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  #151  
Old 02-07-2019, 11:05 PM
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Spindletop Loadlightener - Diminutive Distractor/Distractee
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Spindletop Loadlightener

Spindletop paused for a moment and scratched her head as she gazed at the remarkably nondescript shape of the glowing humanoid dancing reward the edge of the cliff. She wasn’t exactly sure why Mira had chosen to create her apparition closer to the nefarious compass collectors, rather than further off as they had discussed. However, Mira had shown that she was very smart and Spindletop had every confidence that if her BTFF had chosen to deviate from the plan, she must’ve had good reason. With a quick shrug, she turned back to the work at hand.

A short, sharp tug set the wooden stopper loose to hang from the leather thong that attached it to the side of the wineskin, swinging like an irregular pendulum. The elven mead quickly poured outward, a tiny golden fountain pooling up on the ground below and forming tiny rivulets that reached out, liquid fingers probing the surface of the earthen floor for contours by which they could travel ever further out. Spindletop looked on in pride at her own handiwork. Part of her wanted to stay and see the device fulfill its designed purpose - not to be certain it worked, of course. Of that she felt absolute certainty. Rather, she simply wanted to hear what it would sound like when it went off. But, the curious kender was also keenly aware that their goal was to liberate the captives within the cave. She wasn’t sure if she would be able to catch up with Joey and Marcus before they entered the cave, but she could certainly give it a shot.

Keeping low to the ground, she swiftly and silently made her way back towards the others as
Dice stealth:
1d20+9 (16)+9 Total = 25
unobtrusively as she can manage.
OOC
 
 

Last edited by rhaiber; 04-23-2019 at 02:03 PM.
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  #152  
Old 02-10-2019, 09:43 PM
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Date Day 2 of the Trials
Time Just past sunset
Weather drizzling, colored clouds
Alerted: And Now What?Both Veranda and the Ifrit converged near the dancing lights, just as they started to float away from them. The Ifrit was about to follow the dancing lights when Veranda stopped him, "Clearly, a distraction, Canter. And I thought you were a clever boy!" Veranda mocked him haughtily. She continued, "Some sort of light spell or something or other. Trivial stuff..."

"blaaaaaeeeeeeeeuuuuuurrrrggghhh..."

The sudden sound burst through the night air. Ironically, Veranda was so startled, she nearly jumped into Canter's arms. Now it was the Ifrit's turn to mock the Drow. "Who's the chicken now?" Canter laughed in return, "You were spooked worse than those poor plubans we jumped earlier!"

Veranda blushed angrily, but lifted her chin in an arrogant indignation. She began to march off towards the sound of the wineskin, as if to suggest that she was not scared of anything. "No need to get fussy about it, Veranda, it was just a joke..." as Canter's giggling died down, he followed off after the Drow, in the direction of the noise.

The companions' plan seemed to be working, at least for now.

 
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  #153  
Old 02-12-2019, 12:00 AM
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Marcus
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Marcus may have been in the bushes beneath the bluff here and now, but in truth, he was far away, and years in the past.

"Kom ut, kom ut hvor du er." To be seen was death. He wasn't supposed to be this far into the frozen citadel, but his sister had forgotten to return her latest tome of tales. The Keeper would, no, had, noticed its absence. No sooner had Marcus laid the book back on its shelf than he felt the temperature drop twenty degrees. He couldn't fight it. He could only hide.

"Kom ut, kom ut hvor du er." The boy's breath came out in thick mist as he shivered behind the tapestry. "Jeg er ikke sint liten." He knew it was lying. It was always angry when the children made it this far without permission. If discovered, he'd be lucky to end up in the deep mines. He had to keep quiet and hope it gave up. He peered from behind the heavy cloth and caught The Keeper's silhouette against a bookshelf. He was about to run for it as The Keeper shreaked and jumped into a pair of invisible arms.

Marcus looked around and saw Spindletop, Sam, and Shiara looking over him. "You're not alone." They said in unison.

Grandmaster Thumpkin's toad looking face joined the mix. "But among you are those who are ready to take that journey. You are your own unique individual. Show us what you have that makes you a Hero!"

His sister's face appeared next. "You can do this, you can save us all."

Marcus clenched his fist and forced his eyes closed with enough force to stop the tears streaming down his face. "I can do this. I have to do this."

He gestured to Joey who'd stayed mercifully quiet during the boy's breakdown. "We can do this! Let's go be big darn heroes!"





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  #154  
Old 02-13-2019, 11:46 PM
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Mirabelle
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Mira briefly panicked when the Drow saw through her illusion, then nearly jumped when Spindletop's contraption went off even though she knew it was coming. At least that really spooked them. The kitsune girl relaxed a little, thinking their little surprise plan was a success afterall - then froze again. Now what?

She looked back at others who were hiding behind the other bush, trying to see what they were doing, realizing she had no idea what the actual plan after the surprise part was. Am I supposed to remain hidden? Do we try to subdue them? Mira began to sweat watching the Drow get closer to the contraption, frozen in place and not knowing what to do.


 
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  #155  
Old 02-17-2019, 06:35 PM
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Spindletop Loadlightener - Diminutive Distractor/Distractee
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Spindletop Loadlightener

Spindletop looked on (or rather listened to) the results of her handiwork with delight. Of course she’d been certain it would work, but she wasn’t entirely certain what it would sound like. She decided that the resulting cacophony was something like the sound of a dragon suffering from indigestion brought on by eating a herd of cattle and only discovering after the fact that he might actually be lactose intolerant. Her sense of satisfaction was short-lived however, as she noticed Mira frozen as still as a statue, startlingly close to the path that Rose and Frito were taking on their way to investigate Spindletop’s “Distraction of Draconic Digestive Disturbance” (the name had just come to her, and would definitely be the way she would refer to it in all future stories).

”Great Fizban’s beard!” Spindletop muttered under her breath. Her kender mind had a tough time understanding why anyone would stand still in one place under normal conditions; to do so in the middle of a plan to sneak past a group of particularly-not-nice people - well that didn’t make any sense at all. And yet, all of these big folk seemed to be stuck in molasses (which might’ve gone nicely with the pancakes they’d had for breakfast). Taft and Ellie hadn’t moved at all since they got here, and even Marcus was sure taking his time getting into that cave to start the whole rescue operation. But it was Mira that she was the most concerned for. It was bad enough that the compass collectors had so quickly dismissed the kitsune’s amazing light show. If they stumbled upon her, it would ruin the whole purpose of their carefully orchestrated distraction.

Even though the Distraction of Draconic Digestive Disturbance seemed to be doing its job, it certainly wouldn’t keep their attention once they discovered its source. Spindletop had to think of something else to keep the perfidious pair preoccupied, and maybe even draw them further away. Reaching into her coat, she swiftly drew forth a pair of glass vials (currently empty. She’d been hoping to find something interesting to put in them, but she resigned herself to sacrificing them for the greater good. She hoped that they might be able to feel satisfied with having served some good, even if it was unrelated to their intended purpose), gently cradled them both in the sling of her hoopak, and with a swift flick sent them sailing as far as she could manage towards the west of where she currently crouched. She wasn’t aiming for anything in particular, but felt confident that with enough force, they should shatter no matter what they ultimately hit, and the resulting crash should serve to increase the chaos and confusion.
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Last edited by rhaiber; 04-23-2019 at 02:04 PM.
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  #156  
Old 02-20-2019, 12:56 PM
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Date Day 2 of the Trials
Time Just past sunset
Weather drizzling, colored clouds
Alerted: And Now What?Veranda and Canter scanned the area, but seemed to see nothing. Then the sound of tiny glass shards sprinkled deeper in the woods. The two look at each other seriously, deciding that they should perhaps split up to look deeper into the woods.

Spindle's plan was working perfectly.

Meanwhile, Joey and Marcus successfully make it to the cave entrance. The opening was large and looming. No light emerged from the cavern. If the other students had indeed been left in there, they must have been forced to endure a total darkness. Joey nods at Marcus, gesturing towards the cave. Though neither of them could see in the dark, it was too risky to light a torch at the entrance. They would have to feel their way deeper into the cavern if they wanted to make light and not be seen.

Outside the cave, Ellie beckoned Mira to come towards them. She points towards to a tree Q18just southwest of them. "Look over there," Ellie whispers. It took a moment for Mira's eyes to make out what Ellie was trying to show her, but it eventually becomes clear: a shadowy figure was climbing down a tree. As the young man reaches the bottom, it suddenly dawns on Mira. It was Ragli.

 
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  #157  
Old 02-23-2019, 10:40 PM
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Marcus
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Marcus, breathed a sigh of relief as he entered the cave. Joey may not like it, but the darkness brought a particular comfort to him. The naive notion of I can't see them, so they can't see me, lent courage to the boy. There would be time for logic later. One hand on the wall, and one on Joey, the pair moved further into the cave. The pair halted as Marcus strained his hearing for any signs of the captured students. Shouldn't be too hard, they dont have much reason to stay super quiet.

He thought about calling out to them but worried their guardians would hear first. He feared that Veranda would catch him most of all. No need to push their luck any further when it had already brought them this far.





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  #158  
Old 02-25-2019, 11:17 PM
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Mira suddenly felt clear-minded when she saw her bunk-mate from the Orta and then the ex-teammate. Instead of panic, anger began to rise from deep within. Everything went wrong because of Ragli. As she stared at the shadowy form of Ragli, her golden eyes seemed to darken in hue and her long crimson hair seemed to writhe down her back. Within few seconds, short red, white, and black hair covered her entire body, and her nose and mouth elongated to a pointy snout - she was in her true kitsune form.

The fact that she was taught not to show her true form in front of other humanoids unless she knew them to be fully trusted, was forgotten behind the anger she felt. In fact, she didn't even realize that she was now in her true form, as her focus was on Ragli at the moment. But when she unconsciously stepped forward and a dry tree branch broke under her foot, snapping with a loud noise, she came to her senses once more.

"Shoot!" Mira looked around hastily and without a second thought, started moving quickly away from the cave. She couldn't endanger everyone, because she couldn't keep quiet and almost gave in to her anger. She looked back at others still hiding in the bush, silently mouthing, 'I'm sorry.' as she ran back towards the woods.


 
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  #159  
Old 03-01-2019, 02:43 PM
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Spindletop Loadlightener - Diminutive Distractor/Distractee
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Spindletop Loadlightener

Spindletop froze as her keen Kender ears picked up the the crack of branches snapping under Mira’s feet. Her eyes darted first to the pair whom she had previously dubbed Frito and Rose (though apparently Rose was actually going by Veranda - even though that name didn’t really seem to suit her. It conjured images of palatial manor homes - the kind with wrap-around porches and ladies in voluminous dresses lounging in wooden rocking chairs while sipping mint-flavoured liqueurs. And that just didn’t seem like her (admittedly, she had only just met the dark elf - and not even properly met her at that - but still, Spindletop was usually a pretty good judge of character and had a feeling that she wasn’t the fluffy dress, rocking chair, mint liqueur type … that is, unless she was the type who was born into that type of life, but found it too confining and rebelled against it, running away and maybe even changing her name to hide from her past. And if that was the case, then Spindletop had the perfect suggestion for an alias she could use!)).

Hopefully those two were busy enough already investigating bagpipes and broken glass to concern themselves with a clumsy kitsune. Spindletop felt considerably less confident that the newest arrival to the scene would be similarly preoccupied. Though she had never seen him before, she guessed from the others’ conversation that this might be Ragli. Still, aside from this name, all she really knew about him was that he liked to climb trees … apparently? If he was Ragli, that would mean he’d already met Mira and might recognize her … but then again, she had just shifted her appearance into the form of an even foxier lady (which, again, was super cool. Mira was definitely the best BTFF). With any luck, that might throw him off.

Like so many of her kind, Spindletop was possessed of an indelible sense of self assurance along with an uncompromising optimism that together left her wholly confident that everything would work out okay for her. However, this did not prevent her from feeling concern for those around her whose fates were less certain. In fact, it was this very reason that motivated Spindletop to intervene when she saw that Mira was dangerously close to losing the quiet game. Her hand gripped tightly about the spider-stone thingy in her pocket as she attempted to assess the situation.

OOC
 

 

Last edited by rhaiber; 04-23-2019 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:53 AM
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Date Day 2 of the Trials
Time Just past sunset
Weather drizzling, colored clouds
Alerted: And Now What?
Despite the darkness, Marcus finds that he can navigate the cave surprisingly well, mostly by feeling around in the darkness and using his sense of touch and sound. Maybe it was all of those years he spent enslaved and trapped in the desolate cold of his home world... There was a small stream running along the floor on one side of the cavern, but beyond the trickling of water from the previous nights rain, Marcus hears what he thinks are whimpers from further down the caves corridor. Joey puts his hand on Marcus' back, unable to see further into the cave. "You lead the way and I'll follow," he whispers.

Outside the cave, Mira has attracted the attention of the captors. "Well, what do we have here? Canter, I found a rat!" Veranda eyes the young kitsune through slitted eyes, "Or, more like a fox, it seems. Pardon me, for being a tad bit impolite. Now tell me dearie, what are you doing all by yourself here in these woods? You didn't happen to get lost did you?"

Veranda and Canter approach Mira cautiously, still unsure what from the forest had produced such a loud noise earlier. It certainly had not been this fox...

Ragli for his part, seems to be taking the current scene in with a sense of amusement. He stays hidden from his companions, and seems to be circling around behind them through the woods. However, it is difficult to keep an eye tracking his movements.

 
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:54 PM
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Spindletop Loadlightener - Diminutive Distractor/Distractee
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Spindletop Loadlightener
Spindeltop breathed a quick sigh. No one seemed to have recognized Mira. At least they had that going for them. But the young kitsune seemed to be caught like a deer staring into a bright lantern. Someone had to get in there and help her out before things got any worse. Luckily the fox-girl happened to have a BTFF nearby who was just the right person to fix this whole mess. She just needed to make sure that the decidedly-not-nice crew didn't see them as any sort of threat. That way they were likely to proceed slowly and cautiously rather than becoming aggressive.

”Oh thank Fizban we ran into you guys!” The young kender cried out in relief as she rose from the cover of the underbrush and turned to face Ragli, ”Me and Volpone here,” she paused only long enough to nod her head towards Mira, locking eyes just long enough to communicate with her that her name was now going to be Volpone and she should absolutely, under no circumstances, answer to the name of Mira or indicate that she was anyone other than the fictitious Volpone, ”We got separated from our group and totally lost. I assume you guys are here for the Hero Academy Trials-thingy too, right? I don't think I saw any of you on the ship, but honestly there were so many people and I am really bad with faces. Names, I'm fantastic with mind you, but faces not so much. Anyway, I really hope you can help us out. They gave us this compass thingy that was supposed to help us find our way around, but I can’t figure out how to use the darn thing. Did they give one to you guys too? Have you figured out how it works? Because if you have, then maybe you can take a look at ours and tell us how we can use it to find the rest of out group. We would really appreciate it, right Volpone?”

Having never met any of this lot before, Spindletop felt certain that her part of the tale was totally believable. And offering up the possibility that they might get their hands on another of the coveted compasses ought to grab their attention. Since they had previously employed deception to get the other groups' compasses, it seemed a safe bet that if they saw a gullible, easy mark, they would probably adopt a strategy of careful manipulation rather than attacking her outright. That was good. That would certainly help her to stall for time, at least long enough for Joey and Marcus to free the captives.

OOC
 

 

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  #162  
Old 03-13-2019, 03:32 PM
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Marcus
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Marcus' shoulders relaxed as he heard signs of life further into the cave. He'd feared they had moved the prisoners when they lost Tafel. Luckily they seem too caught up in that idol up there to keep an eye on their prisoners.

The boy inched further into the cave, Joey's hand on his back keeping him grounded and brave. At least he wouldn't be alone if things went sideways down here.

The only way out is through. The boy thought to himself as he continued further into the cave.




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  #163  
Old 03-17-2019, 10:33 PM
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Mira felt a growl starting to form from her throat and her claws extended slightly as she watched Veranda and Canter approach, then her focus was distracted by the small kender girl that popped out of the bush after her.

"Wai- what-" Even before Mira could utter an actual word, Spindletop started her speech and even in shocked state, Mira kind of understood what her new friend was going for. Mira relaxed a little bit as she continued to listen to Spindletop talk, inwardly letting out a sigh of relief and thanking the small girl's quick thinking. 'That's very clever, but-' The kitsune girl lowered her head a little bit, attempting to hide her face as she tried to glance towards where she saw Ragli's hidden figure. 'Will he fall for it?'

Hoping the duo in front of them would buy Spindletop's story, Mira nodded her head while still averting her gaze to one side, seemingly in embarrassment.


 
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:11 PM
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Date Day 2 of the Trials
Time Just past sunset
Weather drizzling, colored clouds
Inside the CaveMarcus and Joey make their way deeper into the cave. Following the sounds of muffled whimpers, they nearly stumble over a pair of captured students. Both seemed to have elven features, but it was difficult to tell in the dark. Both were lightly gagged as well.

As the pair of rescuers approach, both elves eye's open wide with fear and apprehension. Who were these new individuals who had stumbled upon them in the dark?

 


What conflict is to come?
"Haha, more welps lost in the dark!" Veranda seems to be mocking the pair of young women, "Why don't you toss me your compass, little halfling, and I'll show you how to use it!"

Canter looks disapprovingly at Veranda, "Far too naive, Veranda. Do you actually believe these plubans just happened to roam here in the dark? Either they are following the clues of the compass, or they were brought here by Tafl. I told you we shouldn't have let him go."

"Empty worries," Veranda notes, arrogance clear in her voice, "I bet Tafl just sent them over here because he was too scared to try and acquire their compass himself."

Canter, still not convinced by Veranda's comments, draws his shortsword. His voice drops to a softer whisper, "That's the kind of ignorance that got Lanthe a busted jaw yesterday, if you weren't paying attention. I, for one, am not about to get my face smashed in, especially not by a pluban. Why don't you tell us what that noise was earlier? What are you up to, squirts?"

Canter looks at the pair of young women expectantly. He would get answers--at swordpoint if necessary. Spindletop is unable to keep track of Ragli in the chaos, but Mira's low-light vision helps her spot him, despite his attempts to sneak. He seems to be circling around his companions, hiding from both Canter and Veranda as well as Mira and Spindletop.

 
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:38 PM
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Spindletop Loadlightener - Diminutive Distractor/Distractee
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Spindletop Loadlightener
Spindletop’s unassuming and cherubic grin remained plastered on her face, as though she was entirely oblivious to the unabashed mockery in Veranda’s voice as the drow suggested to her, "Why don't you toss me your compass, little halfling, and I'll show you how to use it!"

“Whew,” Spindeltop breathed a deep sigh of relief at Veranda’s words. On the surface, it was intended to convey her gratitude toward the drow’s offer of assistance in understanding the compass, but inwardly she was also glad to see that her performance seemed to be working, for now at least. “We are so happy for your help. Honestly I’ve had such trouble figuring this compass thingy out. Do you think it’s safe to toss? I thought it might be kinda fragile, and it certainly seems valuable, what with the supposed magic and all (though I honestly haven’t been able to figure out what makes it so magical - you’d think magical compass-thingies would come with some sort of instructions, wouldn’t you?) ‘Course I’ll be happy to hand it to you … that is once I remember where I put it. Y’see I don’t generally carry everything in my possession in my hands when I’m walking around. Frankly I couldn’t manage it on account of not having nearly enough hands. Fortunately I have a fairly sizable number of these fantastic inventions called pockets.

“Say, did you know that it was actually a kender who invented the first pocket? Of course, humans like to take credit for it, but I find their claim to be sorta dubious. Historically humans only invent new things if they have the potential to hurt someone. I mean, phew, humans, amiright?”
The gregarious girl exhaled a puff of air aimed at an errant wisp of violet hair that has somehow managed to dislodge itself from one of the tightly wound buns atop her head while cocking her head and winking in a conspiratorial manner that seems designed to engender a sense of camaraderie with her newfound friends (maybe-not-friends?).

Her attempts to engage in a friendly exchange were hard pressed to break through the suspicious Ifrit’s walls though, as he continued to probe into her story, "Do you actually believe these plubans just happened to roam here in the dark?"

“Well, somebody sure has his grumpy-pants on today.” Spindletop muttered under her breath towards Mira (sorry, she meant to think ‘Volpone,’ since that was now her BTFF’s name), before turning her attention to Canter himself. “So I can’t help but notice that you’ve used that word, ‘pluban,’ and I can’t say that I’m familiar with it. At first I thought you were saying ‘human,’ which would be weird since I just told you that I’m not human (in case you couldn’t tell by looking at me), and well, it should be pretty obvious from looking at Volpone that she’s not human either. But then I realized you were actually saying ‘pluban’ with a ‘pl-.’ Do you happen to know the origin of the word? Is it from some sort of dialect that is specific to where you’re from? I’m kind of a huge fan of linguistics and dialects. Did you know that nearly every class of dragon has its own unique dialect, even though they are all collectively referred to as a single draconic language? Still, there are some surprising distinctions between the different dialects that are nearly undetectable to the untrained ear. Like the copper dragon phrase, ’શું તમે રાત્રિભોજન માટે મારી સાથે જોડાશો’ meaning ’Would you care to join me for dinner?’ which sounds an awful lot like the common red dragon saying ’શું તમે રાત્રિભોજન માટે મારી સાથે જોડાશો’ which roughly translates to ’I will now feast upon your innards.’ In fact the two are grammatically and phonemically identical; it’s all just a difference in tone. It might be easier to recognize if I said them side-by-side.”

Listeners of the lilliputian linguist had the briefest moment to ponder how she could possibly say two things “side-by-side,” but before any questions can be posed, Spindletop proceeds to do exactly that:
"શું તમે રાત્રિભોજન માટે | શું તમે રાત્રિભોજન માટે
મારી સાથે જોડાશો | મારી સાથે જોડાશો
"


“See, draconic dialects are all tonal, so it’s often less a matter of what you say and more about how you say it, and that can be very difficult for non-native speakers to pick up on, even when you know what you’re looking for. I’ve even heard some dragonologists out there say that red dragons might not as evil as everyone says, but just literally misunderstood, in that people don’t understand what their saying half the time. On the other hand, we are talking about a group that considers 'I will now feast upon your innards' to be a common saying, so maybe take all that with a grain of salt.”

Though she still wasn’t certain if she had convinced Canter, the diminutive dragonophile felt that her words might have been getting through to Veranda. In any event, she remained confident that her circuitous string of nosequitors was definitely doing its job in providing Joey and Marcus time to free the captives. Hopefully they would be here soon.

"Empty worries," the drow noted. Yeah, she was clearly buying Spindletop’s routine. "I bet Tafl just sent them over here because he was too scared to try and acquire their compass himself."

Canter, on the other hand, drew his shortsword, dropping his voice to a whisper, "That's the kind of ignorance that got Lanthe a busted jaw yesterday, if you weren't paying attention. I, for one, am not about to get my face smashed in, especially not by a pluban. Why don't you tell us what that noise was earlier? What are you up to, squirts?"

“Ooooo, great!” Spindletop squealed with delight at the Ifrit’s question, bouncing forward on the balls of her feet in a demonstration of uncontained glee - undoubtedly not the response he was used to seeing when he drew his sword. “Are we playing ‘Guess That Sound’? I am soooooo good at this. Can you describe the sound for me? Did it sound like a sort of a "blaaaaaeeeeeeeeuuuuuurrrrggghhh..."? Because I definitely heard something like that. That’s why we came in this direction to begin with (we being me and Volpone here, not just me speaking in the royal we or anything. I mean, I’m not one of those people who refers to myself in the third person or with plural pronouns or anything). We figured someone (or something) had to be over here making that noise. So can you give me a hint? Was the noise made by an animal, a vegetable, or a mineral? This is seriously one of my favorite games. Even more fun than ‘What Have I Got in My Pocket?’ Which reminds me: I was supposed to be figuring out which pocket I put the compass-thingy in (just a suggestion: you might want to work on maintaining focus and not distracting me so much). I know I had it just before we came over this way, but then I put it … somewhere … probably in a coat pocket? Let’s see … I’ve got this ring … and this jar of paint … and a couple of scones and a bowl full of cherries - say is anyone hungry? I could really go for a snack. … oh, and I’ve got this dragon scale here! Now there’s a really neat story behind where I got that!”

OOC
 

 

Last edited by rhaiber; 04-23-2019 at 02:05 PM.
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