Chapter 6 - South to Saerloon

   
"Beg for death?" said the necromancer curiously. He had never known one of the masters of his craft to ever beg for such a thing, and he had killed a couple. In fact, it had been quite the opposite. They begged for life, or unlife as the case might be. Lucifer himself wasn't one to beg for death, but to conquer it. He smiled slightly at the assassin. "One does not simply beg for death. Do you mean to say that I will plead for my life, or do you mean, as some of my old masters did, that I will plead to have my soul remain intact? You see, my craft is the craft of death. I do not fear death, for I will become the master of death."

Again, he gave the assassin a wide smile as he moved to the rear of the party. Lucifer rather liked the assassin, he knew where he stood with the man. Seeing the party moving into an order of sorts, Lucifer guided Dusk Taker to the middle of the caravan.

"Hail and well met," Martin said to the newcomer, of whom he had been curious since the man had tagged along with them on their way to Saerb. The man and his pet... lizard? They'd mostly kept to themselves after joining the party and he hoped to learn more about them now that they were together in this ka-tet to Saerloon with the Paladin and the Assassin. Truth be told, the Order Initiate was more than intrigued by the shaman's mount. In his youth serving with his father he'd seen all manner of strange and interesting creatures, but never one such as the scaly mount his companion rode. "Didja find anything interesting out back?"

The raptor rider comes closer finally, all the details about his persona becoming visible to everyone.

What before appeared to be plants coming out of his head, is actually his hair, dark brown in essence, decorated with a number of leaves and petals that got stuck and he didn't bother to take out. The hair, which was once dishevelled and unwashed, is now somewhat cleaner than in Saerb and arranged in several rasta, falling to the middle of the man's back.
Another interesting feature is that he really is covered in ivy. Apparently originating from a choker around his neck, the ivy extends throughout his body, covering it all except face, hands and feet. Hanging from his neck is also an amulet with the shape of a scorpion, made of what looks like a golden mineral of unknown source, amber in colour. On his back, a snake-skin cloak extends to the sides of his saddle, though how the craftsman managed to make it look like one piece of skin surpasses you; no snake is big enough to yield so much skin.

Looking at his face, one immediately notes the strange hue to his colour. He seems to be somewhat dark of colour like those people on the sun-lit countries, but it seems to be mixed with a strange green substance that covers his face and his body as well. A closer inspection reveals that it seems some kind of mold growing on his skin, or maybe a plant or lichen. Whatever it is, it doesn't bother him at all. His eyes are dark brown like the deepest creases of the forest and are semi-closed, though he is attentive to his surroundings. His lips form a slight smile, as if he knows of a joke the others don't.

Seeing Garak's raised hand, Kesendaran chuckles and rises his own, responding to the greeting. The shadowed-one seems somewhat pleased to see him, even if 'pleased' is a strange word to attribute to the tiefling. Another one of the caravan greets Kesendaran, to which the shaman gives a stare. Not a hard one, he just... stares.

Ghar'ra gains an interest for that particular humanoid, extending his neck to sniff him. It is only then that Martin may notice how fearsome it is to have such a big head with so many big teeth extending in his direction, even though the creature is visibly curious and not alarmed. The raptor sniffs the air and then brings his head back again, growling softly. The shaman pats his animal's neck, calming it, and then replies to the greeting with a few words.

Greetin's. I be seein' dat ye've made some new acquaintances, aye Shadowed One? His first words go to Garak, half-teasing, half-recognizing the new additions. Many many t'ings be interestin'. Da road had plenty o' interestin' t'ings ta see. But I be moah interest'd in wut is ta come, rather than wut 'as pass'd. He extends his hand forward, showing Martin his intention on continuing march and sends Ghar'ra forward, the lizard moving his heavy feet, one after the other, with no effort at all.

If any fear is in Martin, he does not show it and simply nodded in response to the shaman's reply. "Yes, we'll be moving on now, palaver's done and much travel ahead."

Turning, Martin went back to Lucifer. "If it please you, may I ride in your cart? I fear I'm the only one unmounted and do not wish to slow the group down."

Khel's blue eyes brightened when the halfling offered him the feather. Thank you, thank you! he quickly put away the long feather in one of his many pockets before the rider could change his mind. At that point he was close enough to the magnificent beast that he decided he might as well touch it. He hesitantly leaned forward.... when his attention once again was distracted by something else.

A tree-like bush-like? humanoid had joined them on the road. And once again, however interesting was the rider, the curious gnome's attention was grabbed instantly by the mount. A Deinonychus... odd... I thought that there weren't any dinosaurs around here. Knowing full well that the animal was carnivorous, he spurred his spectral horse to get closer to the newcomer and Martin, the archer that had approached him.

Once he realized that the dinosaur was not going to eat the human he gave out a small 'huff' of disappointment and decided that he could not pass this opportunity to observe the animal better. His horse brought him quickly close to the raptor but the animal hissed and jerked away to maintain the distance.

Being now closer, Khel noticed that the newcomer was a human after all, even if he seemed to have a odd fetish for plants Sorry, I forgot that my mount scares animals he said with a pale smile. Any chance you could give me one of his scales? Or a tooth? A small one? Please?



Lucifer gave a slight glance at Martin and smiled faintly, a cadaverous grin like that of the Reaper himself. "You are welcome to my cart for this journey. Help yourself to the wine or the ale if it pleases you. Mind not the quartet of dogs, they only act if ordered. And please, stay out of the sacks. They contain only food for my dogs and my horse."

Lucifer's animals would pay no mind to the Phantom Steed oh Khel's. They'd become accustomed enough to Lucifer and his aura of fear that such abnormalities didn't phase them.

Kesendaran eyes the blue-eyed man with curiosity, until Ghar'ra's sudden jerk makes him wobble on the saddle. Recovering his balance, the shaman pats the raptor's neck and emits a calming whisper to its ears, making him return to its normal pace. His stare then shifts onto Khel's mount, which he appraises for a
Spellcraft:
Dice Roll:
1d20+9
d20 Results: 11 (Total = 20)
Knowledge nature:
Dice Roll:
1d20+13
d20 Results: 16 (Total = 29)
long time before answering.

Ghar'ra is not used ta ride so close ta odah animals. But dat be not an ordinary horse, is it? He jerks his head, pointing to the horse's hooves and odd colour. If ya be wantin' a tooth of him, ya make sure y'are ok wit' givin' it a piece o'ya. If not... Ya can wait 'til dem scales fall down. Shu'dnt take long now 'till it's time. He smiles to Kehl and bows slightly with his head, showing his good-nature taunt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steampunkadept View Post
"Beg for death?" said the necromancer curiously. He had never known one of the masters of his craft to ever beg for such a thing, and he had killed a couple. In fact, it had been quite the opposite. They begged for life, or unlife as the case might be. Lucifer himself wasn't one to beg for death, but to conquer it. He smiled slightly at the assassin. "One does not simply beg for death. Do you mean to say that I will plead for my life, or do you mean, as some of my old masters did, that I will plead to have my soul remain intact? You see, my craft is the craft of death. I do not fear death, for I will become the master of death."
As he rode towards the rear of the party, the assassin made his reply, loud enough for everybody to hear, just to make sure they all knew his position on the matter. "Beg for death means that I will introduce you to pain worse than anything you could ever imagine, and you will beg me to end your life instead of allowing the torture to continue. If you can speak with the dead, I carry parts of several people that failed to heed to my words. If you wish, you can ask them for a clearer understanding."

His words were cold and were spoken with an even, emotionless tone. From Garak's words, it was clear that he cared little for pleasantries or other people. After all, to him, everybody was eventually a target marked for death. The only difference was whether their usefulness had expired yet or not.

As he scanned the woods for signs of trouble, the tiefling felt a slight pull at his mind coming from his right. Quickly looking that way, he only saw Kohl. They met eyes for a brief moment, and then the dog continued to quietly run back and forth among the trees after giving him a wink and a nod. Garak didn't understand what had just happened or if it had been Kohl that somehow had reached out to his mind.

Wait a minute...did Kohl just wink and nod at me?!?, Garak thought to himself. In a very rare moment, the assassin's expression turned to one of confusion. He replayed the scene in his mind several times, and was sure of what he saw Kohl do. Garak finally shook his head, clearly not understanding any of it, and resumed his silent watch of the woods...falling back into his usual emotionless expression.

Hearing the assassin's boast, Lucifer let out a small chuckle. Pain worse than he could imagine? He, who was tainted with the flow of negative energy itself? He had felt the touch of a Wrack spell imbued with positive energy to heighten it's power against him. Pain held nothing for him, he had passed the tests of pain the masters had given him, and it had changed him. His touch, poison to living beings could cause his wounds to regenerate. And that negative energy, that touch that could heal him, was pain beyond what most mortals could bare.

"Pain means nothing to me," he said softly, mostly to himself as he smiled at the Assassin's word. Yes, he was beginning to like the assassin, the man would be a wonderful ghoul some day.

Oh nonononono, Sir, the tooth won't be necessary the gnome said while his spectral horse, as if he was reacting to a mental command, carried him a way from the shaman. I will wait for the scales to fall off, thank you, very much appreciated Khel had always lived in mixed communities and he had learned Common so well that he had almost no accent, but when surprised or under stress his gnomish tendency to speak so fast that there was no real pause between words would surface again.

He went back to the line, but when he heard the assassin's words threatening the entire group, his scholar's pride surfaced, surprising the usually humble gnome. After you have dealt with the Lower Planes as long and as intimately as he did, threats of pain and torture seemed quite hollow. Demons and Devils had perfected that art beyond mortals' capabilities and freely shared their teachings with practical examples at any opportunity.

Khel shook his head and spurred his mount forward, the spectral horse easily outpacing everyone else, and caught up with the paladin. Joachim right? I heard that you have been traveling with him for a while he pointed at Garak, much farther down the caravan, with his left thumb behind his shoulder Is he for real? They didn't tell me I had to travel with dimwits




 

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