« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2014, 08:49:56 am »
The vibrating quickling steps out of Grebes Tavern, coin purse once again fat with the reward from his latest 'assignment'. With a weighty purse, and having just seen the woman in black, he should be beaming from ear to ear. But today, something felt different.
Not just today. More and more often these moods have been popping up. Seeing the work, which once felt like the greatest job in the realm, lose its lustre. Perhaps the assignments have been to blame. Lately, all the requests have been the same; one assassination followed by another.
^No, its not that. The jobs have always been assassinations. I used to enjoy them... I used to revel in them.^
^What then? What has changed me so? Why does the killing not only feel bland, but even slightly... revolting?^
^No. That can not be it. Killing is what I do. Killing is who I am.^
^I know. I'll go get a new slave to have some fun with. That's all I need. I wonder what kind of exotic slaves I can find in the Underdark.^
His chin rises and pace quickens as his mind becomes determined on a course. Moments later, a trail of dust races through the rear gate and off towards Woodfell Forest.
Walking through the slavers pens, he quickly realizes this is not going to work as intended. Halfway down the row, bile actually starts working its way towards his mouth. Bile! At the thought of Slaves!
^How could I have gone so soft? This is ridiculous.^
But it was no use. Being a monk, he was quite in tune with his mind and body. There was no denying it.
He felt disgusted, at the conditions these slaves were being kept in, and the fact that they were being sold as nothing more than breathing meat.
A rage built in him, a blinding haze built in his vision, his breath quickened, and his pulse raced. His body moved, he felt as a passenger inside his head, no longer controlling the limbs. He spun and ran circles around the room as only a quickling might. He attacked the slaver from one angle, then a completely different one only moments later, and then another and so on. Before long the slaver lay, bloody and broken, in a pile on the floor.
He felt very confused. Slavers markets are not a foreign thing to him, yet they have never before elicited such a response. What could have changed?
While pondering his out of place feelings, and even more strange actions, his feet whisked him away from the slave market. As he began to consciously notice his surroundings once more, he realized that he was already outside the magical influence of the Underdark. Without a second though he snatched his Lucky Coin from the Tiny Belt Pouch he wore, flipped it casually, and disappeared.
As his surroundings changed with the teleportation, he almost retched. His thoughts really had him troubled, he had previously not even felt queasy while using relocation magic. He always thought it had to do with how accustomed he was to intense speed, as compared to most other mortal creatures. Whether or not that is true, he never cared.
He was in the Monks Guild. Thankfully he had imprinted this location into the magic of his coin. Going back to the dark and bloody temple was out of the question at the moment. He needed to clear his mind. He needed to meditate.
Three days later, he arose from the meditation. He went to the Archives and grabbed book after book from the Pantheon section. Thankfully, his mind was used to working very quickly to keep up with his body. This actually extended to reading, and sometimes writing, depending on the implements. He had read the entire section by the next morning. He decided to read it twice more.
By the time he left the Archives, a smile was once more upon his face. Not his usual, half-smirk of almost condescending amusement. No, as he headed back to the guild hall, he positively beamed. Inside, he felt much more at ease; the world itself seemed to be balanced, rather than horribly skewed to one side. Between the meditation and the research, he felt like an entirely different halfling. No longer would he incite fear and death in the name of Ytrewtsu. No, he would spend his days plying the luck of Asteri, and nights watching His heavenly dance.
Upon leaving the guild house, he departed the city in the literal blink of an eye, speeding towards the river. He found that taking alternate paths could be helpful. They could also, as this one, have less doors to slam into; which were quite painful on the occasions when one was misjudged. Also, he had once seen a lizard that could run on top of water. Many a soggy day were spent before he would resign that more is needed than speed alone. Thankfully, with a little help from a spell of flight, though that bit was his little secret, he could zoom along on liquid as easily as on solid ground.
As he sped along the river towards Naerlan, he continued to muse about that most beautiful of spells, flight. Water walking was not the end of its usefulness for him. No, while he was quite nimble already, while assisted with this spell, he could run on nearly anything and everything. This was extremely helpful for those 'impossible feats' he so liked to use to confuse and disorient; not to mention for breaking and entering. Things such as running along walls and ceilings were always good for a laugh. Especially when the onlookers attributed the actions to his speed, rather than a spell.
Upon entering Naerlan, he headed south and went to the Boulevard of Dreams, then hopped down Trickster's Way, and finally stood at the Base of Asteri's Spire. Looking up the spire further strengthened his resolve. He followed the staircase to the Starlit Orchestra, and stared at the performance for a time, breathless.
After a time, he noticed Rhistel standing next to him. The quickling's mind raced for a moment, how had he become so entranced as to not notice the priest approach?
"Welcome, Aksefn" Rhistel stated.
"I... uh.. how..." the halfling stuttered, clearly flabbergasted.
"Calm down. The Lord has been waiting for this day." Rhistel replies soothingly.
"The Lord? Who..."
"The Master of Song, of course," Rhistel offers, a wave of his arm gesturing to the orchestra. "The Choreographer of the stars."
"He has been watching me?"
"Of course. He does enjoy a good prank, and you perform yours with such flair. Did you not expect him to be interested in you?" Rhistel replies.
"Well, no, I just...
"From what I have read of the God of Luck, he seems very interesting to ME, but..." the halfling trails off again.
"Well of course; and he is interested in you for the very reasons that draw you to him. Please, head up through the spire, and rest in the top. Stargleam will be happy to provide magical assistance." Rhistel begins to walk away.
The halfling stares for a moment, frozen.
"Oh, and Aksefn," Rhistel adds, "Take this."
Rhistel tosses a small object behind himself and towards at the halfling. Aksefn catches the thing, and realizes it is a holy symbol. The symbol is inscribed with runes, some of the largest representing Luck, Song, and Dance.
The halfling looks up towards the priest once again, unsure what to say. He realises that he must have been examining the symbol for some time, as the priest is already on the other side of the room, casually moving a large drum away from the stage.
"Thank you," he whispers, as he begins to head for the Veil of Stars.
"You are most welcome," comes the reply, though the halfling is unsure how. The priest is still on the other side of the room, and the reply was no shout; merely a whisper.
The halfing smiles as he begins to head up the stairs.