Don’Kallard felt odd. He had enjoyed his time on the surface as brief as it was, and was not so appalled by his interactions with the surface dwellers. He was expecting to hate the experience, to act a role for a desired outcome as he had done many times before. He was also expecting to bring his son back to rule by his side. This was the only disappointing thing about his trip, for his son was no where to be found. 

He had successfully brokered a deal with Travance. They deal with old matriarch houses that flees the underdark escaping death, so that he need not worry about revenge against him, and he double-crosses his newest ally, and serves up to them the terrible demon they desire to kill when the time is right.  If anyone has a chance of killing this thing it is them… after all they killed its demonic equal in the not too distant past. Making such a deal was not something that needed to be done in secret, for the demon is distracted and singularly focused on something.  The Dark Elf Prime-Arch has lived a very long time, and could read an opponent or an ally, like an open book.  The demon, as everyone else in this world is littered with ulterior motives. The demon is trying to mask it with its destruction of the houses, but it is in fact searching for something… What that something is Don’Kallard does not know… but whatever it is, he knew it must be important.

*     *     *     *     *

A magical gate abruptly opened into a remote, yet lavishly adorned location of the Underdark.  Out of it stormed the visibly angry Matron of house Jade’Arith.“Fools!   To take the side of that over-reaching, boot-licking, demon-pawn…male!”  With her final exclamation she lashed out with one mud spattered boot at the mid-section of a male slave kneeling in supplication.  She snatched the goblet, brimming with a deep red fluid, from his hand before he sprawled across the expensive carpet, gasping to regain his breath.

Sitting on two of the three velvet covered divans were two more Dark Elf Matrons, lazily sipping from similar goblets and studying sheaths of paper lying on a low table in front of them.

“Sister,” said the taller of the two, the former Matron of house Iria’Aryth, “Your boots are already creating a mess, try not to spill the wine, or his blood on my carpet as well…hmmm?”

“Come, sit,” said the third, the former Matron of House Balr’Arith, “We have much to discuss.” She sent an evil smile to the servant who was struggling to get back to his knees, “That one knows his place, he would not dare to bleed unless given permission.”

Matron Jade’Arith strode to the low couch and peered at the papers.

“This fiction, ‘Darkholme’ indeed. And the audacity!  Patrons!?!”  Matron Balr’Arith sneered, “He actually intends to write us out of history!”

“Calm yourselves Sisters,” a wicked grin broke onto the face of the Matron Iria’Aryth, “We planned for this.  The surface dwellers in Travance have made their deal with the pretender.  We can use that to our advantage.”

Visibly calming, Matron Jade’Arith laughed, “Yes, the ‘Heroes’ are about to find themselves in a double-cross and with a lower population!”

Their laughter rang throughout the tunnels calling their pets to them.

 

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