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Finding Love in Dreams

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Gann made his way down the cobbled road to the legendary Crossroad keep, in toe with Safiya and old father bear Okku. This was not his and Safiya's first time to the west, or to the Keep, they were there when Keira’s fallen friends and her love Casavir were brought back from the clutches of death with a powerful ring she had found on a adventure with them, they made the journey when they had received word of her and Casavir having their first child. They also made trips just to visit their friend and companion. But this trip was different, this is why Okku was with them and why Safiya teleported them most of the way instead of enjoying a walking trip. A new evil once again seems to threaten the realms and whoever the new threat is; it was attacking the Keep head on. For some reason Keira’s call reached Okku’s ears and he woke from his slumber and once again the God of bears was ready to fight. It was a bitter sweet feeling every time he saw Keira. One the west part of the world was almost dead with spirits, which made him feel somewhat naked at times, secondly with the trails he went through with her in Rashaman, he had developed feelings for her, feeling that would never be returned. He doubted he would ever find real love again.

“Hag spawn are sleepwalking?” Okku asked breaking Gann from his deep thoughts.

“No old king bear I was merely enjoying the view.”

“Humph, how can the little one live here the spirits of the land are silenced.”

“Now now Old king bear, that is no way to speak about our lady’s choice of residence.” Gann said with his half smile.

“By Saz’Tam!” Safiya carried. Gann and Okku looked out to see Crossroad keep in the distance and that it looked to under siege.

“Safiya can you teleport us in?” Gann asked.

“Yes quickly everyone brace yourself.”

Just before Safiya finished the spell Gann saw what looked like a black shadow running past them.

Safiya teleported them right into the heart of the fight. Gann quickly spotted Sand and Grobnar.

“DO NOT QUIT MEN! THIS WALL MUST NOT FALL!” It was Keria’s voice. Gann wasted no time jumping into the fight with the others; he called upon what spirits he could and began casting a vengeful rain all over the battle field keeping the attackers at bay with Grimstone, his most favored spear. It was hard to tell whose spell was who’s next to the rain that he summoned there also rain of fire and hail and snow. He could barely see or make out who was yelling anymore. He also noted that all the attackers had a weird mark on their faces. Gann swung his spear round impaling one of the attackers, he let out a loud ear ranching cry as fire and acid ate his skin. Gann turned only to see the halberd swinging down on his head. He closed his waiting for his end but instead he heard a blood gutting sound from the area of the halberd’s wielder. He opened his eyes to see what looked like a pale skinned drow standing over him; his head was completely smashed in.

“Are you ok M’Lord?” she asked he voice was haunting and cold like death.

“Yes I am-“Before he could finish she what looked like vanished. Gann look around and found her again, she moved so fast it was like she was teleporting around the field. Her punches went right through her targets he kicks broke, but despite how brutal the attacks, she was graceful it was like watching a dance. Gann joined back into the battle.

“The enemy is retreating men we have won this day!” What was left of the horde ran into the nearby forest. When all was calm Safiya, Okku and Gann ran to meet up with their friends.

“Gann, Safiya, Okku! You showed up at the right time!” Keria said as she ran up to greet them.

“Little one who were those attackers.” Okku asked

“A good question old king bear, they all worse the same markings on their face.”

“So they are all different races but one clan?” Okku asked

“It would seem so, but I do not know the marking.” Keira said.

“Well it looked like some sort of rune, but I have no idea as to what” Safiya said.

“I drew the same answer my dear red wizard, but I was hoping you could draw a better one.” Sand added in.

“Maybe it isn’t a rune but a symbol of someone or thing.” Casavir said walking over putting a hand around Keira. Gann felt his heart knot up into a ball briefly.

“I hate to break things up Captain but who is that?” Kana said looking over at a figure that seemed to be mending its hands. The grouped looked over; it was the drow that saved Gann’s life, without the spells flying everywhere or the rampaging mad men trying to slaughter everyone. Gann could get a better look at his savior. She was unnaturally beautiful her hair was white and was up and pulled back into a bun but loose ends hung around her face, and for an elf she was voluptuous, but her body also looked disciplined beyond compare. When she looked over, her eyes were like looking into a crystal lake, they took Gann by surprise, if eyes were the window to the soul, and then there might be question if she had one! Her armor didn’t look like armor at all it was more like something men would dream of seeing a woman fight in. she wore we crafted plate boots, she only had leg guards that looked like hands wrapping around that were bound in red ribbon, her belt was metal and had a large red garnet in the middle hanging down was red clothe that only covered her lower front and back half. She on top was two closed hands cupping and covering her bosom and they too were crafted to look wrapped in red ribbon. She wore bracers that bore Ilmaters holy symbol and her hands themselves were wrapped in silken red ribbon, which was now soaked in blood.

“She is with us I think…She saved me in the battle.”

“That drow saved you?” Khelgar, Elanee and sand said in unison.

“It is rare for a drow to show such acts of kindness, or even to be above ground.” Daeghun said.

“Well she did save Gann, so we at least owe her a chance to talk.” Keria said.

“You over there drow what is your name?”

“Amondra servant of Ilmater.” She said and took a deep bow before the group.

“Oh my another follower of Ilmater, let us hope this one is not as crazed driven as our little songbird was.” Gann whispered.

“Well met Amondra , I am Keria Duskwind. I thank you for your help with defending this Keep.” Keria replied.

“I am glad I could assist in the matter, I was making my way her to the legendary Keep to see if any of my humble skills could be put to good use.”

“Well now if you consider bashing people to a bloody pulp, then yes lass we could always more of yer kind of skills.” Khelgar said.

“You know we could use more of the quiet type Khelgar, you people who can get around without being seen” Neeshka said

“Aye you say that now lass but when they start to our shine ya, they might end up with a dagger in their back!” Khelgar retorted

“I know what about someone who is good at entertaining like me, or has seen the windersavin?” Grobnar interjected.

“The last thing we need is another bard like you.” Sand said.

“Who said the little one needed anymore assistance?” Okku now joined the fight

“Well another that knows the land…” Elanee started to say

“Oh no we don’t need another tree whorshiper!” Neeshka snapped.

“I believe this is up Keria if we accept this new face not ours.” Casavir was now in the fight. Everyone was fighting but Keria, Daeghun and Gann who was transfixed on Amondra, her thoughts and dreams were blocked to him something he was not used too, she was becoming a enigma to him and he hasn’t really met her yet.

Amondra blushed, and moved awkwardly.

“I am sorry for causing such a disturbance, if it is sneaky you need I am that…the shadows seem to cling to me, as for entertainment I have been told I have a lovely voice, but I have never heard of a windersavin. I know the land somewhat from my travels if that would help…” all the sudden Amondra looked like she could fall over at any moment.

“Amondra? Are you ok?” Keria asked

“Forgive me my resolve is failing me at the moment, you see the sun is a bit of a burden at times and I over exerted myself with-without…” Amondra fell to the ground.

“Quick help me get her inside!” Keria and Gann grabbed her while everyone made room and they carried her into the keep, and laid her in one of the guest rooms. After they got her settled in the bed Casavir looked her over seeing what caused to weaken suddenly. He turned around he face pale.

“Casavir my love what is it?” Keria asked.

“She doesn’t have a heart beat…”

“You mean she is dead?” Neeshka asked in disbelief.

“Yes, but in the way you are thinking. This makes things rather awkward I should smite her now…but she did save Gann’s life…”

“What by the spirits of Rashaman are you saying?” Gann demanded

“I think he means she is a sort of undead.” Safiya said in a calming voice to hopefully cool Gann down.

“Casavir is this true?” Keria asked

“Yes my lady it is, a vampire…but how she was able to endure the sun…”

“So that was the foul stench about her”Okku interjected.

“Do NOT speak of her in such a way, just because she is different does not make her a monster.” Gann snapped.

“Just because you and Neeshka are exceptions to such pre-justice does not make everyone, mostly a creature like her.” Sand retorted back.

When everyone else was about to throw their two sense in Keria held her hand up to silence them.

“She saved Gann’s life, and showed no aggression to us. We will let her rest and ask her all these questions when she wakes. Now let’s leave her.” Everyone nodded and left the room. When it looked like everyone had left Gann made his way back into the room. He took a set in a chair next to her bed and watched her sleep. He could not enter her Dreams, if she dreamt at all. There was only a thick mist blocking his way. Not even Keria could block him from her dreams; this made him even more curious about this new arrival. He gave it one more try and gave it everything he had, slowly the mist dissipated and a winter forest came into view. It was so beautiful; Gann could almost not believe it himself. As he walked through the dead trees he noticed he was coming upon a clearing and someone was sitting in it. As he drew closer he realized it was Amondra chained, but this wasn’t the soft spoken drow that saved him now, this was feral and viscous, and it fought in the chains. It was her hunger, the vampire’s killer instinct.

“Do you not dream because it takes everything in you to contain such a hunger?” Gann whispered. Keria was a spirit eater and even she dreamed, was the hunger of a vampire so much more powerful? He would think not.

“You should not be here Gann of dreams; because you are in my mind I can see yours. I must keep my vigil over myself or end up loosing myself to my dark desires, there is no rest for me. Now go before she notices you.”

Gann felt himself be jerked from her mind. He exhaled sharply and looked down at her.

“A person that doesn’t dream? That’s almost as bad as blindly following a false god. If you stay here I will show you dreams.” Gann whispered into her ear and left the room. Gann almost walked a trench into the main room waiting for her to awake, and then he saw someone walking down the hall where her room was.

“You know what I am, do the others?” Amondra asked quietly as she approached him.

“Yes and that is why we are shackling you and taking you in for questioning!” Kana said grabbing Amondra’s hands and cuffing them tightly.

“What is the meaning of this? If she meant us harm she would have done it by now!” Gann cried

“Do not worry Lord Gannayev, I understand their fear it is rightfully placed.”

“Follow me” Kana said and marched Amondra into a room. Gann followed close behind. Chairs were set up in a half circle around one chair in front. Kana sat Amondra down in the lone chair and had Gann sit in one of the ones in the half moon. Moments later Keria and everyone else made their way into the room and took their sets, Okku stood next to Gann.

“Well met again Amondra. As you know I am Keria Duskwind Knight-Captain of this keep.”

“Well met again. I assume this is to question me on whether or not you should kill me and if the people of this keep are safe.”

Keria nodded

“My hunger is controlled no one will come to harm, and as I have said before I am in service to Ilmater, I only wish to help others.”

“Tell me us how is it you can stay in the sun?” Safiya asked

“My God Ilmater gave me a ring that allows me to do such, so I may help those in need no matter.”

“Your God gave you something?” Gann said amused

“Yes he did, does that bother you?” Amondra’s eyes meet Gann’s. Gann shifted in his chair, only thing he knew of God’s giving were curses not gifts.

“No not all.” He said in a sheepish voice.

“I still don’t think we can trust her, one she is a drow, two she is one of the undead and last she is a follow of Ilmater and from what you said they be a crazy lot.” Khelgar said.

“I agree with Khelgar for once, I don’t think she is someone who can be trusted, mostly with all that is going on now.” Elanee stated.

“Casavir what do you think?” Keria asked

“I do not know, she is a creature of darkness, but I cannot sense any evil on her, nor do her words ring false.”

“Well I for one do not think we need to have to watch our backs here in the keep as well as on the outside.” Sand said.

“She hasn’t shown any aggression, we could just keep an eye on her.” Safiya said.

“Oh sure we all can watch her while we have enemies at the gate” Neeshka snapped.

“I say we let her stay, she seems like a nice person.” Grobnar added.

“What is wrong with you people? If that is the case cast me out! You might have to worry I will try and sleep with you and later eat you! She saved me has shown no ill will at any of us willingly let you cuff her, and you have no idea what goes on in that mind of hers!” Gann yelled standing up, releasing some of the anger building up in him. Keria never saw Gann so angry before, mostly over someone he has never known.

"Gann please calm yourself" Keria said in a calming voice. "I am not going to cast her out. Amondra I welcome you warmly to Crossroad keep! You are a welcomed guest and will be treated as such." Keria said looking around at every one. Amondra stood and bowed.

"I thank you my lady."

"I am curious as how you found faith in the God of suffering." Casavir asked. Amondra giggled.

"Yes it must seem more then a bit odd, that someone like me follows Ilmater’s teachings. I like to think he was watching me from the time I was born, and blessed my life. It is a rather long story so I will make it as quick as possible. The man I call father is really my adoptive father. My real sire was a vampire from a rival house that had fell, that my mother spared in order to spawn more powerful children. I am the after math of such. When my father saw this he took me and fled the underdark, and I like to think Eilistraee protected our escape, she did love my father. When we made it out we lived in the forest trying to stay hidden from our former house that might come after us and those up here who would not give us a chance. On day while hunting for food my father saved a kindly old man, he stayed with us and he and my father became good friends. Finally my former house found us. There were so many of them my father did his best but he fell in battle, only me and the old man were left, but at that moment something happened…" Amondra trailed off.

"Well what happened?" Neeshka asked.

"The old man turned out to be Ilmater, I do not think I need to say what happened to those drow, the rest is history."

Everyone had a look of astound upon them. This drow was saved by a God? Amondra was right to think it was fate that lead her to such a path.

"So tell me dear Amondra how did you become a vampire? You said you were born a mere half?" Sand asked with a quizzical look. Amondra looked like she was blushing and she shifted in her set as if fighting to escape, placing a hand over her neck.

"I know you think I just told you a great story nothing else in my life could possibly compare or have need to keep hidden, but that is something personal…maybe in time I will share that tale."

"Please do not fret you have shared more than enough, and we are sorry for our rudeness." Elanee said.

"Please there is no need to be sorry, you were right to deal with me in such a way, most of my kind vampire and drow are not to be trusted. But come there is more important things a foot, those attackers, I have seen the marking they bare before." Amondra said.

"Have you? Then maybe you can shed light on this, but for now please go change and make yourself more at home. Keria said with a bow. And turned to leave the room. The rest of her companions still looked like they had more questions, but with Keria making it clear they would have to wait and Gann now giving them such a baleful stare, they decided to leave and hold their tongues.

"My dear lady I will escort you back to your room." Gann said taking a bow. Amondra clearly blushed with those words.

"Thank you Lord Gannayev, I am not used to such kindnesses."

Gann grabbed one of her hands and looked right into her eyes, he now noticed they were a lovely ice blue, mixed with that haunting blankness to them, and he could barely look away now.

“My sweet lady it pains my ears to hear such sad things someone like you deserve the best. And please call me Gann ” Gann said leaning in and kissing her hand. Amondra let out a laugh.

“Oh you Gann are a charmer with words. Tell me how many girls have heard such honey sweet words?”

“You slay me with such cruel words!” Gann said taken aback by her comment. Amondra smiled and shook her head.

“Very well Gann to my room.” She wrapped an arm around his and off they went.

When they reached her room Amondra grabbed a small bag she had left in there. She opened the top and spoke the words clothes, some articles of clothing popped out of the bag and onto her bed. As Amondra shifted through her clothes Gann just stared. He wasn’t sure what it was but there was something about her that…that made him feel warm was the best way he could put it. Warm like a lover’s touch, a beautiful summer day, to be alive and full of faith, that kind of warm it was amazing how it made it body feel weak. Then what he saw in her mind, she didn’t dare enjoy the simplest dream, she stood vigil in both waking and sleeping realms. Such a selfless act, he wondered if anyone else knew of such a thing outside of him, and if they did, did they even care? Or just assume she deserved it.

“Gann you need to leave.”

“What?” Gann asked snapping back to reality

“You need to leave the room so I may change.”

“Oh yes of corse, I things I need to attend to anyhow.” Gann bowed and left the room. Gann found Grobnar in the library dancing around the room saying he knew it.

“What did you know?” Gann asked the gnome

“Apperantly he remembered who our little quest is.” Sand said walking in behind Gann with Safiya.

“Yes I did! How could I forget such a famous face! Amondra Nailo or Amondra Nightbreeze if you do not know Elven. She and three other people Ambrose the wolf, a werewolf ranger of Selune, Aramil Galanodel a sun elf cleric of Corellon Larethian, and last a half silver dragon paladin of Torm named Serath the mighty . Stopped a long forgotten still born godling from ascending to full God hood. They also stopped Orcus from attacking our plain. Oh and there was this one time were they helped Lathander find one of his chosen.”

Everyone in the room stood looking at Grobnar with their mouths open. They could not believe what they were hearing. Amondra had done so much it was amazing that she had stayed under the public eye, but considering she was a drow and a undead on top, it wasn’t so hard to believe, why would anyone give her credit?

“However such good stories always have sad endings. Amondra and Aramil had grown very close, so close they were to be wed but on their last grand adventure Aramil died…by her own hand…a powerful necromancer took control of her and had her drain him dry…then he destroyed his soul, so it could not find peace. After what happened Amondra left her friends without word and vanished. Some believe she went mad when she learned she killed her own love. This is the first time anyone has seen her in over 20 years”

Gann’s heart tightened it was so clear now why she refuses herself rest or joy.

“What a sad tale. To have to live life forever knowing you unwillingly killed the one you love” Safiya said her eyes a little watery

“Yes it is a sad end to a glorious life. Something it would seem she did not deserve.” Sand added. “You should go tell Keria what you found Grobnar.”

“Yes right away.” Gronar left the library.

The tightening in Gann’s heart was not letting up he excused himself and went into the room where he always stays when he visits. As he laid on his bed Grobnar’s words rang out in his ear only to be matched by the horrid cries that the beast in Amondra’s mind, his dream was only of what he saw in there and the pain of what she might still be fighting now, not the hunger of a vampire…no the feeling of guilt and remorse.

Finding love in Dreams © Amondra

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