By Tim Turner
Roads Less Traveled
“Drow, there's a Drow”, “Hurry get him”, yelled two large northmen while chasing Nilak not knowing what they were getting themselves into. Nilak drew his blade and prepared to fight. The two northmen were wildly swinging their axes in a drunken rage at the young Drow. Nilak took advantage of their drunkenness and disposed of them quickly but not before attracting the attention of the city guard. He prepared for yet another of the many battles he had had since leaving Cutthroat. Of course he was a drow that no one would speak for. And in the north elves were disliked but dark elves were hated everywhere. Not wanting a fight with the law he decided to run as fast as he could but not before summoning a globe of darkness around the guards.
* * *
He had run for a while for it was almost sunrise and he was getting tired. He searched around for a nice tree to sleep in. When he found one he drifted off peacefully into his dreams.
* * *
“No”, came a voice awakening Nilak suddenly. It was about noon from what the elf could tell. When he looked around he spotted a group of bandits assaulting a young woman dressed in expensive looking robes. The drow wouldn't stand for it. He hopped down from his makeshift bed and yelled at the bandits to stop. When they saw him they were surprised to see a dark elf during the day, but none the less they thought the thin elf was no match for their huge muscles and swords. So they decided to abandon the young woman to take on this latest prey. What no one expected was what came next. The young woman reached into her robes producing a small glass rod and some fur and chanted something under her breath and suddenly a bolt of lightning shot straight from her fingers right into the bandits, killing them instantly. When the drow had regained his wits from the little light show the woman was holding a small strait piece of iron and chanting softly but before she could finish he was on top of her covering her mouth as to stop her from casting. ”Wait I don't wish to harm you but I will if I have to” said the drow. “I'll remove my hand if you promise to let me leave without a problem”, whispered the drow. The woman shook her head as if to say yes. Nilak jumped back off of her and started to walk away. “Wait”, the woman yelled. Nilak stopped and turned back around “I thought you said I could leave without a problem”. “No you said that and anyways I'm not going to start trouble I just wanted to say thanks and ask you if you could help me”. “You're welcome and why should I help you; it seems you can take care of yourself”, said the drow. “Because I've been exiled from my home and I have no place to go. I was wondering if I could go with you and I could also pay you what ever you want. I have plenty of money”. “No you're welcome to come with me as long as you take care of yourself and you don't need to pay me for the life of a wanderer is a lonely one especially for someone like me”, the drow said happily. “Oh thank you”, the woman said. “By the way my name's Eleira. What's yours?” She said while running to catch up to him. “Nilak”
* * *
“It's time to make camp”, Nilak said suddenly. “Okay”, the mage said sleepily. “I'll take first watch” Nilak said pulling out some sticks and a rapier out of a bag that was too small for even the tiny rapier. At sight of the sword Eleira jumped back and was about to cast a spell when the drow said “Wait”, and then he arranged the sticks in a circle and spoke a command to the blade and it burst into flames which he used to light the sticks. “Oh”, the mage said turning a little red in the face. “Well I need to prepare my spells for tomorrow so I can take first watch”. “Well if you are studying then you're not going to notice a sneak attack now will you. So I think I'll just keep the night watch and watch over you while you study”, Nilak said with a large smile on his face.
* * *
Eleira was awakened gently by a soft beautiful tune coming from an unknown source. “Clara?” Eleira asked hopefully. Then the music stopped “Sorry did I wake you?” asked the Nilak. “Yes, but its ok”. “Who's Clara?” the drow inquired. “My sister she used to play the flute beautifully”. “Oh”, Nilak said. “Are you hungry?” the drow asked. “Yes a little.” She said even though she was really famished for she hadn't eaten in a day or two. “This is delicious what is it”, the mage asked. “Squirrel”, he said after taking a large bite. “What? Are you serious, squirrel; that's disgusting”, she screamed. “That's not what you said a second ago”, he said smiling. “That's not fair”, she yelled. “How so”, he said coolly. “Well…..uh…….I'm not sure”. “But it just isn't”, he finished for her. “How'd you know what I was going to say?” she asked. “That's what many young girls say”, he stated. “I'm not as young as I look I'm twenty-one next month”, the mage said trying to sound superior. “And you don't seem all that old either, what are you eighteen, nineteen?” “Thirty-four”, he said with obvious amusement. “Oh”, she said for she had nothing else to say.
* * *
They had started on the road again about an hour later. After a while they could see a large city on the horizon. “Wonder what the reaction of the appearance of a dark elf at the gates might cause”, said the Drow with a hint of tension in his voice. “Well no one needs to know that you're a Drow”, Eleira said suspiciously. “How so?” he asked. “Wait and see”, she said while pulling out a small ring from one of the many pockets in her robe and said “Try it on and think of what you'd like to look like”.
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