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Old 09-26-2013, 09:32 PM
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Zaundar Fris Ulu Olva Vhid

 



The turning of many hours and nearly a dozen reveries have passed since the dedication of the alter. The entire house had been quiet and remained quiet since that event. Eyes that do make contact show that blatant crinkle of fear.

Each one, standing in nearly the same spot as that previous night, had been summoned and escorted by four house guards each. Once deposited, the guards retreat from the room leaving Briz'tra, Vorndrin, Dhaunvra, Gauss'Cice'Riia, and lastly Xun to stand and await their Mother's pleasure.

Introduce yourself, establish your relationships, describe your character, discuss events so far, etc.OOC
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:49 PM
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A short, wiry drow stood near the altar, her head lowered in reverent contemplation of the newly desecrated effigy. The ample cloak on her back hid the tenseness in her posture, but this was rendered moot by the pinched expression on her golden eyes - overseeing excavation had left Briz’tra Noq’uafin little time for luxuries such as full reverie, and the force of the Matron’s summons left her feeling ill at ease. The compact drow could normally be relied upon to overhear at least something from one of the Matron’s offspring, and the fact that she had not meant that they had either been sworn to secrecy, or that they too were unaware of their mother’s plans.

Since it was taking an effort of will to refrain from eyeing the available exits, Briz’tra looked for something else to focus on. The wizard, Xun, she recognized by reputation, as well as the revenant thing, Gauss'Cice'Riia. Her eyes happened across Dhaunvra, and she gave the priestess a nod, wondering if her counterpart knew any more than she. Rather than bluntly voice the question, she raised an inquiring eyebrow, then quickly looked at the others and all about the room and then back. A hand, hidden from casual sight by the edge of her cloak, curled into a half-circle that indicated curiosity in the drow sign language.

Last edited by sanitas infirma; 09-26-2013 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:31 AM
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Vorndrin stood straight and alert with hands clasped behind him. The Matron required all due deference, of course, so he bowed his head to a suitable angle. The dragonborn wore only his best rainment for the occasion. There was his plate mail, black as the Void and inscribed with bestial symbols. And his shield, finished in a similar style. Hooks and razors coated the chain wrapped around his waist. The weapon had been forged from starmetal by the finest Duergar smiths. And, of course, there were other odds and ends that all facilitated deadly force.

He might have kept his cowl pulled low. There was a time for discretion and his draconic features were memorable if left uncovered. That time was not now. He let his pride bear out, reveling in the traits that set him apart from others. His dark reptilian flesh. His predator eyes. The drow were a graceful race…but on the inside they were monsters. Shrewd, yes. Fastidious. But all beasts.

Vorndrin did not hide his inner nature. I have no such conceits. I bare my soul to the world.

Diaphanous scales wrapped his torso, hovering in the air an inch from his body. Likewise, feathers coated his forearms. They ruffled in and out of existence, dancing to an unseen breeze. The wings that sprouted from his back lay dormant. Glowing softly, they pressed against his armor in a ghostly embrace.

The dragonborn’s eyes narrowed. The floor tiles were unremarkable; he shifted his gaze to the others present.

They were known to him. They were...peers. His standing was high enough for that. True, he spent most of his time with the younglings, tutoring them in knowledge and martial prowess. He taught them how to combine violence with a still mind. These tools, among others, gave them a chance to survive to adulthood. Outside of those duties, he played the occasional bodyguard for important females. His presence gave gravitas to their public appearances. How could it be otherwise? Though...these before him scarcely needed protection. The wiry Briz'tra. Dhaunvra, the servant of Lolth.

Xun, though. Vorndrin grinned to himself. I hear Xun needs all the protection he can get.

Last edited by Sir Alex; 09-27-2013 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:43 AM
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Dhaunvra had been interrupted before she had been able to remove her armour, Indeed she was an impressive sight in it. It had been custom-made by dwarven artisans, a suit of full-plate, hewn out of crystal, as was her shield and morningstar. Little wonder some called her the Crystal Cleric. Her enemies subsituted the word cleric for a shorter word beginning with c. Currently she is helmutless, as the Matron likes to look people in the face,The fact she is mixed race human/drow is apparent. Flawless grey skin, with burning ruby eyes and white-blond hair cut to shoulder length make her a striking figure. Especially when you factor in her Amazon-like heightt compared to Drow. Nobody mocks or insults Dhaunvra's mixed heritage. At least not within her hearing. An aunt whom was unwise to both insult and underestimate her, had disappeared.

She is finishing off a prayer to Lolth, promising to dedicate any victories she has today, to her, when she catches Briz’tra's question. Dhaunvra doesn't have a clue either about what is going on, but it's most likely the business about the trade with the Beholder City. Or perhaps Lolth has granted the Matron a vision. Dhaunvra certainly doesn't think that they're going to be punished, Well she's fairly certain she's not going to be punished. When she fimishes her prayer she replies back in sign. "You know as much as I do." For now she ignores the others, knowing that they're unlikely to know why they're here either.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:52 AM
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Dread Born of ChaosGauss'Cice'Riia, rarely seen outside her chamber, now stands hands held penitently in front of her facing the the deeper recesses of the temple under construction. Her skin, drawn tight in death, exhibits a surprising suppleness. Her snow white hair hangs long and full over her shoulders. Her slim form is draped in a luxuriant dark crimson cloak bordered in golden birds. Beneath her cloak, a finely woven dull grey shirt hangs to her knees and finishes with high leather boots of the same crimson. In life, she had been an incredible beauty but in death her appearance had diminished.

Her dignified presence, standing still and motionless, she could be a statue. Until, gracefully, she turns her eyeless gaze on each member of the party in turn. Like many lizards and small predatory denizens of the Underdark, she shifts her head first to the left and then right as if listening. Her first subject, Vorndrin, she lingers on for a few seconds and one shift of her head. Briz'tra gets little more and Xun gets hardly a glance. There is a pause as the undead drowess' studious glare comes to rest on Dhaunvra. The pause is twice as long as those given to Vorndrin and Briz'tra.

Dhaunvra signs, "You know as much as I do." and Gauss walks slowly and gracefully towards her, stopping well within 2 feet of the other drowess. Her eyeless stare lingers only a moment as the undead female turns back towards the deeper recesses of the temple. Not one word spoken, Gauss produces an ivory jar. Removing the lid, she dips in two fingers and applies the salve held inside to her face in a ritualized fashion.
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Last edited by SouloMischief; 09-27-2013 at 05:17 PM. Reason: Oops! Bold text usually denotes speech.
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:14 PM
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Dhaunvra watches bemused as the warlock goes through her strange ritual. Of those present, the arcanists are the ones she is least familiar. She vaguely wonders if Gauss' mind is all there, but doesn't think she's that insane if she is, to start something just before the Matron arrives. For now Dhaunvra waits.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:34 PM
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And here I thought you preferred shadows, Briz’tra wryly signed to Dhaunvra, indicating the revenant’s turned back. The petite drow stepped silently closer, putting the pair within a few short steps in case tempers flared before the Matron arrived. The motion parted the her cloak, and the mithral chain shirt underneath was visible for a for a heartbeat before it was again covered by spider-silk.

I still think you would do well to wear a cloak, she added on a whim. They add grace and have many uses, not the least of which is concealing signing hands. She knew that she would probably be rebuffed again - armor such as that of the Crystal Cleric’s was meant to be seen as much as it was meant to stop blows - but that never stopped the shorter female from advising her peer on the finer points of stealth.

Returning to the topic at hand, she signed, What are we to make of this? You and myself, the revenant warlock, the scaled terror, and the House’s most unpopular wizard, all gathered into the same room. Were any mind but that of Matron Bhintyrr's behind it, I might almost think it the start of a barroom joke.

Last edited by sanitas infirma; 09-27-2013 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:29 PM
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Xun the Walking Dead
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Xun sighed heavily as the drow guard gave him a push through the doorway for no apparent reason other than he wanted to. He had found this treatment to be....typical. Though he wielded arcane magic, physically he was unassuming for a Drow. He was not tall, handsome or strong. What he had....and it was the only thing that was keeping him alive...was an intellect. Though the matron had changed his last name to further cement his place in the clan...most did not recognize this. "What does it matter?" he thought to himself. All his friends, family and allies....were dead. Only he lived...if one called this living. He...was but a slave.

Stepping up he took his place among the strangers. He wore only a black robe and carried his staff. He glanced at rest in the room but showed no expression. He could almost hear their mental gymnastic going on as they sized each other up and wondered why they were there. Personally, Xun had no clue....and he could care less. What would be....would be.

Great to be playing with REAL people in this game finally. Hey....wait...you are all real right? OOC

Last edited by AlwaysCivilMike; 09-27-2013 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:53 AM
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Dhaunvra signs back to Briz’tra, ignoring the comment about shadows. Actually I do have a cloak. It's a recent purchase. Since tardiness is frowned upon, I didn't put it on. As to why we're all here, this looks like we're going to be some sort of warband. Oh and remember what we spoke of earlier.

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Old 09-28-2013, 03:56 PM
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A small frown crossed Briz’tra’s face. I have not forgotten, her hands flashed reply, but one does not rush in to such things.

She left the matter at that, and turned to look at the room’s other occupants. Gauss'Cice'Riia was still applying the salve to her skin - Probably embalming oil, Briz’tra thought smugly - and Vorndrin did not seem the talkative sort. That left…

Xun, the small drow gestured for the wizard’s attention. You bear our Matron’s favor. What is your educated opinion on this? She made a small wave to indicate those present.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:58 PM
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a

The patter of unshod feet reaches out from the tunnel that will soon be carved into the entrance to the temple's inner sanctum. A small female child, dressed in flimsy webbing with a short mop of white blonde curls, comes running into sacrificial chamber carrying a crooked black wand. Behind her comes a grotesque tunnel rat twice her size.

Running off to the left side, the little girl seems to barely keep ahead of her pursuer and then she stops. She had run as far as she could go without having to climb over uncarved railings. The dire rat takes a single loping stride then leaps upon her. At the last possible moment, giggling, the little drowess turns with her crooked fearsome claw wand.....PZZZZTpop!! And the dire rat drops, stopped dead in mid leap and flopped on the floor. Steaming tendrils rise from the lifeless carcass while the little girl hops up and down laughing.

Entering by the same path not completely unnoticed, Matron Nilrysyn Bhintyrr, dressed in a dark gray skin tight leather ensemble with spider crown accompaniment, begins an admonishment of the child, "Cunning foolNed'Shi'n! You allowed it to corner you. Terrible strategies kill the foolish!"

The whip in her right hand, its slender length trailing behind her rises up and snaps in the air, her voice a motherly juxtaposition, "Back to your lessons." And the little girl runs off nearly skipping on her tip toes as she leaves the room.

A matron's eyes are often filled with malice or hate, but in this one's eyes there is a softness and even a smile. But all that fades to hard and icy stares as she turns her attention to those gathered to meet her. Kobolds of some mixed type rush in from the shadows away from the inner sanctum with carving knives to make quick work of the dead rat. Meat was meat, after all. The activity in the background fades further as the Matron of house Bhintyrr strides up onto the sacrificial alter. At two feet taller than the surrounding floor, the alter provides the perfect platform from which to survey her adopted children. From behind her come five older children carrying carved wooden boxes.

They fall into line and file along the edge in front of the gathered party and in front of the Matron. These boxes are as different one from another as can be and each is set down along the edge in front of a member of the group. As they are left, the older children file out as orderly as before and retreat the way they came.

"House Bhintyrr has a need of you, my children. Not an hour past our grand sacrifice, I fell into a trance. I was carried away, to where I can only surmise. It was a torturous place with pain alone in the darkness. I awoke to find my belly swollen with child, or so I thought. And then pain I thought I knew swept my mind aside to teach me a new meaning. From my womb crawled five spiders, each one different from the others. And each one glowed in a different light until they forced my eyes closed. When I opened my eyes again, five pieces of jewelry remained." Whether for effect or a sense of theatrics, she begins coiling her whip which she had let fall earlier. And when she finishes, "These are gifts from our Goddess and you should be proud to receive them." She bows her head, "House Bhintyrr is honored, Great Lady of the Demonweb!"

Without looking up, "Of course, you can refuse." Her smile can be seen even with her face bowed to the floor.
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:21 PM
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In the silence before the Matron arrives, Vorndrin stands serenely as the others fidget. Finally, he angles his body toward the two living females. He drops his arm to reveal a hand.

Patience yields more truth than idle gossip, he signs. We will wait.

--------------

Indeed, once the youngling has departed (and her form had been sloppy) the Matron reveals much. House Bhintyrr is greatly favored by Lolth to receive these gifts. And one of them is meant to be worn upon his own flesh? Vorndrin prostrates himself before Nilrysyn. It is a showy gesture, but better that than to feel the lash of her whip. He descends to the floor and his armor is conspicuously, fluidly silent.

“I would judge myself unworthy of such a gift,”
he booms, “but only the Goddess knows my true worth. I must accept the gift if that is Her intent. I will use it as you command - for the glory of House Bhintyrr!”

Bending forward, Vorndrin hooks a fingernail under the lid and starts to pull the box open. His lambent eyes go wide with anticipation.

Last edited by Sir Alex; 09-29-2013 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:13 AM
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Dhaunvra is about to reprimand the male for speaking out of turn, but that is when the Matron arrives. Her news is enough to put Vorndrin's offense out of her mind. Is it really true? She is to receive a relic from the Spider Queen? Dhaunvra can't hardly believe that she is to be so honoured. The cleric kow-tows to the matron. Not as far as the males, she is a female cleric of Lolth, but enough to show deep respect in honour of the situation. She also realises the import of the gift. Whatever the task that is going to be set, it's going to be a BIG one.
Speaking in elven, the holy language of the Drow "I accept the blessing of Lolth, and forthcoming task as a test to prove me worthy of it." Dhaunvra's eyes flash with the fire anger as Vorndrin again speaks out of turn. However here she defers to thr will of the Matron.
She opens her gift and then waits until the others have accepted their gifts. She would be surprised if there were any refusals, as that would most likely lead to sacrifice of the refuser.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:19 AM
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As the mother arrives, Gauss lowers her gaze and puts away her salve. She does not move again until she is bid to take the gift. Stooping to open the box, her eyeless face, mouth opening in awe gives a delighted coo. She kneels in front the box at the edge of the alter caressing the wooden case. She lifts her face to peer adoringly at the Matron, her voice is surprisingly smooth and dulcet, "Your daughter is greatly honored to receive Lolth's gift. Praise Lolth's wisdom and generosity!"
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:24 AM
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The child’s antics had been an amusing diversion, taking Briz’tra back to her own youthful days of skewering House Bhintyrr’s practice-rats when she had first learned to wield a rapier. The Matron’s entrance banished nostalgia, however, and the slight female reflexively kneeled in submission to the House Mother. Even when she returned to standing, she kept her gaze respectfully lowered, and practically quivered as the Matron spun her tail.

A small part of her mind, trained by the church and decades of subterfuge to be unaffected by awe and religious ecstasy, could not help translating what was spoken. House Bhintyrr is calling in the debt owed by all of you for acceptance into the House. An elaborate ritual has proven that I bask in the favor of the Spider Queen, and these tokens are further proof that your task is commanded. Refuse, and you cross not just the Matron of House Bhintyrr, but Lolth herself. That line of thinking did not make itself known upon her face, though the respect it inspired for the House Mother was obvious.

I am honored to accept Lolth’s generous gift,” she replied reverently. “My life for the glory of the Spider Queen and her Chosen!” Her hands gently traced the rim of her box before removing the lid and claiming the treasure within.
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