FOrgotten(part 1??) | Teen Ink

FOrgotten(part 1??)

November 12, 2021
By SparrowSun ELITE, X, Vermont
SparrowSun ELITE, X, Vermont
200 articles 23 photos 1053 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It Will Be Good." (complicated semi-spiritual emotional story.)

"Upon his bench the pieces lay
As if an artwork on display
Of gears and hands
And wire-thin bands
That glisten in dim candle play." -Janice T., Clockwork[love that poem, dont know why, im not steampunk]

Aunrae smiled coldly and snapped her fingers, easily casting poison spray. But she wasn't done. Cantrips were easy. No, she wanted to push herself, prove herself. She was the best and she knew it. She wanted the priestess to know it, and Lolth to know it. 

She cast ray of sickness on the initiate next to her then immediately cure wounds, then she cast animal friendship on a spider nearby. She knew the priestess was impressed- and thought she was done. No initiate could keep going after that, she would need rest, and peace. No. She cast web. Second level spell. No way should she be able to do that. She met the priestesses' eyes.

Iorthe, the priestess teaching them, watched impressed, but quickly hid it when she met Aunraes eyes. “I hope you don't think you can take a break after that.”

“No, ma’am,” she said. But inside, she smiled. And noticing the surrounding initiates awe and fear made her near burst with pride.

She got back to her family's spire and went to her room to do homework, bringing a slave with her. She was tired and wanted him to fetch her books and such. She glanced at him and groaned. The new slave. Of course. Cowering at everything and sobbing on and off. She sighed and shrugged. He would have to do, she didn't feel like seeking out another.

I was born to honor Lolth. The world will cower in the face of my power. I will serve Lolth and my fellow drow. I will show no mercy, compassion, or weakness. The highest honor I can receive is to die for the spider goddess. I will not disappoint my family, people, or Lolth.

She wrote down the pledge from memory, entirely bored. She would rather rest than do homework, she had already impressed Iorthe. But she still wrote the tedious script. She was a drow. Just because she had impressed Iorthe didn't mean she would get any favors. If anything she would become competition. Good. She liked a challenge.

She finished and moved to bed, but despite the spells she had cast, she felt restless. Her eyes fell on the slave. Human, about 130. Wait, no, humans didn't live long. About 25? Pft, like she cared how old he was or how humans aged. 

“You. Slave. Talk to me.” He stared at her in confusion. She sighed. Of course he didn't speak elvish! She repeated herself in the common tongue.

“M-me? What do you want me to say?”

“I dunno, I'm bored. When I enter trance, consider yourself dismissed.” Whatever a human slave had to say would put her in trance immediately. “And for Lolth's sake, learn Elvish.”

“Y-yes.” She waited. He said nothing.

“Well? Don't you have sooo much to say about how evil we drow are?” she laughed. “We are.”

“N-no, ma’am.”

“Oh but I like to hear about it. Fine, you’re obviously new, tell me how you got captured.”

“M-ma’am, a...are drow all evil?”

“Any drow worth knowing. Do not speak the names of traitors in this house or I will personally have you fed to the spiders,” she hissed with fervor. She watched with satisfaction as any mention of Drizzt Do’Urden or his kind drained from his face. “What's your name, anyway- actually no, I don't care.”

“Uh..uhhuh. I was t-traveling with my w-wife and daughter in a caravan. W-we were protected by a group of adventurers, they were all new to it, and then at night we heard sounds around us and suddenly we were surrounded. Then the adventurers attack- the druid was the first to fall, then one by one all the others, even the raging barbarian. The last one was the paladin, desperately chanting something to his God. But it was to late- and the expression on his face- oh! And then the knife went through him and he fell but the expression- it never, ever left his face. And I tried to protect my family but I was torn from them and then they tried to take my daughter so my wife tried to stop them and they ran both of them through while I was being held by one of the attackers. After that i think everyone fell, or maybe they took others captive, i can't remember i couldn't tell i was just crying and screaming and i couldn't even fight. I'm so, so sorry Elien!” tears rolled down his face and he clearly had no idea where he was or who he was speaking to, but his words rolled out each more vivid than the last. Then he degenerated and just started apologizing to his dead wife and daughter.

She felt something, for a brief moment her clever mind thought maybe it was wrong, but she glanced at the paper in front of her. “I will show no mercy, compassion, or weakness,” and the feeling went away. She forced out a laugh and woke him from his stupor. Even at home she had to act…

“Ok shut up. I'm in a weird mood, go away.” He looked bewildered, then remembered himself and fled. She heard sobbing outside her door. “I can hear you!” the sobbing retreated down the hall and faded away.

She couldn't enter trance that night.

The next day she went back to her training. She had still managed to recharge her spells, which saved her massively. Iorthe called her up to cast more spells and essentially got called a show off, by the teacher, in front of the class.

She smiled. Good, fine. She wanted to show off. She had prepared just for this and put all her concentration into a third level spell, conjure animals. It was so… so… hard! She pushed and pushed, certain if she worked just a little harder it would push through and she would just get through and sit down.

She pushed just a little more, knowing she was on the cusp of success, seeing the beginnings of giant spiders form, knowing she was just one- last- pushh- from greatness- 

Her mind shattered.

It was pain in every sense of the word. It was a horror she had never imagined. It was as though her mind was on fire, it was as though an illithid had cracked open her skull and was eating her brain as she lived, it was as if death had lead her to it's gates and left her there. It was beyond imagining, beyond what she was capable of enduring. The spiders vanished, the class was gasping and whispering and screaming. Lolth… help her… but Lolth had no mercy for the weak. Lolth wasn't one of those good kind soft Gods humans and light elves had. 

She blacked out.

She woke up in her rooms, with a slave nearby. Thanks, mom. It was the new slave. He would be useless anywhere else, why not just drop him on her? Urgh. She fell back into unconsciousness. Her mother roughly shook her awake sometime late, maybe 5 minutes, maybe 5 days. She noted the slave wasn't in the room. Great, they were alone.

“Aunrae,” her mother hissed.

“Yes, matron.”

“What did you do?”

“Pushed myself too hard. I was trying to prove myself.”

“No, you were trying to show off.”

“I-!” but she didn't dare contradict the matron.

“You nothing. You are on track to be a credit to our house. Don't screw this up.” Her final words held such vehemence and hate it made her quake with fear. Never would she dream of crossing this woman. She was so lethally powerful. She controlled Aunraes world. She had the power to kill Aunrae on a whim. And Aunraes budding power was enough to interest her.

All of Aunraes ambition and daring fled her and she nodded weakly, ignoring the lightning shoot from every movement. The slave came back in and the matron smiled. 

“I love you dear, get well soon!” 

“I will,” she wrenched out, forcing down the pain. Her mother walked out and she was just left with the slave. She didn't feel like fully entering trance, so she zoned out.

“You’re Aunrae, right?”

She ignored him.

“Everyone is talking about how promising you are. How did you end up here?”

She glared and ignored him.

“I did a little magic before your family kidnapped me.”

Yes, please do show off the magic that I can't do right now, random slave! She thought bitterly.

“I wanted to be an adventurer, I was training as a wizard. All I learned were a few cantrips. I wanted to take my daughter all over the world and show her the most amazing, magical things! And be able to protect her with my magic. My wife's parents were fighters and had taught her what they knew, I was really just learning so she wouldn't have to stay home bored.”

“Ok, great, shut up,” is what she would have said, but she didn't have the energy. So she just let him talk. It was a distraction, anyway.

“The adventurers we were with had a wizard, he was showing me his spells when the attack happened. Everyone else was asleep.”

Yay, she was getting the whole life story experience. Why didn't he shut up?

“I see you glaring. I guess you don't care, huh?”

And the genius award of the year goes to unnamed slave!

“You look hurt, and, I don't know, it's hard to blame you for what your family did. I guess I should hate you. But you must be bored sitting there, and I may as well help you keep your sanity together. Why do you look confused?”

Kindness? In the Underdark? With nothing to gain? Right now, even he had more power than she did. What was he trying at?

“My name’s Jaydyn, by the way. Jaydyn Falone. Turami human. I don't actually know if you know what that is…”

She did not. Nor did she care. But the more he spoke the more she liked the sound of his voice. It was soothing. And he wasn't weepy right now, though his voice cracked when he mentioned his family. She tried to shrug with her face, but he didn't pick up on it.

“Why are you here, anyway? Don't drow… whatever they're called, have a ton of healing spells?”

Priestesses did. She was here to learn her lesson. She had a healing spell, she just couldn't use it. But she wouldn't waste words on a slave.

“If I could heal you, I would. I only know two cantrips and they're both hard. Mending and minor illusion.”

She almost laughed. A cantrip? Hard? 

“I had a medicine kit but they took it.”

She wished she could ask him questions. Like why didn't he fight? If surface elves enslaved her she would kill them, even in this condition. And why was he not gloating when she was in this position? Clearly there was something wrong with him. She looked him over and noticed something odd. He was warm. Even his black hair and eyes. In her world, black was hard and cold. His skin was a deep, warm brown and his clothing, even though it was tattered, was reds and browns and yellows. She had never looked at a slave before.

“What else should I say? Do you want me to keep going?”

She rolled her eyes and nodded with her face. She wasn't sure how but he understood.

“Alright. I’m going to tell you about my wife… I want to get it off my chest. Her name was Soza. She was illuskan. That's the people who come from a colder, harder place. They have pale skin and blue or gray eyes. They look weathered. She was born in this area though. She always complained about the heat, even though up there is soft weather with forests. I don't know if you’ve ever been to the surface.”

She hadn't. His voice kept cracking as if he was on the verge of tears but he pressed on.

“She was strong and good. She was a warrior to her core, but she stayed home because I wasn’t. Soza could have fought a mountain bear and won- she could have fought a raging goliath barbarian and won. I never could have given her what she deserved…”

Oh yay, he was getting back in his head. Light tears started falling and he changed the topic.

“My daughter was Kristryd. It's a dwarf name, Soza admired the dwarven people…  She was so bright and curious. She loved magic, she could have been a bard. She was 4. She had Sozas steel eyes, which looked so odd on her skin. It wasn't as dark as mine, but it wasn’t pale. And they sparkled! It was like she had stars in her eyes and soul. She would have walked right up to the attackers and asked them to be her friend…”

Kristryd would never have survived in the Underdark. Jaydyn started to cry again. She laid there thinking. When he came back too, she was less bored than she thought she would be, she was warring with an odd feeling she had when she heard him cry. 

“I’m sorry. Here, let me try and…” he grunted and made strained sounds, then a series of swirling colors appeared from his hand. “Ah-hah! I did it!”

Minor illusion was a cantrip. How was that so hard? The colors disappeared.

“Man, I wish I had a light cantrip. It's so dark down here!”

Oh, right, he didn't have darkvision. She smiled slightly and cast dancing lights. She really shouldn’t have cast a spell in her condition, but dancing lights was only a cantrip, which, again, was very easy. The lights bobbed around him and illuminated his smile.

“Should you be casting spells?”

She again shrugged with her face. Cantrips were easy. 

“Thank you.” He laughed slightly. She could see the strain of it in his eyes and the remnants of tears sparkled in the light. The cantrip ended and the world returned to the darkness she was accustomed to. He stared wistfully where the lights had been. “I love light… I wish the Underdark had it. Light is so beautiful. But doesn't sunlight hurt drow?”

She again nodded with her eyes. Was that the only thing he wished? Why didn't he complain more about having been captured and enslaved? She cast dancing lights again and tried to form the words to ask her question, but she couldn't think what words would fit. Are you happy? How are you not miserable? Are you angry? But none of those fit. The floating lights arranged themselves briefly with each thought and he had read them. Maybe he would understand what she meant.

“I… well, I’m not happy. I miss my wife and daughter. But I’m not miserable because that won't bring them back or set me free. This is my life now, so I’m going to find something worth living for. If it were up to me, Soza or Kristyrn would be alive instead of me. But they aren't, I am. So I’m going to find some way to honor them with the life I have. And I could be angry, but I can't blame the drow who attacked us. At first I would have killed them if I could. I was furious and hurt. But the more I see the less I can blame them. It's everything you were ever taught to attack and raid and harm humans. I blame the way you were taught. I think under the darkness you’re still elves. Does that answer your question?”

She should have been angry, especially with all of the anti-Lolth sentiment, but she couldn’t help but admire how… that he was. It was so forgiegn, and it wasn't something she would ever have thought to look up to, letting go of rage and hate and seeing good in her enemies, but it was hard not to be impressed with.

She used her dancing lights to tell him she was entering trance. 

“Alright, goodnight.”

When she woke up a different slave was staring at her sullenly. She rolled her eyes(ignoring the biting pain), and rolled over so her back was to the slave. The current slave was boring. She hid and squeaked and sat in the corner most of the time. Aunrae paid her no heed.  By the end of the day, she was feeling well enough to move and talk a little, and she had reached a conclusion. Jaydyn was so nice because he wanted to get ahead in the slave ranks. 

Ok no, she didn't believe that. But it was the only logical explination. Nobody would ever just be nice. Her world didn't work like that. In her world, he would use her however he could to get ahead by pretending to be… the way he was, and she would let him if it was benifitail to her and he couldn't be a threat in the future. That was how she calculated ever descision and interaction she made from the time she could understand the way the world worked. She had never met someone who didn't think like that. This man couldn't be any different.

By the end of the next day she was fine. All through her incarceration she had been so excited to return to training. Then she realied she dreaded it beyond belief. She was now the idiot whos brain exploded. The amount of mind flayer jokes she recieved was beyond compirehension, and the priestess took every opertunity to jab her and encourage the students to bully her. 

But as she walked home she swelled with pride. They all bit her down because they saw her as enough of a threat to be attacked. If one of the other students had done that she would have bandied her weight a little bit but she ultimitly wouldn't care. If they cared, they were afraid. And if they were afraid, even if she seemed her weakest, she had power. These were the daughters of every drow household she trained with. They would go on to lead their houses as matrons and she was the most powerful. They feared her. She wouldn't just lead her house, she would control the others through intimidation or blackmail, or just take it over. She would finally conquer the surface elves and be hailed the greatest dark elf ever. She was powerful and ambitious and they feared her.

She reached her spire and walked toward her room. Normally, when passing slaves, she didn't see them any more than she saw furniture. But she noticed Jaydyn. And he waved. Idiot, didn't he know she was a daughter of the drow? He didn't know her power. He knew her weak. She didn't wave back. But she saw him, and that was a lot. 

As she passed him, she hissed “there is no good in me.” It made her feel better about noticing a slave and having cast a cantrip when she was on magic rest for a human slave. She didn't like his expression. He didn't look convinced. He looked like he was pitying her. It filled her with frustraition. Fear gave her power, and she saw it everywhere in her tormentors actions. But he had no fear or hatred at all. She had no power over a slave and it scared her. She nearly cast a spell to scare him. “We are not friends. Wipe that expression off your face and remember your place.” 

“Yes ma’am.” His words filled her with rage. He said them pacifyingly and it made her outraged. He just seemed thoughtful and sad. She stormed off. Whatever! Whatever. He was just a slave, he didn't matter, she had her own life and he wouldn't just tear it down with an expression and tone. 

“And it's custom to bow when a drow passes in the hall. Take a note from the other slaves.”

It scared her to know that the slave had a power over her, however slight. No chance he had a clue how to use it, and somehow she didn't think he would, but she didn't like the hole, however small. She walked off planning how to bring the slave down. She wanted to hurt him, to destroy him, and to make him fear her. She shouldnt have cared. She shouldn’t have given him a second thought. But she took a stop by the kitchen where the slaves were headquartered and told them to double his workload.

If someone did this to her, she could identify why. But he was soft and human and a slave and he wouldn't. He couldn't know she was afraid of him. Besides, there was nothing to fear from a slave! She could have him killed with a word. Yet she knew she couldn't have him killed, and he wasn't the kind of threat she could destroy by hurting or killing or chasing off. This threat she had to strip down to just a slave. She had to remove who he was, but more than that what he stood for. He had to hate her, and hate the drow. Then he wouldn't be a threat.

A threat how, anyways? He couldn't touch her. But he was a threat to her identity. By the way he treated her he invalidated everything she thought she was. By being kind to her or pitying her, he was telling her she wasn't something to fear. She wasn't the monster she had been raised to be if she was someone he could find humanity(elvenality? personality?) in. if she killed him, it wouldn't change that. No, she had to make him hate her so she would know she was the monster Lloth wanted her to be. Somehow, a threat to her identity terrified her far more than a threat to her life or power.

So how did she make him hate her? She would make his life misery. Double his workload, spite him at every chance, make all the slaves hate him. She smiled and sat to do her homework, as if she had resolved it. Inside, she couldn't even think of homework. Her stomach was cold and fear filled every ounce of that evil body. More than that, though. In the darkness a bud was growing from the seed the darkness ingrained in her from everyone around her since birth  had fought to supress. The seed was growing and the darkness was fighting to choke it out. But now that it had taken root, it wasn’t coming out easily.

She began seeing less and less of Jaydyn in the halls(when she did see him she ignored him and the slight strain inside her to see what other oddities he had). Even still, he seemed slightly sad, yet still… different. She caught him helping other slaves with normal workloads regularly and she couldn't help but wonder what he had that made him so strange and enduring. 

She felt guilty and wrong(worse than normal) when she did, but she told the slave manager to tell him who had doubled his workload. When she saw him next he looked at her, confused and sad. She smiled inside and walked to him, casually casting ray of sickness on a random slave to show off and make him fear/despise her. 

She couldn't control herself. She had him summoned to a out of sight hall within 2 weeks.

“Do you hate me?”

“Uh… no? Why do you hate me?”

“Do you hate me?” she was more insistant and urgent, but she cleared her throat and tried to hide it.

“I don't know why you do what you do, I won't judge you without all the facts.” 

Anger flared in her and she glared. “Why not?!”

“Do you want me to?”

“Yes! I-I mean, you’re a slave. I'm a drow. You should hate me!” But she felt unsteady. The playing feild had changed and she didn't know if she still had contr- no, no, what was she sayking? She was Aunrae, daughter of the drow, master manipulator. If she wanted something, she would have it! So making his life limbo didn't work. So? She could find another way.

“Why would you want that?”

“W-what? I don't! I don't care how you feel!” she was losing and she knew it. It was in her voice. He didn't look triumphant, but surely he knew he had won!

“Am I missing something?”

“Just hate me! What's wrong with you? I'm evil! You’re not! You should be afraid! You should hate me!”

“But… I don't,” he said simply. As if it were obvious. It enraged her.

“No! You do! Hate me! Say it!”

“Uh… ok?”

“Say it!”

“I hate you?”

It didn't satisfy her. It made everything worse. And that little bud inside her was growing faster. 

“Are you ok?”

“No! No!” she paused. She had never been asked that before. “I… i mean, yes. That will be all,” she dismissed him. But he didn't leave.

“What's wrong?”

Don't. Spill. To. A. Slave. Especailly this one. “Nothing. Mind your own business, slave.” She was inwardly surprised she hadn't spilled everything.

“Yes, mistress?” He walked off, clearly confused.

No! He must have seen it on her face! He couldn't live!

Woah! She needed to calm down. An assumption that he maybe somehow got a glimpse of what she was feeling in the dark that he couldn't see through was not justification to have him killed! Besides, she would never have satisfaction if she just had him killed. 

She put in that he be killed at the next sacrifice to Lloth, though. It would be a ways away, she still had time.

So making his life mirsery hadn't worked. Fine! She had plenty of other options. She laughed outside. Yes, she had so many choices because she was the greatest daughter of the drow to ever live! She would triumph, he would fall, and he would despise her forever from his position at the bottom of her pedistal. She would make him just like her, hateful and angry. Like everyone down here.

She didn't want to hurt him! The stupid little voice, bright and shining from the back of her mind, haunted her. She would show it too. That was really what mattered. She had to crush him so it and everyone else saw that good could not survive in the Underdark.

She would prove it, too. She grabbed a hat of disguise(she wasn't supposed to have it) and used it to make herself appear to be a broken, sad slave. She had taken it from some trogolyte that she killed for practice. It didn't even know what it was. It had deserved to die. She should have given it to her mother. She did not.

She walked down to the slave quarters. She started a conversation with several slaves, asking how they felt about the drow, the household, and Aunrae. All of them snorted in contempt or something simiallar. All of them hated her. She saw Jaydyn and despite not wanting to, knowing she shouldn’t, but knowing she had too. Maybe his kindness was just a front. She walked toward him.

Now, she had taken the form of a particularly filthy, bent old human woman. When Jaydyn saw her, instead of laughing or trying to take advanage of her, he reached out to support her. She backed away. If he touched her he would feel through the disguise.  

“Are you ok, ma’am? Do you need some water?”

Inside she wnted to throw a tantrum like a 20 year old. But she withheld. “No, thh...thank you,” saying thank you to a slave burned her toungue, but she forced it out. “I’ve see you talking to the Daughter of the Spire. Are you in trouble?”

“I don't know. Shes really…” awful? Please, please say awful! “...confusing.” 

“Oh? Is she being horrid to you? Ussually when one of the heads of house talk to slaves they’re about to kill them.”

“No, I think shes confused? It's so hard to tell, especailly in the dark. But shes been kind, i've seen flashes of it. Then she attacks it and is angry. I don't know how to help…” he trailed off in thought. Her annoyance grew. “Sorry, talking to myself.”

“What do you want from her? If shes been kind to you, couldn't you use it as leverage to get ahead?”

“Uh, I guess. I want to help her. And all the drow! They’re still elves under the grey skin and white hair! I blame Lloth, if they could just break free of it!” he was getting fantacal.

“I ahte them! The whole lot! Haven't they killed people you traveled with? Kidnapped you? Or were you born down here?”

“I was kidnapped. They killed my family... I blame Lloth. I bet they’re still good deep down. Elves. These are elves, they should be, could be good! Like Drizzt Do’Urdan!”

“You cannot speak the traitors name down here.”

“Oh, right. Well, i'm sure you won't report me.”

“I… i must be on my way now!”

“Alright, see you around.”

Nope. she took off the hat when she was out of sight and her own features reappeared. He must have known. He must have known it was a disguise and kept tricking her.

(note from the author: this is one of those times when i randomly lose interest halfway through. So there might be a part two if i regain interest, otherwise(spoiler warning) she was going to reform, fall in love with him, try to run away, and then the death she just requested for him would be enacted and she would go on to be my dnd monk. Hope clockwork doesn't end the same…)

The author's comments:

this is half of my dnd character's backstory. the other half may be coming, may not be. spoiler, jaydyn dies.

if you dont play, dnd are a dark elf living in the underdark.

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