Chapter 3: Another way

 
Tarner says, "Logic dictates that Tailen would feel anger at our supposed 'failure' to kill Nymeria. Records indicate that an angry drow is among the deadliest kinds of drow. Through careful consideration, I communicate my wish to investigate this reproduction of the creature that has been slain previous."

Fortune

Fortune looks slightly confused at Tarner, replaying his words in her mind several times. Even so, she fails to make sense of it. In fact, she feels quite stupid, not understanding what he means.

"I'm sorry, Tarner, I am not following you. Could you rephrase it? Make it..." Fortune swallows, clearly uncomfortable, "... easier to understand?"

After a further discussion, the group slowly reaches the consensus of going to talk to the "Nymeria" first. As the night wears on, the group eats together and goes to bed in their section of the servants' quarters. Tarner takes the time to appraise Jil of the goings' on of the drow house, so that the Githzerai doesn't get in too much hot water. Jil also belatedly realizes that he is, at this point, effectively a slave of the drow. Hopefully, it is not a permanent condition, and it beats being at the beck and mercy of whatever beasts lurk in the Underdark.

What passes for a morning dawns in the undercave, and our intrepid heroes get up, wash up, and head to meet Nymeria in her quarters. They are let into the second nicest room in the house--a large apartment, the main hall of which is currently occupied by a table laden with food. You've not had breakfast yet.

Nymeria is sitting at the head of the table, and motions for you to move in. She is alone, except for a deep gnome decked out in armor standing at attention next to her chair. Ah, you've come. I told you as much Merill, did I not? They're a smart bunch. A fairly loyal one as well . . . Tailen still managed to scare you off, no? She points to the food at the table, sit, eat. We've much to discuss. But let me say this right off the bat--you are going to be working for me from now on. Any other path you wish to take will most likely lead to your untimely deaths.

She smirks, patting Merill next to her, and here's the person that is going to be keeping an eye on you for me . . . until we've grown to trust each other more. After all, loyal as you are, we wouldn't wish to tempt you too much.


Tarner looks down at the food, his arms folded across his chest in a gesture of submission. "I apologize, Mistress Nymeria, but I have no mouth to eat with, nor internal organs with which to digest. My battery was fully charged last night, and that is all that I require." He stands there with his arms folded, unable to eat the food placed in front of him and, frankly, glad for it, since he suspects it may be poisoned, but he cannot voice his suspicions aloud.

Gruunk Bloodfist
Half-orc Barbarian (Berserker)
Current HP: 57/57 Bloodied: 28 Healing Surges Used: 0/9 (17)
Conditions:



Gruunk eyes the food on the table and shrugs. "I could eat," he says and pulls up a chair. He puts his huge axe (assuming they are allowed to keep such things) on the table and grabs for some food. He doesn't bother with utensils. With a mouth full of mindflayer eggs, he says, "So, let's stop playing 'flog the pony,' 'kay? We killed Nymeria back in the dragon cave. What do you want and why aren't we dead? Umm...Mistress."

Bits of grimlock bacon fly out of his mouth as he talks. He eyes the
Err...I mean deep
damn gnome and "drow" suspciously, also glancing around the room for their hidden back up."


Standing, rather than sitting, Jil nods his head at the invitation to eat, but gestures with his hand and simply says, "This one knows it is rude to break fast before the host has begun. If it pleases you, sample what you will and then a man will join in. As the savage has stated, this one saw your likeness die, so a man is confused as to how you are standing before us."

Fortune

Fortune studies both the deep gnome and Nymeria, trying to get a feel on them. She disguises her suspicion with nervousness... after all, they are in her grasp, right?

Gruunk's straightforwardness helps a lot. No need to ask questions when someone else does, she thinks as she takes a seat. She's shivering ever so slightly. Her feelings are a mix of suspicion, anxiety and excitement. The food in front of her remains untouched. She tries to divert her eyes from Nymeria as much as she can afford while trying to pick up as much information as possible.


Nymeria sighs, pointing to the food, it's not poisoned. Seriously, if I wanted the four of you dead, there really wouldn't be much need to go to this an elaborate a ritual to do so. The drow are quite handy in providing both ample excuses, and ample ways of dealing with underlings that happen to displease their masters.

She nods to Gruunk, and see, your companion is enjoying the food. It's fine, so eat. And furthermore, it seems as if the half-orc has the best questions of you lot. The half-demon gives a toothy grin. You aren't dead because I have need of you. As nice as my position here is, it leaves me somewhat busy to deal with some of the more mundane tasks that need doing. And you've proven yourself as capable warriors and a good team in your recent adventure, and you're already a part of the house--so you will have an easier time in getting around it and the city.

She leans back in her chair, As for what I want of you, well . . . your first assignment is going to be very simple. I want you to attack and destroy a certain wagon in a caravan currently driving towards the city. It's a regular trade caravan that makes its way from Avrala every few months, so the mission is more a test of skill and loyalty than anything else.

She leans forward again, the caravan is due to arrive at the city gate in about two weeks. Your mission is to intercept it and destroy the wagon bearing this mark . . . she shows a symbol that seems to be some kind of a simple alchemical inscription--something one might find on the front of a magic shop, and destroy every single thing in it. The caravan is quite well guarded, so you may have to approach this problem creatively. And, of course, Merill will come along to supervise and oversee your operation and tactics.

Nymeria looks around, then smiles. Now, if you've any other questions, shut up. Eat what you wish, and get going. If you don't succeed in the mission within two weeks, you can consider your lives forfeit. And the same goes if you share the details of the mission with anyone else. That is all.


Gruunk Bloodfist
Half-orc Barbarian (Berserker)
Current HP: 57/57 Bloodied: 28 Healing Surges Used: 0/9 (17)
Conditions:



Gruunk finishes the food in his mouth with a great swallow and says, "You gonna give us any more tools or tricks, or is the gnome it?"

The half-Orc doesn't push his previously unanswered question. The lack of an answer answered well enough. He waits until they are out of her presence before saying the simple phrase, "That ain't her. Tailen or just go? Might be good to have more info before we talk to the pissed off drow. So I say just go...um, if we vote on such things."

The berserker regards the deep gnome, but decides not to say anything right now.

"Forgive this one's curiosity, but a man is new to these ranks, as one as great as you should know. How is it a man saw you die yet here you stand? That is quite the impressive trick! This one has only seen it once, at a street fair many years ago, and it involved a set of twin brothers. I'm sure your trick is much more elaborate, for the drow seem to constantly strive to outdo the rest of the world. Can you share its secret with a man?" Jil says, ignoring her part about more questions and crafting his elaborate story.




 

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