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Tabula Avatar Chapter 27 - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
speakr2customrs
speakr2customrs
Tabula Avatar Chapter 27
spikeshunny has made me a gorgeous banner and icon for ‘Dojo Hard’. I’m not going to show you yet; this is my last night at work for a while and I plan on getting a lot of writing done, including another chapter of that piece of insanity, and I’ll unveil the banner when I post the next part of the story.

Happy birthday to cyradis


I haven’t written a specific birthday fic but I am posting a new chapter of my BtVS/Baldur’s Gate 2 crossover ‘Tabula Avatar’. 3,180 words. Rating R. Lots of spoilers for ‘Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn’, of course.

Previous Chapters are HERE .

Summary: AU from some point during Tabula Rasa, when the crystal doesn’t get broken and something else happens to it instead. Events bearing some similarities to those in kallysten and kantayra’s excellent story Tabula Rasa Ad Aeternum are taking place simultaneously with this story, but off-screen.


Tabula Avatar


Chapter Twenty-seven


They formed up on the stairs with Tazok and DigDag in the centre of the front rank and two orog swordsmen to each side. The archers were behind and above them and could thus take advantage of the high arched ceilings of the fortress tunnels to shoot over the heads of the taller warriors. Plath Rededge was there to provide magical support and healing, sheltering behind Tazok and DigDag, and she was backed up by an orc mage. Conster would have been better, his repertoire of spells far outclassed those of the orc, but Firkraag wanted him at his side and Tazok had to make do with what he could get.

Rascar had laid some traps on the stairs in front of them but had then retired back to the living quarters, claiming that Firkraag had other duties for him, although Tazok suspected that the thief was simply trying to avoid getting involved in the fight. His presence would have added little to the fighting power of the band and so Tazok refrained from making an issue of it. The quarters adjoined the room that housed Tara’s cell, and Tazok had one moment of concern lest Rascar had some nefarious purpose in mind; but the cell was impregnable, Conster had the only key, and Tazok dismissed the thoughts from his mind and went back to organizing the defense.

It wasn’t an ideal position. There was no room for maneuver, they had no cover, and the traps were no barrier to missile weapons. They couldn’t charge lest they fall victim to their own traps, and if it came to a long-distance exchange of missiles and spells the attackers would have the edge. Dynaheir was no longer with Sorkatani’s band, thankfully, but it was said that the little red-headed witch who had replaced her – Tara’s former lover Willow – was very formidable indeed. So was Conster, but Conster wasn’t going to be involved. On the plus side they did have the advantage of height and they could not be outflanked. Tazok had a feeling that it would come down to a slogging match at close quarters and the battle would hinge on whether or not he and DigDag could defeat Sorkatani and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. On that point he felt quietly confident.

The Bhaalspawn and her bunch had made worryingly fast and inexorable progress through the fortress. Even the vampires, and the dread guardians of King Strohm’s tomb, had barely slowed them down. Tazok had hoped that some of them would have fallen to the other defenders by the time they got this far but it hadn’t happened. They must have been weakened, however, their store of potions and spells depleted, and hopefully that would be enough to give him the edge.

Tazok would have liked to start the battle Hasted, and with perhaps a couple of other spells augmenting his power, but there would be no point in ordering the spells to be cast too soon. The attackers might simply wait for them to wear off and the aftermath of a Haste spell was crippling fatigue. Tazok had no option but to wait for Sorkatani to arrive. The orc-ogre hybrid orogs, proud of their status as elite warriors, stood and waited patiently. The orcs, naturally chaotic and prone to indiscipline, fidgeted and DigDag growled at them. Plath Rededge began to fidget too. She drew out a miniature pot of ointment from a pouch and smeared it onto her eyelids.

“Stupid time to make yourself look pretty,” Tazok sneered. “They’ll be here soon. And you’ll never look as pretty as Tara anyway.”

“Hush,” Plath snapped. “This is important.” She chanted a phrase in an archaic language and poked her head past Tazok to look down the staircase. Her eyes widened. “They’re here!” she shouted. “Loose your shafts!” She began to recite a protective incantation but an arrow whistled from out of nowhere to slice a bloody gash across her cheek and her spell-casting was disrupted. She retreated hastily back to her sheltered position behind the armored warriors.

Three figures appeared on the stairs. One was close by; much too close. A slim figure in jet black armor. He had bypassed the traps without disturbing them, not making a whisper of sound in the process, and was within a sword’s length of the line. He held a long dagger in his right hand. His left held a saber, a fine weapon with an ornate bell guard protecting his fingers, and blood was running along the channel in its blade. One of the orogs doubled over, clutched his hands to a thigh that was suddenly spouting blood from a severed femoral artery, and yelled for healing.

The other two newcomers were further away. One of them was also clad in dark leathers. He had the yellowish skin and slanted eyes of a denizen of far Kara-Tur. He had just loosed an arrow from a short bow and it was he who had injured Plath Rededge.

The third attacker was a girl. Slender of build, unarmored, and not tall, but the sight of her sent a thrill of alarm through Tazok’s body. He would have guessed her identity even if he hadn’t recognized her from the descriptions that had cropped up in his conversations with Tara. Willow the Red Witch in full battle mode. Her skin was the dull grey of a Stoneskin spell. Her arm was outstretched with her little finger and thumb spread out in the magical ‘horns’ symbol and an incantation was already on her lips. Something intangible streaked from her hand and burst just behind the orc archers. A cloud of choking death billowed out from it.

The archers panicked. Tazok felt the sting of gas in his nose and eyes and knew that if they stood still they were dead. To retreat would mean going deeper into the gas cloud before they could escape on the other side. “Forward!” he ordered. “Kill the witch.” He charged forward, desperately trying to remember exactly where Rascar had set the traps, with DigDag and the orogs at his side and the orcs following at his heels. The gas cloud rolled downwards with them. The wounded orog died where he lay.

The little witch cast one of the simplest of beginners’ spells and a section of stone in their path became coated with slippery grease. Three archers lost their footing and went down. Two choked to death before they could rise. The third landed on a caltrop left by Rascar and clambered to his feet with the wicked little spikes impaling his hand. His bow was lost. One of the orogs blundered into a tripwire and a hidden crossbow was triggered. The bolt struck an archer in the back and dropped him in his tracks.

The black-clad swordsman blocked the path of one of the orogs and prevented him from leaving the poison gas cloud. The bulky monster threw himself bodily at the swordsman, trying to drive him back with sheer weight, but the man dodged aside and drove his dagger into the orog’s side. The man in black slipped past the injured orog and voluntarily entered the toxic zone. He lurked unharmed within the deadly vapor, a disturbingly cheerful grin on his face, and his sword licked out at the backs of the orc archers from within the fog.

Tazok got past the traps and the Grease spell without mishap. An arrow bounced from his armor without penetrating. DigDag slipped but managed to keep his footing. They charged on down the stairs, accompanied by the two surviving orogs, and headed for the witch and the other enemies who were approaching fast to join her.

Sorkatani. Minsc, bellowing ‘Go for the eyes, Boo, go for the eyes!’ Jaheira, holding a spear. The fair-haired kensai who was known as the Vampire Slayer. A pair of armored knights, or perhaps a knight and a priest. The drow Viconia, who had been there when Sorkatani’s company had infiltrated Tazok’s bandit band a year and a half ago, but who had been absent from the final confrontation in Baldur’s Gate. A bard with a musical instrument at the ready. Two girls in leather with crossbows. They made up a formidable array. The initial slight numerical advantage of his forces was being eroded by that deadly gas and the man in black’s sword and dagger. The orc wizard was coughing too badly to strike back. Tazok grimaced in frustration. “Kill the witch!” he bellowed again.

Plath emerged from the gas cloud and unleashed the most deadly long-range spell in her arsenal. A Flame Strike, a column of fire lashing down from the heavens to punish and destroy an enemy. It seared down with devastating effect; but on Plath herself, not on Willow. Spell Turning. Plath screamed in agony and then began to chant the words of a healing spell. An arrow struck her before she could finish and she fell to her knees.

Sorkatani’s armored fighters moved forward and screened the witch from Tazok’s onrushing forces. He angled his charge to target Sorkatani and she came forward to meet him. Their blades clashed.

DigDag faced off with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. His axe swept down. Her twin swords rose to intercept his blow and her foot stamped out in a kick to his mid-section. He reeled backwards under the impact and his face twisted in shock. The force of the kick was unbelievable coming from such a small opponent.

The orc mage saw what had happened and hastened to support his chieftain by casting a Remove Magic spell upon Buffy. He thought that her incredible power must stem from a Potion or Girdle of Giant Strength. The spell had no effect. Buffy was still far stronger than DigDag and her onslaught drove him back up the stairs towards the gas cloud.

The man in black – Spike the Vampire, Tazok decided - was slaughtering the remaining archers with impunity from the cover of the gas. He sent one tumbling down the stairs to crash into the orc mage and the impact sent the wizard stumbling out of control towards Sorkatani’s forces. Jaheira met him with a braced spear and the wizard impaled himself on the point. The new male cleric moved forward and battered the helpless mage to death with a mace.

Minsc and the armored knight battled the orogs. The two girl thieves, joined by the bard who had apparently decided that his magical songs were unnecessary, sniped at a couple of archers who were trying to retreat from Spike to gain room to use their bows. Viconia bypassed the orogs, advanced up the stairs, and finished off the badly wounded Plath Rededge with a triple-headed flail.

Tazok could see the events of the battle only in brief glimpses. His main focus had to be on Sorkatani. Their first clash of blades had been indecisive. He brought his sword around again and delivered a downward chop towards her head. She parried with one sword and hit back with the other. The gleaming katana glanced from his armor. Tazok twirled his sword around and smote with all his might. The Perfect Warrior danced aside. She drove out a leg in a stamping kick to his knee and he was only just able to stay on his feet. Her blades licked out in swift strikes. Again her katana struck his breastplate. This time she angled the blade upwards and it bit into the underside of his arm as it glanced from the hardened steel. Her other blade damaged his gauntlet.

She was better than she had been when they clashed at Baldur’s Gate, Tazok thought, and she had killed him then. He tried a new tactic and brought his sword across in a low sweep at her legs. She leaped lightly over his weapon and kicked him in the chest. Her swords descended on his shoulders as she came down from the leap. He rocked back and hit the stone wall. He threw himself forward again and tried a kick of his own as he brought his sword back into position. She sidestepped and swept his standing leg out from under him. He fell heavily on his back and the air was driven from his lungs. He caught a brief glimpse of DigDag’s head rolling down the stairs and then Sorkatani knocked his guard aside with her lesser sword. Celestial Fury stabbed down in a thrust straight at his throat.

- - - - -


The battle was lost. “I yield!” Tazok gasped out. For one terrible moment he thought that he had been too winded to make any audible noise, or that the Perfect Warrior was going to ignore his plea and kill him anyway, but the blade halted as it touched his skin. “I beg quarter.” Behind Sorkatani he saw Minsc and the knight slaying their orog opponents at almost exactly the same moment.

“Lay down your sword,” Sorkatani commanded. He tossed the mighty blade aside with alacrity.

“Just kill the git,” the man in black advised, appearing at Sorkatani’s shoulder. “Left it a bit too bloody late to surrender, mate.” He was definitely a vampire, as mere seconds earlier he had been butchering the archers near the top of the stairs, and he must have raced down at incredible speed to have got to Sorkatani so quickly. Frankly Tazok wished that he hadn’t bothered.

Sorkatani pulled back her sword. “I do not do murder,” she said. “I slew you once, Tazok, and I will do so again if you prove false. Where is Tara?”

He told her where to find the cage. “The key is in the possession of Conster the Mage,” he explained. “Or perhaps held by Firkraag himself. Watch out for the thief Rascar. He bears Tara ill will.”

“If he hurts her he’s toast,” Willow said. Tazok had no doubt that she was speaking the literal truth.

“Stay here, Tazok,” Sorkatani ordered him. “We go to rescue Tara. I can spare none to guard a prisoner. If you take up arms against us again I shall hunt you down and slay you without mercy.”

“Just slay him now, abbil,” the drow girl advised. “Such creatures cannot be trusted.”

“I do not murder,” Sorkatani repeated. “If he is true to his word I shall be true to mine.” They moved off still discussing Tazok’s surrender. The girl thieves cleared away the last of Rascar’s traps from the stairs. The gas cloud dissipated and Sorkatani’s band ascended the staircase towards Tara.

Tazok sat up, shook himself, and then climbed to his feet. He went to DigDag’s headless body; the orc chieftain had been in possession of some nice trinkets and had no further use for them. Someone had been there before him, however, and DigDag’s pouches were empty. The same turned out to apply to Plath Rededge. Tazok gave up and sat down against the wall to wait for Sorkatani’s return.

He tried not to think about what Firkraag would do to him for his betrayal if Sorkatani and her companions were slain and he waited patiently for their return. Eventually they reappeared, or most of them. Some were missing; the male priest, the knight, the bard, and one of the girl thieves. Sorkatani was muttering darkly about getting revenge upon Firkraag in a future confrontation but Tazok paid little attention. He had eyes only for Tara.

She came to him and, to his joy, embraced him. “I’m so glad you did what I said, hon,” she told him. “I would have hated it if you’d died. Let’s get back to civilization before I give you your reward, ‘kay?”

Willow sniffed. “What happened to you being gay?” she complained.

“We broke up, Willow. You don’t get a say in this,” Tara replied.

“Fine. Fine. Suit yourself,” Willow pouted. “Guess I’ll go with Viconia. Or hey, I know what.” She turned to Minsc. “I’ll be your witch, Minsc. And hey, there might be some fringe benefits in it for you. As long as Boo wouldn’t be jealous.”

Tazok paid little heed to the witch’s words. His full attention was on Tara. He held her hand as he accompanied the party out of the fortress almost in a daze. They passed dead werewolves, shattered golems, charred mummies, and countless slain orcs, and emerged into the sunlight.

The trip back to Athkatla was uneventful. Tazok was no rider and turned down the offer of a horse belonging to one of those incinerated by Firkraag. Instead he walked at the side of Tara’s horse and they talked. Once at an inn she insisted that they bathe and eat before anything else and then, at long last, they retired to a bedroom.

There Tazok undressed her and feasted his eyes upon her radiant beauty. He caressed her smooth skin with his calloused hands. Her soft fingers trailed over his muscular torso and tentatively fondled his shaft. “So big,” she murmured. “Will it fit?”

“Fit it will, when I have made you ready, beautiful one,” he assured her, “and give you great pleasure.” He kissed her throat, her nipples, her stomach, and then buried his face between her legs and tasted her sweetness. His tongue penetrated her and her hands clamped on to his head. He explored her with his fingers, opening her up, stretching her gently.

She moaned. “Take me now,” she told him, and he obeyed.

She was wet and ready for him. He entered her as carefully and gently as he could. She squealed, but in delight rather than in pain, and he slid into her tight quim all the way up to the hilt. Her muscles squeezed him. He slid part of the way out, and then in again. She clutched his mighty shoulders with her hands and sought his mouth with hers. Her legs crossed over his back.

He moved slowly at first but gradually speeded up. His grunts of pleasure mingled with her ecstatic cries. “I love you,” he told her.

“I love you too, Tazok,” she told him. “Fill me with your seed! Give me your children!” Her words dissolved into shrieks and incoherent gasps.

He pounded into her, all control lost, but she matched his passion and her quim gripped him tightly. Pleasure overwhelmed him. He thrust deep, deep, into her and spurted his seed against her womb. Somehow he knew that she had conceived.

“Oh, Tazok, hon, I love you,” she sighed. “I’m gonna stay with you for ever. Our children will be mighty warriors. Emperors. I love you.” She hugged him tightly and pulled his face to her bosom.

Tazok hugged her in return. “I love you, Tara,” he murmured. Sleep was claiming him after the ecstatic release. He sank blissfully into the welcoming dark.

- - - - -


Sorkatani withdrew her blade from Tazok’s throat. She twirled Celestial Fury, sending droplets of blood spattering over the stone flags of the staircase, and slid the katana into her scabbard. “Strange,” she commented, looking down at Tazok’s smiling face. “I’ve never seen anyone die looking so happy before. I wonder what he was thinking?”

Continued in CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT


The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only and all rights remain with Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, the writers of the original episodes, and the TV and production companies responsible for the original television shows. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (c) 2002 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer trademark is used without express permission from Fox. I don’t know who currently owns the copyright to Bioware’s game ‘Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn’, but it isn’t me, and characters and dialogue extracts are used without permission and with no intent to profit from their use.

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Current Location: Isle of Man

28 comments or speak 2 me
Comments
ffutures From: ffutures Date: April 20th, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely trick ending - excellent! Hope Tara's OK.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 26th, 2006 12:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, glad you liked it.
rahirah From: rahirah Date: April 20th, 2006 06:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was getting all ready to be dubious and then you go all "Incident At Owl Creek Bridge" on us. Congratulations, I never saw it coming. Er... you know what I mean.

(And more generally, it's really neat to see characters that were pretty faceless in the game get fleshed out into people with actual motivations...)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 26th, 2006 12:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I hadn't read 'Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge' but I've looked it up and found the full text on the net. Yes, I see what you mean.
quinara From: quinara Date: April 20th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought that seemed a little unrealistic! Brilliant.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 26th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought that seemed a little unrealistic! Brilliant.

Now that's a comment that can't crop up often.
quinara From: quinara Date: April 26th, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
And were it with anyone else, Speakr, I'd have thought it strange. ;)
booster17 From: booster17 Date: April 20th, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had a suspicion before the end, but nice writing and an enjoyable twist. Always interesting to see the 'bad guys' from their own perspective. Oddly enough, I liked Tazok a lot better than Galvarey who I hope gets a painful death. Feel free to resurrect Tazok any time. *grin*
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 26th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

There is no resurrection planned for Tazok but he will be getting an honourable burial.
gillo From: gillo Date: April 20th, 2006 09:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow - a sex scene. A good one too, but with a very nice twist at the end which leaves Tara's integrity intact - because she really wouldn't go that way. It's quite touching, really. Splendid fight scene too - love the way Spike is able to confound them.

speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 26th, 2006 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 20th, 2006 11:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hm, I kinda saw that coming... too strange for Tara to go from "Hey, sorry gay" to "Gimme your children, baby!" :)

Too bad about Tazok... liked the guy. But how do you explain him having such an accurate vision of the behaviour of the group? Godly vision for falling from his evil path?

Magnus
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 22nd, 2006 10:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Is not too hard to puzzle out, really. Tara would likely have talked about her friends, mostly Willow. It explains why the protests were so very shallow, at that. Tazok would not likely consider much impediment to winning his love.

I doubt it would be a Godly vision for falling from his evil path, though. There are as many evil gods in the Forgotten Realms as good and they tend to be a lot less accepting of being turning from their worship.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 26th, 2006 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)
That's the way it was. Definitely no godly vision.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 26th, 2006 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! Tazok's vision wasn't all that accurate - the reaction to the deaths of several party members was completely unrealistic, because Tazok neither knew nor cared about those members and couldn't visualise reactions.

Tara had, of course, talked about Willow, and mentioned Spike, and the detail in those snippets could be just a side-effect of Dawn making everything about the game more realistic. Or data from other game files could be leaking into Tazok's mind as it breaks down into random ones and zeroes as he dies.

Really I just put in the maximum amount of detail that I thought that I could get away with as I was trying to mislead everybody for as long as possible.
From: hezzabeth Date: April 21st, 2006 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
OMG that ending was just so sad in a trick way, I knew something was up with Tara raved on about bearing his children after sex but it's just really tragic isn't it?
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 26th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes; not everyone can have what they want.
audela From: audela Date: April 21st, 2006 02:18 am (UTC) (Link)
More great action!

As for the Tazok/Tara trick, well, there's a lot of good stuff there. But...Have to say that I just don't like tricks like this in writing; I find them distracting and self-conscious. You know I love your writing, and you've even got me appreciating your puns -- but this? not so much.

f
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 26th, 2006 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I had been getting a lot of requests at "Twisting the Hellmouth" for Tazok/Tara; I did this as a way of giving them what they'd asked for without compromising my plan for the story. Don't worry, I won't make a habit of it, it was a one-off.
yangchencen From: yangchencen Date: April 21st, 2006 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
...At least he died happy.

Still, ouch.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 26th, 2006 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, ouch.
cyradis From: cyradis Date: April 21st, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I didn't catch on till Tara's declarations of love.
I mean, it seemed strange that Tara would dismiss Willow so quickly (and, more importantly, that Willow would accept it so easily) but the dynamics between the group and the reactions to Sorkatani's decision to spare him from Spike and Viconia were the expected ones...

I suppose that Tazok didn't surrender and so Sorkatani didn't have a reason for not killing him, pity that.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 26th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, Tazok didn't surrender and Sorkatani killed him. Everything after the dotted line, as Celestial Fury was heading for Tazok's throat, took place only in Tazok's dying mind.
From: ottawa_fan Date: April 21st, 2006 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tara didn't seem realistic, so I was thinking spell or dream, but I didn't mind the tricky ending. Always enjoyable!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 26th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
basilio_the_cat From: basilio_the_cat Date: April 22nd, 2006 09:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Great chapter
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 26th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
talesofspike From: talesofspike Date: June 23rd, 2006 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gah! You had me wondering what on earth the nerds had done to the universe for a minute there. Wonderful chapter.
28 comments or speak 2 me