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Author Topic: An Adventure in Black - Chapter I  (Read 23985 times)
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Ridgen Sú'ufanán
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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2011, 02:19:05 PM »

As if she somehow knew he was there, the elfess turned back and spoke to Ridgen in a dialect of Styrash he found a little difficult to understand - but one he understood nonetheless. He listened on as her indigo-coloured eyes focused their attention onto him, but his confusion must've shown on his face as the elfess stopped short, gave a weary smile, and continued to speak, this time in Tharian.

"Sir, is there a room available we might be able to use?" she asked. Naturally, Ridgen had the key in his hand and passed it over to her, while giving a reply accompanied by his usual bright smile.
"Of course there is. It's room 21, the first room to your right as soon as you climb those stairs," he gestured at the stairs he was referring to, ever so casually. "I can lead you there if you wish. Will there be anything else, miss?"

He waited there paitently for the elfess's answer.
I should finish up for the night when this is done, he thought to himself.
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"Everything is a game - some people just don't realise that."
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2011, 06:39:22 PM »

What's this? Kindness from an elf? Jarrox eyed the meal warily. Did she slip some sort of drug in this one? The psyrpent sniffed the food cautiously. He touched it with a claw, then pressed it hard enough to make its juice flow. He searched for some sort of discoloration or for any unsavory scent.

Nothing came forth save for a tantalizing odor. Finally he convinced himself that this meal was safe, not because of the results of his investigation, but because he was hungry and this meal looks as dangerous as a piece of carroot. He took a spoon and scooped some vegetables. He is not fond of human greens but he found the buttery taste quite likable. As for the meat, Jarrox did not even bother to use the tableware. He picked up the steak with both hands and chewed on it. The meat was a little tough but its nothing that his maw couldn't handle.

"I should thank the elf later." He thought.
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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2011, 01:54:11 PM »

The indigo-eyed elf rose, the way the limber branches of a willow lift in the wind or as the morning fog lifts at the approach of mid-day. She was quiet and dainty, and she nodded kindly to the Cyhallrhim. “Thank you,” she said, and glanced toward the stairs.

Her eyes turned back to the waiter, and she could thinly interpret the expressions hidden behind those white eyes. She looked at him a moment in a way that seemed telling, yet perplexingly an mysteriously reticent—like a gesture charged with a meaning lost somewhere in between the private patterns of car’allia. She smiled gently. “Yes, if you wouldn’t mind leading us to the room, that would be very kind of you.”

As she replied, she reached into her pocket, and ran her fingers across one of her little paper birds, glancing briefly at the psyrpent at the bar.
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« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2011, 04:28:46 AM »

Ridgen watched patiently as the elfess stood up, thanked him and said that she'd like for him to lead 'us' - probably referring to herself and the other elfess beside her - to the room. She appeared distracted for a moment, her gaze travelling to the psyrpent.

"I'd be happy to. If you two could please follow me this-a-way," he said, the cheer in his voice evident as ever. He walked purposefully over to the set of stairs he indicated earlier. They were rather old, but they should hold under the weight of three elves. Note to self, he thought, remind the owners that the stairs need fixing. Someone's going to fall through them on one of these days.
As if on cue, one of the steps ominously creaked under his feet. He ignored it.

Reaching the top of the stairs, he unlocked the first room to his right - room 21, soundproof, and certainly large enough for four people. There was a big table in the middle, with six chairs around it, plain as could be. The room itself is a disappointment, but it's soundproof and able to fit more than four people. It should be sufficient.

Ridgen waited at the door for the two elfesses to arrive.
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"Everything is a game - some people just don't realise that."
                                                                       - Ridgen Sú'ufanán
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« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2011, 02:14:20 PM »

As the Cyhallrhim guided, Alýr followed, glancing back to make sure Irid was behind her. As they walked to the stair, Alýr removed one of her paper birds from her pocket. She briefly closed her eyes—only a moment, one so small that she suffered no footfall or misstep as she glided toward the stair. In that slender moment, her thoughts imprinted words onto the paper, a message hidden in the folds.

She then blew softly on the little bird, and as though enlivened by the warmth of her breath, it began to flitter, then fly, lifting up into the air, over the heads of the patrons, so small and unassuming that no one seemed to notice it. It fluttered down on the bar next to the psyrpent with a successful, if not somewhat haphazard, landing. The little paper bird looked up questioningly at the psyrpent, then unfolded:

“I wish to speak with you on a matter of great importance, one for which I seek your aid and for which I can pay you, if you do not mind the race from which I hail. Please meet me in room 21, the first right at the top of the stairs.”

All this took place in one moment. By the time the little bird had unfolded on the bar, its creator had passed the squeaky stairs.
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« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2011, 11:04:09 PM »

His meal finished, Jarrox quietly leaned back on his chair, licking his scaly lips with a long, forked tongue. A meal like that was hard to come by nowadays. He reached for anything that he can use to wipe the sauce off his claws when his eyes caught a parchment conveniently within reach. He picked the piece of paper, and proceeded in wiping off most of the substance from him. He was nearly finished when some writing caught his eye. Apparently this paper must have belonged to somebody. He looked around for prying eyes and with a not so obvious stare, began to read the contents.

“I wish to speak with you on a matter of great importance, one for which I seek your aid and for which I can pay you, if you do not mind the race from which I hail. Please meet me in room 21, the first right at the top of the stairs.”

Nothing useful. Maybe from some individual looking for some fun with the serving wenches here. Jarrox hissed out an insulting laugh, then curiosity got the better of him. He had never seen one of these lanky beings mating before. Do they also lay eggs and do they use them in their menus?

He took one last look at his surroundings, then stood up to go upstairs. Every step he took sends an ominous creak, as if the planks are straining beneath his weight. He was halfway up when one of the boards gave in. Part of his leg punched through the wooden planks, but luckily he was able to hold onto the railings. The snake-man cursed and with a maddened growl tore out his leg. A small hole stared at him, along with a few patrons who saw what happened.

Finally he realized that he looked rather silly in this situation. He regained his footing and without so much as looking back at the other people he continued going up.

"Bloody stairs, unfit for use! Better get this over with."
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« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2011, 08:43:36 AM »

The beery light of the hall only spooked the indigo-eyed elf a little. Alýr reached the top of the stair, and in her mildly cautious style, she looked down the hall, fearing she might see a pair of glowing eyes glaring from the darknses. But no, there was nothing there.

She turned into the room, but before entering, she looked to Rigden, the dark tendrils of her hair brushing her cheek as she turned. “I would like for you to join us,” she said. “Won’t you come in?” She smiled at him kindly as she stepped into the room.

The psyrpent would have only see the hem of her cloak as she walked into the room. She stepped in and looked around, then walked to the window to peer out of it, as though she expected to see something... or someone. However, there was only the darkness lying languidly on the streets, and she turned as the others came in.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 10:03:15 AM by Alýr (Rayne) » Logged

      
Irid alMenie
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« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2011, 04:22:52 AM »

Irid nodded at Alýr’s answer. It was true, you never could be certain who was listening, and the knowledge of a language was not written on a person’s face. She would curb her curiosity for a while longer, though eventually she would find out the truth of it. She did wonder greatly at this elf, who seemed terrified about what others might overhear and yet had apparently decided from one glance to trust Irid.

“ Néh bollá iú yó mé án eajthím arnantá reollán iú,” she replied, thinking of her own particular situation which frankly made her less than reliable in any dangerous situation, then continued, “náh rólgeyantá iú soorás qué.”
[I do not know how much protection I will be able to give, but I will listen to what you have to say.]

It was the least she could do after this indigo-eyed elfess had apparently trusted her life to her. Irid’s sympathy went out to her, even though she hardly knew her.
They were interrupted in their conversation by the arrival of the male elf Alýr had mentioned. Only now that he was so close could she see the peculiarity of his eyes. It was obvious that he was not blind, but most of his eye was white. It was probably a disconcerting sight for humans. She could not help but think wryly that they were a company of strangely coloured eyes, the three of them – Irid golden,  Alýr indigo, and this Cyhallrhim white. The other elfess asked him to lead them to this room where she felt she could speak freely. She seemed to have a moment's trouble switching from Styrash back to Tharian, which Irid understood quite well. She was fluent enough in Tharian, but Styrash was still her mother tongue and thus came more naturally.

Irid rose to follow the other two elves when they left towards the stairs. Few patrons paid any attention to them, despite the rarity of seeing three elves in the same tavern.  Alýr paused for a moment while on the creaking stairs. Under any other circumstances Irid would not have noticed this, but ever since that night, a long time ago now, her eyes seemed automatically drawn to anything that moved quickly, and so she saw the small paper bird rising up and sailing away over the heads of the humans, who were for the most part too far gone to notice. There was no mistake possible, the thing had come from the elfess in front of her. A mage then? At least, Irid did not know any other way of making something fly away, though she herself did not possess this skill. She decided not to say anything about it for the moment, but it was useful information to store.

As she ascended the stairs, she noticed the creaking, which was ominous even under the light footfall of the elves. It made one wonder. What kind of tavern was this place, where they somehow found the money for a sound-proof room, at least soundproof enough to allow  Alýr to speak freely, but could not be bothered to invest in a decent staircase? This was a mostly wooden structure, as so many human buildings built without too much respect for the trees from which the wood had come, so she was not sure how  Alýr could be certain that nobody in an adjoining room could overhear the conversation.

The elfess stepped into room number 21, but not without a glance backwards. Did she expect to see anything? Irid could not help looking the same way, but there was nothing there.  Alýr also invited the Cyhallrhim to join them. Irid paused before also entering the room, waiting for the elf to decide. There was no judgement on her face, just polite waiting to make sure that she did not crowd him out. She had not yet formed an opinion of this elf, as she had not even exchanged one word with him. As she waited, a loud splintering noise made her turn quickly around, just in time to see the psyrpent pull a leg out of the stairs. Well, it would seem the tavern owner would have to invest in the stairs after all, unless he wanted his customers to trip over what could not be otherwise than a small hole.

She wondered why he had come up just after the three of them. Was he a spy of some sort? That did not seem likely, it would be hard to find any creature more noticeable in a human city than this psyrpent. Perhaps he had taken a room and it was just coincidence. She turned her back on him, back towards the other elf to see if he had decided already, though she remained conscious of just where the lizard was. She would not easily trust one of his kind.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 04:23:19 AM by Irid alMenie » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2011, 05:56:09 AM »

Well, that's certainly going to attract the attention of the owners... Ridgen thought as he turned his head to look just as the psyrpent busted a small hole through the stairs. Some movement brought his attention back to the elfess, who had stepped inside the room and was now welcoming him in. The elf took note that, if anyone was watching from the direction of the stairs, only the hem of her robe would be visible from their line of sight. Is she hiding from something? No, he must just be overthinking things. Then again, there was also the fact that she asked for a soundproof room and all...

The waiter snapped out of his reverie when he realised that he was keeping everyone else waiting. "Sure, why not," he replied, stepping into the room, "I have one or two questions to ask, in any case," he added. Despite the serious nature of his statement, his voice still retained that cheerful quality.

Now we wait for what this night holds for us.
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"Everything is a game - some people just don't realise that."
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« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2011, 07:12:52 AM »

There was a crash through the stair, and Alýr glanced to the door with mild trepidation. She moved like the wind out the door to see who was coming up the stair, her heart beating nervously in her chest. However, as her eyes rested on the psyrpent coming up the stair, she sighed a little in relief, and smiled.

Her voice was soft, yet clear—and kind, strange for one of her kind speaking to one of his: “Ah, good. You have come,” she said. “Please, join us, and be not shy; I have something of great importance to discuss with you.” She bowed to him respectfully, and moved back into the room, waiting for her guests to join her.
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« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2011, 01:07:00 AM »

“Ah, good. You have come,” she said. “Please, join us, and be not shy; I have something of great importance to discuss with you.”

With this the elf bowed and entered the room. The psyrpent was inclined to follow, as if the elf placed an enchantment upon him. Two other elves joined the third inside the room, causing him to halt in his tracks. Would it be wise to be inside a room with three elves? In that cramped location he would not be able to fight well, should it come to that. His crossbow would be plain useless in that scenario and he would not be able to defend himself against three opponents at once.

Yet he owed that female elf some gratitude for being kind enough to offer him a meal, and a good one at that. The psyrpent shrugged, took a deep breath and joined the company. Once inside he looked neither at the other elves, but to the one who provided him with food, and bowed his head as a sign of respect and gratitude. Then he folded his arms over his chest and stared intently at her, waiting for her to reveal her intentions.
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« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2011, 09:58:13 AM »

Alýr closed the door, though not without glancing out to make sure no one was there. She glided back into the room and looked at each of the occupants: the wolf-eyed Quaelhoirhim, the cheerful Cyhallrhim, and the quiet psyrpent.

"I have called you each here because each of you has a strong will, no doubt coupled with skills and talents. My request is this: I seek protection from Voldar to the city of Ximax. In the spirit of honest and openness, I tell you that the travel may be perilous, for there are those who seek what I carry. Though I suppose I should start from the beginning...

"A month ago a human stumbled into the forests of Boldar. He carried with him a peculiar object: this locked box." Here she removed what appeared to be a wooden box. She drew it dexterously from a hidden fold in her cloak. It was small and light enough that she could hold it in one of her slender hands. A nearby candle mounted on the wall threw its light upon the object, revealing strange marks that appeared at first like mere scratches but, upon observation, seemed patterned, like some strange, unknown writing.

"When he came to us, this human was horribly injured. He told demons were after him, that they sought the box. He told us that ever since the Third Sarvonian War, his family had lived upon the shores of the Ancytharian Sea, guarding the dangerous secrets that live within the waters and upon the island in its center. When this box, by some strange magic, tossed itself upon the shore, he wished to learn its secrets and protect it from those who would take it. He brought it to the Aellenrhim, hoping to find answers. But someone found him first." Alýr drew the box back into the hidden folds of her cloak.

"The man did not survive his injuries." There was a glint of sadness in the elf’s eyes, for though all things come from and return to the Dream, it is always sad when things return unexpectedly. "Within the archives, we found a description that matched the box; but it was not the box that concerned us, but what it held, for the records said that it was an object of demonic inclinations and powers, allowing he who possesses it to see the connections between this world and those of the netherworld, and by doing so, to bring to Caelereth demons from those fell reaches."

Was that a creak on the stair? Alýr, in the midst of explanation, did not seem to notice, though those of her companions with sensitive ears might have heard---

"I know little else about it. The tome in which this information was found was partially destroyed in the orc raid of 207 b.S.; I pray that there may be something in the vast archives of the Library Tower of Ximax that may shed light on this box and the object it keeps. For now, all I know is that the box appears indestructible, the key to open it is missing, and the object within is powerful, demonic, and highly desired by someone."

Alýr tilted her head. "Since I left Boldar, someone or somethi---"

There was a CRASH as the door swung wide, nearly falling off its hinges. In a single swoop a figure moved behind Alýr and put a dagger to her throat, and three other forms moved into the room.

From their appearance, all that could be ascertained was that two were a female and the other three were male. Their original races, or even their original forms, were somehow twisted and hollowed by demonic corruption. One of the males had a dark complexion, his skin appearing leathery and almost black, his eyes yellow and malicious. The other male was tall with wan skin and an eerie smile that showed pointed teeth. One of the women was pale, with sunken, hallow eyes and slick black hair. The other had skin that looked almost gray, and her hair was a specter-white.

The leader was clearly the one who held a dagger at the throat of the indigo-eyed elf. He had a pale complexion, but with dark eyes that flashed crimson, and what looked like the stub of horns peaking out from the rushing curls of his dark hair. By his form, he looked strong. His voice was rough and deep, as though it rumbled out from the darkness. "Why, hello again, darling," he smiled vindictively. "You have been running so fast, and in vain." He chuckled cruelly. "You know what we seek. Best hand it over, or we may need to slit this pretty little throat of yours." He held the blade close to her neck, using a free finger to caress her neck

(Brief Note on this Post: Please Read Before Posting)
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 12:09:47 PM by Alýr (Rayne) » Logged

      
Juliette Dante
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« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2011, 03:12:55 PM »

After some time of wandering through the empty streets of Voldar, Juliette finally found her way back to "The Sleeping Shir". Light flitted through the windows like a beacon, guiding her back into the warmth and comfort of her rented bed. Perhaps she would grab a drink before retiring to her room and food seemed like a good idea as well. Just as the thought occured to her, there was a low rumbling in her stomach. Rubbing it reassuringly, she temporarily quelled it's protests with the promise of stew and ale. She couldn't remember when her last meal had been and her body was telling heels that is didn't appreciate the ill-treatment.

Reaching the door she half walked, half stumbled through the threshold. With a groan she tentatively made her way to the bar, slumping onto a stool and mumbling a quick, "Stew and ale" to the bartender. Her day had been long, or at least the beginning of it was. Earlier that morning she had lost several san in a game of dice with a few regular patrons. She suspected they had been cheating but thought better of calling them out when she was outnumbered four to one. Instead she posted up at the bar, nursing a mug for the better part of the afternoon. Her memory begins to go fuzzy not long after that. Vaguely she remembers walking through the city streets, passing vendors hawking their ware and sternly, perhaps somewhat violently, fending of men with less than honorable intentions. She woke up not long ago under the looming branches of a tree just inside the city limits. It was slightly startling but not at all surprising that she woke up in a strange place, in the middle of the night, with a dulll headache and grumbling stomach. When she drinks, she does it right.

She attacked the stew first, figuring that food was more important than ale. See? She wasnt a drunk. In fact the only time she indulged herself, with a couple exceptions, was when she was on land, which wasn't very often. The majority of her time was spent captaining her ship, The Reckless and it's crew of seventy-five men. At the moment the ship was under the command of her first mate, Marley Jenks, who had the intention of striking out on his own and becoming the captain of his own ship. The first step was to prove to Juliette that he was capable of commanding a whole crew of men by himself. He was attempting to do so at that very moment, pirating somewhere around Cyon Sola Bay. If he proves himself, Juliette promised him they would find him an adequate ship and men to operate it.

She grinned when she thought of the old sea dog, well passed his prime and only now does the thought of captaining cross his mind. Finishing off the ale and last bit of stew, she paid and tipped the bartender before heading towards the stairs she had barely placed her foot of the first step before hearing a commotion on the second floor. Her curiosity was piqued and she wasn't sure what to expect as she ascended the stairs, moving closer to room 21 where the door had obviously been forced open. The was a brawl about to begin and all thoughts of sleep fled her mind as she entered the room was an eager smirk. "Well, what do we have here?"



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« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2011, 10:44:03 PM »

"By Queprur's deadly gaze, I haven't been this bored in all my life!" The psyrpent impatiently said to himself as the mysterious elven woman told the story of how she got the wooden box. Why should he be concerned about an old box? He's got one a darn sight prettier than that one, and filled with his collection of gems to boot. Apparently she needed an escort to a far away place called Ximax. "SsssXimaxsssss.." The place has a nice hissing tone to it. Maybe he should join the elf, provided she will sustain the expedition. The Psyrpent leaned on a corner in the room and closed his eyes as the majority of what the elf said passed by him. In a few moments, he found himself dozing off.

Then it all happened so fast. A loud crashing sound came and with it a few strangers: one normal looking tallfolk and the rest are just plain weird. It's as if their skins had been dyed to shout to other people how strange and ugly they are. One was holding the elf, with one hand clutching a dagger pointed dangerously on the woman's throat.

"You know what we seek. Best hand it over, or we may need to slit this pretty little throat of yours."

And that's where it dawned on him. These are the ones chasing her!

The way that inhuman thing held the dagger so close to the elf's throat caused the psyrpent's blood to boil in rage. How dare these disgusting things attack someone who gave him food! Without considering the consequences of his next action, he attempted to empower himself with his people's sacred ritual: The Blood Trance.

"An offering to Queprur I shall make with your lives!"

It's as if he became a different individual. His eyes became redder and he looked at everyone like they were his next meal. Then without any provocation, he leaped on one of the uninvited guests, the woman with white hair and pale skin, slamming her to the ground. His enormous claws closed around her neck, threatening to snap it in two, and he sent waves of psionic force into her mind in an attempt to disorient her or even cause a crippling pain.

The pale skinned woman tried to retaliate, but it was in vain. The attack came suddenly and in a few blinks the enraged, 470 od snake-man had utterly crushed her neck, leaving a trail of blood oozing from her mouth.

Even in her death he wouldn't let go of her neck. And in doing so he made himself vulnerable to attacks from all sides...
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« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2011, 12:11:33 AM »

Irid narrowed her eyes when Alyr invited the psyrpent to join them. It would seem that the elfess was not one given to prejudices. She went into the room and took a seat, waiting for what would come but keeping half an eye on the lizard. You never knew what one of his kind might do.

Alyr started explaining about a wooden box for which she hoped to find more information in Ximax. There was something off about the box when she showed it, it made Irid's hair stand on end. An almost unconscious growl escaped, until the other elfess stowed it away again. With a shake of her head, Irid came back to herself again, even though she did not realise she had growled.

As the explanation went on, her sharp ears caught the sound of people moving on the stairs. Normally she would just assume that they were guests making their way to their room, except that it sounded furtive, somehow. Apart from that, the circumstances were far from normal, so the whole situation made her feel on edge. She reached down to make sure that her twin blades were present and loose enough to draw quickly.

Her suspicions were soon confirmed when the door splintered open and a band of ill-favoured creatures, who could not even be called human any more, moved in. Within the blink of an eye the leader of the band had pressed his knife against Alyr's throat, while the others moved towards the rest of their company. There were five enemies total, one more than the occupants of the room. Irid jumped up a blink or so later, knocking over her chair and drawing her daggers at the same time. She drew back her lips, and another growl escaped from them, again quite unconscious though she otherwise remained clear in the mind.

She locked eyes with a woman with black hair, who moved in her direction with an answering grimace of her own. She was faster than Irid initially gave her credit for, moving with deliberation. She did not seem to have a weapon, but her arm shot out and grabbed Irid's left wrist. Her strength was surprising, and when she squeezed the elfess had no option but to release her dagger. However, the action enraged her enough that with another growl, she swung the other dagger, connecting with the woman's abdomen. The pale woman hissed, but she did not release her hold, instead moving her other arm to try and grab Irid's right arm. The elfess cursed and twisted out of the way, hurting her left shoulder in the process but managing to keep her right hand away. Her left wrist was starting to burn with the pain of the woman's grip. With a wide swing, hardly thinking what she was doing but letting her instincts take over, she landed her dagger on the arm holding her.

She half expected not to see any blood from the cut, but it seemed that the woman was still alive enough to have the decency to bleed. She grunted, but it seemed that even this was not enough to release her grip from Irid's wrist. She physically pushed against the golden-eyed elf, who was forced up against the wall, where she had even less room to manoevre. Her blade  moved again, desperately this time, but it seemed that desperation had its value. The black-haired woman forgot to defend herself, and the dagger slid neatly between two ribs and into the woman's heart. To the last, her hollow gaze was filled with hatred, but finally her iron grip loosened and she stumbled and fell.

Irid quickly went to retrieve her second dagger, before looking around what the situation looked like now. At some point a human woman had joined them, but she did not have the look of these demonic enemies, so Irid hoped that she would prove to be friend.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 02:20:09 AM by Irid alMenie » Logged

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