Title: Luke’s Quarters on the Golden Dragon
RP Thread Number: 15
When Occured: Between Sessions #12 “Rituals and Sailing Misadventures” and #13 “Island of the Gods”
Location: The Golden Dragon
Out of Game Date: Sep 20 to Sep 29 2018
Participants: Rabbit, Keyleth, Luke
Original Thread: http://silkandspices.freeforums.net/thread/190/luke-quarters-on-golden-dragon
Previous Thread: The Golden Dragon Key and Art’s Cabin (09/16/18 – 9/21/18)
Next Thread: An Inn at Port Said (10/01/18 – 10/06/18)
Rabbit walks up to Luke’s quarter’s door. She stops for a few moments, catching her breath, and counting her meditation beads with her left hand
She knocks loudly on the door, taking a short breath again as she announces her presence. ”Luke are you up and awake. Te’teh said you need an audience to tell your newly transcribed cat stories to.”
Rabbit stands at a relaxed attention waiting to hear if there is a response.
Luke makes a confused face, but since he trusts Te’Teh something must be afoot. He dresses and calls out, “Ah, yes. If you would come in. Let me get dressed here.”
He quickly grabs his prayer book and puts an appropriate expression on his face.
Rabbit steps into the room tentatively. She turns to Luke, a small smile under her hair spilling forward, getting a little long. “I am sorry to bother you Luke. Te’teh told me I should come find you.”
She looks uncomfortable as she continued, “I was performing a tracking ritual on the demon blood, and definitely felt it without my tattoos. Then things got a little blurry and Te’Teh was interrupting me following Artherien and Key back to their room. Teh’teh seemed concerned over me, so now here I am. Sorry if I am interrupting you.”
She looks down at her feet.
Luke looks at Tabbit for several seconds as he digests the information. He then sighs. “I see. I think I understand” Luke starts.
“Sobhan gave us your contract. He said the you would be unduly influenced by us because of that. Mostly he was hoping we could free you from Lolth’s priestesses, with the Sekhmetbritual that was performed.”
He smiles tentatively and adds, “You should not sleep with anyone in the party until we sort this out to make sure that you are not accidentally being coerced into it. Te’Teh was probably worried for you.”
He waits to let the information sink in for Rabbit.
Rabbit seems to perk up a bit, the smile reaching her eyes.. “That makes sense, I could hear Te’teh scolding Artherien about something. Can she often swing so quickly from outlaw teen to that mother voice? It was kind of scary for a moment.”
She shrugs and shifts slightly, her smile growing brighter. “It wouldn’t be the first time I woke up in an uncomfortable situation. Although you are right, I have no interest Artherien and Key that way, especially Glorion.”
She makes a face like she ate a lemon at the idea of sleeping with the young high elf. She then looks around Luke’s quarters curiously then back to the tiefling. “What are you doing? I could probably tell you how the contract document works for future reference.”
She seems unsure if she is welcome to sit near him or if she should leave.
Luke nods and says, “Yes, Te’Teh definitely can swing that way. We were brought up a bit rougher than most, so that gives her an eye for what control might look like over a sentient being.” Luke relaxes when he hears that nothing happened, and Te’Teh had stepped in quickly.
“Although the idea of being a devil with contracts is an attractive option, I’m not sure it would hold my interest for too long. I personally don’t like holding your contract. I understand why you submitted to it, but I’m hoping we can destroy it quickly enough when we sort out this whole Lolth tattoo thing. Run of the mill curse breaking only goes so far, but either we get your heart back, or find a bigger curse breaking item or ritual. Either way,” Luke smiles.
He pats the spot next to him encouragingly.
Rabbit’s eyes light up at the invitation, and she sits quickly before he can change his mind. She turns and looks up at him again, their height difference apparent at this angle. “Damn, is your father a demon giant? You big tree.”
She gives him a large smile and lightly pushes on him. She seems to realize she is probably being too invasive and puts her hands back in her own lap. There is a difference though with that contract. I trust you to hold it. If its necessary it is good to have. I can show you how to ward it so it has no effect on me unless you break the ward. Would you like that?.”
She watches him, waiting for an answer.
Luke laughs, and says, “I’ve never seen my father, but in all fairness, I think I’ve seen taller Dwarves that have you on height.” He then laughs at his own joke
He takes on a more serious tone, “I have made certain the contract is safe, and cannot be passed on to anyone else. I would like to know more on how it works. I still won’t approve of it, though,”n
Rabbit’s face erupts into mock shock and hurt, then the smile returns. “Only some dwarves are taller than me!!! I don’t blame you for not liking them. They are… uncomfortable to say the least. At least when they are hooked up to you.”
She shrugs at that, and rubs at her wrists in a subconscious motion. She then makes a motion with her hand to see it. “I will show you how to work it. I can even show you how to lock it to you, in case you are worried others here might do stupid things with it. Show me the contract… unless you are worried about me touching it?.”
She chuckles at her bad joke.
Luke shakes his head, “Nope. The contract is not here. I was not going to risk it. What if we died, or were captured. Only Sobhan knows where I have it. I have contingencies in case of my death, that it goes back to Sobhan. I felt to bring it with us would court disaster for you.” He smiles, but doesn’t offer Rabbit any further information on where the contract is.
Rabbit watches Luke blankly for a minute, processing. Then she rolls her eyes. “You have it back home? Did he not show you how it works? You can call the contract to you anytime by saying my name and willing it. You are the proper owner, it will come to you. It also will go back on your command. Sobhan pays the big bucks for his contracts, he never would want to be without the ability to call it to him at any time.”
She gives him a big smile. “Like I said, I can set the contract up so it will only work for you. Just call my name, and will it.”
She slowly pronounces her name to Luke, seemingly practiced with teaching non-drow at least her name. “Riia’Triss’ylene Arab’und, just think of me in the strongest image you can and tell the contract to come to you.”
Luke smiles, and says, “Why don’t we table that for later. It will be there when we get home, and as I said, if I die it will go to Sobhan again, so you aren’t in any danger.”
He then pulls out his prayer book, and starts reading a parable about a cat and her kittens from his book.
Rabbit smiles at Luke and she uses her small hands to smooth out a spot on the shoulder of Luke’s clothing. She then rests her body against him, her head resting on his shoulder (or at least upper arm). “Ok you big Lorug, I wouldn’t object to you reading out loud what your mouthing over your book.”
She closes her eyes and just breaths a sigh of relief.
/lorug – drow for tree
Key fidgets outside Lukes door before knocking, her map and pens in her hand. She waits quietly for a response.
“I am more than happy to reed it out loud, if you can stand more about cats,” Luke says with a smile. He then pauses when he hears the knock on the door. “Come in?” he saids.
Rabbit smiles up at Luke,”I am more than happy to listen to cats. I am starting to grow fond of the situation.”
Rabbit lays there, on Luke’s arm. She sighs heavily at the knock, rolls her face into Luke’s shoulder and swears in drow for a few moments. She then breaths in deeply against Luke and rolls back facing out..“By all means come on in.”
She rolls her eyes quickly, stopping before the door opens.
Key opens the door and sticks her head in first followed by the rest of her body. She closes the door quietly behind her. “I owe Rabbit an apology.”
She turns to Rabbit. “Im sorry, I wasn’t thinking about anyone but myself. I didn’t realize what the contract would make you do.”
She looks around abruptly realizing what she just did. “I did it again. Im sorry. Do you mind if I sit near the door and listen to your stories Luke?”
Luke smiles, “If you want. I am always willing to tell some stories.” He looks bemused as his room has not become very popular.
Rabbit pats the floor next to her as she stretches against Luke. ”You did nothing against my will. I was doing what I liked.”
She frowns slightly though, as if thinking of something. “However, the Artherien thing wasn’t me. I don’t blame him for anything, and that didn’t even hit more than a hard night of partying, however I definitely want nothing to do with him. You are definitely welcome here by me! ”
She pats the floor in beside herself exhibiting a large smile.
Key relaxes and settles down next to Rabbit. “You are like a sister to me you know.” She pats Lukes leg.
“And I couldn’t do without you either.” She smiles ip at the two. “These are stories that you wrote Luke?” She settles in and waits for Luke to begin.
“I don’t really write them. I just collect Sehkmetian parables. There re actual church doctrine and teachings to a degree, but it’s the stories I always liked best,” Luke explains.
He then settles, and starts reading.
Once there was an ugly cat. She used to come around the temple, and the cleric notice she was severely injured. He tried to help, but the cat would always run away. The cleric continued to set out food for her, and after a season the cat fattened up, and they had an uneasy friendship as long as the cleric didn’t get too close.
Eventually, the cleric learned she wasn’t fat after she left two kittens on his doorstep. Although she herself didn’t want help, she trusted the cleric enough to leave her kittens with him.
Not everyone wants help, but it should always be freely given so that when they are in need, they know where to get help.
He smiles as he finishes.
Rabbit listens to Luke’s parable, the side of her head comfortable on his shoulder. As he talks about the cat and she just smiles up at him, intent.
”You would do really well in taverns, as a storyteller. Are these the stories you tell the kids?.”
She pats Key behind her reassuringly at the sister comment.
Key sighs. “That was lovely. You would be a great story teller Luke. Maybe you missed your calling.”
She closes her eyes and stretches out her legs. She laces her fingers together and layes them on her chest ready to take in the next story.
Luke smiles with a hint of shyness, “Yes. I tell these stories to children and also drunks. It works really well with drunks.” He laughs.
“What stories do you two know?” he asks.
Out of game note that I had to share. The cat story is an honest to god parable told by a Christian priest. The story is the same, but his conclusion was more that people come to ask the church for help, and those requests multiply as a warning against helping others. I didn’t think Luke would have gotten that out of it, and changed the conclusion.
Rabbit looks down at the floor for a moment thinking, debating if she should tell a story. She then looks up at Luke, over to Key and then back to Luke.
”Missy would tell me stories when I was young. He even tried to tell me stories when I was an adult, but I had stopped listening.”
She looks down at her hands, a sad look momentarily passing by and begins to speak.
“This story is about how the drow recovered the stories that were lost to them when we were betrayed. How Abigail Orbb gave them back to us.”
She looks over at Key, her expression hard to read as Rabbit thinks.
“Once a long time ago, all stories had been stripped from the drow. We were betrayed and cast out from our place as spouse to Corellon, they stole our stories, our history and our love. This is how we got our stories back.
Abigail Orbb was the smartest of the spiders living in the under dark. She cared for our people when we were sick, alone and cold. When our goddess Lolth had been locked away from us, Abigail fed us, gave us silk for clothing and taught us to live in the Underdark.
She watched us for years, and noticed we did not behave like the other humanoid races. We did not tell stories, or our histories, or even who we might have loved. She cared for us and decided she would get our stories for us first. After all, how can you fall in love, or remember your history if you can’t even tell a story.”
Rabbit stops talking, looks at the two for feedback, curious if she should continue.
Key smiles encouragingly at Rabbit. She pats her leg, giving it a little squeeze, then lets go.
“Please, I would like to hear the rest. Im sure Luke would too.” She looks over her shoulder at Luke, then back at Rabbit. She nods her head and waits for her to continue.
“Please, I have never hear this story before,” Luke says with a soft smile.
Rabbit’s eyes light up and she continues telling her story. Her voice becomes slightly more musical as she talks.
”Where did I leave you? Oh thats right, Abigail was going to get our stories back.”
She has a very large smile as she continues on.
“Abigail went to the surface and visited Labelas Enoreth, the elven god of time, history and knowledge. She begged from him the price of buying drow their stories.
Labelas laughed at her, at the silliness of thinking the drow would ever do anything but suffer. She continued to watch as he laughed, and as he finished his laughing he saw that she was still serious. She hadn’t moved an inch.
He didn’t understand why she cared about the drow, but this was something curious for him. He also had some things he needed and he stated “If you bring me back these four items, I will grant you that which I have not granted my children of light, or the blessed. I will give you back the stories for the drow.”
Abigail said, “What is the price of the stories?”
Labelas responded, “They cannot be bought for anything except Wagyl the rainbow serpent, Aju the White Tiger, Knissen the fairy, and Austeja the goddess of bees.”
Abigail responded by saying “I will bring some of all of these.”
The sky god said, “Go and bring them then!”
Abigail set about capturing these. First she went to where Wagyl lived and debated out loud whether Wagyl was really longer than the downed tree outside Wagyl’s home or not. She joked how Wagyl’s wife had been saying how he was short and lacking in length.
Wagyl overheard and approached angrily, when Abigail explained the debate, agreed to lie along the downed tree. Because he cannot easily make himself completely straight a true impression of his actual length is difficult to obtain, so Wagyl agreed to be tied to the branch. When he was completely tied, Abigail took him back to Labelas.”
Rabbit stops, smiles and asks.
“Shall I keep going?”
Key grabs her arm and shakes her playfully. “Yes!”
She drops her arm and smiles. “Your just trying to build suspense arn’t You?” She winks and settles back down next to her to listen.
“Yes! This is a great story,” Luke says.
Rabbit leans over, picks up Luke’s drink and takes a sip of it, watching him intently as she puts it down.
”Sorry, I needed something for my voice.”
She gives off an innocent smile as she turns back to facing both of them.
“To catch the Aju the White Tiger, Abigail dug a deep hole in the ground, near his hunting area. When the tiger fell in the hole Abigail offered to help him out with her webs. Once the tiger was out of the hole he was bound in Abigail’s webs and was carried away.
To catch Austeja, Abigail filled a pumpkin with water and poured some over a a tree branch she held over her head and some over Austeja’s nest, calling out that it was raining. Austeja came out afraid her nest was flooding and the rain might wash away herself and her children. Abigail suggested the bees get into the empty pumpkin she was carrying, and when they obliged, she quickly sealed the opening.
To catch the fairy she made a doll and covered it with her webbing. She placed the doll under the Tree of Life where the fairies play and put some candy in a bowl in front of it. When the fairy came and ate the candy she thanked the doll which of course did not reply. Annoyed at its bad manners she struck it, first with one hand then the other. The hands stuck in Abigail’s webbing and Abigail captured her.
Abigail handed his captives over to Labelas. The latter said, “Abigail, from today and going on forever, I present my stories to you! No more shall we call the stories that belong to the drow, the stories of Labelas Enoreth, but we shall call them the spider stories!”
After receiving the stories she returned to our homeland and presented to the drow the ability for stories, starting our slow return to our rightful places.”
Rabbit stops, and gives both of them a big smile.
Key elbows Rabbit playfully. “That was a good story. You should write them down. If you do I could take a copy back to the monastery. We have a library there and it would be a great addition.”
“Nicely done, Rabbit. Nicely done,” Luke said. “I often think it’s the folk stories that really tell a people’s character. Official doctrine is often political.”
Rabbit beams at her two friends. ”Just to be clear, this is not official drow doctrine. It was taught to me by Missy.”
She gives off an innocent smile as she turns back to facing both of them. “He traveled around the world a lot through the underground rivers. He liked to make friends with locals on the surface as well as in the underdark. That is why he never became a higher rank, my mother hated that he would side with non-drow on small issues. He met a lot of native people in those lands and I think he wanted to distract me from what my mother and the others were teaching me.”
She shrugs. “Don’t get me wrong. When he was told to put someone down he did. That would be an act of a traitor to not do as his queen commanded. However, he seemed to always not be able to catch those that he knew personally.”
Luke says gently, “Can I ask you if Missy was your father? I saw some things during the ritual, and it seemed that way to me, but I don’t know.” Luke lapses into silence waiting.
Key smiles. “That doesn’t matter, it’s a story from your people. Sanctioned or not it would be a welcome addition to the library.”
She pauses, listening to Luke. Then turns to face Rabbit, intrested in her answer.
A wistful look crosses Rabbit’s face. ”I wish he was. Who knows maybe he is. He was my mother’s consort around my birth. Then again mom had 9 consorts at that time, and an unlimited number of lovers. I had always hoped there would be a small chance of that. Unfortunately my understanding is that my mother only lets outlanders have children with her.”
She looks at Luke and smiles at him and continues, realizing she needed to clarify. “An outlander is usually a summoned creature. My mother likes to summon things from Lolth’s court. She says that reinforces her favor. The odds are its an outlander, but Missy always told me he would be my stepfather. He left my mother shortly after my birth. No one knows what the argument was over. The weird thing is she didn’t just kill him. Normally once she is done with a boy, she wraps up all loose ends.”
Rabbit chuckles at a private joke “I guess that does takes care of drama. But no one ever heard why she kept him around, and especially why she let him near me. She always claimed she didn’t want to babysit me and that was all he was good for. Even so, it seemed off.”
Luke squints his eyes, and says, “Or, he was your father, and he is more practiced in court politics than you knew. Maybe he didn’t want to be a part of your mothers circle, and not the other way around. You can’t tell me Drows men haven’t figured out how to deal with the matriarchy in their own way all these years.” He smiles.
Key leans over and rests her head on Rabbits shoulder.
“Either way, he was your father in all the ways that mattered. Im sure it doesn’t in any way put your mind at ease on the matter. It’s clear to see where you got your sence of justice and empathy from.”
She sits up again and smiles at her friend.
Rabbit seems to be thinking as Luke talks to her. A surprised look as if a thought came to her. ”Usstan tlun biu mal’ai… I am an idiot, all of us are.”
She looks up at Luke. “Missy used to talk about the ‘pigeons talking’ and the drama that would ensue. He was talking about the boys in the court. Don’t get me wrong, we know they have their own politics, sometimes if they made a misstep in front of one of us it could be fatal, but it is there.”
Rabbit nods to herself, a small bit of excitement in her eyes. “He had to have something over my mother. There is no way she would let things like what he did pass from others. I just assumed maybe she still cared about him, but she never slept with him after my birth that I know of. Maybe he was my father…”
A look of sadness crosses her eyes as she turns to Keyleth. She quickly crushes those feelings and smiles, almost as if the sadness was never there. “Do you have any cool limericks you were taught when escorting merchants?”
Luke asks, “Did Missy die above ground?” He disregards the limerick request. “I saw so many jumbled flashes in that ritual. I hope I’m not prying too much.”
Key raises an eyebrow at Rabbit. She glances over her shoulder at Luke, then her gaze settles back on Rabbit.
“I thought that felt like a deflection. Not quite as good as the last one, which by the way you still owe me the answer to. So now it looks as though you need to answer two questions. And in case you need a reminder, you said something to me in drow for which I asked you to translate.”
She crosses her arms over her chest a soft reassuring and playful smile on her lips.
Rabbit stops for a moment when Luke asks the question. A strange similarity between her and her namesake animal. She turns to Key first, a wicked smile as she seems to be gathering time to answer Luke.
”I thought I was pretty clear sister, you will know what I said after you have figured out how to speak my language. I will even tell it to you again then. However, we need some sort of encouragement for you to learn the proper form of elvish… xuat udos – that means don’t we?”
She gets a confident smile that only flickers slightly when she turns back to Luke.
“Missy died above ground. His entourage was attacked by elves far out of the Underdark. By the time reinforcements got to him they only found parts of bodies. The elves had taken trophies and other creatures had gotten there first and fed. There was nothing left to identify anyone.”
Rabbit touches her chest subconsciously, above the gem.
“The ruby is something I found when I was a child. I had it for years, I originally was going to give it to my mother, but Missy had me keep it. He made me keep it with me most of my childhood. When I got older he was being transferred to another outpost and I gave it to him, up until that point he was the only person that didn’t hurt me, he loved me.”
She takes a deep breath.
“They found the ruby in the pocket of one of the remains. He wouldn’t have allowed anyone else to touch it or hold it, so it had to be him. His sword belt and insignia were still on the body. It was sent back to my mother and she gave it to me. She said so I could remember, but she did it to make me upset. Eventually when I got back from a particularly lavish assault on an elven settlement I found myself missing him a lot. So in a drugged fueled stupor I had one of my handmaiden sisters put it under my flesh, so I could be as close to him as I could.”
She just looks at Luke, a little lost.
Luke smiles kindly, and says, “I’m sorry for being intrusive. If you want, I can read you another story?” He smiles at Key as he asks.
Key rolls her eyes playfully at Rabbit. “If you would start lessons, Im more than anxious to learn.”
She huffs out a breath in thought. “The whole scenario with your step father seems a bit to convient. Have you thought that it might have been staged?”
She shakes her head as if to reset her thought processes. She looks to Luke. “Another story would be wonderful.”
Rabbit smiles at Luke ”You are not being intrusive at all. Thank you for caring.”
She turns to Key “Until just a little while ago I would have told you that it isn’t convenient, but I don’t know now.”
Rabbit shifts herself against Luke, lays her head against his shoulder, making herself comfortable. “I would love if you told me more stories Lorug…”
Luke smiles and settles in, and flips through a few pages before he starts reading.
A man came upon two wealthy servants at the side of a river. They were in the process of tossing in The Ladies unwanted kittens., as she only wanted on cat in the manor house. The servants were distraught, and while not wanting to disobey their mistress, could not drown more than two of the five kittens, as the mother cat cried in distress. The man offered to take the kittens for the servants, instead. The servants were so relieved, they readily agreed.
As the man left with the kittens, the mother cat while mournful, padded along with him, purring and rubbing on his leg. She seemed aware of his intervention.
The next week, the man held an event at his manor. The cat’s old mistress was to attend.
As he entertained his guests, the mother cat came into the room carrying a nearly dead fat rat. The mother cat ignored her former mistress, and as if to deepen the snub, laid the fat rat at the feet of the man.
-Always return to those that do right by you.
He smiles at the women when he’s done.
Key smiles. “I like that one. I can think of a few people that Ive come across that would benefit from that lesson.” She stands and stretches. She settles herself down with her back to the door so that she can look at both of her companions at once.
Rabbit just relaxes even more against Luke’s shoulder, closing her eyes as she listens to Luke’s deep voice. It is visible as the anxiety and stress of the ritual and talking about her family seems to dissipate. She almost drifts asleep against him, probably the most unguarded either Key or Luke have seen her. The only sign she is listening is her head cocking as his tone shifts the story.
One eye opens up when he finishes. ”You tell really good stories, you ever thought about being a bard? You would be sought after. I know court bards who aren’t as good as you and command a king’s ransom in pay. The courts seek them out.”
Her one open eye glances at his holy symbol, a small smile comes to her lips.
“I guess you already got picked up by a patron.”
Luke laughs, and says, “You are biased. I do not have the skills it takes to keep an audience. I just talk a bit fast and smooth from my time being homeless. People skills help with survival.”
He looks at Key, “I like that one too. It’s always good to remember who is your ally and who is your enemy in life. We all get them. Sometimes I see people keep loyal to a person that has nothing but their destruction in mind. There’s no reason for that.”
Key smiles at Luke and nods at his response to her statement. “Seems to me you have the hardest parts down. The rest is just a bit of florish.”
She winks at Luke and waits for another story.
Rabbit watches Key with her one eye that is open. “I have never asked, do your people encourage you to sing, tell stories or dance? It is frowned by my people, especially anyone in the noble lines as a waste of time unless it’s to worship her Darkness, or sex.”
Rabbit’s eye drifts its gaze back up at Luke, she is obviously trying to not move because she is comfortable. Her smile gets bigger. ”You ever sing? I love singing, and you would have a really good deep voice for it. Like I said though, mother hated singing, dancing or stories, probably why she hated Missy teaching me those things.”
Key chuckles. “If you had the talent for those things then you were encouraged to pursue them. I have zero talent in that direction. The only dancing I do is with a sword in my hand.”
Key stands abruptly and dusts off her pants. “Thank you Luke, for the stories. I think I should go check on sleeping beauty.” She throws a thumb over her shoulder in the direction of her cabin. “And I need to meditate for a while before we set foot on that island again.”
She smiles and exits, closing the door quietly behind her.
Rabbit’s one open eye watches as Key leaves, giving her friend a smile. Once key is gone Rabbit just closes her eyes, making herself comfortable on Luke as she listens to him.
Luke smiles as Key goes, and reads Rabbit another story as she falls asleep.
THREAD CLOSED DUE TO GAME