The cleric sat on a snow covered boulder overlooking the edge of the forest, her white cloak and long white hair melding with her surroundings. Her presence would have gone unoticed but for her ebony skin and her pendant oscillating in the northern wind. Snakes intertwined in a knot, the symbol of the betrayer.
The drow sat completely still in silent contemplation. She prayed. And waited.
It had been more than a month now and there still was no sign of the Svirfneblin, it seemed unlikely that he would fulfill his promise. Improbable…but not inconceivable… In any case the camp would not be lifted until two more days and in the interval, there was nothing to do but wait. Wait and hope for a lucky break.
Another cloaked figure suddenly emerged from the forest not to far from her. A beautiful drow, haggar and wearied, dragging her feet in the snow.
The cleric stood up, revealing her presence, giving an inquisitive look to this new arrival.
Another priestess of Rimfax. Jaxia immediately recognized her.
«Sybellinth Daevon’lyr, I presume?»
«You know of me, but I do not believe we’ve met before.» responded Sybellinth, still catching her breath.
«We have. I am Jaxia Xull. I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you. You’ve had a long journey. You are safe now.»
Jaxia’s smile was gracious, there was a warmth to her. Her answer seemed to lift a weight off Sybellinth’s shoulders, after all these trials and tribulations… she finally made it. She was back amongst her kind at long last.
«These are difficult times. Without strong allies, one is sure to perish. I made it this far but for the grace of Rimfax. I would be most grateful if you would introduce me to the Lord General. I would gladly pledge myself before your master.»
For a fraction of a second, Jaxia’s pupils dilated slightly.
«Yes… I am sure my master would entertain your generous offer. We would certainly benefit to count one such as you among us.»
Jaxia gracefully jumped down from her perch and made her way to Sybellinth.
«Come with me, our camp is near. Please, friend, tell me of your incredible journey…»
The two priestesses went about mostly unnoticed as the camp was bustling with activity as final preparations were made for the great march west. They made their way to one of the larger tent where Jaxia whispered some instruction to one of the guards, who noded and entered the leader’s tent.
Both women knelt, while waiting for a response to their request for an audience. Sybellinth used the opportunity to brush aside snow that had collected on her shoulders and straighten her cloak. One’s has only one chance to make a good impression…
«Tell me Jaxia. How is she?»
«Sindell Hun’Duis, your master. How is she?»
«Sindell?» said Jaxia, feigning surprise, «Sindell has perished in Barad Halcin Nîr… I serve another now.»
Before Sybellinth could say another word, a rugged warrior wearing an mithril breastplate with an ornate snake patterns exited the tent. The middle age drow gave Sybellinth a predatory stare, grinning in satisfaction. His sight sent shivers down her spine.
It was him.
«Rise, my child… Come… Come embrace your father.»