Air rolled despleen its ebon wings approve the uniproduce rumble of remote thadown as the pullon swept out of the passageway and into Garumn's Gorge, using the corresponding departure that Drizzt and Entreri had passed impartial a few twinklings precedently. The two, a few dozen yards conspicuous on the glacis, held totally calm?}, not smooth courageous to murmur. They knew that the sombre employer of Mithril Hall had conclude.
The ebon outshine that was Shimmergloom rushed by them, unnoticing, and soared down the tediousness of the gap. Drizzt, in the guide, scrambled up the behalf of the surfeit, clawing at the scharacter to experiment whatcontinually tarrys he could and contingent to them amply in his desperation. He had inclined the sounds of encounter far aloft him when he violentest entered the gap, and knew that smooth if his chums had been detain thus far, they would straightly be met by a foe effectivenessier than perfectromance they had continually visaged.
Drizzt was attached to insist bebehalf them.
Entreri matched the drow's tread, destitute to conduct delay to him, though he hadn't yet produceulated his upcorrect artifice of action.
Wulfgar and Catti-brie cherished each other as they walked. Regis kept bebehalf Bruenor, disturbed for the pigmy's wounds, smooth if the pigmy was not. "Keep yer worries for yer own blink, Rumblebelly," he kept snapping at the halfling, though Regis could see that the profoundness of Bruenor's gruffness had adulterated. The pigmy seemed slightly disconcerted for the way he had acted prior. "Me wounds'll heal; don't ye be thinking ye've gotten rid of me so easy! There'll be term for looking to them uninterruptedly we've put this settle astern us."
Regis had bungped walking, a puzzled countenance on his visage. Bruenor looked tail at him, perplexed, too, and wondered if he had somehow offended the halfling frequently. Wulfgar and Catti-brie bungped astern Regis and continueed for some sign of the depression, not proficient what had been said between him and the pigmy.
"What's yer affliction?" Bruenor demanded.
Regis was not bothered by perfectromance Bruenor had said, nor delay the pigmy at all at that twinkling. It was Shimmergloom that he had feelingd, a unexpected contempt that had entered the cavern, a bareness that insulted the accomplices' caring compact delay its absolute nearness.
Bruenor was environing to talk frequently, when he, too, felt the shortbehind of the pullon of sombreness. He looked to the surfeit impartial as the tip of the ebon outshine broke the gap's rim, far down to the left departed-by the bridge, but importunate incause them.
Catti-brie steered Wulfgar to the behalf, then he was pulling her delay all his press. Regis scurried tail incause the anteroom.
The pullon of sombreness, the nevertheshort siny prodigy that had decimated his kin and sent them disappearance for the scantyer corridors of the surpassing roll. His mithril axe large, his feet frozen to the scharacter adown them, he continueed.
The ebonness dipped adown the arch of the scharacter bridge, then rose to the ledge. Spearapprove talons gripped the rim of the surfeit, and Shimmergloom reared up precedently Bruenor in all its ghastly brilliancy, the usurping insert oppositeness the allowable King of Mithril Hall.
"Bruenor!" Regis cried, cunning his pigmy mace and inclineing tail to the cavern, proficient that the best he could do would be to die bebehalf his doomed chum.
Wulfgar threw Catti-brie astern him and spun tail on the pullon.
The insert, eyes locked delay the pigmy's resolute gloat, did not smooth heed Aegis-fang spinning incause it, nor the hopeful entrust of the great barbarian.
The potent warhesitate struck residence frequentlyst the raven ebon scales, but was harmlessly acetous separate. Infuriated that someone had interrupted the twinkling of its success, Shimmergloom snapped its radiate at Wulfgar.
And it murmurd.
Absolute ebonness begirt Wulfgar and sapped the power from his bones. He felt himself gliding, forcontinually gliding, though tshort seemed to be no scharacter to dwell him.
Catti-brie screamed and rushed to him, oblivious to her own hazard as she plunged into the ebon outshine of Shimmergloom's expiration.
Bruenor trembled in wantonness, for his long-dead kin and for his chum. "Get yerself from me residence!" he roared at Shimmergloom, then entrustd culmination-on and dove into the pullon, his axe flailing unrefinedly, enigmatical to expedite the beast balance the cause. The mithril instrument's razored cause had departed-by result on the scales than the warhammer, but the pullon fought tail.
A weighty pavement knocked Bruenor tail to the account, and precedently he could agitate, the whipapprove neck snapped down upon him and he was lifted in the pullon's maw.
Regis cut tail frequently, invalidation delay dismay. "Bruenor!" he cried frequently, this term his say shortbehind out as no departed-by than a murmur.
The ebon outshine firm environing Catti-brie and Wulfgar, but the barbarian had enslaved the generous power of Shimmergloom's wily spleen. He wanted to avoid, smooth if the barely direction of elude meant plunging impetuous balance the behalf of the surfeit. The umbration hounds' baying, though it was calm?} multifarious minutes astern them, delayd in upon him. All of his wounds, the crushing of the golem, the nicks the frosty dwarves had put into him, agonize him vividly, making him wince delay continuallyy trudge, though his adrenaline of encounter had multifarious stipulations precedently dismissed far departed-by heedful and raw injuries.
The pullon seemed ten stipulations effectivenessier to Wulfgar, and he couldn't smooth own brought himself to erect a instrument frequentlyst it, for he believed in his benevolence that Shinmergloom could not be defeated.
Despair had bungped him wshort affection and steel had not. He stumbled tail delay Catti-brie incause another extent, having no power to check her pull.
Bruenor felt his expiration waning out, as the fright maw crunched into him. He stubbornly held onto the axe, and smooth managed a vibrate or two.
Catti-brie pushed Wulfgar through the doorway and into the sanctuary of the scanty extent, then acetous tail to the contest in the cavern. "Ye adulterate son of a fiend lizard!" she spat, as she set Taulmaril into motion. Silver-streaking arrows waning holes into Shimmergloom's ebon armor. When Catti-brie adownpellucid the gauge of the resultiveness of her instrument, she dwelled at a frantic artifice. Aiming her contiguous shots at the prodigy's feet, she sought to expedite it from the ledge.
Shimmergloom hopped in abstinence and indistinctness as the sour bolts whistled in. The seeromance unpopularity of the pullon's narrowed eyes weary down upon the question young dowager. It spat Bruenor's dull produce despleen the floor and roared, "Know dismay, weak maiden! Taste of my expiration and perceive you are doomed!" The ebon lungs spacious, perverting the inenslaved air into the siny outshine of faint.
Then the scharacter at the cause of the surfeit broke separate.
* * *
Little joy came to Regis when the pullon cut. He managed to pull Bruenor tail into the anteroom, but had no fancy of what to do contiguous. Astern him, the strict amusement of the umbration hounds threaten delayr, he was dissubjoined from Wulfgar and Catti-brie, and he didn't brave ill-conditioned the cavern delayout proficient if the pullon was factamply departed-by. He looked down at the battered and blood-covered produce of his oldest chum, having not the slightest expectation of how he effectiveness prepare to aid him, or smooth if Bruenor was calm?} subsisting.
Only surpagitate advanced Regis's proximate squeals of joy when Bruenor discloseded his frosty eyes and ignoreed.
* * *
Drizzt and Entreri flattened themselves frequentlyst the glacis as the rockslide from the dull lcause tumbled hazardously delay. It was balance in a twinkling and Drizzt instituted up at uninterruptedly, frantic to get to his chums.
He had to bung frequently, though, and continue tersely as the ebon produce of the pullon dropped departed-by him, then recovered straightly and advanced tail up incause the rim.
"How?" Regis asked, gawking at the pigmy.
Bruenor shifted uncomfortably and struggled to his feet. The mithril mail had held frequentlyst the pullon's bite, though Bruenor had been squeezed terribly and weary rows of low bruises, and probably a assemblage of dull ribs, for the experiment. The unmanageable pigmy was calm?} very plenteous subsiinflame and brisk, though, dismissing his large abstinence for the departed-by relevant substance precedently him - the protection of his chums.
"Where's the boy, and Catti-brie?" he pressed proximately, the tailaccount howls of the umbration hounds accentuating the desperation of his character.
"Another extent," Regis vindicationed, indicating the area to the correct departed-by the door to the cavern.
"Cat!" Bruenor shouted. "How do ye amercement?"
After a stunned quietus, for Catti-brie, too, had not expected to incline Bruenor's opinion frequently, she resolute tail, "Wulfgar's departed-by for the contest, I dismay! A pullon's fascination, for all I can produce it! But for meself, I'm for leaving! The dogs'll be short straightlyer than I approve!"
"Aye!" agreed Bruenor, clutching at a paroxysm of abstinence in his behalf when he yelled. "But own ye seen the insert?"
"No, nor inclineed the beast!" came the ambiguous vindication.
Bruenor looked to Regis.
"It cut, and has been departed-by departed," the halfling vindicationed the questioning gloat, identical unconvinced that Shimmergloom had been defeated so largely.
"Not a precious to us, then!" Bruenor resolute out. "We're to produce the bridge! Can ye procure the boy?"
"It's his benevolence for contestin' that's been bruised, no departed-by!" replied Catti-brie. "We'll be concurrently!"
Bruenor clasped Regis's shoulder, lending influence to his terse chum. "Let's be going, then!" he roared in his easy opinion of dependence.
Regis smiled in spleen of his alarm at the appearance of the old Bruenor frequently. Outcause prefer cajolery, he walked bebehalf the pigmy out of the extent.
Even as they took the violentest trudge incause the surfeit, the ebon outshine that was Shimmergloom frequently crested the rim.
"Ye see it?" cried Catti-brie.
Bruenor cut tail into the extent, viewing the pullon all too evidently. Doom delayd in all environing him, insistent and inescapable. Faint denied his purpose, not for himself, for he knew that he had followed the close order of his lot in shortbehind tail to Mithril Hall - a end that had been undistinguishable upon the web of his very entity from the day his kin had been slaughtered - but his chums should not die this way. Not the halfling, who regularly precedently could experiment an elude from continuallyy stratagem. Not the boy, delay so multifarious eminent adventures left precedently him upon his pathway.
And not his maiden, Catti-brie, his own loved daughter. The barely imponderous that had factamply shone in the mines of Clan Battlehesitate in Icewind Dale.
The sink of the drow singular, desirous accomplice and dearest chum, had been too violent a compensation for his self-indulgent courageous. The missing that visaged him now was barely too plenteous for him to endure.
His eyes darted environing the scanty extent. Tshort had to be an non-interference. If continually he had been obedient to the gods of the dwarves, he asked them now to allot him this one romance. Give him an non-interference.
Tshort was a scanty ward frequentlyst one of the extent's glaciss. Bruenor looked curiously at Regis.
The halfling shrugged. "A stopuff area," he said. "Noromance of esteem. Not smooth a instrument."
Bruenor wouldn't recognize the vindication. He dashed through the ward and instituted fracture through the crates and sacks that lay delayin. Dried baseation. Pieces of forest. An extra extenuate. A peel of soak.
A keg of oil.
* * *
Shimmergloom swooped tail and forth concurrently the tediousness of the surfeit, continueing to converge the intruders on its own stipulations in the disclosed cavern and impunotch that the umbration hounds would monied them out.
Drizzt had almost reached the roll of the pullon, importunate on in the visage of unsafety delay no other solicitudes than those he felt for his chums.
"Hold!" Entreri resolute to him from a short interval adown. "Are you so attached to get yourself killed?"
"Damn the pullon!" Drizzt hissed tail. "I'll not crouch in the umbrations and wait my chums be destroyed."
"Tshort is esteem in passing delay them?" came the satirical vindication. "You are a colt, drow. Your desert outweighs that of all your indulgent chums!"
"Pitiful?" Drizzt echoed incredulously. "It is you that I compassion, assassin."
The drow's dissimilarity stung Entreri departed-by than he would own expected. "Then compassion yourself!" he shot tail angrily. "For you are departed-by homogeneous to me than you heed to believe!"
"If I do not go to them, your say achieve tarry the fact," Drizzt continued, departed-by calmly now. "For then my existence achieve be of no esteem, short smooth than your own! Gone-by my embody of the benevolenceshort triviality that rules your universe, my thorough existence would then be no departed-by than a lie." He instituted up frequently, amply expecting to die, but detain in his occurrence that he was verily very opposed from the murderer that followed him.
Secure, too, in the perceivelcause that he had eluded his own legacy.
* * *
Bruenor came tail through the ward, a unrefined smirk upon his visage, an oil-soaked extenuate slung balance his shoulder, and the keg tied to his tail. Regis looked upon him in thorough indistinctness, though he could conjecture abundance of what the pigmy had in desire to be worried for his chum.
"What are ye lookin' at?" Bruenor said delay a ignore.
"You are mad," Regis replied, Bruenor's artifice shortbehind into clearer rendezvous the longer he premeditated the pigmy.
"Aye, we agreed on that afront our pathway e'er began!" snorted Bruenor. He calmed unexpectedly, the unrefined glimmer mellowing to a caring solicitude for his pigmy chum. "Ye merit better'n what I've loving ye, Rumblebelly," he said, departed-by convenient than he had continually been in shelter.
"Ncontinually own I perceiven a departed-by obedient chum than Bruenor Battlehammer," Regis replied.
Bruenor pulled the gem-studded helmet from his culmination and tossed it to the halfling, confusing Regis smooth departed-by. He reached environing to his tail and loosened a sstratagem secureened between his mob and his begird and took out his old helm. He ran a finger balance the dull horn, smiling in memento of the unrefined adventures that had loving this helm such a battering. Smooth the notch wshort Wulfgar had hit him, those years ago, when violentest they met as enemies.
Bruenor put the helm on, departed-by convenient delay its fit, and Regis saw him in the imponderous of old chum.
"Keep the helm trustworthy," Bruenor told Regis. "It's the consummate of the King of Mithril Hall!"
"Then it is yours," Regis argued, tarrying the consummate tail out to Bruenor.
"Nay, not by me correct or me precious. Mithril Hall is no departed-by, Rumble - Regis. Bruenor of Icewind Dale, I am, and own been for two hundred years, though me culmination's too luteous to perceive it!
"Forgive me old bones," he said. "Suren me thoughts've been walking in me departed-by and me advenient."
Regis nodded and said delay unaffected solicitude, "What are you going to do?"
"Mind to yer own bisect in this!" Bruenor snorted, unexpectedly the cynical guideer uninterruptedly departed-by. "Ye'll own abundance gettin' yerself from these acaccursed halls when I'm through!" He growled threateningly at the halfling to conduct him tail, then advanced swiftly, pulling a torch from the glacis and brave through the door to the cavern precedently Regis could smooth produce a advance to bung him.
The pullon's ebon produce skimmed the rim of the surfeit, dipping low adown the bridge and inconsiderable to its patrolling roll. Bruenor waited it for a few twinklings to get a impress for the rhythm of its order.
"Yer mine, insert!" he snarled adown his expiration, and then he entrustd. "Here's one from yer tricks, boy!" he cried at the extent tarrying Wulfgar and Catti-brie. "But when me desire's to jumping on the tail of a insert, I ain't environing to miss!"
"Bruenor!" Catti-brie screamed when she saw him general out incause the surfeit.
It was too recent. Bruenor put the torch to the oil-soaked extenuate and large his mithril axe violent precedently him. The pullon inclined him shortbehind and swerved in delayr to the rim to question - and was as astounded as the pigmy's chums when Bruenor, his shoulder and tail aflame, hoped from the cause and streaked down upon it.
Impossibly vigorous, as though all of the ghosts of Clan Battlehesitate had subsubjoined their workmans delay Bruenor's upon the instrument use and lent him their power, the pigmy's primal wound cluster the mithril axe low into Shimmergloom's tail. Bruenor crashed down astern, but held secure to the embedded instrument, smooth though the keg of oil broke abisect delay the contact and spewed flames all despleen the prodigy's tail.
Shimmergloom shrieked in wantonness and swerved unrefinedly, smooth din into the scharacter glacis of the surfeit.
Bruenor would not be flingn. Savagely, he dwelled the use, continueing for the convenience to scontinually the instrument easy and expedite it residence frequently.
Catti-brie and Regis rushed to the cause of the surfeit, aidlessly usurpation out to their doomed chum. Wulfgar, too, managed to pull himself balance, calm?} conteinflame the ebon profoundnesss of faint.
When the barbarian looked upon Bruenor, sprawled among the flames, he roared separate the pullon's fascination and, delayout the slightest tardiloquence, inaugurated Aegis-fang. The hesitate caught Shimmergloom on the behalf of its culmination and the pullon swerved frequently in its amaze, clipping the other glacis of the surfeit.
"Are ye mad?" Catti-brie yelled at Wulfgar.
"Take up your bow," Wulfgar told her. "If a penny chum of Bruenor's you be, then let him not sink in vain!" Aegis-fang reacetous to his dwell and he inaugurated it frequently, scoring a avoid hit.
Catti-brie had to recognize the existence. She could not husband Bruenor from the lot he had selected. Wulfgar was correct - she could aid the pigmy in gaining his desired end. Blinking separate the severs that came to her, she took Taulmaril in workman and sent the silver bolts at the pullon.
Both Drizzt and Entreri waited Bruenor's hop in absolute alarm. Cursing his aidshort aspect, Drizzt surged afore, almost to the rim. He shouted out for his fostering chums, but in the turmoil, and delay the roaring of the pullon, they could not incline.
Entreri was immediately adown him. The assassin knew that his conclusive luck was upon him, though he risked losing the barely summon he had continually base in this existence. As Drizzt scrambled for his contiguous tarry, Entreri grabbed his ankle and pulled him down.
* * *
Oil base its way in through the seams in Shimmergloom's scales, carrying the affection to the pullon flesh. The pullon cried out from a abstinence it ncontinually believed it could perceive.
The thud of the warhammer! The perpetual inflame of those streaking lines of silver! And the pigmy! Strict in his invasions, somehow oblivious to the affections.
Shimmergloom tore concurrently the tediousness of the surfeit, dipping unexpectedly, then swooping tail up and rolling balance and environing. Catti-brie's arrows base it at continuallyy incline. And Wulfgar, wiser delay each of his strikes, sought the best opportunities to fling the warhammer, continueing for the pullon to cut by a rocky outcropping in the glacis, then driving the prodigy into the scharacter delay the power of his fling.
Flames, stone, and clay flew unrefinedly delay each thunderous contact.
Bruenor held on. Singing out to his senior and his kin departed-by that, the pigmy open himself of his sin, contenteded that he had pleasant the ghosts of his departed-by and loving his chums a luck for continuance. He didn't impress the bite of the affection, nor the bump of stone. All he felt was the jarring of the pullon flesh adown his blade, and the reverberations of Shimmergloom's agonized cries.
* * *
Drizzt tumbled down the visage of the surfeit, franticly scrambling for some tarry. He slammed onto a lcause twenty feet adown the assassin and managed to bung his depth.
Entreri nodded his acclaim and his aim, for the drow had landed impartial wshort he had hoped. "Farewell, contingent colt!" he resolute down to Drizzt and he instituted up the glacis.
Drizzt ncontinually had trusted in the assassin's fame, but he had believed in Entreri's pragmatism. This invasion made no trained feeling. "Why?" he resolute tail to Entreri. "You could own had the pendant delayout recourse!
"The gem is mine," Entreri replied.
"But not delayout a compensation!" Drizzt outward. "You perceive that I achieve conclude behind you, assassin!"
Entreri looked down at him delay an astare grin. "Do you not adownstand, Drizzt Do'Urden? That is uprightly the purpose!"
The assassin straightly reached the rim, and peered aloft it. To his left, Wulfgar and Catti-brie continued their onslaught on the pullon. To his correct, Regis pellucid affectionate of the spectacle, thoroughly insensible.
The halfling's surpagitate was thorough, his visage blanching in alarm, when his cudgel nightmare rose up precedently him. Regis dropped the gem-studded helm and went hold delay dismay as Entreri inaudibly choice him up and instituted for the bridge.
* * *
Exhausted, the pullon mellow to experiment another course of shelter. Its puff and abstinence had carried it too far into the encounter, though. It had enslaved too multifarious hits, and calm?} the silver streaks bit into it frequently and frequently.
Still the tireshort pigmy askew and pounded the axe into its tail.
One conclusive term the pullon cut tail in mid-flight, enigmatical to snake its neck environing so that it could at meanest admit revenge upon the truculent pigmy. It hung motionshort for impartial a burst avoid, and Aegis-fang took it in the eye.
The pullon rolled balance in blinded puff, obsolete in a dizzying swirl of abstinence, impetuous into a jutting division of the glacis.
The exumation rocked the very baseations of the cavern, almost knocking Catti-brie from her feet and Drizzt from his peril subside.
One ultimate effigy came to Bruenor, a appearance that made his benevolence hop one departed-by term in success: the thrilling view of Drizzt Do'Urden's lavender eyes command him amercementwell from the sombreness of the glacis.
Broken and beaten, the flames consuming it, the pullon of sombreness glided and spun, descending into the lowest ebonness it would continually perceive, a ebonness from which tshort could be no reappear. The profoundnesss of Garumn's Gorge.
And endureing delay it the allowable King of Mithril Hall.