An elven woman lay in the shadow of a great oak. Her figure was slim and supple, but even her loose tunic could not hide the fact that she was in the late stages of her pregnancy. The woman’s hand was closed around a beautifully crafted blade, which sparkled with a clear blue light. Her eyes were open, but her gaze was clouded, as if she was looking into herself.
How are you today, my beauty? I shall call you that, if you do not mind. Because you are my beauty, my first and only child, and I already know you are going to be the most beautiful one in this world, aren’t you? Of course you are. I am very happy to talk to you at last. Yesterday, I felt it was time, and I slipped into this trance under my favourite tree, close to our future home. From now on, we shall be as one, my beauty, together in reverie, together in my memory, until you are born. You are very lucky, because you will learn our beautiful language, you’ll find out many wonderful things about our culture, and you will learn about your family. Yes, first and foremost, I’ll tell you about your family, sad though it may be at times.
Your own mother was a Bhaalspawn, did you know that? Yes, I was. I am no longer, though, and it is a story you would like to hear, I know you would. A story of how you came into this world.
I had no family, and a powerful human mage raised me far away from our lands, in a small fortress called Candlekeep. Gorion was his name, and he was not only powerful, but thoughtful and kind. However, he died soon after I came of age. Yes, there were other Bhaalspawn, and one of them, Sarevok, sought to kill me. He had murdered Gorion, and I barely managed to run away. I was alone, all alone, and I didn’t know what to do.
Then I met Gorion’s friends, made some of my own, your father along them, and we went adventuring. What is adventuring? Ah, my beauty, it is a thing people do when they have no choice and are on the run. But it will never happen to you, my beauty, so do not worry. You are safe here… with me.
Now, my beauty, here comes a touchy subject. We are elves, the People, I have told you that. We have our own rituals and traditions. But I had been denied all this, since I had grown up among humans, without any knowledge of the communal Spirit or the sharing of minds. I did not even know our language, for my own mother, Alianna, did not teach me. I will not tell you why, yet. No, do not ask me. All right, she… she was very ill, and she died soon after I was born; I’ll tell you no more for now.
Your father had taught me all these things. We have started to share our memories, he taught me some of our language and made me open my eyes to the multitude of living creatures around, every single one of them a part of the Spirit. When you are finally born, my beauty, you will be able to feel all this, like I do.
You see, my beauty, such things lead to a close relationship. We have become friends very quickly, and more than that, I have found myself falling in love. I have never been in love before, and it was both thrilling and exciting. Do you feel my joy through our link? Yes, it was very close to what I feel now. I did not know that I was a Bhaalspawn, and so I thought we could be happy together. Yes, my beauty, we live hundreds of years, so this sensation could last for a very, very long time. No, we did not get together, and we did not live happily ever after. You will see why.
Before I proceed with my story, I am going to tell you a very sad legend, my beauty. Long, long ago, a famous mage had crafted many magical blades, so the worthy elven warriors would claim them. The sword itself decided whether its owner was worthy to wield it, and if he wasn’t, he was killed on the attempt to draw the blade. But if he succeeded, the sword was his, and a powerful one it was, too. The owner was well protected by its powers, and also honored and respected among other elves. Later on, he could name his heir, so the blade would pass down the family. The mage had planned that over the centuries the number of the swords would diminish, and the king to rule all the elves would finally be chosen.
But there was a drawback, my beauty. I have told you already, that when we die, we pass into the Blessed Realm of Arvandor for all eternity. What is an eternity? Well… it is a difficult question. Perhaps when I finish my story, you would understand. So, we all do, but the former owners of these blades do not. Their spirits are trapped in the blade, and not released until the sword is destroyed, which takes a long, long, long time. A thousand years of imprisonment, perhaps more. They could not lose or abandon it, while they were alive, either, for one would weaken and die within days if separated from it.
No, I am not crying. I am talking to you, my beauty, how can I be crying? Let us return to my story, then. I had come up to your father, and told him, truly and openly, how I felt, but he snapped and tried to push me away with abrupt finality.
Yes, my beauty, he did. Yes, I am telling you the right story. Listen and see what comes next. Your father was gifted, or cursed, as you see fit, with one of these blades, having claimed it by no choice of his own while he was a little more than a child. Moonblade it was called, a beautiful sword that shone with its own light and bestowed various immunities upon the user. But it also meant that the spirit of the man I loved was to be confined in an enchanted lump of metal! Um, no, I am not shouting. That’s only a mental projection of my voice, my beauty, but I’ll try not to do it again.
So, he had understood that he committed a grave mistake by letting me close to him.
Why? Well, my beauty, if he and I were to become lovers, things would deteriorate rapidly after his death. I would spend millennia of regret in Arvandor, while his spirit would endure unthinkable horrors. He did not want this to happen to me, so he kept his distance. No, he did not leave my side. Because he loved me too, my beauty, though I did not know it then, and he still wanted to protect me. He hoped to accompany me until Sarevok’s demise, and then he would go, hoping I would be able to lead a long, normal life with someone else.
Then, my heritage came to light. I was a Bhaalspawn, fated to come to ashes and dust in the upcoming war. No, my beauty, do not shiver. The war is long over, my curse is lifted, and I would never leave your side. I’ll stay with you, my beauty. Always.
But on with the story. That day, the day of that ugly revelation, had turned out to be the happiest in my life. Happiest, yes, not counting the day when I found out I was going to bring you into this world, my beauty. Why was I happy? Ah, my beauty, because he was doomed, and I was doomed, so what was the point in waiting until we both were dead? …Why am I laughing? I am afraid I cannot explain it to you, my beauty. Not yet. Anyway, when a man and a woman love each other, they… yes, you see these images in my head, do you? Very well, then, I’ll skip this part.
Soon after, I defeated my brother. It did not bring me any satisfaction, however, for now your father had to go. He had to report to his superiors that Sarevok was dead and a war had been prevented. No, he could not take me with him, because I was a Bhaalspawn, and these were never welcome in our lands. He promised he would return, but…
You see, my beauty, normally an elf would never harm another sentient being, except in self-defence. But some of our kin were practicing vile arts in secret, and in the end their actions maimed and killed many innocents. One of these elves, Joneleth Irenicus, was exiled from the community for his grim deeds, and sought to restore himself by experimenting on other creatures in a most perverted and unnatural way. Yes, he did it to me, as well. My friends and I had managed to escape, but I partially lost my memory. I did not remember anything from the past year, and my bond with your father was lost to me.
What are you saying? Ah, yes, of course he had found me soon afterwards. He felt the echo of my miseries from far away, and realized what must have happened. But I was so scared and mistrustful of everyone that I nearly pushed him away in turn. Yes, my beauty, these were dark days indeed… no, I will not tell you any more. It is bad enough that I remember that. Eventually, however, I had recovered from my memory loss, but lost my soul. Yes, your mother always loses something, does she?
Mmm… I will have to skip a very large part of my story now. There was a very evil vampire… and a priestess of Bhaal… you will find out about this in due time, my beauty.
You still want to know? Really, really, really do? I am sorry, but no. Perhaps when you’re old enough, and some of my former companions pass by, you’ll hear it all. But most of them are dead now, since time passes fast for those who are not our kin.
Only the last part of the tale is left, my beauty. After the Bhaalspawn war was finally over, I had to make a choice. I could either stay mortal, but free of the taint, or take my sire’s divine essence. What? Yes, of course I wanted to become a goddess, but sometimes these things have to be refused. What do I mean? It might be too complicated for you to understand yet, my beauty. Let me just say that you would have never been born if I decided otherwise. So I stayed mortal, and both your father and I returned to his ancient fortress home, Evereska. Yes, that is where we are now.
What happened then? Then there was joy and happiness, my beauty, for the next three hundred years in the row. Yes, that is a long time, but everything has to end sooner or later. Your father was several times older than me when we first met, so we both knew he would pass away earlier. He could try to prolong his life by studying High Magic and becoming one with the Weave, but that transformation required a hardy constitution, and he had already been exhausted with our trials. So… so he died.
No, of course you will see him, my beauty. We are together, you and I, and you will see most of the things I have seen, and will share our happiest moments.
The sword? Yes, it is here, with me. I am its current wielder, now. I could not abandon it, could I? No, it cannot be broken or damaged. It only becomes dormant of its own volition, and I am afraid I’ll have to wait for a long, long time for that. But I will. I have all the time in the world now, haven’t I? What? No. No, you will not have it when you grow up. It is not a toy, my beauty. It is not a toy…