Author Topic: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent  (Read 3913 times)

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Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« on: April 14, 2008, 09:03:24 PM »
                Ariana sat on her luxurious bed, watching the sun sink lower and lower into the horizon. Her hand ran over the rich fabric of her covers, her new life contained this as a standard. Could she really call it “new?” No, by definition of the word she could not. Her old life ended 92 years ago, not long in the lifespan of an elf, not long enough…
   She could to this day vividly hear the screams of her family and of her friends at the blades of the drow. She was but a little girl at the time, only 32 years of age. The night was calm and crisp, freshly washed by a spring rain. Walks by moonlight had always been Ariana’s favorite pastime, and tonight the moon was a lovely crescent. The silence was broken by a scream, quickly followed by many more. She turned to see her camp, not a few hundred meters away, burning. She froze, already knowing what had occurred. Her father, one of the few able-bodied fighters in the large camp had told her stories of drow and their infamous, though rare, surface raids. Her fears were reinforced at the sight of a mane of long white hair in the bough of a tree. The drow had not seen her, his back was turned. A scout, envious of the glory his brothers were no doubt enjoying. Everything seemed still except for the lone tear running down her cheek. She knew she could do nothing, she knew none of her kin had escaped. Her heart beat as fast as her legs as she emerged from the undergrowth where she was hiding and onto the path away from the camp. Only one place of civilization was nearby: Silverymoon. Her tears came in full as she ran, but she dared not stop. In her mind, the drow were behind her, gaining, their white hair billowing in the wind behind them. None did follow her, the scout did not bother to give chase, her lead was too much as it was. It took the best runners of the camp two days to make it from the camp to Silverymoon; Ariana made it in a bit over one. She collapsed the next night at the gate, her exhausted and weary form clearly visible to the watchmen by torchlight. She was taken into the city and given the best care, for in the morning she was to giver he story to the famed Alustriel Silverhand. No survivors from her camp were found by the small detachment of the Knights in Silver sent by Alustriel, none but Ariana herself.
Ariana was given into the care of Evelynn, a prosperous matron in the city, widowed for decades and left child-less. Evelynn cared for Ariana as her own, raising her among the nobility, having her attend the finest balls and parties, meet the wealthiest suitors, all the while being a trusted friend and dedicated guardian of Ariana Argent. Ariana’s wild side was masked by the expensive dresses she wore and by her upbringing in Silverymoon, but nevertheless it showed. She grew to be very beautiful, the envy of the women in Silverymoon. Her rich dark hair grew to her shoulders, her figure became the favorite attraction of most of the city’s males. One in particular noticed her. Jeryll was the heir of one of the wealthiest families in the city. Rich, handsome, courteous, he was almost every woman’s desire. None of the woman he met had any passion, being born and raised in the city. His attention turned to Ariana, and everyone saw where his gaze lay. Evelynn was overjoyed that Jeryll, one of such high birth, had taken a fancy to her own little girl. She did everything to encourage the union. At first reluctant, Ariana complied.
   They had been meeting for months now. Jeryll had to this point been nothing short of a gentleman. Her fears were alleviated quickly every time he smiled; she thought it to be genuine. Happiness had come to her at last, after nearly a century of waiting, her childhood dream of love was about to come true. Tonight was to be their last date before they were to be engaged. A carriage waited for her downstairs just as the sun finally sank down below the skyline. Her satin and silk dress was beautiful and elegant, a design similar to one of Alustriel’s. Ariana was nothing short of surprised to see Jeryll already awaiting her in the carriage, usually they had met at the specified location. Tonight was different. He whispered something to the carriage driver, handing to him a small leather bag jingling with coins. Strange, Jeryll usually paid the driver after they had arrived. Ariana thought little of it, tonight was a big night, nothing was going to ruin it. The carriage turned down a darker street, one closer to the edge of town. Through the windows she could see the occasional glimpses of the woods outside of town. The carriage came to an abrupt stop in the shadow two large buildings. The driver hopped off and went to find the nearest tavern with his payment. Jeryll’s hand grasped her own, her brief fears were alleviated, until his hand reached for her leg. It was not proper for a courting couple to have any contact, that much she knew. His hand went higher up her leg, making her increasingly uncomfortable.

Jeryll, what are you doing?

His face was different in the moonlight, darker and more feral, his gaze on his hand and its steady motion upward

Jeryll? Her voice carried a hint of fear, this was not like him.

Hold still, Lady Argent…Sarcasm was heavy in this statement, his hand going yet higher.

Ariana grabbed his hand and forcefully pushed it off. What are you doing?!

He did not respond, simply pushing her hands away, his eyes on the prize.

Ariana reached for the door and pushed. It did not budge, it was bolted closed from the outside. She knew now this would be a night she would never forget, no matter how hard she tried. Her screams he silenced quickly, not that it mattered. None would help her here. Jeryll never intended to marry one of such low birth, his purpose from the second he saw her body was solitary. That night, his goal was achieved. He pushed her out, her once-wonderful dress torn and ragged, into the street as he himself jumped and took the reigns, leaving a barely conscious Ariana Argent in the dirty street, the one thing she truly valued and held dearly, gone.

Her tears flowing freely, she ran for the nearest gate, sprinting past the guard, ignoring their calls. This city was not for her, she could never return, would ever return. She did not cease to run for hours, the city well beyond sight. She took a seat on a stone, and broke down. He had nowhere to go, none to turn to. No family, no friends, no…she felt a sudden chill. Looking up she saw a thick mist rolling in. She had nowhere to go, so her destination came to her.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2008, 05:57:27 PM »
          Ariana's first few days in Barovia were some of the most terrifying of her life. She witnessed creatures she only heard stories of: lycans, undead, shadows, demons...this place seemed a continuation of that nightmare. No, this had to end somehow. She trusted none here, it's all a nightmare right? After a few weeks, she left, not to return for almost four years back to the land of Barovia. those eyars she spent wandering the Core, visiting Kartakass in particular. She could not find a way out, none she met ever heard of anyone that did. She gave up, it was futile. No way out...no point really. What if she did go back to Silverymoon? What awaited her there? No, this place was no worse that back there...she would rather stare a lycan in the face than Jerryll.
          She made her way back to Barovia, to her entrance point into this nightmarish land. She would make the best of it here. She could shoot a bow, hunting that way. She had studied extensively back in her old life, eventually realizing she had the gift of sorcery. She delighted in the small cantrips, she knew little past that point, never having gotten past dabbling in the arcane arts. It was her best bet, she would practice until she could support herself, and then...

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2008, 07:08:16 PM »
        She could not help but smile as the zombie burned. She was getting better, her spells more destructive. Esirious, her loyal panther, also grew in prowess. She considered him her only true friend here. She did develop relations, people who could be called friends, had her requirements for "friend" not been so high. Anethet, Trish, Sivius, Arden; their company she could from time to time enjoy. A smile came readily, around Arden especially. This is what she feared, she would have feelings like this again. Would she be considered brave or foolish for trying again? It all depended on the outcome. He gave her gifts, she accepted them with a smile. He let her kiss him that one night in Barovia, her hopes soared. She presented him with a gift of her own, a red rose, the archaic symbol for love. His reaction was not as expected. He warned her that he may not be right for her, that she could find better. Ariana didn't listen, she thought it modesty. She didn't care, she said, about his past, it was him now that mattered. He had to leave before they could finish their talk. How less painful it would have been had he stayed...
         Ariana learned the hard way her feelings were never truly shared. She saw him with another, who it didn't matter. Everyone was right, he told her himself, but she didn't listen; Arden was a womanizer. he returned the rose to her, she watched it burn in her hand, the ashes flying about the room. She couldn't bring herself to hate him, but she knew she could never like him, never trust him, never respect him. She was a fool for trying again, she should have known she would fail, and failing hurt so much. There was no point anymore, she could not find happinnes. She would not deign to try again, there was no point. Ariana did not care whether she lived or died anymore. She grew reckless, stupid when it came to battle. She alienated herself from others. Her motto: "Don't get close, don't get burned." It applied to others as well, despite being as cold as ice, she burned. One thing she could not understand...why did she cme back? The undead got the best of her more than once, but she always came back. She didn't know why, and as a priestess of Ezra would once tell her, her role in this life wasn't finished yet. Then agian, Ariana was never one for religion.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2008, 05:01:56 PM »
        The days grew colder, the snows fell harder, and as the rivers, her heart froze over. What was the point of going on? Everything she ever wanted was now unattainable. Twice she tried, twice she failed. She loved, but was never loved back. The simple pleasures seemed meaningless, any happiness was too brief. Acutely she felt her uselessness. Often did others have to risk their own lives to save hers, when the effort clearly was not worth it. The only thing she was good at was her magic, and even then she had seen better. She found herself looking for death, often going to face the darkness alone. The worst part is, she realized she was slowly being consumed by it. Ariana let none close emotionally, sometimes maintaining a faced of normality. She didn't want to see others hurt as she had been. Better they feel the spikes of the rose before finding themselves covered in them and bleeding to death. This was her life; lonely, cold, impersonal...and she saw no reason to expect that to change.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2008, 09:54:03 PM »
       There were, as always, variables. Za'Raa was one. She as cold and aloof as Ariana was her worst of days. Curious as to what -her- story is, but it is doubtful she will share. Za'Raa began to teach her a ritual, one meant to bring people together. So far, it has been working. Za'Raa was one of the closest people to Ariana, but whether she could call her 'friend" yet is debateable. The second variable was Corvin. A priest of Torm, Corvin seemed to want only the best for her. Once her path became apparent, the priest set out change it. His intentions are good, but he does not understand that simply socializing more would dig her out of her own grave. It's a start, though. The two closest people to Ariana are polar opposites...expect the unexpected.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2008, 03:14:13 PM »
        For the first time in a while indeed, Ariana was not digging her own grave, intentionally at least. She found friends, ones she could depend on. She now had attachments to the world of the living, no need to work with the dead. Her dabbles in necromancy she promised to herself she would stop, but other problems arose. The man, now ghoul, known as Regno had once killed her as she exited the MorningLord Church. She incurred quite a debt to Za'Raa for raising her, Regno having taken her fangs. On the face of Baratak, Ariana met Regno again. She heard something outside the bunkhouse and managed to become invisible just as a hooded and masked woman entered. She had waited for Regno, who seemed to Ariana the single greatest evil she has yet seen. He was hungry as he entered, going so far as taking a bite out of the woman's hand. The woman did not seem to waver in her alliance to him, despite the wounds he inflicted. At this point, Ariana thought it bets to leave, but she left too late. Regno cast a spell on himself, allowing himself to see her. It has been long since Ariana was truly afraid, but nevertheless she acted. He sprung on her and missed, landing face-first on the snow. Her boot on his back, she demanded her money back with all the steel in her voice she could muster. No time for weakness here, one mistake, and she was ghoul food. She knew she could not kill him, his friend was here somewhere...Regno scaterres fangs on the snow, then chased a pair of men down the mountain, apparently falling down the steep steps a number of stories. Ariana walked down, forcing herself to appear composed. She demanded the rest of what he stole from her, and he complied. As soon as the opportunity presented itself, she ran to the closest safe place she knew, the mage tower.
        There, she allowed herself to relax, taking a warm bath in the luxurious pool. She noticed the door was open, she was sure she had left it closed...wrapping herself in her cloak as she exited, she closed the door, this time making sure. Moments fater she entered the pool, she heard it open again, and turned to see a scrap of paper drift down. Someone had been watching her bathe...warily, she climbed out of the water, prepared to unleash hell upon the first thing that moved. The message was chilling: "BeaUTiFuL bODY...nOt BEaUTiful MInd." She suspected the identity of the messenger...and the meaning of it. It was indeed easier to make enemies than friends.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2008, 07:47:39 PM »
Over the weeks she became more social, sometimes actually initiating conversations over a drink or such. The times have been more peaceful, though she still lived in fear, now especially...
She decided to take a peek into the crypts, a decision she regretted. Regno and another witch, also undead, appeared up the stairs. She backed up as Regno approached, but a caliban, also seemignly undead and with strangely shaped legs closed it. Two more followers of Regno came...she was alone amongst cannibals, scared. She realized they could not see her, even the witch could not. She made a break for it, praying none of them could outrun her. None deigned to try, she reported the danger to those on the surface, and went to rest.
Long had Ariana wondered what she would do if she met a drow elf face to face...the ones that massacred her friends and her fmaily so long ago...would she kill him, or would she come to undrestand? It was a test for both the drow and her. The drow played a game, pretending to be another to arrange a meeting between her and a drow, a social experiment if you will. The terms were given to her, fair terms, she expected nothing less. She stood there, awaiting the drow. He was stealthy, writing messages in the sand for her to read, but her eyes could not follow him in the dark of the cave. Eventually, the met face to face. She was surprised thoroughly when she realized she wasn't angry, she felt no hate...she wasn't a hypocrite to her own releif, she did not judge the whole on the actions of a part. She enjoyed the conversation, as disturbing as some parts of it were, him coming unarmed, and also unclothed...she would enjoy another talk with him later, as she was sure would he.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2008, 08:48:51 PM »
The nights seemed longer than usual of late, everything she should be careful of walked the darkness. Her relation, even with her friends, were tense at best. Her care for one and his care for her has led them to arguments; funny how the largest troubles start with good intentions. Her other friend asked something of her she did not expect, she did not initially comply, separating them. It seemed to Ariana that her friend was worth far more to her than her pride, she had little of that left to lose as it was.
The catacombs beneath the church are dangerous, far more than she knew before. More powerful creatures lurked there than just mummies and skeletons...her last trip she walked into the witch, the very same one that was with Regno. She could not win any battle, she wouldn't make it running, she could only hope her silver tongue would yet again see her through. The witch was undead, clearly so. She hissed with every word, she turned away Ariana's enchantments with a wave of her hand, turned her loyal panther Esirious to stone, and left her completley defenseless. The witch drained her lifeforce, but let her live. She saw ambition she said, bravery for standing up to her, and utterred a phrase she has come to associate with survival: Knowledge is power." The witch did indeed see ambition in Ariana's eyes, or was it jealousy? In the end they amount to the same.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2008, 05:52:57 PM »
Ariana confidently strode into the cave, knowing already what lay inside. She was prepared, as was her loyal Esirious. They were both outfitted with her protective spells, to the point where the ogres, even ones as practiced and ruthless as the ones in the cave, would be hard pressed to scratch them. Ariana smiled darkly to herself, knowing what would happen to anything that tried to touch her, as she watched her acid sheath glitter around her. Ogre mages are a laughing matter, their spells were elementary, they could not harm her. Both her and her panther were invisible, the ogres were in for a rude surprise…
   The fireball must have seemed to appear out of nowhere to the ogres, but only those far away from the center group ever had a chance to see the caster. Those whom it touched were all but incinerated. One mage started nervously muttering the words to a spell easily recognized: invisibility. Esirious struck him down with one heavy blow to the neck, out of mind, not out of sight. One ogre berserker wielding a hand axe charged at her. Ariana watched him come. Ariana drew her own blade, as if to show the ogre she could use it as well. His first heavy blow she parried easily, managing a return cut to the underside of his arm. His second hit, but it chipped at stone. The ogre howled in pain, the acid sheath doing its job well. It kept on hacking at her, trying desperately to break through her stoneskin. The acid got to him first.
   The next two rooms went quickly, a fireball or two to soften them up, and Esirious to finish the job. She watched the carnage as the job was done, those the fireballs did not kill had their blood splattered on the walls and floor. Gingerly stepping over their bodies, Esirious prowling alongside, she collected the earnings. The take wasn’t bad…she unsummonned her panther and walked into the fast-approaching night, making herself hidden. Unlike the ogres, she was both out of sight, and out of mind.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2008, 09:30:32 PM »
        Ariana had been busy. She was asked by Ily, an acquaintance, to help her and a small group retrieve a hair. The motives for the expedition were incentive enough. The group was not small to start with, and it was powerful. On the way the group met Za'Raa. Ariana initially avoided her gaze, but a quick private talk ensured an understanding. She did not have to lose a friend. Though the group was strong, the elements proved stronger. The cold was worse than biting, it was torture. Ariana had to force her teeth not to chatter while casting her spells, forced her stiff fingers to move in the intricate patterns required. In the end, the trip was a failure. Only half survived, and barely at that. Ariana dragged Vasten and Tagdar down the mountain, keeping the freezing wind at her back. She gratefully dumped the corpses at the mage's tower and allowed herself a moment's rest, but only to help Za'Raa carry the bodies further. Finn and another dwarf met them on the way and releived the burden. Ariana and Za'Raa were finally left alone to themselves.
         She had met with the drow again. As she had predicted, she enjoyed their conversation, as did he. His breath was stolen by her beauty as he saw her in her new Kimono. No doubt he was not used to being actually attracted to one of the Light. Unwittingly, Ariana tied his tongue and muddled his thoughts, what some could consider to be the best use of beauty, woman's greatest gift. He saw her true power soon, in an engagement against a cave of neuri. Despite how friendly one's relations are with drow, despite how trusting they seem, they should still be reinforced with caution. Unwittingly again, Ariana did this.
          Vasten's pursuit of her did not stop. They had met at the Lady's, for once her actually being surrounded by attractive men. Many thta could not get close were brave enough to give her glances. Vasten's goal was to make her blush, or so he said. As that of any man, his desire no doubt went a bit deeper. His being a student of Finn's only reinforced that. She did like the man, he could develop charm when required, and unlike her, he was not shy. His efforts were of course in vain, much to his sorrow; she would not let a man too close. She had learned to associate love with pain instead of pleasure. The kind of love little girls like her once dreamed of was an ideal, if it did happen, it would not to her. Pleasure is fleeting, but even those brief moments of happiness is more than she had ever had. She had learned to take one step at a time, traps are far easier seen.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2008, 10:37:46 PM »
She stood at the battlements of the Mage's Retreat, watching the snow fall in the distant peaks. Though spring, she knew those peaks were still frozen over. Maybe in the summer she would travel there again...but not until then. Ariana's mind was as troubled and muddled as any pattern the snow made upon the ground. Slowly, she found purpose. She had weeded out most of her old mistakes, those that got her killed. Only one remained. Since childhood love had been an ideal she had wanted to achieve desperately. Her beauty however, served more a curse than a blessing in the matter. Standing hundreds of feet above the ground, she knew what she had to do. She didn't need love to make her happy, to leave her fulfilled. It was a foolish girl's dream that needed to be severed. She smiled to herself, knowing what Corvin would say when he learned of her final decision. He would urge her to have hope, someday Mr. Right must come. It was of course far easier for a man of religion to have hope. Faith replaces practicality in them. It makes them paragons, examples to be followed. Unfortunately for this world, the lights that shine brightest burn out the fastest. Her thoughts turned back upon her choice. She had made up her mind to survive, and for that she needed to be realistic and practical. Love was neither, it was an outlier she needed to avoid, a weakness she would not succumb to again. She found happiness in pleasure, whether in mind or body. After nearly a century of dreaming of one thing, she found so many reasons why she should turn it down. After one last look at the distant frozen peaks, she turned and walked back into the tower, descending to the ground floor. The wind at the bottom was not as bad, but night had fallen, and she had a long way to travel back to Vallaki.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2008, 08:14:05 PM »
          The hour was approaching midnight in the Haunted Forest. Ariana was lying down upon the grass, invisible, watching the clouds run across the night sky. It was rare she got to enjoy the night like this, and even rarer here. All manners of evils walked this forest, but tonight as if just for her, everything was silent. The moon was nearly full, surely it would be in a few nights. Nevertheless, it shone brightly on the thin clouds running across it. For once in her life, Ariana was more than content. She was actually happy.
            She was happy for her friend Corvin. He found love it seems. She wished him the best, she did not want anyone to suffer as she had, especially not one so close to her. She realized exactly what love was. It was the same thing as religion, as hope. All ephemeral concepts that serve to somehow reassure very many. All of these are crutches, she realized. A man of religion put all his faith behind his god, worhsipped him, fought in his name. What would happen to that man if his god left him? The same as if one put all his weight leaning on the wall, and the wall would disappear. Faith is strong support, but sometimes it is relied upon far too much. Hope and love are the same. They can both bring strength. A man in love would overcome tremendous odds for it. But the same dilemma occurs...what if love and hope disappear? An empty shell is left behind. She knew this from experience. She had placed all of herself behind love before, only to realize that there was not even anything for her to lean on. Love had never supported her, and if at one point it seemed to be there, she would ignore it. She didn't need it, she could find her own strength. She did realize others needed love, and wanted it. Perhaps she was being a hypocrite, but she helped them and encouraged it. No, she was not a very good person, but her true friends could count themselves lucky.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2008, 06:14:51 PM »
           The past weeks had been terrible. She was at the Rest one night, and accepted an invitation to watch a friendly duel downstairs. She acted as the judge of the duel, a position she was not unfmailiar with before in Silverymoon. She knew the rules, and she knew the language of the duel well enough to conduct one. As she went upstairs, everyone was gone, the inn seemed to be silent, the kind of silence that could only precede or succeed a storm. The people came down from upstairs one by one, and quickly she learned what had happenned. Her first instinct was to find out the truth behind Trish's disappearance. The trail was cold, she did not know where to even start. Moodily, she returned to Degannwy, despite the rather large werewolf outside.
            She saw an elf there, dressed heavily and hooded. He was polite, and he claimed his name was Thraxys. Now, where had she heard that name before....after a brief conversation, she had matched the name to a description, another drow. Not at all ashamed, she pointed this out, and he did not deny it, actually removing his hood and bowing to her. He seemed to know Trish well, far better than she had. Ariana would have never considered her a friend, but an interesting person. She always seemed to be bright as a spark, making everything around her seem just a bit happier and lighter. Ariana's logic prevailed however, those that burn brightest, burn out the fastest. Ariana's conversation with Thraxys was darkened by the news. Both of them wanted to know the truth and would work together if need be to find it. After he left, she pondered this land. It turned everything upside down for her. Evil blatantly stalked the land, but that which she had always considered to be evil was not here. So far, she realized she liked having stereotypes broken, and thus learned never to make anything so fragile.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2008, 01:20:51 PM »
         Ariana slept soundly, despite the circumstances. She lay on a thich cloak, and was covered with one. She was in a cave usually inhabited by wolves. And, probably the largest reason as to why she should be having nightmares, a drow watched her sleep. Despite this, she slept peacefully. No dreams, no nightmares visited her. She trusted this drow, knew he would not hurt her. He nearly worshipped her, she realized. She did not particularlly like anyone being so subservient to her, it seemed a violation of freedom, one of the things she valued most. However, Ariana did learn something...before, her beauty had invited only pain. Now, she realized she could use it to her advantage, and she was afraid to learn she could do it well. She had no goals, however. She did not know yet in which direction to turn. Her arcane powers grew rapidly. A whispered word, and a pack of wolves was incinerated. A casual motion of the hand, and a wall of flames blocked the path of undead to her. She for the first time in her life realized she had potential. She had yet to realize to what end that potential will get her.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2008, 10:38:50 PM »
           Ariana was for once actually afraid of herself. Her powers have never been so great, she has never had to control so much. Sometimes, she had to fight herself to keep it in, to keep herself form burning down a forest. Often she put these powers to good use, descending into the the crypts to battle undead that even most paladins would have seocnd thoughts about confronting. Luckily, it was all over quickly. She realized what made her so on edge as of late, and that problem was solved. Her closest friend was missing, without a word. She returned, thankfully in one piece. That night, they made a pact. They were now bound to each other, as long as the other kept that bind. Ariana would not dream of breaking something that meant so much to her.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2008, 12:09:46 PM »
A fireball exploded in the midst of an unsuspecting group of hobgoblins. None survived the blast, but those in the next room heard the noise and smelled the charred flesh. They came running out, screaming war cries straight at her. One whisper, and a wall of fire formed between her and them. They stopped short of the fire in alarm. A second whisper and another wall formed behind them. A final whisper and the unfortunate group faded into ashes, swept away by the concussion of her fireball.
She felt no pity, no remorse; she felt nothing. She felt like she had come full circle in her life here. It had taken so much to bring her out of her former depression, but it was so easy to fall back into it again. Yes, she had found "friends." There was Corvin who cared about her, and about whom she cared no less. There was Za'Raa, still the  closest to her by far, but away, leaving her to cope here alone. There was Char, the one who worshipped her, lusted for her, and yet cared for her. There were of course others: Mika, Sivius, Vasten all seemed to be there for her, but she did not beleive they really would be. They all had their own problems to deal with. Ariana had returned to an old study she abandoned a while ago. She had found some more books on necromancy and death magic, and whether she liked it or not, the topics intrigued her. Curiosity killed the cat, but a panther is far harder to kill than a cat.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2008, 09:49:24 PM »
This spring was a season of weddings, it seemed. Elda had told her of Soren's, and since then more than one allusion had been made to it. Many seemed excited about Lorea's as well. Lyrithean's she stumbled upon by accident. She hardly knew the man, or his wife to be, so she had no reason to stay. That would not have bothered most people, but Ariana left because she did not want to spoil it for the happy ones there. She was cynical and pessimistic at an event that was made to be entirely the opposite. Some were meant to be happy she realized, others were not. She did not say it aloud, but she wished the couple well, she wished any couple well. People tend to cling to what little happiness they can find, and they would do much to keep it.
On a typical night at the Rest, she was alone with Finn. They were acquainted well enough and had shared a couple good-natured arguments, but she could not claim to truly know him until then. He was the last person she had expected to have a serious conversation with; as he said, a "moment." They were much alike, they both found out. It comforted Ari to know this as much as it surprised her to see it in him. She shared with him what she shared with few, in the hope that he would understand her a bit better. She felt he did.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2008, 09:44:06 AM »
//a bit late but meh...
              Ariana awoke from her reverie happier than she had been in a long time. She knew she had learned some new spells, probably one of the few thing she looked forward to was testing her new power. She descended the stairs in the Lady's, the inn being surprisingly empty and quiet despite the late hour. She pulled on her hood as she stepped out the door and headed to the lake. At this hour there would no doubt be lycans to test her spells on. As she walked she couldn't help but remember her early battles against the lycans. She walked away, usually torn and bleeding and often with little to show for her wounds. A small smile crossed her face. She had come so far, the werewolves, demons, they could hardly stand against her. Magic was all she had. It had helped her more than any friend ever could and she knew it would not abandon her as mortals did. Even as she crossed the short bridge, she saw a candidate across the way. The hulking werewolf was hunting minks. Every detail of it she noted, but she did not notice the bat hovering above, watching no less carefully than she was. Eyes closed, she began the incantation that came so readily to her. Mages had to pore over moldy books for half their lives, sorceresses didn't. A dozen glowing missiles flew from her hands and hit the werewolf. It survived, barely, and came at her, howling in range. The bat was knocked from the air by its paws, and before her eyes and those of the wolf's the bat became humanoid. The wolf brought his claws down upon the figure, at which it turned to mist. Another whisper from Ariana's lips and the wolf died. She turned her attention to the small cloud of sentient mist hovering beside her.

I know what you are... she said softly, eyes scanning from side to side, watching for more "bats."

I'm mist.. returned the cloud in a slightly sardonic tone.

Vampire. Her voice carried more than a bit of venom. She had not yet met one she liked or one that didn't try to eat her.
The mist vanished. She almost expected echoing laughter, but heard none.

Ariana's gaze drifted over her shoulder every other second as she made her way south, to the elven camp. Though she didn't feel at home there, she felt safer than anywhere else, if only by a bit. She peeked into the Lady's along the way, seeing it as empty as before she moved on. Not far into the forest, she felt as if she was being followed. She quickened her step, forgetting all about Degannwy, focusing only on getting away. Something small hit her in the back of the head, though not hard. She broke into a run, the bat keeping pace easily. Not a branch touched Ariana as she sprinted through the trees, but the bat was no less agile. At one point she turned and swatted the bat to the side with all her strength. It went flying into a bush behind her; everything grew still. From the bushes came not a bat but a handsome, yet pale,elf. He was blonde and fairly tall, taller than her. She knew she should just burn him to ashes, but nothing came to her lips. Her hands wouldn't respond in the intircate motions needed to grind this elven vampire to dust. She could only stare. His voice was as sweet and alluring as honey, but it had no effect on her. She was too scared to notice. She tried to push him and run, but he was strong, frightfully so. He grabbed her and pinned her hands to her sides, grinning darkly. Ariana simply closed shut her eyes and waited for the bite, but it never came.

I will not..eat you. I wished only to see your beauty. His grip on her broken, Ariana's spells came to mind quickly, but the vampire faded first. Not waiting, she faded from sight as well and sprinted inhumanly fast to the inn. She did not know why, but the elves did not seem like a good idea to her. There was much more dark forest to cross to them. With Finn's unlikely help, she regained her composure and palor. Ariana informed Kheldin and Neithu of the elven vampire in the morning, and even offerred her services as bait. She wouldn't freeze like that again. Next time, she promised herself, he would be ash.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 09:50:02 AM by Haplo Nexus »

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2008, 04:36:19 PM »
           Ariana's head swam, she didn't remember ever being this confused, or lost. She awoke not farm from the Vistani Vardos, surrounded by mist. As she looked up at the sky, she saw snow. As she looked at the trees, she saw blossoms. Spring? This..this can't be right... She remembered the night at Degannwy. Kheldin asked her advice and support when it came to his leadership and told her about the recent incidents. Gladly she gave it, Degannwy needed someone strong. As she pulled her hood over her head, she heard Kheldin say "Careful, that elven vampire is still out there." She only gave a curt nod and walked out. The fallen leaves, reds, oranges, and yellows, swirled about her as she walked through the Southern Forest towards the Outskirts. Suddenly, it got colder...her vision started to fade, the trees all blurred into indistinction. She remembered falling.
           She has been gone for over 7 months. So much has happenned, and it was dumped upon her all at once. With Za'Raa's help, she regained focus. Nothing was more important than focus...Since it was spring, loves was in the air again. Ariana always hated spring for this reason. A bard, Isal'wyn, was a new arrival. She was bright, and despite her sometimes blind idealism, Ariana liked her. Even Za'Raa enjoyed meeting her, another mark in her favor. Elda was looking into some knight in shining armor, and asked Ari, of all people, for advice. As soon as the discussion started Ari tried to back away into a dark corner, wanting no part in it. Isal'wyn could handle this, she had a way with men that Ari could have once only wished for. No, Elda asked Ariana for tips on physical appearance. As she said, "There is nearly never a time when you're not the most attractive person in the room." This would to most be a compliment, but often Ariana resented her own beauty. She was to men as honey is to flies, but the fact never got her anywhere pleasant. To her, they never saw past the exterior. Love or compassion never drove them, simply base instinct.
           A couple weeks later, Ariana sat in front of the hearth at Degannwy, alone. A chilling conclusion and a phrase to go along with it haunted her mind. "Once you hear the call of arcane lore, your world shall rest on earth no more." The phrase first played in her head when she realized she had the gift for sorcery. She could make a dark room bright, and make sparks dance off of her fingers, though often unwilled. She never questioned the phrase. It never appeared to her again until Barvoia, when Ariana had to start using her magic to survive. It played in her head constantly now, and she understood why. Ever since she learned of her gift, her life had started going awry. Fate seemed to want her to dedicate herself to magic, to lose herself to it. It removed all obstacles one by one: love, happiness, family, peace. Soon, she feared, it would remove friends too. She would alienate them, devote herself to her sorcery..soon, the only thing that could make her happy. People she cared about would fade into the background, as would she to them. She'd become a hermit like some outcast witch..Ariana bit her lip..isn't that what she was anyway? She never fit in, was always just not right for any setting. She was a contradiction, an ultimately selfless girl dedicated to power of self. She wondered if she would become like Yves, eventually. Dead and alone. The witch was the only arcane spell caster she knew that could match her and overtake her. She flaunted the fact, and she saw ambition in Ariana, letting her live earlier on. The ambition was not her own, but it was there. power over people didn't matter to her. People were too fickle, too untrustworthy, too quick to betray. Something whispered to her her magic would never betray, would never hurt her, as long as it wasn't neglected.
            Uncrossing her legs and standing, Ariana strode from the gilded cage that was Degannwy. Some things could not be neglected.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2008, 09:07:38 PM »
           While her hand lay comfortingly on Atlantia's shoulder, Ariana knew this was another girl who could use help. Atlantia was suffering right now, and she has in the past as well. Ari knew not many would understand her motives for helping someone she hardly even knew. Not many knew or could even imagine that under the "bitter, lonely elf girl" as one had aptly put it, there actually lay a selfless and ultimately good person. Atlantia's frame racked with sobs, and then shook with anger. Ariana and Calor seemed to finally convince her to calm down, although with a touch of Ariana's magic. Ariana would see this girl through, as she had others. She'd give her someone to rely on. Ariana led her away to the Vine, it was obvious the only thing that would put Atlantia's thoughts back in order was some deep rest. From a past trip she already had a key to a private room. Atlantia's words made little sense, at times she would lapse into Draconic, a language Ariana never bothered to learn. Ariana entered the dark room slowly, trying to find a potential light source. Light streamed in from the hall, casting Atlantia's shadow on the floor beside her own. Mirth and revelry could still be heard from the music halls downstairs.

Come on, time fo- An arm looped around Ariana's neck tightly, vying to cut off her respiratory systems. Ariana could not break Atlantia's hold, try as she could.

Atlantia started to whisper about a Master, and how he wanted silence. She began to squeeze harder on Ariana's throat. The lights began to dance in Ari's eyes, and black spots appeared in her peripheral vision.

Atl..d..don't.. She managed in a hoarse whisper.

Ariana's attempts to break free weakened as the darkness crept into her vision. Everything started to blur, her thoughts, her sight, her hearing became muffled. In a moment of clarity she knew not enough blood was getting to her brain, she would not survive, the grip on her throat was too strong.
Ariana's limp form was gently lowered to the ground, and pair of rushed footsteps ran out, paused at the door, then continued on out.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2008, 11:12:30 PM »
      Months have passed, each month with its own troubles. From goblin invasions, to demon attacks, the things that would usually be a break from the norm became almost monotonous. Ariana over that time slowly began to despise her practice of necromancy. She learned what she did everytime she animated a corpse. She felt atrocious..it was no longer a tool for her. She had gathered enough evidence to learn that there were many of like mind...it was time to put the dark practice away...somehow. She knew what it was doing to her. Her tapping into dark energies made it even harder for her to keep a firm grip on her powers. Her decisions lately have been a series of mistakes, she seemed to be able to do nothing right. Yes, it was time to end it. But how? Ariana knew one could forget a spell and learn one in its place, but she never had a formal tutor. She was entirely self-taught in her magic.
        The sound of hulking footsteps broke Ariana from her daze. A figure was approaching, a caliban with a shield the size of a door. Ariana hopped up from her sitting position to face it, not to be caught off guard. It did not take her long to realize that this was Morag, the baby-eater. The words "Bah, I'll rape you later, eat first." did not sit well with her, and neither did Morag's climb into the Morninglordian cemetery. Ariana went back to face the murdering half-orc. Her spells hardly pierced Morag's defenses, in the end, she lost. Morag vanished, and cast a spell at her she could not get up from. The huling footsteps approached as she lay there, bleeding to death. A blade cut into her chest. She remembered pain, trying to scream..then black.
         She awoke in the Lady's in a blood-soaked dress, and horriyfingly, with only one arm. There was a faint scar on her chest, apparently half of it had been missing before Lizuca tended to it. Marcus was tending to her wounds, holding a cool cloth on her forehead. The pair filled each other in before a sudden pain seized Ariana's stomach. It quickly became exruciating and unbearable, especially in her weakened state. Ariana blacked out again.
         She opened her eyes and saw herself whole and uninjured, surrounded by thick mists in a damp and dark room. Before her she saw a skeletal warrior. Confused but alert, she looked around for a way out and finding none, turned back to the threat. The skeleton pointed at her, as if offering a challenge. Ariana smiled and complied, blowing it away readily enough. Two more rose to take its place. Magic could not kill these two, no matter what she did. Slowly her injuries grew, until her clothes were in tatters and she was again covered in blood. The skeletons backed her into a corner. She was not frightened, nor alarmed. It was only a dream, after all. Her left hand subconsciously grabbed the hilt of her katana. She looked down at it, a small smile crossing her face. She hardly knew how to use it, especially against opponents as formidbale as these, but this was all she had. She remembered all the brutal lessons she received from Za'Raa, remembered her own hours practicing her stances and attacks, remembered the focus that lately, she just couldn't seem to gather. Without hesitation she drew the blade and assumed her stance, looking from one enemy to the other. One issued a challenge, she cut it down, the other swiftly followed. As she sheathed her blade, exhaustion and injuries overtook her. She seemed to faint again, and woke back up with a concerned Marcus looking down on her. The significance of the dream came to her quickly, as did a smile to her lips.
...I won....[she whispered]
She told him of the dream, and realized that it was more than just a dream. Her dress was in tatters, and her body sustained injuries she received while fighting the skeletons. Her smile persisted. She knew she had won. She could not recall the verbal or somatic componenets to her necromancitc spells. The dark knowledge left her mind, though the memory of her actions did not. She'd make amends...to everyone. Just a matter of time and patience.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2008, 03:22:02 PM »
       Ariana knew that this trip had gone badly..worse than any before. She was trapped in a cage, a companion's spirit inside with her. Both of them were wilting like flowers in winter. The Illithid Lich talked about some of his garndiose plans, and how her energy would make them complete. She would never be a tool of evil..she'd rather die first. At least death will be better than body and spirit used for the Lich's dark plans. She had some strength left...with the last of it she threw a fireball at the Lich. He seemed unhurt...but his plans, were now but ashes. She dispalyed a triumphant smile as he stuck her down with his psionic energies. Kir'Thalax reached for her head with his tentacles and easily broke open her skull, removing her brain. After his meal was complete, he tore off her head and dropped it in front of the cage, moving her body elsewhere. The horror her survivng companions would see upon entering that room could never match her suffering yet to come.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2008, 06:31:30 PM by Haplo Nexus »

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2008, 10:39:54 PM »
Trapped Soul

Behind the veil lies in wait
A soul now trapped and found too late
That no good deed will go unpunished,
That no purity remains untarnished
Yet evil is rewarded why?
When clear as day and dark as night
The day will always come and win
And free the dark from chains of sin.
But can soul hope for freedom yet
From dark fate mind and body met
If so used to loneliness
The soul will care less and less
Of joy, of freedom, and so of light,
And more of cold and dark and night,
The elements of shadow lit by here a spark,
And here a candle and thus shines light!
But one remains left in the dark.

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2008, 10:57:22 PM »
         The balance has always been delicate. Too many unknowns, too many factors to consider, too many outcomes. Ariana walked on a fine edge, the goal in sight, but the means to get to it far more challenging than anything else she has undertaken yet. How much did he know? How much really do I know? Does he see my mind like an open book? There was no good anwser for anything anymore. Alone, could she do it, could she break free, regain her mind, her will? Maybe, but will she keep her sanity? Sanity..it means so little, taken for granted, except by those who see it slipping before their eyes. Man was not meant for this, the mortal mind is too weak, too fragile, to handle this kind of power, but oh gods..how tempting it was...like a drug, so addictive, so potent, so deadly...
Focus! He is -not- my master, he does -not- control me. This is my mind, my territory..how -dare- he treat it like it belongs to him? He took my mind, he took my -life-..I want it back...I'll have it back...Can I count on anyone to stand by me..or am I too long gone in their eyes? They see the mask, they see the breach in sanity...do they see me anymore?

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Re: Lady Luck- Ariana Argent
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2008, 11:41:33 AM »
        A woman in a bloodstained pink dress and an illithid mask stood in front of a drow in a corner of Degannwy. The woman seemed as inert as a statue, the drow's lips seemed to be the only ones to move...The images and memories flooded his mind, proof that this really was Ariana...that she was more than a puppet. Another psyche entered the area, though Ariana could not tell whose it was.
"Divaun, who is there?"
Your friend of friends..
"I must tell her the situation."
No..I'll do that myself.

Briefly, anger and hostility flared from Za'Raa's psyche, before Ariana lost sight of it.
"Divaun, she must know. Find her, bring her back, or I will go myself."
No..you won't be going anywhere..stand still.

She detected his intent; self protection flared up inside her, but she stemmed it..she could not allow herself to harm him. His blow, perhaps held back because it was after all still her he was striking, only pushed her back.
"stop thi-" A brief, sharp pain racked her body before she could finish her sentence. A blade protruded out of her chest, stuck in from behind. How familiar that blade was..never did she think she would feel it.

Cold..so cold..but..free. Free, no one controlled her mind now! She wasn't a puppet..the strings were severed by death itself. He could not reach her here...no one could...no one...
Her eyes blinked open once more. She stood in darkness, waist deep in red mist..as if sprinkled with blood. The circular room was loud with the sounds of slippery tentacles, all coming for her. Try hard as she could..the slimy things rose form the ground and grabbed her ankles. Ariana retreated to a wall, the tentacles hesitating to follow her. To her right she saw a tube with a female body suspended inside it, facing away from her. With nervous apprehension, she circled to the front..not surprised yet still horrified to see her own face.
From the mists rose the hated illithid. Her magic, despite its power, could not defeat this nightmare...he glided towards her, the tentacles parting for him.
Get the hell out of my life! Find another damn servant, you don't control me anymore!
The illithid issued what could only be called a laugh. Yes..perhaps..Za'Raa? Ariana looked in horror as her friend's face appeared where her own once was.
No! You won't have her! Get away from me, go to your Bluetspur, and leave my loved ones and me alone! Fury, rage, helplessness all swirled within Ariana's mind. This was more than a nightmare, she knew..her nightmares were always far too real.
The illithid faded away, leaving Ariana surrounded by the bloody mist, weak in the knees. A hooded and heavily cloaked form appeared near the tube where Za'Raa's body seemed to float.
What the hell do yo- Her breath faded as she spoke; something left her form.
The Nightmare Man's voice sounded like death, wind through an old tomb, scarabs on a forgotten corpse...I taste..your fear... A parting supernatural laugh and this figure too vanished.
Her eyes blinked open and she sat up in an unfamiliar bed. Cold sweat covered her body, her clothes, and the sheets. She did not know where she was, how she got there...but all that mattered, was that Za'raa was sleeping peacefully beside her.
No one will take you away..not if I'm still breathing...Hugging her dear friend protectively, Ariana finally succumbed to weariness and a sleep devoid of nightmares.