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  #1  
Old Jul 26th, 2017, 10:32 AM
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Chapter 6h: Of Bards and Brothers

True to his word, the King allowed Nallaul to visit Tel'shar, who was locked away in one of the 'middling' dungeons. What exactly this meant the Drow didn't know, but upon being led to the bard's cell he was surprised to find it was far more comfortable than anything the Drow would have given. It certainly wasn't comfortable, but there was an actual bed for one thing. The biggest problem for Tel'shar would be the anti-magic field that encompassed it, but so long as Nallaul didn't approach too closely to the bars he would be free of its effects.

As for the bard himself, he appeared asleep when Nallaul visited, his back to the cell door, but from what he could see Tel'shar appeared fine. There was even a plate and pitcher in the cell next to the bed.

~MTWC
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Old Jul 27th, 2017, 05:09 PM
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Nallaul started to approach Tel'shar. He stopped. There was mixed feelings. Tel'shar was his brother and he loved him. However there the fact Tel'shar had done terrible, terrible, things to free him and his daughters. He shook his head. Nallaul was guilty of terrible things as well. It didn't matter. The mage could forgive Tel'shar almost anything. Tel'shar was family. Still there was the encounter in the arena with Hali'ara and Dea. Nallaul was certain that was also a test of him. A test of his loyalty to Tel'shar.
He finally speaks. "Well I didn't know you got tired this easily. I guess you don't want to hear how Lolth died then."
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Old Aug 1st, 2017, 10:22 AM
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Tel'shar replied almost instantly, making it clear that he wasn't actually sleeping, but feigning it. Knowing him as Nallaul did, it was most likely to avoid interactions with his jailers. "Dead by the hand of Deimos, if things went as they were meant to." The drow takes his time turning around and sitting up, eyes glancing around to assess if they were alone. "Just you?" Again, knowing Tel'shar, this wasn't what most would have assumed - wondering if his daughters were hiding around a corner - but simply him compensating for not being able to use magic. Nallaul might be adept at deception - as most Drow must be to some degree - but Tel'shar was a master both at using and detecting it, so even if Nallaul was being forced to lie, the bard would expect to be able to tell.

~MTWC
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Old Aug 1st, 2017, 05:53 PM
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"Pretty much." Nallaul confirmed of the death. "Just me. The girls are fine despite Ira nearly raping them."
He paused. "So the arena. Was that a test of my loyalty to you?"
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Old Aug 10th, 2017, 02:29 PM
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There was a flicker of 'something' when Nallaul mentioned Ira's attempted rape, but the wizard knew his brother well enough that he was sure Tel'shar was both unaware and not impressed by that fact, to say the least. "The arena? I had nothing to do with that 'Sulion' woman, if that's what you're asking. Your working with [DM Note - Again, this is typical of Tel'shar. He won't name people in a cavalier fashion, especially when talking about any of his schemes.]our mutual friend to hide the surfacers actually forced a change in the plan though, if that's what you mean. We didn't intend to involve her at all originally. Her loyalties are too...flexible. Still, it worked out in the end. It's just a shame I couldn't help complete the set with T'rissafay."

~MTWC
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Old Aug 10th, 2017, 02:47 PM
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"Really? I thought she was in it from the beginning. Gula actually mentioned you both wanted me spared Sorry for involving Hali'ara. What was the original plan anyway?"
He listens. "Why did you choose to try and assassinate her in the midst of their court?"
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Old Aug 11th, 2017, 03:01 PM
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"No apologies needed, it worked out in the end and it's not like I dislike her. I just don't trust her much. The original plan? Have them revealed for who they were while they were still 'guests' of our glorious house. No need for anything fancy, all that was needed was for them to all be gathered with Lolth in one place around Dea." Tel'shar's tone was rather flippant, which wasn't exactly unusual for him, as he rarely seemed to take much seriously.

When asked about his own assassination attempts he sighed. "Caught up in the moment I guess. That and a miscalculation in the moment. I thought the confirmation of what Drow were like would make them happy for me to eliminate the threat, like a Drow House would have been. Guess I was wrong, since she's still alive from what I've heard." He snorts. "Not to mention that infuriating seer of hers."

~MTWC
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Old Aug 11th, 2017, 03:17 PM
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"I have good news on that front at least. Hywel is a servant of a Halvan enemy. He's being held somewhere."
He looks at Tel'shar. "I am going to do everything in my power to free you. Probably have to work for the Halvans for a time. Unfortunately they know about my past. Hywel was going to drop my child murder in, so I decided to confess."
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Old Aug 14th, 2017, 10:57 AM
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The bard smirks at the news of Hywel's imprisonment. "Hopefully they'll let the gobby bastard rot. Every word that leaves that one's mouth is poison."

On the news of Nallaul's intentions Tel'shar appears more guarded. "I appreciate it, but don't worry about me. I've made my bed. It's an expression up here. If you've made your bed then you need to lie in it. I'm under no illusions about what I've done, even if you take away my personal attack. Don't get yourself into debt on my account, the price will be too high."

There is a long, thoughtful pause before he continues. "I know you better than anyone Nallaul. Maybe even better than you know yourself. You've always been...soft. Not surfacer soft of course, you wouldn't have survived below if that was the case. That...goddess, the one of shadows. She's creeped into my skull, fished through it looking for things. There's no lying to that. But for you, that's a good thing, because she'll see how much it tore you up. All the little rebellions you did, walking the line. If anyone can understand that then it'll be another Drow. You'll survive up here better than I can. I'm too Drow. Even if the king let me go, I'll still be playing the same game. It's who I am. What I'm good at." He smiles, one of the few genuine looking smiles that Nallaul has ever seen from him, although he can't seem to bring himself to actually look Nallaul in the eye as he does so.

"But you...you're loyal. You're better. Align yourself with the King by all means, but don't do it for me. Don't waste your trust and favours. Save yourself and, if you really want to help me, then help my daughters. Felynda in particular will find it difficult, but she's a survivor. And young. She can still learn, especially if you're there to help her. She never looked up to me anyway." He stares at the stone floor for a time, seemingly done with his request/argument.

~MTWC
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Old Aug 14th, 2017, 02:28 PM
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Nallaul nods. "Of course I will help the girls as best I can." He looks sharply at Tel'shar. "You are a family. The only real family I have left. We may not be related by blood, but we are brothers. I am not giving up on you. Ever. Now I don't know what you will do once free. Perhaps you will go back to playing games."
He paused. "You are tricky Tel'shar, and there's no one else I would rather have my back. I think the Halvans are going to need tricky people. You could use your vast skills for good, instead of the whims of an evil man-hating bitch. I am sure the Halvans pay well too."
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 03:33 PM
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Tel'shar smiles, although there is a hint of sadness to it. "As I said, you're a better person than me Nallaul, but I know better than to try and dissuade you of something you've set your mind to."

There is a slight pause before he changes the subject. "Talking of your stubbornness, has the his insulting pet-name for Xufaer, albeit one he has never dared use anywhere she might heararch-b!tch shown up yet? I imagine she's going to struggle quite a bit surviving up here, assuming the king doesn't throw her in a cell too."
OOCNot yet, but she is on her way to the capitol with a military escort. All Vulcar has said so far is that he will hear her (and by extension, Nallaul) out, but he makes no other promises. I intended to do follow that scene up after this, so feel free to say so (it could even be scheduled for directly after this if you like, if not we'll just time skip).

~MTWC
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Old Aug 19th, 2017, 04:23 PM
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"I really wish you would not call her that, but I suppose I can't blame you old boy. She's on her way as I understand. Under military escort. As long as she has a place for her magical experiments, and that she understands that she can't punish people simply because they displease her, then she should be fine. At least I hope so."
He paused. "I am getting you out of here. I still have a bottle of that mushroom wine you like. We will drink it in the mansion. As free Drow."
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 11:06 AM
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Tel'shar lets out a bubble of bitter laughter. "Free Drow? I'll grant you that you're trading a terrible master for a better one, but you you're still a servant of someone in power over you. That isn't freedom." He smirks. "But maybe its a start."

~MTWC
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 11:37 AM
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They were coming to the end of their allotted time. Nallaul was not naive enough to believe he was fully trusted by the Halvans, and he still had an uncomfortable conversation with Morgan over his past to come. That Zilira would understand was little comfort.
"I have to go now Tel'shar. Don't know when they'll let me return, but I will come back as much as I can. Perhaps I can even persuade the girls to come."
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Old Aug 27th, 2017, 12:48 PM
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Tel'shar gives Nallaul an uncharacteristically sad smile. "Don't push yourself on my account. They've more than a few good reasons to hate me and that was before you told me about Ira. Besides, they've done well enough without me for most of their life."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Less than an hour after Nallaul's talk with Tel'shar he found himself standing outside one of the King's guest quarters, face-to-face with a trio of royal guards standing either side of the door. While it looked like they weren't going to throw Xufaer in prison it was also clear that they didn't entirely trust her - as they shouldn't do really, if Nallaul was being honest. "She's expecting you." One of them said before opening the door for him.

The quarters themselves were very similar to Nallaul's own and while it was by no means 'poor' they were certainly smaller and less lavish than Xufaer would be used to. Fortunately, she had always been too paranoid to allow anyone to wait on her hand and foot, so between that and her magic it seemed unlikely that she would particularly struggle without slaves to serve her any whim. More importantly, if they were anything like his own then there was no way that she could really perform her magical experiments, as well as her generally lacking in the materials, books and tools she would need. That would soon grate on her if things didn't change.

Xufaer herself was standing with her back to him when he walked in, staring out of the large windows the looked out over the palace grounds and the sprawling city below. Once she heard the door closed behind him she turned, looking over her shoulder with that guarded yet confident expression of hers. "Nallaul, it's good to see you managed to survive." It was hardly a declaration of love, but it was a lot more than most would ever get from the Archmage - or any Drow woman for that matter.

~MTWC
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