Zail Hakken, my Drow Rogue/Sorceress

Zail

(Image from the Dungeons & Dragons webpage)

I’m taking a quick break from video games this week to talk a little about D&D. You’ve seen the epic multiple posts from Jinx about his D&D campaign Upheaval as well as BrightMatrix character (Lu the Deva Cleric/Swordmage) that he ran in said campaign, so today I thought I would share my character with you, and her name is Zail.

Now the original concept came after BrightMatrix and I ran our outrageously successful pair of his Kobold/Barbarian Rex Regulus Rex and my Goblin/Cleric Throck Bonesmasher. The characters were fun and we realized we play off each other very well and it would fun to create characters that were created to work together or at least complement each other in the game. Our original thoughts were to have two D&D version of “80s valley girls,” which sadly didn’t work out since Jinx changed the world from standard fantasy to Upheaval we had to revamp them into something more serious. (Luckily for our gaming group, we would have annoyed the hell out of everyone.) Anyway, Lu went on to become the beacon of hope for the world while my character Zail went to become the realist of the pair. BrightMatrix and I talk long about the characters, how they got along, which powers we would choose, how the met, why they were friends, and so on. One of the great joy of creating her was to be able to work on the background and story with a friend and bond the characters together similar to our friendship.

I tend to be a role-player more than any other type of player when it come to table top gaming so where Jinx focuses on powers and so forth I focus on the character’s background and choose powers, traits, and items that fit into the character’s story. Zail is no different, that’s not to say she can’t hold her own, by all means my little Drow is quite the bad ass in combat but that’s not the focus for me, it’s creating a character that is believable and has a sense of place in the world. So with that in mine here is Zail background. I really enjoy creating background for all my characters, it’s a bit long as I give them a full life story, but also realized this one of my shorter ones. I hope you enjoy it.
Zail Hakken was born Xune Helhar, to a Matron Mother in a large Underkark Drow city. While still an infant her house was attacked by both the house directly above and directly below, in the social ranking of Drow society. She was kidnapped by the house above. Xune’s house survived and she was taken out of the city by the remaining members of the higher house and sold as quickly as possible t a trade caravan. That is all she would know of her life with her birth family. She spent most of her formative years with various trade caravans. She would stay with one for a while then be sold off for goods or gold, always with the promise as a future servant. She learned many thing s at this young age, reading, writing, and not to hold onto lasting friendships as they would always either leave her or she would be forced to leave them. Eventually, she was sold to a surface trader who took her away from the comforting darkness and to the surface of the world and to the sun. Initially she hated the sun and the daytime; it burned her eyes and reminded her of how exposed she was without a stone ceiling. Although, for how much she loathed the sun and the day, she loved night, the bright glowing moon, and the millions of stars. Finally though she would find one place she would call home or at least a place to live.
Sadly, she ended up being sold to a thief’s guild called The Carnival of Thieves, where she served in near slavery. For the nine years she was bound to her servitude, never leaving the guild hall, never seeing the moon and the disliked sun. Only now through windows did she see the free people walking by, even her bedroom was no more than a closet with a mattress. For the most part she was rarely acknowledge by the guild members, who saw her more as a thing then a person and the other servants were afraid of her, even as a child they feared the Drow. The guild knew not her name so they simply called her Drow, she also had no memory of her life in the Underdark so she assumed it was just her name. All life seemed to her was work and she worked and watched, always watched. For years she observed the thieves at work and at play and she began to learn, to move in silence, to the basics of sword play, and a base understanding of lock picking. She was never formally taught but just through years of observation she began to understand. When the guild fared well she had little concern for her most basic needs, but in the times when the guild found little work those needs became harder to come by as it was after eight years that the guild fell on rough times and she was simply not provided enough to eat, she more than others as she was at the bottom of pecking order, even below the other servants. She started putting the skill she spend years observing to the test, she began stealing food. All were aware that food was going missing but no one knew who the culprit was, even those on watch saw nothing in the night, complete darkness. It was at this time the guild most experienced and auspicious member returned from a long mission, Ryder Hakken was back. He would come and go over the years, never staying long and only having a passing view of the Drow servant. Ryder was requested to stand watch to find the thief. After a few nights he realized the darkness that crept into the store room was not natural, and it was Drow using one of her gifts, her Cloud of Darkness to avoid detection. He confronted her about the stealing; she did not deny it and stood tall prepared for her punishment. He was impressed with her fearlessness, her strong will, and her ability to steal from a thieves guild under their own roof for years and never get caught. After sending her to bed he began thinking, by morning he made his decision he would take her. The very next day he bought her from the guild and would make her his protégé. That day she walked out of the guild hall for the first time in nine years and would never look back, she was walking toward her new life.
The first order of business was her name, Ryder hated that she called herself Drow and had to explain why she needed a new name for her new life. He told her that Drow was not her name but what she was, as he was a human and an elf was an elf, she was a Drow. He asked her to choose her own name, she thought for a while finally she chose a name she crafted herself, her very own name that was hers and hers alone, Zail. From that day forth Ryder and everyone else called her Zail. She and Ryder moved out of the old city to a larger city called Safe Haven, Ryder owned a small house within the city walls. It was a fairly large trade city mostly surrounded by the Crescent Wood, a forest that had grown in the shape of a crescent moon. There she spent the first year with Ryder training in thievery, moving ins silence, from shadow to shadow, she learned lock picking, wall scaling, pick pocketing, and breaking and unlocking traps. Over and over, day after day she learned and studied. Ryder was always impressed with her progress; she seemed born for the work. After spending so much time together Zail felt comfortable sharing a secret she hid from everyone for years, she could use magic. She didn’t know why or how but when stressed and pushed she could call magic to her as if it was bubbling insider her. She told no one for fear of how the guild would react and treat her. Soon after Ryder sent a letter to a friend who he had helped a long time ago who had sworn to help him one day. He received a letter a few weeks later that appeared out of thin air, he was coming. Until that day would come Zail would work on her thieving lessons.
Finally, on a bright night under a full moon a man appeared at the door, except it was not a human, it was in fact a Drow, and not just any Drow a Wizard named Karcillus. Zail was naturally excited to meet one of her own kind, she had no memory of any other and while Karcillus was kind to her he warned that much of their race were evil to the core, they would kill her and Ryder if ever they found that he was raising her. He told her one thing about the Drow, if you ever see one…run. For the next year Karcillus trained her in the ways of the arcane. Ryder would come and go as work came or as he needed, knowing that Karcillus would take good care of her. Soon into her teaching Karcillus realized he could not teacher her with books of spells and wands or orbs, she needed them not. She was not in fact a wizard, nor was she an invoker, her magic seemed to flow within her very blood, she was a sorceress. He put away his books and implements she could not wield and began from a whole different perspective. He taught her to call up her power from within. After months of teaching she could call her power at will and the dagger that Ryder had given as self protection served her as he taught her how to wield them as implements to focus her power. Although she could not control the type of magic she called (as she was still a child in the world of the Drow) she could now call it at will. With the teaching of the arcane he also explained to her what it meant to be a Drow, the gifts of her race that others did not posses. He taught her the she was never really sleeping but was in fact in a state of trance, she learned how to increase her Cloud of Darkness, and how to levitate, this came to Karcillus as worrisome, for only a Drow noble could levitate. He put that out of his mind for the time being as he focused on teaching her. One evening the three ate, as Ryder had returned that day, Karcillus mentioned to Zail that if she desired he could teach her to call a familiar. Her eyes went wide, she leapt out of her chair and began screaming and running around, Karcillus was in shock, Ryder just laughed and explained that meant, yes. The next day under his guidance Zail began the spell, at first…nothing. Zail began to lose faith that she had failed, then suddenly a small wisp of smoke tumble into existence at the center of the table and began to grow. The wisp soon grew into a small cloud that began to take shape, first legs, a tail, then a head, even ears, still it appeared as a cloud until two eyes opened from the still forming head, they eyes opened and stared at Zail they were a deep lavender, just like hers. The smoke settled into the form of a black cat that matched Zail for it was small and lean with its lavender eyes. It purred and lazily walked over and brushed up against Zail, leaving a small wisp of smoke on her. Zail was in love, never before had she had a pet, much less one that was such a reflection of her, Karcillus told her she must name it. Karcillus and Ryder game some suggestions that both Zail and her new familiar disagreed with, finally it came to Zail, the perfect name, one that she herself had carried. She named her cat familiar Drow, the cat agreed. Zail and Drow had a strong connection from the start; she seemed to understand the cat, which informed her it was in fact a female spirit, as the cat seemed to understand Zail. Sadly, a week or so later Karcillus had to leave to return to the mage guild he had taken leave of. Ryder thanked him and Zail hugged him, he never believed he would ever be hugged by a member of his own race, he was pleased at the way Ryder was raising her. He told him as much when he said Ryder should be proud he had a fine daughter. Zail looked at Ryder; he agreed he had a wonderful daughter. From that day on Ryder always called Zail his daughter and to her he was always her father. Before disappearing Karcillus had given them an unexpected gift, that of family.
The next two years of Zail’s life were dedicated to one single focus, battle. She had a formative understanding on fighting but Ryder expanded that exponentially. She learned the exquisite art of melee fighting utilizing her short sword. She bonded with it so much that she could utilize it to call her arcane powers. She began tying in all he had taught her about stealth, precision movement and surprise striking into an affective and deadly fighting style. Ryder also taught her in the use of daggers as both melee and throwing weapons, her accuracy was deadly. She began integrating her natural Drow born abilities as well, become a force to be reckoned with inside her Cloud of Darkness. As the first year passed the training continued but Ryder started taking her with him on missions where she gained real life experiences and was able to put all she had been trained for to the test, meaning stealing (or liberating as she calls it) items from their owners. She soon began earning a reputation for herself as Ryder’s daughter. That year was the happiest she had known in her life, she had a family in Ryder and close friend in Drow, a home, and a job that she both loved and was exceptional at. She hoped it would last forever, she would soon learn just how wrong that hope was.
No one knew it but the time of The Cleansing was upon the world. Most would believe the gods had abandoned them as volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes reeked havoc all throughout the lands. Safe Haven was not spared. The city was hit hard, a great earthquake, seemed centered on the city began ripping it apart. Ryder was away on a high paying mission and Zail was walking home from the market, wearing her favorite pink gown the sparkled in the sun, when the earth shook and the street she just left splintered. She raced for home, into the house she went and grabber her Handy Haversack, which contained all her gear. A trick Ryder had taught her was to keep all her “work gear” in one bag that way it’s easy to make a quick getaway. She moved her bed and moved the two loose boards that opened up to Ryder’s secret basement he used to smuggle items he took. It was also prepared in case he himself had to hide as it well stocked with food and water. She quickly changed in the basement, putting her last gown away, deep into her pack wondering if she would ever wear it again. For over a week she remained in the hidden basement, rationing the food as best she could. When all the violence seem to subside she tried to leave through the trap door, but it would not budge so she back in the basement she move the hidden door reveling the secret passageway to the Crescent Wood. Ryder had installed this as a quick escape route in case he needed to leave the city in a hurry. Now it was her means to escape whatever was happening above. She sent Drow down the passage ahead of her knowing that nothing could really “kill” her, if she was destroyed Zail would wait a day or so and call her back from the Astral Plain. She was in luck the tunnel was intact, small parts had collapsed but not enough to block her from escaping. She crawled down the long passageway always awaiting an aftershock but finally made it to the end of the tunnel and up the rope ladder leading to the wood. As she exited through the hollowed tree stump what she found drew not just the words from her but her very breath. She fell to her knees and wept for the destruction of the world she knew. The Crescent Wood were gone, burned to the ground and what little was left was still ablaze. From the near center of the forest she could see what was left of Safe Haven. Most of the town was simply gone, swallowed in a great fissure in the earth, what was still there, a small piece of the outer wall and only a couple of building, were also ablaze the rest was flattened. She knew all she had known and all she owned were gone. She stood for most of the day trying to come to grips with what happened, she went to the town to look for survivors but found no one, at least alive. She left the only place she really called home for the first time and the last. The next couple of months were a blur, after her supplies ran out she began foraging for food, hunting when she could, stealing when she couldn’t. She slept when she had to in caves, broken building, in trees, anywhere she could feel safe. The world had been turned upside down she now felt safest during the day as the night now contained monsters she had never seen before, as the Shadowfell leaked into the mortal world. She believed Ryder and Karcillus were still alive if anyone was it was them, all she had to do was find them, her dad was first on her list, but until then she had to focus on surviving each day. Zail felt it was simply herself and Drow, alone, against the world. That too would prove to be very wrong.

Well there it is, Zail’s background, if you are interested comment below and I can give a more game based explanation of her powers, feats, perks, and all the “business” end of D&D. Thanks for reading, I might indulge in a little more D&D posts in the future.

As I always like to leave with a question for everyone, here is this post’s. What kind of play are you? I always see myself as a role-player, I like to do voices and act out what my character is doing. Are you a power gamer (like Jinx) or an explorer? Are you here for the storyline or the snacks and Mountain Dew?

About Ness

As a chaotic good nerd I try to be as well rounded as possible, from video games, comics, tabletop RPGs, anime, and cartoons I try to fit it all in. Although I enjoy all of it, video games have always dominated the majority of my time and attention. My plan for here is not to write previews or reviews but to talk about how I relate to the games I play. Hopefully we can all play along.

A picture is worth a thousand words: Mistmire

Mistmire

As I mentioned in one of my original posts, “In case you were wondering“, this is perhaps one of my favorite topics.  My personal goal is to write a 1000 word story, based off the picture I’ve posted above.   For me, it’s an invitation to inspiration and creativity and I hope it ends up being the same for you. I sincerely enjoy writing….for me, it’s a great outlet, stress reliever and something I absolutely love to do. I hope you enjoy the story.

The beautiful artwork was found here.

Mistmire – A Forgotten Dream

I’ll never forgot the day we were swallowed into the earth…our lives, forever changed.

We were just a couple of adventurers on the road to Meadowbrook, a village nestled deep in a valley, not far from the Windshear peak mountains.  It was just the two of us, Devlin and I, but we had many years of experience backing us up.  Devlin was as sneaky as he was skilled in the way of magic, easily falling into the title of trickster.  And I, Maxwell Oerlius the 3rd, on the other hand was skilled in the art of warfare and healing magic.  We were a good team, one that complimented each other well.

It was late afternoon and we still had a good full day’s journey left, so we decided to take it easy and stop for the night, after we spotted a solitary farmhouse situated next to a large stream.  We hoped that the owner would be willing to set us up for the night in his barn, as our travels forced us upon rocky terrain that left our feet hurting something fierce.  After knocking a couple times on the front door without answer, we decided to wander about the grounds looking for anyone that might live there.

That’s when we found something most strange.  A giant mound; no more like an anthill, was situated right behind the southeast of the barn.  It was massive, almost as big as the barn itself, hidden only by the angle of our arrival.  It was late and we were tired, so decided it was best left until morning.

We opened the barn door, and set up camp in one of the larger empty stalls on the end.  The animals stirred at our arrival, but settled down quickly enough, allowing us to bed down early so we could get a fresh start at the anthill tomorrow morning.

In the middle of the night, the screeching bleating sound of one of the sheep launched both Devlin and I out of bed.  Standing there, a sheep firmly in it’s mandibles, was what we had feared…a GIANT ant.  We must have left the barn door ajar, as it was obviously where the ant came in, considering half its body was still outside the barn.  Its head was the size of a elephant, with a body to match and it’s mandibles, as long and curved as giant scimitars!  As it was retreating with its prize, in hopes of saving the sheep’s life and some of the farm owners livelihood, I grabbed my mace and landed a heavy blow against its carapace.  For a second it seemed as if I’d done some damage to it, as it backed itself out quickly and scurried dextrously down the hole, however the sheep was still in its grasp and gone.  We closed the barn door, calmed ourselves down and bedded down for the rest of the night….this time in shifts.

We woke up a little later the next morning and started our descent.  The anthill was found to be more treacherous than we originally thought, not only because of the looming threat of the giant ants that inhabited it, but because of the tunnels themselves.  Ants, able to climb and cling to just about anything, have no problem making vertical tunnels, which to us, were giant pits to navigate down and into.  Once far enough inside, we had to burn torches in order to see.  We traveled for hours, each step taking us deeper and deeper into the unknown.  As we descended, we could see that tracks of the unusually large ants were everywhere, but strangely, we had yet to encounter a single one.

It wasn’t until another two hours went by before one of the horizontal tunnels opened up considerably into a larger cavern.  There, laying in large heap in the center of the room, was a pile of the giant dead ants.  Well more like a pile of ant body parts, as there were only a few that were still fully intact.  Near the bottom, was the dead and strangely emaciated body of the sheep, looking like it insides were completely sucked dry.  We went to investigate a little further and found a huge hole in the back of the sheep.

We drew our weapons immediately, not wanting to be easy prey to whatever killed the ants and the sheep.

We circled around the massive pile slowly, keeping as silent and steady as we could.  One of the ant heads, apparently not fully settled, rolled down the mound towards us and nearly scared us half to death.

We continued to circle around and when we got to the back of the pile, we noticed another hole on the west wall leading out.  We all decided, with a nod to each other, to check it out.  We got to the entrance and took a peek through and what we saw we will never forget.  The hole opened up into what seemed like another world.  The cavern opened up to a thousand times its size, hosting a view that took our breath away in its enormity.  Th gigantic cavern seemed to have its own sky, with clouds clinging to giant stalagmite rocks that jutted out in all directions.  The rocks were strangely lush, with green vegetation heartily growing on all manners of the rocks.  Strange vines even connected the towering peaks in some places, growing vastly throughout the cavern.

Down a rubble strewn hill in front of us, was a dark, yet majestic lake, with craggy rocks projecting out of the water, like the teeth in a monstrous maw.  The water was clear, but the dark rocks below gave it a feeling of murkiness not really there.  The air was cooler here, a slight breeze wafting through and a cool rainy like mist tickled our face.

In every adventurer, there is an explorer; someone looking for something that no one else has found or just exploring the majesty of the world around them.  This was one of those hidden gems, something that is only found once in a lifetime if you’re lucky.  It was a find that just needed to be taken in, for as long as possible.  Sadly, it didn’t last long at all.

In every adventurer, there is also his sense of danger.   He can just feel that something is about to happen, even in a place that portrays peace and tranquility in its simplicity.  That’s when Devlin saw the water start to ripple.  It wasn’t long before it began rippling in numerous places, getting closer and closer to the edge of the water where we stood.  We started to back up, ready to make our way back into the ants carved out tunnels, when we were stopped in our tracks.  The thick vines, that seemed to coat the cavern sprang up out of the water with lightning speed.  Poor Maxwell, was cut open before he even had a chance to react, the vines slicing through his stomach, emptying it before he could scream.  A larger, more rotund vine shot out of the water and slammed into the hole that was now Maxwell’s stomach.  You could see it sucking all the internal organs, blood and tissue right out of him, the large chunks visibly moving down the vine’s would be throat.

Devlin, quickly casting a spell that most likely saved his life, turned himself invisible with a few quick gestures and zigzagged up the rocky slope, heading back to the tunnels.  The vines, seemingly fooled by the lack of their other prey, started to vibrate.  Skin, if you could call it that, on the outside of the vine started to flap in the wind, as if something was being drawn in and in a split second, Devlin realized it was trying to find him by scent.

He quickly raced through the cavern entrance, past the ants and through the tunnel.  He looked back, only for a second, to see the vines creeping into the tunnel behind him.  At this point, he let loose a volley of fire that torched the vines at the entrance.  A high pitched gurgling could be heard, seemingly from the lake, and the vines retreated back out of the cave.

Devlin was experienced though, and knew that he couldn’t hang around here for long, as the vines wouldn’t likely give up on their new prey.  He rushed up the rope that he and Maxwell had left behind, in case they needed a quick escape from the ants and ascended the tunnels as quickly as possible.  Two long hours went by, running and scrambling through the maze of tunnels.  When he finally emerged from the anthill, he collapsed on the ground, his heart racing…POUNDING.  He closed his eyes, taking deep breaths to calm himself down and relax his body, telling himself that he was finally safe now.  There was no way the vines were long enough to stretch through the entire tunnel system. He was finally safe.  As his eyes were closed, he sent a small prayer out to Maxwell…his eyes starting to tear.

It came as a complete surprise when the vines sprang out of the anthill, picked him up and started to suffocate him like a boa constrictor, all in one quick swoop.  The monster, now fully emerged from the tunnels was a mass of writhing vine like tentacles.  The last thing Devlin saw, was the orb of daylight getting smaller and smaller, fading away as he was dragged back down into the deep, dark abyss…that was mistmire.

I’d love to see how this picture inspired you and what you’ve come up with in your short story.  Please share!

Jinx

About jinx_the_bard

Longtime Dungeon Master, tabletop and video gamer. Been playing D&D and Shadowrun on and off most recently. Ran a post apocalyptic, paragon, 4th edition D&D campaign for a couple years. Running a 5th edition campaign now called “The Fall of Astia”. Enjoy Borderlands 1, 2 and even the Pre-sequel (which I tend to play with fellow author Ness), Fallout 3 and 4, Bioshock and Skyrim. (Games this good never get boring) I also indulge in Magic The Gathering, mostly in the Legacy and Modern formats. Please feel free to contact me at dungeonmaster.bm@gmail.com for any questions, thoughts or things you’d like to see featured on our site.

A picture is worth a 1000 words

Hello All!

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, this is perhaps one of my favorite topics. My personal goal is to write a 1000 word story, based off the picture I’ve posted, which will most likely be some form of medieval fantasy or sci-fi art.   For me, it’s an invitation to inspiration and creativity and I hope it ends up being the same for you. I sincerely enjoy writing….for me, it’s a great outlet, stress reliever and something I love to do. I hope you enjoy the story.

Windshear Mountain

This beautiful artwork was found at: http://wall.alphacoders.com/big.php?i=103270&lang=German.

This beautiful artwork was found at: http://wall.alphacoders.com/big.php?i=103270&lang=German.

Brekke lived in a fairly remote area, on a small mountaintop in the middle of the Eastern Vale Woods, whose Valley floor was covered in a thick variegated forest. It was autumn and the view from his year round mini-fortress was spectacular, especially that of Windshear mountain, which was covered in bright colored foliage that lit up the valley. Surprisingly, Brekke had come across this fortress by happenstance, when he decided to take a different route back from the city. There were two of these mini-fortresses, both long abandoned, but only one was in any shape to be used as a home.

He had originally chosen this spot, not only because it already had a structure in place, (and was free) but would allow his inventions to not be hampered by the regulations (and tariffs) he would encounter within the city. He also worried for the safety of others; after all, being an inventor was dangerous work.

Brekke had made many alterations to the structure, adding designs of his own that were not only to keep his inventive mind constantly working, but also to protect himself from would be marauders and thieves. The place was covered in cranes and pulleys, gears and gadgets, and every type of tool you could imagine. See, Brekke wasn’t your typical gnome. Yes, he was an inventor and YES, most gnomes WERE inventors, but he had one thing going for him that other gnomes rarely possessed…..Good Luck. For some reason, all his inventions usually worked. There was rarely a second design or revision. It was strange and Brekke often wondered when he would have to “pay the piper” for this luck. (As his human friends used to say); but he took it as a blessing…just like when he met an elf named Nar.

Nar was a wood elf who came to him almost exactly 2 months ago. He was intelligent, kind and whimsical, which could be best verified by the bright blue, pointy hat, adorned with a unique golden feather, which he wore over his bright, blond hair. Brekke had gone out scouting for some menial supplies one day, a little farther out than usual, when he had come across the lone elf fighting off a small patrol of goblins. Brekke always carried one of his invention weapons with him and couldn’t let the elf fight the goblins alone; so he jumped into the fray, with an uncommon bravery for a gnome. He pulled out a hand crossbow and loaded it with an especially large bolt of his design. He fired the bolt and in mid air, the bolt split into 8 individual bolts, peppering and killing the entire group of goblins in one shot! The look of astonishment on Nar’s face could only be matched by the big smile Brekke wore. After the skirmish, the two became good friends with Nar visiting on a regular basis.

After seeing the dazzling display of weaponry that Brekke had created, Nar persuaded him to make more, telling Brekke that he could sell them, using the money to fund his other inventions. Brekke thought it seemed like a good idea, so he started constructing more of the special splitting bolts. It would probably take him a couple weeks to construct enough of the bolts to make it worthwhile for the trip, as it would be a long journey with no town nearby.  So he decided to get started right away.

A couple weeks went by and most of the bolts had been completed; Brekke figured he would complete the last of them by the following morning, as he was desperately tired. He had been working long hours, mostly through the night, with Nar urging him on, using the promise of a hefty profit as encouragement. It was almost early morning and even Nar, who was there for moral support, was getting tired. Nar decided that he was going to retire upstairs and headed to his room.

Nar made his slow and tired journey up the lone tower which held the guest room. The gnome sized stairs were especially short and narrow, even for an elf, and made him feel claustrophobic, as he wasn’t used to such tight quarters. When he opened the door to his room, which it was for all intended purposes since he had been staying here more frequently of late, Nar immediately went over to the small vanity in the corner of the room, but not before closing and locking the door. Nar was not only physically tired, but tired of this whole charade as he slumped down into the small chair in front of the mirror. After pulling off his bright blue hat sporting a golden feather and placing it on the vanity, Nar looked into the mirror. He smiled at seeing his flowing white hair, deep purple eyes and ebony skin. Pretending to be a wood elf was irritating;  Nar knew though, that nobody would trust a Drow…not even Brekke. Most likely, Brekke wouldn’t have come to his aid during their first encounter, if he knew the truth.

Nar almost felt bad for the gnome. Brekke was soon going to be dragged into the Underdark, forced to slave away for the rest of his life for Nar’s matron mother and the House of Azzerinth. The gnome was intelligent, though obviously not intelligent enough to see Nar for what he really was. That negligence, is why Brekke deserved what he was getting. Plus, Nar would be rewarded well, (as well as any male Drow could be), but nonetheless, he would probably be made Patrol leader, which had its benefits.

Tonight, he was going to open the portal that would allow his Drow raiding party passage into the complex, pillaging the gnome’s inventions, gadgets and weapons, as well as taking the gnome prisoner. It was going to be a long and prosperous night….

Brekke watched through the two way vanity mirror as the Drow, who was now across the room, finished his spell that would open the portal that lead from the Underdark. The Drow raiding party must have been waiting, as they deftly scurried through the portal and into the room within seconds of the portal opening and without so much as a sound. Once they were all in, seven Drow in all, including Nar, Brekke smiled as he pulled down the large lever next to his vanity mirror.

The Drow raiding party only had a second to realize their error, as the walls quickly moved outward, while the ceiling and floor slammed together with a sickening splat. After a couple seconds, the Venus Fly Room Trap began to reset itself, the well oiled gears quietly revolving the floor, ceiling and walls back to their original positions. If only the trap could clean itself, Brekke thought to himself, as he made his way up to the trap room. He bent over; picking up the enchanted hat Nar had worn to disguise his true identity. He popped out the top of the bright blue, pointy hat with the golden feather (remarkably undamaged) and headed back down to his room. He placed the magic hat on a hooked rack near the entrance and lay down on his bed. Brekke was happy knowing that the hat he had lost in the woods some 2 months ago, was finally back home where it belonged. Completely exhausted, his eyes started to close, but not before they set upon the golden eagle mounted on the wall at the foot of his bed, for which the feather once called home.

Alright, so now it’s up to you guys to come up with your own 1,000 word stories for this picture.  Please send the short stories you come up with…here.   Aaaaaaaaand GO!

Jinx

About jinx_the_bard

Longtime Dungeon Master, tabletop and video gamer. Been playing D&D and Shadowrun on and off most recently. Ran a post apocalyptic, paragon, 4th edition D&D campaign for a couple years. Running a 5th edition campaign now called “The Fall of Astia”. Enjoy Borderlands 1, 2 and even the Pre-sequel (which I tend to play with fellow author Ness), Fallout 3 and 4, Bioshock and Skyrim. (Games this good never get boring) I also indulge in Magic The Gathering, mostly in the Legacy and Modern formats. Please feel free to contact me at dungeonmaster.bm@gmail.com for any questions, thoughts or things you’d like to see featured on our site.