Stories Hub / Sci-Fi & Fantasy / No Longer a Game Ch. 21

No Longer a Game Ch. 21

by GothicGaGirl 01/13/18

Over the next three days the group of friends went about the business of finding a way home. The Shadow Thieves met their end of the bargain and Gayle did indeed send the thirty thousand gold to the group which gave them more than enough gold to finance their expedition home; enough gold that even the frugal dwarf gave each of the companions equal shares to spend on anything they wanted while in the city. Now they just needed to find the portal. The party broke up into groups to run various errands but agreed not to travel the streets of Athkatla alone with Linvall possibly looking to do them harm and the chance the Zhentarim may have put a price on their heads, but that did not keep the friends shut up in their inn.

Ahira often went out to the shops and vendors to price supplies they needed for the journey home often accompanied by Rain or Jason, Christie spent most of her days at the Temple of Eilistraee talking with Sinafey, and Lou and Natalie spent their days in the great library researching anything they could on the portal home. The two mages were always accompanied by one of their other friends to act as "body guards" since they had no idea if Linvall or an agent of the Zhentarim would take advantage of the two mages inability to defend themselves on the streets of Athkatla, but no one harassed them.

For three days the two mages spent many hours researching the library and even bribed the Cowl Wizards to gain access to the restricted areas and while they found much information on portals to other places in the world they could find nothing about a portal to their home. Lou did get a chance to expand his spell book with more powerful spells and Natalie even found a few she could learn that she did not have in her book.

"We just can't find anything." Natalie said to her friends as they ate dinner on the third night after their encounter with the vampires.

The elf was wearing her new elaborate dress she had purchased days before and was often teased by her friends for wearing that dress and also the two others she purchased. As Natalie made her way daily to the Temple District to the library she drew many stares for she looked like an elven princess and she enjoyed the attention. The other companions also purchased more clothes but clothes that were more fitting for daily use and travel.

"Even in the restricted area?" Ahira asked.

"Yes, we had to bribe our way in but not as much as we thought thanks to Natalie. The wizards are charmed by her." Lou mentioned with a grin.

"Damn nineteen Charisma." Rain giggled. The hostility between her and the moon elf ceased after their battle with the vampires. Seeing Natalie bleeding her life out and almost die made Rain realize she did care for the girl.

Natalie stuck her tongue out at Rain, "We are at a loss and it can take weeks just to go through half the books there." Natalie added sadly.

"Well if it takes weeks then it takes weeks. We need to get you all home." Ahira said as he rubbed the area of his head where his ear used to be. The wound healed nicely thanks to Christie's healing spells but she could not regrow his ear and it left an ugly scar.

Everyone but Lou stared at the dwarf. "What do you mean 'get you all home'?" Jason asked.

The dwarf nodded to Lou who nodded back, "Lou and I have talked about it and we are not going back."

"What!" Natalie, Rain, and Christie said in unison.

"That's crazy Michael!" Jason shouted. "Why?"

The dwarf shook his head, "What do I have to go back to? A life confined to a wheel chair and it will get worse. Soon I will lose all my muscle control and won't even be able to talk. Here I am strong and powerful and I can walk. We have talked about it, Lou and I, and I am not going home. We will get you to the portal and after we see y'all home safe Lou and I will stay here."

"And you, Lou, why are you staying?" Rain asked.

"Magic." He answered. "Back home what am I? An engineering student in a world where there is nothing else to create? What kind of life is that? Everything in our world is already invented or created and why should I spend my days just trying to improve on someone else's ideas? Here I am a powerful wizard. I did not know how powerful until Natalie and I went to the library and met some of the Cowled Wizards, who are supposed to be some of the most powerful wizards of this world, and I am more powerful than most of them. Here I can create things with magic, I can build things with magic, and I can become more powerful."

"But...but what about your families?" Natalie asked.

Lou shrugged, "Don't think we didn't think about that or we didn't think about everything with us staying. We did, but we are staying and nothing you can say or do will change our minds."

"What will you two do if you stay?" Jason asked. "It's not like you know people here or have friends and we made some enemies."

Ahira shrugged, "Well once we leave Athkatla Linvall won't be a problem and maybe the Zhentarim may not even know about us and what we did. I may go north to the Silvermarches. It is rumored that is where Delzoun was and around that area is where what remains of Clan Bloodax makes their home. Lou can go with me if he wants but I think he has other plans."

Lou nodded, "Yes I thought about going to Candle Keep. Study with the mages there."

The group argued over the issue all throughout their dinner but nothing the three said would change Lou's and Ahira's minds. Jason finally stood up and stormed from the dining hall with Rain following close behind.

The dwarf's eyes followed the two as they left and then he turned to face the others and pointed his finger at Natalie and Christie, "One of you needs to talk to Rain about her and Jason."

Natalie smiled, "How long have you known?"

"For a couple of nights and you?"

Christie shrugged, "About the same. She goes for a so called walk every night since our encounter with the vampires, but Natalie and I haven't mentioned a thing to her."

"Well one of you should. Rain's going to be heartbroken when you get back home."

"Why?" The drow asked.

"Because when you get back home Rain will be a guy again and Jason will be the football star and no way he is going to continue their affair at least not openly and I think Rain wants that."

Natalie nodded, "Yeah she thinks she is in love. But it's not our business really. Like you and Lou she is an adult and can make her own choices."

"That's kind of heartless, Natalie." Christie told her.

The elf shrugged, "That's life, Christie. Life is not a Disney movie or a fairy tale where you live happily ever after. It's full of heartbreak and misery." She said in a cold calm voice. "You bury that pain deep and forget it and move on. Rain can do the same and she will have friends, you and me, whose shoulder she can cry on."

Natalie excused herself politely and stood up and placed a kiss on Christie's cheek and left the table to go to the room she shared with the other two females.

"I thought her and Rain are getting along now?" Lou asked.

Christie looked down at the table. "She was not referring to Rain."

Later that night Natalie was reading a book on the History of Faerûn she got from the library just out of curiosity while Rain went on her "walk". The elf was lying on her stomach on the sofa in the living area of the suite dressed in just a pull over white tunic with the book in front of her.

"So you coming to bed?" Natalie looked over and saw the drow standing in the doorway of their shared room also dressed also in just a pull over tunic. She smiled up at the other female.

"And what do you have in mind?" She asked in a mock innocent voice.

"Ummm...I thought we could play with the new toys I got like we did last night. The ones that are enchanted to vibrate." Christie grinned seductively.

Natalie grinned, "But I am a good elf princess and would never do anything with such an evil drow like yourself." Natalie said still using her innocent voice.

Christie laughed, "Yeah you were such a good elf princess last night who I thought was going to waken the entire inn with her screams when she came...several times if I remember correctly."

Natalie laughed, "Hush! I couldn't help it." She pouted. "Give me a moment I want to read this one part."

"Ok but don't be too long or I will have to spank you again." Christie teased.

"I think you are starting to enjoy that just a little too much."

Christie laughed again and went back in the room. She smiled as she sat on the bed. Her renewed relationship with Natalie seemed to be getting stronger than it ever had before and often after their love making the last few nights, Natalie seemed to open up more about herself; just minor things about her life but it was a start that Christie enjoyed. Maybe it was her near death experience or maybe even the sweet innocence of her moon elf character coming out more, but whatever it was Christie hoped it lasted when they got back home. The drow also changed since the fight with the vampires and since she got her cleric powers back; she was not only much more confident and much more drow like than she was before, but Christie had started to develop true faith in her drow goddess. Her and Sinafey often discussed their faith for hours at a time, the teachings of the Dark Maiden, and the drow was becoming a devoted follower. Her new found faith sometimes annoyed Natalie, but the elf girl never pressed the issue.

"Son of a bitch!" Christie heard Natalie scream.

The drow quickly got off the bed, grabbed her sword which hummed with song as she drew it from its scabbard and rushed into the living area. She relaxed when she saw Natalie sitting upright on the sofa with the book in her lap.

"What?" She asked.

Natalie held her hand up, "One sec." The elf continued to read.

"Son of a bitch." She repeated.

"Natalie, what? Tell me."

Natalie looked up and smiled, "I think I just found the way home. I have got to show Lou."

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