Private Tales Bump In The Night

Vyx'aria

Drow Queen
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Vyx glared at him as he spoke, “You think I am a child then?” She said grumpily, though this time it wasn’t followed with a physical backhand. Vyx chalked it up to being too tired from the climb. Speaking of which, why was he lying down? How old was he? She shook her head and gazed forward, taking in sight of all the forests and valleys that stretched out for miles. The sight fascinated her, and her gaze trailed along the river that spiraled far ahead and the stunning mountain ridges in the distance.

“How….big is this world?” She asked softly, her eyes widening in wonder. Vyx had only seen tunnels and expansive caverns, but this world appeared to go on for ages and far beyond she could even see.

As the drops of rain began to fall, she gasped and looked up. The first drops began and then it was a light drizzle. Vyx shrieked and clutched at her head, trying to duck under her hands.

“What is this now?! Is this poisonous?! IS THIS ALSO FROM PLANTS?” She was practically screeching. Vyx even drew out her dagger and brandished it threateningly at the sky.
 
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Draedamyr

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"That is just rain," Draedamyr said.

In one smooth motion he sat upright. Chains clanked as he lifted both hands, palms towards her. He hoped that the gesture translated properly to the drow.

Draedamyr placed a hand over her wrist and, with almost no pressure at all, tried to ease her knife-wielding hand down.

"It falls from the sky. Normally when you want it the least. When there is drought - when no rain falls - then the crops die. Crops...the plants we eat. Do you even grow plants to eat below the surface? Can you?" he asked.
 
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Vyx'aria

Drow Queen
Dominion
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Vyx was entirely too distracted to notice him sitting upright. However, when he gently placed a hand over her wrist, she stopped her flailing. His touch was pleasantly warm against the frigid cold from the rain and wind. Vyx turned to eye him suspiciously, but didn’t draw her hand away or attack him.

She was caught off guard by the question about the Underrealm. No one had bothered to ask her before as most surface dwellers were terrified of her.

“We have tubers and other plants, but nothing like here,” Vyx looked around, still not thrilled about the rain, “There are plants and terrain there that glow and caves made entirely of crystals. There are gems and stones that are valuable up here but have little meaning to us.”

She narrowed her eyes then. She didn’t like talking so much and this was unusual for her.

“There is much to….fear.. In this world,” Vyx mused quietly, recalling the word he used from earlier. Rain, the ball in the sky, rivers, all of it was downright frightening.
 
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Draedamyr

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She didn't answer by putting the blade through his throat. It was a relief all of its own. Pale green eyes appraised her carefully. She could, if she wanted to, overpower him. He had no sword and he was chained to her. She could have done the deed and got on with the grisly task of taking his hand off at the wrist. There was no need for deception.

"The outdoors is terrible," he agreed. "Monsters and rain and wind and worst of all, ignorant bumpkin humans. Which is why we invented cities. The walls are nice, but more important are the rooves to keep out the rain. Even more important is that within those walls we horde all the good conversation and culture."

"And even more important than that..." he said, wagging a finger on his free hand as the other kept urging her knife down, "...is we send all the good wine there too. Ah wine. Maybe there is a bottle of something worth drinking up with the wagon."
 
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Vyx'aria

Drow Queen
Dominion
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Vyx opened her mouth to talk and each time the elf kept speaking more. After a moment, she simply gave up and listened, watching with fascination as he got passionate about the topic. The rain didn’t appear to bother her too much anymore and was actually slightly pleasant. It was a sensation she wasn’t familiar with, and she was quietly adapting to it.

“Surface dwellers have so much sky, endless space and they would rather gaze up at a blank wall,” Vyx mused quietly as she gazed up at the sky, blinking through the rain, “In the Underrealm there is no sky. There is only roof….endless roof, walls everywhere. If I lived here, I would stay under the sky at all times. Perhaps you should live in the Underrealm and I should stay here."

She turned to look at him then, “We make drink from the mushrooms down there. It’s very strong. Sometimes you...see things when you drink.”

Vyx absentmindedly reached down and felt along her waist, satisfied to find a small flask. She felt the slightest bit of elation to find it still intact. After pondering for a moment she looked over at the elf again.

“Too much for weak surface elves,” Vyx smugly grinned at him before taking a quick swig to show it wasn’t poison. She surprised herself by extending it towards him to try. If for no other reason, it would at least entertain her if he actually did take it.
 
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Draedamyr

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"Peasants can have the outdoors and the farms and the animal shit. I will take civilisation." He was as disparaging of the country folk as she was of males.

Draedamyr looked down at the flask she was offering. He was, at least, beyond suspecting she would poison him now. He still suspected she might try and kill him before they parted ways, but this didn't seem the right moment. Poison didn't seem the method.

"Visions you say?" he mused, lifting one eyebrow. He took a swig.

Both eyebrows went up this time. It was strong. Not entirely unpleasant.

"Keep you warm on a cold night I suspect," he replied, passing the flask back.
 
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Vyx'aria

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Dominion
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Vyx quirked an eyebrow at his opinions about the outdoors. Peasants?

“That’s quite some talk for someone that was sleeping in a wagon,” She watched him take the flask, more than surprised to see him actually take a swig. She was about to point out that perhaps he didn’t quite understand what the ‘visions’ meant, but he was already drinking it by then.

She took the flask back and took another swig of her own, “Yeah, it makes obnoxious surface elves tolerable too,” Vyx muttered quietly, allowing herself a faint grin.

The drink had the potential to start giving him a mild psychedelic experience depending on his state of mind. Vyx slowly moved to stand, wincing from the pain on her shoulder.

“Come on, let’s see if that wagon has this wine you speak of.”
 
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Draedamyr

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"I don't..." Draedamyr started on wagons, but to his surprise he realised that she was teasing.

Draedamyr hadn't expected the drow attack to end with them chained together and being taken away by an old and dangerous bounty. He had most certainly not expected to end up sharing some mushroom-based spirit with the drow.

Nor did he expect to find her reasonably pleasant company. Not pleasant in the soft and friendly manner. No one described Draedamyr that way either. She had a wit about her he enjoyed.

"Well, on the surface, only the lowliest of creatures hide in caves at night. But catching sleep in the back of a wagon is not the most prestigious position."

Draedamyr carefully drew himself to his feet. He still hadn't let go of the notion that she might still try and Stan him.
 
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Vyx'aria

Drow Queen
Dominion
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Vyx watched as he carefully rose to stand, always giving her a suspicious glance. After a moment of silence, she finally said something about it, “If I wanted to bash your face in, I would have done so already,” The Drow spoke with a deadpan expression. Besides, she was only keeping him alive because she needed someone to help maneuver through this terrain. Right?

“Lowliest of creatures….or perhaps those that are most at peace,” Vyx said as she thought about his comment on cave dwellers. Humans struck her as very nosy people, and they certainly loved flushing others out of their homes.

“Are you from Falwood?” Vyx had to ask, assuming that all surface elves were from that wretched place that drove out her people so long ago.

The rain didn’t ease off as they kept walking, and she hoped at least he knew the way back. Vyx had no idea how to navigate in such a massive world.

“This is the most I’ve ever spoken to a surface elf,” Vyx mumbled quietly. It had intended to be a simple thought to herself, but it ended up being within earshot of him.
 
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Draedamyr

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"Aha, the most you have ever spoken to a surface elf and so you seek to use me to discover the secret entrances to Fal'addas?" he asked, clearly being sarcastic. Draedamyr chuckled briefly but it turned into a sharp hiss.

"Fuck it, I hurt all over," he complained. After the fighting, the falling and the climbing, walking had now become a challenge all of its own. At least he could see the wagons now. The horses hadn't bolted. Good, stupid creatures with their blinkers on.

"I'm afraid the people of Fal'addas decided to stay in their woodland homes whilst my city was overrun by an army of humans. Almost no one even remembers the name of where I come from. I live in Alliria now."

Draedamyr turned to look at the drow over his shoulder as they slowly made the last few meters to the carts. He was slowly coming around to the idea that he was actually enjoying her company. Not the situation they found themselves in - which he was still certain was her fault - but definitely the company.

"We can take the first wagon, ride it away from here," he suggested.
 
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Vyx'aria

Drow Queen
Dominion
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Vyx was shocked that her secret was revealed. She had been wanting to nose around about Fal’Addas, but it took her a moment to realize he was being sarcastic. She simply scowled and kept walking, scoffing as he complained about hurting all over.

“I had a crossbow bolt through my shoulder, old man,” She quipped back, hoping the wound wasn’t getting infected. Maybe the rain helped clean it out?

Alliria. A rich, human city. Vyx couldn’t deny how enticing that would be as a potential conquest. However, that was not a realistic goal for now, “Do you...like Alliria? Is it welcoming to our- to your kind?” She had to remember that on the surface there was a distinction between types of elves. In the Underrealm they were mostly collectively dark elves.

They came across the wagon then and she looked at him, “You actually found the way back,” The tone of surprise was unmistakable, “I was….lost,” It was hard for her to admit, but there was no denying it. She would have wandered aimlessly without finding her way around if it weren’t for him.

Vyx began to rummage around some of the supplies, “Find anything interesting?”
 
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Draedamyr

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Draedamyr had no choice but to join her in the back of the wagon. There were several crates they would need to work together to open. Those could wait. He wasn't above stealing from the dead wizard to make his way home.

"I assume the landmarks you're used to following are different. I got trapped in caves once. Sealed by a magical explosion. I went round in circled for hours before finding a way out."

He made a noise of triumph and lifted a bottle of dusty red wine.

"Bandrell was a disgrace. He would have...well what he would have done to you doesn't bear speaking of. But he did have money. Which is what gets anyone by in Alliria of any species. An elf will do just fine if they have coin and pride, especially if they have a reputation for duelling and killing those who are not careful with their tongue. "

Vyx probably could have carved out a life for herself there, were she so inclined. He doubted it. The drow has their realm and they only came to the surface to raid. He actually wouldn't mind a little more of her company, but he expected she would scuttle back off under a rock as soon as possible.

His sile t musings on the matter were cut short when they checked the guards. There was no key.

"Bastard," he said of the wizard, who must have carried them to his watery grave.
 
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Vyx'aria

Drow Queen
Dominion
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Vyx eyed the bottle of wine, “Is that any good?” She couldn’t tell what was good or poor wine up here. She knew that she was tired of mushroom extracts and enjoyed different flavors from up here.

She grinned when he described how to survive in Alliria, “I can get a reputation for dueling and killing rather quickly,” Though she didn’t feel so tough with a wound and her hand still chained to his. A quick search revealed that they would continue to be stuck for a bit.

Vyx took the wine and took a long swig. She was still feeling the effects from drinking the mushroom drink earlier. The drow stared at the horses up front, not entirely sure how this worked. She climbed up front with a bit of a struggle and hoisting the elf up as well. After that she simply stared at the horses. With lizards, she simply had to utter a command and they went.

“Go!” She shouted at the horses. Nothing happened.

Instead of trying again, she simply sighed, looking down at the bottle of wine, “Sometimes I don’t want to go back. Back down below…”
 
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Draedamyr

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"It is very good in fact, good enough that I would sell it along with the wagon for coin if I wasn't parched," he said.

Draedamyr was lying to himself. If he hadn't opened it, he definitely would have kept it for a rainy day. Or a day when it would have gone with a meal. Or any deal, if he was being entirely honest. Draedamyr liked wine.

The horses reacted to her call but didn't set off.

"Maybe give the reins a flick too," he suggested. "Why wouldnt you go back. Up here you can only see for half the day...which I admit I realise is exactly the same for me. Just the other half." He was rambling now, courtesy of the mushroom spirits.
 
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Vyx'aria

Drow Queen
Dominion
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Vyx took his advice and gave the reins a tug, yelping in surprise as the horses began to move abruptly. She didn’t like being up this high at all, and she made an effort not to look at the ground. Instead, she decided to drink more of the wine before passing it back to the elf.

“Because,” She said, her voice full of wonder and joy that was almost uncharacteristic of her, “I have to always worry about ways my people might betray me. Another House that vies for power, a member of my own family that would like to kill me in my sleep. Up here…” A smile almost touched her lips, “I can see this great big…. Ceiling that goes for miles,” She pointed up at thick clouds and the occasional lightning, “And actually moves and does things! I can look at this day and night without worry!”

Her voice was getting more and more elated, the combination of mushrooms and alcohol setting in, “But...all the fears I described just now I probably make you feel,” She said, half her words slurring. Vyx clapped him on the back, “Don’t worry! I won’t stab you,” A smile did grace her face then. It was probably the kindest words she had offered a surface dweller.
 
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Draedamyr

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"I am very glad that I don't have to worry about a blade between my shoulders for the time being," he said, laughing more than he should have done. It was a mix of exhaustion and alcohol together.

There was a constant shuffle for power in Alliria. Powerful merchant families were vying for power and the line between criminal and legitimate enterprise was very, very thin.

"There are plenty of young swordsmen who wouldn't mind the reputation of killing me in a duel. A few of them have tried various - and often imaginative - ways to draw me into it. None of them would stab me in the back.

"That must be exhausting," he remarked.

They were going to have to work out the issue with the chains, but it could wait until he had slept off the wine.

"You're going to need that shoulder stitching," he said.
 
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Vyx'aria

Drow Queen
Dominion
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Vyx stared at him curiously as he laughed. True, joyful laughter was something she hadn’t heard in a long time. It was most common among the children, but even then it was quickly discouraged. As he described duelists that would fight him, she quirked an eyebrow.

“Why not stab in the back?” She asked, genuinely curious, “It would be quicker and serve the same purpose,” Drow weren’t above sneaky or whatever means to accomplish a task. They didn’t concern themselves with silly obstacles like honor or moral codes.

When he mentioned her shoulder needing stitching, she glanced down at the wound, “I….actually don’t know how to do it myself,” Vyx had normally relied on mages under her command to heal her or she carried potions to at least let her power through wounds. She touched at the wound slightly, grimacing at how it throbbed and appeared. It would need a thorough cleaning and dressing, “Can you..show me?”
 
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Draedamyr

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"A lot of people back down when they're faced to face with swords in hand. It's all much more civilised than murder in the night."

Even as he said it, Draedamyr was not so certain. However, he wouldn't like to live that life, to never feel like you could sleep safely.

"Poking the wound isn't going to help," he mused, shaking his head lightly. "I'd say go and have a look in the back for a medical bag but..."

Draedamyr rattled the chains again.

"I suggest we take the wagon off the road soon and put it out of sight. The least we can do is bind the wound tight to stop it bleeding and get some rest until nightfall."
 
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Vyx'aria

Drow Queen
Dominion
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Vyx was pleased at the idea of rest. They had gotten no sleep in the cell and they had been on the road and fighting nonstop since. The alcohol in her system relaxed her muscles and she wanted nothing more than to take it easy.

After a bit of awkward maneuvering that forced them to duck to avoid low branches, Vyx finally managed to slow down the horses and stop in a path off the main road. The Drow felt weak from being out in the sun, and the clouds covering the light didn’t appear to help too much.

The rain slowed down to a light sprinkle and they had to slowly coordinate to get off the wagon. Vyx took another swig from the wine, feeling a healthy buzz going as it alleviated some of the pain.

She walked till she could see a rock formation that provided a bit of cover from the rain. Vyx bent down to go beneath it, accidentally dragging the elf down with her.

Even if they rested, they would have to do it in close proximity until they could get the chains off. Vyx leaned back against the boulder, exhaling. She reached over and pulled off bits of armor till her bare shoulder was revealed. It was then that the full extent of the injury could be seen - angry, bloody and red.
 
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Draedamyr

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"Ah," went Draedamyr. He had hoped that perhaps the bolt had not gone so deep. That maybe the Force had been blunted by her armor.

"I'm surprised the head didn't get stuck in bone," he reflected. "I suppose that is some luck. Assuming the arrowhead did come out with it?" he asked.

"I have not the skill to go rooting around to dig it out. That would need a professional."

The cave wasn't going to be comfortable. His body was bruised and battered and it offered no reprieve for those tender injuries. It would be worse for her.

Draedamyr started to clean the wound. He hadn't found stitches amongst the wizards things, but there were clean cloths and rainwater. If he bound it tight the bleeding would slow.
 
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Vyx'aria

Drow Queen
Dominion
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Vyx initially began to recoil, but then she realized what he was trying to do. She was too tired and partially drunk to protest at that point. It stung when he worked on it, and she tensed under his touch. It began to feel a lot better when it was bound and the bleeding had stopped.

After a moment, she looked up and glanced at him as if for the first time. She hadn’t even noticed his eyes or their strange, green hues before. They were different than the eyes the drow had. She looked longer than was necessary.

“What’s your name?” She blurted out before she could stop herself. She briefly scowled for even asking such a silly question. Since when did she care to know details like that about a male? Vyx instead looked down at a rock as if it were the most interesting thing ever.
 
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Draedamyr

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It gave Draedamyr pause. Not because of her reasons. He did not know their culture well enough to understand. It was because he was slightly shocked that they had not exchanged names before. It felt as if they had been through too much to have not even reached that point.

"It is Draedamyr," he said quietly.

He broke eye contact, looking down at her shoulder. Blood had seeped into the bandage, but it was no longer bleeding profusely.

"This looks better, I really didn't want to have to drag a dead drow into town," he said. He smiled as he sat back.

"How did you end up coming to the surface..." Draedamyr said, leaving space for her name and story.