Ladies Love Scars
Or: Good Hits, Epic Misses
Funny as it may sound, I don't hate drow. Oh, I know the stories and everything, but it's not exactly as though it's their fault at this point. They're raised to skin High Elf children for boot leather. I haven't mentioned this viewpoint to my master, who seems to hate them with an intensity that borders on actual glee, but I told Mythran about it.
"Mature viewpoint, kid," was his reply. "Totally wrong in every way, of course. But mature."
Lythan had jumped at the opportunity to volunteer for this mission - a rescue, of sorts. Someone - as it turns out, the drow - had been kidnapping entire border towns for months, but when St. Cuthbert's High Deacon's daughter showed up on the list, someone decided to care enough to send an experienced team of mercenaries after them. The hunt had taken weeks, and brought us here - a vast and open cavern filled with the sounds of open combat and ritual sacrifice. Sliced flesh makes a sound like crisp, wet melon, and we could hear the knifes slashing through innocent throats and the screams of the soon-to-die even over the clash of steel on adamantine.
Mythran was involved in some kind of magical contest with a pair of drow twins that were dressed...well. Harlots dress better. In fact, harlots practically look like St. Cuthbert's maiden aunt next to drow. I honestly think the mage's greatest problem was keeping his eyes off of their chests as he incanted.
Lythan, in the meantime, was holding the doorway against a growing tide of drow, trusting in his broad kite shield to ward off their crossbow bolts. I could hear him singing hymns to the Saint with every blow, the sound of his blade cleaving through drow plate like bells at the most violent church in the world.
I was only barely able to pay attention to either of them; the high priestess had stepped away from the altar to deal with us herself, and I was given the job of delaying her while Mythran's familiar spoiled the blood sacrifice. She fought with a wicked morningstar and a savage zeal that I was having difficulty matching. Parry after desperate parry, I fended off her weapon and lashed out with my own, skipping the dwarf-forged steel off of her adamantine plates. The fact that I was wearing mithral chain mail was of little comfort to me - bludgeoning weapons simply transmitted the force through and broke bone to the tune of adding insult to injury.
Our weapons met, sparks spraying wildly, and I thrust my shield hand into her face and screamed my fury out in an incantation. I knew the spell itself - a spray of color - would do nothing. I didn't care about the spell. I wanted the light.
The priestess reeled back, clutching her useless eyes, as I bellowed out the words to a knock spell I'd been saving. As the end of the incantation ("Let all your bindings fall!") echoed over the battlefield, every last scrap of armor, clothing, chain, or rope came loose and undone, leaving drow and surface humanoids alike completely nude.
"Lloth will taste your blood, half-breed!" the priestess shrieked. I was well past rational thought at that point.
And I hated being called half-breed.
I punched forward with my buckler, catching her in the face and knocking her exposed body to the floor. Stepping over my own armor and equipment, I raised my longsword high - and plunged it, hilt-deep, into my chest. It hurt and burned in my lung, but I stepped forward and planted a boot on the drow's chest, pinning her to the floor as I slowly drew the blade out.
As she struggled and writhed, I managed to spit out, "Send her a taste when you tell her how you failed."
I rammed my longsword through her mouth, and the struggling stopped.
Later, after much healing potions had been drunk and the hostages rescued, Mythran asked me why I did it.
"Ladies love scars?"