CHAPTER SIXTY

 

UNDERDARK

11 of Nightal 1371, Year of the Unstrung Harp

By the time we had stumbled through the dry, brittle bracken and the prickly undergrowth of young firs surrounding the Seldarine's Circle my bare feet were bruised and bloody. It was as well. The minor ache in scratched and perforated toes distracted me from the throbbing pain, coming from the bleeding hole in my back. Omwo had dressed the wound with rags, torn from his spare undershirt, and forced a vial of healing potion down my throat, but if the revolting substance had any medicinal value, it yet failed to manifest.

The halfling streaked between the trunks of giant blue firs like a frightened hare, taking huge leaps and keeping his head low to the ground. His huge pack and instrument cases bumped up and down on his back. The sweet, melancholic note of a horn sounded at a close distance, followed by sharp words of command in High Elven, and the metallic barking of a dog. This did not bode well for us: soon enough, the guards would connect my disappearance with Ryndeth's violent death, and then nothing would keep them from organizing a full-scale hunt. As if spurred by the sounds behind, Omwo accelerated his flight along the narrow forest trail. I tried to follow his example, but my head was spinning from loss of blood, and my knees almost buckled under me. Dismayed at my weakness, I tugged at the narrow strip of cloth, bound around my brow, and winced. The stone on my forehead responded with a sharp, throbbing pulse.

Luckily, the next turn of the trail brought us to the swath of old pavement at the foot of a stony hill, overgrown with shrubbery and dry grass. A cracked marble staircase led downwards, to the threshold of a half-opened bronze door that looked surprisingly new. Two torches crackled in their brackets on both sides of the entrance to the grotto, but there were no sentinels in sight.

"We should take the risk," the little man squeaked, huffing and puffing like blacksmith's bellows, "You are bleeding like a pig. If we try to escape through the forest, their dogs will catch up with us in no time."

Once again, I had no strength to argue. It seemed we were doomed regardless of our chosen course. Yet by going under the hill, we had a small chance of delaying our capture. By the time the guards figured out our whereabouts, sister Demin might return from her meeting. Yet even if she did, there were no guarantee that she would bother stopping our execution. Sullenly, I nodded my acquiescence.

"Oh, do cheer up, Jonny," Omwo looked uncomfortable with my lack of optimism "I did haul your chestnuts out of the fire this time, had I not? And I promise to take care of you down below."

"Pardon me, for not shedding tears of joy," I grumbled, taking hold of one of the torches. "As far as I remember, the last time we were underground together, you nearly killed me with your dreadful panpipes. Please take care not to fall into thralldome again. It has a most adverse effect on the quality of your performance."

Thus we left the moonlit forest behind and ventured into the darkness.

...

"I admire your courage, Little One," Demin smiled at Miamla encouragingly, then raised her head to scowl at the smirking Copper Dragon. "And I can't believe we spent all that time discussing Greenberyl's nonsensical tricks! You knew I was desperate to make sense of things, and yet you kept Miamla's presence a secret, enjoying my bafflement," she scolded her counterpart. The dragon only guffawed, puffing a cloud of purple smoke from his nostrils.

"Miamla never wanted secret," the dragonette, replied sincerely.

Once again having transformed into her Elven form, and dressed into the brown hooded garb of a svirfneblin, Miamla was perched upon a piece of rock, next to Greenberyl's side. Her hands and feet were covered with cave dirt, while her pockets bulged with some suspicious items. Dangling her feet in the air, the wyrmling fed scraps of food to a pet rat in her lap.

"Greenberyl much fun to be. Sometimes forgets he be a grown up Wyrm."

"That he does," Demin sighed with a resigned smile, "He also happens to be our Guardian, bound by his oath."

"Must you be so prudent?" the dragon's voice boomed through the cavern like a bronze bell. "The Little One came to me asking for help. Her company is a rare joy, for she yet lacks the pompousness of her Silver ilk. She is also ingenious and brave of heart. I have yet to see a wyrmling of her age to succeed in passing all your locks and traps with no other help but that planar rodent of hers. I admit that her tale touched a string in my heart. And what would be a better way to dispel a bout of melancholy than a good joke? Now that you have heard her story from her own mouth, maybe you can do us all a favor and let her friend go? They should be on their way to Evereska as soon as possible. The time of indecision has waned away. In ten more days, the Winter Equinox will be upon us."

"Nobody can make a trip from Suldanessellar to Evereska in ten days," Demin reasoned solemnly. "Unless they use an elf-gate. And there was never such a portal established between Suldanessellar and other Tel'Quessir Realms, for our city is too young. Suldanessellar had reached her present size only after the Fall of Myth Drannor. Most of her remaining People don't remember the past glory of  Palurin'tel'Quessir. Their most vivid memories are those of the massacres of the Tethyran elf-wars, and of the double catastrophe of the Shattering. Even our mythal is special; it was never meant to support a large settlement, but had been thought out as a concord of brotherhood between the sub-races. Teu'Tel'Quess and Ar'Tel'Quess high mages had joined hands with the druids of Sy'Tel'Quess to create a weaving blessed by both Rillifane and Corellon." She paused, visibly distressed by her memories, and looked up at her listeners, wiping away the mist that clouded her eyes.

"Please excuse my digression, Honored Ones, but I cannot but weep when I remember the city's present situation."

"I will not hold a grudge against you for shedding a few tears," Greenberyl replied gruffly, "but you were talking of elf-gates and their use."

"The last time when the Evermeet Elders visited Tethyr, they had the circle of high-mages, maintaining the portal on the other side." Demin explained patiently. "So, unless Miamla and her 'friend' have a team of highly skilled mages willing to transport them to the Fortress-Home, they will never make it there in time."

"Joneleth has magic too," Miamla said stubbornly. "He can make an elf-gate for Miamla and himself."

"I have doubts about that, Little One. Such a spell would be impossible to master for someone like him. Besides, I still have serious questions regarding his intentions. "

...

Demin had only herself to blame for missing our entry. She had sent her sentinels away, and had left the doors to the lower levels open. We had passed through the ruined structure, looking for cover, and had been drawn by the spill of light and quiet murmur of the voices coming from the recess in the wall of the furthest vault.

"Let us deal with the matter like adults. Greenberyl, I shall take the wyrmling and her 'Joneleth' to the Queen, so that Ellesime can decide his final fate."

The priestess' stubborn resolve to continue her meddling with my destiny was the last drop that overflowed the cup of my patience.

"Have you even thought of asking my opinion?" I cried out in disgust. "I cannot be controlled by the likes of you and your Queen! Understand it and step aside, or reap the consequences of your blind zeal."

A strategically uttered phrase can have a most interesting effect on those unaware of your presence. Demin spun around, holding her heavy staff in both outstretched hands. All her shields and protection spells flared out at once, surrounding her sturdy form with a sphere of purple light, and a spectrum of buzzing auras of different hues. A golden bolt of energy shot from her fingers, hitting me squarely in the chest, and singeing my lungs with divine fire. I flew a few yards through the air, and landed on my already injured back. As a sharp jolt of pain went through my body, my head connected with a shard of rock, and everything went black.

...

Coming back to your senses is a gratifying experience, but when it becomes a habit, one should start thinking of changing one's life style. That was my first thought upon awakening under the three pairs of watchful eyes, staring at me with various degrees of concern. Miamla appeared happy and relieved, and Omwo's smile bordered on the edge of amused affection. Sister Demin eyes were focused on the spot between my eyebrows, right above the saddle of my nose. The expression on her face was hard to decipher, but the attention she put into scrutinizing my forehead was unsettling. Timidly, I raised my hand to touch the spot in question. Of course, someone had removed the strip of cloth that I had laid to cover the 'Kiira stone.

"Are you done with your shameless scrutiny, or shall I continue to play dead for your further amusement?" I sat upright on the slab of stone they laid me on, checking myself over.

Someone had taken good care of me while I lay unconscious. The horrid burn on my chest was almost gone, and what remained of it was covered with medicinal salve. I could not detect a single twinge of pain coming from my back. My head still hurt, but it was more of a regular headache than the residual pain of concussion. Demin stepped back, unrolling the sleeves of her robes and shaking her head in frustration.

"Some things never change," she said coldly. "And you will always remain your bitter, thankless self, even after passing through Hell, and escaping through the back door."

"Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Have you not begun our acquaintance by kidnapping me from the street, and continued the acquaintance by attacking without provocation?"

"I repaired the damage to the best of my capacity," Demin replied with a sneer. "You should have known better," she paused, gifting me with another heated glare, "then to creep up on me like that."

While she continued to fume at my impertinence, I briefly appraised my new environs. Judging by the stuffiness of the air and the scarcity of light, we were still underground. The chamber itself, looked like an appendix of a natural cave cut in the sandstone rock. A huge coal brazier burning in the corner, and a single tall chair completed the furnishings. Trying to look casual, I lowered my feet from the slab I was sitting on, but for now decided against walking. My muscles were too stiff and sore from prolonged stillness.

"Would you be so kind as to wait outside? I need to have a private conversation with your... friend," the priestess asked my two companions. To my great disappointment, both Miamla and Omwo nodded meekly and left, beaming me reassuring smiles.

Glowering like a storm cloud, Demin looked me in the eye, but her gaze soon crept back to the stone on my forehead. "I cannot disregard the Selu'Kiira judgment," she said finally. "Whether you are Irenicus' reincarnation, or his true self brought back from the Abyss, obviously the Seldarine have judged you worthy of another chance. I shall not stand in your way of redeeming yourself, however unfair I find the whole arrangement. You must go to Evereska and complete your quest."

"Rillifane remained silent when I tried to pray for guidance," she added after the briefest of pauses. "Now I understand why."

"I am surprised that someone among the 'People' is rational enough to recognize the truth." I replied gruffly. "What made you change you mind?" Her attitude had changed so radically and so quickly, that I could not decide if I should trust her sincerity.

"The halfling showed me the device that guided him to the site of the temple. It fits the description you gave me. I assume, Ryndeth took it from your pocket and disposed of it," she said unhappily. "The Crescent is a sign of Corellon's personal favor, and has a faint divine aura about it. Besides, I knew of this particular Selu'Kiira's existence since the Shattering. Ryndeth could not keep the secret to himself and confessed to Ellesime. Yet, I never thought it possible for it to accept you as a bearer. Can you... access its contents?"

"Alas, no." I had to admit, averting my face from her curious stare. "The stone has denied me its full mastery. I have very little idea what to do with it, and even less of what it can do to me."

"I suspected as much," she nodded with grim satisfaction. "A conscious bearer would be able to conceal it, not display on his forehead for all to see and covet. A stone such as this is mistress of her own fate. I almost pity you, Shattered One, for the trouble you were in before is nothing compared to what you will face with an unbridled 'Kiira stone upon your brow."

"You should worry about your own fate, not mine!" I snapped back. "I intend to handle the situation without anybody's interference."

"Perhaps you shall," she nodded in agreement ,"but before you leave, let me warn you. Whatever your agreement with the Seldarine, if you ever show up at Ellesime's court, plotting your 'revenge', I will exterminate you. I will hound your every step and if necessary, follow you back to Hell, but I will never let you hurt her again, whatever the consequences to myself."

"A remarkable loyalty." I said with a wry smile. "Even though she sent you away from her presence, as the new permanent envoy to Zaranda's court. A glorious Exile, would you not agree ? Have you angered my ex-'beloved' so badly, or is it her usual way to treat her closest councilors?"

"How dare you befoul Ellesime with your vile accusations!" The flash of anger in Demin's eyes assured me that I had hit the mark. "You... you are barely out of your grave, all memories of her love and loss wiped clean from your mind, and yet you already are up to your old tricks!"

"Oh, I would not worry much about my return to Suldanessellar, if I were you," I said calmly. "Whoever put together my geas, made sure that the Queen's very name causes me a bout of sickness. It is a bit better now that I am used to it, but the first time I dreamed of her, I nearly lost my meal. Unappealing as such protection sounds, it assures that I will stay away from her for the sake of my own well-being. I have no idea what adverse effects her presence in the flesh might cause me."

"Very clever of you," Demin turned white as chalk. With her dusky complexion, it was quite a feat. "And so very cruel. She will be devastated, of course, but it is better than what she would have had to face otherwise."

She paced back and forth between the tall chair and the exit, clutching her bag of medicinal implements, then turned back to me. In the uneven light of the brazier, the features of her plain face looked drawn , almost feverish, but her eyes glowed with bright intelligence.

"I shall bother you no more with my 'meddling' in your affairs, Shattered One," she said contemptiously. " Both the halfling and the dragon-child confided in me all they could. Unhappy as I am with Ryndeth's passing, he has made his own choice, and is now on his way to be reunited with his beloved in Arvandor. Adalon's death was confirmed, and I shall inform the Queen of her fate. Somehow I am not surprised that everyone whom you touch turns up dead or badly injured. You are an unlucky charm, Exile, even in your newly 'restored' state. If you want the ones who follow you to live long and happy lives -- let go of them, and venture out alone. You don't belong in a company of conscientious, caring friends."

"You'll achieve nothing by pelting me with lies," I sneered at her. "The dragon died protecting her hatchling, the fool overreached himself and was put down by the hand of a mummer. What does it have to do with me, and my 'bad luck'?"

"Lies?" She stared at me in disbelief. "The human girl who followed you tried to take her own life, whilst incarcerated for murdering her rapist, and you ask what it has to do with you?! I should have remembered that you disdain the fools who fall for your false charm; the fate of your favorite apprentice was archetypal in its misery."

"Murder? Rape? I had no idea... Is this yet another of your 'tests'? Have you concocted this story just to spite me?"

"And what would I gain from such a deception?" Demin snapped contemptuously, looking at me as if I was a slimy creature that was beneath her disdain. "Ask the 'mummer', who was so eager to risk his life for your sake, what happened to your human companion. He will have no reason to deny the truth. As for me, I am tired of this conversation. You disgust me, Exile, yet I cannot implore Celestial Coronal to correct his mistake. At least, he has weakened you enough not to threaten us anymore. Both your magic and your hunger for revenge were removed, much like the poisonous gland from a snake. You are a pale shadow of your former self, and if there is any justice left in this world, you'll remain this way." Here, take this back," She pulled a wyvern-shaped ring from her finger and handed it to me. "I will have nothing that reminds me of your latest return. Go away, and this time, don't come back! Greenberyl will show you to the surface, hopefully very far away from Suldanessellar."

"An act of basic thievery does not befit the high priestess of the Great Oak, " I replied coldly. "I care little for your scorn, priestess, but I will not have you hindering my progress. I demand that you return my spellbook and ingredients as well."

"I had no reason to carry your supplies along to Wealdath, Exile. You can find it all back in Darromar, if you care to return."

"I do not." I glared at her, stressing my disdain. "Sister Demin, you are a perfect hypocrite. If I fail in my task, by the Gods, I will count you responsible for that!"

"You should not have lingered in Darromar that long!" She retorted angily. "I am sure Greenberyl will have some scrolls and supplies to spare, if you bargain with him. He was eyeing the dragon-speech ring keenly enough." The priestess continued her pacing, giving me a contemptuous look. "It is not my place to question the Seldarine", she said finally, "and in all fairness you should not have been allowed to touch the 'Kiira at all. Still, let it not be said that I tried to oppose the Seldarine's will. The lore crystal's first and foremost function is to amass arcane knowledge. She will not allow you to see her content, but, perhaps, she will let you store and access what you've already learnt."

* * * * *

Whistling a little tune in tone with brisk motion of his hands, the halfling stirred the boiling water, dropped a handful of dry leaves, then lifted the pot from the flames of his tiny fire. Miamla chirruped happily, sniffing at the vapors of freshly-brewed tea, and helped him dig out the iron pan with oat flatbread, baked in the ashes. If one could abstract from the fact that the night above bore no stars or moons, the scene looked achingly relaxing, and even cozy.

But the fire was built of dry lake-weeds, and deep rothe dung, and the dark waters of the placid lake, at which side we had pitched our camp, teamed with blind, white-eyed fish, luminescent shrimp, and, likely, a hoard of monsters I preferred to know nothing about. We had trekked through he winding tunnels and lightless caverns of the lower Underdark for many hours, until finally the leader of our svirfneblin guides picked the spot he considered safe for a group as lame as ours. With my newly acquired stash of magic ingredients, and a set of sturdy equipment, purchased in exchange for the ring of dragon speech, I felt a little bit more confident. The other service that Greenberyl offered to provide was a tricky matter, with too many unknowns in the mix.

"Would you care for a cup of this heavenly brew? It is not likely that the dragon will return with results any time soon."

"You should not have lit the fire in the first place, but thanks," I accepted the chipped ceramic mug from Omwo's hands, wondering how under the blue moon he had managed to keep the pottery in one piece, during our flight from Correllon's Wood.

"The deep gnomes did not object," he pointed at our guides, settled in their own little camp, not a ten step away. The nearby clump of phosphorescent  mushrooms provided the svirfneblin with enough illumination not to step on each other's toes, but that was not enough for Omwo.

"They did not light the fire," I sighed tiredly. "You have no idea how far the light can travel in the dark. There are all sorts of horrors lurking in those tunnels, and at the moment, we do not have the benefit of Greenberyl's protection."

"His presence has scared away the nasties for miles away," the halfling shrugged at my fears. "And, unlike me, our little deep gnomish friends can see in the dark better than your regular mole. Miamla saw the scouts coming back to their leader with reports. They will warn us of any real danger."

Tired of pointless bickering, I resorted to silence, stretching my feet on the bed of dry lake-grass, and sipping at the proffered tea. I had plenty of other things to worry about. One of them was my lack of ability to store and memorize spells with the help of the Selu'Kiira. The experiment, conducted back at Greenberyl's lair, had been a complete failure. I had sensed the crystal's presence at the very edge of my awareness, yet accessing it was like trying to catch a small fish in a pool of numbingly cold water. Just when you though you were successful at clutching it in your hand, the creature slipped through your fingers with a mere flick of a tail.

I was agonizing over the possible solutions to that problem, when a soft hiss of steam interrupted my thoughts. Annoyed at the distraction, I looked up, noticing to my surprise that my words had had some unexpected effect. Miamla grinned at me, pouring the last drops of water from the small pail on wet ashes. My dark vision was sufficient to discern her child-like form waving at me from the side of quenched fire. Unlike Omwo, the wyrmlyng did not seem to have any trouble seeing in the dark. Satisfied with achieved results , she plopped back to her seat, chewing at her portion of the oat-bread.

 

"Now that I am blind as a tube-worm, you are happy again?" Omwo edged to my side. "It seems your opinion matters a lot to the dragon-child. Use your influence wisely, mageling, for she is at the age that takes no middle ground, and she took to you as if you were her substitute parent."

"You are imagining things," I objected vigorously. "Being an orphan at such a tender age, of course Miamla will seek guidance and protection from any adult. She used to look the same way at... ," the words froze in my mouth.

Ever since our argument with Demin, I did not dare mention Mirriam's name to anybody. Perhaps, I preferred not to know the truth, fearing the burden that her confirmed death would put on my consciousness. Yet the cat was out of the bag now, and I had no other options but to go ahead and ask my question.

"Did the girl return to the inn before you rushed off to my rescue?"

"I thought you would never ask," Omwo shook his head. "I have no idea what went on between you two on the night before Mirriam's flight from the Unicorn, but she sure chose a wrong person for a consoler. I assume you had seen something in the crystal ball, before you ran off into the night?"

"She was with Eldoth on the night when Demin's people grabbed me from the street. The bard must have satisfied her in some ways."

"I am not sure what do you call 'satisfaction', Jon." Omwo blurted out angrily. "But judging by the amount of blood spilled that night, Eldoth was not her type. I've talked to the official in charge of the murder investigation. He was quite surprised that the girl of our Mirriam's size could have done all that damage. Eldoth was virtually decapitated, all with the help of a small dagger."

Stumbling at first, but finding his way with words as he went along, Omwo laid out his tale. As the story unfolded, I could only praise the Gods that the halfling could not see my face in the dark. For after my first adverse reaction to the gruesome details had subsided, I was stunned to discover that I was feeling content. Finding out that the girl was alive had been a great relief. But what had really lifted my spirits, making me feel almost happy, was another discovery. Mirriam did not replace me with another by her own free will.

"Did you hear me at all?" Omwo tapped at my shoulder. "You've been awfully quiet, even for your usual bubbly self."

"That was not an easy story to digest," I replied neutrally. Under the cover of darkness, the corners of my mouth kept curving up. "That captain 'Haemon' sounded suspiciously like the smuggler that had fathered our young friends. It is interesting that he was looking for them, even as they were chasing him. I hope the girl will find some consolation in her father's presence."

"Do you have to be so maddeningly cold?" The halfling chided me. "She was terribly hurt, mostly because of your damnable attitude, and all you can say now is 'I hope she will find a consolation in her father'? Are you blind or deliberately cruel?!"

"I have no room for feelings," I replied smoothly. "All who would follow me of their free will, must do so at their own risk. I wish, I could go back to Darromar and tell the girl that I forgive her foolishness. Alas, I have no time for such diversions."

I heard a sharp intake of breath, then a string of expletives that I had never thought him capable of using. In few expressive sentences, Omwo covered my entire genealogy, then described some possible uses he could make of my head. I had never seen him been so angry before, yet I clenched my teeth and remained silent as stone.

"Look," he exhaled finally, "If you are trying to run away from the past, then sure as death, you are going in the wrong direction. I don't care what horrible crimes, you've committed in your previous lives; I don't care if your memory is full of holes, like a head of cheese ridden by mice. Whatever that Elven chit had to say about you, you treated us all decently, and I am accustomed to judge people by their deeds, not by idle chatter. But, Jon, you are really testing my patience here. If you want to start a new life for yourself, then how are you going to do it without forming attachments? The Elves have spurned you; lacking friends and family, you are not going to last long on your own."

Seeing that he was not going to get any response from me, the halfling spat on the ground, and moved to the other side of the camp, making a show of scolding Miamla for dousing his fire.

Inside me, everything vibrated like a pulled string. I felt confused, and at the same time, elated. While assessing my situation, Omwo had been correct in one important aspect. After all the humiliation that I had sustained at the hands of my Elven 'brethren', finding out that Mirriam's affection still belonged to me, was like a crust of bread, offered to a starving beggar. It was the feeling I intended to dissect and cherish, before going back to my failed attempts at meditation. The Selu'kiira could wait, while I tried to settle my emotions. Before long, I was seriously contemplating the idea of going back to Darromar, if only to recover my spellbook and supplies. The amount of investment that I had made into my magical effects was worth it.

 

"Is this how you belittle yourself nowadays?" Joneleth's voice crept into my mind almost too easily. "Some spectacle you've made of yourself! Happy as a child over the little human girl's affection. She is younger than the soles of your boots, yet you think of her daily. I am no longer sure which one of you two is the greater fool. You, for allowing her puppy love touch you in this way, or she, for dropping down her guard with that scum."

"Aren't you the one who scolded me for letting her go? " I reminded him gruffly. "All your rambling about her being important for our survival was for naught?"

"That she might be," he replied with hesitation. "But this does not excuse your jealous rage over her 'betrayal', nor your happiness over her 'recovery'. Sentimental fool! You have missed the most important part of the halfling's message!"

" I did not! The twins were rescued by the sea captain, who was likely their father."

"Is that all you could deduce from his tale? Truly, the human soul had degraded your intelligence. Saemon is a pest, and sooner or later he will make a nuisance of himself. But it is not him you should worry about most!

"Can you be a bit more specific for a change?"

As I put in the question, I could physically feel him struggle with the answer. A series of images, one darker and bloodier than another, flashed through my mind, then he stopped trying, cussing at the invisible barrier that thwarted his efforts to speak out.

"I cannot," he admitted sullenly. "But I can help you with another matter. "The Selu'Kiira is our birthright. I was told, it was secured in one of the Evermeet deeper vaults, yet all that time it was hidden right under my nose."

"Would you have tried to possess it, if you knew, by robbing your own mother? Supposedly, the Selu'Kiira has the ability to see into the bearer's intentions."

"You are the last person I would allow to pass judgment on me!"

"On the contrary, one should try to make amends with oneself. You are not denying that we are the two aspects of the same personality, do you?"

"You are a greater fool if you think I am falling for that old trick. I am confirming nothing, and denying nothing. I was going to offer my help in accessing the lore crystal, but only if you accept my set of conditions."

"What would it be, oh Illustrious One?"

"You will drop all and any foolish notions of returning for the girl. She is safe enough with Saemon, yet the peril you would face lies beyond the scope of your abilities. Complete your bargain with the dragon, and take whatever travel arrangements he might offer. With the help of the 'Kiira stone, we might succeed in activating the elf-gate in the forest of Shilmista. You must reach Evereska in time and earn our Spirit back -- this is the only way to unlock the Selu'Kiira's full power, and become the master of your own destiny."

"If I agree, will you come out of you closet, and give me my memories back?"

"Don't try to barter with me, foolish churl! I am offering you enough incentives already."

"Indeed, you have been awfully talkative, for a change. Am I to assume that the 'Kiira stone is the bait that lures you out of your bolt-hole?"

"You will assume nothing of the kind! Are you accepting my conditions, or shall I leave you to your miserable existence of a gnat?"

"It is remarkable to hear you humble yourself so... in your own mind. And, aye... I accept."

Palurin'tel'Quessir (elv.) - Elven World

Teu'Tel'Quess (elv.) - Moon (Silver) elves

Ar'Tel'Quess (elv.) - Sun (Gold) elves

Sy'Tel'Quess (elv.) - Green (Wood/Copper) elves

PREVIOUS CHAPTER
NEXT CHAPTER

BACK TO THE FRONT PAGE

Last modified on May 4, 2008
Copyright 2003 by Janetta Bogatchenko. All rights reserved.