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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 08:16 PM
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Chapter 5b: The Devil in the Dark

Humility found herself patrolling with a pair of Children from the In'ira Family who were acting on a vision from Rising. The pair, twins in fact, were Sword-siblings of Bane known as Whisper (the woman) and Screech (the man). To those unfamiliar with them, the names at first appeared to be tongue-in-cheek names as Whisper was well known for being both talkative and loud while her brother was known for being reserved and a man of few words for the most part. The truth was that the names came from their battle-field tactics, as both of them were Bards, albeit Bards that had taken two completely different paths.

Whisper was a Subonsonic Bard, capable of hiding her music and even her spells in pitches beyond the hearing of most. While normally loud, when there was a fight to be hand Whisper could sneak with the best of them and delighted in seeking out enemy mages to silence them, as she herself was capable of casting even in magical silence.

Screech, meanwhile, was a battle-Bard, equally comfortable shouting/chanting out inspiring words to others or using sonic magic to great effect. Since he tended to draw a lot of attention he was also a deft dodger and capable of taking more than a few hits.

Whisper had been the one to approach Humility, asking for her help in tracking down a mysterious Fiend that had been spotted in and around various Families, including the In'ira. Worryingly, the Fiend appeared to be following them, which it shouldn't have been able to do without a worrying amount of inside information which, if it had, begged the question why the Fiends hadn't attacked in force. All they knew was that it wasn't one of Nehrahk's 'converts'.

And so the three of them were travelling through the World Between Worlds, searching the undulating and difficult to focus on terrain for signs of this mysterious Fiend. As usual, Whisper was chatting away, although Humility knew well enough that just because she was talking didn't mean she was paying attention and she kept her voice low enough to avoid notice.

"I swear, the next time Rising comes up to me and says he 'has something that needs looking into' I'm going to throw a knife in his face, even if he is the only living Seer among the Children." Whisper rambles on. "Prophecy this and vision that. I bet he makes up half of it on the spot." Again, Humility knew Whisper well enough not to take the comment at face value. The Child was just venting her frustrations. "And while he's playing about in Aheka with the Freeborn too. Maybe one of their Seers will call him on it."

~MTWC
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 11:00 PM
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Humility stalked through the World Between Worlds with the calm competence of one who had lived there almost her entire life, and saw the undulating and elusive terrain as familiar and comfortable. As always whenever she was outside the boundaries of the Children's well hidden and protected communities, she was poised with her senses primed and focused on every detail on the world around her. Even if He Who Comes Wrapped in Darkness had made the World Between Worlds their own land in truth, it was hardly a safe place to roam even at the best of times, let alone when they had business with a possible intruder. The drow Child was dressed in her usual garb, the grey, flowing cloak wrapping itself around her as she moved and the hood now up, making her profile blend into the darkness and hard to follow. Her conspicuous emerald eyes were hidden from view behind a set of goggles that covered them and seemed to be cobbled together from parts of several different items, the well worn metal and wood making up the frame that held it in place, the ruby-like lenses that covered the eyes and another gem that was barely visible behind the top of the frame pressed against her brow. It was something she commonly wore when out on business to protect her sensitive eyes. Even fiends sometimes relied on spells that flashed and dazzled to confuse the enemy, and being blind as a bat in the middle of a fight for your life was something you didn't have to go through more than once before you took countermeasures against it happening a second time. Though Humility could even fight to a competent level with her eyes closed if need be. Something she had practised hard to master and finally begun to get the knack of a few years ago. Just thinking about it invoked a wayward sense of smug, self-assured hubris that surged forth inside her heart like a chained demon slipping it's bonds, and she instantly tramped it down and snuffed it out as soon as it reared it's ugly head. She did it automatically now, being well accustomed to it. Though she still gave herself a bitter half-smile as she did, noting that some curses a person carried with them for life.

She realised with a suppressed sigh that Whisper was still hissing her endless invective towards the architect of their current situation. She wryly shook her head and muttered back.

"Now, now Whisper. Is that any way to talk about an esteemed Keeper, especially our celebrated Seer. Even if he isn't the Keeper of our Clan, it's still poor manners girl."

It's all said with her usual crooked smirk of mockery toward herself and the world at large, which both of them should be familiar with by now after they had fought together on several occasions during her stays with the In'ira. They knew well enough that it was just her quirk and not that she was looking down on them in any way. She says the words in a dry, deadpan tone, showing that she wasn't completely serious. Just making banter and trying derail the woman's endless monologue of complaints before she loses her voice. Even as she made idle conversation, her careful focus on her surroundings never wavers. She pays even more attention to her sharp ears than her eyes, taking in every sound under the drone of words she was blocking out from right next to her. Years of training, mental focus and meditation had helped her refine her senses, to the point that she could enter a state where she could feel every minute shift in the air around her so long as she focused on it. It should be difficult for anything to sneak up on her, even if her eyes should fail her. She felt her hands itch and twitch as she wondered if a fiend might be nearby, wanting to grasp her weapons, but she doesn't draw them yet. Patience, patience, always patience. Holding the weapons would change her balance and make it slightly harder to run, lowing her stamina ever so slightly too. The way light worked on this Plane she didn't have to worry as much about the glint from the blades giving away their presence to whatever they were seeking. But less worry didn't mean none, and she didn't take needles chances any more. She had learned the hard way about that. Schooling herself in patience as she did every day, she absently continued.

"And Freeborn Seers can't be all that if they never even knew we existed before now, right? The Faces have had a merry old time running around Aheka as they pleased, and none of the Freeborn knew a damned thing. Blind fools probably wouldn't notice a Balor about to flay their skin off and wear it as a hat, unless you tap them on the shoulder and point it out."

She felt a hint of pride in herself and her people over the Freeborn living safe and comfy on Aheka. Until she recognised it as hubris sneaking up on her once again, and clicked her tongue at herself in reproach. You can never lower your guard fool girl, never.

 

Last edited by DiabolicalGenius; Jul 2nd, 2013 at 11:03 PM.
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Old Jul 6th, 2013, 06:49 PM
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Whisper smiled at Humility's first comment and outright cackled in response to the second, however any further comments are cut short when Screech makes a signal that all Children know: Danger.

As quick as she was to cackle Whisper's face becomes deadly serious and her movements ever more careful as she signalled back to her brother. You see what?

Screech is quick to respond, looking out to the distance. Beyond third ridge. Large figure and many smaller. With Screech having pointed it out, Humility soon finds the smaller figures in the distance however it takes her longer to find the larger one, which seemed to be blending into the area around it, not unlike what many Children did within darkness. Friend?

Whisper seems to take a moment to spot the larger figure and hesitates before signing back. Maybe. Like one of Min's Swordbroothers, who's a little over eight and a half feet tallGeld? She glances towards Humility, signing to both of them. Together or more specifically, the sign means 'split into ones', meaning they would make their way individually in order to attack/scout from three directionssplit?

~MTWC
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Old Jul 7th, 2013, 03:16 PM
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Humility came to stop the moment Screech gave the sign, but herr posture didn't change all that much. Not because she wasn't getting ready to fight, but because she had been ready the whole time. All she did was raise the state of casual readiness up a notch. Anyone who had a good amount of combat experience knew that letting the pressure build and tensing your body up was the worse thing you could let happen, since it would make your movements stiff and slow your reactions, plus being on edge and wound up would tire you out quickly before the fight even started. You had to find that perfect balance between keeping your body relaxed and loose enough to allow easy movement while maintaining your poise and keeping yourself just short of letting the adrenaline surge and getting ready to spring into action. To make that transition as smooth and instantaneous as possible was the secret of reacting instantly to whatever happened and being ready for battle at any time, and given enough experience and practise it became automatic. So all the drow Child did when the alert was raised was to stop moving, lower her posture and move towards the nearest cover, while moving just her right hand back to grasp the worn leather wrapping the intimately familiar hilt of the short sword at the back of her waist, preparing to draw it while raising her left hand to sign with. She was calm and kept her breathing even and measured. She was like an arrow notched and carefully being drawn back, ready to loose. She was always ready.

Squinting into the distance, she felt a hint of self-derision at her unremarkable eyesight even in spite of her drow blood making the darkness seem like a well lit room up to a certain distance. She had focused her training on her hearing, sense of touch and awareness of the world around her like a sixth sense, and had neglected her eyes. Her late master had taught her not to depend on her sight too much, as it was too easily fooled. But it still caused her trouble at times like these, and she smiled wryly to herself at the fresh reminder of her limits, knowing that as much as it stung it helped keep her grounded, kept her repeating her past mistakes. She had learnt to value the feeling, even if she would never enjoy it. After a few beats she was able to make it out, a group of small figures that may be on the same scale as themselves, and one larger that took another couple of beats before she could barely make out the silhouette of. Was it a Shroud? A trick she had never mastered when she had given herself completely to the Sublime Way and all it offered, but a useful trick nonetheless. Keeping one eye on the group at all times, she watches Whisper sign out of her periphery and thinks carefully for a moment before signing back.

If enemy may be trap. If together could get surrounded.

She narrows her eyes and then nods to herself.

Split. Scout them. If friend we greet. If enemy we see who and how many. Then meet back here. Plan next move.

She knew best of all the dangers of charging in without looking first. She had carried it with her for nine decades and wouldn't be leaving it any time soon. This seemed the safest course of action. Whisper and Screech were Swordbrother and Sister to that Bane and were more than capable of handling themselves in a pinch. So she wasn't hugely worried about splitting up, other than the possibility that they weren't as skilled at stealth as she was, and might be noticed. But in that case, being split meant that the other two would be able to come to the aid of the one in trouble if need be. And if the worse came, it minimised the chances of all of them being caught so that at least one might survive and get word back to the Clan. Even as she thought this, she resolved herself to be the one if somebody had to be sacrificed to save the other two, whether they liked it or not. She had far too much she needed to make up for. If they were lucky all this caution would be for nothing and it really was Geld with a group of Children on some business or another. But with him being a well known member of the same Family as the two with her, and a Swordbrother of Bane's little sister, it was strange for them not to have heard anything about him coming out this way. So either it wasn't Geld, or something unexpected had happened to bring him out this way since Rising sent them out here on this errand. In any case, there was only one way to be sure.

Objections? Be careful. Don't attack alone.

She knew they wouldn't have lasted this long in their position if they were stupidly reckless, but she couldn't help but reinforce her concern for patience and not taking foolish risks. It was just her nature.

 

Last edited by DiabolicalGenius; Jul 7th, 2013 at 03:27 PM.
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Old Jul 7th, 2013, 06:44 PM
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OOCYup. They were, at the time, only a little behind Bane when they all went on their Swordrights although he has far outstripped them by now, just as Min is beginning to do so with her Sword-Siblings. For reference's sake, they're all around level 17+, with the twins being higher level than Geld and Toy if you don't count LA, and Min having broken into Epic levels (it should also be noted that her Shrouding and ability to walk through shadows is a result of her being a Godling, she's actually a Wilder/Elocator/Swordsage, not a Hand in the Dark [as most assume]).

In hindsight, I didn't make it clear but Screech is a Sublime Chord (so he's a 9th level caster), though unlike his sister he can't cast silently, however Whisper knows (and likes to use) Zone of Silence, so they can both buff without risk of being heard. Anyway, Whisper makes extended use of self-buffs so she has Extend spell and would habitually buff her allies, so they'd start off with the following buffs, courtesy of the pair of them:
  • Extended Haste [W]
  • Superior Resistance (cast before they left the Clan and due to Song of Arcane Might it'll last almost a whole day) [S]
  • Extended Invisibility (not to be relied on of course, but a potential added boost) [W]
  • Overland Flight (which'll last them for almost a whole day from now as well) [S]
  • Extended Greater Heroism (extended through a rod as she can't silently cast 6th level spells [which it'd be if she used Extend Spell on it]) [W]

The two of them nod in agreement before they begin buffing each other and Humility. Once they were finished buffing the three of them split up, with Whisper and Humility heading around and to the sides since they were the more mobile and stealthy of the three (though he was no slouch himself of course), while Screech was to make a steadier and more direct approach. Whisper would likely make use of her Ventriloquism to throw off the figures in the distance too if necessary.

It doesn't take Humility long to realise that the large figure - which is definitely a thing of shadows - is actually fighting the smaller ones, which were an assortment of Fiends, mostly Devils and no Demons. The closer Humility gets the more of the more details of strange creature she can see, although that only brings more questions. It strongly resembles a Child using the Shroud, although its appearance is partially see-through, and it has vicious looking claws at the end of its hands. It isn't until it bites the head off of an Erinyes (flying through some magical means, as it had no wings to pursue the archer) that she realises it must have teeth to match. Like those Children in the Shroud it's appearance was almost flat, making the details of its body next to impossible to determine, especially at a distance while it was moving. It's eyes were a dull red, like dried blood, rather than the bright red of a Fiend's.

The biggest surprise comes when Humility finally gets a proper look from the front, rather than the side or back: there was someone inside of it. A dark-haired and clothed woman floating in the centre of the creature, her legs and arms moving in imitation of it's own movements. Whether she was the puppeteer or the puppet was another matter entirely. Humility had never seen or heard of such a creature before.

While the three of them must be trying to figure out what exactly it is they are dealing with the creature dispatches the remaining Fiends with quick and ruthless efficiency before appearing to look around and take stock of the situation and its own surroundings, giving them a chance to get a better or closer look when it was not in the middle of fighting.
OOCSo how close does Humility dare to get to the creature? Does she interact with it now that the Fiends are gone adn given its similarities to the Children?

EDIT - Made a slight change to the description.

~MTWC
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Last edited by Makenshi; Jul 8th, 2013 at 09:33 PM.
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Old Jul 9th, 2013, 12:01 AM
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Receiving the other two's agreement, Humility gratefully accepted the benefits of their support magic before they separated and began closing in on the figures in the distance. Even though they had all been enchanted with a flying spell, she didn't even consider making use of something so terribly conspicuous when approaching a possible enemy covertly. Nor would she use it unless there was a need to. Such a thing was better left unused until they had need to travel quickly and risk the dangers of drawing attention from the ground, or kept in reserve as an escape plan in case things went south. It stood a much better chance of succeeding if the enemy didn't know that you might take off and fly away when the need presented itself. Of course with her own fast pace, magical items and the enchantments she had just received, her speed afoot was quite impressive on it's own. Even taking care, staying low and out of sight and being cautious, the drow Child was able to close with remarkable speed. As soon as she had begun moving she had shifted her poise and focus from sharpening her senses to their peak, to becoming more elusive. Something about the way she moved, flowing along the landscape seemed to caused the shadows abundant in her surroundings her to stretch and flutter around her form, making her figure indistinct and hard to follow. She already had the benefit of a spell of Invisibility, but all too many fiends could see through illusions with contemptuous ease. So she relied mainly on her own skill to approach unnoticed as she circled round to the right.

As she got close enough to be able to get a reasonably clear look at the scene, she noted with calm detachment that it seemed to be a fight, the large figure in battle with a number of fiends, mostly devils and seemed to have a distinct advantage. Not an unusual scene for her to be seeing in her everyday life, though the one doing the fighting was rather more unusual. In fact it wasn't quite like anything she had seen before. Admittedly it bore a strong resemblance to a Child using the Shroud, but it's form was monstrous and as she watched the battle draw to a close her eyes widened as she saw the figure of a woman within the inhuman form, that was ripping the devils to pieces so viciously. The outer form was inhuman, but that didn't mean much when almost every Child's blood was tainted. You didn't judge by looks among the Children. Even so, the woman's form was rather less fearsome. Seeing as how the devils were on the losing side and she was more than happy to watch their kind being slaughtered, she watched the scene unfold without action, trying to learn as much as she could about the one battling them.

As the battle ended with the one the victor, Humility had yet to come to a conclusion as to it's nature, friendly or otherwise. It was killing fiends, and that was a big plus. On the other hand, fiends killed each other all the time in their petty squabbles for power, grudges or just out of plain spite. They were called fiends for a reason after all. It wouldn't be the first time she had stood back and watched their kind kill each other off, only to move in and finish off the winners herself once they were weakened. It was an excellent way to minimise their losses, and all method were fair when it came to fighting their eternal Enemy. It was also using something like the Shroud too. So there was a possibility that it could be a Child from another Clan, using radical new ability that they weren't familiar with to fight the Enemy. Strange, but not impossible. But if that was the case, then why had Rising gotten a vision about it? If this was indeed the 'Fiend' he had sent them out here to find. She almost clicked her tongue in frustration, but kept her discipline and did nothing to give her position away. There simply wasn't enough information to make a conclusion as to their next move, short of declaring their presence and calling for it to identify itself. Which was risky, giving up the advantage of surprise if it was hostile. That should be their last resort if they can't find out any other way. In any case, meeting back up would only be to confirm that they needed more information, so it was pointless. She hesitated for a moment weighting her options, then smoothly and cautiously began making her way closer while remaining deep in the shadows and hidden. Close enough to get a clear look at the stranger's features and any other details that might tell them more.

 
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 06:54 PM
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OOCBlargh. Ignore Song of Arcane Might for Sup. Resistance then.

As Humility approaches the creature/woman, it looks around for more threats, forcing her to be careful with her movements. Fortunately, it appears that she is not noticed as after a minute or so it appears satisfied that there are no further threats it relaxes, with the shadowy out creature shrinking until it only just covers the woman before it appears to fall backwards as if their feet were still connected. It is only when the creature flattens as it 'falls' that it dawns on Humility that the woman The Plane of Shadows has a sun, but it's nothing but a dull globe in the sky which lets through minimal light (just enough for creatures in darkvision to see). It also doesn't ever really set and moves about randomly in the sky.had no shadow. By the time the creature had 'fallen it had also fully flattened and now looked indistinguishable to a normal shadow.

As for the woman herself, she looked to be in her 20's, with dark hair and eyes. Her clothing and armour is the same mis-matched sort of most Children, including a bag slung over her shoulder which she seems very careful with. Nothing really seemed to be out of place with her behaviour, even after the creature became her shadow, at least until a few moments later when she started to speak in Outercommon in a frustrated tone, seemingly to herself. "We can't stay here much longer. He must have found us now and we can't afford to bring the Lone Lord to the In'ira camp." There is a pregnant pause during which she occasionally glances at her own shadow. "Well I don't see you coming up with any ideas." There is another pause before she sighs angrily. "No. We can't go into the camp, not without having to answer questions we can't answer." Another pause before an annoyed huff. "Demi-God I may be, but I don't fancy trying to lie to the Sword in the Dark or mother, so no, I'm not going to go in there and try to lie my way through it." There was another pause, this time accompanied with a glare towards her shadow. "We might have to do that if a patrol doesn't find us soon. From what Snark said our best bet would be through Vallyn, or whatever he's calling himself at the moment."

~MTWC
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 09:30 PM
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Old Jul 10th, 2013, 11:12 PM
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OOCLone Lord = Invidia.

Names = Make a knowledge check.

~MTWC
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Old Jul 11th, 2013, 12:15 AM
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OOCOkay, Knowledge: Local check on Snark and Vallyn.
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Old Jul 11th, 2013, 03:05 AM
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OOCShe doesn't recognise the names.

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Old Jul 11th, 2013, 10:57 PM
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Stilling her breath and erasing her presence, Humility crouched low after getting as close as she dared and narrowed her eyes as she observed the stranger. She took in the woman's looks, with her lack of inhuman features and dress that seemed much like that any of her brothers and sisters, down to the mismatched armour. She wouldn't have thought anything off had this person been introduced to her as a visitor from another Clan. If it wasn't for her out here alone like this, with her shadow apparently being animate and able to encompass her in order to fight and the like, she wouldn't have any suspicions. Her voice speaking Outercommon sounded quite natural as well, aside from the fact that she seemed to be conversing with her own shadow. Which would scream crazy if hadn't just watched the fight a moment ago. Under the circumstances though, the shadow having a will of it own and able to talk to her unheard couldn't be laughed off. She had seen much stranger things after all. But all her concerns were blown away and her mind frozen on the spot when the Lone Lord was mentioned. She really did stop breathing at that moment, and before she knew what she was doing her teeth and clenched and ground so hard it hurt her jaw and her hands had at some point reached back and grasped hold of the hilts of her swords and were squeezing them tightly enough that the knuckles might be white if she wasn't drow. She took in the rest of the conversation in a haze, her heart pounding like a drum in her ears and she wavered between two intense emotions. Cold, implacable hatred as deep as the ocean and thick as molasses on one side, and her stomach clenched into a knot of old, icy fear on the other.

"Here? HE is going to follow this person here? How? Why? What should I...."

She could hardly think straight, her usual calm, patient and relentless train of thought thrown into utter disarray. It was all she could do not to start shaking and panting with her internal conflict, giving her position away. Only decades of hard training and discipline kept her reaction internalised and her body frozen stiff, the years having beaten it into her that no matter how she felt or what she was going to, you had to keep control. Even if the damned Demon Goddess herself is strolling past the rock you're hiding under, you do not twitch nor make so much as a murmur. No matter how messed up the situation is, you can never lose your grip. That gets not only you killed, but maybe everyone with you killed as well. She had trained for years to master it, yet it was barely enough to keep her together right then. She thought of how she would respond if Invidia himself appeared in front of her that very day and she bared her teeth with enmity.

"I'll kill the bastard! I'll cut those bleeding eyes right out of his head and feed them to him on a skewer! I'll show him a hell he won't be able to call home! I'll....I'll...."

Her thoughts fell silent as that cold knot in her stomach twisted tighter. A image flashed through her mind of emerald eyes staring right through her with contempt and black feathers filling her field of vision so that nothing else could be seen, and she lost her grip on her hatred as dread took over. Not fear of being hurt or killed of course. All Children overcame that particular worry long ago. Dying was fine as long as it meant something and was of your own will, so long as you were free. No, her fear was to lose something far more important. Herself. Her free will, her awareness of herself or even the thought that she even wanted to be free. To be a slave yet again. Fighting to keep control, she realised the stranger had stopped talking to her shadow after mentioned a couple of names she hadn't heard before. She needed to get a grip on herself and get back to business. She slowly took a deep breath, being careful not to make any sound as she did. Took it, held it and then let it out, before repeating it at carefully measured intervals. The breathing exercises her master had taught her in order to gain stillness of mind and to centre herself. She kept it up for a short moment and felt her composure slowly return as her thoughts quieted, and she was finally able to concentrate on her next move.

She quickly reviewed what she just heard. The way she had spoken made it sound like the Lord of Envy was after her, and that she was hesitating to head for the camp in order to prevent being followed to it's location. Implying that she was trying to protect them and even knew where it was, which meant she was an ally. She even implied she was hoping to come across a patrol, presumably in order to make contact without having to head towards the camp. On the other hand she also said she would have to attempt to deceive the Sword in the Dark, which doesn't sound like something an ally would do. There was also something about her being a demi-god as well, which was either an inside joke, or Humility was in more trouble than she had bargained for. Whatever the case their were several reasons to think the woman friendly, and at least one or two to be suspicious of, so not completely conclusive. But having heard that Inividia might be after her, the drow could no longer afford to go with the wait and see approach, hoping she would give even more away with the conversation. She couldn't take the risk that it might be true, both for the In'ira's sake and for much more personal reasons as well. Plus if she waited much longer, the woman might decide to move on which would risk her getting away before they could get any answers from her. All in all, there was only one thing to do. She had told the other two to meet back and pool information before planning their next move, but so what? No battle plan ever survived contact with the enemy, and she was sure they were watching and might very well have heard all that just now as well. For all her emphasis on patience and careful planning, when she saw that something needed doing right then, she could be quite precipitous. Often surprised Children who knew her back at camp, but had never accompanied her into battle before. They would be amazed when she abandoned a plan that was no longer workable on the spot and took action as she judged necessary, leaving every else to follow along. Not so much a calculated move, as much as letting her original impulsive nature off the leash for a moment. She was always resisting it after all. Even now she felt a thrill of anticipation at finally being able to forget her restraint and leap into action at last.

Switching to full battle readiness she slowly drew her swords, the well oiled blades and comfortably worn leather making hardly a sound as she did. The grips felt so natural in her hands that she could believe that she was born holding them, like they were an extension of her arms. A cold smile formed on her lips and the adrenaline began to pump as she raised her blades before her and her stance subtly shifted to a more sinister pose, as though poised to slide a blade between a person's ribs the moment they looked away.Then it happened all at once. She rose from her crouch and took a step in the direction of the stranger. The shadows still seemed to cling to her as she moved, yet something strange happened mid step. The shadows suddenly swelled and wrapped themselves around her form completely, before collapsing in on her form and leaving nothing in their place. Before one could blink or even take notice of her disappearance, the shadows right behind the stranger stretched and expanded, forming into a woman's figure before falling away to reveal Humility. In the blink of an eye it was already over. One instant she was hidden in the shadows not to far away, the next she was standing behind the woman with her blades drawn and levelled at the other's neck, just close enough to be felt for what they were. She should still be invisible, but didn't think that would be a problem in this instance as she spoke in a controlled, clipped tone of voice, right into the woman's ear.

"Do I count as a patrol? I really wouldn't move if I were you. And that includes your shadow. If it so much as twitches on it's own, your head will hit the floor before it's claws can touch me. Now why don't you start telling me who you are and what your business in these parts is. You can also tell me who Snark and Vallyn are, but first things first. What I really want to know is how you're involved with the Lone Lord damn his eyes and why you might be bringing him anywhere, let alone to the In'ira."

The cold smile remained, but her voice wasn't laughing at all as she spoke in Outercommon. She noted that the other two might be a little irritated that she had acted on her own after warning them not to, but she had judged that there was no time to wait and was prepared to get the flak over it. With their experience they should be able to adapt and decide how to proceed on their own, whether to stay hidden to support her if trouble started, or to come over and help with negotiation. She just hoped that the woman's answer was one that wouldn't lead to one of them having to die.

OOCOkay, she used Shadow Blink to teleport to the position directly behind the unidentified woman. She also switches to Assassin's Stance the round before she moved, but used Dual Stance to in Child of Shadow until the end of the current turn, and the teleport should count as moving at least 10 feet right? So she would still have concealment.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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The strange woman doesn't even flinch when the blade is pressed against their neck and Humility speaks. "Well. It's about time someone found me." She twists around suddenly, grabbing Humility's sword in her bare hand quicker than the Drow's not insignificant reflexes can react to. The two, therefore, find themselves almost directly face to face and Humility can't help but find something familiar about her face. Perhaps she had seen her before? Or had even known a parent or a grandparent who's looks she favoured? The stranger nods towards the hand holding the sword, which isn't even bleeding. "Notice the lack of blood? As good as your blade and your arm are Humility, you'll have a tough time causing me serious and permanent harm." She lets go of the sword, still looking at Humility, although she got the impression she couldn't see her entirely, as she wasn't looking at her to eye, but at her forehead. [b]"But I'm not here to hurt you or any of my brothers and sisters. She holds out her hand, which has a slight cut with a thin line of blood, before wiping away the blood to reveal seemingly pristine skin. "Humility is not familiar with the name or the Family, though neither is surprising, since there's almost half a million Children and hundreds of FamiliesI am Shadow of the True Dawn Avengers. You've already met the Drow word for 'friend', which literally translates as 'trusted one'Abbil." She nods her head towards her shadow. "And to answer your first question, your father is after me because I took something from him. Or rather, someone." This time she nods towards the bag slung over her shoulder.

"I've got a Prince in that bag. The surviving Sharakan Prince, Tasak, to be exact. Invidia whisked him away and has been keeping him hidden in Invidia since our attack. I came here to deliver him to the Sword in the Dark with a warning that to kill him like Mockingbird killed his brother and father will sour the Sharakans to accepting his sister and the rightful heir." She slinks the bag off of her shoulder, placing it on the ground. It barely looks big enough to stick your head and shoulders into though it was likely an extra-dimensional bag of some kind. "And to answer your other questions: Snark is my cousin, of the again, Humility does not recognise the FamilyTrue Dawn Silencers and Vallyn is my father's father's brother. He is not one the Children."

~MTWC
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 08:49 PM
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Humility's eyes widened as the woman spun and grabbed hold of the blade with her bare hand so fast she had only begun to react when the weapon was already caught. She had been over proud of her abilities on her youth, but with years of training and experienced she had allowed herself some confidence that her speed and precision were both excellent and could be counted on to overcome any but the most powerful of enemies. She was used to giving herself harsh reminders of her own limits, finding anyone with the skill to defeat her and challenging them to gain perspective along with getting useful experience and training in the process. So she was able to handle the blow to her ego without much difficulty. Even so, to think that someone she had never heard of had the ability to manage it so easily was a surprise. It seems she hadn't been searching the ranks of her people as carefully as she had thought. Staring at the woman's face, she did see something vaguely familiar. She was sure this was their first meeting, but it seems like she might have met someone similar. A relative perhaps? She could quite place where. Her cold smile had vanished and her expression was one of cool scrutiny and appraisal. Indeed, no blood. The real jolt came when the woman named her even while seeming to focusing more on her position than her face, as though she couldn't actually see her with her own eyes so much as sense her presence. In which case, how was she recognised? Especially when they had never met. She could understand that there might be rumours of Invidia's daughter among the First-Born, but to not even have to ask when her face and eyes were yet to be visible? It was strange. And it only got stranger as the woman named herself and explained the rest. By the time she was done, Humility wasn't sure what to think and was shaking her head as she took a comfortable distance and lowered her blades without sheathing them.

"Shadow is it? I wonder why they called you that.......?"

The quip was delivered in an off-hand tone dry a bone in the desert sun, while she tried to collect her thoughts. Finally she shook her head and muttered.

"This is getting much too complicated for my liking. It's so much easier to deal with problems that can be solved by just stabbing them enough times......"

But the lady didn't bleed. Was she really a demi-god? Humility considered actually stabbing her once or twice to find out, but decided that was her repressed impulsive side talking and resisted it. At last she took a pointed look around at the scattered remains of the fiends that had been wiped out a moment before, a look the other probably couldn't see, and sighed before continuing.

"Well, first things first. Shall we change location? Standing here waiting for more of the bastards to show up isn't what good Children do. We'll move a short distance and rendezvous with the others in my patrol. Then we can talk business. Follow my lead. Oh. One other thing. Please make that the last time you call that damned devil my 'father'. Technically correct it may be, but say it again and I'll be tempted to see just how tough a time I'll actually have causing you 'serious and permanent harm'. No offense."

Her tone was measured and not hostile, but made it clear that she took this point very seriously. Without saying anything more she turned and began making her way towards the spot where she had parted from the other two, sure that as soon as they saw her heading that way they would understand they were meeting up. She hadn't recognised the True Dawn Avengers and the True Dawn Silencers, which wasn't surprising with the all the families there were and the fact that Humility wasn't someone with many personal connections outside the First-Born. She didn't put more than a casual effort into social ties and knowing all about other families and the people in them. So if they were going to question Shadow further, she wanted their superior knowledge and connections. They probably also had a better idea what the Sword in the Dark was currently up to and what He would want them to do about this. This in mind she moved at a pace that Shadow could keep up with, while not taking her eyes off her for a second or losing her stance. She didn't believe the woman was an enemy any more, but was slow to trust and never took any chances. There were still many questions about this woman that needed answering.

OOCHumility stops using Dual Stance and maintains the Assassin's stance from now. Otherwise she moves as mentioned and stays on her guard.
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Old Jul 13th, 2013, 02:34 PM
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Shadow smiles almost affectionately at the reprimand and warning. "Of course. Just making sure that you're who you seem to be and making it clear that I know who you are." She picks up the bag. "And you can shut up now." Before Humility as a chance to respond to the confusing statement Shadow continues. "No. We'll synchronise if we need to and we won't be walking that far." She glances in Humility's direction with a questioning look. Assuming Humility confirms that she'll continue. "See. No sense inflicting Shadow Friend in Drow, though spoken as if an actual nameBarra'abbil's presence on her unless we have to."

Whisper and Screech are waiting for the pair at the rendezvous point, both of them still invisible, however Shadow smiles as she approaches them. "Ah, that explains why I didn't notice any of you before then." She turns towards Humility, slinking the bag off of her shoulder again. "So, lets get to the point shall we? Will you hand the Prince over to the Sword in the Dark with my warning? I can't do it myself without stretching a promise I made and I'd be a lot more comfortable luring Invidia away from the In'ira camp before getting on with what I came to the World Between Worlds for." Judging by the lack of a reaction from the twins they had overheard that part of the conversation as well. "He's not even sure exactly who took him, so ideally I'd like to lead him to one of his siblings, or maybe even to Deimos."

"And no-" She begins after a slight pause. "-before you ask I can't tell you my greater purpose here. Rescuing the Prince is a bonus. Powerful magic binds my tongue, but if you pass on what you heard and what I've told you then it should be good enough. I would, however, like to have private words with you before I leave either way Humility."

~MTWC
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