Tales of the Silver Wolf: part 11
Viconia was sitting at a table in the Copper Coronet, teaching Radrith, who refused to speak common, how to speak drow. She had run to the market earlier that day to buy some children’s books, paper, and clothes that would fit the child. She was surprised with Radrith’s ability to learn. As Viconia wrote the words out on paper, the child sounded them out. It was an improvement, for the last two days, the child had simply not spoken a word.
“How’s it going, Vic?” H’kira asked.
“She’s learning,” Viconia replied.
The werewolf nodded.
“We’ve got another job, don’t we?” Viconia asked.
“Actually, no, but there’s a circus in town and I wondered if you and Radrith wanted to come,” the wizard-slayer stated.
“Well, what do you think, dalhar?” Viconia asked.
“I…I,” the words came with difficulty to the child, “I’d like to go, Ilhar.”
A smile lit up the drow’s face, “Well said, dalhar.”
Radrith smiled and Viconia hugged the child.
“What’s Ilhar?” H’kira asked Rahas as the party trekked towards the circus.
“Is the child calling her that?” Rahas asked, grinning.
Rahasein put an arm around his lover’s shoulders, “It means mother.”
“Oh, that’s cute,” the wizard-slayer grinned.
They spent a few hours looking at the performers and animals, the latter which greatly bothered all the werewolves. Then, both Viconia’s and Rahas’ eyes went wide as an enormous sand-colored lizard appeared.
“Draaka,” Viconia whispered. Radrith gave a low growl and disappeared into the crowd.
“Dalhar!” the drow shouted.
“Stay here, Vic,” Rahas urged, “she’s found something and she’ll bring it to us.”
This statement earned him the glare of a lifetime, but she didn’t leave.
Radrith Revai threaded through the crowd, headed for the person she had seen. A blue-haired, blue-eyed drow man. She found him and tugged on his hand.
“What is it, tiny darthiir-kal’daka?” Bakir asked, grinning at the little elf child.
The child smiled slightly and pointed in the direction of Viconia and Rahasein.
“Alright,” Bakir said, smiling, “We can go over there, come Draaka.”
The lizard sniffed at the little elven girl, who in turn patted its head without a trace of fear, before following.
“Dalhar!” a voice shouted again. A voice that the drow recognized.
I come, Ilhar, the child’s mind-voice echoed. Bakir picked up on the wolf-speech. Then she came into view…Viconia.
“Dalhar,” Viconia scooped up the errant little elf, “Don’t you ever run off like that again, do you understand? You…you scared me.”
“I’m sorry, Ilhar,” Radrith said quietly, hugging Viconia.
“Viconia?” she looked up at the source of the voice. Radrith walked over to H’kira and Rahas.
“Bakir, you’re…” her voice caught.
In a matter of seconds, the drow man had her in his arms and was laughing. She held him back, and for the first time in forever, tears threatened to ensue. They clung to each other in the midst of the crowds of people, afraid that this moment would end and they’d wake up and find it to be a dream.
Rahasein grinned, “That’s my little brother.”
Bakir let go of Viconia and clapped a hand on his brother’s shoulder, “Good to see you, Rahas, Mother says she hopes you and your mongrel half-breed are doing well.”
Rahas smirked, “Bakir, meet H’kira the Wolf.”
“A pleasure to meet you, drow,” H’kira smirked.
“Hey, don’t kill the messenger,” Bakir grinned, “And it’s good to finally meet you, I swear, my brother never shuts up about you.”
Rahas actually blushed, causing H’kira to laugh some more.
“And does the little darthiir-kal’daka have a name?” Bakir asked.
“Radrith,” Viconia stated. The child waved.
“Well, Radrith,” Bakir greeted, “It’s nice to meet you too.”
“This is your dalhar?” the blue-haired drow asked Viconia, grinning.
“I took her from Malarites who abused her,” Viconia explained, “So yes, she is.”
“Well, if you two want, we can take Radrith to the circus, and you can catch up,” Rahas offered.
Viconia nodded, “Good idea, jaluk…is that alright with you, dalhar?”
The little elf nodded. Bakir hopped up onto Draaka’s back and extended a hand towards Viconia. The drow cleric smiled slightly, taking his hand. He pulled her up behind him and she slipped her arms around his waist. The lizard-rider urged his mount on, and they trotted off.
H’kira raised an eyebrow.
They were lovers, Rahas sent, Until she was forced to flee the Underdark. For a long time he thought she was dead, and when he learned that she lived, he had to wait until Malak was old enough to care for the lizards.
Radrith smiled as she watched the two of them ride off, then she took H’kira’s hand and they headed for the large circus tent.
“You can’t go in there,” a guard stated, blocking the entrance with his halberd.
Radrith slipped free of the half-elf’s grip and darted under the weapon, into the darkness.
“Shit!” H’kira exclaimed, shifting and darting after the little elf. The others followed, much to the shock of the guard.
The Silver Wolf walked carefully, the scent of magic tickling her nose. Her nails clicked on the stone floor, and a slight breeze ruffled her silver coat. The place revealed was much larger than the tent had been. It was an enormous stone structure.
Breeze in a tent, bond?
I guess so, my wolf, H’kira replied.
I do not like this place.
Me either, wolf.
The cubling is just ahead, bond.
Thank you, my wolf.
The canine’s amber eyes flashed dangerously as she approached the little elf. The child was talking to a djinni.
“You have come to collect your errant child, eh werewolf?” the djinn asked.
H’kira shifted back, Rahas trotting up beside her, “Yes.”
“She’s smart, answered my riddle faster than most adults could,” the djinn smiled, “Well, you all can go ahead, be careful though, the little gnome that runs this freak show is a little off. See you later, kid.”
The djinn waved and disappeared in a cloud of purple smoke. Radrith growled and pointed to the door. H’kira paused as she caught the undertones of the child’s thoughts. Something or someone was hurt or trapped, that was what had brought the child here.
She growled in approval and walked through the door, her friends behind her. An ogress stood before them.
H’kira cocked her head slightly to one side in a decidedly canine gesture. The scent she sensed was not that of an ogre, but of an elf.
“Are you an elf?” she asked, peering curiously at the creature.
“Yes…how…how did you know?” the creature’s voice was feminine, and had a strange whine to it.
“Watch her, Rahas,” H’kira stated, shifting into the Wolf. Radrith joined her.
As you wish, cub, but stay close. the Wolf sent.
Yes, packleader, came the child’s reply.
Two peasants were hovering around a large spider. The spider smelled of human, though, and the peasants…she couldn’t identify it…evil undercurrents. The Silver Wolf snarled, and watched as the peasants charged. Rahas kept his green eyes on his mate, but his ears trained on the ogre-elf creature.
The Silver Wolf felled the two creatures soon enough. Her sleek form darted for the stairs and she barked for Rahasein to join her.
Aerie watched in awe as the drow before her melted into a large black wolf. The canine bounded for the stairs as well, gently nudging the small black cub before they disappeared up the stairs.
What manner of creatures were these? These monsters that had saved her. Though, Aerie thought, The drow man was quite handsome.
Bakir sat, his back against a huge tree. Draaka was fast, and it had not taken long at all for them to reach the forest. Viconia was in his arms, and they talked of what had been and what could be.
“I never imagined you’d come for me, jaluk,” Viconia murmured.
“I love you, Viconia DeVir,” he whispered, “When I first heard about them sacrificing you, I thought you were dead. Mother and all my siblings, except Verk, exerted their wolven wills on me. I was going to…to go to the chapel and kill as many priestesses as possible before I died. They stopped me, wouldn’t let me go. How I hated them, Vic, hated them for years.”
She shifted closer to him and put her arms around his waist.
“Then as my hatred faded, I loved my family again. But Lolth…I cursed her with every step I took. I became obsessed with my work. In the day, I trained such beasts as the Underdark had never seen, in the night I wept. Then, when Rahas came back from the surface the second time, he told me he had seen you. I made my plans that day. Mother agreed that I could go, but a replacement must be found. In a house of Mielikkites and Selunites, we needed someone trustworthy. I had to teach Malak everything I knew in a year. And finally I am here,” he concluded.
“How are the others?” she asked.
His eyes filled with pain, “Kraken is a drider. Zefenan and Zerenan were sacrificed by their lovers. Tavin married a priestess and was beaten to death within a week. Seryn went mad when his entire house was destroyed.”
Viconia closed her eyes. Kraken had been a friend to her. She could still picture him, charcoal dreadlocks and silver eyes. He had been Tael’s, Bakir’s eldest sister’s, lover. Zefenan and Zerenan, the twin brothers who had always been around Bakir, promising lizard-riders and warriors. Seryn had shown more promise in Sorcere than most. All of them were gone. Tavin had been a true oddity of a drow male, he trusted others, continuosly…it had been his downfall.
“We’ve been researching a cure for the drider since Valas,” Bakir added, “It’s Tael’s call. He still lives…Vic…He and Kraken, in a cave not far from the duergar.”
“Some day…” her voice broke, “Some day when I am done with H’kira’s quest…will you take me there?”
“Of course, ssinssrigg,” he assured. A thought struck her, something he had told her once, a long time ago. Her ruby eyes met his electric blue ones.
“You never let another woman touch you, did you?” she asked.
“Such is the way of the werewolf, ssin’urn, we seldom take a mate more than once,” he explained, “After you left I seldom went out of the manor anyways.”
“It’s not the way of the drow,” she stated.
“Ah, but I have never been a drow at heart, I am a wolf and I am a man, but my heart will not turn to the darkness we describe as drow,” Bakir explained.
“You always were that way,” she mused, “Four marriages, m’rann d’sinss, and you never wavered. You were always there for me, jaluk. Though I do recall you growling at or threatening more than one of my husbands.”
He grinned, “What can I say? I never liked the idea of you marrying someone else.”
“And you’d never marry me either, if I recall correctly,” she teased.
“Well, you have to admit, Vic, your significant other’s life expectancies were never very long,” he stated, “And…”
“You had to serve your House,” she finished, unshed tears filled those ruby eyes as she turned to him, “I missed you.”
He kissed her softly, “And I you. If…if you wish, Vic, I would stay here with you.”
“For…” she began.
“Forever,” he finished.
She smiled, “I’d like that, jaluk.”
They kissed again. Then, they took advantage of their privacy and made up for lost time.
The Silver Wolf was puzzled. Some sort of strange creatures stood before her, parodies of her own lycanthropic form. Their muzzles were too thick and blocky, eyes too wide, their bodies lacked the agility of a hunter. She mid-shifted, her own silver form full of grace and power. She looked before her, fangs bared savagely. An ogre, another ogre, this one was a gnome.
“Kalah greets you,” the ogre stated, “I never expected you would make it this far. When you are dead, creature, I will have to study this form of yours. It is certainly more fearsome than my illusions.”
Radrith growled. Rahas leapt in front of the child, guarding her with his own canine form. The wolves moved as one, darting forward at the ogre. They hunted as a pack. The ogre fell easily enough and the world around them shimmered and shook violently.
They found themselves in a normal sized tent, looking down at a gnome.
“No!” Kalah shouted, coughing and gasping as faded, “This isn’t what was supposed to happen. This isn’t what was promised to me! I have…planned this for…too long, only to have my plans shattered by some inbred northern adventurers. I…I just wanted respect.”
He shuddered and died. The lycanthropic trio shifted back to normal.
“How amazing,” a gnome squealed, “Is that…it is you!”
H’kira winced, “gods…tell me it isn’t him…”
“It is,” Rahas stated, grinning, “How are you, Quayle?”
“Quite well, Sir drow,” Quayle replied. They talked for a moment, and the “ogress” walked over. She was, in fact, a blonde-haired blue-eyed elf. Something about the way she smiled and her eyes went all wide and innocent distinctly annoyed the Wolf.
“This is my niece, Aerie, meet Rahas and H’kira,” the gnome introduced them.
“Oh…thank you so much…” the elf said, smiling. The hair on the back of H’kira’s neck prickled as Aerie briefly hugged Rahasein. The drow caught his mate’s amber gaze.
I am sure it is nothing, chev, he sent.
I trust your judgement, came her reply.
Quayle convinced them to take the elf-woman along. They walked in near silence back to the inn. Bakir and Viconia entered a few hours later.
“Well, Radrith, how was the circus?” Bakir asked.
The little elf made a face.
“That bad?” the drow chuckled.
“Worse than that,” H’kira remarked, sitting on the couch beside them. The child smiled and patted the wizard-slayer’s hand comfortingly.
Rahas came over and joined her, “Chev, I love you.”
She smiled slightly and took his hand in hers.
“Hi…I’m Aerie,” a blonde elven woman introduced herself.
“Aerie,” Jaheira stated, “It’s nice to meet you, I’m Jaheira, and this is my husband Khalid. The others are Minsc, Nalia, Viconia, Bakir, and Radrith.”
The elven woman beamed at Rahas. A messenger ran in and spoke hurriedly with H’kira.
The wizard-slayer surveyed the group, “We’re needed at the Keep.”
They packed their things and headed off.
Well hope ya liked it, Aerie/H’kira confrontation in the making .
H’kira n’ the Wolf
Tales of the Silver Wolf: part 11
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