Okay, new story. I mostly wrote it because I think dark elf guys are really cute and I wanted to write about a really cute dark elf guy. Please read, review, and be honest:)
I lay quietly in bed, my head resting on a silken pillow. The window to my room, barred and properly protected, looked out at the city. I could see the great clock tower of Narbondel and watch the glow rise slowly.
He, the one who started it all, slept beside me. His legs were drawn up tight against his chest, as if he was cold or protecting himself from something. His breathing was steady, except for the occasional whimper or gasp. I had long been convinced he had nightmares, but he never told me anything. If I brought up how he acted in his sleep, he would blush and apologize, but he didn't explain, and I didn't ask.
He was a sweet, timid boy, the younger brother of one of my acquaintances from House Kenafin. When he first came into my possession he wasn't in particularly great shape. His sister, though she was a fairly intelligent girl with a good sense of humor, did not deign to show mercy to her annoying male siblings. And, since she had such a marvelously fun-loving personality, Tebryn was quite an amusement to her. I am fairly certain that his night terrors had their origin in the games she played with him.
I, however, could never bring myself to punish him severely. He was well-behaved, obedient, and utterly proper. He had done reasonably well in Sorcere. He did not have any estimate of himself as anything greater than what he was, and he was thoroughly grateful to be allowed his life.
Until I met Tebryn, it had never occured to me that perhaps the whole situation in Menzoberranzan, the whole Lolth-driven society, was anything but normal. It was, after all, what every one of us was taught. What reason had I to doubt it? But when I saw Tebryn, such a sweet-tempered, dutiful boy, get punished for some trivial thing that had more to do with his sister's boredom than any misdeed committed by him, I could not help feeling at first, pity for him, then disdain for his sisters, then guilt on my own part. Of course, one cannot question one thing without questioning another, and then slowly the whole spiderweb begins to unravel.
Tebryn had been living with me for around two months by then, and the longer I observed the humiliation of his existence, and the longer I considered the fanatical behavior of my fellow priestesses, and the longer I studied Lolth's holy doctrines, the more I wondered and worried. And the more I became attached to Tebryn.
I was convinced that he was absolutely without guile. There seemed to be no fire in him, not even resentment at his way of life. He was content with his lot, grateful for his own existence, and utterly loyal. I never considered that he might have a thought process as complex as mine, nor a mind as highly developed. I wonder if perhaps that was because he was male-and I had been conditioned to think that way of males, or if his meekness and gentleness was the cause of my belief. At any rate, while I certainly was fond of him, I did not consider him my equal.
I did begin to develop some sort of respect for my elder brother Zhanji; he was an exceptionally talented and powerful wizard, and as I discovered the injustices present in Lolth's doctrines, I realized what determination and courage it must have taken for him to reach such heights. I have never told him my feelings, or otherwise conveyed my admiration. I wish he - and the others like him - were aware that at least one person applauded their achievements. He must have felt so alone.
At any rate, that is straying a little from the topic. As I said, the more I considered the drow way of life, the more I became apprehensive and the more affectionate I grew towards the thin boy who seemed a victim of the world in general.
There is a rule, created by Lolth and Her clergy, that if a priestess becomes overly fond of a male, she must kill him. It is a sensible rule. Fondness might grow into something stronger and then the priestess would have an entirely unnecessary weakness. It is unbecoming of a priestess of Lolth to be weak. Especially if the cause is a mere male.
I do not know who reported me. It might have been one of my sisters, or my mother, or maybe even Tebryn's sister. I only know that that morning as I lay lazily in bed, there was a knock at the door.
Tebryn stirred slightly, but did not wake. I slipped out of bed and into a robe. I threw the door open, ready to wreak my wrath on the poor fool who dared disturb me. My elder sister stood in the doorway, so I did not get a chance to vent my fury.
"Matron Mother wants you," she regarded me critically. "You should get dressed."
"Should I?" I closed the door and sighed.
So the Matron wanted to see me. It could be good news, it could be bad news, it could be nothing important. There was no use in worrying about it. I dressed relatively quickly, pulled the sheet over Tebryn, and left.
My stately mother awaited me in the chapel.
"Dearest daughter," she began.
I didn't think that sounded like good news. Not for me at least.
"You are aware, of course, that our exalted Lady of Spiders does not condone her priestesses being overly concerned about boys."
"Of course, Matron Mother." A cold feeling of dread rose up inside me, but I held true to my training and did not allow my emotions to show on my face or in my voice.
"You must always remember, dear Qilue, that the dread Lady of Spiders comes first in all things."
"Certainly, Matron Mother." I wished she would get to the point, but I had an uncomfortable feeling that I knew what this was all about.
"That Tabryn boy should probably be sacrificed, is what I'm saying." She smiled benevolently down at me. "I'm sure it won't be a big trouble for you, and you must prove your loyalty to Lady Lolth."
"Of course, mother." If a priestess did become fond of a male, it was not such a strange occurence. I would not be punished or looked down upon. I just had to kill Tebryn, tie him to the altar, cut his heart out with a knife, sacrifice him to the Queen of the Abyss. It was a simple rule, a simple procedure. There was no reason in the Underdark for the sea of panic suddenly swirling around inside me.
I bowed to the Matron and took my leave. I was expected to take Tebryn's life before the end of the day.
I returned to my room, where he still slept blissfully - or as blissfully as he ever did. I sat beside him and ran my fingers slowly through his hair. His eyes fluttered open and they tentatively met mine. I smiled at him and he beamed back at me. A lump rose in my throat, and for the first time since I was a child, I felt like crying.
I am not a good person. I have always yearned, thirsted for power. I feel that hunger with every step I take; that void in my soul that must be filled. I want strength more than anything. I want to know it and have it and hold it. I want the world to kneel before me. I want to destroy my enemies and all those who dare stand in my way. I have no honor, no principles, no morals. All I have ever cared about is myself.
So why did I question the Spider Queen? And why was it a big deal to kill one scrawny little male? I would just destroy him, I thought, and get it over with. I should probably drug him or something, so he wouldn't squirm about on the altar or plead for mercy. I told him to sit up, my voice breaking, and he readily agreed. I could see both concern and fear in his eyes, and some part of me longed to embrace him and comfort him. He knew something was wrong, and the more I stood there, staring fiercely at my hands, the more frightened he became.
"My lady...what's happening?"
"Shut up!" My hand leapt forward and I had slapped him. "When I want you to know, I'll tell you!"
His apology was barely audible and I felt shame welling up inside me. Half of me was shouting for me to take out my whip, beat him into unconsciousness, and offer his worthless soul up to Lolth within the hour. The other half of me was ashamed, guilty, and rapidly developing a way to save him-and myself.
Okay, there's chapter 1. I've alreadyfinished this story, but I might rewrite some parts of it later to make it better. I'm also considering re-writing Nym's Story, to make the story flow more smoothly and realistically. Anyway, thanks for reading and please review!