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  #1  
Old 08-22-2010
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Peridan Peridan is offline
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The Nature of Shadows

Amillia twirled in her new dress, her sixteen year old bubbling personality practically filling the room as she danced about. Her golden hair was braided along her back, a shimmering rope of golden thread as she celebrated her upcoming birthday party. Gods, she was so happy! Her father, a well-to-do noble in the city of Waterdeep, had agreed to allow her a small cadre of friends from other noble families to come over and gather in the foyer to relax and gossip about the happenings within Waterdeep. Whom was courting whom, who had cheated on whichever husband, who would be the champion of the yearly fencing tourney in the city....in short, normal everyday things that would prove a stark contrast to her daily life.

Gods, she hated being a noble's daughter sometimes. She was constantly having to go to boring dinners, inane concerts, and insipid speeches by even more drab politicians. But not tonight! Tonight she was hosting young adults just like her, and they would be free to do as they pleased for an entire night! Amilia giggled to herself when she considered meeting some of the finer looking nobleman son's. Jefferey of House Lionreach was extremely handsome, and a powerful upcoming fighter to boot. She wouldn't mind staring into his light brown eyes all evening.... Another girlish giggle escaped her rosy lips as she reached into her jewelry box, pulling out a small silver necklace with a miniature diamond embedded in the pendant hanging from the thin chain. She hummed to herself as she fastened it around her slender, swan-like neck and checked her appearance for the final time before heading downstairs into foyer, where the other noble children were arriving. Jessica, of House Manthar was flirting with Frederick of House Rosznar, an impressive young man who had recently been increasing profits within his house's shipping and trade.

Despite the promise of entertainment and relaxation to come, Amilia composed herself and stepped regally down the stairs, a delicate hand just barely touching the banister. Polite applause from the other noble children and the servants made her blush and she broke her royal bearing before shrieking girlishly and rushing downstairs to her waiting friends. Laughter sounded through the foyer as the party went underway, and drinks and food were served to the small crowd.

A few hours passed, and Amilia's cheeks were bright not only with her enjoyment of the evening, but a bottle of sherry that had been passed around with the rest of the refreshments. She had flirted with Jeffery for a time doing her best to remain aloof and yet interested in the soon to be head of the Lionreach. He had joked and laughed with her until she excused her self to check up on the rest of her guests. 'That should keep him hooked,' she thought to herself with a mischievous smirk as she walked over to the wine table. She paused as she saw a young, dark haired man leaning against the pillar.

Wondering why she hadn't noticed him before, after examining him she found that there was no real recognizable features of the boy. A plain face, fine burgundy and black clothing, and slightly tussled dark hair made him blend into the crowd of young people as easily as a black cat in the dead of night. His only real distinguishing aspect were his eyes, she noted not without a hint of curiosity. They were a cool gray with flecks of green in them, in fact quite lovely in her opinion. Well built, but not bulky, he seemed to be completely nondescript. Gliding over, she smiled a broad grin that belied her noble standing in its honesty. His eyes flickered towards her, his face expressionless as she approached.

"Milord, what are you doing over here? Lord Jefferey is about to display some of his finer techniques with a rapier that he will use in the upcoming tourney." She babbled, catching herself before she spoke too much. A hint of a blush tinged her cheeks.

He considered her for a moment before speaking, his voice a soft timbre but cut through the noise to her ears as easily as an arrow through the air strikes its target.

"He may be a fencer, but if he spent half his time practicing as he does bragging, his form would not be so damnably poor." He commented, nodding towards Jeffery as he demonstrated a thrust.

Her mouth agape for a moment, Amilia giggled much to the apparent surprise of the young man. "What's so funny?" He asked, his face showing consternation.

"Nothing!" She gasped between fits of laughter. "It's just--Everyone is always so praising of him! I couldn't imagine anyone actually finding fault with his proudest attribute." For the first time, the young man's face briefly turned into a grin. But then it vanished, keeping one wondering if it had been there at all. "Miss Amilia, would you mind hearing a story?"

Amilia quieted down, but her smile remained plastered on her face. "A story? I'd love one, please tell." She lifted a hand to her ear to brush back a stand of golden hair that had made its way over her face during her fit. His eyes followed her hand for a moment, then looked straight into her own deep blue eyes.

"It's an old story, perhaps one that you've heard before. A scorpion needs to cross a river, and spots a nearby frog. The scorpion and the frog are enemies, but the scorpion says to the frog, 'Can you help me across the river?'

The frog edges away from the scorpion refusing. 'You will sting me if I carry you across my back, you are my enemy.' The scorpion promises, 'If I do that, we both drown. I swear I will not, so that we both may live.' The frog agrees and ferry's the scorpion across the river. Halfway, the scorpion stings the frog viciously. 'What have you done!' Cries the frog. 'Now we both will certainly die.'

The scorpion only replies. 'Yes, but to not have stung you would have gone against my nature. I am as the gods made me.'" The young man finishes his tale in the same constant tone that he had used before. Amilia's smile dimmed slightly. "What does that mean?"

The young man turned his gaze away for a moment. "It means we all are as we are. Nothing more, and nothing less." He slowly stood from his position against the pillar, and the entire room turned to pitch black.

Screams were heard, ghastly cries as something wet touched Amilia's face and lips. Steel rang out, but in the end there was only silence and Amilia's gasping sobs. Why had this happened? What's going on, what's happening to all of her friends--

The lights flickered on, an unsteady strobe as bloody carnage covered the room in what had been a neat and happy place only minutes before. Amilia looked at herself, her dress covered in blood and Jefferey's slashed throat next to her gore spattered legs. Horrified she looked up to see the young man holding a dripping pair of red daggers in his hands. All of the servants, all of her friends were dead and silence rang through her head with a deafening roar, a wave of sickness that made her knees weak.

The young man calmly wiped the daggers, setting them back into his sleeves. He held out his arms, taking Amilia into their strong embrace. She sobbed uncontrollably, clutching his sleeve as he simply held her for a brief minute. She couldn't see his face, but she could feel what little comfort he offered her.

He ran a hand along her ear, where the earlier strand of hair had made its offense.... before snapping her neck with a fast and violent twist. He let her lifeless body slump to the floor, his hand catching on the slim silver necklace. He pulled it off and examined the now red and white gem at its center before placing it in his pocket.

The lights flickered.

Five shadowed figures with their own blades covered in the lifeblood of human beings appeared next to him. One nodded its approval at the now blood soaked assassin, before the lights flickered once more.

A passing breeze of regret was the only thing that remained in the now silent tomb.
__________________
Characters:
Peridan Twilight, one-eyed dog of the Legion, deceased.
Daniel Nobody, adventurer and part time problem solver.

[DM] Poltergeist :
If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge an intermediate deity's unbridled fury.

Last edited by Peridan; 08-09-2011 at 05:21 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-03-2010
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The inn was dimly lit, a dank hole in the wall that oozed atmosphere meant for those less than pious souls to take refuge within. Scoundrels, ruffians, and in general the refuse of society that was attracted to its own kind by instinct or necessity packed themselves in. There wasn't a sign out front, but everyone always called it the 'First Gate'. In some long forgotten time past, a sarcastic wit had carved on the archway: "Always room for one more."

Two young men, one light haired and one dark, casually strolled into the bar room, unnoticed in the noise and the dusky light. They sat down at a table near the back, and the fair haired young man signaled the barmaid without needing to shout or yell. Just a simple hand gesture, and the young lass nodded and went to get their ales. The two young men turned towards one another, sitting relaxed in their seats.

"So, how did that appointment go the other day at the merchant's?" The fair haired young man asked, a faint smirk on his face. He had a strong jaw, and piercing azure eyes that had a tendency to make any lady swoon. He was well built, but moved with a grace that belied his size.

"Well enough." The dark haired youth said, shrugging his shoulders slightly. By contrast, he was average sized with plain features. He doodled on the tabletop with a finger as he spoke, and his gray eyes examined the woodwork. "The family was well off, and I left them in better straits than when I showed up."

"Any kids?" The blond asked.

"Two. Daughters, both." His eyes never left the table. The other man chuckled. "Did you decide to...play, before you took your leave?" Gray eyes darted up to blue, and the finger stopped doodling.

"No. It was an appointment, nothing more, Ian."

Ian raised his hands. "Fine, fine. Just asking, Dan. There are perks to our job, you know. Some better than others." He winked to the bar maid as she set down their drinks. She gave him an appraising look and smirked, but not without a glint of interest. Dan tilted his head as she left, swinging her hips. "Professionalism is part of the job though, Ian."

Ian shrugged his muscled shoulders. "I suppose. Doesn't mean you can't have a bit of fun. Although, I can't imagine our...instructors ever being like us."

"Like you, perhaps." Dan gave him a look. Ian laughed and took a drink. "Ah, don't try to hide it, Dan. You're probably just as depraved as I am. Even worse." Dan simply drank his ale, running a finger along the side of the glass. "Maybe. Maybe not."

Ian's grin was full of pearly white teeth. "Come on. I mean really, we both have been under their tutelage long enough to realize that these guys have seriously gone over the deep end. Dark shrouds, mysterious voices. Ego has blinded them from the simple fact that makes someone like us effective: unpredictability." Ian went on, "With all of their skills and abilities, anyone can see them coming from half a mile away in the middle of the day. No flaws at all create suspicion, and suspicion is the last thing someone like us wants or needs. It's a new world out there, and we need to stay ahead of the game, not turning backward to those old traditions and habits. Like that one they let us know about ages ago, the one about only one to 'graduate'. That's pure rubbish. Why waste all that time and effort just to cull the herd unnecessarily? It's a waste of gods given talent." Ian rambled on, punctuating his remarks with hand gestures. Dan simply sat, listening intently as Ian's lecture came to a close.

"So," Dan asked quietly, "Why do you have that crossbow pointed at my stomach?" Ian's grin only grew wider. "Someone has to implement my ideas, Dan. And the masters would never let both of us live. As stale as they are, they do have a leg up on me in experience." The sound of the crossbow being cocked never left the table. "It's been good to have you as a friend, Dan. I'll always remember you."

Dan sipped his ale. "Same to you." He said with a glint in his eye as Ian's face turned slack in pain. "Whe-when?" Ian managed out, the crossbow clattering to the floor. He sat there, stock still as his face began to turn green. Dan reached down and tucked the small weapon away. "You were predictable. That's all there is to it." He nodded at the glass placed before Ian, the barmaid nowhere to be found. "Both in tastes....and in timing." Dan stood up, placing two coppers for the ale on the hardwood table.

He held up two more. "For Jergal. Old traditions stay that way because they work, Ian. A shame you didn't figure that out." Ian could only let out a grunt as his body stiffened, and his nervous system slowly gave out. Dan smoothly blended into the dank bar and left the man to slowly, painfully die.
__________________
Characters:
Peridan Twilight, one-eyed dog of the Legion, deceased.
Daniel Nobody, adventurer and part time problem solver.

[DM] Poltergeist :
If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge an intermediate deity's unbridled fury.

Last edited by Peridan; 08-09-2011 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 12-01-2010
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Shadow Soldier

A young man with dark hair sits in a small cabin with crowded cots stuffed against the wall. The rocking of the ship is a steadily growing discordant rhythm with the faint sound of the waves in the background. He shares the cabin with three others, all too poor to afford their own rooms. They are huddled bundles, miserable in their solitude and with the smell of rotting fish permeating the air of the hold. Quiet desperation hangs in the air, the sort that travelers in cramped conditions suffer wearily until their time of release is at hand. Only the young man seems to have found some measure of calm in the suffocating atmosphere of the cabin, a small candle sitting by his head as he writes. The scratching of the pen is the only counterpoint to the growing turbulence outside. His eyes are a cold gray, and half lidded as he pauses writing for a moment. An unreadable expression on his face is illuminated by the candle light, the shadows flickering around the cabin.

After several minutes, he continues to write.

"....And so, my life has come to this crossroad. One may suggest that it has built me up to this point, but I feel as though it has thus far been irrelevant. I am not the culmination of my experiences, but a traveler starting on a new path, one that is largely unknown to me. I cannot deem to dwell on what the future might hold, but neither can I rest on my laurels from where I have been and what I have done. I can only be in the present moment, be still, be singular as I have been taught.

My training has been thorough to the point that I can poison a blade with minimal movement, blend into a crowd, kill without remorse and without pity. I have been brought up by those who has designs unknowable and mysterious, and who have sent me to this new land to meet with their colleagues. The arts I have learned from these men and women are considered by some to be shameful, void of honor and credibility on the battlefield. However I would respectfully, and perhaps pointedly, disagree.

The arts I have learned originated in Calimshan, or so I have learned. A single man created the arts that I have been so guardedly taught, the first assassin of our order. Some say he was taught by Mask, god of thieves. Some say he made a pact with some creature from the realm of Shadow. Regardless, he was the progenitor of our arts. He created a stronghold deep in the desert, atop a single mountain. This 'Man of the Mountain' created our order, a group of assassins not merely killers, but soldiers of the shadows. Our battlefield is not the bleak sunlight of the open field, but the alleys and walkways, the rooms and the cities. A battlefield no less deadly, in my personal opinion. We fight a war that is far more unpredictable, and far more complex than any knight on a white steed facing an enemy army. Our enemies are hardly so transparent, and indeed the line between that of a foe and fried is blurred constantly in the world of quiet grays that we live in.

Our order spread from the desert, into the cities and into Amn. Somewhere along the way we have joined forces with the guilds that control the underworld beneath the cities, and we are considered one of them. And we are, to an extent. However, there is no denying that there is no small amount of loyalty owed to our breed, our kind. From the 'Man in the Mountain', there has been a culture brewed, an environment that is very different from what is accepted and admired. Ruthlessness is paramount in our profession, but only coupled with cool intellect.

It with this in mind that I go to this land called Sundren, to serve with the guild that has taken hold within the valley. There is power there, opportunity. And I will be waiting at every turn to grasp it with both hands and further my aims.

I do not know what the future will bring. But until it arrives, I will be silent. I will be still. I will be pitiless in order to not shame the name that I bear."

"Assassin."

The young man slowly puts down the pen, his eyes burning for a brief moment with a kind of passion and intensity that only madmen and those touched by the divine hold in their gaze. Then it is gone, replaced with the same calmness that they held before. He tucks away his notebook and amid the rolling of the ship, the desperate souls crowded against his bastion of stillness, he blows out the candle.

Then there is only darkness.
__________________
Characters:
Peridan Twilight, one-eyed dog of the Legion, deceased.
Daniel Nobody, adventurer and part time problem solver.

[DM] Poltergeist :
If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge an intermediate deity's unbridled fury.

Last edited by Peridan; 08-09-2011 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 06-17-2011
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Shadow War

The night stood still, blanketing Sundren City with silence and shadow. To any passerby in its streets at such a dismal time of morning, the City seemed to be slumbering in all of its wretched glory. Life took a small respite from the toils and chaos that ensued during the harsh light of day. It was a pause, a moment, a breath.

For some, anyway.

On a rooftop in the entertainment district, a man died. Blood blossomed from his chest in a red flower of grisly expression, and culminating with a dagger point erupting from his chest in a joyous spray of blood. His face convoluted in pain, the man collapsed onto the tiles, leaking himself down the roof and dripping onto the cobble streets below. The dagger withdrew from his breast, and was flicked to rid it of his lifeblood before sliding away into the killer's sleeve sheathe.

The lithe figure owning the deadly little rose maker pulled back his hood and mask, revealing plain features for any poor soul who might have had the misfortune of watching the killing unfold. His dark hair ruffled in the gentle night breeze, and he looked around for any more enemies.

Dan wiped his face with the back of his sleeve, shedding the perspiration that usually comes with night time acrobatics across Sundren's rooftops. The man had been part of a rival gang, that seemed to think it could get away with not paying dues to the Black Tax while operating within City limits. The rest were around here somewhere, probably playing cards or somethi--

An arrow pierced his shoulder with unerring accuracy, shoving its way smoothly through the enchanted armor of grays and browns. Blood, black under the light of the street lamps and starlight, oozed from the arrowhead for only a fraction of a second before Dan viciously broke the arrow protruding from his shoulder and left the remnant in before darting across the roof.

How they managed to get the drop on him was beyond him. But he needed to shake them, and quickly. Dan darted across Sundren's roof top streets, using his agile frame to shift his weight between jumps to land as best he could without losing momentum. He spared one look back, and managed to recognize two dark figures coming after him with short bows. This would work only if he were lucky. Hopefully Mask owed him a favor or two.

Without warning, he paused mid jump and dropped into a nearby alley. The two figures skidded to a stop at the top of the dark street, aiming their bows at anything that might be their target. The night stood still for a moment more.

Then a cloud of darkness so thick you could drink it expanded around the two assassins. It invaded their throats, their eyes, the pores of their skin. A muffled sound emanated from one of the rogues, and when the darkness cleared like an inky stain washed away, a cracked bow and a corpse sprawled on the rooftop. The other assassin looked around wildly, his heart racing in his chest. Fear crawled under his skin like a horde of spiders, clutching his heart with a clawed talon.....

And nothing happened.

His pulse slowing, the assassin lowered his bow before examining his companion. Poor sap had been paid a bundle for this job, too. Guess he wouldn't be needing that advance after all. As the second rogue reached for his companion's purse, the corpse's hand flew up towards his face. The last thing he saw was a flash of moonlight, and another flower bloomed in his eye socket.

-------

Dan crawled out from under the first corpse, wiping his dagger and favoring his injured arm. He looked down at the man killed in the brief moment of darkness who had acted as camouflage under the illusionary light of the moon.

"Assassin, never make friend of assassin. You'll probably get killed and robbed." He wryly commented.

With a flick of his wrist he relieved the two of their purses before kicking their corpses onto the street. As he carefully made his way down from the fire ladder from a house two blocks away, he took one more look at the rising dawn within the slumbering city.

"Prettiest whore I ever saw." He murmured to himself before turning away.

Then there was only light, and life.
__________________
Characters:
Peridan Twilight, one-eyed dog of the Legion, deceased.
Daniel Nobody, adventurer and part time problem solver.

[DM] Poltergeist :
If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge an intermediate deity's unbridled fury.
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Old 07-21-2011
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Peridan Peridan is offline
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Fear's Gaze

A cool breeze wafted through the air vents; a welcome relief from the sticky humidity that clung to Dan's skin. Spread out on the cot that served as his bed, his body twitched in time with his breathing as he slept. Deep, resounding breathing moved in rhythm as sweat ran down his sides and chest.

Twitch.

Dan's hands, callused but nimble, curled in agonizing slowness around the bedsheets. His knuckles turned white, and his veins began to show as his muscles clenched throughout his entire body.

Twitch.

The mask. The eyes, the terrible eyes. They burned through his very soul like a fire searing flesh and bone and muscle and sinew....

His breathing went out of time once, twice. Then back to regularity. Sweat began drenching his cot, his toes curled in anxious strain.

Twitch.

The smell of the drooling beast, standing over him. The sight of the beast's master, eternally calm, inevitably in control. A creature of such pure darkness that every bit of light was sucked away.

His body strained, his every fiber crying out a single question: What is this? What is this feeling?

With a gasp like a drowning man, Dan woke. His eyes staring wide into the darkness of the room with something that hadn't been present since he made a choice that had condemned him to the living hell of his masters devising. His mouth open, a whimper that could have barely been real escaped from his lips.

He recognized it now, this feeling. He and it had long since parted ways, but it had come back like an old lover, embracing him in its sweet murmurs.

Fear.
__________________
Characters:
Peridan Twilight, one-eyed dog of the Legion, deceased.
Daniel Nobody, adventurer and part time problem solver.

[DM] Poltergeist :
If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge an intermediate deity's unbridled fury.
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Old 08-10-2011
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Peridan Peridan is offline
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Steel grey eyes gazed out over the deluge clattering down onto Sundren's rooftops and cobbles. They stared from a small alcove on the side of the street and a wicker chair that creaked with age and experience as its occupant rocked back and forth. One arm dangled loosely from the side of the chair's arm, while the other held a small cigarette that wafted smoke up into the watery air past the alcoves overhang. The man could have been twenty, thirty, or forty depending on how you looked at him. Plain brown hair, slightly tanned skin, and an unremarkable shirt and trousers clothed his only distinguishable feature, his flinty gaze.

Daniel watched as townsfolk scurried to get out of the rain, like so many rats abandoning a sinking ship. Clambering over one another to get inside, their eagerness in serving the most important creature in the street: themselves.

Pitiful.

Daniel watched, and listened, and waited for the streets to clear as the great torrents of water hurled themselves towards the ground, filling the air with a tangy scent of ozone and moisture. He flicked his cigarette into the street, adding to the constant patter of raindrops over the cobblestones.

He stood up with a smooth grace, about to make his way to his home within the Eboncoin Lair. He paused, looking back out once more in the direction of the street.

There was a small girl splashing in the puddles. With gleeful abandon she jumped from one to the next, uncaring to the whims of nature. Her tattered dress whirled about her, and for the briefest of instants Dan saw not a poor common girl.

He saw Emily.

"Choose. Would you lament her death like some sniveling worm? Or will you take vengeance on her killers?"

"A life of mediocrity?"

"Or a life of blood?"

A young Daniel kneels with a girl's head and chest cradled in his arms. He's covered in blood, and he shakes with either grief or anger. Or both.

He looks up at the shadowed man, his face contorted in pain and rage and sadness and despair. He chokes out a response.

"I want them to suffer."

The shadowed figure appraises the boy silently for a moment, then dips its head once. "Come."

Daniel sets the girl down with a gentleness that belies his words, looking at her for the last time before his heart crumples and dies within his breast. He stands, and follows the figure into the dark alley.

Daniel blinked, once. The little girl looked up at him, pausing in her game. Fear had her paralyzed at Daniel's expression as the two stared at one another for a singularly long moment. He almost didn't notice when the cart came slipping around the corner and crashing into and crushing the girl.

"Emily!"

Or where she would have been if Daniel hadn't dipped and rolled forward, flinging himself and grabbing the girl to the other side of the street. The cart turned over, throwing its driver off to the side. Daniel didn't notice, or care, as he looked at the girl shuddering in his arms. She looked up at him with wide eyes before sobbing and tearing himself from his grasp, sprinting away to her home.

Daniel looked down into his arms once more, trying to make sense of what had just happened. The driver started screaming at him, shaking his fist as he pulled himself from the wreckage. "You sonuva bitch! What're you doing in the middle of the-" He gagged as Daniel punched him in the throat offhand, not even turning to face him. As he struggled to regain breath, Daniel walked slowly away, his mind a thousand miles away in a city called Waterdeep.

Emily.
__________________
Characters:
Peridan Twilight, one-eyed dog of the Legion, deceased.
Daniel Nobody, adventurer and part time problem solver.

[DM] Poltergeist :
If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge an intermediate deity's unbridled fury.

Last edited by Peridan; 08-19-2011 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011
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Far above Sundren City, Daniel contemplated while surveying the town down below. The Exigo factory had many nooks and crannies, and he frequently came up here when the guards inevitably had their backs turned. It didn't take much, just a hook and some rope.

A gentle breeze ruffled his sandy brown hair as his face remained in the usually stoic expression that occupied it whenever he was in deep thought. His hand caressed an old flute he had purchased in Aquor. He traced the grain of the musical instrument with a careful finger, following the straight lines and rounding about the subtle twists and turns. Old, but serviceable.

His mind wandered to days earlier. Finding out about the plot to trap the Judicator (self righteous prick that he is) and Emiliana. Sending the elf, Lasvi to warn them. Seeing the two of them together, in his rooms. Seeing her so....content.

A black rage filled him, sending out waves of frigid anger that settled behind his eyes and brought his body to a tense point, like a drawn bow. Just as quickly, it vanished, leaving him feeling only the void in the pit of his stomach.

No.

Anger is weakness; it is a foolish, worthless, emotion. It serves no purpose. He recalled his Sister's words to him, poignant.

"I hope she is worth it, Brother."

Daniel sits on the farmers fence, looking up at the sea of stars above. It makes him feel insignificant.

"...So do I."

Daniel closed his eyes, content to let the wind caress him for a moment longer. He slipped the hardy flute into his boot, and pulled out a note requesting his presence for...dinner. Of all things. The script was flowing, and feminine. A callused thumb ran along the almost elvish looking script, before he simply let the note go. He watched it dance along the currents of the wind until it vanished among the lively town below.

A few seconds later, the ledge was empty as the cloudless sky above.
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Characters:
Peridan Twilight, one-eyed dog of the Legion, deceased.
Daniel Nobody, adventurer and part time problem solver.

[DM] Poltergeist :
If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge an intermediate deity's unbridled fury.
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  #8  
Old 10-31-2011
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Peridan Peridan is offline
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A cloaked man huddled over the bar at Jimmy's, nursing a glass. He seemed to speak to thin air, but if one were perceptive in the arts of camouflage and stealth, a dark figure could be barely spotted in the shadows.

"Let's speak somewhere else. You know the north sewer grate?"

Daniel lifted his glass in response, taking a sip.

"Last time we met, it was on bad terms, Shade. If you think I'm going to follow you into a dark alley for you to dispose of my corpse, you've got another thing coming."

The shadowed figure nodded imperceptibly.

"Back room then."

Nodding his acquiescence, Daniel tossed a few stags to Jim along with a meaningful look. He stood and made his way to the back, as the shadowed figured followed.

Daniel shut the door as Sparrow slipped in behind him. Not the best sneak around, but she was a priestess of Mask and so deserved no small amount of respect. All the same, Daniel's ears never lied.

"Come on out, Sparrow." He waggled a finger.

The hin stepped from her hiding place, making a small frown. Daniel turned his attentions to the other man who stepped from the shadows.

Dangerous, stealthy, and cruel, Shadestrike was one of the most hardened killers that the Kurz Cartel had to offer. Daniel recalled the imprisonment of the drow in the cells within the Eboncoin's Lair, and the acidic dagger that he had so lovingly held in front of her. Daniel tensed, just from the sheer weight of the man's reputation among the underworld.

"It's about those bad terms that I wanted to speak about. Your disrespect has just about run out my patience."

Daniel forced himself to remain relaxed.

"You tried to usurp control from the Coin, Shade. I won't follow your orders without the go ahead from Devante."

Shade's eyes bore into Daniel's own placid gaze, and Daniel could practically feel the hair on the back of his neck stand on end.

"You'd best watch yourself, Nobody. Speak to me like that again, and I'll kick your teeth in."

Daniel crossed his arms. "I respect you as a professional, Shade. But the simple fact is--"

Without warning, or even the slightest bit of movement, Shadestrike has suddenly become armed, and lunged at Daniel with his blade, striking a blow to his midsection. The sharp and cool pain of steel making its way through his midsection was quickly accompanied by the flame of agony that was the acidic enchantment covering the rapier. Daniels eyes widened in surprise as he was effectively pinned against the wall for a moment before Shade's blade withdrew.

His hand went to his midsection in shocked disbelief, coming back redder than her lips.

Daniel did what he was trained to do in situations like this, and vanished into a nearby shadow. Holding his side, he could barely concentrate on his enemy before him, his dazed head swimming in double vision. Come on, scum, focus. Focus. Focus.

Reality snapped into focus, and he could see Shadestrike looking about, his blade dripping with his life's blood.

Shade sneered, his cold blue eyes darting around the room. "Coward."

Daniel drew his dagger, and his own grey gaze sharpened in hatred. "Traitor!" He threw himself at his opponent, catching him unawares. His dagger snaked upwards while his hand hit the nerve ending in Shadestrike's spine, paralyzing him. Shadestrikes eyes stared at him in cold fury while Daniel staggered, his blade dangling from his hand. Daniel gritted his teeth, blood running down his side and shoved the blade upwards into Shadestrike's stomach. As the assassin tumbled to the ground, Daniel twisted it for good measure and stood up unsteadily to the ever vigilant gaze of Sparrow.

"Your actions will be reported to the Coin, Sparrow." Dazed and wounded, he stepped over Shade's body, leaving the bloody scene behind.

-----------------
__________________
Characters:
Peridan Twilight, one-eyed dog of the Legion, deceased.
Daniel Nobody, adventurer and part time problem solver.

[DM] Poltergeist :
If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge an intermediate deity's unbridled fury.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2011
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Peridan Peridan is offline
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Silence filled the lavish looking room deep beneath Sundren's streets. A tangible, thick silence that sunk into ones ears and eyes like a living thing. Daniel leaned against the bar counter, expensive wines and liquors lining the shelves behind him. His finger carefully followed the groove in the bar top wood. Around, and around.

The masked figure of Shadestrike stood not five feet away, his eyes unreadable. The leather-clad man had his blade hanging from his left hip while his arms were crossed. The viper of the Cartel practically seethed a dangerous aura.

The small hin, Sparrow, lounged on the decorated couch, priestess of Mask and deadly combatant herself. In contrast to the fluid restlessness of Shadestrike, she was as still and calm as a stone at the bottom of a well.

Bobcat, the elven Cartel, stood in the corner of the room, leaning on his staff. His stretched skin and alien eyes gave him a fey appearance.

And finally, a rugged looking man in his early thirties stood in the center of the room. His seasoned gaze pierced through all of the gathered thieves and assassins in its focus and intensity. Kurz himself.The famed smuggler slowly placed his hands behind his back and spoke in a resonant, almost musical voice.

"I hear there have been problems. I'm here to provide a solution."

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Daniel laid on his back on the roof of Jimmy's, looking up at the sky. A bottle of whiskey sat next to him, and the night's chill was pleasantly repelled by the warm fire in his stomach.

All of that work for a cover. Gone. Just like that.

His normally impassive face cracked, and he could practically feel the anger bubbling deep inside him. It wasn't insurmountable, but it would cause problems. Lots of them. Not only for himself, but for his associates. His family. Her.

He got to his feet, not a little unsteadily. The night air bit at his face and hands as he shook them out. He tensed his muscles and relaxed. Tensed, and relaxed. Slowly his blood worked its way through his limbs and veins, arteries and tissue. He pulled up his hood, and murmured an arcane phrase. The night flared into life in his mind, the darkness lifted. He could see every crack in the rooftop, every movement through the streets as clear as day.

Tense. Relax.

Tense.

Relax.

Te-

Daniel burst from his spot on the roof as though the hounds of the hells were on his heels. His heart racing, he sprung like a cat to the next rooftop, and the next. His breathing grew labored as he made his way across the City's roads above the streets, the strain of the jumps and the constant activity made the air in his lungs burn with intensity. He traveled towards the Trade Tier, dashing with reckless abandon.

He paused, standing on the Exigo rooftop.The tall stacks of the Exigo warehouse spewed black smoke into the night air. The sounds of mechanical gears whirred in the background beneath his feet, setting the roof to vibrate in occasional shuddering.

Sundren City lay out before him, in all of its splendor. It's dirty, thriving, putrescent glory. His chest heaving, the man who had once said goodbye to all that he had loved in a dirty alley, with a small girl bleeding in his arms, did so again.
__________________
Characters:
Peridan Twilight, one-eyed dog of the Legion, deceased.
Daniel Nobody, adventurer and part time problem solver.

[DM] Poltergeist :
If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge an intermediate deity's unbridled fury.

Last edited by [DM] Grinning Death; 12-01-2011 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 03-23-2012
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Peridan Peridan is offline
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A Sea of Swords and Beginnings Pt. 1

The sharp tang of sea salt mixed with the stench of fish, shit, and spices hit the young man's nose almost instantly as he stepped onto the pier. A light breeze ruffled his sandy brown hair as he shifted the worn knapsack hanging from his shoulder, the cord twined around his fist. He gazed around with his eternally calm grey eyes, examining the bustling port. The docks of Waterdeep were full of people of all shapes, sizes, and races. A group of elven sailors from Evermeet were busy arguing with some dwarven merchants on the far side, the dwarves' obviously irritated shouting overcoming the elves measured responses. Young, but certainly no fool. These docks were just as dangerous as any other part of the city, probably more.

As if to illustrate his thought, a red-headed Cormyrian human, at least six feet in height was brawling with a half orc with a broken tusk, their fists bashing with meaty thunks against each others ribs and faces. A small crowd surrounded them, cheering one or the other on in a relentless flurry of betting.

The hustle and bustle of the docks wasn't a problem for the young man as he slipped past the bloodthirsty crowd and past the inevitable fight that would break out when one of the dwarves finally snapped. The grey eyed teen took a quick step to the left, shifting past a sailor with a braided beard and a cutlass hanging from his hip and nudging him with his elbow. He was violently shoved back, and raised his hands in apology when the fierce looking pirate scowled down the tip of his long and pointed nose at him.

"Sorry! Pardon." The man started to curse at him as he scampered off, a small pouch in his hand and a gleeful grin of victory on his face. A little spending money wouldn't hurt, right? He whistled as he bumped and brushed his way through the crowd to the ship that had agreed to take a young, aspiring sailor aboard, the Black Arrow.

He had only heard rumors about the ship and its captain, Joseph 'Ironknuckle' Undine. They said that the Captain always waded into battle with a pistol in one hand, and his iron fist, a living metal magic that he acquired in his youth while fighting Luskan pirate mages. One hit, and a man's face would practically implode from the impact. He doubted that all of the rumors were true, but he had seen some strange and terrible things since that bloody night in a dark alley...

No, better not go there. Not while the sun is shining, and the bustle of life surrounds him. Not now.

He shuddered, and forced his way past a pair of gnomish tinkerers setting up shop in the middle of the docks, the little buggers. Finally, he reached the warship with the elaborately carved name of the Black Arrow engraved on its side. The ship itself was carved entirely out of a darker wood that had an oddly metallic sheen. She had four masts, and a sleek shape with runes carved on the sides that the young sailor couldn't even begin to try and identify. A figurehead was carved seamlessly into the bow with curved, liquid lines. It was a woman, with hair draped over a shoulder as her exquisitely shaped face gazed out towards the sea, her chin lifted in a slight gesture of defiance.

It was beautiful. Deadly, dangerous, but so alluring that the young man took a hesitant step forward to touch the hull with a hand, feeling the whorls of the wood with a finger.

"Kid!" A sharp voice rang out. The young man practically jumped, his heart pounding against his chest. He turned to face a sharp faced man, his arms crossed. He quickly regained his composure, and offered the other man a hand.

"Sir! Permission to come aboard. James Umber, reporting." He knew enough to not wipe the sweat from his hand, or to correct the nervous expression that he was no doubt showing. It'd be better to remain a green sailor, with everything to prove. After all, it wouldn't be far from the truth.

The sharp faced man examined with with eyes that would have given his masters a run for their coin. Dressed in practical, plain gear, the man had a scar running vertically across his right eye and a plain golden earring in his left ear. His ice blue eyes finally relented, and he offered a gloved hand of his own.

"I remember, you're the lad recommended to us by Jasper and his ilk." His grip squeezed the young man's, and the sandy haired youth briefly wondered if it would break. His neck strained, and his eyes began to water before the other sailor released his grip with a slight nod of approval. "Welcome to the Black Arrow, James." The man turned and headed up and onto the deck of the ship.

'James Umber' looked down at his hand with a grimace before following the man. Hells, this was going to be something.
__________________
Characters:
Peridan Twilight, one-eyed dog of the Legion, deceased.
Daniel Nobody, adventurer and part time problem solver.

[DM] Poltergeist :
If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge an intermediate deity's unbridled fury.

Last edited by Peridan; 11-17-2012 at 12:32 PM.
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