Nilan paced the tattered rug in his wife’s tree house. The moon was high in the night sky and the assassin had decided to spend the rest of the night out here, though in truth he had found little rest. For the drow, the day had been eventful. He had been granted passage with the ranger, Lorsalian, and his band of adventurers on a mission that involved a lead he had been trying to follow up on for many many moons. Though his source had given him information regarding raided caravans, a group called Shieldbrothers, and paladins of Torm, Nilan preferred to make his own conclusions when it came to its veracity, or lack there of. Kang was someone Nilan had dealt with in the past, and betrayals and falsities were common place between the two.
Nilan recalled the last encounter which resulted in him departing the guild master’s territory at the point of a poisoned dagger, though the information gleaned apparently had ‘paid off’, so to speak. Nilan slid into a comfortable chair with a sigh that was neither one of relief or relaxation. He had waited patiently for the opportunity to present itself regarding the paladins. Torm follower or Shieldbrother, a paladin was a paladin when it came to a drow as far as Nilan was concerned. There had been one or two exceptions to that rule, Idrial the knight of Tyr, for starters. However, when it came to Torm and these Shieldbrothers, the assassin wasn’t about to take the chance. Instead he waited. Now he had accompanied a band of halfelves and elves to Havenport, to quite possibly learn about these paladins.
Nilan placed his head in his hands trying to sort out what they had discovered. When Lorsalian had mentioned that an aboleth might be a clue to the missing knight, the drow immediately had mentioned the ‘Underdark’. He had seen aboleths before….on the way to the Lloth city of Menzoberranzan. Nilan had hoped he was wrong, but when Lord Entropis had mentioned Rsstixston, the drow knew he had guessed ‘right’.
Groaning, the assassin leaned back into the chair gazing intently upon the tree branch woven ceiling. The Underdark was the last place the Vhaeraunite wanted to be. Too much had transpired there, too much had gotten turned around in all directions, too many webs threatening to entangle him. His hand involuntarily went to his chest where the Lloth Priestess Itasha had cruelly burnt his flesh in a gruesome brand depicting a spider web overlaid with a simple full-face mask in the likeness of a female. He had managed to keep his life that day, but things began closing in around him. Nilan sighed, knowing full well the fate that awaits him should things further unravel. A Vhaeraunite in Lloth’s city would fetch a high price and Lloth’s favor to the House that captures Vhaeraun’s Hand.
But things got further complicated when the tattooed elf exile’s name was mentioned. Now there was a real problem, and Nilan knew it. The wicked elf knew too much, knew too much about him for certain. Nilan recalled the times he had laid eyes on that one. Once during the war, Nilan had met him as he is. But recently, he had met him with the Lloth Priestess Itasha. Silence was an expensive thing to procure, and there was only one thing the damnable elf seemed interested in. And he wasn’t the only one. Nilan cursed and tightened his fingers around ‘Shadow’s’ hilt. The sentient blade hummed eerily pulsing rhythmically in the assassin’s grip, giving off an almost calming and soothing effect.
Now it seemed the rangers needed to gain audience with Rsstixston if they were to locate the happenings and whereabouts of this paladin. Nilan recalled Lord Entropis’s words as best he could, “Only with one who has dealt with Rsstixston might you hope to gain audience there.” Nilan had indeed dealt with Rsstixston in his capacity with the Lloth priestess. He could do it again. But it was a risk… If the Lloth priestess discovered his treachery in the use of her seal to gain audience with Rsstixston, he would have considerable explaining to do. If she discovered that his treachery was completed in the company of surface elves… well, the drow didn’t even want to think of the results. If this exiled tattooed elf got involved, Nilan was certain the end result would be the same… or worse.
The assassin thought for some time on the situation. It indeed was a great risk, one that he would take if the situation presented itself. Perhaps he could help Lorsalian and the elves, if only he could get them to also help him. Nilan smiled at the irony of it all. He hoped the message he had sent with the ranger Lorendel had made it to Lorsalian. He closed his eyes pondering if both he and Lorsalian, drow and elf, could understand each other. He hoped so…..
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