Edgar’s feet moved swiftly into the confines of the small manor. With the moonlight providing a welcoming glow to rooms ahead of him, Edgar took a moment to stare into the darkness until his eyes adjusted. A few paintings of individuals lined the walls, no one of notable interest to the small man as he made his way into the living room.
The living room was not as impressive, a large couch, a grand piano, fireplace, and a painting of a nobleman hanging and overseeing the room. “Well aren’t you something…” Edgar muttered under his breath as he stared at the painting. It was one of those eerie paintings where it felt like the gaze of the man was following the halfling wherever he went… but it didn’t bother him. What bothered Edgar were the two obsidian pieces that made the blacks of the painting’s eyes.
Who would go as far as to place two solid pieces into such a work of art? Surely the painter thought it was a statement to make his piece unique: To Edgar, it didn’t seem to do the painting justice. The halfling wasn’t raised to appreciate art, but he knew when a art piece was pushing its luck. It was up to him to make right, this artistic folly. As his hand grasped the fireplace’s shelf and hoisted himself up, he removed his dagger and got to work.
“Hello…?” A woman’s voice was muffled from upstairs, the floorboards now creaking as one of the guests of the manor began to stir. The woman put on her robe and opened her bedroom door. Glancing from left to right, she saw nothing and made her way downstairs. No one was present it seemed, and she made her way to the front door. Checked it, and found that it was still locked. With a slight shrug, the woman retired back to bed.
Edgar smiled toothily as he tossed the two obsidian pieces into the air and skillfully caught them in his cloak’s pocket. The halfling making his way back to the barn to rest for the night.
The crack of dawn was already busy as the wedding party had set up. Bartleby stirred for a brief moment as he remained comfortable in the hay and cot. It was nice to have a place to sleep that wasn’t a bush or a wooden floor. Regretfully the chirping birds were not the ones to wake him up, but the loud scream of a man from outside the barn.
The halfling sat up quickly, his eyes wide and darting across the room. His companions sitting up in a shocked state. “The hell was that…?” Bartleby threw the covers off his body and ran up to the barn door where he tilted his head to try to see through the crack. Abbadon came up from behind and took a peek as well but seemed to mutter a curse.
The wedding party had been busy, well rested and with celebrations underway. Lying tied down to a table in front of the barn was a man, mouth open and eyes rolled back. His life gave away as he drowned in his own blood, and standing over him was Silvy with a dagger in her hand. The little girl continued to thrust the dagger into the body, sticking the man like a pincushion as the crowd murmured something and cheered as the girl let out a cry of delight.
“Praise the Goddess Lolth… for she watches over us and grants us all a new beginning.” Uncle Ben stood at the upper balcony of the manor. Standing beside him was Peter and a drow woman as they held hands. The two wore wedding garments, and it seemed their vows had been exchanged, the look of joy in their eyes as they embraced each other once more and exchanged a passionate kiss.
There was a silence from Ben, until he raised his hands to those who were watching. “Let these sacrifices commemorate this beautiful union.” His words changed however, and he began to speak undercommon as if he had known the words all his life.
Silvy smiled as she looked down at the dead body in front of her and tucked the knife away. Her mother then walked up to the little girl and lit a torch, handing it carefully to her daughter while whispering something with a reassuring smile. With a small hop, the little girl eyed the barn and began to make her way to set the building aflame.
Abbadon’s head jerked back from the crack and placed his hands on the barn door and gave it a push. The doors jerked briefly but something had stopped it from opening. The large man looked back and forth at his companions, Bartleby already backing away from the door.
“I think we helped the bad guys.” Otar sighed as he looked over to Edgar who was already looking around for a way out.
“Fuck this.” Abbadon unsheathed his falchion and brought the blade down against the barn door with a hard crack.
From outside, Silvy stopped for a moment as she watched the door jerk forward. Soon enough another strike was made against the barn door and the front splintered open. The doors were too strong however, and the tools used to barricade it held firmly. The hole was not all that big, however it was enough for Celean. The woman’s hand reached out and she maneuvered her head through the opening. Her shoulder relaxed as she dislocated her shoulder and then slipped all the way through.
“Don’t let them escape!” Peter cried out as he held onto his wife’s hand.
Silvy and the other wedding attendants began to rush the barn as Celean popped her arm back into its socket. Without a moment’s notice, the woman in red quickly turned around and pulled away the tools that held the door in place. As Silvy threw the torch at the base of the barn, the base immediately burst into flames. It was too late however, and the barn doors burst open.
An enlarged Silvy was one thing to fear, however an enlarged Abaddon was another.
The minstrel who tended to the wedding party charged at Celean, brandishing an axe. With a few slashes directed towards the woman, she hit nothing but air. Celean’s body jerked back to a wagon posted by the barn as she lept atop it. the minstrel continued her attack, hacking at her target but is parried with each swing she attempted. Soon enough the woman grew tired from her rage and looked up. The last thing she saw was Celean’s fist as it seemed insistent on making her acquaintance.
It seemed like a neat trick, really. Edgar had watched Celean pop her shoulder and slid into the hole with a great deal of grace. It couldn’t have been that hard, could it?
As the barn door burst open, Edgar’s arm popped back into place as he grit his teeth and kept his tears held back. “Ow.. just… Ah!” Several men and woman rushed towards the barn as the halfling pulled out his dagger and rushed out to join the fray. As hands groped for him, he felt a few blows aimed towards his direction but he reacted just in time.
Bartleby’s fingers strummed his lute as he finished the final chord, the halfling’s hand quickly stowing away his instrument and pulling out his crossbow. Firing into the crowd as it rushed him and his companions, a single figure seemed to come running towards him.
A dagger pierced the air as the bard took a step back, dodging Silvy’s thrust. There was little hesitation in the halfling’s movements as he pulled out his own dagger and slashed at the girl’s throat. The little girl dropped her weapon as she brought her hands up to her neck, fell to her knees, then collapsed.
Otar took a moment to catch his breath as he scanned the area. As he eyed Ben and Peter duck into the manor, he watched the drow woman’s hands and eyes glow. “Shit- Get down!”
A piercing bolt of energy broke into the sky from the drow’s fingertips as it came crashing into Abbadon’s chest. With a loud grunt, the barbarian began to press forward but was immediately attacked by the other wedding patrons.
The blows they delivered were anything but deadly, but as they continued to pound into him, he could feel his knees buckling. Despite his size, Abbadon was just a bigger target. As he cut down one individual and then another, the drow’s attacks continued and he felt magic beat into him repeatedly. For a moment, the large man’s attention shot to Celean, and another missile of magic struck him. His vision began to fade, and he was thrown back… “Celean… there’s a potion on my belt, you can use it on me…” And there, the towering juggernaut fell unconscious.
“That has got to be one of the most impressive way I’ve seen anyone fall.” Otar mused to himself with a sagely nod. There wasn’t enough time for additional observations however, and he chanted a few words before throwing a spell at the drow woman. She was far off, but he struck true as she reeled back in pain. Celean however, gave the now fallen Abaddon a puzzled looked and sighed as she jumped down from the wagon and rushed up to him. There was a vial that contained a blue fluid she was familiar with. A potion of cure light wounds.
It didn’t take much for her to quickly snatch the potion from her companion’s belt and begin pouring it into his mouth, but a pair of footsteps could be heard coming at her from behind. As soon as Celean finished administering the potion, she brought herself up to her feet and watched the cooks Buck and Chuck, brandishing butcher knives and sadistic smiles charge her.
The two cooks stopped in their tracks as a crossbow bolt shot across them. Chuck looked up to see Bartleby’s arm outstretched with crossbow in hand. The halfling stowed it away before unsheathing his blade once more. Edgar smiled as he tossed his dagger up and down skillfully as he eyed Buck in turn.
“As it should be, little people against little people.” Otar commented as he rushed past the four and towards the manor, Celean following suit.
Abaddon came to, his fingers digging into the grass as he pushed himself up. The drow woman was now directing her fire at Otar and Celean as they rushed the manor. The two halflings, Edgar and Bartleby had made short work of the two cooks, and pushed past them and made their own run for the manor. As the barbarian narrowed his eyes, he watched the drow woman with a surge of anger… and started running forward in turn.
Ben reappeared at the balcony with crossbow in hand. There, he and the drow woman began to fire from afar at the advancing party. Otar and Bartleby ducked behind a few tables and chairs, moving forward as slowly as possible. Edgar having fallen behind and taking cover behind a table. Celean however had dodged a few crossbow bolts and reached the door to the manor. As soon as she reached the door, she burst through it and into the building.
Abaddon pressed forward as the drow’s attention shot back and forth at those attacking and the large man on the approach. She was running out of spells however, and she had switched to throwing balls of acid at her attackers.
Bartleby patted Otar on the back as he readied his crossbow once again. “I’m going to get Spider and get things ready!” The wizard called out before ducking and running back towards the barn. Holding his breath for a moment, the bard turned onto his feet once more and began running forward. He brought up his crossbow and brought the drow woman into his sites and pulled the trigger and… nothing happened. “What the-” The halfling dove into the cover of several chairs as acid splashed behind him. Looking down at his weapon, the halfling started to his the crossbow as it seemed to stop functioning then… fired off into the air.
Edgar pulled out some rope and began tying it to his grappling hook as he took a peek at the action. It was an odd show however. He watched Bartleby attempt to fire at the pair on the balcony… then dive for cover. He watched the halfling hit his crossbow, then missfire into the air. He then went “Huh” as the crossbow bolt sailed into the sky… and came directly down into Ben’s head from above. The old man’s arms went limp, and then fell over dead. In shock, the drow woman quickly screamed out “You’re ruining everything!” At the top of her lungs and ran into the manor. Abaddon however had finally reached the building and ducked in.
Celean’s burst into the manor just in time for Peter’s fist to come down across her face. As she toppled back and rolled onto her feet, she looked up as the groom’s fist clenched. As the two leapt at each other, Celean and Peter exchanged blows and blocks, both equally matched. A good strike comes across Celean’s face once more causing her to topple back. As she spat out some blood, she noticed something at the corner of her eye. With a smug smirk directed towards Peter, he was then taken off guard as he heard his wife scream out “You’re ruining everything!”
Abaddon squeezed through the front door suddenly and brought his falchion down into Peter’s midsection, cutting through his gut and throwing the groom into the wall. The second floor’s boards creaked as the bride made her way to the stairwell where she saw Celean and Abaddon. The drow woman’s attention then jerked towards the balcony as she saw a grappling hook latch onto the edge.
“Dammit… dammit all…” The drow muttered to herself. With what spells she had left, her hands glowed and she began to throw balls of acid at the two below. Abaddon ducked for cover as Celean hid behind a dressed. She then watched Bartleby run into the foyer, firing a crossbow bolt at her direction. Ducking down and avoiding the shots by pulling away, the woman clenched her teeth. “I will kill you!” With hands glowing green, the bride whipped her body up to attack those below… but it was too late. Celean was already in range.
It took less than a second. Celean’s fists punched through the banister’s posts and through the drow’s kneecaps. As the woman collapsed to the floor, her body shook for a moment before her eyes rolled back and the drow’s body toppled over.
Edgar finished climbing to the top of the manor and whistled as he watched the others begin to calm themselves. Regretting he had missed the killing blow on the bride, the halfing made his way back to the balcony where he saw Otar riding a wagon pulled by Spider. There, the wizard seemed to think out loud.
“Did you guys notice that ever since we got our freedom, we’ve killed everyone we’ve run into?”
As the others exited the manor and looked up at Otar, they seemed to grow silent and look about awkwardly.