Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nefarious Tendancies - Precarious Meeting

Musings of the Dark Powers
GM's Notes

Graven Swordhand, Cut-Throat Mercenary
Graven Swordhand was a man of action. He knew these mountainous caves and trails like the back of his own hand. How many outlaws had he been hired to hunt down here? How many times had he himself been forced to shy from the long arm of Elena’s laws?

The team of mercenaries that he rode with had done quite well for themselves. The bounty they labored for was quite handsome. Graven could not but think how much better the reward would be if he did not have to see it split five ways.

When the hired vigilantes went off to celebrate in a small village between the mountains and Touraine, Graven claimed that he had an errand to run. He did. He went to track down the local authorities and report a band of brigands that were drinking and partying – a violation of the strict laws of conduct in Nidala. As a reward, he was given the full bounty for himself. Satisified with the outcome of events, he left the village to go fishing. Graven didn’t want to be around when the others were captured.

Meanwhile…

Aeris Duskwalker - Gnome Ninja Killer
The blood soaked leather armor that Aeris Duskwalker wore dripped as she made her way through the compound. The thieves’ guild had served her well these past years. Unfortunately for everyone inside, Aeris had outgrown them. They were unskilled, loud and worthless in her opinion. There was only one that would present a challenge, the guild master, Li. Aeris knew that if she could defeat her, she was ready to move on.

Getting into the guild master’s private quarters had been simple. The assassin slowly approached the open doorway to Li’s bedchamber. “You always were far too loud and obvious,” Li told her. Somehow the little gnome ninja had heard her approach. The two exchanged many words and sarcastic barbs before engaging in combat. The battle of wits continued throughout the fight.

The gnome’s little sword sliced its way through Aeris’ armor many times, but the gnome fell to death’s embrace first. Very injured, Aeris rested to catch her breath. She leapt through the window to escape the thieves’ guild.

Back in Nidala…

Graven felt as if someone was watching him. Sure enough, he spotted one of his recent companions hiding in the tall grass. The ranger notched an arrow and aimed for Graven.

“You cheating basterd!” the ranger called. The two exchanged several insults before fighting over the bounty. While the ranger was in the distance he was safe, but soon the rage inside of Graven exploded as his body transformed into a vicious wolf. The ranger was forced to flee, but Graven’s wolf-body allowed him to easily catch up and finish off his prey.

As he broke off several arrows that protruded from his torso and limbs, Graven knew that he would have to hide out in the mountains again. He could not be sure if any of his other companions had also escaped the patrol of guards that he had contacted. A few days resting in one of the remote campsites would do him good.

At a far off thieves’ guild…

Mists were often seen among the trees and waterfalls of the region. The mist that gathered around the compound was peculiar in its behavior. It poured into the hidden valley from the trees and approached the compound. Aeris immediately suspected that some foul play was at work. She ran to the other side of the compound hoping to escape the mist, but it wafted in from that direction as well. She climbed the exterior wall of the thieves’ guild and made her way to the roof. She peered over the edge of the roof to check all directions. The entire bowl-shaped valley was filling fast.

The mist was heavy and opaque. The air felt cold and damp. Aeris moved to the center of the roof as the mist poured over the the tops of the walls. She stood on the tips of her toes, dizzy from the effort and her many wounds. As her vision was obscured by the mist, all faded out to white. She lost touch with the world. Her feet no longer stood upon solid ground. Time had no meaning. Aeris was utterly lost in time and space.

Eventually the ground rose up beneith her feet and Aeris was standing in a misty clearing high up on a mountain. The trees, the sounds of nature and even the stars were different. She could not find a road, but devised that if she went downhill, she would eventually find a stream or river to follow.

In a remote camp…

Graven was fully healed now. He stretched his muscles and set off to descend the mountain. There was work to be had out there, he just had to find it. He followed the roads, unsure of his current standing with the local law enforcement. It was a dark and misty night, the kind that Graven lived for. There was a small snap of a twig in the woods off to his left, but he did not hear it. Graven continued on. The road ahead crossed a bridge.

Graven stopped in his tracks. He could smell blood, a lot of it. A predator was nearby. His keen sense of smell detected several types of blood, some of which were unfamiliar to him. As he approached the bridge, the smell got stronger. Perhaps it had died under the bridge?

Under a dark bridge…

The small stream had lead to a road. Aeris had collapsed under the small stone bridge. It wasn’t much, but it would be shelter for the night. She was in poor condition from Li’s poisons. Her vision was blurred and she could not focus her eyesight well. Someone was coming down the road and stopped abruptly before the bridge. She heard loud sniffing. If she were found now, it would be all too easy to kill or capture her. Aeris gathered her remaining strength to flee.

For several minutes a game of cat and mouse ensued. Aeris moved under the bridge and kept herself out of view of the mysterious stranger. It followed her in persuit and she heard a slight splash as it stepped through the stream.

Across the bridge…

Graven spotted a cloaked figure as it quickly jumped onto the bridge and disappeared over the otherside. It was a person that he had been smelling! He decided to call out. The stranger stood still as he questioned them. The woman looked hurt. She failed to make eye contact and looked in the wrong direction as she spoke to Graven. She clearly could not see. The woman held a dagger stubbornly and would not drop it. Graven offered to take the woman to town. He was already headed that way and might get a nice reward from the lost stranger or perhaps a bounty if she was a wanted crimminal.

Aeris refused to drop her dagger but after several minutes of negotiating, she did sheath it. She introduced herself as did Graven. He stepped away so that she could clean herself off in the stream. Once her eyes had been rinsed off, she could swear that for a moment she saw Graven watching her bathe.

The pair of reluctant partners made their way down the road together. Aeris and Graven kept to opposite sites of the road, a sign of obvious mistrust.

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