Rush Of Blood To The Head, part 6.13.
Despite our best efforts to leave as soon as possible, it takes us almost the whole day to get ready for the travel back to Esmeltaran – only in the late afternoon we all stand in the lobby, prepared for the long road ahead of us. The delay has been partly the fault of Jaheira and me, though…
Her forgiveness came as a pleasant surprise, I expected it eventually, but it happened very quickly and suddenly… in the end, I had to listen to a half-an-hour long scolding, which I admit was very much deserved. Eventually, I was forced to make a promise never to act in such way again – a promise that I seriously intend to keep.
After such spilling of emotions, we both felt a dire need to make up for the hurt feelings with passionate session of lovemaking… and that most certainly did put us both into a much better mood, which was clearly worth the slight delay in our plans.
Our friends were very pleased to see us descending the stairs together and chatting happily – most of their relief was probably because of seeing Jaheira in a good mood, as traveling with a frustrated and irate druid was not something that anyone would look forward to.
When I first told Keldorn this morning that Bodhi has already been killed, he didn’t take it very well. Since he had already donned his full plate, I could easily understand his discontent for going through such bother for nothing. He looked rather concerned about me using the Bhaal powers and I am not sure if he believed me when I explained him that it was the first and only time I plan to use them. Frankly, I didn’t care much about what he thinks and did not bother to try and convince him… Nalia, on the other hand, was extremely relieved for the news and didn’t even inquire about how exactly was I able to defeat the whole batch of vampires on my own.
In the end, Imoen and Viconia had caused the longest delay to our plans, as they were hard to persuade to leave their room. And when they did leave it to join us eventually, Imoen looked very giddy indeed and Viconia was extremely thankful for the visor of her helm, covering her face and not allowing us to see her blushing… I am absolutely sure that she was blushing heavily.
The reactions of the others were mixed, to say the least… Edwin and Nalia had been totally indifferent, which I wrote off to their nescience. The disapproval on Keldorn’s face was unmistakable and it obviously took him a great effort to contain it inside. Jaheira did scowl a little, but refrained from saying anything – though I am sure that she fixed Imoen with one of those ‘we will have a serious talk about this’ looks. Myself, I could only feel joy that my little sister has found a tiny bit of happiness… gods, I haven’t seen her smiling like this since… well, Candlekeep…
With these thoughts, I head over to the barkeep who has prepared our bill. As he turns the greasy parchment over to me, I notice that the initial sum that we agreed upon has increased five times and the barkeep cringes as I fix him with an icy glare. I pass the parchment over to Jaheira, already laughing inwardly, guessing her reaction.
“Damage of the property? Bodily harassment of the staff?” Jaheira flares up in righteous fury as she quickly scans over the parchment, “This is outrageous, and we are not paying for any of this! This is blatant cheating, you are a fraud!”
“Err… umm… maybe I got the numbers wrong… well, can’t blame an old man…” the barkeep takes back the parchment with shaking hands and hurriedly makes corrections to the bill before handing it back to me. I nod, confirming my agreement and open my pouch to pay up – while it still is twice the initial price, Jaheira did destroy some valuable things…
Having sorted out this particular problem, we turn to leave the inn, but once we are outside we don’t get far, before someone confronts us… again.
“Hello, young lady. Might I have a word or two?” a distinctively oily voice addresses us, Jaheira, to be exact, as I turn to see some kind of a wizard, wearing a very familiar looking pointy hat.
“Should I know of you?” Jaheira addresses the man, “you look startlingly familiar… I believe I have met you amongst the Harpers.”
“Perhaps… perhaps we have met. We traveled in much the same circles, though not at the same time,” the old man continues to speak in riddles, strangely reminding me of someone very annoying, “Terminsel is the...ahh....name, and I should like to ask ye a question.”
“What is the reason for your visit, Elminster?” Jaheira asks, clearing all doubts about our guest, “We are too busy to engage in your games of anagrams… not all of us have time for such nonsense.”
“Ah, I will recognize that pointy hat anywhere! You shall suf-” luckily Edwin does not get to finish his words as Imoen quickly gags him by pressing her palm against his mouth and Viconia nimbly jumps behind him and holds Edwin’s hands behind his back, preventing him from spell casting.
“Ah, I see… you are very confrontational, my child… just as I feared,” Elminster looks at Jaheira as if judging her and that makes me rather angry, “we have a reason to be concerned, Jaheira, that your guidance of the Child has not been according to the standards and beliefs of Those Who Harp. My question is – do you think you have done enough to prevent the Child from becoming the incarnation of murder and evil that he is bound to embrace? Have you always followed the code and beliefs of the Harpers?”
Jaheira stares at the ground for prolonged moments before replying and when she does answer, her voice is weary, “I have always followed and guided Theodur because of my heart, not because of what the damned Code says, Elminster. I admit that I have been following my heart, instead of the beliefs of the Harpers… for I believe that it will be my love that will guide Theodur through these troubled times, not some kind of written code of ideals. I… I have lost so much… so many friends because of my connection to the Harpers and with every death a small piece of my faith to our ideals died. Perhaps… perhaps it is time to think about myself… about what I want and need, instead of trying to mend the world.”
“No, Elminster,” she shakes her head resolutely, before putting her arm around my shoulder, “I can follow Harper beliefs no more… I am through with your kin. I do not have any regrets, but it is time for me to move on.”
“Your pin, Jaheira,” Elminster says abruptly and Jaheira hands him the small silvery object, not before giving it a long last look.
“I am disappointed with you, child,” Elminster speaks admonitory, “we, Harpers, put such high hopes on you, hoping that you would lead him down the road of the balance… you have not only failed him, but you have failed yourself and all of us. But such things happen and I suppose could only be expected…”
“Hey! I will not simply stand here and listen to you hurling insults at Jaheira! She has done more for me, than any of your blasted kin, and she did not do it because she was a Harper, but because she loves me. You have no right to judge her, old coot!” I explode in anger.
“Be assured, youngster, that Harpers will keep an eye on you… but from now on we will keep watching the both of you,” Elminster adds.
“I will not tolerate any of your spies in my presence, Elminster, I warn you,” luckily Jaheira holds me tightly embraced or I would have probably done something stupid and suicidal.
“Tsk, tsk… still as confrontational as before… not a good sign. You would both do well to find your way back to the road of balance,” Elminster continues to moralize.
“The only way I want to find is how to connect my sword to your guts, you fossil!” I snarl and Elminster only shakes his head and looks at us with a sad expression on his face before magically teleporting away, probably to meddle in affairs of others.
“That was a most inappropriate manner to address someone as venerable as Elminster himself,” Keldorn points out, but the only reply is a loud hiss from Edwin as he breaks away from the two women holding him.
“You… you, fools! I almost had him there! It was a perfect setting, how… how could you ruin such an opportunity,” Edwin is incensed and for a second there I feel sorry that Imoen and Viconia had restricted him from carrying out his threats… though it would have probably ended up lethally for us all.
“Because not all of us have a death wish, Edwin,” Viconia only smirks in response.
“Are you absolutely sure?” I ask Jaheira who still has that thoughtful expression on her face, “I hope it is what you wanted, not simply because of me or…”
“I am sure… but it will take some time until it sinks in… I have given up on a very big part of my life this day, Theodur,” she looks at me, “do not make me regret my decision, beloved.”
“I promise that you will not be sorry for it, Jaheira,” I smile at her, “your allegiance to the Harpers never bothered me in the slightest, for I fully trusted your judgment. But I hoped that you would one day leave them… not for me. For yourself.”
“Aww… come Vic, don’t you feel inspired?” Imoen whispers quietly, seeing Jaheira and I kissing passionately.
“I think that visor of my helm has stuck…” Viconia snarls, but then adds quietly, “Look, little one… this really isn’t the place…”
After a few pleasant moments, we can resume our travels – the road first leads us to some of the local merchants where we all witness Jaheira’s excellent skills in haggling. Soon enough our pouches are filled with coins to the extent that we almost have no place in which to stuck the gold. I just hope that the small fortune that we carry, won’t attract too many highway muggers as our road once again leads us to Esmeltaran.
Rush Of Blood To The Head, part 6.13.
No replies to this topic
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users