Restitution

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Cirath
Sojourner
Posts: 517
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 5:01 am

Restitution

Postby Cirath » Mon Dec 27, 2004 9:03 pm

Author's Note: The following was co-written by Lilira, who did an excelent job, both with the story, and the RP that led up to it. That is why it shifts back and forth between the two character's perspectives. Now, on with the show.
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The dusty little village was almost completely devoid of all signs of life as he strode into town. He made no effort to hide his arrival, and though his face what hidden under a hood, the townsfolk knew the look of trouble passing through. A pair of mercenaries, full of ale and arrogance, swaggered through the street in the figure’s direction. The two were laughing loudly at each other’s jokes, completely oblivious to the world around them. As they neared the stranger, their joking stopped, their laughing died, and the sell swords began puffing themselves up to intimidate the newcomer. One of the drunks started to speak, but one look in the hooded man’s eyes and he choked back his words and pulled his friend out of the way.

The shrouded figure continued down the road, glancing briefly at each building as he passed. A few temples, several lively taverns, and a small tower all shared space with the town’s houses and shops. He continued down the lane, ignoring them all, until he stopped at the door of a large, extravagant villa. After looking over the grounds briefly, he approached the door and laid a hand on the latch.

* * *

Lilira paced back and forth in the sitting room of the villa she had ‘borrowed’. She had heard in her wanderings about the village that the owners were away and the house was packed up and sitting empty, its furnishings covered with drapes to protect them from the dust. Little puffs of dust made clouds around the bard’s feet as she paced, cursing herself in a low voice.

“You’ve really put your foot in it now bard. Grabbed the tiger by the tail and now it wants to come bite your hand off,” she said clenching her hand and wincing at the bruise around her wrist. If it hadn’t been for that lucky shove, surprising the assassin enough to break free, she wouldn’t be playing her lyre anymore. She had paused in this place to try and rest, but was unable to sit still, her body powered by nervous energy. It was time to move on and put that nervous energy to use, the further from Waterdeep she could get, the safer she might be, and perhaps find an ally to help her hide. An evil mix of voices marched through her head working only to worsen her anxiety. “If you see him, run, run fast and run far,” the voice of the necromancer Lintral echoed, followed by the mocking tenor of Lahgen, “You could just take her, she didn’t fight very hard.” A series of others floated through her mind, as the bard headed for the front door of the villa.

She reached out and opened the door quickly, staring stupidly at the hooded form standing at the door for half a moment, before screaming loudly and flinging the door closed. Lilira whirled and ran making for the back of the house in an attempt to find the servant’s entrance, knowing her only hope was to reach the road and run farther and faster than the angry assassin.

Her hand fumbled at her belt for the potion she kept there, praying with every fiber in her being that some god somewhere was listening and would send her aid.

* * *

Just as his hand reached the latch, the door swung open, and Cirath was greeted by the face of his quarry, wide-eyed, mouth gaping. A scream broke free of her lips and the door swung closed again. Placing one hand out to catch the door, he reached for his belt and tore free a small dagger. In the same swift motion his hand whipped forward and sent the blade tumbling through the air to sink into the back of Lilira’s leg. A gasp of pain escaped the bard’s lips, and her steps faltered, sending her crashing to the polished marble floor.

“I warned you,” said the soft, controlled voice behind the hood. “I told you not to run. Did you really think that I would ever stop coming?” The control in his voice began to fray as he continued speaking, and a boiling rage could be sensed underneath.

The knife still planted firmly in her thigh, Lilira tried to pull herself away on her hands, never once glancing back on the assassin as he approached.

* * *

Argh the pain.

A small moan escaped the bard’s lips as she pulled herself towards the doorway. Sensing Cirath’s approach, she quaffed the vial, disappearing into thin air. Lilira heard his sharp curse as she appeared in a room upstairs. The bard had heard that assassins have a great love of poisons, and she frantically tried to pull herself into concealment, fumbling for another potion, waiting for the burn to tell her whether or not the blade had been poisoned.

* * *

Magic.

He hated magic. All his life he had fought and scratched for life, freedom, a living, everything. It made him sick to see someone conjuring up whatever they wished from thin air. The smoldering anger behind his eyes began to grow into a small fire.

The girl hadn’t gone far. He could hear her scrambling up from the floor above him. Quickly, and with all the noise of a stirring breeze, Cirath climbed the stairs to his right. As he reached the landing at the top, he paused only a moment, eyes closed, reaching out with his other senses.

A sound. The scrape of leather. The jingle of a buckle.

He turned left, striding silently down a hallway with several doors. As he passed one, something caught his nose: the slight sour tang of a cold sweat, and blood. He threw open the door, moving like lightning as he crossed the threshold. Ice blue eyes shot to meet the steel gray of his own.

* * *

Lilira sat huddled in the shadows, fingers drenched in blood where she had pulled the dagger out of her leg. Another potion had stopped the bleeding,, just.. There wasn’t time to attempt farther healing, and her song would give her away. Quietly, Lilira summoned her shadowy scalemail in an effort to protect herself further. The words had just left her lips when the door was flung open, and Lilira found herself pinned under the furious steel gray gaze of the assassin.

Lilira tried unsuccessfully not to tremble as she rose painfully to her feet. Her mouth dry, she tried to summon the words of her harmful song.

* * *

In a blink, Cirath was across the room, just as the first notes of a magical song began to tear at his ears like a thousand tiny needles. Clamping his hand around the half-elf’s throat, he lifted her off the ground with his momentum, slamming her back against the wall and forcing the wind from her lungs in a great rush.

The pain of the song ended, but he hardly noticed. The fire was growing. With his free hand he began disarming Lilira, tossing aside weapons, pouches, and anything that looked as though it might hide something dangerous. The whole time he continued to press tightly on the delicate elven neck, relaxing occasionally only enough to allow a breath, before closing her windpipe once more. The bard clawed franticly at his hand, gouging the skin in a few places, but he seemed made of stone.

When he finished his search, he released his grip and let her slump to the floor, sucking in air in great gulps.

“You still have a chance to live,” said the assassin between grinding teeth. “One move, a single note of song or word of magic, and I will cut your throat and end it now. I am done chasing you. We settle up here.”

* * *

Fighting off the waves of gray, Lilira lay like a casually tossed rag doll, sucking in deep breaths through her bruised windpipes. The assassin’s words echoed through her head. He wasn’t here to kill her? The realization that there were worse things had Lilira staggering to her feet, leaning heavily against the wall. She glanced at her magical glaive, sitting on the pile of belongings Cirath had removed from her, then forced herself to meet his gaze, her eyes shadowed with bleakness. It was time to pay the piper.

“What do you wish of me?” Lilira whispered through abused vocal chords. Waiting for the answer, she pushed away from the wall and balanced herself on the balls of her feet, fighting to ignore the agony of her leg for now.

* * *

Cirath took a step forward, and leaned in close to his captive. Barely an inch separated their faces, and his voice dropped almost to a whisper. “What do I wish? I want to give you something, a gift. Lilira is dead, you killed her, but since you thought it wise to blame me, to use me as a pawn, I feel as though I should contribute. I am going to give you a new life… When we are done here, you will not be Lilira anymore.”

With the last word he slowly drew a long, curved knife from his belt, grabbed her by the throat once more and slammed her head savagely into the wall. Her eyes rolled back into her head, and she fell limply to the floor, unconscious.

Kneeling over her, knife in hand, he said, “this shouldn’t take long.”

* * *

A breeze carrying the scent of wildflowers stirred the silver curtain of hair that poured down Lilira’s back. It swirled around her almost comforting her, tugging at her hems, inviting her to play. Chuckling, Lilira twirled around, sending her skirt into a confusing circle of colors. A golden-haired elven man with moss green eyes stepped up to her and taking her hand led her into a dizzying dance. Laughing, Lilira traced the steps with the man who was her father.

A chill wind blew, replacing the playful breeze. Shadows darkened the bright meadow, and the elf disappeared. The bard screamed his name, eyes searching the shadows. Her body felt as if it was on fire, and she fought gasping for breath. Her cheeks burned from sharp stinging slaps, causing Lilira to awaken from her dream with a scream into another nightmare.

Pain and heaviness on her chest.

Lilira opened her eyes to find that Cirath knelt, knee firmly placed on her sternum. The bard fought for her breath. Her shoulder was on fire and her left hand throbbed in time with her leg. A headache blurred Lilira’s gaze as she tried to look around. A fire burned cheerfully in the hearth, the smell of burned flesh heavy on the air. The smell turned her stomach and the bard struggled to dislodge the assassin, heaving.

* * *

“Wake up, your gift is almost ready.”

The girl’s eyes opened slowly, and roamed for a moment unfocused before finding Cirath’s face. Her face paled almost instantly, and she turned her head to the side to vomit. He held her in place with a knee on her chest, needing little more than his own weight to keep her in place, even when she began to struggle. The blow to the head and loss of blood had taken most of the fight out of her, but still she tried.

He tossed aside the iron poker he had used to sear closed her wounds, letting it clatter to the floor, and took up his knife once more. Taking hold of her chin, to steady her face and gain her attention, he asked “you see this scar?” indicating the wide band of bone-white skin, with faint purple discoloration at the edges that ran across his own face.

The girl nodded, almost imperceptibly, shuddering violently like a frightened animal.

“Every time you look in the mirror, I want you to see that scar, and remember this day. Remember what your game cost you.”

With that, he raised the tip of the blade to her left eyebrow, and drew it across her face diagonally, ending the wound on the right side of her chin. Though he kept a firm grip on her chin, Lilira screamed through clenched teeth, tears streaming down her face. Her legs thrashed, and several times she raised an arm, as if to fight him, but hesitated, perhaps fearing she might cause him to slip and bury the steel in her brain.

When he was finished, he leaned close once more, and spoke loud enough to be heard over her sobbing, his voice gaining an edge as he spat out the words. “I left you your tongue for this reason. When your friends and companions ask who did this to you, when they swear they will have the head of the fiend that could be so cruel, you will tell them the truth. You will say that I did this. If they want to kill me for it, then let them come, but be sure they know that the time when their dirty deeds could be swept aside for a modest fee are done. And I am done with them.”

As he pulled back, Lilira swiped at his face with her good hand, her delicate, manicured nails tearing four deep gouges across his left cheek, then she collapsed into a fit of sobs, all her energy spent. Cirath stood, and pulled a small handkerchief from a pocket, pressing it to the wound. He pulled the cloth away, and looked at it for a moment. Four trails of blood ran the length of it. “Fair enough,” he said, and tossed the cloth on top of Lilira’s crying form.

He walked to the door, but stopped just before leaving. Over his shoulder he said, “one other thing. I don’t ever want to see you again. If I catch more of you than your back as you leave the room, you won’t walk away again.”

Then he turned the corner, and was gone.

* * *

Once certain the assassin was gone, Lilira dragged herself over to the pile that held her weapons and gear. She reached into her vault and pulled out a speckled potion, fumbling with the seal with shaking, slippery fingers. Finally releasing the cork, she quaffed the potion and lay still waiting for the warmth of healing to spread. Once she was able, Lilira dragged her vault and herself to the nearest wall and sat up, vision graying. She reached for her lyre and frowned at her left hand, trying to focus. Part of her pinkie was missing, the end an angry cauterized wound. Tears welled up in her eyes, mixing with the blood that smeared her face. Gingerly resting the lyre in her lap, the bard began to play, closing her eyes and loosing herself in the warmth of her song.

Much later, her headache receded to a tolerable level and most of the minor aches and pains gone, Lilira pulled herself to her feet and staggered to the mirror hanging on the wall, covered in a drape. Reaching out a shaking hand, Lilira tugged the drape, allowing it to fall on the floor, and gasped.

The wound that had been inflicted to her face had healed except for an angry pink scar that would fade to a hair thin line. Her ears had been disfigured, altering them to the round shape of a full human, and her hair, the glorious curtain of silver that had been her one vanity, gone, hacked crudely above her shoulders. Pulling down the cut, bloody neckline of her under tunic, she saw an angry burn where there was once the mark of a silver lyre.

The assassin was right. He had taken her identity. Once she got on her feet again, it would be time to find her new one.
Lilira
Sojourner
Posts: 1438
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:53 pm

Postby Lilira » Mon Dec 27, 2004 9:30 pm

Thanks Cirath for the help!

Lilira
Clan Blindhammer
Sojourner
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:01 am

Postby Clan Blindhammer » Tue Dec 28, 2004 12:39 am

So lemme get this straight.

Ye steal off to someone elses apartment
Get it all bloody.
An' then ye scar up a pretty lil elf like Lilira?


Feh, boy, yer nothin' but trouble an' I hope ye get whats comin' to ye.
Lahgen
Sojourner
Posts: 542
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 2:58 am

Postby Lahgen » Tue Dec 28, 2004 3:38 am

Death?

Oh don't worry butcher, I have a far more satisfying vengeance planned.

You will have to go into the heart of the Nine Hells itself to escape the Hell I have planned for you...

The lone thing you will not receive is an honorable death....

ooc: wow, that was painful to read. good job.
Kesena OOC: 'i wish my daddy bought me power tools'
Dorgh group-says 'damn, even with Cofen helping Mori, they STILL can't kill someone
Hekanut says 'I know level doesn't matter much, but most won't take seriously if a level 2 claims to be the best thing before, during, and after sliced bread.'

Rather than seeing "subpar race/class," see "challenge."
Clan Blindhammer
Sojourner
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:01 am

Postby Clan Blindhammer » Tue Dec 28, 2004 6:10 am

Bah, like ye even have 'honorable' in yer dictionary, Lahgen. :P
teflor the ranger
Sojourner
Posts: 3923
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2002 5:01 am
Location: Waterdeep

Postby teflor the ranger » Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:41 am

You're on my list now, Cirath.
Lilira
Sojourner
Posts: 1438
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:53 pm

Postby Lilira » Tue Dec 28, 2004 7:31 pm

*****Note: Was a little rushed when we finished this. Here’s a bit I wanted to do, but didn’t have time for yesterday.*****

Lilira woke screaming from a deep sleep. She had fallen asleep sitting up against the wall, lyre, having slid out of her lap, laying next to her.

She had spent hours playing her lyre, her fingers fumbling occasionally as she was forced to adapt to her shortened digit, healing everything she could. Now the angry welts that were her scars had faded to pink and would fade even farther by week’s end.

The bard stretched her exhausted fingers, grumbling softly as they cramped to let her know she’d overdone it. She would give them a break from playing.

Lilira wrinkled her nose at the blend of scents the room contained. Looking down she knew her undershirt and pants were hopeless and pulled out fresh clothes. Starting the fire again, she heated some water and cleaned herself up. Tossing her old clothes on the fire, she watched the flames eagerly consume them. Her gaze looked around the room, and shuddered at the mess it contained. A small shining pile lay beside where the assassin had woken her up. Investigating, tears once more streamed down her face as she lifted the hacked off mass of silver hair. Setting her jaw, she walked over and tossed it onto the fire. As had already been proven to her, it would not do to have bits of herself lying around. The bard’s eyes glanced around the room sighing at the bloody mess. There was nothing she could do about the mess, she had been here too long already.

Lilira paced around the room, gathering her belongings, and began getting into her armor. Movement caught her attention and her nervous gaze settled on her reflection in the mirror. Her hair hung unevenly around her face, the ends curled slightly freed from its normal weight. Biting her lip, Lilira drew an adamantium dagger, its razor sharp edge glinting in the firelight, and began cutting her hair into a shining cap of hair no longer than the width of the blade.

Casting the last of her hair into the fire, Lilira gathered the rest of her gear and headed back to Waterdeep, resolutely shoving her problems to the back of her mind. Now it was time to return and see if she could make herself useful instead of a hindrance.

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