Ahh, finally. My first NWN fanfiction is complete. Go me!...Anyway, I would like to apologise to all of the Casavir or Bishop fangirls, since neither of them get treated very well in this 'fic. Bishop in particular. And incase your wondering, Elanee, Ammon, and Zhjaeve were inside the whole time - they're far to mature to join in. Oh yes, and my drow refused a knighthood, so no Knight Captain here.
Update: Few typos fixed, paragraph breaks added. :)
Wow, two hundred hits. :) Please review, people, I'd love to know what you think... :)
A cold chill spread across the field. The frozen grass, once alive with sound, stood deathly silent. The very trees themselves stood to attention, not a single branch moving, in defiance to the brisk wind that bombarded everything above ground level. Everything seemed to be at a standstill-the very land holding its breath, watching the scene in the small clearing below…
"You silly girl, did you really think you could face me in a duel and win? That futile attempt was completely off-target."
"Only because I hadn't accounted for your shortness, wizard! And stop moving, that's not fair!"
"Now now, I do believe there was nothing in the rules that said I couldn't make use of my already extremely agile and well-toned physique"
The "girl" scowled, and launched a further missile.
"Oh pur-lease. I barely had to move. Can you really not do any better, Qara?"
"You're Hasted! That's cheating!"
"Liar liar, Staff on fire"
"Was that a request, you arrogant slime of an elf?!"
"I do not doubt your exceptional skills, girl, I just fear for the lives of our dear companions who would also get caught in the no-doubt uncontrollable blast." The elf gestured towards the small group watching the battle, whilst silently congratulating himself on such a fine come-back.
"Alright, that's it! You're going down, Sand!" screamed the girl, firing another series of missiles at the smug elf.
"You know, perhaps we really should stop them. I mean, this looks like it could get very...bad..." said one of the watchers.
"Hah, I'm not going in there, Grobnar. I don't want to get caught in that-I'd rather not be blown to smithereens." replied the grinning drow that sat next to him, her mane of white hair gleaming in the sunlight.
"I agree. Any attempt to break up the argument could prove fatal" said a rather depressed looking paladin, who was sat on the drow's left. Kiadra rolled her eyes, and sighed. Bored, she began to fiddle with the blue ribbon stuck to her armour, trying to plait it with the red one which had been stuck to the fretting gnome's back.
"Really, Qara, this is rather tiresome. Will you please at least try to aim?"
"You son of a hag! I'll kill you!"
"Not at this rate you won't." the elf sighed, "I guess I have no option, then"
Nimbly dodging another barrage, Sand grasped his staff, aimed, and fired.
The first shot was dodged easily by the furious sorceress.
"Hah! You missed, you-"
The second snowball hit her firmly in the face.
Several Hours Earlier
"What in the Nine Hells?" Kiadra Geldrayl, Captain of Crossroad Keep, saviour of Neverwinter, and all around good person, groaned, rolled over, and clamped a pillow across her ears.
"If Grobnar's trying to build that spring-mounted codpiece again, by Lliira, kill me now."
In one swift movement, Kiadra lept from her bed, grabbed her scimitars and leaped across the room to combat her (no doubt fearsome) enemy. If not it was probably Bishop, in which case a quick kick in the groin would be appropriate.
"A…snowball?!" Kiadra's eyes grew wide.
"Teeheehee, you got her good, Stumpy!" The sound came from outside the now broken window of her room.
"Quiet, lass! She'll hear ye! And stop calling me that!"
Kiadra shuffled over to the window, and peered out. The ground and surrounding were completely white, but she could just make out the figures of two people standing directly below…
"What? Stumpy?" asked the taller figure.
"Keep down an' shut up!"
Kiadra coughed. Loudly.
The two figures sprinted off into the distance, one trying desperately to not fall over their tail, the other falling repeatedly deeper into the snow.
"You're both paying for that, you know!" Kiadra shouted after them.
One of them yelled back, something that although muffled by the wind, sounded a bit like, "Hah, and how do ye expect to make us do that!"
"Oh, I have my ways… Khelgar, Neeshka."
There was a silence,then…
"Hells hells hells!"
Kiadra grinned, staring in wonder at the snow.
Oh, this was going to be fun.
"Hurry up, hurry up, or you'll miss it!" squealed Grobnar, tugging on Kiadra's sleeve and dragging her out of the Keep's main door, his knitted scarf bobbing up and down in time with his steps. It was quite a nice scarf, thought Kiadra, it was a shame that whoever had made it was obviously colourblind.
"Miss what?" she asked.
"The fight, of course!" sang Grobnar, who by now was bouncing around with excitement.
"Fight? What fight? Did Bishop steal Casavir's boxers again?"
By now they had reached the edge of the nearby fields, which were knee deep in snow. To the side stood the remainder of her party, all dressed in what they considered appropriate for the cold weather. No-one seemed to be killing or yelling at each other, which was a rare occurrence.
"Here she is, here she is! Yay! Can we start now? Please, please?" cried Grobnar, who had run slightly ahead of Kiadra, and was now jumping up and down as per usual.
"Kiadra! There ye are, lass. I'm sorry about the window, it was all the tiefling's idea, honest!" Khelgar grinned sheepishly.
"Hey!" Neeshka protested, her hat and tail warmer bobbing up and down, "Don't blame everything on me, Stumpy!"
"Stop calling me Stumpy!!"
Kiadra grinned at the two, "Don't worry, I've already taken the money. And extra, of course."
The ensuing looks could have melted ice-caps.
"Just….kidding! Please, stop with the glaring now!"
"Finally, our good Captain has graced us with her presence. We thought the snow would've melted by the time you arrived" hissed Bishop, who, like Khelgar, was basically dressed as usual (although Kiadra suspected that unlike the dwarf, who probably hadn't even noticed the cold, Bishop had refrained from donning warmer clothing in the hopes of making himself appear more manly.)
"Well, considering how long it takes you in the bathroom each morning, Bishop, it is a wonder you even make it down before lunchtime" snapped Sand, who was wearing a rather fetching silver and pink fluffy earmuffs, scarf and gloves combo.
Ah, thought Kiadra, so much for the not yelling part.
"Shh,shh everyone! It's time to decide the teams!" Grobnar yelled from his place at the middle of the group.
"Teams? Wait, Grobnar, what is this for?" Kiadra lifted the little gnome up until his gaze was level with hers.
"Why, the Annual Crossroad Keep Snowball Fight, of course!" Grobnar beamed.
"Grobnar…we haven't even been here for a year yet! It can't be annual!" said Qara, who's outdoor clothing meant a different pair of shoes (after all, why bother to wear so much when you could simply set Sand on fire and keep warm that way?).
The gnome looked dejected
"But…but….it was such a good name…" Grobnar's lower lip trembled, and his eyes began to water.
"That-cant-be-good." said Qara, edging away slowly from the now trembling gnome. She managed to get a few feet before…
"KIIIIIIAAAADRAAAAAAAAAAA! QARA'S BEING MEAAAAAN"
"Okay, so everyone, pick a staw. Short, you're on Grobnar's team, long, you're on mine." Kiadra handed one to each of her seven companions.
"Oh, how fitting. I still don't see why I couldn't be a Team Captain." Qara moaned, still sulking from the telling off she had received for making a now ecstatic Grobnar cry.
"Because, my dear Qara, you are only here to make the numbers add up," drawled Sand, whilst carefully selecting the straw furthest away from the sorceress', "Besides, I'd rather wash Khelgar's underpants than have you as my leader."
"He's got a point, Qara! Believe me, you don't even want to see Stumpy's underpants." laughed Neeshka as she reached forward.
"I'm warning ye tiefling…."
In perfect unison, Bishop and Casavir (who was sporting a very sensible plain red scarf) both reached forward for their straws, eyes never leaving the other's glare. Kiadra groaned.
"Even if you two are on different teams, can we please not have a repeat of the ice-cream incident?" she said.
"I'm telling you-he stole mine!" cried Bishop, waving his hands around in a way that could have only threatened a severely sickened kobold.
"For the last time, Bishop," Casavir spat the name out, "I don't even like ice-cream."
"Liar! When I left there was nearly a whole bowl, I come back and it's all gone!"
"Now isn't rea-"
"If we're going to talk about missing things Bishop, how do you explain the sudden disappearance of my "Paladin of the Month" collection? I nearly had the complete set, you know!"
"Prove it was me, you ogre licking-"
"JUST TAKE THE BLOODY STRAW, ALL RIGHT?!" yelled Kiadra, getting impatient with the two's constant arguing.
Surprised, the pair almost fell over each other in their haste to comply.
"Apologies, my lady…" said Casavir, whilst taking a straw.
"Yeah…sorry…or whatever…" mumbled Bishop, receiving another glare from Casavir in the process.
A short silence followed.
"I want a redraw."
"You get what you chose Bishop, no excuses."
This was cut short by the sudden appearance of Grobnar, who flew through the air and wrapped himself round a speechless Bishop's head.
"Whee! Sir Bishop is on my team? Oh, goody! Let's get started then! Neeeeeshka, Qaaaraaa, over here!" squealed the gnome.
"Oh my, Sir Bishop, I hope you weren't about to say something terribly mean! Because then I would have to do what Kiadra said to do!"
"What are you talking about, you annoying little twe-"
Grobnar twisted round from his seat on Bishop's shoulders, and removed a small hammer from his pack. Slowly, and with great care, he leaned over the ranger's shoulders, and hit him squarely in the groin.
By now, Kiadra had assembled her team a short distance away from the gnome's, and was busy handing out small blue ribbons, which her team-mates were sticking to their armour.
"Mine keeps falling off."
"That's because they're not designed to be put there, Khelgar."
They heard Bishop's screams.
"My, my, such profanity. Does he kiss his mother with that mouth?" droned Sand, sticking his ribbon to the front of his Technicolor robe.
"Somehow Sand, I doubt it." Kiadra grinned evilly.
Casavir merely sighed, and stuck his ribbon on in silence.
"Right, let's discuss tactics…"
"Everyone ready? Set? Then let the Soon-To-Be-Annual- Crossroad Keep Snowball Fight begin!" yelled Grobnar, before disappearing off into the snow.
"Oh, my. This is going to wreak havoc on my hair."
Qara moved slowly through the snow, fingers drumming on her staff, which was preloaded with a dozen snowballs. She listened closely for the crunching of snow, or a sharp intake of breath, but heard nothing. Hah, the fools must've been too cowardly to face her.
Qara whirled around, robe billowing out behind her as she shot a few missiles. Pleased with the silence that followed, Qara smiled smugly and continued forward.
Qara glared at some large mounds in the snow behind her, watching for a slight movement…
"Yer mother was an orc, and yer father smelt of troll dung!"
Qara squinted at a particularly suspicious looking mound, aimed, and….
"I am the hunter, I am the hunter. Yeah. Who's the hunter? I'm the hunter. Yeah."
Bishop crept forward, slightly more bowlegged than usual, his eyes scanning the snow for any sign of his "prey".
"Hah, like to see anyone creep up on this ranger. Hell yeah. I've got the skills."
He continued forward a few steps.
Bishop stopped dead, and listened. The sound had come from several feet in front of him, behind a rather large and slippery looking mound. Carefully, Bishop edged forward, got himself a good grip, and began to climb. Peeking over the top of the mound, the ranger saw a figure, knelt down in the snow. It looked hurt. A particularly strong gust of wind blew some of the accumulated snow off, and Bishop saw…
A red scarf.
Trying hard to not laugh, the sneaky ranger made a huge snowball, placing a nasty looking rock in the middle. Silently, Bishop moved closer and closer to the figure, arm raised…
"This is for all the times I've had to hear about bloody Old Owl Well!"
Moving with incredible speed, Casavir ducked and rolled, narrowly missing the speeding 'ball. Bishop looked astounded…there was no way he could have moved that quickly on impulse…
"Hey, Bishop! Heads up!"
The ranger fell head first into the snow, in pure agony.
"Well, I did warn him." Kiadra strolled over to an agonised Bishop. "Ouch, painful. Hope he didn't plan on reproducing."
Sand strolled along, humming to himself. The Fight had so far been uneventful for the moon elf – he had spent the last half an hour trying to come up with a witty remark involving snow. So far, his best was "It's snow good!". Sand sighed. He just wasn't on top form today.
Neeshka sat calmly on the tree branch, occasionally shaking her tail to remove some of the snow that had settled there. She was incredibly bored. Preferring to stop and wait for victims rather than running crazily through the snow meant that the only excitement she'd seen was a crazed gnome trying desperately to fix some sort of catapult. Occasional cries of "Oh, goody!" and "Hmm, what happens if I do this?!" caused Neeshka to wish desperately that she was on a different team, so she could throw a dozen snowballs in that direction. Hard.
But now Grobnar had moved on, or at least hidden somewhere else, and Neeshka was trying to entertain herself by moulding a snowball into a mini tiefling. However, it was far too short, so she decided to make it a mini Khelgar, instead. It was when she was placing the finishing touches onto Khelgar's beard that she saw Sand pass by. Quickly, she grabbed a snowball and aimed it at the elf's head. But a movement below and to the left of her caught her eye…
Smiling to himself, Sand began to sing the popular wizard's song, "Keep your hands off my staff"; a song with many meanings, indeed. He had reached the second verse when he saw the snow shift. Thinking he would take his foe by surprise, Sand continued on a few steps, before whirling round and shooting a large glowing snowball. Unfortunately, it was no match for the sheer size and number of the snowballs that Grobnar had catapulted at him.
"Oooh, this means I win right? ...Sand?"
It was many hours later that a truce was finally called. Kiadra and Grobnar, after seeing the state of their companions (somehow the captains had remained less battered) decided that it was a draw, and that there should be a One V One Sudden Death match to decide the final victor.
"C'mon, let me face them! I'm could wipe the floor with any of th-yearghgerroffmeyoustupidgnome!"
"Sir Bishop, that wasn't very nice! Say hello to Mr Hammer!"
Neeshka and Qara looked at each other, and rolled their eyes at Bishop's yelling.
"I guess that counts the ranger out then. And it's already been decided that the Captains shouldn't play…fancy a try, Qara?" Neeshka grinned.
"Sure. There's no way any of them could beat me." Qara boasted, flicking her hair and posing like a supermodel.
"Whatever. I just can't be bothered."
"Okay, Casavir's already said he doesn't want to do it, so please will you two make your minds up?" Kiadra sighed. Usually it wasn't this hard, those two were usually begging for a fight.
"I'm afraid I must decline. My hair demands rest between heavy exposures to moisture. Otherwise it frizzes up, and then I can do absolutely nothing with it."
"….yer joking, right?"
"Did you really think my hair gets this perfect naturally, Khelgar? I would be nothing without my three different shampoos, conditioners, and masques."
"Can we try not to stray off the point, please? Khelgar, will you do it?"
"Aye…I will. Which red's playing, anyway?"
"Oh, um…Qara…I think…"
Sand grabbed Kiadra's arm.
"Oh-kay - Sand, your eyes have gone all weird…"
With that, let us return to the scene much later, when Qara is hit in the face with Sand's snowball.
"And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a wizard does it!" Sand beamed, and danced his very special victory jig, nearly removing the eyes and limbs of Kiadra and Khelgar as they ran into the arena. (Casavir had far more self control than the drow or dwarf)
"Hell yeah! Way to go, Sand!" cried Kiadra, giving the elf a victory hug when he finally stopped dancing.
"Personal space, personal space! Watch the hair!" Sand squirmed, not comfortable with such close contact. Kiadra didn't seem to care though.
"Not bad…fer an elf." Khelgar congratulated, slapping the elf on the back, causing him to stagger forward several paces.
"Oh, we lost? Too bad…ah well! There's always next year I suppose! Now…who wants curry?!" Grobnar appeared from nowhere, Neeshka in tow.
"Sure thing, as long as Stumpy's not cooking it." Neeshka stuck her tongue out at the dwarf.
"All right, ye asked fer it, tiefling!" Khelgar bent down, and scooped up a gigantic snowball.
But Neeshka was already sprinting away, heading towards the sanctuary of the Keep.
"Catch me if you can…although I doubt it, with such Stumpy legs!" she called back.
Khelgar ran after her.
"You know, it's hard to tell if those two love each other, or hate each other." Kiadra smiled, and starting the walk back.
"A bit like Sir Bishop and Casavir?" Grobnar bounced along beside her.
"….Now that is a disturbing thought…"
And so, the Soon-To-Be-Annual Crossroad Keep Snowball Fight came to an end….the companions enjoyed a superb curry that was definitely not cooked by Khelgar, Casavir found his "Paladin of the Month" figurines under Bishop's bed, and Sand finally got to wash his hair.
Or is it…?
Qara groaned, wiping the snow off her face as she sat upright. It was dark by now. How kind of them to leave her in the snow like this. Oh, she'd show them. She'd show them all.
Especially that damned elf.