1377 DR, Year of The Haunting

Vardainiel Valandore was an eladrin, high elves are the chief creation of Corellon, the creator of all fey, they are a race whose life spans from three hundred to nine hundred years, though eladrins who lived for more than several millennia old are not unheard of. She was still considered young as she was only a century old not yet matured but very close, silver hair and pale skinned with delicately pointed ears and eyes gleaming of viridian and golden speckles. She was indeed a full-blooded eladrin.

The slender eladrin strolled through the dark black market. The heavy, dark cloak that hung on her shoulders, concealing her pale skin and fair hair from sight, though, just to be safe, she wore an enchanted clip that allowed the lights around her to be bent light, thus giving her the image of a beautiful female drow with icy white hair, dark skin, and ruby red eyes. The Underdark was indeed a dangerous place, even in towns and cities, one must be wary and alert for even the faintest sign of a threat and be ready to bolt out of the way of danger, Vardainiel was currently in Menzoberranzan searching for onr of the three Elfblades. The Ruler's blade, the eladrin didn't want it for an selfless purpose, she wanted it for her own selfish purpose, may Corellon forgive her, to take her vengeance on that demonic archdevil-witch, was a chance that the blade-rite that binds the wielder to the blades, will fail and cause her unending agony, but if the binding ritual succeeds it will be most rewarding for her. She stopped by a stable and paid for a steady and agile riding-lizard, the shopkeeper was a greyish duergar, a subspecies of the mainstream dwarves, he gave her a simmering stare of hatred. Duergars are known for their disdain for drows, after all. She rode off without a glance, his discomfiting and hateful stare bore into her back, she grips her longsword tightly and continued on.

She wondered if that duergar knew she was in disguise, she doubted it, but that shopkeeper was eyeing her with hatred, but also there was something else she could not put her finger on. Greed? Vardainiel wondered.

Three months have passed after arriving at Skullport, Vardainiel dismounted from her riding-lizard and led it to a small stream for cattles, she tossed it a slab of venison to keep it busy and tied its reign to a stalagmite. The eldarin made her way to a port stroke a deal with a merchant ship into taking her to Waterdeep, since this putrid place was right below it. Perhaps in Waterdeep, she could find out more about the Elfswords, this place was chock full of spies and informants, yes, but they overcharge her heavily for the informations that was not even remotely related to what she was looking for, she doesn't have much more gold to spare anymore. Aside from that, the city of splendors is a much more appealing place than the Underdarks, she had been here, underground for the past two years, digging for informations about the mystical swords. However, her efforts did not lead her anywhere closer to the location where the swords were at. Vardainiel contemplated on whether to bring the riding-lizard or leaving it here for the picking of greedy thieves, the former won out, obviously. She'd never heard of riding-lizard being ridden in the World Above, but it doesn't hurt to tr-

Her thoughts were interrupted as she spotted one of Eilistraee's faithfuls wandering around the slave market, bargaining for a chitine slave, it was reduced into a small size by magic and placed into a thick glass bottle for display. A drow, not an uncommon worshipper of Eilistraee, she wore chain mails covered over by a robe, around her neck hung a silver chain bearing the silver holy symbol of her goddess; a crescent moon crossed with a small sword. Vardainiel was on fairly good terms with Eilistraee's church and judging by her attire, that female drow was an average priestess, maybe she knows something about the Elfswords, it wouldn't hurt to talk to her, they were known to be very gracious even to strangers, this one is probably buying that chitine slave to release it later on when she reached the surface world.

Under the guise of a drow, Vardainiel approached the priestess cautiously. The drow priestess seemed to have sense her presence and turned towards her, equally as cautious as Vardainiel herself. The eladrin muttered a spell of warding, and invisible layer of magic shrouded around them, preventing anyone from eavesdropping on them while they talk and also a layer of illusion to maintain her drow form to outsiders.

"I though followers of Eilistraee was against slavery, why are you purchasing one, Lady?"

She smirked so un-eladrin like, speaking in drow tongue. The priestess raised an eyebrow, "How do you know what to address me as? Don't you Underdark inhabitants address a female drow, such as yourself, as 'mistress'?" Her look of caution turned to that of suspicion and then nervousness. Vardainiel shrugged dismissively.

"I will reintroduce myself, Lady." The eladrin unclipped the clip and her magical disguise dispersed in a small burst of light, revealing the pale high elf's true form. This effectively startled the priestess, her hands immediately grasps the hilt of her sword.

"Who are you?" She scowled. The priestess was a little too distrusting and aggressive, a newly converted novice, Vardainiel guessed.

"I am Vardainiel Valandore, an acquaintance of Lady Qilue Veladorn." The high elf touch forefinger to forefinger and thumb to thumb forming a gesture of the full moon, the sign of Eilistraee, this was a greetings between the goddess' faithfuls, but she was only using this as an improvised proof of her words, for she had once or twice talked to Qilue Veladorn, one of the Chosen of Mystra, the goddess of magic, and high priestess of Eilistraee's faith. They had once plead her for help against one of Vhaerun's raids a century ago, time for them to repay her the favor.

The priestess looked warily at Vardainiel, stunned. "I am Rowain Xarras, I was just converted to the faith of Eilistraee a mere dozen days ago, forgive my . . . strange behavior." Rowain greeted with the same gesture. Vardainiel nodded at Rowain. A novice, she suppose Rowain had little to no informations she was interested in.

"Who sent you here?" The eladrin lifted a brow at Rowain, trying to sparked a little small talk rather than leaving abruptly and rudely, eladrins are a charming and charismatic race just as Corellon Larethian had intended, they are not likely to be rude even after more than a decade of living in the foul cities of the Underdark.

"Lady Rylla, the battle mistress." Rowain pursed her lips.

"I see. what about Lady Qilue?" The casual mention of the high priestess sent the novice staring at Vardainiel in a small-almost undetectable-grimace. Vardainiel sent her an innocent smile.

"The high priestess. . ." Rowain trailed off and shook her head, "I don't know, I do not feel you are trustworthy enough to know about her recent activities." Vardainiel frowned and clicked her tongue in disapproval.

Oh, the irony.

She placed a daintily fair hand on Rowain's shoulder, drawing her close and leaned her face to the side of the novice's own face, edging her rosy lips to the dark shell of Rowain's ear.

"It is fair that you don't trust me, but I suggest that you heed me when I say that if you're a spy for those dhrow, beware of Mystra's fire, you will be purged." Vardaniel hissed, her voice darkened, drawing emphasise on the last word, and her pretty elven face twisted into an ugly frown. The pseudo-Eilistraee's faithful stiffened slightly, Vardaniel silently spat out a spell of permanent petrification and withdrew her hand from the now-stiff drow's shoulder. With nothing else to say, the eladrin dismissed the ward after drawing on another disguise; a seductive looking alu-fiend-the unholy product of the union between a human and a succubus-with black, leathery wings and dark curls, and stalked off, leaving the dead drow to the scavengers in the streets of Skullport.

What gave her away was her cluelessness of Qilue's actions, but, of course, Vardainiel already knew that the high priestess had initiated an attack on Kiransalee's forces. They had no need for her help for they already gain more supports and faithfuls from the surface world, their forces were much stronger now compare to a hundred years ago.

1378 DR Year of the Cauldron

Vardainiel finally, after all this time, have obtained the Ruler's blade, there was no blood shed over the possession of the sword. The blade was willingly handed to her by Lady Ilsevele Miritar, but the sun elf coronel made her took an oath that once she was through with her revenge, she would return the blade to its rightful owner. The eladrin even gladly swore fealty to Ilsevele as a token of gratitude. Vardainiel must also thank Lady Qilue for directing her to Comanthor and into the pleasure of meeting Ilsevele Miritar, the leader of the Army of Myth Drannor who defeated the armies of Scyllua Darkhope. (Regarding earlier events, it turned out that Qilue had already been suspecting a spy in the promenade, and she had been planning to remove her for some time now, the chosen of Mystra was reluctant to reveal to her the location of Ruler's blade, but the eladrin stubbornly insisted, using reasoning and favors from the past to persuade the high priest, Qilue reluctantly gave in.)

Lady Ilsevele had her goal, she supported it but questioned it. She was curious why the eladrin wanted to slay the queen of the Erinyes. Vardainiel was fairly uncomfortable speaking about her past, but it wouldn't hurt to just provide a brief explanation to Lady Ilsevele.

They sat in a tower, a private room with no guards nor servants, just the two of the elves and that walls. "Devils were cruel beings, Glasya was an archdevil, beings who were crueler and more evil than any other beings from the Prime Material Plane." Vardaniel explained. "She was the only child of Asmodeus, The supreme ruler of the Nine Hells, his ascension to Godhood benefitted her greatly. She became the Lord of the sixth floor of the Hells, Malbolge, when the Hag Countess died- the countess was greatly obsessed about gaining true divinity, of course, she never gained it. Her obsession was the death of her -the night hag died when her body imploded, her decaying flesh covered all of Malbolg until Glasya came."

Varndainiel sighed shakily, her lips and mouth felt chapped and uncomfortably dry . "The reason behind the grudge that I bore for that archdevil-witch was because my consort was one of those who were tempted and lured into a trap of worshipping her by that witch herself, prior to her promotion of archdevil-dom. I won't mention his name, he died in the most painful way possible, his spirit does not come to Corellon as he have abandoned our great creator." She swallowed. "My consort was younger than I am, much younger. He was an innocent and naive, we were, in human terms and due to lack of any other suitable words, in love. But for a month, just that month, I had to leave his side to assist a friend troubled by the Spellplague, the Year of Shadows, I know you remember, we all did, that friend was the avatar of the goddess Tyrmora, Lady Luck, and in that damned month, Glasya came to the Prime Material Plane and seduced mortals into becoming her worshippers, a simple divination in a font showed me everything, every excruciating detail! Gracious Corellon, I saw his form, he was decaying slowly, still alive!" -at that point, Vardainiel's voice had been slightly distorted and filled with anguish and distraught- "He was looking at me, an eye, his eye, bleeding and larvae were eating away his rotting flesh, he was rejected from her damned cult and one of Moander's former faithfuls placed a rot curse on him!" The eladrin gripped Ilsevele's shoulders tightly and begged, tears streaming down her face, expression contorted with pain and guilt. "Let me go kill that whore!" She screamed hoarsely, withering sadness and misery gave way to raging wrath and fury. Ilsevele gave her a tight slap to her face, effectively calming her down from her rave.

The sun elf had said one word that was, perhaps, one of the most divine thing Vardainiel ever heard. "Go." It gave her a sense of renewed hope.

Vardainiel went, she rode on her riding-lizard, sword on her back and will in her heart, she went to exact her revenge upon the devil who have brought her so much anguish and guilt. Leading her to believe that her consort's death was all of her own doing, her fault for leaving him to fend for himself. The feeling of hurt and rage stung, but it felt good because it gave her a goal, a purpose, to work towards.

The River of Blood, or Styx, it stank of malice and evil. The river that flowed through so many dark planes, and Vardainiel was paying the ferryman, Charon, to get to Malbolg, the realm where Glasya, that she-devil, ruled. She would be safer from styx devils with Charon, though that isn't a guarantee that she will be completely unharmed on the way there.

The waterfall was steep, but Charon rowed straight down, the ferry fell perfectly vertical, down with the raging waters. They went through a dark cavern, the sudden stench of death and decay assaulted her nose, she stepped off the ferry and handed Charon an amber amulet. Instinctively, she drew Ruler's blade and an enchanted shield. The waters when quiet and noises of scuttling, and then it struck, whatever it was, its claw scraped against the metallic surface of the shield, sparks flew everywhere. She saw it, its bestial face, though of a beautiful woman, had elongated fangs, curiously mesmerizing but feral eyes, it was an erinyes, they used to have wings and great beauty, but since Asmodeus ascended to godhood, they lost their wings and grew hooves for feet and fangs, becoming ghastly creatures. It raised a sharp, clawed hand and brought it down, it made home and tore through her leather armor and dug into her pale belly. The sound of flesh tearing came first, followed by a flash of blinding pain, like an intense ray of light shine straight to your eyes, you can see nothing but the light, pure whiteness. . . and then, red, in her hands, her own blood. She can see her guts poking out, blood still gushing and pouring profusely from the great gash. She laid on the floor, the creatures growled and ran off into the distance, it took something with it, it wasn't the blade, she could still feel it in her grip, as long as it wasn't the blade she couldn't care less.

'this is . . . the end?' she snorted in morbid amusement in her own mind, 'after all this time, it ends like this?' So many questions, but all bore the same meaning: Is this the end of the line for Vardainiel Valadore?

A voice in her head jeered: After all that talk about vengeance and show of determination, is this all you've got? You're not worthy to even die and go to Arvandor, into the arms of Corellon.

"Is that so. . ?' Vardainiel thought, her vision fading slowly, blackness engulfing her. An unending, monotonous grey appeared in her vision. She forgot what the plane was called, and speaking of which, what was her name again? she's drifting, floating aimlessly. She gazed at a darker spot opposite of the direction at she was drifting to, there were movements, spirits? They look distorted, sad, miserable. A ray of gentle light streaked across the grey field, she saw white trees with stretching branches and leaves, a gentle voice. It stirred something in her chest, the voice was so beautiful to the extent that there were tears falling from her eyes, she wanted nothing more than to remain undisturbed in this place. Then, a thought came to her, what was she going to do once she got into that majestic place, her chest felt heavy and tired. Memories came flooding back almost instantly, of love, of hate, of . . .revenge.

Glasya, she wanted to kill Glasya.

"Is that what you really want?" The smooth baritone voice asked, filled with slightly disappointment and acceptance.

'Yes.' she answered.

"You will be back . . ." The voice said, it knew inevitably that she will be coming back.

'Yes, I will be back.'She closed her eyes, The warm, gentle light faded slowly, allowing her some time to bathe in its comforting warmth.

Viridian eyes flew open, Vardaniel blinked for a while before her eyes adapted to her surroundings, she was still able to see in this kind of low lightings, gently caressing her belly-no wound was to be found. Praise Corellon, she was brought to life again by the creator. The eladrin jolted up and drew her sword, her shield was gone, the erinyes probably took it. She sighed and tighten her grip on the blade's hilt. Eyes darting about, alert and careful, she started walking through the mountainous terrain. Careful with her footings, she stealthily climb up and obscure hill, there it was, Glasya's fortress, it glimmered and glowed and even from this distance, she could see the vastness of the fortress and how it stood out from the stinking wasteland of Malbolge.

The eladrin activated her magical boots and floated through the beds of rocks, she stayed low but swift, careful to not be spotted by the monstrous inhabitants of the realm. The eladrin made her way steadily towards the fortress, it was too easy, much too easy. Something was wrong, she can sense it.

A sharp shriek of laughter pierce of dim and quiet atmosphere. "What's this? An elf in the nine Hells? A rare sight, indeed!" The feminine voice bellowed. "We should keep her for our entertainment!" It once again burst into a crazed frenzy of maniacal laughter. She whirl around only to find that she had been cornered by a pack of grotesque erinyes, they immediately lunged at her. She swung her blade, shredding half of the monsters into pieces, cutting right through them like a hot knife through butter. The other half caught her and pinned her down with their clawed hands, their sharp nails digging into her soft, milky skin. Glasya floated down, wings spread wide open, her forked tail, a small pair of horns protruded from the edge of her forhead. She was undoubtedly one of the most beautiful woman she'd ever saw, copper skin shining like gold, her body was lavish with jewellery and fine silk. Her luscious features complimented each other well: full lips, handsomely symmetrical eyes, a fine, straight nose and high cheekbones.

Vardainiel growled at her, the archdevil looked at her tauntingly. "Someone still has quite some fight left in her!" She chuckled. Glasya walked toward Vardainiel, who was still restrained by the erinyes. The eladrin gazed at Glasya with a burning hatred, she spat at her foot. Glasya looked down and kicked her face, eyeing her with increasing disinterest. "What a vermin." the princess of the Nine Hells hissed "No sense manners and etiquette."

"Like you have any, harlot." Vardainiel shot back, smirking. She felt stupid now. Pride had taken over for a moment, and it may have ruined her only chance of killing Glasya. But pure satisfaction bloomed in her as she witness the she-devil's face twisted up into and ugly, angry mess. Without any thought and driven by intense anger when her pride had been stung, Glasya grabbed the Ruler's blade and an overwhelming jolt of pain ran through her body- the sword can only be held by an entity of the good, devils, demons and fiends are not capable of wielding Ruler's blade without some kind of backflash-she tried throwing the sword aside but to no avail, it stuck on as if it was melded into the flesh of her hand. Glasya's screams of pain echoed through the valley, scaring her minions. Seizing the opportunity, Vardainiel threw off the startled erinyes and grabbed Glasya's flailing hand and directed the sword straight through her heart, the shrieks stopped, the she-devil stared wide-eyed at the eladrin, on Vardainiel's face was a grin of victory, her green eyes shining triumphantly, the sword separated from Glasya's hand and returned to back to the eladrin's steady hands. The erinyes fled, seeing as their queen had fallen under the hands of the elf. The devil's corpse shuddered and dissolved, leaving nothing behind but a pile of unrecognizable ash. Not waiting another moment, she turned her back and sped away on her magical boots. Vardainiel will celebrate her victory once she reach Cormanthor, but as for now, the eladrin had truly felt her heart being lifted of its heavy burden.

A tear of happiness sprung down her cheek as she left Malbolge.

End.

This is a one-shot from me, I made small editing and a bit of grammar correction, I'm new to writing here, so please don't hate me :'D