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Unexpected Events

Shadow Angel

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Some thing I wrote for the first Imoen fanfiction challange with a little rework (Yes, it's an invasion)




The two teenage girls had taken advantage of a clear and warm day in their seventh spring

together to escape from their chores and tasks for a much needed break. Carrying only enough for

a good meal, they had traveled southwards along the rough coast until they came to a small and

secluded cove where they had planned to relax and enjoy themselves. There they splashed and

swam in the clear waters for the last hours of the morning and into the early afternoon. As the sun

started to drop, they paused in their relaxation long enough for their lunch and settled down for

naps in the warm sea air.


Awakening later then they had planned, they hurriedly packed what little they had brought

so that the next time they came, they could imagine that no one had been to this little cove before

they discovered it anew. It was on their way back to Candlekeep that this story truly occurs.


Imoen was running along one of the few sections of beach, ahead of Aerith, crying out "Hurry

up, Gorion's going to be upset if we're not back in time. And I don't want to miss dinner because

someone, who I shan't name, overslept. HeHeH"


"I wasn't the only one to oversleep, you know."


"But you're the responsible one. The one he trusts to keep my wilder impulses in check." as

she spun around to glare at Aerith, bu the laughter in her eyes spoiled it. She suddenly stumbled

over something buried in the sand then and fell on her rear.


As Imoen recovered from her fall, Aerith managed to catch up with her and held out her

hand to Imoen to help.


Taking Aerith's hand, Imoen pulled herself up, giggling, "Oh how can I ever thank

ya, my knight in shining armor?"


"Hey, I'm not a knight, Imoen, and you know it. I'll end up as a guard and you'll be the

famous rogue." as she smiled back.


As she was about to reply, a refection of light shone on the side of her face catching her eye.

"Hey, what's that." Imoen turned back toward the eroding bluff they had just passed. "It's coming

from up there. Hey, let's see what it is."


"We're already late enough" Aerith replied, shaking her head resignedly as Imoen hurried to

the bluff and started to climb. She followed and waited at the it's base as her friend climbed to

whatever had caught her attention.


Imoen raised her head over a small ledge and spotted the culprit. A chunk of mica larger then

her hand had recently been exposed and freed and the sun light had caught it just right. As she dug

the crystal out of its rubble prison, she exposed a fat furry blue caterpillar. Suddenly, a strange

bird squawked, swooped down, seized the caterpillar and flew off. Imoen, startled by the strike

just inches from her hand, lost her grip and fell to the beach below, dislodging some of the rocks.

As Aerith rushed to her side, one last rock fell onto Imoen's left leg and blood began to flow.


Aerith rolled the rock off the injured leg and began to examine the injury. Fortunately, the

wound, while painful, had not broken any bones, but it would keep still Imoen from walking

home. As she knelt there in the sand, a strange felling came upon her.


"Hey, Aerith, what's wrong?" Imoen asked, worried despite her own pain and waving a

hand in front of her friend's face. "Don't panic on me now."


Aerith silently rubbed her hands together and placed them gently on Imoen's leg. As they

both watched in stunned disbelief, the injury healed swiftly healed in just seconds what would

normally have taken days. Slowly Aerith stood up and then helped Imoen to her feet. The leg,

though healed was still tender and sore. Aerith took her friend's pack and supported her as they

resumed their journey home.


Imoen's silence lasted until she realized that she still held the mica crystal in her right hand.

After placing it in her pouch, she asked "What did ya do, Rith? I mean one moment ya looked

like you were going to pass out and the next you healed me."


"I don't know, Im. I just suddenly realized that I could." confusion clear in her voice.


A short awkward silence occurred as they both thought about what had just happened.


"You know what you did? You didn't just heal me with a spell." Imoen halted their

progress, as she twisted to look straight into Aerith's eyes. "You did something only a paladin can

do. You laid your hands on me and healed me with your touch. No way you're going to be just a

guard now. Hey, you'll be a knight in shining armor! Heheh. I'll be able to say ‘Hey, I knew

Aerith before she became famous.' Just wait and see."


"Imoen, do you have to ... Oh never mind. At least I won't have to worry about getting a

swollen head from it."


"Whatcha mean?" as she tries an indignant look spoiled only by the laughter in her eyes.


"You'll never let me get so full of myself. You'll play a joke on me, to lighten me up if I

get to serious or bring me back down."


"Someone has to do it. I'm just glad I can be of service to the high and mighty champion.

How else can this lowly one ever be of assistance now, Oh Mighty One?" as she giggles.


They continued in silent thought until they had almost reached their destination having left the

ocean side to make the easier landward approach.


Aerith cleared her throat.


"Whatcha ya want now, Rith?"


"Im, do you remember what all those champions in the stories have?" she asks hesitantly.


"Besides being all men? No... wait a sec. Don't they all have a lady to fight for?" a puzzled

Imoen answers.


As a shy smile spreads across Aerith's face, "Imoen, would you consent to be my fair lady?"


As Imoen is about to answer her, voices crying out to them in the dusk reached their ears. The

voices of people they knew at Candlekeep.


Imoen smiled sadly "Back to reality" she quietly replied. Then she yelled "Over here!"


The search party found them, and escorted them the rest of the way. Imoen was taken to the

infirmary while Aerith had to explain to Gorion why they were late.


"When you didn't return by sunset, I srcyed to see if you were in trouble. When I saw

Imoen had been hurt, I sent the rescue party to find you."


As Aerith recounted the events of the day to him, only skipping over the healing she had

done, Gorion's face relaxed as the worry left him. "Well done, lass. Next time, don't lose track of

the time. Now go."


As she started to leave, the priest arrived. "She is sleeping well. Someday, Aerith, you will

have to tell me how you tended to her wound." And as she stepped through the door. "Oh, one

more thing Aerith, before she drank the sleeping draught, she asked me to tell you something."


As she turned for the message.


"What was it? Oh yes. To your last question, yes. She would be happy to accept. By the way,

what was the question?"


"Just a personal request. Just tell her that I'll see her tomorrow if she wakes." and with that,

she turned and left, that shy smile returning to her lips.

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I'm turning this thread into an exploration of the lives of two characters and the trails therein.




The torchlight flickered in the darkness, as the shadows it cast danced about on the dimly

lit dull walls of grays and browns of the passage as it bored through the bowels of the world. The

stalagmites and stalactites cast images of cruel teeth among the flitting shadows. The darkness

pressed down upon this lone intruder who dared to bring light here. The oppressive mass of

unknown miles of stone and dirt above her head bore down upon the lone traveler's already

battered spirit, as if seeking to crush an insignificant bug.


As she paused to take a quick breather in her long journey, she muttered very quietly to

herself "No, this can't be right. Where are they? Where is she at? I can't stand it, please, where

are you? I need you. Please be here. I need you."


The slow drip of water plunking softly into the puddles underfoot were the only sounds

that reached her ears. The solitude weighted heavily upon her injured soul aggravating the

torments that her spirit had but recently been rescued from as did the knowledge that anything she

meet down here would most likely be hostile. The underdark was not a place for the weak or the

solitary. This was home to the most cruel and vicious races that she knew of. The drow, the dark

elves with their cruel spider queen. The duergar, those twisted relatives of the dwarves. And

worse yet to her were the dreaded illithid, also called the mind flayers that could enslave others

with their thoughts alone. For her to encounter any of these in her present state, would mean that

the best she could hope for would be a quick death, and at the worst she would be forced into a

life of abject misery, doomed to live out the rest of her life entombed deep beneath the surface at

the whims of her new masters.


Suddenly, looking up at a passage that had remained unnoticed until now, she focused intently.

Somehow she knew that this was the way to go. This way led to hope. Wearily taking to her feet

again, she renewed her journey. But the shadows behind her followed swiftly, seeming to gather

in unfathomable numbers, trailing behind her, a constant presence that she could not outrun.


Now that she had a trace, faint though it might be, her path seemed to come easily, with

no hesitation in her steps. At each intersection she passed through, her footsteps never ceased or

wavered. As the seconds turned to minutes and the minutes turned to hours, still her feet

remained on the trail beating a silent and yet constant rhythm upon the damp stone.


As she passed through the miles of darkness, a presence seemed to fall in beside her, there to

walk in step with her, a spirit that brought her aching soul comfort in the darkness, something that

was always with her even when they were apart. Something that gave her comfort when she

needed it, something that had always tried to stand beside her when she was in danger. She could

not name it although it should be the last thing she would ever willingly forget.


The oppressive shadows felt their influence over her weakening and sought to dig deeper

into the horrors of her memories, rooting through the deepest and darkest corners of her mind. An

especially cruel and vicious memory was combined with one of her worse nightmares and placed

in her path.


She slowed as she spotted the iron bound wooden door set into a section of worked stone, it's

familiar shape and marks calling to the worst in her thoughts. Steeling herself, she open the door

cautiously and peered within the chamber of her darkest memories, those that would give her

nightmares for years to come. The glass container where her soul had been ripped from her and

given to another stood there. Within it stood the one she valued more then her own life, and

around the room in the other jars were her friends and companions.. Jaheira, the warrior druid

who had traveled with them almost since the beginning. Minsc, the ranger

from far off Rashemen who's witch had been taken. Aerie, the wingless Avariel who had become

one of her closest friends. Keldorn, the knight and paladin of the Radiant Heart. And lastly there

was Winthrop, the closest she had to a father in all the world now. All imprisoned in those

horrible glass jars ready to be sacrificed to rip the soul from the one she loved more then life itself.

And there, standing before the greenish glass prison, he stood. The one who had subjected her to

the tortures of the mind as well as the body. The soulless mage Jon Irenicus, whom she had last

seen defeated in Hell. Only the invisible presence kept her from fleeing in abject terror, it's warm

and comforting presence the sole reason she is able to face the worst of her nightmares.


"Ah, little one. You have arrived. I was starting to wonder if you would." The cold voice

lashed at her ears sending shivers of terror down her spine. "You wonder why we are here. That

is simple. We are here because you have brought us here. Your refusal to accept the truth has

caused this."


"Wha...." as she takes a moment to control her voice. "What do you mean?"


"That your very existence is meaningless. You exist simply to die. To die so that he may

be reborn. It does not matter how long it takes, it will happen. Simply accept this and you will

spare them. After all, you are just a broken little doll. Kept only out of pity."


The word reverberate within her thoughts. Feeding off all the doubts and fears that had

lain hidden beneath her waking mind.


"You can save them from this. If you care for them at all, you would be willing to spare

them all of the pain and misery that your continued existence brings to them. After all, wherever

you go, death and destruction will always accompany you. You are the harbinger of chaos."


As her feelings of worthlessness and despair rose like the tide in her heart, she opens her

mouth to agree, to yield to the darkness, her hand slowly drifts up to her neck. As it comes to rest

she feels something there that she has forgotten about. A necklace lay there, a simple piece of

golden chain jewelry with a single simple pendent given to her by her love. Each of them wore

one, proclaiming to anyone and everyone who saw them that their hearts belonged to each other.


On the brink of the chasm, Imoen realized that there was someone to whom her death would

be devastating. Someone who would never abandon her while blood flowed in their veins.

Someone for whom she would do the same for. Someone who was with her even now, at least in

spirit. Who had accompanied her into this hell willingly. All of her doubts and fears fade, not

entirely but further then they have been before.


"So you have chosen to prolong their pain, little one. Their suffering shall be great and

they shall curse you forever as they now do me" His cold voice pronounces although seemingly

not as terrifying as it was earlier. As he turns to begin his spell, her voice breaks through.


"No. You will not harm them as long as I can do anything to protect them. You have hurt

them and me for the last time!"


As the two mages cast their spells, striving to be the first done, the presence that has been

beside her sweeps over Irenicus, disrupting his spell casting. As Imoen's dragon's breath plays out,

the gout of flame pouring forth to shatter the image of Irenicus and revealing a fading darkness.

The presence returns to her side, and as it's familiar nature finally breaks through the weakened

wall of shadows that had been raised around her emotions, she finally gives voice to it's name. To

her name. "Aerith."


Slowly her eyes open to the darkness, this time shining with the brilliance of the stars in the

vault of the sky. Branches wave in the soft night breeze. Her gentle sigh seems to hang in the air,

as the arms around her holding her tighten. As she turns to her side, to look upon her lover's face,

she finds herself gazing into two eyes, such wonderful green eyes set with tiny brown jewels

marred only by the tears trailing down her cheeks looking back into her own. The worry and fear

present in them fading rapidly to be replaced by such intense happiness and joy.


"You had me worried, Im. I could feel the struggle in your soul. And mine reached out

to you."


Imoen lays her head on Aerith's shoulder, taking her tightly in her own arms, returning her

loving embrace "You helped me remember why I want to live. Even when I was at my worst, I

could always feel your concern, your worry for me and your love."

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