Author Topic: It's All In The Execution  (Read 1595 times)

Offline Vix

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It's All In The Execution
« on: March 10, 2009, 10:16:12 PM »
It’s All in the Execution - Part One

Vixea’nkitie sat at one of the Sancrist’s tables poring over a thick book of parchment. She hastily
scribbled figures down then matched them up with those in another column, sighed, and crossed
out the last few lines. The drow cum innkeep let the quill drop from her ink stained fingers and
began rubbing her throbbing temples.

“I should be out looking for  adventure, not here looking for balanced budgets,” the drowess
groused to herself. The noise of the Inn was loud today, the walls confining, and if that old
woman screeched ‘Bring me more ale!’ one more time, Vix thought she’d shove a whole cask
down the crone’s gullet.

Amid all the shouts, laughter, scrapes of forks on plates, and clinking of glasses and mugs, Vix
heard the light tread of someone small approaching her. The drowess lowered her hands to the
table and turned slightly in her seat to view whomever neared her. One snowy eyebrow raised as
a small halfling girl Vix had not seen, nor heard from, in months drew to an uncomfortable stop
next to her.

“V-vix?” the girl stuttered, obviously ill at ease. Vix nodded once and grimaced at the halfling
female in what she hoped looked like a smile. “I know you paid me to watch for anything
unusual in Darkmoor, and that I have not exactly been up to date on things,” the girl paused to
take a deep breath, Vix only sat watching her. “But, something is happening you need to know
about now.”

“What is it, Melina?” Vix asked, irritated that the only reason the little halfling likely came is to
tell a trivial event and ask for more stipend. For her part, Melina seemed to grow a bit bolder
hearing the drowess’ annoyance at the interruption, and knowing that her erstwhile employer
would pay well for what she now brought.

“There is to be an execution at high noon today,” Melina began.

“Anat is always executing his unending supply of criminals, traitors, and litterbugs,” Vix snapped
in interruption. “It makes little difference to me.”

“But, you know this particular prisoner,” Melina said slyly, hoping to draw out the tension and
get a bigger reward. Vix only stared impassively at the diminutive halfling. Melina began to
fidget again under the twin amethysts peering into her own eyes. “It .. it is that bard you spent so
much time with ...” she paused, playing her final card, “... Saminda.”

Vix only stared a moment longer at the girl, her eyes steady, her face still unreadable. With
deliberation the drowess turned back to her ledger and began writing more figures. “Thank you
for informing me, Melina,” Vix mumbled, crossing out yet another set of numbers, “See Cookie
for a hot meal before you head back.”

“But, I thought this was good information,” the distressed halfling protested.

“It may have been more useful to me had you informed me of her imprisonment in the first
place,” Vix replied, not taking her eyes off the scrawled figures before her. “But, I suppose you
do deserve something.” The drowess reached into her pouch and scattered a few golden coins on
the table. “Next time bring me timely information, information I care about.”

The stunned girl swiftly scooped up the coins and backed away before turning to head out the
door, wondering why such news as she had brought would not rattle the drow. Vix waited until
she heard the door to the Inn close, glanced up to make sure Melina had truly gone, and slammed
the partially completed ledger shut.

“Vith’oi!” she heatedly cursed, quickly gathering up the book, quill, and inkpot and headed up
the stairs to her room. She entered her room, closed the door, and spoke the words to activate the
wards. The ledger was unceremoniously tossed onto the bed, along with the quills and ink, as Vix
slid into the chair before the small writing desk. Deft fingers unlatched the secret compartment
under the drawer, bypassing the trap, and pulled out a small book. Another word disabled the
magical wards upon it, and Vix flipped it open and began writing a message within it using a
special charcoal stick.

I trust this missive reaches you in time. A friend is in dire straits and I need your immediate
assistance.


Vix waited, holding her breath and staring down at the page. A few long moments passed before
the message cleared and a new one began to take its place. Air rushed out of Vix’s lungs in a
relieved whoosh.

Who is in trouble?

Vix lowered her charcoal to the page and scribbled furiously. Though the halfling girl had not
told her, Vix knew quite well what the cause of the execution order was.

Saminda. She is to be executed at noon today. The charges are the murder of several Arcavian
dungeon guards during a semi-successful rescue attempt. I will need any assistance you can
provide to avoid the execution.


Vix’s message lay on the enchanted paper a long time. The drowess began to chew her lower lip
in worry. She presumed much to ask this favor of help, and well she knew it. Vix raised her
charcoal to write more, to plead if necessary, but the words faded before she could, and a new
message formed.

I’ll see what I can do.

Vix nodded to herself, satisfied with the answer, and knowing it was more than she could hope
for. A swift symbol scrawled on the page erased the message and let the other writer know the
correspondence was at an end. Vix reactivated the wards on the book as she closed it and secured
it once again in the hidden drawer of the desk.

Her next step was to procure transport to Darkmoor. Normal ship travel would be to slow. A visit
to the Mages’ Guild was in order. Knowing the fee was going to be steep, Vix collected a
sizeable amount of coin and dashed downstairs, pausing only long enough to grab her equipment
and reset the rooms wards, then she was out of the Inn and racing to the Magical Academy next
door.

*******************************************************************************
Historical Notes:

This takes place in Engliton (a NWN server). It technically occurs several months after Tears Of A Drow. It is based on actual role-played events.




« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 11:52:11 PM by Vix »

Offline Vix

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Re: It's All In The Execution
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 08:38:46 AM »
It’s All in the Execution, part 2
Visiting Hour

The cloaked drowess strode the streets of Darkmoor on her way to the execution grounds,
charmingly named Sundial Square by the Arcavians. The magical trip to the docks of Darkmoor
placed her fairly close to her destination both light headed and lighter in coin. Vix supposed
Anat’s reasoning to place the square so close to the water was to allow the sea breezes to carry
the screams of the tortured and dying through the city so no one person would miss them. Not
that many did, however. Public executions were mandatory attendance in Arcavia.

Vix glanced up at the towering walls of Darkmoor Castle as she passed within their shadows,
nearing her destination. Other than the usual posted guards, only two more figures were in
evidence, both only partially seen between the crenelated parapet. The first was a tall female,
lithe and sturdy, cloaked similarly to Vix. The second was only seen as a head peering over the
edge, hooded as well. A halfling, Vix guessed.

With a swirl of her cloak, Vix stopped before an imposing Elite Guard. Her hooded eyes swiftly
took in the additions to the Square. Five more Elite Guards were posted keeping watch over
several rag clad Shandrakkar prisoners. Several large devices of sturdy metal with attendant
chains and manacles had been erected. The prisoners hung listlessly from these, parched tongues
lolling from their animalistic wolf’s heads, glazed, half-lidded eyes staring out unknowingly. It
seemed Anat wished this batch of poor souls to suffer before they were slain by his headsman.

Saminda was not among the prisoners, which relieved and puzzled the drowess. A quick glance
at a newly erected sign confirmed the noon scheduling of the executions. Another glance
skyward informed Vix there were several long hours to go before the appointed time, though her
eyes smarted painfully for her efforts. All this was done with a few brief moments. Vix glanced
up at the towering guard and spoke before he became suspicious of her loitering wordlessly
before him.

“Oh, how wonderful!’ the drowess said gaily. “I have yet to see these devices put to use.” The
guard only glared down at the drowess, his face unreadable beneath the black iron helm. Vix
made a show of peering about interestedly, thinking of what to do next.

“Lovely!” a familiar voice floated down to the drowess. “Got some time to go, though.”
Mereado, Vix’s keen ears and strong memory told her. That accounts for the halfling she saw.

“Aye, t’is a righ’ good view,” chuckled another familiar voice in response. Vix smiled slightly
under hood, giving silent sigh of relief. That accent could only belong to Faihwnyn ub Llwythain.
Her presence could only be of help to any plan Vix could come up with. As if in response to her
thoughts, a small pebble glanced off the drowess’ armor. Vix turned to look up at the castle
parapet only to see Fai looking skyward and innocently whistling. Vix dropped her head and
smiled to herself under her cowl, knowing Fai was aware of her presence and listening.

She turned back to the guard, who was beginning to get that tense look usually preceding an
order to move along. Vix spoke as the guards breastplate heaved, indicating a breath before
speaking.

“Excuse me,” she said, tilting her head up to allow ebony skin to show, and hoping the guard
would assume she was only here for the spectacle of the impending executions. “But, are these
all of your prisoners?”

The guard’s only reply was a thunderous snort echoing from inside his helm and an ungentle
shove to move Vix back a step or two from the Square’s marked area, then shook his massive
head.

“I see,” Vix responded to the silent answer. “Can you direct me to where the others are being
held?” The horned head bowed down to look at the drowess, glittering eyes the only feature
discernable past the monstrous helm.

“You will see the all the condemned at the execution, miss,” a voice made sepulchral from the
echo inside the helm boomed out. “Are you a relative of one of them, citizen? What is your
interest in the location of any others?”

“Nau,” Vix answered quickly, “Nor am I a citizen of Darkmoor. But I do have information
regarding one of your prisoners you may wish to hear.” She added quickly on impulse.

“I would suggest you give it to the Lieutenant,” the guard said in a more relaxed tone, seeming to
take the drow’s word at face value. “He can be found at the barracks. You will have to locate that
yourself, I cannot do anything else while I am on this detail.”

“Bella’dos,” Vix dropped a small bow in thanks, glancing upwards to briefly catch Fai’s eye
before moving on. A small nod in return was given before the tall woman moved away from the
crenelations. Vix nodded once more to the guard and made her way towards the barracks.

As Vix neared the barracks, both Mereado and Fai had caught up with her, exchanging quick
greetings. All three entered the barracks and walked to the hulking figure behind the desk.

“Greetings, can I do something for you?” the Lieutenant asked politely, unfolding his immense
frame from behind the small desk. Vix briefly wondered what Anat put in the city’s water supply
to grow all these fellows so large.

“Xas,” replied the drowess with equal politeness. “I have obtained knowledge that a certain one
of your citizens is being held prisoner. She is called Saminda.” The burly Lieutenant studied Vix
a moment before answering.

“Yes, she is there in the cell,” he stated. “What is it you want with her?”

“I have personal reasons to see her brought to justice,” Vix answered with an evil smile. “I am
inclined to provide you with any information about her you may require.” Vix sensed Fai stiffen
slightly at her words, Mereado stood calmly and quietly.

“She will be going on trial shortly,” the huge man informed Vix. He seemed to study her a
moment then continued, “As soon as the Vizier arrives. Do you care to wait so long?”

Mereado chuckled to herself, as Fai stepped forward.

“Wha's th' crim'nal charg'd wi'?” the lanky rogue asked. Vix suspected Fai knew quite well what
this was about, as she had been present at Saminda’s first incarceration. Yet Fai was one to make
sure she had the facts in order.

“She attacked and killed several guards downstairs in a fury to rescue some elf,” the Lieutenant
replied, turning to appraise Fai.

“I would assume, Fai, that it is for her botched attempt to release a legally detained prisoner from
the dungeons,” Vix put in with a slight sneer, pointing to the short hall on their left. “Just over
there.”

“Ahhh, tha' agin,” Fai mumbled, nodding to herself and casting a quick glance to Vix.

“What’s so great about Sion, anyway?” Mereado sneered rhetorically.

“A most grievous loss to the guards of Arcavia,” the drowess consoled. “I am gladdened to know
she has been caught and to be sentenced. Especially after ...” Vix stopped suddenly and only
smiled. Fai’s concerned glance turned into a mischievous smile in return, hoping her drow friend
was not entirely serious in her words. 

“You are welcome to stay and watch,” the Lieutenant told them. “I am sure the Vizier will be
here any moment.”

As if on cue to his words, the heavy outer door opened and in strode another large and burly man,
though clad in finer clothing and armor than the Lieutenant. His resemblance to both Baron Anat
and his son Amir was noticeable to the drowess. His gaze swept the room, taking note of the
three women standing in front him and ignoring the respectful greeting Mereado gave him.

“What is going on, Lieutenant?” the Vizier barked his question. The Lieutenant seemed to stiffen
into a rigid stance, looking his superior in the eyes.

“They are just here as witnesses, sir,” came the quick reply. Vix suspected the Lieutenant was
likely supposed to keep the barracks clear of non-guards, let alone non-Arcavians. He already
showed his lax demeanor in conversing with the three women about Saminda, even giving her
location to them. A bored officer with a monotonous desk job, willing to talk to anyone. Vix
chuckled inwardly thinking his friendliness and inattentiveness is probably how Saminda
obtained access to the dungeons in the first place.

“Witnesses, hmmm?” Vizier Nefzen mused, stroking his chin thoughtfully and placing each of
the three under his steely gaze. “Very well, but do not get in the way.” His words left no doubt
anyone who disrupted him while here would find themselves looking out from one the cells
below.

“Of course not,” Vix smiled.

“Woulnae think o' it,” Fai said.

Mereado again stayed silent, though a cruel, small smile seemed to be playing about her lips.

The Vizier turned with a swirl of his cape and stalked through the doorway to stand arms reach
away from the caged door of a cell. Vix, Fai, and Mereado trailed along in his wake, moving to
stand along the wall facing the cell. The Vizier snapped an order for the Lieutenant to stand
nearby.

A blue clad shape rose from the filthy, straw covered floor of the cell and moved to stand
defiantly on the other side of the door. Though her clothes were torn and stained, and a few
bruises purpled her cheek, her eyes were bright and filled with fire. Those eyes passed over the
Lieutenant and Vizier, softened at the sight of Fai, then hardened slightly upon seeing Mereado,
finally coming to rest with a baleful glare upon the drowess standing across from her. Vix
allowed a cold, evil smile to steal across her ebony features and returned the stare, knowing
Saminda had heard every word said in the entrance hall earlier.

“Tell me, citizen,” the Vizier began without preamble, his voice stern and even, “Why did you
enter our prisons in the first place?”

“To rescue a friend of mine,” the bard shot back hotly.

“Rescue?” the Vizier questioned in mild surprise. “Hmm, and was it a success?”

“Eventually, yes,” Saminda replied with less fervor. “But I did not find him there, so it was a
mistake to enter the dungeons.” Vix knew there was more involved in what Saminda and the
Vizier spoke of, but kept her own counsel, hoping Saminda would realize her true intentions
beyond any words she may speak.

“Do you know that four...” the Vizier paused, searching for a word and finding nothing
appropriate, “...things are being executed soon for what you did? They too wanted to rescue their
... friends. ”

“They are just as human as you and I on the inside,” Saminda growled in response. “Probably
more so than Anat.” She smirked at the Vizier, hoping to rattle him, as she had little to lose as it
stood now.

“I do not think you are in the position to be saying anything about the Baron,” Vizier Nefzen
replied in a calm voice, yet his eyes gained a dangerous cast to them.

“Or what? You'll arrest me?” Saminda derisively laughed at the Vizier. The Lieutenant began to
shout at Saminda’s impertinence, hoping to gain favor with the Vizier who only stood silent,
allowing both the bard and his guard to settle down.

Fai took the moment to sign ‘What next?’ to Vix using a combination of thieves’ and drow silent
speech the two had worked out over the last few months. The tall woman’s face was smooth as
glass, but her eyes held a suspicious glance, unsure of what her drow friend was really up to.

Vix knew Mereado might understand some of their cobbled silent code, so she answered back
quickly and as vaguely as she dared. ‘I have to trust things set in motion before my arrival have
been taken care of.’ The shouting of the Lieutenant stopped at an annoyed wave of the Vizier’s
hand.

“We already have done that,” the noble smiled at Saminda, showing no sign of irritation. “Next
would be a sentence. And, you are not making it hard for me.”

“I think she’s trying to hang herself,” Mereado chuckled. “You know there are worse things than
death, Sam?” The halfling’s grin widened. “You could end up in bed with Arcannus again.” Fai
sighed and shook her head. Saminda chuckled in spite of herself.

“Or me,” Vix hissed, her hand moving to touch the dagger at her belt.

“I was never in bed with you, Vix,” Saminda denied, shaking her head and smirking.

“Not for lack of trying,” Vix began, then stopped herself noticing the rigid posture of the Vizier.
“But, we interrupt the good Vizier. My apologies, sir.” The drowess half bowed to the man who
was staring at them all, his mouth a thin line.

“Lieutenant, take her to the others,” the Vizier commanded, taking firm control of the situation
again, deciding his interview was at and end. “We will execute her with them at noon.”

Saminda sighed heavily at this, her shoulders slumped, the defiant fire fading from her eyes.

“No longer will you be a tool of Emerald Cys'varillo in this barony, Saminda,” Vix crowed, her
laughing eyes boring into Saminda’s. “I hope you savor the taste of defeat...” Vix’s voice
dropped to a mocking sneer, “...mi'chev.”

“Farewell then, I won't be seeing you again,” the Vizier tossed at Saminda, turning to leave.

“I’m sure you will,” the condemned bard snarled, some of the fire creeping back into her eyes.
The Vizier stopped of a sudden.

“Wait,” he said without turning to face any of those present. “Consider this your first assignment.
See me afterwards for your payment.” Vix suspected whom was being addressed, and tried to
catch Fai’s eye.

“Anything in particular?” Mereado responded confirming the drowess’ fears. Vix glanced briefly
down at the halfling, her eyes flashing briefly, then quickly composed herself.

“Only show me what you can do,” the Vizier replied, turning slightly to bestow a cold smile on
Saminda before walking away.

“Sorry, Sam. But business is business,” Mereado shrugged casually. She turned to the Lieutenant
pulling out a leather pouch, a look of sadistic glee on her face. “Guard, one to go in!”

“I do so hope Emerald gets wind of this,” Vix smirked, her eyes locked on Saminda and stepping
up to the cage, blocking Mereado from entering. “I would love to see her face to see such a
staunch supporter of hers go down .. or up.” The drowess mimicked a hanging.

“Excuse me,” came a rough voice from the Lieutenant, moving both Vix and Mereado aside to
unlock the cell door. “I must bring her to the others now.” Vix stepped back, relieved the vile
halfling was not going to start her torture of Sam right then, but still at a loss of what to do.

“Oh, shame,” Mereado sarcastically pouted. The Lieutenant opened the door and roughly hauled
an unresisting Saminda out by her arm. The halfling took the opportunity to draw a small blade
down the bard’s back, slitting the blue silk robes and leaving a long trail of oozing blood. “For
the journey.”

Vix almost lashed out then, but knew now was not the time, and fervently hoped the plea for help
she sent in her journey book was going to work. It had to, there would be so few options left if it
did not. The drowess reached a hand out to grasp Saminda’s elbow, hoping to give small squeeze
of reassurance disguised as an attempt to get in one last jibe.

“I shall see you there Saminda,” Vix said mockingly pleasant, reaching for Saminda’s arm.”I do
so hope they leave the hood off so you can watch my smile as the rope slowly chokes the life out
of you.”

But, Saminda shrugged her arm away from Vix’s hand before she could do more than touch the
torn fabric of her sleeve. The drowess cursed, hoping Sam did not truly believe her words. Yet
the last few conversations between had been .. strained. And, Vix had not acknowledged
anything Sam had tried to talk to her about during those times.

Vix was startled to see Saminda suddenly squirm in the grasp of the burly Lieutenant. Her hopes
rose, thinking Saminda was attempting to make her escape. Vix reached for her sword, hoping
Fai was ready to act. But Vix was stunned when Saminda only spat at the drowess’ feet, her hand
slipped numbly from the pommel of her sword. Sam thought it was all real. Vix was twisting a
knife in her beloved’s heart with her guise of hatred. It took a moment for the pained drowess to
realize both Mereado and the Lieutenant were looking at her oddly.

“Save your water,” Vix snarled, each word piercing as deeply into her own heart as she knew
they twisted in Saminda’s. Yet she had no choice but to continue if she wanted to be allowed as
close as possible to the bard in case her hoped for conclusion failed. “You'll need it should you
survive the hanging and dangle in the sun.”

Fai only look aghast at Vix, still unsure of her drow friend’s motives, but trusting Vix enough to
play along. Mereado and the Lieutenant smiled appreciatively and continued dragging and
prodding Saminda out of the barracks and into the dusty streets of Darkmoor to take her place
among the executions.

Vix trailed along behind, an unwanted honor guard, crushed and scared for Saminda, desperately
trying to think of a way to let Sam know she did not mean what she said, that she was looking for
a way to get her out of this. Fai trudged alongside Vix, casting curious glances her way, but
refraining from speaking or using the code again. The damnable halfling walked directly behind
Saminda, prodding her with her blade each time the bard slowed or stumbled.

Long minutes later, the group arrived at Sundial Square. The Lieutenant motioned for Fai and
Vix to move aside and stand along the perimeter, then roughly shoved Saminda past the two.
Thinking her last chance to let Sam know her true intentions may be now, Vix leaned over and
whispered a few words which drew an amused chuckle from the guard and a confused glance
from Saminda.

“Hang in there, mi’chev.”

Offline Vix

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Re: It's All In The Execution
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 08:52:18 AM »
It's All in the Execution, part 3
Gathering Storm

The burly Lieutenant drug Saminda to the center of the Square where yet another oversized man
stood. This one was dressed all in black, a hood covering his face allowing only his burning eyes
to be seen. Those eyes locked upon the blue clad bard and seemed to grin in pleasure, in
anticipation, of snuffing the life from the graceful and beautiful young woman. Saminda stared
back unwavering, yet her heart beat a pounding rhythm of fear, her back on fire from the many
small cuts and wounds from Mereado's wicked blade. The halfling still followed a step behind
them, but had stopped her torment of Saminda upon reaching the Square.

"Executioner, we have another here," the Lieutenant roughly pushed Saminda towards an
unoccupied restraining device. "Get on!" His bravado was in full force now, with the gathering
crowds and the guards under his command watching him. Saminda stumbled away from his
shove, headfirst into the sturdy metal pillar. She straightened and turned slowly to face her
tormenters. Blood dripped from a new cut below her right eye, the side most bruised and purpled.
She stood straight, proud, unresisting as the Executioner slit the ropes binding hands and
violently yanked her arms over her head to attach the cruel, studded manacles over her wrists.

A hiss of pain escaped Saminda's lips as her back stretched, widening the gashes further and
reopening several which had began to scab over. The Executioner pulled the chains tight, forcing
the agonized bard's arms upwards and outwards, the cruel studs lining the manacles inner sides
biting brutally into her wrists. Her ravaged back was pressed up against the metal support column
which she quickly realized was rasped and jagged, abrading her skin and tearing the wounds on
her back more with each slight movement.

Mereado stood silent, her eyes glittering malevolently as she intently watched Saminda's
struggles on the rack. A moment passed after the Executioner stepped away, leaving the panting
bard to hang in pain. Saminda's eyes screwed tightly shut, the pain in her back flaring to a
burning, stinging wave of agony. She tried to move away, but only scraped her raw and bleeding
flesh more against the ragged support. The black-hearted halfling smiled slowly, a low chuckle
bubbling from her lips as the bard hissed and moaned from the pain. Mereado was quite pleased
her request to have the support heavily salted had been done.

Vix stood trembling in suppressed rage, her heart convulsing to see Saminda in such pain, such
agony. The drowess tensed, ready to take a step forward and strike the loathsome halfling down,
to wipe that self satisfied smirk off the smooth, comely face hiding a miasma of evil. A cool hand
suddenly was laid upon her own, which was once again gripping the hilt of her sword so tightly,
the ebony skin across the knuckles had turned pearly gray.

"Nae luv," came a soft, calming whisper in her ear. "Dinnae go an' get ye'self killed. Poor Fai can
no'do thi' alone." Vix took a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to recall the uncaring
attitude she was forced to show in her homeland to survive. A long moment passed before the
drowess relaxed her grip on the sword. A single gentle squeeze from Fai, and the tall rogue's own
hand let loose of Vix's, stepping back to the shadows of the castle wall.

"Fai? Vix?" came a querulous voice. Both turned to see a familiar pair walking up to them,
casting uneasy glances to the display in the Square and back to the drowess and her companion.
A handsome, silver haired woman, dressed in black garb walked protectively near a heavily
armored man who was moving stiffly and uncertainly in the bright light.

"Vendui, Tris .. Razgril," Vix smiled, feeling better now that two more friends of Saminda had
arrived. Perhaps they were part of the help she requested, though the drowess hoped for much
more than this if it were. Vix began to speak again, to let the two know what was transpiring, and
inquire if they were indeed sent to help. But the dark elf was interrupted before she spoke by
words that cut across her soul like a knife.

"Tris, she's with them!" The words dripped venom and hate. All four turned to see Saminda
glaring at Vix through pain rimmed eyes. "She offered to provide them with any information they
needed."

"Who?" Tris asked, tears in her eyes, though she suspected the answer. Saminda did not give one,
only continued her piercing glare at Vix. The silver haired woman turned to face the drowess, her
own eyes raging in fury. Razgril stiffened with outrage, his armor creaking. Vix tensed to flee,
unwilling to fight these two. They couldn't know the truth behind her actions, and Tris had
several reasons to believe Sam's words.

"You will pay for this, drow," Tris growled, her eyes flashing dangerously. Fai moved closer to
the pair, still unsure of Vix's motivations, but daring to trust her though the lanky rogue’s own
inclination was to put a dagger between the drow's ribs each time more damning words came
from her mouth. Vix held her ground, letting Tris move closer.

"Nau," the drowess replied calmly through the fear she felt. "I think not." Tris snarled and took
another step forward, Razgril close behind. Vix waited until the two were standing next to her,
wishing either of them knew the silent languages. The only way to warn them was by speaking.

"Trust me or not," Vix hissed is a soft whisper only the four of them could hopefully hear. "For
the sake of Saminda do not act hastily until it is absolutely needed."

Tris stopped short, her eyes boring into Vix, uncertain of what to believe. Razgril reached a
mailed hand and placed it upon Tris' arm. The silver haired woman gave one final look of fury at
the drowess, but nodded once and stepped back to confer with Razgril. Vix released her breath,
not aware she had been holding it, and glanced to Saminda as she moved back to shadows with
Fai. The bard had missed the near altercation as she was being teased and harassed by Mereado's
sharp tongue.

"I really should get my good outfit on," the halfling was saying, brandishing her wicked knife in
Saminda;’s direction, "Or the easily washed one."

Several more spectators had arrived by this time, including more of those known to Vix as being
friendly to Saminda. The drowess nudged Fai and nodded to the trio striding into the Square.

"Oh, hi Miaa," Saminda rasped as gaily as she could, ignoring the halfling.

"Ladies, do not enter the execution area," a guard warned the three women.

"By the hells!" gasped Chasity. "What has Saminda done?" The guard began moving towards the
three women as they stopped in front of Saminda.

"Just killed a number of guards, Chas," the bard casually said, gaining strength in seeing more
people she knew, and gaining hope she would not die upon the cruel rack. Miaa only smiled and
winked at Saminda, Estara whistled softly in impressed shock. Saminda continued, "But they
attacked me first. No one seems to care about the details, though. "

"Move along. This is your final warning," the guard bellowed, forcing the three to step away and
outside of the marked Square. The trio stepped back into the crowds as a slight, yet imposing
figure stepped forward to confront the guard.

"Where is Anat?" came a voice used to commanding, a voice used to being obeyed. The guard
looked down at the woman haughtily before him, but said nothing.

"Did you try the castle?" Mereado called sarcastically from a few steps away, leaving off her
harassment of Saminda in lieu of this new opportunity. Vix smiled to herself, relieved to see the
recently reinstated Baroness and knowing her arrival meant a good chance Saminda could be
freed without violence or bloodshed. This was indeed more help than she imagined. The drowess
took the opportunity to move closer to Saminda, and to keep the guards of the opinion she was
on their side.

"Emerald is here to plead for Saminda's life," Vix mocked as she made her way closer. "How
interesting."

"Shut up, Vix!" Saminda snapped, her eyes glaring at the drowess moving closer. A few other
cries of 'Shut up, drow' echoed from the crowd along with a laugh or two. The guard glanced at
Vix once, then looked back down at Emerald, who had not removed her imperious gaze from the
hulking brute before her.

"He is busy right now," the guard answered at length, polite yet firm. "He will attend the
executions when it is time."

"I wish to speak to him ... now," Emerald narrowed her eyes and replied in tone indicating she
would not take another refusal or delay.

Tris, Razgril, and Fai had followed behind Vix and moved closer to the Square and Saminda. A
sharp pain in her foot made Vix glance down. Tris was grinding her boot into the soft top of the
drowess' own specialized footwear. Razgril was gripping Vix's arm tightly.

"I had thought better of you, Vix,"  he growled coldly and released her arm. Tris gave one final
twist of her foot then stepped back.

"Guard," Emerald was saying, annoyed at being put off by a mere lackey, "You will hold your
hand until I speak with Anat."

"Go to the castle, lady. Can you not see I am on a detail here?" the guard snapped. Whether
ignorant of Emerald's rank, or uncaring, the Baroness was not about to be snubbed by the lout.

"I know what your job is," Emerald stated, a hint of threat now in her voice. "I am the Baroness
of Hamptonshire. You WILL hold your hand until I speak with Anat." She took a bold step
forward, jabbing her slender finger into the guard's breastplate and actually backing him up a step
with her intensity and aura of command. "Do I make myself clear?"

"Anat will be here before noon, and the bard won't die before noon," Mereado stepped near the
Baroness angrily. "So relax." Emerald cast a single withering glance upon the halfling, marking
her well, then turned her gaze back upon the foolish guard.

"Listen, I don't know or care who you are," the guard stated flatly, shifting his huge glowing axe
slightly. "I've got a job to do. If you want to join these people, keep it up." The crowd grew silent,
anxious in the warming morning for some sort of action.

"Are you threatening me?" Emerald's voice had dropped lower, less a question than a threat in
return. "Perhaps you would care to take her place upon the chopping block?" She took another
step forward, forcing the guard back. He tightened his grip on his axe and the other guards
shifted uneasily.

"This is going ugly, fast," Vix whispered harshly, loosening her sword in it's scabbard.

"Aye," Fai whispered back, "Bes' b' ready f'r some dirty workin' ..."

Sam hung in her chains, quietly enduring the pain and discomfort, not daring to make a sound for
fear of setting off a massive battle. Many in the crowd, on both sides, began readying spells and
clearing weapons, preparing for the growing storm to break.

Offline Vix

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Re: It's All In The Execution
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2009, 08:58:50 AM »
It’s All in the Execution, part 4
Questions and Answers

The Baroness of Hamptonshire, well aware that open warfare was on the verge of beginning in
the Square, turned stiffly away from the impertinent guard to face Saminda. Emerald hoped her
abrupt ending of the conversation would be noticed by her supporters. In an example of the
baroness’ leadership, her people did follow her lead. Swords settled back into scabbards, daggers
into sheaths, unformed spells faded away. The Guards seeing the crowd quieting, reshouldered
their glowing axes and stood a bit more at ease, but still watchful. The tension in the Square
dropped, yet it was still much higher than minutes before.

Emerald looked upon Saminda hanging in the chains. The baroness’ face showed no expression
belying her true emotions, a trait long practiced in her time leading Hamptonshire. Her voice,
however, was soft and gentle as she addressed the bard.

“Sam,” Emerald said quietly in the almost now silent Square. “Tell me what happened?”
Emerald’s consort, Elron stepped forward, his face not quite as calm as his wife’s.

“And, what have these people done?” he inquired, nodding towards the Shandrakkar.

“Well...” Saminda shrugged as best she could in her chains, wincing in pain from the motion.

“They tried to rescue their friends,” the guard who had been verbally sparring with Emerald
broke in, trying to reinstate his dominance of the proceedings. “They broke into the dungeons,
attacked and killed several guards.”

Emerald turned a cold glare back upon the guard. “I do not believe I was asking you guard,” she
said evenly.

“And, I was not answering you!” the chastened guard spat harshly, ignored by all.

“Well,” Saminda began again, this time with out the accompanying shrug. “I broke into their
prisons last week to save Sion, and there were a great number of casualties. I suppose I deserve
this.” She shot a quick glance over towards the silver haired Tris. “And I was alone.”

Tris dropped her eyes, and glanced to Razgril, whispering softly. “We could overwhelm them.”

“Let Emerald handle this,” Vix hissed back. “Diplomacy is often a more viable tool than the
sword. Besides, action of that sort may only provoke open war between the two baronies.” Miaa
looked over to the two bickering women and hissed her own command for silence. Vix left a
scathing glare on Tris, then turned back to listen to the conversation nearby, seeing a familiar
flash of red among the crowd.

“How many, Sam?” Emerald asked softly, trying to formulate her defense of the bard based on
the answer she was to receive.

“A dozen or so,” Saminda stated flatly. Whispers sprang up in the crowd, a few low impressed
whistles were made at this statement. Hamptonshire and Arcavian citizens alike could not help
but be impressed or incredulous at the number.

“A dozen,” Emerald echoed sadly, shaking her head.

“They attacked me first!” Saminda retorted hotly, leaning as far forward in her restraints as she
could. Her face flushed red in anger.

“It would have been easier to bargain for Sion, Saminda,” the baroness remonstrated, still
speaking gently to her. Tears welled in Saminda’s eyes, she slumped back in her chains, and
hung her head.

“I tried,” the chained bard whispered despondently.

Emerald nodded once and turned to confer with Elron and Miaa, the small group stepping away
from the chained bard. Saminda watched them move away, the look of hope she wore when
Emerald first appeared wavering at the edges.

A feminine figure clad in the dark robes of the Arcavian Mages Guild strode into the Square,
stopping near the main guard. A heavy cowl hid her face in shadow, yet two gleaming eyes could
be seen peering out at the scene around her. Her hooded head swung to study Saminda as she
hung in the hot morning sun. Saminda’s eyes lit up in recognition of the figure.

“Oh, good,” Saminda cried. “You're the mage from the magic academy, aren’t you?” The cowled
head nodded once in reply, not speaking.

“Will you please tell these guards this was settled back then?” Saminda pleaded. “You were there
when I was released after my first capture.” The hooded figure slowly shook her head in either
denial or refusal. Saminda’s face fell, a look of confusion and anger on it.

“Not likely to put her head in your place, is she?” Vix called out to Saminda, both to draw the
attention of the guard off of the dark clad figure and onto herself and to let her know she was in
the crowds and nearby. Vix recognized the figure, too. It was Cherry Bernita, and she was still
using Vix’s old cowl from the last time. The drowess did not wish for her to be found out as an
imposter now. It was going to be difficult enough saving Saminda.

The huge guard decided now was a good time to re-exert his slipping control of the situation. He
stepped near the seeming mage and puffed out his large chest.

“Would all those not being executed today step outside the square,” the guard bellowed, staring
directly at Cherry. Vix sucked in her breath fearfully. “I don't want to.. get confused...” The guard
chuckled.

Cherry stood her ground, acting as if she belonged, and ignored the guard. She crossed her arms
and chuckled along with him, making a show of glaring at several onlookers who had strayed a
few feet into the Square. The guard still stared directly at the fake adept.

“Do I need another piece of equipment for you, lady?” the guard snarled impatiently. Saminda
went silent, watching the confrontation unfolding nearby. Vix was holding her breath, mumbling
under her breath for Cherry to just walk away. The crowd, unaware who the adept really was,
looked on in confusion as to why a guard would threaten an adept.

“Excuse me?” Cherry rumbled in a deep, low voice unlike her normal cheery one.

“I think he wants you out of his way,” Mereado spat, looking at the adept oddly.

“I am a guard here, where have you been?” Cherry snarled back at him, her posture defiant. “Are
you new or something?”

The guard merely grabbed her arm in a viselike grip and propelled her out of the square and into
the crowd. Several people cheered, expecting a fight, but Cherry, not wanting to press her luck,
only straightened her robes, turned an icy glare upon the guard and stalked off, pausing just long
enough to toss an apologetic shrug to Saminda.

The guard then turned towards Emerald and those conferring with her. He repeated his request to
move outside the Square, earning him a glare from the baroness. But she motioned for the others
to step away, not wishing for this to escalate into a wild brawl, and deciding to bide her time and
hold her tongue until Anat’s arrival.

The guard chuckled again as the baroness stepped back, then turned to stalk back to the middle of
the Square. A flash of red and blue near Saminda made him pause. There were two more
vibrantly clad females standing outside the Square behind the condemned bard. The guard
shrugged. More people would not help the bard when the time came for the halfling to do her
deed.

Offline Vix

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Re: It's All In The Execution
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2009, 09:36:19 AM »
Nuuuuuuuuu ...

The final two chapters are blank!!! I dunno how that could have happened. I am a sad drow. :(

I guess I can try to recap the rest of it.

Anat showed up. More bluster, threats, and cajoling ensued with political overtones. The specter of open war between the two baronies loomed over the entire exchange. Mereado again started in on small tortures of the chained bard, Saminda. Vix stood by, mostly silent, seething, but awaiting the most opportune moment to make a move.

That moment came scant minutes later as Sion, the semi-sorta-kinda-but-not undead elf lover of Saminda, materialized from the crowd and threw himself at Anat Nefzen, Baron of Arcavia. (Sion was not technically undead ... his body was dead, but animated by his own soul via soul gem secreted in his belt. It was an open secret heh).

In the ensuing chaos, Vix immediately moved to the rack and released Saminda from her bindings as Fai, Tris, Razril, and a couple others defended her and the bard. Darkmoor takes special pride in prisoner manacles and locks, and it took Vix long moments to pick them and bypass the magical wards built into each one without killing herself or Saminda in the process.

Emerald, Elron, and the other Hamptonshire politicos helped detain Sion and quell the riot surrounding the assassination attempt. Cherry Bernita and a mage whose name escapes me at the moment took charge of Saminda and spirited her away and out of Darkmoor. There was no opportunity for Saminda to speak to Vix , just time enough for her to gently stroke an ebon-hued cheek with a bloody hand before she was gone. Vix and the others were arrested.

Due to conflicting accounts and the general chaos, plus the miraculous fact no one was killed, and the sensitive political nature the entire debacle had turned into, the group was placed into a special holding cell deep inside the Magic Academy. Guards both physical and magical were placed.

Still with much suspicion of each other, the group worked together to distract the guards and temporarily disable the wards allowing Vix to escape the cell and retrieve their weapons and other small items confiscated. They had been left their armor and clothing in a political concession pending further adjudication of their conditions.

Vix disabled the guards and was passing the gear and weaponry through to her comrades of necessity when Anat, the Vizier, Mereado, and dozens of guards and mages entered to commence the official charges. There was a brief moment of confusion at the downed guards, broken wards, and a drow standing defiantly outside the supposedly impregnable cell now filled with armed and angry prisoners.

Inside the cell, the other half of the plan was hurriedly put into effect: a large, magical ruby, stolen fro mthe horde of a dragon-mage, was used to teleport the entire group out. The sheer amount of energies needed for this was demanding, and took several long moments to activate, depleting the gem in the process.

Anat and his retinue did not hesitate, but began to attack.

Vix resigned herself to her fate, satisfied Saminda was out of the reach of Anat and that several other friends would escape. Dropping into a battle-ready crouch, she awaited the oncoming rush of guards and magic, hoping to buy even a second more for those in the cell behind to escape.

She took several hard blows and a barrage of magical missiles before the dull red glow and keening wail behind her let her know the magic was activated. She smiled grimly as Anat himself swung his massive sword to remove her head from her shoulders.

At the last moment, Fai shot her arm out through the bars and gripped Vix's shoulder like an eagle's talon. Vix vanished along with the other, Anat's howl of rage following them through the magical vortex.

The story of how the small, disparate group fought their way out the depths of the fire-creature infested volcano they now found themselves in is another story. As are the following years of having a death warrant on her head from not only all drow houses, but now Darkmoor. And how Vix eventually conned anat into removing the warrant in lieu of her becoming a spy in his employ, and how she became the wife of Razgril Kelethen, the former vampire now Commander of the Arcavian armies, a gave birth to two children, then was later lost to the Shadow Realm in a secret bargain made to save the lives of her unborn children years earlier.

I should have some of those tales .. somewhere ...

 

anything