This is it. The final curtain. The end of two years work (not in one go of course I have a life to live) criticize away.
I will probably write sequels. Maybe… could be,,,
The steward walked in to find a very naked Kinara washing her clothes in the small basin filled with water. He quickly turned and without a hint of discomfort inquired if the young women would require a dress?
Jalen quickly remembered he had one in his bag, he quickly drew out the white gown he had taken from the pretty tiefling cleric of Loviatar.
"Here." He told Kinara and the steward both, "I have something for her. If you could return in a few moments more we will be ready."
"Very well sir." He said and left.
"What is that?" asked the half drow as she took the cloth bundle from Jalen's hand and spread it out. The light fabric was smooth and pleasing. And the cut of the gown was a splendid thing.
"I took it off a cleric, she had no use for it anymore, and I thought you might like it."
"Thanks Jalen." It did not bother the kindly half drow that the gown once belonged to an evil cleric killed by the man who bestowed it to her now. when you are brought up in Skullport you learn to take what life gives you, even when it is given with the life of an enemy.
"Put it on, it mends itself and stays clean. Even blood doesn't stain it."
Kinara gave him a surprisingly serious look "Blood should stain everything Jalen." She said quietly "If ever I should loose track of that while wearing this dress… "
"I'll be here to remind you, Kinara. I'll try anyway."
The beautiful sorceress nodded and put the dress on. She could feel the magical fabric hug her fit body. The dress resized itself, blossoming and narrowing in all of the places it mattered until Kinara felt it was tailored made for her. She threw her mind into the fabric, she tried tracking the enchantment like she did with all magical objects.
Interesting, she thought to herself as she discovered the part of the spell the dress used to change shape. She poured a bit of her own magical power into the dress and waited for the change she had asked.
Jalen saw Kinara concentrate and than the dress changed. The color turned into a rich cream shade and the sleeves shortened. The skirt parted and hugged Kinara's legs as pants do, it than parted again and grew a second layer of fabric to create a fluffier hem. The dress changed shapes a few time as Kinara scrutinized herself at the mirror. She finally settled on a sleevless dark red and brown, tight fitting dress with a teardrop cleavage. She looked spectacular.
"How is this? Elegant enough to meet a queen?"
"Elegant enough to meet a goddess." Jalen replied.
"Last time I did that I was in my leathers." They shared a bitter sweet smile and went out to wait for the steward.
The throne room was not the extravagant thing they thought they would find. The simple designs and lack of elaborate furniture only made the lady Alustriel shine even brighter.
She wore a long white dress adorned with golden leaf patterns. Around her neck hung a single bright pink jewel festooned by a silver chain. She was the epitome of human beauty, and for the first time in her life Kinara felt physically inferior to a full human.
Jalen looked over to his partner, yes, he thought, partners again, and reading the expression on her face whispered to her in a soft voice.
"Just remember that she is the daughter of a goddess."
It took Kinara a few moments to make sense of Jalen's comment but she threw an impish smile his way and the couple walked over to stand before the Lady of silverymoon.
They bowed before the lady drawing a blade and placing it at her feet.
"Please rise, I am no queen, and do not require a pledge of allegiance from all who seek my council."
The two warriors rose, a bit embarrassed, and sheathed their magnificent blades.
"I am told you were sent by my sister, you seek a safe way to enter Mithril Hall, is that correct?"
"Yes it is, Lady." Jalen replied. "We were sent by the church of Eilistraee to locate the dark elf ranger Drizzt Do'Urden and bring him into the fold."
"And if he refuses to go with you?"
"We will convince him." Kinara said simply, "We do not wish him to turn cleric, we just feel it our duty to inform him of Drow elves living on the surface, drow elves of kind heart and a way of life that matches his own. Lady may ask a question?"
"Go ahead." Alustriel replied a strange look crossing her beautiful face.
"You have known of the temple, Eilistraee and Quile, our High Priestess, for a long time now. Why have you never spoken of it with the ranger?"
Alustriel took a while to respond and when she did it looked as if she had asked that question of herself a time or two before.
"It was never an appropriate time. Drizzt felt whole with himself and his Goddess of choice, Mielliki was good for the ranger and I did not want to confuse him. In many ways he is still a child trying to realize were he fits into the world."
"I do not believe you." Said Jalen. The room went quite, a few of Alustriel's councilors gasped.
"I was brought up by Drow elves I can spot a lie even before it is uttered. The lies of Vhearun and Loth are much more complex than yours are. Forgive my bluntness lady, but what is the real reason?
Alustriel looked at the two Half drow with a quite anger and new appreciation.
"What have you been doing for the last twenty years young ones?"
"What do you mean Lady? Jalen asked.
"What has taken the bulk of your time, what war have you been fighting, how many drow have you killed in the last ten years, can you count? Drizzt despises the killing of his own kind. At least he did for the past decade or two." There was no anger in her voice but a hint of admonition was evident.
"If I had told Drizzt of your temple, your goddess, your war, but a few years back, he would have shunned you forever as keen slayers. He would have refused to speak with you, and considered you no better than the spider queen that ordered his fathers death. Things have changed with the ranger lately. the attack on mithril Hall, the loss of one of his best friends, and his ordeal in the Underdark had changed the naïve elf. It hardened him a bit, chipped his endlessly kind heart with the axe of practicality. Now and only now has it become a good time to discuss your temple and order with the ranger. I agree with my sister, it is time the ranger knew of this part of his heritage also. It may ease his heart a bit."
The stunned half drow had never considered what they did was so awful. It was but life, the priests of Vhaerun prayed on their homes and communities, they defended themselves and those of similar belief. The war was a necessary thing. Eilistraee said, deal with those in need with compassion but show no mercy to those who wish to do harm.
"I will send a messenger to King Battlehammer. I will inform him of everything in a letter and we will teleport you to Mithril Hall within a day. I do this only because I trust the messengers of my sister; do not fail her, or me."
"Thank you lady, we will not fail." replied Kinara. The couple bowed and left the throne room.
Tiel was waiting for them outside. Seeing the way the couple was talking she could see they had managed to deal with more then just the lady of Silverymoon.
"so…?" she asked expectantly.
"We will be teleported to Mithril Hall within a day. It will be fine, I hope." Kinara answered and looked fondly at her dark companion, that sentence answered Tiel's question in full.
"You are sure this is what you want?" Jalen asked Shayen.
"Yes! these children need me, and this town is so tolerant of my… condition. I could find no better place to live." the dragon man replied. "It is even possible that with enough research one of the powerful mages of this city could find a way to turn me back to my natural form."
"Well than my friend, if we are ever again in this fine city we will find you."
"I hope you do." Shayen said and hugged both Kinara and Jalen, he whispered in Kinara's ear one last apology, he still felt responsible for the lost children. She kissed him lightly on the cheek and ran her hand down his face.
"You are a good man, my friend. May you find only joy from now on."
"Thank you Kinara, I wish the same for you, both of you."
They hugged one last time and the Spell Swords turned around and walked to the palace grounds.
This city was without a doubt simply beautiful. No two buildings were alike and magic was everywhere. Both half drow sorcerers felt the magic flow through them. The mythal was the most obvious of these magical influences. Created by the same forces that forged the fabled elven city of Myth Drannor the distinctly elven magic that comprised the mythal sang in the ears of the two half drow as they made their way to the palace.
"Can you feel it?" Kinara asked.
"It's like hearing honey."
"Yea, I know what you mean." She answered in a dreamy voice relishing the feeling. "When we came here last time I was so preoccupied with everything, but now…"
"This truly is a beautiful place" Jalen said and took hold of Kinara's hand.
She smiled fondly at him and pressed her shoulder to his as they walked.
The slow walk was so pleasant It took them several hours to reach the spot where they were told to meet with the wizard who was to teleport them to Mithril Hall.
"When the ranger is safe with our priestesses we will return here. From a different path maybe," he smiled "but we will return."
"As soon as we can" replied the beautiful half drow at his side.
"I see you have arrived at last." A familiar voice sounded from behind them. The couple quickly turned awe struck to see the lady of silverymoon wearing soft brown leathers suited for the road.
"Please save those shocked faces for another, I was adventuring the realms since before you were born." The Lady of Silverymoon told them. It seemed as if her entire demeanor had changed. She was no longer the overburdened monarch of a realm, but instead the care free adventurer her clothing suggested her to be.
It seemed to Kinara her mood was far better in this role.
"As I had promised you, a powerful Wizard will transport you to the dwarven kingdom. I have some business to discuss with King Battlehammer, so that wizard might as well be me. This will lessen the chances of you being killed on the spot considerably." She said with a teasing note.
"We will enjoy your company lady. And we thank you again for your help." Kinara replied.
"As I have said before I trust Quile's judgment. The Chosen of Mystra seldom err." She said with as much sincerity as sarcasm.
"We will teleport to a specially prepared room in but moments. The king will be waiting for me there and you will be escorted to meet with the ranger. He was not told of your coming. The king did not know how to break it to him, prepare yourselves."
The couple, familiar with magical journey, took a deep breadth closed their eyes and opened up to the magic that slowly rose from the powerful ruler of Silverymoon.
They appeared at a highly decorated room. The walls were the most spectacular thing about it. Polished to a bright sheen the walls were streaked with a silvery metal that could only be the precious mithril the cavern was named after.
Three dwarves stood in the room. They were all dressed the same and their powerfully built bodies did not top 4 feet but they were easily just as wide. They were powerfully built for combat and labor in the limiting conditions of a cave. Jalen wondered how many Drow fell to the mighty axe strapped to the kings back.
"Tis good to see ya Lady. But I'm fearin I wont be likin what you have to say." Bruenor battlehammer said as he approached Alustriel and gently took her hand.
"We will have time to discuss this in private. First let me introduce to you these fine young people. These are Jalen and Kinara, of Eilistraee. As we discussed they are no threat and… well you know the rest."
"Ya wish to talk to the elf?" bruenor said as he quickly surveyed their faces and equipment. "You sure about this?" he asked Alustriel again.
"No, but I do think it should happen. Drizzt has a right to know all the pieces of his heritage. Not just the dark parts." She replied calmly.
"Right ya are. Filber," bruenor turned to the dwarf next to him. "Lead these two to where the elf is training."
"Aye bruenor!" the dwarf replied "follow me you too, and no monkey business!" he said and tapped the two hand axes strapped to his belt. Clearly even the assurance of Alustriel was slow in tempering the suspicious nature of these dwarfs.
They were led up a steep incline and soon they could feel the air was lighter, fresher. It wasn't much later when they saw the opening.
"The elf be training over there. Don't spook him, he's not a good fellow to startle." the dwarf said with a prideful grin and left.
Kinara and Jalen walked out the gate to see two people fighting. The one was clearly the drow ranger they were looking for. His white hair was tied securely as he spun and jabbed with a beautiful scimitar at an even more beautiful woman carrying a magnificent red glowing sword.
They were both good. But it was clear the Drow was a grandmaster. The two spellswords watched as his single blade kept both dagger and sword away, in moments he had two such blades pounding the woman's sword, striking many small hits with the flat of his blade.
His rapid style of fighting was very much like their own but the couple was humbled by this almost peerless warrior.
The battle would stop occasionally as the drow instructed the woman on a better parrying technique or the timing of her counters.
"He truly is a fine swordsman. He will bring much joy and honor to the dark maiden."
"yes" answered Kinara. She was preoccupied with a different aspect of the scene in front of her. There was sexual tension between the fighters. The kind that stems from deep emotion and not lust. More half breeds in service of Eilistraee? Perhaps. If we play our cards right. The thought brought a smile to her face. She took Jalen's hand and whispered to him.
"I think it's time."
Jalen nodded "should we start with theology? give him the background and history of our Dark Maiden? Or will it be better to start with dogma and build from there.
rolled her eyes and looked at the nervous Half Elf she loved so
"I think we should star with, hallo." She said