The Truth and The End.
The trio had set out on a trek through ruins of Gianthold where Ginafay claimed to have first encountered the Mind Flayer who attacked her.
Rolling hills gave way to statuesque giants, frozen in fantastic battle poses with dragons. The wind whipped through the valley in tight, unforgiving circles.
Ginafay grew more and more apprehensive the closer they go to the crest of the hill. "Zoltando," she said looking at him nervously.
"Yes?" Zolt responded, loosening his rapier in his sheathe and taking his tower shield off his back.
"Whatever happens today... I don’t want you to die trying to defend me. If you have to save yourself…do it." Ginafay did not think the drow would listen to this, but she felt it needed to be said. Someone would have to go back to raise their children.
Teraa, a halfling priestess, followed as quietly as possible holding her Octogram and praying to all the gods of the host at once.
"I don't plan to have any of us die here, I plan for this flayer to taste agony and to have its organs decorate this place." Zoltando responded confidently.
Ginafay nodded her head, resolved that her husband would do what he felt he must to preserve his honor. "Alright then," She whispered.
They walked, mostly in silence until they came very near a ruined dwarven encampments dotted the road, and the presuppose of a large hill loomed before them, surrounded by rocky outcroppings.
Teraa smiled at the two elves and begins chanting with less of a wobble to her voice for Dol Dorn to guide their way.
"I like that we have a cleric along," Ginafay said over her shoulder loud enough for Terra to hear. "I thank you." The reply was never realized…
As they reached the deeper encampments of the hill, an elaborately cloaked...thing, showed itself. Surrounded by entourage of dwarves, ogres, and even several humans…all working near mindlessly at some secret tasks. When they approach, they round to the small band. The cloaked figure speaks in a strange tongue, but it's a speech in the mind that makes any sense. "I have…been waiting for you...my sweet drow."
Ginafay froze in her tracks; she was unable to move, to think.
Zoltando drew his weapon, "Ah, so you're the one we've been looking for. I hope that when I do finally kill you the pain will have taught you the lesson of never crossing me or my loved ones." He pointed his rapier threateningly in the direction of the flayer.
The Mindflayer spoke in a menacing tone, "MMmm...and you've brought friends this time. I wonder if they will taste as good as you. " The mindflayer reached back, revealing his tentacle like mouth, "Oohh..you're a violent one. I will enjoy feasting upon your mind."
Large beads of sweat had begun to break out on Ginafay’s forehead, it was as if she lacked the ability to attack the creature. She began shaking, wanting desperately to run, yet there she remained… frozen in place.
Zoltando began to slowly walking towards the flayer. "Bold words for a squid."
With shaking hands, Teraa released the symbol from around her neck reaching for the morniningstar at her side still chanting focussing only on the chant.
The group of mindless followers began converging on the trio. Not taking efforts to attack, but form a wall between the Minfdflayer and them. "My sweet drow. Come to me. Let me taste you again." He made a becoming call to the quivering drow.
Ginafay remained transfixed. She moved slowly toward the flayer, she was shaking, as if not of her own accord. Clearly she had her faculties, she had her anger, her fear, her mind were intact yet… she could not stop.
Seeing Ginafay moving towards the flayer, Zoltando he addressed her in a commanding tone, "Stand firm!"
Teraa changed the chant slightly asking for the gods to help Ginafay.
"Ahhhh!!!" Ginafay growled, and continued moving forward.
The thralls parted way, giving her room to pass into his clutches, and then made to circle around her..to separate Gina from her companions. "Yes. Let me feel that anger. Taste your fear." A scream could be heard from behind the thralls then…. It was Gianfay.
Zoltando slipped his rapier into the heart of the thrall standing in front of him and moved to cross the boundary of flesh separating him from the flayer.
The Mindflayer spoke into Zolt's mind, "You kill one of my pets. You shall take its place."
Teraa raised her shield and moved toward the Thralls swinging the morning star the chant raising in volume.
The Flayer’s mind rounded over to Teraa, speaking coldly, confident, "would you like join your friend? I could use another female." His thoughts hissed in a seductive manner, caressing her mind with visions. "You will enjoy it."
Zolt roared in rage and pushed through the line of thralls, "You dare try to enslave me!"
Teraa slowed as she has to concentrated more on her chant asking the gods to grant them strength and help her overcome her fears.
The Mindflayer quietly he whispered to the female drow beside him. "Protect me, my sweet. Make him submit." In a louder booming voice in Zolt's mind, it said, "you will become my thrall."
Ginafay drew her weapon with near vacant eyes and turned to protect the Mindflayer.
Zoltando saw Ginafay standing to protect the Mindflayer, "You...honorless thing. I don't care if you put a lord of the Daelkyr themselves in my way, you will still die."
Ginafay advanced, her shied had dropped to the ground some time before but and her chaotic blade was held high in front or her. She was visibly shaking. Fighting inwardly. There was nothing she could do, however, this was a place she had been to before.
Several thralls began to swarm Teraa, taking advantage of the distraction of her fear, and tried to pin and grapple her to the ground.
"Ginafay, stand aside." Zoltando said to her.
"I care not for your honor." The Mindflayer was saying, "this one is mine. Strike him down, my sweet anger. " He hissed to Gianfay, shaking the long mandibles of his mouth in eager anticipation of a feast.
Ginafay continued forward, challenging him with her blade.
Zoltando shook his head saying, "It's a very good thing she never learned to stop this." He moved swiftly to trip her with his blade.
It was true, for all the fighting and sparring they had done in the last days, Ginafay had never been able to stay on her feet if she was tripped. Moreover, she had never found the strength to trip Zoltando. Ginafay fell backwards, hitting her head hard on the ground as she did.
Zolt swiftly moved past Ginafay and stood before the Mindflayer, "Any final words?"
The Mindflayer screamed to Ginafay in a near rage at her incompetence. "Stand up you foolish creature!" He swung around, hissing at the arrogant adventurer, "SIT, and submit mortal!" His voice reached to the back of Zolt's mind, infusing him with another spell of command.
Zoltando immediately fell backwards onto his rump.
Blood poured from her scalp and into her silvery hair. Ginafay rolled over and picked up her blade, turning back toward Zolt and the flayer.
Seeing Ginafay, Teraa asked the gods to keep her where she was! (hold person)
Ginafay froze where she stood, halfway between the ground and a full standing position. All she could do was look at the ground.
The Mindflayer looked to the female drow, and would be smiling if any of them were an illithid to tell. He cursed to the Daelkyr, and rounded back on the persistent Clergy. "You dare...I will devour you!" He sent a mind shock into Teraa."
Teraa fell to her knees crying out!
The illithid was positively seething with excitement. The thralls began to work on Teraa, holding her and binding her...for later. The real threat was this angry Drow! He will be better off dead! His tentacles started dripping around the man's hair and head…and he began to feast. A most delicious feast. "Ahhhh…yes. Hate me. Bring that taste to me. You will be a fine appetizer."
Ginafay was still held in suspense between the ground and standing at an odd angle, she screamed, "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME!"
Delrin emerges from behind a rocky outcropping, bow in hand aimed steady at the Mind Flayer!!! "I would remove those if I were you…" He said giving an ease to his voice that his body language did not mimic.
The Mindflayer raised his head up from the most spectacular rage of the drow to look at the screaming woman, "Why...I have do nothing...mmm…my sweet fury." He payed the man with the bow no mind, a thrall stepping between him and the offending arrow. The flayer spoke to Ginafay in what could be considered sultry tones, "You are my creation."
The hairs on the back of Gianfay’s neck stood up, if she could move, it would have been to cry. What was the flayer saying?? That she wasn’t real? She was HIS CREATION?!
Delrin maneuvered for clear shot at the Flayer, sidestepping to avoid the thrall.
The mindflayer begans to move to Gianfay, ...thralls positioning themselves about as a protective circle. He touched her, almost lovingly…."You are my own. Do you not remember? Those memories..." A shrill laugh pierced the minds of everyone around, "Are merely a lie. "
Ginafay’s teeth gritted in frustration, "NO!"
The creature continued to speak to her, caressing her mind, "Mmm..yes. Be angry with me. You have been here before. I have tasted your thoughts many times. Mmmm...Delicious frustration...to inevitable compliance…and you have brought so many new thralls for me...Thank you." A thin tentacle ran almost lovingly across her face.
Several of the Thralls nearest Delrin sprout arrows from their chests and fall to the ground absent mindedly, as the pain begins to register they began to break from their master's embrace, dying as free minds.
Zolt slowly stood, "Truth is irrelevant. How she is Ginafay is not a problem. You seem to fail to see that she is not your creation, she is my wife, and for harming her you are going to die a painful death." He punctuated his sentence with a thrust at the mindflayer's stomach.
The hold spell broke and Gianfay followed her own momentum, falling the rest of the way to the ground, her face hit the ground with a loud THUD.
The rapier slipped into the Flayer’s belly, hitting nothing vital but still spreading blood and a shrill cry into the air.
As Ginafay fell, several more of Delrin’s arrows zipped through the air ending the lives of a few more thralls with deadly accuracy.
The Mindflayer screamed at Zolt, "She is not your wife! She is my sweet darkness! Stand up and kill this drow!" He screamed to the fallen woman, and drags himself from the rapier, rounding behind Gina. "Let me warn you, vile dark elf. You slay me, and I will take her mind with me. "
Ginafay knew she had no choice but to comply. In her mind, she knew the truth… that he had been her master for more than a year. She relinquished herself to his tight control. Blood and dirt were caked onto her face, she looked over her shoulder at the flayer before turning toward Zoltando. Even as she is leveling her weapon at Zoltando, she spoke in her own plain words to him, "Kill it." She said to him, knowing she would never be free until one of them was dead.
With that, Ginafay swung her chaotic blade at her own husband. They had sparred for countless hours together, never taking savage blows. This time… she let out a scream as she brought the weapon downward towards him. This blow was meant to kill. A loud SNAP of two weapons slamming together reverberated off the rocky hillside. Gianfay’s weapon had been blocked.
The Mindflayer was shrieking, "you foolish man! She is a doppelganger of my creation! Her memories are mere figments by my creation! I created her from another, and she is mine!" He hissed violently, sending another burst of mental power into Zoltando.
In clearing a path, Delrin began to walk forward, He pulled three arrows from his quiver and let them loose at the Mindflayer.
"Which part of you do you want sliced off first?" Zoltando asked the Flayer.
The Mindflayer shrieked as arrows struck his side, more of the bluish purple blood spilled to the ground. The illithid stumbled backward, away from Zolt, and to his two remaining thralls. "Protect me! Kill them!!"
Teraa’s head began to clear as the pain eased up.
"Zolt!" Delrin screamed, "Take him now, I'll handle the rest!"
"Too late." Zoltando said and moved to stab the flayer through its head.
A torrent of arrows finished the remaining thralls as Delrin approached Teraa.
The Minflayer shrieks out in pain...sending his last final thoughts to Ginafay. "My...sweet…anger…my lovely...bitterness…" The creature slide further down the rapier, lifeless. Zolt proceeded to mutilate the corpse in rage.
Ginafay dropped her weapon and is slumped to the ground. She was free. Tears began to stream down her face. She cried for the lifeless master that somehow she was missing now. And for the truth of her existence. It was a strange, terrible feeling.
Delrin dropped to knee and checked Teraa's condition "Are you alright?"
Tears were streaming down Terra’s face. She smiled up to Delrin. "Yes I am now thank you."
Zoltando turned slowly to Ginafay, "I meant what I said, whatever he may have called you, all I see you as is my wife and my love."
Ginafay blinked at Zoltando; dumfounded, afraid to really speak too much, her head was pounding. She grips his arm to steady herself.
Teraa stood retrieving her shield and morningstar, she looked to see if she needed to heal any one.
"Teraa, lets get you up and out of the dirt." Delrin said looking over to the others, "You two gonna be okay?"
"I'll be fine, I always am." Zoltando answered.
Ginafay leaned on him; "you don't care?" She whispered to him, not quite understanding.
"I didn't care about your past when I married you," He answered, "why should I start now?"
Ginafay blinked, "according to the Illithad, I had no past before he gave me one." She looked down, wondering if it was true. She had all of Ginafae’s memories in her head, she treasured them as if they were her own.
"I say your memories are your past." Zoltando said looking at her.
Ginafay nodded slightly in return. "Let’s go home then."
Delrin stepped forward up to the remains, what was left of the remains of the Mindflayer and spoke in the tongue of the Daelkyr as he ripped his arrows from its side.
Teraa’s smile broadened as she saw the two drow and she looked to Delrin speaking quietly, "isn't it just wonderful?"
"Wonderful?" Delrin asked incredulously. "They were nearly at each other’s throats. Damn Mind flayers."
Teraa laughed, "but they are together now, may the light bless them."
Delrin nodded, "lets get out of here before he," pointing to the dead flayer, "starts to stink." Delrin extended a hand to Teraa and gestured for Ginafay and Zoltando, "Let's go home." He said taking a strangely marked scroll from his bag. The next thing they knew, they were back, safe in the Fellowship Hall.
((Special Thanks to Everyone who participated!
Terra/ Delrin/ Zoltando/ & MOST Especially MINDFLAYER JEATRA!
WOW! You did a great job! The end was FUN FUN FUN!!! We should kill something once a month!!!!
*Shakes a stick at Points* ))