Chapter 3

"Knock, Knock, Knock!" Nalynn rapped on Solack and Caesla's answer. She sent her falcon out immediately to find them. He succeeded in locating Caesla who was questing with SK Rayhn. Using the falcon as a telepathic intermediary, Nalynn asked Caesla if she could enter their abode to see the remodeling job Caesla had finished.

"Of course, you may enter, Nalynn. Our door is never locked." She thanked Caesla and entered. Nalynn admired the decor and made many notes on her parchment sketch book, while being extra careful not to disturb anything. The mural, in particular, caught her eye.

"I must be sure to find out where she had that made," Nalynn thought, making another note in the margins. She left, closing the door tightly behind her. The Falcon was waiting when she emerged.

Tucking her parchment in her pocket, she noted it was time to meet Riklaun and hurried off to find him. Nalynn waited at the Red Mage Inn for half an hour before she remembered he had canceled in lieu of hunting for Ebonstarr.

She decided to take a trip over to Nightsedge where the battles were rumored to be exhilarating and loaded with treasure. Along the way, a human traveler joined her--a lad known as Skeller111. Soon after, they walked around a bend in the path and saw Riklaun, rushing towards them.

"Nalynn, I've been looking for you. I think Ebonstarr is planning something tonight."

They had just passed Floodblest when Nalynn felt a chill that pierced her clear to the bone.

"I am near, pretty one. And it is time for me to claim your spirit" the voice said. Nalynn recognized the voice and knew it to be the witch, Ebonstarr. "Come and fight me you wicked wench" Nalynn cried. "I have Skeller with me and we shall fight you and kill you."

"Ahh, surrounding yourself with 'friends', hmm?" the witch's voice cackled in her mind. "Do you really think your feeble companions are a match for my powers? I am near; thou had best prepare to make your peace with the maker, for I am ready to sacrifice you to Lloth."

A foul storm wind suddenly began to blow and as the three stalwart travelers entered a skirmish, suddenly Riklaun disappeared. An insane laughter rose above the howling of the wind as Ebonstarr approached. Skeller decided he was not up to an encounter with the witch and fled as the storm continued to rage. Nalynn prepared herself to do battle, searching the grounds around Nightsedge, hoping to find Riklaun. She turned and saw a figure heading up the road.

"Vedui' Nalynn, tis I, Brisid". Nalynn heaved a sigh of relief as the elf approached.

"Hurry, Brisid, there isn't much time. Riklaun has disappeared and Ebonstarr is very near."

Just briefly, she recalled what she knew of Brisid. Many a time had they joked about his strange name, and every time he had responded with mirth, "That's the name my parents gave me." He was a short for an elf, but still taller than many humans. Although a grey elf, his pale skin was more characteristic of that of a moon elf's.

The elf responded, "Fear not, milady, we will fight her together." Together, they fortified themselves for the ensuing battle.

And then, she was there. Ebonstarr! With her foul minions of evil. "Witch! Vile creature from the underworld! Where is Braldt? I demand you release him for I have great need to speak with him of matters that do not concern you." Nalynn said.

Ebonstarr laughed. "Hah! Thee shall not see him until I have claimed Riklaun's soul--and yours. What's this? I thought I had parted you from your 'friends'," the priestess said to Brisid, pausing for a second. "Ahh, Brisid, is it? I shall make mincemeat of you too!"

The battle began. Nalynn and Brisid fought bravely as Ebonstarr cast spell after spell at them. Nalynn's fireballs and missiles were of little use against the witch's power. As she prepared to cast a cloud kill, she felt a fire in her arm. Looking down, she saw a dart had pierced her armor. The poison acted quickly and she soon lost consciousness. Brisid fought on, until Ebonstarr, realizing the elf's power was also formidable, retreated as quickly as she had appeared.

Nalynn awoke to find herself surrounded by Brisid, Riklaun and a stout fellow calling himself Reddog. Weak and ill from the poison which still coursed through her body, they carried her to the Temple of Helm to be healed. Nalynn was unable to pay the priests to heal her. Her companions graciously loaned her a sum sufficient to match the price her jewels fetched, and the priests worked their magic.

They continued on their journey to Nightsedge and fell into a gate fight with a Drow known as Lostroc. Riklaun killed him with one small lightning bolt, and they continued on their way. As they searched for the dragons in this land, they encountered other travelers who joined them. Reddog was restless, itching for a fight. Unable to locate any dragons, they turned their attentions to other areas and came across a herd of griffons. As the battle began, Ebonstarr appeared.

Once again, they fought. Nalynn was grateful for the reinforcements. But as the last griffon fell, Ebonstarr disappeared as quickly as she had entered the land, leaving no trail for them to follow.

"My dear friends," Nalynn said. "I am still weak from Ebonstarr's poison and must rest."

They understood as she parted their company. Casting a teleport spell, Nalynn returned to her home. "Torm, my love" she whispered as slumber overcame her. "Please hurry back. I am no match for this witch and she will not rest until I am dead."

Continue to Chapter 4