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Regantor
06-28-2012, 10:32 AM
Ismat didn't put up any resistance, alrough she violently shook, as if a large splinter was being removed.

Afterwards, with the monolith in Tahira's grasp, the lithe thing just continued staring at her own empty hands, wide eyed.

They felt... infected somehow. Tarnished. Wrong.

"...Ah... It's... T-t-tah.... It doesn't..." Vague, hushed sounds were made, and little else. "...I-it was... n-n-nothing.... of c-......"

Delphinus
06-28-2012, 10:52 AM
Tahira brushed Ismat's cheek with the hand not holding the monolith, then raised the tiefling's head to look at her. She rested one hand on Ismat's collarbone, leaned in and kissed her on the cheek. She stayed still for a second after pulling away, then whispered in the tiefling's ear, "Be brave."

Stashing the monolith in one of the numerous pouches on her belt, Tahira stood up, blinked a few times at the wall, and turned back to the rest of the group. She didn't look directly at any of them and avoided their eyes. Instead she looked over their shoulders.

"We are fine. Let's go."

Regantor
06-28-2012, 03:45 PM
The baroque thing bundled her arms inwards in order to resist, but was defused by the sudden, soft moment of intimacy. Only after the act did she find the strength to docilely push Tahira away, tears and agitation brewing in her eyes. Immediately, she stood up and faced the other direction to hide the show of genuine emotion...

"Don't... don't touch me... please..." Evidently, Ismat had rarely experienced such things in the past. Moreover, the fact that it was the cleric who reached such soft spots only made her more uncomfortable.

But she was on her feet now, so that probably counted for something.

Cautiously, she reviewed the stairway back up to the main deck, and ambled up it the moment she had gained the smallest spark of confidence.

Would the real world be there to greet her on the other side?...

Kodos
07-06-2012, 09:43 AM
The trip back to al-Uzza was mostly done in silence.

As the four camped for the night, Tahira and Ismat shared the same dream, not that they knew, as neither girl saw fit to describe their nightmares.

They were alone, in an endless black abyss. Alone in the cold, and the dark. And it was dark. Dark as it gets. And the loneliness was crushing, suffocating, them.

And it was like that.

Forever.

***

As the quartet entered the madrasah and were escorted to Viktor's office. Viktor was leaning back in his chair behind his desk, two (relatively speaking) small Iron Golem on either side of him.

"Ah, I see you are alive. That is indeed most fortunate." He said with his usual bored, dismissive, tone, "I was very nearly about to put out the call for another group of adventurers to procure my artifact for me."

Wizards are assholes.

Regantor
07-08-2012, 06:00 PM
"Yeah, well they woulda hadda a hard time if we went ahead and sold it." Ismat bared her teeth agitatedly, even through she didn't really expect Victor to take the threat seriously. The tiefling had been the same ever since they had left the ship; Still typifying her usual sarcastic humor, but also snapping at the slightest bit of pressure. It was probably the first time she had been within the wizards office without rearranging all of the furniture. "You have any nice presents for us, seeing as we are such nice charming employees?"

Blatantly and making no attempt to hide it, her hand snooped across the table and picked up a little humanoid onyx totem, then placed it directly down the front of her blouse.

zizi
07-09-2012, 05:04 PM
Ode sat down and carefully smoothed her skirts with shaking hands. "As predicted, the monolith wasn't even mildly harmless." She fixed her dark eyes on Viktor's coldly. "I'm not sure if you take pleasure in acting like an idiot or if you just truly are as stupid as you look, but inadequately warning people you want to collect an artefact for you of the artefacts properties is so staggeringly devoid of any forethought it manages to fall below the abilities of even the most witless Gnoll."

She paused and then added as an afterthought, "Oh, and I think we might have broken your silly little cleric."

Delphinus
07-09-2012, 05:08 PM
"You know Ismat is right it was really grim on that ship and there was freaky stuff everywhere like dead people and blood and stuff and I mean there were like random visions of nasty stuff so why didn't you warn us about that anyway it was terrible and you aren't a nice person for sending us in without warning when lots of other people have uh vanished in there."

Tahira seemed to be back to her usual chirpy self; you could barely understand what she was saying, and her limbs flailed about as she spoke.

On the other hand, you'd heard faint sobbing from her tent the previous night...

Kodos
07-10-2012, 03:31 PM
"I told you the monolith was harmless and here you all are, unharmed." Viktor said dryly. "I don't see what the problem is." Oh, Viktor.

"I thought Horned Society operatives, Badawi nomads, and Assassins were made of sterner stuff." He said with the slightest of smiles before waving a hand dismissively, motioning one of the Iron Golems forward, towards Tahira, it's hands open, obviously wanting the monolith.

Regantor
07-10-2012, 05:55 PM
Ismat visibly twitched at the implication of her working for the horned society, which then spurred her ontop of the desk so that she could stare Viktor down at close range. On all fours, both her head and her tail writhed slowly and rhythmically with brooding rage. Her eyes jabbed at the wizard just as accusingly as her horns.

"N-n-no damage? Tahira is totally in a state! You tithead!" The tiefling rasped angrily, apparently either suddenly very protective of the girl, or at least very comfortable with weaponizing what had happened to her. Well, she certainly wasn't going to bring up the nightmares that she'd been having.... "I'm serious! I want a bonus!"

zizi
07-10-2012, 06:06 PM
Ode rose and moved to stand beside Ismat, her expression hard and cold. "Are we to honestly believe that you don't understand how mental stress works? I understand that you're emotionally lobotomised and therefore somewhat intellectually stunted, but surely even you understand that minds can only stretch so far before they snap. Something you would think a wizard of all people would be able to wrap his pretty little head around."

Nuru slithered to her side and she lay a hand upon his cool head, her gaze sweeping disinterestedly over the golems. "And don't try to be cute Viktor, evidently you understand there is some risk in touching the monoliths. Why else would you bother with the constructed ones?"

Kodos
07-12-2012, 10:17 AM
"Your powers of perception and deduction are a refreshing change of pace, Ms. Sawalha. It is a pleasant surprise to deal with someone who is at least slightly more observant than our two iron friends here." Viktor said with the same condescending tone as always, although he punctuated it with a slight chuckle. Was it a compliment?

"You will not be in contact with the monolith after today, and your nightmares should pass in a day or so. If they don't, by all means come inform me - that would be a new development and something worth investigating." He almost sounded excited. "I, on the other hand, intend to continue my research, and will be spending considerable time around the thing. It would be most unhelpful if I were to touch it." He smiled.

Viktor gave an exaggerated sigh. "Very well, Ms. Makaarim. An additional 500 gold for each of you. I am sure your superiors in the Horned Society will be pleased at your skill in negotiations." He wrote something on a piece of paper and handed it to Ismat. "Give this to the clerks on your way out and they shall give you your money."

zizi
07-13-2012, 09:21 PM
Ode glanced sidelong at him. "Why, you're almost sweet. Considering how much pleasure you would derive from having driven me insane, I think we're a little beyond the adorable formalities you people-who-do-not-walk do so enjoy. Call me Ode." She smiled cooly. "I don't know if you'll be wanting our services again, but I can assure you if you do you're going to have to be very seductive."

Regantor
07-13-2012, 10:42 PM
Ismat just snatched the paper and shamelessly blew raspberries at his remarks. Money or no money, she still took pleasure on messing his desk up as much as possible before sliding off of it.

A soft caress of the face sort of stood in for her apologizing to Tahira, alrough she didn't quite bother to look the cleric in the eye or anything as she walked passed...

Nope. Too busy clambering around ontop of one of the golem's shoulders, examining it's head and joints for any expensive magical components.

Kodos
09-07-2012, 11:23 AM
"I actually do not have any tasks at the moment which I would feel comfortable trusting in the hands of uneducated people such as yourselves." Viktor said, not hiding his lack of interest in the party. "However, should a situation arise which requires your special talents, I shall be sure to keep you in mind." Viktor waved a hand dismissively, apparently no longer willing to countenance the group.

zizi
10-04-2012, 10:41 PM
Ode raised an eyebrow. "As you wish. Should you desire my skills or anything else of me in future, you need only ask. And offer a suitable sweetener for the pleasure, of course." She stood, skirts swirling. "Come, Nuru. We have other inscrutable men to do favours for." As she passed the Golems and Ismat on the way out, she slipped a piece of paper into one of the Tiefling's pockets. An address, above it written: You could make a lot of money, and steal far better things than silver rings.

Regantor
10-05-2012, 08:00 PM
Ismat took the piece of paper out her pocket, reviewed both sides of it, then immediately tore it up with a scowl on her face. Then, for a moment, she just sat and gave a fierce, point-blank stare into the eyes of the golem.

Ode had left the room by now, but the creature seemed to suddenly lean backwards to catch a glimpse of the druid's back down the hallway, though the open doors...

Then she jumped down, scooped up the remains of the sheet of paper, and then briskly followed.

If Victor, Tahira and Anass were expecting heartfelt goodbyes, they probably could have chosen someone better than a highly annoyed pocket fiend prone to strange moods.

Regantor
03-26-2014, 06:54 PM
///

The sweltering backalleys of al-Uzza made for a perfect breeding ground of scoundrels and crooks, seamlessly infused into the countless crowded food stalls, cheap furniture merchants and sundried brick foundries. Despite appearances, there was money to me made here. Infact, it was well known that you could probably get anything your heart desired, should you find the right person... and manage not to loose everything yourself, in due process.

Even given the crowds, it was hard to miss Ismat. She was perched on a small table in front of a chewed-up looking weapons bazaar. The small tiefling seemed almost meditatively basking in the sun, whilst her pointed tail darted to and throw with elastic pleasure. White hair, curly horns, skin as dark as straight coffee; Except the hands, which were crimson up to the elbows, as if dipped in blood at all hours of the day. The frilly, aristocratic black dress she wore wasn't really all that sexualised, but fiendish features mixed in with her childish demeanor still made it all rather odd.

Oblivious to danger, she seemed? Or, perhaps, basking in the opportunity to look dangerous?

Waiting, for dangerous people, in fact.

It was once in a blue moon that she made such requests, and her reputation was as a strange but adept professional, someone who only stole from those that irritated her; So they probably wouldn't be long, if they wanted that quick coin to be theirs.

Evil_Cake
04-05-2014, 05:27 PM
It took awhile for the esteemed Alim Avdol Jabbar to make his way to the meeting spot. He kept stopping at any vendor's table that might be selling weird, useless baubles or jewelery, which was a LOT of them. Rarely, he would actually buy some cheap knecklace and drape it over his shoulder or wrist. Usually, he would just argue angrily with merchants, trying to get the price he wanted, then slump off sadly when he couldnt.

By the time he reached Ismat's location, his wrists and neck were entangled in cheap jewelry and trinkets. There wasnt a single precious, or even semiprecious stone in sight, but the clusterfuck of junk still had a dazzling amount of color. He stopped a few feet in front of the tiefling girl, stomping loudly with his last step. He snapped his fingers, and a small flash of fire shot out. "Here I am!" He said proudly, "Alim Avdol Jabbar, at your service." He took a second, closer look at Ismat. "Maybe..."

Bacon_Barbarian
04-07-2014, 09:35 PM
Rashma made her way through the crowd, observing the multitude of vendors as she made her way towards her patron. The smells coming from the food stalls permeated the stifling desert air, and wafted in through her nostrils. Something, if not everything, was delicious and there was a definite smell of garlic. She was tempted to stop and pick up something to eat, but figuring being late wasn't in her best interests today, she kept on her way.

Working her way through the crowds, like a fish through water, Rashma briskly passed the merchant vendors, who's goods--both unfairly expensive and suspiciously cheap--shone brightly in the sunlight. Finally at the meeting spot, Rashma was able to catch sight of a man introducing himself as an Alim. He was spectacularly dressed, but still, there was something garish about his attire. Stopping her walk to the meeting spot next to the man called Avdol, Rashma nodded curtly, as if to say "I am here. I am ready."

Regantor
04-09-2014, 06:55 PM
Ismat seemed to lazily disregard the Alim's formal introduction at first, but spontaneously appeared inside his personal space the minute he chanced a look away. Standing on the table made her taller than him, but only just. Her head crooned curiously, dark eyes extracting evidence from his features, examining weaknesses, like a snake. The horned thing held no hesitation in grasping at his collar, looking inside his pockets, pulling his strange bracelets around, smelling his hair.

"You can do more than that fire thing, can't ya? I wanted to hire you because of that cool magic styff ya supposse ta be abul ta doo." Her voice was soft and agreeable, but the searing heat of her breath gave it a more literal impact. Apparently, she enjoyed his reaction, and held onto both his clusters of bracelets so that he would have a hard time backing off. "Cuz seriously, if it was fake, yur gonna die." The last bit had her smiling, not quite holding back a laugh.

"That came out wrong... I ~meant~ that yur gonna get stabbed 'n' eaten by monsters prolly." Still smiling. "If ya finkin' I'm gonna protect ya ass, yur gonna regret it, babbykins. :3"

Her head turned suddenly, as a new person approached. If he wanted to dodge getting poked in the face by a girly horn, too bad.

"See? She has 'er shit togethur. You cun, like, tell, with her..."

"Rashma, wazn' it?"

Evil_Cake
04-09-2014, 10:57 PM
Avdol Jabbar kept trying to smoothly slip away from Ismat's tinkering. "You question my abilities? Then perhaps I should start questioning the morality of your business in Kemet?" The wizard pulled away and held his hands up at chest level. "But to answer your question... Yes, fire tricks are all I am capable of," After speaking these words, Avdol clapped his hands together, and disappeared. In his place, for a moment, a flame swirled around and then dissipated.

Then Ismat could feel a heat behind her, but it wasn't breath. It was the flaming hand of the esteemed Alim, Avdol Jabbar. He held it out past her shoulder, so she could see it's intensity. Then he bent over and spoke next to her ear, "but they are all you need."

Guy is kinda dramatic.

Avdol cast Teleport and rolled a 81 so he had no problem going to right spot.

Also cast...Dancing Lights...? For the flaming hand effect. Or maybe Burning Hands.. idk

Bacon_Barbarian
04-10-2014, 08:38 AM
Rashma nodded again in response to Ismat's question, "Rashma. Yes, that's right." She then turned to face the Alim and his grandiose showboating, "If you're going to be a one trick pony, perhaps your tricks would be better suited to fit your environment..."

Sylux
04-11-2014, 01:38 PM
A great half-giant strolled through the desert city streets, apologizing politely to each person he bumped into or crossed paths with. Each "sorry" he uttered was met with puzzling stares, as his demeanor betrayed his large and intimidating appearance. The scorching sun coated his thick and muscular body in a glistening layer of sweat and sand. As he waltzed into the meeting place, he noticed a Tiefling talking back and forth with two other warriors. He took a knee in her presence and greeted her, "Hello, Tiefling. I am Levi, of the Talmai. I would like to join you in your adventures."

Regantor
04-11-2014, 11:31 PM
Ismat unreservedly began clapping at Jabbar's boisterous display. Instantly changing her tune on the spot, she was now grinning like a child.

"Keep doin' it!" Girlishly giggling, she placed both palms against his chest, and began to hop up and down slightly. "Set somedouym' empty stalls blazin! Nobody 'ull ca-!"

Again, instantly, a mood change. A serious expression took shape, and she balanced the entire table precariously forward whilst she balanced one arm against Rashma. One hand was held out in a claw shape, like warning a dirty street cat to stay away. "...Actually... that'sa point, Kemet is all deserty. Can ya create water too?..."

"Havin' a teleport guy is cool, see, since super discrete." The mercurial thing had decided the tribal warrior was an old buddy now, and was leaning over to their ear to discuss this. "But a bit poops if we gotta pay him a full due, an' protect is' ass, an' carry foods cuz is' ass is too feeble, ya kno?"

"Also... Don't look now but sumbadee wid a really big face is lookin at ywe." She was right. There was a giant guy with a giant face. And, he was like, introducing himself, or something.

I guess that explains why she suddenly started taking cover behind the toughest looking of the three... Wait, didn't she invite him herself?...

"Okay. You'zall here." She didn't bother with introductions, instead choosing to remain behind her meat shield, whilst giving off a sly smile of self-approval. "I can't remember what I put in each note, so I'll jus say it. We are going to loot Kemet. A very much undead bastards will not be so happy about this... But, hey, it's a backwater country wit' pharoahs who just squash the common guy for all he's worth. All that loot wasn't theirs in the first place, not in mine eyes. So it's not even really stealin'."

"Questiuns?"

Bacon_Barbarian
04-14-2014, 06:29 PM
"Just one," the look on Rashma's face made it painfully obvious that she wanted nothing more than to be paid, "how long till we get going?"

Evil_Cake
04-18-2014, 03:06 PM
Avdol hopped off the table (and did a 360 while midair), and landed next to the other party members. "I'll need a few more supplies. And do you know where in Kemet you want to go, exactly?"

Regantor
04-19-2014, 08:40 PM
"Gotta map. Gotta book." It was true, she was holding them out. Some cheap-looking scroll with loads of desert dunes drawn on it, and a old ragged book titled 'the illustrious pharaohs of Kemet'. Funny, she didn't look like the kind of rich elderly history professor who could afford such a thing... "Preddy sure I know who is oo."

"Apophis' pyramid 'as gotta be first, sounds like a proper weenie baby. A pretty boy, not a warrior king. Should be good finds." She pointed at the map, but it was so impatient and erratic there really wasn't any point. "Close to civilisatiunz, through, in riverside necropolis of Khafre. We gonna have to be careful not to be too noisy."

An uneasy look at one of her own wrists, followed by a longer one at that rather behemoth-y 'Levi' fellow.

"However, dis also part of cunnin' plan." She actually looked like she was rather bored of herself talking already, now. "Isolated pyramids means more treasahs since less lootas, see? If we can snag a few locals each time we go, somewhere out-of-sights-y, get 'em talking 'bout places they aren't allowed to go..."

A few seconds passed. She spent it just googling at the three of them, like they were a bunch of brain-dead morons.

"Then we can start talkin' bout where the ~big~ booties are. Undastaaand~?"

Obnoxiousness, thy name is... this short pudgy devil-thing which never actually introduced itself.

Evil_Cake
04-26-2014, 01:17 AM
"It will be no problem for me to take you all there." Avdol studied the map and book briefly. "However, I'm not sure I like the sound of 'snagging' the locals."

"Also, if the tomb has been looted less, then it's guardians and curses will still be intact. Are you all ready to deal with all manner of ancient POWER?! Do you have the proper equipment to protect yourself against CURSES and who knows what else?"

Bacon_Barbarian
04-28-2014, 02:06 AM
"There is a saying that it is better to be safe than sorry ... I don't think that applies to grave robbing. If I'm going to risk something, I want there to be an adequate payoff."

Regantor
04-28-2014, 12:14 PM
"True, this." Ismat added. "If somewhere is easy to rob, all the good stuff will be long-o gone. Only reason not jumpin' straight to tha big un's is becus... Well, ain't nobody know where they are."

After a small awkward glance at the three of them, she reached down into her blouse and produced a couple of small vials. Each was a different color and viscosity, alrough none looked like something you should really be drinking.

"Cure disease, cure curse, and cure for things that aren't melted yet. Dat's what I'm stockin' up on." A couple of nimble fingers decided to restlessly roll the last variety in between them. "Yeah. Note. Acids. A-S-E-E-D-S. Not bombs..."

"Exploshuns in confined spaces... wouldn't recommend so much."

Evil_Cake
06-29-2014, 11:17 PM
"So do you want me to teleport us near a village, or a tomb? If we need supplies and information while we're there, what was it- Rashma? Rashma and I could go into town... Unless you've got some plan to disguise yourself." Avdol looked over and for the first time took in the enormity of Levi's mass. "Also him."

Bacon_Barbarian
07-06-2014, 07:37 PM
Rashma nods in affirmation, that yes, Rashma was indeed her name. "I too wonder what we shall to disguise ... him."

Sylux
07-09-2014, 08:53 AM
Levi noticed the others glaring at him. What on Asul were they doing that for? Ah, yes. Disguises. Levi never really could say that was his strong suit, even among his own people, what with being half-giant only. He shyly recoiled into himself slightly. "Well," he suggested. "We could always try something else...?" Levi got the feeling that they were going to do something horrendous to him, like force him to wait in an alley near a gang hideout with a cloth draped over him as if he were some kind of Draconic crab-monster. "Or not..." This wasn't going to be pleasant for him.

Regantor
07-09-2014, 01:27 PM
Ismat just gave Levi a hearty pat on the bicep, and then jabbed crimson-colored thumb towards herself. "Eh, don't worry about it, being scary has it's own uses too!" Her voice took on a humorous sneer. "If people wanna build up some big ol' legend and terrify um'selves, then give you grief about it, you might as well take ah'vantage!"

"Unless we's all lookin' for information, through, you and Rashma are going to have to get supplies, yeah." Her attention turned back towards Avdol. "Goin' straight for the tomb is probably best."

"Any other brainings? Or you guys ready to stock yurselves up?"

The tiefling let out a massively enthusiastic grin, as if talking to a group of dear old friends planning lunch, and not a group of conspiring grave robbers.

Bacon_Barbarian
07-19-2014, 01:59 PM
Rashma laughs at Ismat's words. "That's the way! If people are scared for no good reason, play that fear. And what supplies is it exactly we will be gathering?"