Title: Of Like Minds
Rating: PG-13 for violence, possible bad language, and possible (mild) slash implications. (The first chapter is pretty PG, but I put PG-13 just in case…)
Summary: Drizzt rescues a dark elf unlike any he's ever met before… Could he possibly have found another non-evil Drow? Enter Olath Drathir, Arcane Trickster!
Disclaimer: I do not own Drizzt Do'Urden or any of Salvatore's other characters. Wizards of the Coast owns them. The only things I lay claim to are Olath and this story. ^_^
Chapter One: Giants!
"Giants," Drizzt murmured under his breath, an all-too familiar spark of battle-lust in his lavender eyes. Guenwhyvar, the great black panther, crouched in ready at his side. With a quick pat to Guen's powerful shoulders, the Drow elf set off like a silent black arrow through the twilit trees, towards the clearing where the frost giants made their camp. The panther shadowed him on a parallel course, breaking off at the last moment to circle around and flank the apparently off-guard giants.
Silence followed, and the frost giants had a precious split-second to realize that something was wrong. Not enough time to react, however, for Drizzt and Guen burst out of the dark forest with blades and claws flashing. The two giants fell swiftly under the assault, crying out in pain and terror as a scimitar sunk into flesh, or powerful jaws squeezed the life from a thick throat. A heavy fist swung at Drizzt, only to be lopped off at the wrist. Howling with rage, the giant tried to use its great bulk to crush the relatively tiny elf below it as it fell, but the Drow stepped nimbly aside. It fell heavily to the ground, floundered in the reddening snow, but the Drown and the panther were upon it before it could gain purchase in the slippery ground. Soon, the snow was turned to red slush with giant blood, and nothing remained standing but a lone Drow and his feline companion.
A third giant, returning to the small encampment, took one look at the carnage and roared as it rushed the two dark figures. Drizzt turned, but too slowly...
"ENERVATION!" The spell blasted the giant, a direct hit. Black miasma surrounded the giant, which fell to its knees with a groan as its life was drained from it. It raised its eyes just in time to see a curving blade flash towards its throat. Then, it too joined its companions in the bloodied snow.
The ranger turned to see his unexpected ally. A smaller figure wrapped in furs, obviously not a frost giant, was quickly scooting away from its fallen companions—or captors, as it may be. Drizzt frowned and overtook him with a short sprint. Reaching into the pile of furs, he grasped a pointed ear and hauled out a rather panicky Drow elf. The ranger nearly dropped his find in surprise, but held his composure and flicked Twinkle out of its sheath to rest at the strange dark elf's throat. Guenwhyvar growled threateningly as well, but Drizzt signaled it to stay back.
"P-please, please don't kill me!" the Drow stammered in—not the Drow language, but barely accented Common! Drizzt hesitated, but held his blade still. There was something about this dark elf that gave the ranger pause, something that told Drizzt that this dark elf was not quite like his other kin. Still, even if this dark elf had seemed like a threat, Drizzt would be hard-pressed to kill him. He had only killed one of his own kin in his long life, and that had been in self-defense.
Seeing that his captive was about to swoon with fear, he lowered the blade in a non-threatening gesture, but did not return it to its sheath. "Speak, then. What is your name, and why were you keeping company with giants?" the ranger asked in a stern voice, trying not to allow his curiosity to soften his guard. This stranger might still have a trick up his sleeve…
"My name is Olath Drathir, and I assure you, this was company I kept not by my own choice," the Drow babbled fearfully. "Would I have cast that spell if I did not wish to escape?"
"Wizard!" Drizzt hissed, his suspicion flaring. Might this be a wizard from Menzoberranzan, or one of the other Drow cities in the Underdark? It wouldn't be much of a stretch for a Drow wizard to turn on his frost giant associates... "How could a Drow wizard be so easily controlled by a bunch of frost giants, if he were not working with them by choice?" Twinkle rested again at Olath's throat, and Guen took a step forward.
Eying the obviously magical blade and the cat with trepidation, Olath swallowed hard. "Not a wizard!" he insisted. "I've never been trained in the arcane arts! My powers developed of their own accord! I am merely a slave to the giants, nothing more."
"Sorcerer, then," Drizzt murmured in recognition, relaxing only marginally. Something else nagged at him. "When you called for mercy, you spoke to me in Common, not Drow. Why?"
Olath shifted uneasily. "I have not been in the Underdark since my childhood," he admitted. "Much of my native language has been lost to me, though I do not miss it." He spat with distaste. This brought another look of surprise to Drizzt's lavender eyes. "All memories of my 'homeland' are tainted with evil. I was rather resigned to my fate with the frost giants, and all the others who had me before, for they seemed a better alternative to a dagger in the back from one of my kin. Not that I'm not grateful for your... intervention," he added quickly, eyes widening anxiously.
This Drow is full of surprises, Drizzt thought, now thoroughly intrigued by the strange fellow. He held out a hand to Olath, who took it hesitantly, and helped him fully to his feet. As Olath dusted the snow from his furry cloak, Drizzt had the chance to inspect the stranger more closely. Olath's bone white hair hung only a little past his shoulders, with part of it tied off in the back to keep it out of his face. A few wispy bangs hung at his temples, occasionally drifting across his unusual eyes. Drizzt stared, startled, to see that Olath did not have the usual blood red eyes of his Underdark kin, but rather had pale pink irises, with no discernable pupil. However, Olath did not seem to be blind, though Drizzt knew that the blind could be deceptively aware of their surroundings, even without their sight. Mooshie had taught him that much.
Olath glanced up just then, catching Drizzt's gaze on him. "Why do you stare?" he asked, still looking a little nervous around his dubious savior.
Drizzt blinked, almost certain now that Olath was not blind. "Y-your eyes," he stammered by way of explanation, embarrassed that he'd been caught staring so openly. "They are an unusual color for a dark elf."
Studying the ranger's lavender orbs, Olath replied, "As are yours." Sensing Drizzt's embarrassment, he changed the subject. "I am most grateful to you, stranger, and rather surprised to find another like myself on the surface world. Might I know your name?"
"Drizzt Do'Urden," he answered automatically, bowing slightly.
"Well met, Drizzt Do'Urden," Olath greeted, returning the bow. A smile quirked his lips. "Many tales are told of Drizzt Do'Urden and his companions. It is an honor to meet you in person."
This set Drizzt on edge again, for most who had heard of him either treated him as a hero… or a challenge. Artemis Entreri was one of the latter. He hoped that Olath would do neither, however, as he felt rather strange when people treated him as some sort of legend. Of course, Drizzt was a legend, but he tried not to let it go to his head.
Olath, thankfully, seemed disinclined to press the matter. "Well, Drizzt Do'Urden, my thanks again. I shall take my leave of you now." He bowed again, then turned on his heel, striding off into the snow.
"Wait!" Drizzt called suddenly, surprising himself as much as Olath, who halted and glanced over his shoulder with confusion. "Please, don't leave just yet." He scrambled desperately for a reason, then decided to go with the truth. "I've not come across another Drow that renounced our race's ways. Might we… travel together for a time? I… We could learn much from one another." He sheathed Twinkle and held out his hands in a gesture of peace and friendship.
Olath gave him a tentative nod. "Yes, yes I would like that," he agreed, the smile returning. "It would be nice to have someone to talk to besides Mela, anyway." He turned around and returned to where Drizzt stood.
"Mela?" Drizzt asked, puzzled. Guenwhyvar seemed to understand, however, for the panther began snuffling about in Olath's robes, causing the sorcerer to laugh. "Guenwhyvar, let him be!"
"No, quite all right," Olath chuckled. "She just tickled me, that's all. Mela is my familiar. Come out, Mela, the danger has passed."
Wide blue eyes set in a tiny white face peeked out from the folds of Olath's thick fur cloak. It mewled at Drizzt and Guenwhyvar in greeting. Olath pulled the white kitten out of his pocket and cradled her in his arms. A pink ribbon was tied around the cat's neck in a decorative bow. Not exactly the sort of familiar one might expect for a Drow, but then again, Olath was not what Drizzt expected for a Drow. "Mela, this is Drizzt Do'Urden. He saved us from the giants."
With a joyful mew, the kitten leaped from Olath's arms and rubbed up against Drizzt's ankles, purring. Guenwhyvar gave the kitten a jealous look, but made no move to harm the tiny creature.
So as not to make the panther feel left out, Olath turned his attention to Guenwhyvar. "You must be Drizzt's famous feline companion. It is indeed an honor," the Drow murmured reverently, bowing deeply. The cat seemed mollified by this, and even allowed Olath to scratch behind her ears.
Though amused by these introductions, Drizzt knew that they had to be moving on soon. "There were more giants just over the ridge," he told Olath. "We should leave before the reinforcements arrive."
The sorcerer nodded. "Definitely. I would rather not become the giants' property again." He shuddered, then scooped Mela back into his pocket. "Where shall we go? I am not familiar with this land."
Drizzt smiled. "I am. We are in the northern region of Icewind Dale. Come, I will take you to my home, where we can speak further." Leading the way, he and Guenwhyvar took to the sparse forest once more, their new companions close at their heels.
Olath took one final glance at his former masters, shivering unpleasantly at the sight of all that spilled blood. "Farewell, old friends," he muttered with no small amount of sarcasm. Then, putting the carnage behind him, he followed Drizzt and Guen into the quickly darkening woods.
To be continued! Please read and review!
Author's note: This chapter has been revised slightly to make the battle with the giants seem a little more plausible (since my DM assured me that Drizzt could be taken down by three frost giants in an actual D&D fight), and also to give Olath a more active role when we first meet him. I also tweaked some of the dialogue and awkward sentences. My writing is ever a work in progress. *sigh*
At this point, I have only just finished the Dark Elf and Icewind Dale trilogies, so I may be a little hazy on some of the later canon. Please bear with me. ^_^
Another note: For a picture of Olath, and some of my other artwork, check me out at my new DeviantArt page: yukikousagi.deviantart.com (copy and paste into browser)