“Wait….how did you know my name? I have not shared it with you yet.” Marleena asked after Aribeth finished the tale of her downfall, and how she wound up here in the frozen wastelands of Cania. Something about the elf stirred things inside of her, but she couldn’t get a grasp and what it was.
“Maybe she can read your mind, boss!” Deekin squeaked excitedly, staring at Aribeth in awe. “Miss elf lady, what be Deekin thinkin’ about nnnnnnnnnow?”
Leena rolled her eyes, successfully suppressing the grin that threatened to spread across her face. Aribeth kept her eyes glued to the woman, her brow furrowed slightly and a look of astonishment on her face. “You….do not remember?”
“Remember what, exactly?”
“I see,” Aribeth said, looking away from Leena to fixate her gaze on the opposite wall of the cave. “They said you had changed after Nasher… But I didn’t believe them, until now.”
“They who? Remember what?” she started subconciously pacing in front of the blazing fire, her mind tugging at her. “What are you talking about, Aribeth? Nasher….”
“Lord Nasher.” Aribeth said carefully, returning her eyes to Marleena. “Of Neverwinter. You plead with him to spare me, and at first he complied. But then he…changed his mind, and cast you out as well.”
Leena shook her head. “You are mistaken, that was not me. I have never been to Neverwinter. I don’t know what you are talking about.”
Aribeth crossed her arms across her chest. “What all do you remember, before coming here?”
She swallowed deeply, her heart pounding and her mind reeling. “The Underdark, Waterdeep, Heurodis, Undrentide, the desert, meeting Deekin, Master Drogan….” she stopped, striving to recall a time before she came to live with the dwarf but her mind was shrouded in a haze.
“Boss?” Deekin asked worriedly, a frown on his tiny face.
“After Nasher cast you out of the city I was put to death.” Aribeth said quietly. “I deserved my fate, I know that now. But you did not deserve yours. My best guess is that your mind snapped from all of the stress, and chose to forget everything. Leena, you are Marleena Swift; the Hero of Neverwinter.”
“Boss is the same Leena from the tales?!” Deekin squealed excitedly, rummaging around in his pack for a quill and piece of parchment. “Deekin must write this all down!”
“No, it’s not possible. I can’t be.” she began pacing once more, the haze in her mind lifting slightly.
“It is, my dear.” Aribeth smiled sadly and gazed into the fire. “And I am the same Aribeth that betrayed your trust and our friendship, yet you stood by my side until the very end and defended me despite what I had done. I did not deserve you then, and I still do not deserve you now. I am truly sorry for what I did to you, and if I could take it all back for your sake, I would.”
Marleena crouched down on her knees and held her head in her hands, flashes of faint memories overwhelming her yet she still refused to believe. “I can-“
“You used to run around everywhere with an elven woman.” Aribeth cut her off, a slight smile gracing her face. “Pretty thing, sweet as can be, but awfully clumsy. If I am not mistaken, you two were a bit of an item.”
The face that appeared in her mind was enough to shock Leena to her feet. She stared at Aribeth, dumbfounded, as the haze finally left and she was flooded with memories of her past. Deekin bounced around her legs excitedly, scribbling furiously. “Boss, boss! Does she mean that pretty elf lady-“
“Linu.” Marleena fought the tirade back; she could not afford to be overwhelmed with the emotions that were short in coming at this time. However the thought of her beloved sent her heart racing, as well as constrict painfully in her chest.
She hadn’t recognized her.
She had forgotten her.
She was in Waterdeep; in the mortal world, where Mephistopheles was causing utter chaos and mass destruction.
The thought of that bastard coming anywhere close to Linu sent her blood boiling, rage coursing through her entire being. “Come, we must find Valen and get the hell out of this place. I need to get to Waterdeep, now.”
With that the trio left the icy cavern, determination spurring them on through the bitter cold. There would be time for talk and reminiscing later. Now was the time for action.