Hey guys, sorry this took so long. 'Trying to Escape' had sunk his claws into me and wouldn't let go for a while. 'Let Me Rest' was also vying for my attention. (Sigh) story ideas, they never know when to wait *giggle*. Anyway, here is the chapter. Thank you guys for your reviews, I enjoyed reading them. They put a smile on my face.
Thank you for correcting me on that, although I would like to mention that I hadn't used Cyric as the god, but N'esr. I thought Cyric was the name of the religion. Is that wrong? Please let me know. I haven't read that book series so I am not too sure what most of your references were about. Drizzt is where my knowledge falls under.
There there Tamuril2, I still love you *hugs*.
I would like to apologize to you, the side story is being stubborn. I can't force it or else it won't be very good. So please be patient.
Also, please guys I really do need help with refreshing my memory of Lord of the Rings. If anyone has any good website suggestions please let me know.
"Kellindil! Wait, I can explain!"
"What were you thinking?"
"–Nothing! That's what! You weren't thinking at all! You are coming with me right now and so help me Drizzt, if anyone has seen you—no matter how much of an accident it was—you can wave this city goodbye! No, do not talk!"
The drow obediently shut his mouth with a click.
Kellindil was currently dragging Drizzt behind him. The elf hadn't noticed the girl that was standing by the drow. Lauda, afraid for her rescuer, followed after. Amusement gradually spreading across her face. 'He outsmarts a deadly cult without fear, and yet he cowers before an angry elf.'
The girl grinned slightly.
Kellindil led them towards an inn. Where she could see 3 others waiting for them.
As soon as the others noticed them, Drizzt was surrounded. Lauda kept herself to the side, as she watched Drizzt get a verbal thrashing. The elf was explaining to the rest (who she found out were the Party of Sundabar) where he had found Drizzt. Once he was done, the rest exclaimed over the drow's actions. Poor Drizzt stood there, silently taking it. It wasn't until Lauda saw them cool off that she decided to help her new friend.
"If I may?" This didn't get much of a response. Dove was crushing Drizzt with a hug, to the teasing of her male companions.
"Excuse me..." Lauda sighed in irritation, before wedging herself in between Gabriel and Darda. She placed herself by Drizzt and waited, after a minuted she finally gained there attention.
"If I may ask, young lady, who are you?"
"I am Lauda Nerel'thos (1), and if it weren't for Drizzt I would most likely be dead now."
The elf looked at her then at Drizzt. His eyes ending on her again, "If what you say is true, then please explain to me what happened."
"I was kidnapped by a noble of high standing. I did not realize the deception until he... he..."
Drizzt noticed her hesitation, he wrapped an arm around her soothingly, "Was it Lust who tricked you?"
"They all had nicknames while they were there, the man who..."
Lauda looked at Drizzt before sighing, "You can say it, he... raped me"
Dove gasped before rushing to her side. Drizzt was knocked away as the woman enveloped the girl in her arms, "Oh you poor thing!"
Drizzt glared at Dove before nodding at Lauda, "Yes... he was nicknamed Lust by the others."
Lauda nodded her head, "Yes he was the one who tricked me. His actual name is Ansel Starsworn (2). He has been seeking my hand in marriage for the past week. I was flattered, after all Ansel is a very sought after young man. He came to me last night wishing to see me. I snuck out that night to meet up with him. The next thing I knew I was waking up on that stone slab. He was already... he just laughed at me when I wanted him to stop. I started to scream and he gagged me after. I had to endure that... filth all that day. He made me filthy!"
Lauda wept, Dove instantly comforted her, "You are not filthy. You are a victim, you had no control over the situation. Just because you couldn't stop it, does not mean you let it happen. He is the filthy one, you are not. Do you understand me?"
Lauda at first shook her head, Dove stopped it, "Do you understand me?"
Lauda gave a broken nod. Dove smiled at her reassuringly, "You are a brave girl. You can get through this. I know you can. Come on now, lets get you out of the cold."
Dove led her inside the inn. The others following after, Drizzt pulling his hood up before entering.
Lauda sat down at the table in Dove's room, a bowl of warm soup in front of her. Dove was watching her like a hawk, making sure she ate. The others were around the room. Drizzt was sitting on the bed with Gabriel. Darda was by the window and Kellindil was near the door.
"Lauda, please continue your story."
"I was to be a sacrifice for their religion."
Gabriel sat up at this, "Religion?"
Lauda looked at him, "Yes, I can't say what the name was, but... I remember a flag that had a strange symbol. One of the followers there had the same symbol on his scabbard."
The man leaned in, "What was that symbol?"
Lauda leaned back a bit at Gabriel's intensity, "It was a black sun with a jawless skull in the center."
Everyone except for Drizzt inhaled sharply. Kellindil was shocked, "How are they still here? Lady Silverhand banished them and purged the city of them 5 years ago!"
The elf looked at Gabriel.
Gabriel only shrugged, "5 years is not that long. They could have easily gotten back in undetected. Especially if some of their followers are of nobility."
Drizzt looked up, "I don't think we have to worry too much about them... at least not that particular group."
The others turned to the drow, "Why is that?"
The drow shifted, "I might have set Guen loose on them."
"What!" Kellindil demanded.
"They were going to kill Lauda! I had to do something! They believed I had joined willingly so I took advantage and made it seem like Lus– Ansel was a traitor and that she had summoned Guenhyvar in self defense."
Gabriel looked the drow in the eye, "They recruited you? How did they approach you exactly?
Drizzt shrugged, "I was more herded along then simply approached."
The human sighed, "Drizzt that is not how they approach new members. I don't know what they do during their rituals, but I know – from others witnesses – that only one will approach you and that is after they are sure you will join willingly. They do not force random people to come to them. It is not how it is done, it would gain too much attention from higher authority if they did that all the time."
"If it was not to recruit me then what was it for?"
"Oh Drizzt, you were being selected for their next sacrifice."
Drizzt stared at Gabriel, "They specifically told me that they already knew I was a drow and they believed that I would be willing to join from an outside source."
Drizzt shrugged, "I know not who it is, but the person claimed to be my ally who was willing to show me my 'true desires.'"
Kellindil's eyes narrowed, "I do not like the sound of that. Someone knows you are here, on the surface, and is determined to show you are like other drow. They already forced you into circumstances that are seen as evil."
Gabriel looked at Drizzt, "Drizzt did this group call themselves The Sworn by any chance?"
The dark elf shook his head.
"Then it wasn't the main followers. These were probably young men wanting to gain power. They must have heard about the religion from one of the main worshipers. Drat! This will make it harder to warn Lady Silverhand about them and get it fixed."
"I may not know their names, but I have seen their faces."
"You have? Drizzt, can you remember them?"
"I think so. If necessary I could pick them out from a crowd, but I don't know their names."
Gabriel hummed his worry, "Even if we did pinpoint them, we wouldn't be able to prove that they are what we say over the word of a drow... no offense Drizzt."
Laud looked up at this, "I was there as well. I can say who they are and also give you names to go with the face. Most of them are common born but some are among my rank. I can be the witness."
Dove instantly responded, "Yes, that is all very well and good. However, my sister is not back as of yet. Also Lauda you have been through enough as it is. I want you to just eat, and get some rest if you can. We will be taking you back to your family come the morrow and I will be explaining to your father what happened. I think we can all agree that he will not want you to see this Ansel again."
Lauda could only nod her head in agreement. The others left for their own rooms.
Fret slept through it all.
I hope you enjoy this chapter.
1: Nerel'thos and any other last names I write are not my own, but are actual noble bloodlines from Silvermoon (a blood elf city that is in the game World of Warcraft) that are considered councilors in the city (according to the website pages/government they are anyway). I am not saying these guys are councilors for Silverymoon, but are nobles that live there.
2: Ansel \a-nsel, an-sel\ as a boy's name is pronounced AN-sul. It is of Old French origin, and the meaning of Ansel is "follower of a nobleman". Also variant of Anselm (Old German) "God's helmet".