Chapter 1: Meetings and Acquaintances------Page 6
LOG 11

When the aftereffects of the shadow demon's teleportation had worn off, Vesz'aun found his blade freshly plunged into the "flesh" of said beast's lower leg, nearly up to the hilt.

Scowling deeply as his twin pools of crimson dared a glance upward, the glare held within his own orbs was nothing in comparison to the one that loathsome creature's multiple glowing blue eyes were now issuing downward.

Vesz’aun, a well enough accomplished thief for some time did not let not panic overtake him. This was just one of a thousand such situations like he'd gotten out of before.

Tearing his gaze from the creature's own for just a moment, a quick assessment of the surroundings was made, and as he deftly twisted and pulled on his blade to free it in a painful manner, buying himself a moment more, he had to do a double-take, realizing that he was not the only one to have been transported along with the fleeing beast. That scowl then deepened immensely as his eyes fell upon the figure of a certain "flunkie" drowess, Chessintra. Note was taken that the female had not yet gotten over the effects of teleportation. She must have been in the city streets during the battle. He thought, but why is she here in Sshamath, she belongs in Menzo! Sighing inwardly as he couldn't think of the answers right now, he caught sight also one of the recesses in the stone walls of the large room they now occupied. His orbs swept upward to meet the creature's own once more, a small wink offered as he gracefully leapt between its gigantic legs, somersaulting along the floor in the drowess' direction. His ornate silver blade occupying one hand, the free appendage reached out for the now-rousing drow female. He knew his own aim would be true, intended to grab up her clothing to pull her along, but somehow there crept in a small doubt on the female's part. The bitch usually did screw everything up, after all.

The Drowess known as Chessintra was a bit dazed after being caught up in the transport. She had not meant to be here, but the handsome Bladesinger had caught her attention. She had not known he would be in Sshamath, for her mission was to keep her eye on Xull'rae, because the red headed bitch was under suspicion of the alliance made with her house and the Zauviir's.

Information told her to look for the ugly cunt in the Vengeful Weave Inn. Anger still arose whenever she thought of that. Chessintra had not found her query there and then the fight in the street, the hooded male figure, the dragon, the demon, teleportation, it was all a blur.

Chessintra had no time to gather her wits for when she attempted to get on her feet once more; she was abruptly swooped off her feet and was airborne. Shouting out a strangled cry she tried to release a spell as she struggled against what she thought was an attacker. The spell coming to mind but not having the nerve to cast it in her surprised state.

"Ya know, this would be much easier if you would STOP SQUIRMING!" Vesz'aun grunted from the effort of keeping a grip on her. He bounded to his feet at the last moment, tossing her onto his bared, obsidian shoulder in the process. He nearly stumbled by virtue of her present machinations.

He couldn't stand the wench, and if given the choice, he'd leave her here to die, but for some odd reason, Xull'rae wanted the bitch alive for the time being. Why was beyond his fathoming. He'd had plenty of opportunity to slay her in recent times.

He struggled to get them both to that aforementioned recess, where he guessed there would be a shaft leading downward, if past experience in such places held true, his mind continued racing on thoughts of the imbecile wench.

Just yesterday, he was ushered off to meet Chessintra, by Xull'rae, part of which was to get needed healing. Which, his mind refused to accept, Xull'rae would not give him. Lo and behold though, Chessintra had been sent away, on some mission or another that he was not to become privy to, until now, at least. He had tracked Xull’rae’s footsteps to an illusioned room that held a portal that led to the Darkwoods. He cursed himself for thinking Chessintra would not have someone tail him. It was the only explanation of how she arrived in Sshamath so quickly.

Well, he still didn't know why she was in Sshamath, but he definitely did know where she was now. Through all the struggling, he dared a glance backward, only to catch sight of the demon spawning the humanoid shaped minions from its own flesh once more.

"And you didn't have to slam into me like that!" came Chessintra's vicious sounding retort though her slender body did relax. She did recognize his voice and he saved her. She wasn't a complete twit and knew he needed yelling at. Her faith demanded such, but Vesz'aun was so intoxicating that she would bend her beliefs some if it meant he would pay more attention and be hers.

She was neither stupid nor ugly by any means. In fact Chessintra was quite the beauty herself, having thick white hair, not as long as Xull'rae's but she always kept it unbound so it almost fell to her waist. Her lips were full and had a natural pouty look. She was also not as well muscled as the hated red head but she did have a soft shapely form, and was well aware of it, and took good care of it by staying fit. She did however always wear clothes to show it off and attract all sorts of attention, male and female alike. She loved the attention and always fumed when the Bladesinger dared to ignore her.

Her hands pinched at his back and her blood red eyes fumed, but soon she stopped to caress him some. His bare skin felt so good, soft yet hard in all the right places. She began to trace his tattoo in interest.

"By the Hell's woman, what are you doing?!" Vesz'aun felt uncomfortable from her touch, and was disgusted enough to drop her, but he noted now the wave of black energy headed towards them. It was issued from the shadow-infused demon. He skidded to a dead halt, releasing her from his shoulder in the process; he hoped the momentum of his abrupt stop would cause her form to skid most of the way to their destination, if nothing else. Of her looks and dress, he took no note, as in his mind, Xull'rae was the only female worth his attentions.

Heedless of any protests of rage the female may have had, he spins round to face the incoming assailants, his blade brought to bear in a defensive position, his free hand falling to the broad, black leather belt strapped about his lithely muscled waist.

Pulling a small piece of licorice root from one of the many mystical pouches within said belt, a few terse arcane words were quickly uttered, the spell taking effect within moments; his body was surrounded in a bright green aura. Now he was full of energy and zeal, quite ready for battle.

"What are you doing!?" She screeched as she was literally tossed off him, in which she screamed in panic and did indeed skid painfully many feet from him, an acrobat she was not, another difference the Bladesinger could note between the two females. Chessintra did her best to collect herself and adjust her gossamer dress from falling completely off and straighten her hair as best she could, before even thinking to aid Vesz'aun in the coming conflict. So engrossed in her hurried grooming she missed the fact that she was nearly standing atop a grate that no doubt offered a means of escape.

Not realizing that the female was overly busy primping herself at the moment, an order of sorts was issued to her whilst his blade began to dance within the flesh of the three humanoid shapes that now came to being, each splitting apart from the central wave of darkness. By virtue of the fact they were somewhat helpless whilst in transformation, he managed to at least wound all three before he took a small leap back, intending not to battle overly long. His thoughts being ones of escape for the time being, he shouted to the clueless woman, "put up a protective circle near the opening!"

Chessintra made a sneering noise as she stooped preening herself and did as she was told and unleashed a protective barrier near the area by taking powdered silver from a velvet pouch and quickly made a large circle on the ground whispering the words as she went about sprinkling the dust.

Desiring only to flee for the time being, a few small pellets were extracted from within that magic belt, each being quickly tossed to the floor as Vesz’aun crept backward in a defensive manner.

Small flash bursts filled the dimly lit chamber, followed by loud hissing, and the rising of large plumes of smoke. Not taking much heart in the fact that it would slow their assailants down, he spun about briskly, sheathing his blade in a single deft movement, all but leaping now towards the recess, catching the tail end of Chessintra's casting. "At least she's not a total nitwit," he muttered aloud as his feet carried him forward, "now, into the shaft!" He had yet to notice that there was a grate covering said shaft.

Anger arose in Chessintra as she heard him insult her, but escaping was the first priority and as she stepped back from the spell and smoke she finally noticed the grate, and couldn't believe the Bladesinger could be so stupid and not notice. "There’s a grate there you idiot or else I would've gone down already!" she muttered 'Asshole' for an insult to throw back at him, though a weak one, for it was more truth than insult.

Scowling now, his crimson orbs rolling in frustration, he races forward; peering now at said grate, and determining he'd not be able to move it in time. A soft curse is uttered under his breath, though more at the female than at the grate's prospect, "stupid bitch probably still can't open a door for herself, so how would she EVER grasp the concept of moving a grate!" By the time his mutter was through, he'd reached out to grab hold of her arm, not caring one whit about the bruises it would leave later. Harboring thoughts of backhanding her upside that pouty face, in order to knock her out, he instead barks out a quick, terse arcane phrase, which causes a small, yet adequate, mystical doorway to appear in front of them, his footfalls carrying his form towards said aperture. "Stop dallying and let’s go!" He growls as he notices her resistance to his handling.

"You're the one who's dallying," she grunts and hisses at him as she twists and struggles to be free of him. She thought about killing him then and there, for his words and roughness with her, she followed though with a look of murder in her blood colored eyes.

As his grip holds true, Vesz'aun drags her form through the doorway, the anger upon her countenance is duly noted. Sighing in frustration, more inwardly than out, he decides it would be best to ease that anger somewhat. One never knew when he'd have use for her again, best not to have her wanting him dead when next he called on her. Sickened by the thought, he nonetheless flashed her one of his trademark charming grins. His sharp features and handsome face taking on an innocent, boyish look, and came up with the best bullshit he could muster at the moment, "I only dally in order to be in the presence of your beautiful magnificence a moment longer, for it would break my heart to be torn asunder from such, should we die this day."

It had the effect he wanted, for her anger drained away like water in a sewer, and she blinked several times, flustered, her obsidian skin darkened as she blushed but recovered quickly as arrogance took its place, caressing her own body with a seductive smile. "We will not die," she breathed in airy confidence, nearly purring as she pressed against him to play with a braid of his, "how beautiful am I?"

Holding back a most inappropriate gagging noise, brought on by her actions and words. He was rather relieved by the fact that he didn’t have to produce an answer; despite the fact his saving grace was a moment of possible peril to them both. The mystical doorway had indeed whisked them away from the chamber above, but as they now found themselves plummeting through open air, spiraling between masses of uncut stone, towards a roiling of what appeared to be clouds below.

The thought occurred to him that perhaps he had misjudged the distance. Not even having time to curse, his tightly muscled form tucked and rolled in the air, wiry arms stretching out in the aftermath, grasping for one of the sturdier looking outcrops of natural rock.

He managed to grab hold, the bared flesh of his fingertips being torn apart, along with some of the exposed flesh of his forearms, he now took a moment to curse, for the fact that he had forgotten about Chessintra. Well sculpted, bare torso slamming off the roughly surfaced stone a heartbeat later, he freed one of his leather-guantleted hands, and reached out for her form as she began to float by, only then realizing, as he slipped, coming to rest dangling by one arm, that she had been smart enough to invoke her natural ability to levitate.

Chessintra looks at him scornfully, "what ARE you doing...?" Her brows lifted in question, surprised and disappointed in him that he didn't think of it.

Stuttering over a few possible responses, he shortly gave up, and merely offered her a scowl, pure stubbornness driving him to clamber up onto the stone by traditional method; his own ability to levitate not brought to bear. Allowing a few moments for his labored breathing to subside, and for his gaze to take in their situation, he finally came up with a reasonable answer to her query, reasonable to his mind, at any rate. "You see, I for one am intelligent enough to save up my limited levitation's...for it appears that the trip grounded will be quite a long one. Squander yours as you will, no skin off my back...idiot…" Turning away with yet another frown, he was aware of being only half satisfied that his answer held merit.

Chessintra drifted closer to him, her hands aglow with a healing spell ready, though her touch was soft on his chest, it was also suggestive, as warmth pulsed through him as the spell took effect. She let his comments slide with a smile on her lovely features.

Vesz'aun nearly flinched at her touch, but some part of his mind could not argue that the feeling was a pleasurable one. The remainder of his warped mind quenched all such thoughts soon enough though, and a quick, wary glance was offered to her. That twisted mind also took her silence as fact that he was in the right over the whole levitation matter.

She let her hand drop with a disappointed sigh, disdain in her tone, "you're probably still fawning over HER. I don't see why. She's hideous but then again with your mouth you couldn't get laid if you tried…pity for you…I guess I'll stop wasting my time. I only like your looks not your brain anyway!" Anger had etched its way on her beautiful face. Of course the 'her' spoken of was none other than Xull'rae.

Her entire statement had been absorbed, but the slanders aimed directly at himself were forgotten, but with each increasingly stronger beating of his heart, the words about Xull'rae being hideous playing over and over in his mind with increasing volume. Ebony skin darkening with anger, a slow, deliberately malicious smile crept upon his visage, some other part of his mind deciding to take advantage of the Haste effect he still had active. Being in such close proximity as they were, one of his slender hands shot out and grabbed a hefty handfuls of her flowing, white hair, jerking her around so that her back was now pressed to him, the other hand simultaneously falling to his belt, from which he pulled one of his favorite instruments of assassination: the wire and steel contraption known as a locking garrote.

The moment she had been forced into position, he slipped that garrote around her squirming little head and yanked it tight around her throat. Holding now onto the excess of the garrote wire whilst she struggled in vain, he freed the hand from her hair, and reached quickly to that belt once more, pulling forth a sizable emerald. It only took a heartbeat for him to shove it into the recesses of her low cut dress, stuffing it more or less into the crack of her rear end. Where it would take her some time and struggle to reach it, situated as she was. It took even less time for him to utter the activation word, and for the anti-magic spell to take effect. Though little visual effect adorned the spell's ministrations, the instant draining of her levitation, and all other sorcerous effects, could be felt.

Now it was a simple matter of dangling her from the rock, her own weight being used to cut off her air supply and any struggle she may offer only adding to the fact he may drop her to her death at any moment. " not...hideous!" His crimson eyes wild with rage and his tone all but screeching.

Caught unaware Chessintra's first reaction was surprise then fear, next anger, as she choked and struggled. She being drow, feelings of dread did not last long. She had managed to kick and scratch at him, trying to get off a spell. Only when the anti magic field took effect did fear set in again, as she fell gasping for air, hatred in her eyes as she gurgled to reply the only word audible was Lolth or something akin to it.

"Now, you will apologize for that statement, or I will add your death to the handful of other priestesses I've exterminated over the decades!" Still speaking through clenched teeth, the muscles of his torso and arms visibly straining with the effort to hold her aloft by the thin piece of wire cord, blood dripping downward as said cord bit into exposed areas of finger flesh, it did not occur to him at the moment that she could not speak.

She tried to nod but it was kind of difficult her face and eyes getting more bulged, her skin getting blacker.

Leaning downward, to press his countenance against her own, the warmth of his sweet breath played against her skin. The tone of his voice adding to the inappropriately timed tingle she felt, he began his verbal ministrations again, "do you choose to throw your life away out of sheer spite for my flame-hair? Little wonder you arrogant bitches can never pull off the total subjugation of the Underdark." Now it occurred to him that she was attempting to nod. Smiling again with malice and triumph, he crept back up to one knee, and gave one last yank on that supple yet stout wire, perhaps hoping in some part that her neck would snap.

Growling to himself, making a great effort, he then stood, dragging her up with him, setting her feet upon solid ground once again, loosening his grip upon the garrote, allowing for air to rush into her lungs once more. He remained wary however; as he knew no drowess would tolerate actions such as he had carried out against her. Perhaps she would not be so tough without her retinue of guards, however. "Now, rather than waste your borrowed breath on retorts and proclamations of vengeance, I suggest we simply leave, for our pursuers will soon be here."

As Chessintra gasped for breath and struggled to get to her feet, she said in a low but matter of fact tone, "Your 'flame-hair' will die soon enough. She is under suspicion and if proven guilty and I have proof. That portal we used is for another temple I saw it and could sense it. She'll be executed, sacrificed to Lolth!" She also managed to rasp out, "you with her. I'll or another who sees what transpired here will see to it, male."

Vesz'aun considered her words for some long moments both anger and surprise evident upon his visage. He then allows a frown to settle upon his handsome countenance, showing that he is not happy with what is occurring, and about to occur, "too bad it had to turn out like this, Ches...seeing as I'm already fucked, if your words are true, so shall you be. Farewell!" He then proceeds to shove her furiously off the small outcropping of rock, the anti-magic spell still in place so he knew levitation could and would not save her.

With that meager victory Chessintra didn't allow herself to smile, instead she was moving forward to get out of there without a backward glance. Knowing that even if he killed her now, the information relayed back will bring most if not all of Menzoberranzan on his black ass if not Lolth herself for what he admitted to. Suddenly she slid and lost her footing momentarily as she felt the push after Vesz'aun spoke, but she was expecting an attack and was ready with her whip, the Scourge, using it to grab a hold of his arm and pulling him with her. Her weight being heavier than his own since they were almost the same height.

Not expecting the dimwit to actually do anything but helplessly scream as she plummeted to her death. Vesz’aun was indeed taken by surprise as the end of her snake headed whip wrapped painfully and abruptly around his arm and under her free-falling weight, he did indeed find himself plummeting also towards the clouds, then the ground, far below, "damnable spawn of the Abyss! Fuck! Rrrr...mhnnn...aarghh!" He shouted, unable to formulate words at the moment, his anger managed to keep panic at bay for the moment, as realization came to him that he was too close to her, meaning he was caught up in the anti-magic field that surrounded her. The irony of it all was not lost on him, growling again in frustration. He fumbled with the dagger he was intending to use to separate the strands of that damnable whip it then proceeded to slip fully from his grasp. Cursing loudly once more, he did the only thing he could, and yanked upon the whip with his free hand, pulling them both temporarily closer together, causing them to smash into one another more inappropriately. Taking no pleasure in the warmth and softness of her curvaceous body against his, he then growled out to her, fumbling with the back of her dress, his leather-clad hand inadvertently grabbing at every inch of her shapely posterior as he tried to remove the gem. "Stupid mother fucking bitch oughta rip yer entrails out and feed 'em through your gods damned eye sockets, into the empty space where your fucking brain is supposed to be!" As he was struggling and cursing to get back up, she just hung there saying a prayer aloud in furious chant despite the field being up. She had to try to survive and have this male punished for his transgressions against the Spider Queen. The chant was abruptly interrupted as they rubbed against one another but she shrugged it off and was fumbling to start again even as he played with the gem in her rear end. It was difficult though and the chant was choppy at best.

"Stop with the incessant babble, you're breaking my, mmff, concentration!" Vesz'aun said through clenched teeth. Grabbing a bit too forward, his bloodied fingers slipped partway into the folds of her most private of places. There was a slight frown of consternation which sprung to life as he realized she was in some way pleasured by this all, judging from the particular wetness he felt. "Gods, yer a sick bitch....." he said in true disgust. Now he just gave up, wrapped both his arms around her, and ripped apart the back of her dress, allowing for the gem to fall free of its roost at last.

Chessintra let out a yelp of surprise and pleasure as his fingers slipped and laughed as he made his statement. All chanting ceased.

Sputtering more inane words in her direction, Vesz'aun did what he could to roll and push himself away from her, trying to loosen the grip of that hated whip, intending now to feather fall safely to the ground, that damnable gem no longer hindering their magics. "And people say I've got issues." He muttered aloud.

Chessintra sniffed the air in a rude gesture a 'hmph' was a reply when the handsome drow rolled away from her, looking upon him with irritation as he floated down. "What’s this…using levitation..thought it was wasteful..hmmm?" She retracted the Scourge. Not even hiding her nudity, she watched him go with a smirk. She did not attempt to go after him, she would find another way out without him.

Ere the Bladesinger could make any form of retort, they both found themselves disoriented as another bout of teleportation magics was worked upon them. When the momentary daze had worked itself off, both came to realize they were standing upon the lush, green fields of a storm ridden vale, lightning playing between the clouds above, and impertinent drops of rain spilling incessantly upon their heads. Silhouetted against that intermittently lit sky was the form of a human that the Bladesinger had made a brief acquaintance with, the interloper, Cogliostro.

When their eyes had adjusted to the shifting lights, both could easily see that another form, in apparently smoking, tattered cloth, was dangling from one of the human's hands. Upon further scrutiny, it became evident that the husk of what was until a short time ago one of their kindred, a drow. No smile, nor frown, upon his ageless countenance, merely a stoic glare, he spoke, glancing at each in turn before he spoke, "not that this situation hasn't brought some amusement to my soul, mind you, I believe it is time for it all to end." His gaze now settled upon the half nude drowess, "If you hadn't gathered, your witness to the transpiring of the day will no longer be able to give testimony....." He trailed off letting it hang in the wet air.

Realization and anger hit Chessintra hard, her plans had been ruined. No matter though, it was just a setback. She WOULD prove that Xull'rae was up to a grander plot and not as faithful to Lolth as she seemed. She knew what she saw back in Sshamath, that shadowy tower was a temple or a haven for a cult perhaps. She regarded the human with distaste but recognition, "you are the one the Zauviir bitch has been seen with!" She stared at the rather tall human with hatred and defiance, "we shall see Rivven…her treason is becoming more evident…although it's disgusting to think she'd stoop so low as to be with your kind!" The beautiful nude woman sneered, Her dress covering only scraps of her flesh. She had cause to be afraid but did not dare give him the satisfaction of seeing it.

Cogliostro simply nodded as if actually agreeing with her, but his words were not so, "if only you knew the entire scope of things, drowess...however, you know more than I'd like already. That will be remedied shortly," came his calm reply. That was the last thing she heard, but the last thing she saw 'ere the darkness of unconsciousness overtook her form was the Bladesinger going through something similar, and the eerie silver-blue glow playing in the human's oak brown orbs.

LOG 12

Seated within his favored chair up on the private, second story deck, he mused over the happenings of the previous day. The malaugrym never deigned to return, so apparently he had not wanted to take up the offer. The fact that he could not scry the malaugrym's current doings made him a bit wary, as that proved the shapeshifter was a more capable wizard than himself. Xull'rae and Horock had returned to the Tower and not showed their faces at the inn as of yet. All the same, he'd apprised himself of the meeting they had attended. Then there was the matter of Vesz'aun and Chessintra that he had taken it upon himself to intervene upon. That could have been more of a disaster, but as it stood, the bladesinger was now in natural reverie, and Chessintra had been transported back to Menzoberranzan with no recollection of the incident. And nothing to show for what she did remember of her trip to Sshamath. He suspected that Chessintra would be out of the way, at least for awhile.

Wanting to move onward, his form rose and casually strode to the poorer of the taprooms, wherein he'd sensed that the disguised Yuan-ti Halfblood had spent the morning lingering about. Perhaps it was time to have a short discussion, and see what could be brought to bear. They were already more or less forced to work together, might as well make the most of it in so far as he was concerned.
Coming to the bottom of his personal stairs, hands clasped idly behind his back as usual, that oak brown gaze swept across the room, intent on finding his quarry.

Drazoul was sitting at a table waiting for Xull'rae and Horock to return after their night's respite at the Tower, while he sipped some water. The disguise he wore was starting to bother him. He did feel in his element under the disguise, as he took it on many times but it did not always turn out to benefit him and on many occasions nearly cost him his life.

Cogliostro's search was not an overly long one, as the disguised Halfblood was one of the few patrons seated alone at this time. Motioning to one of the comely female human waitresses, this one petite of build, with long tresses of slightly curled, soft brown hair pulled up in a bun. He silently bid her to have Drazoul come up to the deck. Once that was done, he turned and walked back up as casually as he had come. Taking his usual seat at the central table, he awaited the arrival of the Assassin. His mind scanning the environs for any useful tidbits of thought and intrigue that may be happening.

The waitress carried out the orders, coming to Drazoul's table promptly, passing on the short message, assuring the male that he would have a drink waiting, then she went about her business once more, heading to the next table of patrons.

Drazoul stared as the female approached he was not overly worried but he still was ready at slightest unwanted motion the lady might make. He listened as she told him about the odd humans summons. He wondered what the human could want. He went over to where she told him to go.

A small motion was offered to Drazoul by Cogliostro as he approached the table upon the deck, indicating for him to take a seat. "Drazoul, was it?"

Drazoul nodded. "It is," his voice was stone cold. Before he took a seat across from the human he dispelled his enchantment and spoke again, "there's no need for this disguise you can see right through it,"in his true form, he was well built and had very reptilian features, but his head was human-like. His skin was scaly though and green with intricate black markings which covered his body.

Taking a glass of amber-hued liquid to hand, Cogliostro replied in an even enough tone, allowing a polite half smile to settle upon his visage, "Yes, admittedly, the magic's are easy enough to see through. Now, you and I, through our varied companions, are going to be spending more time than either of us would perhaps like together. So, rather than continue to be at each others throats on a constant basis, perhaps we can come to some sort of a business agreement, wherein you will work for me willingly, and be recompensed with a salary and a percentage of any treasures I may have you seek."

An amused smile spread the Yuan-ti's face, if indeed it could be called that, as the human spoke. In the very same tone the human used, Drazoul also replied, "Why human, I would never seek your throat. Perhaps I have ambitions but I am no fool and would never seek your life as long as you do not bother me or kill Horock." Drazoul's smile only grew wider at the mention of the human’s relationship with his friend, "As for your proposition I have no place to stay so I shall consider this home or no deal. Also I serve another group," he raises his claw like hand, a ring was on his right fore finger. The ring was small, with a finely cut black stone which is pressed into an emerald green background and has a design of a snake biting another snake and the other biting the one biting it and they form a circle each biting the others tail.

Cogliostro nodded, taking mental note of the ornate ring which was held aloft, his own polite smile then widens, and a soft dismissing motion is made. "No need to brandish that here, it is of little concern to me. Though there may be others around who would take a different view. Now, back to the business at hand, free room and board would be part of the deal, so yes, your demand would be met. However, that does not include alcoholic drinks, those you must pay for on your own, as I do run a business here, and bill payments must be met." He takes a slight pause, sipping from his liquid filled crystal glass, "And believe me, Saer Drazoul, this proposition is more for your benefit than mine." Cogliostro's mind went back to the symbol upon the ring a moment longer, some tale he'd once heard concerning such playing upon the tip of his thoughts, yet eluding him for the moment.

Drazoul kept his smile and nodded his head in agreement and added, "I do not drink unless special occasions, so I hope that I do not hinder your economic position and I also hope that my services may help. As for whom this will benefit we shall see."

Smiling broadly, yet closed lipped now, Cogliostro nods and turns his gaze towards the window for a moment, he then sets the glass down, and stands, finally speaking, "Now, if you will excuse me, the particulars of your salary will have to wait. I will inform the staff on my way out that you are to be given a room and meals. It is my hope that you find the accommodations suitable, fair evening to you," inclining his head once in departure, Cogliostro then turns, heading towards the offices located on the western end of the deck.

Drazoul stops the human for one moment, seeming slightly confused, "Fair enough human. Have you a name that I might call you or will human do?"

Pausing, turning just enough to glance over his shoulder, Cogliostro offers yet another business-like smile thinking the yuan-ti forgetful, but nonetheless replied, "Cogliostro would be preferred," he pauses a moment longer, the smile broadening a bit, though more to himself than to Drazoul. He motions to a table down below, "now I believe you have a caller, seated near the hearth downstairs." That said, he turns to leave once more.

Drazoul was rather puzzled with Cogliostro and when the human told him someone was waiting for him he right away assumed it Horock. He decided to celebrate his newfound job and stopped the lady who had earlier served him and asked her to bring two spiced wines towards the hearth and gave her the amount it cost and an extra gold coin as a tip. He then got up and went to greet Horock.

The waitress shot him a wink, and went to do his bidding, gladdened by the gracious tip. Upon his arrival at the appointed location, however, it was not Horock whom his eyes fell upon. Rather, one of his drowic connections within this city, a fellow who went by the name of Nadal Dalael.

Drazoul knew him by another name, and by a truer form, but this was the one that was most often presented, and most often used. Nadal was at the moment, without his usual Vhaeraunian clerical garb, wearing simple clothing of dark purples and blues at the moment, his long, white hair unbound, allowed to fall free upon his cloaked shoulders, crimson orbs taking in the scenery on a constant basis, so that no tidbit of possible information would escape his notice.

Drazoul was taken back by the sight of one he knew well, though he knew him in a much rather different form. He stood a few feet in front of the drow in disguise just a measure of safety from the always wary drow.

Drazoul bowed slightly and sat beside him and greeted the shapeshifter, "Ah Nadal it has been such a long time!" His tone pleasant, keeping his expression friendly. Faking not being surprised more for the outside then Nadal himself. "Care for a drink?

Nadal nodded in response to the offer, "Greetings, Drazoul..." He offered a small bow of his head to Drazoul, a last glance was taken around the room, then his attention was turned fully to the Halfblood, the waitress who now laid their drinks upon the table largely ignored.

"I had not thought you would return to this city for some time to come, as it indeed has been so long," commented Nadal as he took the drink and sipped it gingerly, almost as if he wasn't that thirsty.

Drazoul turned to the waitress and thanked her then turned his attention to the drow, "Yes, I have returned and for a more permanent stay, many things have changed since we last met and much must be discussed. Have you anything you need to know?"

The waitress left promptly, offering a friendly smile as she went on her way, well accustomed to being ignored by a large number of the patrons who came through here on a daily basis. Nadal waited until the woman was out of earshot, and then offered a nod to his companion, "More knowledge is something that I am always interested in. And indeed, it would be well for us to discuss such matters as you speak of. This visit, however, is intended for a singular purpose, which unfortunately must be carried out with some measure of haste, lest the human return and pry upon our meanderings."

Drazoul nods fully understanding as he was trained as an assassin he knew he had to get straight to business, "shall we stay here and discuss this matter or leave?"

Nadal shrugged, "Hm, we may walk the streets and converse if you wish, perhaps there would be less prying upon our spoken thoughts if we did so." His glass was taken to hand, then promptly drained, though it was done with some measure of dignity.

Drazoul nodded, rose from his seat and did not drain his cup, he would have much rather enjoyed it but since he had such impending business he just left it there.

If any eyes had lingered upon their forms too long as they left, neither man took notice. The street outside was alive with activity, but not overly crowded, since this was not exactly the best district in town.

Having no particular destination at this time, and wishing to buy more space between himself and the Darkwoods, Nadal began to stroll casually northward, in the general direction of the bazaar before conversation started once more. "So you say this stay will be an extended one?"

Now that he was on the streets again Drazoul took a more cautious manner and touched the hilts of his daggers just for reassurance and for an extra measure pulled out his onyx dog which Nadal was familiar with. "Let's just say complications have forced me to move from my homeland and take a residence here for the time being," his voice was very cold and he looked straight ahead and not at Nadal.

"Hm, very well, I'll not delve into the reasoning. The fact you will be here for some time is what is of interest to me." He pauses in his speech, if not his movement, for a brief time realizing something terrible must be stalking the Yuan-ti for him to come down here, but continued without questions. "I have need of your services...and of course, as always, I will perform return services as the need and want arises. Though, however, this is not an assignment of murder. Not yet, at any rate."

Though Drazoul did not have eyebrows the area where he would have had eyebrows had he been human raised in interest. He was rather disappointed that he would not be used in missions that did require death, but none the less there were gains to be made from this deal, "And what will you have me do?" He asked and then spoke the magic word and his dog materialized to offer extra protection from unwanted enemies.

Nadal took a moment to gaze upon the sorcerous dog, letting one of his slender hands fall to the creature, and an absent scratching of the dog’s ears was performed, before he continued on with the conversation, "There are certain dealings currently going on between Vhaeraun's church, and that damnable human. It is easy enough for me to keep apprised of what information I wish within the Tower, but I am unable to carry out my ministrations within the human's establishment. He can see me for whom and what I am, and thus my attempts at deception and information gathering will always be foiled. I have need of you to be my eyes and ears within said place of ill repute, so that I may take in the entirety of what these Vhaeraunian/human dealings are."

Drazoul's disappointment turned to relief as he realized the implications of what he would have to do if it were in fact a killing type of mission and he had no wish to engage in combat with the powerful human. He thought of what Nadal wanted him to do and asked, "So you want me to be your spy?"

Nadal turned to hush him and replied in whispered tones, "Yes, in the most basic of terms, that is all I ask at this time," again, he pauses for a moment, then continues, "In return, for the moment, I will do what I can to assure your companion, Horock's, safety. By virtue of being thrust on that damnable, double-dealing bitch Masked Traitor at the temple, he's been thrown in with a most dangerous lot, and will fall prey to situations that I'm sure he'll take no liking of at times. And of course, any other payment you would require of me will be met."

Drazoul stares into open space for a moment deciding whether he should agree to this risky proposition but he would never turn down a contact unless there offer was absurd. "Very well, your terms are acceptable. There is one problem though. I have no means to protect myself from the mental prying of the human. As for the drowess there is nothing I can do about her she is beyond my skill and therefore I cannot dispatch of her. As long a Horock keeps a clear mind he should be fine. As for additional payment a certain amount of gold to support myself until the humans payments come in would be appreciated but if your coffers at the moment are strained I shall ask nothing of you."

A humored and somewhat apologetic smile then creases Nadal's handsome face, "For the protecting of your thoughts, I can offer you an item that will fix that small problem...theoretically, at least. And as for the drowess, I have no need of her demise coming about at this time. Despite my personal dislike of her, she does serve her purposes within the church hierarchy rather well." He actually stops this time and quirks a brow in Drazoul's direction, "Hm, did I hear you mention that the human would be offering you some sort of payments? If so, that would mean you have a little information to impart on me already."

Having neither the ability nor means otherwise to pry through the human's protections, Nadal was unaware of the conversation which transpired between Drazoul and Cogliostro a short while ago. "I was about to offer up coin if needed to cover the cost of your room and board at the inn, but...." He left it hanging his tone doubtful.

Drazoul snorts for a moment at Nadal's reluctance to give him gold but the money was not his main goal. What he wanted to acquire was the item that would protect him from the human’s mental intrusions the gold was a means to make sure he would give him the item, "Very well Nadal," he says with a sigh, "keep your gold but the item I want and it better work or else......." Now he was the one to left the words drift off, letting the implication hang in the air.

This time, the brow raised in Drazoul's direction was not accompanied by a smile, "Why, Drazoul, was that a thinly veiled threat? I should hope not, as we are old companions and all." Pausing a moment, he then continued, "If you want coin, I am willing to offer it up. However, my interest is piqued at the fact it appears you've come to some deal with the human. This will not present a problem, will it?"

The Yuan-ti's hard expression loosens up and decides to let his voice do the same, "I am sorry old friend I meant no real offense but if the item you give me is faulty my life is on the line. My life has never depended on the quality of an item so I am a bit edgy. As for the gold, keep it. Your being so close and so well connected is a great payment itself. Will my agreement have any problem? Not at all! The human is too secretive; working for him could be dangerous my loyalty lies with my connections."

As an afterthought Drazoul adds in, "I do have some information so far on the human." Nadal simply nods once and remains silent, awaiting for the halfblood to continue.

"I'm sure you already know the human is more then just a simple owner of a tavern earning an honest wage." Drazoul smirks and continues his tone laced with anger, "Horock and I were attacked by a shadow demon and some odd creatures that were not affected by my daggers," He pauses a moment then continues once more, "Though I'm not convinced the human sent those creatures after us, he must have been connected to them in some way."

Nadal nods his expression pleased with the information, "hm, interesting, and perhaps it will prove useful in future. I had known the human uses the Inn as a front for smuggling operations, black market-type acquisitions and the selling of questionable magic items, along with some other minor 'criminal' infractions, but I've never gleaned anything of the likes you've mentioned."

Before Drazoul could respond, Nadal continued, "Well, at any rate, worry not that the item you will receive won't live up to the task. I have one on my person at the moment, for my own employ, and I've yet to find a being able to pierce through its protections." Once again he gives a slight pause, and a thoughtful frown before he spoke again, "It will, of course, take me a day, or two at most, to acquire the item. Thus, you should perhaps try to avoid the human as much as possible between now and then."

Drazoul graciously bows to his companion, and responds with gratitude, "I thank you greatly! Remember we are in a very dangerous situation you must be very careful too."

Something akin to a warm smile creases that drowic visage, and a respectful nodding of his head is offered to Drazoul, "As always I use the utmost caution. For now, we must part ways. I will contact you soon, and the item shall be delivered as early as possible."

Drazoul nods then turns in the direction of the inn, while Nadal heads in the opposite direction.

Interrupt the Bard -or- let her continue