BG 2 Novelization
Jaheira had a vague memory of the sound of water, and there was the motion that made her think she'd been on a boat. She was outside—or had been—and it had been night, but she couldn't see any stars.
It took her three tries before she actually regained consciousness. Her eyelids opened only with great difficulty, and one side of her face was awash in a dull, throbbing ache.
"She's alive," a voice said. It was a young woman's voice, tired and unenthusiastic.
Jaheira turned toward the voice, and something hurt her neck. She winced, and that made her face hurt. She closed her eyes, which filled with tears, but tried to keep her breathing steady.
"Where am I?" Jaheira asked, her voice scratchy and uneven.
"A cave," the voice replied.
This time Jaheira opened her eyes and saw the girl who had been dragged with her through the storm drain by the vampire woman. The girl was chained to the wall by a wide leather collar fastened tightly around her neck. The pain in Jaheira's own neck came from an identical strap. The half-elf tugged at her bonds, but they held fast, anchored firmly into the wall.
There was a torch hanging in a crude wall sconce guttering out a smoky orange light from maybe twenty feet above Jaheira's head. The ground she was sitting on was smooth, uneven stone. Above her hung stalactites of varying yellow, gray, and dull brown. It was a natural cavern, probably carved by an underground stream. The ceiling was high, but the walls were close on two sides. The cavern went off into the thick darkness on either side as if they were in a tunnel or natural corridor.
"My name is Jaheira," she said to her fellow prisoner, looking up to catch the young woman's surprisingly steady gaze.
The girl was dirty, disheveled, and tired, but still undeniably pretty. Shoulder-length auburn hair framed a smooth-skinned face with a high forehead and full lips. Her dark eyes sparkled with intelligence even as red with exhaustion as they were. Her body was slender and tightly well-proportioned. Her tattered blouse covered modest breasts and narrow hips. There was something about her that looked fast, like a gazelle, but somehow more dangerous.
"Imoen," the girl answered. "Nice that you came around. I'm happy for someone to talk to."
"How long have we been here?" Jaheira asked, determined to settle some facts of her situation, so she could have some chance of escaping it. The question seemed to upset Imoen.
"I have no idea," she answered. "Hard to tell in a cave, actually. I fell asleep for a while, I think. Maybe a couple of days."
"Since the storm drain?" Jaheira asked.
"we need to get out of here," Jaheira said simply, not entirely surprised that the girl hadn't been conscious of that part of their journey.
Imoen smiled pleasantly and said, "Gee, think?"
The girl's tone made the fine hairs behind Jaheira's gently pointed ears stand on end.
Imoen's otherwise normal, reasonably happy life had become, over the last tenday or so, a sort of hell that alternated between boring, painful, and horrifying. The latter was the case now.
Abdel had appeared rather suddenly, and when he did, the relief she felt was almost orgasmic in intensity. She'd certainly been waiting long enough for this so-called "Hero of Baldur's Gate" to come and save her. His new girlfriend was of little use but as a model for how to grow up haughty and ineffectual. The "coordinator"—he called himself Irenicus, a name he obviously made up himself—was a raving lunatic with a decent command of magery, but he had an ego so out of control and delusions so deeply implanted in his worm-ridden psyche, it was a wonder he could manage anything but a slow, twitching drool.
The iron maiden hurt, as had the leather collar, the chains, the ropes, the grabbing, and the cold-fingered hands of one vampire after another. They were rarely fed, and when they were, it was gruel obviously prepared by a chef suffering from some combination of head injury and sense of humor.
Abdel had come in sword literally blazing, but had managed to get himself killed. He made it a few steps out of the circle of darkness, then was dropped in his tracks by another spell. Imoen had seen a couple people die before. Reginald of Wide Girth, a monk she knew in passing, dropped dead of heartstop seconds after walking in on her while she was bathing. She always took that personally. Yorik—another monk-fell off the top of the shrine of Oghma, though no one knew why he was up there in the first place. All attempts to restore life to his broken body failed, leading many in Candlekeep to assume Oghma wanted him dead for some reason. That one was kind of a mess.
Abdel's death looked a lot more like Reginal's than Yorik's. His body just up and quit.
Imoen sobbed when she realized he was dead. She began mourning him right away with half her brain and railed against him with the other half. This was Abdel the mighty? Sellsword par excellence who defeated Sarevok, Son of Bhaal, and saved the Sword Coast from years of bloody war? Irenicus was obviously a mage, yet Abdel just ran at him, swinging his sword. Imoen had to admit, at least to herself, that Irenicus actually went easy on him. It was obviously some death spell. Wizards had more creative, more dramatic, more painful, more lingering, and more humiliating ways to kill someone.
Yeah, he was lucky.