The Destruction of Imoen
Yuri decided he liked cuddling. Not that he hadn’t done it before as a child with Ly but this was different. Ly had always been like a big security blanket, hiding with her when things among the Shadow Thieves got too tough. This cuddling was more, he knew he could kiss the one in his arms and get a response he had been craving since he first saw her. She was far from being Ly, he knew without a doubt that Imoen was his soul mate. Of course had Ly been listening she would have laughed her ass off. This was about the third time he thought he had found his mate in life. He knew that Ly had used his emotions to manipulate him into going to Spellhold, but he also knew it had been an order from Uncle Aran.
Either way he would have gone, but the way Ly had put it, it had sound romantic. Protecting the young lady from the clutches of the evil wizard. Yes, it had sound like something a hero like his other uncle would do. He like to think of his mission being that and not just watching over that creature Irenicus. He also like that Imoen had fallen for him and that she was letting him hold her while they slept. He knew that she felt the connection between them. At least that was what he was hoping.
Truth be known Imoen had more experience with women than he did. Oh he knew the mechanics of it, he just never did it. He, like his two cousins, had been raised with the belief that sex was only after marriage. Of course his young cousin Moira was breaking that rule since she met Yusef, they were hoping for a baby and soon, that way Cor and Saerk had to allow them to marry. Of course knowing Cor he might just murder one of them and set another fire but there would be no one to blame it on this time. Anomen couldn’t be blamed as he wasn’t a mage nor was Moira. Yuri was the only mage in the whole family, unless Cor was hiding something.
He wondered briefly if his Uncle Keldorn was watching over Anomen and Moira, he hoped so. Of course he hoped that his uncle was doing in his spare time, his uncle had a habit of putting his wife and daughters last and not thinking of the harm it did to them. In Yuri’s short life, Aunt Maria had threatened to walk out on him no less than three times. The last he heard she was actually seen with another man. Why did his family have to be so complicated?
As far as he knew Anomen and himself were the oldest virgins in the family. He grinned he knew he would lose his before Anomen ever thought of it, but then again if his friend had her way Ano was in for an experience of a lifetime. Yuri didn’t envy him, she was a handful and speaking of handfuls, his was awakening.
Imoen cuddled back into his warmth, not aware of the effects she was having on his body. She sifted in his arms, knowing he couldn’t be comfortable with her laying on his arm. Lonk had just opened the cells for the day, griping about the two of them being in the same cell. She still didn’t know how Yuri managed that. She was happy in his arms, he brought her comfort that she had never known was missing. Of course she could just be using him as a replacement for Anni. It had been hard on her when Anni had fallen in love with Edwin last year. She still couldn’t believe that she had fallen for such a self-centered person. He always was calling people “monkey” or was insulting them. He insulted Anni worse and worse as their time together went by.
By time they finished with Sarevok, Imoen had wanted to kill Edwin, but Tazok had done that. Unfortunately Jaheira saw fit to raise him at Anni’s instance, they hadn’t raised Dynaheira, but they raise him. She could suppose that she was still jealous. She still loved Anni in every way and it hurt that she couldn’t see what kind of person he was. It also hurt to think that the last time they were together, it had been pity sex. It was after Viconia...not she would not think of that. Even after Edwin left them, they never went back to being lovers, just very close friends and nothing more. Imoen almost wished that they were sisters, so they could share a bond that no one could ever come between.
Why was she thinking of all this? She questioned herself. Was she purposely trying to make herself miserable? Yuri apparently cared for her, even if she was a complete stranger to him. Love at first sight, he had told her. As far as she knew only Gorion, Puffguts and Anni had ever loved her. The idea that someone would love her when they had seen Anni was odd, most people reacted to Anni and brushed her off as childish and unworthy of attention, at least that kind. It wasn’t that Anni was super beautiful. Khalid had once told her it was because she kept everything inside, that her beauty was one of misery or had it been mystery? Either way Imoen knew that her best friend did indeed keep her emotions under tight lock, along with her memories. They had disagreed many times over what people were told when they asked about their childhoods.
Anni wanted to pretend that everything had been fine, while Imoen wanted people to know about the racism that went on at the famous library castle. She wanted people to know that Gorion had been a man to stand up to it, that he was also a hero and not just for past deeds. Gorion had known about the racism and tried in vain for it to stop. He had never told Anni that he knew, but him and Imoen had talks at a length. She knew that Gorion knew she was half-dryad, something she had covered up for years. She had seen how the nobles and their children at Candlekeep treated Anni with her elven blood and had decided from day one not to let anyone know about her heritage, using potions of dark red to mask her pink hair. Gorion had understood. She missed that the most about him, he was the only one that treated her more than a child, like she was as smart as the next person. Kind of how Yuri was treating her. Yuri didn’t think she was a child at all or that she was childish. She couldn’t say that she loved him but she was starting to like him. It was hard not to like him, he was goofy but she could see inside him, he was just like her.
She had tested him the night before and told him about her being half human and he had just shrugged and said, “So?”. She had been at a loss for words. No one had ever just let something like a half breed go. Anni, Jaheira and Khalid were named heroes for defending Baldur’s Gate, but they still had received sneers from nobles and common folk alike. Jaheira and Khalid had ignored it but she could tell it bother Anni. Thinking of the time with the two women made her smile, she missed her friends. She wanted to be with them again, she wanted to go back in time and stop Anni and herself from ever leaving the protection of the city. Even if it meant that they would now be in prison. Surely it couldn’t be worse than what had happened? She wanted to erase all the bad things that had happened at the hands of Irenicus and Bodhi. She could say without remorse that Bodhi was a soulless creature. She wasn’t a woman, she was a disgusting... thingy. Irenicus had seemed more interesting in testing her than torturing her, while Bodhi was just looking for what she called fun.
“Are you cold?” Yuri asked as he felt her shudder.
“No, just some bad memories.”
“Don’t worry, you’re safe with me. No one will hurt you as long as I’m around, I promise.”
“Really, I would inquire to which lengths you would go to keep that promise.” Yuri turned his head in slow horror. It couldn’t, please for the love of Helm, please don’t let it be. Unfortunately Helm didn’t spare him the sight of the leather masked Irenicus. He pushed Imoen behind him as they sat up in bed.
“What do you want?” He demanded of the wizard.
“With you nothing, now the god child is another matter.” Yuri launched himself off the bed and went straight for his throat. Irenicus only batted him aside with one blow, he bounced off the wall, hitting his head and slumping to the ground.
“Imoen...” Yuri sighed as he lost consciousness.
“What are you going to do to me?”
“No more than I will do to your sister.”
“But I have no sister!” She was torn between checking on Yuri and cowering further back into the room. She was no hero, she was scared, she wanted to flee but he was blocking the door. She tried to think of what he was talking about. She remember her mother, a lone dryad with only a house and a tree. She remembered that men use to come to her mother because she was so beautiful. She knew she was an only child, she vaguely remembered a man in black calling her daughter but her mother told her that her father was dead. Could she have other sisters and brothers she didn’t know about? Wouldn’t her mother have told her before turning her over to Gorion? It hurt to think of her mother, how she saw the tree burning as Gorion and her left town. “Who is my sister?” Irenicus chuckled, it grated on her nerves.
“Now Imoen, after all this time you still can’t feel the link with your father? I will have to rectify that.”
“I never knew my father as far as I know he’s dead.”
“Yes, your father is quite dead, has been for some time. Your lesser siblings have been unsuited for my plans but you and Anni are perfect for Bodhi and I.” Imoen cringed at the name of the vampire. “But come Imoen, time is wasting.”
“I’m not going anywhere with you.” She shook her head.
“Imoen, I have been gentle with you up till now but I see force is necessary now.” He said as he closed in on her.
She tried to find the invisible seem in the glass but couldn’t. She was in a glass container, he had put her in it. Why was this happening to her? What was happening to her? She beat on the glass, trying to break it. But what good would it do her? She was trapped and there was no one to run to her rescue this time. She looked around and saw others in containers, they looked like thieves. She could hear some of them screaming as green gas poured into their chambers, each one dropped to the ground, it was like watching a circle of death. She stared down at the floor of her chamber and waited for the gas to come into hers but instead she felt something dark and evil suddenly suffocating her. Invisible claws tore at her closed mouth, forcing it open and power ran into her mouth and inside her. She past out before it became painful.
This is not how I imagined things would go. Imoen was always the innocent one. I always left her alone, pressuring Anni to take care of her without actually telling her that Imoen was her sister. Considering what they did, I thought it would be best not to ever bring it up. As long as they were together and happy, I couldn’t care less what they did... I just made sure never to be in their minds when they did stuff. I knew Imoen and Anni loved each other, which I was very happy about. Imoen’s mother had listened to me when I instructed her in giving her to the old harper. I was a little sad that she had killed herself, she had been one of my more faithful but she had served her purpose. Now I was faced with Imoen, I had been rudely summoned into her and could feel something draining her, leaving only my taint behind. She faced me and stared at me.
“Who are you? What’s going on?” She looked around but everything here was pink, her favorite color and it was slowly draining away.
“I wanted to avoid this Imoen. I truly did.”
“Avoid what? Why is everything going black?”
“He’s taking your divine essence. He’s taking your soul, leaving just me behind.”
“Divine? What’s going on? Where am I?” She was starting to become anxious.
“You are my daughter, I am your father, I am Bhaal.”
“No this isn’t real! Irenicus is messing with my mind again! I’m not a Bhaalspawn! Anni is but not me. She would have known! Gorion would have known! Someone would have told me!” She was crying hysterically. I walked to her and took her in my arms, she had never seen me in armor so I was able to appear as Bhaal the mortal and not the god. I held her even as her soul was taken from her. I was going to get my hands on Irenicus one way or another...
“Lonk! Let me out! Where is Imoen!?” Yuri screamed from inside the closed cell. He had been screaming for over an hour now, but not a soul answered. He sat down on the bed and ran a hand through his spiky blonde hair. Where was Imoen? As if the gods had heard him, the door opened and Imoen came inside. Her eyes were hollow, there was no one home as she just stood there as the cell closed again. “Imoen are you alright? Gods, I was so worried about you! Imoen?”
“So...empty. It...was...there...and...now...it’s...gone.” He went to her and had her sit down on the bed. He took her face in his hands and looked at her. He couldn’t feel his connection to her anymore. Something was wrong but what he couldn’t figure out. He tried talking to her but she just stared right past him. She wasn’t seeing anything.
“Immy please talk to me what happened?”
“I can see it...death...it’s so pretty.”
“Imoen! You’re not making sense what happen?”
“He took it from me...he stole it.”
Anni gripped her head as pain shot through it. Something was wrong, Imoen’s name kept coming in to her mind.
“What? What is wrong? (Besides the fact we are locked in a room during an attack and there’s a bed we could be using.)”
“Something bad happened to Imoen. I can feel it. I don’t know how but I can feel it, she’s always with me but now it feels like she’s gone.” She walked to the window and opened it, letting the sun shine on her, failing to warm a deep dark place inside of her. “Immy, what happened?” She clasped her hands around the symbol of Lathander, an oval cut pink quartz. It may not be dawn but the sun was out and shining. “Please, let my friend be guided by your light.” She prayed. Edwina came over and put her hands on her shoulders.
“I’m sure Imoen is fine.” At that moment a robin chose to fly onto the window sill and started to sing.
Misery & Happiness 25
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