By Xullrae Zauvir
Chapter 1 - Meetings and Acquaintances (part 5)
Time flowed ever forward, bringing the fruition's of each individual to bear. By the coming of dawn, Drazoul had grown bored with lingering about the Tower, and thus had made his way off into other parts of the city, in order to strengthen some old bonds amongst the people. His companion, Horock, had done quite the opposite, spending the largest part of the passing hours simply strolling about the temple's many corridors, taking careful note of each nook and cranny, knowing that it may be useful in future ventures.
Ever curious, the Malaugrym, disguised in obsidian flesh, strolled about the metropolis of Sshamath, perhaps even finding a few small things of interest. Quite a feat, considering all that this one had viewed and partaken of over the millennia. He too was shrewd enough to realize it best to be familiar with your surroundings.
Off in another city, this one grander by name, if not by population and magic's, a certain drowess had completed the undertakings her family had entrusted to her, and managed to give a certain Bladesinger "the slip" 'ere a summons from on High beckoned her back to Sshamath. As it stood, three out of the four aforementioned beings now found themselves converging by happenstance within the confines of the Tower's main entry hall. Or, perhaps, the meeting was not an entirely coincidental.
Xull'rae was stepping out of her room now, dressed all in black down to her boots. Her mask was around her neck for now, exposing her face and it's exotic features. Pretty to most if they looked past eyes that were amber colored instead of red, and coppery hair instead of white which was pulled up into a neat bun. The white streak added a contrast to it and perhaps a bit of vibrancy as well. Her tiny skilled hands were lacing her shirt to conceal an ample bosom as she moved forward.
Horock walked into the main entryway of the tower. As he walked back in, he saw one female drow, her mask off, looking around the tower, as if looking for something or someone. Instantly, he was afraid, not knowing what he should do, if it was part of the death mark on him or not. But, he couldn't help by being curious as to why a female drow would be here, the tower of Vhaeraun. Maybe she was a masked traitor, he did not know. He decides to go up and introduce himself, saying, "good afternoon milady. My name is Horock. What may I ask is yours?" He hoped she wouldn't take offense, as he could tell she was powerful
The cloaked figure of the Malaugrym was somewhere in the vicinity, turning one of the many corners to find himself in the main hallway. As usual his cowl was tugged low over his face, hiding a majority of his features save the chiseled lower half, and while in darkness, those deep crimson orbs burrowed through, burning like coal. He caught a glimpse of the meeting off in the distance and decided to stand his ground, a hint of smile twitching at the corner of tiers, moving close enough to hear, yet that was all.
The drowess stopped as soon as she heard a voice, obviously speaking to her as he seemed to be looking at her and not many others were around. She raised a copper colored brow at his "politeness" or stupidity, she didn't know which. The gaze she gave him was penetrating, boring into him, accessing him where he stood before she frowned slightly. Her pert mouth showing her irritation if nothing else. "New to the Tower?'" Her tone was casual but he could tell she would not answer until he did first.
Deep in thought, Horock stood there for a minute, wondering why she had not just answered his question. However, he knew it would be better to just answer, so he replied, "yes, I am new to the tower, though not to Vhaeraun's faith. I am in hiding from some people that want to kill me for, shall we say, doing some adverse things to their people. I don't think they should be, what I am to say about a death mark? So, being a priest, I was brought in here to help protect me." He waited for her reply, now sure she was pissed at him for being so quick tongued, so he tried to look as meek as possible.
There wasn't much else for Sszordrin to do, aside from standing off in the distance, casually glancing around like as he too, were new to the temple, while truthfully standing around to pick up on their conversation. He was nosy in some aspects, but also knew that the more information one had, the better of they'd be in the future, a lesson well learned in his past.
Having a temper was a terrible flaw for one so small with great beauty to match but Xull'rae reigned it in and sighed in exasperation sensing they were being eavesdropped on and thought it best to correct the "youngin'" since he was of the faith and it was her duty to protect her own. "Name is Xull'rae, and first off don't refer to our God as Vhaeraun unless it's an outsider. Here at the Temple he's usually known as The Masked Lord or the Shadow as a few names. Second do not ever blurt everything about yourself unless you trust me and everyone that overhears us right now. Remember this is a 'thieves den' and as followers of the Masked One, backstabbing is a virtue here....third...don't ever use that polite goody goody addressing shit anymore if you do I'll kill you thinking you a paladin in disguise got it..."?
Now it was his turn to be upset. He was simply trying to get off to a good start with what looked like a pretty woman. "Fine," he says in his most sarcastic voice. "I can be an ass too. I was just trying to fit into my new surroundings, get to know some people. I was curious about you, and now that I know who you are, I am glad that I treated you with respect, knowing what you are capable of." As he glares at her, he sensed a presence as someone, or something was looking at him.
Sszordrin had studied a good amount on Drow culture before coming through to this plane, but words could not justify the way they actually handled themselves. The Malaugrym over in his little corner found it amusing, all the attitude and tension, not that he wasn't completely unfamiliar with these feelings, especially after strolling down the street, that alone was an adventure with several sharp tongues flying about the air. His chain of thought broke after a few lingering seconds, he really wasn't hiding his eavesdropping intentions any longer, but still didn't stand out and introduce himself, he was just going to continue to hold his ground till one of the two said something, or moved on.
"Aww you're so cute when angry...hmmm..." she smiled charmingly then as well as disarming, it only enhanced her beauty as her mood flickered just like that. "Just keep that 'respect' you mention and we'll be fine...as for the one listening in on us you can come introduce yourself now since it's in the air to do so..besides legs have a tendency to go numb if you stand in one spot for long..."
Chuckling to himself so that no one else could tell, Horock realized that he would like this woman, as her temper was as powerful as her beauty. Being as he knew he would be serving under her, he kept her in high respect, and waited calmly for whomever it was to introduced themselves.
The Malaugrym had to stifle a small chuckle rolling from his tiers before stepping forward, a stark white brow arching somewhat, glancing at the woman, then the male, finally returning to the figure of Xull'rae. Pearly whites visible with the half-smile. "Yes, well I thought I'd let you finish lecturing the boy before I made myself known." Not that he was a rogue, and his skills at hiding weren't really up to par, the most he did was carry himself with silent steps. "My name is Szordrin Xarann."
"And what a name that is."Her expression and tone did not change from its charm so it could not be discerned whether or not she was demeaning him. "From the look of you Szordrin you must be a mage..here on business I presume..or actually joining the Tower?" What she meant by the last part was also cryptic.
Horock did not really know what to make of all of this. All he knew was what the Shadow Sorcerer had told him yesterday, that he was to be Xull'rae's apprentice, and that he was picked for something, he wasn't even sure what yet. So he kept quiet, waiting for the being's reply.
The Malaugrym would've commented on the keen eye of the drowess, but he was carrying a gnarled wooden staff, and clothed in robes with arcane writing in the form of runes. "Business, as I'm sure you'll find out in due time, I was sent by the Shadow Sorcerer, Pharaun Lhalabar, to accompany you these next few days, in whatever tasks you see fit for me." This certainly did seem to be more then a random meeting, but he paid it no mind, since it was, helping his own goals in the long run.
"I don't need a lap dog or the SHADOW SORCERERS spy on my ass ok cause that is what you are sad to say..." She retorted crisply but didn't really seem to be upset. But she did furrow her brows and pursed her lips as she sighed and continued before he could speak again. "Anyway...I know you'll follow despite whatever I say so I might as well use your 'pawned' self while its avaible." she snickered then as if she found something funny in what she said.
"Mm, lap dog, what an interesting choice of words...and an even more interesting gathering, I must say." The deeply spoken words were most dry of manner, bordering on blatantly sarcastic, though not quite crossing the threshold.
The issuer of said statement now stepped casually forth from one of the many side passages. The brawny, hulking form, hulking, at least, to any drow, was garbed as usual in robes of tan and black. Soft torch light glinting off the soft angles of his cleanly shaven head. Twin pools of oak-brown hue regarded each of those gathered in turn, no hint of emotion, aside from a mildly humored interest, held within. A light, polite, most assuredly forced smile played upon the olive, ageless visage as soft footfalls carried him completely within the rooms confines. His towering form coming to rest in such a manner that all could be viewed at once, calloused hands clasped ever so casually behind his broad back, as a mental note was taken of exactly whom and what now lingered in the room, but he would let no sign of wariness or the like come to the fore.
"Yes, well.. If putting up with you, is all I must do for the time being, I'm more then making out in this deal," the disguised Malaugrym replied to the drow female. He said in that matter of fact tone. He could've been put on a much more dangerous assignment. His ancient patience might be brought to its limits with the spitfire of a Drowess, but that's nothing he couldn't handle. More importantly was the form that came lumbering into the room. Those crimson orbs shifted to that face, and lingered there. There was something oddly familiar about that one, Erie in a sense, like this wasn't the first time he partook in seeing that face. Granted, his memory was fuzzy on the past, but he never forgot a face. This little mystery alone was enough to push his curiosity, but he remained silent.
"You'd probably find your own dick interesting..gods know why but it's how demented you are, if I could feel pity I'd feel sorry for you Rivven" It was Xull'rae who broke the small silence as she was now looking at the human with acute distaste that she "forgot" the mages statement of "putting up with her"
"Hmmm. I remember you" Horock says, disdain in his voice as he too broke from his silence. "You said I would be working for you, but I have not seen you at all since yesterday. I wonder, where have you been, these past three days, and why have you not come back to once again torment me with your arrogant sayings and sarcastic little comments? You know, I think I have met more intelligent rocks then you.." He knew he was skating on thin ice, but he also knew that if this man really needed him, he would not harm him, lest he injure one of his "workers". Even though he resented being thought of as such, he knew it would inevitably come out.
Cogliostro concentrated his gaze first fully upon the drowess, whilst keeping his mind's eye upon the well disguised Malaugrym, his thin, forced smile broadened somewhat, his own reply quite matter of fact."Mm, aye, myself and many a woman throughout the ages." He continued on now replying to the irritating Drow male, "and as for you, Saer, hm, Horock, was it?" he deliberately feigned he had stumbled upon the name, so as to portray that Horock held no importance to him. "I too have met rocks of higher intelligence. And so....
Xull'rae was affronted but not showing it, replied in a cool voice cutting the human off, "sluts..yes I know what they are..females who think they are women and throw themselves at anything male..I guess you were better than nothing to them..poor things gotta get sex somewhere I suppose..me I'm just an ugly bitch and not as needy as that..."
Cogliostro chuckled, truly amused, looking upon the drow woman with a gleam in his eye. "Hm, well, I'm glad ye stated it, so that I would not have to. I do so detest stating the obvious.
Xull'rae was angered now and tried with serious effort to conceal it..the anger merely looking like slight annoyance, though her tone was dripping with sarcasm. "oh yes..the 'thing' that TRIES to be a gentlemen. Go play with your dick if you can find it" She waves him away as if to dismiss him.
"Mm, I was rather hoping you would help in my searches, drowess. His look more suggestive then before his tone mockingly hopeful.
Horock looked over at the man, his eyes narrowed at the obvious insult to himself but remained silent as the two quipped back and forth. After a few moments he did not know what to think of what he had said to the woman, but he knew he had to say something, lest he be totally shamed. "I don't know where you learned how to be an ass, but you MUST have had some kind of schooling to be as much of a jerk as you are." To himself, he says If only I had a little more room, I could... then he began to realize how futile it would be, and that he should probably just shut up and let his master take care of the matter.
Cogliostro frowned mildly for but a moment, a soft shaking of his head is offered to no one in particular, an amused smile coming to fore a heartbeat later as he listened to the young drow male illuminate him with more conversation. "Ye could help me find my, hm, "dick", perhaps?"
Xull'rae at this point was beyond exasperation and threw her hand in the air to vent as well as comment. "He doesn't listen. I said I was an ugly bitch not a slut..poor dumb fuck his hair probably was his brain..and now it's gone.."
Laughing to himself, he realizes that he had better not say anything else, lest he anger both Cogliostro and Xull at the same time. While Cogliostro simply turns that sarcastically sweet smile in the drowess' direction for a moment, then spins round to regard the silent one, a single, salt-and-pepper brow arching, as he takes note of said Malaugrym's pause. "Something amiss, Saer...?" In reality, he was quite curious as to whether the Malaugrym would remember his visage.
"Nothing that should concern you, human." As the reply was given, there was some venom in his tone. His memories were a puzzle, and he was putting it all together, slowly, but surely. He didn't know why as of yet, but he felt his blood boiling at sight of the humans face. He'd pull away from the trio, wishing to return to his own little plane to contemplate things further. In a calmer voice he stated, "hmm.. I shall return at a later date, I have some business to attend to. with that the mage left quietly..melding with the shadows quickly and was gone.
For Cogliostro, it had been but hours since he had intruded upon the Malaugrym's past, but for said creature of Shadow, eons had passed. "Hm, well then, gods speed on yaer endeavors, Saer Xarann." A polite enough nod, if not overly respectful, was offered to the disguised creatures retreating form.
"Well damn..." The drowess looked baffled if not humored. "Your ugliness had to offend the mage, baldy. Glad to see it's not just me."
As Horock watched the exchange, he realized that the man had no respect for him what so ever. He decided that he would stay as far away from the man as possible. After hearing Xull speak her peace, he said "I agree with her. I originally only thought it was me you irritated, but it appears that you irritate everyone that you meet. I know you took classes to be an ass, but did you also take classes to be the most irritating person in the world?" He again speaks with scorn in his voice, realizing that in no way is any of his insults gonna effect this man.
"Hmph, I daresay, were ye not the "uglier" of we two, I would take offense." He spun to face the drowess now, he offered a similar nod to her being, turning a final time to gaze upon the younger drow male. Striding forward in a casual manner, the tiniest of humored grins is offered to the offending male in passing. "Surely, you honor me much. I had not thought myself upon such a lofty pedestal." Facing fully forward now, he continues towards the double doors that led into the "forest" beyond.
Xull'rae gazes at Horock in slight regard of approval when they stood alone. "See you can irritate him back..so it's a trade off. You see, we drow were BORN assholes so we are better at it then them since he had to enroll in classes." Her tone was a casual, lecturing one though it did hold traces of humor. "Mm, can't say that I disagree, drowess." Though he was no where to be seen, no chuckle is forthcoming, the tone of his voice is a most humored one.
Xull'rae ignores the human and continues. "Next time just tell him to kiss your black ass. Who knows he might do it..I hear he's into that kinda thing.." She shrugged offhandedly.
Horock raises an eyebrow at Xull'rae and looks stuptified. "So, you think he actually would kiss my ass if I asked him to? What kind of an idiot is he? You seem to know more about him then me." After this exchange, he realizes that he has been out in the open for far too long and goes into the shadows, stepping away from the conversation to give his mentor a little more room to negotiate and make the man feel like an idiot.
"Hmm yeah he would..just make sure he doesn't hump ya." Her sharp ambered gaze turn to look upon the new recruit with a sultry smile. "Enough of the Rivven though..go to the alter chambers and get yourself accquainted with the other Dark Masks..I have errands to run." She looked around once to see of she could spot the human but could not and decoded to leave without a retort. Leaving Horock to himself.
Cogliostro though, his thoughts, however, were not of such a dismissive nature. To the point that they had drowned out the final words that came to his ears in the form of a young, drow male's voice. Thoughts of curiosity and wariness as to what the future may bring this gathering of beings whom he would soon refer to as his flock.
The curiosity was brought about mostly by the genuine drow among them...the wariness belonging in largest part at the moment to the Ancient One known as the Malaugrym.....
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