Friends or Lovers? Part 2
Edwin stormed through the dark and quiet town of Beregost, not sure where he was going, just knowing that he wanted to put as much space between himself and the others as possible. He was angry and upset and his mind was filled with evil thoughts about what he would like to do to Viconia and Kagain.
How dare they talk to me like that? I am Edwin Odesseiron of Thay and they…they are just a…just a filthy drow whore and a dirty, stupid dwarf.
At that moment he hated them both, hated them more than he had ever hated anyone in his life. What annoyed him most of all was the fact that the two usually hated each other and the only time they backed each other up was to taunt him. The drow, as Kane’s lover, could get away with anything, and the dwarf…he and Kane had a friendship that was based around the delights of drinking, women and sharp, metal weapons, all things that Edwin held no interest in.
The wizard usually liked the comfort of being part of a group, for the wilderness was too dangerous to travel alone, especially for a mage, and he liked Kane’s leadership skills and the warrior’s general way of thinking. But even though he said nothing, for fear of sounding weak and foolish, often he felt like an outsider amongst them and Viconia and Kagain did little to discourage this. Again and again, day after day, they taunted him and that evening he had finally snapped.
I cannot let them see that their foolish, pathetic insults have succeeded in upsetting me. That is just what they want and I will not give them the satisfaction.
He believed that it was weak to show feeling for others, to be a slave to emotion. Kane was always careful to keep any feelings he had for anyone well hidden, he kept people, even Viconia who he obviously cared for, at a distance, never let them too close to him. He never spoke about why, except to tell Edwin that loving people brought only heartache never happiness. Edwin Odesseiron certainly did nothing like that. He was evil, he cared for no one, he used women as Kane did, taking his pleasure with them then discarding them as he liked. He liked being that way because it made people fear him. And if to be powerful and evil and frightening meant that he could not have feelings then he would hide them, pretend they didn’t exist.
But it wasn’t always easy, especially lately. He could not deny that he had been feeling rather strange, he had not been able to sleep well and his already small appetite seemed to have disappeared completely. Which naturally led him to being unfocused and unprepared in battle. Edwin knew exactly what it was that was causing him so much distress, but he could not bring himself to speak of it, or even fully admit it to himself.
And yet the secret was always there, constantly in the very back of his mind, threatening to drive him insane. Perhaps if he could just talk to someone then it would go away, the wizard reasoned. But he could go to none of his companions and he had no friends of his own. It was at times like this that he really wished that Master Dekaras were there, for he was sure that his tutor would be able to do or say something to make it all go away. But his tutor was not there, he was completely alone.
Kagain and Viconia had no right to talk to me like that, he told himself firmly. No right at all, but that doesn't change the fact that they are still correct. I should have been concentrating more, not thinking so much, not letting myself be distracted. Why…why won’t these cursed feelings go away?
It was an unspoken rule amongst the members of Kane’s group that they would all do their best to protect each other and work together in combat, petty feuds and arguments put aside. They were companions and they had a duty to work together. Viconia stayed because she loved Kane, no matter what he did or how cruelly he treated her. Kagain’s reason for sticking with them was not so obvious and Edwin did not know what it was, he had never asked and the dwarf had never spoken of it. And yet despite having reliable companions, their brave and fearless leader had still been badly injured in the battle. Not because the others had failed him…
But because I failed. I failed him.
The only thing that puzzled Edwin was why Kane hadn’t been angry, why the Bhaalspawn warrior had not joined Kagain and Viconia in pointing out what an obvious failure he was. Edwin knew that his leader was not usually one for letting several serious battle mistakes pass by without at least a few sarcastic comments and it was no secret that he did not approve of failure.
As the anger slowly faded away, only to be replaced by a strange feeling of sadness and despair, Edwin looked around him and realised that he had been so engrossed in his thoughts that he had wandered further away from Beregost than he had intended to go. He cursed under his breath, knowing that he didn’t have many memorised spells left, none that would be much use against great groups of gnolls or goblins.
“I suppose it is time to go back,” he muttered under his breath. “Hopefully the others will be in bed and I can get a little peace before tomorrow.”
Suddenly he became aware of something approaching him from behind, just a second before he felt the hot breath on the back of his neck. The foul smell told Edwin instantly what it was and he froze for a second before slowly turning around. Standing before him was a gnoll, with eight or nine more standing just behind it. Edwin took a step back, struggling to decide the best spell to use as they began to circle him, growling all the time.
Edwin! His mind screamed. How do you manage to get yourself into these situations?
Friends or Lovers? Part 2
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