An Errand

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An Errand

Postby Malia » Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:35 pm

As I traveled through the city of splendor a young boy attempted to slip something into my pocket. I could tell as he saw me, that I was his intended target. My hand slowly touched my dagger not knowing what this boy would actually want with me but knowing he posed no threat either. As the boy drew closer he almost stumbled over himself trying to slip me a scrap of paper. I accepted the note and pretended I didn’t see him and let him think he had more skill then he really did. As an afterthought I probably shouldn’t have done that since now he will mostly likely go get himself killed thinking he’s got more skill then he does, but that isn’t my concern.

I slipped through the crowded streets to a small abandoned house in northern Waterdeep that I spend many hours. I unfolded the note and read with curiosity. It was a note from drow, my services again were needed. I crumpled the note up and hurled it across the room. Who were they to ask my bidding. I hated being tied to the damn drow, they were everything I hated, yet I live because of them. It is a daily battle inside my head that I most likely will never win. I belong to no one! Yet, if I don’t do their bidding they will utterly destroy me. So this time, as in all the other battles during my training, I gave in to the urgency to continue living, and picked up the note and read it again. “Meet Balaeryn the Black in his usual place”

I checked my supplies and headed north from Waterdeep to a set of caves I knew would lead me to Menzoberazan. I called on my amulet and went invisible and slipped by the hoards of trolls near the caves and ducked inside and started my decent. Nearly half a days travel north through the tunnels and I could tell I was getting close, memories of training and beatings flooded back to me. I shoved it all aside, I was entering the drow city there was no room for error. I pulled out a kit that I often used and blackened my face and arms, and all other parts that showed. With some other adjustments to my clothes I would pass as a drow merchant and wouldn’t get too much attention. A dwarf in a drow city wouldn’t last long; no matter how good she might be my disguise would have to be good.

I passed by the gate guards with a slight nod and a few gold coins as with any merchant they expect it. The city hadn’t changed much since I left those many years ago. I started to remember again and had to stop and shove all thoughts out of my head. I was in a drow city, I was walking through the gates of hell so to speak, and I had to be sharp. I quickly made my way to the northern part of town and headed east, knowing id find Balaeryn where most of the other rogues hung out, where he could feel like he was something special. I slipped into the shadows knowing that even the slightest bump from someone in the crowd might give hint to my true identity, and that would lead to my utter disaster. So here I was totally invisible, hiding in the shadows, disguised as a drow merchant, and yet still, in this city that Lloth calls home, I cannot feel safe. I continue to make my way to an area in Menzoberazan I know well. I slipped into the local bar knowing he would be there, it was totally empty except for two ruffians sitting in the corners and a drow in all black sitting in a booth by himself. I slipped by the ruffians with ease and slid up to the booth with Balaeryn he still didn’t even know I was there, so I studied him for a moment. He looked nervous, like this might be his first assignment, yet he tried to give a sense of arrogance like he had done this many times before. I stepped out of the shadows and slid into the booth across from him. He jumped at the motion and indent in the seat across from him, his reactions were slow at least in my judgment, and he’d probably been sipping too much of the local brew. I dropped the invisibility spell and nodded to him.

He stared hard at me trying to regain control, he did a good job of hiding his surprise to all but me, and I could read people well enough. He was frightened, but his arrogance took over and that look of total hatred glazed over his eyes again. He looked at me as if I was Ilbith, rothe manure. He spoke “There is a task that your masters require of you.” Oh, how that word grated me to my inner soul. ‘Masters’ I have no master! I must believe that, for if I do not than I live a servant’s life and that is no way to live. My hands touched my daggers and I almost slew him right then and there, but again the inner battle raged, and in that brief instant, I realized again I was in a drow city, and even if I could kill him, I would never make it out of here alive, and so, I listened on without batting an eyelid. Giving no hint to the inner turmoil that raged inside of me. “A beast part drow part scorpion has been taken to the tunnels underneath the city of splendors, she is a breeding queen and we require her eggs.” He stated this as if that was all, as if speaking to a servant of his. “I have no master” I dared speak, “I will serve you in this because I know if I do not I will be hunted” I continued. I used every bit of skill just to stay calm at his arrogance and utter lack of respect. And then it hit me, they didn’t inform him who I was; they didn’t let him know what he was dealing with. To him I was just another servant, but what I realized in that moment of clarity is that to them, that’s all he was, a servant. I smirked at the thought, and nodded. “I will do as you ask.” I said and nodded, I slipped out of the booth and then with drow training, I slipped back into the shadows. To them I must have just disappeared for they looked about as if I was plucked from thin air. I left the bar and headed back through town towards the gates and the tunnels beyond.

I had no problems heading back through town, it was full of darkness and as I slipped through the darkness that was Menzoberazan, I felt more at home than I had in a long time. Not being in a drow city, the city of my youth, but being in the utter darkness that is the Underdark. I slipped out of town and back through the tunnels calling again on my amulet for invisibility. I slipped through the cave and out into the night air. Removing my disguise I hurried back to Waterdeep for I knew of an entrance through the Yawning Portal that would lead me into the maze where I needed to be. The quicker I was done with this the better. I got into town and slipped into the Dead Orc Inn, hoping to find someone that might know the mazes under town better then I do. Time was of the essence and I knew that I couldn’t find it on my own. Across the inn I saw Ashiwi, a well know rogue, I nodded to her then with a slight nod towards the door I let her know that I needed to speak in private with her. She barely nodded back and to anyone else there was no communication whatsoever, but to us, it was all that was needed. I slipped out of the inn, and within minutes Ashiwi strode out also. “I have need of your skills” was all I needed to say, it was a complement in itself that I Pava, would need another rogues skill. I played on her love of acquiring new things to get her attention and told her of the queen manscorpion that I needed to find. She turned away any gold that was offered and accepted my offer of adventure and with a glimmer in her eye, said we could speak of payment later. I knew I had played it just right, because like me, to her there was no amount of gold that could take the place of a good adventure.

We both headed to the yawning portal, that entrance into the deadly maze that was known as Undermountain, home of Halastar the insane. So few came out alive, but then again most were so untrained and neither Ashiwi nor I were new to this, most of the patrons just nodded as we went by. At the bottom of the chasm, there was a glowing portal that leads to an arena type area that people could test their fighting prowess. Many lives were humbled in that very arena by me. I could only grin and long for time when I might have some time to spend in there again. I nodded at Ashiwi knowing this is where we would most likely part ways, and split up and find the queen. She had that glimmer in her eye again, that sense of adventure taking over; she nodded and disappeared into one of the tunnels. I likewise called on my amulet and disappeared into the shadows and started down one of the many tunnels.

I had traveled for a ways when in when came upon a small cave. I could hear a voice coming from inside, but I didn’t recognize the language. It sounded goblin, and I knew goblin language but I couldn’t tell what was being said. I peered inside and one lone goblin was inside waving its arms and casting some sort of spell. I didn’t know any spells so its probably why I couldn’t understand what it was saying but I could see the outline of a secret door also inside and I knew I needed to explore beyond that. I slipped inside the cave and crept along the wall till I stood almost directly behind the goblin. I could probably slip inside the door without the goblin even knowing I was here but where was the fun in that. The goblin never even knew I was there. It had started to cast another spell, when two daggers exploded though it’s back and out its chest in a spray of blood. It never felt a thing; it just slid off the daggers and crumpled to the floor with a large pool of blood gathering around it. I tried the door, but it was locked, so I quickly picked the lock and slipped back into the shadows, and headed further down into the maze that was Undermountain.

At the base of the incline I stopped to catch my breath, it had been a month since I had been down here. I had come down at another’s behest in search of feathers from a group of demons. They were none to happy that I had taken them. I stood and wondered how long demons held grudges, and thought to other demons I had slayed. I never heard them coming, I barely saw them enter the room, the pack of vrock demons that I had angered before had remembered and still held that grudge. The leader strode forward right towards me as the four lesser demons fanned out behind him. I had lost myself in thought and it was going to cost me my life. His first swing came in at my gut I sucked in my breath and tried to lean arch my stomach out of the way and still got a gash along my waist line. My daggers appeared in my hands almost as if instinct took over, this was my home this was the shadows. The two from the right came in and attacked with great sweeping arcs that would behead me if I stood still long enough. I parried one off my dagger and ducked under the other and rolled to my left still knowing that there were 2 more coming in there. I barely got to my feet when both on the left started in on me. I took a gash on my arm as I tried to parry one and another gash on my leg as I tried to hop over the other. I was sorely out numbered and out matched. I had lost a lot of blood already and could feel myself slipping from consciousness. I doubted I could even out run them in this state. I rolled backwards scrambled to my feet and ran back up the incline and called on my amulet for invisibility and did my best to slip into the shadows. I was near death and I knew that if they just followed the trail of blood I had left I wouldn’t be hard to find. I grabbed my handy kit and disguised myself to look like a dwarven miner instead of the thief that I was in hopes that they would ignore me and continue their search for the thief and I might take a few min to stop the bleeding. It worked, they moved past without a glance and I had the time I needed.

I was close to the entrance and knew that even if I found the queen, in this state all I would do is become her lunch. I headed back down the tunnels to town and up through the yawning portal in hopes that I could find a cleric that would speed my healing along. Near a common gathering place known as Cleric’s Path I found one named Branthur knelt down in meditation. As I entered he needed no prompting, he was an experienced cleric and could smell coppery smell of blood and knew I was hurt bad. As I nearly collapsed he hurried over to me, his hands already glowing calling upon the power of his god to bring healing into me. As he touched me I felt warmth flow back into me and saw my wounds sew themselves back together before my very eyes. He must truly be powerful because with one touch I was feeling totally alive and new again, my gashes weren’t even scars and I was totally energized and ready to continue my hunt for the eggs. The priest nodded at me and smiled then went back to his meditation. I gathered myself, did a little cross salute over my chest as I had seen so many others do and hope it would bring favor. I headed back towards the Yawning portal and the maze and hoped Ashiwi had faired better then me.

I made my way back through the maze past the dead goblin to the room of the battle with the vrocks. With my disguise still in place I continued my search for the queen. Hours went by, and each door I opened seemed to lead to 3 more pathways, I felt like I would never find what I was looking for, yet in certain spots I could tell that Ashiwi had been by here, a small swirl in the dust where someone had lightly stepped. None but the trained eye would ever notice. It was then that I noticed something in the shadows, there was nothing there but then I could sense someone, and noticed the shadows move slightly and out stepped Ashiwi. She gave a slight nod and I could tell my disguise didn’t fool her. She had found some drow in the southern part of the maze, and thought maybe we should give it a better look. I nodded back and we both slipped into the shadows and headed down, as we approached there were four drow guarding a doorway. No match for Ashiwi or me but stealth was better for this type of thing considering five angry vrock were still hunting me. I slipped up behind the lead drow and slipped my hand into his pocket and slid the key out of his pocket without him even knowing either of us was there. The lock turned and put the key back so that no one would know we had come through here and slipped into the next room. The next room again was full of drow warriors and drow priestess, and I went farther into the barracks, while Ashiwi stood guard by the door. I didn’t see what we were looking for and headed back out. Again I slipped through the door without even disturbing the drow guards. As we sat there in the shadows thinking about where to check next in strode the master of the maze himself, Halastar. This took us and the four drow guards by surprise. Ashiwi slipped deeper into the cavern incase this went really bad, but I knew that we were short on time. I stepped out of the shadows, not like it mattered to Halastar, but the four drow looked even more surprised almost frozen. Halastar looked me up and down and cackled with glee, “New toys!” he cried. I cringed at the thought of what he might have in mind and tried to see if he possibly knew where the queen was. He did indeed know “oh you have heard of my new toy as well, this should be really fun” he clapped his small hands together and stared into space like he was thinking of something new to try. I asked where I might find his new toy and he snapped back to reality and said “where the old one was of course, she killed him but she will make me lots more of them.” “You should go have a look for yourself, I like it when my toys play together” again he cackled with that high pitched sound that sounded like a bird dying. I stopped only to think about how I might get to the old manscorpion room and I guess I didn’t move fast enough for Halastar waved his staff and in a puff of smoke a cambion demon appeared and Halastar pointed at me and the demon strode towards me. This time I was ready and just rolled under its first swing and ran out of the room and slipped into the shadows. I conveyed Halastar's message to Ashiwi and we moved through the tunnels and headed north towards where the old manscorpion lair was.

As we came upon the lair, I told Ashiwi of the vrock demons and she agreed to stand guard and I would go steal the eggs. I gathered myself, and applied poisons to each of my daggers that would blind my targets for a limited time. There was indeed many more manscorpions than there had been previous, 5 to be exact. After scoping my surroundings I picked a manscorpion in the northern part of the cave, all alone, not good when I am about. I jumped from the wall and out of the shadows landing on his back both daggers buried to the hilt and I felt the spray of ichor on my face as the it reared in pain and fear, my poison took hold and its eyes glazed over. I rolled off its back and stood off to the side gauging my next strike. It was wildly swinging at air not knowing where the next strike would come from. I rolled up under its belly and struck again slicing along its abdomen spilling out entrails and ichor. It fell to the ground shuddered once and then it was no more. I ran back to the edge of the room applied my deadly poison again and melted back into the shadows to find another straggler. I found another of the beasts in the southern part of the cave and ended its life much the same way as the first, then slipped out to check with Ashiwi and the vrocks. I had no sooner taken a step then Ashiwi came around the corner calling cambion! As she pulled her daggers out and slid into the darkness. I jumped high grabbing on to a ledge and pulled myself up before the demon strode in. The demon came in peering around I knew it could smell me, its only mission was to destroy me, it was one of Halastar toys and that is what he wished it to do. Before it could sense where I was I sprung and landed on its back tearing my dagger from its right shoulder to its left hip and continued in a roll coming up in a crouched position daggers drawn. It screamed in horror that it could be hurt by a mortal, and slowly turned on me. It wasn’t a big demon, not like the vrocks, I signaled to Ashiwi to stay hidden and watch for vrocks, I would take care of this one. It came on again more like it was trying to hug me and I just rolled up under its arms and stabbed outwards again landing two hits one on each thigh, and rolled backwards again ready to strike. It was limping badly now the wound on its back had hurt it badly, and would probably finish it if I had the time to wait it out but I didn’t. The manscorpions would hear the battle and come or the vrocks would come by and without my disguise would know my true identity again. I had to end it quickly. It was a summoned creature, it had only one thought, like most single minded undead, it came on again this time it was swimming one arm at a time and left me no opening in the front, so I rolled under one arm, and dashed around it, leaped up on its back and buried one dagger up to the hilt in its shoulder, with the momentum I had I used that dagger as a pivot point and came up over its shoulder and swung down in front of it burring my dagger in its chest, I felt then a rush as my dagger, as it has many times before, gave life back into me. I felt stronger and more alive then ever as if the combat itself brought on this rush. I wanted more combat, needed more bloodshed. The demons eyes glazed over and it disappeared in a puff of smoke as the last of its energy was drained from it. I fell to the ground and rolled into a crouched position again ready to strike if the manscorpions had noticed, they hadn’t. There were three left one soldier with the queen and another in the chamber before the main lair. I looked around but didn’t see Ashiwi but I knew she was back outside making sure that the vrock weren’t headed this way. I took the time to apply the poison to my dagger and didn’t even bother to hide this time, I just strode in. The soldier saw me and skittered towards me, I just smiled, I was full of confidence at this point, and knew that one on one this beast had no chance. Its right pincer struck out hard and I dodged that and maneuvered inside it hoping to draw the attention of the soldier’s main attack, its tail. I did, the tail came up over its head in a deadly arc and slammed into the ground where I was standing as I had sidestepped out of the way and jabbed both daggers into its tail not deep but enough to get the poison in. Within moments its eyes glazed over and it could no longer see and flailed about like the others. I curled up and waited for an opening and then rolled up under it and slit its belly open and the entrails poured out. I climbed to my feet and prepared myself for the fight with the queen. Once again dipping my daggers in that awful poison, I slid into the shadows and entered the main lair. Just 2 remained the queen and her personal guard both skittered about angered and annoyed. I dashed out of the shadows running by the soldier slicing a small gash in it’s leg, no damage really but enough for the poison to sink in. As the poison kicked in the soldier flailed out but this time I wasn’t fast enough and one of the pincers threw me back and slammed me against the wall. The queen seeing the opening skittered in. Her tail was her first attack and came down over and over again and I rolled left and right dodging each the best I could. I had to get out of this spot or that tail would impale me. I rolled right and made a dodge as her tail came in and opened up my right arm I could feel the poison enter my blood but I had gotten clear of the wall and ran out of the room. I knew time was short and the blind on the soldier wouldn’t last long. I used the last of the vial and applied poison to my daggers once again and then slipped into the darkness. I crept back into the room and watched the soldier still flail about not seeing anything and the queen skittered about looking for me. I dashed in behind the queen and jabbed down with both daggers into her tail severing her tail and tainting her blood with my own blinding poison. Knowing I couldn’t take both of them I figured it would be easiest to finish off the soldier while the queen flailed in pain at the loss of her tail stinger. I strode over and jabbed out at one of his legs and rolled the opposite direction knowing that would place me right behind the soldier. It worked perfectly and up I came onto its back burying both of my daggers to the hilt once again feeling that rush of life flood back into me healing my gash and cleansing the poison that was in my blood. The beast reared up and it was all I could do to hold on with my daggers buried I hadn’t pulled them out yet, when it came down I pulled out one of them and slammed it down again higher this time near the beast’s neck. It shuddered once and then collapsed dead. I climbed off and measured the queen, knowing that she was much bigger and much stronger then any of her brood I had faced so far. I knew the poison was about to wear off and she would see me again, so I uttered a word to my belt and I shimmered and then appeared several feet off to my right. It was always strange to look and see myself standing a few feet off, but it had saved my life several times already. The blind then did wear off and in she came angrier then ever. She charged my image and I got in several strikes to her legs none seeming to do any real damage other then piss her off more. By this time the image was useless and she was attacking me and not the image as it faded. I rolled to the right and her right pincer came in faster then I could have reacted and grabbed me, oh how that hurt! Several ribs broke as she squeezed, I had to get out of this fast or it would be crushed. I jabbed down over and over trying to pierce the hard shell of the pincer to no avail; I could feel myself slipping into darkness because I couldn’t draw breath. I tried one last effort to free myself; I leaned way forward and stabbed down in the soft spot between the joint of her arm and pincer. I felt immediate relief as I could draw breath again but only for a second before I realized she was hurling me through the air and slammed against the wall and slid down to a crumpled heap. I gulped in air, and tried to reorient my self, she came at me again but more slowly this time I had really hurt her and she was favoring her right pincer. I reached into my pouch and drew forth a vial and quaffed it down, I could feel my ribs mending and life pouring back into my body. I scrambled to my feet and raced beside her right side knowing she was slower on that side and couldn’t react. It gave me the few minutes I needed to take a deep breath and gather my wits. She skittered around and faced off with me again. I feigned right towards her favored side and she reacted as I thought she would and pulled back a bit, and it gave me the opening in needed and I rolled left and under her left pincer and jabbed up in the same place I had on the right and felt both my daggers pierce the soft flesh between the joints. I pulled them out and continued a roll and pivoted in a crouched position. She let out a high pitched whine like she was calling all her soldiers, like she expected them to come to her rescue. There was no more, I had done away with all of them and she knew she was beat. When she realized there was no soldiers incoming she grew angry and charged at me, but that’s what all the rest had done, I just rolled forward and under her and sliced open her belly and the entrails and eggs fell out. She shuddered once, then collapsed and breathed no more. I quickly collected the eggs knowing our time was still limited due to the vrocks. I came out of the lair caught a glimpse of Ashiwi, only because she nodded at me, and we both slipped back into the shadows and headed for the surface.

We met up again just outside the Yawning portal and nodded to each other. “Thanks for the help, I couldn’t have done it without you” I said. She replied with a nod and said “It’s hard to keep me from a good adventure.” I chuckled and nodded reached into my bag of tricks and pulled out a slim grey wand. It had served me in the past and I felt she deserved it, not that she needed it. She was as good rogue as good as I had ever met, but I’m sure she would find use for it. I tossed it to her saying “it’s a wand of invisibility, I’m sure you can find a use for that.” That was all that needed to be said; she nodded and appreciated the wand for she liked to acquire things. “You got what you came for then?” she said but there was no response, I was already slipping into the shadows and headed north to take the eggs to Balaeryn.

I retraced my steps calling on my amulet for invisibility and using my kit to change my self into a drow before reaching the city gates, this time I came in as a drow guard, thinking if they saw a merchant they might want to search me or my belongings. A female drow wouldn’t be searched, not by pain of death and the guards knew it, this time they bowed their heads to me as I strolled through the gates. I totally ignored them as I had been trained to do early on in my survival training. I made my way through the city once again to the bar on the east side of town where I knew that Balaeryn would be waiting. I strode in again and stepped out of the shadows surprising his 2 henchmen for that’s what they were, even though they were disguised as ruffians. Balaeryn tried to hide his surprise for this was the second time I had gotten past his guards. His arrogance seeping out “Hand over the eggs!” he bellowed. I bit my tongue in laughter for this drow had no clue who he was dealing with and his superiors knew it too. I tossed the eggs to him and he in turn tossed them to a henchman and motioned him out the door. I said “Is that all?” he stared at me and said “Your masters will call on you again when you are needed” and motioned me out as if I was a common slave. I stood there for a sec before turning away to walk out and Balaeryn coughed up a wad and spit it at my feet near my boots as if I was lower then the rothe dung on his feet. That was more then I could take, I strode out of the bar, and slipped into the shadows. That inner battle about being my own master or someone else’s master raged inside of me. I knew that I could just leave and all would be fine but I also knew that I could not do that and remain true to myself. This time live or die I would be true to myself and show that arrogant drow that he should know who he’s dealing with before showing such utter disrespect.

I crept back into the bar to hear Balaeryn laughing about me and why his superiors had warned him about me. “How could that little one scare anyone?” he bellowed as he stood up. His 2 henchman, for the first had returned already, laughed along with him. I slipped past the henchman and past Balaeryn into the booth he was sitting at and stood on the seat still warm where he had been sitting. Live or die I will be true to myself! I sprung from the seat and shoved my first dagger through his back and watched it explode out the front of his chest, while my other dagger wrapped from one ear to the other ear cutting his throat and windpipe. His eyes grew wide with shock but he couldn’t speak he couldn’t breath; all he could do was die. The light in his eyes was quickly extinguished and only a small gurgle came from him not even enough for his henchmen to turn, it was the explosion of blood from his chest that got their attention, and then they stood there in utter awe as their master Balaeryn collapsed and fell to the floor and I stood there, and hadn’t even used enough energy to break my drow guard disguise. I nodded once and slipped out while they were both scrambling for their weapons and was hidden among the shadows long before either took a step outside the bar. They would pass along the message to the mercenary band of what had transpired, Jarlaxle wouldn’t be surprised I knew. He had set up Balaeryn as bait and I had taken the bait as he knew I would, damn him! I felt good staying true to myself in any event. I crept back through town and into the Underdark once again and out through the cave. I headed back to Waterdeep to restock supplies and then headed out the east gates this time towards Ashstone. I must meet with The Lady and let her know I also wish to set up shop. A good poison store would be an appropriate cover, for one such as me.
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 5:01 am

Postby Ashiwi » Sat Feb 18, 2006 2:02 pm

Well done, Pava! It was a very fun distraction, and I was tickled that you allowed me to be involved.

Actually seeing Halaster down there made it all worthwhile. He and I have had an "I love you/I want to kill you" relationship for years.
Gormal tells you 'im a dwarven onion'
Gormal tells you 'always another beer-soaked layer'

Inama ASSOC:: 'though it may suit your fantasies to think so, i don't need oil for anything.'

Haley: Filthy lucre? I wash that lucre every day until it SHINES!

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