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Forums > Fantasy Roleplay Forum > Chronicles of Obelus: Seven Days (Closed)

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The Illithid as strong as he was, could do nothing about Chalice’s fallen soldiers. He had lost. And even if he survived this fight, Lady Chalice would not accept his defeat. He would have to kill them all to escape. But he could not return to Lolth as a loser. Gweyr withstood him, but could not break his defenses. The two would battle silently, a mental struggle that was like chess on a more complicated scale. A few Drow tried to sneak behind the Illithid and were torn asunder—no one could get within his sphere of mental defense.

“Do not go near him!” Gweyr cried.

“You will not defeat me, Elvatian. I will win.” The Mind Flayer said.

“And if you destroy me, where will you go?” Gweyr asked.

“I will not destroy you...I will enslave you and feast on your brain for a millennium.”

“You are truly evil.” Gweyr collapsed.

“Gweyr!” Ewing and Akosh yelled together.

Gweyr was weakened and could withstand no longer. Not after it had fed. She fell to her knees as if she had offered up herself, having really no choice. The Illithid snickered. Waves of pressure were felt again on the crowd and no one could move, thus all would watch. “I promise to be a good master. I will command The King of Man and his Knights. Soon I shall rule as Grand Lord of the Underdark and rebuild my own society...for the Illithid!” His eyes widened.

He came closer to pour over Gweyr’s head with his slimey tentacles.

“You have much...ambition.” Gweyr said weakly. “But you forget one thing...”

The Illithid can already read her treachery. “No!”

“I am a Hunter.” Before he could react, Gweyr pulled her sword to lift it upward with all her force, cutting through the Mind Flayer’s torso. Blue blood struck her face and the Illithid clenched his fingers in terror—it’s eyes aghast.

The Illithid shrieked in a terrible cry and fell to his side to bleed out. The spell was eradicated and Gweyr pulled her ivory blade from its leaking flesh.

The Illithid's dying shrieks echo through every mind in the city, drow, human and other. All fighting ceases for several seconds as sentient beings cringe at the pain and despair that is forced into their hearts by the last remnants of such a powerful creature. As the the slippery, tentacled creature crumples to the palace floor there is a moment of forced and unnatural silence. Then sound of clashing steel rings out through the streets of Kemmu City once more as Eilistraee's followers finish off the last of Lloth's invading drow. The day...night? The sixteen have lost track of time deep in these subterranean caves. Well, the city has been won, though at great cost.

Anjaliku, being of a similar age to the young priestess (at least developmentally due to the differences in aging from elf to human) and having the death of her own family freshest in her mind, steps forward to console the new queen of Kemmu City. She does not bow or grovel or offer mindless verbal platitudes. The dark skinned young woman embraces Vivian as a sister and holds her close, letting the other's hot tears fall upon her shoulder and soak into her tiger skin cloak. Around them the Sixteen mill, wiping blood from sword and staff and checking wounds. Gloria reaches up and attempts to wipe the blood that had spattered across her face but only manages to smear it a bit so that it mixes with the dried blood on her face from her earlier injury.

Icy blue eyes travel over towards her King and rest there with a mixture of longing, confusion and pride. They live. That is something to be proud of but what now? What of his words before the battle? She isn't sure. She can't think. She's exhausted. They all are. Time has become damn near meaningless down here but she's sure they've been awake longer than they should. On top of that they've done battle twice this day and the fight with the Norse had been only a day or two behind that.

"We need rest," she says to any among their group who will listen though naturally her words are meant for Joseph's ears. "Stephan and Bruce need time to heal before we can hope to continue on." Her voice isn't forceful. It's just as tired as she is as the adrenaline of the battle wears off and leaves her feeling like a broken husk of the warrior she is.

They all seemed to watch as Anjaliku embraced the young Drow Queen in her odd coronation. Even Bruce and Nicolas who once ridiculed Delilah and Gloria for taking in the Acebean girl had learned to love her like their own younger kin. They had become paranoid brothers and sisters who looked over Anjaliku protectively.

Surprisingly, Naled was the only one unfazed by this affection.

The Translator stood back, emotionessly, as if she had failed. Her face looked sickened and Joseph took notice of her. Thus before he addressed his Knight, his eyes turned to Gloria, hearing her words to be correct. “Gloria is right. Bruce is hurt. If it is as bad as you say, Donovan, he’ll need a week at least until his ribs are one again.” Joseph said. “I don’t plan on leaving without him.”

“I can help him.” Vivian exclaimed. “If it is a bone fracture my Priestesses can heal him with magic. It will take eight to ten hours depending on how stubborn your man friend is.”

“He’s real stubborn.” Stephen grinned. “I don’t oppose leaving him, honestly. And with those poor giants dead you could use another half breed in your ranks.”

“Shut your mouth Rogue.” Bruce coughed.

The two went on back and forth in the background. Joseph agreed to have him cared over by the Drow Priestesses, Stephan as well. He needed his Knights rested and mended before they left this hole. After that was decided, Vivian also offered them all a room in the royal quarters. Joseph stepped close to Gloria, adoration in his eyes. He was beginning to say something as if he made a confession. He took her blood covered hand... “I—“

“I have something to say.” Naled cut her King off demanding everyone’s attention. “You only know half of my story. What you don’t know...is what I must share with you now. You know that I fled Belgora after freeing myself from my Lord. It was not the entire truth. I was trained and prepared to be more than a slave if I was to devote my cause to the one who helped free me. When I returned to my prison cell, a place I once called home, I could not defeat my master alone. There was another who helped me and we killed him together. Then I promised this noble warrior, my first love that I will serve him forever. I asked him what is it that you will have me to do? He said go into the lands of Jubilee and become my informant. Win King Joseph’s love and when the time comes he will trust you and you shall lead him to a path of destruction. This man, his name was Widsith, my first love.”

Erik welled with tears. The Knights all murmured amongst each other in frustration and disbelief. Naled continued fearlessly. “This was all my doing. When you all slept last night I used the meat of my own people to lead the panther to this place...this dark hell in hopes that we would all die down here together. I have failed my lord...I have failed my—- “

“Enough!” Erik pulled his blade and brought it to Naled’s throat. “Traitorous bitch!”

“Erik don’t do this! Erik!” Joseph commanded.

“She has committed treason to our King. To you! To us! I must avenge you, your grace. She defiled our loyal oath. She went against everything we believe in.” Erik pleaded. “She broke my heart.”

“Kill me, Erik! Kill me! I have nothing left to live for.” Tears fell from her eyes. “Kill me!”

Emotion was seen in everyone’s eyes. Even the toughest talkers amongst them had no words...Joseph had to make a choice. A choice as their King. It was the hardest choice he ever had to make. And now he understood why no King took up a Knights oath in those hundred years before him.

As Joseph reaches out his hand to take her own, Gloria can feel her stomach twist with anxiety. The look in his eyes speaks volumes, especially now with his previous admission having cut through the final thread of her self imposed denial. The white haired woman knows what her King is about to say, or thinks she does, and she isn't ready to hear it. Not here. Not now. Not like this. Not covered in blood and out in the open for their new allies to see and judge. Her own lips part, desperate to cut him off but Naled beats her to it.

Gloria stands to the side, jaw limp with shock at the woman's confession. She isn't the only one either. All the Sixteen seem uncertain of how to react though the feelings that are flowing through their hearts at such a complete and intentional betrayal by one of their own, their most trusted, are varied. No matter what the emotion is, however, it is intense. Donovan has stepped up to put a hand on Erik's sword arm, valiantly trying to restrain the man from doing something he may regret though one word from Joseph would cause him to stand down once more. Lars and Kinley, however, were already to pull their own swords should Naled choose to resist her fate. Her words seemed to imply that she wouldn't but who could trust those any more?

Most eyes were turned upon the King of Jubilee now to see how he would choose to handle this betrayal. The Northwoman had indeed broken Erik's heart in the course of her loyalty to another man, but she the true injury lays at Joseph's feet, and to some extent Vivian's as well for her people have suffered for this injustice and her mother's life was snuffed because of it.

Naled shivered at the chilled blade placed roughly at her throat. The moisture on her face was so intense it made her eyes itch with redness and her hair reeked sweat. The humidity in this Underdark was not comforting her nor anyone who was not accustomed to it’s warmer depths.

When Donovan encouraged Erik to lower his blade, the Beastmaster really had no choice in this matter. Not only was Donovan the strongest physical man amongst them, it was also King Jospeh’s order not kill her. Erik tossed his blade down and turned his back on the informant.

While everyone turned their eyes away from the traitor, many eyes instead watched Joseph. It was like everything had turned into slow motion. He came closer to the Translator, tears drenched in his eyes and took her long Nordic fingers and placed them within his own.

“Despite whatever promise you made before me, I gave my oath to love and protect you, not only as your brother...but your King.”

He brought Naled’s knuckles gently to his lips before he released them.

“Sir Kinley...remove my breastplate.” Joseph said.

“What?” Kinley echoed.

“Do not question me. You are wise enough and old enough to know I speak not in the merriments of a jest. Remove my breastplate, now!”

“Yes sir.” Kinley began unbuckling the straps.

Once the deed was done, Kinley let the auteate armor piece fall to the ground. All that was left was Joseph’s leather cuirass whom he untied himself. Now he was truly bear. His paler skin was now naked—a muscular form and scarred with many cuts and rashes, similar to Gloria’s own. He never told her about his own infections and bodily inflictions. He had hidden a lot of things from his best friend. He looked at Gloria one last time as if it was to be the last he’d see her sweet, boyish visage. He smiled at the Glory of Jubilee and turned his eyes back to the informat.

Joseph pulled a dagger from his side and placed it in Naled’s shivering hands.

“And since I gave my oath to love and protect you, I could not live or go on knowing that you truly wished to betray me after all the love I’ve given you. If you honour Widsith more than you love me, than free us both and place the dagger deep within my heart.”

The moment Joseph gives Kinley the order to remove his breast plate Gloria begins to step forward. "No!" She doesn't need to hear her King's next words to know what he's thinking about doing. She's known him too well for too long to have to guess at his heart and motivations except where she herself is concerned. Before she can reach the two of them, however, she is intercepted by Donovan. Ever the peace keeper among their number, the large man restrains the King's bodyguard just as he restrained Erik moments ago.

When Joseph removes his leather cuirass, Lars has to step forward to aid the Templar Healer in holding Gloria back. Her hands are clenched and her cheeks are red as she thrashes against their restraining hands. "Let me go, you fools! Are you listening to this madness at all?!" She stamps on Donovan's foot and tries to elbow Lars in the jaw, but the two men hold her fast.

Unlike the Glory of Jubilee, Naled the Translator seems remarkably calm now that she no longer as to stare into the pain evident in the Beastmaster's eyes. She looks down at the weapon she has been gifted by the man she so recently betrayed. Two paths lay before her. She can almost see the fork in the road as if it were a laid out in the hardened clay of the palace floor. If she chooses to lay down the dagger and spare the King...her King...then she will have failed Widsith finally and utterly. Beyond that, no matter how Joseph might choose to forgive her, she knows many if not all of the Sixteen never would. She would no longer be able to stand a sister among their ranks or a lover by Erik's side. Worst of all, she would have to live with the guilt of what she was and what she had done.

If she takes the King of Jubilee's offer however...

Her oath to Widsith would be fulfilled. Beyond that she has no doubt that Gloria would kill her for such an act. She can already see the tears and rage building on the pale woman's face. Naled can not take back her betrayal but she can pay for it with the only thing she had left to give. It is enough. It has to be enough.

The dagger raises in the air and the Norsewoman lets out a cry of despair. Gloria screams, a primal sound that echoes through the hall already covered with the blood of many. For all their raw strength and valiant skill, Donovan and Lars can't hold her. Or perhaps they don't wish to. The pale haired woman breaks free. She is little more than a clattering, shimmering blur as she throws her own body between the blade and her beloved. Beloved...

The tip of the dagger scratches harshly against her metal breast plate before finding the small chink between it and her shoulder guard. There it buries itself allowing Gloria's blood to flow freely once more. From the other side of their group comes a guttural roar of anger and defiance. Up until now the inhabitants of Kemmu City had stood silently by and watched as the humans dealt with their internal troubles. Upon seeing Gloria injured, one of the only ones to mourn his brother and offer to aid and fight beside him, Smedly surges suddenly past Boris and Sarah. His longsword slices deeply into Naled's back, striking the Interpreter down.

A frown of disapproval was seen in Naled’s face as Gloria intercepted the King’s fate and caught the dagger in the joint of her breastplate. It was stuck in the steel and she could not release it with her tiny arm strength. She laughed wickedly. “You cunt, I knew you loved him. I hope Delilah takes both of...” A violent blade had struck her down. The Bugbear made sure that it was not an execution but a vital thrust nonetheless. Naled fell to her face to leak out slowly.

She began to shiver and speak in Norse tongue.

Joseph for the first time looked nervous. He did not even take notice of Naled’s condition, even though he knew she was dead to him for choosing the latter. Instead his warm fingers touched Gloria’s face with fear. “You know I was not going to let her kill me. Donovan help.”

“She is okay.” Donovan tested the depth of the dagger. “Thanks to Kinley’s armor.” He pulled the dagger from her shoulder guard.

“I see it’s good for something more than making us itch.” Stephan jested. “Dammit Gloria you almost got me emotional.” He hugged his sister. “Don’t scare us like that again.”

Boris was even near her, whimpering and moaning out curses. He hugged Gloria also.

Joseph swiftly ran his lips onto Gloria’s tender flesh passionately in the kiss—all would watch. “I love you.” He said to her. “And Smedly thank you for your loyalty. I will never let any speak ill of your kind again.”

“Smedly seen King of man in trouble. King of man friend to us...we see to him safely.” The Bugbear said.

Sarah could not help but watch Gweyr, adoring her as she cleaned the Illithid blood from her ivory ore blade; not at all worked up by the drama here. The elf Commander noticed the woman staring at her like she was a deer being hunted in the forest. The witch’s mind had decided to lust over a forbidden fruit. ‘You wish to hunt the huntress?’ Gweyr said in Sarah’s head. This shocked Sarah and intrigued her all the same.

Meanwhile when things were calmed down, Joseph had one last thing to do before he could rest and recover. After Gloria recieved his love he went near Naled to gently turn her over so she could face him and everyone.

“Was it just a...test?” Naled’s lips shivered—her face near ice blue.

“Aye, and I am a kind King to have given you one last chance. We were your friends, your brothers and sisters and you betrayed us.”

“I am sorry, Joseph.” She said. “I could not go on living, knowing the hurt I caused you.” She cried.

“I know. But let this be the last thing you ever hear. So when your soul rots in damnation you will remember that you not only betrayed me but your God Ecru as well.” He pulled his divine longsword from his hip and let it torch into a bright searing flame. The reflection of the fire was seen in Naled’s eyes as the steel burned her neck. She screamed while it cooked her pale skin. “This is for Queen Jenessta and her people whom you also betrayed. The damage you’ve done here we will never forgive you for.” He said as she continued to scream.

Eventually the blade had cooked her bone and the head tenderly cut loose. He let the flames roast her entire body so all could watch the fate of the Translators betrayal.

Later that night, the battlefield was cleaned up. All the many bodies were taken to the fire pits to join Naled and the Lolth warriors who died as enemies in this citadel. The late Half Giants would be waxed as statues; the great warriors who died to King Joseph and Sir Nicolas’ Swords. The new Queen Vivian was already stepping into her role naturally. She would focus on defense so an infiltration like this would never happen again.

While the Sixteen had all departed to their guest houses, including Gweyr’s brothers, Gwyer stayed back with Vivian whilst they sat on an elevated circular plate above Kemmu City to discuss a more lucrative alliance. Where Jenessta kept to herself for centuries, Vivian had youth on her side and could better connect to the horrors of this new world.

“So your people were at war all this time? How come you never told my mother?”

“Elvira informed her like all of the alliances. Many Elvatian Houses have refused to join us. But these humans, King Joseph and his Knights have sacrificed their own reputations to aid us. They are our most valued allies. This is why I came to save them.”

“How come the Elvatian Houses refused to join her?” Vivian asked.

“Pride, fear, jealousy. But mostly the acceptance of Dezus Ib’ahali.”

“I heard of him. The one they call the Kapellmeister. My mother said Dezus was a traitor of our House. He stole a necro relic from our treasury. King Jharadis refused to give him up even after learning of his treachery. This is probably why Jenessta did not accept the truce.”

“There is truth to what you speak. What are your feelings towards Dezus?”

“He means nothing to us. If we are to hold onto ancient grudges, we will never be able to advance. Will always be victims held back by our past. Besides everyone who knew him died today.”

Gweyr nodded and thought the female spoke with wisdom. They toasted wine glasses and sipped to continue discussing prospects of a fruitful alliance.

Sarah should have been resting, but curiously she followed them. She was a rebel with her heart and a patient woman. When Gweyr was finished with the Drow Queen the first eyes she met was the Witch’s dark gaze; stalking her in the dim lit corridors of the citadel.

Gweyr swallowed and was exhausted. The wine had relaxed her and she did not want to say any more words tonight. Fortunately for her, talking was not something that Sarah desired. She was a woman of few words and Gweyr appreciated her for that. Gweyr would use her smile to respond instead of empty conversation. Vines had come from the ground as they subdued the Elvatian. The Witch’s call. Gweyr’s arms and legs were locked into position as she exhaled excitedly and met the aggressive lips of Sarah the Witch of Jubilee. Gweyr returned her kiss without hestitation and in that moment a relationship was established.

The night did not, could not, bring rest to the Glory of Jubilee no matter how much exhaustion from their seemingly unending string of battles weighed upon her limbs. Donovan had already come and gone, stitching up the gash in her shoulder, deeper than he had thought before but not deep enough to be a mortal wound. Her shield arm will be out of action for a few days lest she rip the cut open once more with her rather acrobatic fighting form. That is the worst of it.

At least, that is the worst of the physical injuries. Naled's betrayal still weighs heavily on her heart. How had none of them seen through her deception? Had she really held no love for them? Had the long nights of laughter and stories and commiseration all been for naught? Gloria knew she would never forget the sound of the woman screaming as she died beneath the King of Jubilee's fiery blade or stop torturing herself wondering if something, anything, might have been done differently to produce a happier ending. The whole situation felt far too familiar to her liking.

Worse yet, when Joseph had leaned forward to kiss her right there in front of the Sixteen and their new allies, Gloria had turned her face away from him. Despite the ecstatic beating of her heart, so fast and loud she thought it might burst out of her chest at hearing him confess his feelings for her in such a straight forward and unreserved manner, she could not bring herself to allow such a thing to happen for all to see.

Has he lost his mind? All sense of propriety? Has he forgotten who he is and and who she is and where they are and why?!

Some part of her always knew he never truly loved his shrew of a wife. That she had simply been convenient, available and willing. His bodyguard may have even suspected their lack of emotional connection to be one of the major contributing factors to his eternally wandering ways. Still! That he would so blatantly disregard his marriage vows (and hers!) in such a public display...

The white haired warrior paces the length of the room she and Anne are supposed to be sharing dressed in a simple set of undergarments while her armor sits in the corner, still unpolished. Surprisingly the amenities of this ceramic city are imminently suitable for its above world visitors. The beds are comfortable, the bedding is warm, the light is a soft glow from half covered sconces and there is fresh water in a basin against the wall. Other than the strange, slightly disturbing insect-like decor, she might almost feel comfortable here. That is, if she had the presence of mind to pay any sort of heed to her surroundings after all that had happened in the throne room earlier.

Anjaliku, however, had been having a harder time settling into their strange new environment. Since her bunk mate, Sarah, had seemingly vanished, Anne had offered to keep the girl company through the night while they waited for the priestesses to heal their injured comrades. It is also possible that she simply found Gloria's confused and pent up brooding too awkward to simply sit and watch. No doubt the two women would hold each other and speak of the days events in hushed tones, comforting each other after the sudden loss of their friend and colleague.

So it is that Gloria is left alone with her thoughts and worries, fears and desires, without even the sweet oblivion of sleep to give her some modicum of peace.

Even while the bright flames burned in his guest chamber, the dark elven stone felt like frozen walls surrounding them, ignoring the fire that roared in the deep center pit. His sheets and blankets were like layers of ice as he sat and smoked his pipe weed trying to ease his mind and stay warm. Boris the Mute would share his Kings bed. Shamefully, Boris wept in Joseph's arms. He comforted the Knight like a little boy; like a blood brother who he would embrace. Usually the three of them would share this room together, but after his foolish ways, Gloria did not want to be near him. It was a hell of a day, one that he hoped to forget but knew it would probably haunt him forever.

"Get up, Boris. I should really be the one crying." Joseph sat his pipe down to remove himself from Boris' grasp. "But I am a selfish man...only thinking of my self. I do not feel sadness or guilt. I am not ashamed of my actions, yet I am wrong and my pride can not even convince me around that truth. The only right thing I've done is not hide how I feel, Boris. Maybe you should do the same. Show her that you love her."

Boris signaled to his throat.

"I know, but you don't need your tongue to tell her. Thus as long as you play like its not real, the longer your heart will suffer. Our women are not here. And here we are, sobbing and venting like two bridesmaids."

Boris laughed a bit, and wiped his eyes, getting himself together. He signaled for Henry to go after her.

Joseph hesitated.

Boris pushed him and mumbled out sounds that were encouraging.

Henry grabbed his blanket and headed out into the cold halls. Their rooms were not that far apart and Joseph could see Sarah pleasing Gweyr down the corridors, without shame; the two naturally fled from the King's gaze, into their own private quarters. He shut the door swiftly so Boris would not see and rage with anger. He went the opposite way of the couple only to turn the corner and find Gloria's door. He hesitated again, catching his fist as he prepared to knock. Instead he decided to sit down near her door and think....

Had he lost his mind?! The Titan felt like a pile of waste, littered near her crib. All the good he was doing, it all felt for naught when Gloria refused his kiss. Such action had brought him back to reality. He did not only betray his best friend, but also Delilah, who trusted him to care for her wife. And Ellen who loved him so much that she would rather him be a tyrant and let his cousin Martha remain enslaved by the Norse, then try to save her. So many innocent people were brought into their love triangle; an affair that started long before he had become a King.

"I am sorry, Gloria. Forgive me." He said through her door. "I don't know what came upon me. I guess I have never been this close to death before. And in that moment, all I could think about was how much I love you. I did not want to die without you knowing how I truly feel. If you choose to resign from your position once we bring Delilah back home, I will support you. I would rather have your friendship and your love than your anger towards me."

The sound of Joseph's voice on the other side of her door stalls Gloria's restless pacing as easily as if he had gripped a hand around her neck. In this case it feels more as if he is squeezing her heart though. As her king speaks of his own death, his bodyguard's two slim, calloused hands press against the opposite side of the door from where he sits, straining against the hardened clay as if she could break it in two with the strength of her love and...desire. Yes, desire. It couldn't be denied that she felt drawn physically to this towering specimen of masculinity as well. That she had been since she was old enough to even understand such feelings.

Why?! Why did this have to be so...so hard?! So complicated... If only she hadn't listened to her father all those years ago and walled her heart off from the one man that had ever truly won her respect, her admiration, her esteem... Looking back on it now, Joseph's interest and intentions all seemed so clear. How had she ever managed to remain so blind for so long?!

His next words strike her whole being cold. Give up her position? The man must truly be mad. How can he suggest such a thing? How can she give up her duty to Jubilee? To the crown? To his family? To him?

How can you live every day in his company, loving him more than life itself yet sworn til death to another?

Gloria presses her forehead against her door and a soft groan escapes her lips. He loves her. He truly loves her. And she...

"Resign? You truly have lost your mind." The words aren't loud, just barely loud enough to be heard on the other side and even then only because he sits so close to her door. "You thought you were close to death today? You wouldn't last a week without me by your side."

She's trying to sound brave, to cut the tension between them with a bit of humor but her voice shakes slightly all the same.

Hearing Gloria's soft voice through the clay barrier made him smile. He even chuckled a bit, boyishly, when she cursed him for thinking the worst. Could he really let her resign? He would rather resign himself before that ever happened. Unfortunately, as King of Jubilee, to be resigned means death and that is one burden he did not want Gloria to live with. He placed his long muscular fingers on the door and relaxed his eyes before he spoke again...

"A week? Hell, I am not sure I'd last a day..." He laughed through cloudy eyes that held back his own tears. "I don't think we went that long apart even after your wedding day." He offered his own wit and humor.

Then he seen Gwyer watching him from afar. Surprisingly, Sarah was not beside her. He shook his head as if he was hallucinating, thus the Elvatian was still there as broad as his boots that needed polishing.

"Look, I don't have an issue with you and Sarah. That's your thing. We all have our thing. You just better make sure you are serious, because there is a man who I care about, that loves her and he is torn about it." He said.

Of course this might have confused Gloria as she was who he came out to see and the attention was being drawn elsewhere.

"As sweet as your witch is, I understand the necessary caution. That is why I am not in her bed now and out here with you instead. I truthfully don't want to come between them."

"That is lovely of you. But it still doesn't explain why you are out here when I am trying to mend things with Gloria?" Joseph frowned. "Such confessions can be left for the morning, unless its other business you bring me?"

"It was either impeccable timing or Ecru's fate. But I originally came to the Underdark to investigate this matter, then I heard you were here and well, I had to save you and that may have delayed things." Gweyr explained.

"Truly it was Ecru and his mad fate, conveniently, so." Joseph grinned.

"I was hoping to speak with you about this matter in private, but since Gloria is your Hand, I reckon you both should hear this. Do you oppose?"

Gweyr came closer and waited for Gloria to open the door. There she held a parchment that she unfolded, the words written in blood mixed ink, a Drow thing obviously. Henry looked at the horrifying letters, unable to make any of them out. He would encourage his Hand out as this seemed an important matter, one that required them to put their personal thing aside; again.

"It's okay Gloria. You can come out and hear this." Henry commanded.

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