Chapter 8

Dae walked the long road in silence and alone, as was the way of his kind. The wild elf shivered at the sight of the bright inn ahead of him. He would not enter the well populated area under normal circumstances. But these were far from normal circumstances. The note had been very vague. Calling upon a favor, which was no small matter. It stated simply and to the point. "Come to the Rankled Boar Inn. Trouble is afoot." A gust of air heralded his arrival outside the Inn and Dae blinked as he imagined a beautiful elven woman flew off into the night. The wild elf wondered as he watched a dust devil form and scoot into a nearby alley. The tingling sensation of danger hit Dae an instant before he spotted several dark figures with flowing white hair.

"Trouble indeed." Dae muttered as he pulled his longsword from it's sheathe and unhooked his barbed whip. The spiked tip of Dae's whip caught the first unwary drow in the right shoulder and spun him out into the street. Drow curses preceded two flashing daggers which flew towards the wild elf. The drow knives were dodged and blocked as Dae pulled the hooked drow within striking distance. Dae remained focused upon his opponent as shouts from inside the inn caught the drow's attention.

The two drow still within the alley cursed and darted down the street towards the dark forest beyond. The drow warrior standing before Dae growled hideously as he pulled the barbed hook from his shoulder and turned to flee. The wild elf's spinning kick caught the turning drow in the back and hurled him against the sturdy wall of the inn. The unconscious drow fell limply to the earth at Dae's feet as the occupants of the Inn rushed out into the street. Pulling a length of rope from his pack, the wild elf smiled. "Shall we see what our dark friend here can tell us when he wakes up?"

Shortly the unconscious drow was secured to a sturdy chair at the center of the tavern, where all the night patrons could keep an eye on him.


*****

When the captured drow slowly regained consciousness, Dae leapt towards him and held a blade to his throat. The dark skinned elf cursed in drow and spit in Dae's face. Dae growled.

"What were you doing outside of the Inn? Who sent you here and why? Tell me everything you know, scum. Otherwise I will send you to Lloth's side so that she can torture ye endlessly for your failure. I can see the fear of the spider queen in your eyes. You would truly be a fool not to fear her. So tell me what I want to know. Now. Then you shall be allowed to walk freely out the door."

Dae waited for the drow to respond. As the foul black elf simply continued cursing and spitting, Dae drew his blade back and prepared to strike. As the wild elf's blade swung rapidly toward the bound drow's neck, the drow's eyes grew wide and he suddenly screamed, "HOLD!"

Dae stopped the blade an fraction before parting the skin and waited expectantly.

"I will tell you the truth about Ebonstarr and the antidote for the poison as long as you spare me."


*****

Dae listened as the drow ranted about this and that. All of which did not sound any better than a scared drow telling lies to save his hide.

"Very well, I shall honor my word and allow you to leave alive." As the wild elf released the drow from his bonds, Dae removed the blade from the drow's neck and with a flick of the wrist took off the cursed drow's arm.

"Now you are marked. I will know you if I see ye again."

Dae followed the pained drow out of the Inn and smiled as he carried his arm and fled into the darkness. Wishing to know the story of the odd occurrences, Dae decided to follow the female wind elf and her male elven friends.

Tilting his head back, the wild elf called out into the early morning sky, "Keeeeeyaa"

After few moments passed a shape suddenly appeared, flying low across the treetops. The giant eagle landed before Dae and cocked its head to the side.

The wild elf leapt onto his companion's back and whispered into Klack's ear. The eagle launched into the air, scanning for the wind elf and the grey elves.


*****

Nearing Floodblest, Riklaun and Tizer spotted Tadsbro engaged with some Bugbears and a cloud giant. Tadsbro had three bugbears choking against a tree and he was dodging around the cloud giant. The Giant swung his club and Tad jumped over it. He cast Templa pilini' at the cloud giant, enraging it. The giant backed Tad up into a corner and grabbed him by the neck. Tadsbro struggled in the grip of the giant.

Seeing this, Riklaun summoned his magic and cast several magic missiles which streaked toward the giant. The giant roared and let Tadsbro go. The cloud giant turned and lumbered towards Riklaun and Tizer. Tizer pulled out his sword and got ready. The giant loomed before them.

Tadsbro shook himself off and picked himself up from the ground. He saw the giant moving towards Riklaun and Tizer and motioned for then to wait. Tad quietly moved up behind the giant and leapt. He drove his sword into the back to the giant and they fell. Tad pulled his sword out of the giant's back and wiped it off.

"Quel undome heru en amin," Tadsbro said. "What brings you out this way, Captain?"

"We are on our way to Nightsedge, in search of an elf named Rand. Tizer said. Would you care to accompany us?"

Tadsbro looked at his two friends, "Let's get to the inn first, I could use a rest."


*****

Above the outskirts of Floodblest a sky-blue kitten with sapphire colored wings hovered above the treetops. It watched and listened for a moment as Tizer and Riklaun spoke together regarding their next move. It then darted overhead and landed upon the roof of the Inn. A glitter of crystal hanging about the Tressym's neck flashed in the moonlight. The words

Maer Cath
Bonded of Sheilandri

were finely etched upon the tag.

The kitten curled up in a convenient corner of the thatched roof and continued watching a winged shape which circled in ever tightening spirals above the Rankled Boar Inn.

Continue to Chapter 9