Talanithus lay still, Chyanna's sleeping form curled about his own in a lover's embrace. He could feel her body's warmth merging with his own, and it melted his heart to feel such contentment once again. It had been so long... so many broken roads, and so many shattered dreams. It seemed that such was a Priest's life, always torn by his duty, never truly his own. Yet now, for this moment, he could feel the life he craved... Feel the woman at his side and not look for what the future held. What twisted path his destiny would force him, once Eru called him again to the road's long journey.
Chy understood. She knew his life was not his own, yet she was content to share what time they did have. For that, Tal was eternally grateful. There were few in this world who could accept such a lover, and truly understand. With a sigh, he dipped his head back, staring into the night's starry expanse. The Moon, Sehanine's charge, was consort to his Lord... yet they were ever apart. She so far from her lover's arms. Perhaps it is not just the Priests who forsake a life of simple love. Perhaps not at all...
Tal's eyes closed as he slipped into his reverie, reliving the moments of the day and other's before it. A smile crossed his dozing features for the beauty of it all. He had never known such wonder as he had found within NeverWinter, and Eru curse him but he did never wish to leave its borders.
With that thought, he felt his reverie shift. His thoughts lost their tangible hold, his command cast into the night as he was pulled into a true dream, and something more.
Not the pale dark of the night, with the stars and moon to light its path, but true dark. The dark that is the absence of all light wrapped him in a shroud of cold isolation. There was no feeling to this place, no up or down. Tal's feet felt no touch. He floated in a void of nothing, and he was lost in confusion as to the nature of this dream he was suddenly caught in. No vision of Eru or Eilistraee's felt this... this... lonely. There was always a feeling of companionship, of coming home. Here, there was nothing outside of himself.
For what seemed an eternity, Tal floated through that void. His thoughts, his only company, idled the time away with memories of this past year amongst the Tel'Mithrim. Times of joy and times of sorrow, times of victory and defeat. They all joined in the forging of bonds that were eternal, true mellonea. He knew he was blessed for the gift he had been given. Then there came a break in the darkness.
A cave, no... a hollowed out room, grew slowly into focus. Mori'Quessir, their dark armor and weapons girt about them in their perpetual battle for dominance, stood about a circular table. At its head was a Female Drow, her ebony skin glistening in the light of a magic she was weaving before her. Beside her were two other Female's, all three obviously Yathrin. The rest of the room's occupants were males, warriors all save a lone Qu'el'faeruk who stood opposite the Yathrin, his eyes closed in obvious control of some spell. Tal watched, yet no word or sound could he hear, his ears deaf to the scene before him.
Wary, Tal attempted to exert some control over himself, yet he felt no response in his limbs. In fact, within the spells minuscule illumination, he could see no limbs for him to exert control over! His consciousness, his mind, it was here. Yet no body accompanied it. His sense scoured the room for any clue that the Mori'Quessir might know of his presence, yet one and all, they ignored him. A long moment passed, and still nothing could he find to give him any idea to who or what had brought him here. Intrigue grew over caution as Tal sat silently within the room's depths, and finally he surveyed the contents of the Yathrin's weavings.
Centered within the circular table lay a sphere of purple light, images passing hazily within its depths. Tal's eyes strained to make out its contents, and as he did so he felt his perception shift to hover directly over the Qu'el'faeruk's shoulder. From there, he recognized the weaving's contents.
There, outlined within Lloth's dark spellcraft, stood the Tower of the Blue Flame... his home. His Mother, Elayse, stood atop the Tower's battlements, the garden behind her achingly beautiful for the time he had spent away from it. A swift pang of homesickness surged through him, brutally overwhelmed by the nauseating knowledge that these Mori'Quessir were scrying his Mother. Scrying his mother, and piercing the keep's magical protections to do so. He looked about, hoping to gain some word of what was about, yet the Mori's dark faces revealed nothing to him.
The Yathrin at the table's head abruptly swung her hand about, yelling something to a warrior at her side. The image on the table began to shimmer, its weaving cut off suddenly from their crafter. As the dweomer shred its depths apart, Tal took one last look of his Mother, and then started as he saw the Wu'el'faeruk swivel his head around, purple eyes peering into his own for a second, and the spark of recognition alighting within them.
Struggling, Tal clawed backward, desperately trying to draw power from within to shield him from this Drow's inevitable attack. He felt the surge of Eru's gift within him, welling forth into a...
With a start, Tal jolted awake, his rapid movements awakening Chyanna as well. She rolled from his side and out of the bed quickly, one hand already holding a bared dagger as she scanned the Glade for any sign of a foe. With a long groan, Tal crashed backwards onto the pillows, his movements drawing Chy's perplexed stare.
"What's wrong, Sweets?" Murmured Chy as she knelt beside him once more, draping her voluptuous form about his with cat like smoothness.
"I am called, Lirimamin" said Tal quietly, his eyes still closed to the world he knew he was leaving. "I am called and I must go."
Silence was his response, yet Chy's grip tightened into an embrace. Long moments passed as Tal lay within those arms, fearing that he was wrong, that she did not understand, that should would seek to fight this moment and pull Fate into her own hands. Parts of him even hoping she would do so, hoping beyond rational thought, yet hoping still.
"Well then, Sweets" came the her soft response, "lets enjoy what time we do have, Numa?"
And so they did, in the sweet embrace of lover's that know long days, mayhap years, lay ahead of them.
To be continued...
All content © 1998-1999 Talanithus Tarant