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21 April 2006 - 05:28 PM

I wrote this about two years ago. I quite liked it then but I?m not so sure about it now. It used to be one huge, three page paragraph. It?s been two years but I?ve finally decided to go back and give it spacing. Otherwise it?s exactly the same.

Onward we go to read from the past.


Characters and settings of Baldur's Gate Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal belong to Bioware and Wizards of the Coast. Not me.

This being my first contribution to the fandom I?m rather anxious about it. I don?t quite know what it is, I suppose the autobiography of one CHARNAME for the first chapter. I?d like to continue this, but I probably wont because I?m lazy and never continue things. This is the attack of the giant paragraph that defies all English professors. Ah well, I hope it doesn?t make your eyes bleed.


   It would appeal to my sense of dramatics to say that the years spent at Candlekeep were the happiest of my existence.

I have learnt however that the truth is a rather fickle thing and, though open to interpretation, one should try not to state something that will be put to too much questioning. I?ve had many good times, a far more fulfilling existence than some, and I intend to continue to enjoy myself throughout whatever will come.

I can say however that my youth was wonderful.

Youth for me ended when I left Candlekeep, the night I fled with my foster father Gorion, the day I first killed. I would find out much later that those I killed were named Shank and Carbos. An unimportant fact perhaps but I believe that they deserve mention, the first humanoid drops of life-blood spilt by one of the most successful of the spawn.

?The Spawn? I feel rather silly describing my siblings and myself like that. Fishy perhaps.

Ah, well, as I was saying, my youth was spent in Candlekeep with my foster father, Gorion; Imoen, my sister in so many ways, and the less known inhabitants.

Phlydia, who was always misplacing her books and supplied wonderful sweets.

Dreppin, who always had a way with animals and most people too. I remember believing that he must have had some wonderful magical ability that let him know what creatures were thinking and feeling. I suppose that he did, though it was something learnt by watching them rather than a holy or mage-created gift.

There were Jacobs, Jeeros, Marseron, Kender, Roe, Reever, Fuller, Hull, Jondalar, Erik, the Gatewarden and Obe to protect us. I highly suspect that the man was not named ?Gatewarden? by his parents but that?s all that I ever knew him as.

To say the truth is to say that I truly did not know much about myself or my surroundings. I took them for granted, something there, something that I would always have time to learn of if ever I wanted. I did not.

The tutors I had never minded that though, I was well read, I devoured the books and scrolls in the library, I could identify the birds and the plants. I could tell you the rulers of Waterdeep throughout its history. I could identify the constellations and recite their symbolism and myths. I could, in theory at least, properly wield a two-handed sword though this was proved false in practice, rather painfully.

My monkish tutors were fond of me, I may say perhaps moreso than of Imoen but if that?s true it is only because most monks don?t appreciate mischief and it?s rather hard to be free of mischief when you are surreptitiously rummaging through pockets that aren?t yours.

Karan and Parda were our two main tutors, meaning that neither Imoen nor I ever caused them to stomp out of the room raging about delinquents.

Occasionally, Tethoril or Ulrant himself would come and depart their wisdom to us. I quite enjoyed Tethoril?s lessons, he was a more than adequate teacher even though he did enjoy speaking in riddles and I suspect that he sometimes tried to confuse us just for his own amusement.

Ulrant was not such a pleasant man and he kept quite a grudge against Imoen and I for a small prank that we played at the age of eight.

It was a small prank too; nothing so drastic would have happened if he had simply kept calm as he was always telling us to. We wouldn?t have done it anyway if he hadn?t confiscated that book.

I do admit that it is rather rude reasoning as he wouldn?t have confiscated it if I hadn?t convinced Imoen to borrow the restricted text in the first place. It was quite interesting though, I don?t regret it at all, and I know that Imoen doesn?t either.

Imoen is not just a sister by whatever blood binds us but in soul too, I suppose in my case that would be rather the same as blood but I mean her conscience, her essence, the bit that was not Bhaal, her ?Imoenness? is the sister to mine, or so I would quite like to think.

We grew up together, as I am sure that you have already surmised. We were the only females of our generation that lived in the keep, there was also Dreppin, but we couldn?t compete with his cows.

There were occasionally some visitors to the keep. Phlydia had two mostly agreeable nephews of our age, cousins, not brothers, they came always just after the first snowfall until two years before I left. There had been marriage involved somewhere in the scheme of things, I do not think that Derrik was very pleased at that prospect as he was still at the stage of believing that females carried a disease fatal to those of the male persuasion and spread by skin-contact even at seventeen years.

We also had the children of prestigious mages and bored dukes passing through from time to time. Most were not the sort that one would like to strike up a permanent acquaintance with even if one had the opportunity.

I will always remember the son of Duke Ferdinand who raced back through the gates as he was leaving and tried to abduct Imoen. He gave her one kiss and swore he would never love another. When we next heard news of him seven years later it seemed that he had forgotten his oath. Imoen was not very distraught.

The girl was always useful to have on a raid. I remember sneaking into the central kitchens at night. I would conjure a globe of light and she would collect the loot. I do realize that she likely did more of the work but I got half of the goods, at least if I paid attention.

Imoen has always been a beacon of light, always looking on the bright side of life. There were some troubled times because of a torturing and soulless fiend but she survived.

She suffered far longer in his care than I did and she bounced back just as well. She resisted the pull of Bhaal far longer than any other of us did. I believe that she would have made the best of us as a deity, but that was not a road she even considered. Imoen: mistress of thieving and magics, purest of the sullied.

Winthrop the jolly proprietor of the only inn in Candlekeep was always chasing after Imoen, either to get her to do chores or to retrieve his pocketwatch of her free fingers. She really liked that watch.

Winthrop was father to Imoen much as Gorion was father to me. Sweet, wise, old Gorion. Gorion, who taught me magics, and not just the things that the others tried to teach me, magic missiles and sleep spells, but spells that would have practical uses in everyday life on the keep. Shrinking spells and spells to purify water came from him. (Ulrant was quite surprised that his wine was so bland. I saved him from any embarrassing drunken antics though.)

Gorion saw things that other people couldn?t. He would look into the fountains for hours, saying that he was watching what was going on in far off places. I realize now that that was probably the effect of some scrying spell but it sure did look impressive.

I don?t mean just that though, he could look at a cat and predict the weather, he could look at the birds and tell us just how much rain there was going to be and when. He saw what was going on around him, something that I?ve had cause to wish he had had the time to train me in.

Gorion brought Imoen and I to Candlekeep. He died protecting us, me at least, Imoen showed no signs of being in danger at the time, or at least that?s what the harpers told us.

I was almost twenty years at the time, far too young to be thrust into the world, yet many before me had been, and at much younger ages. The last spell he taught me was how to erect a tent without proper materials or labour. It would be very useful for what I was about to face.


That was it. I thank you for reading to the end.