((The ending the eventful mission story is here. Please read it, and feel free to comment or add some RP of your own)) *WARNING: CONTAINS SOME LANGUAGE, VIOLENCE, AND SUGGESTIVE THEMES*
Jeatra’s dagger sank home into the last ogre’s heart, its club flailing wildly before thrashing against the ground as it died. The Halfling smirked as she wiped her blade off on its matted hide. What her companions lacked in stealth, they certainly made up for it in sheer force.
Sneaking by the many patrols that wandered through the cave systems proved almost impossible. The caverns echoed every sound, and the presence of water further amplified every step. The ogres were a stupid lot, but they sure recognized trespassers.
Jeatra and her companions had all taken a few scrapes and cuts from the fighting, but no worse than a good brawl in a tavern. She quickly reached into a pocket and unfurled a crude map of the caves that ran beneath and between the Restless Isles. They were getting close, very close to the ancient forge. The rest of the caves seemed to be climbing upward as well. Soon they might be back in the sun. Which, unfortunately was not a good place to sneak up on the unsuspecting.
She had been after this man for what felt like an eternity now, though she knew it had only been a few short months since she arrived in Stormreach. But this man, he was elusive and clever, and whenever the Halfling thought it would finally be over, he had managed to evade her grasp and her blade. Pretty soon, her very reputation as an assassin would be in danger, and she could not allow that.
Muttering under her breath, she tucked the map back away and turned to her companions. Another Halfling, a pair of elves, a drow, and even a warforged had all joined her from the guild. It seemed to her a little excessive, but she had learned not to turn away good help. Plus, she didn’t want to take chances of his escape. He was as trapped as he ever could be, and if she wasn’t the one to at least claim his life, she would ensure he would be caught.
Grinning brightly, she spun to address the group. “Alright! We’re almost there, so from here on out we need to be careful. I don’t want him to get spooked and go running off to who knows where. So, I’m going to continue on from here alone.”
Her blue eyes scanned across the faces of her party, and she quickly added, “But, I have important jobs for all of you! While I go in to get him, you all are going to create a net to hold him in case he gets away.”
The Halfling beamed a smile as she gave various jobs. With this many people of diverse talents, there’s no way he would escape. Not this time.
Quietly, she made her way down another tunnel. No-one was here as far as she could tell, though there was some hum in the air. Something magical, she could tell, but not being a mage herself made it impossible to know what. Her companions were left above, watching out for signs of the artificer. If she got in trouble, all she had to do was whistle. But there was no way out from what she could tell. The shaft was a dead end. She had him.
Her footsteps made hardly any sound. The leather she wore for protection was quiet also. Made well, it rarely gave off any noise. It’s why she always preferred it over any chain. It always jingled too much, and never had near enough places to hide a blade. Her mind wandered briefly thinking of each of those places, and wondering if perhaps she could add another.
A small flicker of light brought her attention back. It wasn’t any natural light. It was too unsteady, too small. A lantern. She squinted up into the distance, recognizing the outline of a table, a chair, and…a man.
Part of her nearly jumped for joy. Here he was, alone and unaware, seemingly focused on his studies. It was too perfect. Secluded in these caverns owned by ogres, he must have gotten careless. Jeatra grinned as she stalked up the hallway, her steps muffled by the natural sounds of water dripping down the walls.
Silently she drew her dagger, turning it over in her hand. She was so close now. The man was still leaning over his book. Her eyes briefly drifted to either side, but all was quiet. Another couple steps and she was right behind him. She needed to be quick now, or give up her chance.
Her foot slid quickly forward, her hands reaching with them. The dagger slipped effortlessly around his neck, and then she spun, slicing it across his throat in a single motion. She allowed herself a triumphant grin as she felt the body slump forward, lifeless.
It was only after a second passed she realized something was wrong. Where was the sound of death, or the spray of blood? She had cut this man across his jugular. He should be gurgling blood while he died; she should feel the heat of it across her skin. She spun back around, wondering if she missed, but all she saw was a cold lifeless body. Her eyes flickered about her. Was it a trap?
She took another step towards the table, cautiously moving herself slowly to look at the man. Her hand grasped his chin, raising his eyes up to her. They were just as devoid of life as the rest of him. But it was him. He was dead. But she wasn’t the one that did it. What was going on here?
The sound of clapping echoed across the cavern walls. “Well, that was an impressive kill. If he wasn’t already dead I’m sure that would have done it.” The voice was a woman, silky to the ear, but Jeatra could hear a tinge of darkness to it.
“Where are you?” The Halfling called out. She finally had what she came here for, this man dead, and her reward was to be mocked by a stranger?
The woman stepped out of the shadows, as if she had been there all along. “Perhaps she had,” Jeatra thought to herself. She was more distracted by getting the kill than she realized, though someone standing unmoving in the shadows was still a hard thing to spot.
“Did you kill him?” She asked, pointing her blood covered dagger at the corpse.
“It looks to me that it's your blade that carries his blood.” The dark haired woman smiled, sending a small shiver down Jeatra’s spine. There was something she didn’t like about this woman. A thought nudged at her. This man didn’t have a mark on him besides her own cut. This mysterious woman might be more powerful than she appeared.
Her foot shifted back, giving her slightly more space from the woman. This had quickly got over her head. She needed backup. Luckily, that's exactly what she had. Jeatra allowed herself a small smirk as her dagger quickly flew at the woman as she simultaneously brought fingers up to her mouth to blow a whistle of warning.
Growing whispers coalesced into a solid form that leapt from the shadows. A great golden beast of a cat swatted the dagger from the air before it had a chance to pierce his master. Jeatra only had a second to think “Oh shit…” when the woman uttered a single word of power and flicked her fingers in her direction. Magic rippled through the empty air, connecting the Halfling to the woman as blue rings of binding light sprung up around the unfortunate assassin.
The woman tsked at her. “Now, now. I still have work to do. If your friends come here, they’ll only complicate things…” Jeatra could feel that vile woman’s eyes scan her, measuring her, gauging her, as if she was some animal to be sold. “…And I hate complications.” She suddenly smiled lightly, something pleasant and malicious rolled into one look.
Even confined by the bindings, she could feel her muscles trembling. It took her several seconds to realize she was still able to breath, to make sound. “S-So, what are you going to do with me then?” Her spine shivered with the question. Jeatra’s eyes looked at her captor with defiance, but she knew her heart was no longer in it. Was this really how she would die? Or were there worse things in store for her?
The cat stayed just out of her vision beside it’s master, only a swish of it’s tail reminding Jeatra it was still there.“ I could let you go. You are no threat to me. I ~would~ require that you give me your word that you will not return, or attempt to come after me.” One glove was pulled free of a pale hand, showing long, supple fingers that reached to tuck a strand of hair behind Jeatra's ear. The fingertips stroked with a certain tenderness that, to Jeatra, was more chilling than anything else. “Of course, you may think to defy me, or lie to me..." Black eyes bored into Jeatra’s blues, a promise of twisted violence glimmering deep in that dark stare, "...but I wouldn't recommend it."
The way the woman spoke sent tremors through her motionless body. There was something in that tone she didn’t like. It reminded her too much of the men in Sharn. And those were not pleasant memories.
“Fine, fine! I agree. Just give me his body, and I’ll leave!” She knew her voice trembled, carried with it desperation, but she didn’t care anymore. Death itself she could handle, but what was implied was much worse. No, this woman didn’t want her death. She implied something far worse. Servitude.
The woman leaned ever closer, the black plait of hair falling between them, falling in a much too intimate way across her chest, as their cheeks brushed. “Take him. He was beginning to smell anyway.” The woman continued to shrink the distance, her lips nudging the bottom of Jeatra’s ear. “Oh, and you really don't want to come back here, sweetling. It would be a pity to see such a lively spirit broken, much as I would enjoy the process…but then… maybe you should.” The lips pressed closer before placing a kiss against her pointed ear. “I think I might like to hear you scream my name.”
Her chuckle was everything decadent- chocolate syrup with dark liqueur, treacle tarts and clotted cream... and a thread of poison tainting all of it with it's deadly sweetness. Jeatra continued to shudder, now a small panicked mewling noise coming from her throat muffled by the echoes of the sickeningly sweet laughter. The cat followed her, both fading into the shadows. A small clapping sound echoed off the walls, and the bonds holding her broke free in a burst of blue light.
Jeatra did not waste any time. Her feet sprung her forward, hands quickly throwing the body over one shoulder as she hurried away from this dark place. The dead man was heavy, but it was nothing compared to the weight she felt in her stomach. She stumbled forward in the darkness, the panicked noises of her own breathing echoing in front of her. Whoever that woman was, she wanted to be as far away from her as possible.
The Halfling assassin neared the shaft she entered, the sun lightly streaming down. Her breath finally caught back up with her, and the pathetic noises finally ceased as she grew back her nerve. That woman scared her senseless. She shook her head, trying to shake the memories free with it.
The dead man's weight finally became noticeable to her, and she dropped him onto the ground, no longer caring about him. He was dead…dead for a while now looking at him in the light.
Her hand clenched into a tight little fist. She thought she was over these insecurities. She could kill anyone that threatened her. But this time, she ran. It all reminded her too much of a girl she no longer was, scared, timid, useless. Looking at the dead body, she quietly spoke to herself. "Why was she here? Did she kill you? Why in Khyber was she there!?" She spun lightly on her heel facing back down the dark tunnel, trying to stop the shaking in her bones. Blinking her eyes once, Jeatra clenched her fists. She couldn't run...could she? Would anyone care if she never told anyone what had happened? Her eyes burned, a few tears falling down her cheeks. What the hell should she do?
Jeatra finally emerged from the shaft, and back into the daylight. She was soaked through and through. She knew at least a few daggers had been lost down in those tunnels, perhaps a few other things as well, but she didn’t care. She didn’t want to think about that dark cavern anymore. Magic, stupid magic she thought to herself, biting her lip to take her mind off it all.
The party looked at her, and she forced herself into a bright smile. “I got him! Easiest mission yet, right?” She chuckled quietly to herself, knowing it was all such a lie. But to everyone else, they could just think of it as…an uneventful mission.Signature blocked by Forum Admin!