Summary: AU from some point during Tabula Rasa, when the crystal doesn’t get broken, but instead falls into the hands of The Trio who insert the trapped memories into the computer game ‘Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn’. Events bearing some similarities to those in kallysten and kantayra’s excellent story Tabula Rasa Ad Aeternum took place off-screen during the earlier chapters of this story.
Lea’liyl, dread commander of a dozen lesser tanar’ri, snarled down at the knight who had caused him such pain with a sword of surpassing enchantment. He knew not what had caused the knight to collapse, but neither did he care; all that mattered was that the enemy was now helpless before him. He swung a mighty fist and batted aside the puny human female who tried to protect the knight. She spun away, crashed to the ground, and lay still. Lea’liyl paid her no more heed. He opened his fanged maw, extended his claws, and lunged at the unconscious figure of Xander.
Tara bent down and examined the prone form of Willow. There was no visible injury, and Willow was breathing normally, but she was limp and unresponsive. Tara swatted an imp that tried to attack and then cast a ‘Remove Paralysis’ spell on her lover. It had no result. Tara chewed on her lip as she tried to think of something else that she could do. Her eyes were trained on Willow and she did not see a tanar’ri, a minion of Lea’liyl’s, responding to his lord’s mental cries for help and approaching fast with deadly intent. It was charging directly towards Tara and the helpless Willow.
Buffy allowed the Blade of Roses to drop from her left hand and her fingers closed in an intricate grip upon empty air. Her right hand, holding Daystar, waved back and forth in an arc that came close to bringing the blade into contact with her nose. “You don’t…” she sang, and then her jaw dropped. “Oh, bugger!” she exclaimed.
Spike’s head jerked round to stare at her and his eyebrows shot up. “Turning English, Slayer?” An imp dived at him, clawed arms outstretched and barbed tail lashing, and Spike turned back to deal with it.
Buffy saw Xander’s peril. She fixed her gaze upon Lea’liyl. “Stop! In the name of love,” she commanded, “until I take your heart.”
Lea’liyl froze with his claws poised over Xander. Buffy rushed to the spot and, ignoring the motionless tanar’ri, bent down and took hold of Carsomyr. She sheathed Daystar and drew a circle in the air with her hand. A vapor trail appeared in the hand’s wake. The air within the ring shimmered as if with a heat haze. Buffy stepped into the circle and vanished.
Minsc saw the tanar’ri heading for Tara and Willow. “I must protect my witches!” he roared. He took off like a sprinter and hurtled towards them, swinging Lilarcor over his head, slicing apart two imps that tried to intercept him without even breaking stride.
“Yeah, gotta save them,” Lilarcor agreed. “Girl-on-girl action has to be preserved for the benefit of all mankind. Kill! Maim! Destroy!”
Minsc needed no urging. He raced past the two girls and crashed into the tanar’ri as if he were a rhinoceros charging a Land Rover. Lilarcor was a blur in the air as Minsc delivered blow after mighty blow, cutting deep into the demon, sending ichor spraying across the barren landscape. He shrugged off the tanar’ri’s retaliatory strikes as if they were the love-taps of a kitten. The demon staggered back, recoiled, and tried to flee. Minsc gave it no respite. He hacked it to pieces before it had covered ten yards.
Jaheira ran to Giles as fast as she could. Her feet pounded on the rocks and her heart pounded in her chest. She cursed herself for allowing the imps to draw her so far away from the man she loved. She paid no attention to a swarm of imps that dived to attack her.
Arrows whistled through the air as Sorkatani and Valygar acted to provide covering fire. Sorkatani was loosing a shaft every eight seconds and she never missed. Valygar could not match her rate of fire but his aim was true. Imp bodies plummeted from the sky and the remnants of the swarm fled. Jaheira ran on, oblivious both to the peril that had faced her and to the way that it had been averted; only Giles mattered.
Jaheira was still fifty feet away when the tanar’ri seized Giles in its claws and raised him from the ground. She screamed and threw her spear, stumbling and almost falling with the effort that she put into the throw, and then ran on with her hand going to the hilt of her scimitar. She had only wounded the creature, Sorkatani’s arrows were bouncing off without effect as they lacked the necessary enchantments, and Giles was going to die.
The air beside the demon parted. Buffy stepped out of the hole and struck with Carsomyr. The blade sheared through the tanar’ri’s arm. Giles fell from the creature’s grasp and hit the ground with a thud. “Ouch!” Buffy exclaimed. “Do be careful, Buffy.”
“Sorry, G-man,” Buffy replied to herself, “but hey, I’m kinda in a hurry here.” She swung the sword again, carving a deep gash in the demon’s torso, and then struck a third time.
Jaheira arrived, still traveling at a dead run, and hurled herself towards the shaft of the spear that was sticking out of the demon’s side. She released her scimitar and caught hold of the shaft with both hands. Her onward momentum, and the strength from her Gauntlets of Ogre Strength, enabled her to drive the spear deep into the demon’s body. Its howl of agony was cut short as Buffy delivered one more blow; but with the pommel of Carsomyr rather than the blade.
“Don’t kill it yet, a’mael,” Buffy addressed Jaheira. “There is something that I have to do first.”
“A’mael?” Jaheira echoed. She released her grip upon the spear shaft. “I think that you know not what you say, Buffy.”
“I’ll be with you in a moment, dearest,” Buffy said. She picked up Giles’ guitar and strummed it expertly. “You don’t get me I’m part of the Union…”
Jaheira stared at her. “Giles?”
“’Til the day you die,” Buffy continued. “’Til the day you die.” She set the guitar down carefully and picked up Carsomyr once more. The Holy Avenger’s blade fell on the demon’s neck and severed it as efficiently as a guillotine.
Minsc dropped Lilarcor onto the ground as the last of the imps fell from the sky impaled by an arrow from Valygar. “Hey, watch it, you big oaf,” the sword protested.
Minsc paid no attention. He turned to Tara, swept her up in his arms, and planted a big smacking kiss upon her lips. “My witches are safe,” he said, beaming. “Boo and I are so glad.” He kissed her again.
“Uh, guys, is there something I oughta know?” Willow asked. She sat up.
“Willow!” Minsc cried joyfully. He set Tara down on her feet and snatched up Willow instead. He kissed her equally enthusiastically. “When I saw you fall I was frightened that harm had befallen you.”
“Uh, no, I’m okay,” Willow assured him. “Uh, Minsc, you think that you could put me down?”
“Fear not, Willow, I shall not let you fall,” Minsc said. “Oh, I am so happy that you are safe. And Boo is happy too.” He lowered Willow until her feet touched the ground.
“Hey, you’re all covered in icky stuff,” Willow commented. “I hope you didn’t get any on me. I don’t know how the Robe of the Good Archmagi will stand up to being boil-washed.”
“Uh, Willow, that’s demon blood,” Tara pointed out, “and Minsc got all covered in it while he was saving our asses.”
“And very nice asses they are too,” Lilarcor put in from the ground. “Definitely worth saving.”
“Oh.” Willow smiled up at Minsc. “Thanks, Minsc.”
“Did you call us your witches?” Tara asked.
“I did,” Minsc confirmed. “For, what is a witch other than a woman who casts spells? Both of you cast spells, and you cannot be parted, and so I wish you both to be my witches. Ah, if only you would agree, for Minsc is incomplete without a witch to protect.”
Willow and Tara exchanged looks. “It might not be out of the question,” Willow said. “We’ll talk later, okay?”
“There’s still a demon to deal with,” Tara pointed out. “Okay, it’s just standing there, but it’s gonna start moving again eventually.”
“We froze it until Buffy takes its heart,” Willow said, “but hey, maybe it might break the spell. I guess we’d better be ready.” She picked up the Staff of the Magi and the three comrades set off to join the rest of the party.
“My sword might as well have been a stick,” Yoshimo grumbled. “It had no more effect than if it was not enchanted at all.”
“Many of our weapons seem to have lost some efficacy here in the Abyss,” Sorkatani said.
Buffy looked up from where she was cutting out Lea’liyl’s heart. “Yeah, I noticed that with the Blade of Roses,” she agreed. “Daystar worked fine, though, and so did Carsomyr.”
“I think I can run a fix,” Willow said. “Maybe I should do it now, in case we get jumped on the way back to the mother ship. I’ll start with yours, Yoshi.”
Yoshi nodded. “Thank you, Willow,” he said.
“Dip the blade in the demon blood,” Willow ordered. She watched as Yoshimo followed her instructions. “Uh, Yoshi, your sword doesn’t have a whole lot of power anyway. Why don’t you change over to a better one? Tani has a spare, which she doesn’t use any more. that has a stronger enchantment on the blade.”
“Mine cannot be turned against me,” Yoshi reminded her. “In my line of work that has proved vital more than once.”
“Point,” Willow agreed. “Hey, when we get back to Athkatla, I think I could upgrade it some. A few of the others, too. There isn’t much boost that I could give to Celestial Fury, or Carsomyr, or Lilarcor, but I could give some of them a tweak.” She concentrated hard and cast a spell upon Yoshimo’s blade. “Okay, that should do it.”
“Thank you, abbil,” Yoshimo said. He plucked a hair from his head and used it to test the blade. “Sharper even than before, I think.” He turned his attention back to Buffy. “How did you manage to use Xander’s Holy Sword, jabbress?” he asked her.
“I didn’t,” Buffy told him. “Xander did. He was just sharing my body.” She looked at Giles. “Cool spell, Giles, but it was way risky.”
“It was completely unplanned, Buffy,” Giles said. “I thought that the song would merely shield me from the demon for long enough for me to come up with a more destructive song. That we would once more combine, as we did against Adam, was the furthest thing from my mind.” He nodded his head slowly. “It served its purpose, in the end, but it did put Xander and Willow in rather precarious positions.”
“And I got hurt,” Anya said.
“Indeed,” Giles said. “I am extremely sorry, Anya, and I am very glad that it was not worse. I think that it is not an experiment that I shall be repeating.”
“Okay, I got it,” Buffy said. She held out the ichor-dripping organ. “A little bit of heart and soul. We’re good to go.”
“There is a rumor,” Anya mused, “that Waukeen is held prisoner somewhere in the Abyss.” Her eyes narrowed. “If we could rescue her while we’re here…”
“There are six hundred and sixty six planes to the Abyss,” Sorkatani pointed out. “Even if we are on the right one, which is unlikely, each plane is as large, or larger, than all of Abeir-Toril.”
“Okay, pour cold water on my scheme,” Anya said. “She would be very grateful, I’m sure, and she is the goddess of wealth and trade.”
“If we knew more, perhaps,” Sorkatani said, “but we do not.” Her tone softened. “Perhaps in the future we may learn to control this machine. We could return, knowing more of what we will face, and having prepared in advance. If, that is, we discover where in the Abyss we should look.”
“The rescue of the patron deity of Athkatla would be a worthy task for a knight,” Anomen said. “Yet without accurate directions such a mission would be foredoomed to failure.”
“He’s right, Anya,” Buffy said. “Forget it for now. Let’s get the Sphere powered up and then we’re out of here.”
The door of the Planar Sphere opened and the party filed out. Buffy was in the lead. “Hey, weird,” she commented, after glancing up at the sky. “My watch says twelve noon, but it looks like it’s getting late.”
“I guess that time didn’t run at the same rate where we were,” Willow said. “Or it’s, like, relativistic effects. We must have been traveling pretty fast.”
“I’ll take your word for it,” Buffy said. “We can put our watches right from the clock in the Promenade, I guess. There’s no big hurry.”
Sorkatani and Valygar came out supporting Lavok between them. “We are back exactly where we started,” Sorkatani observed. “I hope that none of the townsfolk were upon this site.”
“There was some warning when the Sphere last appeared,” Valygar told her. “A noise that shook the ground, flashes as of lightning, and other such portents. None died then, and I doubt that any have taken hurt this time either.”
“Unlike ourselves,” Sorkatani said, nodding towards Minsc, who had an arm in a sling. The chamber containing the Sphere’s mystical engines had been guarded by golems, following their set programs in the absence of any new instructions from Lavok, and they had taken violent exception to the party’s intrusion. The clerics had exhausted their healing spells in the battle and had been unable to regain them whilst they were in the Abyss. Only a couple of potions, held back for dire emergency, remained. “A trip to a temple must be one of our first stops.”
“There is a temple of Ilmater nearby,” Yoshimo said.
Sorkatani opened her mouth to reply but was distracted by a groan from Lavok. She and Valygar lowered the wizard gently to the ground.
“I see the sun of Toril once more,” the wizard croaked, “and I feel its rays upon my face. My time has come.” He raised a trembling hand towards Valygar. “I can die content. I have been responsible for much evil, and have brought much suffering upon my own family, and yet one of my line survives. A true hero and a mighty warrior.”
“I do my best,” said Valygar, “yet I have no deeds to my name to match those of Sorkatani and Buffy.”
“And Xander,” Anya chimed in.
“Such deeds you shall perform in time,” Lavok said. “The family of Corthala shall continue, and I…” His voice died away in mid sentence. His head lolled sideways.
“He is dead,” Valygar declared. “The shadow that has hung over my family for a century is gone – and yet I feel sadness.”
“Look on the bright side,” Anya urged him. “There is no curse. Lavok was the one who preyed upon your family, and we freed him from his evil possession, and he’s dead now anyway. There’s no reason for you to be celibate any more. You can go out and get laid.”
“I have not looked upon women in that light for years,” Valygar said.
“Yeah, well, there’s no rush,” Spike said. “Take a couple more years thinking it through.”
The three knights from another world looked around at the bustling streets of Athkatla. “How shall we make our way in this land, when we do not speak the language?” the female member of the group wondered.
“I’m sure that there will be a place for you,” Giles assured her. “You should fit in rather well with the Order of the Radiant Heart. I don’t think that the language problem is insoluble.”
“We have no choice but to try,” the lady knight agreed. “Again I thank you for all your help.”
“I must bury my ancestor,” Valygar announced. “Will you help me carry him to a temple, Sorkatani? And then I must see about a grave.”
“I hunger,” Tolgerias said. He shook himself. “I feel strong, as I never did in life, and yet weak withal. I crave… blood.”
“Of course,” Bodhi said. “And you shall have it. Soon.”
Tolgerias looked at the fledgling vampires who were engaged in heavy labor. They bore bricks, and mortar, and were busy laying a course across one wall of the crypt. He frowned. “What is the purpose of this construction, Mistress?”
“Oh, please, do call me Bodhi,” the elven vampire ordered. “There’s no need for you to stand on ceremony. After all, you’re going to be fucking me soon. As soon as you have fed.” She waved a hand in the direction of the laborers. “They are preparing for a battle,” she explained. “A battle that we have to lose.”
“To lose?” Tolgerias echoed. He frowned. “I don’t understand.”
“We have to lose, and we have to die,” Bodhi elaborated. “Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s only going to be a temporary death. It just has to look permanent. The reason for the wall? I don’t want those adventurers to find my personal chamber. I’m not going to trust to the secret door. They can be detected. There has to be a solid wall with no breaks.” She pursed her lips. “It probably will be best if you stay out of the fight. They don’t know about you, after all, and it would be tricky finding a look-alike at such short notice.”
“I still don’t understand,” Tolgerias said, “but I shall do as you command.”
“You’d better,” Bodhi said, her tone turning steely for a moment. “Those who disobey me suffer pain beyond imagining.”
Tolgerias bowed. “I am at your service.”
“Good boy,” Bodhi said. “It’s almost nightfall. We can go hunting soon. Once you have fed you can… service me.”
“Mistress Bodhi,” Lassal called. He strode into the crypt. “Valen returns with the news for which you have waited.”
“They have returned? That is good.” Bodhi smiled and licked her lips. “Send her in.”
A dark-haired human girl clad in leather armor entered the room. She bowed low before Bodhi. “The Sphere has returned to the Slums, Mistress,” she reported.
“You saw Sorkatani?” Bodhi asked.
“I did,” Valen confirmed. “She lives. All of them were there. Also three knights who I had not seen before, and an old man who died as they brought him forth.”
“Lavok,” Tolgerias deduced. “His knowledge is lost to me now.”
“I think you will find the benefits that I offer more than adequate compensation,” Bodhi said. She trained her eyes on Valen. “You have served me well, girl,” she said. “Yet now comes the time of choice. If you continue to follow me as a human you are almost certain to die when Sorkatani’s company attack. You may leave, and flee this city, or you may share my gift of eternal life.”
Valen swallowed hard. She lowered her eyes for a moment. Her hands clenched into fists and then relaxed. She raised her eyes once more. “I am afraid of death,” she confessed, “and yet I have no wish to leave your service. I see that Tolgerias is much as he was in life. I shall accept your gift, Mistress. I ask only that you be gentle with me.”
“I shall be gentle indeed, Valen,” Bodhi promised. “Your decision has pleased me greatly. You shall be well rewarded. Come here.”
Valen stepped forward and Bodhi embraced her. “Close your eyes, sweet one,” Bodhi said softly. “You may feel some pain, but then shall come bliss and life eternal.” She kissed Valen softly upon the throat, licked her skin, and then bit down gently. Valen moaned. Bodhi clamped down harder and sucked voraciously. A few droplets of blood escaped her lips and trickled down Valen’s neck. Tolgerias licked his lips. Valen sagged in Bodhi’s arms.
Bodhi raised her head. “Feed, Tolgerias,” she offered. She lifted Valen as if the girl thief weighed nothing at all and held her out to the former wizard.
Tolgerias accepted the offering eagerly. He clamped his mouth to the wound and drank. His eyes seemed to light up as he gulped down the delicious liquid. Eventually he could extract no more and he lowered Valen’s corpse to the floor. “Exquisite,” he declared. “I have not known such pleasure from food or drink before.”
“Indeed it is delight,” Bodhi said, “but I think that I can give you greater pleasure.” She gestured towards a side chamber. “Follow me.”
Inside the chamber a straw mattress lay on top of a coffin. “We shall lie in luxury another time,” Bodhi said. “For now, this shall suffice.” She unfastened her leather jerkin, stripped it off, and tossed it carelessly aside. “Take off your robes, Tolgerias. Let me see what you have to offer.”
Tolgerias obeyed. His eyes dwelt on the fine curves that Bodhi displayed, and on the lacy garment that supported her bosom. “A pretty undergarment,” he commented. “I have not seen its like before.”
Bodhi pulled off her boots and then stepped out of her leather leggings. She wore scanty silken draws, fastened by ribbons tied in little bows, matching the brassiere. “One of my enemies designed these clothes,” she explained. “She comes from another world where they are the norm amongst women. I am well pleased. I might even repay her by bringing her into the family. Or perhaps not. I don’t want there to be too many pretty women in the group.”
“None could compare with you, Mistress,” Tolgerias assured her. “I mean, Bodhi.”
“You have a skillful tongue,” Bodhi purred. “I hope that you can turn it to other uses.” She unfastened her bra, slowly and teasingly removed it to expose her breasts, and then untied the ribbons of her panties. “Show me what you can do.” She lay back upon the mattress and opened her legs.
Tolgerias had, in life, never engaged in cunnilingus. He knew in theory what was required and set out to please his lady. He licked away, with enthusiasm making up for lack of skill, until Bodhi giggled and caught hold of his shoulders.
“Time to fuck,” Bodhi declared. She pulled Tolgerias forward with strength that greatly exceeded his own. “Enter me, Tolgerias, and ride me until I am satisfied.”
Tolgerias wriggled into position and thrust home. “You are very strong, Bodhi,” he commented. “Beautiful and strong. I am yours to command.”
“True,” Bodhi said. “Yes, I am strong, but soon I shall be stronger still. Very much stronger. As long as no-one is careless enough to kill Sorkatani.”
“Why does that matter?” Tolgerias asked. He paused in his thrusting.
Bodhi frowned. “Don’t stop. Don’t ask questions. Just fuck me. I haven’t had a good fuck for ages.”
Tolgerias resumed his thrusts but disobeyed her second order. “How is that, oh most beautiful Bodhi? You have a male vampire in your group.”
“You didn’t do what I said,” Bodhi complained. “Naughty boys have to be punished. Lassal!” Her legs curled over those of Tolgerias, holding them down and easing them apart, and her arms clamped around him. She rocked against him, fucking furiously, and nibbled on his earlobe.
“If this is my punishment, then I cannot complain,” Tolgerias said.
“It hasn’t started yet,” Bodhi told him. “When it does, you shall have your question answered.”
“What question?” Tolgerias asked. He felt something touching the cheeks of his buttocks, sliding over them, and into the crack between them. Something larger than a finger.
“Why I haven’t had a good fuck for ages,” Bodhi reminded him. She grinned as Tolgerias winced and then jerked inside her. “Lassal is gay.”
Disclaimer: 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’, what with all the changes that have taken place in the companies involved, but it isn’t me; and characters and dialogue extracts are used without permission and with no intent to profit from their use.