Chapter 4

Nalynn entered the tavern, found a comfortable seat and summoned the barkeep. "Evenin' m'lady. What'll it be this fine evening?"

"A glass of Elfin Fey Wine, if you please" she replied.

"That's a tall order, m'lady. A lad was in here the other night - a fellow named SK Majystc, perhaps you know him? Anyway, he's drunk most of my stock."

Nalynn smiled. "Now, sir, are you absolutely sure that there's not a drop of the fine wine to be had? I haven't much money, but I can certainly make a search of your wine cellar worth your while."

The barkeep eyed her suspiciously, "'Ere now m'lady. What kind of establishment do you think I run? No Credit! I take only cash."

"Relax sir, I have funds sufficient for a glass of wine" she replied, placing several gold coins on the table. "It's just that between the redecorating I'm doing at home and paying the priests at the Temple for their healing potions to undo the damage caused by the poisons of a drow named Ebonstarr, I'm having to live on a tight budget. And with my husband away in search of treasures, I think some consideration is due. Just one glass, that's all I request."

He inspected the coins, took two and departed for the wine cellar, returning with a dusty bottle and one glass. "You're in luck, m'lady. I found this vintage bottle stashed in the cellar." He poured the elixir into the glass. "Beggin' your pardon m'lady, but did you mention the name, 'Ebonstarr'?" He inquired.

"Why yes, I did." Nalynn replied.

"Ah, well, then, that lad I mentioned before? Majystc? Well, he was here for quite a spell the other night. He had a message for a lady he called 'Nalynn'. Are you she?" Nalynn nodded. "Well, then, I'm to inform you that this Majystc fellow said that Ebonstarr has her assassins scouring the realm in search of you. I'm sorry to tell you, that they are charged with a mission to kill you." Nalynn smiled bitterly, rubbing the most recent scar on her arm--a grim reminder of the witch's potent poisons. "Yes, barkeep, I am most painfully aware of her minions of death and destruction. But so far, I've managed to thwart her plans with the assistance of a couple of fine Elves - Riklaun and Brisid - members of the Grey Company. Please, take this coin as payment for delivering Majystc's message."

The barkeep returned the coin "Nay' m'lady, I'll accept no payment for delivery of this important message. Besides, methinks you will need your money more than I." With that, he returned to the bar. Nalynn gazed out the window as she sipped the wine, wondering if her message had been delivered to the MOJOs. "Blast! Where is that falcon, anyway?" she wondered aloud.

The Falcon flew to the realm of MOJO with a parchment scroll bearing a violet waxen seal and a fine silken ribbon. He deposited it in the mail slot, and flew away. A representative of the MOJO guild discovered the scroll, along with many other letters, opened it and read:


Hail!
My name is Nalynn. I am a member of the Seekers and the wife of SK Torm who is currently off in other lands. I began my life in Neverwinter as a human thief and was first wedded to Braldt2 who was killed by an Elf turned to evil. His name is Riklaun. Riklaun was freed from his curse by Torm, but only at the expense of Braldt2's life. Before he was "saved", Riklaun murdered me. My corpse was taken to the priests at the Temple of the Helm where I was resurrected as an elf with no memory of my previous life. I have heard many tales of my former life with Braldt, though I do not remember them. I wandered through Neverwinter in my new body for many months, seeking clues to my past. Eventually, Torm and I fell in love and I had a barrister of the realms annul my marriage to Braldt so I could wed Torm. If you would like more information, you can contact Riklaun and request a copy of the tome entitled 'Ravenlore'.
In recent months, a wicked witch by the name of Ebonstarr has been stalking me. She seeks to destroy me by sacrificing me to her god, Lloth. She claims that she holds Braldt under her spell and will not release him until she has secured Riklaun whom she intends to murder or enslave as well. Riklaun, Brisid and I have been ambushed by her on several occasions, most recently in Nightsedge. She is a formidable creature and travels with a most hideous entourage of vicious creatures: green hags, medusas, etc. To date, no one has succeeded in stopping her murderous rampage. She frequents my dreams and sends her minions to torment me, taunting me, issuing vile threats. I have been poisoned by her on more than one occasion now, which has depleted my financial resources to near poverty levels, for the priests exact a high toll for their curative services.
To date, I have seen no evidence of Braldt in my encounters with her, but have desperate need to talk to him to learn if the stories others in Neverwinter tell me about my life with him are true. Ebonstarr's reputation among the Grey Company members is also well known - the Seekers are mildly concerned, but more preoccupied with their war against S.A.T.A.N. at the moment. I pray that you will read my story and serve as my saviors to stamp out this accursed woman.

Sincerely,
Nalynn
Wife of SK Torm


*****

Riklaun stood amongst the ruins of the Luskan Outpost. After searching for Ebonstarr with a few Bladesingers for many hours, they had separated for the night. As he approached the inn, he sensed a danger--one he had felt before. Uneasily, he opened the door. Inside the inn, everything was normal. A human the elf didn't recognize sat at a table reading from his spell book. Riklaun paid for a room and went inside and re-memorized his spells. In the solitude of the room he pulled off his amulet and concentrated hard on the powers housed inside. The amulet glowed brightly and the magic healed him fully. This gift from Nasher certainly paid off. Most of his gifts usually were nothing he could use. He thought, "Maybe Nasher is blind in one eye and cannot tell who stands in front of him."

After he finished, he went outside to probe deeper into the outposts eastern side. He followed the path to the outpost and was soon beset upon by trolls. As he fought them he heard a familiar voice.

"So, I have found you at last," she said. "It has been a long time, Albino." Riklaun turned from the creature he fought and faced the newcomer. A drow stood facing him.

"Ebon, I thought I was rid of you." Riklaun said. "I left the city years ago. I figured Lloth would have destroyed it by now." Riklaun brought up his globe and circled Ebonstarr.

"She destroyed our house, but saved me to hunt you down." Ebonstarr said.

The two enemies circled one another. Riklaun swung his blade, testing Ebonstarr's defenses. She took a hop back and started to mumble. "Elg' Ne'kalsa!" she spat. Riklaun stumbled back unsure of his surroundings. His mind cleared quickly, and his thoughts came back. He looked at Ebonstarr and pointed. "Loomi Tanya Lirva Amin!" Green smoke billowed from his fingertips and encompassed Ebonstarr. She rolled out of the cloud, hacking and coughing.

"Bragollach Tel'llach!" he yelled, and a small ball of fire raced to Ebonstarr and exploded. Flames licked her body and her dress caught fire. Ebonstarr quickly cast dimension door and teleported away from Riklaun. "Irma Haeannon" Riklaun said and popped out in front of her. She brought up her whip and swung it at Riklaun. Riklaun easily parried the blow, severing one of the heads of the snake whip.

"Elg'Cahal!" Ebonstarr said and then dove for Riklaun. They tumbled to the ground. She had a firm grasp on his shoulder when the magic of the spell kicked in. Riklaun's eyes bulged. He started hacking and coughing. He threw Ebonstarr off him and stood. Rik felt his left arm go numb. Poison! He fumbled for the amulet around his neck. The amulet wasn't there! He looked around and saw a figure standing by a tree twirling the amulet in his hand. It was the human that had been in the inn. "Greetings, Riklaun. I am Gaden Zra. Looking for this?"

Riklaun coughed up some sort of purple fluid and dropped to his knees. He kept heaving the purple phlegm. Ebonstarr walked towards Riklaun. "Ultrinnan Whol Lloth...," Ebonstarr began but stopped, reconsidering her plans. "No, I think I'll save you for a little while. I think you'll make an excellent slave."

Continue to Chapter 5