Author Topic: Soulbound- Mi'zzerrah Rilyn'qai  (Read 477 times)

Avela

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Soulbound- Mi'zzerrah Rilyn'qai
« on: December 10, 2022, 10:14:45 PM »
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Prelude- Solitude


The stars.

Their sparkle dances far into the night sky, far above the heads of monsters and men alike. They shine with a sparkle that rival the glint in her own silvery eyes. Her eyes have contested the stars in the sky night after night, as if challenging every single glinting speck with her nigh hypnotic gaze- the stars always fade away eventually.

It is calming in a way. Despite being surrounded by death and cold, staring up defiantly at the stars is at least somewhat a distraction. Here, there is little else to do- the beasts tend to not tread near the Vistanti Camp, of which she quietly resides nearby. Laying on a gnarly bedroll she took while no one was looking and laying face up at the dark speckled sky is all she may do at night. What useful material from this wretched land is covered in blankets of ice and snow, rendering what was left in the twilight of autumn useless. Not to mention the many, many, -many- beasts of the night that roam would certainly impede travel greatly.

Not that she has anywhere else to go.

Being around most surfacers makes her skin crawl... being around her own kind makes her soul rage and call for chaos. Something she cannot deliver without bringing about her own destruction... though the temptation to do so lingers ever so near at any given moment, looming over the dark elf like the Mists that imprisoned her in the first place.

The temptation is there, and it is strong...

Her slightly dried lips part to make way for a heavy, listless sigh as her mind wanders to her "kind". She wonders if they think she died or simply abandoned them. She wonders if they even notice her absence at all... probably not.

The thought that should be disheartening is actually, in a way, freeing. Not important enough to be needed, not hated enough to be hunted... she may be left to challenge the skies in some semblance of peace.

Ha. Peace.

Peace was a rare phenomenon in her life before... but here? It simply does not exist. Not for Mi'zzerrah.

It all fell apart so quickly... crumbled in the palm of her hand right before her very eyes. Helpless. Useless. A waste of air.

And now her failure has cost her dearly, in more ways than losing her House. The once blessing that graced her with beauty, wealth and power has now become a curse chained to her very soul, tormenting her each passing moment, constantly screaming for chaos, vengeance... for her death.

The screams only die down to a quiet calling in the brief moments of distraction she finds, whether it be playing with darthiiri or messing with the nearby Vistanti... anything, anything to alleviate the burning inside her dark soul.

Dark lids slide over slowly her silver eyes until they fully close, long lashes hovering over her cheeks. Perhaps she will go back, one day, when she is calmer. When she doesn't want to throttle the necks of all in sight or burn down all the villages with the villagers inside it...

Will they even want her back?... Probably not. Nor do they know if they will take her into their domain again.

At the same gradual pace her eyes open up once again.

But she can only stare at the stars for so long.

For they always fade away.


« Last Edit: January 27, 2023, 10:34:23 PM by Avela »
Character List:

Feyvera Le'for (Main)
Lady Ellavyra
Mi'zzerrah Rilyn'qai

Avela

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Re: Soulbound- Mi'zzerrah Rilyn'qai
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2023, 12:23:12 AM »
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Chapter 1- Benevolence



(clang!...clang!...clang!...)

Over again and again a steady rhythm of a clash of metal against metal rung throughout the small smithing station. A clear, controlled cadence with the roaring fires of the forge being its melody. Together they created this quiet sonnet, conducted by a strong arm with a hand curled around a hammer in an iron grip.

The cadence paused as another hand flipped over the blade, before it resumed the beat. Each strike swung with precision, control, purpose.

(clang!...clang!...CLANG!!)

With a decisive final blow the beat stopped again. The smith brought the blade up from the anvil and plunged it into a basin, the angry orange swiftly drowned out and coaxed the piece back to its true hues.

After sufficient drownings, the smith draws the blade into the open air once again. Tiny streams trickle onto her gloves before jumping off and landing on the black, cracked floors below, sinking down into the crevices. The newly shaped blade now faces the smith's scrutiny through a pair of keen, narrowed eyes. The orbs travel the length of the blade, from the base of its black handle, up the curved sides and keen edges, all the way to the pin-pointed top.

The eyes squint in disapproval.

With a quiet snarl the smith chucks the blade to her left. With a loud clash!! it crashes into the wall, it's fall down no less broken by the small pile of nearly-perfect blades. Another addition to the growing pile of scrap.

With a hiss of a sigh, the smith turns back to the anvil, glaring down at the floor around its base. It was her one of her first times working with this material and it was turning out to be almost as stubborn as the smith hold attempts to mold it. The metal was popular in Ched Nasad at the time, and many sought it out for its properties. She wanted to craft a special piece to draw in more lucrative business. This metal was not cheap. It needed to be shaped -perfectly-, otherwise it would not sell better than any of the other many mediocre smiths that dot the streets of Ched Nasad.

The design must be eye-catching, and deadly accurate. It must be perfect...

The smith's frustrated thoughts were interrupted by a notably foul stench. Her features warpped into an open mouth snarl, nose wrinkling as the smell invaded her finer senses. Blegh... what... IS that??...

And that is when her eyes caught the first glimpse of the fog. The green, gaseous fog. It quietly trickled in past the base of the black anvil, slowly reaching towards the smith's boots.

Immediately her eyes were wide with alarm. Had someone released a poisonous gas in her smith's room? Who could have done so without her even noticing until now?...

She looked up to the see the perpetrator (or in the very least where that foul stench emanated from). The view her eyes told her was not the scene she expected, but far more.

The seeping trails of the fog turned out to be only the tailcoats of what was a towering gaseous form that rose almost to the ceiling of the small forge room, expanding outwards of five feet, perhaps more, asserting itself as the center piece of the small room. It had no eyes to look down at the smith and yet she could not help but feel its presence focused entirely on her.

The smith froze. What.... what??...

For the moment it simply existed in the center of her forge room, towering over her as its vaguely formed tendrils explored the floors. She had a hammer in her hand, but what would that do against a foul fog?

What is it? What could it possible want?

As the smith's mind ran rampant with panicked thoughts of defense or escape, a stirring motion occurred within the fog. Quickly, the gas turned inward on itself, accumulating together. As it gathered itself, it condensed further and further into a much smaller form...

Before the smith's very eyes, the gaseous fog swirled around, compressing into itself as it began to shift. The dozens of vague tendrils gathered into two on each side, the base drawing in to form two other "limbs". As it drew in more, the green faded into obsidian, the form solidified into skin and flesh. It was turning into something else. Something... recognizable.

In that moment, the towering, stench-filled fog, had turned into a female drow. A very tall, very nude female drow.

The most immediate thing that caught the smith's attention were her eyes. Naturally narrowed, however the slight slant could not conceal the brilliant looking rose hue, nor the golden lions mane that surrounded her pupils which seemed to hold the most subtle glow. Her stare was.... easy, gentle even, matching the slight smile along her cupid's bow. Her features were angular like that of a noble drowess, sharp, yet aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Her body was slim yet toned, covered in jet-black skin that held nary a flaw. She wore her hair long, fairly wild as several white strands fell out of place. An unkempt looking yet undeniable beauty. Other than standing at around six feet (disregarding the whole "gaseous form" thing) she looked like a normal, albeit very attractive, dark elf.

"Vendui, Imrae."

If the smith could push past her shock she would be stuttering. What was this thing... How did... this... thing know her name?

The other "drow" sighed as she rolled her rose-hued eyes, her arms came to cross with one another. "I thought you would be better equipped to handle an impromptu meeting. You always -seem- so quick witted and shrewd..."

After she processed the sight with several blinks, Imrae did speak eventually; "...What -are- you?... What are you doing here?..." Her eyes narrowed a moment. "...And why are you naked?"

"Well pardon the indecency, but it is quite difficult to carry along a set of clothes as my... other form." she flashed a smile, a stark, almost sardonic one before it quickly faded off into an indifferent flat line. "Really, do you not know what I am? Are you not as devout to the Spider Queen as I thought...?"

The Spider Queen... Lolth? But, why...

In that moment Imrae finally realized what this creature was.

"A... you are a yochlol?"

The demon smiled more, amused. "Xas... you are starting to catch on."

While it wasn't immediate information to the smith, Imrae had come to learn of the Spider Queen's Handmaidens in her younger years. They are demons, essentially. However ones who sole purpose was to serve Lolth as faithfully as any other devoted drow, if not even more so. Their forms varied, from gaseous fogs to humanoid appearances- in this case, a tall, statuesque drow. Though even with this realization, Imrae was still left confused- she never knew yochlol to make casual, friendly visits...

"But... why has a Handmaiden of Lolth come to my shop?" The smith asked with a cautious tone, though her widened eyes showed some reverence for the creature that stood before her this night.

She shifted her weight to her left leg, still keeping her arms crossed, though not for any sense of decency. "Why, to offer one of Lolth's faithful a deal, of course. A very generous, very profitable deal."

Imrae rose a brow. "A deal? With me?"

"Is that so hard to believe?" With one hand, she nonchalantly gestured to the pile of discarded weaponry. "You have formidable talents as a smith and yet you are still so discerning with your work. Moreover," she continued as she brought the arm back to her hold, "you possess a mind that expands further than that. I've seen how you have competed with the other smiths in this area... you have even had a hand in taking a few out, haven't you?" She smirked at the accusation.

"How would you even-"

"Nau, not important." She interrupted dismissively. "The point is, -I- have seen enough to be impressed. And if I am impressed, then what impresses me has value. So, a deal shall be made."

Imrae froze once more, leaving a long pause filled with nothing but the flickering crackles of the forge. How did this happen? Perhaps it was always possible but... very few of even Lolth's most faithful have the opportunity to make a deal with one of her handmaidens... never mind the demon -initiating- said deal.

Her eyes squinted a little at the statuesque looking drow, as she examined her with a scrutinizing gaze. "...What kind of deal?"

"Ah, interested? Good, you should be~" The yochlol remained where she stood, her weight shifted in time with the subtle twist in her torso. She seemed quite relaxed, in total control of herself as well as the situation.

"Imrae, you have -much- potential." The demon went on, in a more serious tone of voice. "Your quick wit, your ruthless and calculating mentality... and your skill as a smith sets you apart from all the commoners. You would benefit Lolth better as a noble."

Her once squinted eyes widened fully at that statement.

Seeing the smith's reaction only instigated a grin to grow large on the demon's lips. "Sounds nice, mm?"

Imrae didn't respond right away, even her fast adaptability being unable to keep up with the events of this encounter. "...So you would make me a noble, a matron of my own House?"

"That is correct." The demon affirmed with a slight bow of her head. "Mind you, not -too- high up. You will still need to work hard to keep your newly attained status, as well as pushing past it. But xas, that is something I could deliver."

The bewildered stare from the smith soon turned suspicious once again. "...What do you want in turn?"

"Mm... a sacrifice, of sorts." The demon held up a slim fingered hand, her gaze inspected the clean and polished nails for a brief moment. "A child... your child, to be specific." She dropped the hand back into the crossed hold as her rose eyes met the smith's once again.

"My... child? I haven't children... you want me to condemn my unborn child to death before they've even been conceived?"

"Nau, nau." The same hand as before tossed itself in a dismissive nature. "Naut death. Quite the opposite... I want one of your spawn to be my disciple."

"A disciple? Why ask me to birth you a disciple?"

"Why do you ask so many questions about such a wonderful deal?" The demon replied in a rather snide tone. "Is it really all that much to ask? She would still be -your- daughter, and serve your House... with me as her patron. It is a boon to you more than anything."

The smith regarded her with a slight snarl. "Hnh... you want me to bind my child to you from birth... so what? You can watch and cackle as she overthrows me before my time?"

"While that would be entertaining, that is not my intent." The yochlol reassured in a somewhat flat tone, as if the idea did not provide as much amusement as her words stated. "Nau... once you are within the nobility, you live and die by your own terms. Outside of my disciple, nauthing of my influence will tip the balance one way or another."

"Then why-"

"Because I will it." The demon cut her off, sternly. Rose eyes narrowed as her lips curled into a soft snarl. "That is all you need to know at this time."

The statement left the smith to fall silent for the time. She looked at the yochlol with mixed opinions- suspicion combating with ambition, the battle clear in the drow's eyes.

Seeing this, the yochlol rolled her brilliant eyes with a quiet sigh. "Look. I cannot make you accept my generous offer. But it is a great boon to you and your bloodline. What is your other alternative, hm? Scrape and claw your way to the top, hoping to be noticed by the right people, hoping to avoid the wrong ones? With my deal, you are guaranteed into the nobility- not many have that within their reach... and all I ask is a disciple from you. One that will still be well within your House and will serve it."

Despite the explanation, the smith continued to stare with that same mixed glare.

The yochlol pressed her lips into a flat line in irritation with the smith, though not overly confused by her caution. "...An amendment, then?" She proposed after a tense moment, slightly relaxing her posture that had become stiffer over time. "I will make it so the disciple cannot betray you or your House- she will serve House Rilyn'qai, me, and Lolth, and that is all- if the House falls, so does she. So she cannot harm you, and she cannot leave to a rival House. Will that ease your suspicions, smtih?"

Imrae's gaze widened into a softer stare, her eyes glanced down at the cracked stone floors. This offer changed the course of the battle in her eyes as she pursed her lips together in thought. She looked then to the pile of scrap, staring at the hours and hours of wasted work and material.

The smith slowly turned her gaze back to the demon who awaited patiently, the pensive stare melting into a confident smirk as she saw the change before her. Imrae held her chin up as she said, "So... you will raise my House to nobility... and will keep your disciple on a leash, xas?"

The demon's head dipped down, chin pointed towards chest before slowly raising back up again in an affirmative nod. "Xas."

Imrae's gaze became thoughtful with consideration. "...In my prayers to the Spider Queen, I had already dedicated my first born daughter to her service in full. I do naut wish to go back on my word to her."

"Mm... and I would naut expect that of you, of course. My mistress's claims will always come first, naturally... very well, I can wait for your second born. She will do."

"Hnh." She huffed a breath, the light snarl returning to her parted lips. "You are so certain it will be female. Why?"

The demon brought her bare shoulder up before letting it fall back down into position. "Because I will it so~"

"...Very well, demon. I accept your terms."

A slow smile curved on the demon's lips, her rose hued gaze filling with fiendish delight. "Excellent... you have made a wise decision, Imrae. I am so glad..." She began to gradually turn on her heel towards the exit while she said, "Your true status will be known soon... and we will speak when it is time to discuss my disciple..."

"Wait."

At the call of the smith the demon stopped in her tracks.

"...What do I call you?" Imrae asked after a pause, perhaps not even herself knowing what she was about to ask.

The statuesque figure looked over her shoulder, her white hair partially hiding her elegant features. "...Desith." She said simply, before turning back and walking to the door, quickly reducing back to the initial gaseous form before Imrae could say a single word.

Character List:

Feyvera Le'for (Main)
Lady Ellavyra
Mi'zzerrah Rilyn'qai

Avela

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  • Undead Master
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  • Posts: 452
Re: Soulbound- Mi'zzerrah Rilyn'qai
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2023, 10:21:47 PM »
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Chapter 2- Succession


Everything was perfect.

Decades went by in what felt like a blink of an eye to the once lowly smith, who at this point stood as a Matron of growing renown. House Rilyn'qai was on many lips, whispers about their growing strength and quality, how did Imrae rise to the top so quickly...?

It all started seemingly out of nowhere, not even a week after Desith made her last appearance in Imrae's now previous residence. Luck was with Imrae at every turn- not long after the demon disappeared, Imrae continued to work the metal she had fought with before. The very next attempt produced a beautiful instrument of death with a sleek design that would cut through flesh like air. It was one of her best works at the time, and it remained so for years to come.

Once the finer details were tended to, Imrae put the blade on display immediately after the following cycle, her hopes of the blade bringing her good fortune peaked. And bring good fortune it did.

It felt like mere hours had passed before she walked through the door. Red eyes scanned the interior of the humble smith shop before their focus narrowed in on the blade Imrae had forged and perfected. Without a single word, she took one, two, three self assured steps to the blade, each one marked with the sway of her red tinged piwafwi- which denoted her a noble.

Imrae stood as still as could be as she dispensed with her busy work to eye the noblewoman's movements. She was unsure the name of this woman or whose House she represented, but the piwafwi itself was a symbol all commoners recognized, and respected if they wished to keep their lives.

With fluid motion, the noble reached for the sword and gripped it by its dark grey handle. She slid it out of its display with little effort and brought the shiny metal up to her face. Her eyes greeted their reflection with a scrutiny-filled gaze. The stare lingered a moment before red orbs wandered the length of the blade, the gripped hand eased the blade from side to side as she continued the impromptu examination.

The noblewoman then looked to the far side of the shop which, admittedly, was not far, to where a beaten combat dummy stood with what shreds of its pride the poor object still held after years of testing. Again without so much as a word, she took the blade over to the dummy. All the while, Imrae watched in silence. She dared not to offer protest or even assistance until asked.

The noblewoman stood in front of the aged dummy for a brief moment before. After a brief pause, and without warning, she lifted the blade above her head and thrust it downwards across the dummy, as if her intent was to break the blade. However, the blade sliced through the battered object cleanly,  and ripped through the tattered fabrics without resistance. She paused as the red orbs examined the new state of the testing dummy before she repeated the action from a different angle with twice as much force, which produced a similar result as before. Finally, the noble gave no quarter as she, with all the might of her strong arm, struck at the combat dummy... only for it to fall apart and crumble into a pile of now worthless material that laid uselessly on the floor.

As she saw the remnants of the dummy settled onto the floor, she lifted the blade back to eye level and observed it- still as sturdy and beautiful as when she first set her gaze upon it. With her stony demeanor firmly in place she pivoted towards Imrae to finally acknowledge her presence.

"Who made this?"

To say she "asked" this would be an understatement, as she spoke in a flat, stern tone that could command an army to her whim without question. This was a demand for answers.

"I did." Imrae replied in a direct, respectful tone, her words kept brief and precise. This drow did not want her time wasted with pleasantries or lengthy explanations.

"Hm." Another scrutiny-filled look was cast onto the blade before her gaze shot back to Imrae. "It is a good blade." She said in what seemed to be an objective tone. "Can you make more like this?"

"Xas." Imrae stated with a curt nod. "With proper tools and material, of course."

"Of course." She repeated within the same, flat tone, once again her eyes upon the blade in what seemed to be careful consideration. They stayed on the metal, wandered its length several times as the two stood in a lengthy silence.

The red harsh orbs darted back up to Imrae. "I am Vankra, Ilharess of House Fav'ai."

Though her face dared not show it, Imrae's insides turned. House Fav'ai was a minor noble house, but an owner and investor of several mines and smiths, whose exports were sold in Menzoberranzan- and quite successfully so. How could she not recognize the insignia at least... and to be in ignorance in the presence of the matron mother herself, would be quite the embarrassment on Imrae's part if the noblewoman knew.

However fortune still seemed to be with Imrae at this point, as the matron mother did not seem to deem the knowledge necessary. And what she said afterwards peaked Imrae's interest:

"My head smith was taken out in a freak accident during forging a unique blade for my interests, and I have been looking to replace her. Few in Ched Nasad match her skill, and many who do are already claimed by other Houses and domains. You may naut be to her level yet but..." Another glance down at the fine blade, "...this is promising..."

The matron did not even give enough of a pause for Imrae to answer before she said, "You will be my new head smith. I will have my servants come and pack the necessary belongings and move you in the House."

Imrae blinked, stunned by the events that had transpired within minutes. She spoke in a voice that did not give her choice... though even if she did, how could Imrae refuse? No, it was not a noble title, and she was not necessarily adopted into the House at this point. But it was still a rise in power, and no self-respecting female drow would ever turn down such an opportunity.

After she recovered from the shock as quickly as she could, Imrae bowed her head in a respectful nod. "Xas, Ilharess... it will be an honor to serve you."

Imrae permanently resided in House Fav'ai by the end of that week, her work of producing arms and armors for Vankra already had begun the moment she stepped through their doors.

And just like that, one piece fell into another.

Being that the Matron Mother was so heavily invested in matters of smithing and mining, she and Imrae worked closely together- they created better designs for weapons and armors, found and acquired mines, and eventually negotiated prices with trade partners. It did not take long for Vankra to spot Imrae's talents not only as a smith, but as an appraiser and negotiator. In time, Imrae moved into the official, albeit lesser, position of Head Merchant, in which she oversaw prices and investments of the House's interests. Of course, while she did remarkable work for the House in terms of finances, Imrae was not satisfied with just that, as it was not her final goal. So, she began to focus her talents in an essential field- tactics.

It was quite the jump to make from the lesser Head Merchant to the nobility-recognized position of a master of tactics and defense. However, out of all the other nobility-recognized positions, the one in charge of supervision of the defenses of the House as well as the members' training in the art of war, was something Imrae was the most likely to excel in. Any obvious reaches for the position would alert the Ilharess to a power grab, so Imrae had to do this with tact and care.

As it happened, the current weapons master of the House at the time was an arrogant and brash fool who focused more on others' perception of him rather than his actual duties, and in the process made many slight errors within his responsibilities...

Once she had Vankra's trust as an advisor, Imrae began to point out a few flaws in the defense of the House- a blind spot here, a small opening there... little, yet important observations which she brought to the Matron Mother's attention which in turn, bit by bit, built her credibility. Over time, Imrae's observations became suggestions, each one the Ilharess took into consideration, and would more often than not follow through with them.

At some point, Imrae was so certain of Vankra's trust in her that she seriously considered taking out the weapon master herself, in hopes Vanrka would appoint her as the new master of defense and, by extension, raise her into a noble status. However, funnily enough, the old weapons master found his end at the hand of street ruffians in the darker alleys of Ched Nasad, which brought the fool to an ironic end- a master of defense unable to defend himself.

Vankra held no grief for the loss of her weapons master, as she had grown more and more tired of him with each failure of his which Imrae brought to her attention. With no other obvious option, Vankra moved Imrae up to the prestigious title of Weapons Master of House Fav'ai... and declared her a noble of the House.

In truth, Imrae was not the House's most skilled fighter- at this point, that would be Vankra herself. However, her knowledge of tactics and astute observations surpassed any other in the House, at least by Vankra's standards. Even though Imrae felt every observation and suggestion she made came rather easily to her. She barely lifted a finger to earn her new place, and yet she was still not satisfied. The climb had taken years, for certain, and yet it was still a short amount of time for how quickly she had risen from commoner to a weapons master. There was a lull in her succession after that, as Imrae patiently waited, bid her time to make her move into what she truly desired most- Ilharess.

She thought it would not be easy. Vankra had two daughters who were of age to take leadership of the House when something inevitably happened to Vankra, whether it be by their hand or another's. So Imrae would have to dispense of those two first, and in a way that did not alert Vankra to her true intentions. That would be difficult to pull off.

...Or so Imrae thought.

As it happened, even after all these years, luck would still be with Imrae. The eldest daughter was slain as she oversaw a valuable transportation of goods to Menzoberranzan when the crew was ambushed by agents of a rival House. Only one survived. The nigh impaled servant limped back to the House to tell the tale of what happened- before they were punished by death at the hand of Vankra for failing to come back with her daughter.

That left the second daughter, who seemed more cautious than her elder sister. Yet her caution could not save her from her fate either; while she lead an expedition to recover artifacts from a nearby dig sight, the ground beneath her feet caved in, and she fell to her death along with several of the House servants and excavators.

Within a few years after Imrae's rise to nobility, Vankra was left with no daughters. Once she received word of her second daughter's fate, she began to panic. With no heirs and rivals at the ready, her House had become dangerously close to falling. At first, Vankra held her suspicions from Imrae- sure, it was possible that Imrae could have tipped off the rival house of the elder daughter's transportation mission, and maybe she could have had it arranged where the old weapon's master would meet his fate at the hands of back alley ruffians- but the cave in at the excavation sight was surely a freak accident that Imrae could not possibly pull off. Surely, it was mere bad luck that plagued House Fav'ai...

...However Vankra's suspicious nature would not let that simply be the case. Over the span of a few months, Vankra grew more and more suspicious of everyone around her, the feeling reached its peak paranoia at one point when she outright accused her lessers of treachery they could not have possibly committed. Imrae knew it would only be a matter of time before Vankra turned her suspicions onto her.

And that she did.

One evening, Vankra had her advisors and lesser roles gathered into a main room, Imrae included, for a celebration of sorts. "A little revelry to ease the tension" she had told Imrae when she first invited her to the small, informal gathering. Vankra had said it with a slight smirk, a sight Imrae would later look back on and see as a thinly veiled ruse.

Imrae could recall the room down the exact detail. For a small occasion, the room had been decorated lavishly and delicious food that took the servants days to prepare set out on tables everywhere for all the guests to feast on. Beautiful music flooded the room, its volume only matched by the delightful banter of the guests. Everyone was dressed to look their best, including the Matron Mother who wore a ceremonial garb- a jewel-encrusted breastplate that was mainly for show, as it displayed several parts of her obsidian skin, acting as a pretty enhancer more than protection. The plate fanned out into an elegant gown, two blades at her hip (which Imrae designed and crafted for her), and white hair held up with silvery chains in the form of webs. She certainly looked her best this eve.

Vankra, at first, seemed rather calm, and even wore a red lipped smile for the majority of the evening, as if she was enjoying the opportunity to share in this moment of relaxation with her House. Imrae would later remember the smile as an anticipatory one.

At one point in the evening, Vankra called everyone to gather to the center of the room, while she stood upon the carefully carved stone steps of the room and invited Imrae to stand along with her. Vankra had an announcement, and it involved Imrae.

Imrae joined her with a smile of her own as she faced the other guests along with Vankra, while everyone else settled into view. The music ceased, the whispers faded, and all went silent as each eye was practically glued to the both of them.

Vankra started the speech while she faced her flock with a subtle grin. "This has been a wonderful evening, has it naut? Finally... a chance to simply unwind, to simply... be."

A few in the crowd had quietly nodded in agreement with smiles of their own, while the others silently listened with attentive expressions. Imrae, herself, also wore her polite smile as she eyed the Matron Mother, though she could not help but notice the feeling of ease had begun to slip away from her.

"Xas... we work hard, and we get what we deserve. As it should be." She turned to Imrae with a slow pivot,  her subtle smile still on her lips. "When I think of the word "deserving", I think of you, Imrae. From the moment I saw your work those years ago... I knew you were deserving of much more than what you had."

Imrae remained silent as she smiled with appreciation, her focus on the Ilharess. Despite the fact her feelings of ease had vanished, not a shred of concern dared showed on her face.

"I could naut know, at the time, what you were deserving of." There was a shift in the Matron's face, suddenly her smile no longer touched her red eyes. "You rose so quickly through my House, far quicker than any before you. And you earned every position... didn't you?" Vankra's tone began to shift as well, and it was detected by several others in the crowd, confused glances had been cast alongside the dumb, imbecilic smiles of the unwary.

This was when Imrae's own smile began to falter.

"Xas... it was just one thing after another with you." Vankra continued with the smile now practically plastered to her lips. "With every passing, you were right there to take their place. And at first, I thought it could naut be possible that you had deceived me- you had done such good work for the House, and those deaths were no where related to you..." Finally the sham of the smile began to fade away as she uttered, "But that is what you wanted me to think... was it naut, Imrae...?"

Imrae shook her head, "I have naut deceived you, Ilharess, those deaths were completely out of my hand-"

"Silence!" She snapped, which took the other guests who knew Vankra as a cool, collected being by surprise. The mask had fully slipped, and her deranged paranoia had made its way to the surface for all to see. "Each and every death benefited you! First my smith, then my master of defense, then my own daughters! You climbed your way up on the bones of my flesh and blood and you think I would continue to be deceived?"

Imrae backed away a few steps, as she knew that to be in close proximity with Vankra's anger was good for no one's health. "I only took what you offered me, and did my best to raise the House. I had nauthing to do with any of these deaths!"

Despite Imrae's attempt to convey honesty, Vankra merely scoffed. "Tch! It is clear your greed knows nau bounds, and that you will only serve to stab me in the back. Well, Imrae... after all these years, I think I know what you truly deserve..." Each hand went to her blades and unsheathed each with a smooth motion, the metal gleamed in the faerie light that illuminated the lavish room during this tense moment. "Oloth plynn dos!"

With a deranged look in her red eyes, Vankra charged Imrae with no quarter. Imrae had but a second to react, and she did- she unsheathed her own longsword and deflected the blow that took much of her might to stave off. Vankra was the best fighter in House Fav'ai, after all... but Imrae learned so much during her service to the House, that she was now a fair match to the Matron.

The two spoke very few words as the skirmish continued. Imrae deflected each fiery blow dished out by Vranka with cold, precise strikes of her own blade. The two circled each other, each brought their fair share of attacks and defenses for what seemed like hours, which in reality was only a few minutes. The guests were captivated by the impromptu duel, some equally as entertained as they were fascinated.

Eventually Vranka picked up the pace with each blow, her strikes hit faster and harder than the last. Imrae had some trouble with the pace of her attacks, but kept in mind everything at stake in this moment (mainly her own life) and fended off each attack. Vranka had gone into a frenzy, she huffed and growled at her opponent. She had lost control.

Any drow that lost control this much deserved what Vranka got next.

Imrae had to find an end to this quickly, as her stamina could not keep pace with Vranka's fury. Within her rage, she left herself defenseless, too focused on Imrae's demise. Imrae used this to her advantage as she stepped a little away, knocked the blades out of Vranka's hands one by one, then stepped closer to deliver the killing blow- right into her dark heart.

Vranka's scream was cut short as Imrae's blade delved into her chest, the red orbs flitting down to the metal now buried within her, before they rose back up to Imrae. Life left her eyes quickly. Imrae pulled the blade from the now former Matron Mother's chest, the act caused her to fall dead before she even fully hit the floor.

As the blood flowed freely from the open wound on the deceased drow, Imrae turned to the crowd of guests that became an audience, whom stared at her with varying levels of shock. Imrae's face was cold, her left hand gripped tightly around her dripping blade.

Despite the fact her own heart pounded heavily in her chest, Imrae knew she had to act on this moment. She began by declaring boldly: "I have worked years to help this House rise where it is at. And in the end, the Ilharess lead herself to her own fate... I will naut have this House fall for her mistake."

Imrae took a few steps forward towards the crowd who remained captivated, now more than ever.

"I will be your Ilharess. I will lead us to wealth and glory, without the impediments of the one before. We are no longer House Fav'ai... all will learn to respect and fear the name... of House Rilyn'qai!"

No one was in the mood to argue. The last few months had been nothing but difficult for the lesser members of the House with Vranka's unending paranoia. And since she had no heirs left, there were little other options of succession. And the sight of Imrae sticking a blade into the House's best fighter in a mostly fair duel did much to quell the objections in the other members.

Imrae did not celebrate her rise to Ilharess, the position she longed dreamed of. Instead, she went to work on securing her position as quickly as possible. She first delegated roles to the most qualified of people, and dispensed of anyone else who did not meet her strict criteria. Then, looked into the assets of the House, which included the investments and properties of the House (which for the most part needed little change since much of it was already thought out by Imrae before). In the the decades that followed, Imrae had little trouble keeping her House and her position. The rival House who did in the eldest daughter from before was swiftly put into their place after they attempted infiltrate House Rilyn'qai, hoping to steal essential documents in the confusion of the transfer of power... Imrae sent back the remains of the infiltrator to the House.

They would not be heard from again for years.

Imrae took a couple of decades to secure herself, and within that time raised the House through the ranks into the upper twenty five noble houses with few set backs. After being certain of her position, finally, it was time to find a mate and have her first daughter, Nyless'arra.

Nyless'arra, whom as promised, Imrae dedicated to the Spider Goddess from birth, as a thank you to her for the honor that was bestowed unto the now powerful Matron. Imrae started her daughter on the path of becoming a Yath as soon as Nyless'arra was able to speak and walk. Imrae was grateful for this accomplishment in her life, she would not mess it up by producing unsuccessful heirs.

Nyless'arra took to the training with surprising maturity, as if she knew she was destined for the path in front of her. She even seemed to have taken an interest in her mother's talents of smithing, however Imrae pushed her towards her Yath training as much as possible. Much like her mother, Nyless'arra was focused, hardworking, and a perfectionist even from her earlier years. Imrae felt a bit of pride as she watched her first born grow.

It all came down to this moment. Ilharess Imrae of House Rilyn'qai, who stood out on the balcony of her successful, fortune-filled House, surrounded by loyal and competent subjects, with a daughter on her way to becoming a priestess of Lolth in due time. She looked down at the city of Ched Nasad, with a soft smile, and took it all in as she finally found the most peaceful moment she had in years.

Everything was perfect.

The sweet peace could not last forever, as Imrae had things to attend to. As Imrae turned on her heel she remembered that a House in Menzoberranzan sent over a trade request that she had to carefully look over. Perhaps she would do that before she sought rest for the night...

However as she stepped through the threshold of the balcony, her eyes caught sight of an unanticipated image. A tall, statuesque-looking female drow who stood in the middle of her bedroom. By instinct, Imrae's hand went immediately to her blade and gripped the handle, ready to unsheathe and do battle with the intruder- but then, her eyes recognized a face she hadn't seen in years, a face that made her freeze in place.

Desith stood there with a warm smile on her shapely lips.

"Vendui, Ilharess~"
Character List:

Feyvera Le'for (Main)
Lady Ellavyra
Mi'zzerrah Rilyn'qai