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Author Topic: Chapter Two - "Thalambath" - Part One  (Read 27598 times)
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grallen gast
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« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2011, 08:07:11 PM »

It soon became apparent that however much she shifted around, nothing got any more comfortable. By jamming both her knees together she could save her shoulders being pressed into the boards so much, but then her foot went to sleep, and she became painfully aware of the way her back was twisted. The cart bumped slightly as it rolled down towards the tents. With every jolt and tilt Grallen swore under her breath. The air was viciously hot, and as she wriggled, trying to turn onto her back, she felt a momentary stab of panic. She quelled it before it could get hold. I checked when it was made, there’s plenty of room to let air in.

The cart had stopped, it seemed. How long would they be? Anything could be happening, it was too quiet. Maybe they’d already been quietly killed, and she’d stay here until she baked, or worse, be found... dammit can’t reach my knife from here...

Her hair stuck to her face with sweat, which stung her eyes. Her arm seemed to have gotten stuck under her, and her elbow was poking into her ribs. She had just decided to fill the interminable ages by naming, and then personally cursing, every grain of sand in the desert, when three knocks sounded, near her ears.

“Thank Kahn’uck!”  she hissed, and gently kicked out to release the panel. Boards scraped and scratched at her as she wriggled out, and then dropped onto the sand, knife drawn before she even stood up.

Even in the airless, timeless space under the cart, it didn’t seem she’d been under very long. Had something gone wrong? No drawn blades or looming, unfriendly figures greeted her as she slid out of the hiding place, so it didn’t seem so. And Lili and Toama were still there. She threw them both a quizzical look, and tried not to gasp for air as she shrugged the stiffness out of her joints. What next?
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Lili the Elfcat
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« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2011, 05:10:20 AM »

No sooner had Grallen clambered into sight than she stood on the desert sand, knife pointing outwards like a deadly sting. Lili put a finger to her lips, signalling the need to be quiet. Then she pointed to the traces at the tent entrance.

”We think Altario’s in there,” she whispered into one of Grallen’s ever-twitching ears. ”But if he was all right, he’d come out, wouldn’t he? We better have a look. Discreetly.”

She looked at Toama and Grallen, and gestured to the tent. ”Any suggestion where to start?”  her eyes asked. The tent was an odd construction. A large central dome was surrounded by six smaller ones, one of which served as the entrance. Despite its impressive size and symmetric arrangement, the whole thing had a provisory, ramshackle look about it. The canvas seemed threadbare in places, and wasn’t drawn tight evenly, leaving folds and creases for the desert wind to grab and shake.

Was it best to check the entrance first, or should they start from the back? The entrance side had been the one exposed to the sandstorm, and consequently the front three of the smaller tents had grown heaps of sand around them, which looked like little battlements protecting the tent from an attack of desert domovidgies. At the back, however, the sand had been sucked away by the wind, and the bottoms of the canvases showed in a few places, as far as Lili could see. It might be possible to sneak round there, lift the canvas from below, and peek inside.

”Let’s split up,” Lili suggested, cupping her hand against her mouth to prevent the sound from reaching the tent. ”I’ll check the back. You want to take the entrance? Meet back here in half a pipe?”





A few blinks later, Lili was squatted at the back of the dome, cutlass at the ready. In front of her, there was a piece of loose canvas that she reckoned she could lift and peek under. ”You,” she hissed to Kassandra, who was sitting on her shoulder now, hiding from the sun in the shade of her hat. ”You keep still. And don’t you dare fly off.”

”Still,” whispered Kassandra, and as Lili bent forward to bring her head close to the ground, she adjusted her position with little sidewards steps, walking from Lili’s shoulder down her back in order to stay upright.

Slowly, carefully, Lili lifted the canvas and peeked into the tent. Compared to the dazzling sunshine outside, the light was grey in there, and Lili’s eyes needed a few blinks before they could make out anything. By and by, shapes began to distinguish themselves, and Lili saw that she hadn’t picked the most interesting tent. There was no movement in the room, no person. The sandy floor was partly covered with rugs, and the walls were lined with heavy-looking sacks and bundles. There was a pile of cushions, too. Maybe this was someone’s sleeping chamber?

Lili dropped the canvas, and listened. Nothing. No sound from Grallen and Toama. What might they have found? Maybe she should get back to check?

But when she looked around, she saw what looked like another promising spot, where she could peek under the next small tent along to her left. She crept over. Kassandra scuttled about on her shoulder blades with nervous little steps, weak from the heat, and barely succeeding to maintain her balance without using her wings. Finally, Lili had reached the next tent. She went down on her knees and bent forward, until her right cheek touched the sand. In one hand she held her cutlass, the other reached for the canvas. Her fingers sweated. The air, suddenly, seemed very still.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 05:42:53 AM by Lili the Elfcat » Logged

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grallen gast
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« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2011, 08:27:08 PM »

”We think Altario’s in there, but if he was all right, he’d come out, wouldn’t he? We better have a look. Discreetly.”
Grallen nodded, yellow eyes flicking over Lili and Toama’s faces. No point delaying, then. The long wait in the cart had made her restless, and the tense, quiet exposure now she was out in the open left her eager to find out if Altario was here or not and leave as soon as possible.
”Let’s split up, I’ll check the back. You want to take the entrance? Meet back here in half a pipe?”

Grallen glanced to Toama, to see if she agreed, and then nodded, trying to suppress a grin. Splitting up to surround an unknown foe... it reminded her of her usual work, which seemed to have been left far behind, back when she first stumbled into an inn in a bad mood, and got wrapped up in this whole venture.

Gesturing to Toama to follow closely, she padded up to the front of the nearest tent, for once glad of the sand, which was easy to walk soundlessly on. She pressed her ear to the tent, listening intently. It was still oddly quiet; if there are people here (and looking at the sand kicked about by the entrance, it would seem so) they have either noticed our approach, and are waiting to ambush us, or they’re oblivious, and asleep, or relaxing... her ears swivelled, straining to catch breathing sounds, or the shifting about of furniture as someone moved across a room. Was that something? A sigh? A rustle of fabric? She bit her lip, looking up to meet Toama’s gaze.

“Somebody’s in there, but I can’t tell how many. Any ideas?” Her voice slipped easily into the soft whisper of thieves; clear but not carrying. Toama looked at the entrance again, and for a moment Grallen wondered if she could tell who had entered from those scuffed, sandblown tracks – it seemed impossible to her eyes. But then the human’s gaze drifted to the sand heaped at the base of the tent, and she crouched, starting to push it away, digging the base of the tent clear. Ah, of course. If you can see in from the back, where the sand hasn’t blown round that should follow at the front. Grallen grinned, and helped kick the sand back, before standing over Toama, knife in hand and keeping a close watch on the door. Is this the only door? Never robbed a tent before, do they have back exits? Suppose Lili will have found out, but she’s on her own...

She strained her ears for any sound, eyes fixed on the entrance. Anyone to step out of that door would get a knife to the side of their throat and a friendly kick in the kneecaps. To Toama, she hissed “See anything?”
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« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2011, 01:47:53 PM »

Of course, the Remusian finding the situation somewhat humorous only served to infuriate the elf.  But, as little as he knew her, he knew that would happen.  Knowing that he aggravated her made him feel somewhat better.

The situation was not funny, he reminded himself.  He didn't know who had captured them, or where they were.  Worse, Te-oh was missing.  Was he dead?

Hearing the elf trying to speak focused Altario on her.  She appeared to want him to move closer to him and have her remove his gag.  It seemed to be a good plan, so he scuttled over to her, bending his face down to where her wriggling fingers waited.  It only took a moment and one poke it the eye for the gag to slide down to his chin.  He gulped the air, not realizing how stifling the gag had been.

Lifting himself up, he nodded his appreciation to her before twisting around to profer his hands to her.  "Don't know what you're doing here, but its good to see you, elf.  Let's get your gag out."
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« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2011, 10:54:34 PM »

There were two of them. Two shadows. Awkward they were, twisted. Making strained small staccato movements, rubbing against each other. While her eyes were getting used to the darker light inside the tent, Lili thought that she was witnessing two people making love.

Presently, the shadows grew colours, and the shapes turned from fuzzy to sharp. Lili realized whom she was seeing, and what. Both people were sitting with their hands tied behind their backs. Altario was leaning forward towards Drustai’s back, while her hands fiddled with the gag stuck inside his mouth, trying to remove it.

Lili’s thoughts moved like flashes of lightning across her mind. Should she go and tell Toama and Grallen? Should she warn them not to do anything that might alert Altario’s and Drustai’s captors? Or was it better to free the two prisoners first, so as to get away as quickly as possible? Or so as to have two more swords if it came to blows?

Just when Lili had made up her mind, Drustai succeeded in unknotting Altario’s gag. Lili’s heart made a yelp of sympathy as she heard the sharp relief of the proud Remusian's first free breath. "Don't know what you're doing here,” Altario said. ”But it’s good to see you, elf. Let's get your gag out."

Lifting the canvas higher, Lili stuck her head into the tent as far as she could, and whispered:

”Pshht, no sound! It’s Lili and Kassandra. Let’s get that gag out indeed. Won’t take half as long as roasting a blackhog.”

Lili tried to raise the canvas even further, but it stretched too tight. If she crawled underneath, some buckle or boot or cutlass would surely snag, and she’d lose time. Not to speak of Kassandra, who might complain and raise a racket. So Lili let go of the canvas, pulled out her knife, and cut herself an opening.

”One twitter, and you’re chicken soup,” she hissed to Kassandra, as she crawled through the hole into the tent. The bird clung to her shoulder, looking mischievous. But Kassandra hadn’t been the companion of a highwaywoman for twelve years for nothing. She knew when she had to be quiet. And sometimes she even was .

Using her knife, Lili cut off Drustai’s gag, and then turned to see to the elf’s hands.

”Ladies first!” She grinned at Altario. ”Toama and Grallen are on the other side. Whom are we facing?”
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 05:56:52 PM by Lili the Elfcat » Logged

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« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2011, 09:24:11 PM »

When she had cleared enough sand from the back of the tent, Toama crouched down to see if she could peer inside. An immediate problem showed itself - of course the tent had been created in such a way as to stop sand from entering, which was a rather smart precaution to take in a desert. However, she did see a seam running, so with a little manoevring of her scimitar, she managed to make a hole big enough to peer through. However, she could not see anyone there, only loads of boxes, stacked in neat rows. If she'd had any doubts whether these were actually Shendar, they were now laid to rest - no true desert dweller would have that many boxes, not when they led a nomadic existence. She could hear the same voices as Grallen now, but they seemed to be coming from further away. She could not hear the words, only that they sounded male.

She stood up and shook her head. In a whisper, she told the orcess "There is beink nobody, but I am can too hearink voice. Maybe you are hearink what it say, if listen there? You are hearink better than I, I am thinkink." She took up the same guard position as Grallen previously, her scimitar ready for use when she needed it. She did not like being here, convinced more and more that the inhabitants of the tent were not friendly. The sooner they could go, the better. She'd prefer leading their little ragtag group all the way back through the desert a thousand times over standing here, practically waiting to be caught - it needed only one person coming out and seeing them to raise the alarm, and she had no idea how many of them there were.
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grallen gast
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« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2011, 07:43:50 PM »

"There is beink nobody, but I am can too hearink voice. Maybe you are hearink what it say, if listen there? You are hearink better than I, I am thinkink."

Grallen smiled, despite herself, and nodded. No jibe at her beautiful (if now sand-burned) ears, for once. She knelt down in the hollow Toama had made, and ducked to peer into the tent. Boxes obscured her view and blocked the light – though there was a light, yellow and dully fading in and out; a lamp? Not a candle in this storm beleaguered place. She turned her head, pressing through the tear in the tent-

Easy, muted conversation greeted her twitching ear. The faint shuffle of furniture – that’s what she had heard before, sounds like someone wandering around, aimlessly. Something metallic, and cloth, and idle sighs- they don’t know we’re here. Nobody breathes like that if they suspect they’re being watched.

She was surprised at how well the tent had muffled them – or maybe she’d gotten sand in her ears. Three of them! Had Lili seen? Hopefully we’ll find out on her terms rather than theirs. Grallen sat up, and caught Toama’s eye, before holding up three fingers, and pointing in the directions she thought she’d heard them. Well I think it was three. I really hope it was three. We can manage three, if we’re careful. Was there an extra murmuring, from further away? She pressed her ear back to the hole in the tent for a moment, but couldn’t convince herself it was anything other than the rustle of sand against tent cloth.
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« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2011, 07:44:23 PM »

Drustai let out a gasp as her gag was cut off. She closed and opened her jaw, stretching it this way and that, trying to work out the kinks in her muscles from having had it locked open for so long. She then licked her dry lips, frowning at the realization that they had cracked a bit. Cursed, filthy conditions! She hissed to herself, before looking at Lili as she finished cutting off the bindings around her wrists.

"Thank you," she remarked. She reached up to rub the sore, reddened flesh, before raising her hands up to her hair, ringing them under and through it to smooth it out. She gritted her teeth as her fingers caught and pulled at some tangles.

Drustai rolled around so that she could be facing the two of them, and watched as Lili went to sever Altario's bindings as well.

"We need our things back." She was not going to leave all of her magical supplies here--she had little elsewhere and no means to replace them. She also assumed that Altario would want his precious sword back, as well.

She looked at Lili. "Are the others here?"

*     *     *

Te-oh sat with the group, at a table in one of the side rooms of the tent. He cut into a piece of salted steak, then lifted it and pressed it between his lips with his knife. Things had been quiet since they had brought in the man, Altario. He had expected more chiding from the others, but they spared him aside from a few jibes while they had moved Altario's few belongings to the storage room.

Te-oh looked up towards Rudohn, the leader of their group. He had never been one to raise a temper, but the cold confidence he always possessed worried him. He always knew more about what was going on than anyone. Like he could see into the future. Could magic do that? It could, couldn't it? Te-oh frowned. He almost never saw him cast any spells, though. He always just knew.

"Te-oh," Rudohn commented, suddenly looking up from his plate at the "Shendar."

Te-oh blinked, speechless for a moment. "Uhm, yes sir?"

"Bring me the man's weapon. I wish to examine it."

Te-oh took another bite of his steak, then nodded and pushed himself to a stand. "Right away." He gave a curt bow of his head, then turned to exit the room. He could have swore he saw Rudohn smirk as he did so, though.

Te-oh pushed aside the flap separating the dining room from the center room of the tent, then paced across it to the other end. His footsteps were quiet on the crimson carpet, as it and the sand beneath did well to muffle him. As he reached the other end, he pushed forwards the other flap and entered.

Te-oh frowned as he glanced around the storage room. There was a bright light emanating from behind the boxes, casting shadows over the rest of the room. Damnit! The tent must have come up again during the sandstorm. He muttered to himself, then reached forward and grabbed the sword. He then turned and exited the room, crossing back over to the dining room.

Rudohn was already looking at him as he entered. Te-oh held out the sword, handle first. "Tent came up again. Going to go out and fix it."

"No need," Rudohn replied as he took the sword.

Te-oh blinked. If they left it, the next sandstorm could take the whole tent with it. Not to mention all the sand that would come in.

"But-"

"We shall fix it later. Finish your dinner."

Te-oh let out a sigh, then plopped himself back down in his chair. He looked to his right at Surok, who just shrugged at him before taking another bite of his steak. Te-oh frowned. Something fishy was going on.

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« Reply #38 on: October 08, 2011, 11:10:39 PM »

As Altario moved to help Drustai with her gag, there was the sound of material moving and he spun his head around to see the ever smiling face of Lili.  A moment later, and the cutting of the canvas, and Lili and her bird were in the tent. 

"Glad to see you, too." he replied as he waiting for his binds to be cut away.  When done, he rubbed at the chafed skin at his wrists.

He nodded at the elf's assessment.  "Yes, we need our weapons back.  Any idea where they could be?  How many people are we up against?  They took Te-oh, as well.  We need to find him."

So many questions and no answers.  Whatever was going on, they were at a disadvantage.  The only good point was the arrival of Lili, and hopefully the others.  Having the advantage of surprise might be enough to change the tide here.  It was a good thing Lili...

Altario raised his eyebrow.  It just struck him that he really was glad Lili was here.  As much as it chagrined him, he was starting to develop a real friendship; not just with Lili, but with everyone in the group.  Even the dark elf.

How things, and even he, had changed.
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« Reply #39 on: October 09, 2011, 08:19:00 PM »

Lili stared at Altario and Drustai. They did not know. Their captors were just a few steps away, separated from them by nothing but a couple of flimsy sheets of canvas – but Altario and Drustai did not know how many there were. Did they not have eyes to see who was binding their hands? Did they not have ears to hear their voices? Heads to work out what was happening? Drustai had even managed to ignore what Lili had told her: that Toama and Grallen were on the other side of the tent. And Altario had obviously found Te-oh, then contrived to lose him again. How these two had survived long enough to grow grey hair and bitter expressions around the mouth was beyond Lili’s understanding.

But they did not want to escape. They wanted their stuff back. Sure, nothing more important than stuff. Die in the Jeyriall-forgotten Ráhaz-Dáth, your body cut open and stuffed with sand, your eyeballs dried and shrivelled like raisins – but at least you have your sword by your side; family heirloom, you see, old companion, dear as a child’s favourite toy, can’t go to bed or the privy or the Netherworlds without it.

Kassandra, still sitting on Lili’s left shoulder, felt the scar on Lili’s cheek grow red and hot.  Desert sun, sandstorm, exhaustion, fear – when it came to flushing Lili’s face with blood, nothing could match pure exasperation. There was a faint shiver on Lili’s lips, too. All signs indicated to Kassandra that the conversation, which had been dull and whispered so far, would soon turn interesting. After days of travelling through treeless land in a mood of grim silence, after being told to shut up during the rare exciting bits, Kassandra was beginning to hope that there might be some reward at last for a gossiper bird. Feeling her feathers come alive, she made a little hop of anticipation, and whispered an imitation of Drustai's voice: “Are the others here?”

The sound made Lili flinch, and roused her from her self-righteous fit of anger. She had probably glared at Altario and Drustai for longer than was considered polite in either Remusia or Nybelmar. ”Chicken soup, I said,” she growled through the left corner of her mouth. ”Unsalted.” Kassandra stiffened, and sunk back into resentful silence.

Right. Stuff. They want it, we shall get it. No rest for the cutlass, then. Probably not a good idea to have Shendars on our track anyway. Lili allowed herself a sigh, before she said:

”We saw no signs of Te-oh. I left Grallen and Toama at the tent entrance. We should get to them. They are well, but they don’t know you’re here. They were going to have a peek inside of their own.”

Her hand still held the knife that she had used to cut her friends’ bonds. She offered it to Altario. ”Not as long as your sword, but it cuts okay.” The elf, she hoped, could defend herself by her magic.

Turning toward the hole in the canvas that would lead them outside, she said: ”All right then. Enough chatter. Ready to go?”
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 08:31:15 PM by Lili the Elfcat » Logged

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« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2011, 03:10:52 PM »

Drustai looked at Altario as he mentioned Te-oh. Her lip curled back, revealing a sneer. Of course they did not know. They had not even thought that this entire situation had been completely rigged. That they had just been randomly discovered in the middle of a sandstorm across a vast expanse of dust and sand. The odds of that were astronomical.

"Te-oh is not your friend. He is the reason you are here."

She didn't let either of them ask for an explanation as she continued. "He lead you to an ambush. There are four of them, total. Not Shendar. The leader is Thalambathian--one of their wizards. He is the dangerous one. The others are armed, but they are no soldiers--otherwise they would not be resorting to such trickery and deception. Their swords are most likely for intimidation, I doubt they have the skill to match one such as you, Altario."

Drustai looked towards Lili, her gaze peering for a moment at the woman's gossiper. She was such a fool, to bring that thing here! They were lucky that the bird had stayed quiet this long. One single squack or loud mimicry and everything would come undone. She hissed, before looking down towards the woman, and gestured to the hole in the tent.

"Lead the way."
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« Reply #41 on: October 22, 2011, 06:56:39 PM »

The hairs on the back of Altario's neck began to rise.  His arm shot out and cold fingers grabbed onto the cloth of Lili's sleeve, stopping her before she had a chance to leave.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa!  What did you say?"  His grey eyes locked onto the elf's.  "You're telling me that Te-oh is a traitor to us?"  His blood began to boil.

If there was one thing that Altario could not abide, it was treachery.  He had trusted Te-oh.  They all had.  They had put their lives and well being in his hands to guide them through this accursed desert and the man had betrayed them.  When man did this to fellow man, it was worse than what any orc could do.

The confirmation in the elf's eyes told Altario all he needed to know.  Te-oh was a traitor.  The Remusian's jaw tightened and his teeth ground together.  He released the sleeve of the flamboyant woman and gave her a curt nod to continue.

"I'll kill him, myself!"
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« Reply #42 on: October 24, 2011, 06:57:00 AM »

That explained a lot. Te-oh was a wilier warg than Lili had given him credit for. He had us all for breakfast, lunch and dinner!  So much for Lili’s hopes to sneak away without a tussle. For even if we find Sir Altario’s blue-blooded sword before Te-oh’s gang find us – Sir Altario won’t make a step towards Thalambath before he’s shoved said sword into Te-oh’s innards. Lili repressed a sigh.

When Altario finally let go of her arm, she scuttled towards the hole in the tent and crawled through. Outside, she crept two steps to the left, making space for Altario and Drustai to follow, but remained crouched until her eyes had re-accustomed themselves to the assault of fierce sunlight on yellow dunes. Sand, sand, sand – well, this probably wasn’t good country to get away unseen anyhow, especially not if these tent-dwellers were really led by a wizard, as Drustai had said. Well, so. How do things stand?

Lili watched her two companions as they moved, free of fetters for the first time in hours, if not longer. Were their wrists still stiff? Did their knees creak? How did their eyes react to the sudden brightness? As she led the way round the tent, Lili moved deliberately slowly. She wanted to give Altario and Drustai time to regain their full suppleness of limb, which they would soon need. Also, that way everyone was less likely to make a noise.

Toama and Grallen were still where Lili had left them. By the looks of it, they hadn’t run into trouble. Lili wasn’t one for thanking the gods, but she did raise her eyes to the sky for a moment, savouring the relief. Things would be a lot easier with those two in fighting form. There’d be more weapons for everyone, too, since Grallen owns seventy-three knives. Although then again, those two behind us would probably not take a knife from an orc if their mothers’ lives depended on it.

As soon as her eyes caught Grallen’s and Toama’s, Lili put a finger on her lips. With her other hand, she pointed thumb-backwards over her shoulder.

”Look whom I found,” she whispered. ”Two for the price of one.” It had to be a surprise for them to see Drustai.

The elfess worried Lili. She was maybe the group’s best hope against a wizard – and what Lili had seen of Drustai’s skills on the ship in Strata harbour certainly made her feel lucky that they were fighting on the same side. But Lili never felt at ease around her. Couldn’t take a joke, never had a warm word to say. And all that snarling and sneering and showing her teeth, even within a blink of having been cut loose from her shackles – it was more like a caracal than an elf. Well, as long as she saves her biting for that wizard, we’ll tolerate it. Just about, anyway.

”Te-oh fooled us all.” Lili explained to Grallen and Toama. ”He’s with the bandits.”

She paused for a blink to let the news sink in. Then she went on: ”And you? What did you see?”

« Last Edit: October 24, 2011, 06:59:27 AM by Lili the Elfcat » Logged

"It's not good that I'm bad, but I'm proud that I'm worse than I seem."   ~ Lili the Elfcat ~
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« Reply #43 on: October 25, 2011, 06:14:13 PM »

The voices grew louder, and Grallen's heart shuddered as she realised someone was headed straight for them! She had time to glimpse a flash of light as the tent flap to another room was opened, and hear an unfamiliar, imperious voice before she pulled her head away from the tent flap and shifted to the side, out of sight. She gestured frantically to Toama to be quiet, and still, and listen, whilst trying to do the same herself.

He was saying something, the man who had come into this section of the tent. Holding her breath, she managed to make out a metallic sort of noise, and then he was walking away again, saying, “Tent... go out and...” Oh bugger. Someone replied, sounding negative but too muffled to make out words, and she let out a held breath. Still, she so barely knew what was going on...

she looked to Toama, worried, and was about to ask if she’d heard any of that when footsteps on sand brought Grallen from crouching at the base of the tent, puzzling over whispers, to half-on-her feet with a hand on her blade, almost quicker than she could think.

”Look whom I found, Two for the price of one.”

She couldn’t help a smile, as she lowered her hand from the blade. Well now we can definitely manage three, not that we need to. We can go; we can get out of this blasted desert... she flicked her gaze over Altario and Drustai. They looked a little worn-out and sand-eaten, but not too terribly maltreated. Not as if they’d been worked over for information, at least. This is just an everyday kidnap attempt, nothing to worry about.

”Te-oh fooled us all. He’s with the bandits.”

Grallen scowled. It stood to reason though, Toama had said he wasn’t much of a guide... Dammit, they better not come chasing after us.
 
“And you? What did you see?”

Pointing a thumb over her shoulder at the dip in the sand where they’d been listening, she whispered, “Nobody in that first chamber- I think there’s three of them, but it’s hard to tell- they don’t know we’re here, so if we’re quiet we can get away easy.And we need to go soon- one came to pick something up from the front of the tent, I heard something about going out... I don’t know exactly, but they could find us any second.””

She looked at them expectantly, eager to be on her way, though something in Altario’s expression made her doubt it was going to be quite so easy.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2011, 06:27:47 PM by grallen gast » Logged

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« Reply #44 on: October 25, 2011, 07:25:33 PM »

After Toama had made way for Grallen to listen, she stood guard with her scimitar drawn. At the same time she kept her ears open, hoping to catch some of the conversation going on inside. Small chance, but you never knew. As before, she could not exactly make out words, just voices. One of them grew louder at one point, and though she could not hear the words, she was fairly certain that she had heard that tone of voice before.

Grallen crouched next to her with a worried look on her orcish face. In a way it surprised the desert woman that the fairly alien features could express such an emotion, but then she did not know too much about orcs, so perhaps she should not be surprised. Before she could ask if the orcess had found anything, they were joined by Lilli, who had brought Altario with her - and not only Altario, but also the elfess, Drustai. Where had SHE come from? Toama was sure that she had not been with them during the sandstorm. In fact, she had almost forgotten that the elfess was supposed to part of their quest, it seemed so long ago that she had last seen her. Now, however, was not the time for questions.

The news that Lilli brought did not really surprise Toama. She had been suspicious of him for some time now, and certainly since she heard his voice in there. Lilli's words were really just confirmation of her suspicions. She took it in stride without really changing her expression. In addition to Grallen's words, she said in support: "I was not hearink words, but knowink I am that Te-oh is beink in. Also, now is beink done storm. I am thinkink also that we need go soon." She kept her voice low, barely more than a whisper. The more they parleyed here outside the tent, the bigger the chance became that either the people within would hear something and investigate, or that they had business outside and spotted them - a group of 5 was not that easy to miss.
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