Tears of a Drow
Grull Axslayer strode into the Sancrist Inn with all the grace of a drunken ox. His armor clanked, his leather creaked, and there was a resounding bong when he struck his helm upon the door's lintel. Gingerly, the half-orc removed the helm and shook his head to clear it, his eyes slowly uncrossing. With a practiced flip, Grull hung the battered helm on the pommel of the huge greataxe slung over his back, and eased his bulk down the narrow corridor into the main common room.
The Inn was almost deserted. A few locals sat sipping their drinks and slowly stewed themselves into oblivion. The half-orc's beetle black eyes slid over them as inconsequential and continued to survey the Inn. He stood breathing loudly through his piggish nose a few moments, reaching up to scratch at his sweat soaked hair in confusion. Twice more did Grull scan the two rooms before finally noticing slight movement in a darkened corner, a shadow within a shadow. A grin plastered itself across his ugly features as he clanked over to the gloomy area.
He stopped just behind a chair containing a lithe, dark clad figure with a shock of silvery white hair. Glimpses of ebony skin showed above the collar and on slender hands resting loosely together on the scarred table. The figure's shoulders shuddered slightly with a soft, ragged breath. Slowly, the half-orc stepped to the side to better face the chair's occupant. As he did so, Grull caught a glimpse of something shimmering and falling into a small, yet noticeable, puddle under the bowed head.
Finally sensing the hulking half-orc’s presence, the figure quickly passed a slender hand across her face and eyes, then turned to face Grull. The half-orc stared a moment, unable to make sense of what he saw. The drow before him was not what he was used to seeing. Her normally vital and expressive amethyst eyes were dark and listless, puffy, and rimmed in moisture. The ready smile usually playing at the edges of full lips was replaced by a tightly drawn mouth. Skin which once shone like polished obsidian was greyish and drawn. Even her snowy hair, typically unkempt and flyaway, was a mass of bedraggled strands.
"Errr ... helloes dere, Lady Vix," Grull rumbled hesitantly, fidgeting awkwardly and setting up a new clamor of creaks, groans, and clanks from his armor. "Grull comes to sees friend, but youse is ..." He trailed off, not sure what to say, or think, about the drowess before him. Never in the time he had known her, had he seen her like this.
"Vendui, Grull," Vix replied softly, sniffing slightly. "I did not hear you enter. My apologies."
Grull’s shaggy eyebrow went up. Even he knew the noise he made when just walking, and Vix was never one, in his experience, to not notice things even much, much quieter than he. Still not knowing what to say or do, he opted instead to smile at her. "Dat's okies, Lady Vix, leasts youse no smells me comin', eh?"
"Nau, I did not smell you, mi abbil,." Vix sniffed again, an unconscious response to Grull's words, and weakly smiled back.
"If mes no smells, den why is youse eyes watering?' Grull asked sincerely puzzled at his friend's appearance. Vix did not answer, only wiped her hand across her eyes once more. Grull looked at her, then his eyes widened. "Youse .. is cryin'?"
Vix hung her head a moment, ashamed to be seen in such a state by the huge half-orc. "Xas, Grull ..." she whispered. "I am .. crying."
"Dis bout dat singy lady?" he growled. "Mes talkeds wit her alreadys. She say she no more youse bowlegged. She says youse mebbe nots even friends, dat youse prolly hates her."
"Xas, Grull," Vix answered. "She took her leave to be with Sion."
"Dat dead guy?" Grull roared, the leather gauntlets he wore creaking ominously as he clenched his fists. "Mes go kill him agains for youse, Lady Vix. Den mebbe Sammy comes back to you." He snarled and turned to leave in search of his intended prey, but an ebony hand shot out and gripped his arm before he took a step.
"Nau, Grull!" the drowess commanded, her voice seeming to gain back a part of the steel it had lost. "This was her choice, not his. Do not go getting yourself into trouble for things neither of us has control over." Vix kept her steady grasp on Grull's forearm until she felt the tension release from his body and he turned back to face her.
"Dat what youse say done where youse comes from," Grull pleaded, only wanting to do something to make his friend be herself again. "Youse telled Grull all sorts stories bout dat. Vengeance for bees trails and stuffs."
"Betrayal ..." Vix whispered to herself. She looked up to Grull. "Xas, Grull, she betrayed my heart, my love. She has shaken all that I have come to believe in. I no longer know what is truth." Her voice intensified. "I had thought I found what was lacking in my homeland ... trust, loyalty, friendship ..." She paused. "... love ..."
Grull only stood and listened, not really understanding anything except someone he cared about was in pain. He raised his huge hand to pat her awkwardly on her shoulder. He was a fine warrior, but he had no clue how to fight despair.
"Did I ever tell you, Grull, what my name means?" Vix asked suddenly, head still bowed. Grull dropped his hand and shook his head. "Vixea'nkitie, I am named. In the dialect of my homeland it means 'Soul's Mirror'." She laughed sharply once. "It was a grandiose gesture on the part of my mother. She hoped I would grow to embody and reflect the ideals of the Spider Queen, to help her gain more power and prestige. I was only a tool then, as well. Perhaps that is what I am meant to be."
Vix looked up to Grull, her eyes shining in the flickering light of the table lamp.
"I do not know what to think, or feel ... how to believe, anymore," Vix stated, her voice growing soft. "Thoughts of her sustained me as I endured the magics of M'kel and the ministrations of his rapacious minotaurs ... thoughts of her now make me wish I had never survived. Yet ..." the drowess paused.
"Darkness take me, I still love her," she breathed. Her head bowed once again, another tear slid down her face, a diamond on black velvet, to fall into the small pool on the table. Ripples chased across the mirrored surface, reflecting her amethyst eyes from the tears of a drow.
One of the short stories I posted on my old NWN server forums. Vix was still new to the surface in the game, trying to adapt. Her first real friendship (outside of Grull Axeslayer, the half-orc warrior and Ferdinand Crabhammer, a dwarven cleric) became very deep and involved and possibly even love with a female bard named Saminda. M'kel and the minotaurs were a previous player-driven plot where Vix had been captured by a drow bounty hunter hired by her old House to capture and kill her.