He decided not to start out with accusations. The wizard had clearly avoided defending his own home but he seemed busy with something else? Its importance was unclear to the hunter but it seemed clear the Drow was desperate to achieve something. “Your tower is secure wizard.” He made the statement with authority. The tone almost questioning what the wizard was doing? As he did he heard foot falls behind him.
“Huh?! Yes, yes, good” comes the response from Vizeran without taking his eyes off the book
Ilia Ferrelle Ilia
Ilia began to slowly follow Eran and the others, trying to maintain a composed facade while he made sense of the maelstrom that had ploughed through his mind. He had heard, and even felt, screams of utter agony. The sound had burst through his nerves, spreading out across his body. The pain and disorder was so great it clouded his concentration and fractured his recollection while its legacy persisted.
He now picked his way through the aftermath of the storm, a stranger in his own mind. He recalled the condescension and contempt that met him over the dagger, and a flash of an uncharacteristic rage flared. He abhorred their arrogance. The casual collection of assumptions they bundled into vacuous packages labelled ‘life lessons’. The sort of tavern-wisdom found in the more pathetic quarters of Neverwinter… The rage stirred inside… “How dare they… and to me.. of all people,” he muttered in disgust, “Eran too. I trusted him.” His lip curled in fury. He found himself clutching the dagger, slowly unsheathing it. “It is for me to decide who lives and who dies by this dagger, no one else,” he thought. The scrape of the bladed against scabbard sang to his ears, urging the blade to be drawn.
Loic’s voice came across the din of the others, unexpectedly bringing with it a small moment of clarity. “He’s alive… Valdasar has saved him, thank the gods.” The first ray of hope he had felt since adventuring in this forsaken Underdark. He moved to join the others, then hesitated at the foot of the stairs. “They will take it away. Loic will try to use it for himself. He will do anything to further his power.” His fingers touched the pommel of the dagger. “They cannot be trusted.”
A streak of pain momentarily flashed through his head, was gone and suddenly Ilia felt weary. There were too many people up in that tower, too many voices. He was struggling enough with the ones in his head just now. He would sit outside, in the cold, dark air, with Jag and try and find some calm. Perhaps an opportunity to talk quietly would come. He expected sooner or later Eran would want answers, as perhaps would the rest. He slipped silently away and found a deep shadow at the base of a large, ancient stalagmite. He sat down, wrapped himself in his black cloak, and let Jag nestle beside him, He turned to the cat, “Rouse me if someone comes my way.” And with that he began to trance, hoping that he might find some peace, and a little less anger.
The small meaningless acknowledgement from the Drow began to stir the anger in his gut. He stepped forward, but only a step. To travel any further might lead him to wrapping his hands around the Drow’s throat. He bit his lip, to stop the fury of his words. The salty taste of sweat and iron from the blood filled his mouth.
He looked back in gesture of disbelief hoping to see Ilia behind him but it was Raddan coming up the stairs. The support was welcome but he really wanted Ilia close at this time. He closed his eyes to get a sense of Elf, he’d been wise enough to know the rogue may slip away during the aftermath. So he had moved his hunters Mark spell onto him, in an attempt to track him down if he did. He was nearby, outside the tower, he would go to him after dealing with this wizard, he thought.
Turning back to him. “We nearly lost people defending this place for you!” He kept his tone cool and stern. " A simple explanation of why you are ‘here’ and not involved in the defence of ‘your’ home would seem like and obvious curtesy at this point." He said with enough force to grab his attention.
VizeranVizeran looked up from his desk and there was pure anger and hatred clearly visible in his eyes.
“This is my home and until I brought you and your companions to it I had enjoyed centuries of peace and security from the prying eyes of the drow priestesses.”
He straighten up and walked over to one of the shelves looking for a book, his demeanour calming somewhat as he did so.
“I felt confident when the attack began that you and your companions would be able to stop the attack quickly and you did, so I wasted no time in trying to find out how they managed to find me. My home is covered by the most powerful magics known to man, if I hadn’t been with you when you approached it you wouldn’t have seen it at all.”
“Those spells are all still active, I even tested it by stepping out of my tower for a moment and attempting to use divination magics to view the battle but I could not, I was blocked by the magic that protects it. There are many ways to fight a battle young half elf, and missing out on one assault to ensure we do not face another is a far better use of my time.”
He pulled the book down and began reading it.
“Now this location is not safe we need to leave here as soon as possible, I suggest you begin your search for the ingredients while I go separately to confirm my suspicion that it is you the drow tracked to my home, I will meet you all once you are done, here take this” he hands Eran a piece of parchment “when you have all the ingredients write me a message indicating such and I will contact you back with a time and place to meet you to create the black heart jewel, i will stay as close to Menzoberranzan as I can without drawing attention.”
Without another word he was back at his desk looking over his books not once looking up to acknowledge whether or not you agreed with him
Eran took the parchment and the scolding looks that came with it. He could lash back at the Drow but it served no purpose to argue with him. Which ever way this battle ended this Wizard had lost his home, he could not berate the dark elf for being bitter about it. The fact is they needed him and causing derision for the sake of it would not help the mission.
The wizards rant had brought up one important point though, one he’d already considered. They were being tracked as Loic had surmised, both the wizards had been sure the counter charms on this place would be sufficient to obscure Lolth and the other gods. So that meant they were either carry something else on them that was allowing Lolth and the Drow to track them or someone was informing on them? Eran didn’t want to consider the later, being suspicious of his allies would only doom the mission. So he considered the former instead, and there was only one thing he could think of that had a direct link to Lolth. Reaching into his pouch he pulled out the small chess piece of himself.
“Maybe I can save you the trouble.” He said with clenched teeth. Placing the chess piece on one of few clear spots of the table. “What do you make of this?”
Vizeran reaches out a hand towards the chess piece, with obvious curiosity. He stops before touching it himself.
“Where did you come across this?”
“A Lolth ambush” He wasn’t about to go into details. “Her design”
As Raddan re-entered Vizeran’s library, he shared a moment’s eye contact with Eran. The other man’s frustration and disbelief were apparent in that brief moment and after casting his eyes over the scene before him, the sorcerer felt his own, already substantial ire grow. He let Eran do the talking, observing in critical silence as was his usual way. At the idea of a drow showing courtesy, he had to stop himself shaking his head. If the paladin was anything to go by as an example of her people, that was the very last thing they could expect. When Eran demanded to know where the magister had been and Vizeran replied with equal fury, the sorcerer had to physically check himself. A quick twitch of his fingers was the only sign of his sudden, near overwhelming desire to send a fireball straight into the centre of the drow’s book. As Vizeran went on, Raddan held onto the fire within, choking the flames of his anger under an iron fist of discipline. The heat vanished and became a cold, dark hatred that well deep within. He’d done this once before and the bitterness hadn’t faded over the years. Now, in the face of the drow’s blatant disregard for what he clearly believed to be ‘lesser men’, Raddan found that well of dark, bitter water again and with every word Vizeran spoke, more icy liquid pooled in its depths.
When Eran produced the chess piece, Raddan felt the presence of his own token against his breast. It irked him that he hadn’t stopped to think about it much beyond his initial experimentation and a desire not to let anyone else get a hold of a ‘voodoo’ doll of himself. It seemed his usual sense of precaution had failed him, or perhaps backfired. And yet… As Vizeran examined the item, the first inklings of an idea began to form in the sorcerer’s mind. Despite his present anger, Raddan felt a grin tugging at the corners of his mouth. Spying an opening, he spoke for the first time since entering the room.
“I will not waste words on you.” he said simply to Vizeran. He wanted to, desperately, but the enjoyment of verbally tearing into the bastard would be a temporary and altogether useless reprieve. “I’ve been down that path before with the likes of you, I know how it ends. Easier to separate a dwarf from his gold than have you see how great a fool you are.” Having his entire family slaughtered and taking up a hidden refuge without planning an escape route should he be discovered. Leaving the defence of his home in the hands of strangers. Being more concerned with assigning blame for his discovery than fighting for his own life. Trying to work against the demon lords and expecting no reprisal. He reminded Raddan of a lot of men, none of whom he respected. As he continued, his every word dripped with scorn. “But I will tell you this. If at some point in the future your life hangs in the balance, I will return today’s favour.” The mask then turned to Eran. “When you’re done with him, there’s things we need to discuss.” He nodded at the game piece occupying the table. “Keep hold of that, at least for now. I’ve tried to destroy mine, but it seems resistant. If he-” and he jerked his head in Vizeran’s direction, “happens to know a way, don’t let him interfere with it.”
Without so much as a glance at the magister, Raddan stalked out of the room and started back down the staircase.
The scorn in Raddan’s voice was thick and evidently match his own, as he told Eran he needed to speak with him privately the hunter nodded an acknowledgement. Seemed Raddan too had come to some conclusion about the chess pieces. If they were the source of the them being tracked… ?? yet truly couldn’t be destroyed as he said… ?? something else would need to be done with them. They could not travel the Underdark with a target on their backs. He looked back at the chess piece, heeding Raddan’s warning he picked it back up. “You seem to know what this is Wizard? I would hear your thoughts.” He’s tone was still stern.
VizeranVizeran continues to stare at the location where the chess piece was. “I don’t know anything about what that thing is, however, it is obvious it was crafted with care evident by how accurate a likeness it holds, If you would allow me time to study it privately I might be able to glean more information from it?”
He then looks Eran straight in the eyes with a blank look on his face, and arms folded under his cloak
The Drow seemed honest in his request but Eran wasn’t about to give some effigy of himself to a stranger, a Drow at that. Especially when Raddan had warned him of such actions. Then something caught his eye. “No… I’ll look into myself” he said coolly.
He let a moment pass and then looked down, now done with the Wizard and his excuses, noticing a large book that had caught his eye. " Creatures of the Abyss: A translation of the original Celestial addition". He considered it was beyond time that he got an understanding of the fiendish creatures they were currently facing. Further more some of the component parts required for this spell involved hunting them. He picked up the apparent bestiary, felt the brittleness of the ancient book. “Some information on our ingredients wouldn’t go to waist, I’m gonna borrow this.” He gave the wizard little choice. Seemed common courtesy was in short supply anyway. He turned away to join Raddan.