Reclaiming Cherod, The Fallen Kingdom (MacabreFox & EWilden)
Tensions between the two most prevalent kingdoms, Cherod and Angard had slowly escalated for the past quarter of a century. King Lehrum of Cherod was actually cousin to King Roden of Angard. The reason for the tension? Queen Eyra, bethrothed to King Lehrum. According to lore, King Roden wooed Lady Eyra of Peydinhal, she did not yield to him. Rather, she accepted the bethrothal to King Lehrum. Roden's hurt slowly, as time would have it, turned to hate and want for revenge. Roden first started his act of venegance by sacking small villages that bordered the two kingdoms. Annoyed, Lehrum sent messenger after messenger to warn, sometimes to placate the angered monarch. Alas, naught seemed to work.
Times took a drastic change for the worst when Roden began to send small, yet formiddable armies into Cherod. They pillaged,murdered, and raped. Again Lehrum warned Roden, but his words fell upon deaf ears. Roden never relinquished control of the villages he claimed. And then that dreadful evening had befell the entire Palace City of Cherod when Roden's men stormed the capital city, their tunics of dark green and silver draped over their chainmail armour. The Palace Guard was not prepared for such an attack, there was an ongoing festival to which the citizens celebrated with much jubilee. The Festival of Lights, a festival that had the entire set alight in glowing luminarias and swaying paper lanterns.
Fear and panic set in amongst the people as they heard the screams and cries from the citizens that faced the brunt of Roden's forces.
Aryl son of Lehrum, daughter of Eyra had sat next to his mother, the beloved Queen on a dais, receiving cituzens. Many offered their blessings to Aryl, in hope for his search for a bride. Aryl was a strong and serious young man, his face reflected that, with a firm, square jaw, a broad nose with a slight hook to it, and a stern brow. His eyes were silver and his locks that graced his shoulders were as black as night. Before he could recant, his aide, Garwin had ushered him off the dais, yellung all the while, "Run Aryl! Save yourself!" He pushed Aryl in the direction of the Palace Gardens.
Amongst the people of Cherdon was Captain of the Royal Elven Guard, Robeline Anovyne-Faeral. She had stood next to Aryl, discreetly of course, and watched over him with much caution. Robeline stood tall, around 5'8, her sinewy arms showed from beneath her burgundy and gold tunic. Her eyes were a pale gold and her hair the colour of wheat lit by the setting sun. Robeline was a rather intimidating figure. Aryl, the following morning, would set out with Captain Robeline to the land of the Elves, to seek council with the Queen. Garwin had rushed Aryl off the dais as Robeline witnessed a soldier of Angard thrust his blade into the King's chest, slaying him. Other soldiers surrounded Queen Eyra and made off with her into the night. The screams only intensified as the people were slaughtered like lambs led to the butchers block. Robeline acted quickly, and fled after Aryl, she had to protect him, no matter the cost.
He sat in a wooden chair which barely held his weight. Three Angard soldiers stood over him one was rubbing his wrist and hand after he tried to hit the creature they bound. The creature was big and muscular. His scales black with the soft under skin of his neck was red. He had gold eyes with black pupils shaped like that of a reptile. He had little to none bruises on his body. His scales acted like a natural armor. He had a crest on top of his head much like a mohawk. His tail was long and thick like a crocodiles. He snarled at the human who had almost broke his hand against his boney cheek. "Is that the best you got?. A hobbit hits harder then you do" He taunted. He was buying time for his friend to scout out the castle. Her mission to see the condition of the royal family. Him and her lived here for most of there lives and they loved the festivals and just about everything. When the screams came he used himself as a distraction while she had a look see. The human hearing the insult fell for the taunt as he raised up his arm cocked it back closing his hand in a fist. It came crashing down at him until suddenly the man's neck jerked back. The soldier instinctfuly reached his hands up to his neck. He turned around and what Urthak could see was a crossbow bolt lodged in the back. The bolt was twelve inches long and thirty centimeters wide. The other two drew their swords and looked about the basement looking for the origin and suddenly they were ingulfed in flames and they quickly let go of their swords and began patting at their cloths and chest trying to distinguish them. The flames would not go out and out of the lack of mind they failed to notice they were not burning either. The man with the bolt in his neck was already on the ground dead with foam out the mouth. The other two began rolling on the ground desperate to put out the flames. Then his friend walked in. She drew out her rapier and with two swift and focused swings she split open their necks killing them. She looked to Urthak and moved to his side cutting his binds.
"So any luck finding them?" He asked her. Cassandra frowned and looked up at him shaking her head.
"The king is dead while some of the Angard soldiers made of with the queen. The prince wasnt there at all so he must have escaped himself." Cassandra answered. Cassandra was a special rare breed of elves called drow or dark elves. Her skin darkened and black with a purple tint when light caught it. Her eyes were a vivid color like her lips. She had silver white hair as well. She was dressed in a black chain shirt which was partially covered, mostly her upper body, by a brown leather tunic. She had chain pants as well that was not covered at all. She black leather boots covered her feet. She weared a pendant around her neck silver it was. The pendant was the shape of a spider with a hourclass shape on its abdomin. The symbol of the spider queen. Both Urthak and Cassandra were close friends and both rare in this region of the world. Urthak was of the lizardfolk who are often found in the swamps or deserts. Drow they were found in the dark places of the earth so they were even more rare. Both lived in the city using their skills for the betterment of the people and for a good profit as well. They were of course loyalists. They believed if the kingdom was to reform that the heir of the throne must survive.
After Cassandra had cut him lose he rose up out of the chair and turned to face her. He clasped his huge hands on her shoulders and pressed his forehead against hers. "We must find him, he likely escaped with Robeline so we better as well. We will search the area outside the city for them." He said and she nodded agreeingly. He then moved his head away and dropped his hands from her shoulders. He moved to one of the soldiers and retrieved a sword and a shield. He then took the steel arm bracers and placed them on. With that he strapped the sheath to his waist. He looked up to find her waiting at the foot of the stairs. She was a rogue and he was a monk. A odd mix but it had advantages. He followed her upwards quietly and quickly openning the large wooden outside entrence to the basement of the tavern. She looked around and then gestured to him that it was safe. They retreated down the allyway. "Well we cant climb the walls so whats your bet Urthak?" She asked. Urthak smirked and she did not like the look of that. "The canal then?" She asked and he answered with a nod. There was a canal that cut through a portion of the city and it acted as a place to dispose of wastes as well. Not everyone used it as such but there were some. They made there way there using stealth if possible. When they made it they both entered the water and began to move through it. When they came to the walls the found a metal bars blocking there way. He waved Cassandra up and pointed at them. "Doing your thing woman and get us out of here" He said.
Cassandra , if I hadn't arleady mentioned it, was a rogue so she was equiped with many items that made steal or salvaging easier. One was a vile of stomich acid from a purple worm. Purple worms were huge and the acid of their stomichs were just as dangerous. They could melt or burn through dragon scales. She plopped open the vile and flicked the liquid upon the bars and they began to melt enough for them to get through. They made it outside finally and with that most of the army was focused on the entrences so the place was quiet. With that said they began to move along the walls towards the palace. If the prince and his personal gaurds were to escape they would do so around there.
In the gardens of the inner palace held a secret passageway that led to the outside, beyond the castle walls. This is where Robeline led Aryl. She was here solely on diplomatic business. She didn't expect to handle this. Aryl and her had run through the mazes of hedges before coming upon a wall covered in a large amount of vines, it was thick like carpet. Robeline reached her hand in through the vines and groped, until she clasped a cold iron bolt. Sliding it back, she glanced over her shoulder. "Come away at once Prince Aryl. Into the darkness we must go." Said she as she grasped his wrist and pulled him into a dark, dank tunnel.
"Captain, are we tucking our cowardly tails between our legs and fleeing like dogs? Why do we not stay and fight?" Demanded Aryl as Robeline conjured up a glowing orb that pulsated a deep red. With her hand firmly about the Prince's wrist, Robeline was sure not to lose him.
"Your Majesty please. Save your questions for a later, more convenient time." Answered Robeline as she led the way. Before long, the red orb of light picked out the features of a wooden door. Sliding back the rusted door bolt proved to be of some difficulty. It eventually yielded and opened up to reveal the darkness of the night. Robeline cautiously poked her head out of the doorway and looked for signs of Roden's men. Seeing none, Robeline proceeded out into the new environment with Aryl tagging along behind her. Something caught her eye off to the right as she took note of something glimmering in the moonlight.
Hair? Yes...dark elves were known particularly for their starlight coloured locks. In fact, there could be one dark elf in Cherdon...Cassandra the Rogue. It seemed that Aryl noticed too.
"Lady Cassandra!" Aryl called out, waving his arm, trying to catch her eye. Aryl knew of Cassandra and her deeds that she provided for the sole purpose of bettering Cherdon. Robeline scolded him, "Hush! You will give us away to our enemies. Follow me." She led Aryl towards the dark elf, and noticed another figure with her, only the outline. It seemed some sort of lizardman stood alongside her. She recognized the body, but couldn't place a name. They were close enough to see the whites of their eyes.
Cassandra's ears twitched as she heard her name being called. She turned her head about the same time as Urthak. She smiled glad that they would not have to search too far for them. She looked to Urthak and she moved her fingers into signals. Drow sign language was what she was using. She taught him how to read them for it had its benefiets such as stealth. What she told him was to follow her to Robeline and the prince. Urthak followed in behind unlike Cassandra he was completely darkened by the night. His gold eyes were the only things that stood out. Cassandra of course had her beautiful white hair. Every couple of stepps Urthak would taste the air and look behind him just to make sure that none of those bastards were in persuit. The prince obviously had no clue as how much danger he was in. The four of them were not a force to be reckoned with and he knew his own limits. Yes he could stay and fight back and kill what five or ten gaurds maybe more if they had no range support from bowmen, which they likely would but the main worry was not him but Cass. She was a rogue not built for open war such as this. She was better at hitting from afar or with traps and using her racial abilities. She could not fight a invading army.
When they reached he took a deep breathe and calmed his mind of all that did not matter but the now. "Greetings sire, its nice to see that someone of the royal family came out alive and not in the enemy hands..." He said. He looked to Robeline and he wasnt sure if they meet already. "The names Urthak and you already know my partner. I knew that in your hands he would be safe. Now lets get him out of here and into safety." He said his voice low so as only they could hear.
Cassandra nodded with Urthak agreeingly. "From all our racial statis the elves are our best guest. My kin wont be of much help unless there was a profit in it. As for Urthak's people... they maybe strong but they are not many. Robeline your our best help." She said. She knew of Urthak's people and she was treated with their hospistality once. They had what a tribe of thirty members that could fight. Thirty could not protect them from the enemy. "Yeah and chances are my tribe has already been sacked by that Roden,.." Urthak cut in and then shrugged. "But that is unimportant, first things first is your safety sire. If we are to rise from the ashes of this plight you being your fathers Heir means your priority number 1 for both sides. "
Urthak was a monk. Most monks take the path of non violence but not him. Some monks were not afraid to fight inorder to protect something they love. He went with Cassandra all over not for Cherdon but for her. She was a friend and he loved her in a way. He could not sit in some tavern while she salvaged old ruins or dealt with other such problems. He had to keep her protected. Right now though he knew that there was something bigger going on then the two of them and like he said. He was not afraid to fight for what he loved and Cherdon was 2nd on that list to Cassandra. "Dont worry my Lord, there will be a time to fight but not now."
The dark lizard addressed Aryl with much respect, or at least worthy of his title. "Ah yes. Hopefully my mother is still alive." Aryl looked on at the lizard but could not tear his eyes away from those golden orbs. The lizardman turned his attention to Robeline and identified himself as Urthak.
"And if either of you are unfamiliar with me, I am Captain Robeline Anovyne-Faeral of the Royal Elven Guard. Before we even dare seek refuge with my kin, I need to escort Prince Aryl out of this-" Ka-chunk! Hot searing pain spread through her shoulder as Roden's archery lined the battlements, sending a barbed arrow into the recess of her shoulder. The arrow had slipped between a space in spauldrons. She broke off half of the arrow's feathered shaft and flung it aside. It seemed that Aryl's voiceop had alerted Roden's infiltrating army.
Seizing Aryl's wrist, Robeline grunted as she slung the heir forward. "Run!" Her command came just as a volley of arrows hurtled towards the quartet. She sprinted towards the tree line of the Great Forest, Aryl managed to stumble into the protection of the canopy. Ignoring her burning shoulder, Robeline plunged head long through the thicket. "Your Majesty!" Called out Robeline as she caught up with Aryl.
"We must keep pace with the others. Do you recall the road to Biminy?" He nodded his affirmative and started off in that general direction. Robeline had spent a good deal of time with Aryl before this and taught him many useful things. He now applied those hear, picking his way through the underbrush with utmost care, yet moving fairly quickly.
Urthak seeing the sudden jerk of Robeline's shoulder as the arrow had hit it snarled and turned around raising up his shield using it to bounce of arrows covering the princes retreat and the wounded Robeline. They will have to shake hands later now that their position was given away. He kept backing up and then looked to Cassandra. "you know what to do... slow them down a bit" He said to her as he continued to move backwards covering his as with each step. Cassandra nodded moving in behind Urthak as she pulled forth her hand crossbow. She then placed a bolt in and pulled back the lever and then waved her hand over it and the bolt tip turned black as night. She then used Urthaks shoulder and body as a way to steady her arm. She aimed for the battlements on the walls where the archers where. She then shot the bolt just so that it would logde itself between the stone then a darkness globe expanded large enough to buy them time with the archers as they would now be disoriented. With that Urthak then turned around, Cassandra turned around as well facing the backs of Robeline and Aryl. They then gave pursuit and with their body form it did not take long to catch up.
Cassandra looked at the state of Robeline and sighed. "Come here your going to slow us down if we dont do something about that arrow. We cant pull it out here but I have something to make the area numb so you can keep moving. " She said. She reached into a pouch and moved her fingers through a set of vials and pulled out one. " She twisted it open and then pressed her index finger to the top and turned it upside down and then back up just to wet her finger. She then moved to the elf captain and moved the opening a bit around the arrow and then began to rub the liquid on her finger into entrance wound. The effects should begin to start. A numbness will take place easing her of some pain from the arrow to help the movement of her arm some. They would have to get it out eventual just not now. "Dont ask what the substance was cause you might not want to know.... I am a rogue afterall and if you know my name you know you can trust me. Now lets get far away from this city. The road to Biminy was their destination and she liked the sounds of that. " I have a small safehouse on the way.... its pretty well hidden so we can get there just for a second to remove the rest of that arrow." She then smirked a little. "Also I want to pick up a fiew things such as my bow and trade my hand crossbow for my repeating one. I have a feeling that our friends wont wait long before they start to pursue us so we must be quick about it. "
Cassandra managed to catch up to Robeline. She slowed down, and eventually stopped as Cassandra placed some numbing polutice around the wound. "Biminy ought to be safe as is. We should acquire some mounts there as we stop for your things, Cassandra." Robeline said after Cassandra finished tending to her wound. She took off again at a steady pace, she now led the way as Aryl dropped back to speak with Cassandra. "What was in that vial?" Although she had stopped Robeline from prying, the Prince had his curiosity that needed to be satisfied.
Picking her way through the undergrowth, Robeline emerged into a large clearing. Ahead of them lay a dirt road with a signpost, one sign pointed to the 'City of Cherod' and the other two pointed towards, 'Biminy' and 'Maril' The moon here shown without hinderance from any tree canopy or towering castle spinnerets. Before them lay a large field. Suddenly, Robeline dropped to the ground and began to roll about in the dirt. She covered her face and arms with soil.
"Ah..Captain Robeline..." Aryl started as he watched his protector dirty her skin.
"Hush. Come hither. I'm masking my scent with that of the Earth's. Listen..." She held up a finger and pointed behind her, the sounds of hounds barking and crashing through the forest could be heard behind them. "We're going to have to run now." Robeline warned as Aryl followed Robeline's advice and covered himself with soil.
Looking to Cassandra and Urthak, she waved at them, "Hurry! Those hounds will be upon us any second." Hissed Robeline. She took at a crouched run, with Aryl tagging along behind her like a welp attached to its mother. Right now, the young man, not even 21 yet, looked up to Robeline as a role model. By far, Robeline was quite old to humans, 237, she was actually in her prime as an elf.
Cassandra was feeling a little uneasy about telling him. She looked to Robeline until she was a good deal away and a little distracted by something else and then moved in close to Aryl. "Its the venom from a certain kind of spider. Very rare and it makes its home in the underdark. I added a fiew more components to make it less lethal and more of a pain killing agent. I use it all the time. You must apply the right amount or else your whole body go numb and that is just a disasster waiting to happen." She then saw Robeline getting dirty and Aryl doing the same. 'Your kidding me right?....my silver white hair will get all icky if I do that. Well i do have something better then that and less energy spent.' She put the top of the vial back on squeezing it tight and placing it in the pouch. She then moved to a different pouch and openned it and with the sounds of dogs coming in she had to be quick in her descision and picked one. The vial she pulled our was a dark purple color and she gulped. It could not be helped though. She dripped a fiew drops on her cloths and gestured to Urthak to get up close.
"Your not serious are you?...." He said and the hounds were getting close." But...couldnt we just ki..." He said but she gave him a look and with her free hand she grabbed a hold of one of the strapps pulling him and began to put a fiew drops on him and smear it in.
"Quit being a baby.... its only a fiew drops and it washes out." She looked to Aryl before he would ask. " Black Dragon urine.... dont ask how I got it." She said. Perhaps the scent would drive of the dogs or atleast confuse them. And if the hounds know the scent they might be reluctant. Black dragons were deadly and menacing. Her people worked around a fiew in her time with them. Dragons were great fighters in clan wars but she much prefered the tenar'ri anytime. Sadly she was a rogue not a sorceror or she would have summoned a fiew babau or dretch to deal with the dogs. She sighed. 'perhaps I should have listened to father when he told me to study in black magic' to late to be thinking and she did not need to be told twice by Robeline to move it. The scent of the dragon urine was strong though. Not yet vile smelling but a odd smell anyways. She began to close it and put it in place. She missed her bow and repeater and hoped she would be reunited with it soon.
Urthak watched as the pampered prince was getting dirty. Poor fellow, the royal family should not have to resourt to such things but in times of war one has to make sacrifices. Atleast the boys pride wasnt going to get in the way. Urthak then proceeeded to follow Robeline and the boy and he ended up tossing the shield down to lesson the weight while putting the sword away in its sheith. He also had his sword at Cassandra's cache.
As Aryl soon discovered what the vial held, he was quite surprised. Soon dirt found its way upon his brow and chin, he knew that Robeline would protect him, no matter the bounty. He also had faith in her, Robeline knew how to survive. Yet as he crossed the field, the moon high on his back, Aryl could hear the barking of Roden's notorious bloodhounds. Aryl followed the Elven captain, she suddenly dropped down to one knee, and glanced back over shoulder, watching the baying bloodhounds. It appeared that they halted, something intriguing had caught their short attention span. Aryl looked back to and knew exactly what it was.
He recalled watching Cassandra rub the contents of the vial upon their clothes. The scent was so strong that it lingered behind in the woods. They stayed where they were and moaned and wailed as loud as fanfares. She had told him about Black Dragon Urine, but...why did it matter if the dragon was black in scales? But then again Cassandra was a Rogue so she would know why. He redirected his attention to Robeline, she sprinted through the fields, Aryl right behind her. They broke upon the dirt road but Robeline dipped into the field on the other side of the path. The hound handlers and Roden's men could still see them in the clearing. Robeline didn't want to have them follow them to Biminy, so untill they could no longer see the tree line, they would avoid the road directly.
Keep the pace at a fast jog was particularly easy for Robeline...but not so much for Aryl. The Heir Apparent was not trained for this kind of physical demand. Aryl was much more proficient upon a horse's back. "Ro-robeline..." Wheezed the Prince. His chest was tight and his throat dry. His words attracted her attention to him.
"Your Highness?" Came her voice as she turned her gaze to him, slackening her stride.
"How much farther do we travel tonight?" His question struck her as odd, but then she remembered how far they had sped onwards, at a mile and 3/4ths. Robeline quickly grasped her bearings, and spotted a landmark, another signpost, pointing to Biminy.
"Cassandra, if the land is familiar to you, please lead us to your abode." Spoke Robeline as she racked her brain for information about Biminy.
Biminy was a small, prosperous town, one that had an efficient militia, albeit rather small. There was a guild hall, a smithy, an apothecary, a chapel dedicated to the Seven Divinities, three inns, a monastery of the Old Order, the barracks, and a prominent market district. Though this district was monopolized by one man, so the majority profit went to him. Biminy also possessed a large stock of mounts. The people here were hardworkers, honest, friendly, but wary of strangers.
Cassandra nodded and looked to the landmark as well. She knew of it and decided to use it as a way of getting them to her safehouse. The place was hard to find unless you already knew where it was. If you knew of its existence you knew exactly what to look for. She took the lead moving further on looking about the forrest floor. They were actually not all that far from it making it less hard for those to walk to it. Her elven sharp eyes took notice of details and then she saw that they were in the area of it and began stomping down listening as she moved from left to right. When she reached the foot of a tree she heard a wood sound. What gave her interest was that it was hollow. She reached down and found the rope lever and lifted up and a wooden trap door revealed stairs that lead underneath the tree. She then looked to the others. "Here we are. Enter quickly I dont want anyone seeing us. This place is secret and I want it to remain that way." She added. With that she stepped aside to let them enter first. She would follow in last so that she could make sure the door would not be discovered. The smell of the black dragon was enough to make the dogs keep their distance but that wouldnt stop the men so she had to do something and she knew what to do. She had a object down below just for that reason.
Urthak happily entered in first. The stairs went down pretty for about twenty steps. Then a hall proceeded them. There were four doors which cause Urthak to turn around. He has been in this place before and knew which door was which so he was to instruct those that havent. " Alright, beds are on the door at the far end. If you wish to wash up first the door on my right closest to me contains a underground pool of water. The last door on my right is our storage room where Cassandra and I keep all of our things. The door on the left is the dining area. Make yourselves at home."
The doors were not pretty looking but simple bark doors. bath house had towels as well as places to hang your clothes while you cleaned yourselves. There was also more then enough soap to get rid of any unnecessary smells. As for food there was a variety of mushrooms big and small. The choice of meet however was wild boar as they were easy to catch and plentyful. There were also a fiew viles with warnings on them such as 'Dont use if you have sores in your mouth or ulcers in your stomich.' If one would take a look inside the storage room they would find Cassandra's repeating crossbow and her regular composite bow. Both were painted black with white markings on them. They were dark elf symbols. There was also Urthak's special sword. It was a falchion with a bit of a reptilian look to the handle. Other then that there were jars of all kinds of poisons and acids. These poisons were all different types as well. Neurotoxins and just about all that Cassandra needed there was even a jar full of basilisk venom. There were also odd objects that were just simply collectables. One such collectable was a very large red scale.
In the sleeping quarters there were four beds that hugged the floor. The matresses sat ontop of a flat piece of wood that was tied to posts to keep it stable. Urthak made his way into the storage room and looked about finding a mat that looked simply like grass and soil. He took it to the entrence and handed it to Cassandra who hooked it up on door and then she would go down closeing the door.