Today is of the Cycle Of The Seventh Moon.
Current Season & Month:  , Year: 543 A.R. (ref)

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The Sunken Wreck of the Sulust Or'lath

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The Sunken Wreck of the Sulust Or'lath

A Drow carrack of the sunless seas lies on the bottom of Kiana's harbor, where it sank after colliding with an Ufaerian warship. Hewn from the petrified forests near Botherel, the hull of the ship is mostly intact. The masts, rigging, and batwing sails have all collapsed. This has created a haven for fish, and a tangled underwater hazard to navigation and anyone foolish enough to dive the wreck.

There are bodies and treasures entombed within. Gemstones glitter on the hilts of blades clutched by skeletal fingers. Rotting chests contain monies and precious metals. As a warship of Botherel, the carrack is protected by arcane drow wards, and the bones of more than one treasure hunter litter the sea floor nearby. 

The deck of the ship sits in 15 to 20 feet below the surface, depending on the tides. Her broken masts and spars are sometimes visible at low tide, with the small waves of the harbor shoaling over them. 

The beach near the wreck is a favorite spot for local shore fishermen. 

 


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Myrae

A few hundred yards offshore the face of a woman broke the surface of the harbor’s waters with a gasp. The swimmer treading water was dark of skin and light of hair. She drew in great draughts of air for a few seconds before groaning in frustration. “Accursed depths!” She growled, ducking beneath the waves briefly to scowl at the wreck resting in the murky depths before resurfacing. It was simply too far down, she could make the deck, wend her way through the tangled rigging even, but she could not stay under long enough to clear the hatchway, let alone search belowdecks. 

Myrae looked to the setting sun before striking out for shore. The light would soon fade and the night creatures of the deep would emerge from the reef and wreck. While she could see well enough in the dark, she’d have no more luck diving the sunken ship at night as she had during the day. She would have to find another way. Even the low tide could not avail her of the Sulust Or’lath’s interior and the treasures it held. 

The drowess made the shore at a rocky outcrop where she had stashed her clothing and equipment. She was pleased to find neither disturbed. As she dried herself and dressed, she considered her options. Most of the local fishermen could barely swim, let alone dive the wreck. The druids of Ishtar might have some manner of magick which would allow her to dwell longer beneath the billows, but they were sure to ask too many questions about her endeavors, even were they willing to speak with a drow at all. “Geh.” She grumbled to herself. There were no good options in this provincial fur-footer town, yet she was not yet ready to give up or make the long trek south to the portals where she could find Gnomish help.

She did not expect to find any more help in town than on her previous attempt, but at least these Haflings could brew a half-decent ale. That, alone, was worth another night, though perhaps at the other Tavern, this time. The Griffon had proved a bit too tame for her liking.

To: Olwort’s

 


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NoOne
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Myrae

From: The Abandoned Warehouse

Leading the party of treasure hunters along the darkened shore, Myrae brought the group to a stack of rocks thrusting from the Sandy beach. She ushered everyone to a sand-bottomed space between obscuring walls of stone and pointed to a few dark shapes out in the bay, surrounded by a bit of seafoam. "There's the Sulust. Keep sharp lookout; swimmers fer sharks and other dangerous creatures, yew two," she turned to Miiya and Vjerdt, "fer The Guard or harbormaster, as well our bouy."

She pulled the fabric from The TonDen and gave its hind leg a pat. "Yer up, big fella."


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The TonDen

From: The Abandoned Warehouse

The Golem of the Blue Ash stumped slowly along beside the crew of treasure hunters. As it walked, it looked toward the Harbor. Something had happened there. It had sensed Irihi's presence lingering around the tavern, faintly suffusing Kiana town as they passed it, and it sensed she had been in one of the other ramshackle warehouses that stood near the piers. Something about her had changed there. 

Her spoor ended out along the pier. She had left this place long ago. While the trace of her--in the acres of charred troll bones resting on the bottom of the harbor, in the craters of titanic missiles that punctuated the ground here and there, even in the shattered bricks of the Daffodil Road--was interesting, it was not the TonDen's goal. Slowly pulsing a faint blue with these thoughts, the TonDen followed Myrae's instructions and waded out along the rocky bottom of the harbor, trailing line and bouy behind as it sunk out of sight. 

The ridge of rock continued beneath the water. The TonDen had never been fully immersed before the previous night. As it sank, it found the great weight of its bulk lifted from its spiked hooves. The water, dark and cloudy, obscured little from the Magickal golem. It could see the wreck of the Sulust Or'lath ahead. Without giving it much thought, the TonDen flexed it's great weapon-wings. Its four legs left the sea floor and it sailed down the gentle slope toward the wreck. Not wings then, but fins. The glow from the creature increased as it swam, sailing over the wreck and then circling back around. It's slick carapace and angled limbs lost their awkwardness beneath the waters, and it slipped through the briney as easily as any fish. The TonDen glowed with pleasure as it swam.

Eventually, the construct of Blue Ash alighted upon the deck of the sunken vessel. The fallen masts and tangled rotting rigging were no threat to it. With razor fins and great crablike claws, it cleared a space for itself, then tugged twice on the rope attached to the bouy.


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Myrae

"Okay, Blue Eyes, yer up." As the TonDen disappeared beneath the waves, Myrae turned to Vjerdt. She disrobed while he performed whatever wizardry he had prepared to allow her and the she-dwarf to extend their time underwater. The drowess knew she was giving Vjerdt an eyeful, and took her time about it, discarding almost every stitch--leaving only a knife, small enough to be useful underwater, strapped to her thigh. 

Myrae dismissed the idea of teasing Vjerdt further. A little distraction was fine, but she did not need him preoccupied with thoughts of things other than the mission. Once his magick was cast, Myrae did step up to him and sing a short evocation. She leaned over to touch his forehead, putting a ward on the Gnome which would allow him to enter the sunken Carack without triggering the curses protecting it. She then turned and did the same for Zhaetar.

When the she-dwarf remarked that they might as well have let the TonDen tow them out to the wreck, Myrae shrugged. "Ever been towed through the water? It's not much fun." She grinned, rubbing at the gooseflesh the cool night air raised on her skin. "Also, I'll be glad of a swim to warm up before we dive. Let's go." So saying, she waded into the dark water, diving and striking out for the bouy without hesitation.

As it had been two days prior, the water was bracing, but not frigid. Where the rail-thin Miiya looked like she would be hypothermic in seconds in the water, the drowess and she-dwarf were buxom enough to hold their body heat for a good bit. Myrae judged they could dive for an hour or so before the cold would penetrate their cores and make their extremities too numb for salvage work.

As she had thought, the swim out to the wreck acclimated her to the temperature and wet. Vjerdt's magic seemed to be working, as she somehow carried enough air with her that there was no need to surface to breathe. Reaching the bouy, she treaded water, waiting for Zhaetar to catch up. "One more time; we won't be able to talk, so remember the signals." Myrae repeated the hand gestures they had practiced while waiting for nightfall, and again demonstrated how to equalize sinus and ear pressure when deep underwater. "Ready? Down we go."

So saying, Myrae dove, took hold of the bouy line, and pulled herself arm-over-arm down into to murky depths. It was not too far to the deck of the Sulust. It was easy going with the rope and the light of the TonDen acting as a dim blue beacon. 

When she gained the deck, Myrae was suprised to see The TonDen surrounded by schools of inquisitive fish. Apparently they were drawn to it's glow. She supposed she should have anticipated as much. Well, perhaps the glow and sea life would distract the more dangerous denizens of the deep, and make Myrae and Zhaetar's jobs easier. When Zhaetar reached them, Myrae signalled for her to follow, then released the rope, negotiated her way around broken spars and rigging, and swam through an open hatch.

The interior of the ship was gloomy, even for one who could see in the dark, but Myrae knew the general layout and where they would find the treasures and artefacts they sought. Piles of armor and bones were scattered along the passageways, some with bleached strands of hair still waving in the slight currents within. Myrae had heard that a malestrom of necromancy had overwhelmed both the Sulust and the Elven warship she battled. The position of the remains she saw slumped in passage and against doors seemed to confirm that death had taken her Yochol Sisters suddenly and by suprise in the midst of combat.

With the passageways mostly intact, only a few fish and the first creepings of sea flora suffused the maze belowdecks. However, when Myrae swam through a hatch to the lower deck where she expected to find the portal keys, she found a room with a great gaping hole where the hull had been rent asunder. She signaled for Zhaetar to join her as she worked to pry open a chest bolted to what was left of a bulkhead.


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Lurking in the depths...
d58626e6d0e80f92538e3ed2d91a3c83

 

Giant Eel

In the cavernous space, something long and sinuous took note of the intruders, drawing itself back into a hidden lair as it watched and sensed the disturbances the surface-dwellers left in the water.


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Irihi
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Miiya

From: An Abandoned Warehouse

Miiya followed the group in silence as they made their way down from the warehouse to the shore. With the fog lifted, she could see a bit better than on the previous night. The starlight provided enough illumination for her to make out at least the shapes of the others, as well as the rocks and beach. 

She watched the TonDen disappear into the dark water, and then squinted into the night, trying to make out the bouy. There it is... I think. Miiya heard the sounds of Myrae and Zhaetar preparing to swim. She made a point of not turning around. There was nothing there she cared to see. Unlike Vjerdt. Stop. She told herself. It was none of her business, and so what if Vjerdt prefered the company of someone so well-endowed? That didn't mean... stop, seriously! Just stop! 

 Miiya fingered the signal stones tucked in her satchel and looked nervously at the dark rocks looming on either side of her. She could sort of see the two swimmers as Myrae and Zhaetar struck out for the wreck from the narrow strip of sand where she and Vjert now stood alone. "I don't think I can land here again, after I takeoff." She said quietly to the gnome, trying not to let flatness creep into her voice. Stop, jeeze! "It's too narrow and too dark." She paused. "Do you know any magick to illuminate it once the others get back?" After a few moments, Miiya added: "I guess we should climb up and keep a look out?" She paused. "I can't really see much in the dark, so can yew warn me if anything is going on?"


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Myrae

The treasure-hunting drowess found a rusted iron rod to use as a prybar, and opened the chest. Inside were the crystals she sought. They were bulky objects the size and shape of a Uman forearm, multi-faceted crystals that were reminiscent of quartz. Smaller, person-sized portal keys existed, but these were naval versions, meant to allow an entire vessel to sail through to the Underneath or surface. There were eight spaces in a rack securing the crystals against heavy seas, meant to allow the Sulust four round trips before resupplying. One portal key was missing, having been used to bring the carack to Kiana. Myrae collected one for herself and left her partner to gather as many of the rest as she cared to. 

While the other swimmer gathered crystals, Myrae broke open two more cabinets, searching now for the ship's store of coin and precious metals. She needed a distraction for the she-dwarf. Gems and bars of malda, gold ought to suffice. The first cabinet held nothing but drifting murk; likely charts and maps rotted to nothing. The second cabinet was navigational instruments and arcane equipment rusted to uselessness. The third cabinet held what the drowess sought, and she motioned her fellow treasure-hunter over. While the dwarf set to examining and removing the treasure, Myrae slipped out of the lower hold and swam down the central passageway, headed for a room she knew would be somewhere below the quarterdeck. 

Finding her goal, she opened and then closed the door behind her, leaving no sign as to where she had gone. Myrae had seen the light in the she-dwarf's eyes when she had mentioned the metals and gems. She expected her fellow diver would not trouble herself overmuch about the drowess's disappeareance so long as she had gold to pilfer. 

The room was spacious for being aboard a warship. It held the wreckage of a few pieces of spartan furniture and a large rusted throne still bolted in place. A ladder led to a hatch to the weather decks. Between the throne and the ladder, knelt a corpse that was now just a skeleton. She was clad in ornate armor of Botherel her skeletal hands resting on the pommel of Draegloth's Claw

Myrae used the weight of the portal key to float to a kneel beside the remains of her Yochol Sister. Her lips moved but the water muted the words of the prayer spoken to Lloth on behalf of her fallen commander. Myrae removed the warrior's skeletal hands from the legendary sword, gripped the hilt, braced herself against the deck, and pulled it free. The black blade glittered as it came free with a slight ringing, even beneath the muting sea. Myrae looked at her fingers wrapped around the grip of Draegloth's Claw as if they belonged to someone else. Even before she was branded a heretic, she had not been fit to touch the priceless relic. It was beautiful even in the darkness of the sub-marine wreck, double-fullered with elegant ricasso and unblemished razor edge, despite the countless enemies of Botherel it had slain. It was also all but useless underwater. 

Myrae could feel the cold beginning to stiffen her limbs. There was one more artefact she must needs retrieve. Pushing off the floor, she glided up the ladder to the hatch, opened it and emerged on the quarterdeck. 

The TonDen was now a dim light within a great swirl of fish, flashing silver and black as they glided around the blue golem. Myrae noted larger forms orbiting The TonDen in the dimness, sharks attracted by fish attracted by light. She had a care as she wended her way around jagged wreckage. The scent of blood in the water would be more than enough to spark a feeding frenzy with so much bait and predators gathering. The cold was not the only reason to make haste. 

The bait ball parted around her as she reached the TonDen and secured the sword and portal key to it. She saw that her fellow diver had been back, as bars of gold and a couple of jewel-bedecked daggers were twined into The Tonden's nets. Good taste, Myrae thought as she swam back into the wreck.


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Balthar the Fisherman

From: Pretty much out of nowhere.

A lit lantern bobbed beside the sandy shore, its flickering golden light reflected by the glassy surface of the harbor waters. The lantern hung from the fishing pole of a swarthy halfling who also carried a tackle box and bucket as he whistled his way along the seaside, heading straight for the rocks amidst which Miiya and Vjerdt sheltered. If unimpeded, he'd walk around the first promintory and approach the water by the same sandy strip where the swimmers had left their things. 

Despite the light and sound, Balthar came upon the pair faster than they could flee or hide. "Oh, blow me down! Did'nae expect ta find anyone in me fishin spot so late at night!" He greeted the figures moving in the dimness. Raising his lantern for better illumination, he chuckled as he took in the pile of discarded clothing and the pair shrinking back from the light. "Oop! Pardon me intrusion, youg'uns!" He quickly lowered his lantern. "Oi'll finde me another spot. Carry on, yew two!"

As he backed away he carried on chuckling perhaps just a bit too long--or not?--and muttered to himself maybe just a bit too loud--was he? "Crazy kids... haha, takes me back..." So saying, Balthar disappeared around the rocks in the direction of Kiana. 


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Miiya Aether

Miiya had fluttered to the top of the rocks in time to spot the approaching fisherman, but not soon enough to do anything about it. She watched the lantern's progress for just a moment, and when she was sure it was getting closer, she chanced a blind leap down to the sand.

She misjudged the distance, flapped too early, and dropped far enough to get the wind knocked out of her. "Whoof!" She breathed with the impact. It took her a second to recover, when she did, she gasped out to Vjerdt: "Someone's coming! What do we do!?" By the time she'd gathered enough of her wits to think of hiding Zhaetar's and Myrae's discarded clothing, the fisherman was upon them. Miiya shrank back into the shadows, trying to look small, unwinged, and halfling-esque, not an easy prospect for an Aeros. "Uh... hi..." She replied hesitantly, deepening her voice--did Hafling women have deeper voices?--wishing she could merge with the rocks against which she pressed.

She felt her face flush at what the fisherman implied before he turned and beat a hasty retreat. Miiya wasted a few precious seconds dithering in self-conscious embarrassment before making up her mind and rushing over to Vjerdt. "D'yew think he saw us? Does he know we're wanted by The Guard? Should we stop him?"

Miiya really, really did not want to confront the fisherman. Maybe he was just embarrassed by thinking he'd run across a late-night tryst. Maybe that was why he was acting suspicious. "Kin yew, ya know, use yer magick to put him to sleep or something?" Miiya asked Vjert in a whisper. "Just in case, maybe?" 

If she had to stop the fisherman, there were only two ways; she could knock him on the head or strangle him, like she had the guard. Miiya hated the thought of either one. Sleeper holds were dangerous. She'd only practiced them a little with Cahron, and never to unconsciousness. Even then he'd cautioned her that sometimes her adversary might not wake up. Ever. Miiya was still upset over choking out the guard at The Western Watch. She did not want to repeat the move on a harmless fisherman. 

She'd never knocked anyone out with a blow to the head, either. That was not something yew could 'practice'. "I don't want to hurt him! Maybe we can just let him go and it'll be okay?" She asked, hopefully. 


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Miiya Aether

Miiya nodded at Vjerdt's reply, trying not to sound as unsure as she felt. "Okay, you're right." They couldn't afford to just let the fisherman wander off. Miiya would check to make sure he really had just headed down the beach to fish.

The Aeros girl dug another lemon gill out of her satchel and ate it. She was going to need all her aviating abilities and couldn't afford to be distracted by her fractured wingtip. The pause gave her time to ensure she had the signal baubles Myrae had given her. Thinking ahead, she moved them into different parts of her satchel. That should help ensure she did not drop the wrong one. "Here I go." She said, and launched skyward. 

Clearing the rocks, Miiya was relieved to see the fisherman's lantern stationary on the beach. She almost turned around for a landing right then and there, but something told her to investigate further. Flying at night was scary. Flying overwater in the darkness was terrifying, but Miiya judged she could stay lower and less likely to be detected if she approached from the water as she was able to glide in ground effect over the dark harbor. What she saw as she did so caused her heart to drop. The soft glow of the lantern illuminated fishing pole, tackle box, and bucket all sitting on the sand. Of the fisherman there was no sign. Miiya cursed softly and beat for altitude as she circled the empty beach. She squinted into the darkness, trying to spot the hafling.

There! Something was moving along the shore. Miiya dove and passed close overhead. Yes! It was the fisherman, running for the buildings of the harbor as fast as his short legs would take him. 

Miiya stalled and alighted between Balthar and the village. Again, she misjudged her altitude and stumbled, this time falling face-first as she had not anticipated the sloping surface of the dune on which she landed. "Oof!" Pushing herself to her feet and spitting out sand, she held out her arms and interposed herself in front of the running Haffer. "Wait! Stop! Please!" She hissed, trying to be quiet and sound non-threatening. "Please listen to me! I don't want to hurt yew!" Miiya was not sure if those were the least threatening words, but she had not really thought up what to say. 


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Balthar the Fisherman

The running hafling heard a rustle of wings and ducked as something large winged overhead. A moment later, he heard the sounds of the girl's tumble. He slowed as she stood and made as if to cut him off from the harbor.

"Clear off!" He growled, hand falling to a cudgel he kept tucked in his belt. "I don' want ta hurt ye none, either, lass, but the guard be lukin fer ye an yer accomplices! Et's a matter fer them, and fer me ta tell 'em." He said. 


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Irihi
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Miiya

and

Balthar the Fisherman

"Wait! Hear me out." Miiya said, raising her hands, though she was not sure if the fisherman could see the gesture. "We're leaving! In-in an hour we'll be gone!" The notes of pleading in her voice were not wholly faked, nor were the words that tumbled forth false. "I'm just trying to stop a battle; please help me!" She said. "I might not look like much, but there's a... ...a monster with me. It's really big and dangerous, and if yew call the guard, it'll kill a lot of them, even if they defeat it." She repeated herself: "But we're leaving! All I want to do is get it out of Kiana before it hurts anyone else! I just need a little more time!"

...

The hafling fisherman sounded skeptical. "Tis a nice tale yer spinnin' lass, but how kin I trust ye, when yer a criminal wot beat up that pore ol' gaffer they found locked up in yer cell at The Watch?"

...

Miiya felt first a cold, then a hot flush dance across her skin. "S-so h-he's alive? He-he's okay? Oh thank the gods!" Miiya suddenly found her words cut off by a solid lump in her throat. She hadn't killed the guard at the Western Watch.

She wasn't a murderer. 

She pressed her sand-covered hands to her face. Miiya had not realized how deeply the fear from doing these terrible lawless things had rooted within her. Her hands did a good job of rubbing sand in her eyes, but they did nothing to keep the tears from washing it right back out again. When she tried to say something, nothing came out but a sob. She had just been on the wing and now she wasn't sure if she could even stand. (Did lemon-gills perhaps diminish one's inhibitions?) Miiya collapsed in on herself, her legs buckling and wings folding. She shrank to a small figure crouching on the sand, hugging her knees and crying into her arms.

...

Balthar had not expected this. He took a step back, folding his arms across his chest and looking askance at the small figure blubbering on the dark beach. "Yer nawt foolin..." he started severely, but then paused. "Come off et then..." He tried again, but it was not in the fisherman to berate what sounded, for all the world, like a crying child. He unfolded his arms and his tone softened. "Lass, all the tears in the world don' change me duty ta report ye." 

Even though he was hard-pressed not to be moved by the emotional outburst, a thought occured to the canny hafling, and he looked around, seeing if perhaps this was all an act while the girl's compatriots snuck up on him. But no, the beach were empty, save for the bawling Aeros and himself. Sighing, the hafling crouched beside the girl. "Look, lass, ye know the right thing ta do is turn yerself in. Why don't ye come with me? We kin speak ta the guard together." He offered. "Yew seem like a good sort, even if yer a biggun keepin' bad company, we haflings give e'reyone a fair shake. The Guard'll protect yew from this monster. What'dye say?" 

...

Miiya eventually regained control of her emotions. When the fisherman offered to help her turn herself in she actually considered it for a moment. The fear of inadequacy whispered to her. How could a stupid little girl lead a terrifying monster through the sunless lands, in strange and dangerous company? She was no fierce warrior like Myrae or canny traveller like Cahron. If she did not follow the rules and do as she was told, she would be punished, she would be hurt, and she would deserve it, just as had happened to Ma. 

But Miiya was not Sen, nor even what Sen had tried to mould her to be. And though Ma insisted rules were to be followed, Miiya knew what she kept in those locked cabinets. She saw how the veneer of Ma's fear and subservience to Uncle Osu and Count Belrotte was just that; paint upon steel. Maybe that steel ran through Miiya as well.

And this hafling had stopped running and moved within reach. Her tears had done that. His neck was there, his hands were empty, the sand beneath him would keep him from getting purchase... 

Miiya peered at the diminutive figure crouched beside her. "I... I can't. I really wish I could, but I can't." shook her head. "Thanks for stopping." She said, belatedly, and sniffed. "Yew wouldn't let me tie yew up, would yew?"

...

Balthar chuckled. "No, Lass. Yew may not want ta hurt me, but what of this monster yer with?" He sighed again. "Seems we be at loggerheads." He stood and stretched. "Okay, I'll tell ye wot I'll do; yew promise me no more tears... and nawt ta kills me," there was a smile in the haffers voice, evidence that he had no idea just how close to death he actually was, "then I'll finish me fishin' afore I report ye ta The Guard." He proposed. "Yew say yew an yer monster will be gone by then, an I'll hold ye ta yer word."


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Lassroyale
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TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline

"Catboy Assassin at Yourrr Serrrvice"

&

[NPC] Balthar (Halfling victim Fisherman)

Spoiler
Tom Cat (a Felonious Feline)
Tom Cat [new]1

 

═ ✽ ═

 

It was correct that the Halfling fisherman didn’t know how close to death he truly was, but it wasn’t due to the Big Blue Abomination that followed the Aeros girl.  What was that line from one of the more famous Uman poets? ’The fog rolls in on little cat feet’.  In Balthar’s case, those little cat feet carried a 6 ½-inch blade punched straight through his chest, piercing  his heart.

 

 A purrrfect backstab. So perfect and so sudden, in fact, that it took a moment for the Halfling to even notice he was effectively a dead man. 

 

═ ✽ ═

 

Balthar was attempting to negotiate with Miiya, his still-beating heart pathetically soft in the face of the girl’s apparently genuine tears.  He couldn’t in good conscience not report them to the Guard, but neither could he ignore the look of true, honest-to-Gholu relief-lonliness-confusion-sadness that cycled across the child’s features in rapid succession. He was still at odds within himself, but he hadn't felt to be in any danger as he stood in front of the shaking and crying girl.  He thought the deal he'd offered was pretty fair, all things considered.

 

C’mon lass,” he was saying.  “We both got our duties, but I’m willing ta give ye the benefit of the doubt. Ye don’ strike me as the killing ty–HURK!”  Balthar’s words cut off abruptly. He didn’t know why, but suddenly his air was gone and his chest hurt.  His eyes were wide and disbelieving as he slowly looked down.

 

Even in the long shadows of the dark beach, both the Halfling and Aeros would be able to see the sharp point of a blade protruding from the former’s chest, the metal reflecting a muted gleam in the starlight.  Balthar raised a trembling hand to the tip of the blade poking out of his chest, his fingers coming away slick and warm with blood.  He stared at his red stained fingertips, his mind dull with shock.  Slowly, he looked at the Aeros girl, who was staring at him in what looked to be stunned silence.  

 

"Y-ye," he whispered, his dying mind latching onto only one thought: she'd killed him. The crying wench had killed him! He'd been right: it'd all been an act.  Anger gripped him and Balthar lunged forward, slipping off the blade in the process. His trembling hands sought her neck.   

 

"Ye killed me!" His cry wasn't loud -  breathing was increasingly difficult - but it was filled with the passion of his dying anger and accusation.  He got his hands to her neck, but his fingers couldn't encircle it, try as he might.  And even if he could have gotten both hands into a good throttling position, there was no strength in his grip. In fact, his strength in general was quickly leaving him.  

 

He coughed, blood frothing on his lips and flecks of red creating a spray pattern across Miiya's cheek.  Bright red blood bloomed across his chest, soaking his shirt.  It looked almost black in the gloom.  "Y-yer n-naught so inno-cent as y-y-ye...look," he accused. He managed to sputter the words out while staring directly into the Aeros girl's eyes, even as darkness was rapidly closing in on the edges of his vision.  

 

Balthar coughed again, blood bubbling up and staining his teeth red.  He bared his teeth at Miiya in a ghastly parody of a grin, as his hands slipped from around her neck.  As they fell away, his hands left bloody marks on her skin, smeared in five-fingered red steaks.  He fell heavily to his knees and doubled over, wheezing as he tried to get air into his lungs.  He couldn't. Blood dribbled from his mouth and stained the sand below him.  He managed one last feat, gathering his waning strength to lift himself and point a trembling finger at Miiya.

 

"G-g-gholu curse ye an' y-yerss…"  It was the last thing that Balthar, the Halfling fisherman, ever said.  He collapsed a second later, his small body falling backwards into the sand and crumpling into a lifeless heap.  His wide open eyes stared unseeing at the dark, star strewn skies above, the light quickly extinguished as Miiya looked on.

═ ✽ ═

Spoiler
🔸️[re: NPC Balthar - POST EVENTS]
The assassination/murder of NPC Balthar was discussed OOC between the two players. Balthar’s creator OK'd the events in this post 100% beforehand OOC.

TOM-CAT (Must Read): Teleskela - Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ★★Try Again - ★★Powder Keg - Soft, soft - Imprint - ★★Stupid Little Tom-Cat
DAETH (top 3): Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - ★★Sensing Death
RISQUÉ (most recent): ★★Fun with Fisticuffs!
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[ ☆ = favorite / ★★= extra fave]


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Lassroyale
(@lassroyale)
Patron Saint of Hawtbois, Catboys, & BAMF Babes Noble
Joined: 4 months ago
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Spoiler
💠 MODERATOR'S NOTE: All character interactions were discussed OOC pre-post (READ MORE)

💠 MODERATOR'S NOTE

All interactions between the characters in this post were discussed and agreed upon by their players OOC.  Miiya's player gave their permission to Tom Cat's player to write both sides of the interactionfor this post only! *

*The interactions in this post are the exception and not the rule. [/spoiler]

═ ✽ ═

TOM CAT

A Felonious Feline

Catboy Assassin at Yourrr Serrrvice

Spoiler
Tom Cat (a Felonious Feline)
Tom Cat [new]1

═ ✽ ═

"He cerrrtainly had a lot to say," came a voice from out of the darkness.  The voice had an almost hypnotic cadence, somehow managing at once to be both smooth and raspy.  "Sorrry to have interrrupted yourrr chat," the voice continued.  "But we couldn't rrreally rrrisk him rrrunning to the Guarrrd, now could we?"

 

As the question was asked, Tom Cat stepped out of the shadows, very close to Miiya and the Halfling's lifeless corpse.  He'd been there the whole time; the fisherman hadn't even clocked him when he'd looked around the beach earlier.  The strange assassin moved a bit closer to Miiya, casually cleaning the blood from the dagger he'd used to kill Balthar. 

 

Tom Cat was an unusual being, exotic and other, but there was something undeniably captivating about him. At first glance, he looked like a young, albeit unique, Uman or perhaps half-elven male.  The Uman features were graceful, from the long line of his neck to the gentle curve of his jaw and wide, expressive mouth.

 

Build-wise he was slim and lithesome, with the wiry athleticism and hidden strength of a gymnast.  His movements were slinky and provocative, though it was hard to say whether this was intentional or if it was as a result of his unusual nature.  There was an implicit tension in the way he carried himself, like he was always wound taut and ready to pounce on a hair's trigger; one could tell that he was ready to explode into action at a moment's notice.

 

Of course, it wasn't his bearing or his prowling movements that people first noticed about the unusual being: it was the distinctive addition of cat's eyes, ears, and tail.  Even if he didn't have the ears or tail of a cat, his eyes would give away his unusual feline nature.  

 

His eyes were wide with a sharply upturned shape, and fringed by such thick, dark grey lashes that they sometimes appeared to be rimmed in smoky khol.  In contrast, his irises were a vivid yellow-green with the telltale vertical pupils of a cat.  (For some reason, in his full feline cat form, his eyes looked more green than yellow.  Just another odd quirk of his already odd nature.)  People often found it unnerving to be under the scrutiny of that predatory gaze, discomfited by the intense, unwavering focus of his eyes settled unblinkingly upon them.

 

Finally, the other two most obviously feline attributes he had, were the dark, grey-blue furred cat ears protruding from his mop of straight grey-ish hair, and the long, grey-blue furred tail which snaked out behind him from a customized opening in his pants.

 

Tom Cat smoothly secreted away the dagger somewhere on his person, his yellow eyes studying the Aeros girl with fascinated intensity.  His grey-furred ears swivelled now and then, his enhanced and very keen hearing tracking even the smallest noise for the threat of danger.  Even with the background din of waves crawling up onto the shore and lapping against the hulls of moored boats, he just managed to separate out the distant sounds of people repeatedly surfacing and diving out in the cold waters of the harbor.  His gaze never left Miiya's huddled figure, however, unwavering in his scrutiny.

 

The way the girl was huddled up and folded in on herself made her seem much smaller than she really was, almost diminutive.  Like a rabbit caught by the hypnotic dance of an approaching weasel, body shaking but frozen in terror.  And that, combined with the sight of the girl's enormous, tawny-feathered wings, stirred something deep, primitive, and instinctual within Tom Cat. 

 

He had a powerful impulse to pounce on the girl, wanting suddenly to pin those alluring wings beneath his claws. The predator within him desired to feel the roll and shift of those fragile wing-bones as she struggled under him. It craved the brush of soft feathers lashing against his skin.  And, most of all, he wanted to hear the fluttering stutter of her heartbeat in her chest, wanted to feel it  thrum through his own like an echoing counter beat.  He relished in the thought of tasting her surprise in the air and in feeling the panic as it quickened her pulse, spiking sudden and loud through her veins.

 

Tom Cat was never good with impulse control.  His capricious nature made it difficult to ignore his powerful desires, and he's been beholden to animalistic instinct  many times in the past. Not that he really cared; he enjoyed giving in to his desires.

 

The feline assassin subtly tensed, almost imperceptibly, like a coiled snake readying to strike.  He watched the girl.

 

Miiya hadn't said anything coherent in minutes, her eyes wide, frozen in shock, and her mouth opening and closing as she took in small, hiccuping gasps.  He shifted his weight forward slightly, and she began darting her gaze around, looking between him and the dead body crumpled in the sand in front of her. 

 

He could sense that she was nearing some sort of breaking point. What that meant, he could only guess, but either way he had the impression that it would be noisy.  And that would just cause a domino effect of headaches that he'd rather not deal with, no matter how much gold was promised.

═ ✽ ═

(Post split for readability - continued HERE)

TOM-CAT (Must Read): Teleskela - Kiana Beach Battle (3/3) - ★★Try Again - ★★Powder Keg - Soft, soft - Imprint - ★★Stupid Little Tom-Cat
DAETH (top 3): Breaking Callon - Pleasure w/Pain - ★★Sensing Death
RISQUÉ (most recent): ★★Fun with Fisticuffs!
──────────────────
[ ☆ = favorite / ★★= extra fave]


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