A/N: Been playing some BG:EE. Brought back memories, and Neera is...inoffensive. An interlude. This year hasn't been the best, cry your pardons. I have hardly updated Mess Banter or bar Talk, and for that I am sorry. A break, for the moment.

I grunted.

Jaheira laughed, leaning up against the side of the yurt. Dead were the bandits, yes. I had fought my first real fight. She sipped her water as I bled- Imoen was checking the chest, and Neera was tending to me poorly. Brawen just frowned. I panted. We had ambushed them, yes. I had swigged the potion, felt the energy, the strength flow through me. Covered in soot, we waited till nightfall. We waited until they were drunk, or at least drinking. Ten of us, covered in ash and anger, listened.

"And then I kicked him in the head until he was dead, hahahaha!"

I couldn't stand it much longer. I looked down at my palm. I wondered if any of those hide-huts had slaves in them. Captives. Hostages. But we had been watching for hours, and nothing. I made the call, in the end. I decided to make the risk, hope for the best. It was going to be the signal to the other party lurking around the edges of the hobgoblin camp. I thumbed the spoon, and lobbed the Potion of Explosions towards the ring of bandits around the bonfire. They didn't stand a chance.

There was an almighty burst of fire and thunder, and screams. Then, whoops and warcries as my people broke ranks. I was in the center, of course. And that's why Khosann came for me. I can still remember our shields slamming together. I reached over, he reached under. My shield caught his hammer, and my mace knocked an eye out of his head. I followed up with a punch from my shield, and well...he won't be telling his side of the story. I don't like remembering it. I don't like remembering any of the people I've killed. He was evil, no doubt. But still...I didn't want to kill him.

I did anyways.

We cleared out the camp, and each hut. We cleared out Tazok's hut, without sign of the man himself. Lying there, panting after battle, Branwen looked at my huge shield. The boss was covered in blood. I guess I was hurt. Neera, still hiccoughing, stepped closer. She had her bandages in hand as Branwen and Jaheira frowned. It wasn't the girl's fault, really. But wild magic brigns out the protective streak in people around me. I smile at her as a badly wounded Branwen shoved her out of the way, and cast her very last spell on me. Branwen had two cracked ribs, and plenty of cuts. She needed it.

But she needed me more, I think.