Chapter 10

SK Torm and Nalynn ventured to Crossergate. They rounded a corner, having fought valiantly to destroy many horrible beasts in that land. Suddenly, Torm was gone - vanished without so much as a sound...and a familiar, cruel voice whispered in Nalynn's ear.

"Ahh, I have you now, fair lady. Though your appearance is much altered I know it is still thee. I will kill you as I did once before." it said. A chill went through her, as sharp and icy as the cold tendrils and fingers of the winter winds. Nalynn looked round, and there was the vile elf Riklaun. He grinned maliciously and drew his dagger! But before he could attack, he was beset by terrible monsters, the like of which Nalynn had not previously encountered in her travels through Neverwinter. She ran to hide behind rocks to watch the ensuing battle. The screams of monsters intermingled with obscene curses emanating from the lips of this most hateful and murderous drow. For awhile, it appeared the beasts were destined to win the battle, until Riklaun uttered a mysterious spell - the likes of which were unfamiliar to Nalynn's ears. His dagger blazed with the light of a thousand suns and sparks flew as he felled beast after beast.

Realizing she could never endure a power such as his, Nalynn fled from the battlefield before the fight was finished. She continue to hide, for he had made it clear he intended to do her harm. "Beware all who tread in Neverwinter -- he seems to be everywhere and his intentions are anything but noble." she whispered.

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Riklaun turned from the fallen Dracs and found Nalynn had vanished. As he turned to leave, SK Torm entered the room. "Prepare to do battle Riklaun. You have done enough killing in this life time..." Torm said. Riklaun's eyes gleam with a hatred. "You will die, foolish human." was Riklaun's only words.

He began casting a spell of fumble. The spell hit Torm and his legs gave way under his feet. Torm stood there helpless. Riklaun cast another spell on Torm. It failed. Riklaun unleashed spell after spell at Torm, each one failing miserably. Riklaun then pulled out a scroll from his pack.

"This should work." He said. The spell hit Torm and he stood motionless, caught by the hold spell. As Torm looked on, Riklaun pulled the dagger from it's sheath. "I shall kill you now, prepare to die." He said. Just then, wild boars came around the corner. They saw Torm and Riklaun and charged. Riklaun saw them and threw a fireball in their direction. The fireball exploded killing several, but three remained. They limped towards Torm. "No! He is mine!" Riklaun said. He rushed in and cast several magic missiles killing them all.

Riklaun turned towards Torm. "Now, where were we?" Riklaun smiled at Torm. Just then, Torm fell to the ground and cast a spell at Riklaun. Riklaun slowed. "So, playing dead are we?" Riklaun said. "Let us make you truly dead, so you do not have to play it!" Rik cast another spell at Torm. The spell hit but did not faze Torm. Torm cast another spell to Riklaun. Rik shrugged off it's affects. Riklaun cast more spells at Torm. SK Torm evaded every one.

Riklaun stopped and looked at SK Torm. Torm was fumbling with a scroll from his pack. Riklaun cast a fireball. Torm looked up from the parchment and saw the ball flying towards him. He dove. The fireball exploded in the small room and engulfed it. Riklaun stood protected by pela tanya tampa aiguldur. The fire took all the air from the room and caused a resounding boom. When the fireball died down, Rik looked around. He did not see SK Torm anywhere. Tracks in the soot left from the fireball led out of the room. Riklaun laughed. "You will be mine coward. I will have your soul."

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Riklaun sat on the branch of a great oak tree. He causally munched on a fruit to replenish his energy. He heard a sound from down the trail. Silently, he watched. LERShdobne, also known as Rand Shadowbane, walked down the path. He made so much noise that Riklaun wondered why no monsters had attacked him. He watched as Rand made his way down the trail.

Riklaun jumped from the tree and landed lightly on the ground despite the heavy plate-mail he was wearing. Rand saw this and brought up his defenses. Riklaun stood, imposing in the armor. "Time to die, Rand." he said. Riklaun cast minor globe about him and advanced.

Riklaun swung his blade at Rand. Rand blocked the incoming blade with his shield and took a swipe with his own sword. Riklaun easily blocked the swing with his other sword. Riklaun pressed in, blades swinging wildly. Rand countered every swing, only to be forced back. The two elves fought with a passion only mortal enemies have. Riklaun did a maneuver with his blades that Wild Wil had done to him. It caught Rand off guard and struck home.

Rand Shadowbane backpedaled and feverishly cast a spell. "N'tess uuvanimo!" he yelled. Riklaun stopped in his tracks, frozen. Rand smiled. "So, the mighty Riklaun has fallen to my magics. I have waited long for this. This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of the Elven Brotherhood and will now see the end of Riklaun." he taunted. Rand walked up to Riklaun and smiled. He circled Riklaun as he talked.

"I know that the LER would triumph over the Elven Brotherhood. We may have merged with the Grey Company, but my hatred of you still lingers," he said. Rand walked around Riklaun, admiring his fate. "Maybe I should kill you with your own dagger, for you deserve no mercy. I will bring your lifeless corpse back to the guild hall for all to see. The Elven Brotherhood is finished. Beware the second coming of the Elves!"

"Yes, beware." Riklaun said. Rand's eyes widened. Riklaun backhanded Rand and he fell to the ground. "Your hold does not last long eh?" Riklaun said. Rand scrambled backwards to get back on his feet. "Nadorhunan. Lle i'narr glinuva nuin i'Anor." Rik said mockingly.

Rand got to his feet only to be slammed by a lightning bolt in the chest, knocking him back against a tree. Rand fell back to the ground. He looked up and saw Riklaun smiling. He attempted to get up but heard the familiar spell of magic missile. Pain racked his body as the electricity flowed through him again. Riklaun looked down on Rand and said "Now, you will die."

Another lightning bolt ripped through Rand's body. Rand Shadowbane looked up at Riklaun and pleaded for mercy. Riklaun just laughed. "Lasta Lailaithamin!" Riklaun turned to walk away. Rand seeing this gathered his last bit of strength and cast a fireball into Riklaun's back. The ball exploded searing the air around Riklaun. His globe still functioned, Rand noticed.

"So, still got a bit of fight in you?" Riklaun said. "Gurth goth lye." Riklaun said as he began casting another spell. The spell hit Rand and he felt his limbs go weak. He dropped back down to the ground and twitched uncontrollably. Riklaun pulled out his dagger. He contemplated ending Rand's life right there but had a twinge of guilt. He left Rand lying on the ground battered and broken.

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SK Torm called out from Berun's Hill. "Riklaun! Come, meet me. We have the final challenge." Within a short time, Riklaun arrived. They stood there, facing one another. Torm looked at his opponent's ebony dagger. There was something... sinister about it. But no sooner did he realize this than did Riklaun give him a vicious swipe across the cheek with it.

"Come, Torm, let's not dally all day! Let me kill you and be done with it!" Torm had been weakened from the past battles, true, but not as much that he would let this heresy slide. He ran to the armory, where he ambushed Riklaun along with griffons and salamanders. All three battles that they fought, Riklaun again and again fell to Torm's magics, being made clumsy or held. As Riklaun was helpless, Torm stood by with glee and watched the monsters dispatch him. But, every time Riklaun went down, Torm saw something in the drow's eyes... The third time he went down, Riklaun had been truly beaten. He lay on the ground, bleeding, with but a few words escaping his broken lips...

"The dag...ge...r... des..tro.y... it..."

With horror, Torm realized what had happened. Riklaun had been controlled by the drow dagger of infinite slaying! Without delay, Torm called upon Drago XaR's hidden stockpile... a chest came out of thin air, and he selected a shimmering mace and a scroll. Taking out the scroll, he carefully read the arcane runes while Riklaun moaned in pain. With the final syllable, great bolts of spellfire enwrapped the dagger and the other magical items. Within a few moments, Mordenkainen's Disjunction began to take its toll. The black tendrils enshrouding the dagger began to pull away, but it still was not enough. Torm took out the mace. Steeling himself, he struck it a mighty blow... and the world fell away... Stunned by the massive disruption of the dagger, Torm was knocked to the ground. A dazzling light erupted from the dagger, and it shattered into thousands of pieces.

After recovering his senses, he looked at Riklaun. He was comatose, but uncontrolled, thankfully. With care, Torm took Riklaun back to Neverwinter, where the priests prayed over his body for hours. Finally, Torm saw an acolyte enter the anteroom where he awaited. A grim look preceded the news

"We have managed to bring your friend out of Myrkul's door. However, the destruction of the artifact has taken a large portion of his memory. No longer can he remember the way of fighting, or of the arcane arts, but he does remember everything else, thankfully." Torm went to the room where Riklaun was kept. Weakly he looked up and smiled at him... "I beat it, friend, I beat it." No more words needed to be said, and Torm embraced the albino drow.

Golfdsl stumbled into the room almost dropping his precious cargo. It was a huge keg of ale with the number 1420 burned into its surface.

"I heard there was reason for a celebration here" he said, as the keg hit the floor with a resounding boom. "This will have you back on your feet in no time, Riklaun", he smiled. "I only have one more, and that is earmarked for your wedding, Torm" Golfdsl stepped closer to Torm and the smile left his face replaced by a slightly embarrassed expression. "I see I underestimated you, not only did you defeat Riklaun in battle but also you saw to the heart of his predicament where I had only an inkling." Then, after pounding the surprised Torm on the shoulder, Golfdsl left the room whistling to gather more Seekers and their friends.


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