Private Tales Illuminations of the Dark

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer
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There is beauty in darkness. That is what most Drow would tell you, and as you would understand it they're not wrong. Beauty can be found everywhere. A glow worm with intricate spun silk perhaps, or maybe the way the moon casts a wane light across a still quiet lake. But the Drow of Zar'ahal don't see beauty in darkness the same way a surface dweller does. What is beautiful about darkness? A perfect place to hide. Concealment. Deceit. Was there something in that shadow or was your mind just playing tricks on you? Discretion. If no one saw it, did you really do it? You can live so much more selfishly when no one can judge you for deeds unseen.

The city of a thousand lights, Zar'ahal, truly is a wonder to behold, be you an elf or otherwise. No one can deny the beauty in it's glimmering dim lights, speckled across the vast cavern. The method in which it has been constructed is an undeniable marvel. Utilitarian mixed with the patient craftsmanship that comes with beings who can live a millennia.

Yet to so many it is all taken for granted and the beauty is lost in their eyes. All of it is seen as a calculated means to an evil destructive end. Trevan Soithiel is one such individual. He stood out upon a look-out balcony of one of the many garrisons that ringed the city, gazing away from the city and it's thousand lights, peering instead into the pitch darkness of a large open tunnel that marks one of the pathways toward the surface. He knew what he stared at was the placated opening to a very dangerous path. Many denizens of the dark lurked in the labyrinth maze that lay before him.

Trevan leaned forward against the stone railing. His short-sword at his hip clinked softly against the stone, for Trevan was careless in his distant thoughts. He felt a tugging to enter that tunnel. But for what purpose? He hadn't really figured it out yet. Did he crave conflict like so many of his kind? Did he want a struggle with some dark foe? Or did he perhaps want an escape. Though he was not a slave, he felt trapped. He knew that much about his own feelings. A sense of inescapable fate. The question that worried him in the back of his mind is if the escape he sought was death. He was not content with his life, but was he unhappy with life itself? Or was there a better life somewhere out there? His gaze continued to study the large tunnel as he let the thoughts roll around in his head, no single one winning out over the others.

His shift would be done soon. Then he would descend the garrison tower and walk his way back toward his family's noble house toward the center of Zar'ahal, near to the temple of the spider god. Even though that journey was one he has done countless times, and a journey well within the protection of the garrison walls, it was still a dangerous path. No one was ever truly safe in Zar'ahal. The noble houses constantly fought for rank beneath the Queen. Trevan himself had participated in many conflicts at the bequest of his noble mother, Narrais Soithiel, so he knew well the dangers that could lurk in alley ways and shadowed doors.
Trust no one. Especially the women. That is the way of the world for those who's world was the Underrealm.

"Trevan." A familiar voice spoke, snapping Trevan from his reverie.
Turning, Trevan put a small smile on his lips. He nodded to Saebzi.
"Saebzi." He greets in an equally neutral tone.
Saebzi strode over and looked out across the same vista that Trevan had been gazing upon.
"Your shift is over." The gruff older man said.
Trevan gave a quick salute to his chest, a clenched fist over the heart, before stepping away from the railing and heading inside.

Trevan made a quick stop at the personnel storage room so that he could pick up his belongings. His backpack with various trinkets, and a mage's study book. The book had it's own satchel that he put on over his head so that it could rest comfortably at his left hip. Backpack lazily tossed over his right shoulder, he made his way the rest of the way down to the ground level of the garrison, then out into the darkly lit stone pathway that would take him toward the city proper.
 
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Mistress Zelyndra Baeoryth
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Matron Mistress Zelyndra Baeoryth was at a loss... Exiled from her house, which was shortly after destroyed, she was now alone. The unusual drowess able to fight, despite her limitations, but when it came to the day to day work of surviving, of getting food, she was not well suited for that. She had been without a home for days, and used what money she could scrounge up before she had been exiled to get food and shelter, but that was running out. She could no longer stay in the city, but without help, she could not survive outside of it either. So she went to the central marketplace, in the city proper, hoping she could find someone, preferably a male, preferably a drow, that would bend to her needs and help her, join her even.

She had lofty goals, goals beyond what most of her kind could imagine, them all lost in their continual in-fighting that never ultimately led to any kind of advance. No legacy lasted, no house established was ultimately successful. Eventually all came to an untimely end... Her house had come to such an end, mostly torn apart from the inside, and left unable to defend itself from the pressure and eventual onslaught of the rival houses. However, despite her goals, she was at the moment a Matron Mistress of a house of one, and needed to find help... And find it fast.

Sure she turned heads. Between her unusual very plump size, her exotic good looks, enticing softness, and above all that her charismatic presence, she drew attention if she wasn't trying to be stealthy. And right now she wanted to find a suitable fellow to serve her. However, thus far, nobody looked suitable. Perhaps it was the wrong time of day, but there didn't seem to be any. Part of it was that she couldn't steal a male from another house. She had no defense against retribution, other than herself. While she was capable to defend herself, she did have limitations and a prolonged fight she did not want to face. She'd rather not fight at all if possible. She sighed, she didn't even have a mount. A spider would be nice, she could even get food that way, eat some of what the spider caught. But sadly, she hadn't the money for that. Especially not now.

She was not suited for such effort, and she had to ward off fatigue in order to be reasonably capable of defending herself if the need arrived, but she did over the course of the days walk through as much of the city as she could. Pacing herself it took days, but she managed to cover perhaps a quarter of the sprawling city. She could have taken a peasant maybe, but she needed someone that could protect her as well. That required martial training, and most of those folks had some sort of attachment to a house or something that prevented her from just taking them. No, Zar'Ahal was not a city too friendly to a homeless, exiled drow, no matter how beautiful, no matter how charismatic. If she wasn't an exile, if she had the backing of her former house, she could walk these streets... Well, despite her size, considering her unusually very light fluffy self, she'd be carried effortlessly by a slave or a mount, but she'd traverse the streets regardless, like she owned them. But this... It was looking bleak...

Then she saw him... A male, tall for a drow, but still not as tall as her, perhaps shorter by a couple of inches, and lithe, though with a nice build, wearing light armor, a sword on his right hip, and a satchel hanging over his left. He looked suitable... But again, he looked like he belonged to another house... She sighed to herself, another she couldn't have... Still though, she would look away, but kept looking back, unable to keep her eyes off of him, perhaps because there weren't too many other people around, perhaps being desperate. Perhaps being hopeful.
 
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The way in which Drow of Zar’ahal worked and operated wasn’t quite the same as it was for most surface dwelling cities. Obviously, there was no day and night, just the constant dark and constant glowing lights. That is not to say they did not keep time or rigid schedules. They were in tune well enough with their biological clocks, sure, but they also kept time in the same fashion as their surface kin. The populous did however work all hours of a planetary rotation, a more even spread than the cities above.

It was because of this fact that Trevan was immediately put-on guard when he walked into one of the central markets and found that it was less populated than it usually was, despite the late hour. A quick survey of the roof tops and alleys, doorways and crevices provided no additional insight. His eyes then swept over the few denizens in sight, looking for anyone he would recognize, anyone who was paying him too much attention.

What he noticed first was a woman. She had repeatedly glanced his way, her eyes lingering. That was not a good sign. Drow women did not usually attack a man alone, so she surely had others with her. But then he noticed something else as he continued to scan the faces. Two individuals were watching her.

Unsure if perhaps these were her accomplices, he slowly began walking again, moving carefully and strategically around the edge of the market, keeping his distance from all three individuals. However, as he moved, he began to silently reach out with his empathy magic. It was a basic spell, not all that difficult when you did not try to focus it. He let it sweep outwards from himself like an invisible wave. Then, as it touched against people, he began to feel within his mind different pockets of emotion, one for each person it touched. They would be completely unaware of his magical probing unless they had thought to shield themselves from such a harmless act.

Surprised, he sensed from the two men an… animosity. But it spiked when they looked at the woman, and they did not seem to be tracking Trevan’s movements around the outside edge of the market. He realized now that they were actually there for her.
 
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Mistress Zelyndra Baeoryth
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In between her lingering glances, the fellow she was watching disappeared. She frowned to herself, a very lovely frown, it seems all her expressions are lovely, though if there was a threatening look, the loveliness of it is what would make it even more threatening. Seeing him disappear on her like that reminded her that it might not be so safe out here. After all, even though she posed no legal threat to the houses that had destroyed her former house, because she was exiled by then, and no longer considered part of the house, some might still feel they needed to tie up any loose ends, just in case. There could be one out to get rid of her! And if this fellow disappeared...

Quickly she casts Detect Magic... And she senses an aura, one she does not recognize, it could be a threat, and she hones in on its location, a moving location... With help from the detection, she spots him again, the fellow she was looking at earlier! She grimaces to herself. The fellow she was watching was out to get her! Some instincts she has! Perhaps blinded by her desperation, she did not think that he would be out for her blood! She scolds herself and frowns, shaking her head slightly, as her body jiggles a bit with the motion. 'It figures.' She says to herself.

But now the fellow approaches, and she readies herself for a fight, without it looking obvious that she is ready. She sighs inwardly, she doesn't want to kill him if she doesn't have to. She'd rather sway him to her side, she needs help, someone to care for her needs... But assassins rarely give one such an option. She has a bead on him, but waits for the right moment to counter what he does... Suddenly it occurs to her that he might not be alone! He might have an associate nearby to help him, in fact, he could be distracting her from his own fellow assassin moving in on her to catch her by surprise! Such tactics were commonplace in a place like this. She lets her detection spell help her maintain the location of the fellow, and she then begins to look around to see if there are others to help him do his dirty work. But she makes it look very casual, like she is not at all looking for anyone hidden to try and attack her.

It was a good thing she had been alerted, although she doesn't see the others for that moment, she was ready to avoid an attack, which allowed her fast reflexes and dexterity to react instinctively when the attack suddenly came! Bursting out from behind a wall, and the shadows thereby, an assassin makes a bold surprise attack, but her reaction makes it only graze her, as somehow, even though she is a very large, plump target, she evades the brunt of the attack, and in the same tumbling motion, rolls back to her feet with her blades drawn. It is surprising to see one of her stature move so quickly and nimbly, but in fact she had a little help using the momentum of her attacker to help her move. Other than the odd quickness of her actions, it would not be so obvious that her very light weight allowed her to use even just a little of the assassin's strength of attack to such effectiveness.

She also rolled to a spot where she could see the best hiding places in her vicinity, and to be ready for an attack from the man with the magic aura. It seemed the game was now on, and she had to be prepared to dig deep to survive. She had been conserving food, and was already somewhat worn out from all her walking, not really that much at all for most people, but for her it was more than enough. Her figure did not at all change, partly because she didn't really eat as much as one might expect of a person of her size, because there really wasn't much to her other than fluff. She needed to eat enough for nourishment, but that left her with a surplus because she also needed to not exert herself too much to minimize fatigue. She did indulge herself from time to time, thoroughly enjoying the lavish lifestyle she had heretofore was accustomed to, and in many ways needed, but it really didn't change anything either way. Add to the fact that the elemental air magic that infused the core of her being made her more expansive and much, much lighter than she looked, no matter the situation, she was never going to be anything other than who and what she is.

She was still at the moment good to go, but she had to pay attention to how she was doing, and be as efficient as possible. She did have an 'ace' in her proverbial deck of cards so to speak, she could use Wind Walk. But if she merely escaped and did not permanently stop her attackers, then they might be after her indefinitely. So she stood ready, seeing both men, and always keeping alert for more, although for the time being she hadn't yet seen the other hidden assassin, she was just ready for the possibility.
 
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Ignorant of the woman’s ability to detect his magic, Trevan continued to feel out the emotions of those around him. There were enough individuals around that it was rather difficult to discern each little emotional box in his mind. There was some unease, and some cold determination. Familiar feelings of a scene about to take a turn for the worst.

Commotion draws his attention back to the woman and he is surprised to see that one of the men was attacking her. Trevan hesitates as he reevaluates the situation. She was their target. He was safe. An odd feeling cascaded through him. Was it… disappointment? He half smiles to himself at the realization that he had been looking forward to a good fight. Stopping behind a stall that looked to be selling a colorful assortment of linen, Trevan watched as the drowess regained her feet and defended herself. He blinked as recognition came. He knew of this drowess. She was supposedly the last surviving member of the noble house Baeoryth. He arcs an eyebrow as he quickly pieces together what is likely going on.

One of the other noble houses was out to finish the job. Trevan’s own house had been on the cusp of attacking house Baeoryth but before they did, a group of lesser houses had banded together with the promise of one of them being able to ascend the hierarchy. With a slight frown, Trevan then saw the second assassin coming cautiously out from another hiding spot, attempting to catch the drowess from behind.

Without further thought, Trevan let his magic fade and instantly cast a second spell, this one directed at the second would-be assassin and he pulled on the man’s emotions. At the same time, Trevan leapt into action. The assassin’s arms went to his sides and he seemed almost lost. Trevan’s empathy magic had pulled on the man’s emotions, smoothing it out and sharply drawing him into an apathetic state. Trevan still wasn’t quite sure how he did it, but he knew when he pulled on someone’s emotions it stole the emotion away, giving Trevan more empathy power, but also it was a suitable distraction against the unwary.

Quick on his feet, Trevan closed the distance in a mere few seconds, and with an elegant flourish of steel the assassin’s head was liberated from his neck. The body slumped forward and fell flat, the head tumbled to the side. The market was starting to become emptier as people quietly fled this all too familiar scene. Turning on the ball of his left foot, Trevan twirled his short sword and then stood his ground, watching how the drowess would handle the other assassin.
 
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Mistress Zelyndra Baeoryth
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The drow she was looking at at first, the one with the satchel, suddenly attacked another hidden drow. As she had suspected there was another, but this turn of events surprised her. Perhaps it's a race to see who gets the reward for killing her! He was confident that he could kill her himself then, and would not let the others duke it out, and simply finish her off, clean up the mess, and take credit himself. She had to make quick work of the one that was on her. The expedience with which he dispatched the other assassin...

Mistress was still jiggling some after the defensive roll to take up her current position. It was mesmerizing in a way, pleasant, enticing, almost drawing him in. But he is well trained and disciplined, and he shakes it off, and focuses on his mission. Realizing his fellow assassin was taken out, this one tries a different approach then, one that might've worked if it wasn't Mistress Zelyndra he was after. He proceeds with his strategy and drops a noxious smoke bomb with a deadly poison. He has a mask over his nose and mouth so he would be safe, but to the rest it would have been deadly. However, Mistress calls upon her innate elemental air magic and casts Gust of Wind, and it disperses the noxious smoke immediately. The assassin grimaces to himself, but he is not finished just yet...

Mistress typically likes to counter attack, using an opponent's strength, mass, momentum, and the like, against themselves, since despite her remarkable size, especially for a drow, she has exceedingly little strength or mass of her own. She didn't have to wait long. The assassin springs into action, almost like a spinning dervish of blades. She adjusts her feet subtly, and the moment his blades got close enough, she engaged her own rapiers, and with the little momentum she could generate, she is caught up into the spin as well, every attack the assassin makes, she both deflects and gains momentum herself until she is ready to counterattack...

She suddenly catches his blades with her own and with a slight kick to alter her own momentum she lets the strength of his attacks lift and spin her over his head. At first it doesn't seems so bad, but in the milliseconds it takes to pull off the maneuver, he realizes the gravity of his position too late. Spinning in the air as she comes down, she redirects herself, and having caught his blades, uses her very little weight with his considerable momentum and strength to put all that stress on his arms at a very, very bad angle, and both arms crack, with one arm dislocating at the shoulder, the other at the wrist, and his weapons go flying off in random directions. As she comes down to the ground, she completes the maneuver using what's left of the momentum to poke through his neck, destroying the jugular, and then rolling with her landing to be back on her feet. The assassin slowly slumps to the ground, and collapses in a dead heap as he bleeds out.

Fortunately her spell was not a high level, not too taxing, and she used almost no energy to defeat the assassin, by using mostly his own strength and energy against himself. But now, the most formidable one it seems was left. As she comes to her feet, she takes a ready stance, her soft body jiggling from the movements of the fight that just finished. It is rather mesmerizing, pleasantly enticing, drawing him in, but doesn't seem to bother her at all. And so she faces him down, ready, but not attacking yet, and thankfully not feeling fatigued yet.
 
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Trevan’s sword comes to rest against his left shoulder, his left hand casually gripping the hilt as he watched the drowess handle her own against the second assassin. Trevan was still a good twenty feet or so away from the two. His eyes would occasionally glance about for any other dangers, but it looked to be that this was going to be the end of it. Whomever survived the small duel would likely need to be dealt with, but in which manner?

The duel came to a sudden end as the drowess beautifully executed her foe, a show of grace that brought a smile to Trevan’s lips. The rumors about this drowess were true, it seems. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other so that he could place a foot on one of the assassin's short swords that came sliding toward him, stopping it beneath his boot. Trevan smiles at her as she turned to face him. She was beautiful in an exotic way among the lithe drow, a fact not lost on him, and one he knew she likely used to the fullest.

Trevan uses his boot to kick the short sword to the side and then says to her “That was an impressive bit of fighting. It’s too bad you probably wont survive the week.” His eyes flick about the market, as if expecting more assassins to show any moment. “If they’re after you, they likely wont give up.” He adds, dropping a hint that he was not part of the hunting party.
 
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Mistress Zelyndra Baeoryth
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She blinks a moment, and seeing his casual stance and confident demeanor, combined with his own handsome grace, she smiles a very lovely, naturally charismatic engaging smile, but remains in a defensive stance for now. She responds, her voice with a natural arrogance and very pleasing to the ear, even with the slight sharpness to her tone. Considering her predicament, and what she just faced, perhaps such a tone is understandable. At least she is not attacking him, nor does she seem hostile to him yet. Her presence seems to make him feel important, that she would even allow him to be around her, let alone talk to him at all. "What are your intentions then, male?"

She ponders awaiting his response. Perhaps something positive may come of this yet.
 
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What were his intentions? Trevan tilts his head as he continues to study her, his eyes probing her up and down, in part so that he could understand the threat, in part because she was pleasing to gaze upon. He considered quickly what he should say, uncertain where this was going to lead.

It wasn’t often that a male got to push back against a female, but seeing as she was a known exile due to her house’s total defeat, he could play, just a little.

“I haven’t decided yet, female.” He admits, and his voice is upbeat, perhaps a little teasing. He smiles, confident, though he knows she is still dangerous, even alone. “I’m trying to decide if I should do the drow thing and just kill the disgraced drowess, or if I should do something else. Something out of the ordinary. I find that life has been a bit… boring as of late. Which path would be the more entertaining, I wonder?"
 
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Mistress Zelyndra Baeoryth
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She grimaces, still somehow even her grimace is lovely. She answers him, sharpness to her voice, but still she takes no hostile action, and is still in her defensive stance. She is not taking any chances, "Know your place, male! I give you a chance to speak for yourself, do not waste it. If it's a fight you want, feel free..." Her voice is sharp, yet pleasing to listen to. She lets her comment sit, even a disgraced drowess far out ranks a male. Then perhaps in a surprise, her tone softens a bit, which makes her voice even more pleasing. And her grimace fades into a more even expression. She looks him over, seeing him close up, she is even more pleased than when she first saw him. She even adds a slight smile, "But I see that you are an accomplished combatant in your own right. Only a foolish Mistress would waste such a skill. If it's a change of pace you want, I can offer you one."

She notes his spirit. Most drowesses would want to break it, but her time relying on her underlings for so much has showed her that such a technique in dealing with them can lead to both a failure to contribute their own ideas which can sometimes be better than those in higher positions, and can lead to rebellion, or a lack of protection when one is vulnerable and needs it. These are things she observed and utilized, building her own power base within her house. That was a big part of why she was exiled. Her plan was working so well, they had to stop her before it went too far. It saddened her greatly that all those under her died for it.

If she ever got more to serve her, which was a big part of accomplishing her goal, she would make sure that no lives were wasted unnecessarily, that would not happen again. She wasn't sure just yet how she would do things differently, but she knew she had to do things different from the usual drow culture to survive, especially now that she was an exile. No she did not want to break his spirit... Perhaps more... Inspire it to undivided loyalty, to both their benefit. She knew that such loyalty was a far better asset than the fear based, self destructive ways that her people typically did things. There might be a need to enforce some things, but in a way that built loyalty, not resentment. Her way took longer, yes... But it worked much better, she just needed the time. Perhaps now that she could make her own house, call her own shots, she could have that time.

Her slight smile, and her softer tone of voice she hoped would encourage him, and maybe reveal more of his intentions. At the moment it seemed things could go either way. She already killed one fellow, she did not want to have to kill another. Especially one that seemed like he could be so useful... In more ways than one if it went as well as she hoped...
 
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The drowess' first words are what Trevan expected and his smile faded, gray eyes narrowing on her. "Sharp words from the only surviving member of house Baeoryth..." he whispers to himself, though perhaps she might pick it up with her elven ears. Her next set of words weren't much better, either. She saw him as a tool, but he was used to that. He does find it amusing that she would think to offer him something he didn't already have. What could she possibly offer that his own house didn't already provide?

Still... it didn't hurt to have allies, even temporary ones.

"What sort of offer? How can you provide me a change of pace?"
 
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Mistress Zelyndra Baeoryth
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She maintains a hold of her weapons, but her stance relaxes to a more general pleasantly feminine stance. She can see his eyes narrow and hears his insolence, and her own eyes narrow, and her tone of voice sharpens, "Indeed, I survived, they did not, that should tell you something, male." But she sighs, her voice and general countenance softening again, and tells him flat out, "I do not like having to be so harsh... At least you are wise enough to hear me out... That tells me something as well." She is both rebuking him, and encouraging him... That is different, perhaps even a bit refreshing, the encouraging part, that is. It's likely that's the first time a female ever did so in a genuine manner.

She continues, "Before I offer you anything, I see that you are already a member of a house," She then smirks... A smirk? His attitude does not seem to phase the strength of her authority... That is perhaps unusual. On one hand, properly recognizing one's place is important to her, but on the other hand, if one fails to do so, she does not feel threatened, like her authority is above all others, and stands regardless of what anyone else thinks or says. She then continues with that slight smirk, "Though with your attitude towards females, I'm wondering how solid your standing is. Nevertheless, if you can't break free from your current obligations without creating more enemies, you may not be an acceptable candidate." She glances at the fallen assassins and then looks back at him, "As you can see, I have enough enemies, I do not need to acquire more."

She ponders, the fact that he is willing to entertain an offer at all might mean he is in a situation of his own. She then continues with the same general softer countenance, "Explain your situation, and maybe we can come to a proper arrangement?" A female of her authority willing to help a male? Sure, it undoubtedly would be to her benefit as well, but still, it is different. She is under no particular obligation to do so. She might be unusual in many more ways than just her wonderfully exotic, enticingly very plump physique.
 
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He listened to her speak, eyes on constant alert keeping a steady gaze on her and occasional glances about their surroundings. The crowd had still remained dispersed, but it wouldn't be long before the city guard would come to clean up and start asking questions. Though, if the right palms were greased, perhaps no questions would be asked.

Without giving any specifics away, Trevan at long last wiped his sword clean and sheathed it.
"Come, we should talk. But not here." He would gesture for her to follow him as he turned to head toward an alley nearby, not waiting for her reply. Like she said, she had enough enemies, and despite her blustering he would see how far she was willing to trust him, and that would tell him more than her words could ever convince him.
 
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Mistress Zelyndra Baeoryth
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She huffs... More walking, but at least they shouldn't have to go too far. Considering her situation, what other choice does she really have anyway? She follows him, her eyes also looking around, though appearing casual, as she takes in her surroundings. She puts her hands on her weapons, even this could be a set up. If he knows that she is 'disgraced', exiled, then he knows she is alone. Even though he just witnessed her combat skill, he seemed to have plenty of his own, and obviously doesn't lack confidence.

Her gait is a natural hip swaying gait, not powerful or dynamic in any way, but silky smooth, the picture of drowish grace. Despite the smoothness, her very soft and plump, scantily clothed figure jiggles quite a bit in a very pleasant, rhythmic way, her thick, soft, plush, flowing, white hair bouncing off of, and along with, her figure as she goes along.

He seems to know this part of the city better than she does, and she follows cautiously, but looking casual. They come to a dark and private alley, the kind of place that is either perfect for a private conversation, or the perfect hiding spot for troublemakers, or the perfect spot for an ambush, if this is a set up. She maintains her readiness, but looks the picture of casual as she stops when he does and she says softly, her voice naturally sultry, along with her naturally arrogant tone, is a very pleasing sound. "Very well male, speak, I will hear you out." She certainly doesn't seem hostile. Perhaps his thoughts might touch on her earlier glances... Whatever her motives, if she meant him harm now would be the time... But instead she really does seem willing to hear what he has to say.

She indeed is trying not to be too hopeful, but this is her best opportunity to acquire a male to suit her needs than she has had since she had to leave her now destroyed former house. As bad off as she is, with her precarious position and apparent enemies, this could also be her last.
 
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After a quick check to see if they were followed, Trevan pushed a small door open that was nearly invisible in the side of the wall. Inside was a small room, with a couple of human slaves playing some sort of card game in dim torch light. They looked up at Trevan with wide fearful eyes and Trevan gestured toward the back. "Out. Speak of this to anyone, I will kill you." His voice was cold, much colder than how he had spoke with Zelyndra. It had it's desired effect as the two humans skittered out like rats. Once they were gone, he gestured Zelyndra inside, then closed the door behind her. Trevan took a stride to the small table that the humans had left their playing cards on and he turned to lean against it, folding his arms and once more regarding Zelyndra.

He had heard her speak in the alley, but had waited to reply until now.

"I wish to leave." He says simply, eyes watching her for a reaction. He would pause only briefly before adding "I believe the two of us could navigate the tunnels and reach the surface, with what I've seen out there." He up-nods toward the door they just entered from.

"Seeing as how you will be hunted here for the rest of your life, I imagine you would be ... amiable to a new life elsewhere?"
 
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Mistress Zelyndra Baeoryth
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She paid the human slaves no mind, as if they weren't even there. At least she did not sneer at them, or regard them with any disdain or malice. Perhaps she felt that Trevan's threat was sufficient. She would rather sit, however there wasn't really a place to do so and properly look at Trevan to have a discussion. Besides, chances were they wouldn't be here long anyway. She let him stand comfortably, leaning on the table.

At first she raises an eyebrow at his desire to leave, curious. Then she gets a slight frown as he assumes what she wants, although she can't be too angry about that because he is right. Her real annoyance is his casual demeanor with her, like he does not acknowledge her position or authority. She ponders more as to what trouble he might be in, and if he'd really even be suitable for her after all. She requires obedience, a house with no proper Matronly authority and respect is no house at all. It would be unthinkable to start a house with the wrong foundation. If he won't obey and respect her, how will anyone else?

Further more, if he is in some sort of trouble, he could simply be looking for a convenient way out, and will ditch her at his first opportunity. She needs someone to take care of her, personal care and all. He may not be willing to serve in such a capacity, seeming to assume that just because she can technically fight, that she is capable in other things. Her 'fighting' abilities are really about turning her opponent's strength and abilities against themselves, not about any physical strength which she has none of herself. The only other means she has is some elemental air magic, which is potent in some ways, but limited. Suffice to say, although many had found her very easy and pleasing to take care of, in this situation, it's possible that taking care of her could be inconvenient and he may want out of that soon, even as much as he wants out of Zar'Ahal. The reason why he wants out is of greater concern therefore, as well as the means by which he will be able to break free without creating more enemies that might come after them.

Part of her frustration is that he is correct. Her best bet is to find a way out, and she needs help. And so far there is nobody else. But if any of her concerns are true, she may ultimately be just as bad off with him, only merely delaying the inevitable. Her eyes narrow, but not maliciously, simply a gesture of probing deeper. Her voice maintains an even, somewhat gentle, sultry tone, along with her pleasant arrogance that seems just a fitting, natural trait for her. "Why do you seek to leave? And how will you break free from your current obligations without creating more enemies to track us down?" His answer will hopefully be very telling, both in the content of his words, as well as the manner in which he says them. Deep down she is hoping this really is the opportunity she's been waiting for, but she has to be sure. Once she commits, she may not have another chance.
 
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As he watched Zel take her time in response, he knew she must be weighing her options. He also knew it probably grated on her that he so correctly guessed the position she was in, and the willingness she would have to listen.

What surprised him was how she did not attempt to strike him or demean him down like he was the mutt dog that so many drowess mistresses consider all males to be. This intrigued him greatly. Trevan smiled as her question finally came and it was a logical one to ask. He politely bows his head and gestures widely with his hands.

"This place is not the home I desire. I do not wish to live where I must kill men who have done nothing against me, and to be on constant alert for similar danger. Even to assist you, a drow had to die. This place is twisted." He explains, being quite honest with her. After all, even if she turned his offer down, he realized now that he had already decided he was ready to leave. He would leave with or without her.

As his eyes traced over her curves, which were striking and on display in the way she held herself, he felt a want. A desire within himself. He wanted her to come with him. He hoped that the rumors about her were true. He had known she did not play by the same rule book all the others seemed to play, and he had a hunch it was because of a similar disatisfaction with the status quo.
 
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Zzzzzzzz

Mistress Zelyndra Baeoryth
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She ponders, trying not to look too hopeful. He could still easily ditch her, he could still just want a way out regardless. She'd be a matter of convenience to him, nothing more. No true loyalty. Does he truly know his place? She could have struck him for his casual attitude, but it would have only tickled with her soft hands and lack of strength. She would have had to use magic to hurt him and that could cost stamina she couldn't afford to waste. Besides, would such antics help her now anyway? She didn't want to hurt him needlessly, he did help save her life after all.

But his sentiment... Others might think him weak for having such notions, but she found, in treating her slaves well, that the loyalty that built over time was much stronger than the wasting of lives the others commonly practiced. It was part of why she was exiled, she was getting too powerful even in her own house. Before she could make a move and take over, her mother, the former Matron, had killed all her slaves and made her fight to either be a sacrifice to Maelfazen the shadowmantis, or survive, and be exiled. She won, the only way she could, through savvy and using her opponent against herself. Could she get that kind of loyalty from this male like she did the others? She did in a way see the point of his sentiment, perhaps she shared it to some degree, presuming he was telling the truth.

But the issue of him making a clean break. He did not answer that. She frowned, a very lovely frown, her voice growing slightly sharper, communicating her annoyance at her question being ignored, but still with just enough sultry tone to it, to indicate her willingness to hear more. A proper Mistress must get as much information she can to make a wise decision. "And how you will break free without making more enemies to track us down?" He seemed to have a certain determination about him... But if he meant to leave regardless, it might not go over so well, and he'd be on his own, with said enemies after him anyway. And what would be of her then? Back to square one. As she looked at his handsome form, she found herself not wanting him to face that alone... I mean, it'd be a waste to let one as skilled as him perish for no good reason. Her eyes took him in, her thoughts of her house, a legacy of her own progeny, touched her mind again. Was there was more to her desire to not want him to face such things alone than just pragmatism? She tried not to think of it more deeply than that at the moment. Such practical matters were at hand. If he had a plan, or if they could come up with one, perhaps they could avoid such enemies altogether... And whatever else they might face, they wouldn't be alone.
 
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Trevan's smile widened as she spoke her question once more. He had to be sure, and that confirmed it. Having not answered her earlier question was a final test to see just how different she was. He nodded again, and answered it this second time around.

"I intend to walk out of this city in two days time. I have found a way to fake my own death, and it is quite convincing. Should you require the same, I think it may be possible. I know someone who is quite skilled in healing. Specifically, reconstruction of a face. A couple of dead bodies, or even perhaps just a head..." He says, trailing off, trusting she understood the plan.

"Then we walk out. Together. Mistress Baeoryth."

He stands up from where he had been casually sitting against the low table, and would kneel before her. "Should you find the plan agreeable, that is." He says, from upon one knee.
 
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Zzzzzzzz

Mistress Zelyndra Baeoryth
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She listens to his answer, pondering it. As she nods thoughtfully, she then sees his gesture, and him finally addressing her properly. Perhaps he knows his place after all. And if his further actions are accordingly, maybe she can build trust with him eventually. It is a start, at least. A slight smile is upon her lips, and perhaps a twinkle in her eye. Her voice softens, perhaps much more than he has ever heard a female voice sound. With her natural, yet fitting and charming arrogance, the soft sultry tone just might be the most pleasing sound he has ever heard, "A reasonable plan... Your name, dear?" She wants his name? But he is her only servant... Most Mistresses might consider that unnecessary. Until they had more servants... She is different indeed, but clearly one to be respected, perhaps much more so than any he has met before. Perhaps partly because of her differences.
 
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Without rising from his kneel, Trevan would respond to Zel with his name. "Trevan of house Soithiel." The mentioning of his name was a sign of further trust given, for now she could betray him with whispers and here-say.

He rises back to his full height, which he notes is a little bit shorter than Zel. He offers her a small smile, his eyes gleaming intelligence as he watches her. "In return for your assistance out of here, I of course would guarantee your own safety to the surface. I do not have a habit of making promises, because I always keep them." And perhaps this is a known thing of Trevan, the youngest child of the Matron of house Soithiel. The squabbling noble houses always seemed to keep tabs on their competition.
 
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Zzzzzzzz

Mistress Zelyndra Baeoryth
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She watches him with that same slight smile and twinkle in her eyes, her voice just as before, "Well, Trevan darling, you are now Trevan of House Baeoryth... Though until we get far enough away from here, we should take on different names to protect our identities just in case those assassins were not the last of those that could be after us." Suddenly she smirks and her eyes look almost playful, "You can even choose your cover name, dear... With my approval of course!" She seems very pleased to have him join her.

She then frowns a bit, has he forgot his place? Was his kneeling gesture a moment ago only for show to sway her? He could be manipulating her. She considers this, but she is still willing to work with him, there is no other option, and she lets the thought bounce around her head for a moment, that he is also handsome, which doesn't hurt. So she maintains a gentle tone, wanting to be reasonable and perhaps testing him, hoping he passes the test, "My assistance? Trevan darling, you are to assist and serve me, and I do require much. However, I do intend to make it pleasant for you. We have a long way to go, and I do not want you to wear down." That might be the kindest thing a drowess has ever said to him, at least one that had authority over him.

She tilts her head a little as she considers him, seeming to remember something, "Ah yes... Trevan... You don't make promises very often, but I remember hearing about your reputation of following through on the ones you do make. In which case it seems I have made a good choice to offer you a place to serve me." She sighs, and folds her arms, "I am not well suited to walking so much to escape. A mount would be advisable. However, my funds are currently limited. Add your funds to mine and perhaps we can get one? A spider mount would also help catch food for us as well. We must get a mount, and fake our deaths. How much money do you have, Trevan darling?" The way she addresses him is not at all harsh. Clearly she is the Matron Mistress, but she is not bullying him, just being gentle and forthright.
 
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"Mistress..." He starts, gray eyes studying her solemnly. There is no threat. There is no challenge in his voice, yet his words perhaps might challenge her ability to accept him. "I am not yet yours. This is a mutual need, and I will not submit under your complete authority until I am sure you are what I think you are." His voice is kind, but very matter-of-fact. He bows to her, a low long bow. "I will serve you as necessary until we escape this place. Once we escape, we can come to a new agreement if we both decide it is best. If you cannot accept that, I will walk out."

He knew that this all must be very difficult for her. Her whole life had been that of a drowess, and she likely did not fully understand her own situation. Pride was a fickle thing. As he straightened once more, his head tilts slightly and he feels a little bit of guilt. It isn't her fault. She was born into it, just as he was.

"But if it makes you more comfortable... I could act more as you are accustomed."
 
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She ponders his insolence, and scowls. If a scowl could be lovely, hers is very much so, which only makes it all the more poignant. She thinks slowly on his words, and his gestures. He is at least being honest. She feels slighted though, like he is in a position to evaluate her? But... She needs a lot of help, and she is running out of time. She has no other choice and... The offer seems sincere. She slowly nods. While at first her words and voice might've sounded harsh, before she speaks, she calms and reasons, her countenance softening, "Proper treatment of a Mistress, even one you do not belong to is important. Yes, it would be more suitable for me."

Now she grows quiet, thinking... She needs a lot of help, would he really be willing to care for her? But she can only hide such things for so long. Hopefully by the time her unique traits are made bare, he will be more amenable to taking on such tasks fully, even dare she hope, happily. Finally she speaks, her voice barely above a whisper, but still somehow with the full weight of the authority of a great Matron Mistress, "I still intend for your time with me to be pleasant. If you have a need, respectfully make it known. I will accommodate you. If you have a differing opinion on a matter, I will hear you out, as long as you show proper respect." Her eyes flash a quick twinkle, and her voice warms some, "Proper respect will go a long way with me, whether you are mine or not... Even more so if you become mine some day." She suddenly finds herself hoping for that day. But more immediate matters are at hand and she shakes off such sentiments for now, not wanting to seem less authoritative.

She sighs and speaks in a soft, but louder tone, "So which do you recommend first? Pooling our funds and trying to find a mount if we have enough, or faking our deaths?" Truthfully she wants to choose the mount first. Too much walking will fatigue her and she's already been at it, for days, albeit being careful to pace herself. On the other hand, the bodies of the assassins are still available for the time being, and they could possibly make use of them. If she is to learn how to be a good Mistress to him some day, she needs to know how he thinks.
 
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Trevan folds his arms and smiles at Zel. He nods as she comes around and seems to be on the same page that he is on. She truly was different. The right kind of different. He listened as she detailed out her desires, and then returned to the question she had to ask a second time. It did not go unnoticed that this time she did not fume at having to ask it twice.

"I have enough money to buy several mounts, but we would only need one. At that, I happen to know just the one. One I am certain you will approve of, mistress. I believe we are both at a turning point in our lives, for the better."

He bows his head and keeps it lowered, easily able to fall into a facade of servitude. "I recommend we secure our deaths, then secure the mount. The choice is yours, mistress."