Night 1: The Meeting
You woke up on your wet right cheek and realised you were lying on a bank of a lake, half-bodied wet. Blinking your eyes slowly as you gained full consciousness, memories of the incident sequences that happened on the ship flashed in your mind:
The mighty red dragon that peeked and burst flame beside you while you were struggling to connect the slimy wired tentacles that controlled the ship you were in. Next, came the gravitation, as you felt your body struggled to remain on the ground as you held onto dear life. Opposite you were the creature - the monster who held responsible for the chaos in Baulder’s Gates and killed your fellow guildmates before it successfully kidnapped you.
A chuck of the ship hit you on the head and caused your unconscious mind to fell out of the ship.
How you managed to survive the fall several feet from the skies was a mystery in itself.
Now that you’ve woken and sobered, your ears rang and head felt a bit light-headed. Your body weakened from the lack of energy and blood loss in the earlier fight with the creatures on the ship.
Slowly and to the best of your abilities, you decided to explore these new found land.
With the Lady Luck on your side, you’ve managed to allocate a few useful items: a worn-out backpack, two heal potions and two alcohol bottles. You walked toward the seaside and familiarised yourself with your new surroundings, you’ve also encountered three brain creatures that survived the crash. Known for your cunning ability to sneak without being detected and your top-notch skills with bow and arrows amongst your peers, you defeated the creatures with ease.
As you wandered further, all the sudden, you heard a faint voice frantically calling for help. Bow and arrows ready at hands, you walked toward the voice and encountered a strange yet alluring Elf dressed in a noble-like attire.
What caught your eyes the most about the strange elf was his pale skin and Maroon eyes - you recalled meeting Tieflings back home but haven't met any Elfs with eyes as bright as Tieflings.
No. The Elf’s eyes were much darker and deeper shades than Tieflings.
Staying on guard, you listened to what the frantic Elf has to say.
“Hurry. I’ve got one of those brain things cornered.”
With your arms crossed, you saw the two blades on each side of his waist. Your mind internally responded with, kill it then.
Before the words slipped out of your mouth, the pale Elf had his back turned to you and was on a lookout for the brain creature.
“There, in the grass. You can kill it, can’t you? Like you killed the others.”
Well, well… So he was watching you from the beginning?
“Kill it yourself - you look capable enough,” You turned to leave him be, albeit not in a rush. Curiosity found its way to your mind as you waited to see his response.
“I was so hoping for a kind soul. Well not to worry.”
As you walked, you hear light footsteps before a dagger swiftly being placed under your neck and you were being pulled to the ground, trapped in the Elf’s muscular arms. You quickly rolled away - as did the Elf - and stood defensively with your dagger on one hand.
The kind mask he’d put on earlier changed drastically to a now cold and hard-to-read expression on the Elf’s face.
“I saw you on the ship, strutting about while I was trapped in that pod.” Raising his blade threatening at you, the Elf continued, “What did you and that freak tentacled freak do to me?”
“You have it backwards - they snatched me up too.”
The Elf scoffed. “I’m not an idiot. I saw - Argh!”
Sudden sharp pain on your head caused the both yours and the elf to groan painfully. Your mind twisted. You looked out of unfamiliar eyes, prowling dark busy streets. You tried to hold on to the memory but it faded to the worm.
The light. The fear.
“What was that? What was going on?” The Elf blinked his eyes. All sense of threatening left his face as he looked up to you with questions.
“Honestly? I don’t know,” You answered, still feeling the pain on your head and neck.
“It’s those tentacle monsters. Whatever they did to us caused that link. They took you too. I saw it during… Whatever just happened.”
Your eyes lit up just briefly at his comments before regained your focus again. Now is not the time to think about that.
“And to think I was ready to decorate the ground with your innards. Apologies.”
“Apologies accepted. I might have done the same were the roles reversed,” Putting away your dagger, but remained cautious of the Elf.
“Ah, a kindred spirit,” The elf stood proudly. “My name’s Astarion. I was in Baldur’s Gate when those beasts snatched me.”
Your eyes peaked up at another hometown kin and introduced yourself.
“Is that so? We clearly moved in different circles.”
You nodded, couldn’t agree more. With your well-known background and achievements amongst the Rogue Guilds in Baldur’s Gate, you would have heard about him at the very least. Your eyes lingered around his attire, mannerisms - no doubt he was born as a noble, but from which family was he part of?
“So. Do you know anything about these worms?”
“Yes, unfortunately. They’ll turn us into mindflyers,” You answered as a matter of fact.
Astarion immediately looked taken back. “Turn us into…” Suddenly he grinned, then burst out laughing that didn’t clearly reach to his eyes.
“Of course it’ll turn me into a monster. What else did I expect?”Astarion remarked bitterly.
You watched him carefully, with a little sympathy for what had caused him to speak those words.
“Although… It hasn’t happened yet. If we can find an expert - a healer or someone who can control these things, then there might still be time.”
You pondered at his words. To control whatever it was now nested inside your mind or to get rid of it together? Personally, you could have picked the latter in a heartbeat. Though as they’d often said, a tired mind rarely made good decisions. You should probably find a place to settle in for the night.
“You should travel with me. Our odds are better together.”
Something glint in Astarion’s reddish eyes. He grinned and began to whisper in a seducing voice.
“You know, I was ready to go this alone, but maybe sticking with the herd isn’t such a bad idea. And you seem like a useful person to know.”
You raised an eyebrow as he carried out with a gentlemanly gesture.
“All right, I accept. Lead on.”
Night settled in by the time you and Astarion arrived at an abandoned campsite.
“We should settle in the night here,” You said, eyes wandered for any traps or unwanted eyes lurking nearby.
Behind you, Astarion looked around the camp as in surprise. “So, we’re resting here? Turning in for the night?”
“What? You’ve never slept in the woods before?”
“It’s all a little new to me, I admit,” Astarion replied rather humbly. “The night normally means bustling streets, bursting taverns. Curling up in the dirt and resting is… Umm.. a little novel.”
You shrugged and took a seat against a big log. “Give it a try. We need to be fresh tomorrow.”
“I’m in no place to rest yet. Today has been a lot. I need some time to think things through - to process this,” one finger tapped at the side of his head. “You sleep. I’ll keep watch.”
You immediately stood up straight and crossed arms, though your exhausted body cried for immediate rest.
“We’ll both stay up. I’m not ready to turn my back on a stranger.”
At your response, Astarion’s grinned. “You know, if you want to spend time with me, you only have to say so. But, suit yourself. I’m sure we’ll drift off at some point.”
With that been said, the pale Elf leapt away into the woods.
You sighed and recalled that you’ve found bread on the way prior to meeting with Astarion.
As you stuffed your mouth hungrily eating the bread, a thought suddenly occurred to you:
Astarion has very sharp fangs.
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