May 17, 2022
7 mins read
I didn’t know what to make of it, but knew I had to leave. I wiped the blood from my cheek and as my hand crossed the wound, it disappeared from my face leaving no scar at all. I decided to return to the Inn, where I rested a few hours, and then tried once again to find the Book house. The city was still quiet. I moved as quickly as I could and stayed away from the tavern, keeping my hands tucked into my cloak and my hood pulled low over my face. I walked around the winding maze-like streets for a long time before I saw a man standing by a bridge looking over the large underground waterfall and river. I walked towards him, as he was the only person I’d seen, and I needed help. “Pardon me master.” I said with a perfect accent. As long as they didn’t see me, no one would have known I wasn’t an Ilythrin.
“Xas?” He asked, turning towards me. I noticed instantly he was the Ilythrin from the Tavern, with dark skin that looked as if it had never seen light, and those beautiful bright yellow eyes. He had long thick silver hair that came past his shoulders, and draped over his long black hooded cloak, but his hood this time was not up. He was much more beautiful than the mask I had seen earlier in the Tavern, and at once, he knew I recognized him. I could see it in his face.
“Where may I find the book house?” I asked politely in perfect Solothrin, trying not to be recognized and hiding my face away in my cloak.
“Down that path there, on your left hand side across the bridge.” He said gently as he pointed down the bridge. His deep voice captured my mind, and rang in my ears.
“Thank you.” I said embarrassingly slowly as I nodded my head in a half bow and stumbled off. I tried to shake the thoughts of him from my mind, and remember what I was doing, but all I could hear was the directions in his smooth deep voice. I walked on until I came to a beautiful building, intricately carved from sparkling rock formations, that was labeled:
I entered the book house through the great white door, and found rows and rows of stone shelves filled with books all the way up to the ceiling. T was mostly empty and the others there didn’t pay me any mind. Long ladders made of wood were leant against each shelf in order to reach all the books, and the torch light reflected from all of the precious gems and crystals embedded within the stone, making the entire place glow. I had never seen so many Ilythrin books in one place before. Master Bahzeera had smuggled a few to the surface to help Marchus educate me, but he taught me to read with hand written pages. My eyes lit up and I excitedly ran my fingers down the spines of each book, until I came to one that looked interesting. When I took it from the shelf, the Ilythrin man from the bridge stood behind from the next aisle, looking at me. I gasped as quietly as I could from shock and quickly returned the book to its place on the shelf.
As I stepped back and turned to walk away, he appeared behind me and I bumped into him. “Oh! Pardon me.” I said respectfully, and then I saw that it was him and lowered my eyes to the ground, hoping to avoid such contact.
“You are not from Baerevhel are you?” He asked quietly as he stood very close to me, pulling my cloak back and pulling my long hair out of hiding. Holding a strand between his fingers.
“Nau.” I said, looking still at the ground as he inspected me.
“Who are you?” He asked as he lifted my chin and gazed into my eyes.
My mind was clouded as he stared and I very slowly said, “I am Wolf Faer.” I felt something from within me call to touch him, but I dared not. Being so young, I had never had such an experience and had been kept from the public eye without an escort for most of my life. I didn’t know how to react to the sudden attention.
His movements were slow as not to frighten me I think, and he stood so close I could see nothing else but him. Suddenly, he took my hand in his, and held it to his chest. I could feel his heart beating calmly beneath my palm, while mine thumped loudly in my chest. His hands were dark, his fingers long, and his dagger-like nails were long and white. His hands were soft, those of privilege, and his touch was gentle as he caressed the back of my hand.
“Who are you, master?” I asked as I trembled.
“I am Istoviir.” He said.
Silence passed between us as he stared into my eyes. “I mean not to be rude, but my master said to study.” I said quietly. He laid his hand upon my face, and I lost myself in his touch. “I...” I began, suddenly snapping out of my trance. “I...must go.” I pulled away. I had to get away from this man. I didn’t know what it was I was feeling, and it terrified me as much as I adored it.
“Where?” He persisted as he pulled me back into him by my waist.
“The Neitarerthen Inn.” I said before I could stop myself and I pulled away again.
As I walked out of the door, a voice filled my head, Please do not fear me Wolf, it said. It was the voice of Istoviir, and as frightening as it was that he could invade my mind, I was intrigued.
I walked back to her room at the Neverwinter Inn quickly, my mind spinning, finding it difficult to think of anything else but this strange and forward young gentleman. In the small black bag that I kept over my shoulder was an assortment of my belongings. Everything that I owned was in that bag. Things that could not possibly fit in such a small bag, such as a few changes of clothes, a few books, including one to write in, a spell book, four quills, two jars of ink, my long staff, and a few other things.
I dressed in my simple nightdress, a plane tattered pale blue garment I’d had for too many years, and crawled sleepily into bed. I drifted innocently to dreamland, unaware of the Ilythrin magic that I had studied from a book for years. I dreamt that I was surrounded in a ring of fire, as I had many nights of my life, this dream was nothing new, and one of the less brutal of my night terrors. The flames fled quickly around me and engulfed me in the red flower. I felt the burning of my skin as the inferno tore at my flesh and placed me in the tortures of hell. My dreams were much more real than could be described; I felt everything I endured and writhed in my bed.
Istoviir entered my dream, and stood concealed in the flame. Tears began to flow rapidly from his eyes, the salty rain extinguished the fire around me, and then the sea swallowed me. When I was revealed, I stood replenished in the middle of a beautiful meadow. This seemed to be Istoviir’s favored magic as he was so good at it, dream magic.
Istoviir appeared in front of me now, to say I was shocked to see him would be an understatement. He walked to me and stopped only a length (about 1 inch) from my face. He stared into my eyes and brushed my hair back gently with his fingertips, tucking a few strands behind my ear. I sat straight up in bed, waking suddenly, and found him leaning on the windowsill staring at me. Our eyes met, and he waited for several moments before he asked in common tongue, “Where are you from Wolf?”