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RAVERAN||Outside Val'Reveran||Road to the Surface

Postby grfu » Wed Feb 01, 2006 7:15 am

It is said that the tunnels of the Underworld have no day, nor night, just an endless darkness. This is the impression that many surface dwellers would get upon entering the tunnels, but to a drow, this was home.

Vaen continued walking beyond sight of the gate to Raveran, his purse a bit lighter than it had been. He did not mind the expenses. He still had his flute with him, and supplies for about a week of hearty eating, two weeks if he rationed himself. Kelna was no problem. She could find her own food, though he did wish that she would walk alongside him once in a while instead of constantly clinging to his pack. The pack alone was heavy enough, he didn't need an oversized spider weighing him down.

"Kelna, you mind getting off my back and walking under your own power for a change?"

Kelna chitters irritatedly but complies. If spiders could strut arrongantly or angrily, she was doing it right now. She gave the distinct impression that she came down of her own accord, and it had nothing to do with his request.

"Even female spiders can pull that off. How do they do it?"

As he walked along, a pair of female Ilhar'dro soldiers passed by him on those great birds. One carried a piece of parchment, most likely Vaen's description. The one with the parchment looked at him, referred to the parchment, then looked at him again. She pointed to Vaen and exchanged a small private joke with her comrade. She then gave him an appraising look. She spoke to him.

"Mind you stay on the road, young master. We wouldn't want such a handsome specimen like yourself to become food for the scavengers."

Vaen gave them a roguish grin and a sweeping bow.

"I travel without worry, knowing that such fine warriors as yourselves are patroling the road to the surface. I know that you are as deadly as you are beautiful."

The two riders giggled at his compliment. They left without another word, still giggling amongst themselves.

"Until we meet again, fair ladies."

With that, Vaen continued on his way. It was going to be a long walk, a very long walk.
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Postby grfu » Wed Feb 15, 2006 12:42 am

Vaen had been walking for a while now. The odd Ilhar’dro patrol would pass by him without taking much notice. A drow walking the road to the surface alone was an uncommon sight, but it really wasn’t that exciting. He decided that it about time he stopped for a bite to eat. He found a comfortable looking rock and sat down. Vaen rummaged through his pack, taking out a stale roll that he had leftover form his journey to Raveran. He had not re-supplied very well, so he had to endure the less than pleasant meal of stale bread and water. He should have picked up more meat. What he had would not last him very long, maybe a small portion a day for about a week. He stopped concerning himself with something as trivial as food. If caravans along the road were as common as they say, he could purchase what he needed from one of them, perhaps even hitch a lift.

“Just think, Kelna, soon we shall be on the surface, a new land to explore and adventures to be had.â€
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Postby grfu » Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:48 pm

Vaen continued his journey toward the surface at a relatively good pace. He rarely spoke, even to Kelna. He was cool. He was determined. He may not be as wary as he could be. He eventually came to a crossroads.

"There's something not right about this, Kelna."

He could not shake the feeling that he was being watched. The hairs on the back of his neck prickled. He had patrolled the wilds before and had learned to trust his instincts. He drew his sword and continued on his way, keeping his eyes and ears open for any kind of threat.
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Postby Xian » Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:54 pm

Vaen's instincts were keen enough to catch the silent gaze of Silith, who watched him from a respectable distance away, as he always watched the road. He knew just how far the blackskins' infravision extended, and just how to avoid the Illhar'dro patrols that kept this road "safe" for travellers. His only regret was that he couldn't raid caravans, because he was alone. But so far, he had made a killing as a bandit, attacking undefended families out for a leisurely trip to the surface, or lone travellers when they weren't expecting it.

But Silith hissed a curse under his breath as Vaen freed his sword from its sheath. He was more wary than most. He knew this road was not as safe as the Illhar'dro claimed. But Silith knew that there were no Illhar'dro patrols within at least two clicks of Vaen's position. Nothing would help him now... he was alone and vulnerable.

The gentle sound of rocks skittering out of the way and a few stray stones being ground against the road were the sounds accompanying the revealation of the Naga's form to Vaen. Silith moved gracefully and fluidly from the rocks along the side of the road and out into the open, holding what appeared to be a trident in his right hand, about halfway up the leather-gripped handle, and a bundle of mesh in his left.

"Ssilly drow," Silith commented. "It'ss a dangerouss road to travel alone... esspecially for a nobleman..."
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Postby grfu » Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:27 am

Vaen squared himself up against Silith, allowing his pack to fall free. It would only restrict him. Kelna leaped to the side, chittering aggressively at the naga. She bares her substantial fangs, making it certain that a bite from her would be the last unpleasant experience of the naga’s short life.

“Foolish serpent. I was wondering when you would reveal yourself. The first rule when ambushing your prey is to never reveal yourself before you strike.â€
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Postby Xian » Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:29 am

Silith hissed briefly with distaste and rolled his serpentine eyes. "He sspeakss with great confidencce, and little resspect. On thiss road, I have never once sseen a man who wass not inebriated by the touch of his own ssword." Silith brought his trident to bear before his body, pointing it at Vaen. "I have sstudied your feet, and I think you'll find we're evenly matched, my arrogant friend. Come at me, if you fancy your chancesss..."

"If not," he said casually. "I'll come at you."
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Postby grfu » Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:02 pm

"Inebriated by the touch of his own sword? The sword is all I have left. If you wish to fight until we kill each other, so be it. I have no fear of death. I am a cancer to society, a plague to my friends and family."

His eyes look cold and empty. His cold grin is the only sign of emotion, and even that looks forced. His stance is defensive, prepared for anything the naga had up his sleeve. He kept his eyes on the shoulders. That was how to tell where a naga would go. The naga seemed to put a great deal of emphasis on feet. That was a mistake. Feet could be decieving, but the hips always betrayed any fighter's intent.

"Come then. Let us meet our doom."
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Postby Xian » Wed Apr 19, 2006 7:33 am

(Gomen. :P Kept you waiting longer than I should have.)

Instead of attacking Vaen as promised, Silith remained back, out of reach. He was instead intrigued by the stubborn noble who thought so lowly of himself, and the tip of his trident drooped slightly from the ready position, although not so much as to create an opening. Of a dying clan, the Beldrobbaen, Silith knew that their ranks were thin enough that even a single loss was a crippling blow.

Additionally, now given a closer look of Vaen, Silith wasn't particularly impressed by the apparent wealth on this one. Either he left his money at home, or he was one of the more destitute nobles. That might explain why he was wandering, alone, to the surface...

"Sss... you are arrogant, and full of confidence, but you sspeak like a man defeated already. By... life, and not the ssword." Serpentine eyes squinted at Vaen, and the naga's posture wavered as his long, snake-like body circled underneath his upper torso in a clockwise motion. Vaen likely knew that this afforded his opponent with a completely flexible range of movement, as any good swordsman knew the strength of the naga's stability.

"Tell uss a story of defeat and dissgrace, my lord. We will sspare you your life, if you sshould have losst, or injury, sshould you have won."

If, at this point, Vaen was considering the implications of the usage of the words "us" and "we," his suspicions would be answered for him by the telltale sound of a slithering approach. Further down the road, behind Vaen, at this point, a second naga with a complex-looking crossbow presented itself to the drowolath's infravision.

"Ssilith," this one complained with a more feminine tone, her crossbow leveled at Vaen's back, lowered only slightly, so that a discharge would likely strike the ground at his feet. "What iss thiss?"

"Peace," he replied, tapping his trident gently upon the stone cavern floor. "Thiss one iss neither rich, nor as foolissh ass he sseemss. What do you ssay, then?" he asked finally of Vaen.
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Postby grfu » Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:26 am

“If it is a tale you desire, so be it.â€
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Postby Xian » Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:40 am

(I tried posting once before, but it got nuked by... something. :()

"No," Silith declined politely. "Drinks do hellissh thingss to our balance."

The female naga, meanwhile, complained loudly to Silith in a language unfamiliar to Vaen, repeatedly aiming the crossbow in Vaen's direction while Silith attempted to dissuade her. After about ten seconds of this, Silith turned back to Vaen and apologized.

"Sshe iss not convinced that killing you iss not worth the rissk of injury or being apprehended... or that your equipment cannot be ssold on the black market, desspite how difficult it iss to find a fence brave enough to buy the equipment of nobless." Silith rolls his eyes briefly and mutters, "Women," which earns a powerful glare from his female counterpart.

"What ssalvation awaits you on the ssurface? Thiss confussess uss. Lately, we have sseen only a group of... adventurerss, you could ssay, heading to the ssurface, well-armed and grim. It would have been foolissh for uss to attack ssuch a group, of coursse. We watch thesse roadss carefully... many go thiss way," he said, gesturing towards the surface. "But few return."
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Postby grfu » Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:50 pm

Vaen pondered this for a moment. Was there a real reason why he was headed to the surface. He eyed the female naga cautiously. She wanted to kill him and loot his corpse, did she? She had best kill me with the first shot. She would be dead before she could fire another. He sighs and takes another pull from the flask.

"To be honest, I really don't know why I'm going to the surface. I do this sometimes when I need to contemplate something. The wanderlust takes me, and I cannot stay in one place very long. The road to the surface seemed as good as any, just as dangerous at the road to Chel, but with something new at the end. As you can probably tell, I am young. It is a journey of self-discovery. At least, I hope it is a journey of self-discovery, rather than a journey of self destruction."

Vaen fingures the scar on his face, contemplating his next move. I will not die here, alone in the wilderness. I will return one day, when he no longer holds my mother's favor. I will return and bathe my sword in his blood. He shakes away the thoughts passing through his mind. This was no time for his mind to wander. He needed to do what was necessary to keep the naga from putting a bolt through his head.
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Postby Xian » Sun May 07, 2006 11:58 pm

Silith leaned on his trident briefly and shook his head. "How nice it musst be, to by young and brassh again. You won't find much on the ssurface, sso I hope you have brought plenty of food and water with you. Topsside is a wassteland, populated by hulking, brutissh creaturess. You will find more hosspitable territory to the north. Be careful of traderss, becausse they will most certainly be careful of you. You'll have to weigh-"

Silith's female companion's eyes went wide for a moment, and then she crouched and shot herself off the road at full tilt, moving quickly into the inky blackness. Silith stopped speaking for only a second before he did the same without any sort of explanation. As suddenly as they had appeared, the highwaymen were gone. Minutes later, Vaen would hear the echoes of many approaching footsteps, coming from one of the Illhar'dro patrols that comb the road.
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Postby grfu » Mon May 08, 2006 6:13 am

"I guess that means the conversation is over. Take care. Perhaps we shall meet again."

Vaen continued to sit on his make-shift chair, taking small sips from his flask. He should stop soon, or he would be too drunk to continue. He returned the flask to the pack. He retrieved a small candle from his pack and lit it. He then took out his journal and a writing implement. He began writing about the recent events. Everything would look perfectly normal to the patrol. His new 'friend,' if you could call him that, would be able to escape cleanly. The naga had spared him when he did not have to. That was the sign of good morals, something that most people lacked.
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Postby grfu » Sun May 21, 2006 12:01 pm

After having finished his quick notes, Vaen retrieved his pack and continued on his journey. The patrol had not given him any trouble. They did not speak much.

He continued walking for several hours. The air was continually growing slightly warmer. Eventually he came to it. He came to the mouth of the cave, the surface. He looked about to take in his surroundings. It was dark, like the underworld. There was a great silver orb in the sky.

"Is that what they call the moon?"

The land he looked upon was a wasteland, as Ssillith had described. He wondered if coming here was such a good idea after all. It did not matter. He was here now. He might as well make the most of it.

"So this is the surface? I wonder if I should have expected something different."

In the distance he heard the faint shouts of what seemed to be a battle. It was difficult to tell directions in this roofless world, but he started off in the general direction of the noise. He noticed the tracks of a hoofed animal, a few boot tracks, and the tracks of a drider. He wasn't the only underworlder on the surface tonight.
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Postby Xian » Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:18 pm

(Continued for Nal'Relka from the Wasteland thread)

By the time Nal'Relka finally reached the shelter of the cavern leading to Val'Raveran, she had been riding nearly sixteen hours. Her horse was stumbling with exhaustion and was tired enough that it didn't even seem to care that it was going back into the abysmal underworld from which it only recently escaped. The cavern itself was unmanned as usual, but because the Illhar'dro patrols did come up as far as the surface before turning back, it was extremely unusual for would-be highwaymen to come anywhere near it.

On the surface, night had once again fallen, removing the need for Nal'Relka to keep her visor down, and thus making the transition into the dim underworld caverns very easy.
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