[D&D] Unlucky Aces

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      This next one, is an excerpt of one of the PBP (play-by-posts) I used to be in.

      Sadly, Other than a short background on my PC, this was all that I had before that forum closed.

      *** *** ***

      Background:

      She is a Wild Elf Barbarian from a mountainous/forested area.

      She is married with one child.

      Her knowledge of “human-common” is fragmented at best.

       

      One day she was tracking something from her forest/mountain.  So intent was she that when she finally looked up after a rain shower.  She had lost the trail and discovered she was in the middle of a vast plain, with no sight of a forest nor any mountains anywhere.  She does not recall what it was she was tracking (as it was something she had never seen tracks of before), and soon headed out in a random direction.

      She soon ran into a caravan, where she found out she had a nack with animals.

      *** *** ***

      Some time later in the PBP:

      The Elf Maiden was marveling at the ‘bed’, and giggling as she presses
      down at its softness.

      When spoken to by Dukinnin, she shrugs her shoulders in the negative at
      the request.

      The Kagonesti then picks up a dow filled pillow.  Soft.  So soft, and…

      With a twinkle of mischieve in her eyes, she turns to Mana, pillow at
      the ready…

      As the Wild Elf readies her pillow a servant appears with the tea Mana
      requested.  You are a bit shocked at the speed of the delivery,
      especially since the red robed chamberman has yet to leave the room.

      “A good night to you both,” Dukinnin says softly, smiling at the
      innocence of the Kagonesti as she gets ready.  If Mana is perceptive,
      she will see Dukinnin’s gaze travel to the Wild Elf, warning Mana of the
      impending doom of dow.

      Mana smiles, and gets out of the bed.  She is wearing
      rather…skimpy…sleeping attire, which reveals many of her scars, and
      takes the Tea and mint leaves.

      She takes the tea and mint leaves, and sets them where they will be in
      little to no danger of being ‘spilled’.

      Having set them aside, she rushes toward the Kagonesti Elf to ‘play
      fight’…

      The Elf Maiden fains surprise, before the ‘impending doom of dow’ begins.

      Of course, her hand grip was on the side of the pillow that was closed.
      Her first swing opened up the pillow on contact.

      And a huge exclamation of laughter erupts from the Kagonesti’s throat.

      Mana is utterly surprised when the pillow leaves the pillowcase, and, as
      she lands, bursts into the same amount of laughter.  Then grabs her own
      and whops her elvin roommate in the back of the head.

      The Elf Maiden lets out a big “Woof” as the pillow of Mana strikes.

      The Kagonesti jumps for her lost pillow.  She grabs it tightly with her
      hand, fingers digging deeper into it, and rolls to avoid another ‘attack’.

      Nimbly getting up, the Elf Maiden gets ready to make a mighty swing with
      her pillow.

      Sadly, the pillow rips in two from the exertion.  Feathers flying into
      the air.

      An exclamation of shock, surprise and delight all in one bursts out of
      the lips of the Kagonesti.

      Mana sees the pillow tear in half as feathers fly everywhere.  After
      recovering from a laughing fit, she tosses her pillow back onto the bed,
      and goes over to her tea, pulling out a few feathers and laughing some
      more.

      After she removes the feathers, she drinks the tea.  She takes one of the
      mint leaves and shreds it a little, then rolls it all up and chews on it
      just a little to get the mint flavor in her mouth an on her breath.  She
      really seems to enjoy mint leaves…

      Seeing as her ‘victim’ is more interested in mint tea leaves, the Elf
      Maiden flops down onto her bed.

      Oh, so soft.

      The Kagonesti curries up like a tiny kitten on the bed, not bothering
      with the blanket or the remains of her pillow, and …. purrs!

      Mana sees and hears the elf maiden curl up and purr.  “I see you like
      this bed, these are, by far, some of the softest beds I have ever slept
      in.” She says gently to the Kagonesti, as Mana sets next to her, and
      moves some of her hair out of her face.  She looks at the Kagonesti and
      smiles softly.  After a few minutes, she goes to bed.

      Mana and the Wild Elf hear a knocking at the door and hear a male’s
      voice, “Ladies, breakfast is served in the dining hall.  Your presence
      is requested immediately.”

      Mana wakes up feeling very refreshed.  She gets out of the bed and finds
      the outfit she wore last night at her performance.  After getting
      dressed, she wakes the Kagonesti and makes the signs for “Are you ready
      to eat?”.  After ‘asking’ the elf maiden, she opens the door only enough
      for her to get out, then shuts the door behind her so her friend can do
      what she needs to do in private.

      “MMmmmm!  I’m famished!” Mana says as she stretches and groans from doing
      so on her way to the Pasha.

      When Mana steps out into the corridor, she notices there are no
      intersections or any other doors other than a “light at the end of a
      seemingly dim lit tunnel”.  She hears the clinking of silverware and the
      sounds of conversation, possibly between Dukinnin and the pasha.  There
      is only one way to walk and that is towards the sound and light.

      Once her ‘roommate’ has left, the Elf Maiden jumps out of the bed.

      Fully awake.

      None of the feathers, nor the torn pillow nor its case anywhere in the
      room.

      A quick search reveals that even those that might have been caught in
      the blanket, or under the bed, or anywhere else was gone.

      And she did not recall hearing anyone entering the room at all.

      So, nervously, she opens the door and hesitantly goes towards the smell
      of food.

      Mana keeps herself alert when she realizes there are no other doors in
      the hallway… /…This is unusual…/ she thinks to herself.

      When the Wild Elf exits the door she finds Mana a few steps ahead of
      her, again with no where else to go except towards the light and sound.

      The Elf Maiden hurries up to catch up with Mana.

      The hairs on the back of her neck stand up.

      She likes not, nor can say what exactly is bothering her.  Just that
      something is not right.  Not being able to count, she does not know
      about that lack of doors, intersections, etc.

      Mana looks at the Elf Maiden and signs, “I don’t think there is anything
      to be worried about.  Byt the way, I never got your name while we were
      guarding the caravan.  Would you mind telling me?”

      The Elf Maiden points to Mana.

      “M/ae/-nia.”

      Her voice sounds like that of a child, sweet, as it tries to pronounce the words.

      The Kagonesti then points to herself.

      “/Ya’/Takk.”

      The Wild Elf smiles a smile of accomplishment, a smile of proudness.

      As Mana and the Kagonesti continue walking, they get closer to the end
      of the tunnel.  The sounds continue to filter in and now you can start
      to smell the various delicacies awaiting.  You swear you smell bacon,
      eggs, and even a hint of roasted bailapple, an exotic fruit of the far
      east which is extremely expensive in these parts.

      Mana smiles at Ya’takk and signs, “Let’s eat!” while she gives a big
      smile and starts to speed up a little.

      The Elf Maiden speeds up to keep up with Mana, and will enter the
      room/exit the corridor, when she gets there.

      “Good Morning,” the pasha says when he notices the two enter.

      You take a minute to take in the surroundings.  You are in a brightly
      naturally lit “room” which is warm with sunshine.  You see no roof and
      at a second glance you notice the walls to be semi transparent.  The
      fresh air is welcome, and you smell a hint of moisture, with the
      distinctive hint of salt.  Birds fly overhead, white, full, puffy clouds
      race by, and the sounds of surf are heard in the background.

      The table seems to be carved out of white granite.  It is roughly 15
      feet long with food piled all over.  Fruits, roasted meats, cheeses,
      eggs, flat cakes, and the such.  Fried pastries and breads of every
      kind.  The food would easily feed 2-3 families for 2 days.  A servant is
      pouring a hot cup of coffee for the pasha at this precise instant.

      You see that there are others in the “room”, which is easily 30′ by 30′
      if not larger. Two other corridors lead in/out of this room. There are 5
      human servants, two male, and three female.  All beautiful specimens of
      their gender.  Dukinnin is also in the room and seated at the pasha’s
      right.  There are three “guards” dressed in red leather armour, with
      only their hands exposed.  They are armed with broadswords on their
      back.  The largest of these guards, a hulking humanoid, has two
      broadswords upon his back.

      The table has six empty chairs around it.  The Pasha is seated at one
      end of the table.  On his left side of the table there are three empty
      seats, directly opposite the pasha at the other end of the table there
      is a seat available, then the last two seats are on the side which
      Dukinnin is seated.

      “Well,” the pasha announces.  “Are you going to gape at your
      surroundings, or will you have a seat?”

      After a slight pause he asks, “I trust the two of you had an interesting
      and fruitful night?”

      As Mana sits, Pasha Stergerious waves to a male servant and says, “Berry
      juice for the young lady.”

      A muscular male, eyes the color of fresh mowed grass, approaches with a
      smile.  He pours from a silver pitcher, blood red, sweet smelling juice,
      into her crystal goblet.  He looks her in the eye and smiles
      affectionately.

      The pasha waits till the servant resumes his position at the outer
      limits of the room and asks, “The room not to your liking my dear Mana?”

      The Elf Maiden’s eyes are wide with curiosity.

      She can’t help herself, but to approach one of the semi-transparent
      walls, to look out-side, and to place a hand on it.

      When the Wild Elf places her hand on the wall. it feels curiously cold,
      like ice.  Her hand doesn’t come away with moisture, but she will
      definately feel the hard coldness.

      When she looks outside, she sees a beach.  When she looks at the
      placement of the room, she will notice it is approximately 10 feet off
      the water, and 20 feet from shore.  The room is suspended above water.
      She sees lush greenery about 20 feet from the beach, tall beautiful
      trees swaying in the wind.  The Wild Elf will also see some aquatic
      wildlife, possibly the outline of a shark.

      Pasha Stergerious sees the Wild Elf’s astonishment and smiles broadly and
      gunuinely.  “Do you like it Ya’takk?” he asks.

      “Wow.”

      Is all the Elf Maiden can say, until she sees the shark.

      At which point she jumps back in alarm.

      Terror evident on her face, as she looks this way and that for a save haven.

      Dukinnin sees the terror upon the Wild Elf’s face and rises quickly.  He
      takes her hand into his and calmly says in a soothing voice, “You are
      safe here, elf.  Those beasts cannot reach us here.”

      He then attempts to bring her to the seat next to Mana and farthest from
      the Pasha.

      The Elf Maiden allows herself to be taken to her seat, clearly shaken.

      Having a solid chair and table in front of her, the Elf Maiden slowly
      calms down.

      Only now does the need for food and drink enter her mind.

      She looks at the Pasha.

      “Food… pleeeeze.”

      The Kagonesti asks hesitantly.

      Dukinnin sees the Wild Elf ask for food, and he motions a servant male
      to “help” the shaken elf.

      The servant quickly fills the elf’s plate with cheeses and fruit.  He
      then asks if she would like some roasted pork.

      Dukinnin rises and announces to the servants standing at the edge of the
      room, “You are to take your leave to the kitchen.  Make haste.”  All the
      servants leave quietly and quickly.  As the last servant leaves, you
      notice the corridors have disappeared, leaving the room to only 4
      transperant walls.  Also, the noise of the surf, wind, and gulls have
      been muted.

      The pasha takes a moment to collect his thoughts and starts with, “You
      all have agreed to partake in my request.  You will be outfitted as you
      wish when you leave here.  Everything that you have brought with here is
      located in the armoury.  Dukinnin will escort you there when we are
      through.”

      Pasha Stergerious stands and you notice his regality yet again.

      “The item in which you are to retrieve is not a mere trinket, as Conroy
      has suggested.  It is a statue I wish for you to find.  It is the
      Amethyst Rose.  This carving is approximately 2 feet tall and carved
      completely of Amethyst.  It is a magical item, and should not be trifled
      with by the unskilled mages who are about to receive it.”  He pauses
      before continuing, “Due to my station, these magi cannot know that it is
      I who have hired you.  These rouges have stolen from me before, and if
      you find yourself in a position where death becomes those four, then so
      be it.”  He looks at Conroy then adds, “But that is not your mission.  I
      merely want you to bring the “Rose” to me.”

      “Dukinnin, the “Rose” if you will,” the pasha commands.

      Above the center of the table, a semi transpearant statue emerges.  When
      you look closely, the petals and stem are unbelievably detailed.  The
      flower part of the statue is actually blood red, but everything else is
      the color of the stone it is carved from, amethyst.  It is very fragile
      looking, as if a slight breeze could crack the stem in half.

      Dukinnin speaks, “Be careful of the power of this magical item.  It is
      many a magi that has gone mad from its’ …..  how should I say……
      visual whisperings.  Do not look into the “heart” of the rose for more
      than a moment or two, for your own sanity.  As fragile as it looks, do
      not be concerned about breaking it.  It is rumored that the object has
      endured even the acidic breaths of a Black Dragon by the name of
      Khisanth or something like that.”

      The image dissappears and the pasha speaks again.  “I had anticipated that
      Curare would accompany you, but I have reconsidered.  Instead you will
      carry this stone with you.” He tosses the stone to Conroy.  “It is a
      “locator”.  It will allow me to know your whereabouts should I desire to
      contact you.”

      The pasha then concludes with, “Now, do you have any questions?”

      “How strong are their numbers?  Just how powerful do you believe them to
      be without this ‘rose’?  Just how powerful do you believe them to be
      /with/ it?  Is there something that you’re hiding from us about them,
      like any allies they may have, or where they are located?  What other
      groups might we possibly draw allies from?  Just to rattle off a few…”
      Mana says mercilessly.

      Pasha Stergerious puts his hands up in a gesture of “I surrender”.

      He looks intensely at Mana and says very strongly, “I am not keeping
      anything from you. ”

      He then looks over all the others and continues.  “Their numbers?  First
      of all THEY are the head of the Mage Guild in Pilare.”  You recognize
      Pilare as a the next closest town, about 75 miles north of your current
      location.  A medium sized political city.  “The four magi I refer to are
      Comfune Fortinim, Kildare Mulfarge, Rien Gyenurius and Shelia Latrobine.
      They are powerful and politically connected in the realms.  Ambitious,
      convincing, greedy and self-righteous as well.  At their disposal,
      sometimes when the mayor of Pilare needs a favor, is the city guard.”

      “Their power comes from their combined years of study.  The “Rose” is a
      magical artifact, with powers you need not concern yourself with, other
      than it will not /make/ the four anymore /powerful/ than they already
      are.” He adds with disdain in his voice.

      “As far as allies, you are looking at them.  Trust only those you are
      with now.  The last known position of this artifact was that it was with
      the caravan you all were working with before coming to this location.
      My guess is… before I could purchase the entire caravan, the artifact
      was moved,”  the pasha explains.  With a look at Dukinnin he adds, “Our
      attempts at securing any other information have been futile.”

      The Elf Maiden looks on slightly bored, as the talk about the
      /artifact/, and who else might want it… but when it was mentioned that
      four magi are involved, she wanted to spit in superstitious disgust.
      She quickly swallowed it instead since they are being hired by one.

      And strangely, the Kagonesti did have a question.

      “Pling back /here/?”

      And it is the “Here” which she is unsure of.

      Here, this place over the water?
      Here, the tavern which the group was meet?
      Here, the… you see her confusion.

      Dukinnin smiles at the Wild Elf.  “It seems the rest of your party
      seemed to neglate that point.”

      “You can bring it back to this city.  When you enter, be sure we will
      make contact with you.  But you are NOT to bring it back to the Gecko.”

      “OH kay.”

      The Elf Maiden replies, a smile on her face for having been so acknowledged.

      This corridor is much different than the last.  Two steps takes you
      through it and you arrive at a well lit room.  You find yourselves in
      front of a 20 foot counter.  Behind the counter on the wall are many
      different types of armour, shields, swords and so on.

      A golden haired dwarf acknowledges the group and says, “Good Morin’.  I
      be told yer to be outfitted with your desires.  The trunks behind you
      are filled with yer personal items.”

      The dwarf spits into a spitoon.  You notice he has taken up the habit of
      chewing a broadleaf plant which creates a buzz for the chewer.

      “Now I be askin you, what are you in the mood fer?”

      The wide assortment of items behind the counter amazes the Elf Maiden.
      So much all in one place.

      Still, the armour made from metal is not to her liking, which it seems
      her companions are strongly looking at.

      And the gruff looking Dwarf, the Kagonesti is almost afraid to ask, to
      inquire.  But seeing as the others are admiring the stuff.

      “Leather?  And like boots?”

      Are her first items to ‘outfit’ her with.

      The dwarf looks over at the Kagonesti and considers her request.
      “Leather armour?  And boots?  Sure thig lass.”

      The dwarf turns his back and says loudly, “Leather boots and armour fer
      a skinny female wild elf!”

      A minute late an old dwarven woman, who looked to be as old as the hills
      appeared from below the counter.  Apparently there is a subterranean
      chamber under this room..  “EH?  Feather roots!?  And armour fer a
      shelf?  What ye be asking for BrendriK?”

      “Daft old woman!,” the golden haired dwarf, named Brendrik, exclaims.
      “I said I be needing LEATHER BOOTS AND ARMOUR FER A SKINNY FEMALE WILD
      ELF!”

      “Why didn’t ye say so then,” she replies.  She disappears under the
      counter and BrendiK looks over to the group and apologizes, “Me grandmom
      be losing her abilities to hear, ya see.  But her cookin’ be the best
      around.”

      “Anyone else be wanting anything?”

      “I need my equipment back, 2 quivers of arrows, a short-bow, and, I’m
      just wondering, do you have a cloak called a Concealer of Lies?  It is a
      cloak made especially for the…rougish type, and is enchanted to help
      someone remain unseen.  If not, could I look at all of your cloaks?”
      Mana says to the dwarf.

      The Elf Maiden looks open-mouthed at the grandmother dwarf.

      While the Elves age ‘gracefully’ (according to them), seeing the
      condition of an elder of a race of a rival is something unexpected to
      her, as was the treatment/lack of respect shown.

      “What is ‘skinnie’?”

      The Kagonesti asks, wondering if the armour will cover her body or
      reveal skin and lots of it.

      the dwarf turns his attention on the Wild Elf.  “Skinny be you.  Not
      fat,” he then points to his barrel sized chest, “like me.”  A large grin
      enimates from Brendrik.  He then deposits 3 “suits” of leather armour
      with matching boots.

      1. A dyed evergreen suit which will leave the arms bare, but cover the
      rest of your body including the neck.
      2. A light tan “tunic” style shirt with plunging neckline, and studs
      across the shoulders and thighs.
      3. A dark tan full body with no studs.

      The Elf Maiden takes the dark tanned leather full body (no studs) armor
      and its matching boots, and goes to put it on… right there in the
      middle of the room.

      A lack of bashfulness/modesty, or the simple fact that she is not
      familiar with ‘civilized’ codes of changing, or both.

      Either way, the Kagonesti plans on putting it on and making sure it fits.

      “OH FOR THE LOVE OF THE GODS!” BrendiK roars.  “Lassie, you can’t be
      tryin’ them there clothes on right here.  There be a room out the door,”
      he motions to the door with his hands, “And to the right.”

      In her current state of dress/undress, the Wild Elf slightly embarrassed
      by the tone of voice used by the Dwarf, goes to find that change room.

      The Elf Maiden, out in the hallway turns the wrong way to the ‘changing
      rooms’.

      Her cloths and her newly acquired armour in her arms, she goes off in
      search of this ‘changing room’, whatever that is.

      The wild elf stumbles into a human male servant…….

      The Elf Maiden ‘drops’ some of the clothing/armour during this
      encounter.  The lack of modesty/embarrassment is evident, as she does not
      even bother to try to cover-up.

      Having seen how the other ‘male servants’ reacted around the Pasha and
      their treatment around her, she looks at the servant, then at the
      dropped items.

      ~waits and sees if the servant will pick them up and offer to show her
      to the change rooms~

      Mana slips out from around a corner quietly and eyes the servant, “You
      know, I can tell that you aren’t used to being in cities.” Mana says as
      she walks up behind the elf maiden.

      She stops 5 feet behind the elf maiden, and looks at the servant, “Sir,
      would you help this lady with her clothing?  Afterall, it would be the
      gentlemanly thing to do.” Mana says with a very sweet smile.

      “Cities very strange.”

      The Elf Maiden admits while continuing to stand there and smile at the
      servant.

      “Gent… gent?.. Gentlemanly?  What that?”

      The Kagonesti asks in a naive voice.

      The servant stumbles about and stammers to Mana, “Umm..  but…  Well
      she is beautiful.”  After another longing glance he starts to pick up
      the clothes and then points out the changing room.  “Right there, miss.”

      ” ‘/Beautiful/’?”

      The Elf Maiden can’t fathom herself being called such, but turns towards
      the room the servant pointed to.

      The Wild Elf smiles at Mana and winks.

      Mana smiles back at the elf maiden, “Now…if you want to see
      something…we can speak when I return ” Mana says smiling innocently,
      as she whispers that to the servant as she turns and moves over to
      Emaroue and Conroy…

      The Elf Maiden stands before the door.

      If the servant does not move to open the door, she will (and hold it
      open while the servant enters with her clothing, then closes the door
      behind her.)

      The servant smiles at the Wild Elf and accepts the implied “invitation”,
      entering the changing room.

      The idea of having a servant fulfilling her needs, is something that up
      until today had never entered the Elf Maiden’s mind.

      But now, having the male servant here, holding her clothing, she decides
      to enjoy the moment.  (And in some regards the embarrassment of the
      servant.)

      She continues to smile, waiting to be ‘clothed’ by the servant.

      The servant smiles and places the clothing/armour upon the bench in the
      small room.  There is a full length mirror, no windows, a bench which
      could easily sit three people, and not much else.  The room measures 6
      foot by 6 foot by 10 foot high.  Obviously this room was built to
      accomidate some very large occupants.

      After a small pause, the servant begins removing his white shirt then
      continues by starting to remove his tan trousers.

      The Elf Maiden is disappointed when the servant just placed her clothing
      on the bench (and not on her).

      She was so hoping to be pampered.

      And it did not register as to what the servant was planning on doing.
      Not the removal of its shirt.

      Only when he starts on his trousers does the Kagonesti give out a ~Gasp~
      of shock!

      After all, she was to get dressed in her new armour/clothing.  Why the
      servant is acting in such a way?  Could it be that they are not to have
      more clothing than the person they are attending to?  Somewhere in her
      little head is a small voice saying that that is not so.  Beware!

      The servant keeps his smile and removes his trousers.  He hears the gasp
      of the Wild Elf and says smoothly, “Yes, it is a big large, but I have
      had no complaints as of yet.”

      You glance and see that he is not only right, but that the servant is
      “excited” as well.  He then takes a few slow steps towards you.

      “No no NO!”

      The Elf Maiden exclaims, terror evident in her voice.

      In her moment of fright, she looks around for an exit, a weapon, anything.

      The others hear the scream of the Wild Elf.

      The servant suddenly stops, his confusion evident upon his face.
      “I….. I….. um…..  I thought you were inviting me in for……  Oh
      for the love of the Gods,  I am so sorry”

      He then bends over to pull up his pants…

      The Elf Maiden begins to sob.

      The emotions going thru her is too much.

      She curls up into a ball on the floor, weeping.

      Mana hears the elf maiden scream, and bolts to where she heard the
      scream. (slamming the door with her body trying to get in if it’s a
      solid door, or rolling under it if there is a gap large enough for her
      to get through, and knocking the shit out of whatever has upset her…)

      The door splinters under the force of Mana.  The servant has a look of
      utter surprise on his face. He quickly explains,  ‘She invited me in….
      I thought she wanted to “enjoy” my services.  That is what I am paid to do.”

      Conroy hurried toward the sounds of the wild elf’s scream, arriving just
      behind Mana, “What in the blazes is…” he trailed off, seeing the
      chagrined servant and the weeping elf.  “Ah, hells,” he said, then,
      still angry but no longer gripping the handle of his burning blade
      wrapped in his cloak, “boy, you’re lucky that this girl didn’t beat you
      into a pulp, get your skinny butt out of there.  Mana, can you get her
      calmed down and dressed?”

      He remained to be sure that the servant had made himself scarce, and put
      his back in front of the doorway to the small room, blocking the view
      from outsiders.

      As the servant leaves with haste, Emaroue grabs his arm.  “Paid for
      these type of services?”  With a grin on his face Emaroue then asks,
      “How’s the pay?”

      The servant starts to calm down and replies, “Not bad actually.  Sir, I
      would ask that your group consider discretion on this incident.  It
      could mean my job.”

      Emaroue looks past the male servant and into the room.  “I don’t know,
      she seems quite shaken up.  Let me see what I can do.  What is your name?”

      The servant replies, “I am called Drusias.  Again, a thousand apologies
      over the affair.”

      Emaroue dismisses the servant and approaches the Wild Elf.  He bends to
      one knee and asks, “Are you OK?  He misunderstood your intentions and
      apologies profusely.”

      The Elf Maiden takes some coaxing before coming out of her ball, and
      then it is to fiercely grab hold of Mana.

      For one so small, the Kagonesti’s hold is that of a bear trap.

      “oh, it’s ok now.  he’s gone, and he won’t trouble you any more.  shhhhh
      now, it’ll be alright.” Mana says smiling, and running her hand through
      the Kagonesti’s hair, and gently cradling her as she gets squeezed with
      great force. (afterall, you did say bear trap…)  Mana tries to comfort
      her like she were a mother.  Mana tries to dress her as best as she can,
      though that will certainly prove difficult.

      “Boys, could you please leave the room for a moment?  I think that will
      help her relax some.  Oh!  Conroy, please block the door so nobody can
      see in here.

      With the reassurance of Mana, the Elf Maiden relaxes.

      And in no time, dressed in the leather armour provided.

      Emaroue takes the advise of Mana and steps outside.  He looks up and
      down the “street” and quietly says to Conroy, “So to the livery then?”

      After a minute or two, Emaroue spoke to the Wild Elf.  “Are you OK?  Can
      we go to the livery now? Or do you wish to report the servant to the Pasha?”

      The Elf Maiden’s speaks with a horse voice.

      “/Livery?/”

      Her mind is not exactly on the here and now.

      “/Yes./”

      She heads for the door-opening, and hits the remains of the doorframe.
      Almost falling down from the contact.

      “/Drink./”

      This ordeal sure has taken alot out of her.

      Mana tries to catch the elf maiden, barely making it in time to protect
      her own face from the floor, but getting caught under the weight of her
      friend.  “Emaroue, do you think it would be possible to get an animal to
      help us travel, like a camel or something of that nature?  I don’t think
      that our good friend is ready to travel at this moment, but I will try
      to help her.”

      “My thoughts exactly.  But I was going to get some horses or camels
      regardless,” Emaroue replies.

      He then takes a flask from inside his cloak, opens it, and places it to
      the lips of the elf.  He gently tips the contents into her mouth and
      says, “This may be a bit rough, but it will calm you.”

      The first contact of the liquid on the back of the Elf Maiden’s throat
      is like that from a mule kick on one’s shins.  Luckily, the Kagonesti’s
      kick struck the final remains of the door.

      “Vile.”

      Well, at least she has some of her voice back.  Now she realizes that
      she is atop of Mana.

      “Oh.”

      She rolls off, then realizes she is in her armour.

      “What?”

      Emaroue smiles at the elf and lingers his look a bit long at the two
      females on the floor.  After the elf’s “What?” he says, “Lets go get
      some transportation, yes?”

      “Guess so.”

      The Elf Maiden agrees.  Not sure what sort of transportation Emaroue has
      in mind, but the desire to get away from here, by any means, is exactly
      what the Kagonesti needs right now.

      “We leav’n?”

      She looks over to Mana for guidance, still not understand how she got
      dressed, or what happened to the door.

      “The livery, according to the dwarf, is this way,” Emaroue states as he
      walks towards the direction they were given.  After about one city block
      they arrive at the livery.

      When they walk in, the natural smells of a stable hits them.  After
      letting their eyes adjust to the dimmer lighting inside the stables, a
      thin human with reddish-brown hair appears and says, “You are the one to
      be outfitted for the pasha’s ‘expedition’, right?  Well I have packed
      one horse with some provisions, like extra water, blankets, ropes,
      lanterns, and even a cooking fire grate and stand.  Will there be
      anything else?  I imagine you want either horses or camels, but I am not
      aware of your preferences.  My name is Bitruis, and I am at your service.”

      “We ride them?”

      The Elf Maiden looks for confirmation on this.  Sure, she has seen
      others in the caravan riding such beasts, but the idea of she being on one.

      Bitruis looks at the Wild Elf and says, “Yes ride them.  Maybe I will
      get you a gentle one.”  He looks over his shoulder and yells, “Saddle up
      Pilger for the Elf here.”

      He then turns his attention back to the elf.  “She’s a gentle mare with
      little temparment.  Good for beginners.”

      Bitrius then looks over the others and says,  “So horses then?”

      Emaroue looks at the stablehand and responds, “I would prefer a horse
      please.  Camels don’t suit me so well.  I have much riding experience.”

      Bitrius then yells, “And saddle up Orr.  A good solid horse.  Nothing
      you can’t handle, I am sure.”

      “Now how about you other two.  Much riding experience?”  He then looks
      at Conroy and says, I got us a big horse for you, but it will require
      alot of watering.  Maybe something a bit smaller for you, but by the
      Gods aren’t you a big one.”

      Conroy grimaced, “Yer big, thirsty horse can stay in the stables.  I’ll
      take a camel, preferrably one that’s not too barn-sour.  I don’t want to
      be leadin’ him around half the time.”  He jerked his thumb in the
      direction of the elf maiden, “If you’ve got one that’s pretty friendly,
      a camel might be best for her, too.”

      “Yes, but not one that’ll spit too much…I don’t want camel spit in my
      eyes…” Mana says to Birtuis.

      After the group had left the changing rooms, Mana had pulled out one of
      her disguises, something similar to an arabic attire to keep from
      getting sunburnt.

      The stablehand yells behind him again after Conroy changed the order for
      the Wild Elf. “Forget saddling Pilger!  Instead get me 4 camels.  One
      as a pack animal only.” He explains to the group.  “Aris, for the pack
      animal, and then Pittir, Lonuor, and Trulun for the riders.”

      After a few minutes the group see themselves in front of the
      “transportation”.

      Wild Elf:

      You have a two hump animal whose name is Pittir.  A beautiful specimen
      of a camel.  You notice the saddle is extravagant and able to hold all
      of your belongings on it.

      “They’re… huge!”

      The Elf Maiden does not know what to make of the camels.

      “Yeah.  These look like they’ll do.” Conroy said, looking at the animals
      with a sour expression on his face.

      He walked first to the Bactrian camel, Pittir, motioning the wild elf
      over, “Once you learn how to make friends with them, you’ll be fine.”
      He held his hand up to the camel, letting the animal get a sense of
      him, and then patted him on the neck, giving him the ‘lay down’ command.
      He hoped that the camel would look less intimidating to the elf maiden
      if it were down on her level.

      “Make friend no problem.”

      The Elf Maiden confirmed.

      “Me good with animals.”

      The Kagonesti states, noting her role in the previous caravan was in
      caring for the animals.

      “It the…”

      She was almost to embarrassed to say it, but said it she does.

      “Being on them.”

      Mana blushes, then pulls the elf maiden just outside the livery…

      “Just what did you mean by that?” she asks in a whisper…

      “Riding them.”

      The Elf Maiden states to Mana.

      “Unless they willingly offer to carry you, the forcing them to is.. not
      right.”

      The Wild Elf explains.

      “Me not lame, or needing to be carried.  This so strange to me.”

      The Wild Elf Maiden goes and stands infront of the camel called Pittir.

      Her eyes look into those of the camel, saying non-verbally ~this is I.
      Will you carry me?~.  Only after having faced her ‘ride’, does she pat
      the camel, letting it know she is here.

      Only when Pittir finally shakes its head does she hop up with the
      agility of one born and raised in the forests, climbing trees and
      cliffs, etc. Staying up there (in an unfamiliar position/saddle) is
      another thing.

      Emaroue looks about and asks Conroy to take point.

      As you exit the compound, the noises and sights of the city slam into
      your senses.  Peddlers, beggars, nobles and the such line the streets.
      As you head your group out you fall into “traffic”.  It is a medium
      congested day, that is to say if you wanted to gallop you would have to
      trample the pedestrians.  You head toward the recruitment center for
      caravans.

      Shops also line the street.  Many different types, from bakeries,
      leathergoods, shoe stores, and mystical places of magic.

      The Elf Maiden took in all that was explained to her.  But even so, the
      ride out of the Pasha’s compound was one of near hysteria.

      She rode in almost terror as the size and power of the camel under her
      was getting the best of her.  Her face was pale as the beast moved

      She let her camel just follow the other camels out.  Too afraid to rein
      it in.

      As you head down the street a group of 5 youngsters, not one of them
      over the age of 10 rush Conroy.

      “Sir! Sir! Can we ride your camel?!”

      The rush of children and their shreiks sets off the camels, just a bit.
      But since the Wild Elf has a loose hold on the reins…..

      …her camel bolts for it.

      The nearest canopy/seller’s stall is no match for the size and
      determination of a camel in flight.

      Nor is its passenger in any shape to stop it.  The Elf Maiden is doing
      all she can to just stay on the big beast.

      Mana bolts after her friend, while on camel-back, and attempts to grab
      the reins to pull them back.  When she misses, she tries to pull the elf
      maiden over onto her camel.

      The merchant in the tent/canopy starts screaming and tries to grab the
      reins of the camel, adding to the hysteria of the animal.  The camel’s
      eyes are wide open and “froth” is apparent upon the lips of the animal.
      It kicks and finds one of its legs entangled with a ripped piece of
      cloth.

      People scatter out of the way, the kids are long gone.  A few persons
      try to assist, and others seem to be placing bets.

      The camel has been stopped of its bolt and is still struggling against
      the entanglement.  Surprisingly, the camel’s hysteria has subsided, and
      it is as if the animal is logically trying to figure out how to get
      free.  Finding no way out, the camel “”plops’ on all fours.

      Emaroue turns his horse in the direction of the camel and tethers the
      horse to a post.  He approaches the Wild Elf after the camel “plops” and
      extends his hand for her to reach.  “Got away from you, the camel did,
      eh?” he says softly to the elf.

      *** *** ***

      That was all.

       

       

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