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Jul 30 11 3:00 AM
Nilrae washed and ate quickly before heading to meet with Izzmur'ss. He wasn’t sure
what was in store for him, but it no doubt included cleaning of some sort; he always
cleaned the areas slaves were not allowed. Soon, he knew he would be promoted. At
least he hoped. Nilrae paused and stood at the thick stone door in thought over
his options. Not that the drowling male had any, but it was nice to pretend. The
wizard opened the door and ushered the boy in quickly.
tables were cluttered with papers, scrolls, equipment, and other things a
powerful wizard needed, the same as it always had been. What was different was
a candelabra of six red wax candles all lit. Each were tiny flames, but to his eyes it was a
brilliant intrusion. Nilrae flinched but his eyes adjusted accordingly. Rather
noted. A desk, off to the side with a
single candle was piled with tomes, parchments, and ink.
house wizard, his face a scowl, was dressed different than Nilrae had ever
seen. A blue wizard robe of spidersilk, trimmed with silver and white
geometrical arcane signs along the arms, and sides. Inside the robes were
purple velvet and designs that resembled an ancient language. Unknown to any
but the wizard was a dozen of hidden pockets containing all his spell
components, wands, and spell book. His black leather belt held an ivory wand
and dagger. Navy blue plain leggings and knee high boots that were re-enforced
with adamantine were visible when he walked and the robes parted. Nilrae
guessed this was one of his ceremonious or teaching robes. Three rings adorned
each hand, the magic energies surround each powerful; but not as powerful as
the amulet on his neck. It glowed with some power the boy could never guess,
much less imagine.
a slight metallic rasp beneath his melodious elven voice.
The wizard remained standing erect and graceful as a dancer,
hands behind his back as Nilrae took a seat at the desk prepared for him. Izzmur'ss closed the door of
the lab with his foot; the door magically silenced that it made no noise.
Nilrae saw the slight irritation in his brothers face and was sure today would
not go so well. Being exhausted and barely conscious would make the day worse. His
eyes began to droop, when the slamming of a tome before him startled him.
matron mother asked I begin you in magic. Thus you are with me until it’s
decided otherwise. Understood?”
nodded, then gulped.
elves can become proficient in magic. Every drow possesses a degree of magical
talent and innate abilities. What I will do is teach you how to harness these
abilities through research and learning.”
opened the tome before Nilrae. The pages were blank except the first page. On
it was filled arcane words that Nilrae couldn’t read.
will be your spell book until you make your own. This will be for your own
researched spells,” Izzmur'ss began, “Never allow another wizard access to your
spellbook. Never share secrets. And never read magic with untrained eyes!” He
closed the tome and scooted it to the side. Pointing to another book, Nilrae
grabbed it and set it in before him, opening to the first page.
things first,” watching Nilrae’s reactions to what had been said, “there is
more to magic than just flinging magical energies. First a spell requires a
spoken incantation. These are what are written in a spellbook. Many spells
require a measured and precise movement of the hand.”
traced a deft, magical pattern
in the air with the fingers of one hand, pulling out a pork rind, all while
chanting the words. The magical energy grew and the wizard created a
greasy coating on Nilrae’s stool. The boy jumped up to see the effects of the
“As you also saw, many spells require one or more physical
substances or objects as the catalyst. These objects are kept in your spell
component pouch. A wizard must always keep these around for spell components
are annihilated by the spell energies in the casting process.”
then began another spell, his dexterous fingers moving delicately, a diamond in
hand given to the boy. Diamond dust was then sprinkled on Nilrae as he neared
the end of the words and focused on the diamond in the boy’s hands. The effects
were instantous and the spell landed on the boy.
“Many of the more powerful spells have a focus component,”
he stated hand reaching for the diamond. As soon as it left the boys hands the
spell was gone from him.
sat down in her chair in the study and leaned her head on the desk. Alylin
hadn’t arrived yet, so the girl would close her eyes until she heard the door
creaked. ‘It would only be a few minutes,’ she told herself. However, Zarae
fell hard asleep and did not hear her sister enter the room. Alylin smirked, as
she walked over to the girl snoozing on the desk. Waiting a few minutes and
nothing happening, her boot went on the stool leg and pushed out.
awoke then as her seat carried her to the fur rug, landing on her left side.
Her eyes blazed crimson red as she looked to her sister. The girl had nothing
on her at the moment to throw at her sister.
up, now! I have a new lesson in mind for you.”
too tired to come up with a response got up, putting the stool upright but not
sitting onto it just in case her sister wanted to push her again. Alylin
motioned for her to sit. A
purple candle was light, the bright intrusion startling the girl for a second.
Following the candle was a sickly-sweet incense. Alylin then sat a leather
bound tome down before Zarae. On the cover was words or symbols or both she
didn’t know. The large symbolic spider however was distinct. it
was some unholy text, she guessed, of the Spider Queen. It made her uneasy as she
stared at it, a cold darkness that ran down her
should already know the basics of being a priestess of Lloth,” Alylin began,
her back to Zarae as she paced in front of the desk and began her
spill, “Soon you will be feeling the draw, hearing the call,” the older sister paused, spun and stared at Zarae, amber eyes to
maroon, “The ultimate aim of
every priestess is to achieve and keep the Favor of Lloth. In doing this you
gain and keep limitless and ultimate power.”
Zarae was barely
paying attention, but she had become a near expert at pretending to listen while
someone droned on in the background. What
was harder was the ability to remain awake. Soon images of returning to the
cavern blurred everything. She eventually missed anything that was said. The
girl nodded when Alylin stared her face to face. Pleased, the older sister left
Zarae alone with the tome, a smirk on her ebon face as she headed down to the
first floor. Looking back to the door, then to the book, Zarae then just
laid her head onto the desk and closed her eyes.
Zarae walked through
the white powdery stuff piled around her ankles. Tall woody plants were similar
to the stalks of the giant mushrooms- Zurkhwood,
with woody stems and a strange green cap way above her head. She only knew it
was the rare color of green because of the riding lizards’ scales and some of
the slaves’ eyes. Her hood down, a breeze blew thru her red-streaked silver
hair. The same white stuff that was on the ground began falling around her,
gathering in her hair and melting into water once it sat on her warm face. She
reached out to catch it in her bare, but it became ice cold water.
Zarae looked up at the
strange plant and for no reason at all, tried to climb it. Their wasnt much of
handholds and she lost grip the first attempt. Determined, she activated her
levitation floating up to a low branch. The top part of the ‘mushroom’ was
green spiky and bundled in clusters. Out into the horizon and thru the green
canopy of plant material was a vast and endless cavern ceiling far above and as
brilliant as the black sapphires that drow loved. A large round disk in the sky
brilliant white, was just barely peeking out from behind the distant land.
Dotting the sapphire sky were thousands of lesser lights that to her eyes
showed not only white, but host of other colors. Everywhere she looked was
green, bright and vivid in the brilliant light of the moon. She couldn’t
believe that was the dreaded sun. Her
eyes were violet, not blue with fear nor crimson with anger or hate. It was
nothing like what she would have expected, experienced none of the fear or
loathing she had been taught she should feel. Rather a consuming lust to see
such wonders and adventure.
Sounds of slivery
music reached her keen ears from far in the distance. The sound was so
intriguing and clearly drow in nature. But instead of conveying dark fears or
lust, it seam to give a since of a new feeling, joy. A compelling and drawing,
similar to what she told she would feel from the Spider Queen. Was this Lloth?
Levitating back down,
she continued to trudge on in the direction she guessed it came from. The sounds
of a soft pounding and creaking stopped her. Zarae fell to the snow clutching
her head as the pounding echoed in her mind and was nearing an exploding point.
The dwarf slave, a once proud Duergar now reduced to a blacksmith slave of Kilanatlar, was
covered in black suet from the furnace. The leather apron around his waist held
the few tools that he was allowed. In hand he held months of hard work, a black metal ring. In the metal was eight tiny silver spiders
with ruby chips for eyes adorn in an engraved web design. Matching
it, a fang-shaped crystal dangling from a loop of finely wrought silver
chain in the center of a spiderweb medallion.
He knocked softly a
few times before opening the door. His face was scared badly, the prominate old
wound running from the left side of his face, across his eye and nose to the
corner of the right side of his lip then running down his next to hide beneath
the slave collar. His skin was charcoal grey with a bald bed and a snowy white
beard matched with an equally stolid expression. His own reddish tinted
eyes looked surprised to see the napping drowling. He pulled the door realizing
he had the wrong room, backing up into a metal tray and the halfling carrying
the lunch. The plates, the mug, and the newly crafted jewelry clanked loudly to
the bare marble floor.
Zarae’s head flew up from the desk with a startle and
confused where she was for a moment. The scrambling slaves cleaning up were on
the edge of her vision, but her mind was still in among the mushroom like
plants and white powdery stuff. It had to be what some called a dream. The desk
just high enough to make things worse, the halfling set the tray of spilled
food before the girl rearranging the items, trying to clean up the mess. She
fully expected punishment, her eyes cast low as every slave had to for a noble.
When no strike or attack was forthcoming, she dared a peek to the girl staring
off to the ceiling.
“I will return with a replacement,” the female softly spoke,
her voice interrupting the girl.
“Whatever,” Zarae replied waving her off and too caught up
in her thoughts to care either way. The halfling exiting the room turned to
Zarae calling her back and running up to meet her. “Bring me the grey pack
under in the bottom drawer on the nightstand and I’ll consider forgiving you
this mess,” she whispered into the slave’s ear.
The halfling nodded and hurried out to accomplish the task. Returning
in five minutes, bag in hand, the slave handed it over. Again Zarae dismissed her
with a wave and sat back down onto the stool. The halfling surprised the
drowling didn’t call her to be punished, wasted no time in getting back down to
the first floor. The first book came out and was sat on the desk, the unholy
book of the Spider Queen scooted over to accommodate her own tome.
The entry was a similar to the one she had just dreamed about.
However the writer of the journel used words she didn’t know the meaning of.
With no pictures in this book, another book was set beside it to find articles and
entries on the words she read over. She flipped all through the book, no words
of ‘blueridge’ or ‘needleleaf’ pines were found. Had she understood they
were trees, she might have searched for ‘trees’.
The rest of the day was spent in this task, until she fell
asleep again upon the books. Dreams were normal again, traveling in the
tunnels, pulling pranks on her sisters with Nilrae, running around the city.
Eventually her dream took a very dark turn.
Zebeycyrl was barely breathing
as she lay sprawled on her stomach on the cold stone; a pool of red liquid ran
twords the girl’s bare feet. the sword
in hand was covered in dark blood. Zarae stood stunned for a moment. Creeping
darkness flooded into her, a call to give into hate with a promise of power.
“Feel the cold steel in your hands, swing your
weapon, feel the icy touch of your blade soar through the air and pierce their
skin and draw blood. Watch the life in their eyes fade as you pull that two
edged blade out. Lolth is not a merciful deity.”
The scenery changed again. Only this time they were in the
House chapel. Zebercyrl was shackled and
restrained to the spider shaped altar. Pungent smells of burned incense and blood reached her nose. The
brazers on each side were lit giving a yellowish glow to the room. A haze thick
as soup was over the room. Zarae stood beside the altar, looming over her
paralyzed sister, the ceremonial blade in hand-- a spider-shaped adamantine wavy kris
whose eight descending legs were the blades. The smell of poison mingled
with the rest of the awful smells of that chamber. A poison greatly favored by
matron mothers for use in their tortures. Brewed from the venom of the ghostyk,
it attacks the central nervous system, rendering its victim completely
incapable of movement, though fully capable of feeling pain.
“What do you want?” a
soft raspy feminine voice asked.
She held the knife
over the heart of the immoveable Zebeycyrl, looking into her eyes with
strangely blackish hued lifeless orbs. A color no one had ever seen in the mood
shifting eyes of the girl. Years of boiling and simmering pure hate. Something
egged her on as she raised the blade higher in preparation, nothing to stay her
whispers of ‘yesssss’
just barely audible continued to goad her.
Jul 30 11 10:46 PM
The tall and lanky
female was built lean like a runner. Instead of the dark beautiful ebon color
skinned, she was a paler ashen grey with short shoulder-length bluish slivery
hair. Somewhere along her family history was non-drow ancestors; this left her
with a rather unremarkable plain appearance. A perfect undercover agent, a
Masked Traitor. Usually such priestesses who play the deadly game worked in
Lloth’s clergy, but this one instead was sent into the rival rebel base- to
pretend to be a former spider-kisser pretending to be a seeker and follower of
the dancing lady. Vastyrr was up to the challenge. The goal while spying was
eventually taking out Lady Erelrae. Zhayemd believed the house would not be
able to maintain its façade if the priestess was removed, and thus either destroy
itself or call the council on itself.
The end of her trial
period was nearing. Every seeker was given a time period, normally between four
to six moon cycles, to prove that they were genuine. Many spies were uncovered during
these times. Vastyrr had managed to convince everyone even up to now, and was ready
for the next stage of her plan.
Deeper in the house
compound, singing began. It happened everyday about this same time Vastyrr
noted in a message she was preparing. The Evening Song she had learned. It made
no sense but to keep her cover, she would join those in the main house and
watch them sing and dance. In fact, the Masked Traitor learned that these
nutballs found any excuse to dance.
Vastyrr entered the
chapel, the room similar to other drow house’s chapels except the lack of art
of the Spider Queen. The benches had been scooted back to accommodate the six dancers
with ample room. Twelve stood around singing and three sat watching. Taking a
seat next to the three onlookers, one of the dancers leaped into the air to
land before Vastyrr and reached out a hand to pull her up and join. So far, Vastyrr
had not been asked to participate. It was that that had helped her to maintain
her cover. Vastyrr shook her head pretending to self conscious. Maryne, her
assigned mentor, continued to encourage her to come out and join.
“I am not ready to
dance just yet,” she lied.
Maryne, didn’t want
to push the female. She knew her background, or what Vastyrr had falsely revealed;
she believed the former priestess was having trouble moving past her background.
Maryne smiled and rejoined her dancing with Velnarin. Both were overfilled with
joy and it reflected in their song and dance; Maryne has hoped Vastyrr would
join in her joy. Later, when it was equivalent to midnight in the world above,
Maryne and Velnarin would have a Love-Binding ceremony.
Vastyrr just sat and
watched the two; completely sure she had fooled everyone; the Masked Lord had
protected her and kept her identity secure. And the ceremony would be the best
time to strike. An ultimate slap in the Dark Maiden’s face to desecrate such an
event. The dancing ladies were utter fools she muttered to herself with a sadistic
Half an hour later,
the Evening Song had finished and preparations were beginning. Lady Erelrae
first met with Maryne alone in the Cavern of Song. Door secure, the high
priestess began a spell. Around them the magical energies fell. A spell on her
to ascertain truth was told while questioning the young woman as to her love
for Velnarin, her motives in seeking to be united, and her willingness to serve
Eilistraee faithfully and venerate her “in truth” through the binding.
The two spent a
number of hours in discussion, Lady Erelrae very pleased with Maryne’s response.
Hand in hand, the high priestess prayed with the bride calling down
Eilistraee’s regard upon them both. As Lady Erelrae neared the end of her
prayer, her eyes turned to bright pupilless orbs of silver. The two embraced in
friendship, their robes falling to the floor and the two dancing. Erelrae
continued her silent praying as both twirled and spun in graceful movements. Silvery
moonfire fell on both women, glowing as brilliant as the full moon on a clear
winter night. It was a sign of blessing from the Dark Dancer herself. After sweat
gleamed off both moonclad women covering them, each heavy in breath, damp hair
clumped to their slick bodies, the high priestess embraced Maryne.
“You have danced and
been found worthy little sister.”
The Lady of House Helvighym
repeated the preparations with Velnarin, Eilistraee signaling her approval. Their
true natures had been revealed and it had been shown no deceptions, no
illusions, and no lies among either supplicant. In another room, tables were
set up for the feast while kitchen folks prepared meats and other dishes of the
surface world. Some decorations were added to the room, sheets of sky blue velvet
on tables and flowers that few of the house inhabitants had ever seen.
When it was close to
midnight the Cavern of Song was filled with moonfire, but it could not equal in
the beauty of the statue of the Dark Maiden in the center of the cavern. Tonight
it seamed so much more realistic, as if Eilistraee was there herself. Everyone gathered
was barefoot and dressed in ankle-length overrobes of a white spidersilk. These
had been made over the course of the year by Eva for such an event. How long
had see been wanting to be apart of such an event as a Love Binding Ceremony.
The throngs of
people of the house filed into the cavern, Vastyrr included. A strange tingling
sensation filled her that made her very uncomfortable and uneasy the longer she
was in the room. As if something knew she didn’t belong, knew what she was
planning. For now she would grin and bear it. The guest formed a circle around
the perfectly round cavern joining hands together. Velnarin and Maryne following Lady Erelrae
stepped out twords the center near the statue. Maryne was dressed in the whitest
material possible, the fabric looked as if it made of light itself, contrasting
her obsidian skin and complimenting her snowy hair which was full of small dark
blue flowers with lighter blue accenting and highlighting it. The colors
reminded one of bright blue lightning splitting a midnight sky. The groom wore
a simple robe that would make a wizard envious. The spidersilk material rich and
well crafted with the small gothic designs along the ends of the sleeves.
The high priestess’ own
robe fell softly to the smooth stone floor once she was in place. To begin, she
spoke the words to a simple spell, moonglow manifesting around her.
“Dark Dancer, we
gather here and call on you to watch this love binding and make it firm before
you and all gathered,” the high priestess voice echoed in the cavern. Then she
called to all the gathered, “Witness this union of love.”
Eva stepped forth
garnishing a mithril goblet set with 6 moonstones, the ‘loving cup’. Inside was
a rare black vintage wine that had been consecrated to the Lady and prepared by
the clergy. Erelrae took the cup, holding it out before Velnarin and Maryne, directing
the two supplicants to face each other and drink from it simultaneously. The wine
was sweet and smoky-tasting and nothing like what they had before. Erelrae then
took the cup and handed it back to Eva. She bid the couple kiss each other. Velnarin
took Maryne’s hand and pulled her to him. Erelrae walked behind each of the supplicants,
touching each in the small of their backs and causing a glowing white aura to
surround them each. Erelrae took their hands and clasped then together.
“Now you each must ask
Eilistraee for Her blessing on your union.”
The couple did, Eva
then stepping forward with two interlocking pendants in hand. The adamantine
circle had a sword engraved; when pulled apart they had a curving edge and half
the sword. Together they took it and pulled it apart then each place their half
around the other’s neck. Hands were rejoined and a scarlet ribbon was bound
around their clasped hands.
Lady Erelrae clapped
her hands, the two turned partially to face the high priestess as she made her announcement,
“bound before the Lady.”
And then the festivities
began. The presiding priestess began a rhythmic chant, other priestess and
priest joining in. The song was simple, repetitive, and rather haunting-- rising
and falling twice, then on its third descent became a syncopated staccato five-note
fall, and from then on swept into the same rise, but maintained the five-note
descent. Dancing broke out among the people, all surrounding the newly bound couple
who danced hands bound together. When folks tired, they would head to the
prepared tables to enjoy fellowship and a deliciously prepared meal.
Vastyrr worked to
keep her revulsion over the ceremony down and keep her face with fake joy. She
was able to stay hidden when the dancing broke out and slipped among the crowd
twords the food. Tho she was dressed in the ridiculous robe and barefoot like
everyone else, she had her hair pulled up with a disguised blade. The blade
itself coated with a deadly Haszak
The Red Sisters had been sent undercover to
Charrvhel'raugaust. Certain chosen females were chosen to be removed. Only
Nyssa Mae’Vir knew that it some of their targets were a Test of Lloth. The
Spider Queen, fickle and cruel,
believed that the drow were best served by constantly struggling against each
other. She regularly tests some of her more exceptional followers to determine
if they are worthy of her patronage, and worthy of their lives. Lolth plants
thoughts into either a close ally or relative who must destroy one of
"Lloth's enemies", the one being tested. When the target is attacked,
she hears whispers from Lloth that she is being tested and the outcome of the
battle determines whether she succeeds or fails. It is a test of loyalty
whether or not the subject is willing to kill an ally if the Spider Queen tells
her to do so. The rest of the test is about power and resourcefulness --
whether or not the subject is strong and clever enough to defeat a powerful
foe. If the test subject is killed, Lloth sucks their soul dry. If the dupe of
the test wins, Lloth may reward them, if they don’t get caught. The
main mission, one Nyssa herself was responsible to take care of, was a major
power in the rival city. Lith My’athar and Charrvhel'raugaust had been to war
several centuries ago. The battle ended in a standstill, neither gaining the
upper hand. A relative fickle peace treaty was established between the two, but
both periodically sent assassins to strike at the ruling houses. The Red
Sisters had given Lith My’athar the upper hand.
Today the assassin of Kilanatlar, dressed in the
purple-trimmed black vestments of a tenth year priestess, rode in a litter
carried by four bugbears to her temporary base, located in the eastern part of
the city. Zebeycyrl had been disguised as a daughter of a commoner house
nearing graduation from the academy, and the younger. The litter was lowered at
the gate to the tiny compound. A paid off merchant serving as her guard
stretched out a hand for her to take. He kept his eyes to the ground even after
she released his hand. The assassin looked around and handed the merchant a
pouch and a scroll. Pocketing both, the male listened to the instructions then
hurried off to do his mistress’ will. The gates opened, more paid off warriors
standing at attention until their mistress was inside. Entering her abode and
walking to her room, a slave brung in a plate with a glass goblet. Goblet in
hand, she fell easily onto her cushioned bed and sipped the rare wine. The air was painted with scents as distinct
and vivid as colors, most confiscated incense from her rival. There
was no need to worry about intruders. The houses in any drow city, even those
of the commoners, were virtual fortresses protected by magic and ingenious
This task had gone well despite the difficulty. The intended
target and second daughter of the Second House of Charrvhel'raugaust. When Zebeycyrl finally managed to get Shakti
alone inside the empty classroom, she struck. The battle ensued for a couple
hours, before the ingenuity of the assassin had won her the day. Shakti had almost
won, but Lloth’s favor was not with her and her snake headed whip failed her.
The last thing Shakti would hear was Zebeycyrl’s malicious laugh as she
revealed the truth of her identity in the last few second’s of her life. The
poison blade cutting across the rival’s vulnerable throat. Shakti slumped to
the ground as her blood flooded and pooled on the black marble floor. The sight
drove Zebeycyrl into a frenzy of vicious delight, and she continued to thrust
the blade into the lifeless priestess again and again. When all her fury was
spent, Zebeycyrl tucked the weapon away, her chest was rising and falling
rapidly and a rare expression of calm suffused her face.
Now she only had to wait for word from Nyssa and the other
three Red Sisters and decide how she would celebrate her victory. There were a
few males outside she could make use of. Maybe torture a few slaves, she
thought as she finished the glass and stretched out onto the bed.
Aug 9 11 12:04 AM
“Your voice must roll that syllable. Try again,” Izzmur'ss
replied stoically. “Kyirilan ela oycc eo
irecala illw irecwla kyilanam.”
“Let’s try a harder
phrase,” Izzmur'ss began.
“Ela anirel, ela fecw,
ela laestgo, ela
Anira ailmanir kya
ane tymaa ytyel
The energy was
stronger, but again it did not have the required parts and thus only fizzled
out after the words were finished. The two continued most of the day, only
breaking for a short lunch before returning to practicing. Nilrae found that he
thoroughly enjoyed the lesson. He had been interested in magic for a while and
had a sharp mind for learning the spells. The words, once he got them correct,
came quicker and easier, and by the end of the day he was able to spit out the
words to five different cantrips perfectly and a number of higher level spells.
Eventually Izzmur'ss released Nilrae for the day, and for once he
didn’t hurry to get away.
Nilrae grabbed a
dinner to go, eager to get back to his room and practice. So enthralled with
magic, he didn’t even think to go see his twin sister. Sitting at his desk
reading and biting into the Sullage,
he realized how tired he was. After fighting to stay awake, he climbed into his
bed to rest for the night. After all, a wizard had to rest for spells to work
properly and regain them.
The blade began to quiver in her hand, hesitation. It lowered as if she
was going to refuse to give in. Zarae even stood their shaking her head, then
she raised it again as Zebercyrl’s mocking voice echoed in the drowling’s mind.
Crowds appeared in the chapel; the entire house had been gathered. Matron
Shyntyl looked on behind the altar nodding her approval.
The room went dark as the fires of the braziers were supernaturally
blown out. An unnatural light appeared around the statue of the Spider Queen.
The statues ruby gems glowed with an iridescent red as if in use of darkvision.
“yessss my child. This is your desire,” Zarae heard the voice of her
mother, “power comes only to she who
is strong enough, cunning enough to snatch it from the failing hands of those
who no longer deserve it. Claim your right as my daughter.”
The blade came down to plunge into the
One of Zarae’s own books
was dropped onto the desk. Zarae jerked awake so hard that she lost her balance
and fell off the stool. Looking up to angry amber eyes standing over her,
Alylin tapped her foot in annoyance while Zarae picked herself up off the
“I am beginning to
see why Zeb has such problems with you,” her hand rubbing her forehead.
“What are you gunna
do? Threaten to turn me into a drider? Zeb has used that so often, I want to
laugh. If mother wanted me one, I would be already.”
Alyling stood up
straight now holding the girls backback, “oh?”
Picking up the
journal her other hand held a globe of controlled fire. Zarae’s held her
breath; the threat of burning her books stopped her in her tracks. She remained
on the floor, her eyes turning crimson and narrowing at her sister
threateningly. Alylin dismissed the fire, tossing the books to the side.
Standing before the girl, she reached down and grabbed her by the shirt and hoisted
her to her feet and onto the stool.
replied rather calmly, “You may become drider bait yet still.” Another one of
Zarae’s books was picked up and Alylin absent-mindedly flipped through the
pages. “Unlike our dear older sister, I have nothing to lose in your refusal to
learn. Thus I have no qualms about resorting to more…extreme methods. I
understand what motivates you.”
That book too was
tossed, the map of the cavern falling out. Zarae remained silent, trying to
keep her eyes from looking at it to draw attention. But Alylin’s keen ears
heard it. The older sister picked up the rolled paper and held it. Zarae
watched to see what would happen, hoping that Alylin might just toss the paper
“Get get out of my
hesitate, scrambling to get her books, get out and head to her room. Closing
her door behind her, she leaned on it. Her map and information from last night
was all gone. Proof of leaving the compound now in someone’s hands. She tossed
her backpack to the pile of clothing on the floor and slump onto her bed. Her
stuff toy spider Shade tight in her arms, her head hit the soft pillow. Shortly
after, she fell again into a real sleep.
Vastyrr stood off to
the side watching, her eyes concentrating on Lady Erelrae. More gathered around
the food as the night went on. By now half the guest had discarded their sweaty
robes. Vastyrr knew that Erelrae would be protected by magical protection even
if she had no physical weapons. She also knew Erelrae would be at her must
vulnerable after such festivity. Now the masked traitor waited for the most
Time passed, and
many of the guest had left from exhaustion or to continue partying in more
seclude and personal ways. Erelrae made her way over twords Vastyrr, and stood
“You seam still
troubled. Maryne tells me you are still dealing with things,” Lady Erelrae
began after sipping her wine. “Any thoughts after tonight?”
Vastyrr noted the
glow on the matron had gone now and she looked as before, and worn out. The
glass was scooted over, her hands in front of her on the table picking at her
finger nails. To any, it would appear she was trying to gather her thoughts.
The woman looked to Erelrae, and then began chewing on her nails.
“I have never seen
Maryne so…. Anyway…I am confused, more than anything.”
“Wish to discuss?”
despite being exhausted, Erelrae was still willing to talk.
“As you wish.”
quietly from the wedding festivities down the dark hall, leading a rather quiet
Vastyrr to a classroom. The further from the Cavern of Song they got, the more
somber Erelrae became. Sadness was hidden in her eyes and praying it would not
come true. Entering first, Erelrae walked over twords a desk. Vastyrr looked
back behind her down the corridor; seeing no others, she pulled the hair pin
out and shook her hair loose. Her back still to Erelrae, Vastyrr secretly flipped
the blade in hand, the corner of her mouth curved upwards ever so slightly. To
any unaware, it would look as if the ‘former priestess’ was gathering her
thoughts. Lady Erelrae cautiously stepped closer, a hand moving to the sword
pendent and a silent prayer on her lips. She was alert and vigilant despite her
exhaustion; unlike Vastyrr believed, her guard was not down.
lightning reflexes, the blade lunged for the high priestess’ heart. Just before
the poisoned blade could taste flesh, Erelrae with equally lightning reflexes
spun and turned away. The edge of the blade did however scratch a bare arm. Her
free arm instantly went to the gash. Her eyes locking with Vastyrr with pity
and anger at betrayal. Vastyrr laughed waiting for the effects to begin. After
a few moments passed and nothing, her face turned to a hideous scowl.
“I’ll carve you
like a piece of meat, spoon out your insides and force feed you your bowls!” Vastyrr
A dark shadow
appeared taking the form of a half-mask of blackest velvet and flew from her to
attack the rival priestess. Erelrae finished her spell, brilliant divine
radiance surrounded her. The shadow mask was stopped dissipating back into nothingness.
Vastyrr flinched as the blinding holy light stung her eyes. A black flame void
of light gathered in the masked traitors hand and flew to meet moonfire between
the two exploding into a black and white miniature explosion.
“Is this what you truly want? Redemption is not beyond
you. You know the message…”
“Trade in one
tyranny for her daughter. She is no different than Lloth! With the Spider
Queen’s son we are all equal! You and everyone here is pathetic, dancing fools!”
Vastyrr knowing the high priestess was magically more powerful, moved like a
blur the blade aimed for a vital region.
with another spell. Vastyrr was stopped in place, blinded and deafened as the
holy word spewed from the high priestess. By now, Eva and a few other
priestesses had opened the door and stood stunned at what they saw. Erelrae had
tears in her eyes as she looked to the other women, especially her older
daughter. Vastyrr had learned too much to be allowed to leave. Lillintha
hurried to her mother noticing the blood.
“Are you alright?”
blue light glowing around the daughter’s hand as she touched the gash.
“I will be fine,”
turning to place her hands on the desk leaning on it after the spell had sealed
up her arm.
“We know what must
be done,” Eva spoke up motioning the others to take ahold of a temporarily
Erelrae waved a
hand to dismiss the others, then stood up to face them, “Not here in the
complex. Blind and gag her soon as well as secure her hands then take her to
The next several days the twins were given off with no scheduled
study lessons. However, Nilrae requested time with the wizard to learn more. Izzmur'ss
almost denied the drowling, busy with his other plans, but instead decided to
continue. Maybe he could mold the boy to his advantage.
While Nilrae spent the remaining days with Izzmur'ss, Zarae
found herself restless and bored. She had attempted to search for her map to no
avail. Alylin either destroyed it or kept it hidden. Zarae decided to spend her
time with Averl learning more
tricks and practice her skills. The free time was short lived; being woken up
to Ladayiir again singled the end of that freedom. Back in the room, the tome
was placed before her. Zarae waited patiently for Alylin to leave so she could
sneak out. Her mind was made up to visit the market again, especially Bruhaonar’s
When she was sure enough time for her sister to be away, she
hopped up from her stool and headed to the door. As her hand made contact with
the handle, electricity shot thru her dropping her to knees. Trying to catch
her breath and keep from slipping into the blackness overcoming her, she
remained on the floor; sounds around her became muffled. Some time passed when she moved from her spot, her muscles
aching. Zebeycyrl had never given the girl enough credit, assuming better locks
would keep her in. Alylin had added traps to the door, traps Zarae couldn’t
Sitting on the fur
rug Zarae felt defeated, “Ssussun.”
She wasn’t getting out today. The girl grudgingly headed back to the desk,
pulling the tome closer to her. Staring at it for a long time before she opened
it, the opened book gave her chills. The script was inside was familiar, the
same vocabulary for the most part, but had a much more elaborate grammar and
complex structure and archaic words that did not exist in the normal dialect.
The first thing her
eyes noticed was an old proverb, ULU
Z'HIN MAGLUST DAL QU'ELLAR LUETH VALSHARESS ZHAH ULU Z'HIN WUND LIL PHALAR.
“To walk apart from House and Queen is to walk into the grave.”
A sigh of boredom
she read over the first couple pages, not expecting much. It began with words
of exaltation to the Spider Queen, a list of so called promises and gifts she
would bestow-- the same thing that was drilled into her for most of her life.
The next pages were simple drow proverbs and sayings, nothing special or
phrases she hadn’t heard before. Zarae flipped thru a few more pages until she
caught sight of an ink drawing. It was like many of the murals in the house, a
battle scene of dark elven warriors against light elven warriors. The
background was different. The land barren and featureless and new drawings of
demons involved. Remembering her history, it was a battle from the elven wars. The
next several page confirmed it, the story written in even older language than
high drowic. Another ink drawing, only it was scene the girl didn’t recognize.
Turning to read the story, she learned quickly; it was the supposed story of
how the beautiful Araushnee become Lloth. She was a member of the elven
pantheon and consort to the creator of elves, Corellon. In his love, he made
her the patron of artisans, elven destiny, and-later by Corellon's decree, the
keeper of those elves who shared her darkly beautiful features.
Zarae continued to
read- the two children were born to the Spider Queen. Of course everything she
read made Lloth appear as the victim and everyone else doing the wrong on the
Spider Queen. The next pages detailed how Araushnee turned against her lover
and betrayed him, this depicted as his tyrannical rule over his lover and how
she broke free. Araushnee aided Gruumsh One-Eye in his battle with Corellon and
then she set Malar on his tail after he was weakened. When this failed,
Araushnee raised a host of hostile powers to assault Arvandor. The assault
failed, and everything was revealed leading to the banishment of Araushnee and
her children to the abyss. It was then that the name Lloth was assumed and she
conquered a considerable portion of that plane.
Zarae had never been
told of these things, and to her it sounded a bit jaded. But she couldn’t stop
reading. The rest of the history was what she already knew, the drow conquered
the Underdark. The tome then held a blank page separating the two halves. The
next section contained prayers to the Spider Queen; just reading over them, she
could feel the power in the air. The room filled with a sense of electricity
dancing on the edges of the conscious as a rush of adrenaline flooded the mind
and coldness chilled the skin.
mechanism of the door startled Zarae, Alylin opening the door with a sneer on
“How long before you
tried the door?” asking as she walked over twords the desk and surprised to see
the girl reading the tome.
Not answering Zarae
closed it and gave her sister an angry glare; Alylin dismissed Zarae with a
laugh on her expense. The girl wasn’t hungry, her mind thinking over the
information from the day. So she walked over to the balcony door, waved her
house insignia in front and stepped out. Leaning on the rail, the top floor
balcony above her, she could see across the Brozen.
The cavern wall that formed the small lake blocked any views of the main part
of the city. In one of the small noble houses neighboring the Kilanatlar compound,
she watched a couple of people fighting surrounded by a group of onlookers. The
larger male carried a sword similar to Neeryrd’s own. A smaller male, one who
could easily get knocked over kept the larger opponent at bay. He would nimbly
step aside the chops that would have surely cleaved him in half. Then he would
vanish from sight to appear behind his enemy. The larger guy, no novice and
rather quick for his size, would move at the last moment to block any strikes
at his back. The fight had thoroughly caught her attention distracting her from
her thoughts. She found herself betting on the smaller opponent, his style and
his skill something she appreciated. A style that most of her house were versed
in very well. The greatsword slashed at the other’s stomach, the tip catching
the edge of the armor and throwing him into the wall. It looked as if the fight
was done for, and if she had bet any coin, it would be lost. But at the last
second the smaller male rolled to the side clutching his own bleeding side. Darkness
hid both from sight, someone dropping a globe of darkness. Zarae sighed with
frustration as her view was obscured; had she been in a seat, she would be on
its edge waiting with anticipation of the next move. The smaller male rolled
out and was back on his feet, the smaller swords parrying a blow of the great
sword that came out of the darkness and stumbling from the power of greatsword.
The distance she was, she couldn’t hear but she saw his laugh as a poof of
smoke appeared and a group of tentacles appeared and grappled the larger male. Another
item, this time it looked like some bottle, but she wasn’t totally sure, came
out. The lean male circled the tangled guy, the darkness dismissed, taunting
him. Then the item was thrown at the feet of the bigger guy, flames appearing
and burning the tangled male alive. Tho not heard, she could the agony on his
face as the others watching the fight laughed at his misery. The lean male then
slid his sword into the back of his opponent before walking off with the
The fight done, it
was back to normal. The streets of the Brozen were the least busy of the city,
mostly occupied with a patrol, house soldier or processions head to or from the
rest of the city. Eventually Zarae headed back into the house and
down to the second floor to see what Nilrae was doing. A few knocks on his door
with no answer, she cracked it to see he wasn’t in there. It would be another
evening of nothing, until an idea popped in her head. She closed the door and
headed down to the slave rooms. Looking to see who was in there and most
expendable, a halfling entered behind the girl to head to her bunk. ‘Perfect’
Zarae thought with a sly smile on her face
Aug 12 11 6:47 PM
“At the first hour,
I will meet you at the house door.”
Leaving the smelly
room, Zarae went on a hunt for Zebeycyrl’s handmaid, Stoella. It took some convincing, and promising of a
vial of antitoxin, one of the best bargaining tools with the house servants, to
get her involved. When the hour drew close the halfling hurried over to join up
with the other two. Tucked securely was a leather bag under Zarae’s shirt.
Zarae looked over to
Stoella, “Alright, get us out
The handmaid walked
over twords the minotaur guards. Holding up her keystone, similar to a house
insigna but for high level servants, the guard moved to open the door. She
strolled out motioning the halfling and a disguised Zarae were with her.
Outside, the house soldier, the same ones last time Zarae snuck out, nodded to
his companion and hid a chuckle after whispering something she didn’t hear. The
other guard shook his head and motioned with his hand three. The girl just
ignored them, all three heading into the stables.
Handing the halfling
the bag, “fill‘er up!” Zarae replied walking over to one of the lizard’s stall
while he shoveled manure into the bag. This time she was a bit more timid as
she entered the lizard’s stall, walking carefully and cautiously to it. The
lizard nosed her hand and she gently rubbed his scales. Above on the second
floor of the stable, she heard one of the stable keepers moving around, heading
to the stairs in the back. Seeing a halfling scooping lizard waste they watched
a while then headed back to her office.
The bag full, Zarae
made the halfling male carry it; a guard nudged the other, holding out a hand
while his companion handed over a few coins when the three exited the stable.
Knowing the drill, Zarae showed her insignia and the handmaid her keystone.
Hurrying up the
stairs, none of the slaves or house patrol said anything, more interested in
betting what the girl was up to. In front of Zebeycyrl’s door, Zarae gave a
quick look around to make sure no one else was about.
“Get me in,” Zarae
“First, since I will
be the one blamed for it happening, I suggest you raise the ante.”
“How about you do as
you’re told slave?”
“I fear your sister
more than you, drowling.”
Stoella was rather unphased by the girl, and clearly not
intimidated by her. Zarae was a bit
irritated, but she should have known that this would have happened.
“Is not the fact
that we are getting back at my sister with humiliation enough?”
Stoella shook her
“What then?” she
growled, her eyes turning reddish now.
“A favor. My
mistress has something of mine. And eventually, you will get it back for me. And if you think of reneging, I just
sell you out.”
Believing it a bluff
Zarae even rolled her eyes in purposeful disrespect; she was not intimidated by
a mere slave. “Fine,” she lied with a
smirk. “Now, get in there!” Zarae motioning for the halfling to follow,
“closet, under the bed, wardrobe, and bathroom. And place this in there,”
handing Stoella a small piece of ripped cloth. “Put it somewhere
For half an hour,
the girl paced the hall before then stepping out onto the balcony. When the
slaves were finished, she handed the halfling a vial, who gladly accepted it
and hurried back to his. Stoella gave
Zarae a look, a reminder of the deal.
“Whatever,” the girl
replied and closed the balcony door behind herself. If she could, she would
remove Stoella just for that;
the nerve to think she could blackmail Zarae- a noble and daughter of the
matron mother. That did not sit well with her at all. Zarae interlocked her
fingers and stretched her arms glaring as the half elf walked away. If the
slave didn’t watch her place, she could get Zeb to take care of her. Zeb was
always going through handmaids anyway. It wouldn’t be hard. That’s assuming
that Zeb let Stoella live after
this, Zarae thought with a half grin. In a few days the lizard manure was to be
removed so that only the stench remained and no evidence of any prank.
The rest of the time
before Zebeycyrl’s return was spent studying and memorizing. Zarae had yet to
actually act on them, but she learned and memorized them, if for no other
reason than to please her mother just enough to stay out of trouble. Nilrae had learned a great number of cantrips and
spells. His own spellbook had now contained a good number of pages with arcane
words he’d learned. His hand movements and gesture were basically perfect and
the quickness the novice could pull off the spells amazed even the wizard.
Nilrae’s time with his older brother was rather enjoyable; instead of being
reminded of how inferior he was or forced to clean, he was learning things he
could use. He had even learned some of the secrets of the house, crafting
quality poisons and potions. Of course he would not be let on the secret of
Shadow Dye. That had kept Izzmurss as the house wizard for so long. Before him, it was
one of his mother’s lover, and his own sire, who had held the coveted position
only because another more skilled wizard was not available. After he invented Shadow
Dye during his training at Sorcere,
he secretly and violently removed the house wizard. The matron silently
applauded her ambitious second child and upon Izzmurss’ graduation, promoted
him as house wizard.
had a few times tried to convince the wizard to give it to him or share it,
hoping eventually his brother would accidently reveal it or possibly give in. Nilrae
had made it a mission to find it. When Izzmurss left Nilrae alone to practice
or study, Nilrae would spend a few hours off and on looking through the room
for clues or anything of use. He wished he could get into Izzmurss’ room to
look, but everyone knew it was one of the most secure places in the house. Nilrae
began wondering if his brother kept it on him. If it was him, that what he
would do; keep in on himself and in a coded way.
liquid fizzed as he added the three drops changing the mixture to a pinkish hue.
Turning the handle, he adjusted the heat allowing the flask to lower and heat
the liquids. Next a silvery powder was added. Flaring in a poof of light it
stung Nilrae’s eyes then the room returned to the darkness of only a soft glow
of the candle.
he laughed when the liquid settled and glowed with a magic aura. He looked
around and of course no one was there to witness his success. Sighing, he
shrugged and took the flask off the heat.
in the day, Nilrae palmed a vial of the potion he created, when Izzmurss came
to release him for the evening. Instead of heading to eat, he decided to see if
Zarae was around, knocking on her door.
to have some fun?”
you ditch me for almost two weeks, and now…”
about we go after Neeryrd?” holding up the vial.
down the hall, she pulled him in and closed her door. “Say I am interested.
What is it?”
down to the dinning hall, the twins were glad to be the only two in there. They
slipped into the kitchen looking for the half orc who was preparing the drinks.
to get back at one of us?” he asked her.
gruffed at them, but listened as he explained what they had in mind. She
snorted laughing but agreed taking the vial from Nilrae. The twins then went
back out to sit at the table.
why did you not tell her the truth?”
then she might keep it or not use it like we wanted.”
who will be on the other end of this?”
dunno, who would be funniest?”
half orc walked out carrying the tray just as Neeryrd and Izzmurss entered,
followed by Myrurra. Zarae got up and sat over at the female’s table and waited
to se served her drink. Myrurra gave her the evil eye the entire time. When
Myrurra looked away to accept her goblet of wine from the half orc, Zarae stuck
her tongue out at her then took her own drink. The half orc returned to the
back to get the next tray of drinks; uncorking the vial, she dumped it into the
drink and set it slightly away from the others so she knew to serve that one to
the correct drow. Walking out after the halfling who carried two plates, the
half orc served the males their drinks. Nilrae watched and waited for Neeryrd
to drink, Zarae periodically looking over at too see also, signing discreetly a
few times asking when it would work.
male’s trays came out and the bowls set before each, a bowl a rothe and
mushroom stew. Neeryrd spooned a mouth full of the steaming liquid then sipped
his wine. The effects began working and when Neeryrd looked up, the first
person he was the half orc heading into the back. He dropped the spoon to stare,
his eyes becoming glossy, inflamed with passion, and a smile edging on his
face. A contented sigh as the effects of the potion were working, the charming
effects overriding his thinking.
it wrong with you?” Rhylaun asked.
said nothing, charmed by the potion. He stood up and headed into the kitchen
searching for the half orc he was magically enamored with. Nilrae and Zarae
unable to hold it in, busted out laughing. Eyes all went to the two then to the
the kitchen the half orc confused ran around the counter trying to escape the
drow after her. When he showed up, she expected him to be cursing or
complaining his food was poisoned; he was suppose to be feeling violently sick.
Instead he was acting nuts! He had tried to kiss her. The rest of the kitchen
staff watched laughing. The half orc finally took off through the kitchen door
into the dining room into a full run followed by Neeryrd with a lecherous grin
calling out to her to come to him.
I even need to ask?” the weaponmaster rolling his eyes.
this is what you been working on?” the wizards asked rhetorically, “such
Myrurra watching the kitchen slave and her biological brother run around,
Zarae, pulled out a hollow reed. Her prepared ammunition in hand, she leveled
it at her mouth and blew. The small sticky pellet flew out and landed in
Myrurra’s hair. By the time the fat sister brushed her hair, the wad would be
all tangled and hopefully her sister would have to mutilate her hair- the thing
Myrurra took the most pride in. Zarae put it away before her sister turned back
to her soup.
both entered the other half of the dining room with the common soldiers of the
house, they too watched laughing at the show. The half orc was tired and less
physically fit, that eventually the thicker drow caught up with her. The love
potion had at least an hour before it wore off and the half orc was stuck with
Neeryrd until then.
hours later shouting and yelling came from Neeryrd’s room. Zarae and Nilrae sat
on the stairs waiting. He the potion wore off both ran down the stairs to the
kitchen, Zarae showing Nilrae the secret door and both dropping down.
stay here outta sight for a while.”
how long before he finds out it was us?”
don’t think anyone will tell,” Zarae’s expression grew somber, “Except maybe
the half orc. She’ll spill if she is lead to believe she’ll be spared. Tho,
Neeryrd has a bit of a temper and is short sighted and may just kill her before
thinking to ask.”
can only hope. So now what do we do?”
stay then head back up. Or we spend most of the night crawling to get to the
option sounds thrilling.”
the twins made it safely to their rooms and then began plotting on what to do
next to their brother before settling in to rest. Neeryrd had did as the twins
had thought, he freaked out the half orc was in his bedroom. He didn’t even
remember what happened. The slave was curled up on the floor rocking back and
forth, knowing that she was dead when he finally quieted. She cursed those two
drowlings as the red hot noble drew his greatsword and ran her through and
shredded her to pieces.
humiliated he was, he could not even call anyone to clean the gore in his room.
In fury, he threw his sword across the room to clank loudly against the wall
followed by a string of curses on the perpetrators. He vowed to Lloth he would
pay them pack! Forced to clean the mess, he eventually disposed of the body
with help of acid.
one looked at the secondboy the same. The house soldiers whispered their
mocking, the house members openly mocking him to his face. Even the matron
looked at the adopted son with disgust. Only Myrurra took pity for her brother,
albeit secretly. Nilrae and Zarae had a hard time not laughing everytime they
saw him. And none were willing to tell the secondboy who had done it.
Aug 12 11 6:51 PM
Alylin walked into
the first floor slave quarters; on her belt was a painted crimson slender
metal baton. The handle was wrapped in black leather. Sharp metal barbs covered the
other end. Every slave and commoner of the house knew that rod. Those who experienced it
rarely survived the torture. It was late, most of the house members in their beds
enjoying their reverie. Every one quieted and fell on their faces, none daring
to look up. A gloved hand went for the rod, causing the barbs to
slip free of the head on thin adamantine chains. The scourge was twirled a bit
for added effect and threat.
“Which one of you is my sister’s toy?”
Still no movement, no one spoke up. Alylin swung the flaying
rod above her head then brung the barbed scourge onto the first bunk, shredding
the material and spilling out the straw. The weapon went back in the air as she
stepped into the middle of the room. Most had made bonds with each other, the
best way to survive the hell of being nothing more than an expendable object.
Everyone cringed as she struck another bed.
“Last chance and then I shall enjoy using this on all of
yalls worthless hides.”
Finally one of the
slaves, pointed to Averl. Alylin answered with a frightening chuckle
that turned the half elf’s veins to ice and suffocated her soul. She knew she
had been turned over to Alylin and the drowess had cruel plans for her. The
only hope was that she would die early or that it would be a quick death.
A clap brung in two female drow and gathered the slave
Alylin pointed out. Averl did not fight her fate, her head hung low in defeat
and resignation. Down into the basement she was taken. The ominous door was
opened and Averl saw death. The room was rectangular and lit only with the glow
of a manger of hot red coals. The smell of death was over whelming. On the wall
containing adjacent the door, a rack of the cruelest, wickedest objects one
would imagine and worse- blades, blunt objects, hooks, clubs, scourges, shears,
expanding metal objects just to name a few. Soft squeaks were came from a
covered cage, a cage of hungry cave rats. Not to mention the house held spiders
everywhere, many willing to feast on flesh. Beside that was a set of shelves
with hundreds of different colors of vials. And it was no secret the Kilanatlar
house was known for its poisons.
The stone floor was stained with dark brown spots that were
once pools of lifeblood. A table was in the center of the room, shackles on the
ends. An upright stretching rack covered in spikes stood behind the table. An
iron cabinet, with a hinged front, door open stood over near a forge and kiln.
It was sufficiently tall to enclose a person and held a small closeable
opening. Dried blood covered the 3 inch spikes inside. Manacles were spaced all
around the room, some attached on the walls and a number hanging from the
ceiling freely. Two adamantine spike poles were opposite of the torture tools.
The iron chair, the newest device acquired was the cleanest items. Hundreds of
sharp spikes lined the back, seat, arm rests and leg rests with space to light
a fire underneath. Tucked in the corner was a 4 foot wide, 3 foot tall caldron
with blocks of lead and 2 foot tall jars of oils beside it.
“Where should we
place her jabbress?”
Alylin was not gunna
kill her, just extract some information from her. The plan was to make her
little sister slay her pet. Averl was roughly shoved down, her arms
chained above her and her feet spread and chained. Both finished and stepped
back to watch the events.
“Leave us,” Alylin replied, holding up a hand to any protest
they would make, “close the door and lock it.”
Alylin walked over
to the devices on the wall trying to decide which tool she wanted. She settled
for the tongs and a vial of poison. She also pulled a couple of minor healing
potions. Just enough to keep the slave alive but have fun.
“I know you have
information I want. And I will get it from you no matter what. Since I am bored,
I will have a little fun. But you can make it easier if you give it up,” the
drowess replied circling the tied down half elf. Alylin then paused at her head
and knelt down and whispered, “so what has my rebellious sister been up to
then? And don’t think ‘I don’t know’ will work. You are her little pet, nothing
more,” the drowess began. “And I know she has a soft spot for you.”
Averl closed her eyes. She should have known. Small tears
were forming, her mind struggling to deal with the possibility that the drowling
had betrayed her. Pragmatism would tell her that the girl had use of her and
thus would not. Not unless she had gotten into trouble. However, the girl was a
drow through and through. What hope was there for her raised in such a life?
Trying to keep the tears from rolling down her face was impossible and Alylin
knew she had hit on something. The drowess did not expect her victim to have
made a bond with her youngest sister. How much sweeter it would be. A knife was
set on her chest, the half elf thinking and hoping it would be over. But it was
not to be. The rags covering her were cut and shred leaver her exposed. Alylin
took the tongs and walked over to the forge and grabbed a few coals.
Walking back, “What do you think your silence is going to
accomplish? do you believe she cares for you?
Do you think she wouldn’t turn on you in a second?”
Standing over the prone prisoner, Alylin gave her a fake
look of compassion before mocking her. The coals in the tongs were released
onto Averl’s stomach. The smell of sizzling burning flesh filled the room and
was drowned out by screams of agony. Alylin then with the tongs picked them up
off of the slave before they burnt into her abdomen cavity. Red-and-white open
bloody blisters with charred skin was left behind.
“Still feel like keeping silent?”
The interrogation continued for many hours. When tired of
one tortured, the technique changed to keep the drowess entertained; Alylin
forcibly learned quite a few things, some she never suspected. When Averl was
close to death a healing potion was shoved down her throat, healing the slave
enough for Alylin to continue. She would not let her die, even when she pleaded
and begged for the drowess to mercifully kill her. Alylin grew tired from her
work, and decided she had done enough for the night. Alylin opened the door and
the two commoners entered, unshackled the barely conscious female and took her
to be shackled to the wall. The door closed leaving Averl hanging buy her arms,
toes just touching the floor. Alone in the dark musky room, she broke down
sobbing, letting out every emotion in a flood of tears.
home, her mood lighter than normal. She stopped by the matron’s room giving her
report after she had reported to Matron Mae’Vir with the rest of the Red
Sisters. The matron was rather pleased from what she heard, and a silent
congratulation to the second daughter made Zebeycyrl even more giddy with self
pride. Until she remembered the twins. There was some good news in it, Zarae
had been moved to learning things that would require less of the assassin being
present and the boy with the house wizard. Less she would have to deal with the
irritating drowlings. When her mother was done with her, she headed to her room
ignoring anyone around, ready to just rest in her own bed. Living in disguise
as a lower class priestess had been a small torture when she had been use to
such luxury and extravagant lifestyle of a noble born.
The wards allowed
her into her own room, wards that had been set up to keep out her sisters, and
took a glance around. At first she didn’t notice, the first scent to meet her
nose was the rich incense that normally filled the room. But the longer she was
in there, and closer to her bed she got a new overwhelming smell assaulted her.
Her belongings slung to the bed, she began searching for the culprit. The bed reeked
of pure stench. She could see under it clearly as it floated a foot off the
floor. There was nothing there. Next she headed to another part of the room the
smell not diminished in any way. Long strand of unintelligible cursing left her
mouth. No evidence of whatever was stinking up the room. After 20 minutes of
searching the room, added with the stuff that was flung around the room in
anger, the assassin screamed for her handmaid.
another room, the keystone warmed. Zebeycyrl was back. Putting away the
supplies, she heeded the summons and then got to work cleaning up the mess. The
assassin lit incense and filled her room with perfume to cover the smell, even
tried to use her spells to try and remove it. Zebeycyrl spent the next several days
trying to cover up the stench while forcing some of the common wizard’s to use
their magic to remove it. The tenuous relationship between Zebeycyrl and
Myrurra growing dangerously worse, threats closer to being carried out. Whenever
the assassin passed people, comments would be whispered on her expense. Zarae
would mock her sister behind her back, the twins laughing at her expense at how
well the prank worked.
Aug 15 11 11:21 PM
day began as usual, a day of being locked up and sneaking out. A few more days
would mark their twelfth birthday. One year left with Zebeycyrl, one year till
freedom. Zarae was released at lunch, having returned from her outing just in
time to not get caught by Zebeycyrl. Surprisingly, Zarae was told to take the
tome and go to her room after the meal. She didn’t hide her joy in not
returning to the room, a fact which annoyed the assassin.
in dining hall, she enjoyed a plate fried rothe strips, alone. Not even Myrurra
was present to pick on. Bored, she carried her plate into the kitchen. The half
orc had been replaced by a scrawny human. This only caused her to wonder how he
was able to see. The slave collars didn’t have any special benefits she knew
of, only that it would not allow a slave to attack one of the family members or
forced a slave to obey. At first glance he seamed rather pathetic. But he had a
magical aura about him. At one time this human had to have been some type of
wizard or cleric. She continued to study the surfacer. The human was built like
Neeryrd, only taller, broader shoulders, thick waist, and something she only
saw on dwarves- facial hair. Zarae had seen humans in passing, but he was one
of the first to work in the house; humans were not ideal slaves because they
could not naturally see in the darkness of the Underdark and drow cities.
looked at her expectantly while the others had grown use to her being in the
kitchen. They just went about their business of preparing meals and cleaning
dishes. Zarae hopped up on the counter then bit into another bite of her lunch.
jabbress?” the new slave asked.
she asked with a full mouth, crossing a leg over the other to watch him grow
more uncomfortable and hopefully squirm. It was something to do anyway. She
kinda missed the half orc now she thought of it. At least she didn’t die totally
in vain. Nilrae got at their older brother. She was beginning to understand why
Nilrae wanted to get rid of the secondboy, apart from wanting his position.
stuttered to respond not sure what to say. Zarae then chuckled at him then
shooed him away. The human back to stirring the sauce, the girl pulled out her
hollow reed, and placed another pellet inside. She motioned over the halfling,
whispered into her ear and let her go back, only instead the halfling moved a
large pot in the path. The pellet flew from her blowgun to hit the human in the
face and land in his beard. He silently grumbled but knew better than to say or
new slaves get broke in,” she laughed and finished the last piece of her lunch,
“good thing I got stuff to do.”
down from the counter she brushed crumbs off her hands and headed out, much to
the relief of a few kitchen slaves. The dining hall was still empty, only a few
common soldiers in the other side. Back upstairs in her room, she pulled out
her pack and dug through it. She still didn’t have her map, but she knew how to
get there. Only she wasn’t sure if she wanted to go alone. Nilrae was too busy
with his own wizardly studies with Izzmurss to tag along. Maybe Averl would go. She hadn’t seen the half elf
in a while. Changing from the nicer shirt and leggings for her worn out ones,
she got dressed for travel. Her equipment went into the bag, including some
trail rations, some smoke bombs, sheets of parchment, everglow ink, and other
things of use in the wilds. Boots slipped over her feet and she grabbed her
cloak and headed to her door. She decided borrowing the rock with the light
spell shouldn’t bother Nilrae too much, he’d understand. Just as she was
opening the door, Ladayiir stood there. Zarae rolled her eyes and tried to slip
past. Ladayiir caught hold of her cloak and pulled her back.
“Nope. Get back in
there,” Ladayiir scolded pushing the girl back into the room.
“Who in the abyss do
you think you are?” fists on her hips and one snowy eyebrow lifted in
“Get undressed and
into the tub. We don’t have a lot of time.”
Her arms crossed in defiance,
“I don’t think so. I already have plans. So EXCUSE me,” shoving Ladayiir out of
The two argued for 20
minutes, Ladayiir not moving to allow the stubborn girl to leave. Eventually,
she threatened to get the matron herself- a dangerous endeavor. Not only would
Zarae’s mother be angry, she would be on the receiving end of that. Especially
if the matriarch had ordered this. Of course Ladayiir would also, more so. Zarae
contemplated if it was worth it before throwing her pack on the bed. Ladayiir
sighed in relief, until a boot flew at her head. Quick reflexes, she moved in
time for both aimed at her.
traveling clothes on the washroom floor, she activated the decanter that filled
the tub and got in. Ladayiir followed suit, pulling out a few vials from the washroom
cabinet. Dumping the scented oils into the water, the floral smell filled the
small room. It was a new scent, one that had come from the surface she had been
told. Zarae knew something important was going on. Ladayiir took shampoo and
poured some into her hands to lather up the girl’s long hair. Still pouting,
Zarae said nothing as her head was moved around by the half drow.
Shampoo rinsed out,
Ladayiir held another vial, this one filled with a white gel. The dye was
placed in the girl’s hair, covering very piece of maroon that she had
Some of it dripped
down her face. “Wait,” Zarae jerked away, “why are you coloring my hair?”
“To hide this…
defect. No weaknesses,” the handmaid replied, grabbing Zarae’s shoulder to push
her back in place and finish.
Zarae knew her hair
was different, even odd. But she had never considered it an issue before. But
the reality was it a defect. When physical
beauty meant everything in the drow world, could mean the difference between
life and death, her hair made her among her as her sister put it, a freak. Dye rinsed
out and completely clean, Ladayiir helped Zarae out of the tub and tossed her
the towel to dry off. She then headed to the wardrobe to see it basically
empty. The clothing was strewn everywhere, clean and dirty. Only things left
were the only two formal suits.
“How do you find
anything in this mess?”
“What do you care?”
came from the washroom, “I can find what I want when I need it. Beside, Lloth
is the Lady of Chaos, so I’m just reflecting that.”
smallclothes and take a seat,” she called to Zarae pulling her desk chair to
sit it in the middle of the room.
Zarae stared into
the looking glass with mixed thoughts at her hair. She attempted to run a hand
thru the wet tangled mess, just shaking her head in disbelief. It was strange
to look so normal! The slight dragging of the chair on the stone floor, Zarae
walked back into her room, towel in hand drying her now dyed hair. Zarae knew
exactly where things were and tossed her towel at Ladayiir then slipped her
smallclothes on before sitting down, arms crossed as she slumped. Ladayiir
grabbed a tortoise shell comb from the dresser and tapped it to her lips
deciding how to start.
“Why must you be so
“Sorry to inconvenience
Ladayiir started at
the bottom in the middle of her back to start working out tangles and knots.
Zarae winced a lot, pulling away several times to have Ladayiir push her head
back. After nearly an hour, her hair was completely tangle free, soft and silky
and rivaling any vain woman’s hair. Next, the girl’s hair was fixed up, pieces
from both sides around her face pulled back, braided and pinned behind with an
ivory clip decorated with spider shaped gems. Zarae spent the entire time bored
and struggling to stay put while enduring the torture. The half drow place a
hand on her shoulder to tell her to stay put as she grabbed the ceremonial
“Why cant I just
wear my regular clothes?” the girl wined.
“Because have to
look like a female for once, Matron’s orders.”
replied rolling her eyes and standing up.
The leggings, made
of a white spidersilk were tossed for Zarae to slip on first. Then the main dress was dropped over her head; Ladayiir worked on the laces on the back, tying them
as tight as she could manage. An embroidered obi like sash was wrapped around
her tiny waist gathering the loose material and showing just how small and lean
her frame really was. The shoulder piece was tied in place finishing the suit.
“There, that should
pass inspection of even a matron,” the handmaid replied with pride, “and not
too soon. We’re already late enough.”
“Good, now you can
feel all warm and fuzzy inside,” Zarae bit in sarcasm.
“Yes, now we can go,
and maybe by then you will loose that smart mouth.”
Finished getting the
youngest noble daughter ready, she led Zarae to the house chapel, periodically
looking back to make sure she hadn’t taken off. That would be a nightmare, show
up and lose her charge. Ladayiir stopped at the double doors of the chapel,
bowing slightly and motioning for the girl to enter.
Before Zarae opened
the door, an ominous sick feeling came over her. Meeting in the chapel was the
first hint something was up. Near the door, the sickly sweet incense could be
smelt, mingling with the lingering smells of old blood, coals, and some scents that
just stunk. Zarae hesitated, as her hand reach out to take hold of the onyx
Inside only the glow
of one of the eight brazier and eight candles on the altar showed in the
darkness. In the benches around the chapel was the entire house compound, apart
from slaves and a few drow soldiers. One side sat the males, on the other the
females. For the most part it was quiet, a few hush whispers of a couple brave
females. Zarae’s family was down twords the center of the room. On the raised
platform stood Xullafay. In front of the aisle between the two sides of seats
stood Zebeycyrl. Alylin and Myrurra sat next to the aisle in the front row.
Across from them was the weaponmaster, the current house patron with his
consort cloak, Neeryrd and Nilrae. Everyone was dressed in their formal
ceremonial clothing. Preparing to slide in to sit beside Myrurra, Xullafay
called the girl to come up on stage. Zarae’s blood began to run cold. She thought
that she had gotten into some major trouble and was going to be sacrificed to
Lloth. It wouldn’t be unheard of, even if it was rare for a matron’s daughter
to be sacrificed. Fear nearly overwhelmed her and she contemplated running. It
was understood that loyalty is owed only to Lloth, but self-preservation was
the first law of drow society. And as if Xullafay read her mind, she gave the
girl a wicked smile, not easing the girl’s fears. Zebeycyrl waved her hands and
the house began chanting a song to the Spider Queen. The room grew darker as
the brazier fire went dull, the appearance like only hot coals left and
billowing a thin smoke onto the stage. The image of her dream came to the
forefront of Zarae’s mind. A foggy haze grew as the song of the crowd rose and
fell in intensity; the effects made the girls feel lightheaded and nearly
dizzy. Refusing to grab ahold of anything to not appear weak, she stood still
in the middle of the aisle and closed her eyes to fight the overwhealming
Then as the song
neared its first pause, the matriarch stepped out from the curtain. Zarae
opened her eyes to see her mother dressed in her most elaborate ceremonial
priestess robes. Blood red spidersilk with purple and black shimmering effect
and a top only covering her chest minimally. Shoulders were covered with
polished adamantine shoulder guards and a belt with a web design set with eight
magical gems. The cape ran to mid-thigh and was equally marvelous as the dress
and equally enchanted. Mithril bracers adorned her wrist and eight rings on her
fingers. The amulet sat in the most alluring place almost as if daring someone
to leer there. Her head piece was made of adamantine and mithril, set with
black sapphires, black diamonds, and back spinels, all shaped like spiders, and
four pieces on each side coming off to resemble the eight legs of a spider. Her
hair was pulled up into an extravagant hairstyle and completely free of the
usual dyed streaks.
“Step up here, my daughter,”
Matron Shyntyl called to Zarae.
dumbfounded a moment; her mother had never called her that. Had not claimed her
yet. It was something to be earned. But the hesitation was only a second or two
and she did as she was told. Xullafay raised a hand and the chapel became a
silent as death, even the crackle in the fire seamed to heed the high
priestess. A snap of fingers echoed in the chamber and two female priestesses
stepped out. Between them was a pale skinned bound prisoner with a burlap sack
covering the head. Dressed in tattered rags, one could see it was a female; and
her body structure gave away elven or elven ancestry. At first thought, Zarae
thought it might have been one of the faerie elves, one of their surface
cousins. It was not uncommon to have special offerings the Spider Queen or
begin high holy days with the shedding of the blood of the drow’s most hated
enemy. Only, it wasn’t a holy day. Every drowling learned those early on. She
didn’t think they were going to war and asking for aid, no house wars had
occurred in over four centuries; not to mention only one house remained above
them. In fact, House Kilanatlar was the last house to attack another in such a
meaningful way. She didn’t believe they had lost favor. Such a ceremony would
not have been so public.
uncharacteristically took the girls hand and walked her close to the altar.
Xullafay held the sacrificial dagger, the same one from her dream, and handed
it over to the matron. Zarae took a sweeping glance over the audience, noting
that Alylin held a strange grin and Myrurra sat with her arms crossed and not
The two drowessess
roughly forced the prisoner to her knees. The matron circled her, the kris on a
covered shoulder and tugging at the burlap. Stopping behind the bound female,
the matron’s hand grabbed the sack and yanked it off. Once again, the girl was
dumbfounded. Her brows knitted in confusion and she started to back-peddle.
Xullafay stood directly behind her, cutting off her chance to run. There bound
and gagged before Zarae was Averl in the worse condition she had ever seen the
slave. Zarae’s heart dropped and her eyes grew bluish in hue.
The haze and effects
from the incense and mix of emotions were like mind numbing agents, leaving her
stunned and clouding her mind. Thought were blurred and she could not think
straight. Zarae unintentionally tuned out most of what was said to her. The
words betrayal ran through her mind
as the high priestess spun the tale. Bile rose in her throat over the ‘truth’ of
those early teachings- trust invariably brought betrayal. Averl had betrayed
Averl listened as
the matron’s influence washed over the drowling. Watched the drowling’s eyes change
as the emotions played out, her own filled with sadness. She knew what they
were doing to her. Weaning out what they thought was weakness in her. Turning
her into that cold blooded emotionless killer, to remove compassion and mercy and
fill it with hate. Averl sighed silently as she noticed Zarae’s orbs grow
crimson in both the normal and darkvision.
Matron Shyntyl held
the sacred blade out on her palms, “Show us,” was whispered supernaturally in
her ear, “Do what you desire.”
A moment passed,
what felt like a century to the girl; Zebeycyrl then directed everyone watching
to begin the chanting again. Dark powers fell like an oppressive invisible
blanket trying to smother her. Zarae could not get out of this, even if she
desired. Her mother, the powerful matron stood before her, and no doubt Lloth
was watching. If that was not bad enough, the entire house was watching her in
expectation that this half faerie elf would die.
Compelled by so many
external influence and her own feelings of anger at betrayal, Zarae took the
blade into her hands. She just held it, as the song of the chapel grew twords
its climax. Turning to Averl, she closed her eyes to remove any compassion she
had. Opening them again, her face was cold and lifeless. Zarae stepped up to
the slave she viewed as a trusted associate. The blade in hand, the matron pulled
the slave’s hair, yanking her head back to expose her chest more for Zarae.
Matron Shyntyl’s laugh
crackled thru the dome shaped chamber, her youngest daughter surprised even her
by what happened next.
Dec 9 11 3:42 PM
((the spell checker on microsoft word seams to have quit working, so there are probably even more mistakes than usual))
Erelrae had for the next few days hidden away from everyone, including her
daughters and best friends. Most of time was spent in meditation and prayer,
including mournful songs and dances that displayed her inner turmoil. She knew
well how dangerous it was becoming. Their rivals and enemies would not stop
until they were destroyed. The ceremony showed just how close the Vhaeraunites
had gotten to winning the upper hand. Yet they still dared not strike so
boldly. For Erelrae knew their secrets too.
Maryne despite the
joy of the love binding between her and Velnarin, she felt pained and
disappointment over Vastyrr. Mostly, she
wondered how she had missed such clues. Had she, spared from the horrors of the
usual drow life, become so naïve to the truth? Maryne lay in Velnarin’s arms,
his hand rubbng along her arm for comfort.
Sitting up she
looked to Velnarin, “how did you handle it?”
“Hmmm?” sitting up
himself, “handle what?” Looking into her face answered it enough for her, and
all he could do was wrap an arm around her shoulder.
“I mean, I know this
is how our people are. Yet I have been spared, until now, these ugly truths. I
get growing up here in this house, it is different,” a few tears traced her
cheek as she tried to hold them back. Then she laughed at herself. “Here I am,
a drow, crying over betrayel. How
foolish I am.”
He chuckled at the
thought, and then cleared his throat as she gave him a look. No words came to
him in response. How could he explain? Their lives were different as night and
day. He had been slow to trust, to understand. Had been slow to shed his old
ways and habits. Yet he had never removed them all. Something she at times
found difficult to understand.
“I almost got all of
us killed, destroyed. Found out. I am a liability to all. I..dont belong here.”
“What are you
“Maybe I…” looking
to Velnarin whose eyes showed hurt, “…we should travel to the Light Above.
Leave this behind.”
He sat up
straighter, the blanket falling off him as he thought over her words. He had
been able to secure vital information from the Vhaeraunites by going
undercover. He was one of the few truly capable of such a task. In fact, he had
been in discussion before the ceremony about attempting again of getting into
the main base. Of course it had been put on hold for now.
“Maryne…” his voice
soft and gentle as he could muster, “We cant. Not now, or not yet.”
She looked away
twords the floor, arms around her bear torso. She understood what he wasn’t
“In a moon cycle.
This time, it maybe longer,” his voice more solem yet determined, “but
considering what we gathered last time, this will be just as important.”
“Why you? There are
others just as qualified.”
but I have already gotten further than the others. And as far as I know, my
cover has not been compromised,” he replied, legs sliding off to dangle over
the bed, “you of all should understand this importance.”
tried not to let the bit of anger gathering beneath her eyes show. Anger at
him, anger at Lady Erelrae, even a twang of anger directed at Eilistraee. She
breathed out a heavy sigh asking for guidance.
passed by the female rooms again, all the younger drowlings at rest. Of course
a few whispers she caught once in a while, their conversations reminding her of
the simple days. With a grin, she continued her patrol, sounds of metal
clanging with metal coming from the gym. Eva stood at the door, Maryne’s blade
connecting with the dummy in the most letal ways, if it had been alive. Maryne
realized she was being watched and turned. Her body was dripping with sweat,
hair stuck to her head and neck. Even the simple tunic and leggings were
don’t think he’s getting the message,” Eva jested.
well. He will fill my wrath!” the sword spun and moved to strike would have
been the upper arm. The force, surely would have severed one.
rarely saw the young ranger so riled up. She stood at the doorway watching,
Maryne talking out her frustrations on the equipment. Finally, the priestess
you think us unfair?” Eva asked as the sword again hit what would have been a
vital area. A few grunts to yank the blade away, but otherwise didn’t answer.
“You must know how important this is. We cant have another…situation like
only made the ranger’s attacks more ferocious on the training dummy. Soon
exhaustion crept in, and her attacks slowed considerably. It wasn’t long when
her arms felt like jelly and she could no longer raise her sword into even a
simple hold. Maryne let it clang onto the floor, as she stood panting. Eva
remained in her place.
we must do what we must. I know this pains you in more ways than one. But the
times are getting dangerous, more dangerous than ever before. Lady Erelrae has
looked up at that, expecting Eva to continue. But when she didn’t she started
to ask, only to be stopped by a simple hand.
cannot say. Not yet.”
face dropped, tired, frustrated, and secrets grated on her. But she put it
behind her when Eva walked over and took her weary arm and the two danced a few
minutes. Eva then parted and continued on her patrol again.
Lillintha too was making a patrol, tho her purpose was
seeking to see how much damage had been done since Vastyrr. Eva quickly gave
her an update as the two talked over the night’s discoveries. Thankful to the
Lady, nothing major. But Lillintha suspected more.
“There were several parchments, and magical ink. I fear she
may have gotten letters or messages to them.”
Eva bit her lip in thought, “that is why he must get in. we
cant take anymore chances, not now.”
“Yes. Tho how do we stop any relatiations till then? Would
you not strike back?”
“Yes I would. But
we must remember that they operate in discrete ways as the Masked Lord does. Rarely
openly and not with the Spider Queen’s church also hunting them,” Eva paused.
Both were thinking the same thing.
They would have to meet with some of the matrons of the city
“Send...” trying to think of her name, “Maryne? To Bruhaonar,” Lillintha
said at last before leaving Eva.
Izzmurss walked the
halls of Sorcere, vials in hand. At
last, slower than his progress was intended, he had it complete. The perfect
concoction, and next to impossible to detect. Except maybe the deities. But his
target was not a cleric. Inside the alchemy lab of the last years students, Gulhrys
sat. One of his lower wizard students grading simple assignments off to the
side. The 10th year student looked up to the entrance of the teacher then back
to his task. Gulhrys, closed his spell book and tucked it away into a secret
comportment inside his many pocketed robe. He gave the second house wizard a
condescending grin but otherwise ignored Izzmurss’
entrance. Izzmurss too likewise ignore his rival, heading to the cabnit and
placing each glass container inside. The labels were placed around each and
secured in the back. Other vials of potions were then put away before Izzmurss
secured the storage and quietly turned to exit the chamber.
grating voice came.
The archwizard leaned back in the cushioned chair and waited
for the fellow wizard to come, ‘like an obedient dog,’ he thought. He knew this
second house wizard was deadly, dangerous, and coveted his spot. But the
arogent first house wizard and head master of Sorcere was too confident to believe that the lower ranking wizard
could touch him. His person held so many wards, so much magic, and such power,
few could rival him. Most importantly, he was still in Matron Mae’Vir’s
favor. And he knew what his matron had
Izzmurss held in all
his thought and feeling for the archwizard well as he turned to face Gulhrys.
Tilting his head he waited for the
elder wizard to speak. Gulhrys knew, or assumed he knew. His dark
dexterous fingers interlace as he leaned forward.
“Your time is well past up. I had been rather generous in
giving you the extra year. I know how
your matron had you busy with her youngest,” his smirk at the knowledge of the going-ons
of the second house was not hidden. It clearly put Izzmurss off enough for his to suffle his stance slightly. But
neither broke or betrayed their thoughts even as Gulhrys continued, “You owe me
and I am calling it in now.”
inconspicuously, yet Gulhrys caught it, his smug look growing larger. Izzmurss had discovered how to make Shadow
Dye, but it was only with smallest bit of help of the first wizard. Lloth had
willed that the Kilanatlar house move up in rank. And that this invention would
give them the chance to strike, tip the scales their way, and move then from 6th
to 2nd Mae’Vir was an unknown
factor, albeit a tiny one. Just enough for Gulhrys to use for his
advantage. Since then he had ‘owned’ the second wizard. All his research and
discoveries belonged to Gulhrys. Gulhrys, cared not for most of them. He rather
enjoyed more the power over his inferior.
Izzmurss spoke the few
words and shimmering magic gathered in the air. An extra dimensional pocket
opened allowing the second wizard, and only him, to grab the black vial.
Reluctantly, he pulled it forth, the opening closing and the pocket gone. He
looked to the bottle then to the older wizard.
“May it serve you
well,” he grumbled out, translated, in his mind- ‘may you choke on it.’ “Our
deal is done.”
Gulhrys laughed, clearly mocking him, “My my. You have no
grounds in which to state the terms. Need I remind you?” laughing again. “You amuse me. Elsewise I
might would have removed your pompous butt long ago.”
Every one higher up in station had to work to remain there.
Removing any threats as soon as possible. And those below pulled down and
killed off those above for their place. That was the drow way.
stoic and silent; his eyes, if they could burn holes, would have right then and
there. Gulhrys finished with asserting his status and position, dismissed
the second wizard. Izzmurss turned on
his heels and exited the room quickly and quietly.
That’s when the
smirk creased his beautiful elven features.
Dec 9 11 3:43 PM
In a blink of an eye, a thin read line appeared on the slave’s
throat followed by a gush of blood pouring and spraying the girl. Gasp of final
breaths the body was allowed to drop to the floor. Blood began spilling out in
a gush forming swirling red paths on the black floor flowing twords the
depression. Cheers of victory rang out among the gathered house and praises to
Lloth along with shouts for the death to all their surface cousins.
She looked down, her hands and arms cover in warm red
liquid. When Zarae registered what she had done, she tried to drop the bloody
blade, but her hands refused to let go. The matriarch’s laugh and following
words were not even heard by Zarae who had watched the red sparkle of heat leave Averl’s eyes. Nausea and sickness threatened
to overwhealm her, adding to the already strange effects from the room.
Xullafay took the blade from her younger sister and raised
it high in the air. All the house members stood up, the shouting intensifying
and deafening. Matron Shyntyl placed a pround hand on her youngest daughter in
the closest to a cangratutory manor before stepping away and disappearing from
sight, followed by Xullafay. Nilrae, Rhylaun and Zebeycyrl exited next. Then suddenly chapel became a
place of fleshly lust and physical delights of pure hedonism.
dumbfounded and under the effects of the chapel, a mixture of horrfied and
delight filling his own mind as he watched his sister and best friend slaughter
the half elf. He had been caught up in the moment until realization struck him.
Rhylaun had periodically looked to watch the drowling male’s reaction. And knew
the youngest boy was almost ready. Escaping the ‘party’ Nilrae walked solomly
up the stairs to the second floor. He stood at his twin’s door, hand debating
whether to check in on her. He had seen how she fled the chapel, how far spaced
the blood splatter had been- all indicating her quick pace. His hand pulled
away, kindness, care, and compassion were weak. Instead the boy entered his own
room and plopped onto his cushioned bed.
Zarae, still covered
in blood, ran out of the chapel, nearly knocking over anyone was in her way and
rushed to her room. The door slammed as she fell back against it, sliding down
to the floor. Wet liquid, not her own, stained the fabric she sat upon and
dripped onto the floor. Tears threatened to well up in her eyes as sickness
continued to assult her. Females didn’t cry; they were the superior gender!
Unable to hold it in, she hurried to her washroom and vomited into the
chamberpot. It all came out, gushing lumps of green, yellow and orange.
Her stomach emptied of its contents, Zarae
climbed and sank into her wash tub full of cold water. Her face was pale and
expression emotionless and empty as she felt. The water dyed red from Averl’s
blood. The drowling kept her nose just above the waterline and remained there.
Time lost meaning,
her extremities growing numb. Even her shivering had begun to lessen. All she
wanted to do was numb the feeling inside and sleep. Zarae closed her eyes and
let herself sink lower. When her lungs screamed for air she lifted her head
enough and breathed deeply. The events playing in her mind over and over. The
look of Averl’s face. The smile of evil escatsy lingered in the
drowlings mind as Zarae saw the glee of her mother’s approval. Again that same
dark oppressive power fell over her. Hate and anger filled the girl’s her mind
as the pulling and tugging on her soul continued. Her eyes again turned amber. She
was close to giving in, with words like betrayal pounding in her head. Caught
up into this swarming darkness, she again slipped further under the blanket of
Underwater, Zarae didn’t hear the bedroom door open. Didn’t
hear the soft footsteps of another. Eyes closed, she didn’t see the dark face
peer over the tub’s edge. A hand reached down and grabbed the dress front and
pull her forth from the water. Coughing Zarae was slow to open her eyes, seeing
only a blur of who was yanking on her. Instead of fighting she just hung limp,
not caring at the moment. The fire squelched.
Ladayiir pulled her out completely, not because of
compassion or any care, but because if she was to allow anything to happen to
the matron’s daughter, the slave would forfeit her own life. It was a matter of
preservation. Ladayiir wrapped the large fuzzy towl around the girl and set her
on the marble floor. Grumbling to herself she pulled the vial she had stolen
from the alchemy lab and yanked the cork out with her teeth. She had not
intended to use it on this brat, but she had no choice now. Zarae didn’t fight
the blue liquid poured down her throat. A few sputters and coughs and the
effects were immediate, healing any physical problems. Ladayiir stood up
hovering over Zarae who was distant.
“You know the drill by now,” the slave said annoyed, “I
suggest you get moving. And change out of those wet clothes.”
Ladayiir half expected the usual fight, was even surprised
when the girl didn’t smart off. Zarae sat up, resignation in her heart. Her
hand pulled on the strings, loosening them enough to slip off everything wet.
Wet clothes piled on the floor, she moved to the pile of long shirts randomly
pulling one on top to slip over her head, followed by a pair of leggings. The
slave pilled the wet clothes into a basket and headed down to the clothing
washroom. Zarae aimlessly headed twords the study for the inevitable day.
was getting her hair finished, the last loose strand pulled up into the
elaborate braid. Holding the mirror up to check her handmaids work, she nodded
approvingly. The door opened to the youngest sister, wet hair dripping and
tangled, dressed in wrinkled clothing, partially soaked now. Zebeycyrl
dismissed the handmaid and turned in her chair.
That is a first,” looking suspiciously over the girl for what angle she was
even Zebeycyrl had noticed a change in the drowlings demeanor. Zarae still said
nothing, keeping her eyes, which were their normal color, downcast, almost
submissively. Zebeycyrl stood up, dusting herself off and headed over to the
desk, dropping the unholy tome. Two purple candles were lit followed by
incense. Zarae shivered that same chill as last time ran down her spine. Only
this time the calling was stronger and more forceful. The loss of her
blood-innocence had weakened any resolve or resistance she had before. All she
had from stopping her from giving in was apathy at the moment. Zebeycyrl
watched, curious, also expecting some sarcasm or smart-mouthing; and again,
none was forthcoming. Zarae hesitantly opened the tome and stared at the words.
Zebeycyrl nodded her approval and left the girl alone, locking the door behind
her. To a casual observer, it appeared as if she was actually reading the text.
But all she did was stare at the script, her mind still miles away. She
continued to see last night’s events play out in her head. How her hand held
the sacrificial blade. Her hand made the strike, willingly.
then she remembered how it felt in that moment or at least thought she did. The
youngest daughter only wanted approval of her mother, what daughter wouldn’t.
How crushed and disillusioned she had become to hear Averl’s so called
betrayel. Zarae closed her eyes, feeling blood on her hands again. The rush of
adrenaline pounding throughher veins from such a clean and effective fatal
blow. The thrill of ending an enemy. How easy it had been. Happiness, power,
control over life and death. All those promises of the Spider Queen just at her
fingertips, and all she had to do was reach out for it. The smell of the
incense and candles stopped bothering her nose and became pleasant.
room again filled with magic. Zarae opened her eyes, orbs that were dark amber.
About to read the first lines, the script becoming clear as she focused, the
drowling saw something else in the room catch her attention. Her eyes returned
to their normal maroon, the room again stunk of the sickly sweet smell. The
lost of focus, the script returned to indecipherable words. Getting up off the
stool, yet no bounce in her still apathetic step, the drowling walked over to
the bookself. A small chest the size of a jewelry box, made of silver had
caught the light of the candle and reflected into her eyes. It was partially
covered with velvet cloth, and only by luck or divine intervention had allowed
her to notice. Grabbing her stool to climb upon, Zarae stood atop it to reach the
top shelf. She maintained her balance leaning and reaching up for it. In hand
she hopped down and sat studying the small box. About to toss it aside not
caring, a small fire reawoke in her, and curiosity took over. Hesitent fingers
reached for the lever to open.
stench was horrible, a partially preserved finger sat on top. Beneath, was a
bundle of soft fabric. Inside this was a mithril chain. Moving everything aside
and pulling out the necklace, the end held a small sword pendent. The metal was
adamantine and mithril, a beautifully crafted piece of dark and light colored
metals. Pulling it closer she was able to see even more of the details that
went into this pendent; tiny drow script, yet anyble to be read considering its
size. Other shapes and designs covered the otherside. Shapes vaguely familiar. Surrounding
the necklace was magical energy, yet this was different from anything in the
house. Zarae unable to resist temptation pocketed the piece before continuing
to search the box. A keychain was situated at the bottem. Picking it up, it
seamed like nothing special. No magic, no power. Just simple steel keys. Reason
dictated it was important if it had been stored with the necklace. The drowling
quickly pulled one key off and pocketed it with the rest of her cashe of goods.
Then she closed the box and returned it to its proper place, including covering
it up then hurried over to the desk again. Zarae look back at the tome, but
again apathy overtook her and she just sat their staring into space. She opened
it, flipping mindlessly through the pages, yet seeing none of it.
rest of her time was spent dwelling on last night again; so distracted and
caught up in the emptiness and pain, she didn’t hear the door unlock nor the
hated sister enter. Zebeycyrl looked at Zarae who maintained a lost in
thought empty daze that she'd never seen on the girl before. She cleared her
throat, Zarae not even jumping at the startle. The drowling looked at her then
back down to the desk. Zebeycyrl
just rolled her eyes and told the girl to get lost, slamming the tome closed.
Zarae got up slowly and exited the room, her head downcast and closed the door
quietly behind her. Down to her room and onto her bed.
few hours later, a soft knock sounded, the coded knock of her twin. However,
Zarae only rolled over as Nilrae continued. Then the soft scrap of the door
scooting clothing followed by a whisper calling her. Nilrae spotted his sister,
closing the door behind him and rushing over to her bedside.
please leave me be.”
is wrong with you?”
just covered her head with the blanket, Nilrae staring at her in disbelief.
you know what,” pulling on the covers, “either you give in, become like Zeb, or
you suck it up and move on,” he stated matter-of-factly. “But this is not my
sister here right now. She wouldn’t be so….” Not sure of the word to use. “So
what! You killed her. She was a slave, a faerie elf. Big deal. You didn’t care
about the others the same way. You let the half orc get killed, the goblin. Who
knows who else you cause to be punished. Your problem was you got attached. And
someone saw that. So what we do, is this…”
was only half listening. Something Nilrae said had triggered a line of thought.
Someone used this against her. Turned her own ally on her, or so she was
beginning to believe. Drows were to never allow it to happen. In fact as the
superior race, they were the ones who cut ties when a beneficial ‘partnership’
was no longer useful. Someone made Averl betray her. Maybe she was right to
kill the elf? But now she had to find who else was at the root of this and get
her revenge. Revenge- it burned in
her mind. This was not the revenge she was known for. No, it would not be mean
pranks, or cruel jokes. She would make them suffer. Anger, just like last night
began to boil inside her. The same tug again began pulling on her soul, the
same call she had been feeling for nearly two days. That feminine voice whispering
in her ear. Only this time it couldn’t have been her mother.
stopped, beginning to realize she wasn’t listening. He stopped tugging on the
covers, and jumped up onto the bed. Then pushed to roll her twords the wall her
bed was next to. The cover came off, Zarae sat up, her crimson orbs boring into
Nilrae. He jumped down and back off, realizing quickly that color. Only he
didn’t believe it was directed at him. Or he hoped it wasn’t.
kill her... I will make her suffer,” her voice cold and emotionless,
the spirit! Tho I get to help,” he replied causually, hopping up onto the bed again,
dangling his feet and kicking them into the side of the frame. “Besides, you
look weird with normal hair,” he chorted.
Both sat quietly for a long time before Nilrae too restless
to sit around got up and left. But not before stopping at the door to look back
at his sister. The sister he was beginning to not recognize anymore. With a sad
sigh he closed the door and entered his room. He always knew their bond would
not last forever. For he was a male, and she would be a priestess if the Matron
Mother had it her way; or she would be sacrificed for her disgrace. Sooner or
later he would his sister to their merciless deity.
Dec 14 11 2:48 PM
years. Today had marked that they had survived 12 years. So many changes had
happened to the twins, changes for good or ill. Today would also mark a new stepping
stone in this dark world. Matron Shyntyl sat in her chair. A slave stood just to one side, separating
the matron’s long, silvery strands into sections with a spider-bone comb.
Purple dye had streaked the ends adding color to otherwise perfect hair. Zebeycyrl
strode into her mother’s chamber confidently. Her deep blue robe neatly pressed
against her lithe form, a two headed snake scourge in her belt.
“Twelve,” she said bluntly.
The handmaid said
nothing as she continued braiding the drow matriarch's hair into long, thin
threads before pinning them behind an elegant ear and moving to the next
section. The matron mother smirked, knowing exactly what this was about. Just a
couple days ago, they had watched as the youngest Kilanatlar slay her favorite slave.
It was reminiscent of what matrons often were called to do with their favorite
consorts. Loyalty only to Lloth. Sometimes that loyalty meant slaying a
But the boy was
still untested and it was his turn. Instead of speaking, she let the second
daughter ramble on her complaints. With the eldest and second daughter in
competition for her place, it was nice to see all aspects of the daughters. These
competitions and struggles would determine who best to take her place. Finally Zebeycyrl
stopped speaking. Matron Shyntyl still had not acknowledged anything she said.
The slave finished with her hair and gracefully bowed out of the room.
“Do you think you know better?” the matron spoke finally and
smugly, “we will see. Today marks the 12th year. And if I am pleased with your
work, I will grant your request.”
The silent…’but’ read clearly.
“My son has not been put to any testing. I think we work on
that. Let him perform… a blooding if you will. A test.”
“Is he not a bit young for that? The boy has not leaned to
even hold a sword, much less fight. Beside, most of ours occurred after the
“He has acquired some arcane skills. Izzmurss has trained
him well and the boy has grasped far more than I had expected of a male his
“So, as I said before you want to kill him?” not upset at
the idea but confused by the matron’s actions.
The matron had believed she’d broken most the youngest
daughter’s rebelliousness. It was time to mold the boy into the perfect male
killing machine. Her house did not stay so strong from weakness. And it was
time to wean that out of him.
“If he is deemed worthy of training, he will manage with
what I have in mind. Beside, this concern for his well being, it does not suit
The male hating assassin gave her mother a look to that
awoke from her elven reverie, but not to the usual badgering of the handmaid.
It was refreshing, albeit strange. The last several days since that terrible ceremony
she had just wanted to be left alone. Zarae was still trying to deal with it,
directing her anger for everything all on Zebeycyrl. Still not eating
as much as usual, the girl wasn’t hungry. But to occupy her mind, she thought a
game of Spider Hunt might be what she needed. They hadn’t played the hide-n-seek
game in so long. A game encouraged to all drowlings- it helped to train in
hunting, stealth, and other skills young drow would need. But for her, it brung
back memories of simpler days. Zarae dressed in her usual loose baggy shirt,
leggings and boots then headed to Nilrae’s room.
After a few minutes, Nilrae opened, he also having been
allowed to sleep in also.
“What’s going on?” he asked rubbing his multicolored eyes
and allowing her entrance.
“I’m not sure. But its probably gunna be a big deal.”
“Yeah, for who though?”
“I don’t wanna think about it. Not right now. How about
“Really? Odd choice...”
“Yeah, well we’re running and hiding. So it will be harder
to get us for whatever doom we will experience today,” Zarae replied bleakly.
Her less than enthusatic spitfire manner still unnerved him.
“Alright, tho a stop for a bite would be nice,” he called from his washroom,
pulling his shirt over his head.
A quick breakfast and both were running through the halls.
Nilrae had taken off to find a place to hide, Zarae waiting the count to 64
before she would search. Of course she listened and peeked. Watching the
direction he went and looking for the heatshadow his steps left. She’d use her
other skills to find and spot the target. It was harder to cheat with the house
remaining a constant 72 degrees and magical lights effecting heat seeking
“64,” she called softly, having lost account a while back
and deciding he had been given long enough.
Nilrae knew his sisters tactics by now. Retracing his steps
and climbing the statue inside the dining hall was his strategy. Secured
footing, and an empty hall, he dropped a globe of darkness about himself. He
made sure that it didn’t stand out with the faerie fire lights so as to be
Zarae started down the hall from the stairs, watching the
vanishing heat shadow prints. She knew she could rule out the chapel. He would
not dare enter such an important place without reason. And she doubted he would
try the antechamber. So it left the servent quarters, barracks, storage, dining
hall, and kitchen. The tracks lead to the barracks and stopped. She didn’t
believe he’d entered, but it did have a back door to cut around twords the
kitchen and dining hall. Activating her natural levitation she lifted herself
up twords the ceiling and took a look around. Seeing nothing, she made sure
with conjured up green harmless flames of faerie fire. The ceiling lit up
showing only the décor of the structure and the stone itself. ‘he’s too smart
for that,’ she thought to herself.
Back on the floor, silent feet took off for the storage
rooms. Put together, these were the size of the twin’s rooms. Inside was spare
equipment, general cleaning supplies, and other needs of house soldiers,
exluding weapons. Zarae snuck in silently, just as she had been trained.
Sadness, then anger came to the forefront of her mind; she had to force it back
and focus on her task. Cheating, tho only cheating if caught, she threw more
globes of faerie fire around as she searched through boxes, barrels and piles.
She even searched the ceiling and coves inside each room.
Still no Nilrae.
He was getting better! Closing the door silently, she moved
on to each storage room before heading back to the barracks. Entering the room,
a few of the drows gazed to see the girl, then return to their activities. None
spoke, only moved out of her way as she looked under beds, threw lights around
and even searched the washroom. By now everyone had figured out it was a game
of Spider Hunt. Zarae headed out the back door twords the dining room. First
she searched the kitchen, even looking in the larders and ovens. None of the
kitchen slaves saw the boy enter. At least none admitted it. If he managed to
bribe any, she didn’t have a better offer.
It had been nearly an hour. Nilrae had to renew his globe of
darkness. He was growing antsy, waiting. The door opened. Based on how softly,
he reasoned she was closing in. Her footsteps were near impossible to hear, but
new commotion from slaves followed by quiet and scraping of stone and silence
again, no doubt she would be searching the dining hall soon. As he sat, he felt
a tingling on the back of his neck. Swatting at it revealed nothing. None of
the spiders of the house were around. And few other living beings moved so
freely. Yet the creeping tingling remained a good 5 minutes before it was
The door opened again, this time no worry of keeping silent.
Tho no sounds was heard from the shoes, the door closed behind hard and echoed
in the relatively empty room. Unable to pinpoint the sounds, he couldn’t tell
where they went.
Zarae opened the kitchen door, she too heard the entrance of
another. Zebeycyrl stood staring into the blackness of the room at the statue,
ignore the girl for the moment. Zebeycyrl walked over to the statue, a simple
dispel of the darkness revealing a small bundle atop the carved figure. Nilrae
knew his spot had been compromised, yet he remained as he was. Zarae, not
thinking, ran over and levitated to Nilrae’s level and tagged him, the motion
with an imaginary dagger to his arm.
from his postion, “doesn’t count!”
his twin could retort, Zebeycyrl called him down. Her tone
threatening as much as the hand reaching for the scourge. Nilrae wasted no time
and was on the floor in seconds. Picking himself up after falling the last few
feet, he stood before her, eyes at the floor. Zebeycyrl didn’t even explain,
before the first snake head reared back to taste flesh. Zarae turned her head
away as fangs sunk into his flesh. Nilrae dared not squeal, yet he could not
stop his body from curling up as it fell.
“That is for making me find your worthless hide,” another
strike, “always keep your insignia on,” another lash, “that is for being on the
furniture,” the last strike, “and that’s for good measure, male.”
Zebeycyrl hadn’t even gotten started, the snake heads antsy
to continue tasting flesh, the assassin eager to keep flogging. But she
couldn’t, not now anyway with her own freedom so close. Two snake heads calmed
in disappointment as the adamantine handle returned to belt. Rose orbs simmering
flashed an angry glare at Zarae then turned to the boy.
“In the gym,” was all she said to Nilrae, then turned on her
heels and left the two. But not before giving Zarae a threat if she dared to
help the male drowling.
Zarae, ever the rebel at heart, didn’t care and hurried over
to her brother. Zebeycyrl’s actions would only make the girl hate her more.
Only make Zarae more determine to one day get revenge. She helped Nilrae to
stand on his shakey legs, pain still raking his body. Once he was able to stand
on his own, he softly pushed Zarae away. Fearful for himself and her. She only
gave him a look and then left her brother on his own.
Nilrae took a few steps twords the door, careful to not
fall. His mind fearful with thoughts of what the summons could mean. He had
never been called to the gym so formally. To clean a few times, but never like
this. Out the door and his footing more secure, he rushed out and made his way
up to the second floor and to the gym door. He was in no hurry, but if
Zebeycyrl didn’t like that he was too slow, she might use the scourge on him again.
Dec 14 11 2:54 PM
The room, dimely lit with red faerie fire was as before.
Half the large room full of training equipment, the other empty space. Inside,
his heart raced. His mother stood watching. She was dressed in a blood red
corset bodice, skirt slitted up to her upper thigh and hair in its usual
elaborate form; no ceremonial garb he noted to his relief. Beside her stood
Zebeycyrl. Xullafay would have been had she not been at the Academy. As Nilrae
entered, Rhylaun and Izzmurss entered; Rhylaun bowing with a greeting, “Ilharess.”
Then stood to her right.
“Enter,” the matron called out.
Nilrae did, as did two female soldiers, one
leading a goblin on a chain leash. The goblin was lead to the side opposite the
door and stopped. Matron Shyntyl waited for Nilrae to appear before him, but
otherwise ignored the boy. Nilrae bowed in respect, his eyes trained to stare
at the floor and waited. The matron nodded to the soldiers, one casting a
temporary paralyzing spell on the goblin. The other soldier took out a tiny key
and unlocked the slave collar from around his neck, the collar and chain
clanking to the floor. Then the soldier pulled forth a rusted dagger and tossed
in into the center of the room.
Nilrae was still confused, his eyes peeking
to watch his peripheral. The matron nodded again, a dispel releasing the
parlalzation on the goblin. The goblin remained still, fearful for his life,
knowing full well it was likely to be ended. With a mischevious grin, “Kill
him,” the matron called.
Yet to who was up for interpretation. The
goblin hesitated only for a minute before he headed to grab up the dagger.
Nilrae waited as if for directions, watching the slave come at him with the
crude blade. At the last moment, Nilrae rolled away at the weak stab, moving
with ease out of range. Again he looked back to his audience as they only
watched. Nilrae dodged another clumsy stab. He was beginning to understand. The
goblin sensed a pause and took the opportunity to rush the drowling. Nilrae, in
front of the wall, stealed himself then at the last second, drove onto the
floor. The goblin overbalanced tripped over the boy and smacked into the stone
The audience watched amazed by the ingenuity
and quick thinking drowling. “He can improvise well,” the weapon master said,
“and reflexes on par of any true Kilanatlar.”
“Intelligent mind, less…steady in the face of
death with his spells,” Izzmurss added, “yet cable of
completing the spell with precision.”
Zebeycyrl scoffed a few times. All she cared was he survived
enough to be taken off her hands. Tho she had to admit, he was doing well for
having just been flogged and untrained. Matron Shyntyl seamed deep in thought
as she watched her youngest son with interest.
Nilrae didn’t waste his time, the words formed on is lips
and his hands moved the correct pattern. Purple rays of magical force energy
shot from his fingers to slam into the goblin. It knocked him down, seriously
injuring the goblin, yet it was not dead. Nilrae then ran to the otherside of
the room, slidding twords the soldiers to scoop up the chain and collar. The
soldiers moved to the side still eager to watch the small fight. Nilrae spun
the chain as a lasso, yet it took longer than he intended to get going, again
allowing the goblin an opportunity. Dagger leading, the goblin moved in, just
as the chain’s end with the metal collar came at him. The goblin ducked to the
side thinking the boy missed. It was not aimed for his head. Metal hit stone
then scraped as the tug pulled it back. The quick yank enough to jerk it into
the goblins backside, and send him sprawling forward. Nilrae then pulled the
tiny knife he kept in his boot. Using another spell, he propelled the blade into
the goblin’s arm. The boy cheered as it sank. However the goblin still wasn’t
dead; struggling to get up, blood poured from the wound.
“Finish him,” came from the matron, who in reference still
up for interpretation.
mentally nodded rushing in to slide in the blood puddle and propel himself to
knock over the slave. Nilrae elbowed and punched from his spot on the floor,
causing the rusted dagger to clank onto the floor. A lousy kick to the stomach,
he picked up the blade and spun to stick it into the goblin’s abdomen. He held
it there, more blood leaking from the hole to add to the mess he was already
laying in. Then for good measure, Nilrae jabbed it in further, twisted it and
then slid it out. The goblin fell to the floor to bleed out.
applauded the blood soaked boy before turning to the matron, “As I said. A fine
Izzmurss and Zebeycyrl held their tongue waiting for their
mother to speak. Nilrae got up, his breath heavy from the excertion, and knelt
before his mother. She held the decision of his future.
“The blood on
your hand heralds you in the presence of your kin,” she said calmly, “a battle
mage seams most suited to you. Thus you will train with the weapon master and the house wizard until your time for
Rhylaun look at Izzmurss
with an almost unspoken challenge. Of course the wizard could care less,
another wizard or another warrior. Nilrae remained in his submissive position,
not sure how to think that moment. Careful to not show his excitement of
getting away from Zebeycyrl. As soon as he was dismissed he’d have to tell
Zarae the wonderful news.
“Begin at the first waking hour,” the matron spoke to the
weapon master with an underlining threat, “train him in everything. But he is to continued lessons with you Izzmurss. How
you two males decide to work that out, I care not. But I expect him to be
casting spells as well as a first year student by the next 4 years.” With those
last instructions, Matron Shyntyl walked out.
Dec 14 11 2:55 PM
had wrestled with going back to her quarters and staying out of trouble….not
likely, or following. Curiosity won over apathy and she too found herself on
the second floor at the gym door. The only entrance to watch and not get caught
was the war-strategy room. They had been banned from the room after one of their
games caused a major mess in there. Half the maps were permanently ruined.
Neeryrd had gotten the worst punishment as it was his responsibility at the
time. Something Nilrae appreciated. Though the twins had not escaped the
lashings of their sister.
girl slipped down the hall, past the open gym door and to the large locked
room. Pulling out her lockpicks, a set acquired with the help of one of the
house soldiers, she set about working on the lock. The lock was difficult and
uncooperative. Worse, she was missing the action. Her mother’s words echoed
enough for her to hear from her position. Followed by soft thumps. Zarae was
torn between continuing or watching from the door. By the time she got in it
might be over. Sighing in defeat she pocketed her tools and headed back to the
large double door of the gym. Inside the weapon master applauded and her
mother’s instructions began with her blood soaked brother kneeling. A goblin
laid dying in the center of the room.
grumbled, she’d miss the entire…whatever it was. By the time she realized it,
the matron was standing at the door staring down at her youngest daughter, that
same amused smirk. ‘Uh oh,’ and ‘busted’, blurted across Zarae’s mind.
you have saved me the trouble of summoning you,” her mother began, placing an
arm on the daughter and guiding her twords the stairs, “let us meet in the
obeyed, not daring to question the supposed affection from the matron mother. Zebeycyrl
quietly followed, her eyes seething. She also wisely held her thoughts knowing
her mother could read them if she so chose. The second daughter wondered if the
girl knew how to get back at her sister in the cruelest way. Ff Zarae was to pretend
to fail… Zebeycyrl shook her bone white hair. The girl feared their mother more
than anyone, exept perhaps the Spider Queen. Failure meant death. Matron
Shyntyl turned to look back at her second daughter with that knowing look
before directing all three into the chapel.
The dome chamber light up as the eight braziers came to life
with a dull orange glow. The same lingering smells filled the room to a lesser
degree. Zarae’s steps slowed, as the awful memory of a few days ago fell back
into the forefront of her mind. The matron had a purpose in bringing the girl
here. The girl breathed in deeply and held her head up boldly and strode forth
to the raised platform with bravado. She looked back at Zebeycyrl, crimson eyes
boring into her sisters rose orbs followed by an unusual evil grin. Matron
Shyntyl, reading the girl’s mind, chuckled. She would let her youngest pay it
out, and then got down to business.
“Begin,” she called to her assassin daughter as she stepped
up to stand beside the red stained altar.
Zebeycyrl was ready to strangle the girl. Forty-five minutes
and she had gotten nowhere with the girl. Only enough to make the matron not
lash out at either daughter. Matron Shyntyl spent the time amused more than
anything, listening in on Zarae’s thoughts. The girl was audaicious to tempt
such a volatile assassin. And with such dark thoughts running through the girl,
it held hope for Lloth’s plans to be accomplished. The girl’s weaknesses were
being weaned out. Zarae had her own chaotic way that was different than any of
her daughters. Shyntyl had to appreciate that. But sooner or later these games
would displease the Spider Queen. Lloth would grow bored. And if the girl was
not a proper priestess by that day, the youngest daughter would be given in
“What are The Five Tenants?” Zebeycyrl tried again,
returning to previous topics.
“Hands. Throat. Pain. Death. You,” Zarae spit out in a threatening manor as she could.
Zebeycyrl fed up, back-handed the girl knocking her to the
floor. The snake headed whip found its way into her hand, reared back to make
its first blow. The snakes hissing their excitement.
“Enough!” the matron called to both, “time of games is
Zebeycyrl gave a ‘ha’ look to the girl but obeyed the
matron. Zarae picked herself up off the floor and swallowed hard. Thinking deep
she tried to recall what she had been required to memorize. Closing her eyes
“Death is strong;
But Lolth is stronger.
Time rules long;
But She rules longer.
She solaced our woe
and soothed our
And what shall we do
Without her guidence?”**
The Matron nodded her approval then bade her youngest daughter
“She sends us pain,
and we bow before her;
She smiled again
and bade us adore her;
Zarae hesitated trying to remember the rest. Each word still
so strange to the girl who was still only really giving lip service to the
Spider Queen. Yet as she spoke the words they became easier. Then her eyes
opened and the last of the song prayer sprewed forth,
“She is hungry and
eats our children; - how shall we feed her?
She takes our young
males and our maidens; - ours to obey her!
We are loathed and
feared and reviled of all Elvenkind; that is our pride.
She feeds us, protects
us, loves us, and kills us; no longer shall we hide
She is Evil and huge
and beautiful! She is our mother!
She is lustful and
lewd! - Spider Queen; we have none other!
In the day she was
hidden from us, but we found her moaning in the shade.
We shudder and give
her our will in the darkness; we are afraid.
“Test me, Quarval-sharess.”**
“What are The Five Tenants?” the matron asked.
Zarae cleared her throat again to begin, pausing to try to
recall them correctly,
“Chaos- A formless
thing, ever changing. Chaos is the essence of creation and change. Chaos is
what we are.
children of Lloth. There is no creature more sacred.
Darkness- It is a
gift from Lloth. In darkness, we will rise.
Power- to be sought.
to be embraced. It encourages ambition and opens the path to strength. It
eliminates weakness. Only the strongest, most devious, and most cruel live or
deserve to survive.
Death- The path to
assencion. A holy art form within itself. Death to Lloth’s enemies. Death to
The last bit had the extra emphasis for good measure more
than any real reason to wish for her surface couisn’s death; she remembered the
reactions it illicited and hope it would work in favor for her. Zarae breathed
a sigh of relief, surprising herself that she managed to recall of all of it
like she did. Now she had to hope no spell casting was required of her. Even if
spells proved favor, that was one area she would fail.
“My daughter has changed so much since we last met like
this,” the matron started, “how far you have come. But simplly spitting out of
rhetoric and rhyme will not save a worthless hide.”
Dec 14 11 2:58 PM
Nilrae jumped up and down a few times in what could be
considered a jig as soon as his mother and sister left. Free! He was free! Or
well, free from Zebeycyrl. He would now be allowed to learn the art of swordcraft
and become a trained wizard. The house wizard, after debating with the weapon
master for a few minutes turned to Nilrae.
“Today you will begin a lesson with me. Weapon master
Rhylaun, depending on other circumstances, will begin his regiement for the
next month. Then you will spend days with me and so forth. Understood? Wipe
that smirk off boy!”
Nilrae nodded, his face still alight with the joy of having
escaped his older sister. He tried to look dower, but was unable, Rhylaun only
laughing at both.
“Early on the hour, maton mother’s orders!”
Nilrae followed his brother to the lab. Sitting at his desk,
he pulled out his spell book and set it before himself, closing his eyes as the
candle was lit. Books were placed on the desk followed by a vial of the
expensive glowing ink. The next few hours were spent in silence, Nilrae
researching and studying for new spells, Izzmurss working through his
calculations and plans for the Master of Sorcere.
“It is time you got a familiar,” the wizard said. Three
hours had passed, and Nilrae had not even noticed, “A trip to House Vharzyym’s
stall will be worth while.” The wizard had changed into travel gear, a deep
blue robe with few abric details, his crimson house piwafwi, and worn boots.
His house insignia was pushed into hs neckpurse as he grabbed his staff. The
adamantine staff was tall as the wizard, the four prongs at the end holding a
fist size ruby that glowed with a dull reddish throb.
“Familiar?” Nilrae asked making a quick note of the wizard’s
“A creature or being magically link to you, in your
service.” As he spoke, a dog like creature with black velvet-smooth skin,
upright pointed ears, and leaflike projection nose similar appeared. Sensitive
whiskers were sprouted over his maw. To add to the strangeness, it has small
eyes and a slender build. It sat at its master’s heels, giving a few sniffs
then looking on at the boy.
“Is that a…”
“A cavvekan, yes.”
“They are so rare. Can I pet it?” his hand reaching out to
touch the nearly furless being.
“No!” Izzmurss scolded. Then turned to the cavvekan, “stay.”
Nilrae drew his hand back quickly, following after the
wizard who was heading out the door. “Are we walking? I haven’t been taught to
ride the lizards yet. Can I also get one of those? Or maybe a cave bat. Snakes
are good too.”
“I am beginning to see Zebeycyrl’s problem,” he mumbled, still
loud enough for Nilrae to hear.
retort was about to come forth, but Izzmurss had pulled forth his
spell book, thumbing to the right page. His trained voice spoke the words, his
free hands forming the right gestures. The page glowed with the building
magical energy. The air shimmered and a space opened up; a portal gate stood
their in the hall. Nilrae stood dumbfounded by the powerful magic.
“Enter,” Izzmurss ordered.
Nilrae hesitated, unsure to trust his brother after the last
comment. The wizard grabbed Nilrae’s tunic and push him forward into the gate
before himself gracefully stepping through. Both found themselves in the city
market. The hustle and bustle of the business hours had long calmed. Only a few
were about wondering the streets and alleys freely. Izzmurss oriented himself
then lead the way to the shop.
Their building’s outside was plain compared to most of the
cities buildings, simple stone walls mostly untouched. Of course it was covered
in different hues of faerie fire. What carvings were seen included creatures of
all sorts, many non-native to the world of the drow. The front was carved with
spiders and arachnid creatures. Nilrae made out aranea, chitine, and choldrith among the spiders. Atop the door hung
a sign of zurkhwood, the underdark mushroom
that was often used like trees on the surface. Carved into the sign was
Vharzyym’s glyph: A mushroom with four blades. In the mushroom was a script of
the first letter of the house name. Nilrae had heard little of the fifth house.
Only what most knew- house that specialized in exotic creatures from across
Toril. It was suspected that most the noble house was skilled in some druidic
magics, rare among the underdark races; rarer among the drow.
Inside the shop, everything changed.
Cages lined the back wall, in rows and filled almost every
space. Small to gigantic, cages were filled with creatures Nilrae had never
seen before; from birds to felines to canines to reptiles. A half wall
separated the shop into two unequal parts. On the other side was equipment,
supplies and basic care needs for many of the creatures. Small zurkhwood
plaques hung on each cage with the creatures name and a simple description of
basic care. Near the door a two foot counter with a short linky male stood. He
was dressed unusual- green tunic, green being a rare color in the underdark,
and brown leggings. Shoulder guards were leather and covered with thick black
fur. His tan leather belt held an adamantine sickle. His cloak, which was hung
on a hook beside the counter and a quarterstaff, was made of grey fur. A
leather and mithril helment covered half his head and his cropped stark white
“Welcome to my humble shop,” his head nodded in
acknowledgment of the higher station male who entered. The druids’s accent was heavy
and raspier, influenced by another city or locale. “I am Bhaern
Vharzyym. Eldest son of Matron Alulove
Izzmurss walked over to the counter while Nilrae began
wandering around to all the creature’s cages. He stopped first in front of
large feline creature, tanish orange with thick black stripes. Nilrae read the
first line of the plaque, “tiger; juvenile, female.” The feline yawned, its
amber eyes watching the boy before returning to it nap. He then walked over to
another row of cages. He knelt down to see a furry white rodent with long ears
and reddish eyes. “Rabbit; adult, male.” He continued on reading every one that
interested him. Many had suggestions for care in housing the creature, some
preferring places near the surface. Reptiles were stored on the furthest wall,
their cages heated with magical stones. A great number of lizards and snakes
were curled upon these stones. Another cage was half water with shell covered
reptiles. “Turtles,” the boy had learned.
“Does the deal work?” Izzmurss asked the druid. “My matron
is willing to compensate well for such alliance.”
“Why does she speak through her elder boy?” not sure he
believed the wizard.
“Who would suspect? No matron in their right mind would make
such important alliances through a male.”
“What does she know that MaeVir doesnt?” the obvious objection.
“Matron Alulove knows more than you do. I can assure you.
All I am to seek is an answer.” He handed the sealed parchment to Bhaern.
“What benefit do I
get from passing this on to her to begin with?”
Izzmurss smiled, rare for the usually few word stoic wizard.
He then unfurled a second parchment, the term and rewards of the alliance.
Another document was pulled forth, this one a map with script on the right
“This is fake.”
“I kid not,” the wizard’s smile gone.
“How has this remained unknown or unoccupied?”
“The location’s path
is treacherous in small numbers. Yet to keep it underwraps no more than one
small fishing boat can go.”
“Very well. I will handle the parchement. And return your
notice when you pick up your next order,” the druid replied tucking it into his
green tunic’s secret pouch.
“Have you made up your mind yet?” Izzmurss’ voice called to
Nilrae, “keep in mind the task of binding it to yourself and your lack of
“How about the quaggoth
looking creature,” he replied running back over to read the name, “bear, black;
Bhaern spoke first, “I doubt you can
handle such a creature. Those get to be over 200lbs and stand as tall as a quaggoth. Plus they make bad familiars in our
cities, territorial and aggressive with extremely large appetites.”
Izzmurss gave a look at the druid for
his interruption, “No,” to the boy.
“Tiger?” Nilrae called back.
Izzmurss growled his no, Bhaern trying
hard not to laugh. Nilrae then headed to the snakes, trying to decide which
among the dozen he wanted. Finally he settled on a black snake with an
arrow-head shape. He pointed out the mlarraun to Bhaern who got a cage ready to
hold it. Secure and unable to escape, Izzmurss pulled out the gold to
hand over, exchanging it for the caged serpent.
“When will you have
dragazars?” the wizard asked handing the small caged snake to Nilrae.
“Possibly a tenday,”
Bhaern replied, “maybe longer. The patrol out has
not seen signs of any nesting grounds.”
“Wait, can I get one of those?” having
seen one of the batlike creatures onboard the Siasta. They were often call night hunters, a full grown adult with
a seven foot wing span. They were known to have better sight than even the drow
and made aggressive pets.
“Your purchase is done.”
Nilrae whispered under his breath, “all right…” thinking of a name, “Vyk'zlade!
Lets get you home.”
out in the marketplace, a small group had gathered, sounds of combat and
spellcasting in the middle of the crowd. Nilrae ran twards the crowd, Vyk'zlade
slithering around the cage due to the sudden movements. In the midst two drow
male were fighting. Both were covered in deep red gashes, charred leather armor
and panting heavily from the fight. Sweat covered their faces, ran in their
eyes and matted their hair to their head. The smaller male chanted out another
spell to strike his opponent. The older wizard-warrior dove to avoid the
magical missiles that slammed into his back.
Nilrae tugged an onlooker’s grungy shirt, “whats the
“Get lost kid!” he replied shoving the drowling back.
This made Nilrae more determined. He slipped through most
the crowd, then knelt to watch between legs and feet that refused him front row
view. He learned through small talk it was some kind of rite. The winner proves
their worth and gains additional magic or position. The loser, assuming they
survived, was often demoted, maimed, or transformed into a drider.
Another barrage of missiles shot forth from the smaller male.
He took a deep breath then began another spell. Nilrae noticed a few
differences. This male was casting spells much like he was learning, yet he
didn’t not appear trained in the same manor. Even managed to repeatively cast
the same ones over and over with no spell components. A dagger flashed as the
older male was back on his feet, the blade soaring from his hand into the
shoulder of his enemy.
“What are you,” Nilrae asked himself fascinated by the
male’s magical abilities and cheering him on secretly.
Another set of spells, flaming arrows, shot forth to lick
the wizard-warrior, followed by acid arrows and more purple force missiles. The
wizard fell forward, slow to get up. The smaller male was atop him in seconds brandishing
a wicked curving blade. Half the crowd cheered as the others called out
insults. Nilrae saw as the male knelt down and whispered before sliding the sharp
edge into the back of the facedown male.
Soon the crowd disapatied and Nilrae returned to an annoyed
“Sorcerers are pathic lazy spell casters who never learn the
fullness or true power of the Arcane. Sharp tongues and short fuses. They rely
on instint and emotion, calling it natural talent. No control or restraint. Resentment
for discipline. No respect for the Art.”
“It looked like he was doing prudy good to me.”
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