For a moment, Zane was distracted by Mel. How long has it been since she wore her own face?, he wondered to himself. Ever since the tiefling had acquired the Dragon Mask, it seemed she’d been under one guise or another. Though, he couldn’t remember if that was true or not. He really should pay more attention to his companions. The bard had noticed she’d been more and more moody lately. Was it fair to say “moody”? No. Angry. Yes it’s definitely anger.
Odd, he thought to himself, she used to be so enamored by me. It’s not like Mel was the first woman to grow angry with him, oh no, not the first indeed. There had been several. But the anger usually followed after a certain amount of attention had been invested by Zane. The half elf chuckled to himself. And by “attention” I mean the beautiful physical ballet that only two people in love can master. Zane smiled now, but the smile died fast. Really, the problem is that I grow bored so fast when them. And then they get angry.
But, with Mel that wasn’t the case. There was nothing physical between them, so Zane felt certain it wasn’t the sort of anger that followed when he stopped calling on his fans in the past. He’d not spurned her… Had he? With all the heroics and getting caught up in the sweep of fighting the dragon cult, Zane certainly hadn’t had time to even think of making advances on the young tiefling. She is rather young, the bard thought to himself. People who take advantage of young innocent youth are really just the worst sort of people. Zane‘s brow furrowed. Terrible memories threatening to leap from the dark shadows of his mind. None of that. I am Zane Sevenstrings, the greatest bard that the Sword Coast has ever seen!
At first, the group was a means to make a name for himself, that’s for sure. It was working so well, so there would be no point of risking ruining it. But now he felt something different about them. They’d come so far together. He cared about them. Yes. That’s it. I do care. I do… That’s why it bothered him to see Mel hide herself away. She shouldn’t be trying to be what people want, she should just be herself!
“You’re one to talk!” laughed a voice in his head. Zane recognized it, of course. Alysia. Beautiful Alysia… Just thinking of her made him tremble slightly.
“Really Zanifyre, be yourself?” the elf’s voice bubbled with laughter in his mind, “You’re one to talk.”
“You’re a fraud, is what you are, and when you’re friends find out, they’ll mock you and cast you out!”
I am not a fraud! I am a hero! I am the greatest bard this land has ever known! The bard shook his head, his awareness back to the cold reality of the ice caves and the iceberg. Zane sighed, his break coming out in a visible cloud. Looking around, he spied Themugen who seemed to also be lost in thought.
I wish we were done with this place, Zane thought to himself, I wish we were back aboard the vessel that brought us here, amongst the busy singing sailors and the warmth their ship provided. If only we could be surrounded by warm seamen again.