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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Recent posts by Ava
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Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: and then...

Ardulace rises from her seat, and faces the Governor. "I am sorry, I cannot continue with this mission. I am not trusted by those that must trust me, and in truth that distrust is mutual. I'm afraid you shall have to resolve Leaphaven's troubles without my assistance."

With that, she draws the wand she took from the Governor's collection and lays it on the table before her.

"Good day to you all."

Before any objections can be raised, she steps out of the room and leaves.

Posted on 2009-06-28 at 19:58:10.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Those ears aren't just pointy, they're sharp.

Seluumiel:"My companions have suggested that we continue our investigation of this house, and I am of the inclination to agree. The house itself should be able to point us to the right path. I have some talent in the arts of divination, but even so the house twisted all perceptions keeping much of its nature from me. There are greater divinations that may well pierce the veil, but I cannot wield that power unaided. Is there a magic shop in Leaphaven where I might find scrolls or wands?"

From her seat beside the moon elf, Ardulace speaks up for the first time. "Mayhap the same apothecary that sold Chiron Po his..." she pauses to clear her throat. " his, umm.. truth serums, might be of some help. I'm sure he will be more than happy to show you the way if he is not too busy casting aspersions upon my honesty to complete strangers." She offers an entirely insincere smile to the Paladin, then continues addressing Seluumiel, "However, I recall that His Lordship, the Governor, possesses quite an impressive collection of items that might contain that which you require, if I may be so bold as to suggest that he might permit thee access to it once again."

With that she turns her violet eyes upon the governor, one eyebrow arching inquisitively.

Posted on 2009-06-24 at 02:21:25.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Meetings, meetings, meetings.

Ardulace follows along behind the rest of the group, lost in thought. When the woman that had accompanied Xavier's sister stopped and knocked at the Governor's door, the cleric stepped past the armored woman with a polite nod and a murmured "Pardon me", and simply opened the door and stepped inside, leaving the door open for the rest to follow.

When the Governor's manservant came hurrying along to answer the knock she nodded again in greeting. "I believe His Lordship is expecting us." She turns and gestures back towards Tenacity and Camille, "Also, I believe the Governor may be expecting these two ladies as well... though in truth I am uncertain in what capacity they have come."

As the servant turns to announce their arrival to the Governor, Ardulace stays him with a light touch on his arm, and turns again to Tenacity and Camille. "Hast thou yet broken thy fast?" she asks.

Posted on 2009-06-13 at 16:53:58.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Ardulace

Ardulace watches the interplay between Xavier, his sister and the female knight closely, but says nothing. Her gaze moves from one spot to another, noting the symbol emblazoned on the woman's every belonging. Unfamiliar with the symbol, she chalks it up to a combination of family crest and massive ego.

When the armored woman reaches for her sword, the drowess summons up the necessary divine energy to cast Command, but halts when the knight realizes her charge was in no danger, and that Xavier was no threat.

Seluumiel: Looking to Ardulace she spoke, "It would seem we can continue on our way then, yes?"

The cleric nods in return, "So it would seem", she says in reply turning to the moon elf, and watching Chiron out of the corner of her eye. "We should hurry along, His Lordship is no doubt anxious to hear what you have learned."

Despite her remark, the drowess in disguise remains motionless where she is.

Posted on 2009-06-10 at 16:42:09.
Edited on 2009-06-11 at 23:07:58 by Ava

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Ardulace

Ardulace glances over her shoulder at Chiron following along behind, and decides to switch to her native tongue. The paladin might understand elven, but drowish was surely beyond him.

"Uk zhah tuvok" she says to Seluumiel with a barely perceptible shift of her head towards Chiron.

Seluumiel: "Nae'one a'lye ona tu Tel'Quessir."

Ardulace nods in agreement. "Folt mayar ph'a'leai, quin... rena Usstan daewl ulu morfeth l'alurl d'ol, ussta ehmtu ilindith zhah l'orthagyrrh d'ussta lodias, lu'biu xuz ulu l'vigaj d'Lolth's ilstar."

She glances over her shoulder once more at Chiron then turns her attention back to the fore, where she sees a woman in gleaming armor upon a very large horse who seems to have taken notice of their party.

Turning back to the moon elf she says, "Qualla kampi'un, udos ph'naut rosin verin, jhal doera ji areion drasven lu'drasven d'tluin heeth a l'fashka d'ilta orn. Usstan zhahus ves crealo ulu inbal tlus jous l'aster, lu'ulu inbal dro'xunus ulu zhaun ol whol aster."

Then, her attention turned back toward the woman on the large horse who seemed now to be about to move to intercept them, she adds in common, "I believe we have company."

Posted on 2009-06-04 at 03:23:39.
Edited on 2009-06-04 at 11:03:14 by Ava

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Easy for you to say

Seluumiel: "Uma quentaea en' lle nyara en' Tel'Quessir ar' Mori'Quessir alye' triallien?"

The drowess in disguise chuckles sardonically at the question, then replies in the same tongue. "Il i'quenta Lolth di'thang nyar na il'risa, nan eller na'quenta n'at tanya tuulo' Eilistraee voronda nyar ta na-ikotane."

Posted on 2009-06-03 at 02:14:50.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Ardulace

Xavier: "Oh, and just in case you didn't figure it out, what with all that prejudice against you from Chiron, I have nothing wrong with it. Nor with the fact you tried to hide it. You're as dark as I am pale. And everyone has their own secrets that they don't wish to tell."

Ardulace smiles and leans close to Xavier so only he can hear, "I appreciate thy... your forbearance." Then in a very hushed tone, with a conspiratorial nod towards the Inn's staff and various other civilians nearby, "I'd also appreciate a touch more discretion. I would not want anyone who does not need to know of my particulars to overhear something that might upset them." Particularly if it might inspire a mob of torch and pitchfork wielding peasants to chase after me she did not add.

As the group sets out for the Governor's offices, she intentionally lags behind just in case Seluumiel wishes to speak of other matters.

Posted on 2009-06-02 at 21:44:57.
Edited on 2009-06-03 at 19:49:46 by Ava

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Ardulace

Xavier: "Speaking of which, I'm not sure if you mentioned this before, and perhaps I just forgot. But what did you see beyond those doors?"

Ardulace blinks, not entirely certain if Xavier is jesting or if he's serious. "A child about to be devoured by a dragon. Jonathan is his name, I believe. Do you not remember his reunion with his mother outside the town gate?"

She shakes her head, and simply chalks it up to the man's routinely odd behavior. Rising from the table she stows her lute safely within her haversack and prepares to depart.

Posted on 2009-06-02 at 01:32:29.
Edited on 2009-06-03 at 19:47:58 by Ava

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Oh, really?

Xavier listened as Chiron spoke. Shrugging and nodding, he says, "Eh, sure, why not. House or no house, it doesn't matter. But it's true what you say... from all the things that have been said about that house, it wasn't really scary at all... I could be scarier than that. There's gotta be something that we missed..."

Ardulace cocks an eyebrow at this remark, and fixes Xavier with a somewhat skeptical glance, "You might try going beyond the first room before you make that judgement."

Posted on 2009-05-31 at 22:04:42.
Edited on 2009-06-03 at 19:46:21 by Ava

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Ardulace

Satya says "My apologies Ardulace, I was so absorbed in watching my meal and listening to the conversation that I did not realize my mistake."

The priestess waves the apology away, “No matter. I too believe we must first meet with the Lord Governor again. He may have gleaned some further information on the matter that might sway our course of action. I think it best that we hear what he has to say before we make any further decisions.”

Her appetite satisfied, she takes one last sip of spring water, and pushes her plate away. “If there is no further business to discuss here, I suggest we adjourn to the Governor’s manse.”

Posted on 2009-05-31 at 17:11:21.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Ardulace

Seluumiel began to address the group as whole. "I have learned much from the Governor's book and we have much to discuss. I believe that Castor's suspicions are correct, Taimat is at the core."

Ardulace continues to nibble at her breakfast, then cocks one eyebrow in surprise at the moon elf's announcement. "Tiamat? Well, that certainly does complicate matters. We may have to content ourselves with trying to seal the portals or banishing the house back whence it came, and hope that she does not involve herself directly in this matter."

After considering the matter for a moment more she adds, "Some reinforcements might not be a bad idea either."

Posted on 2009-05-29 at 23:42:15.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Ardulace

The moon elf nodded, "I asked the innkeeper to send for you last night. I had hoped to discuss your meeting with the she dragon further. After studying the mayor's book I am convinced that the master the dragon spoke of is in fact Tiamat, but perhaps some discussion can further illuminate our quarry. I will go into further detail of what I have learned when all are present."

Ardulace nods, “I thought it best that I not make my presence here obvious to…” she pauses to clear her throat, “everyone. I was only briefly in the common room before I found myself overcome with weariness, and retired early.”

Seluumiel paused to take a sip of spring water and then regarded the taller woman, "I had also hoped to discuss matters of The People, matters which should be discussed in private."

Noting Chiron’s rapid approach, she nods. “Perhaps that would be best.” She pushes her chair back far enough that her weapons will be clear of the table if needed.

"Good morning. I trust you all had a relatively peaceful night? I apologize for my quick departure last night." Chiron paused for just a moment to consider his next words, "I was in a place of... conflict, and needed to seek out a neutral party to ask for subjective advice. I think the short absence has done me some good, and I was able to find the guidance I needed. I shouldn't need to leave you all like that again."

Ardulace forces a pleasant smile and turns to the Paladin. “Thou need not ever apologize for thy rapid departure, Chiron Po.”

She then returns her attention to her breakfast, while remaining a bit farther from the table than most people would find comfortable.

Posted on 2009-05-27 at 21:30:45.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Breakfast

"Good morning Lacy, was that you last night?" Satya asked "You play beautifully" she said as she sat down next to her.

Ardulace smiles, “Thank you, but I’m really just learning. I was here briefly last night, yes.”

"'Quel amrun." She greeted her new companions as she lifted the cup of water to her lips.

“And to you as well,” replies Ardulace to the moon elf.

"Good morning all of you. I trust you all spent a wonderful night? By the way, what is the breakfast that smells so delightful? I think that I might want some... Have you three already eaten?" asks Xavier.

The arrival of the food answers Xavier’s question, as Ardulace helps herself to some fruit. Glancing around the room she wonders aloud, “What has become of Chiron Po? Hast any of th… have any of you, seen aught of him?”

She turns to Seluumiel, “You wished to speak of certain matters? What would you know?”

Posted on 2009-05-27 at 00:18:49.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: A new dawn

The chirping of songbirds outside her window eased Ardulace from her sleep. The insistent crowing of a distant cock told her it was time to get up. Stretching as she sat up, she rubbed the sleep from her eyes, and climbed out of the warm softness of the bed. The planks of the hardwood floor were cold beneath her feet as she made one round of the room to make certain all the doors and windows were still securely shut.

She knelt in silent prayer. Blessed Maiden, another day is gone and a new one begins. Grant me the strength and wisdom to endure the challenges this day presents and to do thy will in all things. Grant me the wisdom to have patience and tolerance most with those who deserve it least. Today my companions and I go to face great evil. I beseech thee; guide us to triumph, deliver us from our enemies and let not the innocent suffer at the hands of the wicked.

With that, she raises the slim silver sword she wears on a chain about her neck to her lips and kisses it. Infused again with the divine power of her goddess she rises to face the day. Hope blossomed in her heart, as it did each morning, that today she might ease the hatred that so many had for her people, that she might take one more small step on the road to redeeming them. But at the same time she knew that there would also be questions and accusations, all of which she would have to deal with as best she could.

After dressing, she straps on her armor and weapons, the weight of them somehow comforting in light of what they might find in the mysterious house. Lastly she dons her Hat of Disguise, and reluctantly assumes the half-elven guise of Lacey once again. Throwing open the window she greets the dawn, and wonders when, or even if, she will ever be able to let the sun shine upon her own true face.

She jots a quick note, and leaves it on the bedside table beneath a short stack of golden coins. It reads “The Lady Evaine Guaire thanks the owner and staff of the Nightshade Inn for their kindness. Please accept this small token of my esteem and my genuine gratitude for your hospitality.”

She then slips down a back staircase and makes her way to the common room, where she takes a seat at a large table, and asks a passing serving wench to prepare breakfast for five. As she waits, she pulls her lute from her pack, tunes it and plays quietly. Shortly she begins to sing a slow, sad ballad softly to herself.

But love is kind, to the least of men.
Sail away, far away.
Though he be, but a drunken tar.
Sail away, away.
Far from home, and the sight of land,
Sail away, far away.
O’ who will love, the sailor man?
Sail away, away.
Take me to, that star-eyed maid.
Sail away, far away.
O’ I was happy, with her laid.
Sail away, away.
In the comfort, of her bed.
Sail away, far away.
O’ let me lie, until I’m dead.
Sail away, away.
For love is kind, to the least of men.
Sail away, far away.
Though he be, but a drunken tar.
Sail away, away.

Posted on 2009-05-24 at 13:21:46.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Zzzzzzzzz

Alone in her room, Ardulace continues to sleep.

Posted on 2009-05-22 at 00:11:47.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Ardulace

Suddenly realizing how much attention she had unwittingly drawn upon herself, Ardulace gathers up the coins they had tossed her way, and taking her wine along with her, gives the crowd an embarrassed smile, and withdraws from the common room.

In the hall she stops a chambermaid and asks that water for a hot bath be brought to the room of the Lady Evaine Guaire, she slips the ten silver coins she earned with her song to the maid, then hurries on to her room.

Alone in her room she admonished herself for her carelessness. “Do not get too comfortable”, she thought to herself. “These people are not your friends. They accept you only because they do not know what you are. One glimpse of what lies beneath this façade and most of them would happily burn you on a stake. Though you may entertain them and heal them and help them and even save their lives, do not forget that they will hold you to account for all the crimes committed by any of the ilythiiri.”

Having resolved to be more careful, she looks sadly at the lute, then carefully stows it in her Haversack. After making sure her weapons were where she left them, she opens the shutters a crack and peers out the window, scanning all she can see of the street, alert for anything even remotely suspicious. A knock at the door startled her out of her surveillance.

Crossing the room she admitted a long train of maids, each of whom bore a large copper cauldron of steaming water. When the maids had filled the tub in her bath, they filed back out, while Ardulace distributed another handful of silver coins to them as they left. The last maid stopped in the door and looked back at her.

“It is getting quite festive out there, my lady. Will you not rejoin the party? I’m sure the Inn’s guests would enjoy another song” asked the maid.

Ardulace recognized the speaker as the maid she had met in the hall. “Perhaps another night, I have had a trying day.”

The maid bobbed a curtsey, and closed the door on her way out. Ardulace immediately threw the bolt and then jammed a chair beneath the knob to insure her privacy. She double checked all the windows to satisfy herself that they were secure before dousing the lamp and entering the bath.

Shedding her clothes, she kept her Hat of Disguise on longer than was really necessary. She knew she was becoming too dependent upon it, but there was so much hostility towards her kind… she sighed, knowing she would continue to use it as needed. With that, she removed the Hat and, keeping it within arm's reach, sank slowly into the steaming water of the tub.

Safely ensconced in the darkness, she relaxed and let the heat of the water soak into her weary limbs and ease away the stress of the day. Surely, most healers did not truly appreciate the restorative powers of a simple soak in a steaming, hot tub. In short order, the heat left her sweating freely. Sinking beneath the water she let the heat soak into her scalp and neck. The tension in the muscles of her neck seemed to melt away. Rising again above the surface, she soaked for a few more minutes, until she felt the water lose a bit of its intense heat. After scrubbing herself clean of the day’s grime, she wrapped herself in one of the Inn’s luxuriously large and soft towels, and returned to her bedroom.

Kneeling upon the bed, the Hat within easy reach on the bedside table, she spent an hour in meditative prayer, then slipped beneath the blankets and fell fast asleep.

Posted on 2009-05-13 at 00:36:26.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Sing out

Relaxing by the fire, a glass of wine near at hand, Ardulace begins to strum her lute aimlessly. Before too long, the random chords she strums begin to fall into a pattern as she hums a lively melody. After a minute of humming the melody she begins to sing, softly at first, but within a few moments her voice rises fair and clear above the clatter and chatter of the common room.

O’ an old man came courtin’ me, hey do a-darrity,
An old man came courtin’ me, me bein’ young
O’ an old man courtin’ me, hey do a-darrity,
Maids when you’re young never wed an old man

For he’s got no fallorum, faliddle, fallorum
He’s got no fallorum, falliddle fallay
He’s got no fallorum, he’s lost his ding-dor-um
So Maids when you’re young never wed an old man

When we went to our tea, hey do a-darrity,
When we went to our tea, me bein’ young
O’ when we went to our tea, he started teasing me,
Maids when you’re young never wed an old man

For he’s got no fallorum, faliddle, fallorum
He’s got no fallorum, fallidle, fallay.
He’s got no fallurm, he’s lost his ding-dor-um
So maids when you’re young never wed an old man

When we went to our bed, hey do a-darrity
When we went to our bed, me bein’ young
O when we went to our bed, he lay as if ‘twas dead
Maids when you’re young never wed an old man

For he’s got no fallorum, faliddle, fallorum
He’s got no fallorum, faliddle, fallay
He’s got no fallorum, he’s lost his ding-dor-um
So maids when you’re young, never wed an old man

O When he lay fast asleep, hey do a-darrity
When he lay fast asleep me being young
O when he lay fast asleep, I from his side did creep
Into the arms of a handsome young man

And he’s got fallorum, faliddle, fallorum
Yes, He’s got fallorum, faliddle, fallay
Yes he’s got fallorum, he’s found that ding-dor-um
Maids when you’re young never wed an old man

Posted on 2009-05-10 at 17:32:42.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: On the town, Pt 3.

It didn’t take Ardulace long to find what she sought. The destitute and the desperate were never far from, though rarely in sight of, those to whom life had been kind. She had only to ask a few children to get directions to the orphanage. A weary old monk named Brother Matthias greeted her at the door. When she explained to him that she was a priestess of the Dark Maiden come to offer what services she could, he ushered her in without delay.

The good brother could shelter only a few of the neediest children in the small dormitory. The bulk of Leaphaven’s orphans wandered the streets unseen but for when they filched an apple or meat pie from a vendor’s cart, taking shelter each night wherever they could. The first child to whom Matthias escorted her was in terrible danger.

“She was partially crushed by a barrel of wine. The workmen roll them down a ramp off the back of their wagons and into the taverns. She happened along at the worst time, the workman never saw her, and the poor girl couldn’t dodge it. Both legs were broken, and her hips too if I’m any judge. She can no longer move anything below the waist, and now the fever has set in, I think she has the blood poisoning. There is nothing more I can do for her, but ease her passing” he explained.

“I pray that it will not be so, Brother, not this day” replied Ardulace. Kneeling at the child’s bedside, she pulled back the blanket that covered the pitifully thin figure beneath. The girl’s eyes were wide open and bright with fever. Ardulace could feel the heat radiating off her. As she started her examination, the girl watched her intently.
“Who are you?” the child asked.
“I am Ardulace,” she replied, “a priestess in service to the Dark Maiden, Eilistraee.”
The child continued to watch but said nothing.
“What is your name?” asked the priestess.
“Isabeau,” the girl said tiredly.
Ardulace nodded.
“Do you expect to help me?” said the girl, her voice sharp and accusing.
Ardulace stopped her examination and turned to the girl. “I hope to, yes, if my goddess will aid me.”
“Gods and goddesses be damned. I do not believe in gods” the girl spat.
Ardulace recoiled, never having encountered such vehemence in a child so young. “It is not wise to speak so” she said, as she resumed her examination.
“The gods are false” snarled the child. “What will they do? What more can they do to me?
Ardulace paused in her ministrations. She spoke, her voice as calm and soothing as she could make it. “Can thou see thy pain? Or touch it? Would thou deny that it is real?" Closing her eyes, she sought communion with the goddess, and felt the divine power flowing through her. Laying her hands upon the girl's head she whispered an incantation and drove the fever from the girl’s body. Slipping a hand beneath the small of Isabeau's back she whispered another incantation and felt the healing flow like warmth through her own hands and into the child’s flesh.

On the bed, Isabeau gasped, eyes wide as the pain from her broken legs flowed through newly mended nerves. Moving her hands to the child’s hips she repeated the healing incantation, and then again as she moved her hands along each of the girl’s shattered limbs.

Isabeau struggled to rise, shock and wonder in her eyes, but Ardulace held her back. “Stop, thou art still weak and in need of rest.”

Ardulace arose from the child’s bedside, the girl looking up at her in confusion. “Thou art yet a child, but in time thou wilt come to see that the things in which thou believe shall be the things for which thou stand.” said the Priestess. “Neither peace, nor love, nor joy, nor pain can be seen, yet they are all real. The things that may or may not be true are the very things that you must believe in the most; that people are good, that honor and courage matter where wealth and power do not; that good shall always triumph over evil, and that true love never dies. These things thou must believe, not because they are true, but because they are worth believing.”

Ardulace turned to Matthias, “Lead on good brother, the goddess’ love is upon me and there is still much to do.” As the monk beamed a smile at her and took her arm to lead her to the next sick child, Ardulace wondered if the child would be worthy of the gift that Eilistraee had bestowed upon her. Was it wise to use so much divine energy on one child, when the same magic dispensed among several might save more lives? Such was the dilemma with which she struggled each time she went forth to aid those in need. She could not pick and choose who should live and who should die; she must put her faith in the Dark Maiden, and trust that she would be lead to where she was needed most.

Matthias took her to a girl whose skin was blotched and bleeding with the pox. Eilistraee’s love cured the child, and then a boy that suffered from dysentery, and another who shook with the ague. Each time Ardulace prayed and whispered her incantations and each time the goddess’ divine power flowed through her and healed the sick and the injured. With each healing the drowess grew more weary, yet felt ever more alive. Broken bones and mangled flesh healed beneath her touch and broken spirits were revived and given hope; just a glimmer perhaps, but perhaps a glimmer would be enough. The spirits of the children she healed that night had not been killed, merely stifled. She dared to dream that the flames of spirit she may have kindled that night might be even more important than the injured flesh she had healed.

Hours later, after exhausting her store of divine energy, physically drained, but exalted in spirit, she walked through the streets of Leaphaven, her feet dragging even while her heart soared. All around her the people of the city were extinguishing their lamps and drifting off to sleep. Ahead, the warm lights of the Nightshade Inn drew her onward. Without hesitation, she entered the inn and went to her room. Here she stripped off her weapons and armor, laying them aside, then retrieved the lute from her haversack before setting that aside too. Locking the door behind her as she left, she returned to the common room, got herself a goblet of wine from the bar, and flopped down into a thickly cushioned chair beside the fire.

With her feet propped beside the hearth, she took a long sip of the wine, and then tuned the lute. Perhaps this was not such an awful day, after all.

Posted on 2009-05-07 at 21:55:19.
Edited on 2009-05-07 at 22:26:44 by Ava

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: On the town, Pt. 2

With her new clothing neatly wrapped in a plain brown paper package under her arm, and her newly purchased lute well secured in her pack, Ardulace wound her way through the busy streets of Leaphaven towards the Nightshade Inn. She spotted it while still more than a block away; a large rambling building of several stories. It seemed a well kept establishment, and was certainly in one of the more pleasant areas of town. Nonetheless, she approached with caution, keeping a close eye out for Chiron or anyone that might be allied with him. No one seemed to take any great notice of her, and that was probably for the best. She began a slow walk around the building, noting all the entrances and exits, which windows lead out onto balconies or the roof, and which had nothing but a precipitous drop to the street below.

As she came around the backside of the Inn, she noted several freestanding privies. “Perfect”, she thought to herself. Making sure that no one was observing her, she stepped into the privacy of the nearest outhouse and closed the door behind her. Peering out through a knothole in the door, she waited. When ten minutes had passed and she had not spotted anyone suspicious, she closed her eyes and concentrated on her appearance. It was but a minutes work to alter what others saw from the image of a tall, slender half elf in armor, to a slightly shorter, slightly heavier human girl dressed in common clothing, with red hair and freckles. Ardulace took a moment to stow her bow, sword and shield into her Haversack, then slipped out of the privy.

At the front desk, she bobbed a curtsey to the innkeeper, and smiled, “G’day, sir. Me mistress has sent me ahead to book lodgings for the evenin’.” She dropped several gold coins on the desk. “Ground floor if ye please, she’s terrible feared of fires, she is.”

The innkeeper happily swept the coins into his till, “And your Mistress’ name?”

“The Lady Evaine Guaire. Oh, and she’ll be wantin’ a room with a private bath, if its not too much trouble”, she dropped another pair of gold coins on the desk.

“That will be no trouble at all”, replied the innkeeper, deftly securing the coins. Handing her an intricate brass key, he pointed down the hall. “Just around that corner, all the way to the end, last door on the right. Enjoy your stay.” He made no offer to help the ‘maid’ with her baggage, and she’d have turned him down if he had.

“Thank ye very kindly sir,” Ardulace took the key and headed off to her room. Perhaps her precautions were unnecessary, but she felt safer knowing that if Chiron came in looking for her by name or description he’d have a difficult time of it.

Once safely in her room, she bolted the door, made certain the windows were closed, curtains drawn and shutters shut. She drew her sword, shield and bow from the Haversack, and placed them within easy reach of the bed. Piece by piece she stripped her armor off. Peering over her shoulder at the mirror she saw the gaping rents in her clothing where the dragon’s acid had slipped through the gaps in her armor. Her blouse and trousers were ruined. She took them off as well, and saw the burns the acid had etched into her flesh.
Closing her eyes, she whispered a brief prayer to Eilistraee, “Blessed Maiden, grant thy humble servant thy healing touch.” As she felt the flow of the divine power coursing through her, she laid a hand upon her own shoulder and cast a healing spell. She watched in the mirror as the wounds closed and vanished, flawless unscarred flesh in their place. Satisfied with the result, she took a quick cold bath, and dressed in her new clothing. Once dressed, she donned her heavy armor, strapped on her weapons, and resumed her half-elven appearance. Her bow and quiver she left by the bed, she doubted she’d need them in town.

Taking care to avoid the front desk, she slipped out a back door of the Inn, and struck out into town, seeking the poorer quarters. There was always so much to be done.

Posted on 2009-05-05 at 22:25:05.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: On the town

Ardulace steps around the corner of the building to take a few moments to compose herself. Once she has calmed herself, she returns to the front of the building just in time to see Chiron exit, and ride away at a gallop on his horse. What she had done to earn such enmity from the man was a mystery to her. She thought herself used to such reactions, but in truth, it hurt anew each time.

Though she wanted to find the Nightshade Inn and rest in seclusion, she had much to do before she could. Her cloak had been virtually shredded by the dragon's acid. Beyond that, more than a little of the acid had found its way through the seams of her armor and burned her as well as damaging much of the clothing she wore beneath her armor. First she needed to find a clothier to replace what had been damaged. She left her wounds untended for the time being. 'How odd', she thought, 'that Chiron would offer to heal wounds caused by a dragon whose existence he accuses me of fabricating.'

With that she set off into the town, and with the help of some townsfolk, quickly found the shop of a reputable clothier. Unwilling to commission tailored clothing for which she would have to wait, she restricted herself to choosing from what the shop had on hand. The selection was a bit limited, and she ended up leaving with two pairs of leather pants (a bit tighter than she would have preferred), and two raw, unbleached silk blouses with more daring necklines than she was accustomed. In addition, she purchased a simple cotton shift, and midnight blue velvet gown with intricate needlework at hem, cuff and neckline.

As she left the clothier, following the shopkeeper's directions to the Nightshade Inn, she passed the window of a shop. Prominently displayed in the window were a variety of musical instruments. Ardulace stared wistfully at them for a moment, then sighed and turned away. She made it three steps before she turned back and entered the shop. Ten minutes later she left again, a lute, well used, but in excellent condition hidden in the depths of her Heward's pack.

With a new spring in her step, she headed for the Nightshade Inn

Posted on 2009-05-04 at 15:03:55.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: So it goes

Turning on her heel with neither a word nor even a glance at Chiron, she leaves the room and heads for the street.

Posted on 2009-05-03 at 23:56:53.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Ardulace

Ardulace listened quietly to the flow of the conversation, picking daintily at the food before her. The Governor’s suspicions about the Queen of Evil dragons meant little to her. Her knowledge of such things was limited, but as she had already agreed to pursue this matter, and did not think it at an end yet, she considered it only to be another challenge on what had already been a difficult road.

Though she expressed no outward sign, her heart jumped as the Governor put Chiron quite firmly in his place. Perhaps now that their mutual employer had given such a show of support, Chiron would let the matter be. Or not. She did not dare underestimate the man. Still, Bailash may or may not know her true race, and she might not be able to count on his support if Chiron chose to betray her secret.

"As the book says, are such adventurers present and ready to undertake this task?”, asked the Governor.

Ardulace took barely a moment from her meal to reply, “Yes, of course”, as if the question need not have been asked.

"Governor Bailash," Chiron began, standing from the table, "Is there, somewhere in your town, a church of Ilmater? Or, if not, then a temple to Tyr, or Torm? Failing those, a church of Lathander?"

A cold chill ran down the drowess’ spine as Chiron rose and questioned the Governor. Did Chiron seek a place to pray for guidance? Or was he going to find allies with which to continue his campaign against her? Surely he could pray in private on his own, the gods could hear one’s prayers wherever one might be. Chiron could not possibly be personally devoted to all of those many gods. He could only be going to them to seek like-minded folk to aid him.

Rising from the table herself, Ardulace bowed to the Governor. “Please do not think me ungracious or unappreciative of thy hospitality, Your Lordship, but I have wounds from this morning’s encounter that require my attention.”

Turning to Seluumiel, she retrieves her sword and bow, “Many thanks, Seluumiel, thy support is much appreciated.” She replaces her sword on her belt, and keeps her bow in hand. To the moon elf and the others, she says “I shall see thee all at the Nightshade Inn this evening, where I am sure we will have much to discuss.”

Turning on her heel with neither a word nor even a glance at Chiron, she leaves the room and heads for the street.

“Will it never end?” she thinks to herself as she fights back tears of rage and frustration.“A rightful place awaits thee in the Realm Above, in the Land of the Great Light. Come in peace and live beneath the sun again, where trees and flowers grow.” She recites Eilistraee’s creed to herself over and over again as she leaves the building.

Posted on 2009-05-03 at 14:07:09.
Edited on 2009-05-03 at 14:09:18 by Ava

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Ardulace

Ardulace picks up as Seluumiel falls silent and turns to her. “While the others perused the tome they had found, I stepped beyond the entry hall and through a glowing portal. Beyond it, I found myself in a small room, face to face with a black dragon, the child, John, lay unconscious on the floor between us. The dragon was young I think, for it was small, though I believe black dragons tend to be smaller than others of their ilk. But young or old, I did not believe myself mighty enough to slay it and take the child. To my surprise she, the dragon that is, for the beast possessed a distinctly feminine voice, she seemed almost afraid of me, and threatened me with death if I did not flee at once. But I could not do so and leave the child behind. And though I know little enough about dragons, I knew enough to be polite, and to flatter the wyrm.”

Ardulace pauses a moment and hearkens back to her meeting with the dragon, which seems to have been so long ago, yet took place that very morning. “I tried to bargain with her for the child’s life. I offered to remain silent about her presence that she might go in peace, and she replied ‘Peace is not a word in MY master's plans. However, my being here was a mistake, I stumbled upon this house from my home realm through a portal my master ordered built’. I then offered to sing her glories to all I met, that she might feed upon a steady diet of heroes come to slay her, and she said ‘do what thou will... whither I go, My master and his legacy are the wolves there, and you are the sheep, and there are no sheperds’. She then let me take the child and go, but even as I left she warned me to pray that we never meet again. With that, the treacherous beast spewed its burning acid at me.”

She looks the governor in the eye. “Dragons are proud and vain creatures, I know not what manner of being might be so powerful that a dragon bends knee to it and calls it master, but I think it best to fear such a being. And if this master ordered the portal or portals that we came across built, then it has other mighty servants as well.”

She then smacks herself on the forehead “And curse me for a fool, even as I left the house, I peered through the very door that lead me back from the dragon’s den, and there I saw a cadre of ogres arming for battle… whether to attack our party, or to make war on Leaphaven I know not. But ‘twould be wise to post scouts between house and town to warn of any intrusion.”

She too falls silent, that the Governor may make his inquiries or the others might add their observations.

Posted on 2009-04-29 at 19:52:04.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Ardulace

Ardulace addresses the Governor first, "Xavier excused himself when we arrived in town, Your Lordship. He did not appear entirely well, but assured us he would reunite with us this evening."

Gesturing to the exotic beauty at her side, she introduced the Governor, "This is Satya, whom we had the good fortune to encounter during our foray this morning. Her appearance was a surprise to us, but I shall let her tell that tale. Satya, may I present our employer, the Lord Governor of Leaphaven, Bailash Castor."

She then turns and spares a glance for Chiron but says nothing even as she takes dubious notice of the vial in his hand.

Posted on 2009-04-28 at 23:37:41.

Topic: Diabolic Genesis-Origins of Evil
Subject: Pure coincidence

A single glance at the letter tells Ardulace all she needs to know.

"Indeed, 'tis the very twin of the missive I myself received from His Lordship. To the Governor's then. Just as well, I have developed a powerful thirst and he keeps a fine cellar."

With that, unless Seluumiel objects or offers another course of action, Ardulace will set off for the Governor's manse with Satya.

Posted on 2009-04-28 at 01:39:41.

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