The Long Road to Ruin Ch. 30byLady_Blackhawk©
Disclaimer: This fanfic is based off the Neverwinter Nights community module by the name of "A Dance with Rogues" created by Valine. I fell in love with this story and felt compelled to write something that compliments it. This story contains explicit content and graphic violence. All characters except Shiloh, Bastian, Rhys, Nicca, Ni'as, Narev and Essex are property of Valine.
Please VOTE and leave FEEDBACK!!!! Thanks a million to everyone who has voted and left me feedback on this saga! Your words and thoughts mean a great deal to me. I'll take it all, the good, the bad, the indifferent and the ugly!
A Light in the Dark (Dissension)
The blond haired, grey eyed holy man led the trio of ladies back up to main room, guiding them to a doorway off to the left. He ushered them through it, down a short corridor that ended in two adjacent doors. "We were able to disable a few simple traps in this hallway until we stumbled onto a few that beyond our abilities to defeat. Same goes for the locks on either of those doors. I think perhaps that brass key Shanna found is what we need for that door," he motioned to the one to the left. "However this one is still a mystery to us. There is no locking mechanism on it."
"Just that vulgar relief," Myra interjected, sniffing condescendingly.
"Well, I'm really good with locks and traps. I have a talent for it." Shiloh beamed as she turned to view the carving on the door.
"I don't doubt that one bit. You seem to have a talent for many dubious things," Myra retorted.
Shiloh smiled sweetly while running her hands up and down the front of the door's edifice, drinking in the sight of its depiction of a man covered by half a robe. His torso was bare with indentations that gave Shiloh the impression that another body would fit within them. Immediately she pressed herself against it, hoping that was what it took to open the door.
It was not.
"I tried that already, Shiloh," Myra sighed, "It didn't work."
Shiloh tapped her foot, examining the possibilities of how to solve the problem. "I think I know what might get this door open. All the reliefs have robed or half robed priests and naked females. So I'm thinking to get it open, a naked female will have to press herself against it. I have no problem doing so, but I'm sorry, Christano. You're going to have to exit the corridor. This is a female party."
He raised an eyebrow at her. "I know what a naked woman looks like so I'm positive you don't have anything different. You're a trifle on the skinny side, if I do say so."
She shot him a glare, "Turn around then because I will not allow you to... ogle me!" She recalled the words Myra had used down by the ship.
The stern look that crossed his face spoke volumes. "I don't take orders from the help! You will do what you must without further delay. You will strip off your armor and get us through that door."
Once more she extended her hand in order to slap him. His eyes narrowed dangerously as he grabbed hold of her wrist before it connected. Spinning her around, he jerked her arm behind and shoved it back between her shoulder blades. She let out a hiss of pain as he pressed her against the door. "Don't do anything stupid!"
"Unhand me now!" Shiloh struggled as she reached for her blade.
"It is your job to get us through locked doors. So do it!" He ground out as he ran his hands down her body to her waist before he backed away. She glared back out him as she took a step back from the door.
"Do you really think this is the time to act like a prissy virgin? Get out of the way, Shiloh! I'll do it!" Shanna began pulling on the buckles and straps that kept her tight catsuit together.
"Oh no, you're not!" Shiloh replied, as she began to do the same, glaring angrily. "You're not going to flaunt your ass in front of him."
Shanna gave a disgruntled taunt, "Bitch!"
"Takes one to know one!" She wiggled out of her blackened mithral armor, dropping the pieces to the floor at her feet. Shiloh sucked in a deep breath and pressed her nude form into the cold steel door. A shiver raced through her. Almost immediately, the inner workings of the door could be heard as tumblers clicked, causing it to swing open. She stepped back and bent down to grab her armor. She felt a hand softly caress her back as she righted herself. It caused more shivers to race down her back. "I said not to touch me again!"
A particularly pleased smile graced the paladin's handsome face. "Good work, Shiloh. I knew hiring you was a good move." His thumb caressed her shoulder as the rest of his fingers gripped her forearm.
"I can't believe you pressed your breasts against that door!" Myra huffed indignantly. "You are such a...-,"
A stern look from Christano cut Myra's protest short. She glowered before turning away, her cheeks hot with anger.
Shiloh shimmied back into her armor and cracked the door open a little wider. "I can hear a shuffling noise. There's something moving in there. There's no light at all. It's utterly dark," she whispered back to the rest of the group.
"Let me see," Christano pushed her out of the way and opened the door halfway. He grabbed Myra's torch, holding it aloft. "There is broken furniture on the floor. The bed inside looks rather dilapidated and there is something big moving. Time for action!"
He shoved the door open all the way and charged in, swinging his morningstar wildly at the what looked to be a rotting corpse whose skin was stretched tightly across its near skeletal form clutching a rusty looking scythe in its hands. Myra followed him, brandishing her holy symbol at the thing. Shiloh followed suit, tumbling into the room. She nearly gagged as she breathed in the unmistakable stench of decay from the opened grave, taking note of its milky eyes and tattered remains of rusty armor. She shook herself soundly, fighting the need to wretch violently. As soon as it passed, she tumbled in, evading the swinging weapons of her comrades. She nimbly cartwheeled onto the bed, pulling her short swords. She slashed at the decaying creature before her, knocking off chucks of decomposed flesh and metal. Christano bellowed loudly as he pulled back his now glowing weapon and connected with the thing's head, causing a sickening crunch of metal crushing bone. But the thing remained standing, lashing out at the paladin in a solid swing that hit him in the torso. Blood splattered against the wall as the paladin cried out in pain. Myra's eyes went big and channeled holy power to the symbol she strongly presented to the undead creature. "By the power of the Lord of Light, be gone!"
Shiloh watched as divine energy consumed the thing and turned into dust before her eyes. Its weapon clattered to the floor in a harsh clang. She sprang from the bed, watching as Christano fell to his knees. Myra reacted quickly, chanting in a language Shiloh didn't understand. Golden light encompassed her before she reached down and touched Christano's wound. He groaned as the wound healed itself and the pain went away, staggering back to his feet, "This place is evil!" He sermonized, shaking his weapon at the pile of dust that remained. "Surely my order would have cleansed such creatures!"
"Maybe they couldn't get through the door," Shiloh scoffed as she noticed a silver strongbox on the floor near the wall. She headed to it and knelt before it, examining the rusty pitted surface of it. She pulled out her picks, nimbly opening the lock and disconnecting the wire that connected to a small glass vial full of green liquid. She set it aside before opening the strongbox. Inside was a key and a pouch of coins. Pocketing both, she turned back to her companions.
"I highly doubt a simple door would've stopped them. Great evil is at work here and we will extinguish it once and for all."
"Oh, I think you fought valiantly. You simply must teach me, Sir Christano!" Shanna beamed at him, her eyes flashing blatant invitation.
Shiloh scowled at Shanna and rolled her eyes at Christano. "You're so full of shit! They couldn't have gotten through that door if they tried, unless there was a female willing to disrobe. I highly doubt that, given the fact that most holy warriors are as frigid as glaciers."
Christano glared at her venomously. "You will mind your tongue. Now let's move along. I'm feeling better thanks to the grace of the Sun Lord. Shall we try the key in the other door?"
Shanna skipped merrily to the door and inserted it in the door. "It's not budging," she frowned as she turned back to them.
Shiloh pushed her aside and tried the one she'd found in the strongbox. Though rusty from disuse, the door swung open with a creak. "Got it," she smiled as she took hold of Shanna's hand and pulled her into the small room beyond the door. A large trapdoor filled the middle of the floor. Shiloh reached for the iron ring to lift it, but met solid resistance. "It's locked. Maybe your key will work on this one. The keyhole looks to be made of brass. Isn't that key a brass one?"
"Yes, it is, Shiloh. I want to open it. You don't get to have all the fun." Shanna nudged Shiloh aside and inserted the key. Once she had it unlocked, she lifted the trapdoor by the iron ring. She coughed as stale air assailed her and moved away from it. Shanna's eyes settled upon her sister and she shot an evil grin at her. "It stinks down there, just like the smell the wafts from between your legs."
Shiloh hissed at her under her breath. "That was uncalled for!"
"Good work, Shanna," Christano praised as he touched her shoulder, "I'll go down first. Hand me the torch, Myra."
Christano made his way down a rickety ladder holding the torch in one hand, his spiked weapon in the other. "It's all clear down here. The floor's covered with an inch of dust, which means we must be the first ones down here in decades," he called back up to them.
"I hope your fat asses aren't too much for the ladder," Myra sneered at Shanna and Shiloh before she made her way down.
Shanna flipped an obscene gesture at Myra before she followed her down. She made a show of missing a rung or two and falling the short distance to the floor, launching herself at Christano. He caught her haphazardly, his arms engulfing her completely.
"Be careful, little one. You might get hurt," he smiled at her warmly while his eyes devoured her beauty.
Shiloh followed slowly, taking her time and making sure she was steady. She could tell what Shanna was trying to do and wondered if it was part of whatever orders Bastian had given her. "That is none of your business, my pet. Just focus on the cleric," Bastian's voice flowed through her thoughts. She frowned, annoyed over how he could constantly read her thoughts. Couldn't she have one private thought he wasn't privy to? She heard an evil laugh in her head. Obviously not.
"We should all celebrate, Ladies. The fact that there is all the dust on this floor has to mean that the Golden Chalice is still here. We will be victorious in recovering it," Christano beamed as he let go of Shanna. "Now Shiloh, if you'd take a look at the door, we can get on out way."
Shiloh nodded curtly before turning to the door. She reached for the handle and pulled. It opened with a pop and she stepped forward carefully searching each section of floor for traps. She quickly discovered two tripwires and disabled them then continued on down the short hallway to a flight of stairs. Cautiously she moved down them, her light foot steps barely disturbing the layer of thick dust. At the bottom of the long stairwell she came to another locked door. She swiftly pulled her picks and went to work on it, getting it open before her companions joined her. Behind her she could hear Christano's voice, though it was hushed significantly. "Now that you've seen her in action, what do you think of her?" His eyes devoured her thoroughly.
"I'm not really sure. Despite her dubious manners, she seems reliable enough. I don't like the other one, though. She's far too eager for your attention and you shouldn't encourage it." The dark haired cleric frowned deeply.
"Careful, dear, your tone of voice could use some improvement. We may have to work on that next time we rest. Otherwise I believe you are right. She does seem reliable and competent for what we require." His eyes came to rest on her shapely figure. "And now that I've had a much better look at her, I can honestly say I don't think I've ever seen very many other girls with tits the size of hers. They're one of her best features, that is besides her full rounded ass, plump lips and luscious looking thighs."
"CHRISTANO!" Myra cried in outrage, her eyes flashing angrily.
He shot her a stern look, admonishing her silently.
"It would normally please me that a man appreciates my assets, Christano, but a word to the wise. Keep your eyes to yourself or else you'll find yourself blind." Shiloh hissed menacingly. "You have a beautiful female as your boon companion. You needn't drool over the rest of us so salaciously."
"Maybe he prefers a curvier woman, but took what was available and now that he has more choices...," Shanna offered as she preened before him. She flashed a lascivious smile.
"You're such a slut!" Myra exclaimed at the younger woman.
"That's enough, my dear. She is clearly from a different background than you or I, one that is more free and open. You shouldn't malign her because of it." Christano replied as he tenderly touched her cheek.
"You only say that because you wish to bed her. I can see it as clear as the tension lines on your face. I won't have you shaming me like this." Myra shot back, her eyes full of fury.
"Tis not a shame if you were more open-minded, my sweet. And furthermore, you are walking on very thin ice. I'll have to discipline you if you persist in this behavior. You'll take your punishment and you'll like it."
"Perhaps we should forget this and move on," Shiloh piped up as she opened the door to another dark corridor. She stepped through it and peered down it. "There are three doors down this way. One is glowing with a strange blue light. It's almost like a barrier of sorts."
"Do you see anything else?" Christano asked. "Anything moving?"
"No, nothing's stirring."
"Except the hard-on in Christano's pants every time he looks at your ass, Shiloh," Shanna murmured into her sister's ear. "You really need to back off."
"Off what, or perhaps whom?" Shiloh shot back to her through gritted teeth.
"Must you have every man fawning over you? It's bad enough you took Vico from me. I said back off and I mean it!"
Shiloh threw her hands up in the air while flashing the nastiest look she could manage at both Shanna and Christano. "You are at least 20 years his junior and furthermore, I didn't take Vico. I don't have the power to control that asshole. Besides this isn't the time or the place to discuss that," she stalked away to one of the doors and went to work on the trap and lock. The lock proved very easy to pick, but the trap puzzled her somewhat. She quickly located a pressure plate in the center of the floor in front of the door, but no connecting wires or parts. Carefully she searched every inch of the area before her. She pried up the pressure plate and smiled as she noticed the vials of green liquid below it. It had to be some kind of poisonous gas. She disconnected each vial and stowed them away. Perhaps they could come in handy. "It's all clear now," she spoke softly and opened the door before her.
She stepped inside the room it opened up into. Broken furniture lay in piles, strewn haphazardly upon the floor of the room. She cautiously moved in a few more steps, checking the floor on this side of the door. "Clear," she called out a second time, allowing Christano, Myra and Shanna to enter the room.
"What a filthy mess!" Christano exclaimed. "It looks like a battle took place here."
"It would seem so, but there are no corpses, no bones, nothing at all to suggest anything died here," Shiloh agreed, as she looked around uneasily. Something didn't feel right to her. She couldn't put a finger on it, but that feeling wouldn't leave her. She turned her concerns inward, her thoughts reaching out to Bastian. "What's going on here?"
She heard his throaty chuckle in her head. "The Nameless One has taken hold of that unhallowed place. Be careful, my precious. There are nastier things than spiders that linger in the dark places you'll wander into. Beware the long undead."
A shiver overtook her and she glanced over at Myra, who had pulled out her holy symbol once more. "I get the feeling we won't be finding any bones or corpses. Something evil is at work here. The stench of undead lingers on the stale air and that is exactly why there aren't any remains."
"Be ready then, my love," Christano touched her shoulder gently. "We'll need your holy light to destroy them. Be on your guard everyone."
Shiloh began removing the splintered wooden pieces of what was once tables, chairs, and beds. She stacked it all up against one of the walls before heading through an adjacent door into another hallway. An undead creature with hollow eyes and mottled black decaying flesh drawn taut over its visible bones ambled toward her with a wicked looking serrated sword clutched in its bony hand. She let out a squeak and tumbled into the shadows, using them to her advantage, while whistling at her companions. Christano wasted no time charging in to do battle with the hideous foul-smelling creature. He swung his morningstar recklessly about, smashing in the creature's head and ribs. Myra joined him, calling upon her god to destroy it. Her golden mail gleamed brightly as light surrounded her. She channeled it though the sun symbol she clutched in her hand. The undead thing burst into dust, floating to the floor harmlessly.
"Good job, my love. I do believe you deserve a reward." Christano wrapped his arms around her, embracing her while he bestowed a juicy kiss upon her pale pink lips. He patted her bottom affectionately before pulling back. "More undead creatures. I find that more than a little disturbing. Surely my order would've cleansed this place of them."
"Unless something has recently awakened them. You said we are the first people who've set foot down here in decades. Something evil is at work here, Christano dear," Myra surmised thoughtfully. "We'll have to lay them to rest once and for all!"
"And we shall! When faced with the holy light of the flame of the church, we'll be victorious!" He beamed and smiled brightly.
"Of course you will be. I have complete faith in it," Shanna interjected as she wedged herself between Christano and Myra. "You were so brave. It didn't stand a chance."
Myra scowled at her while Shiloh rolled her eyes. She picked up the serrated sword from the floor and searched the remains on an armoire in a small room off the hallway, finding within it another key. She held the rusty piece of iron in her hands as she walked to the door directly across from where she'd been. She fitted the key into the lock and pulled the door open. A pristine bedroom looked untouched by time, despite the dust that coated the floor in a thick layer. A large bed took up most of the space in the room. It was flanked on one side by a chest of drawers and by two cages on the other. Braziers took up residence in the corners while a wooden strongbox sat along the east wall.
"Quite the decoration!" Christano eyed the cage and various other kinds of torturing equipment with interest. "But I wonder why there is a stone statue in each of the cages?"
Shiloh crossed the floor and picked the lock on the first cage. She opened the door and stepped inside it, carefully looking the statue over. It was of a petite female who wore a look of sheer terror on her face. "Myra, come here please," she called out, motioning her over.