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- ~ Lair Of The Naga ~
- This was the first mission from the guild I have ever accepted in the year and a half I had shown up to its doorstep homeless, hungry, and begging to join it. I’ve spent my entire time as a member of it meditating. Meditating on my abilities, meditating on strengthening my psychic abilities, And last but certainly not least, meditating in front of an altar to the dark goddess that had chosen me.
- I wanted to understand her reasoning for selecting me, for he curses she endowed me with, “Gifts” and “Treasures” she called them. They were powerful, but like anything that makes you stronger, they came at a price.
- I was raised to be a healer, I lived my entire life inside a temple of priest, priestess and monks who dedicated their lives and souls to ceasing pain in those who ached, feeding those who hungered, and Guiding those whose spirits were void of faith in the gods. Do not expect to find my name anywhere on a roster of those who served the temple, they stripped me from everything they had, all evidence I was once their child had been erased for fear I might taint their reputation.
- Yet I couldn’t be farther from what the temple raised me to be, and not by my own ambitions. Despite my rebellious and selfish nature, I at one point had aspired to be a master cleric of the holy faith and be a healer for legends. Though that dream was stolen from me on a faithful day I may retell to you if I deem it necessary. But those are stories for another day, perhaps. Today we focus on my first encounter with a devastating monster, and my first fight I have ever been apart of.
- Visions race in my mind as we proceeded through the cave entrance. Visions of Fangs, Blood, Fear. Shaking my head of these foul images, We pressed forward. Voices of the passed on seeped into my ears, Screaming “Turn Back!” And things like “The poison burned my veins and melted my flesh, Beware! Flee!”
- Such things are not uncommon to me, I tend to have these visions and The voices of the dead echo into even my dreams. Some call me a Seer, others call me a witch. Call me what you will but know this, If I could be rid of this “Gift” I would do so. I would carve the eyes from my sockets and donate all my blood to the goddess If she would free me from the psychic prison she trapped me in.
- “What’s on your mind, Witch?” A barbaric Half-Orc would ask me. He stood nearly 7 feet tall, quite imposing one would say, if not for the the sole fact he wore hair in the form of a mullet. Laughable at best. “The voices, they warn of Poison capable of melting Skin from bone. If you value your lives, Keep your distance.” I said, my soft voice carrying down the tunnel we were trekking through.
- The party I was currently traveling was made up Of a couple of rag-tag want-to-be adventurers, Most wearing basic leather armor and wielding near primitive weapons, Our so called “Fighter” held what he called a “Club.” It was just a stick with nails hammered through the sides.
- I could tell you of all the small, insignificant battles we fought on our way to the “Boss” of this lair in great detail, but I’ll spare you the Monotony of it. They were your average lowly beast-kin that served greater monsters in promise of food and safety. Goblins, Wolves, And even my fellow Kobold-kin who’ve yet to evolve into something greater than mindless beast. Killing them was like killing any other creature, I felt no remorse or sadness at the loss of their life, they sealed their fate when they raised their weapons in an act of aggression towards me. But, like I said, they were your typical Canon-Fodder.
- This “quest” was considered a extreme level of Danger, rated in what the guild called “X” on the difficulty scale. Few adventures came back, and those who did were driven mad by the things they witnessed in this lair, unable to give us a clear explanation of what we were up against. From the voices that had previously spoken to me, I gathered that we were fighting something that was closely related to a Snake. A couple of things could match the traits of the beast we were to face.
- A rogue Yuan-Ti that strayed too far from its home and ended up here, feeding off humans to survive. It could be a literal giant snake, it could be some sort of arachnid, or the fabled Naga that most assumed was a story to keep children in the safety of their homes at night and convince them not to venture into the woods.
- In my team I had a “Fighter” and a barbarian as mentioned before, I also had a Rogue and a Wizard. I’ll spare you the hope of a “Happy Ending” and tell you I was the only one to survive, not like I hadn’t already expected it to end that way.
- As we reached the final section of this tunnel, what ended up being the creature worth 50g each honestly took me by surprise. It was the last possibility I had mentioned.
- It was indeed a Naga.
- As quickly as we entered was as quickly it was upon us. The rogue that lead our way, an expert in detecting traps, Was dead the moment her foot crossed the threshold between hallway and domain. Massive fangs descended upon our “brave” sneakling and tore her torso from her body, and was swallowed down the monsters gullet.
- The size of this beast was quite impressive, almost all creatures I’ve faced have been towers compared to me, but this one doubled even our Orc in size.
- It was a female Naga, it’s upper half was beautiful enough to sway any weak-minded male into a love-like trance. Luscious silver locks dangled from its head, piercing emerald eyes darted around the room as it searched for its next meal, its curvaceous and busty exposed body held the skin tone of a Valenar Elf, appearing to be sun kissed. It’s lower half was fearsome enough to make any weak-willed Warrior paralyzed with fear. Spikes spilled out from its scales, some oozing with the poison I assumed the voices had warned me about. It’s oil-slick color illuminated by the torch light of the lair, shining in a pearlescent mix between purple, Gold, Green, and blue.
- Remember how I said it would seduce any weak-willed Warrior? It should remain no surprise to you that our glorious Half-Orc immediately fell to his knees, promising to this beast a lifetime of love and caring, that he would be a husband women could only dream of, if only she would have him. Her reply was to pick him up and snap him in half and drink his spinal fluid. I’ll have to remember to use that rejection method the next time....errr....the first time....someone tries to bed me.
- But enough of irrelevancies, The fight was brutal and destructive, Our wizard did substantial amount of damage to it whilst our fighter tried to flee, which our hostess responded to by coiling around him, this being the first time she spoke in the bout.
- “SURELY YOU’RE NOT TRYING TO FLEE, LOVER.”
- And with a deafening snap of his bones, he too was slain.
- “Explosion.” A ethereal voice rang in my psyche.
- “It’s only You and Me, Seer.” The wizard would reach out to me, His hands steadfast and dedicated. As unimpressed with my party as I had been, I will give the Spell-Weaver this. He never once showed fear, not even in his final moments. I replied to him with a mere nod as I cocked my crossbow to the rear, bolt at the ready to do whatever I could to this beast.
- “YOU, SCALE-KIN, LITTLE ONE. SURELY YOU DON’T FEEL THE NEED TO SLAY ME? WHY NOT SERVE ME INSTEAD, YOU’D BE FAR BETTER THAN THOSE WHO TRIED TO PREVENT YOUR ENTRY. KNEEL BEFORE ME AND I’LL FORGIVE YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS.”
- My answer was a cross bolt through her left eye, leaving her screaming in agony for a short few moments. “Spell-Weaver, I have a plan. But it’ll require you to distract her. If you want to survive, I suggest you listen.”
- “I’ve never doubted you, others do because they fear the arcane, that which they don’t understand. I embrace it. Just tell me what you need.”
- While my companion was dousing the She-Naga In lighting and Radiant beams of energy, I was using what strength I had to stack all the corpses in the room that I could find into a decent sized pile. Once I had finished my set up, I saw the Naga advance on the wizard.
- Right as she was about to sever his head from his shoulders, I fired another cross bolt, this one piercing through the back of what I assumed to be her rib cage. Turning around and seeing my in blind rage, she dashed towards me, almost at speed I couldn’t retaliate against.
- As she was closing in, my blindfold came off, my Abyssal energy in my eyes radiating in the dark as I let the spirits take control. I can only tell you what happened next through the perspective of a spectator, for at that moment I was looking through my eyes, though my body wasn’t mine.
- My hand motioned up, palm open with fingers extended. As the Snake-Woman crossed next to the stacked corpses, my hand closed tightly, fingernails now digging into the scaled hide of my palm hard enough to cause blood to drip from it, which in this moment was also an abyssal purple. Once this motion occurred I could see all the souls trapped in this cave and in their dead fleshy husk condense into a small ball of milky white substance, and once the naga was upon it, the soul-mass expanded at such an unstable, rapid rate, it ignited.
- I’m convinced I would never be able to repeat this action, for what followed was A large explosion that severed. the naga in half, her torso now crying out to her gods for help, To save her. What I also saw was the venom from her lower half had doused my Spell-Weaving companion after the explosion had forced the oozy liquid to spray him. You, who is reading this journal, should already know what happened to him. As the spirits said when I first entered this place, it was melting his flesh, then melting through his muscle, and made it to his bone.
- His screams didn’t cease until he was naught but a skeleton. It’s too bad he perished, I was beginning to like him. Any normal adventurer would be scarred for life, But as for me, I heard screams like these all the time. They bayed at my mind, tortured my dreams. They prayed to me, begging me to cave, to give in. To allow them to take shape and form and to finally live again in my flesh as others already have without my permission, before I was strong enough to stop them.
- While I was approaching the naga, she screamed out at me. Some words were curses, some words were pleas for help and mercy. But they fell on deaf ears. Pulling a cross bolt out of its pouch I spun it around so the arrow was facing down and I drove it through the Naga’s heart.
- I removed the flesh from her face and skinned it, leaving only skull. I took it and shoved it in my pack, as evidence of my slaying of the beast, and as I was walking out I took the skull of the Wizard who had fallen and attached it to my belt, and I left the cave.
- You may be asking why I took the skull of that wizard, and my answer is simple. One day, once I’m strong enough, I intend to resurrect him. No, he won’t be the same as he was before, reanimating dead is possible, but bringing back souls, if it was possible, I haven’t heard of it. He was powerful for such a inexperienced wizard, and I believe he would be a very useful thrall in the future.
- Afterwards one thing remained, and that was to collect my pay. Upon entering the guild after a days travel on foot, I saw the party who had supposedly cleared the tower.
- I saw the Tauress who was massive in size, even for one of her race. I saw how the party thought of her as a dunce but had a mutual view of comradery of her, they saw a true ally in her protective aura, or they saw a pawn and just a wall to protect them, Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
- I saw the undead warrior who intrigued me so, I saw his spirit, which had fled his body and returned, if there was one powerful enough to do such an act, I vowed I would learn it. I saw how their entire party aside from the Tauress viewed him as a threat, or at the very least, one to be weary of.
- I saw the masked paladin and the ranger who belonged to the race of Bird-men, both of them reeked of annoyancey, Not I like a parasite. They were helpful but also seemed to harm their allies, whether it be with attacks that were not well aimed or their personality caused strife to those around.
- I saw the Elf whose eyes seemed to take in more of his surroundings than he let in, His mannerisms and politeness screamed with evidence of a privileged upbringing. I also noticed he was pretty chummy with the Minotaur woman. Were they lovers? The thought, too, crossed my mind. A strange couple if I’ve ever seen one.
- But the one that intrigued me most of all was the tiefling male that I gazed upon.
- His soul burned brightly within, The stench of knowledge and potential that radiated off his body clogged up what those of you who aren’t blessed would call my sixth-sense. He was smart, He was cunning. He hadn’t much for physical strength but the power of his mind had the potential to cripple foes with a mere thought if he trained it to be so sharp.
- The potential that illuminated from him made my soul and those that inhabited me shiver with literal hunger. I desired that tiefling. Don’t mistake my words for lust, for if you did you could not have been more wrong. I desired him, I desired the minion he could become, I desired the knowledge I could learn from him, I desired the power I would possess once I bound him to my will, for that was my new goal. I would make this Tiefling with keen sense of the arcane into my servant.
- I had later learned that he had a Yuan-Ti Giant mixbreed that owed its allegiance to him. Whether he bound this creature himself, used enchanted amulets, or the creature does this out of debt is unknown to me, regardless of how it came to be, it only made my hunger run deeper. Had I not have had self control, I very well might have tried to enslave the tiefling right then and there.
- But we who understand the Warrior ethos know one thing to be true, patience is a virtue, with patience a sorcerer could master spells of immense power, with patience a Archer can align the perfect shot to pierce the skull of his enemies, with patience a rogue can time a trap just right to disarm it and disable any threat it would pose to them and their team, and with patience, I would make this tiefling into my little plaything. I would scramble his mind and make him the truest of allies with an unshakable loyalty to me.
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