Vaarsuvius/Zz'dtri (Part 2)

The six members of the Order of the Stick had been making their way through the same forest for several days, following a rough track that wound its way through the otherwise impenetrable trees. It was almost mid-day, and at its highest point the sun managed to seep through the upper canopy, casting dappled shadows across the ground, with small specks of light that danced in the dim light. Ahead of them, the dirt track widened and turned into cobbles and buildings lined the road, and here and there people were hurrying along at whatever tasks they were on. After the long stretch of wild terrain, civilization was a welcome sight.

"About time!" Roy exclaimed, coming to a halt and wiping sweat off his brow. "Do you reckon there's a tavern here?

"I 'ope so." Durkon said, clanking forward to stand next to Roy "I need som'thin' ta calm my nerves afta' all them trees."

"There's bound to be an inn here, at least. I'm just looking forward to sleeping in a bed tonight!" Haley said, striding forward. The rest of them followed suit.

A short while later and a squabble over rooms found the Order booked into an inn - with a tavern, much to Durkon's relief. Roy and the dwarf promptly dropped off any unneeded items then went to sample the local ale. Belkar followed close behind. Having spotted an archery shop on their way to the inn, Haley dragged Elan off to see if there was anything interesting. Vaarsuvius hung around for a bit to unpack, then after sorting through spell component to discern which ones needed restocking, set off in search of a magic shop.

The shop specializing in the arcane was small but well stocked, located away from the main road. After purchasing the needed spell components, Vaarsuvius browsed through the available scrolls, paying no attention as the door opened and another customer came in.

However when a familiar voice reached the elf's pointed ears, Vaarsuvius spun around in shock.


The drow jumped, then a delighted smile replaced his initial look of surprise and he rushed over to embrace Vaarsuvius in a tight hug. Vaarsuvius returned the hug, also smiling widely.

"I wasn't expecting to see you again so soon!"

"Me neither. Do you want to..?"

"I have a room at the local inn, if you're willing."

Zz'dtri smiled again and nodded, so Vaarsuvius picked up the bag of newly purchased spell components in one hand, clasped the drow's hand in the other, and led him out of the shop and back into the village.


Vaarsuvius followed Zz'dtri into the room, shutting the door behind them before putting the bag down next to the wall.

"Missed you" Zz'dtri murmured as the other elf sat down beside him on the bed, before locking lips passionately. Still kissing, Vaarsuvius lay back, pulling Zz'dtri down on top, before moving to kiss his neck.

"I missed your company too" Vaarsuvius said between kisses. "Where did you go after I left?"

"Just… traveled around" He replied, arching slightly as a hand brushed against him through his robe. V's other hand had already untied the cord around his waist, and was tugging the green robe off.

"Looked around for an adventuring party at first. Were none that wanted a wizard. Decided to see the world instead."

"I'm glad you did." V gasped, writhing as dark skinned hands groped under red robes before pulling them off completely.

"Hmm." Zz'dtri hummed in agreement.


"Found anything good?" Roy asked as Haley and Elan walked into the inn's tavern with a large bag. Haley put the bag down on the bar counter and fished around before pulling out a handful of arrows.

"Half price sale on enchanted arrows, would you believe it? I can now burn people and freeze them at once, in addition to sticking arrows in them."

"Great. Well now you're back, we need to discuss where we're going next. Any idea where V is?"

"Out buying spell components, I think. Should be back by now, I'll check the rooms." Haley said, retreating out of the room towards the stairs.

She pausing outside the door before calling out "V? Are you there?" When there was no answer, she opened the door and poked her head in.

"We're planning wh- oh my god!" She stared in shock for a moment at the entwined figures, before hurriedly slamming the door shut again and leaning against the wall.

"Drat." V muttered scrambling up and pulling on the robes that had been lying on the floor before running out into the corridor, blushing furiously. Zz'dtri sighed, then got up and began pulling on his robes at a more leisurely pace.

"Miss. Starshine?"

"What the hell do you think you're doing, V?!" Haley all but shouted, rounding on the abashed elf. V tried to regain some composure.

"I think that as obviou-"

"You're married."

"A fact I am well aware of."

"You can't… you can't just go around sleeping with anyone!"

"I assure you, its not at all like-"

"You haven't been doing this all the time I've known you, have you? What about in Azure City, when you were supposedly busy all the time "scribing spells" - were you actually out picking up partners?"

While Haley was ranting, Zz'dtri quietly opened the door and edged out into the corridor, unnoticed.

"Miss. Starshine, this isn't what it looks like!"

"Well it certainly looked like he had his-"

"Haley! Please just listen to me! This is more than that, we've had a relationship of sorts for some time. You're over-reacting."

"Well sorry if I'm just a bit shocked after walking in on my best friend in bed with a complete stranger… wait." She caught sight of Zz'dtri and her eyes widened.

"…He's that drow that's working for Nale!"

"Was working for Nale, he's not anymore."

"Sorry V, I just… can't deal with this right now" Haley said, shaking her head and backing away towards the stairs. Vaarsuvius stared after her.

Zz'dtri hung his head and hugged his cloak around himself, then retreated back into the room.

"Zz'dtri?" Vaarsuvius went back into the room, to see the drow gathering up his possessions, head bent low.

"Sorry. I'll go now." The drow said softly, not looking up.

"What in the world are you apologizing for? If there's any blame to be laid, it lies with me for not anticipating their reactions."

"I cause problems." Zz'dtri said, looking up sadly before rising to his feet. Vaarsuvius stepped forward and placed a gentle hand on either shoulder, looking into the other's eyes earnestly .

"Listen to me Zz'dtri, you are not a problem and I certainly don't want you to leave." Vaarsuvius sighed. "I… I need to go and meet my party members, okay?"

Zz'dtri nodded wordlessly, and Vaarsuvius paused for one long moment before turning away, picking up the red cloak that was in a heap on the floor before hurrying away out of the room and down the corridor.


Vaarsuvius walked into the bar where the rest of the Order were waiting, adjusting the clasp of the hurriedly donned cloak. Durkon was sat next to Roy and Belkar had his furry feet propped up on the table, idly flicking a dagger back and forth between his fingers. Haley was already seated across the table next to Elan, pointedly looking away from the elf.

Roy glanced between them and raised an eyebrow. "Everything okay?"


"It is."

"Well then." He cleared his throat, pulling towards him one of the maps scattered across the table. "We're currently here" He pointed to a unremarkable place in a large area of green. "And the next nearest village is a good ten days walk away because the path winds around these mountains here" He pointed to the map again.

"However, Haley's been asking around and there's apparently a small pass across the mountains that, as luck has it, is accessible at this time of year. If we take it we can cut our journey down to five days or less - weather permitting - and instead of going to Crag's End, we can go to Ivyleaf, which will take us on a much more direct route south."

Vaarsuvius began to fidget.

"Once we get there we can restock and purchase horses - the road is a lot more major after that, so it will be easier going. Assuming we make good time, we can expect to make it to the dessert in a little over a fortnight. Any questions?"

"Maybe V can give us some advice. This is the Elven Homeland after all." Haley said, still avoiding meeting the elf's eyes.

"Advice? Oh, well…" V paused for a moment, indecision playing across worried features. "If you asked me… I'd say we would be better off forgetting about going to Ivyleaf and making our way to Crag's End. If people don't use the pass, there's a good reason for it and it would be better we take the long route rather than taking what may be a shortcut, but may also result in us being lead astray, costing us more than the additional time that we would take going around the mountains."

"That's your final opinion?" Roy asked uncertainly.

"That it is."

"Well… I suppose you know the terrain better than any of us. It's settled; we'll need to stock up on extra supplies for a longer journey, but if we push the pace, I suppose it's only five days lost." He still looked doubtful.

"Unless anyone else has anything to say?"

"Yes." Haley said so sharply that Elan jumped slightly. "I think we should go over the pass. It's well used at the moment, and more than one person recommended it. What's more, Ivyleaf seems to be a much busier town than Crag's Edge - the merchants I spoke to were all headed there - and that means we're much more likely to be able to get horses and any other gear we'll need further on."

Roy looked down thoughtfully, tapping the map lightly with a calloused finger. "I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with Haley, V. It seems a much better option." Roy then looked up, smiling.
"Right then group, get whatever further supplies you need today, because we'll be setting off first thing tomorrow morning. And get a good night's sleep!"

The various members of the Order got up from the table, and Haley rose quickly, making for the door. Vaarsuvius started to go after her, before realizing it was ill advised, and instead turned to head back up the stairs.


Haley wasn't sure where she intended to go, she just wanted to go somewhere out of the way of everyone else while she worked out what she should do. She was somewhat angry and certainly disappointed at her friend, but knew that unless the elf wanted her advice, Vaarsuvius would brush of any inquiries with that formal, aloof mannerism the elf resorted to when bothered.

But mostly, Haley was worried. She knew she had overreacted, but while Vaarsuvius had never been very forthcoming with personal information, they been friends long enough that Haley recall the V mentioning small details about the elf's family, always with a fond smile crossing thin lips. If V had spontaneously begun a new relationship, something significant had happened that Haley had missed.

In her musings, her feet had led he to a street that she recalled having a small tavern. It would be somewhere to sit and think, and if that failed, a way to temporarily quiet her misgivings.

She entered the tavern and crossed over to the bar. It wasn't until after she had sat down and ordered a drink that her eyes adjusted to the lower light enough for her to notice who else was there, also intent on drowning his sorrows.


Vaarsuvius poked a head round the door.

The room was empty.



"What are you doing here?!"

Zz'dtri looked up from his ale and scowled. "Drinking. What are you doing?"

"Trying to come up with a way of convincing Vaarsuvius that any relationship with you is a bad idea." Haley said glaring at him

"Don't remember asking your opinion." He muttered, then resumed staring into his drink.

"I'm V's friend, I'm not going to sit around and let this happen. V's married you know."

"I know"

"And has a loving family."


"…What?" Haley stared at him.

Zz'dtri looked up and raised an eyebrow. "Didn't tell you?" He smirked.

"What's happened to V's family?!"

"If you weren't told, there was a reason. I won't say."

Haley though over this silently for a few minutes before speaking again. "Fine then. Tell me what in the world led you to meeting again, much less not trying to kill each other."

"Got arrested by the lawyers and put in the same cell as me. I apologized for before. We talked." He paused to take a swig of ale. "Managed to escape together and went our separate ways, until now. That's it."

"And V confided in you about something important but didn't tell me?" Haley said incredulously.

"Needed to tell someone, I suppose."

"And what about you?"

"About me?"

"What happened to the whole 'Evil opposite' thing? Why the change of heart?"

The drow looked away. "Was just lonely, ok? No one cared about me before. Was just shunned, assumed to be evil."

"You're not evil?"

"Well, not that much." He said with slight smirk.

"Then why'd you join Nale's group?"

He shrugged. "Only one who would hire me."

"Oh. Still, why V?"

"I told you. Only person in a long time who has cared about me, who will stay with me. I needed a friend."

Haley frowned. "But you're more than a friend to V."

He shrugged "V already had friends. Suppose I had to be something more."

Haley was still frowning slightly. Then she sighed and stood up, leaving her drink half finished on the counter. "I think I need to talk to V." She paused, halfway to the door, and looked back. "Er… bye." She said, before continuing out into the street.

As Haley turned onto the main road she saw a familiar red robed figure approaching. Vaarsuvius spotted Haley, and after a moments hesitation, headed towards her. Haley stopped where she was and crossed her arms as the wizard pulled to a halt in front of her, looking around nervously.

"You're looking for Zz'dtri." she said

"Er, I am. You know where he is?"

"Yes, but first we're having a talk."

For a moment V appeared to be considering running, and then asked resignedly "You want to talk right here?"

"No. Let’s go back to the inn. I need another drink for this."


A few minutes later and they were both seated in the tavern, Haley with a glass and V, having declined a beverage, nervously fiddling with a beer mat. Haley took a sip from her drink before addressing the elf.

"You know I'm always here if you need somebody to talk to."

Vaarasuvius looked uncertainly at the rogue. "What is this about?"

"V, you didn't tell me something had happened to your family."

Vaarsuvius paled. "You talked to Zz'dtri, he told you… what did he tell you??"

"Nothing specific, once he found out I had no idea what he was talking about. V, this has to have been something recent, what on earth could have happened to break you and Inkyrius up?"

"Nothing that I wish to talk about."

"But something bad has happened."

The elf's silence was an answer enough.

"Fine. Maybe it is none of my business, but your relationship with Zz'dtri is, not least of all because pretty soon someone's going to notice him hanging around, and more likely than not they'll think he's still working for the Linear Guild."

V sat still, head hung.

"Firstly, I want to hear your side of the story, because something he said worries me."

Vaarsuvius looked up, an eyebrow raised. "The first day we made camp after we reached the mainland I was accosted by those two lawyers and taken to a jail. I was thrown in the same cell as him, and while I was initially hostile, he admitted that his prior behavior was due to him having feelings for me. We… I was held there a few days before we managed to escape. He seemed to think that now we were free I would no longer be interested in continuing out relationship, but I convinced him otherwise before leaving to return here. I told him I loved him."

"And do you?"

V was taken aback. "I…"

"More than you loved Inkyrius?"

"I… no." V looked away again. "But Inkyrius no longer loves me."

"And you think Zz'dtri does?"

"I presume so, why else would he be interested in me?"

"Maybe because you're the only person who has paid any positive attention to him, the closest thing he has to a friend. Which is all he really wants V."

V met Haley's eyes, suddenly angry "Oh? Then why does he continue to have a romantic relationship with me?"

"Because it's what you want, to replace Inkyrius. You're cleverer than me V, if I can see it must be obvious to you."

"No. I love him and he returns the affection."

"No, you just want to sleep with him and he's going along with it because it's the only way he knows to get your attention."

At that, Varsuvius stood furiously. "You're wrong. You've got it wrong! You do not know anything about this and I don't have to listen to you!" With that the wizard stormed out of bar, small wisps of pink flame rising from clenched fists.

Haley watched her friend go in despair, not knowing where to start beginning to repair the negative emotions that lay heavy in the air.

She ordered another drink.


After having taken a few steps away from the inn, Vaarsuvius stopped and sighed deeply, loosening clenched fists and raising one hand to run the fingers through purple hair. Haley was wrong. Haley had to be wrong.


The elf was no longer so certain. The main concern at the moment was finding Zz'dtri, because Vaarsuvius wouldn’t be able to bear it if he left in the meantime thinking he was unwanted. Which he well might.

Vaarsuvius pondered where he could have gone. Back to the magic shop? He could have wandered along one of the footpaths into the surrounding forest, in which case it would be nearly impossible to find him unless he can back. Vaarsuvius looked around, at a complete loss at what to do.

"He's in a small tavern on the third street on the right from here."

Vaarsuvius jumped and spun around to see Haley standing there holding a half empty glass.

"I thought you thoroughly disapproved of our relationship." The elf said coldly.

"I do." Haley replied in a equally icy tone. "But I did say I'd tell you. And besides, if I don't you'll just run around worrying for the next few hours, and that won't help anyone." Haley turned to go back into the inn. "Just remember what I said. Don't make the wrong decision, V."

The elf was already running off along the road.

At the third street Vaarsuvius slowed down, looking around for the tavern. One door was open, a small sign propped up against the wall beside it. The elf went over and peered into the shade. "Zz'dtri?"

A pair of silver eyes looked up. Their owner smiled weakly as the other elf walked over, pulled up a bar stool and sat beside him, elbows resting on the counter. Returning the smile, Vaarsuvius gently placed one hand over the one of his that wasn't clutching an empty glass. The drow's other hand then left the glass to take hold of V's, which the drow looked down at distractedly, stroking the palm with dark fingers. "Your friend came in here."

"I know." V replied. "She didn't upset you did she?"

Zz'dtri shook his head "I'm fine."

Uncertain of what to say next V remained quiet, and for a few minutes they simply sat in a companionable silence, the only noise the occasional clink of glass on wood from other customers. Then unusually, Zz'dtri spoke first. "Do you want to go for a walk?"

"Yes. Yes, I'd like that" Vaarsuvius replied, looking up to meet his eyes and smiling again. Then they stood and, still linking hands, headed out of the door.


They had been walking for some time now, following one of the narrower trails at a casual pace, musing over various anecdotes from each of their pasts and enjoying the musky scent of the surrounding forest. They came to a small clearing, the ground covered in thin grass, and sat down to rest, leaning their backs against a tree.

Then Vaarsuvius asked. "Do you love me?"

Surprised at the sudden question, Zz'dtri took a moment before answering it. "I… think I do."


"Don't have much to compare with. You're only person I've known for a long time."

"But what do you see in me? There's countless other people out there, many of whom undoubtedly are more pleasant company that myself."

At that, Zz'dtri leaned over and snuggled into the other elf's shoulder. "I enjoy your company." he said, grinning. "I also think you're clever. But rather than thinking less intelligent people are useless, you do actually seem to care about them. Even if you find them annoying."

"I've been exceptionally unkind to some of my allies in recent months."

"But you try to be nice. And when you're not, you regret it afterwards."

Vaarsuvius sighed. "Recently I think maybe I should have been trying harder. Tell me… do you think there's any long term possibility for our relationship?"

"Don't see why not." He shrugged slightly. "Will always be problems, being what we are. But I certainly have strong feelings for you.
"I also find you attractive, of course" he said, stealthily edging a hand closer.

"And I do too, on both counts" Vaarsuvius replied. And then the elf jumped, feeling a hand stroke up one inner thigh, having worked its way into red robes.

V turned to see him grinning once again, and smirked. "Two can play at that game" the elf said and rolled over onto his lap, catching his other hand playfully. Vaarsuvius brought the hand up and kissed it, before twisting an agile tongue between his fingers. Zz'dtri tilted his head back and moaned softly, but as if not to be outdone, he began to move his other hand again, this time upwards.

Vaarsuvius laughed, and kissed him passionately.


The sun was now lower in the sky, and the air was getting cooler, the shadows that stretched across the two resting figures deepening.

"We always end up outside, don't we." Vaarsuvius remarked, playing with a strand of white hair.

"Or in a cell." Zz'dtri replied

"I think I'd much rather be out here."

"No one to disturb us."

“Haley means well. She just has trouble accepting some things are none of her business.”

“Could be worse.” He raised his head to grin at his lover. “Could have been following us.”

“If she was, I’m sure she left in a hurry some time ago.” V mused, before gently kissing those dark lips.

They lay entwined for some time more, until Zz’dtri said “Should go back now.”

“We’re going to have to explain this to them. I don’t want you getting hurt because of a misunderstanding.”

“Think they’ll listen?”

“If they put up with that psychotic Halfling they’ve got no grounds to reject you.” Vaarsuvius said, untangling their legs and standing up. Zz’dtri caught his robe when it was tossed towards him and pulled it on reluctantly, then went to retrieve his shoes from the other side of the clearing.


The two elves slowed down as they approached the inn.

“I think maybe I should speak to them first.” Vaarsuvius said uncertainly as they entered the hallway, letting go of Zz’dtri’s hand to peer through the adjacent doorway that led into the tavern. Then came the sound of footsteps on the stairs and the clank of armor, and Vaarsuvius spun around to see Roy staring in recognition at the drow, Durkon still climbing down the steps behind him.

“What the hell!” Roy exclaimed, moving into a combat stance and reaching for his sword.

“Sir Greenhilt, it’s-” Vaarsuvius started, but Zz’dtri had raised his hands defensively and Roy, thinking he was about to cast a spell, stepped forward and punched him squarely in the face. While Zz’dtri stumbled back clutching his nose, Roy brought his sword in front of him and advanced on the drow, raising the greatsword above his head.

“No stop! …Fireball!” Before Roy could bring his sword down, he was struck in the side by a blistering heat and doubled over, gasping.

“Vaarsuvius!” Haley had run out of the bar having heard the commotion, with a wide-eyed Elan following closely behind. Vaarsuvius rushed over to Zz’dtri to make sure he was okay, ignoring Haley’s shout.

“V, you attacked Roy!”

“Well he attacked Zz’dtri!” Vaarsuvius shot back, glaring at her.

“What else did you think he’d do?”

“Not sneak up behind us, for one!”

“What is going on here?” Roy said, staring at the two elves and then at Haley. While they were arguing Durkon had moved over to him Roy and healed his burnt side, and the Fighter was now standing up straight again, sword held ready by his side.

“V has been… what’s the phrase? Fraternizing with the Enemy.”

“He is not the enemy any more!” V said exasperatedly.

“But he’s part of the Linear Guild, isn’t he? Durkon, what are you doing?” The dwarf had gone over to Zz’dtri and was assessing the damage to his nose.

“I dinne know wha’ is going on either, but ‘e’s not attackin’ us and ye did hit ‘im.”

“Left after taken by the lawyers.” Zz’dtri said, wincing as the dwarf prodded his nose.

“It’s not broken lad, jus’ badly swollen.”

“But how do we know he’s not just pretending he’s not still working for Nale? He’s evil isn’t he?” Roy asked.

Belkar chose that moment to wander into the hallway and looked around him. “What did I miss” he sniffed the air and smirked “…and who’s been getting some?”

“I think that answers both your concerns.” Vaarsuvius said irritably.

Roy gawped at the Halfling “…Wait, what?” Then it dawned on him and he turned to look at the two mages, who were now holding hands. “Oh.”

“Aww!” Elan piped in, earning him a sharp nudge from Haley.

“I’m still not sure I’m happy with having him hanging around though.” Roy said.

“Not that it matters, since we’re leaving here tomorrow.” Haley pointed out.

“Actually” Vaarsuvius said nervously “I was wondering if he might travel with us, at least for some way of the journey.” Zz’dtri looked surprised.

“What! You-” Haley started, but Roy cut her off.

“That’s not a bad idea actually. We’ll be able to keep an eye on him, make sure he’s not reporting to Nale about what we’re doing.”

“Not working for Nale.”

“Then there’s nothing to worry about, is there?” Roy said to the drow. “Now lets get out of the hallway, it’s too cramped.” He said, making his way into the bar, Durkon following behind. Vaarsuvius and Zz’dtri started up the stairs.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Haley asked sharply.

“To trance. Just trance.” The elf said, both of them then disappearing up the stairs without another word.

“What’s the matter Haley?” Elan asked confused, as they headed back into the bar.

Haley sighed “I’ll explain later.”

Belkar was left alone, having been ignored by everyone else. “Why does no one ever answer my questions?” he asked the empty air, before sighing and going back to his ale.


Vaarsuvius slowly surfaced from myriad of memories to see a pair of silver eyes inches away, watching.

“Good morning.” Zz’drti said as the other elf blinked bemusedly a few times.

Vaarsuvius closed the small gap between them to brush the other’s lips with a light kiss. “Good morning to you, too. You were watching me?”

“No bad memories. Not like before.” Zz’dtri said twirling a purple lock of hair between his fingers.

A delighted smile spread across the elf’s face. “No…. I suppose they’re finally gone.” Vaarsuvius said in surprise, snuggling into the drow’s arms and hugging him closer. “You kept them away.”

Zz’dtri sighed contentedly. “Will always keep them away.”

“You are happy to travel with the party, aren’t you? I should have consulted you before asking.”

“Happy to. Get to be together longer.”

They lay there tangled together under the blankets for a few more cozy minutes, enjoying the peace and quiet of early morning. Then, stifling a yawn, Vaarsuvius sat up and stretched, before slipping out from under the covers and untangling the red robes from the pile of clothes on the floor. Zz’tri watched sleepily.

“Er… there’s something else I forgot to mention.” The elf said, pulling on the robes.

Zz’dtri propped himself up on one elbow, causing the blankets to slide off his chest. “Oh?”

“Where were going next, Ivyleaf, it’s where I used to… it’s where my mate lives.”

Zz’dtri was silent for a while, just watching as Vaarsuvius began sorting through spell components. “Will be ok.” He said eventually, expressionlessly, before finally moving to get dressed.

Down in the tavern, Belkar was working his way through a large plate of bacon and eggs, while trying to ask Haley about their newest traveling companion.

“So this Zeeditty guy was working for Nale but isn’t now?” the Halfling said, spewing food everywhere.

Haley carefully edged away from him “Apparently.”

“But Ears knows him somehow? Like knows knows? I though he was married.”

“V is married.” Haley muttered into her coffee.

“Wait, does this mean Vaarsuvius is a girl, or are they both-“

“Not your business.” Zz’dtri said, walking over with a bowl of cereal, Vaarsuvius following behind him.

They sat down next to each other at the far end of the table and started on their breakfasts. Haley raised an eyebrow. “You seem to have made it our business.” Zz’dtri ignored her pushed a few bran flakes around in his bowl.

But Vaarsuvius replied “You’re the one who insists on getting involved.”

“Me? I’m not the one who decided to pick up a romantic interest along the way.”

“I am not arguing this over with you again. Besides, what is the idiot bard to you if not that?”

Haley was getting angry now. “That’s a completely different situation and you know it. Elan’s a valuable member of our team rather than just a useless deadweight.”

Now it was Vaarsuvius’ turn to raise an eyebrow. “Are we both referring to the same person?”

Belkar snickered. “Ooh, burn.”

“I can fight.” Zz’dtri said resolutely. “No scimitars anymore though.” He mused.

“We’ll see.” Haley said.

Before she could elaborate further, Roy approached the table and addressed the four of them. “Ok people, Durkon’s recharged his spells for today, so we’re leaving in ten minutes.” He turned to Zz’dtri “I’m somewhat surprised you didn’t make a run for it in the night, drow.”

“Why would I?” the elf asked defensively.

“Well, just make sure you don’t slow us down. Remember everyone, outside and ready to go in ten minutes!” he said, before walking away.


Five of seven were waiting in the road in from of the inn, their breath misting in the early morning air. After a few more minutes, the two remaining members of the Order cane out of the inn to join them.

“Sorry to keep you waiting guys! Haley insisted on rechecking out room incase she’d dropped any gold somewhere.” Elan said cheerfully.

“There was a silver piece behind the wardrobe that we would have missed otherwise.” Haley said, strapping her bow across her back in easy reach. There was a collective rolling of eyes from everyone else present.

“Well enough dawdling” Roy said, starting off down the road, everyone else falling in step behind him.

“Onwards, to Ivyleaf!”

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