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Portent Alliance • View topic - The Rats' Tale

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 Post subject: The Rats' Tale
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:07 am
Posts: 5
They had come out of nowhere to attack them. One moment, they had been a family of Ratonga enjoying a leisurely stroll through the passageways of the Underfoot, the next moment they were in a desperate fight for survival. Their attackers were not like any Ratonga they had seen before. Their teeth and claws were much larger and appeared to be viciously sharp. They fell upon them with a fury that seemed birthed of some madness, but Sepher did not had the luxury of time to muse about such things as he sped through the inky darkness with his unconscious little sister over his shoulder.

Their parents, both accomplished Brigands, had stayed behind to buy their children time to escape. Sepher understood that they were sacrificing themselves and that for such a price, it was his duty to survive. Little Kryta, however, was much younger and unwilling to leave her mother’s side. They had to administer a mild knockout poison to her to stop her struggling so Sepher would whisk her away.

That was not long ago at all… and already Sepher could hear the grating sound of the creatures’ claws on the rocks behind them growing closer. He knew what that meant. His parents had already fallen, and he would stand no chance against these beasts if they were to catch him.

Rounding a corner and diving down a side passage, he was knocked to the ground by a sudden shaking of the ground beneath him. The quake was over as quickly as it began and he regained his footing and resumed his flight. “Damn it,” he cursed, “of all times for the Shattering to decide its not done yet. What else could go wrong today?”

As though Bristlebane himself were listening, another quake shook the ground and rocks cascaded in front of him, blocking the path of their escape. “Great…” he said through panting breaths. “I really must learn to keep my mouth shut.”

Turning to head back the way he came, he suddenly felt all hope drain from him. Three of the large Ratonga-like creatures had caught up to them, and were blocking their escape. Sepher shifted his still sleeping sister to his left shoulder and pulled his blade with his right paw. “Never let it be said the Shadowblades did not die fighting…”

“Climb, lad.”

Sepher looked around for the source of the voice, seeing nothing, he chalked it up to hallucinations brought on by impending doom.

“I’ll not tell yah again, lad. If yah want tah live, climb!”

Again looking around, Sepher this time looked up and noticed that the cave-in had opened an upper tunnel. Throwing his blade to the side, he quickly scurried up the slope of collapsed earth and leapt into the new tunnel. Yet another quake began to shake the ground as he ran, and he could hear more rocks breaking free.

“Dun’uh stop runnin’, lad,” the voice said once more.

Sepher ran as fast as his tired legs would carry him with the added weight of his sister. Rocks began to rain down behind them, a second cave-in that was rapidly gaining on them. He pushed the last of his strength into his legs, and when he could give no more, threw himself forward as far as he could and rolled to the ground. Then, darkness.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:07 am
Posts: 5
Sepher awoke some time later with Kryta, now conscious, shaking his arm. “Brother, wake up!” she pleaded.

“Ugh… I’m awake… are you alright?” he asked as he sat up.

“I… I think so,” she said. “What about mother and father? Where are they? Where are we, brother?”

“Its OK, Kryta. We’re safe now, I think. Thanks to that voice…”

Kryta tilted her head to the side, “What voice?”

“Hmm? Oh, it… was nothing. Probably just my imagination.”

Kryta sat silently for a moment as Sepher stood and dusted himself off. When she finally spoke her voice was barely a squeak. “But… mother and father…”

“…gave their lives so that we could live,” Sepher finished for her. “Grieve for them later, sister. We must find our way out of here lest their sacrifice be in vain,” he said as he helped her to her feet. “Come on, I think I smell rain this way. It must be a way out.”

“Brother?” she asked after they had walked a while.

“Yes?”

“What were those… things? Were they Ratonga?”

“I don’t know, sister… I don’t know…”


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:30 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:07 am
Posts: 5
Excerpt from the journal of Sepher Shadowblade:

Quote:
I don’t know how exactly, but the tunnel has led us to a small island. We have been mistaken for other “refugees” that have been brought here via ship, and we are not eager to correct them. The tunnel entrance is no longer where we left it. At some point in the night, it vanished without as much as a pile of rubble to mark its passing.

The local residents of this island seem friendly enough, and the heart of their makeshift society is quite safe in spite of frequent goblin attacks. The goblins seem quite content to extinguish themselves on the capable blades of the camp’s defenders with a zeal that recalls old stories of a particularly determined (demented?) Darkpaw Gnoll.

Kryta has adapted well to the sudden change in our lives, but that is what we Ratonga do… adapt or die. I am considering leaving her here for the time being, as she is young and needs to learn and grow a bit more before I can feel comfortable leaving her to her own devices in Freeport. I am sure she will balk at the idea that she is not capable of taking care of herself, but it is for her own good I think.

I’ve not heard that strange voice since our flight from those creatures. I have reason to suspect the source of the voice, but I am reluctant to put down my thoughts on this matter for fear that I am wrong… or perhaps for fear that I am right and what that would mean.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:07 am
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Excerpt from the journal of Sepher Shadowblade:

Quote:
The local garrison force has enlisted my help in dealing with the Goblins of the island. Its been very easy work, including an assassination of the Goblin’s Orc leader. I find myself rapidly running out of things to do here, but I have heard of ships that occasionally take people from the island to either Qeynos or Freeport. I will have to investigate these rumors and find a way off this rock.

First, however, I need to speak with Kryta about her staying here…


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:08 am
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Excerpt from the journal of Kryta Shadowblade:

Quote:
Brother want to leave me on this island. I think I surprised him when I said I did not mind. I know his restless nature will not keep him at home, and I do not want to be alone and unprepared in a world as dangerous as this. This island has many opportunities for a young lady to learn how to protect herself. I’ve taken up studying with a local mage, and he says I have an aptitude for it. He’s a bit gruff and rather odd looking, even for an Erudite, but a good teacher.

I have given my brother my blessing to leave and chase his own dreams. Or his tail, whichever he prefers. I will stay here until I am ready to face the world unaided.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:07 am
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Excerpt from the journal of Sepher Shadowblade:

Quote:
Curse my luck! Why must I go to Freeport simply because I am Ratonga? The Qeynos ambassador was kind and benevolent, and seemed to speak from her heart. The Freeport ambassador was insulting and arrogant. I have often felt that those who speak boastfully of their skills are doing what they do best… talking. My choice was clear, and yet I find that the ships will not deliver me to Qeynos. It was not an option, regardless of how I plead (or attempted to bribe), and so I found myself on a ship bound for Freeport.


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