A/N: Disclaimer: I don't own any of the names, characters, setting contained within; Bioware/Black Isle/Interplay does.


The Plan

"Shut up!" I yelled over my shoulder. It was hard enough to concentrate without the smack of their lips. Slurping was the first thing I silenced from the Illithid converts. One of the advantages of being a Bhaalspawn was being a god. Demigod. Point was, they revered and worshipped me. Infiltrating their psychic network was troublesome, especially since as a mere mage I lacked psionic abilities, but with the presence of mind, constant study, and the replication of telepathy with the Art, I succeeded. 'Napping the tadpoles from right out of under the Underdark was the first step, and a bit trickier than I expected, but I succeeded with a little help. Githyanki are a pest, even a menace.

"Imoen! Alora! Quieten down in there!"

I couldn't really eject them from the pocketplane, could I?

Silence followed. I cast a rueful glance in their direction, and watched them sullenly retreat to the 'Oasis Chamber'. The sound of distant splashing soon disturbed the air. Without looking up, I summoned an Illithid acolyte. One of the advantages of mental communication. It waggled its tentacles at me, its thought-speech garbled. An Illithid who knew fear? Remarkable. I inwardly pointed towards the elderbrain in the centre of the pocketplane. It went to retrieve more larvae from the 'My Innocence is the Slayer? Chamber'. My captive elderbrain's merger and I were coming along swimmingly, but I needed more acolytes. How could the brain grow without more brains? It seemed rather simple.

A simple query told me that Firkraag-Implanted-with-Tadpole was going swimmingly, and the dragon's brain was almost entirely gnawed out. 'Ellesime Again? Chamber' had been an unexpected surprise, and now all the captive foes had joined the elderbrain, it made a perfect new lair. The elderbrain found illusions tasty; who'd have thought it? And yet, the Spirit of Fate portal opening to the Blood War offered a fine bounty, but not so fine as Finewine Bridge. The kobolds were endless. It barely seemed worth the effort to catch them.

Troublesome that the other chambers were still closed, but I was sure they would open up soon. I closed my eyes and re-awoke.

My hunched gnomish form left me stunted. His name was Quayle, once. Larvae-Quayle now made the perfect scout. As soon as Larvae'd Irenicus was ready, we would attack. The monastery was full of likely subjects.

Quayle slurped. It really was annoying. Reminded me of Dradeel before he was Larvae'd. Quayle's growing tentacles were itchy. I needed to do something about that. There was meant to be an Underdark hole around here somewhere… where was it? There was a twang; I felt a sharp burst. My lung was punctured. How irritating.

I returned to my own self. Larvae-Tiax would have to do. Why slaying my siblings opened up the chambers was beyond me, but it seemed to be a celestial test of some sorts. Putting up with Tiax was test enough, surely? Maybe if Imoen… now there was a thought. No, if Sarevok was anything to go by, she'd be back at least thrice. Annoying, annoying. Dealing with that troublesome wraith-man-larvae was bad enough.

Another thought. The apparatus from Irenicus' chateau was choking out clones far more efficiently under the elderbrain's guidance.

"Will you be quiet! I'm trying to think!"

Why the cries and squeals? Where else would the glass jars fit? The portal system was handy too. One chamber to another. All I had to do was reconfigure it to capture the solar and soon, she too would be consumed by the brain. Silence would be mine!

"I know she'll step on it – the floor is not squishy!"

The tentacles waggled at me. These turning-thid were really quite obnoxious. A product of the cloning. A semblance of their former hosts, before the tadpole erased it completely. A Jaheira clone. Out of all the larvae'd clones, hers was the hardest to block out.

I looked lovingly across at my flesh golem. I had wanted iron, but the larvae couldn't infest that. It wiggled its tentacles back at me. Yes, I was almost ready. Balthazar, the rest of the squishy humans, and then that talkative Solar. I would become a god!