Saturday, October 15, 2011

SCI-FI FANTASY FRIDAY! ACTION SOCIETY #6

Fantasy Friday

I play Dungeons and Dragons every Friday. That is to say I run a 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign every Friday set in the country of Beniro. As such I've decided to chronicle the hero's adventures from the perspective of different characters my friends play. Each week and each short chapter I will rotate the perspective so you can get a feel for all the characters. I will try my best to capture my friend's characters and the adventures they go on. I might change some elements but know I do it for the story.

A lot of the art I will be using is not credited, so if you know the artist, tell me and I'll label it appropriately.
CHAPTER 1- Lorafaine 
CHAPTER 2- Aramil
CHAPTER 3 - Ryjac
CHAPTER 4- Lucius
CHAPTER 5- Nadarr

THE ACTION SOCIETY
BOOK 1
RISE OF THE WHITE SPIDER
CHAPTER 6
LORA FAINE


Lora Faine leaned against the stone wall behind her, the arch over the great iron doors of the Undergate overhead, and the sound of footfalls, clacking down the street, signaled she was going to be joined soon by that dragonborn knight. She had been waiting under the arch for a while and had almost drifted off to sleep. Lora Faine was the first of the adventurers to make it to the arch and, besides the gate guards who sat around a brazier filled with smoldering logs. The druid had begun to worry about who would show up first. She was a little relieved to know that Nadarr would be arriving before the others.

Lora Faine had never met a dragonborn before and, while others might be intimidated, the opportunity that arose as she waited to speak with the King about his request was would have been too much of a waste to ignore. Yet, just as she was about to go introduce herself, the knight had started up a conversation with her. Lora Faine had always read about gallant knights, and though she had not expected one so scaly, Nadarr was as chivalrous and cordial as the most handsome knight in her books. As he came over the hill and the shuffling of his armor became a little louder, she gave him a small wave and greeted him, “Good morning, sir-knight.”

            “M’lady,” Nadarr replied and gave her a little bow. Lora Faine had never been bowed to before, besides at a dance hall, and she found the whole affair a little too formal but sweet, so she responded with a rather unrefined curtsy. He chuckled softly and said, “I pray you have had a good morning.”

            Lora Faine bit her lip and replied, “I have, but I would be lying if I told you that I was not a little nervous.”

            “Nervous?” Nadarr scoffed. “And why should you be nervous?” 

            Lora Faine searched his toothy smile for a moment before explaining herself. “You aren’t nervous about going into the Underwold?”

            “Anxious, but not nervous. I am itching to see what terrible monsters lay behind the gate,” Nadarr said.

            “I am not itching to see what lies on the other side of that door,” Lora Faine paused, looking back at the foot thick metal doors, “what lies on the other side of that door cannot be good for either of us.”

            “Aye, you’re right,” Nadarr admitted, “but it is good for the people of Doktham,” he added with a sanctimonious air.

            Lora Faine nodded, “I suppose you’re right.”

            “And if it’s the monsters you fear,” the knight pounded the chest piece of his armor with a cocky snort, “I will shield you from harm, in the name of Kord, I do swear it.”

            She smiled weakly at him and said, “Thank you, Nadarr, but it’s not the monsters I am worried about.” 

            Before Nadarr could further question her, Lora Faine was relieved that, he was interrupted by the arrival of Aramil, as he walked over the hill. The slim figure’s hood hung over his face, as he stopped next to the Nadarr, and grunted, “Morning.” Lora Faine and Nadarr returned the greeting. Lora Faine noticed how tense Aramil was when she saw him the day before. Most people were relaxed and showed some sign of shifting their weight. Yet, Aramil’s posture was like a bow string pulled back by an expert hand, unmoving and ready to let loose fury on an unwary target. He moved like a mountain lion on the prowl and that made her a little uncomfortable.

            “The drow hasn’t shown herself yet, has she?” Aramil asked them.

Nadarr looked to Lora Faine and she nervously answered, “No. It is just us three, so far.”

            “You think she would be the first here,” Aramil said as he looked over his shoulder and around, “It’s her bloody city we’re trying to save, right?”

            “I am sure that she will come soon,” Nadar said. Lora Faine watched as the dragonborn tried to catch Aramil’s eye, “Master Chezz assured us that she was the best ranger in all of Doktham.”

            “The king didn’t seem to be so sure,” Aramil replied, sharply, “He seemed to think she was a little too green. This drow wants to send us out there with his little niece and we might as well be on a wild goose chase.”

            Nadarr cleared his throat, “I do not believe Master Chezz would send his niece on this mission unless he believed she was capable.”

            “Capable of what?” Aramil sighed, “She was practically in tears at the sight of that old dwarf’s coughing and wheezing.”

            Lora Faine listened as Nadarr tried to calm down Aramil, but it was obvious that the half-elf was in no mood to be reasonable. He seemed frustrated with the results of yesterday’s meeting and had barely been able to contain himself before she saw him storm out of the room after pulling his hood back up over his head. She tried to ignore the two as they argued the merits of their quest. She was not sure about why she was being invited along for the dangerous trek either. Lora Faine was an herbalist and knew the ins and outs of natural medicine but she was not sure that she was the best druid for the job. Just as the argument was getting bitter and repetitive, with Aramil tripping up Nadarr’s simplistic argument and Nadarr’s breathing seemed to get a little heavier, another member of their fellowship made his way down the hill. It was the confident stride of the tiefling mage, carrying a heavy rut sack over his shoulders, and tail wagging lazily behind him.

            Lucius walked up right between Nadarr and Aramil, interrupting their argument, and stood before Lora Faine. Before she could greet him, he took off his hat from where it had been tucked between his two horns, and gave her the deepest bow she had ever seen. Then, in one fluid motion, took his hand, kissed her knuckles and said, “Good morning, my most fair and buxom maiden.” He leered up at her from the end of her hand, her nose wrinkled but her arm was frozen in his grasp, “I do hope that you did not spend all night waiting to see if I would come to see you at your room. I would never take advantage of someone as sweet and lovely as you.”

            “Erk,” she jerked her hand out Lucius’s sweaty palm, “Good morning to you too.” Nadarr cleared his throat and clasped a hand on Lucius shoulder just as he returned his hat to his head.

            “Good morning, friend,” Nadarr smiled toothily, “I do hope you did not stay up too late with libations. I saw you with more than a bottle of wine across the dining hall of the inn last night.”

            “Probably up all night listening on the elf’s door,” Aramil leered at the tiefling with distaste. 

            Lucius laughed, carefully pulling the clawed hand of the scaly paladin from his shoulder and turning to greet the two men, “The wine was shared with a lovely companion I met and talked in length with about my health and longevity.” He turned his gaze to Aramil and rebutted his glare with a smirk, “I’m sorry. I didn’t apologize for you spending all night pining for me too. I would kiss your hand but I would hate to give you such a thrill.”

            Lora Faine watched as Aramil, his arms a green blur, swung his bow off of his back and aimed an arrow right at Lucius’s face, “I would watch your tongue, hellspawn.”

            Lucius froze and said, “Wait a moment, it was only in jest.”

            “In jest? Perhaps, you would like to ingest one of my arrows?”Aramil snarled. 

Nadarr seemed to have been so taken aback, not quite catching the nature of Lucius’s joke and, unlike Lora Faine, his eyes were unable to follow Aramil’s movements. He gently placed a hand on Aramil’s arm, “Come now. An insult is not worth a life. Especially, the life of an ally.”

            “An ally?” Aramil pushed Nadarr’s hand away from his arm but kept his bow aimed directly at Lucius’s face as he spat, “He is a lusty little worm and cowardly weakling who will buckle under the first sign of trouble. The druid is far too sweet and shy for her own good. You are barely hatched and carrying a sword far too heavy for you. We are not allies. I do not even know why we agreed to follow that drow, Ryjara, into the Nine Hells and back. I should leave.”

            SWKK! Aramil’s arrow fell to the ground with a clack, as his bowstring was cut in two, and a black dagger sunk into the ground next to her feet. “Then leave.” A quite voice rang through the silent dark as Lora Faine, and all three of the others, looked up to a nearby roof. Standing on the corner of a roof, glaring down at them, was the drow ranger, looking quite irritated as she slid down the side of the building she had been standing on and landed softly behind Lucius. She pulled Lucius back and stood in front of Aramil. Aramil lowered his bow to the ground and Lora Faine watched as everyone stared at the little figure in the blue cloak.

            “You can leave. You can leave right now and go home.” The drow said calmly, “King Duhnkin is not going to send anyone after you. You can just go right now because I don’t need to be babysitting any blood-thirsty idiots in my city, much less dragging their arses through the Underwold.”

            “I want you all to come, but if you are going to want to start more nonsense like that beyond the Undergate, you can leave.” The drow looked around at them, “This is not some joke to me. The King has asked you all to help us and, in exchange, he will forget all your silly little debts that you or whatever organizations you represent up above owed him.”

            “If you come with me there is something you need to understand. Out there,” the drow pointed at the gate, “out there is a world of darkness and hunger that would love nothing more than to swallow us up. The only thing standing between that world and the above world is places like Doktham. If Doktham falls, then the darkness rises. And if the darkness rises, we all fall.”

            They all stared at the little imposing figure and Nadarr fell to one knee, “I will follow you.”

            “As will I, my fair lady, Ryjina,” Lucius gave her a deep bow.

            Lora Faine gulped and nodded, “I suppose I must go, as well.”

            All eyes turned on Aramil, who was glaring at the drow’s feet and then turned, “I got no choice.” He fiddled with his bowstring.

            “Very well, then,” the drow smiled and helped Nadarr to his feet, “You will all do whatever I say, understood?”

            “Most definitely.” Lucius answered as he came around and took the drow’s hand, kissing it, “And may I say, Miss Ryjarah, I would follow you any- OWIE!”

            The drow had jerked his wrist up and, twisted it, before letting him fall back with a smirk, “Thank you, Mister Lucius. But my name is Ryjac.”

 ****** 

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