Lying on a day bed covered in white silk and animal furs, Vuvu finds herself awakening with the smells of berries, wine and figs in her nose. Full sunlight and the sight of freshly picked flowers in ornate vases was everywhere. She notices servants off to the side, beautiful and clad in the same white silks as the chaise lounges. Looking down she sees that she is also clad in perfect white silk, and nothing else. There is a pitcher of wine next to her on a side table. She realises where she is, she’s been here before, and remembers that the wine here is exceptionally good.
“Ah good, you’re awake.” says a voice off to her left, and she turns her head to see a man, also clad in expensive looking silks, approaching her with his bare arms spread wide and a glorious smile on his face.
She stops reaching for the jug of wine and stands, allowing the silk to drop enticingly from one shoulder. “Corellon, it’s been some time, hasn’t it? I did miss you.” She greeted the god.
He stopped and looked at her quizzically “So you do remember me, Ha! I must be getting better!” and with that he swept towards her in a swirl of silk and petals seemingly coming from nowhere beneath his feet and spinning away from each of his steps. “My love, you…have the scent of others about you. You wouldn’t be sharing your bed with others of a less…regal disposition to myself now…would you?” and he pulled away from her a little to see her face. Looking into her eyes, he quizzically examined her, then looked her up and down with a feigned melodrama.
Vuvu remembered her activites the night before, in the Inn, with all those people…there was so many limbs…so much bodily fluids…
”I only have eyes for you Corellon. You are all that I need and all that I want.” she told him, with a smirk on her face.
“Well!” he laughed, pulling himself out of her embrace and heading towards the pitcher of wine standing on the white stone table and pouring himself a glass. “We shall have to make sure of that, won’t we…my love” he said with a wink and downed the hero sized cup of wine in one gulp.
Vuvu looked at him and said, without taking her eyes off his godly physique, to one of the many angels surrounding them holding platters of food and drink, “More wine.” And let her robe slip from her body to the clouds under her feet.
“Patrick what are you doing!” Jalana cries across the cold and wet cave.
Vuvu is pulled jarringly from her sleep and sees Patrick walking to the two helpless Orcs with his sword in his hand. ‘I’m going to finish the job.” He replied without stopping or taking his eyes off them. Jalana went to impose herself between the Orcs and the fighter, he didn’t listen to her pleas and shoved her out of the way. Vuvu got up and sprang in his way, hand out and imploring him to reconsider, telling him that they could question the Orcs to see if they knew anything. Patrick scoffed at the idea, knowing that the Orcs were stupider than cattle and less useful. But he let them have their fun and sheathed his weapon, leaning against a wall with his arms folded keen to watch them fail.
After the group realised that they could not in fact speak to the Orcs, they asked Hemmit, who stood at the back of the room quietly not saying anything, if he could pry into their minds. Hemmit gathered himself and kneeled in front of one of them. He looked into its vacant face and felt very little thoughts emanating from its mind. He plunged right in, expecting to find a dredged and empty lake where there should be a mind. Instead he found a screaming void. He felt his consciousness being pulled from his body into a swirling maelstrom of sound and wind. He resisted with every fibre of his being to not be pulled down into the hole. Just as he thought he would fall he found a strength in his mind and resisted and just before he escaped the pit he saw, with what limited senses he had in this place, a thread, going from the creatures mind so some other place. Where, he did not know.
As his mind was violently thrust back into his body he reeled at the pain, collapsing onto the floor and muttering gibberish for some time before he came back to them. Finding the group around him seeing if he was okay, he, after some time, was able to explain what he saw. The only exception was Patrick to the side, chewing on some hard tack and having a chuckle to himself, “How goes the interrogation?” Patrick asked, adding another laugh but obviously getting a little restless.
As the group is making sure Hemmit is okay they hear a distant and crackling sound in the sending stones in their ears. Grash was trying to find out where they were and what they were up to. Hemmit answers him, saying they were in a cave some few hours to the north. He tells Grash of the small camp that the mayor and his men made and that Hemmit would meet him there to teleport him to the cave they were in.
Grash stood on the deck of the DragunShip, looking at the two new deck hands who were fighting over whose job it was to empty the latrines on the boat. Both were shoving a filthy bucket between themselves and getting a little on the deck.
“Pathetic” said Grash and made his way down the gangplank before muttering melon and collapsing the boat behind him. Just before the collapsed boat hit the water a misty arcane hand caught it and brought it to him, stowing it away into this belt for keepsakes. He thought he could hear the faint screams of the men dying but he couldn’t be sure, and couldn’t care less anyway. He ran swiftly down the docks jetty past shocked onlookers, who had never before seen a boat collapse into something you could fit in your hand, and ran towards the forest, heading north.
As Hemmit stood in the cave, readying himself for the occasional harrowing ordeal of temporal navigation, he heard Grash in his ear “Ready when you are holy boy.”
Hemmit clasped his hands, imagined the place where the mayor had made his camp and then opened his eyes to find himself there. Grash stood a half metre from him. “Well that was fast” said Grash and reached out to put a hand on Hemmit’s shoulder. Without a word Hemmit then imagined the cave, but the image of the screaming vortex in the Orcs mind washed over him and before he knew it he dragged himself an Grash into a very violent and painful trip back to the cave.
As they materialised with a bang the two stood naked with their gear scattered about the cave. Neither were ashamed of their bodies and Grash began to put his gear back on, swigging from a magical restorative potion as he went.
Jalana, wanting to give the Orc thing another try, knelt down infront of it where Hemmit had been a few minutes earlier, and put a hand on its face. She knew that the creature had little to no mind of its own, so she thought why not give it one? Putting her hands into the limited soil around her she sought carefully around the bugs and skittering creatures to find something that had more intelligence. Rats, squirrels outside and a few deer. She was sure that she could borrow their sentience for a little while and loan it to the Orc, and she began, haltingly, to draft the intelligence of a nearby buck into the Orcs mind. This had to be done very carefully and she really had no idea what she was doing, and knew it would take a while and advised the others, looking at them with her eyes a greener shade of green at this point.
“Well what in Balls of Bhaal are we supposed to be doing in the time being?” Pat slams his fist into the rock wall. “I am not a man of patience, and if I can’t kill the Orcs and we aren’t going back to the village then we need to take some action!” and with that he pulled off his sword belt, put down his shield and ran full speed, shoulder first, into the lone wooden door in the room.
The others didn’t know if it was his shoulder cracking or the door, but they all felt the collision in their bones. Vuvu, Grash and Hemmit looked on as he picked himself up from the floor, walked back for a run up and did it again. The crack this time was certainly from the door as a few of the boards came loose.
“Aha! They don’t make them like they used to!” he cried as he once more hurled himself at the door which promptly gave way. The heard metal on stone as he hit something very close to the other side of the door. Then another sound, further away this time, then another and another as they realised he was bouncing off the walls and he fell down some kind of shaft. The group casually sauntered over to the now broken door and had a look down the shaft. They could see, with help from a torch that Vuvu found, that he was a crumpled heap at the bottom of the 50foot shaft.
“Are you okay?” called Vuvu down the shaft. No reply.
Everyone bar Jalana goes down the shaft on some rope they had. Grash kneels down beside the battered and broken man, and on the pretence of checking to see if he’s okay takes his wedding ring and what little money he had on him. Patrick gets up, still a little shaky and picks up his gear that Vuvu brought down for him. He shakes the cobwebs from his head and starts down the hallway, in the dark, muttering about getting the job done.
They follow him down the now horizontal shaft, just tall enough for them to walkupright in. After about 30 seconds they hear a yelp of pain, just an echo, coming from the direction they are headed. Hard to know how far away it is due to the twisting and turning pattern of the tunnels. They eventually get to another door, very similar to the first. This time they decide to find out of there is anything on the other side. Grash uses his spectral hand to slip under the door whilst Vuvu scans the room with her magic to find any intelligent minds. She detects three minds and Grash’s hand finds that the door is barred from the other side, so there will be no quiet entry.
As they conduct their tests Patrick is already again unbuckling his sword and putting down his shield, ready for another charge. Grash goes to him and hands him a potion “Here, I’m not a hundred percent sure what this will do, but I’m pretty sure you will like it.” And, more than likely from the concussion that he had, Patrick takes the potion and downs it in one shot. Immediately temperature in the room drops and hoarfrost begins to coat Patricks increasing muscles.
His eyes glaze over and turn a frosty shade of blue. “By the Gods…I feel….incredible!” and he runs flat out at the door which never stood a chance. It shatters into a thousand pieces and as they clear the world slows. The others looking into the room see the splinters flying and a shocked looking elf stands beside a makeshift bed that had laying ontop of it what’s left of a Gnoll. The other beds had the bodies, a mixture of living and dying and dead, of Orcs and Gnolls, all connected with tubes and wires. The shocked elf had the characteristic pointy ears but its skin was dark like ash and she had half her face covered in a medical-esque mouth covering. She threw up her hands and immediately took the defensive and began shouting in a language that none of them could understand. Patrick, out of control, ran around trying to catch the elf, who was not trying her hardest to hurt any of them and kept yelling in that strange language.
As Patrick was on one side of a bed and the elf on the other, Vuvu yelled out in Elvish that they were not here to harm her. Immediately the elf looked at them and pointed her fingers and began to whisper dark words that brought shivers to their necks. A swarm of biting and stinging insects crawled from the walls and began to bite and sting them, then, before they could react, two very large spiders materialised out of nowhere and began attacking Patrick.
The fight was on, and as Grash took out his weapons and charged he called to Jalana over the sending stones that they needed her down here. Jalana hears and, frustrated, stops channelling her spell and looks for something else. Sending her mind out across the skittering insects she finds one that she likes, a scorpion called Clarence. She puts her hand down on the rock and, touching him gently, imparts upon him enormous physical strength and size. Clarence is now very large, big enough to ride on, which Jalana does and head down the mine shaft after her friends, lighting her sword and yelling her battle cries.
As the battle below reaches the crescendo, and one spider is finished off by Patrick, Jalana bursts into the room through the storm of horrible insects and greets the scene. She sees Hemmit fending off the dark looking elf and the others fighting the remaining spider. She throws herself into the fight, however, before they could do anything Hemmit is knocked from his feet and thrown backwards. The dark elf, with a keening scream launches herself from atop one of the beds and lands on Hemmits chest on her knees. Without his mace in hand and his shield thrown to the side in the melee, Hemmit is unable to stop the swinging heads of the dark elf’s flail and with his hand in front of his face trying to stop the blows he sees his death.
The others, with the final spider slain, turn around to see the dark elf kneeling on Hemmit and swinging the flail back and forth and back and forth across this face. Never before had they seen such violence enacted so suddenly and to such great effect. Hemmit was certainly dead, as half of his face had been torn and was splattered on the wall and alchemy supplies on the tables that surrounded the room.
Patrick runs to the two, barrelling into the elf and coming to his feet immediately swinging his sword taking the head off the elf and watched as it soared across the room, smashing into several of the vials and bottles that lay about, steam and gases hissing off of it.
The group stands in the relative silence, looking at the body of Hemmit, clearly bereft of life. Patrick solemly picks up his body and starts making his way out of the room without saying anything. Vuvu takes the chance to look around for loot and sees a bottle, the only one that seemed to be complete as it had a stopper and label on it. Jalana grabs some documents that weren’t on fire and they both, with Grash, ran from the room, hearing the fire and more explosions as they ran.
They exit the tunnel climbing up the shaft and lay Hemmits body in the cave. Patrick says that they should probably head back to the village, and the group tells him to fuck off. He goes outside to give them a minute, they are obviously pretty upset at the time. Jalana says that she would like to see if the gods would permit his spirit to come back to his body. They all agree and she kneels down by his body, hand on his chest and trying not to look at his mangled and bleeding face.
The room gets noticeably darker, and the group can see the earth below Jalana begin to churn, earthworms and cockroaches and other eaters of the dead begin to tunnel up, squirm and die, their little bodies coming in droves. A sweet smell of blooming flowers reaches them and then turns to the stench of decay and death. Jalana leans her head back and opens her eyes and they see that they have gone black. A wind picks up, a wind that is not of this world, seeming to tug at their spirits, pulling them towards Jalanas kneeling form.
After some time, the wind stops and Jalana closes her eyes and puts her head down. Then after some time she stands and opens her eyes.
“I can’t find him.”