With some prodding, I've decided to follow the example of my guild mate, Worldcrafter, and toss up some of the short stories I had on My DDO before it crumpled. Hope folks enjoy it.

Credits: Katrionas is mine, Draerent belongs to Worldcrafter and Nightsnow belongs another guild mate, Kitsune.

Title: Solo-ing
Type: One Shot
Characters Involved: Katrionas Vento, with mention of Draerent Cragborn and Nightsnow.

Katrionas breathed a curse under her breath, her ice blue eyes narrowing in irritation as she heard the harsh snick of the lock’s tumbler slipping back into place. Her pale lips compressed in a thin line as she cast a quick look over her shoulder. Further up the hall she could hear the clicking of kobold talons on the stone floor of the dungeon, mingled with their barking tongue. It was a good thing that neither Draerent nor Nightsnow had been free to join her on the ‘crawl’. They would laugh their asses off to see such a simple lock tripping her up. Of course, she was in a bit of a hurry. The dwarven barbarian wasn’t there to draw hostilities while she worked on the lock, was he?

Giving a sigh, the young woman turned her attention back to the lock, applying the tools of her trade once more. The harsh barks were growing closer. A small smirk quirked on her lips as she caught the distinctive sound of the lock’s tumbler finally giving way. Her free hand moved to pat the pouch that was holding the egg-sized moonstone that she had stolen from the kobold shrine, absently. Slipping her lock-picking tools into their snug secret pockets in her gloves, Kat gently opened the door to listen for sounds of more kobolds in the next room.

Thankfully, the room seemed devoid of additional kobolds. Instead, there seemed to be stacks of boxes and crates, some already cracked open or even emptied of their goods. The young woman’s smirk grew as she crept into the room quietly, making her way beyond a veritable wall of crates to her left. Once well-hidden, she drew her weapons and crouched there, waiting. The scuffling sounds of the lead kobolds, likely their warriors, drew closer as they approached the now open door. One of them barked something before pushing the door open further and entering the apparent storage room with a soft hiss.

Kat shifted behind the crates, edging forward to watch the reptilian humanoid cautiously. Equally careful, the kobold moved amid the boxes, occasionally giving a prod between them with his spear. As it began to advance beyond the woman’s hiding place, Kat lashed out with one of her long blades. The surface of the bastard sword’s blade gleamed with a soft blue light, made eerie by the steam rising from its wake. The frozen blade struck the kobold, slicing across the back of its legs as her other blade arced overhead and pierced its chest. The skin around the second blade sizzled for a moment before freezing over.

Hastily, the young woman drew back into the shadows, leaving the corpse where it lay. Moments later there was an outcry from another kobold and the scuttling approach of its companions. One of the arriving kobolds crouched to check on their fallen comrade as the others fanned out to look for Kat. She drew back into deeper shadows, waiting for another creature to draw closer. A few of them ventured close enough and Kat darted out, swords flashing. The soft glow from the first blade glinted off the others mercurial surface as she cut down one of the kobolds and lashed out at the other.

Unfortunately, these kobolds didn’t have the decency to just die quietly. The second creature yelped a warning, drawing the others’ attention. Kat swore, moving to take on the closest, glad for the extra reach of her bastard swords. Yea, they were a ***** to dual wield, but well worth it. More kobolds poured through the door, eager to join in the fray. The young woman was alright, until she heard chanting. Her head jerked up and her eyes widened as she looked towards the door to find the kobold shaman there, arms raised in mid-spell. He must really want his ‘magic stone’ back…

Alarmed, Katrionas backpedaled away from the door with a new string of curses as a fire flask struck near her feet. The flash of flame scorched her leather boots and blinded her for a moment. Squeezing her eyes shut, Kat shook her head and gave a pained cry at a sudden sharp pain across her arm. One of the kobolds barked a cheer, and the young woman swung one of her blades towards the sound. The impact jarred up her arm as she struck the creature, and her vision began to clear. She saw the shaman finishing up his spell and tried to start towards him. Only to find herself frozen.

Dammit! Where were Draerent and Nightsnow when she needed them?! Nevermind that their absence also meant they’d missed her lock failure. A new jolt, courtesy of a failed attempt to skewer her on a spear, made the young woman grunt. Ha! Take that, Mr. Chain-Shirts-Will-Slow-Me-Down! Leathers would have never stopped that, but the elven ranger would never give up on crowing about how much easier they were to move in. So he could be an agile pincushion.

Katrionas felt the invisible restraints give way and lurched forward, nearly falling on her face. Graceful, she was. The woman stumbled, then regained her footing before looking to the shaman with a glare. He barked something at the other kobolds and raised his hands again. Oh no. She wasn’t letting him get away with that again.

Whirling, she outstretched her arms to extend her swords in a deadly arc. The few remaining kobolds sizzled and shattered as the acid and ice that coated her blades bit into their skin and they crumpled to the stone floor, leaving Kat in the middle of their corpses. Quickly, she dropped one of the bastard swords at her feet and drew a slender throwing dagger from her belt and hurled it at the shaman. Katrionas watched as the weapon spun end over end to thunk solidly in the kobold shaman’s chest. His reptilian eyes widened in shock before he crumpled forward. She watched the still form until her dagger materialized in her waiting hand. Tucking it back in its sheathe, the human woman crouched to retrieve her bastard sword and advanced to make certain that the shaman was dead. If he hadn’t been when he fell, he certainly was after the acid from her blade sizzled its way through his body.

Katrionas stepped back from the fallen creature and looked around at her handiwork for a moment. Not bad to one little lock-picker. A gleeful grin tugged at her lips as she returned her bastard swords to their sheathes as well and clapped her hands together, rubbing them. Time to loot!