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Turning the last page


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I had the inspiration yesterday, after playing BG2 until 4AM, and I wrote this down today.


I have *never* finished ToB, though I had glimpses of Nalia's epilogue. So this fanfic migt not (surely does not ) follow int game's epilogue. Here it is:




The stairs had never seemed so hard to climb, though she had done so thousands of times before. So much had changed since last she climbed them. She herself had changed quite a lot. But within these walls, she still felt like a little girl.


She was overwhelmed by memories as she turned the key in the lock. “I have indeed changed a lotâ€Â, she thought. “How many times have I picked this lock, and now I use a key. How very lady-like of me…†A smile lit her face, illuminating wrinkles at the corners of her mouth and creases at the corners of her eyes. She removed a lock of hair from her eyes before opening the door.


The library had not changed a single bit. She noticed with some regret that there were no new books since the last time she came. The remainder was covered with dust. She had always treasured this room. She could still picture herself sitting on one of those hard wooden seats, listening to the pompous teachers her father hired to educate her:


“And thus, magical energy will manifest through your fingers in the form of burning flames, which is why you should be extremely careful while using such a spell… Hum… Miss De’Arnise, are you listening to me?†She never was. The library had no window, but it did not prevent her from dreaming of the outside.


She dusted a bookshelf with the back of her hand. Ms Lockhead would have been proud had she known how far her pupil went… The little brat, Nalia De’Arnise, an archmage… As she opened the book without looking at it, she wondered what had become of Ms Lockhead after she went back to her hometown, in Luskan.


Where were they all? Ms Lockhead, Daleson, Captain Arat? She somehow felt guilty for having no answer to such questions. Years had passed, she had traveled, grown powerful in Athkatla, acquired recognition and wisdom, but she felt like an harmless child here, in her keep, among all those spirits of her past.


She sat with her book. “An Atlas of Calimshan.†She had never been there, though she had seen much of the world. She closed her eyes and remembered the day, roughly forty years ago, at the Copper Coronet. She would never have thought him a Bhaalspawn at first sight. He looked like a regular adventurer. What really caught her eye was the half-elf following him. She was dressed as a warrior, but she had a carefully braided hair, and her stride spoke of her nobility.


Then it all happened so fast! She hired them to clear her land, and then she followed them in their travels. They saved her from the Roenal family, and she became part of their company. With them, she had seen the wonders of Suldanessallar and the abominations of the Underdark and Hell itself.


At last, they faced the final battle. Cassio was victorious, but wished to remain a mortal. The company parted soon after. He and Jaheira would not part, so they went together. They traveled to Tethyr, for Jaheira to rediscover her past… The two always quarreled, but their love was deep and indisputable.


She took a deep breath, and tried to gather her memories about what happened to the rest of her former companions. She had heard that Viconia was dead. After they parted, she went alone, and was caught in some Ambush in the Amnish country side. She brushed a tear from her cheek as she imagined how she might have been killed: dozens of peasants with pitchforks and staves, Viconia alone, condemned merely for being born a drow. Though they never were what one might call “friends,†Nalia did regret Viconia’s fate. She always proved loyal to Cassio’s cause, and never betrayed her traveling companions. Actually, Nalia always thought that Viconia found Cassio to her taste, be she was too proud to admit it openly.


She stood up and put the book back on the shelf. Brooding on such memories would not help her, but she could not stop herself. She knew that Minsc went back to Athkatla to fulfil a promise he made to the elf they rescued, Aerie. She had not followed them throughout the whole of their travels, just long enough to forge a deep friendship with the ranger. From Athkatla, they went to Rashemen, after which Nalia lost contact with them.


The only friend she kept from this time was Mazzy. She had met her the week before. She, too, had grown old. She was now enjoying a peaceful life in her house in Trademeet. Nalia still smiled when she visited her old friend and saw her own statue. She remembered once seeing that someone had etched the word “hottie†into the stone.


She continued to wander through the room, brushing the sides of the books with her hand as she went by. What had she done since? She’d procured herself a seat on the Council of the Six. Many said that the condition of commoners had improved greatly under her tenure. But after a few years, she felt the need to travel again. She had even met Khelben Blackstaff himself in Waterdeep. She also went to Neverwinter before heading back to Amn.


Her relatives tried to get her married, but no one could exist in the shade of Lady De’Arnise, friend of Cassio the Bhaalspawn. She was forty when she decided to settle down. She had never wanted to go back to the keep, and now she understood why. Too many memories overwhelmed her. The death of her father, then that of her aunt, all her friends and servants… She could not event look at a lock without recalling her how she felt when she picked it for the first time.


She got herself a house in a calm district of Athkatla. She needed the buzz of the city, after the hectic life she had. She taught magic in schools, after bargaining for quite some time with the Cowled Wizards. But she was nearing sixty now. Her hair had gone from bright red to white, and her face bore wrinkles that gave her an aura of wisdom. She wrapped herself in wide dresses to hide her rheumatic body.


She felt she had done what she had to do. She had traveled throughout Faerun, helped govern the city of Athkatla, helped save the world, even befriended a godspawn… more than enough for a lifetime.


She returned to the leather seat. She tidied her white hair with her fingers, and started muttering a spell with a smile on her aged face.


When the guard of the keep came a short while later to see if she needed anything, he found Lady De’Arnise still seated on the leather armchair, and still with a smile on her face. She breathed no more.




Hope you enjoy it and pardon the mistakes that may remain in my written English :D


EDIT: Updated afterBerelinde's proofreading.

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