Ardashiri Nights (E)
A bit rushed, but deal with it! Also there's only three of you for now - Zizi, Fail, and Reg. Windy get in touch!
The last few months have certainly been interesting.
First there was that global quake that shook the world, and not much else. That was certainly an odd enough occurrence in and of itself, and foreign traders said that some Druids felt it was a sign of something wrong, or soon to be wrong, in Nature. But only a few Druid villages seemed to get really worried or upset. The second tremor was more of the same.
Then came the word from the Western Kingdoms that Therion, the Doom of Heroes, King of Rape, Worldsmasher, and so on, had been demanding greater
and more frequent tributes of treasure and women from his conquered territories, that his armies had been on the move, his production of undead increased,
and that the Doom of Heroes himself had been spotted outside of his lair on at least two separate occasions.
Then Brookhaven, some city out West. What the fuck was that all about? Reports were strangely vague about that. All you knew - if even that little - was
that Therion did something to the town and everyone died and apparently it's so fucked that no one can even live there anymore. How lovely.
And then came Doré. The shining bastion of civilization and justice in the West was destroyed by the Worldsmasher. Its princesses taken, its cities smashed,
the country was in ruins and the survivors few.
Then he proceeded to smash Champignon, some small kingdom near Lareaux. Rumors of increased activity among his agents are also rife.
And the rumors are unclear, but something terrible has happened in the Ardashiri city of Qajar. The stories are horrible and sometimes conflicting, but the general tone suggests that whatever Therion did to Brookhaven his agents had repeated in Qajar.
Clearly Therion was off on one of his frequent "FUCK THE WORLD I AM AWESOME!" trips.
Luckily, none of it concerned you directly. Therion rarely fucked with Ardashir, after all.
Besides, you were just Adventurers, which was a fancy way of saying "mercenaries who don't always just kill people".
You'd been told that a certain recent immigrant to Al-Uzza had need of services like yours. He was supposedly one of the handful of survivors of Brookhaven, a Wizard of great skill and knowledge. He'd gotten a job for himself teaching at the Great Madrasah, and was already quite famous in the city. The only things, it was said, that surpassed his knowledge and skill were his arrogance and anti-social behaviors.
But money is money, right? And at least he wasn't a pervert or anything. Not like that horrible Brass Dragon that's always stomping around the city rambling about chairs and staring at womens' chests.
You were escorted by some apprentice Wizards through the Madrasah to what you assumed was Mr. Weiss' office. The Madrasah, like any respectable school of magic, was full of life. Students arguing over theories, teachers arguing over theories, explosions from poorly cast spells, and occasionally odd sights like that octopus you passed on the way to the second floor which you were told to simply ignore.
Weiss was seated as you entered his office, which was covered in bookshelves. A strange crystal sat in the corner atop a brazier-like device. Viktor himself seated behind a simple wooden desk.
"You must be adventurers, then?" He said, clearly disinterested in you. "I hope you're better than the last lot. They're still off on the task I sent them on. They are very nearly as worthless as my students."
"Which brings me to my task for you. It is very simple. I need you to check in with some students of mine who are out of town on some research. I've not heard from them in some time. I'd do it myself but, alas, my duties here as a teacher deny me the time to travel."
"They're in an old fortress not too far from the city. About a day's travel, at most. I've taken care of the travel arrangements for you already. I want you to go there, find out why those irresponsible idiots haven't provided me their weekly report, and then come back to me. Simple, no? I imagine even a motley trio consisting of a glorified thug, a roaming savage, and and a half-breed woman who is most likely Horned Society could handle this one, no?" Viktor smiled.
What a nice man.
Ismat Makaarim swanned though the various disarranged classrooms like a possessed doll, enjoying her current black gothic dress getup a little too much and taking to swaying about in a supremely disordered manner. Hell knows if she actually knew she was part of the hired party or not, because in her millisecond-short attention span she had failed to look at either of the other members even once. Every few seconds she'd break off, either to invade the personal space of an interesting-looking individual, or to grasp at a neat object, then lazily discard it a few paces away from where she found it.
Black pigtails, pointed ears and sleek, placid amber eyes offset a quadruple set of jewelry-encrusted horns, giving her face a meek goat-like quality that was equal parts attractive and off-putting. The body was a similar story, possessing soft coffee-colored skin, plentiful curves and a pair of arms permanently stained with crimson genetic heresy. There would be no hiding tiefling features like these; but why one would choose to dress in a way that works off of her sinister attributes was probably a question best left unasked.
With the same placid, detached expression, she floated into Viktor's office and simply continued dancing about to unheard music, never halting for a second and pouring through everything in hand's reach. The insult was met with a quick childish scowl towards him, extending her tongue, before the short thing instantly went back to the task of attaching value to everything he had exposed. Sometimes she just picked up and re-arranged things without even looking at them.
Worst rogue ever?
Anass looked like a commoner, his only defining feature being his height.
He didn't really seem too happy with the job. Probably because assassins tend not to go on missing persons contracts, Viktor didn't seem to trustworthy either surely a wizard as powerful as him could be there and back again in a moment. He didn't bring this up though.
Ode Sawalha raised an elegant eyebrow slightly at the word 'savage'. She refolded her hands in her lap, smoothing out her overskirt. As she shifted, one of the splits that ran most of the way down the sides gaped open briefly, revealing a flash of the slightly sheer golden brown material that made up the loose trousers she wore beneath, and through that a flash of lean dark thigh.
"Funny," she said mildly, "you would expect a magic man of your calibre not to need to put down those around him with petty insults." She re-crossed her legs, the light material of her overskirt swirling around her as she did so, the loose threads of gold that hung free among the folds catching the light. She smiled a smile that had no intention of meeting her eyes, "I guess even the greatest of wizards must feel the need to compensate for something."
Her smile widened, almost as reptillian as the monitor lizard that crouched next to her legs. "But no matter. I'm sure you have your reasons for feeling the need to assert your authority over people such as us. How much money is at stake to do your task and endure your patronisation?"
Suddenly she extended a slender finger and tapped the monitor lizard sharply on the head. "Nuru," she admonished, "you may not bite my fellow motley adventurers." She inclined her head towards Anass in a sort of apology, continuing to adress her familiar. "Even thugs; no matter how glorified they may be."
"The thing you'll learn quickly, my dear, is that reality is seldom what we expect it to be."
"You'll get 500 gold pieces each on your way out, with another 500 each when you return with an explanation as to why my students have failed to provide me with a status update. It's far more than such a simple task deserves."
He waved a hand dismissively. "If there's nothing else, I suggest you be off. There are some skeletal horses waiting for you outside. They know where to go. I've work to attend to, as do you."
Ismat moved infront of her companions, giving them a servere examination with her eyes, whilst also still repetatively bouncing on her heals and limply swinging her arms at her sides.
"..." Cogs were turning. Clear attention was given to Ode's footwear. Anass' jaw structure. The length of Nuru's tail.
"Sufficent strength." She informed Viktor, meagerly, after a long pause. It was as much of a 'yes' as they were going to get. She had began making her way to the horses as soon as she had finished talking.
Anass, ignoring the woman with the lizard, went off to the horses with the bizarre creature. Not saying a word to Viktor, Anass didn't really want to talk to such a condescending dickhead and doubted Viktor would want to speak with him.
The skeletla horses knew where to go, taking you straight to the fort.
The old fort was a stone building, as you might have expected. There were a few skeletal horses waiting lifelessly (pardon the pun) outside. There were no footprints visible about the exterior that you could see.
The doors were large and stone.
ENTER FORT Y/N
"...If I sneak in first... I doubt I can carry out enough loot for all of us..." Ismat attempted to bargain with the others. Her body language was showing pretty big issues with the idea that they'd consider sending her inside alone first to scout the place, as was typical. Every trick in the book was at work; Inward arching shoulders, batting her eyelids, remaining on the saddle for high ground, and even sending a little of that impressive cleavage Anass' way. This didn't include the red feet poking out the bottom of her dress, through, which were rather enjoying hyperactively air-paddlling under the heavy sunlight.
"So, you have any ideas, noble woman?" The tiefling turned to Ode for extra flattery. Her voice was clear and precise, smeared with great dollops of naivety.
"I'll just see if anyone's around before we go barging in." Anass said, pulling his eyes away from Ismat's cleavage and climbing the wall.
He looked through a little crenallation to see if anything was waiting for them inside.