Disclaimer - I own none of these characters. They all belong to Christie Golden.
Notes - This is the first fic I have done in the FR not based around a character written by RAS, so may be a bit OOC. I am sorry for that...I truly love the character of Jander Sunstar and this story popped into my head. I also apologise if the timing is wrong...I just wrote what I percieved in the three short stories in the anthologies.
The journey to Waterdeep didn't seem to be going anywhere fast. She had to try and save the elf before the Shark reached him. Using the key she found when she had awoken, she had escaped the dungeons of Mistledale and made her way to the city.
Rhynn rode hard for what seemed to be months, but she finally made it to the place now being named the City of Splendors.
On her way to check the Inns scattered about the growing city, she hoped to spot Jander in amongst the crowd. A vampire hunter was after him and it was information from her own mind that had lead the beastly woman his way.
An hysterical girl passed her, grabbing hold of her riding cloak and shaking the light covering of snow it held to the ground. "Vampire! I trusted him and he's a vampire!" The young girl screamed at her face, before frantically turning about, her legs tangling in her skirts, sending her crashing to the freezing ground.
Rhynn soon was helping the frightened girl to her feet. "Tell me, do you speak of Jander Sunstar?" she asked, knowing if the girl wasn't she could be jeopardizing her friend's life anyway. When the girl nodded, Rhynn smiled. "He is trustworthy, vampire though he is."
Feeling as though this girl had come from a meeting with the gold elf, she led her back in the direction that she had come from before their collision. "Could you take me to him? He is in danger from a woman who is named the Shark."
The girl shook her head, sending her mane of golden curls to ripple down her back. "The Hunter has him in the City of the Dead."
Rhynn was too late. Closing her eyes, she sent a prayer that he would finally be free from his curse. Mayhap even the Morninglord would take him back into his light, as Lathander was the God Jander had followed before his...death.
She hoped it would be so if he lost the battle he must be fighting with the Shark and himself. Rhynn knew how much he loathed to kill.
"What is your name?" She asked of the girl.
"Maia." Came the quiet answer.
"Could you take me to the place you last saw him?" Rhynn couldn't let go of the thought that he was still alive, lost or trapped somewhere with the crazy woman who had almost driven her insane by a spell.
Maia nodded slightly, before slowly walking towards the direction of a huge monument that depicted a battle. Rhynn soon discovered the mural to be in the middle of the graveyard and below it, clutching a lifeless body, was Jander.
Walking over to him, she noted the dark tears that leaked down his face. Wheat-gold hair was tousled about and was in need of brushing. The sight made the moon elf sad. Jander so much loved beautiful things and liked to look his best.
"Rhynn? What are you doing here?" the elf vampire asked, before turning to face her, obviously remembering her scent.
She didn't answer, instead lifting a hand and gently began to rid his face of all evidence of bloody tears. He leaned into the touch, taking the small gesture as the comfortable feeling of a friend helping another.
He let the body go and Rynn was glad to see that it had no bites on it...in fact it looked like a fall had killed her. Finding the cloak on the woman who had hunted her vampire friend ripped, Rhynn loked up, only to spy a bit of cloth near the top of the monument.
She winced. The fall would have killed her immediately.
"She slipped and her cloak caught. I tried to reach her. All she had to do was grab my hand and I would have been able to save her. She ripped her cloak."
Rhynn frowned. "What do you mean?"
Sighing, Jander got to his feet and limped towards the exit. He soon froze though and walked no further, his face screwing up. "She would have rather died than have me touch her. She killed herself..." Shaking his head, he returned to Rhynn.
"I can't move much further...a ring of garlic is covering the area about the monument."
Rhynn nodded, before noting the very obvious smell of the garlic. To Jander, it must be overpowering.
Maia shifted nervously about on the other side of the ring of garlic. Jander looked to her and Rhynn couldn't fully discern the look on his face. Hope, joy, fear of being abandoned? All these seemed to flash across his features.
"I want to go home now." Jander stated and Rhynn almost laughed at the whining tone. His night must have been bad.
Nodding, the moon elf, with the aid of the barmaid, moved the garlic away so he was free to roam about.
To Rhynn's further amuzement, Jander yawned. A night creature tired and the night had barely begun! That was a first, she was sure.
Maia kept back as he left the graveyard, not wanting to be too close to someone that could easily kill her, even if that same someone had changed her life for the better.
No more did she have to sell her body, no, she had a nice job as a barmaid that she enjoyed very much and, to her ultimate joy, Jander had also been teaching her how to read.
She shifted a bit where she stood, stopping for a few seconds, before sighing and jogging to catch up to the two elves.
Jander had been inside her house, with her alone, for weeks and had not once tried to do anything bad to her...except maybe lose his patience every now and then when he had been in a bad mood.
He had never tried to take advantage of her, he had never tried to kill her and, even more important at that moment, he had never even attempted to bite her.
Looking towards the gold elf, she could suddenly see how sad he was, how lonely. He had gone to the meeting tonight just to save her, she realised, and all she had done was scream at him to get away.
She closed her eyes and shook her head, so she wasn't aware that the pair ahead of her had stopped. She bumped into the vampire and both went tumbling to the ground.
Maia was surprised to hear a grunt of pain from Jander then. She hadn't noticed that he had gotten hurt and knew that this tumble wouldn't have hurt him. She had missed the fact that he had been limping.
"I'm sorry." She cried out, afraid of what he would do to her.
"You didn't do anything wrong. I was too busy trying to find you when I reached the City of the Dead, that I missed some traps Shakira had left for me."
He looked towards his leg and Maia saw the remains of what would have been nothing else but a wooden trap stuck in his leg. One thing was for certain, he wasn't going anywhere until the splinters were out.
The other woman, the one called Rhynn by Jander, reached down and grabbed at his leg. Maia jumped almost a mile when a growl like that of a wild animal escaped his mouth.
She had seen him turn into a bat not long ago, yet that sound scared her more than his shape-changing abilities. It reminded her acutely of what he was.
"This will hurt." Rhynn stated, before grabbing at one piece of wood and quickly yanking it out.
A howl of pain, followed by the sound of teeth gnashing against each other was heard. Looking at Jander's golden face, she was shocked to see his silvery eyes wild and almost glowing, his teeth shaped into fangs...
The panic inside that he must be feeling. What would the pain of holy water-covered wood be like to a vampire?
A sudden rush of guilt made her squirm. All this pain was her fault. If he hadn't been teaching her letters and words, he wouldn't be in this vulnerable position.
Not knowing what else to do, she joined the other woman in helping take out the wood.
Soon the leg was free from the splinters, healing itself even as the two women watched. It was amazing to watch for Maia, as she had never seen anything like it before.
In a few minutes, the vampire got back to his feet, this time walking without a limp.
Maia couldn't help it...she followed both Jander and Rhynn to the gold elf's house.
Jander laughed, the sound carrying to the ears of the two females like a chorus of beautiful-sounding chimes. He had always had such a musical, charming voice.
His golden skinned hands were busy with carving a small horse, even as he told them the tale of what happened in the Grove he had stumbled upon a while back. One that had been sacred to Silvanus.
It was the first time either of the women had seen him truly happy he was betting.
"Unfortunately, I left the Grove when the nearby temple was attacked by a band of cutthroats I had fed upon not long beforehand. It was all I could do...I couldn't watch my friend die without trying to help him."
The tale left him with a longing for the quiet peace he had for those few months. He would never again have it though, as the Grove was blocked to him the minute he had stepped outside the ring of trees.
Rhynn laid a hand on his, resting her head comfortably on one of his shoulders, a gesture of comfort Maia dared not do though she did give him a sympathetic look and a pat on a knee.
Jander closed his eyes and smiled. Rhynn had told him, in a way that he believed, that she had never sent the Hunter after him. Though she did tell him that she had lOst her positi n as Captain of the Riders of Mistledale and kept as a prisoner instead.
Oh, how he felt guilty for that.
Maia had taken it upon herself that she wanted to continue her study of writing and words. While occasionally still scared of him, especially if his mood wasn't too good, she was attempting to bring their friendship back to what it was.
He still had two of the closest friends he had ever had, both of whom had been put into danger by him and still seen the goodness he tried to hold on to.
His friendships with both women had been reformed into something better. He no longer had to hide what hhe was from them.
It made his world that much brighter.
A/N - Well, I just read the three short Jander stories in the anthologies and thought they finished somewhat abruptly. This is just trying to piece togethe the stories and give it an ending, though one that might not have been the best.
I believe that Jander was only in the Grove foir a few months, and he was in Waterdeep after that for six months, so about a year, maybe a year and a half since the events in the Mistledale Inn has passed.
If anyone has anything that can disprove this, please tell me.