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Thread: Dragon Knight, the Last Battle

  1. #21
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    Balthazzar heard the call over his amulet, as he was up on the city walls of Zamma. The sheer size and strength of the fortress itself impressed him, along with the discipline the men exhibited. They'd obviously have a strong king to command such respect in his men.

    "Alright men, prepare to fire." Balthazzar heard the commander of the men calling out orders from another part of the wall, and he headed to it.

    Balthazzar came to where the commander was, and immediately saw that he was a very adept Warlord, from the precise way the men along the walls moved. As the Drow party approached the walls, the commander raised his hand. "Aim!"

    As Balthazzar approached, he saw that the commander wore subtle signs of royalty, and concluded that it was the King of Zamma -- who was a Furian of all people. The surprise registered on his face as the king gave the order.

    "Fire!" Hundreds of arrows flew, and hit their targets precisely -- all except for the mage, who most of the arrows were fired at. The Drow barely managed to deflect two hundred arrows that were fired at him, with a weaker force field he summoned.

    Seeing that he was the last one standing, he started to flee. "My bow." The king called out to an armorbearer who brought him a magnificent bow indeed.

    Summoning the power of fire, He strung his personal bow, and set the metal arrow to it. He aimed carefully at the drow, and called the order for the men to aim their arrows again. If his arrow failed, one of them at least would hit.

    "Fire!" Adrian loosed the metal arrow, which suddenly turned red-hot and caught on fire from some unseen source. The arrows flew, and the Drow threw up an anti-nature field, which would deflect the wood flying at him. Instead, his heart got pierced by the metal, red-hot arrow flying at him.

    As the dead drow burst into flames, Adrian quickly gave the order to have a party go out and retrieve the arrows, and make sure everyone was dead.

    "Hello." Balthazzar walked up to King Adrian, who instantly gave him a skeptical look.

    "What do you want?" The young Furian king wasted no words as he saw his troops going out to collect their arrows, along with the enemy's spoils.

    "There is an attack going on at Erelhei-Cinlu, against the Drow forces serving Tiamat. Bahamut has requested troops in an attack." Balthazzar kept his voice very business-like.

    "Then why don't you go and add one to the number?" King Adrian obviously wanted nothing to do with either side. He would have to be convinced first.

    "Because if your troops are added, the battle will be decided on whoever you fight for. If you don't fight, the winner will eventually attack you, thinking you're on the other side." Balthazzar's gaze becamed one like steel. "Either way, Zamma will become involved in the war. Do you want to fight it on an offensive front away from your walls, or do you want the enemy to come to you?"

    Adrian paused. "Severus! Eddard! What's your advice?" He turned towards two more Furians who walked up, and saluted the both of them.

    "We have to choose a side. Either one is stronger than us. I recommend we not go with Tiamat, as her word is not her sacred bond." Severus spoke up first, as always. His opinions were almost never wrong.

    "I agee with Severus in recommending Bahamut. He's the most likely to win. If Tiamat's always attacking, she's going to attack us before Bahamut does, and it's safe to say that we need allies. Her troops are spread thin. If we win, then Zamma is safe, as their target will become that Drow city, and Zamma will be a key fortress that Bahamut would want to stay standing on his side." Eddard's opinion was well-respected in Zamma as well, and like Severus, he was rarely wrong when he was in his right mind.

    "Very well. I'll take a legion of soldiers out of Zamma and head to Cinlu. Eddard and Severus shall go with me. The Viceroy will be in charge when I am gone. If he commits treachery, he will be executed on the spot." Adrian brushed off his uniform. "Eddard, organize the men. Severus, get the horses for the legion. We set off immediately."

    He walked off the wall, on a passageway back into a tower whose hallways led deeper into the fortress. "Dragon Knight, what is your name?"

    "Balthazzar Stormhold."

    "Interesting. It seems I'm the last Furian king who still holds a kingdom. Let's make sure we still hold a realm to ourselves. Be ready when our men are. If you go with me, you're under my command, and shall address me as King Adrian, Your Excellency, Your Grace, or Sir. Understand?" Adrian wouldn't take no for an answer. He was sending a respectable chunk of his men to fight someone else's war. He would have no nonsense on this campaign.

    "Yes sir." Balthazzar headed down and got on his own horse. If the rumors about these Zammans were true, it would be a very fast march. These people moved quickly and precisely, and would be at Cilnu within the day.
    Formerly known as Jurnis

  2. #22
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    Aurelia crouched behind a rock formation on the crest of a cliff to the east of Erelhei-Cinlu, and observed the outlying areas of the region. Raeviir crouched next to her, having just observed a patrol pass close to their position. She looked at the proposed area of attack, and realised there was a reason why the line of attack was comparatively lightly defended: a canyon some 50 metres deep and almost 20 metres in span, with a river of... some foul liquid at the bottom of the canyon. Raeviir pointed to it.

    "That canyon's gonna put a crimp and a half in our plans - that is the reason that our plan only expects moderate resistance. That obstacle is gonna be difficult to traverse, let alone with the river at the bottom, which, to me, looks like some kind of sewer of the city. Open sewers; how disgusting. But at least the waste is being disposed of, unlike in that human city Haldor and I went to."

    "That whole city was a sewer, wasn't it?"

    Raeviir nodded. "It was horrific- wait... Can you feel that tremor?"

    Aurelia looked around her - things were shifting, and she barely had time to register what was going on before she, Raeviir and Sabuit plunged into one of the Underdark's huge multitude of sinkholes. Aurelia landed softly, getting to her feet easily, and surveying her surroundings. There were tunnels leading in two directions, north and east. Raeviir struggled to her feet, dusting herself down, muttering, "F*cking sinkholes..." before examining both ways - one way seemed to lead to a dead end, and the other to an underground aquifer. Raeviir rolled her eyes and tapped Aurelia on the shoulder.

    "What?" Aurelia turned and looked at the direction Raeviir was pointing. "That's an aquifer... That could be one of the water supplies of the city. D'you reckon we can enter the city by that route?"

    Raeviir shrugged. "Should we tell B*stard about this aquifer?"

    Aurelia nodded, but also added on, "We'll only refer to it by 'we think that we have a way in'... I don't want to give them a definite answer when we haven't actually gone through this... Are you ready for swimming, you two?"

    Sabuit roused herself painfully from the ground. "Er... I guess."

    Aurelia pointed at the way to the aquifer. "We're going that way. Fred, we think we have a way inside the city. It's through some underground waterway."

  3. #23
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    "Well." Salvator wasn't sure how to take that. "Shouldn't you have waited until all of that was organized at least? So that someone knows where you're covering and all that? I tend to work alone too, but I still know how it works when with a group. You can't respect those rules, you're a land yourself in trouble, hard to kill or no." With his already-keen elven eyes trained to be ninja alert, Salvator spotted the gelatinous cube about the same time as this dude, who hadn't given his name as yet, but suspecting the only thing he'd be able to do was freeze it if anything left it to him to take care of. Noting the guy's choice of fire to kill it, however, he wondered just how smart his companion was. That would draw attention of the other things that lived here, and that wasn't a good move when one was scouting. Ever. Salvator debated working his way back through the tunnel to find the main force, but wasn't sure leaving this dude would be any smarter than staying with him, in this environment.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Penthesilea silently signaled her women to halt. The group of Drow they'd been tracking had arrived at an open area, near a fortress their scouts had found out was called Zamma. It was reputedly unaligned thus far in the war, which was likely why the Drow were here to raid it. Less retaliation than if they had taken sides, though if they'd gone Tiamat's way the Drow would never be here in the first place. Not attacking, as they were now. The Amazons had taken care of their scouts silently and swiftly, which was just as well for the party that had lured these Drow to the walls of the fortress they sought. Penthesilea knew they'd been leading them on due to the number of archers waiting on the walls.

    One of the warriors nearest the Queen approached her. "Your Highness," she said. Knowing the question, Penthesilea answered before it was asked. "Bows at the ready, but let these people handle it. We'll tend to escapees, if they leave some. Scouts we got to for them; these they can handle alone. Look how many up there on the walls."

    "True," said the warrior. "What of the splinter group though?"

    "Our scouts are watching for them, yes?" Penthesilea answered. "Should they show up, we'll know it. Be on standby to take them out too though."

    "Yes, Your Highness," replied the warrior, silently passing the order along using traditional signals. The archers on the wall easily dispatched the main party, save for the mage, who Penthesilea readied her lance for; however, before she could throw it, they received word that the splinter group of Drow was now returning and were moving quickly. Seeing the mage was slain anyways, the Amazons turned their attention to this group, and having the advantage of surprise and effective camouflage took them out almost before they knew what hit them. When this was done, another warrior approached the Queen. "What is it?" asked Penthesilea before the warrior spoke.

    "A party is approaching from the fortress," she replied. "Meh," said Penthesilea. "Likely just retrieving arrows. Keep an eye on them though, just in case. Don't need any trouble here."

    "Yes, Your Highness," replied the warrior, notifying the scouts nearby of what the Queen had said.


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  4. #24
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    Kirsti was meditating under a tree, albeit with her ears and eyes still open to the lands around her. One could never really truly rest these days, save for at the Palace. It was far too risky nowadays. Nevertheless, she was relaxed, comparatively speaking. At least until she heard the sound of wings. Looking around for the source, she saw what appeared to be a giant.... No, that's a person, she thought, puzzled by this. Kirsti had met many folks, but winged people didn't seem common. As she drew her bow, the mystery person landed in front of her, turning out to be a girl with what the humans might have said were angel wings. "Hey, you might not want to be sitting around so," said the stranger. "Things are quite dangerous nowadays. So they've been saying at least."

    "Yeah, I'm rather aware of that, thanks," Kirsti replied. "Doesn't eliminate need to rest up though. Or tell me your name or who you fight for."

    "No, I guess it doesn't," agreed the stranger. "I'm Malaika. You can just call me Malai though. Don't fight for anyone, presently. Had a few offers, mind you, and some folks trying to slay me, but I've not taken to anyone yet. People are more apt to threats than explaining things these days."

    "Well, given as what there's a dragon war coming, that's not surprising," Kirsti replied. "I'm Kirsti, one of Bahamut's dragon knights. I can explain things somewhat for you, seeing as I'm out recruiting anyways - not that there's a lot to be recruited, but ya know. S'posed to go try up at home again, and there's still some isolated neutrals out there, but see anyhow." She thought for a moment. "Why don't we go to the palace," she suggested. "Safer to talk there than here. 'Specially since there's a rumour there's Tiamat forces afoot."

    "Palace?" asked Malaika. "Oh. Right. The Platinum Palace. One of the safest spots left these days," Kirsti replied.

    "Ah. Well that might be good," Malaika nodded. "How do we get there?"

    "With the am - " Kirsti started, then stopped. "Right. You don't have one." She thought for a moment. "Just hold my hand," she said. "I'll recall us there."

    "You'll what?" Malaika inquired, somewhat bewildered. "Oh, never mind," said Kirsti, taking the girl's hand and recalling back to the Palace. "Come on, let's go and sit in the garden," she suggested, starting to lead Malaika there as she spoke. Completely confused by the sudden change in scenery, Malaika allowed herself to be led by Kirsti. Once they got to the garden, they ran into Urgala. "Back already?" she inquired, looking at Kirsti. "Only temporarily," she replied. "Just explaining things to the girl here. Though how she doesn't know some by this point is beyond me."

    "Well. That makes two of us," said Urgala. "Not sure you should have her here if she's not recruited, but given the dangers outside I'll let it pass. If she joins, she can hang with you for now or go and help at Erelhei-Cinhu. Not too sure how much use she'd be there, mind, but it beats Ragnarok anyhow."

    "We're attacking Erelhei?" asked Kirsti. "Yes, there was a message over the amulets, asking for your lot and scouts," Urgala answered. "Didn't you get it?"

    "Oh," said Kirsti sheepishly. "Must've been while I was meditating."

    "Ah si," replied Urgala. "Guess we all need to catch up the rest sometime. But anyhow. I have places to be, and you have a girl to be talking to, so. I'll catch you later then. Oh, and go say hi to James, while you're here. Boy has been missing you people."

    "Will do," said Kirsti, and Urgala left to wherever she was headed while the two girls found a place to sit out in the garden. "Um, pardon my ignorance, but, where's Erelhei?" Malaika asked, once the vizier had left. "Drow city," Kirsti replied. "Not very pleasant. And Ragnarok... well, it's something to do with the Vikings, at any rate. War of their gods or some such. Mine is likely the most peaceable mission you'll see, and it won't last too long."

    "I see," said Malaika. "So what do you know, exactly?" asked Kirsti, wanting to get to the point. "Well," Malaika answered, "I know there's a huge war going on, and that more or less the whole world is involved, but I'm not exactly sure what the sides are. Everyone seems to differ on that."

    "Well, it's a dragon war, so the sides are either Bahamut's, with the metallic dragons - that's the side I'm on, and where you are now. It's generally seen as the 'good' side, save amongst Tiamat's forces. The two are siblings, but different as different can be. Tiamat rules the chromatic dragons, and is about as pure evil as evil can get, or so I've been told. I haven't met her, myself, but knowing the way that her forces are that's not far off, if off at all. Her allies are primarily the Llolthite Drow, giants, orcs, and the like, while Bahamut gets his support from elven and humans. There are exceptions to both rules, of course; I've met some Drow on our side, though I believe they worship Eilistraee, and there are naturally some elves and humans that go off to Tiamat. Vikings and dwarves are more split, so I'd be wary of those you don't know amongst them. Other races such as yours I haven't seen much, so I can't say per se. But that's the essence of it." Kirsti, having finished her explanation, waited to let it sink in for the girl. After a few moments, Malaika spoke. "Well, from what I've been seeing of battles, I'd likely be on the same side as you," she said. "As would the bulk of my race, I believe, if they've heard of it. We're a pretty isolated group though, Aasimar, so I'm not sure if they have back home or not."

    "Well, by our records, they're neutral, so I'd say not, or not enough leastways," Kirsti replied. "But if you think that they'd join us, that's some encouraging news. You should come with me then. Nice trip back home for you, albeit a brief one. Guess I should give you an amulet first though."

    "An amulet?" Malaika asked. "Yeah. It's basically a sign that you're a dragon knight. Both sides have them, and I think they work more or less the same, but that's no matter. Amulets let us talk amongst each other, no matter how scattered we are; let us teleport to other dragon knights of our side; and you can turn into a dragon. During which time you can still communicate with other knights," Kirsti added, remembering how she'd found out about that one the hard way, so to speak. "What type of dragon you turn to 'pends on the colour your amulet shifts to. Mine for instance is gold," Kirsti said, showing Malaika. "So my dragon form's a gold one. There's also silver, bronze, copper, and brass. Dunno if quite in that order but eh."

    "Interesting," Malaika replied. "Yep. So here ya go," said Kirsti, handing her an amulet. When the girl took it, the amulet shifted to... gold. "Nice. Same colour amulets," Kirsti remarked. "Cool," said Malaika. "We should get on alright then."

    "Given we already are, I would concur," Kirsti replied. "But, let's be off again, shall we?"

    "Right," agreed Malaika. "Where to first?"


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  5. #25
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    "Eh, you know how armies are," shrugged Frederick. "They spend so much time waiting around doing nothing that unless you start to move out on your own, you can't ever know when they'll be ready to move themselves. It gives them a sense of urgency, the need to catch up, and all that."

    It seemed the fireworks display had attracted some company. "Oh look," said Frederick, "Umber hulks. Don't look at them in the eyes, they'll confuse the heck out of you."

    "Let's see..." he said to himself, "What to use..."

    He conjured forth Dainsleif. "This'll work," he said. "I'm not much a fan of wounding swords, but eh, I haven't used this one yet."

    Smelling food, the umber hulks moved to attack him. Frederick dashed forward, propelled by his contragravity belt, and took the head off of an umber hulk with a swift strike. He began to draw on the skills of King Hogni to engage the next umber hulk, activating his shield bracelet to block its attack, before cutting its legs out from underneath it and thrust through its chest carapace.

    Another umber hulk tried to hit him from the rear, but he heard the blow coming a mile away and sidestepped it, bringing the sword up in a swift motion that sliced it open and made a huge mess.

    "Feel free to join in," he said, "There's plenty of umber hulks for you too."

    As he was hacking down umber hulks, he got the message from Aurelia. "Excellent," he said mid swing, "Let me know once you're sure it leads to our destination. I'll be killing a few umber hulks, for a bit."
    Quote Originally Posted by Sigilstone17 View Post
    Holeypaladin is a pretty cool guy.
    I like swords.

  6. #26
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    Garth and Erak smiled as Erak pulled out his giant sword, Balmung, he then took out his giant axe as he gave a smirk, while there were some warriors there who had seen him fight before they covered their ears thinking he was gonna yell as an Umber Hulk looked at him.

    Erak looked at the chest of the Umber hulk, as he grinned, and said in a surprisingly calm voice, "Come and fight me you rookie warrior." He said with a smirk as the Hulk made a loud yell and charged him. Erak watched his chest how the left side moved as it's arm moved but Erak was ready as he jumped back and then swung his axe down chopping off the arm. The hulk roared as it tried to hit him again but was met with erak's sword cutting off his other arm.

    Erak swung his axe and sword multiple times as large cuts appeared across the Hulk's body until Erak finally ran him through with his sword, Erak kicked the hulk off of his sword as it was sent into another. As that happened he caught a glimpse of another one coming in from behind him as he twirled around catching the hulk in the side with his axe and pinning it against the wall of the tunnel. Erak took his sword and decapitated the hulk kicking the head to hit the head of another hulk coming his way as he ranhis sword through it while it was dazed from getting hit in the face. Erak flung his sword upward cutting the hulk almost completely in half other then it's lower half.

    Garth was near Fred as he chuckled, "He's getting a bit smarter..." He said with a smirk, "But no matter how much you teach a dog common if you tell it to go fetch it will fetch i guess." Garth said sarcastically. Garth saw a Hulk coming in their direction as Garth's Eyes turned white blue and he shot his hand out. Large Ice Shards came flying out of his hand then pinning the hulk against the wall. "I've learned one or two things of my own." Said garth with a suddenly evil smile as the hulk struggled to get free Garth's eyes turned dark brown as he smashed his hands together.

    The Tunnel wall suddenly as if it came to life had hands appear from that binded the Hulk was now struggling all the more as it sunk into the tunnel wall, a couple seconds later a rock replica appeared from the wall and went to go fight some of the Hulks. "Pretty neat huh?" Garth said with a smirk, "Amazing what fighting with the gods can teach you." He said to fred
    may all who feel my blade know my pain
    http://bbs.evony.com/showthread.php?t=146907 read my story
    <15:37>[paingodsson]: well i usually save tjpse fpr of o, attled pr o, attlomg
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    i support paingo-whatever.

  7. #27
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    "That's pretty impressive," said Frederick as he noted Garth's spell. "Let me give it a try."

    Miming the spell, Frederick created another construct that went off to fight the umber hulks. "Nice," he said. "It worked."

    All the commotion was causing quite a stir, however. "We're about to have more company," Frederick said. "I'm thinking it's gonna be a bit more dangerous this time. I might summon our Valkyrie a bit before the Drinlu battle... I don't want our soldiers to have to face Beholders before the battle starts. We'll take them out ourselves. Do NOT let their laser beams hit you; one of them disintigrates, while another turns you to stone."

    Charging through some umber hulks, Frederick sliced two of them down and greeted the family of beholders that was coming to meet them.

    "Say hello to my little friend," he said to the beholders, before blowing on the horn Erak had given him, noting that it crumbled in his hand after doing so.

    The noise, of course, would only serve to attract the beholders further, as well as some nearby troglodytes and duerghar... but this tunnel needed to be cleared anyway, right?
    Last edited by Holeypaladin; 11-04-2012 at 02:56 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sigilstone17 View Post
    Holeypaladin is a pretty cool guy.
    I like swords.

  8. #28
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    A large light appeared from what seemed like no where as the Bi-Frost opened as a Valkyrie lowered down from it with a Large spear in one hand and a big shield in the other as she turned to the beholders and laughed. "You foolish mortals dare stand before me. Stand aside cretins?" she said as she gave a laugh. A few Beholders used their laser beams which were automatically blocked by the Valkyrie. "I am the Valkyrie Natasha... SpearMaiden... and now, your worst nightmare." She said as her eye narrowed in anger.

    Natasha flung herself forward at them smashing her spear right through two of the Beholders as she swung the spear to the right smashing them into their friends and smashing them against the wall. Another laser came in from her side which she blocked with her shield as she pulled out her spear and started to twirl it as she floated in the air she raised her spear up and threw it as it flew towards the Beholders spinning cutting many of them down as she flew after it grabbing it and once again running it straight through one of their heads. Flinging that man back towards the group she loosened her shield grabbing the chain it was attached to and spinning it fast as she spun it around smacking it into each one of the beholders.

    Garth nodded, "You catch on quick to spells. he said with a chuckle. As Garth watched Natasha go to work he raised his eyes, "Well... i can see this escalated quickly." He said with a chuckle. "She definitely is deadly." he said now as he blasted a Hulk with a fireball.
    may all who feel my blade know my pain
    http://bbs.evony.com/showthread.php?t=146907 read my story
    <15:37>[paingodsson]: well i usually save tjpse fpr of o, attled pr o, attlomg
    <15:37>[ThaCulprit]: wtf did you just say to me? lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Kemal Rondal View Post
    i support paingo-whatever.

  9. #29
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    Aurelia felt the temperature of the water that made up the aquifer. There was seemingly a steady rain coming from the ceiling - it was water filtering through the rock and soil above the aquifer - evidently the way it was resupplied. The water was just a degree or two above freezing - Aurelia could see floating bits of ice in the water. She muttered to herself about cold showers, and put one foot in the water. Drawing it out again, she cursed under her breath.

    "I can see it's cold. But as long as we keep moving, everything's fine, right?" Sabuit's voice was nervous - she was a very good swimmer, but her fragile constitution wasn't good at dealing with shock - especially cold temperatures such as these. Aurelia shrugged.

    "I don't know... Fancy swimming through watery ice?"

    Raeviir walked into the water, uncaring of the temperature. "Come on - the quicker we get through this, the quicker we can get warm again." She started swimming towards the entrance to the aqueduct - it was closed, so as to prevent anything landing in the water or drinking from it. It kept it disease-free; not that anything could survive this cold for long, anyway. Sabuit slowly began to walk into the frigid waters, and immediately set off for the aqueduct's entrance. Aurelia followed suit.

    After a few minutes, the cold temperatures began to cause considerable pain to the Drow. Nevertheless, they pressed on, reaching the entrance to the aqueduct. Much to their chagrin, the entrance was barred with a gate that was locked. Raeviir swore and looked around for the key. She fancied she saw it on the bottom of the aquifer - the water was clear, so they could search the aquifer if necessary to find this key. She pointed out the possible location of the key, and dived to reach it. The chill of the water increased as she dived further under the surface, prompting Raeviir to involuntarily close her eyes and tense her muscles in shock and pain. She recovered in time to snatch hold of some metal object that was key-shaped to be sure, and surfaced with an audible gasp. She swam over to the gate and tried the key in the lock. It didn't work.

    "F*ck! A decoy key! You two, help me look for the right one!" Raeviir whispered to Aurelia and Sabuit. They nodded and dived underneath the surface to search for the key underwater, and Raeviir quickly followed suit. The water's chill was now visibly beginning to have an effect on them; their movemens were somewhat slower than usual, more laboured as if fighting the muscles' urge to retract and preserve body heat. Sabuit, Raeviir could tell, was suffering most. She was a powerful swimmer in normal conditions, but here, she was impeded by the freezing water. Aurelia held up a key she had found in the shallows near the shore of the aquifer. She began to swim over to the aqueduct, followed closely by Sabuit. Raeviir surfaced to breathe, and then spotted a small hole in the cave's wall - there was yet another key inside it. There must be more than one gate, Raeviir theorised. She took hold of it and swam over to the aqueduct entrance, where Aurelia had now been able to open the lock using the key she'd found. Thanking the powers that be for their luck, Raeviir and Aurelia lifted the gate with considerable effort. The aqueduct itself was shallower, only shoulder-deep compared to the depths of the aquifer. A pump, powered by arcane magics, was drawing water out of the aquifer and into the long tunnel that (hopefully) led to Erelhei-Cinlu. Swimming inside the aqueduct, Aurelia and her two companions stopped to catch their breath. The pump also seemed to warm the water in the aqueduct... But as soon as Sabuit left the aquifer, the gate slammed down, nearly catching Sabuit's foot in the process. Anyone else trying to get through via this passageway would need to find another method of opening the arcane lock.

    Aurelia looked ahead at the long tunnel that awaited the three Drow. "This is gonna be one long trip."

  10. #30
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    Salvator rolled his eyes, but made no comment. Whoever he was, the fellow was likely to get himself killed with such arrogance. Not his problemo though. As Salvator expected, though, the use of fire to kill off the gel cube had brought them more company - namely, some umber hulks, which were soon followed by beholders, troglodytes and duerghar. Mentally sighing at the fellow's ineptitude at scouting, he drew his katana and started engaging their foes, using his other hand to fling shuriken at any he saw out of the corner of his eye that were trying to cause him a problem.

    Before long, they were joined by a small party that Salvator guessed was a part of the army that was here to attack Erelhei, and the ninja soon found himself dodging one of their Vikings as well as the enemies and the laser beams of the beholders. It was going to be a long day, he could tell already, and the thought brought him no joy.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The Amazons finished gathering their weapons and getting some useful things off of the dead, and by that point the party from the fortress was more or less done with retrieving their things as well, and headed back to the palace in short order. "So what now?" one of the warriors asked Penthesilea. She pondered the question a moment before answering. "Now, we trace these fools back to their homeland, and learn what we can of it, them, who they fight for, and who their enemies are. My guess is they are with those who ransacked our realm, but who their foes are we have not yet learned, and it is those who we ought to join ranks with, now."

    "Well, what of the people of Zamma?" the warrior asked. "Surely they are enemies of these. Why else would they be here?" Penthesilea sighed. "We already established they're a neutral party in what seems to be a worldwide war that's being waged. Which makes them vulnerable to both sides. Do pay attention, why don't we."

    "Right," said the warrior abashedly. Another of the women spoke up. "Well, they will still see these Drow as foes, will they not?"

    "True," Penthesilea conceded. "And they may know more of the force that the Drow fight for too, and of their enemies. Nevertheless, we'll likely learn more in tracing them back to their homeland, and it may be that their own realm is being attacked, in which event we could possibly join with the force so engaged."

    "A good point, she has," noted yet another of the Amazons. "But what if the people here send a group out there as well? Could we not possibly travel with them?"

    "That would either delay us, if they march as infantry, or hinder them, if they send out a cavalry unit," Penthesilea replied. "Though with that said, we may wish to leave a small group here, to inform them of which way their home lies and that they ought to watch out for for other smaller groups that might have broke off from this one as well. Courtesies, and such."

    "Right," interjected Derinoe, one of Penthesilea's attendant warriors. "I can head the group to stay here, if you want."

    "Very well," said Penthesilea. "Has anyone traced their path home yet?"

    "Yes," answered Bremusa, another of her attendants. "It lies south and west of here, in a place one of the wounded said is Erelhei. He's one of the slain now, of course."

    "Excellent," Penthesilea said. "To Erelhei, then." With that, the Amazons left, except for the small group remaining with Derinoe.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "Well," Kirsti said. "I suppose we should go say hello to James, while we're here and all."

    "James?" asked Malaika. "Yeah, he's an orphaned drake that Fanis found. Hangs out at the palace here, and misses her like fierce, but I don't think she comes 'round much. I drake-sat him a bit once, and we get on alright, but he likes to ask me 'bout her 'cause we used to be in the same group and all that, and although I rather hate to disappoint him I won't lie and say I saw her either so." Kirsti shrugged. "C'mon, I'll take you to meet him. He likes to meet people. Friendly one, that." She led Malaika to check at the flying grounds first, as when she'd last come by he had said he liked to spend time there. Sure enough, he was flying around playing air tag with his friends, but quickly flew down when he saw Kirsti.

    "Hey," James greeted them, wagging his tail. "Who's your friend?" Malaika was surprised to find the young drake could actually 'speak', and more that she could hear him, but before she could say anything Kirsti was introducing them. "This is Malaika," Kirsti replied. "Malaika, this is James."

    "Well hiya," he said to Malaika. "And what sort of person are you? Never seen one that had wings before."

    "Heh," replied Malaika. "That's likely 'cause there aren't too many sorts out there with wings. Least not that look much like humans. I'm an Aasimar, myself."

    "Cool," said James. "Those wings really work?"

    "Well, if you mean by that can I fly, yeah, I can," Malaika answered, flying around him to demonstrate. "See?"

    "Nice," replied James, rather impressed. "Shouldn't have much trouble as a dragon then. Iffin' you're a dragon knight."

    "Heh, maybe not," said Malaika. "Just became one, really, I suppose, but it might be a bit different. Least the walking will for sure."

    "Oh, you here to train then?" James asked. "I could help you. I'm real good now. Did you see me playing tag?"

    "Yeah," answered Malaika. "Don't have much time to train now I don't think though. Got stuff to do ya know."

    "Well," said Kirsti slowly, "It might not be a bad idea if you did. Case we have trouble and such. Sometimes the dragon form comes in more useful, though since you can fly already I dunno how much that's going to be true in your case. Though there are breath weapons with it of course. Which can be handy. Given you can fly already, it shouldn't take long to get used to, and that's all you have to do really. Also 'bout all we have time for. But your main thing if I was guessing would just be the walking. Different sense of balance and that."

    "Yeah, that's what I'm thinking," Malaika agreed. "Well, if you're sure then. Just have to focus on being a dragon, I guess?"

    "Yup, pretty much," Kirsti replied. "Unless you're intending to switch back to human, mind. Well. Aasimar, but meh. You know what I mean."


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