef, slapping the table, “That's a good wench, haha!”
Kyra stopped in her tracks, then simply turned back around and headed right back for her stool, placing her feet up upon it and hands behind her head. Giving Logan a knowing, and amused look.
“You know what... you got this,” said the Half-Elf Ranger, “Get me and the Half-Orc some food too. We're famished.”
“Great...,” sighed Logan while rising up and giving Nef a soft slap on the shoulder as he walked around to the bar. “Thanks, Nef.”
“You're never going to let him live that down?” asked Udak, pushing his glasses back up.
Deep in a black marbled, cavernous hall sat upon a matching stone, triple point backed throne, a tall, violet scaled, adorned in black leather robes. A Dragonborn male, slightly illuminated by two standing candelabras on either side of him, and resting his elongated chin upon his right hand, leaning to one side, deep in his thoughts. An echoing whisper filled his mind, speaking in an alien language that only he could understand. Slowly he closed his eyes and concentrated on it, focusing this thoughts and replied back in Draconic.
“Progress is going slow, awaiting other avenues...,” thought the Dragonborn, “No, we should be on schedule. The culling shall recommence late tonight. Less resistance that way. Yes, indeed I am your herald.”
A few moments after that conversation, several arcane glyphs in a circular pattern lit ablaze with bluish-purple light. Then another such circle started to become active, followed by another, and another until two rows of four were fully ignited and turning counterclockwise. Then suddenly several dark green-skinned, lizard-like beings evaporated into existence, two at a time, with the third being of another race. Hands bound, mouths gagged they were dragged along from the teleporation circle, and forced to make their way before the throne and it's occupant. Eventually all sixteen prisoners were gathered and forced down to their knees before the Dragonborn ruler. Which remained leisurely sitting there, resting his jaw upon his hand to one side, eyeing them all, one-by-one.
The bipedal lizards who wore piece meal, bone and hide armor, stopped and stood behind the prisoners, spears at the ready if needed. They all raised their heads high at attention and to show pride in their offerings. Yet, their eyes looked cold, void of any light, and off into the far distance as it were while still being aware but not of their will perhaps.
Muffled noises escaped their gagged mouths, and tears streamed down most of their faces as they struggled against the ropes which drawn taut. The Dragonborn looked over each one, most of them were human, but among them were a couple dwarves, some half-elves, and a grey-skinned Tiefling woman who slowly peared up from under her ebony hood; revealing short, dark, angled horns, and a pair of burning, orange eyes. Her demeanour is calm, as she did well to hide her worry, but that didn't stop her from rubbing the ropes around her wrists any faster.
“Welcome, my chosen ones...,” said the Dragonborn, his voice echoing throughout the cavernous chamber.