Chapter 8: Forboding and Seperation.



Within the week, the trio were back on their way west.

Once he had been accepted, Drizzt did not mind staying at Kaimel's lodge, but it quickly became clear that the lodge was meant only as a temporary home, no matter the race of the guest. He would need to find another place to call home.

Solonund was whistling a tune, " Well Drizzt, we never made it to Thesk, but we still found Shun. that makes the six months we have been traveling not a waste. Shun, you will love Silverymoon. They have some of the best schools of wizardry on all of Faerun."

"I am certain I will have to make that decision for myself, Solonund. Drizzt, do you like the scimitars I brought for you?"

"Yes, they are very well made. I will make good use of them."

"I prefer scimitars myself as well," Shun Replied.

"I must ask you one question , Shun. Why do you wear so much jewelry and finery. You look rather gaudy for being a ranger."

"It is simple, Drizzt, this is my entire wealth. I was taught not to rely on money alone, so I carry all I will need in the form of jewelry. Although, the small pin on my turban, I will never sell. It may be simple ivory, but it is Arayanni. I am proud to display my faith."

"The green cloth you have wound around your head?"

"It is called a turban. It is a hat made of cloth."

"I see."

"Solonund seems happy with the gift the elder told me to give to him as well."

"What exactly is that talisman used for?"

"I do not know. It is ancient. It has been passed down in the elder's family for many generations. The only thing the elder told me about it is that is was made to save someone who would ordinarily meet death. That is the reason I made my way so haphazardly west. If I had been more careful, I might not have been caught by Kamiel. My mistake was my own, but it was fated to be. I might have also missed Solonund if I had not been caught. The elder told me it was urgent that Solonund receive the talisman."

Drizzt stopped and grabbed Shun's arm. "You mean your elder foresaw Solonund's death?!"

"He would die only if he did not have that talisman. That is what the elder saw during his meditations."

Drizzt summoned Guenhwyvar from her figurine. Having Guenhwyvar always brightened Drizzt's mood. Shun liked Guenhwyvar as well.

" I had a panther kitten when I was very young. It had been abandoned by its mother. I was very sad once it was weaned and had to be set free. You are very lucky she likes you, and you are very lucky she is no ordinary panther."

Drizzt smiled, but kept silent.

**********

"Something is bothering you, Drizzt." Shun stated flatly they came to the point where it was time to turn north.

"Shun, you can only tell the truth."

"That is so. It is one of my oaths."

"Did your elder tell you how Solonund was going to die?"

"No, he did not. He only told me that Solonund's life would be saved if he wore that talisman."

"So, according to your elder, Solonund will not die because he wears the talisman?"

"That is what I was told. That is why you have been so distant with Solonund on this journey. You do not want to think of his death, this one you have adopted as your brother."

"Solonund was right about you. Your intuition is sharper than most."

"I thank you." Shun said with a slight bow.

"Hey, you two are lagging behind. If we want to make good time, we have to pay some attention to where we are going."

"Solonund," Drizzt said.

"What is it ?"

"Shut Up."

"Alright, alright. I am just anxious to get west. I will slow down for you two. And Drizzt, don't look at me like I am already dead. I am wearing the talisman. That Annui elder is rather accurate in his predictions. I am not going to die, yet."

Drizzt smiled and shook his head. He knew Solonund always had to have the last word.

As they came nearer to the Greypeak Mountains, Solonund decided that in order to avoid too many settlements that might make things harder than need be for them, they should go through the mountains instead of around.

Solonund scouted on ahead. They found numerous orcs, worgs and goblins on their way, but nothing that pressed them too far behind their goal.

Drizzt was glad to have Shun's magic along on the trip. Unlike most wizards Drizzt had met, Shun's style complimented nature and the elements rather than purely manipulating them.

Suddenly Solonund's scream pierced the air.

Both Drizzt and Shun ran to see what had happened to him.

Solonund was hanging onto a root of a tree to keep from falling down a wide, steep cavern that had been neatly covered and used as a trap. The young tree was straining to keep rooted under the strain of Solonund's weight.

Drizzt paused to look at a letter that had been carved into the rock near the edge of the slick sided cavern and yelled to Shun in horror.

"Quickly, Shun, pull him up. This is a slide that leads straight to Ched Nasad!"

"It leads where?"

"When Drow warriors who serve the evil goddess Lloth come to the surface to raid and murder, they often have slides that lead to the Underdark. I should have seen it before! These mountains are crawling with young orcs and goblins. Drow in the Underdark enslave these creatures. This slide is where they throw the slaves they capture. It leads to the slave pits of Ched Nasad! If he slips, he could be killed. If he survives the slide, he will be murdered by those at the bottom of it!"

"Help me! these roots are too unstable to climb! I'm slipping!"

"Drizzt, I can't reach him, he is too far down and I have nothing stable to hold on to! I have no spells to help with this!"

"Let me try!" Drizzt said," Solonund, hand me one end of your bow! Hang on to the other end!"

"Alright."

"Drizzt, we are not alone," Shun said as he saw a small group of orcs heading their direction, "You get him up, I will slice these creatures with blade and magic."

Before Drizzt grabbed Solonund's bow, he pulled out Guenhwyvar and bade her to come help Shun stay the attackers.

As Drizzt grasped his end of Solonund's bow, his fingers were hard pressed to keep a grip. the string bit into his hands as he howled for Solonund to hang on.

Solonund climbed hand over hand. He grasped Drizzt's fingers as the bow began to give under the strain.

A bright light coming from the area of Solonund's chest hit Drizzt in the eyes. He inadvertently jerked his hand up to shield his eyes. Once he could see again, Solonund was gone. Solonund's broken bow hung from the hand that had not covered his eyes.

Shun was kneeling next to Drizzt looking at the slide and then back at Drizzt.

"He is your adopted brother? Why did you let go?"

"There was a light, from that talisman. I was blinded."

"A light from the elder's talisman? Then he may yet be alive."

"No, they kill surface elves that reach the Underdark. I will go with you until we reach the next settlement, Shun. Then I must go on by myself. I have done one more terrible thing. Another has met death because of me. My friends, my father, and now, my brother. I wish to be alone.

With a heavy heart, Shun left Drizzt's company at the next town. Shun knew he had met an extraordinary person in Drizzt, and that he would never see Drizzt again.

**********

If anyone wants to know what happened to Solonund, just Email me. No, he is not dead, yes he meets up with Drizzt again years later.

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