FUTURE AND DESTINY*
In my headcanon this happens in 1383. There is no spellplague and basically nothing is like what came after the TSR. Akashdar is, of course, my <CHARNAME>, it means “Destined to Greatness”. Hopes you like it.
Akashdar stood in the front of the Royal Palace of Cormathor, and sighed.
She shifted the weight from one leg to the other, the uninjuried one.
“One never get used at fighting gods. Or a godness” she thought, sourly and then, despite everything, giggle to herself.
The sun elf looked around, happy in her relative solitude. Even after ten years in Everaska, she hadn't got used at being surrounded by... elves. In her mind she was still at Candlekeep, the only elf among human and the occasional half-elf. She still tought her brethen strange, weird-looking, almost as much as in the beginning...
... she leaned into her sword, watching with utter fashination the death of Mulhaney, something strange inside her urging to watch, to see, to exult. The elven kensai looked sharply the other way, concentrating on the pain on her flank, on the face of Khalid next to her, on anything but...
“There is somebody here!”
She watched up, walking towards the voice of Jaheira and turned the angle of the cave, sad and happy together to be away of the death. She peeked up from behind the druid shoulder, and watched amazed at the dirty face and even dirtier body. He was, she could tell it herself, half-starved and weak, but alive.
“What is he doing here?” She said, with the purest of stupor.
The stranger gave a twisted smile and menaged to open his eyes.
Green, she noticed. They were really green.
“I was sent...to investigate this dreadful business, of course.” a fit of cough “If you would kindly give me my blade, I would...” and, promptly, collapsed.
She watched, appalled, while Jaheira freeted with speel and healing herbs around the unconscious... elf. Because he was an elf, was he not? Such a strange face... But he was a liar, she was sure of it. Because noone would have given such a task to a barely grown boy!
She smiled to herself. She really had to tell Xan that, the first time they met, she had mistook him for a boy.
She sighed again, when a young moon elf she didn't know approached her, zelantly.
“Amin Naa Tualle**, Honored Askashdar” he saluted, with the costumary gesture of two finger on his forehead, lips, and hearth, to which she responded in kind “I am Thamior Leaflight. Kindly, follow me. I'll show you your place for the blade-ritual, so that your injury won't bother you”
She smiled, seeing in the young blue eyes of the boy the eagerness and respect.
“Thank you. Lloth's poison doesn't leave one body, and it pains me still” She replied, following him with her now uneven gaint, bemused by the look of astonishing respect she got from Thamior.
She walked the reclaimed halls of the ancient building, the light that played tricks and games with the leaves and the new, coloured glasses on the windows, the rebuilt statues of the ancient kingdom again whole. She breathed in the very airs which trummed for the mythal, and smiled at the laughters and song outside.
It was worth a wound. It was worth many wounds... Even if...
… She watched and for the first time in many, many years, even since she had seen Irenicus from behind a glasswall in Spellhold, she knew despair.
But this time, it was so, so much worse. She watched while the gigantic spider, the avatar of Lloth, was closing her orrible mandibles over the man she loved, her bondmate, her Xan.
She screamed, her own blade slippery with the blood of the yochlochs she had killed... and she felt it. Xan's love. And she knew it was his farewell, more poignant, more true, more *them* than any glance or words.
She couldn't stand it.
She flung herself past the last handmaiden, and put her swords inside the avatar's fang. Ridicolous, of course. It wasn't a moonblade, even if it was magical, it would do nothing to stop the Spider Queen bite.
She heard the swords shatter and then pain in her left leg and Xan screaming.
She shocked her head, banishing the memory. Cormanthyr had been reclaimed in that fight, she reminded herself. And both she and Xan were alive, the distraction leaving the avatar open to Xan and Thamorlin's moonblades and being Lloth downfall.
Today, after the Blade Ritual, Cormanthyr would have a new Coronal, a new king, and she would serve him, or her, together with Xan.
She looked around, knowing that her bondmate was elsewhere, with other High Mages, making small talk and being bored to... death she supposed. She grinned, her eyes full of marble and light, of leaves and flowers, her ears filled by the sound of elven music and laughters. She laughed too, nonplussed by Thamior perplexed look.
It was worth many wounds, indeed.
She raised her golden-green eyes, looking around for her bondmate, in the small, barren chamber. She frowned, looking at the marble and living wood walls. There was nothing here, nothing but a seat she gratefully took, and some windows up high. She recognized the colour of the glasses: silver-blue for the Weave and for Corellon. Symbol of the Seldarine were subtly drawn in the walls. She breathed and sighed, relaxing a little and stretching her left leg.
Thamior has gone and she shrugged, looking at a distance that wasn't here. Probably, some other elven custom that she didn't know about, leaving somebody to wait in small chambers before the blade-rite. Eilistraee knew there were enough of these... Customs and traditions every elves knew but her. Four years with Xan alone and ten in Everaska had done very little to teach her all she needed to know. If not for the bond, she sometimes doubted that she would be able to function as an adult elf at all.
The bond... alone, in the solitude, the gold elf stretched her mind to lightly touch the part of her which wasn't hers and smiled when she felt the familiar tugging on the other side, the familiar feeling of warmth and love and care . She smiled, reassuring her mate without words. She closed her eyes and waited, at peace and loved in the small room in the rebuilding kingdom.
The opening of the door startled her and her eyes flyed open, ancient istincts making her hands go to her swords, but she relaxed at the sight of Akhelaytas.
The gold elf high mage and high priest of Corellon smiled at her and she smiled back, silently. She would never understood Joneleth's brother, the one who had carried on the cursed that Ellesime asked and who had been Avatar of Corellon during the Time of Troubles... but she respected him, even more so after having seen him fight in the siege of Everaska, years before. And he fought like a demon.
He was also one of the few sun elves that accepted her as one of them.
“Mae Govennen, Akhelaytas***” she said, making the correct gesture to which he responded. “Mae Govennen, Akashdar. Possa il vostro sentiero essere verde e dorato”.
The once-Bhaalspawn looked down and her eyebrows shoot up, questioning. In Akhelaytas hands there was a sword. The blade seemed to be made with crude iron, but glowed in a faint gold color, with a golden rune on its hilt and tree gems. She looked at the gem especially since, as Xan had told her before, they were selu'kiira, and each of them had the mind, memory and power of a High Mage. It was the Ar'Cor'Kerym, the base over wich the Moonblades had been created, the sword who choose the ruler of Cormanthyr.
My kin really has a thing with swords...
She looked up at Akhelaytas, raising her eyebrowns. He smiled.
“I tought that a strong warrior like you might have liked to try it” He explained.
The kensai grinned back.
“Why not? I would love to” She replied, and her hand extended towards the sword hilt...
When it happened, Xan of Everaska was really being bored to tears. Or to an early grave. He sighed at the exercise of futility that the party was and shrugged, annoyed.
He was watching politely and pretending to listen at old lady of House Idontremember while she told him exactly how they wouldn't make the same mistake done with Myth Drannor and kept N-Tel'Quessir**** out of the new Cormanthyr. Just when he was going to make a suitably biting remarks, a searing pain jolted inside his skull. He clawed the air, his mind automatically reaching for his spells even as he screamed and collapsed.
“You tricked her”
Xan stood defiantly, still barely able to stand at all, but he crossed his arms over his chest in defiance, looking with anger at Teltomir, the High Mage in front of him.
The light of the sunset illuminated the Palace of Cormanthyr with its glowing colours, and memory of a place of Colours flikered inside the mind of the elven enchanter, who dimissed them. Not now.
Teltomir cleared his troath.
“It was necessary. The prophecies said she needs to be our Coronal if this Third Accension is bound to success...”
“She might have died!”
Teltomir winced at the tone of Xan's words but said nothing. Every elf knew that drawing a Elfblade means subjecting oneself to a test. And every elf knew that the unworthy were killed.
Every elf who was born and breed among his kin, at least.
The soft red light seemed to fill the whole room, and its spaces, turning the silence into something different and higher.
At lenght, Xan spoke, his voice low and quiet, dangerously so.
“I want to see her”.
The other High Mage nooded.
“She is alive. She will be well as soon as she had slept. The selu'kiira had given her the power of three High Mage... She will need time to adapt”
Xan turned abruptly, his purple robe swirling and looked at Teltomir, and the High Mage made half a step backwards.
Again, only the light, now steady fading, filled the magnificent room.
Xan turned on his heel and stormed towards the Royal Chambers, where his bondmate, love, and now Coronal slept.
She was always especially beautiful during sleep. Or revierie.
He threated carefully over the carpet, and looked at her, curled up in the too big bed. She was always lithe, even for their People. Lithe and deadly. So much more so now, that she was a archmage aside than powerful fighter.
He gingerly sat over the decorated blankets, the colours, he noticed, already the same of his own house's one. Of course. Now, he was a part of the ruling family of Cormanthyr.
The thought made him cringe.
He watched her sleeping form, as he had done so many time before and soothed her disquieting dreams throught their bond. Slowly, he extended a hand and caressed her silver-blonde hairs and her face.
The sun had just set on the first day of her ryarsa, her reign, and so she would be Coronal of a People she didn't knew at all so well, in time when Corellon had just ended the Retreat and spoke of a Third Accession.
A doomed task. Surely.
He manouvred so that he was on the top of the bed, and slowly put her head on his knees, caressing her hairs while he willed the night and the darkness away.
He breathed the night air, filled with scent of flowers and the forest of Cormanthor and waited.
He would be there for her when she woke up, and for how many years after those grinning fools of the Seldarine would give them.
A futile endavour, pheraps.
But, in that soft night, Xan, lately of Everaska and now, apparently, of Cormanthyr (whenever he whished it or not) almost believed they might really guide their kin in their Rebirth.
Again, he caressed her forehead.
It was worth a shot, anyway.
And in the night, he smiled wrily and bent to kiss his lover, bondmate and Queen softly, as not to wake her.
*The Elfblade ritual is taken from “Cormanthyr, Empire of Elves”
**Amin naa tualle: I am at your service. Polite greeting towards a superior.
***Mae Govennen: Well Meet. General greeting bewtween elves.
**** N-Tel'Quessir: Not-Elves.