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The Crossroads - Outskirts of Chel'el'Sussoloth [PRIVATE]

Postby Starlitdragon » Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:48 pm

(I'm guessing Max is taking an extended new years. XD)

Athaeyen kicked at the ground. The positive waking effect of the mushroom had worn off, leaving a slightly sour taste in her mouth. The Xuile'solen was taking entirely too long for her liking. What she wanted right now was a warm bed, and a hot meal.

Instead, she quivered as the darkness began to systemically numb her fingertips. Athaeyen knew, inevitably, the cold would blossom until she was shivering with it.

"Ma, are you able to scent the Waelinider, or not?" she reiterated stiffly.
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Postby Maximillian Caine » Sat Jan 08, 2005 3:01 am

Snurff

Ma's nose, like his ears, was a finely tuned tool. Lacking eyesight, and living in the darkest, most dangerous reaches of the underworld, those Xuile'Solen who didn't develop fine noses and good ears were eaten.

However, it was not a proper tracker's implement. Ma's family had skipped the evolutionary path needed to develop the billions of nasal receptors that made tracking beasts so sensitive to scent. Instead, he was equipped with a more.. discerning version of the drowish nose. Like a scent merchant or professional perfumist, his nose was naturally, instinctively capable of analysing, sorting and sifting individual scents from a medley of aromas.

Here was the Mistress. An attractive perfume of female Drow sweat intermixed with spiced mushroom. His youthful blood was stirred by it.

Snurff

And then quickly dampened. Athidus wore the blood of others like a rich fur cloak. This was a man who reminded him of his mother... and grandmother. Just thought of those terrible twosome was enough to dampen any ardent thoughts he might have.

Snurff

Ah!

A freak zephyr carried the smell of ginger, salt, and a pinch of this and that.

"I think... I know the direction... but... we'll need you"

Here he nodded to Athidus

"To confirm through any blood splatter we encounter. This way, please?"
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Postby Starlitdragon » Mon Jan 10, 2005 12:27 am

Athaeyen followed. She hardly paid the bare ground any mind- after all, a blood splatter or bit of discolored fungus were all alike. Idly, she tried drawing in air to test her own nasal capabilities. The air hung heavily with a slightly sour touch to it. Perhaps the uncanny sense of smell had something to do with the sightless aspect of the Xuile'Solen? Athaeyen dropped her eyelids for a few moments. Another deep breath was drawn, accompanied by similar results to the first.

"Ack!"

While her eyes were closed, Athaeyen's feet managed to find a suitably large rock to stumble over. Mumbling about inconveniently placed debris, she fought to keep her eyes open.
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Postby Xian » Mon Jan 10, 2005 1:57 am

"Doing well, Lady Athaeyen?" Being somewhat nearer to the ground and shortly in front of her, Athidus maintained a vested interest in her balance. "It looks like our thief began to slow down a little at this point, as the blood is a little more abundant. All that running should get his heart rate up a little, as well." Athidus was having the same troubles discerning blood from patches of anomalous fungi, but he was generally able to discern the difference by tapping it with the tip of an arrow. "In fact..." Athidus rose to his feet and stumbled forward at a more rapid pace, though due to his injuries, not significantly more rapid.

Materializing out of the gloom, Ypresiika's form glowed with fresh exertion from running and the strain that his paralyzed muscles no doubt felt. Yet, the waelinider almost seemed to be sleeping. "Well that's a bit unusual," he mumbled to himself. Most victims of this particular brand of poison were wide awake and terrified by the time Athidus managed to catch up to them. He almost felt a little insulted that Ypresiika could sleep so peacefully. Athidus turned his attention back towards Athaeyen and scratched the back of his neck idly. "So... what now?"
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Postby Starlitdragon » Wed Jan 12, 2005 12:19 am

"I'm fine." Athaeyen replied quickly, the words flowing automatically to cover her embarrassment. Athidus' next comment made her stop.

"Good work." she nodded to both accomplices. But really, what do I do with a kleptomaniac Drider with a mushroom fetish? Ask why it ran off with my stuff? It was a stupid idea to go out here in the first place. But I'm here, so I minus well finish the job.. Bother this, I just wanted one night's peace!

"..Right." Athaeyen continued, breaking the silence made when no feasible solution materialized in her mind. "Um, let's just talk to it." She approached the Waelinider with the intention of doing just that. Before reaching the fallen prey, she casually turned her head. "If the Drider makes any sudden moves, just shoot it, OK? Haha.." The idea of a Beldrobbaen superior's reaction to the 'apalling' prospect managed to coax a weak chuckle from her.

"Ypresiika.. Can you hear me?"

There was no reponse. Athaeyen wrung her hands out of irritation.
"Anybody know how to revive these things? Athidus, that was some arrow. You hardly nicked it."
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Postby Xian » Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:17 am

Huh, she caught that after all, he thought pensively. Fortunately, she doesn't seem to care too much.

"Yeah, it better be for what the reagents to make it cost," he says with a broad smile and a casual wave of his arm, visually unruffled, save for signs denoting lack of sleep. "Truth be told, it's not supposed to put people to sleep, but I think Ypresiika was well on his way already. I'd bet this job's earnings that a good swift kick in the ribs would get him awake in a hurry, if not necessarily up and standing for an hour or two yet."

Athidus looks over Ypresiika's slumbering form with a frown. "Too bad about that arrow, though. I was hoping it would have stuck."
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Postby Starlitdragon » Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:25 am

"Hmm.. You can buy yourself another one after we're done here." commented Athaeyen absentmindedly. She prodded the Drider sharply. "Ypresiika?" The Waelinider spasmed without warning, sending an icy bucket of astoundment crawling under her skin. Her incredible dislike for spiders returned when Ypresiika's slick limbs began to twitch. It was strange how each hair managed to glisten lucently as it captured what dim light was present. It was almost like magic..

"Wake up." she commanded, a touch of frost beginning to edge into her voice. The lack of response from Ypresiika sent an uneasy turn in her stomach.

Suddenly, the Drider reached out and snatched Athaeyen's pack from where it dangled. For a moment, his eyes met hers.

Dilating crimson pupils stared back.
"Follow me if you dare..."
With anomalous speed, he began to run again, into the welcoming bowels of the wastelands. Coincidentially, it was not far off from the estimated direction of the Drider Hive.

You'd think you would have learned after the first time, Athaeyen dear. You know that you need the pendant to enter the Drider City without getting torn limb from limb. Of course you stuffed the silly thing into the bloody pack instead of into your belt. Of course...

Mechanically, Athaeyen's hand drifted towards her pockets. Somehow, they unconsciously hoped the pendant would be in there. No such luck. She did not want knowledge of the key to Drider City known to her companions, unless absolutely necessary. Somebody important back home would throw a fit.

"Oh dear..."
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Postby Xian » Thu Jan 13, 2005 6:13 am

Athidus has no choice but to watch the drider take off into the wilds with a bewildered expression, his bow and arrow in hand, but without firing a shot. "Well that's the darndest thing I ever did see," he says as he cocks his head to the side, intentionally sounding rather uncultured. "I can hit moving targets, but damn." After another second or so of thought, he ventures to scratch the back of his neck, a sheepish smile overtaking his features. "So much for being paralyzed." He hadn't even noticed the red pupils.

In his present condition, strained legs and all, there was no way Athidus could hope to follow anything moving as quickly as Ypresiika. He estimated that even if he was in perfect shape, that thing ran at least thrice as fast as he ever could. "That's just downright unfair," he says sulkingly, shaking his head. "Do we follow it? How much are those mushrooms worth to you?"
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Postby Starlitdragon » Fri Jan 14, 2005 12:33 am

"Aaahhhmmm..." Athaeyen wrinkled her brow. She made several faces as she stalled for time. Well, you messed things up wonderfully now. Looks like part of the truth will have to come out now.. Just dress it up, add a few frills... Err, it should be fine. Yeah, that's right. Everything'll be fine..

"We have to go after it." the ferocity in Athaeyen's voice was a little excessive considering what she was about to come up with next. "Err.. My bag had a little more than mushrooms inside. In fact.. I think it would be in everyone's interest to help out. I, um, left the papers that would give us access to the, err, ada at the end of the mission." A distinct shade of fuchsia crept up her cheeks. Athaeyen had always been a terrible liar. She had the distinct feeling it would take more than a flimsy falsehood to pull the wool over Athidus' eyes. Besides, the prospect of no payment made for quick mutiny. The connotations that came along were no more pleasant.

"OK, OK. It isn't to do with the ada. But I had something important in my bag. Sort of like a ward. We'll have to go back to camp, wake everyone up, and.. catch Ypresiika. Good job we aren't that far." Athaeyen yawned. A trickle of hot tears raced down her face. She couldn't help it. Midnight chases were so.. Tiring
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Postby Maximillian Caine » Thu Jan 20, 2005 10:30 pm

(argh argh I'm so late! Sorry! Sorry!)

Ma couldn't believe his ears. That snack on eight legs had run off with all the money?

"Mistress? You're joking, yes? That thing couldn't have run off with all our money, yes?"

See, the thing was, Ma sent all his money back to the family. They expected it. They even kept a little book If Ma didn't have something to show for this trip, he'd be in Trouble.

"Mistress? Uh, shall I start after it? Keep tabs on it, yes?"
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Postby Xian » Fri Jan 21, 2005 1:41 am

(Woo, welcome back! I was hoping you'd throw in a post somewhere in here.)

"Aye, that's certainly what I wanted to hear," Athidus says with a shrug. Though he brushed off the attempted lie without taking apparent offense, it concerned him a little that Athaeyen was still keeping details of the mission to herself. In his working days, Athidus usually knew everything he needed to and several things he didn't about every mission. But, for the several employers he's worked for since the Sarghess, obsfucation had been a fairly common element. Whatever.

He was a bit too tired to be amazed at Ypresiika's sudden transformation, so he bobbed his head in a brief nod and started the long hobble back, albeit a fairly short distance to go.

"I hope Ypresiika left a trail of mushrooms or something, because I think the blood has clotted, and I'm not going to be able to follow anything once we get back."
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Postby Starlitdragon » Fri Jan 21, 2005 1:53 am

Athaeyen grimaced. Somehow, the look in Ypresiika's eyes did not suggest he was interested in the mushrooms. But how could he know what was in that bag?

Something sparkled, catching Athaeyen's eye. "Do you see that?" she pointed out the slowly pulsing scuffs made by the Drider. "Looks like Mr. Drider here left us a glowing trail to follow." Athaeyen bent down to touch the luminous grains of dust. Upon contact, it promptly vanished.

"Mana.. Beads of light-magic on the ground. Driders have aura, but I've never heard of.. This.. It's almost as if he wants to be followed." the girl shuddered. Athaeyen's opinion of any eight-legged creature had lowered dramatically in the last fifteen minutes.

Pricks of light continued to slowly sprout. It would have been rather fetching, if not for the eerie sensation emanating from the peculiar path.

"I think these will stay lit as long as we don't touch them. Hmmm.. Ah, lets go back to camp.." Dark cloak swirling behind her, she set a blazing pace to awaken the others. If Athaeyen could not sleep, Sharess be damned if anyone else was permitted to.

"Wake up you lot!"
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Postby Xian » Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:49 am

It was a long time before Athidus managed to catch up to Athaeyen at his limping pace. By the time he did, though, he noted with a shake of his head that the others weren't responding to Athaeyen's shouts. "Lady Athaeyen, unless you're willing to break some ribs, I think the rest of us are alone on this one." The voice of the Beldrobbaen noble was certainly not an insignificant sound in the otherwise pure silence of the underworld, yet the others did not stir. To Athidus, this seemed suspicious.

"I don't want sound too dire, Lady Athaeyen, but I'm beginning to believe that there are some strange forces at work here. I've never seen a drider run like that, especially not while it is supposed to be paralyzed. Additionally, hardened mercenaries and adventurers don't sleep that hard naturally. I don't think they're going to wake up, not for a good long while yet." Athidus was not entirely sure his point was being made, so he summed it up in a single, grave sentence.

"I'm guessing that someone is keeping them asleep, and I believe this someone wants us to follow that drider." He paused for a few seconds, noting to himself that he probably sounded a bit paranoid. "If you need whatever's in that bag as much as you claim, then I'll follow you as far as you care to go."
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Postby Starlitdragon » Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:43 pm

((OOC: Kite hath returned from her dark slumber!))

The mercenary is right. But I don't wish to be alone with him in the cavern- something about his nature is far too amicable. Nevermind that, I need to get my damn bag back. Meron and Ma are possibly still moving.. But the rest.. Something very strange is happening here.

"We go." the words were hollow, spoken with as much enthusiasm as the bare landscape. "Meron, follow."

It was easy going at first. The pricks of light were far easier to pick out than nonexistent splatters of blood. The sheer stillness that clung to the four moving figures was abnormal, to say the least. The worst part was when the pricks of light began to fade behind them.

"We're walking blindly in to a trap, Athidus. Any second now, a humorously timed event will happen, and--"

HISSSSS! An indistinct shadow barelled out of the darkness. To a sharp observer, eight legs and clusters of crimson were hardly evident.

Athaeyen shrieked. The sound of it chillingly echoed around the cavern, coming back to haunt any listener at full force.
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Postby Maximillian Caine » Mon Jan 24, 2005 10:19 pm

They were all MAD! This wasn't asking for trouble. It was inviting trouble in, puttting him in the best chair and laying out the bone china. But.. she was.. the Mistress... so Ma followed, whimpering all the way.

That was before the lights dimmed.

Hoo boy. A wealth of sonic information flooded his mind. Athaeyan's little gasping breaths, Athidus' tight, controlled footsteps... and something... something that gave Ma a terrible sense of enclosure. Every hair on his head stood on end as he felt himself scrutinised by half-imagined ears. Tension tied a tight knot in his muscles of his neck and shoulders, and Ma prayed that whatever was causing this feeling would get it over!!!!

When Ma heard the laughter, he met it with relief, not fear. Obsidian tonfa *skirrched* in their leather holsters as he drew them.

"Mistress, do I laugh now?"
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