Into The Game: A Call For Heroes

Act 1 - Chapter 1

AN1: Here is yet again a cleaned up rewrite of this fic for Neverwinter Nights while I take a break from Just Need Someone yet again. R&R please!

A tired worn figure staggered up the ramp and steps in the City Core district of Neverwinter. For the past many weeks a horrible plague had swept across the city one district at a time. All efforts to contain and heal those afflicted had since failed and a city wide quarantine had been put into effect.

The figure coughed weakly staggering into the Halls of Justice, the temple of Tyr for the city. As the figure emerged from the shadows and into the light those there would see him as a boy of about six years of age. The boy groaned barely caught in time by gentle hands as he passed out.

The ragged and tired elven woman, known as Linu La'neral cleric of Sephanine Moonbow, with the aide of the slender but strong built elven paladin of Tyr named Aribeth carried the sickly boy to one of the recently emptied mats. "..Such sadness it brings my heart to see someone so young stricken by this plague my friend..." Aribeth said.

"..Indeed, if only there was something more we could do!" Linu replied, dabbing the boys forehead.

The boy groaned softly as his eyes flickered faintly open. "..Momma?" he weakly coughed out.

"..Shh rest little one conserve your strength.." Linu said as Aribeth was called over for a meeting with Desther and her young elven lover Fenthick.

The boy's skin paled further as he coughed more his whole body trembling from the fever racking his body. "..Oh Sephaine help him I beg you please.." The Linu begged. She prayed to her goddess in the hopes to help the boy but it was to no avail, no matter her best efforts the boy soon passed on into the night a few hours later.

Linu sobbed softly covering her dirty hands over her face as she cried. A gentle hand rested on her left shoulder and she looked up into the eyes of Aribeth once more. "..Go rest my friend you have done enough for today, and you will do no one any good without rest." she said.

Linu sighed heavily and nodded making her way out of the temple and back to her temporary home at the Trade of Blades. There in her own room she carefully knelt in prayer to her goddess once more. "..Sephanie I pray to you this night may you light the path to myself or someone in your service to help this fair city. Too many are suffering and in need. Help me Sephaine I beg this of you!" She said

Afterwords the elven figure laid down on the bed and soon fell asleep a soft warmth of a feeling spreading over her from her goddess. Now some might say that those above rarely ever watch over their flock, others that those above don't even exist, and that their usage and faith are nothing but a joke. But in this night those words would ring out to someone, and an unlikely champion would be found to answer the call, across time, space, and even further.

==Somewhere across time, space, and realities==

The twenty five year old man walked down the concrete steps, tired and exhausted after a hard day at work. "..Night Rob.." A woman of about forty six said in passing.

"..Night Betsy.." Robert said back.

Betsy turned to look at him with a patient smile. Though Robert had only been with the Hospital Dietary department for about four months now the young adult was a hard worker as a Shift Coordinator. "..You did good today with the student evaluations, thanks for handling that for me." She said.

Robert grinned slightly. "..Not a problem was glad to do it for you." He said in reply.

The two exchanged pleasant evenings before heading their separate ways. Robert entered the time clock room and punched out with his code. Then turned in the kitchen keys to the secretaries at the main entrance desk. "..Night.." he said.

"..Night Robert, be careful out there its pretty foggy out." The one lady said.

Robert nodded then headed out the main door to the parking lot where his 1995 Subaru Imprezza waited for him. It was a sporty car in appearance, with a few additions that he had put on himself with his father's help. Sure the car was a bit old by the standards of 2010 but he didn't care, he loved the car and it ran like a beauty. "..Few more weeks and I'll get that leather interior too!" He said with a bigger grin as he got in and buckled up.

The drive home was pretty rough, living out in the country like he did meant taking back wooded roads, the upside was that on normal nights he could enjoy a leisurely pace of a drive that put the car through its own paces of twists and turns. Now though with the roads so foggy that he was hardly able to see he was moving at a slower pace. "..Stupid fog.." he muttered.

He rounded a turn only a few minutes now from his home when a dark shadowy figure ran across the road in front of him. "..Sonva!" he said swerving out of the way. Unfortunately taken so off guard as he was by the event he over corrected and before darkness settled onto his mind he saw the large trunk of a tree approaching the front of his car.

"..Robert.." A feminine voice said.

"..Mu..Urgh.." He groaned

"..It is time to wake up Robert, you are needed." the voice said once more.

"..God what happened? Last thing I recall is heading into that tree." He thought. "..and cant that voice shut up after I was in such a horrible wreck?"

"..Enough Robert! It is time to awaken open your eyes." The voice said once more with a bit of a demanding tone now as if having read his thoughts.

"..Hells fine fine.." he thought painfully opening his eyes to a bright light. He half expected to be in his car and some paramedic looking him over. Instead, he found himself looking and slowly standing in a forested area, no car in sight.

He looked down at himself finding his clothes were a crisp white t-shirt still and black pressed work pants with a pair of black well worn slip resistant pair of shows. Strangely there was no dirt, blood, or anything else showing that he had been in a wreck, nor any pain that he would have expected to go along with the accident. He finally looked up into the figure of a woman that stood a bit taller then his 5'5 figure. "..What the hell happened?" he said not sure what else to say as he took in the woman.

She was lean built with a flowing robe for clothes and long hair that shown like the strangest light. To top the whole imagery off he noted her pointed ears. "..You were in an accident, but that is of little consequence at the moment. Your presence is needed elsewhere. I am Sephanie Moonbow, elven goddess of illusion and elemental magics." The woman said with a slight regal bow.

Robert blinked at that. "..Wait...what?" he said recognizing the name from his Dungeons and Dragons games where he was often a Dungeon Master. "..Ok.." he said looking down at himself. "..Your dreaming yeah, that accident knocked you silly or something that's it." He said to himself.

"..I assure you this is no dream. The city of Neverwinter is in the midst of a plague..." She began again but Robert cut her off.

"..Horse shit!," He said. "..DnD is just a game! And if your going to tell me of some world ending plague in that city then you're most likely referring to the computer game Neverwinter Nights. If you HONESTLY expect me to believe that somehow that's real you're sorely mistaken." He said.

"..You are correct where you come from the world I reside in is just a game. But there are many layers and fabrics to reality. One of my most faithful has begged for aide, and I have sought you out because of your familiarity with my world." She said.

"..Oh come on!" Robert said throwing his hands up in the air with exasperation. "..You honestly expect me to believe that your really some goddess? And that some game I've been playing off and on since it came out is real?!" He said then bowed his head rubbing his forehead with his left hand as he muttered. "..God they must have put something into the hamburgers at the hospital tonight."

"..This is no game Robert, if you fail in your task not only will all of Faerun be ruined but your own and others will eventually be as well." Sephanie said.

"..This is insane, I can't believe this.." He said looking at her intently and crossing his arms about his chest.

"..You may believe what you wish but the fact of the matter is that you are now in the lands of Faerun inside the park area of the city of Neverwinter. You must answer the call for adventurers and help save the city." She said.

Robert snorted slightly and sighed. "..Me...look if your really a goddess as you say you are you should easily tell I am a poor choice for the heroic business. I play games, go to work, hang with my friends, and I certainly am in no shape to go running around battling orcs, goblins, and what have you!" He said feeling a twinge of fear now as the inkling of worry that this was really happening to him began to sink in.

Sephaine smiled gently. "..Your body will learn in time. You are stronger willed then you realize, believe in yourself and those that will help you. Now and in the future.." she said.

Robert was about to say more to ask what she meant by that last part, but the goddess continued. "..Head down the hill from here into the city proper, there the town crier will be calling for adventurers, answer the call, and attend the Academy." She said. "..Good luck Robert.." she added and with that faded from sight.

Robert sighed and glanced about. "..Great! Just freaking great. I ain't no adventurer! This is just crazy.." he said to himself as without any further choice headed down the hill to where he saw a punch of people gathered.

"..Cant believe I'm doing this.." he muttered as he got in line for the sign ups for the criers calls. "..I ain't no damn hero."

A few people gave him strange looks considering his dress, and he grumbled again. "..Mental note get new clothes..."

The signer looked him over. "..Errr..name?" He asked.

"..Robert Archer.." he said.

"..And you hail from where?" he asked dubiously.

"..I'll keep that to myself if you don't mind.." he said the crier just sighed but nodded.

"..and your profession?" he asked.

"..Err uh..warrior and cook.." he said with a nervous smile.

The crier looked him over. "..You must be jesting.." he said. "..You dont even have any weapons on you!"

"..I uh..well feisty kobolds took'em from me on my way here, before you locked down the city!" Robert stammered out pausing at the end to wonder how long ago that had happened.

"..Fine fine.." the crier said handing him a piece of paper. "..You're in, head down the street and follow the groups into the Academy."

Robert nodded not sure what else to do. "..With luck I'll go to sleep tonight here and wake up in my car, in a hospital bed, or in my own room, finding this all to be some dream." he thought as he followed the others in through the Academy doors.

The place was nice, richly ordained with training equipment and other such things. Once everyone was in there own rooms, Robert laid down on the bed muttering as he undressed. Thankfully the academy gave everyone a set of clean clothes to wear with basic adventuring gear and training equipment. In his case it was a chain shirt, longsword and longbow.

Robert had some practice with such things in his off time from work, so he wasn't totally unfamiliar with it all, but still this whole experience had drained him, and he wasn't sure what exactly he would do. "..Bunch of nonsense if you ask me." he muttered as he drifted off to sleep, hopeful that things would be better when he next awakened.

==The next morning==

Unfortunately for Robert when he awoke the next morning he still found himself in the Academy room he had been assigned to. "..Great, so it wasn't a dream, either that or I'm in some lucid dream coma.." he muttered as he got dressed. He looked himself over in the mirror wearing the chain shirt armor, and strapped to his side longsword. With a large shield and longbow over his back.

"..I am so not cut out for this honestly a kobold would hammer me into the ground!" he said in a mutter to his reflection. "..I ain't some hero, some adventurer, I'm a bloody cook and manager!" he added worry and fright again rising to his throat.

The ringing of the breakfast and first class bells jostled him from his thoughts as he turned to the door. "..Hells might as well just do something till this all ends." He said heading out the door and into line up.

The rest of the day passed without incident, the training was hard and grueling on everyone but most of all for Robert himself. He was not used to such physical activity, nor such strenuous positions that he was placed into. Oh sure he had swung a sword in fun mock games back growing up, and fired a bow at standing still targets when at summer camps or in his parent's backyard, but this was something on an entirely different level.

Meals were a somber affair of cold gruel with hard tack bread. Ever a social outcast Robert did try to make friends amongst the other students 'just to play along' he had said to himself privately, till this all ended. Unfortunately that had turned up to be a bust. No one had been interested in talking to the strange man with strange styles of speaking.

"..Gods sakes nothing ever changes." he muttered as he finally returned to his own room, thankful that his first day of training was over with. As he mulled further over his day, he took note of the 'talk of the walk' honor student. Some big burly muscled man with not a lick of intelligence or refinement behind him. "..A bully by any other name.." Robert muttered to himself as he began tidying up the room, even though it wasn't really needed. It seemed this man, whatever his name was. Was the pet project of some of the various teachers in the Academy and many had high hopes for him going far in tracking down the culprits behind the plague.

"..Hells the guy is just here for the coin, and fame. Plus show boating himself off in whatever he does. I may not be a hero or wanting to be here but I'm certainly not greedy about others suffering or wanting fame." Robert muttered again to himself as he settled down to cleaning up his armor, shield, and

weapons.

As he laid back on the bed to relax after the hard day he had. Robert began thinking over what he knew of the 'world' he was in. "..Well if its anything like the game it'll be easy to handle I suppose. Though it has been a while since I've played the game. Hope I didn't forget the important parts." he thought.

He knew in the coming days or perhaps weeks, depending how far along he was everyone in the Academy would be dead, or injured. A part of him argued to tell the instructors about this, feign some divination skills or something, but he slightly laughed a bit at that. "..Oh yeah me a diviner. Just magically sprouted that skill out of my ass. Like the instructors are going to believe what I got to say." he said in a mutter.

As he drifted off to sleep the sobering and ever heart retching thought occurred to him. "..Ah hells I could be one of those people ending up dead!" he thought. Sitting up in the bed he rubbed his eyes wearily. "..Well shit.." It took longer then usual this time for him to drift off to sleep but eventually exhaustion over came him and darkness of sleep came over him.

==10 Days Later==

The following week and two days passed without incident. Robert awoke each day hoping to be back in his own world but finding himself still in this one he went along with the day to day training and exercises.

As each day went by, he got more skillful in his trainings. Not anymore then anyone else mind you but enough that he felt he had a decent enough chance to give that sickly kobald a run for its money.

He also took few classes in basic local lore, culture interactions, and the like. Just enough to understand how to handle such things in the world he now was in. As he settled in for his tenth night in Neverwinter he looked himself over in the mirror. His body was already adapting slowly to the training exercises and it showed on his person as well. "..Not too shabby if I do say so myself." he said with a bit of a grin.

When he awoke the next morning it was to the realization that today was the last day of his trainings. That fact jostled his memory some and he frowned a bit. "..Great today's the day everyone dies.." he thought bitterly not sure how to feel on the matter. "..Just gotta survive that's all." he said, taking every slow breaths calling upon his breathing exercises he had learned over the years.

Next door was the pet project of the Academy, whom Robert still hadn't gotten his name. He was presently talking to some of the younger students of the Academy. "..If anyone deserves to get his clock cleaned its that big brute." Robert thought.

The two had butted heads on a variety of times. Robert usually being the one to back down just because he didn't want to make an issue out of whatever it was they were challenging on. The big man sneered at Robert turning to talk to the young man in front of him. "..Well when you got as much skill as I do you get used to these sort of honors." the big man said puffing up his chest.

"..Hope you can back those up big man." Robert said as he walked out before the man could get a rebuttal in.

Robert strode over to the dwarf Olgerd the local shop keep for the Academy. In his time here Robert had got his hands on a few gold coins and since he figured today would be the last he could use them he figured to buy a few extra potions. "..You got any healing potions on you Olgerd?" He asked as the big brute of a man came through the door. The two scowled at each other as he passed and strode into the main training hall, great sword strapped on his back.

"..Aye I got a few. How many ya want laddie?" he asked.

Robert counted out his coins finding he could only afford three. He handed off the coins taking the potions with a nod. "..Thanks.." he said simply. After all how do you tell someone that their about to die in an hour or two? Tucking the potions into a secure pouch he headed into the training room to await his final testings.

The big brute had already left the area by the time Robert had got there. "..Good less worrying for me." he thought. Robert proceeded to go through the various training exercises as he had done so many times before. With the added bonus of the final tests, which honestly weren't that hard as he had thought.

With his training finished Robert took a few moments to idly look about the Academy before what he knew was going to happen occurred. Taking a final breath he sighed. "..Nothing I can do to do but hope for the best." He said his hands trembling. Despite all his training Robert was scared. He knew he wasn't any hero, wasn't any adventurer, or warrior. "..Gods I just want to curl up and hide somewhere." he thought as he entered the graduation hall trying to reign in his sense of growing anxiety and fear, and wiping his brow off with the back of his hand. Despite the cool air of the room and Academy Robert could feel himself sweating.

He stopped in his tracks seeing the figure of the Lady Aribeth at the front of the room, offering out blessings as each student one by one rose to approach her. "..Sure is more striking in 'real life' then in the game." he thought with an idle grin. He waited his turn as the big brute was talked to by Aribeth. "..May the blessings of Tyr be upon you sir." she said regally.

The big brute of a man just waved her off with a slight snort. "..Yeah yeah thanks, sooner we get some action the better if you ask me, toots." he said walking off to stand by the left wing wall.

Robert approached and bowed his head slightly. While most definitely not a religious person himself he knew that he had to at least go through the motions of things so not to embarrass himself

"..May the blessings of Tyr be upon you good sir. Congratulations to you for graduating." She said.

Robert rose his head and faced her in the eyes fully. "..Thank you I um well I'll help however I can in the days ahead." he said a bit unsure what else to say.

"..Your instructors spoke highly of you at the assessment meetings we had." Aribeth began, causing Robert to ponder this, far as he knew that big brute was their pet project, and he had received little to no special recognition for his efforts with training. "..Perhaps later we may speak privately to..." she said then paused glancing about.

"..Brace yourselves we are under attack!" she cried out then as four series of portals opened around them.

Robert drew his longbow as the combat started taking aim at the furthest attackers. His very hands trembled and his aim was quite off but his following shot were true and at least injured the offending attacker, however not enough to stop the man from slaying one of the fellow graduates with a burst of magical energies.

"..Damnit damnit.." he thought. Aiming at the next man as he cast a spell. The spell impacted before he could get off the shot a magical force impacting his left shoulder hard and sending him sprawling to the ground. "..Umph..sonva.." he said with a swear, clutching his shoulder in pain feeling like he had just been kicked by a mule.

Before he could get up he saw the big brute chop off the attacker's head. "..HA HA!" he said "..now THIS is what I'm talking about for fun!" he said reveling in the carnage. Before he could say anything more though a heavy set of magical energies burst into his chest, slaying the giant man in front of Robert's eyes.

Robert rolled away from any further danger and looked about as he saw Aribeth slay the last of the assaulting mages. "..Well that went well.." he thought looking around at most of the dead or injured students.

Aribeth ran towards the door but then stopped turning back around coming back in. "..I must speak to you!" she said.

Robert slung his bow over his back and walked up in a hurry. "..Yeah?" he said.

"..Listen to me there isnt much time, I fear this attack was only the beginning." And so it started, Aribeth informed him of the attack happening and of the Waterdavian creatures kept in the stables.

"..Weird place to put certain creatures in some measly stables." He thought, especially given the dangers of some of them that he recalled like the Yun-tai, and Intellect Devourer.

"..Take this key.." Arbieth said, Robert taking the offered key hesitantly, Aribeth saw his pause. "..You must hurry!" She said.

Robert hesitated again, ready to tell Aribeth how he was no hero. But then he saw that look of pleading in her eyes, and ever a sucker for a person in need he nodded simply and took off out the door, while drawing his longsword and shield from there straps. "..Gods I'm too good hearted." He muttered once he was out of ear shot.

The following few minutes were chaotic for Robert. The academy was indeed under heavy attack by kobolds, and other creatures. He took pains to avoid most of them, only engaging where he had to in fights. He eventually opened the door that Aribeth had given him the key for after much effort of strength. "..Urgh..damnit" He muttered as the loud squeaking gave anyone on the other side ample warning of his coming.

"..You again! I did not expect you to survive!" The mysterious mage from before said. "..Now my minions attack!"

"..Sonva, not again.." Robert muttered readying his bow and taking cover behind some crates.

"..Yes hide fool! You can not hope to overcome us!" the mage said cackling like a mad man.

Robert's first shot winged the shoulder of one of the kobolds making it cower back in pain. His following shot as the second kobold ran at him with a dagger hit home in the chest. "..FOOL!" The mage cried. "..Must I do everything myself?"

"..Yeah I say the same thing to the student cooks back home! You should really look at getting better help then Rent-A-Villian!" Robert cried back trying to muster the courage to take another shot from cover.

The first injured kobold though got behind Robert and charged at him, while he was summoning up his courage. Robert barely got his bow up in time to block the attack, which cut the bow string and the main arched shaft rendering it useless. "..Urgh scrawny little twerp." He said bringing his foot up into the crotch of the kobold which yipped and cried out in pain onto the ground.

Seeing that the little beast was out of commission for the moment Robert got up and with borrowed time lost, he saw the mage begin to cast a spell at him. Robert lugged up his now useless bow and hurled it like a broken boomerang at the man. With such a large weapon it was hard to miss but even still it was a poor choice for such a shot. The bow's edge smacked the man across the face and he stumbled back against the wall in shock. "..You fool! You ruined my spell!" he cried.

Robert drew his sword and shield and charged at him ready to strike him down. "..Oh yeah I was so ready to just let you cast your magics of death at me so sorry about that!" He said as he swung the blow down. Unfortunately the mage was teleported away before the sword could strike home.

Suddenly there was a lashing of pain in his right ankle and Robert looked down to see the injured kobold there with its dagger readying to stab up at his ribs this time. "..Oh no you don't!" He said kicking backwards and impacting the little beast in the head. The shot was hard enough to snap the creature's neck and kill it.

Rubbing his ankle and testing his ability to hold weight on it Robert found the injury thankfully minor. "..Could be worse I suppose...a hell of a lot worse.." He said to himself as he knelt to bandage then apply a minor healing tonic to the injury within a moment the soothing magics went to work and he was back on his feet.

Rummaging amongst the boxes for anything of use, he found a few herbal kits, a ring which glowed faintly in his hand, and a few other copper rings. "..Ah right lucky me, Monty Haul campaign, lots of magic and things to sell off." he said to himself recalling that the game was full of such things. Of course since he had no idea what the glowing ring was nor had any way to identify such things he pocketed it for now.

Making one last circuit around the room, he headed down the short hall and into the next room with sword and shield at the ready. "..Thank the gods! Its you, Robert." the young man from before said coming out of cover, several slain kobalds about the room.

"..Er uh hi.." Robert replied lowering his guard slightly. "..Don't believe I caught your name?" He said.

"..Pavel." the man replied.

Robert couldn't help but give a slight chuckle at that. "..I don't suppose your last name is Chekov is it?" He asked.

Pavel shook his head and gave a confused look. "..No its not why do you ask?" he said.

"..No reason, just the name reminds me of someone back in my home." Robert said.

"..Right, Robert listen we should join forces, team up you and I what do you say?" Pavel asked.

"..May as well, probably the only way either of us will survive anyhow." He said.

Pavel nodded and the two took off down the hallways fighting along the way with more resilient kobolds, plus a few undead skeletons. It was hard, and life threatening that was for sure. But now aided by another Robert found it far more manageable then going on his own. Eventually the pair reached a series of storage rooms that led into another training area. The kobolds and skeletons were soon dispatched, and as Robert peeked around the area he saw the mysterious mage and a pair of kobolds and skeletons guarding him, as they prepared to smash down into the stables where the creatures were kept.

"..There's too many for us to handle Robert." Pavel said in a whisper.

Robert considered all this, the mage was the real threat, they had fought more kobolds and skeletons at once not moments ago and more or less easily overcame them. "..Alright here's what we'll do. I'll draw the skeletons and kobolds away. Meanwhile you do your best to sneak around the corner of those line of boxes to the left hand side there and get as close as you can to the mage. Then take him out, I'll dispatch the kobold and skeletons and return as soon as I can." He explained.

"..Are you sure?" Pavel asked with an uncertain tone.

Robert slapped the man's shoulder. "..Its the best chance we got, less you have something better in mind?" He asked genuinely curious. After all he was no tactician, but the plan at least in theory to him made sense.

Pavel shook his head but still seemed uncertain. "..But what if I fail? What if you fail? What if I or you die!" he said in a growing worried hiss.

Robert gave a faint smile, really hoping that his own fears and worries were not showing on his face or tone of voice. "..We all die Pavel, but in this case, we're all that can help those creatures right now. Now look I ain't saying there's a good chance we might die, I'd be lying. But, there's only one thing that anyone can ever ask of you that I have learned. That is to try and do your best at whatever is asked of you. If you always try to do your best well there ain't much more that can be asked. And if you fail then at least you fail knowing you did all you could. Make sense?" Robert said.

Pavel considered then nodded. "..Yeah thanks, alright lets do our best!" He said with a firmed up nod.

Robert nodded and slid from behind the boxes and into few throwing a pebble at one of the kobolds. "..Hey ugly you looking for me? Come and get me if you dare!" He taunted.

The mysterious mage turned with a shadowed angry look in his eyes. "..Fool! You dare to taunt us? Minions get him and rend him apart! Return with his head so that I might sear the flesh from his bones!" The mage said.

Robert took off down the hall then with the kobolds and skeletons in hot pursuit leading them back through the previous storage rooms and using the boxes to confuse them was able to get behind them, and attack, really hoping that the series of potions for enhance his strength, dexterity, and stamina were not watered down.

Meanwhile Pavel and realized he had gotten as close as he could to the mage with using the boxes. Tightening his grip on the morning star he held and the large shield he thought. "..Just do my best. I can do this!" He then charged out from behind the boxes at the mage. "..For Neverwinter!.." He cried.

Back with Robert he heard the cry of Pavel as he hacked down the last of the kobolds which once it saw its fellow and skeleton escorts were slain, tried to take off running in retreat. Robert hadnt allowed that to happen though cutting the little beast down along its back and spine. The whole experience left Robert weak in the stomach, and if he had something to throw up he would have then and there, thankfully, or unfortunately depending how one looked at it he had not the time to eat anything before the attacks came. However, he did produce a few dry heaves, coupled with his shaking hands and bodily anxiety twitches he felt he was holding up not half bad all things considered. "..Really wish I had my meds..." He muttered

Quickly regaining control of himself though he wiped the blood off his blade onto the back of one of the kobolds and ran back to where Pavel was. As he rounded the corner he saw thankfully Pavel very much alive and though slightly wounded ready to move on. "..Nice work!" Robert said startling Pavel who looked a bit shaken at the sight of the dead mage.

Robert himself was visibly uneasy to say the least, but he figured that giving into that would only make Pavel feel worse off. "..No time to waste we got to check on the stables!" He said, Pavel thankfully following along silently. They knew that a few kobolds had gotten into the stables before the mage had been dealt with. "..KILL THE DRYAD!" Came a badly accented common cry.

As the pair entered through the doors they saw all the creatures in some form of disarray. The Yuntai had escaped and was in the process of using some form of magic to teleport away. "..My bonds are broken I am FREE!" The snake like being cried vanishing in a haze of magic.

"They freed the Yuntai!" Some old man hollered in between casting some various spells. Another man was nearby doing the same however he was clearly an elf or half-elf in descent.

The little dog like creature of the intellect devourer scrabbled up the support struts and out a top line window. Meanwhile the Dryad scared beyond measure ran for the nearest window and lept out crying. "..NO! I must escape!"

Lastly a bird like creature flocked into the rafters and fluttered out another window. The trio of kobolds seeing their prey escape turned on the Pavel and Robert in a rush, however like so many of there brothers before they were easily dispatched. Between the pair of would be rescuers.

"..We came to late! The creatures are free!" the scrawny elf like man said.

"..Now what was that fellows name again?" Robert thought trying to recall the both men's names.

"..All is lost Fenthick you and your lady Aribeth has doomed Neverwinter." The older man said.

"..Fenthick right! The other must be Desther." Robert thoughtfully added to himself. Again he was struck by the desire to do something to prevent what was happening but he simply couldn't do it, no one would understand or believe him for that matter.

"..Desther I will not have you speak ill of my fair lady! We did all we could." Fenthick said.

Finally the pair noticed Pavel and him, which the two just nodded in return. "..And who are you two? Ah you two must be the whelps Aribeth sent ahead to save the creatures. Such a failure you have aided to." Desther said with a sneer.

"..What an arse.." Pavel muttered to Robert, who just nodded in reply.

"..Yes, we are they, Robert Archer and Pavel. Far as we know the only students who survived. Where is Aribeth is she alright?" He asked trying to be civil.

"..Aribeth was besieged by more of the mysterious assailants when we arrived with reinforcements shortly after the attack began. A mage accompanying us sent us here after we dispatched them and Aribeth told us of whom she had sent ahead in her place." Fenthick replied.

"..We apologize for not getting here sooner." Pavel said hanging his head.

"..Yes you should!" Desther said with a snap. "..What did Aribeth think sending you two! Did she honestly think two pups would save these creatures?"

Robert sighed irritated at Desther. "..Look mister high and mighty we did the best we could. I didnt see you here any sooner then we were. In fact you were later getting here then we were! So how about cutting us some freaking slack!" He said with an irritated raise of his voice.

"..Why you little.." Desther began beginning to draw his mace, Robert doing the same with his sword.

"..Enough both of you!" Fenthick said. "..These are trying times and we must all work together for the benefit of Neverwinter's well being. The creatures are lost for the time being we cant change whats happened." He added looking between the pair who stared at each other angrily.

"..Bah, I know enough the feelings you have for that woman Fenthick. Now if you will excuse me I must retire and make plans to recover what was lost." Desther said without pause and turned and left.

Fenthick sighed rubbing his head a bit. "..You must forgive Desther the Wailing Death has put a strain on us all. I am Fenthick Moss, companion to the lady Aribeth." He said even though he likely knew such introductions werent needed.

"..Robert Archer, sorry about snapping but high and mighty bullies like that don't go over well with me." He said.

"..Of course." Fenthick said with a nod. "..Now I would like to ask you to help Neverwinter once more. It will take a few days to recover from the attack. Plus put plans into motion to recover the creatures. Would you be willing to aide us in this task?" He inquired.

Robert considered, he honestly just wanted to get back to his home and resume a normal life, despite all that had happened, he was still unconvinced that all of this was not some sort of lucid dream or coma induced form of insanity. All of the events in the past few hours had been daunting enough, and he wasn't sure he could press on further or what he could exactly do for that matter in recovering the creatures.

Fenthick though took his hesitation as a sign of something else obviously. "..I assure you that anyone that aides us in succeeding to recover the creatures would be paid handsomely by Lord Nasher and the city." he explained with an almost pained expression.

Robert blinked at that, that hadn't been his intentions at all. "..Fenthick listen its not that, believe me I don't need any rewards. Its just I want to return to my...home" he said, pausing near the end to catch himself from saying 'world'.

Fenthick nodded in understanding. "..Of course, but surely you realize that until the plague is dealt with the city is under quarantine, no one can leave or enter the city. If your desires are to return home perhaps you should help us?" He said in offering.

Robert nodded. "..Very well I'll see you within the week. At the Halls of Justice I suppose?" He asked recalling the conversation from the game.

Fenthick blinked slightly surprised it seems at the young man knowing where to meet. "..Indeed in a week then." He said then turned and left out the door of the stables.

Robert sighed some rubbing his head a bit. Feeling the weariness bear down on his normally inactive self. "..Robert I must speak with you." Pavel said once the two were alone.

Turning to face the man Robert put on a simple smile. "..Whats up?" He asked.

"..I am afraid this will be the last we see of each other. During our fights I realized that my dream of being a hero was foolish. I am but a simple farmer not a warrior and hero like you." Pavel explained.

Robert had to fight back the desire to laugh in the man's face, "..If he only knew!" he thought. Turning to be as serious as he could in the situation he gave a half smile again. "..Pavel listen, I'm no hero either, hell back home I'm just a baker, cook, and manager of people's talents in a kitchen. I left that place just to...get some air." He said hesitating some not willing to reveal the truth of the matter to the man for fear he would think him insane. "..I got lost, and wound up in Neverwinter after a few days, when some kobolds took my possessions. Believe me when I say I ain't no hero either. Remember what I said you just got to try your best." He said trying to encourage the young farmer.

Pavel shook his head defiantly obviously not even willing to listen what he said. "..All I could think about was how scared I was! That's not the mind of a hero its one of a coward!" Pavel explained.

Robert sighed realizing it was a hopeless argument to try to continue. "..Very well Pavel I wish you and your family safe travels." He said.

Pavel just nodded shaking the man's hand. "..I hope you get back home safely once this is all over as well Robert, farewell, goodbye and good luck!" He said then turned about quickly was soon out the door out of sight.

Robert stood there a moment before he too left the ruined academy, and as he stood around the shadows of the slums, he felt the depression and hopelessness of the situation press in around him. "..Great..now what the hell am I supposed to do?.." he muttered heading off for the city core.

AN2: Well there's cleaned up chapter 1, I'll get to work on chapter 2 shortly, and hopefully 3 tonight or tomorrow, and then continue from there.