The party stands face to face for the first time…who speaks first? Let’s find out.
“Oh Gods,” Nora mumbled horsely. Her throat was stinging from the sudden eruption of vomit that had shot from her and landed directly on her boots. Her head was pounding from what could best be described as motion sickness and, although the sun was too bright to comfortably keep her eyes open, with her eyes closed she felt like the world was spinning. She was tempted to drop to her knees as her legs felt so unsteady but that would bring her nose closer to the already pungent spell of vomit. She very much regretted having nothing but orange juice and coffee* that morning as, if she had indulged in some meats or starches, her stomach wouldn’t feel so painfully hollow right now, her throat wouldn’t still be burning, her puke wouldn’t smell so nose-burningly bad.
Taking some deep breaths through her mouth, she calmed the urge to vomit again and slowly opened her eyes, letting them focus on her new and foreign surroundings. That’s when she noticed she wasn’t alone and at least one of her companions—a little Rogue as appearances would have it—was taking far too much delight in Nora’s obvious, puke-covered discomfort.
Nora sighed. “I hate my life.”
*[aside: Does coffee and orange juice exist in this world]
“By the Gods” Metaxis exclaims and steps out of the radius of vomit.
“I would help you to your feet dear lady, however I am not quite sure you are done expelling your breakfast.”
Metaxis looks to the others that have appeared and introduces himself.
“I am known as Metaxis of Neverwinter, and I am guessing that we will be traveling companions for the duration of this maze……assuming we all survive that is.”
By the gods I love it!!
those Surfacers…They just love to talk about things that come out of their bodies, I think.
I spit, noting the viscosity for future conversation, rewrap my scarves and tighten my shades over my eyes. Its too bright here, always is. Perhaps no one noticed, but i automatically rehearse my southern lands ‘accent’ for the eventual questions about where i ‘hail’ from. I stand, and turn towards them, but i dont move any closer. after decades, their customs are second nature to me; if i stand this far, they will see me as hesitant, but not unfriendly. truth is, right nowm i prefer the smell of my own upchuck to them. i smile tightly inside my cowl. this is not going to end me.
“Thank you greatly for your kind offer to assist me,” Nora smiled weakly but charmingly at Metaxis, “but I fear your instincts are right. I may just ‘expell’ every meal I’ve had this week.” She lowered her eyes shyly, her cheeks flushing as she smiled, “I’ll recover soon enough but a wide berth is probably for the best.”
Turning away from Metaxis, she took in the statue before her, trying to discern its style of sculpture and age in hopes of it revealing where they had been transported to. Same too the flora and fauna surrounding them: anything could be a clue as to where they were or what they were about to encounter.
Her vomit’s burn still clawing at her throat, Nora slid her backpack from her shoulders and, being mindful not to lower the bag enough to touch her fetid former breakfast, she reached in the backpack and pulled out her waterskin. Slinging the pack over one shoulder, she made to drink from the container but stopped herself.
“Here, my friend,” she said, addressing the Drow, “I believe you need a drink of fresh water just as much as I do.”
“Wow! That was fun! Can I do it again?” My question is forgotten as I realize I’m not alone.
2 men and a……heeello….a woman….a lovely Half Elf to be exact. Oh, oh she just yakked all over her shoes.
Thats, uh, attractive.
I try not to be rude, and manage to keep from laughing outloud, but I think she can read amuzement
In my face.
I pull a silver flask containing a stout Dwarf draft and offer it to her….“Care to wash that down?”
I look around the group, waving the flask in their general directions, “anyone?” I ask.
Without giving anyone a chance to answer, I take a swig from the flask.
I wonder how much “fun” they will be…..
Metaxis looks over the newly assembled group and a grin of amusement crosses his face.
“Well now, aren’t we a strange bunch to be thrown together”.
“Easy on that flask my new halfling friend, I know not what kind of surprises this maze may have in store for us”.
“In fact all I know of mazes are from children’s fables and they almost always involve a minatour.”
“Would any of you fine people happen to have any experience in things such as this?”
“Oh sure, I have tons, if you want me to steal the maze.” I replied with a wink.
To myself, I thought, ‘Or if you want me to murder it.’ I flushed away that thought with another swig from my flask.
“Unfortunately, there is a large gap in my knowledge when it comes to creatures great and beastly and I’ve certainly never encountered a maze before. I feel safe in assuming that we have more to fear than just becoming lost. There must be a reason why Gimble sent us here instead of having us attempt the gauntlet with the masses back in Waterdeep… Either we have already passed his first challenge… or we’ve already failed miserably.”
“Rogue, you are a sneak-thief? Able to enter and depart any place without leaving trace you were there? Perhaps your subtlety will be of use to us. Mazes are nothing more than blind corner after blind corner—anything or anyone could be hiding behind them waiting to ambush us. If we are able to approach unannounced we will have the upperhand regardless of what we face.”
“Thief is such an ugly word. How about we refer to our new friend as our expert treasure hunter. One never knows who may be listening or watching after all”.
“As for having more to fear than becoming lost I agree wholeheartedly. It would be folly to think we can just walk our way through this place without encountering………..something, or perhaps many somethings”.
“I’ve been called worse than theif before and deserve to be called much worse. But, I digress,
Whatever is waiting for us in there, it never hurts to be prepared.” A dagger slips easily into my hand.
I’m confident no one saw the movement, but I hold my dagger out for all to see. I sure hope these
People have weapons too.
“Excellent,” said Nora, truly admiring the little one’s deftness with his blade. “I carry with me a rapier and a hand crossbow. I also know some magic. I do not have many spells in my repertoire, but the spells I can cast, I cast well.”
“Well then, it would seem that it is time to move forward.”
“The adventure awaits after all”
We move on Saturday August 27th @ 1300 hrs. Into the belly of the beast! Muhahahaha!!
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