Fable - Ask Fire in Zar'Ahal

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Cinder

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Zar'Ahal, truly a miserable place. Filled with two types of people, the abusive and the downtrodden. And that made it the perfect breeding ground for hatred, people, Drow and slave alike, who wished desperately for vengeance or escape without the means to obtain it. Until Cinder came among them.

The demon lord worked slowly but purposefully, and many covens of his disciples popped up throughout the city. Most being slaves, the biggest minority being vengeful male Drow. One or two Drow females were there too, but kept to themselves thanks to the rest usually hating them, and Cinder had no issue with his disciples killing each other.

They had gotten strong, and they began to take more lofty victims for their horrid sacrifices. None of the victims were found again, and it was this that drew the attention of one of the major houses.

So Trevan Soithiel of House Soithiel had been assigned to the investigation of the disappearances. And he had his work cut out for him.
 
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"Left, right. Left step, parting the stone! Spider's parry!" Trevan called out, watching as a squad of drow performed the short sword maneuvers. He stepped casually a few paces in front of them, inspecting the line and their footwork, sword handling, and efficiency between transitions. He looked for flaws, however small, so that he could correct them.

“Vagos, keep that tip UP! Torrelloth, you’ll be pushed off balance, widen your stance!” Each soldier did as commanded, making the corrections and all got into ready position again.

“Firebrand! Snake swipe!” He issued more attacks and was pleased overall with their training. He had hand selected these soldiers years ago, and the amount of time and training he had sunk into them was truly paying off.

He smiled to himself as he considered the task he knew lay ahead. His matron mother had brought him in for a special request, and a dangerous one. He had been mulling over it in the back of his mind as the day’s training went on, and he felt that he and his team would be up for the task.

This wouldn’t be the first time drow have had to uproot a cabal or slave uprising, and it wouldn’t be the last. Hopefully. It did seem to particularly unnerve his mother, and that warranted some concern and elicited some caution in Trevan.
 
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Cinder

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A messenger came, and with grave news. "A lesser house has been abducted, everyone, the matriarch, the daughters and the sons, all gone, everyone else in the immediate area is dead. I was instructed to inform you."

The messenger took his leave, and left Trevan to his thoughts. Upon him and his units arrival at the House's estate, he'd see that it was indeed a minor house, one of the many houses in charge of the accounting of slaves.

All the guards were dead, cut down by blade, or in a few cases incinerated, where there were only scorched bones among ash. There were only a few witnesses, mostly domestic slaves.
 
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Trevan ordered his men to enter the estate cautiously, and to remain in pairs. He had ten men in total, though some were actually female drow, for the drow did not see women as inferior, rather as usually too important to use in such a way.

Entering the main hall of the estate, Trevan gazed about at the massacre. It was bloody, and there were several that had been burned to ash, which would have required a very intense heat. So much so that the stone around those bodies looked a little melted as well.

Trevan attempted to see if he could judge just how long ago this occurred. He also ordered his soldiers to search the bodies, and the estate, for anything else that would stand out. Trevan himself knelt down next to some ash and bone and examined what remained.
 
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Cinder

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Entering the main hall of the estate, Trevan gazed about at the massacre. It was bloody, and there were several that had been burned to ash, which would have required a very intense heat. So much so that the stone around those bodies looked a little melted as well.

Trevan attempted to see if he could judge just how long ago this occurred. He also ordered his soldiers to search the bodies, and the estate, for anything else that would stand out. Trevan himself knelt down next to some ash and bone and examined what remained.

The soldiers who observed bodies reported all of them dead, most from multiple lacerations. They found a few drow, almost all women, who’s bodies had only bee mutilated in the back, where comparatively shallow, but even more numerous lacerations were found.

All of the cuts had been burned black, as though they had been subject to intense heat, enough to blacken and char flesh and skin but not as hot as what had reduced others to ash. The ones whose tops had been removed, the same ones with mutilation being refrained to the back, had been lashed to pillars, columns and other such fixings. And it appeared as though they had been tortured to death. Luckily for Trevan, one, only one, was found still drawing breath.

His own observations would reveal what had once been a weapon not far from the victim’s feet, as the weapon had been dropped before they themselves collapsed. It was a solid glow of metal with no distinct shape. It was warm to the touch, so what had happened couldn’t have been too long ago, but it wasn’t so hot as to hurt him in any way, so it couldn’t have been extremely recent either.

His soldiers brought to him a Drow woman, her chestplate had been removed and her shirt barely hung on as the back had been ripped open to expose her back, where similar, but shallow and more numerous, lacerations were to be found.

"Sir, this was the only one still alive we've found."
 
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Trevan stood and turned, eyes examining the scene once more before his soldiers brought him the lone survivor. Trevan peered at the drow woman, then instructed his men to tie her hands behind her back and sit her down on the ground. Drow were not friendly with opposing houses, and Trevan had no qualms about this woman's comfort.

"What happened?" He asked her, crouching down in front of her a few feet back, keeping his distance. He then gave drow-sign to his soldiers, and they posted up about the room, securing the location.
 

Cinder

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"What happened?"

The woman barely responded to being bound. And she was left kneeling on the floor by the soldiers, she looked up at him when he asked the question. Then glanced about, her face etched with fear, but she wasn’t looking at the soldiers, she was looking everywhere they were not, looking for something.

“There were three of them, I couldn’t see their faces, they wore steel masks and dark hoods but I’m certain that they were men. They came in, cut and burned most of us down, tortured the rest of us. I don’t know where they took the Matriarch or her family, or even if they’re still alive. They carried swords, sword that could only be from Hell. The closest thing I can say that they were is demons, one of them even had the wings of one.”
 
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"Three of them, and how many of you? Did you have any mages?" Trevan pressed, snapping his fingers to try and draw her attention. "Look at me. Focus." And Trevan would keep his gray eyes locked on hers.

"Where did they go? How did they get in?"

Trevan's trained soldiers stood their ground, but there were a couple of glances at one another as they listened to the woman.
 

Cinder

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"Three of them, and how many of you? Did you have any mages?" Trevan pressed, snapping his fingers to try and draw her attention. "Look at me. Focus." And Trevan would keep his gray eyes locked on hers.

"There were about forty of us, and a priestess had come for business with the matron. The priestess was tortured alongside me and a few others. Two others had significant magical skill, none of them did much to slow them down."

"Where did they go? How did they get in?"

"They broke down the door. I didn't see a ram of any kind so I think they used magic. But I don't know where they went, I blacked out around the eighteenth lash."

This woman didn't physically appear weak, and in fact she had been the commander of the forty soldiers, and their best fighter. But at the moment she looked like little more than a terrified child.

"Is anyone else alive?"
 
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