Hey guys! So glad to see you reading my books again. It's been a long two years and I've been desiring to come back to FanFiction. The only problem was I had no ideas of what to write. Yes, I know, I know, "But SirMehALot, you left such a cliffhanger in Freak Hunter you obviously have sequels in mind.". Yes, dear fan, you're correct. I did leave it up for the making of a trilogy, in fact I tampered with a sequel back in December, however, I couldn't find the words coming out and it's just sitting a half-finished draft of the first chapter. Don't give up hope, one day I may find the right combination of words to let me plow through the rest of the book. You've also got to understand how I feel about that book. That was written two years ago, and quite frankly, it's embarrassing for me to look at. I'm just too proud of it to remove it, and I have no plans to do so anytime in the future. So while you're at it, go read Freak Hunter, my misnamed magnum opus. (Not really a magnum opus.)
Another problem is my shift in interests. As of June 2015, I dropped TF2 in its infamous "TF:GO" update for CS:GO. It seemed to be a better shift after three years of playing TF2. Through my year of moving up and down the ranks of Silver (stop laughing) I've begun to be fed up with it. As I write this, I'm currently redownloading TF2 to gain some inspiration and avid desire for FanFiction that inspired the spontaneous (rather ad-libbed) creation known as Freak Hunter. Plus I'm also starting to miss the Sandvich-Fest known as TF2.
I've also been extremely busy with school. Sophmore year isn't easy, no matter what anyone thinks. I also participated for my first time in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) back in November. So obviously I have been spending the past eight months plowing through that mess of a draft to make it into a full fledged novel. However, like any monotonous task, it's begun to grow dull and I needed a change of pace. So here, I present a new book set in the Forgotten Realms. I haven't had much experience with Dungeons and Dragons besides designing a few adventures that have never been used, but I'm a die hard fantasy fan and I love Forgotten Realms. So here, I present a tale of magic and family issues known as Fool's Gold, posted (hopefully) every Friday.
The fox leapt nimbly onto a log and sniffed the air, its breath clouding in the icy, midnight air. It opened its mouth, letting the smells of the forest floor drift to the receptors in roof of its mouth. A rabbit crouched in a bush in front of it. The fox licked its maw at the smell of its fear, but it pushed itself onward. It would have plenty of food later, but only if it got moving. It leapt a brook and veered left, towards a very dim source of light only its fox eyes could see at this distance. As the light grew, shapes manifested around it, growing into hunched shadows around a crackling fire. The fox entered the camp and leapt into the air, landing on its feet in human form.
The human sitting across the fire held up a finger, downing the last of the booze from his wooden cup. "Ah, Sharyas, you've returned to us. Do you bring us news?"
Sharyas gazed hypnotically at the fire. "Mmm, no one was following him."
The elf, sitting quietly over on the other side of the clearing looked up from his book. "Then what shall we do with him?" He gestured to the scowling tiefling tied up to the tree in front of them.
The human snorted. "Kill him, push him into the fire, it makes no difference to me. Nothing but a worthless demonspawn."
The tiefling chuckled, a deep warble rising from his throat. "I take it you're not a fan."
The elf snapped a finger. "Perhaps we shall let Sharyas have him."
Sharyas licked her lips. "I do enjoy this idea."
"Very well, he's all yours."
Sharyas got up and walked around the fire, leaning down to bring her face mere inches from the tiefling's glowing golden orbs. "Hey," she said softly. "You're pretty cute." She tickled his nose, but the tiefling's face didn't twitch. She felt heat beginning to rise up her neck. "Y-you've ever been with a kitsune before?"
The tiefling remained apathetic. "W...what?" He leaned over, looking behind her, and bellowed a laugh. "Why, you only have two tails!" He laughed. "You're but a kit!"
Sharyas' face simmered in heat. "That's kitsune, to you, demonspawn."
"And what's with all these hateful comments? You don't hear me poking fun at your heritage."
The elf set down his book. "I believe we are quite within our rights Mr. Tiefling, you have, after all, intruded within our camp."
The human pulled his half-moon axe menacingly. "And we'd like answers to that as well. You wouldn't want to lose your precious horns, would you, demonspawn?"
"For the first thing, the name isn't demonspawn, nor is it Mr. Tiefling. It's Ascanor, Ascanor Fireborn."
The elf smiled. "It seems he's decided to show some civility. Very well, my name's Alandil. You've met Ereven and his...axe, and our dear kitsune, is Sharyas."
Ascanor turned away. "Nice to meet you." He muttered.
"Now it's only polite to ask our question. Why were you snooping about our camp?"
"I've told you already. I was not snooping, I was traveling. I saw the light and had to see if it was worth my trouble. Then Imbecile over here decided his axe was necessary."
Ereven rose from his seat. "Why you-"
"Enough, comrade." Alandil held up a pale hand. "Now is not the time for whatever revenge you may deem necessary. Now Ascanor, why are you here in the forest, anyways."
"To hurt my feelings." Sharyas sulked at the edge of the clearing, stroking one of her burnished tails.
Ascanor smiled. "All in a day, darling. No, what my business here is none of your business."
Alandil frowned. "Hmm, truly unfortunate. Very well, I guess I have no choice but to give you over to Ereven then."
Ereven grinned maliciously. "Ooh I'm going to have fun ridding this world of you."
"Save me his tail!" Sharyas said. "Only two tails." She muttered.
Ascanor winced, his tail curling defensively around the trunk of the tree. "Alright!" He sighed. "I...I've been sent on a quest by my father. A relic, long lost by my clan, is hidden in a temple somewhere in this forest."
"That's it?" Alandil flipped the pages of his book in boredom.
"You need more?"
"Well if you'd excuse this, I'd think you're here to sabotage us."
"Sabotage you? Why?"
"You mean you've never heard of us?"
"What?" Ereven heaved himself up. "You mean you've never heard of the slayers of the Sirens? Bane of liches everywhere? You've never heard of the Raven's Third Toe?"
Alandil rubbed his eyes. "Raven's Fist, Ereven. Remember? You made up that other name drunk."
"I think he might be a little bit drunk now." Sharyas muttered, quiet enough to desire no one to hear, but loud enough to make sure everybody did anyways.
"Oh yeah, Raven's Fist. You're telling me you've never heard of the Raven's Fist?" Ascanor shook his head. "Oh man you're missing out! Always going around slaying monsters and-"
"Ereven." Alandil warned.
"Right. So what do we do with this guy?"
Alandil clapped his book shut and stood up. "Well there's only option for us at this point. We have to bring him along with us."
"What?" Ereven and Ascanor said in unison.
"Yes, isn't it obvious? We were sent here to slay a hydra said to rest within an ancient temple. It sounds to me like we may be searching for the same location. If we let him go, we'll just end up seeing each other again anyways. Besides, he may prove a valuable ally."
"Absolutely no way! There is no way I'm fighting with a stinking tiefling."
Ascanor snorted. "As if that wasn't offensive, it's more so to make me fight with the one who said it."
Alandil frowned. "Now, I never said anything about fighting together, I only imply we travel together."
Ascanor harrumphed. "Fine."
Alandil came over and untied Ascanor's binds. He flexed his arms for good measure. Alandil tossed over a belt. "You may take your scabbards now."
Ascanor clasped it around his waist. "Thanks."
Sharyas walked past him, giving a playful swish with her tails. Ascanor turned crimson. "Did you uh-"
She stopped. "Hm?"
"What you said, before I mean, did you mean it?"
She giggled, lightly tapping his nose. "A fox never lies." She jumped, shifting into a fox, before disappearing into the trees.
Ascanor reached out a hand.
Alandil chuckled. "I wouldn't worry, Ascanor, she always manages to handle herself. Always has."
The clearing in which they made camp sat at the top of a small slope. It followed down into a small bowl in which only a single tree rest on the ground. Ascanor stamped down the hill and investigated. Ereven shoved past. "Do you even have any idea where you're going?"
"Perfectly. Do you?"
"Well...Alandil has the...the map but yeah, I totally know where we're going."
Ascanor nodded, and continued ahead. He circled the tree, drawing a claw along its rocky, rough bark. "Hmm, it seems this fell recently. It still contains water."
Alandil snapped his fingers, a wispy ball of light floating lazily above them. "Then it would seem whatever caused this is still in the area."
Ereven drew his axe. "Let's take it down, maybe we can get some extra gold!"
"Now, now, don't be going rushing into another fight already. We've just now gotten your wounds healed."
Ascanor snorted from across the clearing.
Ereven scowled. "And what's so funny?"
He held up a finger.
"Don't you ignore me!"
"Be quiet!" Ascanor turned around, his brow clenched in concentration. In his hand, he held a small lump of stone. He cursed, hanging his head. "Lost it."
Alandil scratched his chin. "Lost what. What is that you hold?"
Ascanor held it out, a small relief of a horned head. It'd been roughly hewn from a single stone into a small square profile of a smiling demon. "It's a carving from the temple, the only relic my father gave to me for my use. I've developed a special spell, through a lot of research and experimentation, that draws upon the essence contained within the world. It can then focus this essence and hone in on its source. In other words, it can find the longest resting place of any object or person from anywhere in the planes."
"You...are a wizard?"
"Why, yes, of course. Why?"
"My pardons, I just thought with your two blades that-"
"What, these old things?" He shook the scabbards of his knife and sword. "Well, I can use them too. But the arcane arts are my true expertise."
Ereven snorted. "Someone's quite full of themselves, aren't they?"
"Based on the size of your armor, I assume you're talking about yourself."
Alandil stamped his foot. "Now that's enough. If you two won't get along I'll have Sharyas Bind the both of you to rocks. She'd enjoy it too."
Ascanor exhaled sharply and stomped up the other side of the bowl. He gripped the relic harder, closing his eyes. "I need to try and get the source again. The spell must be refreshed every hour, or I lose the sense of direction." He furrowed his brow before smiling. "I've got it. Follow me."
Ereven took the vanguard. "You lead me, I'll take you there."
Ascanor scowled, but pointed farther down the path. "That way."
The path snaked up the other side of the bowl, turning right before widening. Ascanor peered up at swaying branches of the trees. Alandil followed his gaze. "I've heard tieflings possess great vision in the dark."
"Tell me, what is it like?"
"What's it like? Well...uh...I've never really thought about. I've just taken it for granted. It's like...I guess like looking in daylight, but sharper, since we're born not as good in bright light. I can see sharply, It's total darkvision.."
"Hmm, I see. Fascinating."
Ereven looked over. "You're going to have to pardon our elf. He's a little...eccentric when it comes to knowledge."
Ascanor shrugged. "It sounds like a fascinating life."
He growled, but said nothing.
The path turned left, opening into a large clearing. Ascanor's ears twitched, he could hear the rush of water beyond the trees in front of them as well as to their left as it wrapped around the clearing. They stopped as a fox leapt from the bushes. Sharyas panted. "Ah, I'm glad I found you guys before it was too late."
Alandil frowned. "Too late for what?"
"Ah, I smelled them back at the camp, but they didn't seem to be a threat until now, since we've gotten too close."
Ascanor's knife rasped from its sheath, a blue cone appearing in his right fist. "What was a threat?"
She giggled. "Yuan-ti, silly!"
Alandil drew his silvery bow and an arrow from the quiver at his hip. "It would appear we've stumbled upon their nest."
Several figures slid from behind the trees, drawing swords and bows. One slithered forward, clasping its hands. It wore an adorned circlet of silver, a carved gem embedded in a ring between its glowing, acid green eyes. "Travelers," it hissed, "welcome to our nest. We will gladly give you passage to the stream beyond, as it seems a vital destination for those like yourself. All for a small fee, of course."
Ereven laughed heartily. "You must take us for fools." He drew his axe. "Fat chance."
Ascanor and Alandil nodded, readying their weapons.
The snake hissed in anger. "Then you leave us no choice."