Brisid moaned softly as Ebonstarr's poison continued to work its way through his body. Looking up from her post by the bed, Nalynn quietly dipped a silken cloth into the pan of cool water on the night stand and swabbed his forehead.
In his fever, he reached out - grasping at demons she could only imagine he must be combating in his delirium. She took his hand in hers and gently stroked the ailing elf's fingers. This seemed to quiet his tortures as he sank deeper into a deathly slumber, breath heavy and labored.
"What can be taking them so long?" she wondered. "Riklaun has gone off in search of the witch and I've seen nothing of Randow since he sped off several days ago. I pray no ill has befallen either of them." She sighed deeply as she placed the cool cloth once again over Brisid's forehead. "I will not leave his side until help arrives or Death overcomes my dear friend," she vowed.
As the room grew dark in the twilight she arose and lit more candles--one to place in the window, the other to brighten the darkening room. She gazed out into the darkness beyond the window as storm clouds began to gather. Flashes of lightning and a distant rumble of thunder. Nalynn closed her eyes and shivered though the gentle breeze wafting through the window was cool and dry
Riklaun decided it was time to call in some old favors. He stood in a dark section of town. Street urchin littered the street and papers fluttered in the wind. A sign creaked in the wind. He looked up at the sign and saw a raven perched upon the sign. He drew his cloak about himself and went inside the inn. Gazing around at all the seedy types, he noticed several enemies of the Grey Company, some were most noted for their cruelty. He brushed past one individual and he turned. Riklaun recognized the face. Tathlin looked at him, perplexed. He did not recognize Riklaun and went on drinking his spice wine. "Apparently, Lloth had other plans for you Tathlin, " Riklaun thought, "else she would not have had you resurrected."
Rik moved towards the bar and noticed a lone figure sitting in the corner who motioned for Rik to join him. As Riklaun moved over to the table the man looked him over. "Rik, it has been a long while. Have a seat," he said.
"Yes, it has Gmanfandan." Rik said.
"No, just call me Gman. I hate the formalities." Gman said. "So, let's get down to business. You are asking around for information on the whereabouts of Ebonstarr. "
"Yes, I am" said Riklaun. "I am prepared to pay handsomely for the information."
"No need for that. We are friends, no?" Gman said, "You have lost many companions to her, most notably and recently Braldt. I can give you the whereabouts of an elf who has seen her recently. The elf's name is Rand. He is currently living in Nightsedge. Go to the third house on the left of the west entrance. Knock three times quickly and then twice slow. The password is 'Omens'. Someone there will take you to him."
Riklaun started to get up. "Thank you, old friend." Gman leaned back in his chair and melded with the shadows. Riklaun saw someone he knew enter the bar. "Graywolf? What's he doing here?" Rik thought. He quickly moved to the shadows and cast an invisibility spell on himself. He then watched as Graywolf went to the bar and ordered a Fey wine. Rik moved towards the door and froze. He caught Graywolf looking in his direction. Graywolf turned back to his drink. Riklaun left the inn and hurried on his way to Nightsedge.
Two floors below Nalynn, Tizer slowly sipped his mead, thinking about Brisid's terrible injury. The poison was like nothing he had ever seen before. Many Tel'Mithrim members had hunted for a cure, but to no avail. It was for this reason that Tizer decided to seek help outside the confines of the guild hall. No apothecary in Neverwinter had a medicine which could cure the foul poison. Nor could it be neutralized by any magic spell. It would take something truly unique to free Brisid from his current state.
Tizer rose from his table and left the inn. He climbed his favorite oak tree next to the old building and scrawled a note on a piece of parchment paper:
"I am in search of a cure for a magical poison. If you who are reading this know of such a potion, leave a message with the bartender of this fine establishment. Do not look for me, I shall find you."
Tizer then attached the note to one of his throwing daggers and tossed it through an open window of the Rankled Boar Inn. It stuck onto the message board with other announcements of a less important nature.
As Tizer was descending the oak tree, he caught glimpse of a shock of white hair moving swiftly through the crowd of villagers. He followed it to the outskirts of town where he shouted a greeting to Riklaun.
"Vedui' Rik! Where are you headed in such a hurry?"
"Vedui' Tizer, I am off to Nightsedge to find an Elf by the name Rand. He supposedly knows the whereabouts of Ebonstarr."
"Rand? Hmmm.... Did we not have a Rand Shadowbane in Tel'Mithrim awhile back? I always had a feeling he would show up again. He was always something of a trouble-maker if I recall."
"Well, trouble-maker or not, I need to find out what he knows about Ebonstarr."
"Do you mind if I join you? Perhaps he knows of a cure for the poison that has Brisid bedridden. I also wouldn't mind seeing ol' Rand again after these many months."
"Yes, by all means, come with me. Rand was known to hate me, so I do not believe I will get much out of him." Riklaun said.
Riklaun and Tizer moved off the road towards Neverwinter Square. As they left, a wind elf 'blew' into the Rankled Boar inn. They got some much needed supplies from their vaults and headed east towards Nightsedge.
The cool night breeze blew dry leaves down the dark street as a tall, black haired, female elf stood in the deserted road and stared at a bulletin board.
"Well now, why would anyone waste a perfectly good throwing knife to pin a message here?"
She pulled the knife out of the board and read the note impaled upon it's blade. Turning the note over, Sheil scrawled a quick message on the back. The female wind elf entered the tavern and, handing the note to the bartender inside, she talked with him for a moment. He pointed across the room to a table with a single, female elf sitting at it. Sheil nodded to the man and tossed him a gold coin. She walked to the table and spoke to the elf known as Nalynn. After hearing the story of the poison blade and the drow, the wind elf thanked Nalynn and strided out of the Inn.
The note left at the bar simply read:
Went to find the cure.
Will meet you here at this Inn tonight.
A gust of wind blew leaves far down the dark road as Sheil fliew into the sky. Looking back at the brightly lit Inn, she spotted several dark shapes moving through an alley near the Inn. Sheil nearly turned around to warn those at the Inn, however the words of the female elf echoed in her mind. "I know not how much longer Brisid can hold against the poison." Sheil hesitated one moment more.
"I can at least give them some parting trouble."
She pointed towards the road and uttered a few strange words. A small dust devil appeared in the street and floated into the alley. A flash of white hair could be seen on one of the dark shapes as the wind elf vanished into the night sky.
Continue to Chapter 8