RP:Into the Un-derdark-known
This is a Rogue's Guild RP.
Summary: A restless wolf gets caught up in Drow sacrificial nonsense, but El manages to track him, and the assailants, into the Underdark. The spellrogue managed to take out the first Drow in her path, but finding herself out numbered, she attempts to broker a deal with Anareldre; Leo's life, for the life of a Droghan elder's. Eleanor agrees on the condition that Leo is not further harmed in her absence, but the Drow despises her cocky threats. Leo is dragged out of sight, and left with no choice but to accept the deal, El gtfo's to track down an orc whose time is up.
Somewhere in Gualon
Leoxander hadn't been able to help himself. Even in her company, he had been jerked from any sleep in the middle of the night by a nightmare, and as quietly as possible Leo removed a bottle from his satchel to take with him, leaving it and his bow behind. He had a few knives on his person, enough to be confident that a walk through those tunnels would not present a problem, especially since he hadn't caught a scent of anything threatening. It was a tunnel below a healer's clinic, after all, flower scented waters and flickering torches mounted to the stone. But in that darkness, his nocturnal eyes had caught a glimpse of something... shining. And so it was that he cautiously wandered into that area where obsidian sculptures depicted that artistic scene, and he took a long drink of rum as his gaze traveled from feline, to humanoid.... to... the large carved black stone spiders that made his sun spotted nose wrinkle on one side in disgust. Leo turned to head back, and that was when the bottle fell from his hands and shattered, forfeit to grab at the silk woven rope that was suddenly around his neck. Teeth bared as the man twisted, some signs of struggle evident as he dodged the drow forged blade that sliced into his arm and left a scrap of his leather jacket sleeve in a spill of glass and rum. There was more than one female warrior on this lycanthrope intruder, but drow were not exactly a pushover in battle, and before he could manage to pull that unbreakable rope from it's strangling noose, he was bludgeoned roughly in the back of the head by another. So perhaps there might be a small bit of his blood in that mix and a smear on the floor in the direction he was dragged away.
Eleanor had fallen asleep easily enough, comforted by the lycanthrope's warmth and lulled into restless dreams, but as soon as that warmth, and the man who generated it, were gone, she found herself slowly pulled back into the land of the living. One hand spread outward across the bed, finding nothing but cool sheets in its path, her fingers bunching into them as she pushed herself up with her other hand. "Leo?" Her voice was raspy, her throat dry, but she swallowed through it, sitting up on the bed and quickly ascertaining that he had gone. "He cannae hae gain far," she told herself as she eyed the abandoned bow, stumbling out of bed. Grabbing the diadem from the nearest surface, she secured it to her brow and quickly threw on whatever resembled her clothing in the dim light of the room, snatching up own weapons, just in case. Downstairs, someone mentioned seeing her partner heading south, and with a silver tossed the patron's way, El made her way in that direction, hoping they'd meant the pools. Her steps slowed as she told herself it was probably nothing to worry about; he couldn't sleep. It happens. Perhaps he was hoping the lavender would help? The rogue wrinkled her nose, amusing herself with the thought. The clinic itself was barren at this hour, the pools as well. She glanced behind and up toward the clinic, wondering to herself where he might have gone, if not here? "Damnit, Leo." She sighed, smothering a yawn and rubbing her cheeks just below her eyes with the pads of her fingers. It was then that she, too, caught something glimmer off the faint reflection of the torches. Greed and curiosity kicked in, and the rogue ventured further along the tunnel, her left hand itching as it hovered near the chakram at her hip, and she raised the wand with her other hand, a hum whispering into the darkness as the crystals illuminated in a vivid blue glow like a torch of its own. Creeping slowly deeper into the tunnels, she kicked against something -- something glass, maybe? The discarded bottle rolled out across her path, and, lowering the torch, it was then that she noticed the droplets of blood on the cavern floor. The color drained from her face as she crouched down quickly, the hems of her skirt puddling in the thin layer of dirt on rock, and reaching out with her left hand, she touched tentatively at the blood found there, and beyond, disappearing into shadows. Cursing, she rose, stumbling forward to follow the trail.
Somewhere in the Underdark
In the depths of those tunnels, in the hall of obsidian, it may seem as though even the softest, most stealthy footstep echoed from wall to wall. Every creak of stone, every scuttle of tiny spider.... which, there seemed to be an unusual amount of them making webs between the limbs of those sculptures. The glass on the floor would be more likely to catch the light than the aged onyx, however, her foot found it first, and when the light glinted across it, it would reveal the pull of blood leading from that familiar scent of rum. But naturally, the trail wasn't without guard. Although it had taken two of the trio to actually drag the male into the city, there was one violet eyed assassin waiting, her dark skin allowing her to disguise herself among the many statues that lined the tunnels. Her obsidian worthy hair drawn into a tall knot with spines of strands sticking out like some foreign flower, a sinister smirk tugged the corner of black painted lips as she slid the knife from the holster at her thigh. The bronze skinned woman was doomed as far as Iy'mril, an apprentice of her House was concerned, as her hasty stumble showed carelessness. And so the blade was thrown, not for heart or temple to kill immediately, but toward hip or shoulder to sport her prey and perhaps bring back a second victim to appease the hungry spider demons that waited eagerly in the shrine.
Eleanor caught sight of the drow as she quickly looked around, but it was too late. The blade flew toward her, slicing through her left shoulder as she attempted to dodge out of the way, spinning around as she pointed that wand instinctively in the place she sensed it had originated from. A bolt of electric-blue energy snapped from the cluster of crystals at the end of that wand, streaking forward with a crackle and clap; its path was wild, only blindly aimed in a general direction. Eleanor's heart may have a flight mode, but her body only knew the fight, and already she was reaching with her other hand for that runed chakram. Whether or not the bolt had met its mark, her hand curled around the metal, cold to the touch but slowly growing warm in her palm. "Whaur is he?" she hissed angrily into the darkness. She kept her wand-wielding arm extended, point it this way and that as she sought out that would-be assailant. Her shoulder stung from the graze, but it was a minor annoyance compared to how she was starting to feel as things were definitely not going as planned.
Iy'mnil wasn't going down that easy. Although she was blinded by the jolt of magic and light for a moment due to her underground nature, a few acrobatic back flips sent her hands over boots in backsprings out of the way. Now the drow warrioress aimed for legs with those needle thin throwing knives, two or three thrown right after the other to cripple the intruder, clearly connected to their newest prey. Violet eyes seemed to shine white, just enough glimpse of her as she aimed from behind a statue she molded to like a shadow, otherwise. "Mmm. Your wolf, then." A silky voice echoed through the halls, amused and taunting. But this was, after all, a young apprentice. It would depend on Eleanor's skill whether she was captured or took out the learning drow. Because whether weapons stuck or missed, she was suddenly flipping like any half elf, half spider might do to enclose on Eleanor and attempt to knock her out just the same.
Eleanor whirled around, gaze narrowed into dangerous slits as she shot another bolt of wild blue energy out from the tip of this wand: this time aiming true for the direction the voice had come from. Or was that just an echo? Again, the beam of magic crashed into the walls, obsidian shards flying around like shrapnel at the force of impact. With a hiss, she looked down at her left thigh, the needle knife having puncture into the swirling pattern that curled around her upper leg; well, there went that spell, the spellrogue thought to herself as sharp, icy pain radiated out from the wound. The other blades had missed, giving El to catch Iy'mnil flipping toward her, hands over feet over hands. Curling that chakram to her like a frisbee, its runes began to glow white-blue, and with a whistle, she released it with a practiced snap. It spun low toward the ground, almost low enough to touch, then swooped back up, aiming for the drowess' middle. "Ah said," she growled, advancing and already holding her hand back to capture the circular blade should it bound back like a boomerang, "whaur th' heel is he?"
The drow meant to leap and send a high spun kick for Eleanor's head, but instead she met a full force blast to the stomach and flew back, landed and seemed unconscious. It could be a ploy, or it could be just the result of Eleanor's spell blade/rogue power, but she did not move or respond to the question. The dark haired, dark skinned apprentice was slumped against the leg of what remained of a sculpture. Perhaps an easy kill, unless Eleanor opted to spare her and move after the trail of blood. That trail leaked up a stone staircase that was half hidden behind the optical illusion of a door, which in the dark was very hard to notice at all, but not entirely blocked off. It was up to the Fox to determine what do to at that point.
Eleanor drew her wrist back as she captured the chakram once more, her fist curled around the warm metal as the glow from the runes dulled somewhat. El hesitated, narrowing that gaze further as she looked past the drow, then back the way she'd come. What in the nine hells was going on? Had Leo somehow actually had time to provoke a band of drow? She knew he had a temper, but ... The spellrogue advanced upon the crumpled form of her target, then crouched down to check the girl's pulse, two fingers pressed to her throat while her other hand deftly patted the drow down, searching for anything that might give her some sign of what was going on. The girl had a pulse, but it was weak. Already the front of her clothing/armor, torn asunder by the circular blade, grew dark as blood spread out. Cursing, El withdrew, but as she did, she noticed something off about what was beyond. Again, she warily cast a glance over her shoulder, hoping to suddenly see Leo, and desperately hoping not to see another threat coming up behind her. With a determined exhale, she secured the chakram again at her hip, but took up the crystal wand again in its former torch-light state to move upon the stairs; her muscles were tense as she eyed the gash at her shoulder, the blade still embedded in her thigh (she yanked it out then, growling and gritting her teeth). Moving more cautiously now, she ascended the stairs.
Hidden Village of Zaneerh
Perhaps Eleanor's blood would speckle along the trail of Leo's as she ascended. So far, there was no sound or indication of being followed. But that floor had another level of security, and the pirate's heroine was already injured. But the reality of the situation was that they did not know for certain if Eleanor was friend or foe, if she managed to keep her injuries somewhat concealed. There were a few guards stationed with blade or bow, but more than that, it was drow priestess' who occupied the area, before Anareldre. And bound with silk rope and collapsed near this figure's side was Leoxander, his head covered in a white hood that showed a thick blood stain where his nose would be. Only obvious by the clothing he wore, since his battered face was concealed. Although several drow warrior women would move to stop the spell-rogue's approach, it was one of Anareldre's guards who, at a whispered command, motioned her forward to that dais where the only male beside Leo stood.
Eleanor grit her teeth against the sting of each step up the staircase, but already her magic was doing its work, the wounds starting to slowly mold over with a faint bluish glow; although at least one spell's power had been severed with the stab to her thigh, her others remained intact, and she murmured a prayer of thanks be to whatever gods were listening. The woman didn't know what she was getting into, but that didn't temper her resolve as she took one careful step after another, her free hand pulling her cloak tighter about her to mask herself, attempting to blend in with the darkness and the shadows. Pale green eyes widened with alarm as the scene before her came into view, and she instinctively moved her left hand toward that same hip that held the chakram via rune-bond to her belt. For a second, though, that gaze darkened with fear, and the gem in her crown pulsed with light once, twice, flickering as the spellrogue struggled to subdue its effects in such unexpected, mixed company. "Leo--" Her voice was hoarse, thick with the emotions she shoved down, and almost impulsively, the woman started forward, the drow warriors moving to intercept. With the drow women halted, however, El wasted no time in shouldering past them with a barely-tempered growl. Long, tall strides carried her up toward the dais, her chin at a challenging angle of defiance as she glared at the other man before moving to Leo, her features twisting at the sight of that bloodied white hood. Growling again in her anger, she looked upon the other man. "Whit hae ye dain?" she spat at him.
The drow was amused but not surprised. After all, women were the warriors and heroes in his knowledge. "They need to feed..." He spoke simply, but in that dark elf accent. "And you clearly have reason to save him..." Those warrior females did not turn a knife or arrow, but they all aimed upon Eleanor. It was a trial of wit even if she wasn't expected one. And the body of the rogue had not moved, yet. "It would be so easy to submit you both for sacrifice." But Anareldre was not so simple. "Tell me what this... lycanthrope is. And why I should not just let the demons devour him..." Still, not a movement from Leo, who was still bleeding thickly through the white. Eleanor would have no way of knowing that he was listening. Yet he could hear the movement of those who began to move toward him, to drag him toward the shrine in sacrifice.
Eleanor felt very much like she was lured into a sticky place, only partly thanks to the spiders waiting in the shadows no doubt. She felt tense, coiled like a snake preparing to strike as she shot a sharp gaze toward the priest. "Wah /heem/--" the wildlike woman hissed, turning to face Anareldre with a chilling glare. The gem in her diadem yearned to capture the light within its chaotic speckled depths as she flexed her hand around the wand, her palm slick with her nervous perspiration. Gods, when did it get so hot in here? All throughout this, though, her smirk curled along those full lips in a way that an experienced predator might while assessing its soon-to-be prey. The Fox was nothing if not cunning, and as a plan slowly unfolded in her quick mind, she shifted her weight, leaning heavily into one hip as she gave the male Drow a long, slow sweep of his person from the soles of his feet to the limpid stare that peered almost through her. El dared a single step forward, but not without casting a side-eye toward Leo; she hoped that, behind that crimson stain, breath fluttered from his battered lips. "If sacrifices ur truly whit ye need--" She paused there, her tone having changed from near-panic to a smooth and sultry burr that was a mannerism of a woman who knew the cards now. "Whit yer ... price is ... " The spellrogue jerked her chin pointedly toward Leo, indicating their captive, "He can present ye wi' ... choices." A furtive glance around, then her celadons fixed on the Drow, her gaze lingering on different parts of his features to assure she had his full attention. "Choices 'at dornt include havin' tae pick aff th' stragglers frae abune. ye kin?" If the Drow needed victims, well, damn, the woman had accumulated quite a long list of names they could pick from; she didn't doubt Leo had either, being in their line of work. In exchange for such a generous offer as she thought it to be, it was implied that Leo would go free from this, of course, but El didn't plan to stop there. What if the Underdark was their ticket to Rynvale? Her pale glassgreen eyes glittered with greed as she leveled that stare on Anareldre, folding her arms over her chest with all the self-assurance the cocky rogue could don.
Leoxander was still being dragged, hauled up those carved stone stairs when a raise of Anareldre's hand half concealed in a fitted sleeve caused the strong women holding onto the pirate to stop. Although he had earned evidence of age and labor in their rebellion and wore regal leathers that allowed him his dexterity and flaunted his rank, he was clearly not doing much of the fighting these days, his nails sharpened to lengthy points and nearly the same iridescent shade of his pupils. He would not make the mistake of underestimating this brightly dressed woman, but betrayed absolutely no fear as he stepped down from the dais to approach her position, slowly. A sinister intrigue glittered in his eyes, despite smooth, baritone words. "The Mother's children are not choosey about the souls and bodies they consume..." But she had garnered his interest. Risking a look away from the wand pointed toward him, a glance directed toward the rugged lycanthrope still bound at hands and throat caused one of his guards to grab the silk, white hood and probably a bit of his hair, roughly tugging it from features that dripped red at his nose and mouth, head dropping back down the moment it was released. But Eleanor might catch a glimpse of the glare in barely open eyes and see his lips apart to breathe as he slumped in his state. Beyond a locked iron door at the top of those stairs, restless and impatient scratching and skittering sounds revealed the bloodlust and hunger of creatures that had to be at least larger than a horse. "You propose that I leave my brethren to suffer, and to let you and your wolf free on the word of a surfacer that you will return?" A soft hum of laughter rolled in his chest and he slightly shook his head. "I think not." With that, the barricade sealing that door was lifted, only large enough for a humanoid of average side to pass through. But just out of reach, Leo's chin was forged to lift in a dark hand, and the hooked black claw of a foreleg swiped eagerly just in front of the rogue's beaten face, pedipalp trembling and licking at exposed fangs that dripped with tar like venom. He was forced to see what he was about to be sacrificed to and felt his heart squeeze and his bones paralyze as though he'd been pierced through his spine into his chest.
Eleanor considered the situation, and hell, even considered the ironic idea that had popped up in her head then, but the previous plan was still in motion. /Save Leo./ She didn't know the details that had led to his capture, but the rogue didn't exactly have a problem with the Drow as a whole, present company aside. A business woman as was needed then, El took another fluid step forward, toward Anareldre, putting herself in the Drow's path as she leveled an unwavering gaze at him. "Surfacewalker ur nae, ye an' Ah baith bide in th' shadows, dae we nae?" El tilted her head, forcing herself into his line of sight, attempting as well to put herself with her back to Leo. It was all she could do to keep from doing something rash. Again, she inwardly cursed the wolf and whatever mess he'd found himself in. Like it or not, though, she'd followed him without hesitation into the Underdark, into the unknown ... something she found herself wanting to do more recently with him. Keeping her intense stare upon the Drow, she slowly shook her head. "We aw need somethin'," her smirk grew, "we--" The quickest of glances over her shoulder toward Leo, she then looked back at the dark-skinned male as she lowered her wand before re-crossing her arms. "We ur th' fowk tae gie ye 'at somethin'."
Leoxander felt sick. He was looking ready to hyperventilate. It was perhaps the weakest moment Eleanor would ever witness of her partner in crime, even if it was a mystery to how he had allowed himself to be captured at all. But the truth was, Anareldre was not as cruel and uncaring as he fronted. These were the refugees of a war, and were clever and manipulative in their survival, so he recognized some... similar spirit in the spell-rogue. They needed things they could not easily go to the surface for, and as expected, the purposeful trail of blood had been followed by one desperate to rescue the lycanthrope. Although he had some difficulty understanding all of Eleanor's words, the drow leader was educated well and had dealt with other races far more than those of in Trist'oth had ever bothered to. "You make a valid point. And you have made it clear what it is... -you- need." He took another glance toward the captured male, who was pushed forward just enough that one of those claw tipped legs could catch into leather and skin and tear another minor wound across the thorns and serpent inked into his bicep. It was enough to jerk Leo out of his stupor and enhance his fear, causing all three warrior women to struggle and hang onto him as he jerked desperately in their hold and started to growl like a trapped, frantic animal. "The skull and heart of a Droghan elder, for your wolf's life. An orc of this tribe... more acquainted with commoners can be found within their brewing shop, but their strongest, oldest keep to the swamps. You have until the moon sets to deliver this to me."
Eleanor tapped out a tattoo on the curve of left bicep, struggling to keep herself in check. His counteroffer wasn't what bothered the spellrogue in this arrangement, but rather where it left Leo. On a slow, measured exhale, the blonde turned her head to glance over a shoulder at the wolf; there was a flicker of fear only he would be able to discern in that brief look, but as she returned Araneldre's gaze with a determined grind of her teeth, it was clear even before she spoke that she'd agreed to his terms. "If he's nae in th' sam condition ur better upon return." And naturally, with a caveat of her own, "'at orc willnae be th' only hin' dyin' tonecht." And there was no way in hell she was going to leave that chamber without trusting deep in his cold fae heart that he understood that he was number-one on her hit list if this went awry.
Leoxander barely heard Eleanor, but he slightly winced as he tried to lean back against the dark hands holding him. Perhaps the spell-rogue did not understand the ways of drow, or their lack of compassion and rules. But Anareldre finally broke into a satisfied grin, glanced over toward his soldiers, who promptly doubled Leo over with a sharp elbow jerked into his abdomen, nearly sending the bleeding pirate down to his knees, if not for the bonds that held him. He had no time to look desperately over at Eleanor, as they replaced that hood over his face and finally took him from the door that large, claw tipped spider legs continued to swipe angrily through, demonic arachnids denied their meal. "I do not feel you are in much position to negotiate the matter, and... time stops for no one." Perhaps a chronomancer, but the drow doubted she had one so handy as to buy more. "Do not tempt my patience, pale-skin. I have been very generous." He turned his back to her, which gave her an opportunity to attack, but those three holding onto Leo were not the only trained drow that surrounded by that point. There was no throne. This survivor was not true royalty among his people, but a general of an army, and a calculated mind, at that. He motioned toward the werewolf and with a shink of blade brought to Leo's throat, they half dragged the bound man back down the stairs with no reserves should the order be made to slice him open, then and there.
Eleanor fumed, her nostrils flaring as she white-knuckled her arm before uncrossing either arm to lower them stiffly to her sides. The stone in her crown still sparkled in what light it could catch occasionally, although it seemed to dimly pulse as the spellrogue restrained herself. She so very much wanted to smack that self-satisfied grin off the Drow's face, but she had at least a little wisdom that kept her from doing just that -- at least for now. Can't say the woman wasn't going to think of many creative ways to kill him in his sleep all day now, but at the same time, Leo's life was at stake here. As the Drow carried Leo away, she watched them go until she could no longer. Turning her iciest stare yet upon Anareldre once again, her voice was low, thick and husky, and almost a growl. "Yoo'll hae yer orc, an' Ah'll hae mah wolf. Alife." She didn't press her luck any more, quickly reaching for her wand at her hip again. The next second later, the wand was held high above her head as she tilted her chin down, the crystals immediately bursting with white-yellow energy, bathing the room in a blinding light. The force of the spell was intended to incapacitate the dark elves present, giving her a head start on her exit strategy. There was no time to waste, after all. Eleanor raced from the Underdark as fast as she could, only catching her breath once she'd entered the pools. Her hands were shaking, but she stopped only a second before stumbling into the clinic itself. "Terra--" she roughly demanded of the first nurse she saw. Initially, she frightened the healer with her bedraggled appearance; sweat, dirt, blood, but the near-feral look in El's pale eyes was enough to send the nurse off in search of the elf.