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SRD - v3.5
Order of the Sword & Rose
“Hmmm, I can’t say that I enjoy being pulled from my meal for a rouse,” Aristoblis says, more out of hunger than being upset. “However, the prospect of free room just might make up for it.”
Accepting the keys from the bard, Ari says, “Thank you, most talented performer. I would be happy to put this room to good use in your stead.”
With a nod and a turn the “old elf” goes back to the bar to finish his meal in peace. On his way he pauses mid stride, his eyes locking with those of the lady elf for a long moment. “Lady,” he says with a reverent bow, and proceeds back to his bar stool.
Ranaewen was surprised at Ralthoin's reaction. She had expected anger, fury, and possibly blows, but not this...broken, weary dwarf standing in front of her. The half elf blinked for a moment. Her brow still furrowed, but now in confusion rather than irritation, she whirled away abruptly. She moved with feline stealth back to the bar. The coiled seething energy still pulsed through her veins; it never receded until she found an outlet. She leaned on the bar a moment and then her gaze drifted over the man seated awaiting her. Their gazes met briefly and she twitched a brow. Casually, silently and without a glance at anyone in the room, Ranaewen walked past the bar, by the stairwell and out the back door of the tavern.Keiri blushed bright red as Aristoblis bowed before her, a slight giggle erupting before she bit her lip. He turned away and suddenly she felt an intense weariness pass over her. She looked around for Ranae. Nowhere in sight. The small elf sighed tiredly. Then she heard a commotion just outside the door. Looking over her shoulder, she saw four men ready to attack the elven woman Ranaewen had been drinking with. Without a thought, Keiri reached behind her for her staff. Oh no! she thought, and glanced quickly toward the bar, where her beautiful smooth staff had been resting quietly. It was gone! She turned quickly toward the door and focused on Whisp, murmuring silently as she prayed. A soft glow enveloped Whisp quickly before disappearing.The men drew their weapons and prepared to attack Whisp. One looked up quickly at the glow, his gaze searching for the source before settling on Keiri. He bared his teeth and entered the tavern, moving toward the priest, sword in hand.Keiri's breath caught at the fierce look on his face and she clutched the front of her robe, eyes wide as he approached.
Rushing over to the dwarf whose fists were pounding the thug he scanned the room for Ranaewen. Blast it girl where the hell are ye? She was nowhere to be seen and the trouble was getting more serious by the second. Ralthoin turned away in disgust as he approached the other dwarf and with the butt of his axe knocked him off the unmoving assailant. "Thats enough!" he growled as the other dwarf spun round to face him. "The rest o' them are outside c'mon." Grabbing the dwarf up with one hand and hefting Gnarlcleave in the other he ran for the door, closely followed by the other. "Stay inside!" he shouted to Keiri undisguised concern lacing his words. As they burst from the tavern, two of the men circling the elf turned to face them, evil in every feature.
"Look at yer bodyguards noo, eh?" the dwarf barked at the elf as he parried a wild swing from one of the henchmen. The dwarf and human broke away taking a few seconds to study each other. His opponent could handle a blade but didn't look used to battle, unlike the dwarf. He gave a wry smile as the familiar ring of steel on steel came like music to his ears. Parries and counterattacks came in quick succession and eventually the dwarf saw his opportunity. Ducking to avoid another blow he then launched himself, Gnarlcleave slicing through the air and at the last second turning to show the flat edge of the axe. His adversary unbalanced by his last swing was too late to bring his sword to bear. The axe connected with a sickening crunch and the man fell to the ground unconcious. Turning back to the other dwarf he grinned as he saw how competent the dwarf was with his own blade.
Turning to the elf he closed in on her enemies, the fire in his eyes reawakened.
Just as Aristoblis resumed eating his food an explosion of commotion erupted in the room. Snapping his head up, obvious annoyance on his face, he looks in time to witness a dwarf take a human to the ground with a well placed headbutt.
A dwarf’s head turely is harder than steel, Aristoblis thinks with a sly grin, a lesson that one won’t soon forget.
Aristoblis assumed for a moment that the commotion was over so he went back to his meal. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the dwarf launch himself onto the unconscious man; that is when he realized that he was as wrong as he could be.
Here we go, he groaned to himself, his right hand sliding into one of his pouches and his left hand gripping his staff.
Bearing witness to the events in the tavern, Aristoblis watches the two crash out the front door into the street. He looks back to the elven maiden and can see a genuine look of worry on her face, he eyes rapidly scaning the room in search of something…but what?
No time to ask about that right now; let’s go see what’s going on out here. Aristoblis rises from his stool and silently slips to the front door. A quick survey of the situation reveals the dwarves and another elf locked in mortal combat with some thugs.
Common street trash, he thinks, hardly worth the effort. Quickly sizing up the opposition, he sees one of the dwarves fell one of the men. Locking his gaze on the man squaring off against the elf Aristoblis removes a long slender bone wand from his pouch and takes aim. He whispers a word of magic and five purple bolts of energy fly from the tip of the wand strike the man true.
The man stumbles slightly and groans under the impact of the missiles, the smell of searing flesh filling the air. The man slumps forward and falls to the ground lifeless. Please with his results, Aristoblis returns the wand to his robes and moves back to his meal.
The other men flanked Whisp. She whirled between them, attempting to maneuver so that she did not leave her back exposed, her mind spinning with adrenaline. One of the men swung and caught her shoulder, slicing a ragged line across her back with his dull weapon. Blood welled and ran down the elven woman’s back.Keiri looked up from the bloody mess before her on the tavern floor and took in the situation, seeing Ralthoin approaching them with a fierce look. She focused and began to pray, concentrating her thoughts on the bleeding wound. A soft light began to glow but then blinked out abruptly as the tiny priest cried out and bent double, her arms wrapped around her stomach. Her face crumpled.
Ranaewen stood leaning against the back wall of the tavern in a dank little alleyway. The night was quiet and still around her, except for the faint scrabbling of rats. A million thoughts raced through her mind as she waited. Her confrontation with the dwarf disturbed her. Keiri, Ralthoin, Elisan...people who now aroused a strange feeling of kinship within her. Anogar. Even though it had been some days since she had seen the human...an odd lightness shifted in her belly. She frowned and irritation welled up once again. Then the tavern door swung open.The man stepped lightly into the darkness. A tall, lithe human dressed in leathers stood before her, appraising her with a steady look. She looked back at him and their gazes locked in a brief contest before he smiled quietly. “You know how to draw a crowd,” he remarked in a low, rough voice.She smirked and cocked a hip, her throat arching gracefully in the moonlight. “What can I say...” Then her face cleared and she turned to the business of their meeting. She slipped off a glove to reveal a small purse slung on her wrist. She upended it into her hand and held the small item up to show him.He frowned and reached for it, then looked at her sternly as she pulled her hand away. “Payment first,” she said, her tone measured.
Aristoblis returned from the door just in time to see the priestess slum to the floor in pain. In what seemed like a single step he covered the distanced between them and was at her side.
“Are you wounded? Have you been hit?” Aristoblis questions her as he quickly looks her over. Not seeing any obvious wound he quickly scanned the room for any sign of help; that’s when he saw her still steaming concoction on the bar. Acting without thought he snatched the cup from the bar spilling a little of the liquid on his hand and robe. The pain from the hot water was nearly imperceptible to him as he returned to the Keiri’s side.
“Here, drink some of this, it may help.”