By David Pontier
The Reality of Fear is the property of the author, David Pontier and is used with permission by Candlekeep. Email David with any comments and feedback on The Reality of Fear and visit his website at: http://www.geocities.com/piqsid/stories.html.
Chapter 6: Final Confrontation - Garrilport
Catti-brie and Wulfgar sat across from each other at the table while Alustriel sat at the head. They ate in silence. Catti-brie kept throwing nervous glances toward their host as if she expected Alustriel to collapse at any moment. The leader of Silverymoon looked like she might.
Alustriel had been monitoring the channel between their plane of existence and the nether planes and demon dimensions to be alerted if Drizzt should make the journey. He had not so far, but several other million souls had. Alustriel was acutely aware of each one. She knew that it was a wide world and people died every day, but being made aware of each soul that passed away each second was an experience that was indescribable.
Each soul that passed through the narrow tunnel between life and death was very different from each other. Some had died after a long illness and were finally at peace. Other left families behind while still others were the victims of animal attacks. Every time an assassin made a strike, Alustriel knew about it. Each time a goblin hoard feasted on a caravan of women and children, Alustriel could feel their pain.
Each soul was made up of emotion. Alustriel had no names to go with the deaths and she wanted none. Her experience in their deaths was already too personal. If she had names to go with them, she would not be able to stand it. Even though she knew not who they were, she wore the pendant with Drizzt's picture and knew that if his soul began to make the journey she would be able to identify it.
As each soul became known to her and was not Drizzt's, she detached herself as much as possible. There were times when she felt so despondent that a dozen deaths would go by without her recognizing them and she would quickly reapply her attention to the spell, hoping Drizzt had not slipped by unnoticed.
She could not sleep. She could not hold lengthy conversations that required original thought. For the past day and a half, the only thing she could do was pay attention to the millions of deaths that consumed her.
"Would you like more fruit?" Catti-brie asked their host.
Alustriel smiled and shook her head. Catti-brie smiled back, thankful to see that Alustriel was still capable of a smile. Maybe she was learning to cope. Actually, in the few seconds Alustriel had been smiling, six more souls had made the journey. Two had died of old age, one from a terrible fall, one from a fever, one during childbirth, and the last suffered at the hands of a killer. Alustriel felt the vertigo from the fall, the heat from the fever, the joyful pain of the birth, and a sharp sense of betrayal from the last victim, making her think the assassin had been a close friend. Each of these emotions hit her in quick succession, but her smile was such that Catti-brie was left with a good feeling about her condition. Alustriel was suffering, but she had no intention of letting that discomfort translate to her guests.
Catti-brie put the fruit bowl down on the table, and tossed an apple down to Guenhwyvar. She had summoned the cat knowing that Alustriel had a relationship of sorts with Drizzt's long time companion. The two had curled up on the couch for several hours earlier and Guen's pleasant demeanor had cushioned Alustriel's excruciating condition somewhat, but she did not want to burden the cat with something she had chosen for herself.
Catti-brie hoped desperately for this whole escapade to end soon. Maybe Wulfgar was right. Maybe Drizzt could take care of himself and they were all just over-reacting. As a result of their actions, the city of Silverymoon had been without her leader for almost two days. Alustriel had suffered indescribable anguish. Also, when Drizzt had disappeared originally, they had been preparing to investigate some mysterious tracks back near Settlestone. They had responsibilities just like Alustriel. While the realm she ruled and protected was a bit larger than theirs, and they did not exactly rule, people's lives depended on them just as much as Alustriel. Instead the three of them had been cooped up in Alustriel's personal quarters. All this time, Drizzt might be fine.
And what if he was not fine? What if his life was in grave danger? How did the life of one elf compare to what they were doing? What if goblins or yeti raided the town of Settlestone while they were gone? Even if only one life was lost, who were they to choose that Drizzt's life was the more valuable?
Catti-brie sighed. One way or another, she just hoped it would be over soon.
* * *
Entreri crouched on the edge of a roof, looking into the broken window of a tavern across the street. The night was pitch black as storm clouds had been blown over the city. Thunder rumbled, still a few miles away, but Entreri knew a spring thunderstorm when he saw one. Things would get rather dicey tonight.
He was in the northern district of Garrilport following the trail of John Irenum. It was not a hard trail to follow. The captain was determined to flush out Drizzt by visiting each tavern he could find. He had no entourage with him. Instead he entered each seedy bar and gambling house by himself, demanded to know where the dark skinned man was, got a negative response, and beat a few people up and broke a few things to make sure they were telling the truth. Then it was on to the next tavern.
Entreri moved, quite appropriately, like an assassin in the night. He stayed on the rooftops, not wanting to attract attention to himself. He knew that John would find Drizzt. Or, and probably more likely, Drizzt would find John. Entreri was also pretty sure what the outcome would be.
Entreri happened upon the sixth torn up tavern and noticed with interest that the next one in line seemed to still be mostly intact. Was this the end of the line, or had he just caught up to the captain? Entreri climbed quickly down the side of the building and crossed the street. The inside of the tavern was a mess. Tables were torn apart, broken glass lay every where, and pools of ale covered the floor like a lake.
What really peaked Entreri's interest were the occupants of the tavern. None of them were moving. They were not dead, but they seemed to be in a state of catatonia that even Entreri with the type of presence he commanded was unable to shake easily. He walked over to the nearest patron and hoisted him out of his chair. "What happened here? Was the captain here?"
The man nodded. "He and another . . . through the back . . .fighting incredible."
"Did the other have dark skin and white hair?"
The man nodded. Entreri dropped him back in his chair and looked toward the back of the tavern. The swath of wreckage clearly showed the path they took out the back exit. Entreri chose the long way around. He left the way he had come, quickly climbing up to the roof and working his way toward the back. The sound of steel on steal rang out to him loud and clear before he ever saw the battle taking place.
Entreri paused a moment before rounding the small second story that protruded from the back of the tavern's roof. The sound he heard brought back a flood of memories. The speed at which the blocks and parries echoed off the surrounding buildings was something Entreri had not heard in a long time. There was only one fighter Entreri had ever encountered that could attack with such speed. The assassin took a deep breath, and rounded the corner to the back of the building.
Entreri looked down into the back alley between buildings and could not see anything for a moment. Then a vicious lightening bolt traced itself across the sky announcing the location of the two fighters, and with a tremendous boom, brought forth a torrential rainfall. Entreri was soaked within seconds, but he hardly cared. He was far more interested in the fight going on below.
Just the fact that there was a fight is what amazed Entreri. John should have been dead within the opening seconds of the encounter. After a few second of watching, Entreri saw that Drizzt was purposefully withholding his killing blows. John arced his sword back and forth in an impressive display of strength and skill, but Drizzt nimbly danced around it, striking out at the captain with his weapon hilts and feet.
Entreri was confused at first as to why Drizzt would toy with the man. A fighter of Drizzt's skill could hardly take pleasure in his domination of a foe like John. There had to be another reason. After putting himself in Drizzt's shoes, he knew what it was. Drizzt needed a messenger. If the drow was going to find Entreri, he either needed someone to bring him to the assassin, or vice versa.
John stumbled as Drizzt punched him twice in quick succession with both scimitar hilts, but the captain was a big man. He growled in rage and shoved his own hilt forward toward Drizzt's face. The drow hopped out of the way, and then spun around as John charged. The captain kicked out his left leg to trip up the drow, and Drizzt had to spin on one hand to stay upright. He tried to regain his footing, but his enchanted feet scraped at the muddy ground too quickly, and he lost his balance momentarily, taking a knee on the ground.
John spun quickly, keeping his footing and bring his huge sword down on the vulnerable drow, water flying of the weapon in a tremendous arc. Drizzt was ready with a block, but did not even need it, as he was quick enough to scamper away. John's blade sunk into the soft ground and before he could pull it out, Drizzt, still low to the ground, spun back around with a vicious kick to the head.
John released his hold on his weapon and staggered backwards. Now Drizzt pummeled him furiously, keeping the edges of his blades away, but smacking him repeatedly with the hilts and slapping him with the flats.
Entreri saw John's knees go weak and could tell it was over. Drizzt was shouting something to the captain as he began to pass out, but Entreri was too far away in the wind and rain to hear it. It was most likely instruction to bring Entreri to see him or else. John finally went down and did not come back up.
Drizzt stowed his blades and began to exit the back alley. He suddenly stopped and turned to look directly at Entreri crouched on the roof some 30 feet away. Entreri began to slink even further into the shadows, thinking there was no way the drow should be able to see him, but then he remembered that on a cold night like tonight, his body heat must be standing out like blazing fire.
Entreri moved forward and dropped gracefully to the ground. "Artemis Entreri," Drizzt said above the rain. "It is so good of you to join us. I'm afraid the captain is not feeling quite well."
Entreri said nothing but removed his heavy, wet cloak and pulled out his weapons preparing for the fight he knew he could not avoid. "A man of action," Drizzt said. "I like that." As if Drizzt was not already going to be wary of Entreri's frost blade, Cicle was making a never-ending hissing noise as the rain poured down onto it, freezing instantly.
"Let's get this over with," Entreri said. He charged quickly, and Drizzt stood his ground. With the playful antics the drow had just used, and the contempt he surely held for Entreri, the assassin figured him to side step the charge instead of meeting it. Entreri just had to guess in what direction. He guessed right.
Drizzt quickly moved to his left just as Entreri's blades slashed through the vacated space. Drizzt had the human's back to aim for, and sighed to himself at how easy it was as he plunged Twinkle in for the kill. The glowing blue scimitar hit only air as Entreri had already spun to his right, arcing Cicle in for Drizzt's calf as his dagger fended off any attack from above.
Drizzt was barely able to adjust to the attack, surprised at how quickly the assassin had reacted to his side step, not knowing Entreri had expected it the whole time. Drizzt foolishly leaped into the air over the attack, and landed quite unstably in the mud, slipping and barely getting his defenses in place as Entreri stood and bore down on him. The two scimitars worked back and forth repeatedly, holding the deadly human at bay before he could get his feet under him and back off a ways, taking a good long look at the man in front of him.
Entreri allowed the temporary retreat, smiling to himself. He had a huge advantage in this battle. He had fought against Drizzt half a dozen times, each fight very clear in his mind. But this Drizzt had never once squared off against Entreri. Entreri also noticed how Drizzt had leaped over his attack. The assassin was a veteran at fighting in almost every terrain, and the most important thing about fighting in the mud was to keep your footing. Drizzt had spent his whole life in the underdark where the ground was always made of hard rock.
Drizzt was quickly learning from his mistakes, both the confusion about the mud and about Entreri's skill. This was not an opponent to be taken lightly. Entreri's earlier victory had been the result of trickery, but now Drizzt saw that the man was highly skilled as well. Drizzt had been trained by and then surpassed Menzoberranzan's greatest weapon master. He was no novice. Drizzt also removed his heavy cloak and pulled his wet hair back.
The drow launched into an incredible array of attack combinations, confident that this man had never seen them before. He could not have been more wrong. Years ago, when Entreri's only conscious thought was the death of Drizzt, the dark elf's moves played through his mind constantly, and the assassin invented dozens of parries to them trying to find the upper hand so when they met again, he would prove the victor. He used those parries now, just worrying about defeating each and every one of Drizzt's attack maneuvers.
"How?" Drizzt screamed, increasing the rate of his attacks. His scimitars rained down on the assassin in quick succession, seeming to strike as often as the rain drops all around them. The attacks slowly began to rise as well and Entreri knew what was coming. He had fought against Drizzt and against too many other drow not to know about the double thrust low. He also knew the appropriate parry.
Drizzt sent two quick swipes at Entreri's head which the assassin easily blocked and then stepped back in an apparent withdrawal only to come back in hard with both weapon tips aimed and Entreri's groin. Entreri was already bringing his weapons down to execute the correct parry: the cross down.
"Impossible!" Drizzt screamed as Entreri's blades caught his own in the appropriate fashion.
The cross down parry had to be taught. There was no way any fighter could improvise it on the spot. Drow who trained under a weapon master always tried to invent a new parry to defeat the double thrust low, but there was only one.
"Yes, quite," Entreri agreed. The cross down not only defeated the double thrust low, but it also reset the fighting stage giving neither opponent an advantage. Entreri decided it was time he tested this drow's defenses. Drizzt was up to the task.
The drow quickly voided himself of all his confusing emotions and prepared himself for his first real fight since he had killed Zaknafein almost thirty years ago. The two fighters took turns going on the offensive neither able to get the upper hand. Entreri saw a vacant look come into Drizzt's eyes and all emotion left his opponent. The drow was no longer surprised when Entreri seemed ready for his hastily invented attack routines and no longer shouted in anger when he was forced to go on the defensive or even take a momentary step back in retreat.
Entreri had seen that look before. When he had fought against Drizzt so many times in the past, he had seen that look. It was as if Drizzt was reliving some distant memory and his arms functioned on their own without needing his input. Drizzt had lived twice as long as Entreri, and while the assassin had undergone rigorous training as a youth, it was nothing compared to what Drizzt had gone through. Also, most of Entreri's fights had been very one-sided. He had spent enough time in Menzoberranzan to know that even though Drizzt was the best drow he had ever faced, the skill differential was not that great between him and the next drow in line.
If Entreri had been in a thousand such battles, then Drizzt had been in ten thousand. As this battle progressed and the seconds turned into minutes, Drizzt fell more and more into rhythm. Entreri could not help but see the similarity between this fight and the one that had taken place on the ledge outside the lower levels of Mithiril Hall. John was perhaps a little bigger than Regis, but the similarity was there.
Like Drizzt had not really wanted to fight the assassin back then, Entreri too did not really want to fight this evil version of his nemesis. He had left all that pride in Calimport. This fight, however, like the one for Drizzt all those years ago, was necessary. He would never have peace until this Drizzt was killed. While in the previous battle, Drizzt had fought for the lives of Regis and his friends and Entreri now fought only for himself, he could not deny the parallel qualities of the two fights.
Entreri soon fell into rhythm just like his opponent, each predicting what the other would do and acting accordingly. It was a like a chess game between two grand masters. Each of them was playing ten moves in advanced and they would know when the game was over long before the final blow fell.
That moment of advanced knowledge came to Entreri quite unexpectedly.
Drizzt had been paying very special attention to Entreri's frost blade, making sure it was blocked long before it came near him. This left Entreri's dagger as the only weapon that had a chance of hitting Drizzt, but it was at a sore length disadvantage against the scimitars.
To counter this problem, Entreri attacked with both weapons at the same side of his body, bringing Cicle, in his left hand, across in a backhand swipe from right to left, and following with his dagger jabbing under it with his right hand. Drizzt chopped down on the swipe with his right blade and barely caught the cloaked jab with his other weapon. With the drow's right scimitar down after defeating the swipe and his left occupied with the dagger, his right side was wide open.
Entreri caught his rapier at the end of its defeated backhand swipe, rotated his wrist and came in hard with a left forehand cut that would sheer Drizzt in two at the waist if the drow did not step back. Instead of retreating, Drizzt calmly rotated his right hand weapon without even uncrossing his arm from over his chest and brought the blade pointing up to block the attack.
Entreri was startled. Drizzt's right hand weapon was held too weakly and his right wrist was already doubled back on itself from just having completed the downward swipe. Entreri could easily sweep right through the block and inflict a vicious wound on the drow. There had to be a trick, but as Drizzt continued to hold the pathetic block out to catch Entreri's attack and pressed his own advantage on the dagger, Entreri could see none.
Still, he could not bring himself to go through with the attack thinking something had to be up. His left hand weapon did not attack with the force it was capable of and was rotated into a defensive position as soon as it bounced off the pathetic block, ready for whatever trick the drow had planned. There was no trick, but now that Entreri had been taken off guard momentarily, Drizzt shoved hard against the still blocked dagger, and Entreri stumbled back.
Drizzt's right weapon came out of its pathetic blocking position and was sent on a mission to disembowel his opponent. Entreri back-stepped some more, willingly giving up ground, as he slowly understood what had just happened. Drizzt had fully expected his weak block to be able to withstand Entreri's attack, and since Entreri had let up on the forehand fearing a trick, it had. Now Drizzt seemed to be overpowering the assassin with his strength when Entreri was actually giving up ground willingly.
Drizzt's vacant look let Entreri know that he was fighting as if he were back in Menzoberranzan. He had slipped in the mud earlier because he was so used to his quick feet that he did not think to change his style. This meant that if he were back in Menzoberranzan, that block would have been a good one. In order for that to be the case, Drizzt would have had to be as strong as Wulfgar to be able to fend off his powerful forehand with so weak a block.
Entreri remembered when he had met this evil Drizzt for the first time two nights ago. Drizzt had complained that the body he was now in was not adequate. He claimed to have been much stronger and have better weapons. Drizzt tried to imagine this Drizzt as strong as Wulfgar and covered in magic like Jarlaxle had been. He shuddered. That was a dominant foe to be sure. That was also what Drizzt thought he was now. Entreri decided to feed that misconception.
The assassin tried to stand his ground suddenly, blocking the attacks with his blades but sending them recoiling back as if Drizzt's strikes were made with much greater force than they actually were. A smile came to Drizzt's face, and Entreri knew the ploy was working.
Cicle came in from the left again, and Drizzt batted it away easily, spinning his right hand scimitar in a circle to hunt out Entreri's wrist. Entreri gave up his hold on Cicle too easily, and the frost blade when flying, sticking fast into the mud and freezing in place. Entreri snapped his dagger across aimed at Drizzt's exposed right wrist. The drow dropped his right hand weapon and tried to grab Entreri's attacking arm by the wrist.
Entreri played momentarily with the idea of stabbing the drow in the arm, for he thought he could, but he kept up with his charade and slowed his attack down just enough so Drizzt could grab him. The drow wrenched Entreri's arm, and the assassin cried out in pain and dropped his dagger as well.
Drizzt brought his left blade in for Entreri's head, but the human ducked, only to receive a knee to the chest. He went flying back, but only because he allowed himself to. He landed on his back in the mud and Drizzt was on top of him in a second with his remaining scimitar at his neck.
Entreri's memory went back to the cliff side battle he had paralleled this fight to earlier. He had lost that fight because he had been too eager for the kill. Drizzt had baited him into over extending himself and Entreri had fallen right in to the trap. Now he had done the same thing to Drizzt.
Entreri lay on his back beneath the drow who had not secured his position at all, but simply crouched casually over his downed opponent. Entreri had both his hands locked onto Drizzt's left wrist, pretending to strain against the drow's incredible strength, keeping the scimitar just above the exposed flesh of his neck.
Drizzt smiled at his doomed opponent, feeling barely a push as Entreri tried to wrestle the blade away. "You puny human thought you could stand up against me. You never had a chance." He laughed to himself. "This is how it ends."
"No," Entreri replied calmly, suddenly shoving hard with both arms against the loosely held scimitar. Drizzt's weapon came flying back at him, the hilt smashing into his face. Drizzt recoiled and Entreri rolled back onto his shoulders and kicked out with both feet, launching Drizzt into the air.
The assassin sprang up easily as Drizzt landed off balance in the mud, his feet wheeling under him to gain some footing. Again he forgot where he was, and his feet spun under him as if he were rolling a log in the water. He fell back even before Entreri reached him. The assassin was quick to step on his left wrist, securing his scimitar in the soft mud. Drizzt scrambled with his right arm for his previously dropped scimitar and Entreri secured that wrist as well just as it found what it was looking for.
"This is how it ends," Entreri corrected the drow as he pulled out his dirk. Drizzt was frantically struggling to free his wrists, wondering how this human had suddenly become so heavy. "I send you back home, just like you wanted. I send you back to hell." Entreri stabbed his dirk violently down into Drizzt's chest.
The drow's whole body convulsed as the blade sank all the way through his back and into the mud below him. Entreri stepped off him and watched as his hands clamped tightly around both his scimitars and at the same time tried to claw at the sword in his chest. Entreri reached into his pocket and pulled out the unicorn necklace he had taken from the magic shop when he had first realized who the killer was.
Entreri bent over and scooped up a hand full of mud and stuffed the figurine and mud into Drizzt's agape mouth. "Take this with you. I'm sure it will confuse the heck out of what ever demon is assigned to torture your for the next millennia." Entreri also grabbed hold of his dirk and pulled it violently back out.
* * *
Wulfgar and Catti-brie were frightened near to death. Their eyes quickly went to Alustriel who stood suddenly from the table and cried out in pain. She gripped the locket around her neck and yanked it free. "No! It can not be!"
"What is it?" Catti-brie asked, but Alustriel was too consumed in the throws of something to even recognize that anyone else was in the room. Catti-brie, Wulfgar, and Guenhwyvar all raced over to her, but Alustriel flung her arms out wide suddenly, making the trio draw up short.
Her head went back and forth and her voice changed into several different guttural tones, as if there were battling demons inside her head. That was exactly what was going on. She was physically wrestling with the denizens of the lower planes for Drizzt's soul. The denizens had no idea who they were up against. With one final body convulsion, Alustriel cast the locket onto the center of the table and just before it hit the elegant tablecloth, Drizzt appeared in a flash of light.
* * *
Entreri watched as Drizzt struggled for breath and was unable to bring any in. He had not looked directly into the face of one of his kills in a long time. There was little pleasure in it now, but there was a reassuring sense of finality. He heard a moan off to the side and walked over to see about John.
He slowly helped the captain to a sitting position. "Drizzt?" was the first thing out of the barely conscious man's mouth.
"Don't worry he's . . ." but as Entreri turned to motion to the dying drow, a flash of light filled the alley, and he was gone.
* * *
Drizzt lay right in the middle of the dinner table surrounded by dishes half filled with food. He was muddy, wet, and most of all, bloody. He was also still gripping both his scimitars. Wulfgar was beside him in a second. "He will die," he said quite emotionlessly. "His wound is immense."
Catti-brie turned to Alustriel for help, but the woman was barely able to stand. Her body was weak and she looked on the verge of collapse. Somehow she still heard Wulfgar and understood the situation. Without even being able to look up, she motioned toward the corner of the room and collapsed to the floor.
Catti-brie followed her gesture and saw several vials of crystal blue liquid sitting on a counter with the rest of her magical supplies. She raced over and picked up two of the potions and hurried back to her dying friend.
"Wulfgar," she said as she tried to pour the first potion down his mouth, "his mouth his filled with mud."
Wulfgar fished two of his large fingers into Drizzt's mouth and scooped out most of the dirt, surprised to find the unicorn necklace inside as well. He made another pass with his fingers, cleaning out as much as he could, and Catti-brie literally dumped the first potion down Drizzt's throat. He was still gasping for air, and the combination of mud and liquid down his windpipe was not what he wanted.
Drizzt coughed and sputtered, reflexively trying to spit the blue liquid back out. Wulfgar wisely clamped a strong hand over the mouth, keeping it closed. Drizzt convulsed and choked, shooting some of the potion out his nose. His two friends did not care how much potion made it into his lungs. They just needed to get it inside him. Drowning on a healing potion seemed too much a reversal of fates to be possible.
Catti-brie wasted no more time with the second potion and quickly opened his cloak and vest of mithril and poured the second potion directly on his bare skin. She watched as it hissed and steamed on the wound, the vicious gash seeming to close before her eyes.
Drizzt's coughs slowly died down and Wulfgar released the clamp over his mouth, allowing the drow to breathe again. Drizzt did, slowly. His hands finally released the scimitars and they landed on the table beside him. "More," he gasped.
"Of course," Catti-brie replied. She ran back over to the potions, a skip in her step. Drizzt was going to be okay. All of their caution and worrying had paid off. They had saved him from certain death. She picked up two more potions and turned around. She froze.
Twinkle was lying on the table next to Drizzt's leg. She did not ever remember seeing the sword glow that brightly before. She understood how the enchantment on the sword worked. It glowed blue whenever enemies were near. What enemy was near now? Then she saw Guenhwyvar. The cat was tall enough to see onto the table where her supposed owner lay. The hair on the back of the cat's neck was all ruffled and a low growl was coming from deep inside her.
"Wulfgar," Catti-brie said sternly, almost in a whisper, "hold him."
"What?" he responded.
"I said hold him," she repeated as she quickly walked back to the table.
"But his convolutions have stop--"
A glare from Catti-brie shut the barbarian up, and he did as he was told. He gripped both of Drizzt's arms and held him to the table. Drizzt hardly noticed. His eyes were instead on the blue vials that Catti-brie was bringing back. He looked at them with eager anticipation, but Catti-brie could see something else in his eyes. Something she did not like.
"Who are you?" she asked, holding the vials to herself.
Both Drizzt and Wulfgar were confused by the question. "I am Drizzt," he said almost playfully. "Now may I please have--"
"Drizzt Do'Urden," the drow responded, trying to take on a hurt look. He did not know exactly what was going on, but he could see plainly enough that they had transported him from Garrilport and had just saved him from certain death. Before Entreri had lied to him about why he was in this reality, Drizzt had come up with a theory of his own, and according to that theory, this scene made sense if these people were looking for the other version of him.
"Where are you from Drizzt Do'Urden?" Catti-brie asked.
"What are you playing at?" he asked. "I'm Drizzt Do'Urden of Daermon N'a'shezbaernon, from Menzoberranzan, now stop fooling--"
Wulfgar's grip on Drizzt's arms increased tenfold and even Guen roared at the hated city. Drizzt's head turned to the side so he could see the panther. "Guenhwyvar," he said after a moment's confusion. He had not seen the cat since his days leading the patrol in the Academy. What was it doing here? "You remember me, right?"
Guenhwyvar roared again and tried to leap up on the table, meaning to rip this imposter's throat out, but Catti-brie put a restraining hand on the cat's neck. It was not as if the young woman could hold back the panther, but Guen was not without common sense once reminded.
"He knows the cat," Wulfgar said, some doubt creeping into his voice.
"But Guen doesn't know him," she responded. "What have you done with Drizzt?" she asked.
"I am Drizzt. And tell this ogre to let me go."
Catti-brie sighed. "What do we do?" Wulfgar asked, his grip on Drizzt increasing still.
Catti-brie turned toward the head of the table only now remembering Alustriel. She rushed over to the fallen woman and gently lifted her off the floor and helped her to the couch. Wulfgar wanted to help, but he dared not let go of his captive. Alustriel was still unconscious and Catti-brie tried to make her as comfortable as possible before returning to the table.
"We will wait until she awakes. Until then we need to tie this imposter up. You can handle him, right?"
"Not on a good day," Wulfgar willingly admitted, "but he is still weak from his wounds and as long as we don't give him any more potions, he should stay that way for a while. See if you can find some rope."
Catti-brie nodded, and left to see what she could scrounge up. She just hoped Alustriel would wake up soon. Despite their apparent break through, they were really no closer to knowing where Drizzt was than when they started.
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