Beloved of Jasix Prowlingwolf</b>
.......Staring out at me from the wall mirror was a radiant creature dressed in a long, flowing white gown. Her golden tresses gleamed with health, and was neatly tucked behind pointed ears. Her hazel blue eyes sparkled with some unseen adventure. Her pale skin contrasted deeply with the strange tattoo running the length of her cheeks, fading below her pointed chin. She wore a blue flower in one ear, her headdress was simple, just a wreath of roses. From her right hand dangled a daisy. Her left hand boasted a golden ring on the third finger. I could barely believe that this beautiful bride was me, Shalia Rhyvermist. Tomorrow I am to be married to the most wonderful creature alive, my beloved Jasix Prowlingwolf. Tears sprang to my eyes as I recalled the day we met.
......I had been exploring a wide, vast world of wondrous, icy caverns filled with treasure and strange creatures when I blindly entered a hugs cave. There stood before me the most immense visage I had ever encountered. The creature was an enormous ice bear, and I had interrupted his nap. He charged to the attack, his massive form overwhelming me as I attempted to flee. His tremendous claws struck my in the chest, and in one fell swoop, I felt my life-force leaving my body. I fell into blessed unconsciousness. The gods were in my favor that day, for they transported my lifeless body to a temple, healed all my wounds, and deposited me at the northern Road Crossing of my hometown of Waterdeep. I huddled, shivering and weak , and began to pray to my goddess.
......As I felt my strength returning, I looked outward, at my surroundings. Resting beside me was a huge, muscled creature dressed in full battle gear. I cringed away form him in terror, thinking my second chance at life was hastily coming to an end. I feared this massive creature would make a midday meal of me. As I scrambled to my feet, preparing to flee, he told me not to fear him, that he was a gentle man , a conjurer from the mighty northern city of Griffon's Nest. He said he was a barbarian, and that his name was Jasix Prowlingwolf. He saw me shivering, as I had dropped my thick winter clothing and full pack back in the den of the giant ice bear. He beckoned to me, charging me to sit close to his campfire, and offered me something to eat. I was still terrified, but the warmth radiating from his fire, and the offer of a meal for my grumbling stomach overcame my fears.
......We struck up a conversation, discovering many similarities between our lives. He, too, was a wanderer, a lone traveler in the world. We talked through the afternoon and into the early evening. He said he was headed for Waterdeep, and offered to protect me from the wild creatures that abound. Since I was weaponless and had lost all my possessions, I reluctantly agreed to be his companion. I was still nervous from my ordeal, and was hesitant to make a new friend. We started for home immediately, his pace sure, his strides long. He noticed me lagging behind, and slowed his steps. During the short distance, we resumed our discussion, and soon were laughing and chatting like old friends. The great north gates of my home are locked at night, to discourage attacks, but it was bright daylight when we approached the soldiers guarding the city. I knew Jasix was a good and honorable man, as the guards let him enter the city with no hesitation. We immediately headed for the Inn, both of us weary from our long travels.
......I slept deeply, and woke early, eager to see my new friend. I waited patiently on the stairs of the Inn, until he started down the stairs. We bade each other good morning, and I queried him as to his day's plans. He said he planned to travel out the southern gates of the city, exploring the region of the trolls. I begged and pleaded for him to take me on my journeys, declaring I needed only to run to my mother's home for new travel gear and extra food. He smiled at me, and began to say no, but the tears in my eyes made him rethink his plans. He seemed to battle his inner soul, then he agreed to take me with him. I ran quickly to get new equipment, and joined him at the southern gates of town.
......This was the beginning of a great friendship. Jasix became my mentor and protector, I was his ever present companion and confidante. We explored the entire southern region, but never ventured too far from town as not to return every few nights to rest comfortably at the Inn, and stock up on travel rations. We triumphed over trolls, skeletons and ghouls. Jasix caused magical creatures to spring from the distant Elemental Planes. These beings were instrumental in our constant battle to overcome evil.
......Each night, as we roasted small game over campfires, Jasix and I would talk about everything and nothing. We shared hopes and dreams, and became closer than brother and sister. Jasix told me of his life, how he had grown to maturity in the great northern territory. He told me of his studies in the mystical walks of life, and how he had chosen to become a conjurer. He told me of many travels, with nameless companions. He told me stories of strange and wondrous places, where he vanquished mighty opponents. We shared a bond so strong, we soon began to complete thoughts for each other. While in battle we soon learned to communicate with the slightest nod of a head, a gesture with the hand. We were the perfect team, his magical creatures and mighty offensive spells, and my growing knowledge of healing. For several months this was our life. We made many friends, and soon we were thought of as a team. When one was asked to form a group for some raid on the evils, it was assumed both would join the fray. Jasix took great care that I not be hurt in any way. When the battle was too fierce, he insisted I stay behind and tend to the camp.
......Soon I became weary, and needed to take some time to rest and reflect. Jasix formed another travel grouped, but I stayed behind. I missed my great, shaggy friend greatly. I began to count the days until his return. I looked forward to the day his mighty voice would call his *little elfie* to his side. Soon I realized it was more than friendship I felt for this giant creature. I dreamed of his voice, I dreamed of the friendly hugs we shared when greeting each other. In fact, I realized I was in love with this marvelous gift from the gods!!! I talked with friends, they thought I was insane to feel this way. But, by the gods! I couldn't help it! I felt what I felt, and I just had to tell him! Soon I caught word that his traveling party was on their way home, and my pulse quickened. I met him at the gates, and pulled him close for our customary , albeit friendly hug. I allowed him to catch up with his old friends , then I quietly drew him aside, I begged him to take a walk with me, so that I might fill my drinking container with the holy water from a nearby magical fountain.
......He agreed to go with me, and we soon made our way to a magical place, a fountain located to the south of town, in the midst of some ancient ruins. I filled my water container, cleared my throat, and fought to keep my voice normal. I asked him about his journey and heard some of the stories he could tell so well. I let him speak his piece, then told him that I had missed him. He had missed me too, he said, no one could take my place at his side, that we were a wonderful team. I cleared my throat, wiped the tears from my eyes, and declared my love for him. I was expecting a gentle let down, for he would never dream of hurting me deliberately. Instead, I found myself high above the ground wrapped in his arms. He told me that he, too had fallen in love, unexpectedly, uninvited. He kissed my tears away, kissed the tip of my nose, then kissed my small mouth. We shared many tender kisses, full of wonder and discovery. We laughed a little and talked about what a stir this would cause in town. Imagine, a great barbarian male and a tiny half-elven female in love!
......When we returned to town and told our friends about our newly discovered love, they cheered and said it was about time we found out how we felt. They said it was obvious and had been apparent almost from day one of our meeting. They all offered their congratulations, and spoke highly of our relationship. From then on we were a couple. We were included in every group as a pair, one would not go without the other. We became known for our outrageous display of affection, many folks laughing at our sticky-sweet words of love for each other. We were under constant surveillance, for the fact remained.. We're a highly unlikely match. People were accepting of an affair between us, but how would they feel when we declared our intentions to marry? We knew we had to earn the favors of our gods before we could make a permanent union, so we enjoyed a long romance.
......The pattern of our lives changed little with our new relationship. We traveled far and wide together, still conquering evil creatures, still honing our chosen skills. The biggest difference was how our nights were spent, locked in each other's arms. We had a special passion between us, that wasn't quenched with time. I had known few other men in my lifetime, but none made me come alive as he did.
......We traveled north, so I could meet his parents and brothers. They seemed happy with the prospect that their *little* boy had settled down at all, the differences in our race didn't matter. We spent several weeks in the great city of Griffon's Nest, I was welcomed everywhere we went. Our next trip was to my mother's residence on the quiet island home of the elves of Evermeet. We asked a great druid friend of ours to open a passage, a moonwell straight to my mother. This was one time our differences were made apparent, for Jasix could not enter the city of Leuthilspar. Guards were posted at the city gates, and charged with the death of anyone who attempted to enter who was not elven in nature. My mother, Giliian, was unaffected by the realization that her son-in-law to be was this gigantic barbarian creature. In fact she approved, having fallen under the spell of a human man to create me.
......We traveled back through a moonwell, to our chosen home, Waterdeep. We decided that since our parents were satisfied we could make a good match, no one would stop us from marrying. We decided to take our time, though, to see if our love would stand the test of time, and the many challenges ahead of us. We lived like this for many years, till Jasix surprised me one day , in the Northwest guard tower. He dropped to one knee, put a delicate golden ring on my hand, and asked me to marry him. We decided to make the wedding plans as fast as possible, to have the wedding held at our meeting place, with all of our friends present.
......As I remove my wedding dress, to hang it one last time on it's hanger, I think about all that has transpired, the challenges we have overcome, and most of all, what caused me to fall in love with a barbarian creature instead of a man from my heritage, an elf or a human. I sit down on my bed in the Waterdeep Inn, and reflect on my life.
......For several years of my young life I lived with my mother, Giliian Rhyvermist, on the tiny elven island of Evermeet. My playmates were the faeries and woodsprites inhabiting the trees surrounding my mother's house. As I grew older, I began to ask questions about my father. All Giliian would tell me was that she met him in Waterdeep, and had had a brief, passionate affair with him. When they discovered she was pregnant, he was unwilling to marry her. She fled to her parents, and begged them to take her in. Soon after I was born, mother moved to the small cottage in the forest that she even now inhabits.
......I was a precocious child, always tending to the hurt animals in the forest, forever taking them home to heal their wounds. Mother saw this trait in me, and decided to send me to live with the druids of Waterdeep to learn their craft. I left Evermeet full of dreams. I would heal the sick, and become the greatest druid that ever walked Faerun. I soon learned that though my lessons were difficult, and I would have light chores, most of my time was my own. Being naturally curious, I wandered around Waterdeep, soon learning its magic.
......My neophyte skills were soon learned in the druids halls of instruction, and I set out to make my living. I traveled a little on my own, choosing to stay close to the city's borders. I talked with everyone, making many friends. I heard of a wondrous castle far to the north of Waterdeep, and had an intense desire to see it's splendors. I was light of heart and quick of pace the day I set out to find Ice Crag Castle. I had gathered enough travel items to last me several weeks. I walked far north, and met with several races of people. I made many friends on my way, and camped often in strange towns. Though the weather grew bitterly cold, I was always comfortable and confident my travels would be well worth any discomfort. I was blissfully unawares the day I passed the beautiful well and traveled farther north. I was walking fast, whistling a brave tune , looking around me at the wonders of this icy world.
......I shiver and shake with the memories of the ice bear, and force myself to dwell on the subject no longer. Instead I remove the rest of my wedding trousseau and settle down to bed to dream of my love, my lover, my life, Jasix Prowlingwolf.
This is the story of Shalia Rhyvermist.
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