The svirfneblin, having regained consciousness only a few moments ago, stared at the drow woman, panicked.

"Forgive me for what I did to you, it was wrong. You don't deserve to be treated like this. You deserve to be free. Go now, run! I'll pray for you that they never will catch you again."

The deep gnome, too confused to react, just continued staring. How, By the Stones, was he supposed to take the drow's words seriously? It had to be a trick. The next punishment would be even harder, but why was the dark elf smiling at him so kindly then? And why were all the doors and his cage open? No, it had to be one of their cruel games. The dark elves were a wicked lot, so he prepared himself to suffer even more painful punishment.

"Go! Run! Flee! There's not much time left…"

Grygax, still almost incapable of truly believing that destiny would grant him that much luck, didn't need to hear the unusual drow woman's words for a second time. Running was out of order for the moment, but he was able to move at least. He struggled hard to stand on his own feet again after weeks of torture, and finally he succeeded. Nothing happened. The dark elven woman just smiled.

"You really let me go? Me and my folk will remember you forever."

"May Eilistraee bless you!"

It was the only answer he got. Happy beyond words, Grygax stumbled first, then walked out of his prison. He left the building running, hurrying towards his home village and a future he never would have hoped his destiny ever would grant him again.

No one noticed the lonely figure of the the young female who now never would become a Priestess of Lolth when she finally left Menzoberranzan, never to come back. Where shall I go now, Ereltree pondered, where can I hide? A picture came to mind, a sudden knowledge, not a voice this time, it rather resembled an intuitive revelation.

"The surface? Isn't that too dangerous a place? The surfacers will hunt me down and kill me."

There are others like you and places to hide from prejudiced surfacers aplenty. Follow me, and I will show you the way to the moonlight.

The foreign landscape from her visions had been of awesome beauty. There were no words to properly describe how much Ereltree longed to reach this place, to live there. She set off, an unseen might quickening her pace.

She would reach the surface in a few weeks and stay there for almost three centuries, dancing under the moonlight and helping other good-hearted drow to convert to her new faith, to praise the Goddess who now meant everything to her: Eilistraee.


THE END