2- Bound by Exile
Pulling a blanket tightly about him, Morden Rasp shook off the chill of the night air. Firelight licked the scars on his weathered cheek as he turned his head toward the glow of the outpost in The Overthere. Two pinpricks of violet looked back at him -- the eyes of a dark elf. The dark-skinned prowler had crept around their camp for several nights, preying on any creatures hungry enough to investigate the mellow aroma of mead and stew.
Nedaria sensed no ill-will from the dark elf, as evil as his innate tendencies may be, and told Morden to leave him be; let him satisfy his curiosity and need to hunt.
"He is much like us Morden," she said. "I feel he may have some part to play here."
Tondal Di`Xevar kept still, his body pressed against the cold earth. He shivered slightly as the wind blew silvery strands of hair across his face. He felt the barbarian look at him, the erudite see into him.
It had been a long time since he'd felt a need for companionship, but he did now. Many times he considered returning to his place at the outpost under his master, Vaean the Night, even though it would be the end of him. Tondal was tired of being alone and having no purpose.
As he crouched, Tondal became lost in a nightmare in his memory. He replayed the night he chanced upon an open tome in Vaean's study, one that made clear that he was ripening Tondal for a vile necromantic ritual. Vaean planned to have Tondal become one of his many mindless minions. That very night, Tondal fled the outpost while his master slept.
Since then, Tondal learned to live off of his wits and the fruits of Kunark, defending himself with his sword and dark magic and calling upon the undead to aid in his hunting.
But, two days ago, Tondal felt eerily drawn back to the outpost. As he carefully crested a hill near the outpost, he spotted a boat on the shore and two travelers of the likes he'd rarely seen. Tondal knew they were aware of his presence, yet they did not attack or approach.
He crept closer this night, inexplicably desperate to talk to the male and female. He felt confident he knew enough of the Common language to convey his harmless interest in them.
Having been lost in reflection, Tondal froze as a hand gripped his shoulder. Instinctively, he crossed his right arm in front of him, drew his sword and pivoted on his right foot, swinging the blade in a wide arc. A shock ran up his arm as an expert parry stopped his blade short.
Tondal looked up and met the steely gaze of Morden Rasp.