Prologue

Mistress Triel Baenre sat at her desk looking over some paperwork that showed the progress of her newest priestesses. She overall hated this part about her job, but knew it was important to know the potential in each one. The Mistress was looking for any potential that could threaten House Baenre. This was not the first time she had been Mistress of Arach-Tinilith, a high honor in drow society. She had to give it up the first time to her sister because she had become Matron Mother of her house. Triel became Mistress again when she lost the title Matron Mother to her sister. Other then the annoying paperwork the rest of the perks of the job was great. The political respect was the best part of it. Many times already has she been able to sway the outcome of some of the lower houses. Getting rid of potential threats was some of the most exciting part. House Baenre might be the first and strongest house in Menzoberranzan, but they still needed to make sure that no other house got on the same level as them.

Triel was not as beautiful as most female drow and she was really short even in drow standards. She had long white hair and red eyes like most drows. The Mistress wore a tight black leather vest with red shoulders. Her pants were also black leather. She loved to wear long black boots with heels. What she didn't have in looks though she made up in ferocity and ambition. She was cruel and she took a lot of pride in that. Despite how cruel she was, Triel was not quick to anger. This worked to her advantage, allowing her to control any situation. This also made her deadly in assaulting lower houses. Being able to be patient and let her enemy make bad decisions worked to her advantage.

The thought of her losing her position as Matron Mother made her angry, but she knew there was nothing she could do. Her sister was way more powerful than her and on top of that Loth favored her way more than anyone else in Menzoberranzan. Now on top of everything the new Matron Mother was about to have her first child. It was a male, but still it was important for a Mother to have children so the house could grow stronger. House Baenre had lost a few male to that traitor Drizzt Do' Urden and had really hurt the first house. Not to mention that he killed their Mother when they decided to try and take over Mithril Hall. After that Triel took over for a short time, but quickly got pushed aside by her cheating sister.

Irritated by the thoughts of her sister, she slammed her book shut. As she did the door to her office opened and in walked one of her clerics followed by a priestess. Immediately she remembered that it was time to take out a punishment on the priestess. The priestess never really did anything wrong as far as Triel knew. She didn't really care either. There was way too much power in this one and quickly took action to dispatch of her. She had some of her instructors and some close students spread rumors about the priestess. The Mistress even had one of her clerics say that they overheard her say some blasphemes words against Loth. Loth did favor this one, but Loth favored Triel even more for being so crafty and cruel.

The cleric forced the student to her knees," Mistress I didn't do it."

Triel held up her hand hushing the poor priestess," It's ok little one, I already know what happened."

The priestess looked up at her hopeful," R..Rea..Really."

Triel kneeled down to eye level and rubbed the back of her hand on the priestess cheek," I know I had all the rumors made up and had my clerics just confirm them."

Fear cross the female drow face like she had seen a lich. Triel stood up and backed up," You really think I was going to let your house have someone as good as you. Yes you are one of our best students and have been for the last 40 years, but I can't have someone with you potential becoming a threat to House Baenre."

"Mistress I would never…"

"Shut up fool," Triel said raising her voice."I thought maybe we should just offer you to come join our house, but then I figured with my sister being pregnant and all that she at the moment would not allow it. So today will be the end of your miserable little life."

Before the priestess could respond Triel cast a petrify spell and watched as the priestess helplessly turned to stone." Take it out to the caverns and have some slave crush her into dust," Triel said firmly.

The instructor left and came back with two kobold slaves and dragged off the statue. The Mistress sat down in her chair with a smirk, impressed with her own handy work. She then went to her logs and began writing about the student untimely demise. About half-way through a voice came from her doorway," You done having your fun today sister?"

Triel looked up to see her brother Gromph. Her brother was cold and stern in appearance, but actually really handsome despite his old age. He was way pass his seven hundredth year and was still considered the most powerful mage in Menzoberranzan. Like her he had long white hair and dark red eyes. He almost always wore his Robe of Arch Mage, which is heavily enchanted. His eternal youth only came from an amulet that he kept in his possession at all times. No one has really caught a glimpse of it, but most of Menzoberranzan knew about it. He might have been a male, but even Triel knew it was not a good idea to anger him.

"Brother, is it that time already?"

"Yes, did you get rid of that annoying little priestess?"

"Of course I did brother; she will not be a bother on the assault House Xorlrainn," she retorted.

"Will Mother be helping us today?"

"Yes we going to need her."

Matron Mother Zeerith received the news of her daughter death not to long after Triel Killed her. Zeerith was not stupid enough to believe the story of another priestess killing her. She knew that Triel used her position to make sure House of Baenre was safe, but the counsel would never believe her. Quenthel was honored among the council and trying to convince them that she planned her daughter death with no proof was futile. On top of all this the Matron Mother was pretty sure House Baenre was about to attack them. Why else kill a priestess with so much potential.

When she received the message immediately she mustard her army and fortified her gates. As long as the rest of her clerics were alive there is no way that wizard, Gromp would be able to use his magic against them. Only question was would Loth favor them. House Baenre has always been first house, but if they fail their attack they would be crucified by the council and erased from Menzoberranzan forever. Problem is Baenre has never lost a fight, after five thousand years of being first house.

Zeerith Weapon Master Jearth and her lover came into her room," Matron Mother our armies are ready for an assault if House Baenre attacks."

"Very good, Jearth. I am heading to the Chapel with the rest of my clerics to pray to Loth. Hopefully she will favor us today."

Zillak Baenre loved more than anything to target a Matron Mother. He was an assassin and actually loved killing anything, but Matron Mothers were by far his favorite. With his two custom made daggers and quickly scaled the back wall of House Xorlrainn. He lightly landed on the other side and found his way on to a balcony just as two drow guards came around the corner. He knew that the chapel was right below and like all drow chapels there was a circular hole in the room above. In the hole was the crystal of Loth that all clerics used to channels their prayers. His magical Pawfai , enhanced by Gromp himself, completely hid him from sight. He watched as two guards passed by the windowed doors and when their back was to him he silently entered. He flipped his grip on one of his daggers so the blade was facing his forearms. Slowly he moved up behind the with one swift move he stuck his forward dagger in the back of the neck of one the guards and the swung his right arm across his chest. A quick thrust back to the left and the dagger entered the side of the other guard's throat. Both fell dead drowned in their own blood.

He moved to the edge of the hole in the room. As he neared he heard them chanting, praying to Loth. How pathetic it was that they thought Loth would favor them he thought. He circled around the hole counting each cleric. Noting that there was five including Matron Mother Zeerith. He smirked and pulled out a small phial from his vest. He tossed it down into the room and instantly the room filled with smoke. Like a drow in a torture room he jumped down. Only screams filled the chapel.

"It is done Mother," Gromp said as he entered the chapel of Baenre.

He saw the excitement in her eyes," Finish it then."

Gromph nodded and exited the chapel where And'zrel Baenre was waiting for him," I will drop the wall and you send in your army And'zrel. Do not leave anything alive.

And'zrel turned and hastily ran to the courtyard, where his men patiently waited for orders. Gromph followed with a quick walk. He walked through the courtyard and straight through the magic fence of the Baenre compound. If anyone other than the Arch Mage tried to walk through the magical fence they would be stuck until the Matron Mother released them. Gromph had the spider mask which was the only thing that would allow someone to walk through House Baenre Defense. As he moved toward the Xorlrainn compound, he decided it was a good time to take in the beauty of Menzoberranzan.

Menzoberranzan was a magnificent sight, even to races above ground. Above were the beautiful stalagmites that had the light colors of a rainbow. The buildings had a nice lilac color to them and stood like upside down stalagmites, forming a point at the top. Usually each house had a group of these buildings connected together. The houses and other buildings were culturally designed and seemed to glow in the dark by some magical means. Rock and Mushrooms were on the ground like patches of hair. He noted some slaves farming some of the mushrooms. To his right he saw House Barrison Del'Armgo, the second House of Menzoberranzan. To his left not too far away was his destination and were House Xorlrainn would no longer exist.

As he got closer to the gate he saw drow guards running around frantic. No doubt they just discovered that their Matron Mother was dead, including all the clerics. The Arch Mage stood about fifty feet away from the Compound, arrows were just deflecting off his magical shield he put on him. He thought about the spell he prepared just for this moment and gave a little smile. All of a sudden a huge ball of flame was just hovering in front of him. To any other person they would have that he just pulled it out of thin air, but what they didn't know was that most Mages of his Caliber could cast spells without even saying a word. Using his magical control over the ball he propelled it forward toward the Xorlrainn compound. He noted the guards yelled and screaming not knowing what to do. When the fiery ball touched the wall it exploded sending rock, flames and even body parts everywhere. The sheer force of the blast put a huge hole in the wall. Leaving the compound exposed. Gromph chuckled and headed toward what was left of the wall.

He paused for a minute to watch his brother And'zrel and the Baenre army enter the compound. They instantly began slaughtering everybody men, women and children. Gromp knew that no one should be left alive. Last thing they needed was some loose end getting them killed by the council. The Arch Mage made his way to the chapel, blasting Xorlrainn residents. As he neared their chapel Zillak his assassin walked out to greet him," Easy enough," the assassin said.

"It was never going to be hard Zillak. Quenthel just wanted to defeat this house because she is about to give birth. Not because they posed any real threat to us."

"Yeah I figured, no house really has been a threat since Do' Urden."

"Only because of their son", replied Gromp." Come Zillak I believe Mother will be giving birth here soon."

Quenthel opened her eyes and put down her hands and looked around. She could feel that House Xorlrainn was no more. The Spider Queen was happy she knew and that's all really mattered. She looked at Triel and then suddenly pain filled her body. It was instant and then went away. Quenthel fell to her hands breathing hard and Mistress Triel ran to her side," Mother you ok?" she asked not sounding really concerned at all.

" I think this wrenched baby is coming, get me to my room," she yelled.

Triel summoned a floating black stretcher and got the Matron Mother on it. They moved out of the chapel and into the courtyard. They entered the Baenra compound just as Gromp and Zillak walked up. Zillak saw her and quickly found an excuse to get away from the not very happy looking female drow. As they neared Quenthel's Quarters And'zrel showed up, he looked like he just ran here because he was patting and sweating. They got in the room and sat the Matron Mother on the bed. She did not look very happy at all.

The priestess immediately began casting divine spells to lower the pain she was going through. Once Quenthel felt like they were useless because she was still pain, she kicked the priestess out and just kept her close family with her. As the last priestess left Sos'Umptu entered to see if there was anything he could do to help. Hours passed by and the only sounds that filled the room was sounds of Quenthel screaming in pain and her family telling her to calm down and push. She hated when people told her what to do and just wanted to rip them apart with her bare hands.

Matron Mother Quenthel was in terrible pain. Usually she would look beautiful and elegant, but today was not her day because she was in the middle of child birth. Her long hair which usually fell down to her bosom is put up with two red sticks. She wore a loose black gown and no shoes. Her dark skin now seemed even darker from all the strain of pushing. Her eyes were intense and very angry looking because she hated child birth. She hated being on the bed with her legs spread feeling vulnerable .To make things worse her sister staring down her gown like it's some kind of art show. Luckily there was only a few of her siblings around her. Triel her right hand priestess and a Mistress of Arach-Tinilith the Cleric academy. And'zrel, Commander of the Army of the Black Spider, was standing off to the right side of the bed seeming a little irritated. Gomph Arch Mage of Menzoberranzan was on the right side actually looking excited. Beside Gomph stood Sos'Umptu the Keeper of the Baenre House Chapel.

The room that she was giving birth in was the Matron Mothers chambers. On the back wall was the bed that was draped in purple and black colors. Quenthel laid on a blue magically enhanced blanket to absorb unwanted fluids. It had four elegant poles that connect to a purple canopy that draped around the bed. On the right side sat a dresser made of Dark Wood with a exquisite looking mirror on it. On the left and right side of the dresser was two small circular tables with orbs of light floating above them. These lights lit up the whole room. In the left corner of the room set a cultural decorated love seat caddy cornered, with red cushions and purple pillows in each corner of it. On the left wall was a Armoire also made of Dark Wood. The knobs on it were made of silver. The floor of the room was made of tiles that were a dark maroon color.

Quenthel was a Matron Mother of the House Baenre and was also once a Mistress of Arach-Tinilith, but had to give it up once she became Matron Mother. House Baenre was the top house of the drow city Menzoberranzan, no one dared oppose her. The Matron Mother had the reputation of being vicious and having no mercy for anyone. She even took stole the position Matron Mother from her sister Triel. Right now she wished she had her five headed viper whip so she could just punish anyone she looked at. How could she succumb to the pain of child birth. Especially since the child was a Male. Quenthel hated males above all. Males in Menzoberranzan are inferior to females. Never can they have the rank or power of a female. Only her brother, who is Arch mage of Menozberranzan, was able to achieve such high rank. Now she was bringing another male into this house. At first she thought maybe she could sacrifice him to Loth, but the Spider Queen told her it was not a good idea. That keeping him would be the best for the House, especially after losing a few of her brothers already.

"Push mother," priestess Triel said.

"Shut up, I don't need you telling what I should do. I got this!" Quenthel retorted angrily.

"Calm down Matron, you just making this harder stressing out to much. Oh there's the head sister, one last push should get it out."

Matron Mother Quenthel made one last hard push. She held her breathe and tightened all her muscles that she could and just pushed with all her might. She felt it the pain it was so unbearable. Quenthel wanted nothing more then to tear someone apart. Her legs went numb as a loud cry pierced the room and Triel lifted up a little baby boy. He had a little bit of black hair, and silver eyes. His skin was very dark, all these traits really rare for a drow. He continued to cry and seemed to try and reach for anything he could grab a hold of. He made little kicks against Triel breast that didn't really do anything, but annoy her.

Quickly the priestess wrapped a red blanket around him and stood up looking at her sister. She figured her sister would not want to hold him, but Triel took a step forward any ways just to see what the Matron Mother would do. Quenthel looked at him with disgust and waved her hand, telling her to take him away," He is yours to take care of him Triel. I expect you will train him like he should be trained. Oh and be sure to give it a name. I don't care what you give him. He is to be trained to go to Sorcere Academy. If it was up to me I would sacrifice him, but Loth seems to think he would be more useful to us alive.

The priestess was much expecting this to happen. She was the only priestess in the house of Baenre. Triel really didn't want to have to worry about training a male though. Being a new teacher at the Cleric Academy, she had much more important things to look forward to, like focusing on her students in Arach-Tinilith. Now she has to focus on this male who probably will not last long anyways. Maybe if took one of the lower houses female as a priestess then she wouldn't have to keep him too long. Then again she knew that her sister would not do such a thing way to much pride in her family.

She stared at him in her arms and he stopped crying. The priestess watched as his eye scanned her face, attempting to focus on the blurry image in front of him. Triel then announced," I will call him Atticus and will train him with the best of my ability."