Saturday, May 17, 2014

K30 - The Love Polygon

The bride of the unborn reincarnation of Durin had to be put away into a hidden chamber of Khazad-dum until the day of her wedding would come. The viceroy saw her in a dream, and so the Royal party left the Tomb of Arvin in a quest to find that pretty needle in a wraith-infested heystack. What they found was a giant black pudding guarding the sarcophagus of the bride where she lay, at the threshold of bonified death. 

Both Khazek and Thordar saw in her eyes what they interpreted as the promise of true and everlasting love. 

The black pudding is playing with its food

But hey, the job wasn't done. Khazek pulled the bride from the sarcophagus. She was frail, pale and shivering. Her knuckles raw from beating from within the stone receptacle. Khazek pulled her gently and huddled her, careful not to smear her with the acid burning through his heavy chain. He gently kissed her, she was gasping for air. Was this passion? Thordar, boiling with rage lunged forward and punched Khazek in a mad hope to make him drop the bride into his hands. Khazek avoided the blow and misinterpreted it as an overenthusiastic offer to help carrying her to safety.

Lathmelen stumbled while jumping over the pudding, she fell feet first into the caustic mud. Her boots were now smouldering with a brown smoke, but her adarcer shin protector remained unaffected. A foot slipped out, but the second foot stayed stuck. The wraith that was wrestling her for the sword wandered off as she became invisible to it once that she let the sword go. A second attempt to free herself sent her face first to the ground with one foot still mired into the muck. The black pudding rolled over her body and began burning at her clothes and hair.

The bride is rushed to safety, Lathmelen is underneath the pudding
Gror made his way up the stairs to assist Lathmelen but fell to the ground while dodging the black pudding. The dwarf and the pudding struggled until the commander managed to stand up and pull Lathmelen from under the mud. She was near death. He pulled her up to a crouch and she escaped. The acid kept on burning through her clothes, the world around her started to slow down. Her hearing was largely gone as she mechanically pulled strips of clothes from her body before they inflicted further burns. Once that she snapped out, she invoked the magic of the Valars to grant her a temporary lease on life.

Across the room, Bain and the Battle guard were keeping the pudding in check as Thordar, Khazek and the bride were making their way to a door at the other end of the room. Gesdrek, the Loremaster attempted to knock the Khazek's ghost blade from a wraith's hand, but eventually abandoned the effort and ran to meet the bride. She was barely conscious.

Bain pulled Nalik (one of the Battle-Guard dwarf) from underneath the pudding before he was burnt to death. Kelvar, however, was not as lucky as he was cut off from the others on the other side of the ooze. Bain was struck on last time before a general retreat to the far door was called by Khazek. Gror and Bain closed the march and shut the door behind them.

The dowery room

The large door at the far end of the room wasn't locked. It lead to a spiral staircases descending into a vault filled with treasures.  Gesdrek suggested that this room was containing the dowery for the bride. The two carriers walked past chests of valuables to find an ornate litter. The bride was reeling still, and more or less aware of what was going on. Lathmelen offered her elven healing to stabilize the dwarf.

The room filled with frenetic anxiety that Lathmelen could sense. All of the dwarves were trying to capture the attention of the frazzled bride. Confused, she reached for Gror and thanked him for the rescue. This drew darts from Khazek and Thordar's eyes since Gror had not directly participated in this rescue. Otherwise, dwarves were shoving each other to get the spotlight in a pathetic display of hormone. Lathmelen ascribed that the curse on the place was taking a toll on the dwarves, turning them into lovesick puppies. Gror tried to "make a move", but the bride just thought it to be cute and looked the other way with a smile.

The bride asked to be taken to her groom to be. The dwarf looked uncomfortable, then at each other. From the far end of the circle stood Lathmelen with a smirk on her face. "Do not smirk at me elf and be gone!". The bride's dismissal drew disapproving glances. Lathmelen wandered off to inspect the treasure as, deep down inside, she really didn't care about all this. She found a number of fantastic alloys weaved into the most intricate jewelry. She assumed that some of these would be elven craft from the days of Celebrimbor.

A sulky Thordar scrounged through the treasure and found himself a large dagger of an unusual design and unknown material. The blade was exceptionally sharp and highly ornate. He figured that he could use style to impress the bride when orc hearts began to be impaled.

From a distance, Bain was struggling with his own emotions. He was wondering whether he had made a mistake to marry and have children before this fateful day. He looked at Gror, prancing like a peacock, and could hardly accept this rival as his own son. Gesdrek, like a weasel, was sitting beside the bride and whispering beads of knowledge (or lies) to the dwarf queen. He knew in his heart  of the prophecy, but had serious doubt about its details. He spend long painful minutes observing how the bride reacted to others: her cold steel stare was firming up. She was queen material alright.

She must be his in the name of dwarvendom's greater good.

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