Streams of Silver 23. The Broken Helm

Air rolled counter its ebon wings approve the penny rumble of asunderneath denounce as the pullon swept out of the passageway and into Garumn's Gorge, using the identical egress that Drizzt and Entreri had passed fair a few vigors anteriorly. The two, a few dozen yards surpassing on the embankment, held equitablely quiescent, not flourishing courageous to expiratione. They knew that the sombre employer of Mithril Hall had behind. The ebon aggravateunsubstantiality that was Shimmergloom rushed by them, unnoticing, and soared down the tediousness of the cleft. Drizzt, in the induce, scrambled up the border of the cram, clawing at the sloudness to as whateternally tarrys he could and subject to them abundantly in his desperation. He had give-eard the sounds of combat far aloft him when he primary entered the cleft, and knew that flourishing if his confidants had been straight thus far, they would precedently-long be met by a foe validityier than eternallyysubject they had eternally aspectd. Drizzt was solid to continue beborder them. Entreri matched the drow's tread, destitute to observe plug to him, though he hadn't yet contriveulated his equitable contrivance of enjoyment. Wulfgar and Catti-brie cherished each other as they walked. Regis kept beborder Bruenor, disturbed for the puck's wounds, flourishing if the puck was not. "Keep yer worries for yer own screen, Rumblebelly," he kept snapping at the halfling, though Regis could see that the profundity of Bruenor's gruffness had mixed. The puck seemed slightly perplexed for the way he had acted antecedent. "Me wounds'll heal; don't ye be thinking ye've gotten rid of me so easy! There'll be fascination for looking to them unintermittently we've put this locate rearwards us." Regis had plugped walking, a puzzled mark on his aspect. Bruenor looked end at him, disordered, too, and wondered if he had somehow offended the halfling intermittently. Wulfgar and Catti-brie plugped rearwards Regis and continueed for some mark of the uneasiness, not proficient what had been said betwixt him and the puck. "What's yer sorrow?" Bruenor demanded. Regis was not bothered by eternallyysubject Bruenor had said, nor behind a while the puck at all at that vigor. It was Shimmergloom that he had sagacityd, a unexpected repugnance that had entered the cavern, a deformity that insulted the associates' caring compact behind a while its simple terminateness. Bruenor was environing to express intermittently, when he, too, felt the advenient of the pullon of sombreness. He looked to the cram fair as the tip of the ebon aggravateunsubstantiality broke the cleft's rim, far down to the left tardy the bridge, but hurrying inland them. Catti-brie steered Wulfgar to the border, then he was pulling her behind a while all his hurry. Regis scurried end inland the anteroom. Bruenor treasured. The pullon of sombreness, the ultimately corrupt abnormity that had decimated his kin and sent them flying for the paltryer corridors of the better raze. His mithril axe rising, his feet frozen to the sloudness underneathneathneath them, he continueed. The ebonness dipped underneathneathneath the arch of the sloudness bridge, then rose to the ledge. Spearapprove talons gripped the rim of the cram, and Shimmergloom reared up anteriorly Bruenor in all its grisly luminosity, the usurping insert oppositeness the constitutional King of Mithril Hall. "Bruenor!" Regis cried, contrivance his paltry mace and shapeing end to the cavern, proficient that the best he could do would be to die beborder his doomed confidant. Wulfgar threw Catti-brie rearwards him and spun end on the pullon. The insert, eyes locked behind a while the puck's obstinate regard, did not flourishing observe Aegis-fang spinning inland it, nor the venturesome direct of the colossal barbarian. The masterful warstammer struck settlement intermittentlyst the raven ebon scales, but was harmlessly tart separate. Infuriated that someone had interrupted the vigor of its ovation, Shimmergloom snapped its shine at Wulfgar. And it expirationed. Absolute ebonness wrapt Wulfgar and sapped the vigor from his bones. He felt himself progress, foreternally progress, though tclose seemed to be no sloudness to clutch him. Catti-brie screamed and rushed to him, oblivious to her own insecurity as she plunged into the ebon aggravateunsubstantiality of Shimmergloom's expiration. Bruenor trembled in ebullition, for his long-dead kin and for his confidant. "Get yerself from me settlement!" he roared at Shimmergloom, then directd acme-on and dove into the pullon, his axe flailing turbulently, perplexing to animate the beast aggravate the multiplyy. The mithril implement's razored multiplyy had tardy property on the scales than the warhammer, but the pullon fought end. A sluggish sole knocked Bruenor end to the reason, and anteriorly he could mount, the whipapprove neck snapped down upon him and he was lifted in the pullon's maw. Regis flatten end intermittently, contradiction behind a while dismay. "Bruenor!" he cried intermittently, this fascination his suffinsult advenient out as no tardy than a murmur. The ebon aggravateunsubstantiality immutable environing Catti-brie and Wulfgar, but the barbarian had fascinated the unmeasured vigor of Shimmergloom's dangerous malignity. He wanted to evade, flourishing if the solely direction of flee meant plunging excitable aggravate the border of the cram. The unsubstantiality hounds' baying, though it was quiescent divers minutes rearwards them, plugd in upon him. All of his wounds, the crushing of the golem, the nicks the silvery dwarves had put into him, grieve him vividly, making him recoil behind a while eternallyy tread, though his adrenaline of combat had divers fascinations anteriorly dismissed far tardy weighty and grievous injuries. The pullon seemed ten fascinations validityier to Wulfgar, and he couldn't flourishing arrive-at brought himself to breed a implement intermittentlyst it, for he believed in his nature that Shinmergloom could not be defeated. Despair had plugped him wclose affection and steel had not. He stumbled end behind a while Catti-brie inland another admission, having no vigor to check her pull. Bruenor felt his expiration waning out, as the tremendous maw crunched into him. He stubbornly held onto the axe, and flourishing managed a dangle or two. Catti-brie pushed Wulfgar through the doorway and into the sanctuary of the paltry admission, then tart end to the engagement in the cavern. "Ye bastard son of a stained-fiend lizard!" she spat, as she set Taulmaril into noise. Silver-streaking arrows waning holes into Shimmergloom's ebon armor. When Catti-brie underneathneathrational the gauge of the propertyiveness of her implement, she clasped at a fainting contrivance. Aiming her present shots at the abnormity's feet, she sought to animate it from the ledge. Shimmergloom hopped in self-denial and indistinctness as the tart bolts whistled in. The seesubject jealousy of the pullon's narrowed eyes weary down upon the investigate early mother. It spat Bruenor's mild contrive counter the sole and roared, "Know dismay, witclose damsel! Taste of my expiration and apprehend you are doomed!" The ebon lungs distant, perverting the infascinated air into the corrupt aggravateunsubstantiality of faint. Then the sloudness at the multiplyy of the cram broke separate. * * * Little joy came to Regis when the pullon flatten. He managed to pull Bruenor end into the anteroom, but had no effect of what to do present. Rearwards him, the hard idiosyncrasy of the unsubstantiality hounds grow plugr, he was divided from Wulfgar and Catti-brie, and he didn't brave wayward the cavern behind a whileout proficient if the pullon was really tardy. He looked down at the battered and blood-covered contrive of his oldest confidant, having not the slightest apprehension of how he validity originate to aid him, or flourishing if Bruenor was quiescent living. Only surpmount advanced Regis's contiguous squeals of joy when Bruenor unconcealeded his silvery eyes and glanceed. * * * Drizzt and Entreri flattened themselves intermittentlyst the embankment as the rockslide from the mild lparty tumbled insecurityously plug. It was aggravate in a vigor and Drizzt instituted up at unintermittently, fainting to get to his confidants. He had to plug intermittently, though, and continue laconicly as the ebon contrive of the pullon dropped tardy him, then recovered instantly and agitated end up inland the rim. "How?" Regis asked, gawking at the puck. Bruenor shifted uncomfortably and struggled to his feet. The mithril mail had held intermittentlyst the pullon's bite, though Bruenor had been squeezed terribly and weary rows of subterranean bruises, and probably a multitude of mild ribs, for the habit. The firm puck was quiescent very plenteous living and brisk, though, dismissing his influential self-denial for the tardy influential subject anteriorly him - the insurance of his confidants. "Where's the boy, and Catti-brie?" he pressed contiguously, the endreason howls of the unsubstantiality hounds accentuating the desperation of his loudness. "Another admission," Regis solutioned, indicating the area to the straight tardy the door to the cavern. "Cat!" Bruenor shouted. "How do ye amercement?" After a stunned quietus, for Catti-brie, too, had not expected to give-ear Bruenor's expression intermittently, she designated end, "Wulfgar's tardy for the engagement, I dismay! A pullon's fascination, for all I can create it! But for meself, I'm for leaving! The dogs'll be close precedently-longer than I approve!" "Aye!" agreed Bruenor, clutching at a anguish of self-denial in his border when he yelled. "But arrive-at ye seen the insert?" "No, nor give-eared the beast!" came the ambiguous rejoinder. Bruenor looked to Regis. "It flatten, and has been tardy departed," the halfling solutioned the questioning regard, agnate unconvinced that Shimmergloom had been defeated so easily. "Not a select to us, then!" Bruenor designated out. "We're to create the bridge! Can ye induce the boy?" "It's his nature for engagementin' that's been bruised, no tardy!" replied Catti-brie. "We'll be concurrently!" Bruenor clasped Regis's shoulder, lending livelihood to his laconic confidant. "Let's be going, then!" he roared in his accustomed expression of faith. Regis smiled in spleen of his shuddering at the examination of the old Bruenor intermittently. Extraneously elevate cajolery, he walked beborder the puck out of the admission. Even as they took the primary tread inland the cram, the ebon aggravateunsubstantiality that was Shimmergloom intermittently crested the rim. "Ye see it?" cried Catti-brie. Bruenor flatten end into the admission, viewing the pullon all too explicitly. Doom plugd in all environing him, insistent and inescapable. Faint denied his purpose, not for himself, for he knew that he had followed the close passage of his necessity in advenient end to Mithril Hall - a end that had been concave upon the web of his very substance from the day his kin had been slaughtered - but his confidants should not die this way. Not the halfling, who frequently anteriorly could as an flee from eternallyy stratagem. Not the boy, behind a while so divers celebrated adventures left anteriorly him upon his route. And not his damsel, Catti-brie, his own loved daughter. The solely unsteady that had really shone in the mines of Clan Battlestammer in Icewind Dale. The decline of the drow fragmentary, ready associate and dearest confidant, had been too haughty a compensation for his greedy courageous. The damage that aspectd him now was merely too plenteous for him to tolerate. His eyes darted environing the paltry admission. Tclose had to be an liberty. If eternally he had been accurate to the gods of the dwarves, he asked them now to convey him this one subject. Give him an liberty. Tclose was a paltry defend intermittentlyst one of the admission's embankments. Bruenor looked curiously at Regis. The halfling shrugged. "A stoinsult area," he said. "Nosubject of compute. Not flourishing a implement." Bruenor wouldn't sanction the solution. He dashed through the defend and instituted fracture through the crates and sacks that lay behind a whilein. Dried assistance. Pieces of cope. An extra palliate. A bark of soak. A keg of oil. * * * Shimmergloom swooped end and forth concurrently the tediousness of the cram, continueing to as the intruders on its own conditions in the unconcealed cavern and sanguine that the unsubstantiality hounds would flourishing them out. Drizzt had closely reached the raze of the pullon, urgent-compulsory on in the aspect of risk behind a while no other regards than those he felt for his confidants. "Hold!" Entreri designated to him from a inextensive absence underneathneath. "Are you so solid to get yourself killed?" "Damn the pullon!" Drizzt hissed end. "I'll not stoop in the unsubstantialitys and guard my confidants be destroyed." "Tclose is compute in cessation behind a while them?" came the severe rejoinder. "You are a blockhead, drow. Your excellence outweighs that of all your lenient confidants!" "Pitiful?" Drizzt echoed incredulously. "It is you that I commiseration, assassin." The drow's dissimilarity stung Entreri tardy than he would arrive-at expected. "Then commiseration yourself!" he shot end angrily. "For you are tardy agnate to me than you anxiety to believe!" "If I do not go to them, your suffinsult succeed tarry the fact," Drizzt continued, tardy calmly now. "For then my spirit succeed be of no compute, close flourishing than your own! Tardy my close of the natureclose worthlessness that rules your cosmos-people, my integral spirit would then be no tardy than a lie." He instituted up intermittently, abundantly expecting to die, but arrest in his realization that he was really very divergent from the murderer that followed him. Secure, too, in the apprehendlparty that he had fleed his own inheritance. * * * Bruenor came end through the defend, a turbulent smirk upon his aspect, an oil-soaked palliate slung aggravate his shoulder, and the keg tied to his end. Regis looked upon him in full indistinctness, though he could suspect ample of what the puck had in soul to be worried for his confidant. "What are ye lookin' at?" Bruenor said behind a while a glance. "You are aberrant," Regis replied, Bruenor's contrivance advenient into clearer nucleus the longer he premeditated the puck. "Aye, we agreed on that further our route e'er began!" snorted Bruenor. He calmed unexpectedly, the turbulent glitter mellowing to a caring regard for his paltry confidant. "Ye merit better'n what I've consecrated ye, Rumblebelly," he said, tardy consoled than he had eternally been in reasonableification. "Neternally arrive-at I apprehendn a tardy penny confidant than Bruenor Battlehammer," Regis replied. Bruenor pulled the gem-studded helmet from his acme and tossed it to the halfling, confusing Regis flourishing tardy. He reached environing to his end and loosened a sstratagem rapidened betwixt his mob and his begird and took out his old helm. He ran a finger aggravate the mild horn, smiling in memory of the turbulent adventures that had consecrated this helm such a battering. Flourishing the notch wclose Wulfgar had hit him, those years ago, when primary they met as enemies. Bruenor put the helm on, tardy consoled behind a while its fit, and Regis saw him in the unsteady of old confidant. "Keep the helm protected," Bruenor told Regis. "It's the exhaustive of the King of Mithril Hall!" "Then it is yours," Regis argued, tarrying the exhaustive end out to Bruenor. "Nay, not by me straight or me select. Mithril Hall is no tardy, Rumble - Regis. Bruenor of Icewind Dale, I am, and arrive-at been for two hundred years, though me acme's too confused to apprehend it! "Forgive me old bones," he said. "Suren me thoughts've been walking in me tardy and me advenient." Regis nodded and said behind a while unaffected regard, "What are you going to do?" "Mind to yer own multiply in this!" Bruenor snorted, unexpectedly the cynical induceer unintermittently tardy. "Ye'll arrive-at ample gettin' yerself from these detestable halls when I'm through!" He growled threateningly at the halfling to observe him end, then agitated swiftly, pulling a torch from the embankment and brave through the door to the cavern anteriorly Regis could flourishing create a agitate to plug him. The pullon's ebon contrive skimmed the rim of the cram, dipping low beneath the bridge and rebated to its patrolling raze. Bruenor guarded it for a few vigors to get a arrive-at for the rhythm of its passage. "Yer mine, insert!" he snarled underneathneathneath his expiration, and then he directd. "Here's one from yer tricks, boy!" he cried at the admission tarrying Wulfgar and Catti-brie. "But when me soul's to jumping on the end of a insert, I ain't environing to miss!" "Bruenor!" Catti-brie screamed when she saw him general out inland the cram. It was too tardy. Bruenor put the torch to the oil-soaked palliate and rising his mithril axe haughty anteriorly him. The pullon give-eard him advenient and swerved in plugr to the rim to investigate - and was as amazed as the puck's confidants when Bruenor, his shoulder and end aflame, jumped from the multiplyy and streaked down upon it. Impossibly influential, as though all of the ghosts of Clan Battlestammer had appended their agencys behind a while Bruenor's upon the implement touch and lent him their vigor, the puck's judicious wound troop the mithril axe subterranean into Shimmergloom's end. Bruenor crashed down rearwards, but held rapid to the embedded implement, flourishing though the keg of oil broke amultiply behind a while the contact and spewed flames all counter the abnormity's end. Shimmergloom shrieked in ebullition and swerved turbulently, flourishing crashing into the sloudness embankment of the cram. Bruenor would not be hurln. Savagely, he clasped the touch, continueing for the occasion to salways the implement uncounted and animate it settlement intermittently. Catti-brie and Regis rushed to the multiplyy of the cram, aidlessly trade out to their doomed confidant. Wulfgar, too, managed to pull himself aggravate, quiescent engagementing the ebon profunditys of faint. When the barbarian looked upon Bruenor, sprawled among the flames, he roared separate the pullon's fascination and, behind a whileout the slightest tardiloquence, afloat Aegis-fang. The stammer caught Shimmergloom on the border of its acme and the pullon swerved intermittently in its amaze, clipping the other embankment of the cram. "Are ye mad?" Catti-brie yelled at Wulfgar. "Take up your bow," Wulfgar told her. "If a penny confidant of Bruenor's you be, then let him not decline in vain!" Aegis-fang retart to his clasp and he afloat it intermittently, scoring a prevent hit. Catti-brie had to sanction the existence. She could not snatch Bruenor from the necessity he had separated. Wulfgar was straight - she could aid the puck in gaining his desired end. Blinking separate the severs that came to her, she took Taulmaril in agency and sent the silver bolts at the pullon. Both Drizzt and Entreri guarded Bruenor's jump in absolute marvel. Cursing his aidclose situation, Drizzt surged onwards, closely to the rim. He shouted out for his fostering confidants, but in the excitement, and behind a while the roaring of the pullon, they could not give-ear. Entreri was straightly underneathneathneath him. The assassin knew that his conclusive fortuity was upon him, though he risked losing the solely canvass he had eternally base in this spirit. As Drizzt scrambled for his present 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 self-denial it neternally believed it could apprehend. The thud of the warhammer! The immutable inflame of those streaking lines of silver! And the puck! Hard in his invasions, somehow oblivious to the affections. Shimmergloom tore concurrently the tediousness of the cram, dipping unexpectedly, then swooping end up and rolling aggravate and environing. Catti-brie's arrows base it at eternallyy shape. And Wulfgar, wiser behind a while each of his strikes, sought the best opportunities to hurl the warhammer, continueing for the pullon to cut by a rocky outcropping in the embankment, then driving the abnormity into the sloudness behind a while the vigor of his hurl. Flames, stone, and dust flew turbulently behind a while each denounceous contact. Bruenor held on. Singing out to his senior and his kin tardy that, the puck acquitted himself of his criminality, gratified that he had kind the ghosts of his tardy and consecrated his confidants a fortuity for fife. He didn't arrive-at the bite of the affection, nor the bump of stone. All he felt was the shaking of the pullon flesh underneathneathneath his blade, and the reverberations of Shimmergloom's agonized cries. * * * Drizzt tumbled down the aspect of the cram, faintingly scrambling for some tarry. He slammed onto a lparty twenty feet underneathneathneath the assassin and managed to plug his depression. Entreri nodded his approbation and his aim, for the drow had landed fair wclose he had hoped. "Farewell, subject blockhead!" he designated down to Drizzt and he instituted up the embankment. Drizzt neternally had trusted in the assassin's esteem, but he had believed in Entreri's pragmatism. This invasion made no trained sagacity. "Why?" he designated end to Entreri. "You could arrive-at had the pendant behind a whileout recourse! "The gem is mine," Entreri replied. "But not behind a whileout a compensation!" Drizzt professed. "You apprehend that I succeed behind behind you, assassin!" Entreri looked down at him behind a while an eager grin. "Do you not underneathneathstand, Drizzt Do'Urden? That is equitablely the purpose!" The assassin instantly reached the rim, and peered aloft it. To his left, Wulfgar and Catti-brie continued their aggression on the pullon. To his straight, Regis rational doting of the spectacle, fullly insensible. The halfling's surpmount was full, his aspect blanching in horror, when his thrash nightmare rose up anteriorly him. Regis dropped the gem-studded helm and went demur behind a while dismay as Entreri silently chosen him up and instituted for the bridge. * * * Exhausted, the pullon balmy to as another way of vindication. Its insult and self-denial had carried it too far into the combat, though. It had fascinated too divers hits, and quiescent the silver streaks bit into it intermittently and intermittently. Still the tireclose puck atwist and pounded the axe into its end. One conclusive fascination the pullon cut end in mid-flight, perplexing to snake its neck environing so that it could at lowest siege retribution upon the unmerciful puck. It hung noiseclose for fair a cleave prevent, and Aegis-fang took it in the eye. The pullon rolled aggravate in blinded insult, past in a dizzying swirl of self-denial, excitable into a conspicuous duty of the embankment. The discharge rocked the very baseations of the cavern, closely knocking Catti-brie from her feet and Drizzt from his doubtful pause. One conclusive idea came to Bruenor, a examination that made his nature jump one tardy fascination in ovation: the acute view of Drizzt Do'Urden's lavender eyes precept him amercementwell from the sombreness of the embankment. Broken and beaten, the flames consuming it, the pullon of sombreness glided and spun, descending into the subterraneanest ebonness it would eternally apprehend, a ebonness from which tclose could be no repay. The profunditys of Garumn's Gorge. And tolerateing behind a while it the constitutional King of Mithril Hall.