Want a 12-Month Digital Subscription to Paranormal Underground Magazine? Click here & save more than 15%!
Dreyr Tatosian was sitting in the Mermaid's Tailfin drinking a cup of mead. A storm was abrew outside, and the waves were falling in from the sea to come crashing down on land. Dreyr held his black cape close so that his twin cutlasses were hidden, and his face was covered by his low pulled cowl. Dreyr was on a trek to a far off land in the south, one that he would have to travel through the sea and many uknowon territories to get to. He was on the prowl of a tyrant, one that had killed his family, and his friends.
As he sat there drinking his mead and listening to the thunder that crackled above, he started to think. He was going to need a ship and a couple of people to get across the ocean to the south. He had enough money, but didn't have a crew. That is why he told the barkeep to pass the word on to any adventurers, that he was looking for a crew to cross the ocean. A crew that wouldn't ask questions, and preferably one that knew the southlands. One that would stay with him after his boatride to the south.
OOC- Yep, its sorta like improvisation acting, there is no script, its just I do something and then you do something.
One that would stay with him after his boatride to the south.
Morian Stone-blade is a stout, stocky and broodish dwarf. She is unable to find her way in a world of desirable dainty women, and finds herself doing odd jobs the men around her doing; as they spend far too much time drinking, fondling and fighting at the Mermaid's Tailfin. Being of traditional dwarvish heritage, Morian is short and manly with squarish shoulders, thick stock legs, and a fist to fight with. Standing at 4' 3, Morian is fit and is often compared to an oxen by the men in the tavern; usually she just laughs it off with them, but in her heart she knows she's too manly for men. Her hair is black as night, pulled back in two buns on either side of her head to keep it out of her way while working. She felt her eyes were her best feature, exotic mixed with adventure in yellowish pale green colors.
She works as the fin's lackey, doing all jobs that are required. In return she is given room and board, meals and ale. In her heart she desires more; she sees herself fighting creatures she hears the patrons talk about or slaying evils abroad. Tonight, she watches the mysterious and dark looking man sitting near the window of the tavern. She made a point of cleaning nearest to him, so she could overhear his conversation with the barkeep. It would seem this was her lucky night, he needs a crew and she needs out. She formulated thoughts on how to approach this man they call Dreyr.
Corwyn laid his cheek against the cool, stone pillar, his long arms hugging around its circumference, his hands clasped on the other side. He could feel himself slipping slowly down the stones rough surface, the floor of the temple below covered with the detritus of age from the open roof above. He needed to rest for a minute.
He hoped once he reached the floor below that he could find an easier way back to the surface. Discovering the treasures of the Ancients was not an easy task, but the rewards were immense, probably beyond his wildest imaginings, and so worth it in Corwyn’s mind. With that thought giving him a burst of energy, he shimmied the rest of the way down.
Finally reaching the uneven flagstone floor, Corwyn sat for a moment on the end of a toppled column catching his breath, gathering his thoughts, and resting his weary limbs. He wiped his fair locks across his forehead, his blue eyes darting around the room in which he now found himself in, barely able to make out the dim surroundings in the fading light from above. His ears poked from beneath his swept back hair, his Elvin lineage apparent. Tall as most humans, his frame was slight, giving Corwyn a more agile appearance.
He pulled the wrinkled, old map from his backpack. Looking at it in the rays of light which still illuminated the wide expanse, he wondered what the inhabitants of South Haven would think if they knew such a place existed within the confines of their very own city, or under it as was the case. The populace would be amazed to learn even a portion of the secrets Corwyn knew about this great city and its past, especially those concerning the Ancients.
For a thousand years, the Temple of the Ancients had been here, longer than the Undercity itself, sitting beneath the buildings of the upper part of South Haven. Putting the map aside, he looked around at the ancient architecture in the waning light, marveling at the beauty of the stone carvings that dotted the block wall in regular intervals. Pulling a lantern from his leather pack, he set it upon the ground. Soon he also had a flask of oil, and a flint and steel at the ready. Carefully, he filled the chamber of the lantern with oil. Then once he had stowed the oil flask safely, he lit a tinder twig with the piece of flint, striking the flint against the piece of steel he held in his other hand. As the spark caught on the tinder twig, he noticed it flutter in a slight breeze; quickly he shielded it as he lit the wick of the oil lantern, a soft, yellow glow soon lighting the immediate area around Corwyn.
Holding the lantern high, Corwyn approached the nearest wall to get a better look. Definitely the work of the craftsmen of the Ancients, though he couldn’t quite place the bird depicted in most of the stone carvings, never having seen the likes of it before. It had a crest of plumage upon its head, which sort of resembled a crown, and a wide expanse of tail feathers fanned out behind it. He could imagine the colors that a live specimen might have afforded. It even looked like at one time that the carvings had been painted, though the pigment had not survived the wear of time. He ran his hand across its smooth surface, the light of the lantern creating shadows in the crevices of the stone. Looking up, he could see the sky above the temple through the small square of open roof through which he had entered. It looked like it was going to rain.
He searched the room over, looking for any telltale signs of where he should go next. On one end he had found the altar, which had a large, stone statue of the selfsame unknown bird towering sentinel like over the raised dais on which the stone slab was located. A stone bowl with ominous, dark stains sat upon the stone alter, a piece of obsidian, one end chipped into a wicked curved blade, sat next to the bowl. Corwyn ran his fingers along the blade, quickly pulling back as he discovered that its edge was still sharp, even after all these centuries. The altar itself was covered in an indecipherable language.
The walls along each side of the long chamber were covered in stone carvings depicting the strange bird in various stages: in flight with others of its kind, and conversing, or so it seemed, with a crowned individual, an Elven King. Corwyn was shocked, being of Elvish decent himself, the implications of what the carving represented were astounding. Food for future thought, but now he needed to focus on exploring his surroundings. A treasure was hidden somewhere within the ancient, stone walls, and Corwyn aimed to find it.
He found a solitary entryway at the far end of the room. The darkness peered at him ominously as he cautiously approached the aperture. As he entered the way beyond, he could see the outlines of a small room in the light of his lantern. A flash of lightning from outside threw the wall in front of him into stark detail as his eyes tried to adjust to the sudden increase in brightness. It seemed the storm had arrived, he thought to himself, as a boom resounded from the following thunder. Giving his eyes a moment to adjust from the flashing glare of the lightning, Corwyn continued into the darkness, his way lit by his small circle of light. He wished he had a Bull’s-eye Lantern, that way he could shine it ahead a little more. Next time he was at the market he would have to see about getting one.
Corwyn’s elvish eyes, after adjusting to the darkness, were able to make out the outline of a hidden doorway set into the far wall of the small room in which he found himself. He laid his ear against the cool stone. He could barely make out the sound of running water on the other side. Feeling around, he searched for the opening mechanism. With a click, the latch let go. It was a pretty good attempt, disguising the handle as a stone in the wall, but not good enough to fool Corwyn.
Pushing hard against it, the door swung open, the hinges squealing with age. A cool draft blew from beyond the ever widening crack, the smell of salt water upon it. Whatever was beyond must connect to the harbor at some point. His lantern flame flickered slightly as the breeze picked up, the storm must just now be hitting the harbor. Slipping through the now opened doorway, he pulled the thick wooden handle that was attached to the other side, knowing it was closed when he heard the audible click, the breeze immediately decreasing in intensity.
The rough cut stone hallway extended in either direction. From his left, Corwyn could only make out darkness; from his right could be heard the waves breaking against rock, obviously the ocean. A small patch of light could be discerned further down the corridor. Not knowing what to do, he pulled out a copper. Crowns he would go left, Eagles he would go right. Flipping it, he caught it in mid-air. He examined it in the light of the torch, Eagles it was. Carefully, he made his way down the corridor toward the sound of crashing waves.
Stepping carefully, Corwyn tried to feel his way along the floor. The coating of dust did little to help in his attempt to detect any traps or triggers that might be in the area. Corwyn heard an audible click. Stopping, he felt the floor beneath his foot depress. Cursing himself, he realized it was already too late. He could feel the rumbling in the floor, walls, and ceiling around him. Looking back he caught sight of the wall of water as everything was cast into darkness with the extinguishing of his lantern as he was swept along toward the sea.
Meanwhile, at the Mermaid's Tailfin…
Owen the Bartender cleaned the mugs and steins before him, his mind wandering over the day's events. Old Jep had been in earlier with his proclamations of storms and whatnot, and he was almost always right, as evidenced by the storm clouds overhead. He had also said something about an unexpected visitor dropping in, but Owen attributed that to the alcohol, which it seemed Jep had already imbibed before reaching the Mermaid's Tailfin.
The Fin, as it was more commonly called, was slow, but that would change once the storm hit. Bar patrons would run in to escape the storm and to enjoy the warmth of the roaring fire Owen currently had blazing in the big stone hearth, at the far end of the common room. It was just the thing to knock off the chill, which seemed to hit right around sunset.
Morian was cleaning a table down by the stranger, her dark head bent over her task, but Owen knew Morian. Her ears had perked up when the stranger, who named himself Dreyer, had inquired about adventurers. He had a feeling that soon he would lose her to this quest to the south. She was a good enough helper, and he would be sad to see her go, but he had known her long enough, and was a good enough judge of character to know the wanderlust he saw in her dwarven eyes.
He glanced furtively over at the dark stranger who sat at the end of the bar, cup of mead in hand. He had asked Owen earlier if he knew of anyone that needed work. He had not been too specific on the details, only that it had to do with something to the South. He just hoped the black-cloaked man did not drive any of his customers away.
Lightning flashed overhead, followed by the low rumble of thunder in the distance. The storm would be here soon. Already he could feel the atmosphere in The Fin pick up. He didn't know if it was from a deep-seeded fear, or just the anticipation of something to break the monotony, but the demeanor of his customers always seemed to change when a storm was upon them.
Owen began to wipe down the bar in anticipation of the rush. He felt a slight rumbling at his feet, which extended up into the bar. Stopping, he looked around. Earthquake?
When there was no further activity below, Owen started to wipe again. Once again there was a slight tremor, seeming to radiate from the far wall, nearest the mountain that loomed just above this end of the harbor. This time the shaking caused the mugs underneath to tremble. Looking around to see if anyone else felt anything, he was perplexed to see that he seemed to be the only one to feel it. Old Jep slept peacefully in the corner, Morian was still wiping diligently on the same table, and the man called Dreyer's features could not be seen in the shadows of his black cloak's hood. Maybe he was imagining it; he felt his head to see if he had a fever.
Ignoring the steadily increasing rumbling, Owen continued his work. It was only as the now audible shaking seemingly erupted out of the sky above that Owen looked up in trepidation. He quickly glanced at Old Jep in the corner, oblivious in his drunken stupor, and also wondering if the man was a prophet. Well, he would know soon enough. Bracing himself, he peeked up again, a worried look on his face, and waited.
There was a final deafening roar, as the roof gave way at the far end of the room. Water, along with debris splashed down from above, and continuing down the length of the room, knocking Owen off his feet and onto his behind, and almost knocking the bar from its foundations on the wooden floor. As he dragged himself up by the edge of the shaky bar, Owen surveyed the tavern. Old Jep sat dozing peacefully in the corner, still oblivious to what had just happened. The cloaked stranger had drawn twin blades and stood crouched on the defensive, his barstool lying on the floor behind him. Morian had flipped over the table she has been wiping, using it as cover. Owen was sure the table was glad for the change of pace, as Morian had seemed intent on rubbing a hole in it in her desire to look busy, all the while probably drumming up the courage to say something to the stranger.
Owen glanced at the hole in the roof above. That will be a bear to clean up and fix, he thought as he noticed the rain falling in. Next his eyes were drawn to the pile of debris on the wooden floor: wood, straw, and dirt. A body lay there as well, an elf by the looks of him, propped up on one elbow, rubbing his bruised forehead with his other hand.
The elf lay there for an eternity it seemed before looking up. Giving a laugh, the elf jumped to his feet, approached and the bar, extended his hand, and addressed Owen.
"The name's Corwyn. Sorry for the unexpected intrusion."
In response to Owen's dumfounded look, Corwyn went on, "I only have one question."
He looked around the room for any response. When he saw none forthcoming,Corwyn, water dripping from his slight frame, continued.
"Anyone have a towel?"
"Anyone have a towel?"
Morian raising slowly from her crouched position, still holding the table above her head, looked around the tavern. She quickly dropped the table and gathered herself. She found some dry rags used for cleaning the area, and rushed over to the elven entity offering assistance. Everyone was composing themselves when another quiet rumble started from the corner. Old Jep, sat up and belched, scratched his chin, and fell back into a drunken coma. Morian and the elf's eyes met, and they could not stifle their chuckle.
"That's Old Jep" Morian said. "I am Morian, just a grunt in these parts. Welcome to the Mermaid's Tailfin."
"Merry meet, m' lady." Corwyn replied through the rags he was using to dry his face. "I am Corwyn. Thank you for your hospitality."
"Hear, Hear" he yelled "let us lower our blades, and drink. I've heard of a roof raising, but never a party so sullen it caused the roof to cave in!" In an attempt to easy the tension in the air, Owen poured ale in mugs that survived the collapse. He was concerned over the tension swirling around the mysterious one with his blades drawn.
As if on queue, Morian rushed to the bar to retrieve the steins from Owen hands; as fast as he could sling them, she was just as quick in distributing them. In quick and precise motion, Dreyer reluctantly lowered one blade, took a mug from Morian and kicked his stool in the right position. He lowered himself onto the stool about as slow as he lowered his blade. His dark cloak still hung low over his eyes as he took in the elf that seemed to have fallen from the sky. He placed his other sword onto the table next to his drink, and went back to his silent surveillance.
Dreyer, studying the elf a bit more, sensed something familiar about him. He could not quite place it, but there was some connection there.
OOC: better late than never I guess.
The day had not gone as planned, far from it actually as a roof had fallen and an unexpected guest had stopped by. The fire had gone out and rain was constantly battering the inn as he sat there with his drink, intrigued by the whole ordeal… In the end he decided to just "give up" in a way. So, he lowered his hood, letting his deep brown eyes and black hair become accostomed to their surroundings, took a drink of his poison, and said, "I'm lookin to go south, to kill some people… I can pay, and will take any man who offers it…"
He took another sip, kind of dumbfounded at his rash actions, but not really caring with the very unexpected events that had just occured. It seemed as if he was already on an adventure, despite it not being the one he was destined for.
Most Users Ever Online: 151
Currently Browsing this Page:
Guest Posters: 3
Newest Members: Johnsrudcraig@yahoo.com, Enverrera
Moderators: NoWhammies (3983), almosthunted (1138), RyanNREMTP (7427)
Administrators: admin (0), MysticalKnight (5526), sithy (1330)