Disclaimer: The Death Gate Cycle and all seven books is the creation of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, TSR, and it's owners; they are not mine. Takes place around book 4 "Serpent Mage" and book 5 "The Hand of Chaos".

"This Immortal Coil" by Karen

The pitch darkness of the catacombs beneath the palace of the elves came as a soothing relief to Sang Drax after the blazing light of the chambers above.

It was not that he could bear the light, it was simply a case that after eons longs time spent in darkness, cold freezing darkness he and his brethren preferred the darkness. Much could be hidden in the dark, away from prying and intruding eyes.

Sang-Drax stirred and shrugged supple well-muscled shoulders, silently congratulating himself on his decision to not only take the form of a elven captain, but one that could slip easily in out of notice. One that did not need to make constant, boring official reports to his superiors. He had counted on that possible contingency and had planned accordingly.

The name in itself was clever, for it meant, in the old Elven language: serpent elf.

He is well aware that the others are as eager or perhaps even more so for the culmination of their plans. Sang-Drax also knew that it was only a matter of time before it would all come to pass; he had told them to wait just a little longer.

After all, they have been waiting for centuries: ever since the Sundering to be exact. During that time, the race known as Sartan made a desperate bid to retain their power against their enemies, the Patryns, and broken up the old world into its component parts.

At the time it had been an impressive display of power on the part of the Sartans, but in the end it became evident that they had dithered and dawdled, and their master stroke had fallen past its intended mark.

Sang-Drax shrugged again and allow his lips to part in a self-satisfied smirk. Sartans, those fools, and their arch enemies, the Patryns.

‚ƆFor all their power, they are, shall we say, only mortal and as such, subject to our power, as are all the other races: humans, dwarves, elves. All will succumb to us."

His kind, shape-changers, they had only to wait a little longer, and much depend on their chosen tools.

"Speaking of tools," Sang-Drax mused "Where did that Patryn disappear to?" he mused aloud to the fleeting and darting shadows. Nodding to the guards posted at various intersections, who stiffened to even more alert attention at his passing. The smiles and the uncomfortable look in their eyes, that of fear a nameless fear, that they could not readily name, made it even worse.

If any passersby had come watching they would have seen something very strange in the elven captain's tracks: a pool of muddy oil and a broken red scale.

The serpent elf known as Sang-Drax strode confidently down the hallways.

Upon reaching the base of the only steps that led up and out of the catacombs he emerged back into the daylight world, well-satisfied that his plans were proceeding accordingly.