Private Tales Bump In The Night

Vyx'aria

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The insufferable great ball of fire was finally gone, and the eerie blue blanket fell over the surface once more. Even to this day, Vyx didn’t understand the shimmering orbs of light above or why they existed. She had caught several of her soldiers staring for hours at the shimmering gems that glinted above, a sense of wonder in their gleaming eyes. Vyx couldn’t blame them - there were many fascinating aspects of the surface world that they would never understand.

However, tonight wasn’t the time for musing and pondering, they had a job to do. Vyx and her party were stationed near a small village that often sheltered trading merchants that stopped here before going to Alliria to sell their wares. Surface gems were highly valuable in the Underdark, and Vyx had found raiding merchants to be most profitable. She was even able to have new scimitars fashioned, the pommels ornate and bejeweled. Her armor had seen some upgrades as well, her right pauldron crafted meticulously where even the dwarves would be envious.

From here Vyx could hear singing and laughter of the villagers, and they had set up a fire to sit around. The brightness would make Vyx’s eyes water if she veered any closer. She gave her soldiers the hand signal to wait till the fire was put out before they attacked. The merchants and their caravan locations were marked. Vyx had stressed the importance of this being a clandestine mission - the last few raids had resulted in lots of bloodshed and things they hadn’t expected like fire. Stealth was their best ally.

After a few more hours, the fire was put out as the villagers began to retire for the night. Vyx gave the silent command as the group of six began to move like shadows through the night. They would be upon the small village within moments. She hoped this would be a quick in and out job without anyone discovering what happened till the next morning.
 
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Draedamyr

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He despised these little backwater villages. This one was at least accustomed to merchants and travellers coming through. That meant the elf jokes had been relatively tame. It still didn't mean they had a worthwhile supply of wine.

In the last few months he had been running from the worst demonic attacks with Seska the Dragonslayer. Being a professional mage hunter had put him face to face with more demonic activity.

His experience at the necromancer's Tower had convinced him that the demons were still trying to break out of pandemonium. He took to the roads to head to Alliria to see what others may have heard.

Whilst others from the caravan had found locals willing to take them in for the night and offer a hot meal for a few coins, Draedamyr was sleeping in the back of a wagon. At least he had canvas over his head and a few road biscuits.
 
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Vyx'aria

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Drow soldiers had been trained to communicate almost entirely by hand signals - maintaining silence was of utmost importance when operating underground. With the cover of night and without any infuriating fires to distract them, the dark elves were perfectly poised to strike. Vyx gave a quick few orders to target the merchant wagons and loot them for all they were worth and get the hell out of dodge.

Within moments, the elves were in the village, easily maneuvering out of sight and past anyone that was still awake and wandering around. Vyx took her own path, keeping her sights on the others. The looting had begun at once - the women making short work of rummaging through the contents in the wagons and taking out anything that appeared remotely shiny. The Drow were quiet enough to even nab things from under the noses of any merchants that were sleeping on their wagons.

Vyx made her way towards one of the wagons, setting upon it as her target. Unfortunately, a drunk merchant had the same idea as he stumbled about after a night of drinking around the fire. He came to a pause near the back of the wagon, having been kicked out of his host’s home for his behavior.

In his severe drunkenness, he spotted the sleeping Draedamyr and promptly mistook his elvish features to be the delicate ones of a woman. The man flashed a lopsided grin, “Heyyyy pretty lady, why’re you out here all by yourself? I can keep you waaaaarm,” He slurred his words, not realizing how loud and obnoxious he was, “We can looook at the stars together!”

The man began to reach for the mage hunter, but was promptly hit over the back of the head. There was a dazed look on his face as he fell to the ground with a thud, blissfully knocked out. Standing where the man stood was a very angry looking Vyx’aria, who was now convinced the entire mission was jeopardized.

She promptly drew out her blade to silence the ‘woman’ in question, only to spot a familiar face. The blade froze in air, and her anger flashed to a look of curiosity before going back to anger again, “You!” She was so caught off guard she stammered out in Drow instead of the common tongue.

Draedamyr
 
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“Heyyyy pretty lady, why’re you out here all by yourself? I can keep you waaaaarm,” He slurred his words, not realizing how loud and obnoxious he was, “We can looook at the stars together!”
Draedamyr wasn't sleeping deeply. He couldn't out here. He was an urban creature, used to the comfort of an inn and the protection of city walls. He never slept well out in the open. One eye fluttered open as the idiot stumbled towards the caravan. A murder would cause a riot. Putting the idiot on his arse and challenging him in the morning if he was truly offensive.

He sat upright at the thud. A soft schlick from beneath the blanket as he drew a straight dagger from its sheath.

“You!”
"You?" he counted. Draedamyr tossed the blanket into the path of the drow as he scrabbled towards the far end of the wagon.
 

Vyx'aria

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Vyx was beyond irritated at spotting that same infuriating elf from before. Very few beings invoked her wrath and walked free, but he was among those few. She was in a precarious position, as she couldn’t risk him blowing her cover. The blanket thrown back at her was caught, and she didn’t miss the blade in his hand. Her keen eyes were made for darkness, and she could see his every move clearly.

Instead of pursuing him, she slammed her foot into one of the poorly attached back wheels on the wagon. The wheel rolled right off, causing the wagon to awkwardly slant to one side. This would send both elf and the goods in the wagon tumbling down towards her.

He had a choice - stay out of her way and let her loot, or engage. Vyx had to rapidly weigh the pros and cons herself, though her focus was on the jewels and rubies in the wagon.
 
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Had she come here for him? No, the surprise in her tone had had been genuine. She wouldn't be here alone. Drow did not send up long individuals to raid. She would be here with a party again.

As he was about to climb into the drivers seat the wagon shifted beneath him. He went down heavily onto one knee, grabbing the wodden back of the seat with one hand. She was only a couple of steps from sword reach. He doubted she would take more than a heartbeat to close the distance.

Draedamyr dropped the knife to land on the wagon floor. It slide against his knee and stood there. He grabbed a mallet from the sliding contents of the wagon and tossed it at the Drow. Anything to slow her down.
 

Vyx'aria

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Vyx was sure he would take the window of opportunity to escape and leave her be. In fact, she was so sure that she let her guard down. When the mallet came sailing through the air, it comically collided with her forehead. The Drow was beyond startled, and also humiliated and enraged. She paused for just a moment before her almost glowing eyes narrowed to slits as they gazed up at the insufferable elf.

“You dead,” She growled menacingly in broken common. She forgot all about the gems and trinkets and launched herself directly at the elf like a pouncing cat. It was clear that she was driven by sheer, animalistic fury from being humiliated by a mallet to the face. She was sure that was going to leave a mark and an ugly bump to boot.

Her hurtling at him would hopefully pin him to the bed of the wagon, giving her a chance to whip out a small dagger to make quick work of killing him. Being a female Drow, she was built to be stocky and heavily muscled, even moreso than the men. She was oblivious to the fact that their little scuffle was sure to rouse suspicion pretty soon.

Draedamyr
 
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Draedamyr had thought the mallet would have bought him enough time to rush through the front of the wagon to escape. Even if he couldn't outrun her he could have drawn his sword.

It didn't dissuade her. It only seemed to anger the dark elf.

Draedamyr had managed a few steps when her weight fell upon him. His leading knee buckled and one of his hands pressed to the floor of the caravan.

He managed to propoell himself forwards a little further, which was probably just enough to send them tumbling out of the front of the caravan and out into the open.
 

Vyx'aria

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They tumbled off the wagon and fell to the ground in a lump. In the process, she managed to lose her blade. She growled in anger, attempting to land a hit on the infuriating elf.

“THIEVES!”

Vyx stopped what she was doing, not even bothering to peel herself away from the stupid elf as she looked up. The merchant owner of the wagon was there with a few villagers that stared wide eyed, all with torches to shine light on the two elves. They glanced from the elves, to the rubies scattered about, and then back to the elves.

“ARREST THEM!”

The Drow quickly sprang to her feet, reaching for her weapon and finding it missing. By now, both she and the elf were surrounded by villagers and cornered. Vyx discreetly signaled for her soldiers to make an exit. Her eyes were watering from the torches, and she had to avert her gaze.

The villagers began to rush in, three large men coming in to tie up their wrists with rope. Vyx decided she would have to play along and break out later, but she wondered if the other elf had any other stupid ideas.
 
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Draedamyr was most definitely not a close in brawler. He struggled as she rolled off the wagon with him. His entire vision went a blinding white as she struck him across the back of his head with as forearm or elbow. Draedamyr's foot slid across the ground as he failed to try and find purchase and protect his head.

“ARREST THEM!”
He was slow to find his feet, his legs shaking beneath him for a few moments.

"You should look around there will be more of...hey!"

Two of them had him by his arms, prising the sheathed sword from his grip before he could properly protest. He dug in his heels and one of the men struck him between the shoulder blades with the palm of a hand.

"I'm not a dark elf you idiots!"
 
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Vyx'aria

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Vyx was more than furious at the situation, but there was not much to do when torches were being flashed in her sensitive eyes. Tears pooled, and she could hardly see. The brightness was beginning to give her a headache.

The Drow overheard the other elf claiming he wasn’t a dark elf, and the villagers paused for a moment. Vyx acted at once, speaking out in broken Common, “Yes, he is my spy,” She gave the elf a nasty grin. If she was going down, he was going down with her.

As a result, the male elf was roughly shoved forward to stand next to Vyx. After deciding the two were big threats, they swapped out the ropes for manacles, clasping them onto their wrists. To Vyx’s horror, they linked a chain between her left wrist and the elf’s right, sticking them together. Her own plan severely backfired, and things progressed from bad to worse.

The villagers then attempted to forcefully take them towards the dungeons where they would be locked up in a cell.
 
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Draedamyr fell silent at her accusation, although the glare she received spoke volumes. He had long ago given up on the sense of humans to see what was at the end of their noses.

The chain was heavy. It was unfortunately that she definitely had a size and weight advantage over him or else he could have tried to strangle her with them in the cells. Perhaps she would try the same.

People were not locked in cells for long. Not unless they were rich. A human here might get their hand removed and sent back into the world. For them there was only death.

"You speak elven?" he asked. There were similarities but he didn't speak dark elven.
 
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Vyx'aria

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The dungeons were dark and smelled, and she could see what looked to be a humanoid femur off in the corner. For such a ‘quaint’ village, the dungeons were quite appalling. She had overheard how the two elves would be transported to a maximum security prison in the city the following day.

The moment Vyx was left alone, she turned to glare at the surface elf. She too had the same thought he did, but she acted more on impulse. Within the blink of an eye, she spun on her heel, bringing the chain up and slamming him bodily back against the wall behind him with the chain against his neck. In the pitch darkness, her eyes gleamed of their own accord, the crimson hues pronounced against the black.

She was going to finish the job before she heard him speak. Vyx loosened her grip on him, pondering on the words. Surprise was clear on her face, and she stepped back slightly - as much as she could while being tethered to him. Was killing him truly worth the trouble of having a rotting dead body attached to her?

“I have no….want to make conversation with you,” She hissed at him in choppy Elven, scowling...and yet she continued on,“I thought you were friend of humans,” That same nasty grin spread across her face again, reminding him that he was stuck down here with her all the same.
 
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Draedamyr

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If there were circumstances in which he didn't want to fight the dark elf, this was all of them. Chained to her, in an enclosed space and without a sword. If he had thought she had the weight advantage before, she had made the point abundantly clear slamming him into the wall.

"It would seem that I am not the friend of these particular humans," he replied. He lifted his wrist to a rattle of chains to make the point.

"I was not here to rob them and I'm not so keen on being hung because you were," he added. There were probably a lot of points that were going to be muddled in translation, but he continued on.

"We need to escape."
 
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Vyx'aria

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Vyx stared at him as he spoke, her patience wearing thin as she could only make out snippets of what he was saying. Half of her considered simply punching him mid speech because she was tired of hearing a man talk so much, but the other half knew he had a point. His last sentence was one she could get behind - despite their disagreements, they needed to get out of here.

She turned to regard the bars that held them, surveying them for a moment. Vyx had no weapon and no immediate idea outside of trying to use her weight against it. After she was done inspecting, she backed up a few steps and rushed directly at the bars shoulder first.

Vyx slammed harshly against the bars, dragging the elf with. She was sure her hulking form would be able to make the bars budge - brute strength generally worked for her in the past. However, the bars didn’t do anything, and it only caused the two elves to collide together in a comical display that helped no one.

Spitting out a drow curse, she stepped back and tried to gaze out through the bars. Not finding any immediate answers, she turned to the elf. It looked as if she were in pain forcing out the words, “...What do you suggest?”
 
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"For fucks sake," Draedamyr hissed, with no patience for more eloquence. The drow nearly tore his arm from its socket, or at least that was what if felt like. If it had been dislocated it would have been slammed back home into the joint as they collided.

"You do understand how bars work don't you?" he asked before he could think better of it.

"Look, we need to wait for our chance or lure a guard with keys here. Then we retrieve weapons, get away from here before they can hang you and we can go back to trying to kill one another in a civilised way."
 
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Vyx simply stared at him as he rattled off a plan like it was the simplest thing ever. Her jaw tightened at his quip about her not knowing about bars, but she let it slide. The drow peered through the bars to see if there were any guards. Her keen ears could pick up snippets of conversation as two men entered a room far across from where the two were held.

“-might have some strange magic tricks or some nonsense. We need your help to make sure they don’t do anything...funny when we take them into the city.”

“Not to worry, I’m the man for the job."

“Of course, we’ll pay you handsomely of course. We normally don’t have such problems and it’s a wonder we caught them at all. We're lucky you came along."

“I will go inspect them to see what I’m up against."

Vyx moved away from the bars when she heard footsteps coming towards the cell. She turned to the other elf, sneering as she recalled all his bright ideas.

“Well, put your pretty face to use and talk us out of this then,” She hissed at him, spinning around so he was closer to the bars this time. If he was going to mock her for her attempts at escape, she was thrilled to see what he had to offer.

The man that was going to be tasked with monitoring them came over with a torch. As he raised the torch near the bars to look into the cell, Draedamyr would quickly realize it was a mage he had been tasked to hunt in the past.

The mage, still bitter from being stripped of all his titles since, had a flicker of recognition on his face as well.
 
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"Common thievery?" Bandrell mused, holding the torch higher to confirm what he suspected. "I don't know why that should surprise me. A bounty hunter tasked with dragging down those above their station wouldn't have qualms about such things I suppose."

Draedamyr sighed. In the last year he had been hounded by demons, both literal and the kind that lurked in his past. He switched to the elven tongue quickly, looking over his shoulder.

"Bandrell is a rogue sorcerer and a dangerous one," he explained. "We have a history and we won't catch him off guard."

"Manners master elf. Speaking in another tongue like that."

"It is good manners for me to speak human?" Draedamyr asked. Of course he thought that. The dangerous mages he hunted were almost always humans. They didn't have the time to learn magic properly so they carried out dangerous experiments. Where five mages might unleash unexpected terrors, one would make a great discovery. They stood on the pile of dead and foolish that had come before to reach such heights.

"It is good manners not to speak in private. Now...you're with a drow. How fascinating. I've always wondered in the physiological differences."

"He wants to cut you apart," Draedamyr translated. Suddenly being murdered by the drow didn't seem like it had been the worst fate on offer.
 
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Vyx remained in the shadows, quietly listening to the tidbits she could glean from the conversation. To her surprise, the elf bothered to actually translate what was being said. When he mentioned that the mage wanted to cut her apart, Vyx whirled in towards the bars. She attempted to reach a hand out and grab the mage’s throat.

However, the mage moved with blinding speed, whizzing backwards faster than she had ever seen a human do. It almost left a faint imprint of his being where he stood previously as he backed up against the wall. Bandrell simply chuckled out loud, “Feisty, this one. I think I’ll keep her for myself after we arrive in the city…” He had a nasty grin on his face, “If she survives the journey.”

---​

The two elves had no choice but to allow the night to pass. Bandrell had ensured that they were on constant watch, making escape attempts all but impossible. Vyx remained silent throughout the night, though she did not sleep, not while chained to an enemy. As the infernal ball of fire rose in the sky once more, she knew she was in serious trouble.

The two elves were once again forced out of the cells by a group of men led by Bandrell. As soon as they stepped out into the morning light, Vyx had to wince and look away. She had been on the surface during the day, but she always found cover.

“Now, why don’t you two behave and we can have a nice uneventful journey to the city,” Bandrell said with a grin as the elves were shoved onto the back of a wagon led by two horses. The mage sat up front with the driver while two men with crossbows and blades sat in the back with the elves.

Vyx already began to feel weak and Bandrell purposely ensured that she sat under direct sun. The wagon began to move at once, and the journey would take the entire day. An entire day under the glare of the sun.

The drow closed her eyes and looked down, knowing her soldiers wouldn’t come for her while the sun was up. She was very well doomed.
 
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Draedamyr let his gaze slide from one guard to the other and back. They both looked quite relaxed in their roles. Not lazy or unattentive, but simply calm and confident.

On his feet and with sword in hand he could take them both. On the wagon, with the dark elf blinking back tears, he would get dragged down or skewered with a crossbow before he could do much damage.

That was all before the wizard reacted. A wizard who had probably prepared several spells despite his confident act. The man was cruel, but not an idiot.

"Can you even see?" Draedamyr asked.

"Oi! No speaking in elven!" Warned a guard with a wave of is crossbow.
 
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Vyx had no idea where her weapon was, and there was no immediate sign of the other elf’s weapons either. She squinted and looked away for a moment before the elf spoke. Vyx gritted her teeth, “No… but I can focus.”

She didn’t know if he would catch her meaning or not. Raised in complete darkness meant that in addition to having eyes adapted for it, she also relied heavily on her other senses. She could hear every little movement the two men ahead of them made, and she grew accustomed to their scent.

Vyx waited until they were further along and the men were more relaxed. She kept her eyes closed as she whispered without barely moving her lips, “You take one...I take one...same time,” They would have to launch themselves at the two men in tandem and off the cart as quietly as possible. Even if it meant taking a bolt as a result.

“Three….two….”
 
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Draedamyr shook his head, but the drow kept counting down. It left him with no choice. He was quick. Quicker than a man, but not a crossbow bolt.

He lashed out for the crossbow with his right foot. The guard let it go. Calm and collected, he reached for the knife at his belt.

There was no going backwards. He would hold the dark elf back and get her killed instead. Better to die fighting now than at the end of a noose.

Draedamyr slammed his shoulder into the guard when the blade was half drawn. The guard grunted, hsing his free hand to strike Draedamyr several times.
 
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Vyx acted in concert with the elf, launching herself forth at the second man. She used her weight and muscular build to her advantage, throwing herself bodily against the smaller man. With both elves launching themselves, they successfully toppled over the back of the cart.

She knew she had a bolt wedged into her shoulder, but she ignored the pain. The four of them hit the sandy path with a thud and Vyx promptly began to roll to the side. This yanked the surface elf out of the way from a man attempting to slash him with a blade.

The collective roll carried them off to the side of the road and into a ditch that opened up to woods.

Vyx curled her legs up to wrap around one of the men's necks to try and suffocate him. The man trying to fight the surface elf opened his mouth to shout out at the wagon to alert them.

"Stop him!!" Vyx shrieked at the surface elf in elvish.
 
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Draedamyr heard the snap of the crossbow being released. Not feeling it striking him he assumed it had missed. He was wrong. There were coloured fletchings protruding from the drow's shoulder.

She was atop one guard, the other turning for the caravan. Draedamyr scrabbled to his feet. The guard stepped away and Draedamyr was left with very little chain to work with.

Draedamyr kicked out, striking the man's ankle hard. He yelped as Draedamyr kicked again, this time for the knee to bring him down.

The man still had two hands to Draedamyr's one free. From his knees he lashed out. Stepping back, Draedamyr kicked out again, trying to catch his jaw or head.
 
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The surface elf’s kick found purchase, the man’s head jutting back as blood seeped from his mouth. Vyx was still in the process of suffocating the other man. He was turning blue and he repeatedly punched and hit her. She was left with bruises, but she refused to relent.

With the man still trapped between her legs, she rolled over closer to the surface elf. This slacked the chain and allowed the elf more space to move in order to get some solid hits on the man he faced. Vyx knew many drow that could perform nifty tricks when their enemies bled, but she had no such skills.

“Can you do blood magic?!” She shrieked at the elf. She assumed most elves had some skill with magic and weren’t failures like her in the art.
 
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