Will of the Banshee

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Dagk
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Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:37 am

Will of the Banshee

Postby Dagk » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:46 am

Rough draft, I take artistic license with the excessive use of commas.
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                            Will of the Banshee




                                  Prologue

                          Bad Timing, Worse Timing
                          
                          

   Krumdrumtilkak gripped the stout bow rail as he angled his back toward the gently
swaying lantern, that dimly lit the mid section of the barge. He peered squint-eyed across the
slowly approaching island. "Rust an' ruin!" he thought, as he scanned the heart of the island
city. Naeroghtel, the immense stone stalagmite that measured time for the dark elf city of
V'elddrinnsshar, was cold and dark. Their stay on the spider infested island would be prolonged,
at least until Naeroghtel began to warm. An attack by kuo-toa raiders several days ago not only
cost the lives of a number of slaves, but had caused an unacceptable delay. He knew he must
deliver the shipment to House Shrae'Dennet by the first warming of Naeroghtel, or he might
never leave this foul city.

   He turn, his thick hand shielding his eyes from the lantern light, and shouted "Dully! Gie yer
crease ower 'ere!"

   Dulnurikal, with all the haste his short legs could muster, quickly made his way across the
barge to the senior duergar merchant. Krumdrumtilkak stood nearly a head taller than the younger
Dully, and bore a full grey beard near to his waist, while Dully's youthful darker beard, was but a
couple of hand spans in length. As he approached he said dutifully, "Aye keptin, whit woods ye hae
ay me?" Krumdrumtilkak commanded sternly, "Be gettin' yerself tae hoose Shrae'Dennet, as fest as
ye can, an' teel 'em we be comin' at first warmth wi' th' shipment!" With a quick nod of his head he
said "Aye keptin, strait awa'." With that, Dulnurikal turn from his captain, and made his way to the
loading ramp, ready to speed his way to House Shrae'Dennet.

   As goblin slaves tugged and tied the thick ropes that would secure the barge to the docks,
Dulnurikal hastily scurried across the ramp to the docks. Krumdrumtilkak knew this could likely be the
last time he saw the lad, alive at least. A drow city in the cool dark, was one of the most dangerous
places to be, especially alone. In the dark there was but one law, no witnesses. Houses rose and fell,
entire family lines ended in one savage attack, all under the cool darkness of Naeroghtel. Such was
the way of the Spiderqueen's drow. He had little choice in the matter however, they had to deliver the
shipment as soon as possible, or he and all the lads might find this city to be the end of them.

...

   Dulnurikal had made this journey many times before. The year prior his father and patron of Clan
Darkmine had acquired the apprenticeship from Clan Grimcoin. His father had thought the lad needed
worldly experience, exposure to the foul natures of thier neighbors. He had little trouble in the cities
they traveled to, the trade routes however had proven quite hazardous. Many times the expedition had
come under attack from bandits seeking their wares, or a foul beast in a mood, or perhaps just hungry.
He had acquitted himself quite well in those small conflicts, never a serious injury. He had now been
given a task, to deliver a message swiftly. As with all such things in his life, he committed to the task.

   He sped as fast as his short sturdy legs could manage. Down narrow passages between the limestone
stalagmites buildings that rose like fingers reaching greedily towards the dark ceiling. Up sloping passages,
and around towering stalagmites. The streets nearly devoid of residents, at this late hour. At last coming
to the narrow bridge that would lead him to House Shrae'Dennet's main gate. He hastened across the fragile
looking bridge of shaped limestone, to the large dark gates of the house. The gates stood open, only
partially so, perhaps a stout duergar's width. He paused to catch his breath, and compose himself, before
slipping through the dark opening. He had visited House Shrae'Dennet many times over the past year, while
a stuffy lot, they were friendly enough. He hoped that would continued to be so.

   He calmly stepped though the open gates and into darkness. He heard what sounded like a distant thud
and a sudden sharp pain in his head. The world faded away.



Gruumsh responds to your petition 'Suck less'
nilanstabby
Sojourner
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:24 am

Re: Will of the Banshee

Postby nilanstabby » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:05 am

Excellent story Dagk :)

Looking forward to more !!!

-Nilan
Dagk
Sojourner
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 4:37 am

Re: Will of the Banshee

Postby Dagk » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:18 am

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              Part I: The Rise




               Chapter 1

               Her Gift



   Captain Masdax discreetly drifted into the room, large worn blocks of dark stone formed the walls,
and floor of the otherwise nondescript room. Save for a dozen bodies lain neatly in the center of the
chamber, with the wispy form of a female drow bent low over them. She spoke softly, in a strange
unintelligible language, silver ringed fingers weaving arcane patterns in the air above the dead. Inky silken
robes clasp her slight frame, pooling beneath her like liquid shadow as she bent low performing her ritual,
seemingly unaware of the intrusion. He was cautious to not disturb the necromancer, as she quietly worked her
dark magics on the fallen soldiers of House Shrae'Dennet. Silently watching the dark ritual being preformed
before him, he instinctively drew himself deeper into the dark, comforting folds of his piwafwi. Such magics
unnerved him profoundly. While he understood, and appreciated the uses of magic, to be raised as the mindless
undead troubled him. This was not an end he would choose to have, but he knew such choices were beyond his
station, and that one day, he too would be at the mercy of the Lady's dark magic. To serve in life, and in
undeath was his fate. He only hoped to serve well enough in life to avoid being raised as a lesser undead.
Perhaps a wraith or spectre, or if he served particularly well, maybe even a vampire. He would have to truly
prove himself to the Lady of the Dead, for such a gift.

   Shaken from his private thoughts by a sudden shudder of the corpses lain out before the Lady. They
began to claw, and stumble to their feet, the dead rose to serve. The fresh wounds of the battle that had
ended their lives still evident, blood and offal dripped, and clung to their bodies. The newly undead hissed,
and groaned as they stood before their new mistress. The Lady had turned quietly to regard him, with a
contemptuous glare. Yet even her scowl was a vision of beauty. Soft angular features, complimented her slim
elegant frame, as if carved from polished obsidian, and crowned with a radiant mane of silver hair. She moved
with all the grace and poise of the finest of weaponmasters. Yet behind those alluring eyes, there was a
coldness, a cruelty, matched by few others in V'elddrinnsshar. He knew Lady Nathrae third daughter of House
Tek'Miniet, was not to be crossed.

   He had almost forgotten himself when he hastily informed her, "Lady Nathrae, the Matron, and her two
eldest daughters have barricaded themselves in the Matron's private chambers. Ilrin, and the other mages,
seem unable to breach the wards sealing the chamber. What is your command?" With gentle grace, she rose to
her full diminutive height, robes settling around her in a smooth flowing of silken shadow, and commanded,
"Step aside," adding coldly, "I'll do it myself." He knew, he would have to ensure this failure would not
cause him to become the focus of her displeasure. Stepping past him, she snarled, "Fools." He hesitated, and
allowed her walking dead, still slowly dripping foul dark fluids, to follow her, before himself following
swiftly down the stone passage.

...

   Lady Nathrae glided purposefully into the opulent antechamber. The decadent sculptures, and lavish
sofas that once lined the ornately engraved tiled walls of the room, now lay scattered and broken. A dozen
fallen soldiers, of both House Shrae'Dennet and House Tek'Miniet, had been carelessly tossed to the sides of
the chamber. Creating a path framed with the death, and destruction the darkness had brought. Three robed
drow males now stood near the great doors to the Matron Mother's chambers, engaged in quiet discussion.
Lowering their gaze, and falling silent as she entered.

   Quietly evoking the arcane words that would enhance her perception of the weave holding the wards
power active, she moved to stand before the great doors. The mages of House Tek'Miniet quietly parted to
allow her approach, yet Ilrin House Wizard stood forward as if to address her. Ilrin watched and, waited as
she carefully examined the large set of double doors. The wide doors were made from zurkhwood, the great
mushroom stalks enchanted and bound in broad bands of adamantite. She could clearly see the powerful dweomers
weaving together, protecting and reinforcing the doors, and binding them to the thick stone of the walls. A
moment of regret flickered through her thoughts, perhaps she shouldn't have executed Veszdyn, his mastery
over earth magics was impressive, he could have quickly bore an opening in the enchanted stones of the walls.
However, such thoughts of regret passed as quickly as they had come, and her focus was again on the matter at
hand, opening the doors.

   Ilrin stood taller than most, contrasted by her diminutive figure he towered above her, yet was
somehow able to still appear subordinate to the authority of the Lady of House Tek'Miniet. He stood quietly,
his maroon robes of station hung as loose and unkept as his shoulder length white hair. He shifted his weight
from one foot, yet keeping his eyes down cast, seeming to await her permission to speak. Appreciative of his
impatient mood, she was keenly aware that there was limited time to conclude their business here. Naeroghtel
would soon begin warming the city, and they would be exposed for their attack on House Shrae'Dennet. That
would be an end to them, to all of House Tek'Miniet.

   Her sight drifted through the blues, and greens of the weave holding the wards in place. Noting
several weaknesses in the weave, no doubt caused by the efforts of the gathered mages, she began to whisper
the incantations intended to unravel them. She knew she would still need to berate them for their
incompetence, but had she arrived even moments later they would have succeed in breaching the wards. The
power of her incantations began to manifest, she allowed the ethereal tendrils of magic to gently flow into
the weave surrounding the doors. Once the magic had thoroughly penetrated, and grasped the weakened areas,
through force of will she commanded the magic to tear free the impaired weave.

...

   A wave of mystic energies washed over them briefly illuminating the room a bright azure. It was in
that moment, that as the assembled drow collectively shielded themselves from the flare, she commanded her
undead forward through the opening. The walking dead, paled by death, fanged maws gaping, claws outstretched,
lunged with frightening speed through the door way. With madness, and ravenous hunger on their faces, they
clawed, and leapt over the makeshift barricade of tables, and other furnishings. Charging with complete
disregard, for safety, or reason. The first ghoul to clear the top of the barricade, detonated in a roar of
black fire. As did the next. The charred fiery remains showered the room in a gory rain of fire.

   As the first ghoul erupted in flames, Masdax charged into the room, low, and rolling hard to one side
of the disjointed barricade. A desperate attempt to flank the priestesses. Crashing through disheveled tables
and chairs, to land off-balance, and tangled in the debris. The second ghoul burst into flames, as he found
his footing, and vaulted toward the nearest priestess, twisted black blade at the ready. Too slow, his flesh
began to sear, and burn, igniting into a thunderous column of fire. He collapsed to the hard stone floor,
blinded, and writhing in pain from the flames that were lashing his body. Reaching out blindly towards where
the priestess had been. His hand encountered the bared flesh of her leg, or so he thought through the haze of
agony. Immediately evoking the dark gift of his goddess, his touch siphoned the very life from his victim.
The pain eased, his vision cleared to a bright haze of distorted shapes. He swung his blade, desperately.
There was a slick sound of pierced flesh, a coolness spread throughout his body as the blade seethed with
black, and crimson tendrils. The holy blade drank deeply of its victim's spirit. Burns began to heal, and his
vision cleared. Another ghoul near by flared into flames.

   As he rose to a crouch, the body that lay before him was still, and lifeless. Desiccated, and wasted,
as if a long dead corpse. Lifting his vision he saw ghouls, one after another, leap and bound over the
obstacles seeking the meaty flesh. Midway from where he now crouched, and the savagery of the ghouls, lay the
still form of the Matron Mother of House Shrae'Dennet, apparently dead.

...

   Nathrae staggered from the intense surge of light, and mystic energy. She was scarcely aware of
Masdax rushing past her, certainly using the ghouls as concealment for his assault. Ilrin cried out from near
by, she thought she heard him collapse to the ground. Striding forward, she began to evoke a powerful
offensive spell, only to relinquish the casting a moment later. As her vision cleared, charred gore littered
the room. The remaining ghouls fought over the carcase of their victim, tearing, and ripping. The occasional
chunk of flesh flying into the air, before being caught by a ravenous ghoul.

   Masdax knelt near a withered corpse of a priestess, his hair mere chaotic tufts standing out from a
burned, and disfigured scalp, his face akin to melted wax. Once fine blackened scaled armor, now softly
glowed with heat. Just beyond the withered corpse lay the Matron Mother, bloated and dead.

   Ilrin shouted from behind her, "I can't see, I'm blind!" She turned to see Ilrin laying on the ground
weeping, and clutching his face with both hands. His apprentices were attending to him, attempting to see
what damage might have befallen his eyes.

   There was no time for foolishness, she commanded the mages, "Take him, and return to the house,
immediately!" They began frantically gathering Ilrin. She turned to address Masdax, "Gather the Matron's
head. We will take it to Mother, as a gift of our victory here." She proudly marched forward into the
chamber.

   Masdax commenced collecting the Matron's head, while she promptly surveyed the once luxurious
apartment. A once finely crafted table lay on its side, covered in the gore of fallen ghouls. The formerly
matching chairs were shattered, and their remains lay scattered around the room. The lavish bed, made in the
styling used by surface nobility. Four large wooden posts, one at each corner with gossamer cloth draped
between them. Now in a state of ruin with broken posts, shredded cloth, and the whole of it covered in blood,
and filth. Stained with the foul remains of dead ghouls, the once sumptuous rugs cover the majority of the
stone floors. She thought to herself, "How fitting, for a failed Matron." She turned to take her leave of
this place, and insure that there were no other survivors of House Shrae'Dennet.

   With a confident air of satisfaction, she turned, and strode from the room, content with her victory.

   As she passed through the door way, she heard an impossible sound come from the chamber behind her.
...




Gruumsh responds to your petition 'Suck less'
nilanstabby
Sojourner
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:24 am

Re: Will of the Banshee

Postby nilanstabby » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:26 pm

Nice Dagk :)

Nilan

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