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Shieal's Mini adventure

It's been a rotten couple of weeks. Seems that every time you turn around, you're reminded of your beloved, yet hated sea. A word here, an odor there, even your last mug of ale reminded you of sitting on the deck of your ship and slamming back mug after mug in contests with the first mate. Deciding that the only answer is to move further inland, you gather up your stuff and head out. You come across a run down old tavern after several days of travel. Feeling the need to sit a bit, and have a frosty mug, you enter. The room is filled with many patrons, several look up as you enter, and you get the sneaking suspicion they are taking your measure. Seating yourself at the bar, A shifty eyed bartender comes over to you and slaps the bar in front of you with a semi clean towel. "What'll it be girlie?"

Sheial grimaced as she somewhat clumsily dismounted from her horse, giving it a way glare when she figured it wasn't looking. At least when she was at sea and had been knocked off her feet, she knew it wasn't personal. But she'd fallen off the beastie enough times that she could swear it was laughing at her when she attempted to clamber in the saddle afterwards. Sheial tied the reins to the post, allowing enough slack for the animal to drink from the trough in front of him, then slowly made her way to the tavern.
A few people are eating cold mutton, and other barely recognizable things. Seems they serve food, but not hot food. You're unsure of the feasibility of ordering anything however, by the stench coming from what you presume to be the kitchen area. The tavern has roughly a dozen tables, seating from 2-4 each and all tables are filled. Amazing you think, considering that as far as you know there isnt a civilized town around for miles.
As she walks in, the peg leg and her walking cane making their distinct stacatto thunks on the wooden floor, Sheial could feel the eyes upon her. It was both disconcertening and challenging to pretend to be unaffected by the peoples' attention. Settling at the bar, because it seemed the tables were mostly full, Sheial could only hope her stern demeanor would stop anyone from becoming too friendly.
That got a raise of an eyebrow. Girlie? Didn't the landlubber see the lines in her face, the wear and tear life would put upon a person? "The name'd be Peg. Bring on an ale, cold, if ye've got it." To heck with giving him a proper name, he didn't look like the type to appreciate it.

Bringing an ale in a mostly clean mug, the barkeep slams it down in front of you, somehow managing to NOT slosh any over the sides. "that'll be 5 silver Peg" he says with a slight sneer, obviously unused to being challenged.

Sheial couldn't help but grin at the man. The whole situation tickled her funnybone. Here she'd taken such pains to stay away from people and this fellow just didn't seem to appreciate it. Maybe she'd stay awhile.

"Aye, 5 silver it is." She reached into her pouch, glad she had placed most of her coins in her backpack and brought out 5 silver. She didn't place it in his hand, but dropped it on the bar counter. Who knew where those hands had been? At least the mug was ... kind of clean. Any thought she had of eating had been rapidly dispersed by the sight and smell of the food people were gnawing on. Trail rations were looking better and better.

As soon as she dropped the coins, she grasped her mug, not trusting the shifty-eyed man to not run off with the coins AND the ale. "Booming business ye've got here." She mentioned casually, flicking a hand towards the interior of the tavern. Sheial glanced at him from beneath lowered lashes, wondering whether he would get defensive about it or not. Considering she hadn't come across a village before now, it was highly unlikely all these men were here for the wonderful cooking.

"Yeah" he mutters before turning away from her and retreating to the other end of the bar where he joins a card game in progress. As Sheial begins to turn around, intending to view the other patrons, she feels a sharp pain on the back of her head, and then complete blackness. When she awakens sometime later (you dont know how long dont ask *g*), she finds herself in a blackened room. The walls, floor, tapestries, and furniture is all black. Black tapers are lit, 5 in all, 1 in each corner and one in the center near the table. trying to stand, Sheial realizes that she is naked, and mannacled by the ankle to the cloth covered table.

Sheial propped herself up and hopped to her *feet*, chain clanking with the movement. She groaned as her head protested the quickness of her actions, giving off a dull pounding. A grimace filled her features as she squinted about the blackened room. Oh yeah, like this was a big surprise. After a brief pause as she was caught off guard by the symbol engraved on the candle, the dirty blonde immediately grabbed the candlestick and pulled the covering from the table. Wooden, thank goodness, she might have chance after all.

The lanky woman landed on her butt with little finese, trying to move as quickly as possible. She carefully held the candle and inspected her chain, frowning as she saw what good condition it was in. Her best bet was the table, for certain, and she gave the attached area a good once over. Quickly she wrapped the cloth, which originally covered the table, around her foot, her face set in determination.

Struggling a bit with the heavy weight of the table, Sheial flips it over and after several blows manages to break off the table leg, and with it, free the other manacle that had ept her chained to the wooden table. Resting for but a moment to catch her breath, she grabs up the tablecloth and nestles the chain within, before tying it to her leg to try and muffle the clanking noise. it made it difficult to walk, but hell she was used to walking strangely and didnt give it a second thought. Picking back up the table leg, she realizes that not only does she have a decent cane to help her eep her balance somewhat, but a handy weapon should she end up needing it in her escape. To alleviate the darkness, she grabs up a candle with her other hand and begins searching the room for a way out.
After several frustrating minutes, that to Sheial in her predicament felt like many hours, she finally happens upon a ridge in the wall. Running her fingers along this ridge, she discovers the outline of a door. Now to just figure out how to trigger it into opening. Unable to discover a hidden latch or lever, she tries throwing her weight against it, and it swivels open, throwing her off balance, and causing her to fall onto the floor of another room.
In front of you, a long, wide hallway narrows toward the far end. 2 tall hideous statues of alien looking humanoids stand along each side wall, staring with dull, fishlike eyes.
The hall is dimly lit by a bank of black candles atop a low altar positioned 5' in front of the north wall. At the opposite end, you can just make out a door, but beyond that is darkness.

Sheial lay on the floor for a long moment, staring at the environment around her. The statues caused her to shudder in repulsion and unease, the flickering candlelight making them even more hideous looking. Deciding that staying on the floor was just making her more cold and more vulnerable, Sheial scrambled once more to her 'feet'.
The lanky blonde walked slowly towards the altar, looking for any more symbols or any sign that something had recently been here. She kept casting suspicious and wary looks down towards the darkened area.
After she noses around the altar, she walk over to the door, keeping well away from the statues; they almost look alive in the flickering light. At the door, Sheial listens for noise, trying to keep her breathing low and even. If she doesn't hear any, she'll try out the door, to see if it is locked. If she does hear something, she'll pause for a moment to determine whether it is coming towards her or going away from her.

Confused as to why her candle light does not light up the darkness, Sheial backs away from the forbidding territory. She chewed on her lip as she tried to decide what to do. By the looks of the blood, someone had been here recently. That did not mean that they would come back right away, but then again, it did not mean they wouldn't.
Considering she had so much luck with finding that hidden door, maybe she ought to look again for another way out of here. And if that didn't work ... Sheial's eyes look distrustfully towards the foreboding darkness.

Unable to find a doorway, Sheial starts throwing candles through the open door. Hearing them thud, lets her know that the floor out in the darkness is solid at least. Setting fire to the book proves to be difficult, when the pages refuse to light and Sheial gives up for the moment, deciding escape is more important. heading into the blackness slowly, she realizes the blackness is in fact smoke not darkness. she seems able to breathe alright however. As she gets a few feet from the door, the air whooshes by her on either side as tho something traveling rather quickly just brushed by her, and then was gone.

Being more than a little freaked out by that, Sheial quickly moves off to her right, until she can feel the wall. She then gets on her hands and knees and crawls alongside the wall. She knew about the dangers of smoke inhalation, but about that feeling of air/disturbance ... Sheial could only shudder at what it could have been. Hopefully it was just as blind as she was and if it was expecting someone at human height, she would confuse it this way. At least this way, with her so close to the ground, she had the advantage of a surprise attack ... maybe.

Discover who the intruder REALLY was!

Meanwhile, Responding to the sound of wodd tapping methodically upon stone, Aerial moves towards the noise, and bumps into, then falls alongside a naked humanoid figure. Because of the smoke, neither of the 2 can see each other, although you definately felt each other to be flesh and roughly human sized, before you both fall onto the hard stone floor.

Sheial paused for a moment, stopping her tapping for half a second. The lanky woman reared up on her knees from her crawling position, all senses on alert. Just as she moved, something or someONE ran into her, throwing her off balance. Sheial fell to the floor, sprawling akwardly as she attempted to get her panic under control and losing her candle in the process. Heart pounding, Sheial clutched at her club and tried to roll away, only to squish herself against the wall.

"Who art thou?" The female voice called out softly from the blackness.

The fighter fought down the feelings of hope the sound of that voice sent through her. Sure it was a female voice, but that didn't mean she wasn't one of the evil people who were going to sacrifice Sheial. Considering the other woman was clothed, she most probably wasn't another sacrifice-to-be. She did talk rather oddly, like some of the upper crust society types. Remembering the tavern and the caliber of men there, it somehow didn't seem likely that this woman was in cahoots with them. Better safer than sorry though ...

"I be someone who dinna want to be sacrificed. If ye wish me evil, I'll smack ye flatter than a fish cake." Sheial clenched her fist tightly around her table leg, quite ready to defend herself if need be.

" I don't what to sacrafice you I was looking for a woman I had just met named Arilyn. Those Human Priests took off with her." Aerial said. " My name is Aerial Dracon a Priestess of Quiom."

Once again, Sheial had to listen extra carefully to the woman, who seemed to have a little trouble with Common. Again the fighter thought of the odd way the woman phrased things, like 'human priests'. Well, what else would they be? Sheial's mind flashed back to the statues she had passed and she shuddered at the thought of priests looking like that.

Her brow furrowing in concentration, she tried to understand exactly what the woman was saying. Was she saying that she had just met Arilyn, who took off on a merry-to-do with several men? That certainly didn't say much for this Arilyn female. No, that explanation didn't sit right with Sheial and once more she tried to sort out the puzzle.

"I dinna know a god be calling itself Quiom, but it sounds like yer friend be in trouble." Sheial nodded as she spoke, finally divining what the woman had been attempting to say.

Just as she was about to speak once more, she felt a cold hand on her thigh. Sheial yelped in surprise, her well calloused hand immediately landing on top of the small hand, grabbing it. As soon as she felt the delicacy and fragility of the bones, Sheial loosened her grip. Her voice when she spoke was almost hoarse, "Belay yer grabbing missus. Ye scared the salt out of me bones."

Taking a few deep breaths to calm her beating heart, Sheial spoke once more in a low tone, "I dinna know a wench named Arilyn, but if both ye be of good heart, ye can count on me to help ye out of this scurvy place. Ye can call me ... Peg."

Sheial frowned and stared blindly into the direction she had heard Aerial's voice, getting more and more annoyed with this 'smoke'. It had to be a distraction, some evil magik that those fish eyed clerics had put up. She concentrated hard, trying to see through the illusion.

Keeping her voice low and relatively quiet, Sheial questioned her new companion, "Where did ye come from Aerial? Ye dinna want to go back the way I just came, unless ye wish to be led up for sacrifice. We need to be finding a way out. I felt something pass me by when I first started this little trek, so I be thinking we should move quicker than spit here. We use the right wall as a guide, then we should be ship shape and tally free." Sheial stood up with a grunt, using her table leg as a support, while holding Aerial's hand in the other.

"Sorry, Well I don't think we should go the way you came from. So lets go the way I came from." Aerial whispered." But I Think I got all turned around in this smoke I caused trying to save Arilyn. What a mess I made I didn't what this to happen. My Companions may know how to get out of here. So I guess I will Follow you. I am sorry but I didn't catch the name."

Aerial Trys to see through the smoke toward were the voice is coming from. Holding the naked womans hand she followed.

Keeping her voice low, Sheial responded quickly to the little woman. The tone of her voice was one that made you unsure if she was annoyed or amused, "Was ye who made this not-smoke? Arrr. But ye have more friends out there and that be good." Sheial shook her head, thinking that she'd much rather had the evil clerics to blame for the thick fog.

Carefully, Sheial transfered the hand to her shoulder, then placed her hand along the wall. Sheial was going to trail her hand along the wall as they walks, that way she can tell when they go past a doorway. Once again she spoke, her voice low, near to a whisper, "Call me Peg. When this hullaballoo is over and done with, we can get proper introductions. Now quickly, tell me what weapons you have to bring to the fray in case we be attacked. I have a club and if ye have nothing, ye stay behind me. As soon as I say *danger*, ye flatten yerself to the wall, yes?"

Aerial lets Sheial know she is carrying a staff and no other weapon other than her prayers. Sheial lets Aerial know she is carrying a table leg, but it'll make a handy club should they need it. Heading in the approximate direction Aerial came from, the 2 women cautiously proceed through the smoke. (which Sheial tries to see through, but remains unable, assuring her it is real and no illusion) You exit the smoke into a large room containing many people.

Back to turn 136