The trail of the Deck has finally been caught, and their scape goats have turned against them. The group has finally tracked down the Deck to the city under the tree. Upon arriving, they found a massacre which confirmed their suspicions, amongst them, a vengeance hungry guard still survived. With their new adittion to the group, the two parties cross the gate into the darkness of the undeground city which predates Deepwood. Whether for vengeance, personal gain, or their sense of justice, they hope to catch up with the devious Deck and stop whichever plans they might have in Deepwood. So as the new day dawns on the city above, the adventurers walk down into the eternal darkness of the City under the tree.
Part 1 - Chapter 1 Moonwater Glade - Angkone's Summons
Part 1 - Chapter 2 Rysallean Woods - Moonlight Battle
Part 1 - Chapter 3 Rysallean Woods - The Hunters
Part 1 - Chapter 4 Rysallean Woods - Nightly Sounds
Part 1 - Chapter 5 Rysallean Woods - The Next Morning
Part 1 - Chapter 6 Rysallean Woods - How to make a torch
Part 2 - Chapter 1 Gunang's Lair - The lone wolf
Part 2 - Chapter 2 Gunang's Lair - Cornered
Part 2 - Chapter 3 Gunang's Lair - Caged Birds
Part 2 - Chapter 4 Gunang's Lair - The Thief Lord
Part 2 - Chapter 5 Moonwater Glade- Debriefing
Part 3 - Chapter 1 Moonwater Glade - Road to Deepwood
Part 3 - Chapter 2 Deepwood City - The Golden Apple
Part 3 - Chapter 3 Deepwood City - Preparations
Part 3 - Chapter 4 Deepwood City - Betrayal
Part 3 - Chapter 5 Deepwood City - Hidden Motives
Part 3 - Chapter 6 Deepwood City - The Open Gate
The winding staircase goes down into darkness forever with the wall to one side and the promise of a painful fall into darkness on the other, the 12 companions travel down. After some 30 minutes of going down what seems to be an endless tube, they finally notice some light in the bottom, a beacon of warmth amongst the cold sea of nothing and pitch black. They come to a circular room, as tall as the great tree itself, the winding staircase going up hugging its walls, the way they just came from. In front of them lie two paths, one breaks to the left and another one to the right, with strange runes inscribes on each side. Old discolored murals of fire, water, earth and wind cover the walls around them.
tried to adjust her eyes to the light again, after the long way down in the darkness. Once in the circular room, she observed everything carefully, waiting for the others to arrive.
arrived shortly after Saris, being able to see some more with his keen eyes. He was so impressed with the great ancient hall, he momentarily forgot all about the Deck who had passed here before them. In awe, the panther studied the runes and symbols on the walls. He stretched out a hand to touch the walls, but hesitated and pulled back, afraid to damage the walls and afraid of things that might go wrong.
walked along, quietly as usual, calming down from the tiff with Rei'zel. Once on the bottom and in the tall room, it was mostly interested in the runes and murals and couldn't help but examine them more closely. (Knowledge, detect magic)
Tylien looked at the scriptures and murals, Tylien noticed them to be an extremely complex type of Planetarii dialect, planetarii letters are arrangements of different smaller symbols and marks, in which each symbol represents a sound, and they are also imbued with magic so a mage can obtain more information from one that what meets the eye. However, whereas a planetarii symbol contained an entire word, these symbols could contain sentences or even paragraphs, overwhelmed by the complexity, Tylien found itself able to understand them as if it was a toddler, but unable to grasp the true significance of what it was reading. As it tried to detect any magic in the area, however, it closed its eyes for a second and suddenly it felt crushed under enormous magical pressure. Without much glamour, the planetarii suddenly fell sitting on its butt, slightly dizzy from the shock.
A little after Tylien followed Virul
, who had walked down the staircase with some caution, considering he couldn't see in the dark as well as the catfolk of both parties. Upon reaching the room at the bottom, the thief looked about with mild curiousity before noticing the branching pathways. "Hm hm...", he murmured to no one in particular, "a fork in the road, already."
Striding into the circular room entered a glowering Rei
, who didn't particularly notice, nor care for, the murals and runes carved into the rock. Hearing Virul mention the branching paths, the Ignean humphed and crossed his arms while speaking, "Two ways, eh? S'uh looks like we'll be splitting from 'ere... unless any one uh' yuh' can track footsteps in this 'ere cavern."
stepped forwards. "I could try..." He muttered, crouching low to the ground and trying to see any tracks
Ke'an leaned down on the floor for a second, unable to find anything important, he sniffed the stale air of the room, but only managed to provoke a sneezing fit.
followed in after the others, katana still partway out of it's scabbard. "Interesting, already our path diverges. What could be so important down here?" he muttered to no one in particular.
"If I'm not mistaken..." said Gaius
as he walked down the final steps towards the circular room, quite exhausted. "Amadea is quite a proficient tracker..." with that, he looked around for the archer and he realized he had not come down yet. "Amadea! are you up there? we need your skills right now, old friend!" he yelled out.
"Let me take a stab at it first," Darius
said as he stepped into the circular room, though he was not about to track by sight, he began smelling the stale air for any scent of blood or any other sign hanging in the air that might give away the direction of the raiders they were attempting to follow.
Darius sniffed the air, but all other smells were covered by the musty smell of the stale dirt, which had been left untouched by many years, the humidity and mould in the air caused him to cough a little, but he didn't manage to notice anything.
took one last look at the carnage above before descending into the room. "Which particular skill, Gaius," he asked the cleric.
sat around for a moment, trying to get its head to order. It looked around a bit before deciding that maybe it was better if it knew nothing of the people who might be staring at it for falling. Tylien almost stood up, but then decided to remain sitting and try magically examining the stuff again but much, much more carefully now, if it was able to.
Tylien was about to try to detect magic once more when it realised the futily of it, as it had already discovered that there WAS magic in the place, furthermore, that there was a great saturation of it.
"Well tracking, of course, we're trying to decide which way we're to go." replied Gaius
pointing towards the two entrances, as Amadea climbed down into the room.
"Maybe we should just split up into two groups" Saris
suggested. Maybe the Deck had done so too, unless they had a map of the place and a clear notion of what they were looking for, which Saris thought to be unlikely.
"If we split up, we would have to be very fortunate if the deck did as well," stated Hiro-Matsu
. "These people are trained assassins, if we split up and they did not, the half that might find them is very unlikely to survive. I myself do not mind dying while doing my duty, but I would much rather do my duty and survive."
"He is correct," said Amadea
, gesturing to Xiadomian. "We will likely need as many numbers on our side if the Deck is represented at full strength." With that, he examined the two entrances, trying to determine which way their enemy had taken. (track)
It wasn't hard for Amadea to notice the tracks someone had left prior to their arrival, instead of trying to sniff the stale air and dust, he simply kneeled down and noticed very light footprint marks on the floor, though he could not determine the exact number of people with his current skill level, the archer noticed that the footprints split into two different groups and headed down both paths..
"An alternative idea, dear sirs," Virul
commented aloud as he walked toward the path to the right, "would be to send scouts amongst our jolly party further down both trails, followed some ways behind by the others. Should one of the scouts find something, they will backtrack and inform the others."
"Takes tuh' much time." Rei
muttered aloud, "N' I wouldn't put it past the 'igher ups in the Deck tuh' set up traps n' ambushes." A stray thought then entered his mind as he finished speaking, causing him to turn his head toward Shugu, "'Ey guard," Rei growled, "did yuh' rec'nize any of the scum that attacked yur' crew? Did some uh' them look like bigshots?"
shook his head. "I didn't recognise anybody, and I wouldn't know if they were big shots. But seeing they took down the Sentinals, there must be some powerful warriors among them."
He was still staring at the walls, but by now he was trying to keep a check on his anger, which flared up again after Rei mentioned the Deck. It wasn't fitting of a shaman to lose his temper, as Gaius said to him before.
rose from the ground, chagrined at the reality of the situation. "We may have to split up," he said to the group, "As our quarry has done the same."
"Then this will be very interesting," commented Hiro-Matsu
, "how do we decide who goes in which direction?"
spoke up from examining the walls. "I'll go left, always had a good feelin' about the left."
rolled his eyes, not one to trust instinct. "I'll go where I'm needed. The rest of you sort yourselves out, and whoever needs me, I'll follow."
Suddenly, footsteps of someone who seemed to be rushing down the stairs were heard, shortly afterwards, Elise
finally arrived at the room after taking strangely long upstairs. When she was finally in sight, it was clearly noticeable that her hair was now chin length, whereas it had been waist long last time they saw her, furthermore, it looked slightly messy, as if it had been cut with a sword or an unsharpened blade. "Sorry! sorry! I'm here now, did you find out which way the deck went?" she asked with a smile on her face (though her face was also red and her eyes moist as if she had been crying), before anyone else could speak.
"The deck split up, so now we are deciding who is going to take which path to follow them," replied Hiro-Matsu
, moving over to Elise. "Is anything wrong Elise-san?" he asked, keeping his voice down so that only Elise would hear.
muttered a "Hm hm..." as he stared at the path to the right for a while before saying aloud, "I suppose I'll take up this trail. 'Twas never fond of going left." As he finished speaking, the sounds of hurried footsteps and a 'sorry!' caught the thief's attention. Seeing the disheveled Elise, the thief raised an eyebrow in concern, but otherwise said nothing.
, at last getting up from the floor and dusting off its clothes, didn't really care which way it should be going. It was, however, planning to avoid Rei and wanting to go with the people it actually trusted at the moment. Then Elise came down and it looked at her with a hint of concern, wondering what she had been doing, but it figured that this wouldn't be a good time to speak about any issue and Hiro-Matsu had already asked if she was okay.
"Uh?" replied simply Elise
a bit flustered by Hiro-Matsu's concern. "You mean this?" she asked pointing towards her now short hair. "Oh, no I'm fine, don't worry." she laughed. "You see, in Lynx culture, whenever a warrior dies, his comrades each cut a lock of their hair and place it in his grave with him. So I decided to do the same for the men up there, I felt sad you know? they haven't gotten a burial or anything, and they all died in the line of duty..." she muttered. "Unfortunately there were more of them than what I initially thought, so I had to cut quite a few locks, and since I didn't have scissors I used my claw, which unfortunately isn't as sharp as I hoped." she added, explaining the tears, but obviously glad she had done the deed.
"A worthy tradition indeed. My family has a similar tradition. Upon the death of an honourable warrior, we observe a minute of meditation followed by shouting of the deceaced warcry. At the moment I did not believe we had the time," replied Hiro-Matsu
. "Perhaps when our business is done you would witness my homage. It is good to have a witness to such a thing."
Hiro-Matsu then turned back to the group. "I will take the left path."
"Hmph, they will be honored for their defense of this great tree," Darius
said, thinking back to the death of his parents, where he learned that such remorse for honorable deaths could be a poison to a mans mind, and now, he would need to keep all his wits about him as he walked off down the same tunnel Rei was headed down.
"Uhm.. I'll go with them." said Gaius
with a sigh, thinking someone had to keep an eye on Darius and Rei, before he left, the priest turned to the others. "You've done a noble thing, miss." he said to Elise with a nod, then turned to Saris and Amadea. "One of you should go with the other group." he said in a low voice, so the other wouldn't hear him. "I trust you two, so you could keep an eye on them for me, in reality, we still don't know who our enemy truly is, and we cannot trust anyone out of our original party, for all we know this could be an elaborate ploy to separate us, finish us off, and then use us as scapegoats once the deck is done with their business." and with those hushed words, the acolyte rushed in after Darius, trying to catch up to the group that had already left.
was in serious doubt what to do, now that this group of people he barely knew was splitting up. But seeing most people went left, including that hothead Rei, he decided he'd go right. Also, he was quite moved by this girl they called Elise, who had paid so much honor to his fallen comrades - honor he
had yet to give them. Biting his underlip in remorse, he quickly followed the group going right.
was happily minding its own business and didn't have a hard time choosing between the groups, what with Rei being in the other and Elise in the other.
sighed. "Okay, I'll go right" she said to Amadea, not with a very happy face. "Take care of yourselves. I hope to see you again soon", she added and walked inside the tunnel. She had gotten used to her group and now she was with all this new people she knew nothing about.
With Rei on the lead, the newly formed party scouts forward in a dark corridor within the City under the Tree. The walls on both sides are heavily decorated, but the bright colors are doused by the darkness. Those who can see in the dark, such as Ke'an and Darius, have no trouble walking through the narrow hallway, but Rei, Hi'ro Matsu, Amadea and Gaius are almost blind in such darkness. Eventually, they arrive at a small circular room with a very low cilinrical stone shape on the center, probably someplace to sit. From the circular room, the path continues, but in a perpendicular direction. Nevertheless, the party stops to catch its breath and discuss their new situation.
Having stumbled a few times as he tried to make his way through the dark, and having resorted to practically hugging the walls in order to get by, Rei
's normally foul mood was growing fouler by the minute. Not knowing to whom he should lash out his anger, considering Tylien was no longer around, the Ignean decided to keep it bottled up for the spare time; he figured sooner or later he'll spot a helpless lizard crawling about and can release his frustrations on it by stomping it to death. Not comfortable with sitting down when there were people he didn't like all around him, Rei leaned against a part of the circular wall and growled out, "Now what?"
walked into the room very shortly after Rei, and turned to look at the new group he was dealing with, "Well, quite the motley group we have here," he said with a smirk on his face, seeing the presence of the ever-so-annoying acolyte follow him into the room doused any chance of the lynx being in an enjoyable mood, he decided to walk towards the far hallway, not expecting to see anything there, but he wanted to get away from the acolyte, so he acted as if he was scanning the hall for anything ahead.
"Only one way forward, so far as I can see. I wonder, though..." Ke'an muttered, tracing his hands along the walls, searching for any signs of hidden doors, just in case.
"Before we continue... does anyone have a torch?" asked Gaius as he dusted his robe, he had fallen at least three times on the way and it seemed loke no one had swept the floor in a thousand years.
"Unfortunatelly, I do not," stated Hiro-Matsu.
"Nothin' like that on meh'." Rei snorted as he cracked his neck a few times and quickly checked his possessions, "Didn't 'spect tuh' go down caverns wit' you lot. We'll 'ave to make due wit' ar'ternatives. All this stumblin's pissin' meh' off." Looking around at the floor of the area he was in for wooden sticks or the sort (Search), the Ignean muttered out, "A rag, a stick, n' my 'eat spell oughta' work fur' a lil' while."
Amadea looked at his old bed roll. "I suppose this material might suffice for our rags," he said, holding it up for the group to see. "And maybe some of my projectiles could function as the torch itself. I am not sure what I was thinking when I purchased these." He pulled out his sheer arrows with his other hand. "Of course, there is still the matter of lighting it in the first place."
"Ah'right, those'll do." Rei growled as he stared at the arrow and bed roll for a moment, "Since yuh' 'ave one uh' those arrows, mebbe' scrapin' it against the wall will ignite it. If that won't work, then wrap the rag over it n' I'll cast an 'eat spell on it."
In the meantime, Hiro-Matsu felt his way carefully around the room. "Darius, do you see anything?" he asked.
Ke'an stood in a corner, watching the others through the gloom. "We'd be better off clashing two swords together, for a spark. Unless, ah, Rei, was it? Unless Rei can do that Heat spell." He drew his two kukri from his pack, and started striking them together to get a spark. The two blades clashed, the sound clear and high in the darkness...
"Nah, not yet," Darius waving his hand over his shoulder, as if to dismiss the question, yet it did have an effect on him, as he gave a sharper look into the tunnel to see if he did say anything. (Spot)
After a few minutes of trying, the group managed to produce a reasonablle attempt of a torch, three arrows tied together, with flaming rags around them, however it seemed like it would only last about 10 minutes, as opposed to a regular torch.
Staring at the poor man's torch, Rei snorted in disgust before muttering out, "We dun' 'ave much time till this shit burns out. Let's keep 'er moving while we c'n still see." Having said all that needed to be said, the frustrated Ignean strode toward the perpendicular path, stopping only to wait for the others to move forward (since he wasn't holding the torch).
Darius turned to look at the Igean as he began to walk towards the door. Being able to already see in the dark, he proceeded down the hallway, carefully looking around him to hopefully keep out of trouble.
Hiro-Matsu moved towards the hallway Darius was looking down, moving up to the edge of the light given off by the makeshift torch
Gaius got up and dusted his robe, the light hurt his eyes at first, but after a few seconds he got used to it. Silently he followed Rei, thinking that on retrospective lighting a torch might not have been a very good idea, since the light would give off their position to the enemy should they be nearby. Unfortunately the alternative was walking in a line, holding hands so the ones that could see in the Dark could leasd the others. However this was something he (and he believed the rest of the group as well) was not willing to do. He wouldn't have minded holding hands with the cute Lynx girl or maybe Saris, but the thought of Rei, Hiro-Matsu and Darius walking as a line of kindergardners made him laugh out loud.
Hiro-Matsu whipped around at the sudden sound, katana half-way out of its scabbard before he realized it was merely Gaius laughing. "What is so funny? You laugh may give away our position."
"What position?" asked Gaius as his laughter ended. "We just spent 10 minutes clashing swords to make a spark and are walking down a dark corridor with a torch, whatever position we had, my friend, has been given." shrugged the acolyte with a chuckle as he calmly walked past Hiro-Matsu, patting him on the shoulder lightly.
Darius turned and faced the acolyte, glaring back at his laughter, wondering what brought about the change in the mans mood, or wondering where he had gotten into so much alcohol without the lynx knowing, yet continued walking without saying as much as a word to the acolyte or anyone in particular, trying to stay just out of the torches radiating spray of light, and using his eyesight to scout the tunnels for any sign of life. (P Spot)
Hiro-Matsu relaxed a bit, re-sheathing his katana, though still keeping a hand on the hilt and the hilt loose in the sabbard. "Then let us proceed in silence, hoping the enemy will misjudge our change in position," he said with a whisper.
"Shaddap, will yuh'!?" Rei grumbled to the others as he continued walking down the tunnel, visibly displeased with the company. Seeing that the torch wasn't going to last too long, the Ignean glared ahead, trying to see if the tunnel ended yet (Spot).
Rei could tell there was a light not far ahead, probably an exit from the tunnel!
Ke'an advanced, out of the circle of torchlight and into the darkness. He trusted his catfolk eyes to pick out any changes in the path.
"'Bout friggin' time." Rei muttered under his breath as he quickly began to pick up the pace, "E'en that panther cat made be'er company 'den these scumbags."
Hiro-matsu followed after the rest of the group, keeping a carefull ear to the area behind them, not trusting their backs to be safe.
Seeing the light, Amadea readied himself. He knew full well that a fight of lethal and vicious proportion could potentially errupt. A happy ending was unlikely, and as he preferred his own ending be the least unhappy, he prepared his crossbow for whatever the light might bring to them.
The group slowly moved forward, as the tunnel became steeper and steeper, as if they were climbing up the side of a hill. Finally, they came to the source of the small light, a rather large crack on the now diagonally inclined floor of the apparently neverending tunnel. A cold, eerie light filtered in through the bottom, normally not enough to illuminate, but in the pitch darkness it was fairly noticeable.
Squatting down to the ground as he tried to catch his breath, Rei muttered curses at the tunnel, the Deck, his partners, and the situation as a whole. Seeing that the torch was just about to die out, the Ignean was fairly relieved to see the dim light that awaited them further above. Still, he was getting pretty pissed with walking upwards non-stop and made his frustrations well known, "If we evah' come across the bones uh' the architects who made this shitty tunnel, I'll shatter 'um wit' my feet, I swear..."
Darius with his nearly endless supply of energy, gave a toothy grin to Rei, "What, you're tired already there, Rei?" he asked in a mocking manner as he peeredthrough the crack in the floor, seeing if there was anything beyond the crack. (spot)
Hiro-Matsu, still at the rear of the group, shook his head in annoyance at the talking, though the new light lessened the feeling a bit.
Ke'an sneaked up to the light, trying to stay hidden. Cautiously, he looked through the crack, trying to see what was on the other side.
As the group began to gather over the crack, all of them trying to see something on the other side, the floor suddenly gave in, the crack growing like a tree would, branches spreading in all directions, before any of them could move even an inch, the floor completely broke and the party found itself falling into a gigantic cave. Below there, they saw an enormous city of old spirelike buildings, glinting with emerald and ivory colors which filled the cave of the eerie light that had been filtering through the crack. Due to the speed they were falling at, each of them had but a second to look around or say something before they got to know the floor in a first name basis, or so it seemed.
"SHIIIIIIIIIT, YOU FAILUUUUUUUURES!!!!" Rei howled in surprised rage at the rest of his comrades as he plummeted downward. As he fell, the Ignean vainly looked around for anything nearby he can hold on to (Spot). In the back of his mind, he wondered if he would get the chance to see his life flash before his eyes.
Darius tried to use his cat-like abilities to land as gracefully as possible (tumble), and prepared to get up if he didn't land on his feet, before looking around the cave at the spires, and looking for a way back out of the cave. (spot)
Ke'an gasped and attempted to land on his feet. his overflowing pack burst open, releasing his unused armour and two wakisashi.
Hiro-Matsu quickelly whipped his head back and forth, attempting to find something to grab onto or at least slow his fall.(spot)
Hiro-Matsu looked around but they were in a complete freefall, they were rather far from the closes buildings or the wall.
Gaius did not even try to grab a hold of anything or prepare to land upright. He simply muttered "Oh crap..." as the floor collapsed and let himself fall, he figured, from that unvelievable height, trying to fall on his feet would only warrant that his legs would get crushed before the rest of his body upong landing.
The group plumeted down hundreds of feet, seeing the ground come up closer and closer, a colission from that distance and at that speed would probably squash them into red paste on the city street. However, suddenly they saw the city go up past them, they had missed the ground by a bit, apparently, they were falling right down into a right chasm on the side of the city, everything went dark for a second and then they could feel the powerful splash of cold water against their faces. Minutes later and almost unconcious, the party washed up in a darkened riverbank several miles away, they were severely injured by the rocks and the rapids, but alive nonetheless. Sitting near the beach was a tall Panther woman, who looked down at the battered group who had just washed up.
Dejiia stared at the group wondering what on earth had brought them before her but she said nothing. She pulled her domascus out and held it defensivly ready to fight if necessary.
Coughing, cursing, growling, and trembling with rage all at the same time, Rei'zel slowly dragged himself out of the water and on to the beach with just his arms. The Ignean didn't even bother thinking on how the water saved his life, rather he was more concerned with how soaked and bruised he was and made it quite known as he muttered out, "Frickin' un'nerground caverns, frickin' 'oles, frickin' partners, frickin' everything, aaaargh!" Lifting himself up from the ground a little, he looked around in some confusion before stopping to glare at the panther woman in front of him, "What the hell yuh' lookin' at, scumbag?"
"'Ey there Rei, calm down now. First of all, who are you, and second off...where are we?" Darius quipped up, still a bit disoriented from his fall.
A low growl came from the woman. Dejiia muttered, "My name is Dejiia you imbacillic hot head." She knew an ignean when she saw one, hell, they both had horns.
Hiro_Matsu dragged himself onto the shore and proceded to cough up a prodigeous amount of water. "Thanks be to all water kami..." he managed to get out after a few minutes. Sitting down cross-leged, Hiro-Matsu proceded to bring his breathing back to normal.
"I'd kill yuh' fur' e'en growlin' at me, wench, but yur' lucky I'm injured." Rei growled back as he glared at his fellow Ignean (though a very odd looking member of his race, he thought, having never seen such a cross-breed before). He never had a soft spot for other Planetarii. Grunting as he fully rose from the floor, Rei cracked his joints and made sure nothing was broken before proceeding with his blunt style of speaking, "Yuh' some Deck spy come tuh' kill us? Where are the rest uh' yuh'!?"
"Were she here to kill us, we would never have made it from the water," interupted Hiro-Matsu, before Rai could insult another potential ally. "Forgive him, he doesn't trust easily. My name is Toda Hiro-Matsu. Where are we?"
Ke'an dragged himself out of the water, looking every part like a drawned cat. He coughed once, and shook his head. Standing up, he turned to the panther woman, and immediately greeted her in the tradition of the panther clan. "My name is Ke'an. "Are you as a friend, or do your tracks dig deep?"
Dejiia looked at the one called Rei. She would have liked to maime him in some horrible way but, she wasn't there to hurt anyone and all she wanted was to be alone at the moment. People... Shivering she turned to Ke'an and Hiro-Matsu. She greeted Ke'an and said, "I am no foe if you mean not to fight. I was walking this way after my party was killed in an ambush attack." She didn't want to talk anymore. She just wanted to be on her way.
"So you are alone," commented Hiro-Matsu, "if I might be so bold, perhaps you might like to accompany us, should that be acceptable with the rest of my companions."
"Now now... overly trusting someone under this situations is not far from foolish my Xiadomian friend." said Gaius, who was not really familiar with Hiro-matsu or Ke'an yet, with a calm smile as he walked out of the water, trying to shake off a fish that had gotten caught up on his robes and shivering lightly, after all, the water had been cold and a cave was not the warmest of places. "In the time she would've taken to take one of us down she would've had 4 enemies already on land, not to mention those are rapids and its pretty hard to aim at a target that's tumbling around at 20 miles an hour." he added. "Nevertheless, I'd rather ask politely." he continued, wondering how the others (Rei excluded, of course) did not seem affected by the fact that they had just climbed out of cold water. "My name is Gaius Varro" he said with a bow. "Would this party you speak of, Madamme, happened by any chance to be associated in some way to the organization known as the Deck?"
"Dumb oafs just met the wench n' already askin' 'er to join us?" Rei growled moodily as he looked for anything to cast his heat spell on and keep himself warm, "I hope yuh' bastards drown in a puddle." Inadvertently shaking from the cold (considering he barely wore anything above the waist), the Ignean had a fouler temper than normal.
"My apologies if I was too forward," apologized Hiro-Matsu to Gaius, "I suppose I did jump to a conclusion a bit early, but it does seem to me that she means no harm at all."
"If I say I mean no harm I damn sure mean no harm," Dejiia mumbled to herself. She looked to Gaius and shrugged. She didn't know what he meant when he said "deck."
"I sense no deception in you." replied Gaius as he tilted his head a bit and smiled, not explaining further, besides, seeing as he was the one with the best people skills in the group, he'd better leave it at that. "I would still like to know how you got here though, if you'd be so kind." he asked cordially.
"That is my business and I care not to explain it." Dejiia Sat back down and continued to warm herself. She hated the cold...
"If this Ignean freak wun' say nothin', then let's forget 'er n' move on the hell out." Rei snapped, the 'pot calling the kettle black' part of his remark completely going over his head as he did so. By this point, he had a complete dislike of this stranger and was growing impatient with the time wasted there.
Darius was, too, growing impatient with the stranger, and was wanting to get a move out from the cool and damp area by the river, "Look, If you want to come with us, you can tell us, or be thrown into the river. Now which will it be," He said, lightly tapping his mace on his palm, though the water in his fur was clearly starting to get to him, as the fur bristled on his neck and his tail began to wag agitatedly.
Dejiia was starting to get annoyed with this Rei character. "Listen you horned hot head, if I chose to keep my personal business to myself then I do. If you have a problem with that go freeze in some icecubes." She looked to Darius, "I will join you but do not ask about my business. If I ever feel need to tell you what it is I will." She continued to try and warm herself.
Ke'an raised his sword-hand to gain everyone's attention. Once everyone was quiet, he slowly lowered his arm and spoke, not angrily, but almost sadly. "People. Now is not the time to be arguing. Regardless of this woman's intentions, she has yet to attack and she seems to be alone. We have more important duties here than discussing her private business."
Turning to Dejiia, he frowned. "You can come with us or not, but we must keep moving if we are to catch those we are hunting. Whatever path you choose, I offer only that it is not wise for anyone to be by themselves in these caverns, and nor it is wise to spurn help when it it offered."
Dejjia just shook her head and stood up. Didn't she just say she would join them? Oh well. She put her sword away and picked up the rest of her things and got ready to leave. The only thing she wished is that they would travel through some place warm.
Seeing that he seemed to be outnumbered in the decision process, Rei gritted his teeth and glared angrily at Dejjia. Turning away after a while, he walked away from the river and looked around for any possible trails to take (Spot), all the while growling, "Keh! Do whatever yuh' chums like, but I ain't gon' rest 'ere no longer." As he spoke, Rei shook off the rest of the water off of his body.
Rei immediately noticed what seemed to be an ancient trail running along the underground river's shore, from the point they were at, the trail ran both north (the direction they had come from, being dragged by the river) and south (following the course of the river).
Darius let out a low growl from deep in his throat, clearly in disgust, he slung his mace back into his belt, slipping off one of his gaunlets, and sliding his emerald ring onto his finger, to relieve some pressure from his wrist.
Now that the party was getting ready to leave, Hiro-Matsu stood up. Doing a quick check to make sure all his equipment was still there, he straightened his swords in his belt, taking the blades out one at a time and drying them with his robes before replacing them.
Dejjia looked around trying to figure out which one the leader of the group was. She had a sneaky feeling it was the other panther but she wasn't sure. She just wanted to know when they were leaving...she was cold!
Ke'an looked around, and nodded to himself. Finding his pack, he hoisted it on his shoulders. "what..?" He shrugged his pack off and opened it, rifling through it's contents. "no! My spare armour and swords! They must have fallen out when we fell. Oh well, no loss to me, I was going to sell them." Ke'an looked across at Deijia. "Mayhap you need extra weapons? My pack is still too heavy."
Dejjia looked at him and shook her head no. She was fine with what she had.
Gaius sighed as he prepared his things. He had sensed no deception in Deijia, but he still didn't think it was wise to trust her knowing so little of her background. "In any case, maybe you'll know a way out of here?" he asked Deijia cordially with an uncompromising smile. "Or at least which way that city we saw is, that looked like it would be a good place to resume our search."
Shrugging, Dejiia pointed up. She had fallen and gotten wet, and it looks like they had fallen as well, or did a free fall that landed them in water. She sighed to herself looking up. What was in that city anyways that everyone was after?
Hiro-Matsu sighed. Crouching down, the fencer began searching the area for any footprints to follow. (search)
Unfortunately for the poor fencer, Hiro-Matsu had the tracking skills of a watermellon, the only set of prints he could detect led to the exact point he was standing in.
"Luks' like we got two ways tuh' go 'ere." Rei muttered out, cracking his neck as he spoke, "Using this trail 'ere, we c'n go up 'gainst the river flow or down wit' it." The Ignean looked in both directions momentarily before growling, "I say we go back the way we came."
"I will assume you mean taking the trail against the river flow..." said Gaius walking towards the trails Rei had pointed. "..for I really don't want to get into the river." added the acolyte with a grin as he waited for the others to make up their minds.
"Unfortunately, you will have to return to the river!" said a voice coming from further down the trail. "Azz we don't have any intenzionz of letting you go back the way you came. We figure thiz little current here'll wash your blood away." continued the voice. Looking up the riverside trail, the group spotted another small group, several of them were hooded and the light was ideal to hide, however, on the front stood a thin Tharezian or lizardman holding a longbow, next to him was another hooded figure, a tall humanoid with long, fire red hair which seemed like it would burn your hand if you touched it.
"Lizardmen!" Ke'an browled, reaching for wish catseye scimatars. He growled, showing his teeth and srugging his pack off to be able to move easier. He kicked his belongings to the cliff wall, away from the river where it would be safer.
Darius pulled his mace from his sash as he heard the lizard's voice. He was not at all happy to hear the voice of the oh-so-hated Lizardfolk, he turned to the two figures and scowled, seeing the several behind him, "Looks like we're in for a bit of fun," he smirked, preparing himself for the on-coming battle.
Dejiia sighed. Lizardmen...bastards. Pulling out her Damascus and Wicker Shield she used her Camouflage and tried to sneak up into a tree.
Unfortunately for Dejia, not only were there no trees underground, but she had already been spotted, so hiding would bring no good at this point.
"SHIT! Khaza!" Rei exclaimed with a mixture of surprise, rage, and panic as he whirled about upon hearing the lizardman's voice, "Siv'vhe too... shit, this dun' look too good." The Ignean halted temporarily as he quickly glanced at each one of his former comrades, sizing up their strength and seeing if his current allies could take them on. Knowing there was no point in bargaining, not that he would have anyway, Rei quietly growled to those closest to him, "Gottuh' make this quick; these bastards're lethal n' the lizard's a hell of n' archer. I'll get their att'ntion some while the rest uh' yuh' plan yur' moves." Having muttered his piece, the Ignean slowly stalked toward the new Deck and grinned insincerely, his fangs clearly showing as he spoke, "So chums... what's eatin' yuh' suh' much that's causing yuh' tuh' ambush us up front 'stead uh' running away? Yuh' can tell an ol' frien' that much, can't yuh'?"
"Rei, Dear, still have that foul mouth of yours?" said the figure standing next to the lizardman, with a clearly female voice, she pulled back her hood, revealing a striking ignean female with fiery red hair and two small golden horns. "We only came down here to check if the kitty was dead, didn't want her running to the authorities you know?" she said pointing towards Deijia. "In any case we seem to have gotten lucky, no only we found you but we also located our little spy." laughed Siv'vhe crossing her arms under her cloak.
Darius smirked at the lizaed as Rei spoke, he had already planned a way to tie him up pretty nicely, but he waited to see what Rei was planning on doing first, not happy at all with his current standing against a group of Rei's 'old chums', knowing enough of his history with the deck.
As Rei walked towards the Lizardmen, Hiro-Matsu slowly drew his katana, offering up a small prayer to the spirit of his sword for luck. There was no turning back now, even if he wanted to. He and his party had been challenged, and his honour would not let him walk away.
Dejiia looked at her new party to see what was going on. She wanted to just attack and get everything over with because lizardmen were vial bastards and should be disposed of.
Gaius could not help it but to smile at the irony, though he understood how serious the situation was and immediately became serious again, they had been looking for the deck, hoping to catch up to the, and never did they consider the deck could find them instead. "Seeing as to you have already decided on our deaths, wouldn't hurt to let us know what you were here for now would it?" he asked as he walked to the front of the group. "It IS standart villain procedure, after all." (Bluff)
Since her camoflauge seemingly wasn't working due to being snuck up on, Dejiia got down from her comfy tree and stood by Ke'an. She bent down towards his shoulder, "I dare say they are part of the reason I am down here. They are only expecting me so if you and yours wish to leave fine, but do it before they decide to kill all of you off." Dejiia sighed and stepped passed Ke'an and growled at the lizardmen and the ignean female.
Ke'an was shocked. "What...? A SPY?!" He growled, and brandished his swords at Dejiia, before remembering that lizardfolk will do anything to get one off one's guard. Not knowing who to believe, he turned his attention on the lizards, his more immediate enemies, while keeping Dejiia in his sights.
Dejiia looked at Ke'an. "I am not your enemy!" She sighed to herself deciding that talking was of no use and headed for a frontal attack at one of the lizardmen.
"Wut's the crossbreed got tuh' do with yuh'?" Rei growled in slight confusion as he looked over at Dejiia with a questioning glance before refocusing his attention on Siv'vhe. Despite the situation at hand, he couldn't help but wryly note about the rather large number of Igneans he's encountered lately. Looking at his pretty Ignean opponent, Rei twitched an eyebrow before muttering out, "'Nyhow, I dun' want tuh' spill any uh' yur' blood, Siv'vhe. Just drop yur' weapon 'fore things get ugly."
Hiro-Matsu had no illusions that Rei's threat would have any effect. After all, backing down would make this Siv'vhe lose face in front of enemies, something that was unthinkable to the Xiadomian.
"Halfbreed?" asked Riv'vhe as she laughed. "Last I checked he was a full blood Lynx, right Darius?" she said as she smirked. The ignean regarded Gaius's words with a chuckle and before Khaza could stop her, she replied "Might as well, you'll all be taking this to the grave anyways, we're here to retrieve a piece of an ancient artifact for our new maste..." just then Khaza interrupted, "Zilence Ziv'vhe!" he yelled out. The Ignean was about to reply but she noticed Deijia charging towards her. "Talk about stupid! Khaza, shoot her down would you?" she said as she began casting a spell!
Battle has started!
Turns and positions are as following!
Khaza (E2)(33/33 HP)
Ke'an (D12)(Oblivion! 7 turns left!)
Darius (E14)(13/20 MP)
Siv'vhe (C3)(37/37 HP)(0/20 MP)(Fire Shield! 10/8 CON, 15 turns left)(Extended Ignean Spirit! 15/10 Str, 10/5 Dex! 10 turns left!)
Rei'zel (A3)(Blessed! 12/10 STR, 9/7 CON, 9 turns left!)
Deuce of Hearts (F8)(14/14 HP)(12/18 MP)
Gaius (D16)(10/20 MP)
Deuce of Spades (E5)(20/27 HP)
Deuce of Clubs (G4)(27/27 HP)(Entangled! 1 turns left!)
With an almost invisible nod, the Tharezian stands on his vantage position on a ledge, where the enemy melee fighters cannot reach him unless they try to climb up and quickly notches a serrated arrow at Deijia, he fires and before the arrow is 10 feet away from him, his arm moves as lightning and he fires a second serrated arrow at the girl!
Dejiia saw the first arrow shoot and then the second. She knew if she dodged the first one she might not make the second one. Taking a chance she tried to dodge the first arrow by moving to the right. "Leave or give me some back up would you?!" she yelled back to the people just standing idle.
Deijia quickly ducked under the first arrow, but truth be told it was more Khaza's aim that caused the arrow to miss, as the Catfolk girl was not very fast. The second arrow, however struck her shoulder dealing 8 damage!
Deijia's turn! -
Pulling the arrow out, Dejiia stood up and looked at the archer. She admired his aim. She wanted to look back and see what her newest party was doing but if she did she miht get hit with another arrow.
Hiro-Matsu's turn! -
Hiro-Matsu ran next the closest enemy(E6), in thise case the deuce of spades, slashing at the adversary when he came into range.
Hiro-Matsu rushed in towards the Deuce of Spades, keeping his sword low, then, using the momentum he slashed upwards but the Knight deflected the Katana with his flamberge. Once in the air, Hiro-matsu slashed again, this tiem downwards, unable to defend, the knight just took the hit but the fencer was unable to penetrate his chainmail, dealing only 1 damage from the hit!
Ke'an's turn! -
Having already drawn his swords, Ke'an ran up to the Deuce of Spades, aiming for a piercing cut to the ribs.
Unable to defend against 4 attacks in just a second or two, the Deck member simply took the blows, fortunately, Ke'an wasn't strong enough to pierce the Knight's chainmail while wielding both his scimitars!
Darius's turn! -
Darius raised his hand to the other Duece, and casted his entangle spell on him, attempting to tie him up, atleast momentarily.
Darius concentrated on the spell and suddenly weeds began to emerge from the ground from under the Deuce of Clubs, spreading along the floor. Then as the lynx quickly made his hand into a closed fist, the weeds and vines lept towards the knight and entangled him!
"Darius! what the hell are you doing you backstabbing little twerp!" yelled Siv'vhe as her eyes glowed like burning coals. "I'm going to skin you myself!" she added and lifting her hand she casted her altered Ignean Spirit spell on herself, for a second, she a whirlwind of flames emerged from the ground, engulfing her, then, the flames extinguished leaving only her fire shield, but Siv'vhe's eyes were now aflame and he skin had taken a red tone to it!
Rei'zel's turn! -
"What would you petty theives know about back-stabbing? Skin me if you can, but I've found my side of the law, been here all along," Darius retorted, in a laughing manner, knowing well enough to heat up the battle with Siv'he, it was 6 on 4 after all, though they may be stronger, he know they had the numerical advantage.
"Keh'! Dun' ever order meh' around, half-breed!" Rei sneered in response to Dei'jia before staring madly up at Khaza with a feral grin on his face. Feeling the thrill of battle flowing through his entire body, the Ignean howled out, "I'll skin yuh' alive and roast yuh' tuh' death, yuh' shit!" Using his Heroic Strength, Rei'zel attempted to climb the cliff face as far as he could (heading for A3), all the while growling, "Yuh' never shoulda' went 'gainst meh', lizard."
With a sudden burst of strength, Rei made it all the way up the cliff, climbing desperately to reach A3!
Suddenly Ke'an felt extremely dizzy, looking back, he noticed an enemy completely clad in black that had managed to sneak behind him unnoticed and now was barely touching the panther's back with the top of his fingers! Before he could react, however, he felt everything going pitch black and it was as if he fell asleep while standing! In the meantime, the enemy quickly cast a spell and disappeared into thin air, reappearing an instant later ok F8, on top of the large rock and safely away from non-ranged attacks!
Gaius's turn! -
"Ke'an!" yelled out Gaius as Ke'an became completely immobile while standing. Putting his hands together, the Acolyte offered a prayer to Nesha, as he blessed Rei not once, but twice!
Seeing Ke'an get stunned, the Deuce of spades smiled to himself and lifted his flamberge. Then, he slashed down with all his mightm, attempting to hack Hiro-Matsu in half!
Hiro-Matsu hopped backwards, shifting his attention momentarily to speeding up to avoid the blow (lighting speed)
The Deuce of spades swung his gigantic sword twice, but Hiro-matsu managed to evade both blows by ducking and sidestepping them!
Finding himself entangled, the Deuce of Clubs decided to call upon the aid of Sean to smite good in the area!
Gaius took 8 damage!
Finding himself being attacked, Khaza quickly ran back to E2, notched a serrated arrow using his rapid reload skill and fired it at Rei!
Growling angrily as his prey darted away from him, Rei attempted to use his Cestus to swat away the arrow coming at him.
Luckily for Rei, he managed to swipe at the arrow and deflect it!
Dejiia's turn! -
Holding her shoulder, it bleeding more then she would have liked, Dejiia Started for the archer at E2. If he got off more shots who knew what could happen.
Hiro-Matsu's turn! -
Hiro-Matsu, attempting to take back the offensive, slashed at Deuce of Spades in a quick high-low attack routine.
Hiro slashed down at the Deuce of Spades, who easily deflected the first blow with his flamberge, however, as he was parried, Hiro-Matsu quickly turned his sword around and slashed upwards, this time catching the knight unprepared and dealing 6 damage!
Ke'an is under the effect of Oblivion!
Darius's turn! -
"Alright, Khaza, You're next," Darius sneered, looking at the archer, He Moved to E10, casting entangle on the Duece in F8 on his way towards Khaza.
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