Dawn of the Dark Elves
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The great spider crisscrossed walls and ceilings alike through the Underdark with such haste the cheetah of the southern plains would have been put to shame. Emerging from the wastes of the Northdark, the beast crawled into Menzoberranzan and made its way through the two-mile-long cavern that was home to the great drow houses. Though Menzoberranzan was called “the City of Spiders” and was blessed by Lolth herself, a huge monstrous spider traveling unaccompanied through the stalagmites was still an unwelcome site. The deep rothé farmers remarked to themselves as it passed them by that this spider moved with a purpose—an unusual prospect, indeed, for a creature so unintelligent as a spider.

At last the spider had reached the estate of the seventh house, House Tuin’Tarl, carved from the wall of the cavern itself. Drow noble estates did not have doors, for noble drow possessed levitate as a spell-like ability, and so the spider climbed the building and leaped into the topmost chamber through a rooftop entrance. It landed in the center of a large temple devoted to the goddess Lolth, and three drow priestesses, whose spies had alerted them the beast was coming, were waiting. The spider simply curled into a ball and slowly whatever transmutation had borne the creature began to unravel, and the huge spider was quickly replaced by a lithe drow female in black chitin armor.

The transmuter labored to speak, as she was both tired and still obviously wounded, but eventually regained her composure. “Our operation has failed, milady. Gorgozamoth has fled and Bruherd has been killed.”

Prid’eesoth Tuin, Matron of the Seventh House, stood from her throne. She wore gossamer robes spun from spider’s silk and favored abundant and gaudy jewelry made from onyx, jet, and black pearl. She was no less youthful or beautiful now than she was when she was a mere 200 years old. “How is it possible that you have failed, Rana? Bruherd was trained at Melee Magthere, and your goal was clear and my plan was infallible.”

“There were… complications, milady,” Rana spoke with a fearful grimace. “The resistance was easily twice what we expected. A group of surface folk intervened. I could not identify most of them, but they made it abundantly clear they belonged to the ‘Silver Company’.”

“You said you couldn’t identify most of them,” Prid’eesoth spoke, trying to hide an obvious frown. “What did you mean by this?”

“It was Bruherd’s brother, milady. Bruherd’s brother is the leader of the Silver Company.”

Nym Tuin? He is one of Sorcere’s instructors. I find his betrayal unlikely.”

“No, not Nym, milady, it was their younger brother—Rupskin, I believe.”

“So Rupskin Tuin has betrayed me and Gorgozamoth has escaped me? Lolth is angered at my failure, and I must appease her with blood.” Prid’eesoth turned to the other priestesses sitting by her side, “Take Rana to the holding cells, and then bring the family of Rupskin Tuin to me. Organize an assault team to find this ‘Silver Company’; they may know where Gorgozamoth has gone. They must all die for the glory of the Spider Queen.”

Rana lowered her head, “I’m sorry, milady.”

Prid’eesoth only looked at her for a moment, before scowling and turning away. “So am I, Rana.”

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