Snuffex: Sorry I've been too busy to update. There probably won't be any slash in this fic, sorry. But, I will write a side story for those of you who really want to see some action between the two.
Disclaimer: I own neither the Legend of Zelda nor the Forgotten Realm Series. I'm just using the characters for fun and make no money off of doing so.
So now that is done and over with one with the chapter...
Chapter 15: Decisions
Link hit the furs that covered the sleeping mat in a heap. He was even too tired to take off his sword belt. I haven't used magic like that in a long time. He heaved a sigh. Not since the last fight with Ganon. He pushed those thoughts away. That fight was not one he wanted to dwell on so close to him passing out, and he had more important things to think about. It had been an eventful evening and tomorrow morning wasn't looking any better.
The group of friends seemed like the kind of people that would discuss new developments for long periods of time. Link had been watching people for centuries and Drizzt's friends where the kind of people to have an overly large sense of justice. That kind of person was dangerous. An overly developed sense of justice leads to pain.
The High Elf snorted, justice. He hated that word almost as much as he hated the word hero. Words that bound him to the will of the Goddess as surely as chains bind a slave. Both words had lost their appeal to him after his first quest of saving his homeland, and he found out that he was destined to live as the timeless hero of Hyrule.
He snorted in to the lumpy pillow. His circumstances didn't change the fact that if allowed the drow's friends would endanger themselves for this quest.
As much as he would like to travel with more companions he truly knew that no good would come of it. With this many people they were sure to get in the way. I can not allow any other but myself to touch the Triforce.
Though Link had decided that it would prove advantageous for the group of friends to see his meeting with the goddesses. It didn't mean that he was ready for Drizzt or his friends know the true nature of the Triforce nor that it would grant the wish of the person who touches it. He frowned they would also unwillingly become the bearer of the some of its power.
I must prevent that at all costs.
With that last thought the hero fell into a deep dreamless sleep.
Morning came quickly for the band of friends. Drizzt was one of the first ones up. Unable to sleep he had finally given up in the early hours of the morning. His mind kept playing the events of last night over and over again inside of his head. The drow knew that he was going with Link regardless of what his friends decided to do. There was no way that he could leave the High Elf in the Underdark by himself. He would be dead within minutes. He let out a sigh and poked lifelessly at his food.
So he is leaving after we find this artifact. The thought hurt. He had finally found an elf that had accepted him as he was. Someone who cared not that he was a dark elf. It was depressing to think that as soon as he found one that was so like him that person was destined to leave. I don't know if I can go back to the way things were before I had come to know Link.
Sure he will always have his group of friends, but he was never able to really connect with them the way he had with the blond. For one the differences in their lifespans lead to the inevitability that he was going to far outlive any of them. He was still young in terms of elven lives. He still had hundreds of years to live and even his dwarven friend would only live a couple hundred of those.
His long lifespan had been one of the main reasons the drow had never acted upon the feelings that he held for Cattie-brie. She would be dead before he had even lived a third of his life and the pain of that inevitable day haunted him. This was why he kept himself somewhat at a distance from his friends. Never actually letting them within the walls of his solitude. That way when they died it wouldn't hurt as much.
But, Link...He was someone who would live as long as the drow himself. A friend that would preserve through the years while all others withered away and died. Or so he had thought. I suppose I am just destined to live the rest of my long life alone. The thought was a bitter one and he felt himself slip into a depression.
This was how the rest of his friends found him. A bleary eyed Cattie-brie was the first one to walk into the room. Her long hair flowed around her as she walked the ponytail she had it in barly held if back. Even with her ooking tired to Drizzt she still looked like poetry in motion. He cringed and pushed those thoughts aside. Those kinds of thoughts were not for him to have.
Cattie-brie was closely followed by her adopted father. His red beard twitched suppressing a frown as he looked at the drow. Seems he didn' sleep well. The dwarf's gaze swept the hall there was no sign of the blond elf. Seems as though last nigh' tire'd 'em out. The king let out a yawn as he sat down.
A minuted later both the barbarian and the halfling walked in to the hall. Regis immediately making for the food that was being prepared for the early risers of Mithrial Hall. Wulfgar after a brief look at Cattie-brie followed him.
"Where be the other 'un?" Cattie-brie was the first to break into the drow's musings.
"He is probably still asleep." Drizzt shrugged. " He did us up a fare amount of power last night and it probably drained him." The drow had checked up on the High Elf and the blonde had been sound asleep when he had looked in. The fact that the elf's heightened senses didn't wake him to the the drow's intrusion showed Drizzt how exhausted Link had been.
Regis and Wulfgar joined them at the table. The barbarian handed a small plate of food to Cattie-brie and she gave him a dazzling smile in return. A smile that she specifically had for the barbarian king. Drizzt felt his heart pang with jealously for the young male.
"What'cha be thinkin' abou' elf?" Bruenor looked at his dark friend knowingly. The dwarf had known the elf for many years and could read his moods better than most. It was how he knew that the drow felt stronger emotions for his adopted daughter then those of friendship. Drizzt's lavender eyes fell back on his plate. He's brooding. Bruenor let the flat of his palm hit the table in aggravation.
Startled Drizzt looked up from his plate.
"Heh, I was thinking it's going to be a while before I'll be able to view the great halls of your grand city again." Drizzt flashed another cocky smile at the dwarf king this one more real then the last. Bruenor wasn't falling for it real or not, but it seemed the rest of the group was. The dwarf frowned and rubbed his beard.
"So ye be goin'?" The king mussed.
"I have little choice in the matter." Drizzt held up his hand to forestall the incoming protests from his friends. " And, even if I did, I won't leave Link to make this journey alone." Drizzt's lavender eyes flashed daring them to protest his decision.
"Then I be goin' with ye elf. Someone be needin' to be keepin' ye out of trouble." Bruenor stood up his gravelly voice echoed of the walls of the eating hall. "But, now I be gettin' me somethin' to eat," and with that he let to find some food.
"I be joining ye as well." Cattie-brie was the next to speak up. Wulfgar soon echoed after her that he would be joining as well. The others turned to the halfling. What about ye Regis?"
Regis looked around at his group of friends he held no illusions of the trip that his fellow comrades where going on. They had little to no chance of making it through the Underdark alive, him alone had less of a chance out any of them. On this journey he would be more of a burden then anything.
"This is one trip that I will not be making with you my friends." Cattie-brie looked like she was about to protest. "No, Cattie-brie if you think about this logically there is an almost guaranteed chance that I would not survive. Unlike your father I don't have the natural resilience to stay under the ground for long periods of time, nor do I have his strength, or hardiness. I would be useless in this journey and we all know it."
"You mean you're not as hard headed as our dear king." Drizzt teased. He dodged to the side as Bruenor's fist came from behind him. The group laughed as the dwarf yelled at the drow his mountainous voice bouncing off the walls only to be drowned out by the laughter.
In the darken entrance of the eating hall Link smiled. I guess it wouldn't be such a bad idea for them them to travel with us for a while. It might make this journey easier for Drizzt, and with more of us it would be easier to keep the drow's mind at ease. His smiled disappeared shortly after though. Though not even I will be able to end his sadness.
He turned away as the conversation moved on to plans about the journey. Drizzt will be fine for now his friends will keep his sadness at bay for a while. With that thought the blonde turned and disappeared within the dark tunnel. After all he had someone that he needed to see.
Artemis Entreri had been traveling with the drow elves for almost a week deciding that the best path to Mithrial Hall was a straight line. This way he could ditch his so-called companions as soon as possible. The two drow elves were also eager to meet with the rest of their group. Once or twice already the tension of the group had them drawing weapons upon each other. Entreri had known that traveling with drow would be a bad idea, but the chance to fight Drizzt Do'Urden had lead him to do things that he thought he would of never done before.
The small group moved silently through the night, Entreri made sure that they stayed off the main roads of travel and steered clear of any towns or habitations. Going near any areas that were inhabited would mean certain doom to any plans they might of have or could possibly end in a bloodbath. Both of which would bring about unwanted attention to the small group. There was no surer way to wind up dead then to be caught traveling with drow. He snarled quietly. Do'Urden was so dead. After this he would never get mixed up in drow business again.
One of the two behind him snarled as his footing was lost sue to some moss that Entreri had previously sidestepped. The drow's knowledge of the surface world is pitiful. The human thought as the other drow said something tauntingly in their own language to the one that slipped. Entreri did know some elvish but it was taking him some time to catch on to the warped and darkened version of it that the drow spoke. Their language just like themselves was a perversion of the surface elves.
The trio was almost upon the designated meeting spot. Entreri slipped behind the two drows as they proceeded forward with little to no worry in to the small clearing. The assassin stayed within the treeline his instincts screaming at him that there was something wrong. Both drow elves seemed to realize this at the same time and weapons were drawn simultaneously. The two both jumped to the side instantly as a dagger flew out of the trees and hit the area where the two had just been.
Entreri's weapons where already in his hands after the first dagger. So it was child's play to smack the next dagger that was coming strait at him. A dark chuckle bounced off the trees and an instant later the clearing was filled with drow elves. The group seemed to of materialize out of the mist that gently surrounded the darkened area.
Entreri released his weapons there was little he could with them. He was surrounded by drow. Entreri was pushed into the clearing as what seemed to be the leader of this band walked forward. the drow was not overly tall about the same height of Drizzt Do'Urden. He had a cocky look on his face. The feather in his hat was extremely long and over exaggerated in the assassin's point of view.
He spoke some quick words in their language and Entreri's two travel companions replied in kind. The leader gave a bark of laughter his white teeth flashing deadly in the moonlight. The drow turned to the human and jauntily bowed to him the feather in his hat bounced as he did.
"I'm pleased to meet you Artemis Entreri. My name is Jarlaxle and I'm the leader of this fine pack of mercenaries the Bregan D'Aerthe." He laughed standing up he turned slightly to the side as a female drow pushed her way to the front next to the laughing drow. Her face was drawn in hatred as she looked at the human. She snarled something to Jarlaxle then whirled around and stomped back in to the darkness.
"Ah, and the lovely priestess that belittles herself to look upon ones such as you and I is known as Bladne'Kerst Baenre." He walked up to the human placing his hand on his shoulder in a friendly manner.
"Though between you and me it is best to leave the ill tempered ones alone." He whispered loudly in a conspiring voice. There was a cracking sound as something whizzed by Entreri's head and hit the area where the mercenary leader had just been.
The assassin stumbled away from what appeared to be the head of a snake. No, there's seven. It was a seven headed snake whip. Entreri had heard that drow women favored such weapons but he had never seen one.
"Ah, she heard me." Jarlaxle laughed as he dodged again. "Now, now. It's not time for you to lose your temper dear Bladne'Kerst. Think of the impression you are giving about drow women to our guest." The whip flew back into the surrounding darkness.
"And, what do I care about your little human play thing's opinion's" She snapped back in the drow language. There was another snarl then a tearing sound and a resounding cry of pain.
Jarlaxle smiled at the darkened foliage that the drow female had disappeared in. "Hm, always so testy that one." He turned back to Entreri as another cry of pain erupted from the night. "I hope she doesn't take to long. His cries will alert every thing that lives with the vicinity." The cries of pain were cut short, and the mercenary leader smiled. "Seems she put up a sound barrier."
Jarlaxle turned his attention back to Entreri and spread his arms wide. "Tales of your deeds have even traveled way down in to the Underdark. From the way we hear it dear assassin you are the only one able to fight Drizzt Do'Urden to a draw. That fight must of been a grand one indeed."
"But, we aren't here to talk about that. I'm more interested in your thoughts about the proposal that my two companions had brought to you." Jarlaxle said. "Are you willing to be our guide as we hunt down our quarry?" The drow paused for a moment. "Of course you will."
Entreri frowned at the presumption.
"After all your arch nemesis is the one guarding our prey. To get to our target we need to go through Drizzt, and your our ticket through him. You will get the fight that you so desperately want from my fellow dark elf if you help us." Jarlaxle whispered sinisterly.
Entreri was no fool the dark elves where getting more out of this trade then he was. But, that didn't matter to him. Nothing mattered except getting another chance at Drizzt. The defeat he suffered at the hands of the the dark elf ranger grated on his nerves. It ate at him like a starved wolf tearing into fresh meat, and the assassin knew that he wouldn't be satisfied until he was standing over the dark elf's lifeless body.
The consequences of his actions didn't matter as long as he could finally rid himself of Drizzt Do'Urden. As he had already decided when he was first approached by Jarlaxle's followers he was willing to make a deal with demons to get what he desired.
"I have already given you my answer. I am here now, are I not?" Entreri answered strait-faced. Jarlaxle laughed at the answer.
"Well, then we were able to track our quarry to that lovely mountainside over there. What can you tell me about it?" For some reason Entreri had the feeling that the mercenary leader already knew that the mountains contained the dwarven kingdom Mithrial Hall.
"Don't play me, you already know about that mountain." Jarlaxle laughed at the assassin.
"Right you are we already that is Mithrial Hall over there. What we need to know is the layout, and from what I heard you have actually been inside of the mountain."
"I have only been to the outer portion of the Hall itself. I have never actually stepped foot within the hall itself. " Entreri stated. No one stepped foot in to the those tunnels without the express welcome from the dwarves. To do so would mean to raise the wrath of the dwarves and their species was not one to take lightly. "If you are thinking about invading Mithrial Hall then I would suggest otherwise. Even with your band of drow warriors entering that hall would mean certain death."
"So invading the hall is no good. Well then we will just have to wait until our prey comes outside then won't we." Entreri was about to ask who or what it was that the dark elves were after in Mithrial Hall. But before he opened his mouth there was a barely audible clicking sound coming from their right and every drow in the are immediately vanished.
Jarlaxle moved like a shadow and motioned for the assassin to follow him. They both walked for a short ways eventually coming upon a small patch of thick foliage. The area allowed them to view the main entrance of the dwarven halls without opposition, and still kept them under the cover of the dark forest.
It was movement at the opening of Mithrial Hall that caught the attention of the mercenary band and the assassin. They all watched silently as someone emerged from the dark tunnel. Entreri knew instantly that it was no dwarf. The person wasn't even the dark elf that haunted the tunnels. For one thing the man that just emerged was too bright in color even in the dark of night. Next to him Jarlaxle smiled nastily.
"There he is." The words were whispered so quietly the assassin next to the drow barely heard him. This must be the prey that the drow band was after. Entreri took a closer look at the intended target and was shocked when he identified what species he was.
A surface elf! For there was no other species in all of the Forgotten Realms that held the same specific coloring that a surface elf had. I knew the drow hated their lighter cousins, but to go so far as to actively hunt one? There is something odd going on here. Normally the drow would just kill surface elves, but for some reason they needed this one alive.
The elf was moving slowly down the mountain trail leaving the safety of the dwarven hall. This was it the chance that the drow band was looking for. Jarlaxle motioned to his band and the drows prepared to move out. Tonight they would catch their prey and the House of Baenre would receive all the glory and praise of the Spider Queen.
Link could feel them moving around out in the dark. He knew he was out in the open and supposedly vulnerable. He smiled wickedly, they think to catch me unaware. It was the same presence that had been following him and Drizzt for the last half of their journey to Mithrial Hall. He knew that being outside of the dwarven caverns alone was just asking for his stalkers to come for him.
Good, let them come.
But first there was someone that he needed to see before he left with his soon to be companions. It had taken the group of friends all day to decided on the best course of action for the journey, and it was decided that the group would be making the trip by foot. This meant that Link would once again would be leaving Epona behind, and for that reason he wanted to talk with her no matter the consequences.
His magic was slowly recovering. He had taken some of the green potion that he had with him but only a little bit of it. He didn't know how long he would be on this world and his supplies were limited. So he only drank a little less than a third in the bottle. Future prospects had left him wary about about his potion supplies and he only had the one green.
Though he was no longer completely drained of his magic Link had no desire to get in to an extended alteration with anyone that would require him to use his magic. This means he would solely relay on his sword skills. Not that he had any doubts about his sword skill after all he has had centuries to hone his skills as a swordsman. But he was also aware that in the group coming for him there was at least two magic users and he would need his if it came down to a fight.
A whinny came from his left and he smiled brightly as he pushed those thoughts from his mind. He had some time. Epona was here and for now that was all that mattered. He ignored the group that was silently surrounding him for he knew that he was still too close to Mithrial Hall for them to make a full out attempt for him.
But, then again with the dark goddess' minions he knew that they might be crazy enough to try it. He would ignore them for now because his lady was demanding his attention and he was fully willing to give it to her.
My love I've been waiting for you. She whispered in his mind. And what is that I smell? Have you brought me something nice?
I brought this especially for you. He laughed and pulled out the red apple he had stolen from Bruenor's plate while he was looking in the other direction during dinner and held it out for her to take. Lavender eyes had laughed as the bewildered king looked around for the missing item for Drizzt had witnessed the theft.
I'm sure you did, she said teasingly. For she knew that her master had probably stolen it from someone too slow or dim witted to stop him for he enjoyed such games. I wonder what poor soul you had stolen this from to give to me.
Stolen? Ah, dear one you wound me. He tried to look sad but his obvious joy at the game ruined it.
Hmph, I only tell the truth mischievous one. She snorted and pushed her head gently against his shoulder inpatient for her treat. After all her elf had gone through the trouble of getting this treat and she was not above receiving it from him.
He laughed and held the apple out to her. She gladly nipped the apple from his palm. You spoil me love.
He laughed again while he rubbed her nose fondly. Yes, I do. He sighed. You can feel them too can't you? They have already surrounded us. They think that I am vulnerable now. What say you love? Shall I entertain our guests?
She pranced around nervously kicking up dust as she did so wishing that it was the dark one's she was crushing beneath her hooves instead of dirt. Link was drained and she knew a prolonged fight would be disadvantageous to him. She settled down as her elf tracked the movements of those surrounding them.
Your magic is low dear one. I do not think that you should drag this out. She whined and stomped her hooves when she felt that the dark ones move in too close. I will always be here for you. All you need to do is call for me. He patted her nose their time together was up and she would soon travel her gateway back to Hyrule.
Be careful my love, her voice turned playful, and don't play too hard. With that she reared up and disappeared in a flash of light.
Goodbye for now dear one. His gentle smile for her then turned into a sneer so vicious it made even the drow elves that him surrounded impressed by it. And now for you.
He lightly side stepped a dart as it came hurdling out of the dark, and in a flurry of movement he was surrounded by a heard a bunch of snarling as his would be captors were stopped by the power of Naryue's Love as it enveloped him in a protective barrier of blue light. Nothing was going to get near him without his say so. It was going to drain every bit of magic that he had gained from the potion and the barrier was not going to hold them off for long.
Entreri and the mercenary band found themselves unable to approach the elf as an unknown force surrounded the blond. The elf had somehow entombed himself within a protective barrier and he was looking around himself at his invisible foes with a vicious smile on his face. It was as if he had been waiting for the group to reveal itself.
Did you think that it would be that easy dark ones. Entreri blinked the elf's lips never moved as the words were spoken. It was as if the blond was speaking to them in their minds. Endless blue eyes focused on Entreri's green ones. You are very perceptive human.
Entreri felt his eyes widen. He was speaking to them in their minds. A mercenary next to him snarled at the blond. Jarlaxle threw a dagger testing the barrier. It bounce off reflecting blue light as it did so. The drow smiled so there was something about this surface elf that made him special. He had never before known an elf that could talk directly in to the minds of others. Blue eyes blinked as the dagger hit his barrier.
Unfortunately I don't have time to play with you right now so go away. The blond stated as he stared directly at the hidden mercenary leader. Daring the drow to attack his barrier again and it seemed that Jarlaxle was about to try again, but stopped.
He had the feeling that his next attack would be as useless as the one before it proved to be. Jarlaxle cursed the fact that he had left his mage and the volatile priestess behind. He had not known the blond could use magic and that shortsightedness had cost him the prize this night.
The elf's blue eyes drilled into his. You do not have the power to take me now. Leave.
With that the blond elf turned and started back up the trail to Mithrial Hall. They heard laughter in their minds as he walked away.
Better luck next time. And with that parting shot the surface elf disappeared up the trail.
"Well, this is going to be more interesting then I thought that it was going to be." Jarlaxle said as his band made to move out. They had lost their chance to take the elf this night, but there would be other opportunities. As soon as the mercenary leader entered the dark forest he was bested by the drow female.
"Jarlaxle! Why did you let him get away! We could of taken him and ended this chase now!" Jarlaxle ignored it as the drow priestess as she came out of the dark to yell at him. He held up a hand to stop her ranting in his sensitive ears.
"No we couldn't of taken him without breaking through his barrier and that would of alerted the dwarven hall that there was something going on." He replied, "The elf was powerful but not as powerful as he wants us to think he is. He hide it well, but he was tired. Something big must of drained his powers. I believe that he had just used up the last of it to keep us at bay this night."
There was a flash of white teeth in the darkness that sent everyone in mercenary band on edge even the high priestess of the Baenre House. That smile was dangerous for who ever it was that the mercenary leader had his sights on.
"The next time we meet he will be ours."
Link almost collapsed as he made it back in to the sanctuary of Mithrial Hall. He was at his limit and he couldn't hold his barrier any longer. It collapsed around him as he went deeper into the hall it was time to talk to Drizzt. The drow would need to know about the band that was following them.
He placed his hand on the wall to help steady himself as he slowly moved down the hallway. It was almost midnight and he was sure that his dark friend would be in bed. The walk to the drow's room was a long one and was made even longer by the fact that Link barely had the energy to move. It felt like it took forever but eventually he did come upon the drow's sleeping quarters. He let out a weary sigh as he lifted his hand to knock. He had barely touched the wood when the door opened he was face to face with a worried dark elf.
"Link?" Drizzt opened the door wide enough for the blond to enter. "Are you alright? You looked drained."
Drizzt we need to talk. Link almost collapsed as he entered. A firm hand on his arm kept his face from meeting the floor in what was sure to a very personal manner. I need to sit for a moment.
The dark elf helped the weakened elf sit down on his bed his lavender eyes looking over the blond to see if he could find what had left him so vulnerable. Link looked almost as a badly drained as he did the night he showed Drizzt and his friends his memories. Lavender eyes widened. He must of been using his magic, but what could of made him use his magic while he was already drained from the other night.
"You've used your magic. What happened?" Tired blue eyes looked up at him.
I ran into the ones that have been following us.
"WHAT?" The drow grabbed Link's shoulders in worry. "You've seen them. My dark brothers. What did they do to you?" He looked over the blond once again. There was no visible damage that he could see but the drow had many magical spells that could damage the mind and torture without leaving a mark on the body. The possibilities of Link meeting his kind made him shudder.
Drizzt that hurts. It was then that Drizzt realized that he had the High Elf's shoulders in a death grip. He released the blond like he was a piece of live coal.
"Sorry." He scratched the back of his head nervously. Sighing he tried to calm himself down. "Are you alright Link."
Yes, I'm just tired. The High Elf really did look tired. I just used up all of the magical energy that I had gathered from last nights sleep.
"What were you doing outside by yourself?" Drizzt asked. The only way the blond could of met the drow was if he was outside of Mithrial Hall. After all besides himself and his none dwarf friends no drow, surface elf, human, or other species could come into the great dwarven hall without alarm being raised.
I wanted to talk to Epona. Link paused for a moment his endless blues eyes became sad. She is dear to me.
"If that was the case then why didn't you at least bring me with you to go see her?" Drizzt asked. He was upset that Link endangered himself when there was no real need for him to do so. The drow would of went with him if the High Elf had asked it of him. It stung that the blond didn't trust him enough to let a dark elf guard his back.
It wasn't as though I didn't trust you Drizzt. The drow blinked. Once again it seemed as if the owner of those compassionate blue eyes had read his mind. But, if you came with me then those stalking our trail would still be hidden to us.
The last statement left the drow speechless. The High Elf had purposely exposed himself to the enemy to draw them out, and now they knew without a doubt that drow elves were the ones following them, and Drizzt had a feeling that they had sent that raiding party of gnolls after them.
After all a known enemy is one that is better to defend against. Their was a gentle smile. Now I believe that you have some things to discuss with the dwarven king.
Drizzt's lavender eyes narrowed at the blond. "You're right I need to tell this information to Bruenor, but you will stay here." He gently pushed on Link's shoulders until the blond was laying down. "Sleep, I will return shortly to guard your rest."
And with that the drow was gone as quickly and soundlessly as a ghost.
Snuffex: Finally, done with this chapter. It isn't the best, but I'm hoping I can get back into the swing of things soon.