It’s Dungeons and Dragons time! Here’s the latest installment of the epic journey of our heroines, Danaeryzard and Alaria! (If you’re new here, check out the entire saga in order by reading the chapters organized on the D&D tab of this site!)
Sitting at their table at the Leaky Casket Inn, Danaeryzard and Alaria formulated their plan for the heist. Now that they both had Invisibility Bracelets from Ezra, they had a better chance at success. They decided that Dany would activate her bracelet first and go down to the basement of the Church of the Serpent to locate the knife. Alaria would do the actual stealing of course, since she was much more experienced with this sort of work.
When they returned to the church, the late evening mass was finishing up. Alaria pretended to be giving Dany a tour of the church, taking her around the perimeter of the main floor, showing her partner the different statues and prayer alcoves, explaining what type of rituals were conducted for each.
“Do you really believe in all of this?” Dany asked quietly, genuinely wondering if Alaria was really as pious as she suddenly appeared to be.
“Of course I do,” Alaria said. This religious side to her partner was something that Dany had not been aware of before, and it was sort of surprising to her, considering how little remorse Alaria appeared to have for her actions when it came to stealing and battling. But Dany was not familiar with the Church of the Serpent, nor their values and traditions. She decided it was best to not delve deeper into the ethics of this church since they were about to rob it.
Alaria continued to escort Dany around the perimeter of the church as the evening mass attendees began to shuffle their way out of the pews, leaving the main cathedral mostly deserted, aside from a few priests talking to one another or finishing up silent prayers. The duo reached the large altar towards the back wall of the church and stopped to observe it.
The altar, when viewed up close, was actually marble stone carved into the shape of a giant serpent propping up a stone slab where a prayer book was placed during ceremonies. The entire altar was accented with sparkling green gemstones and it was quite beautiful to behold.
“See that door behind the altar?” Alaria whispered as they stood facing the altar and the back wall of the cathedral. In the east corner of the room behind the altar was indeed a wooden door, slightly open. “That’s the entrance to the basement.”
Nobody was looking in their direction. Dany crept over to the door and peeked in, seeing nothing but darkness.
“Now’s your chance! Put that bracelet on and survey the area so you can draw me a map of the sub-level chambers,” Alaria whispered.
Suddenly Dany felt fearful to go alone. “But what if I… maybe you should come too…” Dany’s nervous demeanor was making Alaria impatient.
“Go, before someone notices us standing here!!”
With a firm push, Dany was through the basement door and making her way down a dark spiral staircase, lit only by small sconces installed throughout the passageway. She activated her Invisibility Bracelet and continued onward as the stairs ended and she found herself in what appeared to be more like a cavern than a basement. A small ravine cracked through the ground and a simple wooden bridge had been constructed for safe crossing to the other side, where Dany could see light and hear voices chanting in a chamber up ahead.
She crossed the wooden bridge, worrying slightly about her weight and size on the rickety looking structure, but was able to make it to the other side without issue. Dany crept forward as silently as she could, knowing that despite being invisible, her talon-like feet might make noise on the rocky floor.
However, she didn’t need to worry because the men chanting in the chamber ahead were preoccupied with a religious ceremony. Several priests were standing in a semi-circle, with another man kneeling before an elderly priest. The kneeling man held a small brown pouch over his head. Danaeryzard realized that the elderly priest was holding a very old looking knife up in the air.
“That must be the Knife of the Serpent!” Dany telepathically sent the message to Alaria through their chat rings, then watched in shock as the priest recited an incantation and then swept the knife down towards the kneeling man. But the old priest was not stabbing this worshiper – instead the old man stabbed the knife into the pouch that the kneeling man was holding, allowing a red liquid to ooze down onto the man’s head. All of the priests began chanting in harmonics in a language that Dany did not understand.
After a minute the ceremony was over, and the kneeling man, now covered in something that looked like blood or wine, stood up. He thanked the elderly priest profusely, as though this ritual had done something wonderful for the man. Dany had no idea what was going on, and focused on the old man holding the knife. As the ‘sticky’ man and the other priests exited through the door that Dany had entered, the elderly priest walked deeper into the chamber.
Dany silently followed the elderly priest around a corner in the back of the chamber, which turned into a corridor that led deeper into the cavernous lower level. Turning around another corner, she watched as the old priest lifted the rosary beads hanging around his neck and held them up to a glowing barrier blocking the way to a small room. When the beads touched the barrier, it instantly vanished and the elderly priest walked into the room. Carefully he placed the sacred knife on a pedestal that stood among other pedestals in this small room, each holding a different artifact. The old priest then turned and left the room, walking back the way he had entered. The magical barrier appeared once more, blocking the way into the pedestal room.
Now alone in the hallway, Dany whispered to Alaria with her chat ring, “Be on the lookout for a very old priest wearing rosary beads to come out through the basement door. You’ll need those rosary beads to get through a protective barrier!”
Dany noticed a staircase leading upwards, going out a different way from where she came in. She hurried up the stairs and saw that they led into the hollowed out inside of a statue with a small grating door – a secret exit to the street from the basement! As she opened the door, the invisibility bracelet heated up and disintegrated. Dany waited outside by the secret statue door, drawing up a map to the location of the ancient knife artifact.
Back inside the church, Alaria had her eye on the elderly priest. He was now talking to a nun who was wearing the same rosary beads as the priest. The conversation was getting heated, as though they were in an argument. The old priest turned away from the nun, throwing his hands up and walking down the aisle towards the door. The nun started after him, calling for him to stop and listen to her. Alaria darted into her path, wanting to distract her so that she could swipe the necklace.
“Please, Mother Serpent, I need urgent help!”
“I’m sorry, I cannot help you right now, please speak with one of the other members of the clergy…” the nun replied distractedly, pushing Alaria out of the way. She quickly caught up with the priest and continued to try to speak with him, but the old priest kept walking.
Whispering through her chat ring, Alaria said, “The priest is exiting and a nun will be following him. Don’t lose sight of them!”
Dany noticed the old man and the nun leaving the church at that same moment. The priest was saying no to the nun and then turned and walked away. The nun walked off in the opposite direction. Dany asked Alaria through the chat rings which one they should follow, and they opted for the nun. Dany kept an eye on the clergywoman’s direction and waited for Alaria who was on her way out of the church.
Together they followed the nun downtown toward the docks. The nun stopped and walked into an armory, and upon seeing it Alaria remembered that the establishment was one of Uncle Biro’s fake business fronts, The Horned Arms. She gave Dany a look of suspicion before they walked in.
Inside the armory were large axes on display and mounted on the walls. Taxidermy animals decorated any other empty spaces, and the store felt a bit chaotic and crowded. At the far wall there was a large desk with a dwarf woman blacksmith who was speaking to the nun. To Dany and Alaria’s surprise, the nun produced a pouch of coins and spilled them out onto the desktop. The blacksmith and the nun both laughed together and the blacksmith started scooping up the money with her hands. Alaria whispered to Dany that none of this was normal. Something was strange about the Mother Serpent. Together they started walking up to the nun and the woman turned to face them, looking quite bewildered.
“What is the meaning of this? Are you following me?”
“What is the meaning of THIS?” Alaria asked back. “Why are you paying gold coins to a blacksmith?”
Dany snorted two clouds of black smoke from her dragonlike snout to intimidate the Tiefling nun. Her eyes widened with shock. “Oh, umm, nevermind about that. Didn’t you say you err.. needed help with something? Sit over here, my child.”
She led Alaria to another part of the store, away from the blacksmith’s counter. Alaria sat down on a taxidermy wolf and the Mother Serpent asked what was troubling her. Dany watched as Alaria told the nun that she had a troubled past and needed someone to pray over her. This was actually a form of prayer in the Church of the Serpent, because the nun closed her eyes and literally leaned over the now seated Alaria.
With a wink at Dany, Alaria slyly lifted her hand and in one fluid motion unclasped the beads and pulled them from the nun’s neck as the woman’s eyes remained closed. Dany was impressed with the speed and finesse of Alaria’s thieving skills. The nun finished her prayer and stood up straight again, opening her eyes.
“Now you are blessed, my child. Don’t forget to visit the church often and be vigilant with your prayers,” said the Mother Serpent, who had no idea that she had just been robbed.
“Thank you ever so much. I think I’ll go back right now…” Alaria replied, getting up and signaling to Dany that it was time to leave. They made their way back to the center of town to the Church of the Serpent, and it was getting to be late in the evening. Alaria knew of a side door that she used to use to sneak into the church when she was a child, so she picked the lock to get inside. Dany handed over the map to the knife and Alaria activated her invisibility bracelet.
The church was much darker after hours, but Alaria’s night vision allowed her to see just fine even without a torch. She crept to the basement doorway, slipped down the spiral staircase and followed the map down through the cavernous basement. The area was deserted at this late hour, so Alaria was able to rush through the passageways with ease. When she found the barrier, she pressed the rosary beads into the solid beams of light and they suddenly vanished. Alaria grabbed the ancient knife from it’s pedestal, and thought that this was almost too easy. She made her way through the stairway that lead to the secret exit to the street level where Dany was waiting outside for her.
When Alaria appeared, they made their way back to the Rosebud Inn and told the innkeeper that the “deed is done,” as they had been instructed. This was their signal to the Midnight Ring to come and forge a duplicate knife for them to hand over to Biro, so they wouldn’t have to give that evil man the real thing.
By this time it was getting late so Alaria and Dany went up to their room to stash the stolen knife safely away and get some sleep. In the morning they had a big breakfast as they always did, until they were interrupted by the innkeeper. They expected to hear that Ezra was there to see them, but instead it was a written message. The innkeeper handed it to Alaria.
Carriage at 11.
The time was almost 11 already. They wondered by Biro would want to meet with them before the time they agreed upon to hand over the knife. The partners were worried about the unusual request, but they knew the knife was fairly safe hidden in their room at the Inn. They finished up their meals and waited for the carriage, which arrived right on time. Driving the carriage was Biro’s #2 henchman, named West.
He was in a quite cheerful mood and encouraged them to get in right away.
“I’m taking you to a location with resources to help you with your heist,” West said to them. Dany and Alaria looked at each other, silently agreeing to not reveal that the job was already complete. They supposed that they could see what West had to offer.
West drove them to the outskirts of town, where a large gray warehouse was situated, far from any other building. It looked deserted and dark inside, as though nobody had been there for years.
“Here we go, right inside here, ladies,” West said, a little too eagerly. He was licking his lips and puffing on a pipe. Dany and Alaria were both pretty convinced that he was lying, but it was too late to turn back now. They walked inside the giant old building and found that it was like a giant stone courtyard on the inside. There were only a few doorways leading out of the courtyard, but as soon as they walked in, magical barriers came up and blocked passage.
West stood laughing on the outside of the barrier.
“Let us out of here!” Alaria cried. She tried to use the rosary beads on the barrier behind her, but the magic from the Church of the Serpent did not seem to work here. This caused West to laugh even harder.
“I don’t know why he always liked you best. Look at you! Feeble. Pathetic.” It seemed that West was jealous that Biro had held an affection for Alaria all of these years, and was trying to do away with her and her Dragonborn friend.
Before Alaria could respond, a roaring noise started coming out of a stone statue in the middle of the courtyard. A rush of wind began to wisp through the air, stirring up dust and debris from the stone floor. Then all was quiet and silent for a moment.
With a blast of gusting air and a brilliant white light, a giant Air Elemental appeared before Dany and Alaria, ready for battle!
And so ends the latest installment of our DnD adventures! Thanks for reading! I hope you like this ongoing storyline lol! If you play Dungeons and Dragons too, let’s hear about your character in the comments! 🙂