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Bastards & Broadswords Origen's D&D 5E campaign.

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Old 12-18-2013, 12:57 AM
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Default Interlude: Selsdrin & Davril Smithson

Interlude: Selsdrin & Davril Smithson

Davril Smithson groaned as the light returned and brought with it the mother of all hangovers. He opened his eyes to the dim light of a tent burning his eyes as though he were staring into the sun. The camp cot felt as soft as a down mattress to a back used to sleeping on hard ground.

A smell reminiscent of the willowbark tea mixed with mint from his mother's kitchen assailed his nostrils, from before he'd begun his training in wizardry. The women of the village would brew it regularly for aches and pains.

But this tea had honey in it, he could tell. The world was awash with a smell like a fresh spring day. The last thing he'd remembered before the world went black was the Underdark trio, orc ogre, and drow, and the smell of horse dung.

Someone had cleaned him? And undressed him! He opened his eyes, hoping for a beautiful princess. Hell, he'd settle for an ugly one.

The coal black features of his worst nightmare split into a bright white grin. That Drow bastard! Davril tried to sit up to kill him before the orc and ogre could appear and protect him, but the nausea overcame him. He vomited into a bucket helpfully held for him by the Drow.

He lay back again. If the evil elf were going to kill and eat him, it would have done so while he was asleep.

"Will it be torture?" He croaked. He flexed arms and legs and found no fetters. That was strange. Why...

The Drow bastard helped him to sit up and offered him the tea. He refused it at first, looking suspiciously at it. The Drow shrugged and took a sip, then offered it to him again.

He took it this time and drank deep, washing the taste out with the first mouthful and spitting it into the bucket, then drinking it down and handing it back.

The Drow handed him another mug, this one held small beer, and he gulped at ot gratefully. When he'd recovered enough, he looked under his heavy wool blankets. Not even small clothes? What kind of pervert was this Drow?

He looked a question at the Drow.

The Drow cleared his throat and spoke in a strange accented common. "My name is Selsdrin Everhar, and you have passed selection. Before, you were a candidate, now you are a member of the team. As such, you have earned this."

Selsdrin reached behind him and placed a backpack next to the cot.

"While you enjoyed your well deserved rest, I had a tailor come in and make some proper wizarding garments for you. Plenty of pockets for spell components and the like. There is a sealskin cover for your spell book that fits in this pouch on the backpack, scabbards for a couple of athames. Or daggers, if you'd prefer."

Davril kicked his legs over the side expecting more pain, but the tea had done its job. He examined the pack, the finest he'd ever owned.

His spellbook was in there, and a new cloak, and other useful items, including rations and a waterskin.

The Drow... He corrected himself. Selsdrin got up and shuffled, hunched under the low ceiling, to bring the carefully constructed clothing closer.

"I will leave now so you may dress in privacy."

Davril reached out with one hand. "Wait. Why?"

Selsdrin Everhar lifted his hood so that he disappeared into the shadows it made.

"I told you. You are a part of my team. You passed selection. I have need of you. Continue to be useful, and I may continue to have need of you. Otherwise, there are other uses for humans who can't pull their own weight."

The teeth glowed hungrily for a moment from reflected light. Then the Drow turned and left him alone.

He finished the beer and found himself wishing for more even after he'd dressed and readied himself. There was an ebony staff laying between the backpack and cot. It was battered and well used, but there were runes. He'd seen runes like that before.

One late night, when Master had finished his lessons and cantrips were all spent, he'd brought out ancient books, pages of a rare silk, and stroked the ragged scar that bisected his white beard. Those stories were whispered horrors of the Underdark. Master drank then. Drank and cried and drank until he fell asleep in his chair by the fire.

Davril had tucked the quilt around the wise old man, cleaned up the books and whiskey bottles, and carried them both to bed. Master in the feather bed, and him on the floor at its foot.
"Great Marine commanders, like all great warriors, are able to kill that which they love most - their men."
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