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Author Topic: A Return  (Read 6017 times)
Aksefn
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« on: November 11, 2014, 02:47:21 pm »

By the Temple Altar
[           ] A large statue of an unknown God stands behind the altar,
[           ] watching over all that enter this temple.  It is said that this
[   <o>   ] God was the first of all, responsible for the creation of
[    1      ] Tharel.  The temple altar serves as a starting point for most
[    1      ] adventurers careers, offering a healing service in the name of
               the goodly Gods.  A large sign has been placed against the
               wall.   
[Exits: south]
         A wooden bench has been painted a nice bright white.
         A pit for sacrifices is in front of the altar.
         A fireplace has been inlaid with mithril designs.

Homanu stands here, healing the weak.

A vibrating quickling speeds into the room, alights, and visibly shudders as he focuses his will to slow his body.

Homanu says 'You should really sit on the bench, you will heal faster.'
Homanu smiles warmly at the world.

The vibrating quickling rolls his eyes and mutters 'Some things never change.' He shudders again, seems to instantly move to the bench, then shudders once more.

The vibrating quickling sits back and closes his eyes, letting the familiar sensations wash him with memories for awhile. He almost dozes off, and is quickly prodded by Homanu, and reminded that vagrancy is not permitted by the Temple Altar.

His body shudders again as he releases the meditative state.

^Very Well,^ he thinks, ^time to move along anyway.^

He disappears in the blink of an eye, nearly leaving a cloud of dust in his wake.

The Courtyard
[             ] This courtyard is actually rather welcoming.  Smooth
[  G 1 G    ] flagstones cover the ground, and flower-beds are filled with
[   <G>S S] all manner of bright blossoms.  The hustle and bustle of city
[    %       ] life can be heard just to the south, while a hallway leads
[    1       ] further into the school just north of here.  A large iron gate
                stands to the west, where the combat arena can be seen, and a
                small sign has been placed upon it.   
[Exits: north east south (west)]
         An extravagant marble fountain stands in the middle of the courtyard.

Jarrel Whitefire stands here, offering kind words to all newcomers.
Jarrel says 'Please give me your token if you still possess it. If not or you
 have been here before proceed north to begin your survival training.'
 
 The vibrating quickling exchanges kind words with Jarrel Whitefire, and thanks him for the bag of goodies. The vibrating quickling then speeds off into the arena, retraining skills long atrophied. He spends several days sprinting around the arena, and the sewers underneath.
 
 During this time, several individuals take note of the quickling. They welcome the quickling to the city, some even providing magical or material assistance.
 
 Becoming more accustomed to his skills, the quickling decides it is time to head back home.
 
 Unholy Alcove of Ytrewtsu
[           ] Flickering candles illuminate this small bloody alcove.  Only
[           ] those who are truly dedicated to death, destruction, and true
[   <o>   ] misery dare to journey this far into the temple of Ytrewtsu.
[  % ? ?  ] The requirements for joining this unholy sect are not great.
[           ] Loss of ones soul in return for power is a trade-off many are
               willing to make.   
[Exits: south]

After spending an unknown amount of time in meditative prayer, his eyes snap open. He feels the power of the dark one, it flows through him, almost as a secondary bloodstream. He zips along to carry out the work of the Great Malevolent one.

He strides confidently through Grebe's tavern, deftly avoiding physical contact while crossing the raucous common room. As he crosses the back room, a drow watches intently from the shadows. The quickling zips past the drow, and heads down to the basement.

Across the room, a grinning woman dressed all in black reclines in a corner booth. The quickling zips into the space beside her, lays his hand on her thigh and grins back at her.

He then zips into place across the table from the woman, as she grabs at the space he just vacated. His smile grows all the more wide as the hers becomes a deep scowl. The scowl does not last, quickly breaking back into a smile.

'So, you have returned.' she states.

'Do you have work?' he asks her.

'Of course I do.' she replies. She produces an envelope from nowhere, and slides it across the table.

'Excellent.' He grabs the envelope, appears next to her briefly, pecks her on the cheek, and is suddenly on the other side of the room. With a wink, a flash of a smile, and a bow that included a flourish of his hat, the quickling disappears back up the stairway, leaving before the woman has a chance to react.

He zooms out the city gate and towards his target, happily whistling a tune of despair along the way. There is much work to be done, fear to be sown, and death to be wrought. The future is looking very bright to this malevolent little quickling.
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Aksefn
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« 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.
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