Grumbling under her breath, Arbeth burst through the heavy doors of the Ram's Head Tavern. Her ebony staff resounding against the floor bespoke her miffed attitude before she ever reached the bar. Adorned in a lustrous black fur jumpsuit that hugged her every curve, she moved with panther-like grace across the room. Glancing neither left nor right to see the other patrons, Arbeth pounded her fist on the thick wooden counter, "Mead! Can some one here get me a drink?"
Sensual lips stiffened in agitation. Her sleek tufted tail twitched erratically as her growl slowly filtered across the inn. The invidious shadow sprite that had attached itself to Arbeth was driving her to utter distraction. Trying to ignore its voice was literally impossible. Green slitted cat eyes stared at the swirling darkness on the floor. Deep lines furrowed her brow as she hissed a little too loudly, "No, and stop pestering me. I look like an idiot talking to you.....What?..I will not calm down! Just keep out of my face." How long is it going to take for the rest of the GateMasters to assemble? Disquiet setting in, her earth magic came to the fore, and the simple drumming of her fingers on the counter caused some minor shaking of the bar. Maybe someone will notice, and Get me a drink...
Taking in the woman's obvious distress and agitation, De'val sashayed over to the bar, her generous breasts nearly toppling from her skin tight, red satin, bustier. The sleeveless, low cut, garment served her well, drawing ones attention to her abundant cleavage, and away from her soul seeking eyes. Long shapely legs, clad in skin tight red satin, swished against one another from her stiletto heels clicking across the floor all the way up to her well rounded tush. Had there perchance been men in the room, they would have been mesmerized by the hypnotic sway of undulating hips. "If it's a drink you're after, have one on me." With a flick of her fingers, light glinted off her golden horns, and a glass appeared in the Arbeth's hand. It was full to the brim, foam flowing past the deep rich mead of Dralon6. Best drink in the known universe. With a hint of seduction, De'val's eyes locked with the felines, "some would sell their soul for such a mead as that."
Downing a gulp, a delighted smile spread across Arbeths face. "I've only tasted the likes of this once before... in an alternate reality. Dralon6 I think it was." Pulling a deck of cards from her pocket she began shuffling them. Maybe she had time for a quick game of solitaire before the others made it through the Gate. The mission couldn't start until they were all ready to go. Why couldn't people ever be on time?
As she began placing the cards on the counter, a chill raised the hackles of her nape, "I hate to intrude," that pesky barmaids voice niggled, "but it's been dead boring in here for some time. How about a game of War? I'm going out of my mind. There hasn't been a man in here for weeks. I need a diversion."
Seeing no harm in it, Arbeth grabbed her mead, and headed to the card table. The two had been playing for all of thirty minutes, De'val winning every round. "This doesn't seem to be your lucky day," she spouted at Arbeth.
"Actually I'm usually pretty good at beating the odds. It's my specialty." She eyed De'val suspiciously, "want to bet on the next hand?"... Arbeth promptly lost that hand too. A growl issued from deep in her throat, as she slammed her fists into the table. "You're cheating!" Her leonine eyes glared at her opponent.
"I would never!" De'val tried to look innocent, but Arbeth was having none of it, and prepared to pounce on the devil woman.
Distracted, they both turned when an ethereal beauty glided in to the room, her head adorned with a glittering crown, her sumptuous frame covered in a dreamy cream lace dress. As her gaze fell upon the two playing cards, her hands clapped together joyfully. "Oh, just the thing!" she exclaimed. "I have been through so much turmoil these past few days. What with the French uprising, I could use a break. Mind if I join you?"
The three fell to discussing men, while playing gin rummy. "Oh, men are just delightful. I have a wonderful collection of them back home," piped De'val.
"They are weak," muttered Arbeth. "I have yet to find one who can best me. Until I do, I have no use for them, except to possibly polish my armor." She roared in laughter. Looking down at the shadow sprite, her voice an impatient growl, "Oh, shut up, and drop it already. I do not 'need' a man!"
Celia blushed. Coyly fluttering her lace fan to cool the ardent heat that crept up her chest to her cheeks. "I just found the most delightful rogue of a warrior. I wish he were here," she sighed, a distant look filling her eyes. "I have to get back soon though, and see what is happening. Time seems to drag when we're not together."
The door burst open, sending a draft of air into the deck, exposing the cards in their little piles. The three looked up to watch as a pale faced, purple headed elf strode into the room. The odor of brimstone clung to her tight leather tunic. "Oh cards, do you know how to play bridge? By the way, a purple dragon, going by the name of George, hasn't wandered though here lately by any chance?" She glanced at her arm, flailing for a moment, then quickly patted out a sulfurous cinder that was still burning through her gauntlet. "I just got stranded in hell on the River Styx. Can you believe it? The obnoxious Boatman, and his hell hound wouldn't let us both cross. Something about George not being quite dead yet. I haven't been able to find him."
They all shook their heads, except De'val. "I am aware of the situation A'lya. I'm sure George will be quite dead soon, and you can continue your trek through hell. I'll be waiting for you on the other side of the river, my precious." With a wink, she began dealing the cards anew.
The door blew open a fourth time. Aldren stepped into the room, his commanding presence drawing the women's attention. Tipping his Akubra hat, he bowed with excessive flourish. His eyes bearing a starry twinkle, a room full of ladies, this 'is' my lucky day. The deep soothing rumble of his voice filled the tavern. "A pleasure, fair ladies. Nights like this are meant for passion, love and romance. Tell me you're not playing cards on such a glorious eve?"
Arbeth and Celia chimed in unison, "We're not playing cards." De'val wiggled out of her chair to lead the man to her empty seat. "Please do join us, there aren't near enough handsome, distracting men in the universe to please me. You'll do for now though." With a sultry turn of her hips she wiggled onto his lap, her slender spear tipped tail winding its way snugly around his waist. Aldren slipped his arm around the exotic woman, staring down at her cleavage and breathing deeply of her scent, Spice, sandalwood....and brimstone?
Growling at the man, her claws flexing, Arbeth sneered in disgust. "Just don't try your ways with me." Aldren's attention turned. He smirked, attempting to impress the leonine creature by bending her will, but backed off when he found himself face to face with some sort of raging shadow beast. Arbeth just snickered at the floor, "Okay, so you do have some redeeming qualities. Just don't let it go to your head, if you even have one."
The elf jumped in, "Aldren, have you seen a purple dragon recently?"
He looked at her like she had lost all sense of reality. "Dragons don't exist, but come to think of it neither do elves, demons, or leonine warriors. This place is strange, but I'm not about to question the fates that delivered me here." Brow raised to the ladies, "how about some Texas hold'em?" He began dealing the cards, while admiring all the assets around the table. Tempting figures on every one, fur, leather, satin and lace...it doesn't get any better than this.
An omnipresent voice boomed from overhead, "What the hell is going on here? You are suppose to be busy elsewhere!"
They all looked up shocked to be caught playing. "It's her," they whispered.
Aldren looked up sheepishly, "Come on, my first chance alone with a bevy of beautiful women, and you want to send this priest back to the snowy wastes of Torvir? Can't you grant this lonely man a few minutes of delight?"
The girls all looked up pleadingly, "Oh please, just a few more minutes."
"We'll be good."
"Don't send us back yet."
"What a bunch of sniveling babies." Her lips pursed, blowing away their cards. Her arm reached back, then snapping forward, her leather whip cracked at the lot of them. "Now, get back to your stories!" In a puff of grey smoke they vanished.
With a single swipe of her hand she rolled the Ram's Head Tavern into a ball, and plopped it in her mouth. Clicking twice on the Elliquiy Icon, she waited for the page to load. Leaning back against the rich green leather chair in her office, her red lace camisole slipping slightly off one shoulder, she raised her knee high black leather boots to rest on the desk. A surprised look crossed her features as the ball began melting against her tongue, "Hmmmm, strange, it tastes just like chocolate."