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In the skies over Waterdeep early one morning, a cry could be heard...

"For the love of the Spider Bitch! Put me down now you... you... great, stupid corby!!"

Alastríona sighed for the third time in almost as many minutes, debating the merits of pointing out the absurdity of the insult. Given the dire nature of their situation - fleeing Fire Knives assassins and seeking refuge with ancient and powerful dragons, a plan that only Bérénice could come up with and pull off - it seemed a bit inappropriate. Alastríona, though quite the pacifist normally, could never say no to a jab at the prickly drow. She ticked the points off on her fingers, which left Cal'lantar to dangle by only the strap around his torso; a leather loop that she'd attached to her belt for occasions just such as this one.

"I'm not black skinned, I'm not even remotely related to a bird at all, and corbies don't even fly. Really, Cal'lantar, in your hundred-and-seventy years of life you couldn't come up with something less childish?"

"And I thought I'd left all my days of domineering females back in Menzoberranzan," Cal'lantar hmphed as she re-secured her arm around his torso to support the strap, the only thing keeping him from going splat on a rooftop of Waterdeep, or worse, the filthy streets.

Again Alastríona had to sigh, adding an eye roll and a smirk this time. The drow was stubborn, and foolheaded at the most inopportune moments, cynical and jaded from his time before coming to the surface, but also a brilliant wizard, and he was fun to travel with. Made things interesting. And to a half-celestial coming upon her sixth century of  life, interesting was a blessing in disguise. Hence, she was still friends with Bérénice, among many other, far better reasons, and had decided to take up this quest with the werecat, not only out of friendship, but for something wonderfully exciting to do. And who else in all of Faerûn could look after Bérénice better than Alastríona and keep the cat out of the trouble that seemed to follow her wherever she went, and likewise battle by her side when trouble found them, nevertheless?

A change in the sea breeze under her wings brought Alastríona out of her reverie and back to the dangling drow in her arms. "It's faster this way and you know it. You would've had to struggle to keep up with us, magic or no. This way, here you are." The cheery note in her voice did nothing but make the drow scowl harder. "Make yourself useful while you're there and use your superior eyesight to watch Bérénice's back for stray assassins before they get too close."

The half-celestial heard muttering about the indignity of being a watch dog to a cat, but Alastríona focused on other things like the best wind currents and thermals to get them across Waterdeep as fast as possible and still keep pace with Bérénice on the ground. Coming from the Trade Ward, they had to head northwest as quickly as possible to the Sea Ward where Bérénice's dragon foster parents resided. Flying over Waterdeep was never easy anyway, with the sea air creating wind conditions that were constant and almost never predictable. Dragging a drow along did nothing for her aerodynamics either. They all needed to arrive at the dragon's mansion at the same time, or someone may get hurt.

Alastríona caught a brief glimpse of Bérénice in her hybrid form; still bipedal, but gently furred with the same lovely deep coffee color of her hair when human springing fleetly from rooftop to rooftop. It never ceased to amaze her the grace and beauty her normally brash friend held. Two sides to every coin, and all that, she supposed with a smile. Alastríona had discovered in the six or so years of their friendship that the woman was a walking disaster, finding every hidden patch of ice and bit of mud possible with catastrophic, and often extremely humorous, results. But under all the mud and bruises and cursing and clawing there was a beauty rarely seen in all of Alastriona's years.

Alastríona caught the sudden movement at the same time Cal'lantar yelled at her to come about to the left a few degrees. One of the Fire Knives assassins was trying to head Bérénice off from the street, and she hadn't seen him yet. This one couldn't be human - tiefling maybe. He was far too fast, pacing the werecat seemingly without strain from the streets below, dodging and hurtling obstacles with ease. Alastríona assessed and calculated instantly; there was no time for the drow to line up the shot and get the spell off before the assassin was too close to Bérénice to keep her out of the line of fire, not to mention the attention such a strategy would draw.

"Lift your feet when I give you the word!" the half-celestial yelled, a split second before folding her wings and heading into a hawk-like dive to shed altitude. Cal'lantar's startled yelp and long white hair suddenly whipping in her face barely registered as she concentrated on her trajectory and rate of speed. It would be close. The angle of descent would be steep, her deceleration sudden, and she had to compensate for the drow's weight in every maneuver, and recalculate for Bérénice's movement as well. The werecat was quickly closing straight in on the perfect choke point for the attack; Alastriona had mere seconds to pull this off. Close might have been an understatement.

"You! What are you-" the half-celestial cut Cal'lantar off before he could finish.

"Now! Lift your legs!" she roared over him, and to her shock he complied without hesitation.

Alastriona threw her wings out wide and forward, the sudden braking snapping the drow sharply alee, jerking the strap and in turn the belt around her waist with a jarring force that hurt her back and threw her blue braid out in front of her. The assassin, and indeed it was a tiefling, sprang up as the half-angel-drow-battering ram swooped across Bérénice's path, and Cal'lantar's feet caught the beast squarely in the chest with a crack of bone and a sharp 'WHUFF' of forced exhalation, eyes bugging out in surprise, before he simply vanished over the side of he roof. Alastríona turned her head in time to catch the werecat's startled expression and resulting grin, which she returned for the briefest second before the strain of her descent caught up with her.

They were going to crash.

In a flurry of wing beats, Alastríona struggled to get them back aloft, but the brake job had strained her muscles. Even her strength and the adrenaline pumping into her wasn't enough to counter gravity and fatigue as she shifted and flapped her considerable wingspan to try and catch some much needed lift. She could correct enough to get them to a rooftop instead of the side of a building, but they were going to crash.

"Alastriona!" Cal'lantar yelled out, and the half-angel thought she felt him fumbling for something, a medallion perhaps, something to shield them when they hit, or at least him.

The only thing that saved them was the sudden zephyr that blew in off the ocean, the wind catching under the half-celestial's wings and pushing her up, up, in a sharp ascent, back toward the prevailing winds. As they rose, she realized it was still morning, barely after dawn even, still Lathander's time, and she spared a moment of thanks to her deity. She tried not to sigh in relief, not wanting to give away to the drow just how close they'd come to disaster.

The rest of the flight was mostly easy gliding, without issue, tracking Bérénice below and following her into the Sea Ward. She stopped, and Alastríona took that as her signal to land. It was fairly gentle, considering, and Cal'lantar stumbled only a little as he disengaged himself from the strap. As soon as he got his balance, though, he rounded on the half-angel in fury.

"Dos ph'viggtu," he hissed in Drow, "where in the Abyss do you get off using me as a weapon! And worse, we nearly crashed!" It wasn't a question, but an accusation.

Alastríona shrugged halfheartedly, schooling her features to neutrality, "I had it under control."

The drow arched one slender brow and pointed down to where a clothesline, complete with someone's wet laundry, tangled around his right leg. "I beg to differ."

Bérénice stepped in with an arch look before Alastríona could summon a retort. "Amusing as this is, assassins will not wait for you two to finish your bickering. We shouldn't tally."

The drow made a frustrated gesture before kneeling, muttering, "This Spellfire better be worth all this trouble, kitten." Bérénice turned her arch look from the drow to her winged friend, who stood impassively with her arms folded across her chest. The werecat had shifted back to full human form, but Alastríona recognized the wildness remaining in her eyes. Now was not the time to argue with her. A petulant rustle of the half-angel's folded wings punctuated her next statement.

"Next time, you carry him."
<EDIT>: Lovely new preview illustration of "The Waterdeep Maneuver" (what we're lovingly calling that bit in this story with the half-angel-drow-battering ram ;)) brought to you by *tenchufreak. GO LOVE ON HER IN HER EPICNESS!!
That is all :D
<end edit>

Ch 2: --->

(TRANSLATION- Dos ph'viggtu- "You are insane")

A snippet from a funny thought that blossomed into a whole 4 pages of OMG!! I have to say, this is the first thing I've been thoroughly inspired to write in.... I don't want to admit how long :blush: As an alleged writer, it's really embarassing.

Infinite love and thanks to the bestest Norweigian friend I ever had, *Sushi-Troll, for all her love and support and help and support and ideas... did I mention support? :tighthug: You're the best hunny :D

This is set at the very beginning of their adventure, with more bits and snippets and such to follow, of course :D

More info on the characters here ---> Berenice--

Characters found here are copyrighted to *Sushi-Troll and ~BatPhace so no, you can't have, use, or mess with them in any way. K, punkins?? ;)
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BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014

I'm participating in :iconseries-unknown:'s raffle (linky linkLink La :, and I don't think you're a member yet (but you should!) which makes you fair game for me, gnee gnee gnee...!

Okay so first I'd like to address a couple things that make this story so incredibly Forgotten Realms-ish: it has the protagonist of mixed heritage, a drow male AND has one of the Realms' evil organisations for baddies! It's a recipe that honours the classics, da-yummmm...!

As for errors (aside from the couple missing accents in 'Alastríona'), I spotted only this - please do double-check because grammar is HARD - "They all needed to arrive at the dragon's mansion at the same time, or someone may get hurt". That should be, I think, "... or someone might", because of the conditional tense, and the whole of the story being in past tense.
Also, it's 'tarry' instead of 'tally', in the second-to-last paragraph.

Other than that, no remarks. Descriptions come elegantly and not overly obtrusively, you did a GREAT job at conjuring telling (and funny!) mental images, and character exhibition and the corresponding inter-personal relations were clear and thorough, even in so short a chapter.
Point-of-view was handled with great care and makes everything flow nicely.

You clearly have enormous talent, and I wish there was more (lots, LOTS more) Forgotten Realms literature that you would have for me to read.

I hope you don't mind me throwing this thing into your comments just like that, but if it helps any (and if I understand the rules correctly), you are now allowed to enter the raffle too if you like. Do check out that link!

Cheers, and see you around!
BatPhace Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
One of the realms less known organizations as evil baddies to boot :D

Also I think you might be right about the phrasing, but I may just be too lazy to go back and fix it :D

Thank you so much for the little crit darling, even if it's taken me ages to get back to you :D If my muse would cooperate, as well as my state of health, and at the same time no less, there would be more of these chapters done up. Alas, it never seems to work out :D
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015
I'm helping you hope though. It's such a damn fine hobby afterall...!
BatPhace Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You'd think with nothing to do but mope and heal for a month I'd've gotten SOMETHING DONE, but no, nothing. It's been an incredibly unproductive post operative experience :( UGH
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015
Well I'm trying to rewire my brain into not thinking about time to spend, but energy to spend. And being on medication with a bunch of things to do on your mind is guzzling my energy like nobody's business.
Once you're feeling healthy again you'll be doing three things at once again in no time.
BatPhace Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
And still having no time to write or read or even clear out my deviations LOL Pikachu crying plz 
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2015
Oh now that you mention that - your inbox deviation stack must be MASSIVE by now!
Hehe - how many stacks? Am I allowed to know?
Sushi-Troll Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I love how your hugs are so tight I lose weight from your squeeze alone. Natural massage therapist strength thar. :iconmegustaplz:
BatPhace Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
ROFL pickle jars fear my grip too :icontrollfaceplz:
Jorik-Spiritwolves Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012  Hobbyist
Truly awesome writing ^^
I love it!
I rarely have this much fun while reading :D well except for sushi's work that's also fun ^^
But you wrote amazingly well and I just had to fave!
Love the nickname kitten xD
BatPhace Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It was amazingly fun to write, especailly with sushi helping me out :D First bit of inspirationin a while too :) Thanks for the fav :D
Jorik-Spiritwolves Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Hobbyist
my pleasure, I really like it ^^
Very nicely written :D
amitrixwolf Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
haha this is wonderful! XD very funny! I have no idea what these characters are for but it twas a funny story. :3
BatPhace Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Dey is Forgotten Realms, Dungeons and Dragons OCs :D Glad you like it sweetie :hug: I went for funny-ish so I'm glad I hit the mark :la:
amitrixwolf Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
ahhh ok :)
Sushi-Troll Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I know I already told you, but this story had me giggling ALL DAY, and I'm not exaggerating. I even giggled to myself on the way to the grocery store, much to the puzzlement of my mother and older brother. :'D I love EVERY part of this story, from the way you describe our OCs' view on each other to their crazy banter to how they deal with tiefling assassins WHILE IN THE AIR! :giggle:

You've made my drow suitably precious, your half-angel wonderfully snarky and my werecat amazingly feral. :heart: I really couldn't have asked for a better story, and the fact that you're back to writing at all makes me happier than you can ever imagine. :iconinloveplz:

In case you didn't notice from my ramblins, I LOVE your writing. :D
BatPhace Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconhurrrplz: I'm just glad I could do them justice hunny :D I'm glad I'm back too :D /crosses fingers so as not to jinx the inspiration/ LOL
Sushi-Troll Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You did them justice and then some. :D Now I just hope I can live up to the same standards. :'D :heart:
BatPhace Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
BWAHHHH!!! :iconblushplz:
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