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Author Topic: A light in the darkness - D&D Fiction  (Read 68 times)

Online Night Dragon

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A light in the darkness - D&D Fiction
« on: December 22, 2020, 10:48:21 PM »
 This is a background story I've been writing for my D&D character, the drowess, Cassandra Noc'Lunar. It's set before she joins the current adventuring party she's with now. (Granted we've been unable to play since the lockdown. )

 A few things to make note of...

 -It's not set on any of the established D&D settings, but a "homebrew" one our DM has created.
 -Cass is an old character I created wayyyyyyyyyy back in the late 80s. She is not based off a certain well-known drow, but was rather based off of Worf from ST:TNG. (I always hated the concept of 'cookie-cutter' races. i.e. all Klingons were evil.)
 -There are some in-jokes in this that spawned from TV shows, Web series (Critical Role), and books. Have fun spotting them.
 -Cass has a Scottish accent, much like Merida from Brave

 And this is a work in progress, I still have a ways to go to finish it. It is still very rough, with no proof-reader around, so I welcome any feed-back. 
Life need things to Live.
 -Percival Fredrickstein von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III, but you can call him Percy.

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Re: A light in the darkness - D&D Fiction
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2020, 10:49:00 PM »

 All touch is basically pain in minute. Cassandra Noc'Lunar was well aware of this fact, being born a member of the underground dwelling race of elves known as Drow. Her race was feared by many of the 'sun-kissed' races that lived above ground. And with good reason, for nearly every member of the drow had hearts as black as their dusk colored skin. Decite, torture, and murder were the normal order of the day.

 This was even more true for Cassandra. Her mother was Agamantha Noc'Lunar, a powerful duchess of the drow kingdom. Cassandra was raised in the, quite literally, cut-throat world of drow poltics. From as early as she could remember, she was schooled in the ways of bringing torment and pain to others for her house's benefit. She would sometimes question why drow would kill each other for such things. Her usual replies were a beating from her teachers, telling her that is the commandments of their spider-goddess, Lloth, and she must never be questioned. But still she would press on with questions. Never satisfied with the standard, 'Because that is how it has always been', answer she would get.

 One day she got so tired of the same answers time and time again, she did the unthinkable. She spoke to one of the lesser races, a hugh-mahn, and tried to ask it. It had been captured by a patrol and brought back for interagation in her mother's dungeon. It was an unimpresive creature, not as graceful as an elf, drow or sun-kissed. Not as hearty as the few drugar she had seen. But something about it's spirit, it's passion, kept it going after all it's torture.

 "Why do ye not give in? "She ask simply to the creature. "The pain would stop for ye. "

 The hugh-mahn looked at her with hollow eyes, " I am Marcus Dothen, knight of the noble house of Asher. We do not surrender, we do not yield. As long as I draw breath I will stand against you foul beings. "

 Cassandra laughed, "Ye have it wrong, silly Hugh-Mahn. It is ye who are the foul ones. We drow are the noble ones. We are just seeking ta endarken ye. "

 "By torture? By beating me when I am already down? Using weapons on an unarmed man? I see nothing noble in those actions. Those are the actions of a.... "

 Before the hugh-mahn could continue, a spark of magical energy enshrouded him and caused his muscles to spasm and constrict in sheer agony. His screams echoed off the walls. Cassandra spun around to find Villia Martus, her mother's head torturer smirking at her.

 "Slumming down here, little duchess, "Villia remarked, twisting her hand, and with it the prisoner's limbs, "You know your mother has set this area as off-limits to you. "

 "And yet here I am, Villia, "Cassandra shot back at the older Drow, " And I already know yer next words, 'Whatever will my mother do ta me?' And the answer is, nothing. Because if she finds out I was down here, then I would have ta tell her the ease I was able ta get in here. "

 Cassandra stared deep into the torturer's dark cruel eyes, "And I dare not think of how she would punish someone for being so lax in security, do ye?"

 Villia gritted her teeth and motioned towards the doorway, "Leave, while I still have my temperment in check, you arrogant little spindling. "

 Cassandra was already taking the steps two at a time upwards and away from Villia. When she figured she was out of earshot, she finally started to breath again. Villia scared the rat droppings out of her. But something else was bothering her, what the hugh.... the man had said.

 Were Drow not as noble as she was being taught? Was torment and pain not the ways of those that are superior to lesser creatures?

 Years passed from that first encounter, but for the long lived Drow it was not unlike the changing of the seasons. Cassandra continued her rebelious ways of questioning her teachers. Albeit, now she was driven by the fleeting few words the prisoner gave her. Something in her saw the nobility in the way the man refused to give in. She snuck down to the dungeon to visit with him anytime she knew Villia was away. The other guards were easy enough to get by, and those the weren't, well they saw things differently with enough jewels or gold.

 Many a conversation was held between the young Drow and the rapidly ageing human. She would ask him about such things as what humans considered honorable and were all humans like him. She was shocked to find out that unlike the Drow, humans ran the gament of foul and treacerous to being kind and generous. That what her kind would lead her to believe as honor was, in fact, the opposite.

 "Consider this, my inquisitive Cass, " the aged paladin said, "In all these years you have visited me, not once have I given you up to the torturers. And why is that? I would most likely gain their favor for this information. "

 Cass, he had given her this shortend version of her name, a custom of the humans known as a 'nick-name', smiled slightly, "I don't know, it has made me wonder though. "

 "Because, little one, there is no honor in betraying a friend. "

 "Ye consider me a .... friend? The daughter of yer jailer?" Cass gapped at the wizened man, who just simply smiled at her.

 "Aye, I do. you have a spark inside you, a light this dark place has not managed to extingish. I have often asked my goddess, Pelor, why she has left me down her all these years. I think you are my answer, " Marcus gave her a toothless grin.

 "Ye're confusing me more Marcus. I am the reason for ye being here and suffering? "

 He shook his head, his long thin grey hairs whisping behind him, "Not the suffering part, no. But they say that greatness is a torch that few men, or women, can bare. And it is a privilige for others to carry the spark to ignite that torch. I believe I am here to set you on a path that will lead you to greatness. "

 Cass looked at the old man and smiled and shook her head, " And I think ye are full of.... " She stopped short, as she heard a soft ringing in her ears alone. Villia had returned. "I must go, she's back. "

 Marcus nodded his head, he knew quiet well who 'she' was. He also knew this was the last time he was going to see the young Drowess again, "Peace be with you, Cass. Keep my words close to your heart. "

 Cass smiled as she started up the steps, "I shall, and I will see ye next visit. "

 "Aye, "he said softly, "next visit. "

 Cassandra found out later in the week that Marcus had finally crossed over the evening after their last visit. She spent the next several days thinking about what he had said. She sensed no spark of any kind inside her. But the one thing that kept echoing in her head was the fact that humans could be as vile as someone like Villia, or as kind as someone like Marcus.

 Could Drow also have this choice?


Weeks later.

 "Move it you sodden little bastards, " the slave driver barked as she cracked her whip. The slaver's latest collection, a family of dwarves, who had the misfortune of running into a nocturnal raiding party, a grandfatherly elder dwarf, and two small children. The slaver snapped the whip again with a laugh, the coppery smell of the eldest dwarf's blood filling the air. He was doing his best to keep himself between the whip and the children.

 Cassandra had snuck away from her lessons to visit a shop, when she heard the commotion on the street. She pulled her hooded cloak tighter against her and stepped out onto the street for a closer look. She made her way through the crowd to see the makeshift parade going down the street, the other drow around her were all laughing and cheering at the blood-letting. Her eyes widdened when she saw the trio of dwarves.

 This was not honorable, this was horrible. Not one of those were warriors of any sort, an old man and two children, they possed no threat to anyone. Cassandra felt her stomach turn when she saw the whip slip past the elder dwarf and catch one of the younger dwarves across the back. She felt her hands twitch beneath her cloak, she knew what she wanted to do, and she also knew what the price was going to be for it.

 "Courage doesn't coming from a lack of fear, "she remembered Marcus telling her one time, "But from being afraid and still acting. "

 The slaver drew back to swing her whip again, only to have her hand caught in mid swing. She spun around to face whoever dared to interupt her fun. Her wrist was held tightly in the grip of young drowess.

 "What in the name of Lloth do you think you're doing, you little pa'tacha? "she snarled, as she jerked her hand lose. She pulled the whip back ready to teach this whelp her place in a very bloody lesson. "Do you know who I am? "

 Cassandra felt every eye watching her and fought the urge to turn and run away. She pulled her hood back and straightened herself to her full height. Her pale blue eyes flashed with icy determination as she put every bit of her royal upbrining into her voice.

"Do ye know who I am? " she asked the slaver. The shocked look given towards her by the slaver was answer enough. Cassandra could her the crowd along the street murming as well. There was no hiding this from her mother this time, what was it Marcus had said before, 'in for a pence, in for a pound. '

 "Y-y-your highness?" the slaver stammered as confusion quickly replaced anger, "I don't understand. "

 "Release them and allow them ta return ta their home, "she snapped with every bit of steel she could put into her voice. Now the whispering along the street rose into a cornacopia of disbelief. The Duchess' daughter showing mercy towards slaves. This was unheard of in drow society, they were all witness to a scandel of epic proportions.

 "But... but... " the stunned drow gapped at Cassandra

 Cassandra thrust her leather money purse into the slaver's hands, "There that should cover it, now set them free. "

 The chains were quickly undone and the dwarves stood there for a moment until Cassandra spoke softly enough for them alone to hear her. "Ye need ta run, don't look back, and get out of here. "

 No sooner then she spoke those words then the trio turned and began running away. Cassandra watched them fade from view, and as soon as they had she turned and saw, to her horror, every eye watching her.

 She was really going to pay this time.


 Cassandra was expecting the worst when she arrived back home. But what she got unnerved her even more.

 Everything seemed... normal.

 She knew her mother's spy network had to have already told her what her rebelious daughter had done this time. The disgrace she had brought down on The House of Noc'Luna , this time in public to be witnessed by the whole of drow society.

 It was near supper time, so she made her way to the dining hall, keeping her eyes watching the shadows. But, again to her amazement, it all seemed like the same dull repetative day after day activities.

 Her mother was already at her seat, along with the usual family and social members that did their best to attach themselves to her mother's web.

 "Mother, "Cassandra said as she took her seat, "Everyone. " She nodded towards them, and quickly took a chunk of the mushroom bread to eat. It's earthy scent wafting from the serving plate. She quickly took a hugh bite, trying to keep her mouth occupied.

 "Daughter, "her mother said, "I understand from your instructor you once again have decided to skip today's lesson " Her voice held the tired tone of one who has had to give the same speach more times then they liked in the past.

 Cassandra felt like she was walking on a perverbial tightrope. Maybe, just maybe, no one belived the Duchess' daughter showed slaves compassion in the open streets. "It's all boring and ... "

 Things were moving, but staying still at the same time.  She was losing focus in her vision.

 "... and.... whasz hapernin? I feld ...." she tried to get her thoughts in line, but they were slipping away from her like quicksilver.

 Her mother stood, "Not as exciting as disgracing this house in public! "Her voice rose with her, "I have allowed your... curiosities, your questionings. Even your little visits with that human scum. "

 The room began to spin more violently for Cassandra. She tried to stand, only to feel herself shoved head first into the hard wooden table. Blood began to flow freely from her nose, but it did little to help the spinning. Behind her, Villia held her by the hair of her head, a sadistic grin on her face.

 "But no longer, "her mother continued.

 "Poson. Jo posoned me, "Cassandra mumbled, feeling her grip on concusiness fading "Jo birch. "

 "The usual beatings didn't work. Then we will have to try something more... drastic. Take her Villia, she is yours until you break her rebelious streak. "

 The last thing Cassandra saw was Villia's fist flying forward, and then everything went mercifully to black.


 The world slowly came back into focus for Cassandra. Although she still felt disoriented and her entire body felt wrong. She tried to raise up and that was when she realized two things.

 One, she was tied face down on a cold stone slab.

 And two, she was stripped bare to the skin.

"Ah, little duchess, finally awake, "she heard from somewhere above her. It was Villia, standing outside her limited vision. "Don't bother trying to speak, the poision is still working through your system. You finally pushed your mother to far, and now you are my plaything. "

 Villia came into view and lifted Cassandra's head up to stare her in the eyes, "I've been given free reign on how to 'condition' you back towards proper drow behavior. "

 Cassandra's eyes, while still somewhat unfocused, showed the terror of exactly what Villia's words meant.

 "But have no fear, little duchess, "Villia smirked, "The one thing I was told not to do, was to let you slip away into the sweet embrace of the Raven Queen. Your mother has loaned me her best cleric so if you start to fade, she will bring you back. "

 Villia walked out of sight, only to return a few seconds later with a large glass cage in her hands. "I'm sure you recoginize the bladed-crawler spider from your lessons? " She said cheerfully, "Oh, that's right, you skipped those lessons. Well maybe this will help you learn things quicker. A hands-on approach as it were. "

 The next thing Cassandra felt was literally dozens of tiny sharp legs skittering across her body, and then her screams echoed off the walls. Her world became nothing but unending waves of pain.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2020, 10:55:18 PM by Night Dragon »
Life need things to Live.
 -Percival Fredrickstein von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III, but you can call him Percy.

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Re: A light in the darkness - D&D Fiction
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2020, 10:51:03 PM »
One year later....

 The pitiful creature that had once been Cassandra squated in the corner of her cell. Her body covered in dirt and her own filth, as she tried to make herself seem as small as possible. Even though the clerics would heal her wounds, the malnourishment and mistreatment still showed. Her ribs threatened to tear through her skin and her hair was in tatters.

 "Get up, little duchess. "The voice sent chills and shivers through the young drow, but she slowly rose to her feet. Villia strode into the jail and opened the cell door, tossing a collar to the drowess. "We're going on a trip today. "

 Cassandra's eyes filled with terror, "N-n-not the drider pits again? "

 Driders were an unholy combination of drow and spider. Drow from the waist upwards, but instead of legs the lower half of their body was the twisted enlarged abdomen of a spider.

 Villia laughed, "Oh no, not this day, " behind her chittering was a baby giant spider on a leash, "We're taking my newest pet for a walk. "

 Cassandra shoved herself further back into the cell at the sight of the creature. Her entire body shaking with uncontrolable fear.

 Villia motioned towards the collar, "Put your leash on. We're going somewhere you've not been before. "

 The two drow left the Noc'Lanar house shortly and Cassandra was paraded through the streets with her leash and in the dirty tatters of clothing she had on. She knew her mother approved of this public showing of punishment. 'If she would punish her own daughter so, what would she do towards a hated rival?' they would ask.

 Onward the pair traveled for what seemed like eternity. The sounds of the city fading far behind them. Somewhere along the way they came across some dead bodies. They had been there for a good length of time, the scavangers having picked the bones clean enough. Villia reached down and picked up the skull of one of the bodies. She tossed it towards Cassandra who caught it out of reflex. "Say hello to your tiny friends, little duchess. "

 Cassandra looked questionly at the skull, and then towards the bodies.

 The three bodies.

 "No! They were no threat! Ye didn't need ta... " she began, her body shaking with sorrow and rage mixed.

 "Oh, I didn't. One of the drider patrols caught them and did the deed. "

 Cassandra placed the skull back with the body as Villia dragged her further along the path. Villia reached into her pack and pulled a heavy cloak and a pair of shaded goggles out and put them on as they traveled onward. "Oh dear, I forgot to pack you any protection. "

 Up ahead Cassandra saw a pinpoint of light, brighter then anything she had seen before. And even though she had never seen it for herself, she knew instinctivly what it was.


 The small pinpoint grew larger as they continued heading on the caverns slopping path. They had being walking for ages it seemed, when they finally came to the entrance of the cave. Cassandra instinctivly jerked back from the blinding harsh light.

 "It's hot! "she gasped as she felt the light touch her skin for the first time.

 Villia chuckled and jerked on the leash, sending her captive tumbling out into the mid-day sun. "Why, little duchess, do you flinch so? You seemed to enjoy the company of those born to this, so you should enjoy the cursed illumation of those that drove our kind into the cold earth. Aren't you happy to finally get to see what that fool knight would talk about all those times you would sneak to speak with him? "

 But the younger drow didn't hear. She was sprawled on her back, twisting and turning in both agony and panic. Her skin felt like she had dozens of spiders crawling along, biting at her flesh. And her eyes, having never been exposed to such brightness, were not adjusting easily to the light.

 "I'm blind! "she cried out, "I canna see anything! "

 Villia laughed again, and drew back and kicked the downed drowess hard as she twisted on the ground.

"Ah, " KICK!

"Poor, " KICK!

"Spoiled" KICK!

"Little Duchess! " KICK! Cassandra felt the last kick break her ribs, the pain shooting through her like a shock of lightening. She tried to curl into a ball to protect herself, but that made the pain in her ribs even worse. She felt a hand grab her hair and lift her to her feet. Villia's hand snaked out and into Cassandra's fractured ribs, driving them upwards.

 "Scream for me, " Villia gloated, but Cassandra's scream was caught short as she coughed blood and began wheezing for air.

 Villia dropped her injured victim back onto the ground, "Oh dear, it seems the last hit might have punctured your lung. And no dark clerics around to patch you up. "

 The torturer looked smugly down on her victim, she knew that she had be given orders to not out right kill Cassandra. But she also knew that if an 'accident' were to happen, none would miss the rebelious child.

 "Prehaps today will be the day I finally get to rid myself of you? "


 Stanish Brightwater crept along through the wooded area. The gnome knew he had heard something. It sounded female, and while he didn't know the language, he certainly knew it sounded like they were in trouble.

 And a damsel in distress was always ready to reward her savior, he told himself. He moved near the edge of the tree line and saw the cave mouth ahead of him, and the source of the cries he had heard. He saw a tall, muscular female drow beating someone into the ground. She also had a large, really large, spider on a leash as well.

 Stanish drew out a special arrow he had been given before he had left to scout ahead for his adventuring party. It seemed to vibrate in his hand. It was spelled that when he fired it to fly to his party and act as a guide to lead them right back to him.

 He notched the arrow and fired, then drew another arrow and took aim. He knew most likely he wouldn't take out the drow in one shot, but he could even his odds up and get rid of the spider.

 He let loose and the arrow flew true, burying itself deep into the spider's head. The bolt hit with such force it flipped the spider over onto it's back. The gnome pumped his fist into the air at his successful shot. His elation was cut short when he saw the drow draw her short sword and spin in his direction.

 She was wearing a pair of smoked colored lens over her eyes, but he could still see the rage as she charged at him. She was snarling something in her language, but he got the universal gist of what she was saying.

 He had time to let draw his own weapon before she reached him. As he swung his sword to parry her attack, he hoped his friends weren't that far behind him. He was an excellent scout, but he wasn't exactly the best swordsman.


 Cassandra wheezed on the ground, her blood flowing from her battered body to pool on the ground under her. One of her eyes was swollen shut, but she could at least see out of the other. Villia was fighting with someone in the near by wooded area, a gnome it seemed.

 She braced herself and tried to raise herself up. Every inch of her body screamed out in retalation to her movement. She pushed past the pain to drag herself to her knees. Beside her she saw Villia's pet spider laying dead on it's back, an arrow sticking out of it's skull.

 Villia had managed to knock the sword loose from the gnome's hand, forcing him to draw a tiny dagger to defend himself. Villia kicked the sword away from him. He had managed to score some decent hits on the drow, but she had done likewise, and now had the upperhand.

 Cassandra limped her way towards the two combatants, she tried her best to be silent in her movements. She picked the short sword up, the feel of the weapon in her hand was good. Her body was aching and throbbing in white hot agony, but that fire did nothing but forge her spirit and soul into steel.

 The gnome was nearly beaten, having done his best to defend himself from the drow. He looked up as Villia smirked at him.

 "Let this be a lesson, "she said, switching her speach to the common tongue, "That you above-grounders should repect your betters. "

 But before Villia could do anything, she was jerked around and felt a twisting agony in her stomach. She looked down to see the gnome's sword sheathed deep in her abdomen. Shocked she looked up to see Cassandra holding the blade.

 "And let this be a lesson ta ye, " Cassandra rasped, one year's worth of torment in her voice, "That ye talk too damn much. "

 Villia's eyes widdened as she dropped lifeless to the ground. The gnome looked at Cassandra in shock. She smiled at him and the sword feel out of her hands, and all the fire and strength left her body.

 "Yer safe now, ye'll be okay, "she said as blackness mercifully claimed her, "too bad I won't... "

 As Cassandra's good eye drifted close, she could her the gnome calling out in a distant voice.


 And then the black nothingness claimed her.


 Slowly the world drifted back into focus for Cassandra. Her body ached, but it no longer throbbed in agony. She glanced around to take in her surroundings. She was on a cot in a tent, beyond that she had no idea. She started to rise up. only to find her arms were bound to the sides of the cot.

 Someone must have noticed her awakening, because a matronly older human woman came into view. Cassandra saw a large pendant of a sun on the woman's robes. The worried look on her face melted away into a small smile. 

 "Ah, " the woman said, looking Cassandra over, "It seems our patient survives after all. " She motioned towards someone out of Cassandra's limited view, " You're a lucky one. If not for young Stanish rushing you to me, you wouldn't still be drawing air. "

 A tall bearded human, with hair the color of flames, strode into view, and looked down at the drowess with dark eyes. His head was cocked to the side, and he looked questioningly to her.

 "I am Juan Rameres, "he said, "Leader of this rabble. " His voice was stiff and stern, putting Cassandra in mind of her sword drill instructer. "And you would be? "

 Cassandra eyed him up and down, "I would be happy ta not be tied down is what I would be. "She said in a flat voice.

 "And I would be a fool to trust one of your kind, "he replied back with a smirk. "If not for our scout's story of you saving him, I'd have sooner left you with the other of your kind. "

 Cassandra's eyes widdened, "Is Villia still alive?! "she began shaking enough that it was causing the entire cot to shake. "I r-r-ran her through! She's not still a-ali-alive? Please tell me. "

 Juan drew back, confusion in his eye, "Yeah, she's deader then a lich. So why exactly were the two of you roaming about up here in sunshine. I thought your kind hated daylight. "

 Something in the way he kept saying 'your kind' that made Cassandra twitch. "I was being tortured by her. " she told him flatly, "And no 'my kind' doesn't like sunlight. "

 The older woman drifted back into view, placing a cloth over Cassandra's swollen eye. It reeked of herbs and made her hiss a bit at the stinging.

 "Easy child, it will help with the healing, "the woman said softly. "And I done told you, Juan, that I detected no evil in this poor child. I've prayed to Maloria for guidance on this. "

 "And you'll excuse me if I still am not going to trust one of these dark elves. Even on the word of your Goddess. "

 Even from her position on the cot, Cassandra could see the woman's eyes roll. She tried her best to stay relaxed in her bonds. She locked eyes with man, " Then how am I supposed ta prove anything ta ye? If the word of one of yer own and even a Goddess aren't enough, I know my own won't be worth a thing. "

 Cassandra sighed, the tiredness hitting her once more. " I have nothing ta offer ye. And nothing left ta lose. My name is Cassandra Noc'Lunar, of the House Noc'Lunar. " She half-expected there to be some kind of reaction to her surname, but neither Juan nor the woman made any kind of acknowledgement.

 The woman smiled, "My name is Ellia Jardon, humble servant of Maloria. "She patted Cassandra's tied hand.

 "Is she okay? " another voice said from out of Cassandra's view.

 Ellia's grin widened, "And that would be your rescuer, Stanish. "

 The gnome came into Cassandra's view. He was smaller then a dwarf, but his smile was huge and infectious. He was dressed in grey and green leathers and a small brimless hat covered most of his straw-colored hair. "Greetings, dark lady, " he said to Cassandra with a florished bow. Despite her situation, Cassandra smiled back at him.

 "Cassandra, " the drowess said, " and I am glad ta see ye survived. Many thanks for the rescue. "

 Stanish spun around to face Juan," C'mon, oh fearless leader, She saved my pretty arse. I think we can let her loose. "

 Juan started to say something, and was quickly cut off by Stanish, "Besides, I took down the bigger one, "he winked in Cassandra's direction, "almost single-handed. "

  "You all are mad, "Juan said, throwing his hands in the air, "I'll do this under one condition. " He pointed to Stanish and Ellia, "You two are so sure of this one's trust, then you're taking responsibility for her. "

 Cassandra wasn't sure how to react to this. On one hand she would be free, more or less. On the other hand, she was being treated like a pet. But after being locked away and tortured for over a year, anything would be better then that.

 Stanish did a mock salute towards Juan, " Can't speak for the clergy, but you got my word, Cap'n. " He flashed his disarming smile again. "What say you,wise Ellia? "

 Ellia looked down upon Cassandra, "Maloria has already told me that this child has no evil in her heart. Who am I to question my goddess? "

 Juan reached down and pulled the straps that held Cassandra's arms loose. The drowess raised herself up into a sitting position, rubbing her wrists. She looked over to Juan, "Thank ye for taking a chance on me. I don't suppose the name Marcus Dothen means anything ta ye? Or the house Asher? " It was a long shot given how long Marcus had spent as a prisoner.

 Juan looked at her puzzled, shaking his head. She looked at Stanish and Ellia, getting the same reaction. "We're not from these parts, "Stanish started to say, only to be cut off by Juan.

 "We have business in this region. Business, Stanish, that your guest doesn't need to be bored with. "Juan looked over to Cassandra, "I have to go check on our business. Ellia, Stanish. Keep her confined to this tent, the others may not react as kindly. " And with that he walked through the tent's front flap.

 The sudden flash of sunlight, caused Cassandra to jerk back, shielding her good eye. Ellia quickly caught her before she feel backwards off the cot. Cassandra smiled at the cleric, "Thank ye, I'm still not used ta how bright it is up here. "

 Stanish slapped his head, "I forgot, "he said, reaching inside his cloak, and pulling out Viila's goggles. "I don't think she'll need these anymore. "He handed them to Cassandra, "Although I think it would be a shame to cover up such lovely blue eyes, Lady Cassandra. "

 Ellia let out a sigh, "Oh save me, Melora. "

 Cassandra laughed, "Thank ye, Sir Stanish, "she bowed to him, "And my friends call me Cass. "
Life need things to Live.
 -Percival Fredrickstein von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III, but you can call him Percy.

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Re: A light in the darkness - D&D Fiction
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2020, 10:52:34 PM »
One month later...

 Cassandra swung her sword at Juan, only to feel it strike hard against his own weapon as he blocked her attack.

 "Try harder, dark one, "he sneered at her, "At least give me some kind of challenge. "

 Again Cassandra slashed towards the swordsman, and again he deflected her blade. She drew up closer to him, she was growing angry and it showed. "Aye, I'll give ye a challenge alright, "she growled at him and spun her blade around and brought it soaring down with every bit of force she could muster.


 The sound of wood on wood echoed through the camp. Juan had caught Cassandra's practice blade with his own. The two fighters had been going at it for well over an hour, and Cassandra was wearing down. Sweat ran like rivlets down her face, while Juan simply grinned at her.

 "Not bad, "he admitted, "But... " he poked her in the side with his wooden dagger, "You left yourself open to a counter-attack. "

 "Funny ye should mention that, "Cassandra panted, and Juan felt something poking him a bit lower, more specificly, in his nether region.

 Both fighters pulled back and saluted each other with their practice swords. The small crowd around them gave a little cheer and applauded the pair. Cassandra gave a florished bow, while Juan just shoke his head and put the weapons away.

 Stanish came up to Cassandra with a waterskin, which she gladly accepted. "Thank ye, Stanish, "she gulped down a quick drink, "I needed that. "

 "You almost had him that time, Cass, "Stanish said, "You get better each time. "

 Cass shook her head, "I've been training with a blade since I was a wee babe. My mother's weapons master would run me through sword drill for hours at a time. Juan's going easy on me, but... " She was cut off by Juan returning.

 "But nothing, Cass, "Juan said, "I am going easy on you. That doesn't mean you haven't improved. You're good with a blade, you just need some seasoning. "

 "Seasoning, eh? "she laughed, "What am I, a piece of meat, Juan? "

 "Without the proper training, you'd be dead meat, "he said.

 Stanish laughed, "Lucky for you, Cass, I like dark meat. "

 Cass and Juan both groaned at the gnome's bad joke. Cass playfully swatted the back of his head, "Stanish Brightwater, have ye no shame? "

 "No, thank the gods, "he laughed, " I'd never get anything done, just go around feeling shameful all day. "

  Behind the three came a 'whomp' noise, followed by the smell of burning wood. The party's wizard, Zifnab, had started the evenings campfire. The trio headed over to the fire, where Ellia had started preparing the evenings meal.

 Zifnab nodded to the group. He was a dragonborn with scales of silver that were so fine they looked like solid metal. He pulled out his spellbook and began his evening reading of his precious tome.

 The remaining two members of the party settled around the campfire. The elven bardess, Karlie Moonshadow, pulled out her mandolin and began playing a quiet soft ballad.  Beside her, her twin brother, Mavin, was feeding his pet owl, Talli.

 The twins were like night and day in appearance. Karlie had the fair hair and skin that was usually associated with high elves, while Mavin was dark haired and tanned like a wood elf. But while their looks were different, their attitudes were similar to one another.

 Juan sat down and began to sharpen his actual dagger and sword. His party haven't had any luck finding any work for the last three weeks, the boredom was enough to drive an adventurer insane. Suddenly he heard something that he had never heard before.

 Cassandra was singing along to Karlie's playing.

 Everyone else stopped what they were doing and listened to the pair. The song was elvish and flowed like a stream from the drowess. She had sat near Karlie, and had her eyes closed as she sang. As the bard plucked the final notes, Cass opened her eyes and was greeted with all eyes on her.

 "Holy Gods, "came Stanish's stunned voice, "You never told us you could sing. " The rest of the party, even Juan, applauded the young drow's preformance.

 Cass's dusky skin paled on her checks, a drow's version of blushing. "Karlie taught me the words, and we've been practicing. We dunna have singing in the Underdark. "

 Karlie stopped playing, "None? " her voice was like smoked honey, rich and smooth with just a hint of husk to it. "That's scary. "

 "Well, we had chants, "Cass shrugged, "But usually only the dark clerics sang those. "

 Ellia tapped the side of the cooking kettle, "Dinner's ready. "

 Later that evening after the group had their meal, Cass was taking her turn at watch with Ellia. Juan liked to pair up those with the ability of dark vision with someone who didn't. Even so, Juan would began the watch, and also end it in the early morning. Cass enjoyed it, because she got to talk to Ellia about her Goddess, Maloria. She also asked about her old friend, Marcus's Goddess, Pelor.

 "I miss him, "Cass said, "If not for him, for the lesson 's he gave me, I'd still be... " She had trouble talking about her former home. The flood of memories would rush back to her, sometimes more then she could bare. Her voice caught in her throat and her eyes began to water.

 "Shhhh, "Ellia held the drow in her arms, gently rocking her back and forth. "I know, child. I've seen what they did to you. "

 Cass stopped and dried her eyes and looked questioningly at Ellia, "How? "

 "When you first came to us, battered, beaten, and bloody. I healed you, and I saw what they had done to you. The scars on your body, and in your mind. "Ellia looked at Cass with her motherly smile, "That was why I asked Maloria for her guidance. "

 "Do the others know? "Cass asked, her voice barely a whisper.

 Ellia shook her head, "It's not my place to tell them. "

"Thank ye for not saying anything, "Cass said, "Villia's lasting gift. " The party had all heard what had happened to Cassandra in her former home, but only Ellia knew the true extent of her torture. "I'm gratef.... "

 A flash of light in the dark sky cut Cass off, she jumped back. "What the what? "


 Thunder rolled through the air, and Cass's eyes grew wide. "Ellia? Are we under attack? "She was confused by the cleric's calm demeanor.

 Ellia laughed and took her spare cloak out of her pack. She tossed it to Cass while she put her own cloak on. "No, young one, it's just thunder and lightening. It just means we're going to get rain soon. "

"Rain? What is rain? "Cass asked, still confused.

 "You've never seen rain? Well I suppose someone who has lived underground all their life, it's to be expected. "Ellia chuckled lightly. "Rain is water that falls from the sky, from clouds. "

 "Wait, what? "Cass was really begining to question this, "Water's heavy, how in the world... "

 Before she could finish her question, she felt a cool splash of water hit her head. Stunned she looked up, and was greeted with more rain falling to the earth, and onto her.


 Inside of his tent, Juan Ramerz, was woken by the thunder. But he was kept awake by another noise. This one, while not unfamiliar, seemed out of place. Cassandra was singing and laughing, along with Ellia's laughter.

 He looked out of his tent to see the drow dancing around in the rain, a smile stretched across her face. The others had heard her as well and were all watching.

 "She's never seen rain before, "Ellia answered their questioning looks.

 "Aye, it's like magic, water falling from the sky, "Cass laughed, "How does this not amaze ye? "

  Zifnab rolled his sapphire-colored eyes, and chanted a quick incantation. A shimmering bubble flickered around the campfire and kept the rain away from the flames. "I suppose, Onyx, when one can tap the primal forces of the universe, weather is not as impressive. "

 Zifnab had a habit of calling people by gemstone names, a habit he had inherited from his silver dragon father. He tossed his cloak on, it was his turn at watch with Stanish. "Come along, little Citrine, it's our turn to stand post. "

  Ellia took the still laughing Cassandra and lead her to the tent they shared, "And it's time for us to get out of the rain. "

 The night passed uneventfully. The twins releaved Stanish and Zifnab, and they were in turn releaved by Juan. He also began preparing the morning meal for the group. He didn't have the cooking skills Ellia had, thankfully he was only making oatmeal with some berries that Mavin had gathered.

  The party all gathered around the dying embers of the cooking fire. The sun was just begining to rise over the distant mountains. Ellia said a small prayer in thanks for the morning meal as the others dug into their meal.

 "So, " Mavin's deep tembered voice broke the silence, "What's this day bringing us? " He looked to Juan. Of all the party, Mavin was the one most comfortable with their current situation. The ranger could live off the land indefinetly, without ever having to step foot back into civilazation. "For the sake of my dear sister's sanity, I hope it's something involving a town. " He ducked quickly on saying this, narrowly missing the backside of his sister's hand.

 "I'm not that bad, dear brother, "Karlie said. "Just because I would like a warm bath and soft bed every once in awhile. "

 Juan shook his head, this was almost a daily ritual, listening to the twins bicker back and forth between each other. Luckily it was mostly just the playful banter of siblings. Mostly. "Well, you're in luck, because we should arrive at Ironforge before dusk. "

 "Ironforge, "Stanish grinned, ear to ear, "Oh, I remember Ironforge. They had that cozy little inn called...., "he snapped his fingers a couple times, trying to jog his memory, "Something, something, something. With the bar maid that had those great big.... " he stopped when he saw the others looking at him.

 "Something, something, somethings. "Mavin laughed, elbowing Stanish in the ribs.

 "Only two something, somethings, "Stanish replied. "And I was going to say 'Mugs of ale', I'll have you know. "

 "Oh, is that what you call 'em now-a-days, "Ellia said in a motherly tone. She held a stern face for a few more moments, making the brash gnome start to squirm in his seat. When his face started to turn red, Ellia began chuckling, "Why, Stanish, I thought you said you had no shame. "

 "All right people, enough mug talk, let's break camp and get moving on. And hopefully we'll find some work, "Juan said.


 When the group reached the outskirts of the town, Juan called Cassandra to him. He handed her a pair of long gloves. "Wear these while we're in town, and keep your cloak on, "he told her in his best no-nonsense voice, "Most of these folk have never came across a drow and only know what they have heard in stories and rumor. So they're going to assume the worst. "

 "Like ye did when ye first found me, "Cassandra said in a low voice, as she slipped the gloves on.

 "Yeah, "he said, "Like I did, but instead of just tying you down, they'll more likely burn you at the stake. Sorry, Cass, but drow don't have the best reputation. "

 Cassandra nodded her head, "I know, I know. But I wanna change that. I wanna show people that drow can be like all other races, evil and good. " She focused her gaze on Juan, "And I won't be able ta do that by hiding meself. "

 Juan had known that Cass was going to buck against hiding herself. In the last month he had learned that the young drowess didn't carry the darkness of her race inside her. But, on the other hand, she was just as stubborn and prideful as almost every elf he had ever meet. He was just thankful that she also had enough understanding to listen to him.

 Karlie came up to the pair as Cass finished pulling the cloak on and adjusting the hood over her head. "Small steps, little cousin, "she said, putting her arm around Cass's shoulders, "We can't change the world at once. Every song starts with a single note. "

 "Little cousin? "Mavin chuckled, "Kar, you didn't tell me our family had grown. "

 "Well, you know how it goes, darling brother of mine, "Karlie laughed as the two walked on ahead, "Realitives come out of the woodworks. Or in Cass's case, the caveworks. "

 The entire party continued along the dusty path towards town. A few farms were scattered along the path. Cassandra noticed the children running around, laughing and playing. She shook her cloaked head, it was a sight she was definetly was not used to seeing.

 "I take it play wasn't looked kindly on in the land down under? "Stanish asked Cassandra.

 "We didn't have games or play of any sort, "Cassandra sighed, "It was mostly training for fighting, ta torture, ta serve the goddess Lloth. Most males were trained ta be soldiers, a few as wizards. And the females were ta be priestess of the church. "

 "And what about you? "the gnome asked.

 "As the daughter ta the duchess, I would have been expected ta join the clergy. But I showed no apptitude in the clerical arts. I showed more promise in the arcane and martial arts instead. "

 "Uhm the what and what? " Stanish was lost.

 "She means swords and sorcery, little Citrine, "Zifnab said from behind them. He and Ellia were bringing up the rear of the party.

 "Ohhh, "Stanish laughed, "I'm glad you cleared that up. I thought she said the Marital arts. I was getting ready to sign myself as a student. "

 "Marital Arts? "Cass cocked an eyebrow, "I'm not sure I understand. Is this above-grounder slang? "

 "Oh dear Maloria, help me, "Ellia sighed. "Cass, how old are you? "

 After taking a moment to figure, "In human years. If I've figured the calander ye use here, I would be... seventeen by elvish standards. "

 "So almost out of your teens, "Ellia looked at Stanish with what he called her 'Mom Gaze'.

 "So what is Marital Arts? And what does have to do with my age? "Cass pressed on, "Is it tied ta the Birthing Day celebration Ellia has told me about? Does it mean I get the present? "

 Stanish realized his joke had taken him down a slippery slope that he wasn't prepared to deal with or answer. Even his ears were turning a bright shade of red. "Errr.... that is to say.... uhhh.... uhmmm. "

 "Do ye not know how ta explain it, Stanish? Should I ask Juan if he can show me what Marital Arts are? He is teaching me martial arts, maybe he can teach me both? " Cassandra proposed.

 Stanish's eyes grew so wide, it looked like he had been kicked in his nethers. "Oh gods, what have I done? " he muttered.

 Cass started to march faster to catch up to Juan at the head of the group. But she felt the gnome's small hand grab her hand, "Cass, No! "

 Cass began to giggle softly and it grew into a full belly laugh, "Oh me dear Stanish, "she was laughing so hard her eyes were watering, "I am not some wee virginal thing. Drow are very open about sexuality. "

 "Oh thank the gods, "Stanish said, he looked back at Ellia, who just shook her head. "I think I've learned my lesson for the day. "

 "Well Maloria be praised, "Ellia said, "Miracles do happen. "
Life need things to Live.
 -Percival Fredrickstein von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III, but you can call him Percy.