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Old 11-05-2002, 07:51 PM   #91
Calaethis Dragonsbane
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Thanks for posting. I still think Sefa did the wrong thing [img]tongue.gif[/img] lol, I have a sneaking suspicion that Snurrf (or whatever his name is) will kidnap her.
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Old 11-06-2002, 12:59 AM   #92
Attalus
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Indeed, CD, you are prescient. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 11-06-2002, 06:57 AM   #93
Calaethis Dragonsbane
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Att... *suppicious tone* are you mocking me? I wouldnt put it past you... [img]tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 11-06-2002, 02:33 PM   #94
Galadria
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Attalus! You quit hinting to Calaethis. [img]graemlins/nono.gif[/img]

After the rest had left, Sefa approached Galadria. "My lady," she asked timidly, "can I have some money?"
Galadria reached over to her desk, touched a spot, and a drawer that had not seemed to have been there before opened. It was full of gold coins, various sizes and denominations. Sefa's eyes bulged. That was enough money to make anyone wealthy for life. "How much do you need, Sefa, and what for?" Galadria asked casually.
"Oh, not near that much, Mistress," Sefa protested. "I ... I just want to look good for when I meet, er, my father, Snurll. So, I need a new outfit. And my hair dressed. Please?"
A smile of pure love came across Galadria's face, the smile that made her so adored by all the inhabitants of the House of the Dome. No one really was able to describe it, and it occurred rarely. Affection, devotion, friendship, and the determination never to let them down, all came across in one fleeting look. Sefa's heart was melted once again. She scarcely heard it when Galadria said, "Why, of course, we will go shopping and make him sorry that he ever let you go, my darling Sefa. Tomorrow, you and I, with Em and Cho, if they want to go, shall take you out and make you utterly delectable."
The next day, the four women sallied out into the merchant's quarter of Baldur's Gate, Chorania heavily cloaked, as usual. She was well known to the authorities as being in Galadria's service, but she disliked the glances that she would get from the uninformed. Galadria herself had offered to cast an illusion upon her, to make her appear human or a surface elf. This, the proud woman had declined. "For, I am Drow, abbil," she had said at the time. "I am proud of my people, even if they are quite the reverse of me. Ellistrae lead them to a better understanding."
When they entered a shop where they all were known, however, she cast back her hood and shook her silver hair loose. Noemi could not but comment. "Cho, you are so lovely. I hate to see you all muffled up, like a sufferer from some plague."
Chorania smiled at the little redhead. "You are kind, m'zint to, to speak of me so. But, what would you? Would you have urchins throwing refuse at me, as they used, before your sister took me in? Or hear the words of the louts that would find me attractive and yet a threat to their puny masculinity? Pah, wearing a cloak is a small thing to avoid this; and," she added, "I do suffer from plagues, the rivvil's ignorance and intolerance, and the continued evil of Lloth and the Drow under her sway."
"They wouldn't bother you with Gal and I around," Noemi bridled. "I'd send them to the Abyss," she caught her sister's eye, "or at least home with a very sore body." She finished defiantly.
As the shopkeeper bustled up, Chorania hugged her small defender. "Do not kill them, mzint to, not for my sake and my nonexistent honor, for that would be a thing abhorrent to Lord Helm, and He would wish me to urge against it. But, I will allow you to make faces at them, at which you excel. But, you merely make my case for hiding my dusky face. Some day, when the world is changed, it may no longer be necessary. Hasten the day!" She then touched a pendant that hung between her breasts.
They found a luscious orange dress in satin, and sandals to match. Noemi insisted on buying a pendant with a strange blue stone, a beljuril, it was called, to hang around her neck, saying that it complemented her dress and brought out the blue in her eyes. Sefa was very pleased, especially since Noemi was notoriusly careful with money. It was the first piece of jewellery that she had ever had that someone else had bought for her. She insisted on wearing it home from the shop, and indeed, it called attention to her fine young neck and the high color of her skin.
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Old 11-07-2002, 10:18 AM   #95
Galadria
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Three days later, Snurll presented himself again at the House of the Dome, and Rantis this time led him directly to the front room. He was led to a seat and told to sit there, but on no account to sit in the big wooden chair by the wall. Naturally, the man was intrigued, and examined the forbidden chair very carefully. It was carved of dark wood and looked ancient, as indeed it was. The carvings were mainly of owls and dragons, with smaller serpants twining here and there. The finials were shaped into two life-sized eyes. There was no cushion, and it did not look very comfortable. It was not intended to be. This was the Chair of the Watcher, made for the elven mage Neoblannor in the distant past. Though Snurll did not know it, it was brother to Galadria's chair in her study, made from the same wood, a lightning-blasted oak from the haunted Forest of Clainn, by the same craftsman. That one was the Chair of Learning, and it was far more comfortable.
Snurll was distracted from his study of the chair by the sound of the inner door opening. Galadria swept in, wearing the same black robe as she had the previous time, followed by a smaller, redheaded woman who was, in fact, Noemi. She gazed quizzically at him, and he started to bow.
His bow was interrupted, however, by the entrance of a third woman, who was, to his amazement, a drow elf. She glared at him, and he continued his bow to include her. Of Sefa, there was no sign.
Galadria seated herself in the carved chair, and focussed on her visitor. Noemi and Chorania seated themselves on either side of the mage, who then indicated, with a wave of her hand, that Snurll should sit, also. "Greetings, Master Snurll," she said graciously. "These ladies are my sister Noemi and my chaplain, Chorania. They are here to meet you, and to observe. My apprentice and your daughter, Sefa, has agreed to meet you provided that we three are also present. Does this disturb you?"
There was no telling what was going on behind the gray eyes. "Of course, Lady Galadria," he answered suavely, "I would prefer to meet my daughter alone, but if these are the conditions that she requires, I am glad to comply. I am eager to meet her. Is she here?"
Galadria inclined her head. "She is, indeed," she stated, "but is rather nervous. I just wanted to make sure that you understand the situation. Also, to make clear that she is not going to be leaving with you tonight, no matter what. She is my sworn apprentice, and I do not choose that she be gone from my home at this time. Is that clear?"
This time, a flicker of vexation did cross the man's face. Chorania's glare intensified. What was he planning? Her drow instincts for detecting plots went into full operation.
"Lady Galadria," the voice was a little tenser, "I have told you that I would be glad to buy out her contract..." He was interrupted by Galadria slamming her hand on the arm of her chair. Gold and blue sparks flew, then died quickly. Her eyes blazed like black stars.
"Enough, Snurll," she almost snarled. The women beside her looked at him with disapproval on Noemi's part, and frank anger from the drow. "I have told you before that Sefa is not for sale, nor is her contract. She does not want to leave my service. Now, if you still want to see her, you will agree to those conditions. Do you?"
He compressed his lips, and regained control of himself. "Indeed, milady. If this is the only way that I can meet my flesh and blood, I will agree."
Chorania sneered, "Was she not your own flesh and blood when you abandoned her to her kidnappers, thief? Where was your paternal instinct, then? What has changed, to make the cold-blooded lurker of the shadows so desirous of her company? I refuse to believe that it is the onset of lonliness in your old age. Do you not live in a tower by the sea, alone, by choice?"
"My feelings are none of your business, drow!" Snurll nearly shouted. "What has brought your foul presence to the surface? What kind of company is my daughter keeping?"
"Better company than a cold father who did not love her enough to pay over the ransom for her," Noemi snapped. "She is loved here, and has been for eight years. She was dressed in rags and was skin and bones when my lady sister took her in as her apprentice. Your insults to my friend and hers do not go unnoticed by her, I assure you, for she is listening at that grate."
Galadria waved her hand, silencing her. "Enough. Snurll, you will see her only if her conditions are met, and you are civil. Apologize to Lady Chorania, and I shall see if Sefa is still desirous of meeting you."
Snurll muttered some patently insincere apology, and Galadria rose and left the room. Sefa was crouched at the panel, and rushed to her. "Lady Galadria, " she said anxiously, "he is like I feared, a bad man, but, I still would meet him."
"Come, then, Sefa," the mage murmured, "and meet your father."
As they reentered the room, Snurll rose, half involuntarily. Desire showed in his eyes. Sefa was indeed attractive in the orange satin dress, white sandals, curly brown hair pulled into place and blue eyes shining, but Chorania didn't think that was what he wanted from his daughter. He wanted her badly. Why? To no good end, she decided grimly. She drew a wand out of her pocket and held it at the ready.
Sefa spoke first. "Hello, father," she said simply. "Lady Galadria spoke truly. I shall not be leaving her service. But, I would ask you but one question. Why did you not pay my ransom when they kidnapped me? I have others, but that will do for starters."
"My child," Snurll spoke hoarsely, "that is a mistake that I have been regretting for many years, since ..." he broke off. "Never mind. Conditions have changed, as have I. You must come with me, to my home. I am wealthy, you shall want for nothing."
Sefa shook her head. "I do not wish to leave here, no matter how much money you might shower upon me. I am happy here, and do not want to go. And, you have not answered my question."
Snurll looked frustrated. "But, you have no idea how much you could have, my daughter. Gold, jewels, slaves. You could travel, study where you would like."
"I am studying where I like, right now, father," Sefa replied with the ghost of a smile hovering on her lips. "And, you still have not answered my question."
"Enough of you pleading, Snurll," Galadria snapped. "Answer her question, or leave. You are wasting my time, and that of all here."
The thief looked at Galadria, bitterly, then said, through clenched teeth, "My greatest rival stole you, my child. He crept into your mother's house and nipped you from your cradle. He then told everyone that he had burgled my greatest treasure, my daughter. They all jeered at me. Me, Snurll, the greatest thief of all. So, I gave out that you were probably not my daughter, anyway, just that of another of your mother, Marissa's lovers. I refused to pay what he asked, though I could have afforded it. I thought that I would have more children, for your mother was young. Little did I know that she would die of the plague and leave me, alone. I have been searching for you for years." Amazingly enough, Galadria magically heightened senses told her that this was the first time that evening that he was not lying, though he was leaving much out.
Sefa had not taken her eyes off of the gray man. "So, I was a mere symbol, to be bandied about, ignored and lucky not to be dead. Who was my mother?"
"Her name was Marissa," the thief seemed to get pleasure out of pronouncing her name. "She was seventeen when she gave birth to you, and beautiful, like you, daughter. You have her eyes, her hair, her mouth. To see you is to see my dear wife all over again. I cannot tell you how much pleasure it would give me to see it every day, at my house."
Galadria was now conscious of a great duality, as if what he were saying were literally true, but beneath, a hellish lie. This was dangerous, she suddenly realized. The man was obsessed with getting hold of Sefa, for her likeness to this dead woman. But he hadn't known, had never set eyes upon her ... trap, she though instantly, this is all a trap. That sense that I had earlier, that he had no access to the higher magics is gone, now and he is surrounded with a distant thunder of Power. I don't know how, but something that we have done, careful as we have been, has delivered something into his hands. She rose abruptly, and all eyes save Snurll's went to her. He was still gloating over Sefa.
"I have had enough, Snurll," she said flatly. "This girl is staying here, and you are going, now."
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Old 11-07-2002, 10:28 AM   #96
Calaethis Dragonsbane
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Join Date: May 29, 2002
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Thanks for posting, I still dont like snurrf, (or whatever his name is [img]tongue.gif[/img] ) heheh, still, its getting interesting keep posting
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Old 11-07-2002, 05:28 PM   #97
Kaltia
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Join Date: May 2, 2002
Location: Canterbury, England
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Galadria...LOVE IT! Especially the way you convince us that Snurrrl is a real b*stard with all the senses of evil and the well-structured language about ^ ^
Sorry, i had english today: dissecting Lord of the Flies, which, IMO, is a wonderful insight to human nature
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Old 11-07-2002, 07:16 PM   #98
Galadria
20th Level Warrior
 

Join Date: November 3, 2001
Location: Texas
Age: 48
Posts: 2,830
LOL, thanks, sweeties. I try to fully imagine each of my characters and then and only then put them into the plot. Then, it writes itself.

A great anguish spread over Snurrl's face. He seemed to howl. "Lady, just a few moments more, I beg of you!"
"No!" she snapped. "Sefa, leave the room. Do not look into his eyes. Noemi, go with him and call Attalus. Tell him that I need him, here, now."
Noemi, used to instant obedience and on a hair-trigger, anyway, threw her cloak over Sefa's startled face and bundled her from the room. She could be heard bawling Attalus' name. Chorania, not knowing exactly what had happened, aimed her wand and shot a magical ray at the gray figure, who immediately changed into a huge, blackish-red demon. "Balor!" she shouted , and then cast a spell stopping what ever spell it was casting. Galadria activated the wards of the room, and whichever way the demon stepped, acid, flame, or piercing cold struck him. She spoke, and a hideous skull appeared before the injured demon, spewing noxous gases. The Balor was a large and powerful one, but he was on Galadria's territory, in a room designed to augment her magic and lessen others, so he was at a distinct disadvantage. He attempted to summon a succubus to aid him, but the room's wards foiled it, even as Attalus stormed through the door, his sword Corydras in hand, and dealt it a stunning blow to the shoulder with its magical blade. Galadria and Chorania both cast death spells on the beast, and he could not avoid them both. He died, leaving a withered corpse.

As they all gathered around the body, Attalus wiping ichor from his blade, Noemi whispered, "What was going on, Gal? Was Snurll really a demon, or did he send one in his place? And what was he trying to do?"
"No, this was not Snurll," Galadria stated grimly. "I am quite sure that he never left his home, just projecting his simulacrum here. He was trying to get the demon to cast a glamor on Sefa, so that he could have just told her, later, to come to him. I could feel something going on, but couldn't quite put my finger on it, until the end. The demon was stalling, trying to get the glamor to work, but the wards were interfering with his magic. That is why I only conduct these interviews with people of doubtful intentions, here. Most of those spells would never have worked on that thng, if it hadn't have been here."
"How could he have gotten that illusion past the wards?" Chorania demanded. "They should have stripped him, the minute he walked in the door. And you, in the Chair of the Watcher. You should have seen through the illusion at once."
"I know, Cho," Galadria answered calmly, "that is why I said that I was sure that he was still at his home. To be able to cast an illusion that strong argues a place of great power as his origin. He must be living in that tower because he has discovered some kind of power sink, and he can operate from there. Never fear, I shall cast a stronger spell, since I have learned of a new one but had never gotten around to casting it. He will not get away with the same trick twice, but he will try others. We must be on our guard, and I shall plan to meet kind Master Snurll in the near future. I'll send for Odo and Cyth, they'll want to help. And, Sefa," she turned to the girl, "no more going off on your own, without one of us with you. I shall not lose you to that man, and he is going to pay for invading my home. Our home," she amended. Sefa, white-faced, immediately agreed.
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Old 11-08-2002, 10:07 AM   #99
Galadria
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Join Date: November 3, 2001
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Snurll, indeed, had never left the tower, manipulating his tools from a distance. He flew into a rage at the demon's destruction. All of that effort, summoning him and sending him to Baldur's Gate, under control, and the final penetration of the House of the Dome, all for naught, so close to his goal. There was no help for it, he decided after he had cooled down, he would have to leave the tower and go to Baldur's Gate himself, though he would have to be very careful not to be recognized. There had to be a way to get to be alone with the girl.
The thief arrived in Baldur's Gate a few days later. He had a few facts to go on that Galadria had let slip: Sefa's name and the fact that she had been a street waif. It was not long before he was revisiting his old haunts in the slums, revisiting old cronies and making new ones. It was not hard for him. He had money and spread it around. Repeatedly inquiring about Galadria did not get him far, as she rarely visited the city's poorer quarters, but Sefa was still remembered as the poor beggar child who had made it out of the slums and occasionally came back to visit old friends and help them.
Finally, someone pointed out Sefa's friend Naba, who was begging outside a seedy temple. Pretending to be struck by her beauty, Snurrll offered her gold to return with him to his inn for dinner and dalliance. The girl eagerly agreed, and afterwards, sated with unaccustomed wine, food, and amorous attention, she was ready, even eager to talk of her good friend Sefa. She praised her as bringing aid in the form of food and money to her loosely-knit group of friends.
Snurll did not have to affect interest, asking many questions about this paragon. Naba understandably grew a bit jealous, tossing her rather greasy hair. "I don't see why you are so fascinated with Sefa," she pouted, "since you have me right here. She wouldn't be interested in you, no. She is all stuck up about men since she went to live with Lady Galadria." Naba recalled her interrogation years ago by Galadria with a flush. "That's a mean one, she is. Treats a person like dirt just because she tries to pull a little trick on her. I tell you, all that talk about how nice she is comes from people that haven't crossed her. One false move, and the claws come out."
Snurll twined his fingers in her hair. "So," he replied with a little smirk, "you have a grudge agaist Galadria, do you? Let me tell you, so do I. How would you like to earn more gold and perhaps, if you play your cards right, a place in my household?"
Naba leaned forward with what she hoped was a flattering smile, displaying her charms to the best advantage. She thought she knew what cards Snurll meant, and she thought that she played that game well. Unfortunately, she was dealing with a master sharper.
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Lady Galadria,Goddess\' Equal of the O.R.T.; [img]\"http://havak.db-forge.com/portraits/bitmaps/wlf180L.bmp\" alt=\" - \" /><br />\"Romance at short notice was her specialty.\" - Saki <br />Founder of the IW Branch of the Anti-Anomen Society
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Old 11-08-2002, 10:13 AM   #100
Calaethis Dragonsbane
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*mutters darkly about backstabers* thanks for posting Lady G. heh, your characters *are* realistic (well as realistic as any fantasy character can be) I could just imagine that setting in BG. And snurrl. (the char "gal" should hire assassins and have him taken out *eyes alight with fire*) but Im guessing that isnt her style. *grins* So I'm bloodthirsty? I dont like characters that try to hurt my favourite ones
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