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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:20 pm

The brigand held him in place with a single gesture, pushing Enthlyi back by his shoulder; so that his back was pressed to the edge of the cot, in a forced kneel. The human came to just a little above her knee; Leo's grip tighter than the hangman's noose. The Surge Elf stooped down to get a better look, two fingers slipping under his jaw in an attempt to jerk his head up to face hers.

"Listen here, pretty boy," she leered at him as she spoke, "You want to get back to your adventure, you're going to do exactly what I say. Got that?"

D'Cordria held an air of good humor about her, regardless; laughter climbing up into her tone, and peeking out through her amber eyes- as though she were sharing with the man some kind of inside joke. As she moved to regard him, her mouth slowly curved in a lascivious smirk.

Damn rogues.

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:55 pm

After the motions were made, Enth snarled. A wave of dizziness washed over but it was corrected by the cold he still felt; the water running down his spine the greatest culprit to his discomfort.

"There's nothing to get back to if you're taking me," he growled, "The group will either disband or try to go without me. These aren't incredibly patient people. These aren't my closest friends. They'll think I abandoned the entire expedition...!"

The explorer paused; why exactly would she care?

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:00 pm

Her face split further into a broad, jagged, Cheshire grin; amber eyes glittering with malicious intent. D'Cordria pressed further, her form gliding along his until her lips were a hairs breadth from his own; smile vanishing without a trace. There was violence in those eyes, lingering there- like little demons creeping behind her lids, small hands clawing ever outward.

"Don't talk like that," she crooned, reaching up to stroke his cheek with the back of a hand. "That kind of attitude wont get you anywhere."

Whatever her intentions were, however, they found themselves interrupted by the loud crack of gunfire somewhere nearby. The Surge Elf sat up, quick as lightning, releasing her captive and motioning for him to be quiet. The shouts of men could be heard not far outside of the building.



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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:14 pm

Enthlyi nearly fell down once more, but his position guaranteed a little more balance. As her hand gestured for his silence, he obliged her, up until the explorer was graced with a questionable thought. He didn't think twice of it, the instant later his jaws threatened to clamp down on her fingers.

He moved not to speak, but to cause her as much pain and discomfort as possible; after all, they weren't friends, and he wasn't going to listen like some lost puppy to the Surge Elf.

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:29 pm

A brief sensation of warmth was registered by the elf, although it was not initially enough to cause her to draw back her hand. Her attention appeared focused almost entirely on the doorway, eyes narrowed in concentration- and perhaps, the tiniest bit of dread.

Whatever thoughts had been echoing about in that head of hers, however, were quickly cut off by a single sensation:

Pain!

Leonie let out a sharp, low, yelp of pain- much like a dog might make, when it's tail has been stepped on. She quickly stifled the sound, clenching her jaw and slowly turning her gaze to Enthlyi without moving her head. There was a brief flicker of surprise in her eyes, although in the place of anger, or malice- there was something akin to intense glee.

Was she smiling? The gesture was twitchy, albeit, as she restrained from responding to the pain- almost manic, which should come as no surprise. The question as to whether this was a good idea, however, was quickly answered as she crept towards him- her lips brushing against his neck in what could at first be seen as a tender gesture, and then--

Chomp.

Somewhere outside, a familiar voice called to the inhabitants. Leo simply glared up at Enthlyi, silent and stubborn as a log.



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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:47 pm

To her act of retaliation Enth nearly cried out; yet he stifled it to nothing more than a drawn out, not-so-intimidating growl. He let go of her hand and tried to shake himself free; but to no avail, for he could hardly move without losing balance.

His head began to hang as he simply gritted his teeth and silently questioned the sanity of this elf-woman. The explorer was certainly not expecting this.

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:41 pm

D'Cordria smirked flush against his skin, at the sound that the human made. She slowly peeled herself from him, as though she were going to sit back into a more regular position. Almost abruptly afterwards, however, the brigand darted forward until her face rested mere inches from his own. The elvish woman let out a sudden and sharp growl, her teeth bared in an almost bestial grin- and just as quickly, she had risen back to her feet, fixing her hood.

Behind her, the door cracked open slightly.

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:27 pm

When she pulled away, he winced. The surge elf was growing more and more unbearable with each passing minute he even saw her; the fact that she went through all that trouble just to bite him back was something bordering on insanity, to him.

Then again, he did throw first punch.

Gritting his teeth quietly, Enth shot a momentary glower before regarding the door that was just beginning to open. While trying to remain still, he toyed imperceptibly with his binds, not quite focusing on it but pondering just how tight and sturdy they were.

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:56 am

The door is pushed open further, accompanied by the squeal of the worn hinges, and the groan of wood. Light peaks in through the crack, but there doesn't seem to be any sign of the person who had opened it. The wind, perhaps?

The Surge Elf didn't seem to buy it, large eyes narrowing as she reached for the holstered gun at her hip. Leonie crept along the ground like a spider, her hand gripping the weapon with the comfort of an old friend.


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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:52 am

Seeing danger as well, the explorer scanned his surroundings. There was a nearby table, crushed into planks and stray chunks of wood. With little else to do he quite literally scooted behind the ruin; which was not much of a movement, let alone one that might suggest an attempted escape.

However, he worked with the chunks he felt himself brushing aside. While no splinter seemed sharp enough he came across a shard of glass, reaching as quietly as possible for it.

Assuming his movements went unnoticed by the surge elf he'd start trying to cut at his bonds- though he cut himself a few times, having to gnaw once more at his lower lip to keep himself from making noise.

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:20 pm

Floorboards creaked and groused as the old farmhouse settled, a shift in air pressure causing D'Cordria's nose to scrunch up; rain was coming. She strained her ears in the dusty room, seeking to differentiate between the howl of the wind, and the sound of possible intruders. Her questions were answered when she heard a deep, surly- and clearly masculine- voice, somewhere outside the window closest to the door.

The elvish woman pivoted silently on her heel, pressing her cloaked figure back against the wall beneath the dirty and cracked glass. Beneath the shadow of her guise, Leonie stroked the steel barrel of her gun, quietly flicking off the safety as she listened. The conversation was muffled through the wall, yet she could make out every word:

"This the place, for sure? It don't look like nobody been here for years."

The man from earlier spoke up, his voice rough and yet somehow cultured. "The family who lived here abandoned the place at least a decade ago." The two seemed startled into silence, by the nearby sound of a tree groaning in the wind.

".. what if she ain't here, Yorn? What if she-"

There was an agitated hushing sound, followed by complete quiet. Leonie's lips pulled back into a distracted grin; two men, by the sounds of it- amateurs, if the volume at which they spoke was any indication.

Or, perhaps we spoke too soon.

From the window nearest to Enthlyi, a strange sound was heard.

Scritch,

Scritch,

Scritch,


The noise continued, punctuated every so often by a soft click, every three scratches.

Scritch,

Scritch,

Scritch,

Click.

Leonie turned her head slowly towards the source of the sound, catching sight of the human. Her attention was focused elsewhere, however, as the brigand realized a moment too soon just what the hunters intentions were.

A black streak sailed in through the busted window, falling to the floor with a thud. The object was roughly the size of a softball, it's shell a mottled pitch, wrapped in stitched leather. Slowly, it rolled across the ground in sight of the rooms occupants.

Leonie mouthed wordlessly;

'Shit.'


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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:54 pm

The explorer caught sight of the object, knowing exactly what it was before it stopped moving. Succeeding in cutting his bonds (and his hands, inadvertently and without too much damage) he rushed for the very window that the projectile arrived from.

Not caring what was on the other side, he took a leap of faith by jumping through; he didn't know what floor he was on, after all. Fragments of glass tore at his clothes and danced in the air around him while he lifted his arms to shield his face.

"Shiiitt...!"

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:13 pm

The sound of shattering glass seemed to snap Leonie back to reality, time suddenly speeding up at an alarming pace. The fuse of the explosive caught her eye, sputtering and flashing like a gem in a dead mans skull. The Surge Elf swore, tossing herself back and up to her feet in a single motion, pulling the pistol to her chest as she ran to the window. The woman leaped through the air with surprising alacrity after Enthlyi, legs drawn up, and arms crossed over her chest to protect them from the jagged edges of the window.

Her cloak snagged on the glass and was torn from her as she fell beside her captive; a distance that was luckily no more than seven feet.






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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:20 pm

Enthlyi didn't wait; once he hit the ground, he rolled away from the surge elf before trying to stand- frantically so, followed by the desperate endeavor to run as far away as possible. He didn't know where he was going, nor did he care.

The structure began to explode behind him; smaller parts sent flying while anything still standing was doomed to being immolated by lingering flames. The chaos and fire came with a thunderous boom which addled him but did not stop him from his goal alone.

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:18 pm

The reverberations of the blast echoed through the elvish womans covered ears- she just couldn't catch a break, could she?- hands slammed up to cover them as they flicked back; she ran. Leonie felt heat lick at her back, bits of wood and glass filling the air around them, as well as thick smoke and dust (thanks to the shattered wood, and burst earth).

A man crouched in the brush not far from where the two landed, two figures retreating as they did. The last man didn't seem particularly concerned about the blast, his ears covered by some sort of unusual device presumably made to muffle sound. He shifted, as though to draw something from out of sight- something which, most certainly, neither Enth or Leo cared to learn more about.

Shouting carried through the woods, accompanied by the shuffle of feet through fallen leaves and tall grass. Somewhere to her far right, a branch snapped, the Surge Elf's attention snapping back to the form of her captive- the mans image appearing and disappearing through the trees at regular intervals.

The elf darted beneath a low-hanging branch in an attempt to stay closer to Enthlyi; the better to keep an eye on him as they fled through the woods. As she cleared the obstacle, however, a loud bang broke into the air behind them; shattering the bark of the tree where she had been only moments before.

Hardly one to waste time, D'Cordria continued to run; eyes perhaps a bit wider, grin twisted into a grimace. She readied her pistol as the hunters made chase, firing shots back into the trees whenever she was able.


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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:22 pm

As Leo came closer to Enth, at first, he paid little mind, focused entirely on running. However, as the blasts of gunfire filled the air, a concern came to him; and his eyes fixed on the surge elf with ill intent.

Still running, he tried to close the distance with her and, while she was focused on firing at the assailants, he spun, a foot gliding with the aim to trip his captor and leave her a sitting duck while he'd continue to run.

As he attacked, he let a grunt of both fright and fury, another tree's bark being torn apart by a whizzing bullet.

"Every man for himself!"

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:58 pm

In firing her last shot, D'Cordria suddenly found herself without any ground below her feet. The elvish woman let out a muted growl of surprise through gritted teeth, falling back into the dirt and bramble of the forest floor. Leaves flew up around her as she landed, smacking the back of her head against the gnarled roots of a nearby tree.

At Enthlyi's words, the grimace turned into a wild grin; Leonie lay back, reloading her gun with deft fingers. Quickly slamming the cylinder back into place with the thenor of her hand, she jumped to her feet. The sound of footsteps grew closer, and the brigand readied herself, bringing her lips to kiss the barrel as though for good luck.

"Playing hard to get?" she called back, as one of her pursuers burst through the foliage. The elvish woman lined up her sights with the mans head, speaking as she cocked back the hammer. "That makes the victory all the sweeter."

A single shot resounded from Leonie's location, as Enthlyi fled into the distance. All around the elvish woman, the shouts of men- numbering at what seemed to be a dozen- filled the rural forests. There was a cry as the Explorer ran, followed by the sound of armed men running; the creak of leather, the slap of muskets on backs, the crunch of debris.

D'Cordria turned and ran, in hot pursuit of Enthlyi.

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:07 pm

Not bothering to look over his shoulder, the explorer was nonetheless certain that he was being chased; by one person or another. As he rounded trees and dodged low-reaching branches he noticed that not far away there was a descent; the roots of trees hanging over the edge.

He ran through a pile of dead leaves, kicking the former humus high into the air before descending and pressing his back against the natural, soil-made wall behind him. Behind the curtain of dangling roots there was a small pocket of shadow he found easy to hide in.

Enthlyi used his less-wounded arm to push dirt from its place in the wall, doing as much as he could to cover himself in leaves and soil as quietly as possible. He heard the pounding footsteps approached, bile welling up in his throat as he waited with more than a little anxiety.

He didn't look, keeping his head in the makeshift camouflage, prayers being quietly considered as his hands clasped quietly together beneath him.

By now the explorer was confident that his once-white tunic had been stained by blood and dirt, making it fit into the leaves and filth better. He felt something crawling along his hand, but he wouldn't look to see, for hiding was much more important. The unknown creature's tiny legs tapped his wound almost mockingly.

Damn, that hurts...

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:58 pm

Gunfire filled the air as Leonie sped through the woods, dodging branches and slipping past tall trees, their arms ever-reaching into the ever dimming light of day. The last dredges of golden light were slowly muting themselves; oranges, reds, and pinks, shifting slowly into the neutral colors of nightfall.

Shouts echoed behind her-- they had found the body; the Surge Elf hadn't had time to cover the corpse, or her trail, and was forced to step as lightly as possible through the wooded copse. Long ears were perked at attention as she looked about- which way should she go? The bellows of men and their footfalls seemed to come from everywhere, and nowhere at once; the sounds bouncing off of the trees. There wasn't any time, and Enthlyi was long out of sight.

Quickly making up her mind, D'Cordria turned and ran through the clearing; it wouldn't do her any good to stand about like a training dummy. Amber eyes scanned the treeline, running south of the setting sun, where the trees grew thickest. It would be nearly impossible to find her way come nightfall- she needed a place to hide, and fast.

Stroking her thumb along the safety, she flicked it back on, and rammed the weapon into the holster at her hip. The thief could still hear men in the distance, and they were getting closer. Now was the time to act. Squatting down in the brush, Leonie suddenly dove up into the air, hands wrapping around the branches of the tree as she pulled herself up and into the mess of leaves.

The elvish woman scaled the tree, keeping her body tucked close to the bark, and (hopefully) hidden amongst the leaves. It had been just in time, too; although she couldn't see them, D'Cordria could make out the sounds of men rushing into the grove below her. She stilled her breath, lurking far above the ground like some kind of stone gargoyle.

The men shouted to one another, looking about as they did so. Somewhere in the distance, a single shot was fired, causing the womans lips to pull back into a thin line. Without moving her body, the Surge Elf craned her neck in the hopes of getting a better view of their pursuers.

The small motion seemed to catch the eye of one of the men down below, drawing his attention upwards, and giving her a good view of his face. She froze, rigid and silent in the branches of the tree; whatever she saw seemed to cause a chill to run up her spine.

He was marked.

The men left, the marked one watching the tree for a good moment longer, before turning to go. Whatever he had seen, it didn't seem to have been her.

Low, in the woods, she could hear the barking of dogs.

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:26 pm

Enthlyi remained crouched for a good while- exactly how long he couldn't discern, but he knew that it had gotten darker, and that, while he wasn't found, the hunters were still on the move. As their voices grew distant he lifted his head, searching himself and flicking off any insects that decided sitting on him was a good idea.

"Have to be quick..." he murmured, his eyes heavy and dark, a splotch of red on his bad shoulder; he must have agitated something while running. As the explorer got up and stepped out of his hiding place there came the silhouette of a creature on all fours. It grew large, but Enth was able to identify it immediately; his dog!

With happiness he crouched down, opening his arms only to nearly be tackled by the dog and covered in affection (in the form of saliva.) He wrapped his arms around the beast's neck, murmuring praises and scratching one of the dog's ears.

It didn't bark, but soon began to growl, its ears perking as the barking of other hounds was in the distance. The reunion was over, and while Enth had little strength and hope left in him, he started to run once more with his dog.

As time passed, the forest was bathed in the dim blue light of a fading sun, and Enth grew more and more tired, clutching his bad arm and wavering. His dog was much more lively; it probably ate, somehow, while he was going on a day without food.

Then, they came to a clearing. Before them there was a huge patch of open grass; the remnant stumps of a few trees scattered about. At least it seemed he was getting closer to civilization. Without taking into consideration of the vulnerability he'd be putting himself into, he paced into the opening, cursing himself for ever listening to that surge elf.

A single, long-furred dog burst from the trees behind them, barking ravenously and catching up with ease; only to be met with the furious, protective fangs of the explorer's dog. They tore through the air, sliding down a hill in the opening. Enthlyi followed them, a wordless sound of alarm escaping him.

At the bottom the attacking beast fell limp and the victorious defender joined its master again; they continued to run until eventually meeting the next patch of trees. The human looked over his shoulder to see the flicker of distant torches appearing on the other side, and hear the shouts of pursuers still present. A wave of hopelessness overcame him, but he fought it off and continued to run.

"I'm done, I swear, I'm done!" he muttered as the two continued to flee. The forest became notably thicker, and they had not ventured far into it at all; or at least that's what he thought. Enthlyi was more focused on his own movements becoming slower and more strenuous with each step.

It felt as though he hadn't slept in days; tired weighing down on him and beckoning despite the dire situation. His body was prepared to shut down in exhaustion. Furthermore, he couldn't feel his legs.

The running became stumbling; that turning into hobbling before finally, he tripped on a torn branch and hit the ground. The sun had set, darkness beginning to cover everything; but the dogs were still coming.

The dog craned its neck and sniffed him, looking up occasionally in the direction of the noise. Yet, before the hunters could ever reach the two, a cloaked figure on a horse arrived, sweeping up the explorer. The beast barked and followed eagerly.

A quiet man who Enth couldn't identify rode the horse, commenting, "Good job."

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:44 pm

The dawn was just arriving; the steady climb of light in the sky painting everything in pale blues and greys. From the outstretched branches of trees, tiny songbirds hopped; light, cheerful songs carrying through the air, as the little creatures spread their wings and carried about their daily business. Far below the trees, however, trudged a petite and disgruntled figure: messy black hair, dotted with sprigs and leaves, and eyes like topaz, with sleep hung 'round their gleam.

Leonie D'Cordria, notorious brigand, murderer, sneak thief, madwoman, devil-eared-- whatever you wished to call her-- had not slept a wink. With all the stealth and ease of a well-practiced rogue, however, she still managed to find her way back to the city- and to their designated meeting spot, at The Grousing Grue.

The Grousing Grue was a rickety old tavern that was said to have been standing long before the city itself had grown into what it was now. The innkeep had been known to gloat about how the city had been built around the old tavern- a claim that was quickly called into question once one mentioned that the tavern was not, in fact, the center of commerce. Far from it: The Grousing Grue was situated, perhaps, on the very outskirts of the outskirts of the inner city.

The weary figure stalked through the early morning- ignoring any passing perturbed glances by the townsfolk as she did so. The front doors were certain to have been locked, still- a quirk of the owner, who was far from an early-bird-- and so, the Surge Elf was forced to sneak through the kitchens.

Leonie snatched an apple from an open barrel as she entered the main room, tossing it in her hand twice as she scaled the steps, to their usual room. She didn't need a key- or an invitation, apparently.

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:56 pm

Whether or not it was to her expectations there were two sitting, waiting for her. The man in goggles was there, leaning forward in his seat and smoking what looked to be a cigar. a maid cleaning nearby sent a glare occasionally in his direction. The other man was, obviously, Enth, tied to the chair but unmoving; his clothes were stained in blood and filth. He was likely unconscious again.

As Goggles withdrew the cigar and disposed of it, the dog sniffed the air, watching as the smoke very slowly left the room via window. The beast was in good spirits; unaware of its master's plight, it lay next to the male captor, occasionally receiving a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ear.

There was a centipede on its back, but neither beast was alarmed.

"Took you long enough." Goggles commented, gesturing to the maid. With a quiet huff, she left the room. If Leo cared to look she'd find that beneath the table all of the explorer's wares were sitting, still very much intact despite the sudden violence and explosion. The man in goggles was a miracle worker.

He even lifted the map that they needed into the air, waving it once before returning it to it's place with the other supplies.

A bottle of wine sat on the table near the two, not yet opened, as though presented for the first person that came to take it. A small scrap of parchment attached to it read, "Finders Keepers."

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:14 am

Two fingers plucked a leaf from her hair, flicking it down to the ground as she stepped over it with well-tended-to leather boots. Without her cloak on, the womans garment was revealed to be of expensive make; tailored to fit her figure flatteringly, and almost frivolously so. D'Cordria sauntered into the room, taking note of all there was to see with a quick scan of the enclosure.

She stepped forward, yanking out a chair with a hand, and spinning it around until the back clapped against the edge of the table. Once again, she sat with her legs straddling the support of the chair, and her arms crossed over the top; "Why, such enthusiasm." she exclaimed breathlessly, her ecstatic glee only heightened by sleeplessness. Leonie looked positively mad- her hair unkempt, sleep marring her gaze, lips twitching at the edges in that trademark grin.

"I see you've helped accommodate our friend.." her gaze slowly slid towards the wine bottle, her eyes twinkling faintly, continuing to address Goggles. "I trust he didn't give you any trouble?"

One hand shot out as she attempted to grab it.

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:59 am

Leo was able to take the bottle with ease, and uncork it should she so wish. There was a note that lingered, once hidden under the bottle, that read, "Be Careful What You Wish For." That was a good sign.

When Goggles placed wine bottles in places for people to take, some may notice that on occasion he'll trap or poison the bottles. When that happens, the writing will be different; "You Should Have Thought Twice," for those he knew didn't look at the notes, and, "Sure You Won't Be Selfless?" for those who did.

Either way, it was a hilarious sight when the poor sod did drink (or try to drink) the bad wine, and it never killed them.

The man in goggles shook his head, "As a matter of fact, he covered most of the distance himself." he responded without mirth. He looked over to the unconscious man briefly before returning his covered gaze to the surge elf. "You may as well sleep while we wait for the others."

Without offering a reason, he produced another cigar from behind his coat, bringing the object along his nose, tickling his tiny mustache even though it certainly didn't appear that way.

Enth remained unconscious, groaning on occasion but never stirring. Was he drugged or did he simply lose that much energy on the trip?

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PostSubject: Re: -----------------------   Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:37 am

Long-lashed eyes turned towards the table as she read the note quickly; her lips curled up as she let out a small 'Heh'. In a fluid- and perhaps a bit wobbly- motion, she rose to her feet, hips swaying as she stepped away from the table. One hand was wrapped firmly about the neck of the wine bottle as she moved: sauntering towards the bed as though she were dancing a jig choreographed specifically to the yowl of cats in back alleys. With a graceless 'whump', D'Cordria fell back into the bed, hair flying behind her.

Quickly, she flipped on to her back, kicking off her shoes and yanking the cork out of the bottle with her teeth. She spit the cork out into her lap, regarding Goggles with an outward gesture of her hands, and two raised eyebrows, as though to ask 'do you like what you see?'. Whatever the intended message, however, the elvish woman collapsed into a fit of giggles; took a swig of the wine, and knocked her head back against the pillow- cradling the bottle like a lover.

"Good-morning, Goggy." she crooned, hair spilling into her eyes as she closed them. "Marvelous work! Another day, still breathing."

Her head to the pillow, she was already far gone; within moments, the brigand had fallen asleep.


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