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Anomen and Ashara


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With thanks to... um... polite urging... from a certain unnamed person ;) I'm posting Part I of the expanded version of "Dreaming of Anomen". I won't promise that it will be updated regularly, but I won't leave you hanging.


A bit of background on the protagonist:


Ashara is a half-elf cleric/thief. She's approximately 17 years old in human terms. (And don't get me going on the age of the Bhaalspawn thing. ;) ) She's chaotic good and a bit on the naive side. And with that, our story begins...



Part I


Standing in the Copper Coronet, Ashara, Jaheira, and Minsc pondered how they came to be there. A hurried flight from Candlekeep, the death of Gorion, the iron shortage along the Sword Coast, the various problems of Baldur’s Gate, all leading to the battle with Sarevok, whom Ashara would later discover was her half-brother. Then they came, the mysterious figures in the night that overcame the friends before they could even identify if the figures were human or otherwise. Khalid and Dynaheir were now dead and Imoen had been taken away.



Then Ashara saw him, the most handsome man she had ever seen - her knight in shining armor, not that she had seen that many men in her lifetime. She pondered whether to approach him and in her musings she could hear Imoen’s encouragement *Go on… you’ve never been shy around people before. Besides, what do you have to lose?* Her smile faded for an instant as she recalled what had happened to her best friend. Her attention was brought back to the handsome man before her as she realized he was speaking to her.


“Fair lady, what brings you to this cesspool of corruption?â€Â


Ashara barely stifled the giggle starting to rise in her throat. She pondered how she should answer him: adventure and honor? Well, that just sounded silly. None of your business? Perhaps that was true, but she really was interested in getting to know him. Where did you get that ridiculous accent? Actually, she found it to be quite charming.


“I am seeking a way to rescue my dear friend, Imoen. She has been taken away by some cowled mages for simply using magic to defend herself! We have been friends since we were very young and I am not about to abandon her now.†Ashara finally replied.


“Ah, the rescue of a childhood friend, a noble goal. I am Anomen, warrior priest of Helm. Perhaps you have need of a strong arm in her rescue?â€Â


Ashara could barely form an audible and intelligent reply, but she hoped what she did manage to get out didn’t sound too eager. Such a handsome man, and now he was at her side.


The days passed, and the two spent much time finding out about each other. Ashara would learn that Anomen had a quick temper, but he was as quick to apologize as she was to forgive him. He would often ask for her advice, leading her to wonder why such a brash young man lacked self-confidence. She was at the same time amused and touched at the way he would take the lead in combat. She only hoped she would not have to resurrect him too often.


And then the messenger came. Such horrible news: Anomen’s sister was dead. She had accompanied Anomen to his family home to see what they could learn of Moira’s death. After meeting his abusive father, Ashara could certainly understand why Anomen lacked self-confidence. Once outside the estate, she gave his hand a squeeze and kissed him on the cheek to let him know he was not alone.

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Part I continues...


*If you leave now you are forever banished from this place. You will be cast from this family and become a nameless dog, not fit to cower at my feet! You are nothing, boy! Nothing!*


With Lord Cor’s words ringing in his ears, Anomen’s requested they proceed to the Council of Six building to see what was being done in the matter of Moira’s death. Ashara had urged Anomen not to take revenge upon Saerk; Anomen couldn’t be sure if Saerk had any involvement in the death. Upon learning that nothing could be done without evidence, Anomen stormed out of the building with Ashara quickly following.


Once outside, Anomen spoke to Ashara of his rage at the inaction and the fact that Saerk would seemingly go free. Ashara reassured him that if Saerk was indeed to blame in this, he would pay – one way or the other. Anomen, downtrodden, agreed with her, but stated it wouldn’t lessen the pain in his heart.


Ashara offered almost shyly, “I know of the pain you speak. When Gorion was… when Gorion died, I was sure I would never get over the pain of his passing. I was not sure if I could continue on, or if I even wanted to. But Imoen helped me get past the initial pain and shock. And while the pain has not gone entirely, it is at least bearable now and I think of the good things about him. Why I remember a time when he…â€Â


“Bah, you understand nothing of the pain of losing a family member! Let us continue on in silence!â€Â


“I am sorry. I did not mean to anger you. I was only… trying… to…†Ashara’s words trailed off as she tearfully ran off to join the others.


Jaheira, seeing the state Ashara was in, asked in alarm, “What is it, child? What is wrong?†Seeing Anomen still standing apart from the others, Jaheira sent a scathing glare in his direction.


“I… He… I was…†was all Ashara could manage before breaking down completely.


Jaheira turned over Ashara’s care to Minsc, who carried Ashara to a nearby tree and gently placed her on the ground. “Boo is upset that the pretty Ashara is crying so. He wonders if there is anything we can do?â€Â


Jaheira stormed over to where Anomen was standing. “You would do well to watch how you treat those in my care. I do not know what you said to her, nor do I care, but you would do well to apologize to Ashara at once!â€Â


“Lady Jaheira, I am certain I do not know to what you are referring. And if there were occasion for me to apologize, I would do so at once!â€Â


“Then explain to me why Ashara is a quivering mass of jelly since the two of you last spoke. She was in such a state, she could not tell me.†demanded Jaheira.


“I… ah… I have no explanation.†Anomen replied as he recalled the last conversation he and Ashara had. “None that would excuse my behavior in any event.†Anomen’s shoulders sagged noticeably as he continued, “If you will excuse me.â€Â


While Jaheira confronted Anomen, Ashara sobbed to Minsc, “Oh, Minsc! I simply do not know what I might have done to deserve his ire. I told him how I felt after Gorion died and then he… and then he… “


“I should go teach the rude man to be polite. He is not evil so it shall not be with my sword. Uh, Boo, he’s not evil, right? Yes, Boo assures me he is not evil, only rude. I shall go and teach him he should not make the pretty Ashara cry!â€Â


Ashara smiled despite her problem. Minsc was being Minsc and it almost always made Ashara smile. Like Jaheira, Minsc had been with Ashara since nearly the beginning of her journey. Since the death of Dynaheir, Minsc seemed to look after Ashara even more. And Ashara knew if she didn’t stop him, Minsc would assuredly teach Anomen a lesson.


“Thank you, Minsc, but I do not think that will be necessary. Sometimes I think I am overly sensitive about things. And you have helped me already.â€Â


“But Minsc has done nothing. How did I help you? Minsc is confused.â€Â


“By being you, Minsc. And that is enough.â€Â


“But Minsc feels he should at least go and upend the little man until he understands it is a bad thing to be mean to Ashara.â€Â


Ashara inwardly laughed at the picture Minsc had just presented, but decided she should still stop him. “We cannot always wield our strength to let people know what is right or the right thing to do. Sometimes we need to simply… “


Ashara broke off as she noticed Anomen’s approach. She eyed him warily, not wishing to be on the receiving end of his wrath yet again. Minsc immediately stepped in between the two, ready to carry out his plan. Ashara reached up and gently tugged on the gentle ranger’s sleeve, “Minsc, it is alright, really. I will be fine.â€Â


“Well, if you are sure. But Minsc and Boo will be just over there. Give the word and Boo will go for the eyes.â€Â


Ashara smiled as Minsc moved a short distance away, and then turned her attention to the downtrodden man before her.


“My Lady, I… would you… “Anomen wasn’t usually at a loss for words, except when he was apologizing to Ashara.


“Yes, Anomen, what is it?†Ashara replied somewhat curtly.


“I am deserving of your ire, my Lady. It is because of my boorish behavior that I wish to speak with you, if you will listen.â€Â


“Please, do continue.†was the somewhat acerbic reply.


“My Lady, I wish to offer you my most sincere apology for the way I spoke to you earlier. You were trying to comfort me in my time of loss, and I could only think of the last words my father spoke to me and the fact that my sister’s killer goes free. I should not have directed my anger at you and I am truly sorry. Please, please forgive me.â€Â


Ashara weighed what her reply would be. Had Anomen come to her before she spoke with Minsc, she would most likely have sent him away without a second thought. But now, after calming down, looking at his face filled with regret and remorse, she knew what her response would be.


“Friends try to support each other in times of stress. And I had thought that we were… friends. But perhaps I was wrong in thinking this. And therefore I shall…â€Â


“You are not wrong, my Lady! I do think of us as… friends. And this makes my behavior all the more grievous.â€Â


Ashara’s heart nearly leapt into her throat. He thought of them as friends! She wondered, however, if she should simply accept his apology and continue on? She always had in the past, but this time his anger had been directed at her, and she didn’t care to witness it again.


“Very well, Anomen, I accept your apology. However, I think it best if we do travel in silence for a time. We would do well to ponder how we speak to others and the consequences of our words.â€Â


“But my Lady, I…†Anomen began. However, seeing the look Ashara gave him silenced him. With a heavy sigh, he assisted her to her feet. “I do wish to thank you for taking the time for this.â€Â

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