A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Out of the Abyss IC



    It was yesterday that Borthan was dragged through the dark by his captors, to a nearby drow outpost. Though he had been shackled and blindfolded, he could hear the sound of a waterfall, its peaceful white noise drowning out the sound of his crunching footsteps on the gravelly floor of a massive cavern. Through many years as a guide and hunter in the dark, size of a cavern was something Borthan had some sense of, even with sight beyond him.

    The creaking of rope and pulleys from above is followed by the drow captors shoving him unceremoniously into some kind of life, which begins to rise. The hand-operated lift leaves him with a swaying sense of weightlessness as it drags him up away from the solid ground below, even as thousands of tons of ground lie above. The snarling grunts of quaggoths doing heavy lifting greets him at the top.

    Then two sets of wooden bridges. As he crosses the first, Borthan can feel flecks of water hitting his face, the sound of the waterfall right beside him to his right. A drow blade jabs him in the back to keep him moving.

    Into a dank, stinking hole in the wall he is thrown. "You can take off your blindfold now, meat," a voice snarls in unfriendly Elvish, followed by a metal door slamming shut and locking behind him.

    Removing the blindfold reveals that Borthan is in a smaller cave. It's damp inside, and some small white bioluminescent mushrooms are growing in the corners, providing roughly as much light as a candle. Behind him is a metal door, with no handle on the inside. A window with three bars is set into the door, and looking outside reveals some of the outpost interior, built into the wall of the large cavern, and the second wooden walkway he was led across.

    To his left, beside the door, is a small wooden bucket that stinks of waste. The prisoners' chamberpot. Not that there are any prisoners aside him, yet. The cave is silent and empty, its darkness eerie and enveloping.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    purepolarpanzer's Avatar

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    Borthan Zuek
    Half-Drow Ranger
    AC: 14 HP: 29/29
    PP: 14 PIv: 9 PIs: 12
    Conditions: --
    Concentrating on:

    Borthan stepped slowly and purposefully as he was dragged forward. It may have cost him a jab or two with that blade, but it also let him count his paces. Six... seven... eight... He growled in pain when he was poked and almost lost count. When he was shoved into the lift, he then began counting the seconds it took him to rise. One step, one second at a time he was coming up with a half-assed map of this place. Nothing precise enough to count on, but it would help him get back to where he came from if that was the best way out. And he would get out. He'd promised himself when he earned his freedom from Vrek and the Dueregar that he'd never be chained again. He'd get out. Or die trying.

    Thirty five... thirty six... waterfall on the right. Thirty seven, thirty eight, second wooden bridge. One... two... three... He hoped that Nilvae had gotten away. He had tried to impress on her how important it was that she keep her distance while he finalized the hand off to the Drow, but he didn't know how seriously she had taken him. Didn't know how seriously she took anything, really. He hadn't know her long, and thought her crazy to want to come down to the Underdark for no sensical reason, but he still hoped she got away. Dying to a hook horror or a cave fisher was a mercy compared to what the Drow were capable of. He should know. He'd delivered people to their tender mercies before.

    He should have known something was off. Should have cut and run. The meet up was supposed to be with some members of the Dewunill house guard- flunky males who would do as they were ordered and not ask questions. But for a granddaughter of the House to show up meant one of two things- either the package was a lot more important than he'd realized, or they already had him made. Either way, when you're playing the part of a male drow and a female priestess orders you to kiss her hand, you kiss the damn thing, magical disguise or no. He may never know if Wyrna knew what he was before or after the kiss, but the disguise didn't hold up to her scrutiny. One immobilization spell later and he was tied up, knocked out, and dragged halfway to who knows where to whatever hell pit the Drow had prepared for him. But he would escape. Escape or die.

    "You can take off your blindfold now, meat,"

    Borthan reached up and removed the blindfold immediately, turning quickly and trying to get a glimpse of his captors before they locked him in. After that, he took in his surroundings silently, using his darkvision to examine every inch of the cave. That done, he pressed his face to the bars and took in everything he could make out from the cell window. Doing his best to commit everything to memory, he eventually went to the back of the cave next to the luminescent fungus, trying to find the driest place to sit that he can. He slid a hand down his inner thigh, checking what he had stashed there. While he was tied but before they'd taken his weapons he'd managed to saw off a small length of the rope they'd bound him with and slipped it down his inner pant leg. Finding it there, he smirked and immediately drew his hand out of his pants. It wasn't much, but it was a start. He took a moment to rub at the bruises their boots and hilts had left on his body before laying down. Tomorrow the work started. Tomorrow he'd be staring out of those bars, taking in every patrol, memorizing every face, and checking to see if there were other prisoners here. Escaping alone seemed unlikely, but he could wait for others. The cell certainly seemed spacious for just one prisoner. If necessary he could wait a long time. But he would get out. He would escape... wouldn't he? Shut up, Bort. No thinking like that. Now, as punishment, instead of sleep you get to do sit ups till you can't move. Maybe next time you'll think twice before doubting yourself again, idiot. He chuckled to himself and started doing sit ups, meaning to follow his own order to the letter before he allowed himself to sleep.
    Last edited by purepolarpanzer; 2020-12-13 at 01:36 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Out of the Abyss IC

    The First Day

    In the split second before his captives leave to their posts, Borthan is able to catch sight of one of them through the barred window. His face stands out, scarred by claw marks and burns, the long hair so often in drow fashion cut short with bald spots here and there left by acid burns. He is clad in the ornate armor of an elite warrior, but his eyes are downcast and brooding, not the arrogant pride of his less stand-out subordinate.

    The hours tick on. Keeping track of time in the Underdark is always a tricky business, but the familiar gnaw of hunger does much to alert Borthan to the passage of time and absence of food. So when the smell of something hot and distinctly edible wafts in through the window, it gets his attention.

    On the other side of the door is the scarred drow from earlier. His eyes are dull and tired, with deep bags and dark lines under them, as if he has not been trancing as often as he should. Borthan picks out a notable limp in the elf's left leg, and scars running up his left arm. The drow opens a thin slot in the door and slides through a tray, with a single shallow bowl of mushroom gruel in a watery broth.

    The Second Day

    Borthan is woken from sleep - or perhaps the illusion of sleep - by movement. Multiple sets of footsteps against the wood of the bridges. A glance out the window sees a dwarf, restrained with iron chains and lurching as if heavily sedated. No doubt measured doses of drow poison to keep a troublesome prisoner compliant. It's nothing Borthan hasn't seen before.

    "Step away from the door, meat," one of the drow spits venomously at Borthan; by the voice, the same one that called him that before. The scarred drow is nowhere to be seen today, a different one taking his place.

    To Dworic, everything is a blur. The world swimming around him, his muscles struggling to actuate. The words spoken ahead of him echo and reverberate, as if in a dream.

    Spoiler: Mechanics
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    Dworic is suffering from level 3 Exhaustion, as a result of being dosed with tranquilizers.
    Last edited by RandomWombat; 2020-12-13 at 02:04 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    purepolarpanzer's Avatar

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    Default Re: Out of the Abyss IC

    Borthan Zuek
    Half-Drow Ranger
    AC: 14 HP: 29/29
    PP: 14 PIv: 9 PIs: 12
    Conditions: --
    Concentrating on:


    Day One

    Bort immediately picks up the bowl of mushroom gruel and begins scooping it into his mouth. He'd need every bit of strength to get out of here, and he wasn't about to turn his nose up and food, no matter how unappetizing. Once he completed his meal he slid the small bowl back through the slot. He had no desire to get insects in this hole, and there were advantages to being considered a model prisoner. Then he went back to watching and waiting. For as long as it took.

    Day Two

    Obligingly stepping out of the way of the door, Borthan waits for the dwarf to be shoved inside, ready to put an arm under him and keep him supported. He looked strong. He could use that strength.


    Last edited by purepolarpanzer; 2020-12-13 at 01:42 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Out of the Abyss IC

    The First Day

    It must come as a surprise to have the bowl returned, and so soon, because it clatters to the stone ground outside. Borthan hears one of the drow calling out, "Go pick it up!"

    Moments later, the scarred drow limps his way back with an annoyed expression, plucking the bowl up off of the floor and carrying it away.

    The Second Day

    After Borthan makes room, the drow unlock the door and predictably shove the drugged dwarf in without any care to his condition. The door is swiftly shut behind him and locked again. "Make sure the new meat sobers up. There's work to do tomorrow," the snobby drow sneers through the bars at the two of them, then turns and follows his supervisor away.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    purepolarpanzer's Avatar

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    Borthan Zuek
    Half-Drow Ranger
    AC: 14 HP: 29/29
    PP: 14 PIv: 9 PIs: 12
    Conditions: --
    Concentrating on:

    The Second Day

    Speaking in Undercommon, Borthan throws an arm under the dwarf's and tries to escort him to the best spot in the cave- the driest spot. Not truly dry, but still the spot that Bort favored. C'mon, biggun. Let's get you to where you can rest. Need to get that poison outta your system if yer gonna help get us out of here. Do you even speak Undercommon? Should I try something else? He cleared his throat and spoke in Dwarvish, though his Gray Dwarf accent was distinct. You should rest. You'll need your strength, biggun.
    Last edited by purepolarpanzer; 2020-12-13 at 05:51 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Dworic Urgrimson
    Dwarf Barbarian
    AC: 15 HP: 35/35
    PP: 13 PIv: 9 PIs: 13
    Conditions: Exhaustion (3)
    Concentrating: --

    Dworic's head swam; the world seemed to float by as he stumbled and was shoved forward. His mind a thick haze, he felt only confusion and shame - one thing he knew, he wasn't dead and therefore must have been captured alive. This seems confirmed by the constant reverberating rattling of chains with every step.

    He hears the evil Drow tongue all around him and feels defeated. The world falls away with a push and someone catches him, propping him up, and he hears the familiar sound of a door being barred. He tries to focus on the person holding him and becomes rapidly confused when seeing those violet eyes staring at him and speaking some dialect of dwarfish. He frowns heavily and tries to speak, the words feel thick like mud. "Don... sully mah peeple langash wif yor... eevol tong, eebon skeen," he says in drugged Undercommon. "Yoo haf cap... captur... capshuured mee... leaf mee to die nao." He then feebly struggles away from what must be one of his captors.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    purepolarpanzer's Avatar

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    Borthan Zuek
    Half-Drow Ranger
    AC: 14 HP: 29/29
    PP: 14 PIv: 9 PIs: 12
    Conditions: --
    Concentrating on:

    The Second Day

    Whoah there, biggun. If that poison is affecting your eyes I'll let that one slide, but if you take a good look you'll see my skin is far from ebon. I prefer to think of it as a sensual chocolate, myself. Bort sticks with Undercommon for now. No need to piss his new guest off. Furthermore, you'll notice that I'm on the wrong side of the door to be one of them, with no weapons, no armor, and nothing I can hurt you with short of my bootlaces. Locked in here just like you, and aimin to remedy that soons as can be done. Bort guides the dwarf down to the ground, leaving him on the cold stone. You sleep now. Maybe once you're not more drugged out than a drunk wyvern we can talk more intimately about getting the hell out of here. Dusting off his hands, Borthan returns to the door to check for guard patrols.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Dworic Urgrimson
    Dwarf Barbarian
    AC: 15 HP: 35/35
    PP: 13 PIv: 9 PIs: 13
    Conditions: Exhaustion (3)
    Concentrating: --

    The dwarf lies down on the damp stone and feels the cold, hard reassuring stone beneath him while the cavern's ceiling seems to spin above him, bioluminescent fungi drawing swirling patterns in his eyes. He closes his eyes hard, trying to force the world to stop. So hard to think, but the not-drow said something important. He wracks his brain searching for it. "Foocoos," he says under his breath, thinking hard and willing some sort of order to his thoughts, until he had it! Escape! The not-drow wants to get out as well!

    He half rolls over, grunting with exertion, then gives up. As much as he tries, the words are still slurred. "Eef not dwrow den whoo yoo?"

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    purepolarpanzer's Avatar

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    Borthan Zuek
    Half-Drow Ranger
    AC: 14 HP: 29/29
    PP: 14 PIv: 9 PIs: 12
    Conditions: --
    Concentrating on:

    Borthan Zuek. Bort answered from his position at the door. He reached up and gripped the bars at the window. Half-Drow, half-human, and neither by any choice of my own. Arrested by the Drow while working a job. I hunt bounties for a living. Sometimes I work for unsavory people. In this case, I was working for the damn Drow. Should have known better. He turned his head and spat on the stone in disgust. So now that that's out of the way who are you, friend?

    Spoiler: OOC
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    "Borthan Zuek" is Dwarvish (specifically Gray Dwarvish) for "strong shadow".
    Last edited by purepolarpanzer; 2020-12-14 at 09:24 AM.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    The Second Day

    It's surely under an hour before Borthan hears footsteps coming in the direction of their cell again, across the sturdy walkways. This time he sees two prisoners in their grasp, one quite literally. A pair of deep gnomes, one unconscious and being carried under one arm by a drow elite, the other led along by the manacles with a blindfold over her eyes.

    The same old song and dance, with the drow barking orders to get out of the way. With the door clear, the drow unceremoniously chucks the unconscious gnome inside. When the other one hears the fall, she tugs against her captor and tries to run inside. The drow holding her manacles holds her back with a smug grin, just long enough for her to yank her own arms at an uncomfortable angle trying to pull away, then lets go so she falls forward onto her face.

    With a sour laugh, the drow kicks the door shut behind her and locks it.

    "Turvy?" the gnome rips off her blindfold and crawls over to the other one. He received a nasty scratch on his shoulder that bleeds through his ragged clothing, but thankfully has not cracked his head on the stones.

    The two gnomes look eerily similar, with tall foreheads and thin receding hair lines - which is already more hair on their heads than most deep gnomes can claim. The female twin's hair hangs behind her in two shaggy ponytails, while the mail sports thick mutton chops and a thin beard.

    The Third Day

    It's been days of travel with the priestess and her hunters dragging Faedryl behind. Along the way they'd found more prey; a deep gnome with a large, bulbous nose and a simple silver earring. The little interloper had the gall to challenge the priestess to a round of cards to decide to fate of her prisoner, and for his troubles was clapped in irons. But his mood doesn't seem to have diminished at all.

    After reaching a certain point, the two of them were outfitted with blindfolds. "Attempt to remove them, and you will be dosed with poison and duly punished once we arrive," the priestess tells them with a contemptuous voice.

    "Ooh, you gonna use whips? My girlfriend always said no to that!" the gnome quips, and falls forward with an "oof" when one of the male drow kicks him in the back of the head.

    "You have my permission to remove his tongue if he does not shut up," the priestess tells her subordinate, without even looking back. That one gets the gnome to silence himself, at least.

    Faedryl can hear the sound of a waterfall ahead. The two prisoners are loaded into some kind of lift, and pulled up towards the ceiling of the cavern. When they arrive, they are guided off and past two quaggoth - Faedryl recognizes their presence by the grunting noises and the smell.


    The prisoners' morning meal of gruel is interrupted by the sound of more arrivals. To their surprise, a drow priestess is personally escorting another female drow, and a third svirfneblin, both blindfolded. "Back," the priestess orders imperiously.

    Spoiler: Mechanics
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    After one day, Dworic's Exhaustion reduces to 2.


    Meanwhile...

    Nilvae finds herself in a sticky predicament. After taking off from the deal-turned-sour that had Borthan captured by the drow, she wound up lost in the tunnels with only her animals for company. It took a couple days for the drow to track her down, with a pair of giant spiders of their own.

    Now, Nilvae is hanging from the wall in a web cocoon, as the drow make camp in an alcove below. Muttley is cocooned next to her and whining, while the drow seem to have taken a liking to Mister Spide and are treating him to a feast of fresh lizard carcass. The two spiders belonging to the drow stalk around Nilvae on the wall, and one of them is eyeing Muttley hungrily.

    She can hear the drow below talking about butchering the mutt now, before its whining brings unwanted attention on the trip back.

    Spoiler: Mechanics
    Show
    Nilvae is Restrained. She can still attempt to perform spells with somatic components, as her hands are not completely immobile inside the cocoon.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Amnestic's Avatar

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    Faedryl had limited options on where to focus her attention while blindfolded, so she focuses on what she does have - taste, probably not so important here (nothing she could smell she wanted anywhere near her mouth), but touch, sound and smell moreso. She tried counting how many steps it had been since they were blindfolded, how many steps since it felt like they'd entered...a camp? No, an outpost, given the lift. That alone was too much infrastructure for just a camp but there wasn't enough of a 'drow' smell for it to be a town or city. They were taking their sweet time bringing her back to Mother Dearest, not that Faedryl was complaining about that. Every opportunity to make an opportunity to escape. This thought trail made her lose all grasp of how many steps they'd taken. So much for that at least. It didn't help that every step sent shooting pains up her legs. Hopefully she'd be able to get a good view once her blindfold was removed.

    The stench of mediocrity wafted from the gnome that had ended up alongside her. She'd seen their kind before - not gnomes (well, yes, gnomes, but that's not what she's thinking). Incompetents so in love with the sound of their own voice and imagined immunity to threats. If she could stomach the conversation without tearing out his throat (or her own ears) he might serve as a worthy distraction. Her people loved to kill the noisy ones fir...wait, were they her people anymore? They had to be, that was the whole point of everything she'd done, but a creeping worm of doubt slithers into her stomach as she hears her captor yell at...someone. Other captives, presumably, from the tone. Just how many had they gathered? How many soldiers would they bring right to her before this was over?
    DMing:
    Iron Crisis IC | OOC
    RHoD IC | OOC
    CotCT IC | OOC

    Playing:
    ToNG IC | OOC
    MoMiWoM IC | OOC
    OotA IC | OOC

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Dworic Urgrimson
    Dwarf Barbarian
    AC: 15 HP: 35/35
    PP: 13 PIv: 9 PIs: 13
    Conditions: Exhaustion (3)
    Concentrating: --

    Dworic's face involuntarily twists itself in discomfort as he focuses on Bort's words, and he silently curses the poison clouding his eyes and ears.

    He digs deep and the confusion falls away from his eyes momentarily; with a great heave and a deep rumbling growl, Dworic props himself up and sits with his back against the wall, corded muscles straining. His deeply furrowed brow and piercing eyes look directly at Bort as he manages halting, but no longer slurred words in Dwarfish. "Dwo ri c Urg rims o n of Cla n Azr i l th ra g. At yo ur se r vic e a n d y o u r C l a n' s..." the words trail away as the dwarf finally falls unconscious.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    Gonna have Dworic use one Rage to sit up and introduce himself, then it ends early since no attacks and he keels over.


  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Griffon

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    Nilvae
    Half-Elf Warlock
    AC: 13 HP: 23/23
    PP: 12 PIv: 11 PIs: 12
    Conditions: -
    Concentration: -

    You're probably wondering how I got here. Nilvae relays to a close-by sleeping bat, fully aware Puck's magic was inaccessible to her and thus the beast could not understand a word she said. It all started the day I met this wily dark-skinned guy. Seemed to have a knack with animals. Seemed to have his head screwed on tight. Not endlessly talking to townspeople like Lambert. Not accusatory like Mayor Abbott. A proper nature-y guy. A bit tamer than Groteg and his pack of dogs, but hey. Muttley down there is one of his too. You would not realize by his meek frame. But the good boy has often defended me from loneliness. Her voice becomes bitter, and she shuts up as the drow takes notice of her prattling. They were ever vigilant, they feared nature and the beasts around them. They said talking is a sure-fire way to get killed. And the spider lovers are not fond of her magic either. How happy they would be if they could talk to their precious spiders. Gleeful even.

    She paused. Borthan taught her a bit of the tongue of the Underdark, and the Drow language was too similar to Elvish that she could not avoid to notice the plans to feed the spiders. Muttley seemed to notice too. The dog was scared of them, but what scared him more was the dark caves and the thought of abandoning his pack mates. Mr Spide the Giant Spider that occasionally turned into Doctor Donk, a huge mule. One of Puck's favorite tricks.

    Mr Spide has claimed the mutt for himself. She nudges her head towards the drow spiders. These two should not challenge his emergency rations, or I could see a fight breaking out. I think your masters would not like to see a spider injured, let alone three. Nilvae says with honest concern in her voice, even if the initial scenario was entirely fabricated. The spider-mule's dietary were a mixed bag at best, and she had seen the spider form munching on hay before, unsure if this was out of habit or provided nutrition. The elf bastard half expected to wake up some day with a donkey munching on some freshly killed medium critter, and she was sure, that was the more intimidating sight.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Deception to bring them from eating Muttley (1d20+5)[14]


  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    purepolarpanzer's Avatar

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    Borthan Zuek
    Half-Drow Ranger
    AC: 14 HP: 29/29
    PP: 14 PIv: 9 PIs: 12
    Conditions: --
    Concentrating on:

    The Second Day

    This time Borthan doesn't have to be told to get out of the way. By the time the Drow have arrived at the cell door he is a few feet away, leaning against the cave wall to make room for new arrivals. He is surprised, however, when the first one in is an unconscious gnome being tossed like a sack of grain. He takes a sharp step forward, but when he sees another gnome get manhandled into the cell he slides back against the wall and waits for the door to shut. He ponders waking Dworic, but decides that the dwarf needs his rest. Once the door is shut he counts to ten before moving forward to help the gnomes. Speaking in their language, he says Names Borthan Zuek. The biggun lump is Dworic. Ripping off a piece of his shirt, he attempts to make a makeshift bandage for the male gnome's scratch. He'd never been trained in medicine, but he'd always managed just fine with his own wounds. We're all getting out of here. Just gonna take time. Can you be patient, play it safe, and plan with us to make that happen?

    The Third Day

    Borthan leaned down and shook Dworic when the food arrived. Speaking in Undercommon, he tried to be gentle yet firm in his insistence the dwarf wake up. Food, biggun. It ain't tasty but it gets worse if you let it get cold. He personally serves the dwarf and the two gnomes their bowls, saving his own gruel for last. Then he gets up to resume his position at the door and return the bowls, only to hear the telltale creaking of the wooden walkway. He rushes forward, then immediately withdraws to his position a few feet from the door with a high whistle. Drow priestess... this one's important for some reason, with an escort like that. he thinks.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    The Second Day

    The female gnome lifts up the wounded one and moves him to a dryer spot, as the drow make their way elsewhere. When Borthan approaches, she looks up at him fiercely. There is a look in her eyes like a cornered rat, wild and dangerous. But when he tears off some fabric to use as a bandage, some of her tension seeps out. "Never heard any tallfolk call a dwarf a 'biggun'," she points out, flicking her eyes over to the sleeping dwarf.

    His piece of cloth stops the worst of the leaking blood. The cut is not as bad as it looks, not very deep by Borthan's estimate. The gnome chews at her lip uncertainly at his suggestion. "I see. Hm." She thinks it over, with some small hesitation. "Alright. Our names are Topsy and Turvy. I know," she cuts off any attempts to make a joke about it with a wave of her hand. "We're twins. Turvy was drugged by the spider ears. Do you know how long this lasts?"

    The Third Day

    By the new day, the second gnome is groggily beginning to stir. Turvy remains quiet and avoids looking at the other prisoners, but accepts the gruel offered and tiredly begins to eat. Topsy devours her bowl ravenously.


    Once the door area is clear, the priestess opens the door and ushers her prisoners inside. "Inside, blindfolds off, no trouble," she instructs, in a cold no-nonsense voice, sticking her nose up at the prisoners marched past her. The guard with her shuts the door and locks it. "Prepare the first work shift," she orders him. She spares them no more words, and turns to stride out of sight.

    The guard outside looks the prisoners over through the window. "Muttmeat, ale breath, and Tweedle Dee." He points his finger at Borthan, Dworic, and Topsy. "Congratulations, you've got a job. Get up. Line up single file."

    Topsy gets up, walking over and passing by the newcomers. The new deep gnome whistles and waggles his brows at her, getting less than no response. "Friendly bunch," he says with a smirk, walking deeper into the room and stretching out his arms. "What about the rest of you? Do we get at least a hello?"

    There is no response from Turvy, who sleepily slurps down more mushroom gruel and avoids everyone's gaze.

    Meanwhile...

    Beneath her silken perch, two of the squad of six drow look up at her, as if staring at a dog that started to talk - and oh the irony. "Emergency rations, you say?" He turns and grins at Mister Spide. "Feeling hungry, boy?" He points up at the two cocoons.

    To Nilvae's sight, a certain little detail sets her spider apart from all the others. Apart from its sleek black carapace, in contrast to the purple shells of the Lolth-touched spiders of the drow, a tophat and monocle floats above and upon its face. As if sketched onto reality by a child's hand in colored pens; but in truth sketched onto Nilvae's vision by a certain puckish fey.

    Mister Spide crawls partway up the wall to regard Nilvae and Muttley. After a cursory examination, Nilvae can almost hear its sinister drawl declaring a lack of interest, and the spider crawls back down to settle near the campfire and enjoy the warmth. "Fine," the drow relents, getting up. He switches into using a silent sign language, which two other members of the squad return as they fall in behind him and they venture out of the camp.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    purepolarpanzer's Avatar

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    Borthan Zuek
    Half-Drow Ranger
    AC: 14 HP: 29/29
    PP: 14 PIv: 9 PIs: 12
    Conditions: --
    Concentrating on:

    The Second Day

    Depends on how much they dosed him. He should be awake by tomorrow, but he could be groggy for days. Lucky little guy coulda been killed if they used too much. I say lucky, but... He uses both hands to gesture at their surroundings as though that makes his point.

    The Third Day

    Borthan smirks at the new gnome and gives him a Hello. in Gnomish. Then he stretches and says something in Gnomish and then repeats himself in Dwarvish. Watch your words around the new female Drow. Could be a spy. We'll need to vet her first. Then he moves to get in line. When he passes by the apparent prisoner female Drow he gives a slight bow of his head and simply utters Ma'am. in Elvish. He'd been around enough Drow to know that buttering up the females was almost as dangerous as disrespecting them. Simple courtesy was the tool for today. Besides, there was always time for disrespect later... assuming he wasn't killed.


    The Bear is Back.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Dworic Urgrimson
    Dwarf Barbarian
    AC: 15 HP: 35/35
    PP: 13 PIv: 9 PIs: 13
    Conditions: Exhaustion (2)
    Concentrating: --

    The dwarf wakes up to Bort's shaking and a splitting headache - though also to a clearer head. He yawns and immediately rubs his temples at the ensuing pounding in his head. Taking the bowl of gruel, he nod in thanks to Bort but remains silent, slowly eating his food and taking stock of the new cellmates. He wonders at the half-drow and his duergar name but says nothing.

    As the guard announces the new work party, Dworic stands uneasily but under his own power, and walks dejectedly forward. His posture is defeated but his eyes show nothing but hatred.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Amnestic's Avatar

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    Faedryl removes the blindfold with as much elegance as she can muster to view her new...accommodations. She almost preferred the wilds of the underdark. Well, hopefully she wouldn't be staying long. Her crimson eyes slide to the one addressing her. Thinblood. Probably the result of some female's tryst with a slave that blossomed into 'true love' or some such rubbish. She'd read such novels before, and found their premise (and often execution) lacking, but the market for them continued, both above and below, it seemed. In another life she'd have had him whipped for speaking before being addressed. But perhaps his failure to show complete deference would be an asset in this place, at this time.

    She nods at the man, the most base acknowledgement possible, standing aside to allow the 'work group' to assemble. She liked the look in the dwarf's eyes at least. The gnome staying silent was a welcome blessing, even though the one she'd been forced to travel with talked enough for the both of them. And now she was going to be left alone with two of them as those she judged as potentially useful were being lead away instead. There was nothing to be done, for now. Perhaps they would return. Or perhaps they lacked any true power and would die instead. She moves inside sits up against a wall, her feet immediately changing their ache from 'constant' to 'recovering, and constant'. Faedryl opens her hand in her lap, trying to feel the pulse of magic but finds it blocked short every time she tries to finish even the most basic of spell. Not unexpected, all things considered. They knew who she was and what she was capable of. Blocking her spellcasting was the first thing they should've done.

    Once the work group has left and they're left in the quiet of the dark she takes a deep breath, already quietly cursing herself for having to deal with gnomes like this. After a moment to compose herself she speaks, in immaculate undercommon, addressing both the remaining cave occupants in a quiet voice. It's a polite a tone as she can muster, which still isn't very polite in the grand scheme of things. "I presume you are not satisfied to remain captive. Detail your skills, if you have any, so that we I might begin preparing a plan of escape."
    DMing:
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  20. - Top - End - #20
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    The Third Day, Work Group

    The three are led by the drow officer around the corner to their right, where they are met with the distinct stench of an animal pen. The initial assumption isn't far off when they are led through a door not dissimilar to their own, into a quaggoth den. The floor is littered with broken and picked clean bones, humanoid and animal alike, and two of the savage creatures are squatting against the wall watching them enter.

    The drow picks up a pair of pickaxes from the wall, holding them out to Borthan and Topsy. "We are expanding the quaggoth quarters. Your job is to dig out the back wall. The dwarf resisted too much when he as being brought in, so as punishment he will have to use his hands," the drow instructs with a smug smirk. "You will expand the entire back wall by at least five feet before your work shift has ended. Fail to meet expectations, or cause any trouble, and all prisoners will receive reduced rations. And they will know exactly who failed to contribute." He folds his hands behind him, apparently not planning on unshackling their hands for this exercise.

    "Well? Chop chop," he says. Then aside to the quaggoth, he adds, "No killing them. But if anyone slacks off, you can use them as a chew toy." Turning on his heel, the drow leaves and shuts the door, leaving them inside the room, dimly lit by the same fungi as their own cell.

    Spoiler: Mechanics
    Show
    All three must make Athletics checks to make progress on the back wall.
    Dworic's Exhaustion gives him disadvantage, and working without a tool will deny him Proficiency.

    A character may overexert themselves to gain Advantage on their check, at the cost of one level of Exhaustion on the next day.


    The Third Day, Cell

    "Well I'm glad you asked," the unnaturally cheerful gnome responds, smoothly lowering himself into a seated position without touching the wall or using his hands. He begins idly picking at his sleeve, tugging out playing cards one by one. "Aimless drifter, professional gambler, and occasional street magician. Jimjar, at your service!" The last card flicks out and he spreads a full deck of playing cards into a fan in his hand, waving it at his face coquettishly as he takes an over exaggerated sitting bow.

    Spoiler: Insight DC 12
    Show
    The playful gleam in Jimjar's eye is entirely uncharacteristic of a deep gnome, his kind usually dour and serious. And for all his apparent bumbling, he appears to have slipped an entire deck of cards up his sleeve without any of his captors - or Faedryl - noticing.


    The other gnome is almost comically opposite his counterpart across the room. He's still sipping at a spoonful from a half-full bowl of mushroom broth gruel (an unpleasant reminder that Faedryl has not eaten yet today). Most irritatingly, he displays a habit of mumbling into his food and his lap rather than speaking properly.

    Spoiler: Perception DC 12
    Show
    The gnome mutters in Undercommon, "I know a little magic."


    The Fourth Day

    Spoiler: Borthan
    Show
    The ranger finds himself tracking his quarry through the night. The light of the moon above gives his keen eyes all the light they need to follow the tacks. A wily little deep gnome, by the moniker of Pudding King. Just ahead, a simmering and popping sound past the bushes. Borthan steps through and feels the ground turn soft and spongy.

    Ahead, a gnome in a jagged crown sits atop a throne of bleached bones, laughing at Borthan. All around him in the clearing, the ground is a vile, bubbling tar-like substance that stinks of burning rubber and chemical smoke. The gnome's withered, grey face begins to melt into a featureless grey sludge as he laughs, a gurgling, gagging sound. Borthan can feel himself sinking down.

    His gaze drops. Blazing yellow orbs begin to open all throughout the clearing, as black tendrils reach up around his legs. A burning sensation... and his leg begins to melt, dissolving into grey ooze beneath him as he opens his mouth to scream. No sound comes out. Only a surging torrent of tasteless sludge.


    All is not well. After a night of fitful, restless sleep, Borthan wakes with a start and feels his stomach suddenly turn, an urge to vomit welling up inside of him. He feels as if he has not slept at all.

    Spoiler: Mechanics
    Show
    Borthan recovers no Exhaustion from his sleep on the night of the third day.

    He must also make a DC 10 Sanity save. On a failure, he vomits and suffers another level of Exhaustion.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Amnestic's Avatar

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    Third Day, Cell

    "And already I am regretting asking." Faedryl drones at the gnome's show of 'talent', though she manages to hold back any worse comment, instead doing her best at compliments. Perhaps a worse punishment than anything her Mother had done to her. "But being quick your hands will probably serve well, maybe concealing tools or nabbing keys." It's praise drenched in maybes, and thus not really praise at all. But maybe the talkative gnome wouldn't notice the difference. The other one's mumbling falls too quiet to reach Faedryl's ears. "Speak up, if you can," she instructs imperiously. "You still seem to have your tongue, you should use it." She saw little point in detailing her own extensive and impressive list of talents in full - they wouldn't be crafting any plans any time soon. A dullard who challenged a huntress to cards and one who couldn't must their own voice. Such information would be wasted on them. Instead, she simply states "As for myself, I am a prodigious arcanist, among other skills."

    She eyes the mumbler's bowl of food as her stomach grumbles, probably loud enough for the others to hear, though she draws no attention to it. A voice in the back - and front, if she were honest - of her mind whispers quietly. Take it, they're nothing. You are a scion of Melad. You are drow. Her own voice, mostly, but just enough of her Mother's to put Faedryl off the idea entirely. Allies were in short enough supply, incompetents or otherwise. She could survive another day without food. The outpost leader - whomever they were - wouldn't let her starve, or they'd be the one in the pits next. Her immediate survival was assured, she need only practice patience, a skill she was becoming quite familiar with.

    She shuts her eyes to take the sight of food from her, to push it out of her mind and to focus on other things. The door was thick but all things could be broken. Maybe the dwarf could simply bash it down, or the gnome could steal a key. That might not be a bad suggestion - if he failed, she at least wouldn't need to listen to him talk anymore. They'd need to have enough momentum behind them to take out the guards, of course, and so the more prisoners they threw in here the better, though waiting too long meant some would disappear - herself, potentially, included. She couldn't wait around aimlessly. More information was needed - about the outpost, and about her fellow cellmates.
    DMing:
    Iron Crisis IC | OOC
    RHoD IC | OOC
    CotCT IC | OOC

    Playing:
    ToNG IC | OOC
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    purepolarpanzer's Avatar

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    Borthan Zuek
    Half-Drow Ranger
    AC: 14 HP: 29/29
    PP: 14 PIv: 9 PIs: 12
    Conditions: 1 level of Exhaustion
    Concentrating on:

    The Third Day
    Bort picks up the pickaxe, looks to the other two prisoners, then looks at the quaggoths in the back of the cavern. Godsdamn spider kissing bastards... he says in Dwarvish. Then he sets to work. He works at a steady pace, not pushing himself too hard, but not slacking either. After working for a few hours, he looks down at the pieces of stone he has broken off and tries to search for one that is sharp and will fit in his boot. He already has a sheath in his boot, so he tries to find one that will fit in it. Bending over, he pretends to retie his boots while he attempts to palm the rock and slip it into the sheath.

    The Fourth Day

    Borthan wakes up screaming, but it is immediately cut short by retching. The remains of his gruel comes up, some of it through his nose, and splashes down onto the floor of the cell. He struggles to calm down and catch his breath, spitting out the last of the bile in his mouth. Speaking in Dwarvish, he shakily says to himself Get it together, Zuek. Get it together. Then he falls back onto his back and tries to get any rest he can before work that day.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    First some rolls to determine exactly what I post. First, Athletics- (1d20+5)[13] Bort is not going to choose to push himself for advantage. Next, a sanity roll- (1d20+2)[8]
    Last edited by purepolarpanzer; 2020-12-15 at 07:49 PM.
    The Bear is Back.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    The Third Day, Work Group

    Sifting through the rubble, it only appears as though Borthan is clearing it away to the quaggoth watching them. He slips a sharp fragment that broke off into his boot sheath, where a dagger once was. It's a little bulky, a little uncomfortable, but short enough not to poke out and be seen.

    Spoiler: Mechanics
    Show
    Borthan makes 13/35 progress towards completing the job.

    He also acquires a Stone Dagger. It serves as a dagger, but weighs twice as much and has a -1 penalty to hit.


    The Third Day, Cell

    "My quick hands are good at a lot of things," Jimjar responds, beginning to play solitaire on the floor of the cell.

    At Faedryl's reprimand, the smaller gnome shrinks back and looks away, scratching the back of his neck. He clears his throat and speaks more loudly, but still barely a whisper. "I also know a little magic."

    The Fourth Day

    As he tries to lay back down, Borthan begins to twitch and convulse on the floor, startling the other prisoners. Turvy scampers away from him, while Topsy reaches over and grabs his shoulders, trying to keep him still so he doesn't slam his head on the rocks. "Hey. Hey, pull yourself together!"

    Jumping to his feet, Jimjar runs over and helps Topsy get him steady. He grabs Borthan by the chin and smacks him on the cheek to snap him out of it.

    Spoiler: Mechanics
    Show
    Borthan suffers a Sanity failure. He takes 1 damage to his Sanity, and suffers a Short-term Madness and a Panic.

    Borthan suffers Paralysis for 9 minutes or until he takes damage, entering a catatonic state and seizing when he tries to go back to sleep. Jimjar snaps him out of it with a light slap, dealing 1 damage.

    Borthan has the Fearful Panic until he next rests, inflicting Disadvantage on fear checks and Sanity checks.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Nilvae
    Half-Elf Warlock
    AC: 13 HP: 23/23
    PP: 12 PIv: 11 PIs: 12
    Conditions: -
    Concentration: -

    Confident they would not hurt any of her companions, Nilvae finally got some time to think about her own predicament. Fleeing was ill-advised at this time. She could just step out of the cocoon with the help of Puck's powers, but she would not get far, and she would have to abandon her friends. And honestly, this was kinda fun, even if deep down, Nilvae was distressed. Plus any obvious magic could cost her her tongue, so she began to sing an old elvish verse.

    The holidays will seem bittersweet
    While you're alone in bed
    But how can one girl ever compete
    With a magic fat guy in a flying sled?
    Go ask a hundred single girls
    From here to Menzober...ranzan
    They'll say it's clear as day
    You're in for sleepless nights
    If you date a guy
    Who has a thing for tights
    Oh, never fall in love
    Never fall in love
    Never
    Fall in
    Love
    With an
    Elf


    Oddly enough, her song was supported by a faint echo of distant instruments, namely a flute, violin and jingling bells.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Performance (1d20+4)[24]


  25. - Top - End - #25
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Dworic Urgrimson
    Dwarf Barbarian
    AC: 15 HP: 35/35
    PP: 13 PIv: 9 PIs: 13
    Conditions: Exhaustion (2)
    Concentrating: --

    Third Day - Work Group

    Dworic stares at the grinning drow with a mix of blasé contempt. He walks to wall and taps it lightly, trying to find the weaker spots where water had infiltrated or moss has grown and the rock has eroded. Pointing at the best places to start, he motions to Bort and Turvy. "Start there." His calloused hands reach out and he begins pulling at the weaker rock, straining tired muscles and building up feverish sweat throughout the day.

    Spoiler: OOC
    Show
    • Athletics: (1d20+3)[18] | (1d20+3)[23] Disadvantage
    •INT to find weaker rock and best way to tackle the wall: (1d20-1)[4] (add +2 if Mason's Tools can apply)
    edit: LOL at Dworic being a buff dumb dude and getting an 18 with Disadvantage and no tool while messing up an Int roll

    Last edited by cigaw; 2020-12-16 at 01:31 AM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Amnestic's Avatar

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    Third Day, Cell

    "See, was that so difficult? It's said in a harsher tone than perhaps Faedryl intends. She is trying to be encouraging, but it's not exactly her normal attitude. An entirely alien tone to her. "Drow are naturally adept at magic, so the more we have to counter them the better our chances."

    Two down, three to go. That she knew of at least. Hopefully this wasn't the last of the prisoners. Six versus an entire outpost...not impossible, but she'd like a few more bodies between her and their crossbow bolts.

    Fourth Day, Cell

    Faedryl watches the scene play out with Borthan and Jimjar, suppressing a smirk at the slap. It was deeply amusing watching the scene play out, until the ramifications of it settled in on her, at which point it became less funny. They - she - didn't have room for dead weight, and someone who couldn't control themselves was exactly that, though perhaps they could toss his body as a distraction.

    Her stomach's still complaining at her but she deigns to move to Borthan, standing over him. "Explain yourself, thinblood. Are you contagious?" If it was a sickness that they could all catch it might work in their favour, if they weren't already infected. It would require moving them all elsewhere, to a secondary jail, one perhaps less secured than this one.
    Last edited by Amnestic; 2020-12-16 at 09:13 AM.
    DMing:
    Iron Crisis IC | OOC
    RHoD IC | OOC
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    ToNG IC | OOC
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  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    purepolarpanzer's Avatar

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    Borthan Zuek
    Half-Drow Ranger
    AC: 14 HP: 28/29
    PP: 14 PIv: 9 PIs: 12
    Conditions: 1 Level of Exhaustion
    Concentrating on:

    The Fourth Day

    Borthan feels his faculties return after the slap, and immediately begins pushing the gnomes away. I'm fine, damnit, I'M FINE! He shouts a little louder than he'd intended, but his shoves are firm but not harsh. He was glad for the help, even if it stung his face. Rising to a sitting position, he shakes himself, slaps his own face a few more times, and utters a few choice curses in Dwarvish. Then the Drow female approached him and began asking questions. He turned to her, barely contained fury in his eyes, and spoke in very measured Elven. I'm not contagious, fatblood. Unless nightmares are transmittable. He looks to the door to check for prying eyes, then if he finds they are alone, he reaches down into his boot and draws the stone dagger. If the elf was a spy, it would almost assuredly be taken and he would be beaten or killed, but the rest would know who was responsible for tattling, and the Drow would surely be close behind him on the way to hell. He brandishes the knife, makes sure everyone sees it, then makes a show of using it to shave his neck to test the edge. It may also make him king of the cave, and that would be an upside. In Dwarvish then in Gnomish he says If the guards find out about the knife without a real search, the Drow is a spy and should be dealt with accordingly. Then he returns the dagger to his boot, makes sure it is out of sight, and then stands up to take his position at the door, moving sluggishly.
    The Bear is Back.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    The Third Day, Work Group

    Even without tools, Dworic proves surprisingly efficient - or not surprisingly, if one knew anything about dwarves. His hands seem to naturally find loose stones, and pry out any stubborn pieces that the other two pick at. Topsy is less adept, struggling to use a pick that is nearly as large as she is. But between the three of them, the are able to expand the quarters by about five feet - just as instructed.

    Topsy attempts to pick up one of the bones from the ground, but the quaggoth nearest the pile snarls and scares her away from it.

    When the drow supervisor returns and steps inside with a smug look on his face, his smirk is washed away and replaced with mixed disappointment and begrudging recognition. "Hmph. So you managed it. Fine, no ration cuts." His expression shifts again into a sly grin. "Your prices can go up, now that we know you're able bodied workers."

    The three of them are led back to the cell after the day's hard labor.

    The Fourth Day

    The two gnomes get up and back away from Borthan after he stops seizing. Jimjar brushes off his pant legs, "Hey, there he is. You were having some sort of bad dream?"

    Topsy looks at the stream of puke across the floor and covers her mouth with her sleeve. "What kind of nightmare makes you do that." Her words are more of a statement than a question. But she nods subtly to Borthan's warning about the drow woman, making her way back over to Turvy's spot.

    A few minutes after Borthan shows off his dagger, a familiar (to him) scarred drow makes an appearance before the cell door. He slides a tray of food through the slot. This time it's not mushroom gruel, but some strips of dried meat and some grilled mushrooms. Whether it's a reward for their work the other day or just a regular cycling of the 'menu' is uncertain.

    The scared drow nods his head upwards, looking Faedryl in the eye. "Hey. Stop messing around and get over here," he orders, more loudly than he needs to.

    Spoiler: Insight 14
    Show
    His tone seemed to be more for the guards posted nearby than for the prisoners. Those who are attentive can see his head turn slightly, and eyes flick to the side to catch the walkway in his periphery.


    Meanwhile...

    In spite of themselves, one of the drow finds himself tapping his toe to the tune of Nilvae's song. The one beside him slaps him upside the head, and he runs a hand over the spot under his long hair. "What?!"

    "She's going to draw attention from predators or worse, you imbecile." The slappy drow looks up at her and shushes loudly. "Keep it down, we're supposed to be hidden. For your own good I might add - unless you'd like to be eaten by some big nasty."

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Amnestic's Avatar

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    Fourth Day, Cell

    "They could be." For a moment curiosity overrides her, and rather than taking in any of the show of the thinblood's concealed dagger she's scrutinising his skin, his pupils, his hair, looking for any discolouration, blotches or other indication of sickness. Not that she had much training in the medical arts, she was mostly looking for anything obvious. She comes up short though. Perhaps he was just mad instead, though the third gnome, the unknown factor, had a point - ordinary nightmares don't have you throwing up on the floor. Not any she'd had at least, and there'd been a few bad nights especially after her run in with the tome that had started this whole mess.

    The sight of food, sparse though it was, is enough to draw her attention from the mad daggerman though. At the guard's beckoning she turns away from them, striding with as much poise as her weary feet could must. Faedryl stops, briefly, to scoop up what she judged a fair portion of food, and that wasn't, surprisingly, far more than the others. No need to make enemies by taking more than her share. She chews slowly. Even if the food wasn't up to her standards after so long it tasted immaculate to her, and her stomach hungrily consumes everything she feeds it without complaint. Slow eating would let it last longer, and if they only got food once a day, she'd need it to last. She...wasn't sure why she knew eating slowly would help. Had she read it somewhere? Or was it...not important right now. She needs to focus on the guard instead.

    She stands close to the door, though out of arm's reach in the event he tried to reach through the bars, even if it was unlikely. She looks him over. Male, not particularly impressive. Unlikely to serve in any great capacity, but then what male did in an outpost like this. She isn't really sure what her acknowledgement should be. He was a male, beneath her, yet she was a prisoner stripped of rank and title. She shouldn't be at his beck and call, and yet, here and now, she had to follow his orders. Should she be assertive? Submissive? If she could sway this one then their job would become so much easier. "Guardsman." He could take that as he wanted, deferential if it suited his tastes, but without showing any actual deference, merely acknowledgement - though for a scion of House Melad that might be deference all on its own.
    DMing:
    Iron Crisis IC | OOC
    RHoD IC | OOC
    CotCT IC | OOC

    Playing:
    ToNG IC | OOC
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  30. - Top - End - #30
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    The Fourth Day

    Leaning forward near to the bars - probably too near - the guardsman speaks to Faedryl in a low, conspiratorial voice. "The latest caravan from Menzoberranzan is overdue. Scouts say the main road is blocked by a collapse."

    Spoiler: Borthan Religion
    Show
    The dream was extremely evocative of oozes. That thought is when it strikes him, like a bolt of sudden inspiration. The dark caustic tar and glowing yellow eyespots, they are something he has seen in one of his hunts, when he captured a demon cultist. Their shrine had contained a black pudding, kept in a fountain and fed their victims, and spherical yellow lights had dimly illuminated the otherwise dark chamber.

    It had been a shrine to Jubilex, the Demon Lord of Slime.

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