Author Topic: Fainfic  (Read 1359 times)

Offline Ghreyfain

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« on: January 06, 2005, 02:36:30 AM »
Yes, that's right, Ghreyfain is writing fanfic.  What next, the popacopaclypse?  Ah well.  Don't expect me to go donating booty to charity any time soon or anything.

This story came to me as I was, well, playing BG2.  Rather than shrug and reload (which is villainy, I say!), I spent a frickin' long time writing this up.  I imagine it would be more polished if I slept on it and re-read/edited it tomorrow, but nah.

So, withour further ado, I present to you:

Hero, Forgotten

“Weary as I am, my dear friends, still am I able to appreciate the epic nature of our situation.  A flight of fools, we are, traipsing through a sinister dungeon that few to none have ever survived; shaped of madness, twisted and bitter.  My blood simply hums with delight!  What say you all?”

“Silence yourself, dog.  Your posturing and poetry can wait until we are free of this hellish place.”

“Haer’dalis, Viconia, please, we’ve all been through a lot already.  I’d like us all to just stay on the same side for now, if you don’t mind.”  A frown crossed Keto’s face as she forced herself not to say what she really thought; that she wouldn’t mind strangling the both of them.  At the heels of Thain they had all entered Spellhold, but Keto doubted a single one of them could have predicted just how dire their situation had become.  They were trapped in the labyrinthine depths of the asylum, and had not slept in at least two days.  The group had fought tooth and nail through the monstrous denizens therein, matched their wits against statues that spoke in riddles, seen creatures both horrific and wondrous, and now she thought it might all be for naught.  The maze seemed endless, their situation hopeless.  Not for the first time, Keto asked herself what she was doing here, and she shook her head, mired in self-pity and despair.

She knew the group would have to rest soon, for their bodies, minds, and spirits were taxed to the limit.  She herself could cast not a single spell more, and knew the others were in the same situation.  Without healing, rest, or even a spark of magic to aid them, they had been relying on weary sword-arms and wands that had all but snapped with the stresses they'd undergone.  But Thain had a will of iron, and led his comrades on, knowing full well that the dread Bodhi lurked a half pace behind them at all times, fully willing to strike should they falter in their mad dash for freedom.

It was then that Thain spoke.  His words were always few--a trait most likely picked up from being raised in a monastic place like Candlekeep--but despite an appearance marred by his half-orcish heritage, Keto found that she had great respect for the young man.

“Enough.  We all know of our dire situation.  It is also known that if we do not collect those damnable paintings, our way will be barred, and will remain so.  There is one that but remains, and was I hale you know I would step forward without a thought.  But...” he trailed off, perhaps because he could find no words, or perhaps the injuries he had sustained acquiring the other paintings were taking their toll.  Both he and Keldorn had taken the brunt of the retribution meted out for the first three trinkets.  Their blackened, scorched faces were almost mirrors of one another, twisted in agony as they were. This latest obstacle was but one of many; a room with four locked doors, each of which was painted with the grotesque image of a powerful being the likes of which Keto had only heard of before her time in Thain’s cadre.  The group had turned away, defeated, but upon discovering these thrice-damned paintings in a secluded alcove it had become apparent that the four doors were yet another riddle to be solved.  Match the smaller painting with the larger painting of the door, and the way would open.

It seemed simple enough, but Thain had been right to shepherd the others out of the room before he grabbed the first painting; Keto had scoffed to herself about it, dismissing his words as those of a worrywart, a mother hen.  The statue’s warning in the form of an upraised hand was one to be obeyed, and the fiery blast that would have sent a lesser mortal to his grave shook the room, engulfing Thain.  As the smoke was clearing he had staggered from the blast, clutching the all-important painting in his fingers.  It was almost decided then and there that they should take the time to prepare some spell protections before venturing into the alcove again, but Keldorn stepped forward, as stalwart as Thain in his determination.  He too suffered for his bravery, and the same scene reoccurred almost word for word, leaving the once strong paladin leaning heavily against a statue of some bestial creature from myth.  Such things seemed a common fixture in this place, and lent to its foreboding atmosphere, Keto thought absently.

That left them in their current dilemma.  Who among them was strong enough to bear the brunt of such powerful magic?  Keto shook her head; someone was speaking, and she had missed it.  It was Thain, “I cannot allow that, Imoen.  We all know what you’ve been through, and I couldn’t bear to see you come to harm.  Not again.”

“But you’re hurt, and so is Keldorn!  I’m not as weak as you think, Thain.  Besides, for you... well, you saved me.  This would be me doing the same thing.  Risking my life to save you.”  A smile touched her lips, and at that instant Keto wished she had known the Imoen of days past that she had heard Thain speak of.

“You are a fool, girl!  What good does it do us if you char yourself to ashes in a vain attempt to impress upon us how brave you are?  The person sent to claim that painting must be able to walk back out,” spat Viconia, glaring fiercely at both Thain and Imoen, her disgust at their close bond made apparent with every word and gesture she made.  The tension was interrupted as Keldorn spoke, “Friends, time trickles slowly by, and we are no nearer our goal as we let each moment pass.  A difficult decision needs to be made, and we have no choice but to face it, and accept the fate the gods deliver.”  His stern voice remained steady and measured, even as his armoured body swayed under his burden of weight and pain.  “It may be that one of us shall die, and should that be necessary, it will be me.  What we must now decide is if there is one among who yet has the strength to withstand a blast such as the two that came before.”

“Truer words have ne’er been spoken, o noble lion!  This is the moment of truth, where we must look upon our own selves and ask ‘were I to look back, would I regret having not offered myself up?  Could it have been me to have played this great part in our wondrous drama?’  Look into your hearts, comrades.  Look deep.  Could it be that you see in yourself the courage that will get us through this ordeal?”  Haer’dalis spoke with a fervency that was unsettling for one who had been through what they had, thought Keto.  Despite his obsession with all things bleak, however, she recognized the import of his words, and had been thinking the same thing for some time now.  Was she the most likely candidate?  She had not been in the thick of the fray, as had the others.  She had not scouted the way, as had Imoen.  She had slung her spells, wielded her wands, and little else.  All this while her friends were on death’s door for their efforts.

“Yes”, she thought.  Her friends.  They were her friends, and what had she done for them?  Her paltry sorcerous and martial skills would never come to match the expertise of the others, and the fervent faith the group held for one god or another made her feel inadequate.  Thain was favoured by Helm, Keldorn epitomized the ideals of Torm, and even Viconia and Haer’dalis were strangely inspired by both Shar and the Doomguard.  It was unlikely there would ever be such a chance to prove her worth again, assuming they even survived this ordeal.  All this crossed her mind, and Keto was decided.

“Set your fears aside, dear friends.  I will do this, and may the gods look upon me kindly, for we all know that I am the only one among us with enough strength left to do so.  That damnable painting is the key to our cell, and we will be free,” proclaimed Keto.  Or at least, that’s what she would have proclaimed, had Haer’dalis not stepped to the fore, and with a flourish of his swords, strode boldly towards the now blackened and ruined room.

“What better chance to display the philosophy of the Doomguard than with this one deed.  To risk my very existence in order to save that same existence!  No matter the result, I am refuted at the same time I succeed.”  With those words, he turned abruptly, reached for the painting...

...And Keto blinked.

The others stood stone still, as if stunned.  Had they not seen it?  Was she seeing things?  Before her very eyes, Haer’dalis had lifted the painting from its cradle, tensed for the impending explosion, and for but a split second after, his expression had changed to one of triumph.  The last painting had not been trapped at all.

Or so it seemed.  That fraction of a second was all the triumph Haer’dalis ever knew, as in the next, all that he ever was or would be had become ashes.  Consumed from within by the magic of the statue guarding the painting, the flamboyant, courageous--and some would say insane--man from another world was no more.

Viconia was the first to react, as she casually strolled up to the comical yet macabre pile of dust that was once the actor, plucking the painting from the ground and shaking it lightly, offensive to Haer’dalis’ very last moment and beyond.  “We have the paintings.  Move quickly, iblith.”

Keto didn’t know whether the others heeded Viconia’s words or not, for she was lost in but a single, horrifying thought:

“It could have been me.”

“It could have been me.”
« Last Edit: January 06, 2005, 02:38:09 AM by Ghreyfain »
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