The giant skeleton scraped it’s claws down the tielfing’s side, who grunted in pain. Fuck! He watches as the other skeleton smashes his friend Roy in the face and he goes down. Viggo is already unconscious. Nico is not in much better shape. Fuck this shit. Show’s over! He raises a hand; shouts out a chant and whoosh, a steaming cloud of mist envelopes the stage and all around him.
Niko picks up Viggo and drapes him over his shoulder. He runs to the edge of the mist and calls forth more fog. The audience stares at him in shock. They are completely dumbfounded by the turn of events of the play. No one moves to stop him. It doesn’t occur to the simple-minded tiefling that he is not a prisoner. He is focused on survival. Suddenly he hears the screams of a tortured soul dying. He realizes its a ruse. He hears the sounds of hell every night in his dreams.
One friend is dead. The other at death’s door and he is not much farther. If they ain’t stoppin’ me, fuck’em. He sprints up the aisle as the fog cloud billows around him, obscuring the view of any who are watching. He bashes through the double doors and skids right, sprinting down the street. Where, where, where can I hide. He was in the rich section of town. HellKnights and Dottari everywhere. They wouldn’t take kindly to a bloodied tiefling running around in a fog cloud carrying an unconscious halfling.
The fog cloud billows out of the theatre, and down the street. Niko is pumping his legs hard trying to get away from the devils and giant skeletons. There’s no place to hide in this gods damned rich man’s hood. He knows he has about forty minutes of cover from the spell, but intuitively, he realizes that the Hellknights will be suspicious rolling fog through their city. He doesn’t believe he has to worry about shadow creatures in the Regicona, but the area should be well patrolled.
This alley looks promising. Nico dives into the ally and buries himself into a pile of refuge. Apparently, not all areas of uptown are perfect. He wills the fog to continue on down the street and turn into another side street. Exhausted, he curls up with Viggo and falls into oblivion.
He wakes up alone. Sometime during the night, Viggo recovered just enough to come to consciousness and disappear. He’s good at that. Alone, Nico starts to panic. Since hooking up with the Children of Westcrown he hasn’t had to spend much time by himself, but after a minute of worry he recovers and steels himself to his dilemma. I’m alone in the Regincona. Roy is dead. Viggo is missing. I must get back to the safe-house. He begins to commune with the spirits of the city.
Still lying in the garbage, Nico casts a series of spells to heal him of his injuries. His muscles knit and he feels the strength and dexterity flow back into his limbs. He also manages to get a spell off to cure him of those damned devil chills. Time to get across the channel.
Holy shit! I can breathe water now! Nico is shocked. His experiences in the theatre and with the slavers have awakened some new energy in him. Now all he has to do is get to the shore, cast the spell, and swim across. He is scot free.
“Oof!” The wind is knocked out of him.
“Get the hell up, gutterskum!” A dottari is standing above Nico, his foot in the tiefling’s gut. “You are so fucking dead,” the lawman promises.
Nico reacts instinctively. Mist pours out of his ears and mouth, filling the alley. The dottari stumbles back in shock and Niko sprints away. A few blocks down, he pauses and mumbles a cantrip.
“Okay,” he breathes heavily, winded. “North is that way.” He runs west towards the river. Unfortunately, the dottari had company and they were in pursuit. Although Niko had reached the shore, he was high up on a riverside cliff. Without time to think, he sped off the words to the spell that allows him to breath underwater. And he jumps.
The water hits his body like a hammer. He goes under. Crossbow bolts slice through the water, but none hit him. He swims desperately as deep as he can. This is the first time he has been underwater.
After swimming for what seemed like an eternity, Nico crawls out of the water and looks around.
“Shit!” The current had taken him far south of the city. He lay on his back, breathing heavily expelling water out of his lungs like a geyser. He then looks to the tops of the walls of the city several miles north and gets moving. His journey is slow since he ducks for cover every time he sees someone coming. He is sure that the Hellknights, Dottari, or Thespians are after him. He also has to take time foraging for food. Water he has aplenty due to his spells.
It is getting near dark when he reaches the city so he casts a spell to look like a tree and hides amongst the forest outside the clearing. When he wakes, he finds he has turned back into Nico, but it is very early in the morning. He times the guard patrols on the wall, and then sprints forward when the coast is clear diving for the ground when he reaches it. Once again, he calls on his new powers and suddenly a three foot diameter tunnel burrows through the wall. He crawls through but comes face to face with a shadow snapping for his nose. He quickly casts a light spell, crawls out of the hole and sprints away from the wall and the shadow.
Soon enough, his sphere of light is surround by gnashing shadows, all hungry for his soul. He growls at them, daring them to try and makes his way to the church of Aroden, hideout of the Children of Westcrown. He bursts into the side entrance, and seeing Arael, he blurts out everything.
“Roy is dead…Viggo missing…we blew it…need to find another way into the mansion…I couldn’t save Roy…I forgot to Barksking him…” Then he notices Roy standing there next to Arael, chuckling.
“Nico, you damned fool!” Viggo is also with them. “It was a gods damned play. Not a dungeon. Luckily Roy stuck around otherwise we would have blown it. Here.” The halfling passes Nico a glass of Oldlaw whiskey.
“Thanks buddy!” Nico smiles and swallows a mouthful of the rye.