Writer's comment : Well, back to the roots, I guess. A Viconia romance story, like the once I wrote during my first attic-days... This was kinda an experiment. The first time I've written from a first-person view, and it was dark as well... Being a child of bhaal in love ain't easy, after all...
Hope you like it...
'Shar... Thank Shar, they did not recognize me...', I think as walk back towards the Ust Natha Inn. The spell the silver one cast upon us, must have altered my appearance just enough... Either that or my siblings were simply to distraught to notice me. Never, never in a million years would I have expected to find siblings this far from Menzoberranzan.
My fault... Their torture, their pain, their suffering is my fault. Malafein, my cousin, comitted suicide, foolishly expecting mercy from my former Dark Mother.
He was the lucky one.
I had secretly followed them, when a cadre of handmaiden had taken my sister and my remaining cousin to the temple. They... they came out as driders, their forms changed into hideous half-drow, half-spiderlike beings. As they were led past my perch, just outside the temple, the monster which once was my sister snarled at me. I wondered if the glowing darkness in her eyes was lined with recognition... But their escort of armed males pushed them forward with their pikes, before the deformed creature could have at me.
Then, the cold fear that had been lingering inside of me ever since my return to the Underdark, finally broke free of its confinement. I almost screamed in panic as I realised Lolth's eyes were everywere... Everywere in this damnable city! I feel the eyes of the handmaidens piercing in my back as I walk by, speeding towards the Inn.
As I enter I see my companion Jan, spending the late hours talking with an aged male, obviously swapping stories. I can only admire his courage as I almost run up the stairs, towards the room of the only one I can trust with my most inner thoughts and private feelings...
Karis... He looks so strange. His normally pale skin now has the same ebony color as mine, and he seems more slender than he normally does. But I know his true self lies under the illusion, as much of his Half-Elven features show through it. He rubs his forehead. I would appear I have awakened him. Hardly surprising... It is the time of darkness on Ust Natha's timekeeper, and most Drow have retired to their bedchambers. He smiles at me. It is a sincere smile, one that betrays his feelings for me...
He is happy to see me. It would appear he is always happy to see me, no matter my mood or disposition at the time. It is something I still find puzzling, even after all we have shared together. He suddenly looks at me with concern and asks me to come in. I comply... Did he see the fear in my eyes, perhaps? He asks me what is wrong, but I interrupt and make my request. My pride makes it a difficult one to make, yet my trust of Karis and the fear in my mind make me stammer the words...
He smiles at me again, moves a little closer and carresses my cheek... If any other male would have dared to touch me in this manner, he would be laying on the floor right now with his skull caved in. I sigh and smile at him as he complies to my request. It is irrational to believe his embrace will shield me from the wrath of Lolth, but I feel content nonetheless, even though this night will be very difficult for both of us...
She sleeps in my arms... My love... My life... I give her feeling of safety she wished for, here in this place that would have unspeakable tortures in store for her if she is discovered.
She looks so peaceful in slumber. I feel her soft skin on mine. She breathes in a steady rythm... I will not sleep this night. I will savor every second of this wonderful experience. For, it might be the last intimate moment we will share together.
Viconia... Ever since I lost my soul, she is the only thing in my life that still makes sense. The thoughts of her, my love for her were keeping the taint of Murder at bay. I feel the pain again, when I realize my 'transformation' in the Asylum could have taken her away from me forever...
She was so angry with me last night, when she walked into the inn, fighting I fought a Nebassu in the pit. After the fight, she slapped me and accused me of risking my life, and indeed, all of our lives in useless slaughter... But I needed the slaughter to cool the rage which is slowly creeping into my mind. She does not know, what a terrible struggle it is to keep the taint away from the surface of my being. But I think that, deep in her heart, she understands. There was a gentleness in her touch as her magic healed my wounds. A gentleness that speaks of caring...
Then, precisely at this precious moment, my tormentor returns...
'NO!' I retort.
'It is what you want!'
'Leave us ALONE!'
Is my tormentor, which has been with me ever since the Asylum, the voice of the Taint of Murder I've heard before in my Nightmares, trying to break the special bond I have with Viconia?
Is it simply the darkness of my own being, freed now that my soul has been take from me?
Or am I slowly going insane?
I do not know...
'You are stronger! Make her submit to your will!'
'NO! I LOVE her! Leave us BE!' I shout within my own mind.
'She has spurned your love, fool! Yet she lays in your arms, after daring to ask you for protection! You are weak!'
'My love for her is NOT a weakness. Leave us alone or I'll...'
'You cannot run from me! You cannot threaten me! But you can live without her! Take what you want and slit her throat! You will be better off in the end!'
The thoughts the voice puts in my head fill me with bile, almost causing me to vomit. I pull Viconia in a fiercer embrace without running the risk of waking her. I will NOT listen to the voice. I will NOT give in to the darkness. I will NOT bring harm upon the woman who means more to me than life itself...
She suddenly stirs in her sleep, then falls silent again. Her beautiful face is very much closer to my own now. And perhaps to reassure myself of my love for her, or perhaps because of the temptation of her beautiful form, I gently press my lips against hers... So soft, they feel...
Her eyes snap open. I expect fury. She had ended our relationship, and told me there was to be nothing more between us. Yet she does not show any sign of anger. Instead she simply stares at me, regarding me with her beautiful dark eyes. Then... she kisses me back, hesitantly at first, but as I take her into an even tighter embrace, she deepens the kiss.
She still loves me. I can sense it from her kiss. With all the mental strength I possess, I push the mocking voice as far back into my mind as I can. I feel Viconia's hand rake over my chest as I revel in the moment of our kiss... Almost reluctantly, she breaks off the kiss and releases herself from my embrace. She sits up and slowly moves her nightshift over her head. She breathes slowly as I gaze onto her perfect form. Then, she gently lowers herself back into my embrace and kisses me again, making me want to make love to her like never before. But as our entanglement progresses, she suddenly stops...
"No..." she whispers in my ear. I look upon her with confusion.
"No, ssinsrig... This will only make our inevitable parting so much more difficult..." I notice the pain in her eyes and the sadness in her voice as she tells me this. She pulls out of my embrace and sits on the edge of the bed.
"This... this was a mistake." She whispers. I tell her I am sorry, but she simply smiles at me and tells me it is not my fault. That it was her own weakness that had brought her to me this night.
I plead with her not to leave the room, but she tells me she must.
I tell her I love her.
She looks at me with sad eyes again and lays back on the bed. "Just hold me." She asks softly and sinks back into my embrace. Without warning, the voice returns...
'You have her where you want her! Take her!'
'Have your way with her! KILL HER!'
'You cannot persuade me to do those things to Viconia. I will respect her wishes!' I call upon the twenty years of medetative training Gorion had painstakingly taught me. I call upon my inner strength and calmth... I call upon my own patience, to push the rage away.
'FREE ME! Murder for good or Murder for evil! It does not matter to me! JUST FREE ME!'
I shout inside my own mind at my tormentor. It sinks back into the deep recesses of my mind, without me forcing it away this time. It seems I have won a battle, but I still have to win the war...
When I open my eyes I see Viconia regarding me oddly. She asks me if something is wrong. I simply smile at her and tell her everything is fine. I will simply hold her tightly this night, savoring every moment of her touch. For when the adventure is over and Irenicus lies dead, the love of my life will leave me forever.
Somehow, I think I'd rather give up on regaining my soul, than to lose her...
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