Author's Notes: This is the follow-up to 'Discovery', the journey of Maiyn and her party through BG1. This will be based upon the happenings of BG2:SoA, up to the concluding fight in Suldanessellar. Reviews and comments welcome:)
General disclaimer: I own nothing, even Maiyn generally decides her own path.
The screams echoed around her as she lay prone on the ground of her cage. How long had she been there? She had no idea; the time had seemed to crawl past incredibly slowly, each encounter with her captor producing the shouts of terror from the other less fortunate prisoners. When would it be her turn to be killed by the madman? His babbling at her had been incoherent, but that was more down to her own state of mind.
She was tired; so very tired. And she hurt; a constant pain that seemed to absorb every inch of her body. It had been like that since she was taken, since she'd awoken inside this barred cell. She knew at times she was delirious. She was sure that sometimes she could hear Imoen's voice, Minsc's mighty roars. She was sure she'd seen Dynaheir... bloody and bruised, her eyes closed. But they were nightmares, her subconscious longing for her friends and twisting the images into mirroring the horrors that surrounded her.
She could only just remember the night she was caught; she'd ridden hard to reach Cloakwood, putting her fears aside as she guided her mount into the dark shadows made by the trees. Over to the bank of the river, finding the exact spot... the place she'd sat down for a few peaceful moments with her own thoughts so many weeks before. Her daydreams back then had been interrupted when she realised someone had joined her. That was when they'd spoken for the first time, allowed their paths to entwine to perform a simple enough task at his request. He'd stayed with her group beyond it - long beyond it. He'd stayed with her as she discovered her true heritage; her true father. He'd died at the hands of her 'brother' and been saved by the prayers of the clerics who had arrived to find her party decimated.
But they couldn't save him completely. His life force slowly ebbed into him, but his consciousness evaded their calls and so he remained comatose, beyond any healing or calls for him to come back to her. He was gone from her life, and she was too dangerous for him to be near to as he lay infirm.
She didn't know how long she'd stayed sitting at the river, watching it flow past on its never-ending journey. A whole day must have passed; she could remember daylight, but it had become dark again when they'd leapt from the shadows. It had only taken one of them to overpower her, so caught up in her own personal grief as she was. The other two had more problems calming her skittish mount. A swift blow to her head ensured she passed out, her feeble attempts at self defence coming far too late. Then she'd awoken to her current surroundings.
The man... he'd said his name, but she'd not heard it. She didn't hear anything he'd said as she sat huddled in the prison, uncrying, unfeeling. She stared at the bare stone ground, noticed the man approach closer from the corner of her eye, but did not really register it in her mind. She could sense his anger regarding her lack of attention every time. Then the pain would begin.
Physical harm, leaving her bruised and bloodied. Mental pain; a pain which caused her much more hurt. Her memories were blocked as he attempted to get her attention, but she just drifted off into an oblivious trance. No matter what happened, she was unable to lift the feeling, even if she'd wanted to. Every time he left, the mental blocks were removed, and she'd revert to trying to relive the past.
He was standing before her now; she could see him speaking. Her vacant eyes stared at the ground but then she felt herself standing as he used his incantations to manipulate her into the position. The others had been standing, and now they lay dead. Perhaps it was her turn. Perhaps it was time. She wakened herself from her melancholy with some effort, raising her eyes to him for the first time.
The spell seared through her at that moment, causing Maiyn to feel as though her limbs were being ripped from her body. For the first time she screamed; she screamed with agony and terror. For the first time, she reacted to his abuse and opened up her soul.
A ripple of thunder sounded in the distance as the woman rinsed out the cloth she was holding. The storm had passed, and was now drifting out to sea after lingering over the city for almost an hour. Not even the loudest rumbles had managed to stir the patient she was tending to, but she didn't expect it. She hadn't lost the hope that one day he'd waken up, but she knew it would take something special to trigger it. Nothing that she'd tried had had any effect though.
She dipped the cloth back into the cold water and used it to wipe the elf's brow; the night was warm and clammy despite the downpour outside. Her eyes fell to his face; he looked so peaceful despite his condition. Clerics from the palace attended him every day to make sure he managed to stay alive. They were working under a promise granted by the Grand Dukes; a promise they'd made to his lover before she left the city. It had been several months since Brielbara had watched Maiyn ride off towards the city gates, and she'd heard nothing about the ranger since then. The coin she'd left had helped to pay for a nanny for Namara though, freeing up Brielbara to tend to him and hold down her new position at Sorcerous Sundries. Sometimes she wondered what had happened to Maiyn, where she had gone, what she was doing. Sometimes she wondered what would happen when Coran awoke and discovered she was no longer by his side...
Brielbara shook the thoughts from her head. There was no point in wondering about the future when it looked so unclear. Fate had a mischievous streak, and the mage knew that his survival was for a reason; not just so he could peacefully die in her home. Something was sure to waken him sometime...
She straightened out the bedcovers, and blew out the candles sitting on the table by his bed. One was left alight, as it was every night, just in case he was to waken up and wonder at his surroundings. She knew he had elven infravision, but her human nature insisted on leaving the light for him. 'Goodnight Coran' she whispered softly, closing the door as she left his room. It was late, and she needed to sleep.
She'd barely reached the door of her own room when she heard his cries. She ran back to his room, paling in shock as she realised that he'd awoken. He was thrashing around on the bed, knocking the bowl of water to the ground as he struggled with an invisible foe, shouting something incomprehensible. Brielbara quickly composed herself, uttering the words to a remove fear cantrip which enveloped him in its glow, but had no effect on his distress.
The mage ran to his side, gently reaching out to calm him, soothing him with her words until he lay down, shaking and sweating. His eyes met hers, and slowly they showed signs of recognition amongst the pain.
"Coran..." she whispered. "You've awoken!" He broke his gaze with her as his eyes closed firmly, his teeth clenched. Another cry or torturous pain came from him, and his body shuddered as though he was being subjected to hurt of the most severe form. Brielbara called out to him again, but he didn't seem to hear her and the fit lasted for several minutes before the tension left his body. He eventually relaxed; his eyes closing as he drifted off into a fitful slumber.
"He's awake ma'am?" Brielbara turned to see Alice standing at the door, a worried look on her face. Namara was in her arms, the young half-elf's eyes wide with fear. "She came running to my room when she heard the noise," explained the maid hastily. "I said we'd come and see what was wrong."
Brielbara looked quickly down to Coran; his breathing was steady and regular. She stood and quickly approached Alice, taking Namara into her arms as she nodded to young girl. "Send a message to the palace," she said quietly. "Tell them to let the clerics know he has awoken; get one to come here as soon as possible."
Alice nodded and offered a quick curtsey before she dashed off down the hall to find one of the errand boys. Brielbara hugged her daughter close to her, hearing her fearful whimpers. "It's all right," the mage said soothingly. "Everything will be all right now."