sundiver: (PFC- Cryptozoologist)
[personal profile] sundiver
This next section took longer than expected, but at last it's done. Now to immediately get to yesterday's session.


Session 2 (01/23/12)
Word Count: 5826

Noise halted her steps and she turned to look at the entrance. A slender man of orc descent stood there, looking bemusedly around the ransacked public room.

“Are you still open for business? I thought bar fights signified business close.”

Argument momentarily interrupted, Gilbert left his wife to her own devices and hurried over to the man, wiping his big hands on the apron tied around his waist.

“No, no, we’re still open,” he said quickly. “There was an incident with some wind creatures earlier, but these good folk helped clear it up. Alas, the rest of our patrons left when the fuss started. But the kitchen fire is still going, and the ale’s still good and chilled. What be your poison?”

“Do you have any wines?” The half-orc asked, stepping through the wreckage of the door to finish entering the room.

Gilbert looked flustered and glanced over to his wife. She was facing away from the door, replacing chairs. She didn’t seem to notice the attention. “Yes,” he said after a pause. “I’ll have to check to see what we have in the cellar. Not a common choice, wine.”

The half-orc tilted his head expectantly. Gilbert shuffled away at the unspoken request and the half-orc took a seat at the bar next to the tiefling to wait.

Entertainment over, Dizzy once again turned back to the stairs only to be stopped by someone else arriving.

“The blasted halfling ran off!”

Lorak had returned, stomping in a frustrated manner to the bar. Dizzy headed over to hear what had happened. The stool she originally had been seated in still had the height block in its seat.

“A shame,” the half-orc woman said. “Thieves are the slippery sort, you should have expected it.”

“He took the necklace with him, I’ll have to find some way of tracking him down.” He stopped in his musings to stare at the other half-orc at the bar. The man stiffened, uneasy with the attention. Lorak leaned closer to him. “Would you perhaps know of a half-orc running with bears?”

“Come again?” the newcomer asked with raised eyebrows.

“Or perhaps raised by bears? Or has a pet bear? Or mauled by a bear? Everything I’ve heard when I ask about him always has something to do with bears. They just disagreed over what he did with them.”

The half-orc woman snorted into her drink with amusement.

“An interesting question of a stranger,” the man remarked.

“Yes, introductions are in order, I suppose,” Lorak said. “I am Lorak, a paladin of Torag. The girl so industriously ignoring us is Tilgu. Her grandmother asked me to keep an eye on her for as long as our paths went the same way.”

“I am Drog. Share a drink with me and we can discuss this man. Why do you ask of him?”

“I was recently informed that my sire had another son after abandoning my mother and me. I wanted to meet him.”

“And for this you leave Torag’s sanctuary in Helestia?” The half-orc woman entered the conversation. “I still think you’re foolish.”

He turned in his seat to give her a level look. “You’ve already made this argument, Tilgu. I do not need to hear it again.” He looked as if he wanted to continue, but was cut short by the return of the innkeeper.

Gilbert had two bottles in hand. “You’ve your choice of red,” he told Drog, holding up the one in his left. “Or, ah, really red.” The bottle in his right hand had no vintner’s stamp on it, just a poorly drawn cluster of cherry-red grapes.

“Must be a fruit wine,” Lorak said, eying it. “Locally brewed?”

“Man comes by every summer with a case,” Gilbert replied with a shrug. “Last time anyone had this was when Mayor Ellis’ son got married. This one’s the last left, so they must have enjoyed it.”

“We can take it off your hands for you,” Drog said, fishing a few coins out of his pockets and setting them on the counter to sort through with a serious expression.

Gilbert set the bottle down in front of the two. “Fifteen fehn.”

Drog picked a coin up and peered intently at it, before setting it down to look at another.

“That’s one of the gold ones and two of the silver square ones,” Dizzy spoke up from where she had been watching the interchange. She dropped her hand to her belt, a frown on her face, and then hopped down to scamper over to where the fight had taken place.

Drog managed to find the coins and passed them to Gilbert, who handed him back two wide-bowled glasses. “Don’t break these,” the hairy man warned. “We’ve not many and glassworkers are few in these parts.”

“I appreciate your generosity in the use of them,” Lorak said in a serious tone.

“It’s the least we could do to thank you for your help with those wind creatures,” Gilbert said, embarrassed at the earnest gratitude over such a simple favor.

Drog pushed the bottle over to Lorak to open. “So what occurred here?”

“One of the patrons fell on the wrong side of an important man,” Lorak explained as he poured. “And this important man sent unearthly beasts to kill him and bring his body back to him. Some of us took offense to our meals being interrupted and got rid of them. ”

“Their bard did most of the work,” Tilgu added. “Froze the winds mid-gust long enough for everyone else to bash them to icy pieces.”

“She almost froze my tail off,” the tiefling muttered before returning to staring intently at the stained counter.

“Winds? Air elementals? A town such as this is not their natural habitat,” Drog said with a frown.

“They’d been summoned,” Tilgu explained.

“Who does this Pendeln person think he is?” Lorak said angrily, tossing back the glass’ contents. “It isn’t right, attacking people, especially when there are innocents around.”

“Was this the halfling you were so upset with when you came in?”

“No, he’s the thief the man hired to steal a necklace. They were to meet here, or so the halfling thought. Pendeln never showed, and I was attempting to bring the halfling to the authorities for justice when he broke my hold and scampered away with his stolen goods.”

“He stole my money,” Dizzy said angrily from across the room. “That little fink! And after I healed him, too.”

“And with the gnome’s purse,” he continued, not missing a beat. “I am thinking of finding this Pendeln and discussing the matter with him.” The scowl that marred his face said he had something besides words to exchange with the man. “Would you know where he lives?” he asked Wynn, who had come back around the counter to straighten up there while her two half-elven employees started gathering forgotten dinners and dishes.

She frowned. “I’m sure I wouldn’t.”

“Does he have such a terrible hold on this town that you are so fearful to discuss him?” Drog asked, interested.

She glared and retreated further down the counter, gathering Dizzy's emptied dishes.

There was a light tug on Lorak's arm. Turning, he saw the scraps boy looking up at him with wide eyes. “He's got a big house up past Tumney North Bridge,” the boy whispered quietly. “Everybody knows about it. Liell says I'm never to go past there because there's bad things there.”

“Thank you for the information, boy,” Lorak said loudly.

The boy looked fearfully to where Gilbert stood, his arms crossed over his chest and glaring at the boy. “Just what do you-”

“Ease off the boy,” Lorak said, slipping a coin into the little boy's hand. It disappeared quickly before the innkeeper could notice it. “It was a courageous thing, speaking so when he knew how you'd react. Rest easy, should we come to any trouble, I'll not mention your establishment.”

The big man huffed, but lost some of the tension in his shoulders. “We don't need trouble. What's gone on here is bad enough.” He looked around the room, finally back in order, barring the still broken door. He scowled at the boy again, and the lad scampered away from Lorak back into the kitchen.

“Would any of you care to come with me to speak with the man?” Lorak asked, looking at the others. “I have a feeling reinforcements may be necessary.”

“I would be interested in hearing of how he brought those elementals to this plane,” Drog said. “There is something I must do first.” He stood and strode down to the end of the bar where Gilbert stood, and spoke quietly with him.

“Do you think he might know where West went?” Dizzy asked. “I want my money back. And my locket. My mother gave me that, she did.”

Lorak pulled a long chain out of one pocket. “Then this is yours?” In his hand was a tiny round purple pendant, strung onto the long chain the prism had been on. Her eyes lit up as she lifted it out of his hand. “I tugged it out of his hand, thinking it was the prism, and left off chasing after him. I felt returning stolen property to be more important than catching a thief far smaller and faster than me. Obviously what he intended, as he'd thought quickly enough to exchange the two chains.”

“Clever,” Tilgu commented.

“It is possible Pendeln will have ideas about where Mister West has gone to roost,” Lorak said. “After all, he managed to send those elementals here, which is not where they planned to meet.”

She flipped the pendant open, peered intently in, and snapped it quietly shut. She looked back up. “I'll go with you. Will you be coming, Hespero?”

“Don’t see what’s in it for me,” the tiefling said with a shrug.

“The man’s a criminal,” Tilgu said. “If you consider that no one here wants to talk about him, that makes him powerful. And wealthy. We shall be going to his house. Things… disappear sometimes.”

“I had best not see any light fingers,” Lorak said, leveling an even stare at the young woman, lips curling to make his tusks even more pronounced.

“Of course not, Ser Lorak,” she said, casting her eyes down. “I don’t know what I was thinking.” Underneath the table, out of Lorak’s line of sight, her badger opened its mouth and huffed in silent laughter.

“I don’t have any other plans for the evening,” Hespero mused, glancing over at Tilgu. “And I could use a walk to stretch out my legs.”

“I know what bridge the boy was talking about,” Dizzy said. “I can get us there in twenty minutes. Provided you’ve nothing against very narrow alleys.”

-----

The house at the end of Tumney North, just past the ill-kept bridge, was surrounded by an impressive stone wall, blocking its grounds from intruders. At the top of the ten-foot structure were long narrow openings, giving glimpses of the two-story building behind it. A heavy wrought-iron gate barred their entry.

“Eerie,” Dizzy commented, peering through the bars. In the shadows, she could make out a statue of some sort at the end of a short corridor. There were no lights or windows.

Lorak struck the bell by the door again. It clattered noisily like a farmhouse summons to dinner. “Hello the house!”

“Either no one’s here or they’re not answering,” Drog said.

“I could climb the wall,” Hespero offered. “I should be able to fit through one of those openings. There should be a window to climb in and come around to open this with.”

Dizzy eyed the gate’s locking mechanism. “You’d still need to find a key for it.”

“So try getting it open while I look around,” he said, leaning his backpack against the wall and pulling out a long rope, a grappling hook tied neatly to one end. “We’ll see who finishes up first.”

Hespero tossed the hook up. It skittered across the stone, failing to catch on anything, and sat unsteadily in the gap. He tugged it back down, trying again.

Tilgu shouldered Lorak out of the way to join Dizzy in looking through the bars. Light danced across her fingertips, forming into tiny will-o’-the-wisps that floated down the corridor, lighting up a stone statue of a woman in a billowy dress, a sword planted tip down in the base with her hands resting on the pommel. They flickered out of existence before they could continue further.

Metal against stone clattered as Hespero missed again.

“Problems, demonblood?” Drog asked.

“Shove it,” the tiefling snarled.

“Let me try,” Lorak said, holding a hand out. “You seem to be out of practice.”

“Be my guest,” he said, shoving the rope at the bulky half-orc.

Lorak lobbed it up in a hard overhand throw, and the hook shot through the opening like an arrow, never touching the wall.

Hespero snorted loudly as they heard the hook land on soft ground on the other side. “Overcompensating there, were you?”

Lorak tugged the rope slowly back, metal clattering against stone as it was dragged up the opposite wall. Once again, the hook failed to catch on anything as it came through the opening.

“He must have sanded the walls to prevent this sort of entry,” Dizzy said.

“The hook will eventually catch on one of its own gouges,” Tilgu commented. “This could be awhile.”

“Not entirely true,” Dizzy said. She walked over to where Lorak was coiling the rope for another attempt. “If I might?”

He passed it to her. She dropped the rope to the ground, then set the hook under one foot and recoiled it for her smaller height. Task finished, she picked the hook back up and moved backwards, twirling the hook, arm barely moving as her wrist did all the work.

“Could you stand by the wall there?” She asked Lorak, pointing away from the gate. “You might need to catch the rope if I can't keep hold of it.”

Lorak nodded and moved.

Tilgu crossed her arms across her chest, eying the distance the gnome stood from the wall. “What are you planning?”

Dizzy's eyes searched for something on the wall. “If the hook won't catch on the ledge, and we can't see if there's anything on the opposite side for it to catch onto, we just need the hook back, don't we?” She found what she was looking for and released the hook in an easy underhanded toss. As it sailed through the high opening, she said sharply, “Set!” The hook veered sharply upwards, as if it had hit something, flying upwards and slowly arcing backwards, heading back their way. The rope pulled out of Dizzy's loose hold, tracing the hook's path across the ground. Lorak dove for the trailing end, the hook falling near where he had originally stood.

Hespero snorted. “Magic's cheating.”

“That could have hit me,” Lorak said, standing.

“That's why I had you stand where I thought it would land. I'd asked you to go after the rope, so you'd have to move. If you had stood elsewhere, you might have ended up there,” Dizzy said.

“If you'll hold the rope taut, I can get up it in no time,” Hespero said, passing Lorak the other length of rope dangling from the wall.

He tugged on them experimentally. There was no give in the stone it was wrapped around, and no strands frayed at the new tension. “Be careful over there. We won't have time to rescue you if you should come to harm, even if any of the rest of us could climb up there.”

Hespero had already started up. “If you get bored,” he huffed, “you could always knock on the door until it fell.”

“What was that you cast?” Tilgu asked Dizzy. “There's certainly not a proper spell for such things.”

“Just a minor cantrip most gnomes can perform,” she replied with a shrug. “Useful for when you're playing catch and someone misses and you don't want to break the neighbor's window. Basically, for a second there, the air was solid. It's a little spell, so it wasn't a very big piece of air, but it's enough to redirect a small object's path.”

“No windows on the front of this part of the building,” Hespero called from where he was crouched on top of the wall, his horns giving his silhouette the look of a gargoyle in the dim light of evening. “I can't see what's on that half.” He motioned to the part of the building left of the big gate. “Roof's in the way. Let go of the rope, I'll need it to climb down.”

“Will you be good with climbing back up?” Lorak asked, letting the rope go.

The tiefling drew the rope up. “It'll be trickier, but I should be able to manage it.” He huffed. “Better be finding something worthwhile in here,” he muttered as he climbed out of sight. He had meant it only as a whisper to himself, but in the quiet of night, in the uninhabited stillness of a shunned section of town, it echoed.

“Perhaps there will be guard dogs,” Drog suggested.

“I hope to all the hells there aren't,” Hespero shouted back. There was a muffled curse and a loud thud as he hit the ground in an uncontrolled fall.

“Well, I'd find them worthwhile,” Drog said, leaning against his spear and peering at the wall as if he could will it transparent. The guard dogs failed to appear.

Lorak was less interested in continuing the conversation than ascertaining the tiefling's condition. “Are you still well?”

“If by well, you mean covered in brambles, then yes. Not much of a yard here, looks like the wall goes all the way around the building. I'll see if there're any other entrances.”

“Shout if you need anything!” Tilgu called loudly, a smirk curling around her jutting tusks.

A spate of unintelligible language resounded from beyond the wall.

“If there's no windows on the front, do you really think there will be any in the back?” Dizzy asked Lorak.

He hefted his hammer and looked at the heavy gate. “Not likely.”

-----

Colorful light bobbed down the hallway as they slowly made their way into the dark building. Hespero had returned while Drog and Lorak were finishing up pulling the gate off its hinges to clear the way in. He had found no entranceways, but neither had he been able to circle completely around. The wall had connected with the building almost directly across from where the others stood waiting, and he had had to return.

Hespero led, his infernal blood giving him better vision in the darkness than even the half-orcs could claim. Lorak was a half-step behind him, war hammer in hand should anything jump out at them, mistrustful of what Pendeln might keep in his house. Upon reaching the room with the statue, the two men veered around it. Four other statues stood in the corners of the room, not as detailed as the large one in the center of the room. They had an unfinished look to them, their bodies shaped such that they hinted at knights, but lacking both weapon and shield.

The statue of the woman, on the other hand, had obviously had lovingly detailed attention paid to it. The flowing gown looked as if it had been stirred by the breeze, delicate-looking even in the marble medium. The statue’s beautiful face was completely expressionless, its eyes fixed unseeing on an entranceway to the right. A long sword was held upraised in the air with both delicate arms. The statue base was wide, and short, and seemed overly large for the statue, which took up just one corner of it.

Tilgu, bringing up the back with Dizzy at her side, murmured, “Has that statue moved?”

Hespero stopped at her words, just as the sword came whistling down right through the space he had been about to step into, embedding itself deep into the stone floor. He jerked backwards with a curse, his sectioned whip clinking as it appeared in his hands, quickly unfolding to its full length.

Bits of stone flew as Lorak hammered into the statue from its other side as it attempted to draw its weapon back out of the floor.

“Who keeps attack statues?” Tilgu complained, shooting sparks from her fingertips at the statue. They didn’t seem to affect the creature.

“Rich people,” Hespero said with a vicious grin, whip spinning quickly forward and snapping around one of the statue’s arms and jerking. The motion freed its sword from the ground, but, bent as the statue was, it was brought stumbling towards them.

Drog set the butt of his spear solidly against the ground, its sharp head angled towards the oncoming statue, and braced himself. Stone chips rained onto the ground as it impacted with the waiting half-orc.

“Chakwa zwa’ka,” Dizzy said from behind Drog as the statue shook him off, slicing his arm with its sword in the process. She had her shield in front of her, but was staying out of the big people’s way as they circled around the statue.

“You may have a point,” Drog said, parrying its next attack.

Lorak’s hammer struck solidly into its side. “You understand that?”

“No,” Drog huffed.

“Pala tzsa,” she said, holding her open hand forward, ring finger held down by her thumb. There was an unearthly high snarling noise, and a large spine-covered rat fell out of the air, teeth bared, claws reaching for the statue’s unmoving face. It twisted, unnaturally graceful, and the rat fell to the ground behind it. Before the rat had a chance to regain its feet, the statue spun, its stone sword whistling through the air, cutting the rat in twain. It vanished as quickly as it came.

Hespero took advantage of the statue’s distraction to send his whip wrapping around its base and, with an unusual push-pull twist and a low grunt of exertion, broke the statue off of it.

It fell forward, shattering into large pieces on the ground.

Drog poked through the rubble with his spear tip, but whatever magic had been powering its movements had been broken. Tilgu knelt to pick up a piece.

“How’d you know to do that?” Lorak asked, looking at Hespero.

He shrugged. “I didn’t. But I noticed, when I knocked it off-balance, it never actually left the base. And why have such an overly large base, unless it was to give the statue the space to move around in?”

“So left, right, or straight down the center?” Tilgu asked, peering around the octagonal room and taking in the four entranceways, one in each cardinal direction.

“I hear water down this way,” Drog said, pointing down the passageway to the right.

“One’s just as good as any,” Lorak said. “Had anyone been home, they would have come out by now. The clash was not quiet.”

The short zigzagging corridor led to a good-sized room with a shallow inset bath filling much of it. A copper pipe coming out of the far well suggested how the bath was filled.

“Doesn’t look strange,” Hespero said as Drog knelt at the bath’s edge, cupping his hands and drinking from them. The rest exchanged looks of varying degrees of disbelief.

“Seems a waste of money, building a giant bath,” Tilgu said. She pulled on the torch sconces, trying to twist them.

Lorak frowned at her. “What are you doing?”

“Looking for secret passages,” she said. “Seems silly to devote all this space to bathing.” She said the last word distastefully.

He shook his head.

“He bathes in that,” Dizzy told Drog as he refilled his canteen. She had wandered down one narrow ledge around the room to poke at the big pipe. “Don’t you think it a little unhealthy to be drinking that?”

He looked up. “Fish regularly move their bowels in rivers. And still people constantly splash naked in them. How is this any different?”

Dizzy looked like she bit into something sour. So did Hespero, still standing beside the kneeling half-orc. “Water’s supposed to be boiled before you drink it.”

His twisted his forefinger around the rim of the canteen, whispering an unfamiliar incantation, and then tapped the side three times. “And now there will definitely not be a problem with it.”

“More magic,” Hespero said with a snort.

“Helpful though,” Dizzy said, voice echoing oddly from where she was peering into the pipe. “I could never get the hang of that bit of magic, myself. Where is he pumping this water from?”

“The lake to the south, perhaps?” Drog suggested.

“Why there?” Lorak asked. “Wouldn’t tapping a nearby well be wiser?”

“Why he would choose there, I do not know. I merely suggest it, as the gnome is one misstep away from falling on an octopus.”

Inside the bath, an orange creature almost Dizzy’s size waved its many tentacles at her as she peered into the water, looking for what Drog was talking about. Dizzy gave a soft noise of surprise, body twitching as she kept from jumping back.

“Those are excellent when braised,” Hespero said, spotting the octopus.

“Is it a pet?” Tilgu asked as she moved slowly closer, already preparing her spear to poke at it.

Lorak closed one big fist around her spear and pulled it out of the water before she could reach the octopus. “Leave it be.”

Dizzy inched along the edge back to where the rest stood.

“I’ve never seen a live octopus before,” she said, her eyes still on it. Its tentacles still waved, moved by some current the slowly circled the pool.

“It could be a pet,” Drog mused. “An ignorant use of one of the sea’s oddest creatures. Were we closer open water, I would suggest catching it and transferring it. It cannot be pleased with this little pool.”

“We should finish looking around the place,” Hespero said.

“Hopefully there will be more interesting things than stranded octopi,” Tilgu said, heading back up the corridor. They tromped after her, returning to the central chamber. Nothing had changed; the stone statue in pieces where it had fallen, the half-finished knights in their nooks.

Tilgu took the central corridor, directly across from the entrance they had arrived through.

It led to a room of similar size to the large bath. Long wooden tables stood along the opposing walls and the back wall had an ornate home altar set up, a large heavy tapestry of a man holding a cornucopia hanging above it. In the center of the room, a tall, narrow fountain quietly babbled.

“A personal shrine to Eniatos,” Lorak said, looking the room over before approaching the altar. “God of wealth. Not surprising.”

“He takes his devotions seriously,” Dizzy said, already poking about in the items on one table. “This wine probably cost as much as the building did. Not to mention these linens?” She rubbed a corner of the tablecloth between her fingers. “Silk, I think.”

Drog poked at the fountain for a bit, but looked disinterested in the room in general. Tilgu was surreptitiously pocketing perfume bottles off the table opposite the one Dizzy stood at. Beside her, Hespero had picked up an ivory bowl and was rifling through its contents.

“There is nothing of import here,” Lorak said, finished with his perusal of the altar. “Perhaps we will have better luck in the next chamber.”

“Great, we get to rummage through his wardrobe,” Tilgu said, moving away from the table before Lorak finished turning around. “Such wonderful places you take me, Ser Lorak.”

“You are free to come and go as you please, Tilgu,” he said pleasantly. “Do let me know when you have finished following along after me like a duckling still needing its mother.”

She made a growling noise, and then swirled back into the corridor with a whirl of her skirt.

“Is that a natural talent or do all holy warriors get trained to do that?” Hespero asked with a smirk.

“I do not know of what you speak,” Lorak said, following after the half-orc woman, Drog right behind him.

“A little bit of both, I think,” Dizzy said, watching with amusement as Hespero emptied the bowl into a pocket. Noticing her look, he shrugged unashamedly and walked out after the others, whistling.

The last doorway led to a similar winding corridor as the bath had had. The room at the end was not a bedroom, as Tilgu had expected, but an alchemy lab. A large workbench filled with beakers, jars, and burners took up one side of the room. Dizzy frowned at seeing it.

Drog already had one jar open and was peering intently inside. “Henbane,” he said. “An unsafe thing to be cooking with.”

Tilgu had apparently convinced Lorak to bust open a large chest and was currently flipping in a bored manner through a book she had found in it.

Dizzy moved over to the bookshelf, peering over the titles. Her frown deepened as she continued to read.

“Any of these of use?” Lorak asked her.

She frowned. “Only if you like poisoning people.” She joined Drog at the lab set up. She picked up one unlabeled bottle, a pale yellow liquid swirling inside, and sniffed it carefully. “It looks like he’s been making psychotropic drugs. This one induces a battle rage.”

“That’s not necessarily a bad thing,” Hespero said.

“A mindless battle rage that should you imbibe more than half a pint of, you’d become hopelessly addicted to it,” she told him, an angry tone in her voice. “It’s a bad thing. He probably isn’t telling anybody about that last part when he sells it to them.”

“Not until he’s got his fish good and hooked,” Tilgu said, standing up. She hefted the book. “This is a ledger of names and numbers.”

Hespero nodded. “Debts owed. How he keeps everyone quiet.”

“Goodwill gifts with a hidden sting,” she agreed. “How much time must it have taken to set all this up?”

“Years,” Lorak said. “Loaning such vast amounts of money first requires building the fortune to loan. He probably made the money through the sales of these vile concoctions.”

“A lab this size would take a lot of time to build as well,” Dizzy said, picking up an oddly-shaped lidded pot off a brazier. “Some of these ingredients are very rare, and much of the hardware here is custom-made. No alchemist on the right side of the law would use this.”

Drog suddenly doubled over with a grunt of pain.

Hespero swore. “Guess someone came home,” he said, his whip unfolding with a metallic clatter.

In the darkness of the corridor, a dim figure raised its crossbow up and shot another bolt into Drog’s side. The half-orc collapsed to one knee, one hand braced to his side.

Hespero and Lorak sprinted down the corridor to confront the newcomer. Lorak’s hammer sent the crossbow flying as the man flung it up as a make-shift shield. He nimbly dodged Hespero’s whip, ducking under and backwards simultaneously with ease, his hood falling back to release a shock of white-peppered dark hair.

Dizzy pressed her hands around the crossbow bolts in Drog’s side. “Meza chal tzsentvaw,” she said softly, nudging his hand out of the way.

“There’s no need, I can do that myself,” he said, but light was already glowing around her small hands. He hissed as she jerked one bolt free and then the other. The wounds knit mostly closed, leaving a sharp itching sensation. He attempted to twist his side, and hissed as scabs stretched, seeping dark blood. The injuries weren’t completely healed, but were well enough to move around without causing too much pain.

“Gja’ifdje chakwa pala,” she murmured, a frown on her face, blue eyebrows furrowed. He hissed again as she prodded the injuries. “Tzsela.”

“Please stop that,” he said, pushing her hands away, peering over her head to look for the other men.

There was the sharp ring of metal against metal from where the three men fought. Lorak seemed to be having problems hitting the man. A dagger glinted in his hand as he avoided the other two’s attacks.

Tilgu moved around them to get into the corridor, her spear lowered in a defensive position to block anything else that might come flying that way.

“Gjafi latz’wa pal,” Dizzy said, waving a bolt in front of his face. He turned to look at her and she pointed to one bolt tip. “Dvwa jgar qember. Pahl c’vanwtzse vor.” Even with it covered in blood, he could see the oily sheen that coated it. “Jvelwe tze per,” she continued huffily, prodding again near the injuries.

He looked down to see what she was trying to convey. The skin around the scabs had the puffy red and white look of an infection trying to set it. The scabs themselves had an unhealthy green tinge to them.

“I’ll scrub it later,” he told her, guessing at her thoughts, and climbed slowly back up to his feet. “Thank you.”

He didn’t bother picking up his spear from where it had dropped. Tilgu eyed him oddly as he looked the fight over. Lorak had managed to get around the newcomer, attempting to push him down the corridor back to the alchemy lab. It was a straight shot to the man. He charged. Hespero’s whip flashed in front of his nose- the tiefling hadn’t noticed his movement- and then he was upon the man, fists pounding into his kidneys before the man had time to react.

The man threw himself in Lorak’s direction, trying to get away from the other half-orc in the overcrowded corridor. Not expecting it, Lorak reacted too slowly to do more than awkwardly jab at the man with his hammer.

He missed, but before the man could run back to the room with the statues, Drog pulled him into a bear hug, locking his arms around the man’s arms and chest. The man thrashed wildly, trying to break free.

Hespero’s whip flashed again, punching into the man’s wrist. He cried out in pain, dropping the dagger to the ground. Lorak kicked it down the corridor, and it skittered to a noisy halt at Tilgu’s feet where she still stood near the lab’s doorway.

The man’s struggles finally succeeded in landing an elbow in Drog’s injured side, and he reflexively loosened his hold, hissing at the unexpected spike of pain. The man took advantage of the momentary reprieve and shoved his way out of Drog’s hold.

He ducked expertly under Lorak’s swing, and sprinted up the corridor to the room with the statues, made a sharp right turn towards the exit, and disappeared from sight. Drog and Lorak chased after him, exploding into the dark street like a pair of angry bulldogs.

There was no one outside the building. The man was gone.

Date: 2012-02-16 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pugsplace.net
I figured out how to read your stories, Elf! I copied them to my Kindle. Now, my inability to read on my computer cannot stop me any more! Hahah haahuahahaha he hahahe hea hooo

April 2012

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