Chapter 1: Meetings and Acquaintances------Page 7
LOG 13

Xull'rae had not been given much time to herself, at least the way she saw it, for a mental summons had come to her the morning after the fight out in front of the inn, from the human, Cogliostro. Knowing she would protest and tell him to fuck off in most cases, he mentioned a vague reference concerning Vesz'aun and Chessintra to her. Hopefully, that would work.

Meanwhile, his form sat at its usual seat atop the second story deck, within the Inn, his gaze drifting lazily about the two taprooms below, a snifter full of amber liquid resting idly within his grasp. Across from him sat a half-dazed drow male, who sported a large, intricate blue tattoo of a wasp upon his chest, the Bladesinger, known as Vesz'aun. Frowning slightly, a bit frustrated with recent events, Cogliostro impatiently awaited the drowess' arrival.

Drazoul made his way back into the inn again at this time, his clandestine meeting with Nadal having been completed. Much was on his mind, his encounter with his connection and all the things he told him but he was careful to not to think about it once he got inside of the inn for fear Cogliostro might hear his thoughts.

Meanwhile in the Tower of the Masked Mage, Xull'rae rolled her eyes at the 'summons', without retort she complied to the human’s request, because she knew never to leave a twit in the company of a fool, because with that you would get a complete idiotic mess. She murmured to her handsome drow companion that she was needed elsewhere. She winked at him and then excused herself. Solufein looked slightly disappointed but nodded. His mouth twitched, verging on a frown but not quite making it. She bit back a sigh, she WAS attracted to him, but duties called her, a pact must be kept. Xull’rae hoped the human wasn't frivolous.

So with a towel wrapped around her wet body she went to Horock's room. Without knocking, she walked right in, not caring what he was doing and told him to get ready and that they were going to the inn. Whether he followed or not, she did not know because she left him abruptly to get dressed and leave, and leave without him at that if he wasn't ready by the time she was done.

As soon as she barged into his room, he looked up with a glazed expression in his eyes as he had just woken up. He had barely napped despite the fact he'd had several hours during which he could have slept, but he did feel a little refreshed. He stumbled after her and waited outside of her room so that he could follow her to the Inn. He was groggy enough to blink several times; Xull'rae barged in his room in just a towel? Waiting out there, he realized he was not quite ready for this entire thing, but do this he must. He wished he could have been more awake to admire her with a towel and wet skin.

Horock had to stay sharp to keep up with Xull'rae, simply because when she came out of her room she was covered head to foot in her piwafwi and moving quite fast without seeming hurried in the least. Confident she strode and within ten minutes she had gone from the dark fortress to the inn, strolling past the bouncers knowing exactly where the human would be and abruptly stood a foot behind him waiting in utter silence.

The stupor in which Vesz'aun now resided in served to keep his sarcastic remarks in check for the moment, as well any futile attempts at gutting the human. It wasn't that his thoughts were not on such endeavors at the moment, rather that his body would not comply. Scowling inwardly, his glazed over pools of crimson never left the impudent human's form. Having some semblance of intelligence, despite what most think of him, he ascertained that this was the human Xull'rae had mentioned earlier, the one forcing her into servitude; for that alone, if nothing else, the human would suffer. Not at the moment but eventually. Currently, however, his thoughts only strayed to the situation brought about by the events at that flying fortress they had just escaped. Idiotic as he could be at times, he realized all too well the peril that Chessintra and her minions could represent, and some small part of him wished that he had acted differently, for Xull'rae's sake, but only a small part of him. The human had given a surly reassurance that the situation was under control, but he wasn't one to trust a human, especially one that currently had him ensorcelled.

Drazoul's reappearance at the inn had caused some small ruckus among the crowd, hushed whispers being exchanged along with wary glances. The human had taken note of Drazoul's entrance as well, and figured the Halfblood would be coming to see him soon enough, as they had unfinished business.

When the drowess, pulling Horock in tow, arrived at the Inn as well, Cogliostro figured that the now exposed yuan-ti would definitely be joining them. Sighing at the prospect of having to deal with them all at once, he allowed a contentedly resigned expression to fall over his being, as despite that, the drowess had actually answered his summons.

Sending out a simple command to one of the tenders, that drinks be brought for all who were to arrive, he then gazed lazily into his snifter, and waited. When finally the drowess came to rest behind his chair, he took a long draught of that amber liquid, and motioned to the empty seats nearby.

"Please, make yourself comfortable, we have matters to discuss," his gaze pointedly settled upon the Bladesinger at that point, whereupon he found it necessary to strengthen the sorcerous compulsions to keep said drow male in check. It seemed that indeed the Bladesinger had a certain zeal when it came to the red-headed drowess.

Xull'rae wasn't being difficult deliberately, but she declined a seat to remain standing crossing her covered arms. She stood simply because body language was easy to pick up by observers who were watching. She knew that no matter how hard she tried she could not sit like a man and didn't want at this moment to seem like a woman.

Drazoul found the lady who had served him earlier again and asked her, "Where might I find Cogliostro?"

Horock plopped down away from the human and Xull'rae, looking at the human with anger evident in his blue eyes, That is why I was woken up from my nap? To talk? Xull'rae shouldn't cover up so much... Oh well, what could he do? Pushing the drowess out of his mind he just sat there and let his angry eyes look around the inn with suspicion as always. His gaze locked on Vesz'aun and frowned. Was this someone to add on? Judging from his look and clothing, he was a pretty boy and no doubt a priestess lapdog. Maybe he was the human's spy. He looked back at Cogliostro though, this one was more deserving of his anger.

The woman was busy, but busy as she was, a smile, and simple motions towards the deck were all the response that Drazoul was given. He smiled back and said his thank you and went towards the direction she pointed to and took a seat beside Horock.

"Mm, I'm glad to see you brought your companion with you, Drowess," that oak brown gaze now drifted towards Horock, "part of this conversation will apply to you as well. The Half-blood will be joining us shortly, I believe."

A new presence made itself known shortly after Cogliostro made his statement that he became unaware that Drazoul had already arrived and taken a seat. Sszordrin never did simply walk onto a scene, not with all these shadows presenting themselves in every nook and cranny. So on that note, his figure might have been seen stepping forth into the said area, his garbs seemingly made from the same darkness in whence he came. Robes fell around his frame, black this time, swallowing, almost dimming the light around him, and giving it an inky appearance. As always, crimson orbs were the first noticeable sign, peering over the others here with an arched, stark white brow. He didn't really get invited, but didn't see the need for invitations, not when he could waltz right in.

A decided frown settled upon Cogliostro's countenance, causing a small pause, as he was about to begin discussing the matters at hand. Allowing for a small glance in the disguised malaugrym's direction, he managed to speak in a civil and even enough tone, "my my, what impeccable timing. Please do come join us, Saer Xarann," of course, there was that ever-present tinge of sarcasm within his voice. "Now, Xull'rae, aside from the Half-blood, are any more of your entourage going to join us?" His gaze now shifted to the cloaked woman, annoyance evident within it.

Xull'rae snapped her tone full of venom. "Don't blame the mage's appearance on my ass Rivvle! You just said a Half-blood would be joining us, I’m going out on a limb here and guessing that means snake boy over there. Apparently he’s yours not mine! This shadowy cryptic thing," waving her arm in the malaugrym's direction, "is nothing of MY doing. If you have problems with him being here, then you have problems with the church, take it up with the fucking Shadow Sorcerer..I don't feel like being here but I am. So I suggest you damn well dare push my buttons right now. That way I have cause to make a scene! Her tone dropped to a soft ominous pitch as the last part was spoken.

"Eloquently spoken as ever...." Cogliostro's bass voice had more than a hint of weariness to it. "Very well...and if you won't take a seat, at least have the decency to stand where I may view you."

Xull'rae snorted and retorted her tone icy now, "If you weren’t so lazy to turn your head and if you had better eyes you could. Trust me I can hear you quite well, and don't worry I won't kill you. I can't right now so I'll stay here so I don't have to look at your offensive face right now."

Cogliostro took a long moment to keep his anger in check; he managed to leave it at a simple sigh of resignation. "A lady you will never be. Have it your way, for now. He let the matter go as it was his fault anyway but he did hate being corrected when in a bad mood.

Xull'rae muttered in reply, "Yes Drow never are. Not even those Dark Maiden bitches, though they do try." She realized his subtle apology as he offered nothing but silence when she finished, so she gripped her temper and waited in silence and honored his back down.

Ignoring her latest comment, lest he allow his anger to slip, Cogliostro awaited for the others to gather round.

Drazoul stood closer to seven feet then six he was very large and even though his body was full of muscle he did not look like a brute. He had a very fine and wiry look, one of speed and agility which might be overlooked by his large form. His body was covered by green scales with black intricate markings. He did not look to have much equipment on him but in truth was armed to the tooth. He had a serpentine quality to him, despite the fact his head and the rest of his form was that of a much built human. He was calm and waited for the meeting to begin in silence, letting the human and drowess have the floor. He had to smile though, Xull’rae sure did have guts and seemed unafraid of anything, and he admired that.

Horock got up to only pull up another chair and sit down at the table. He glares at Cogliostro, and thinks to himself, what an idiot. Lets just get this over with. He then puts his elbows on the table and looks at the bald human with glazed over eyes, just in case the human decided to read him.

Xull'rae's irritated voice spoke up once more from the shadows, unable to wait any longer, "what are you waiting for? Will you just on with your important talk…instead of sitting there doing nothing things WOULD go faster! You called US here remember?" The human wanted too much from her, she was here wasn't she? She did take note of Drazoul new form, and looked how and Horock sat together and surmised from that and his height, that he was the large drow from before. She was right after all, but offered no comment at this time.

"My, my...what a splendidly receptive audience," offering a minor scowl to on one in particular, Cogliostro shrugged off the drowess' words as before, and quirked a brow in Drazoul's direction. After a moment, it dawned on him that one of their numbers actually had some semblance of manners. A smallest of polite, thin lipped smiles was given to the Yuan-ti but it was then he noticed the man’s serpentine gaze was looking beyond his form and this caused the smile to slip slightly so he turned his head to make sure Xull’rae was there and behaving. He motioned to one of the empty chairs at the table, "by all means, Saer Drazoul, do join us."

Now he spun that glance slowly to the others gathered, allowing that gaze to rest upon Vesz'aun's nearly inert form when done. "In case you were not yet aware, drowess, Chessintra was in the city. I'm sure you can figure out the why of the matter. And as you can see, your Bladesinging cohort has arrived as well." His gaze swept over everyone again making sure he had their attention before he continued. "Now, to expedite this conversation, there was a small, hm, incident between Chessintra and Vesz'aun. In the aftermath of said incident, I was forced to eliminate one of Chessintra's cohorts, and had to take her into my custody for a time. I would say that I've taken her prisoner, but that's such a, hm, derogatory word." He stood slowly now, casual of manner, and strolled towards the railing of the deck, turning finally to gaze upon Xull'rae. "Now, as it is your concern more than any here, I wish to know what you want done with Chessintra, and about the whole situation of her being here. I have taken the liberty of removing some of her memories already and have her wandering the Braeryn streets of Menzoberranzan."

Xull'rae giggled in a girlish manner, in a way that could only be described as delighted, she indeed seemed behaved, but that laughter while pleasing to hear caused a pause in Cogliostro, but she was still laughing she replied, "I would just kill her but I know you have a problem with that and I'd be pinned for it I'm sure." She starts laughing again, "just send her back to her House in a daze, confused and in complete bliss. With the thought that Vesz'aun here, screwed her seven ways till daylight, so that way she'll like him again and she'll get punished for not returning with what she was supposed to.

Drazoul nodded to the human and took a seat as The Xull'rae was speaking.

Cogliostro relaxed, slightly amused by the humor the drowess presented, he then offered up another of the polite smiles, though not one of any great mirth. "Mm, on the contrary, I have no objection to YOU killing her. However, I will comply with the second option if you so wish, as that would further delay the efforts of those in Menzo who are concerned with this matter."

Xull'rae nodded. "Indeed and it'd be fun!

Cogliostro's twin pools of oak brown then fell upon the dazed bladesinger, "and what of him?"

Horock, beginning to be impatient, decided to try to butt in politely, raising his hand, and waves it in the air with a look of pure adolescence on his face and does so until Cogliostro acknowledges him.

"Yes, Saer Horock?" He indeed allowed for the intrusion, cutting off the drowess' response on purpose, seeing if it would get the irritating drow in trouble.

Horock realized his venture was a foolish one when he finally took notice he was possibly interrupting his teacher. He gave Xull'rae an apologetic and pleading look. When she nodded he spoke, "I was wondering, you said this concerns me, but how does it?" He asked this without a hint of sarcasm in his voice, as he really did want to know and was very curious as to why he was really here with all of these people in the room when it didn't appear to concern anyone other then his mistress Xull'rae.

A bit disappointed that his ploy did not work but hiding it, Cogliostro's polite smile then did broaden a bit as he replied to Horock, "whatever concerns the drowess now concern you, if you have forgotten, but that aside, it does have a more personal note for you. The place where the incident between Chessintra and Vesz'aun occurred, is the very same where you will see that shadow daemon, if you so choose to hunt him down and, in my humble opinion, you should set about doing just that." He pauses for a moment, his gaze traveling to the taproom behind and beneath Horock for but a heartbeat, then he looks upon the Drow male once more and continues, "As it stands, the demon has not reported to his, hm, 'employers', that you have been found. Whatever bargain had been struck, it is in said demon's best interest that he carries the task out himself. If he were to announce that you were found, but not captured, then, hm, competition could arrive upon the scene. I think you can figure out what I have left unsaid on your own."

Now thoroughly pissed off, Horock glares around the room in more suspicion. He looked at Drazoul, knowing this was not his family. Who then could the employers be? All this turning about in his mind and he was thinking so fast that he could not possibly analyze all that the thoughts floating around in his brain. Nevertheless, showing an unusual amount of restraint, he attempts to ask Cogliostro, "where would this place be? I suppose that I must take care of this demon. By myself if need be, but I would appreciate any assistance that you could provide Cogliostro." As he says this, he continues to look around the room, looking for anything that might seem unnatural at this minute. The memories of that fight, the coldness that had swept through his claws as he had hit the demon, returned to him, and for the first time in many years, he actually began to feel afraid. He didn't know how he would take this beast on by himself, but he knew that he would if necessary. He thought that he could count on Drazoul, but he knew that in the Underdark, you never trust anyone fully, and the Yuan-ti may have something of his own to do.

Xull'rae took the time now to reply to Cogliostro about the Bladesinger before it was completely forgotten. Hmmm....let Vesz'aun retain full memory of what happened so he'll be careful around Chess next time…let him also know what you did to her. He's not extremely stupid, he'll know not to mess this up cause he'll be in trouble and so will I." She was looking at Vesz’aun as she was speaking, he no doubt was the cause of how Chessintra discovered her secrets but she might need him again and soon. If she had the time later, she would punish him herself.

Cogliostro took in the drowess' suggestion, and offered a simple nod to her, 'ere turning his attention back to Horock but the Yuan-ti finally spoke up before the bald mage could reply, "so tell me who his employers Xull’rae implied last time are. If it was my family, so be it, but I guarantee you they do not employ or use such magic's so who then sent this creature?" His voice cold.

"I said it could be our family you nit wit not that they were!" retorted Xull'rae, speaking calmly but assuredly to the snake like being.

His first reply is offered to Drazoul, and the words seem sincere enough, "I would suppose that it would be his own family, but I had not enough time to delve deeply enough to find out the truth of the matter as of yet," now addressing Horock he says, "and I'm glad you see the wisdom in eliminating this problem, Saer Horock. I will indeed give you any assistance you ask for, though I feel that the problem can be dealt with by you and your companions here. As for the location, I will specify that when you are ready to make your move." Taking note of the drow male's mannerisms, he then added in, "there is no reason to be wary here, lest you are wary of your companions. I assure you that no harm will come to you in these halls, nor can anyone enter without my knowing."

Drazoul turned to Horock seeing distress in his eyes. Though Drazoul was worried, it would not be the first time he had to kill things beyond his skill. "Horock I shall aid you in this fight as I always have." He then turned to the drowess and says with humble sincerity, "many pardons drowess."

Xull’rae sniffed in distaste and Drazoul offended, held his glare in check, now was not the time to raise her anger, especially here where he couldn't slit her throat, there would be time for that later should she continue her attitude towards him.

Maybe he offered up help too readily, but Cogliostro felt it was time to nurture some sort of "relationship" with each of them, as they would perhaps be forced to work together for some time to come.

Looking up at Cogliostro, Horock knew that for some reason he could trust the human to help him, for now. He didn't know what he wanted, but he knew that he could not do this without the help of those around. "I thank you for your candor. I would really like to take care of this as soon as possible. If it was sent by my family, then I need to know it. Please, as soon as you know where for me to go, let me know." As he said this, he offered a nod of thanks to Drazoul for continuing his commitment to his friend.

"Very well, I will find out what I can, and, if you comply by readying yourselves by the morrow, I will take you to the location at that time. Do not rush the matter to the point that error of any sort on your part may set in, however," Cogliostro said.

Drazoul seemed irritated about something and when Cogliostro gestured for him to speak he did so with bitterness in his tone. "Cogliostro I personally care more for how I am to harm this creature. My weapons were rendered ineffective against the minions of the shadow daemon and more so against him any suggestions or shall I have to go to the library?"

Cogliostro nodded with a grin, "with the proper spell, your weapons can easily be rendered effective, as they were before, but that is a temporary fix. If you have the coin, this city is the single greatest place to find yourself a better means of offense, whether it be by arcane item or spell. If you have a distinct lack of coin at the moment, I will perhaps loan out something appropriate to you." He gave the halfblood a pointed glance, indicating that he did not find it prudent at the moment that their little arrangement come to the fore.

Xull'rae remained silent for now, just listening, though her hooded gaze turned to look upon the Shadow Sorcerer's spy, wondering if the disguised Malaugrym was going to speak soon. He was the only one that had not said anything or even moved since his arrival. He was all but forgotten by almost everyone.

And Szordrin did speak after giving a sideways glance at Xull’rae with a knowing smirk, "the demon is my concern as well." There was a slight pause afterwards as he began to move a bit closer to the group, more importantly, where the human was settled. "I suppose I can accompany the three." Nimble, ebony digits curled beneath his chin to offer a thoughtful rub. "I will, of course let them fight their own battles; I simply need to speak with the demon before its demise." He couldn't help but chuckle at the situation, shaking his head solemnly. "Then, we need to have a small discussion ... alone," he was looking at Cogliostro as he spoke the last sentence. Lean shoulders rose, and then fell. He made it out like a suggestion, but he had planned on going either way. He found it best to learn more of the rest of the ragtag party thrown together, since he felt them to hold a certain significance in the future.

"Three...guess that means I'll be going..hmmm... unless you all mean Vesz’aun." Xull'rae resists the urge to sigh, though she did shake her head. She not going to like this venture one bit.

"My, how generous of you," replied Cogliostro. This time, his polite smile was tainted with a touch of sarcasm, offered up to the disguised malaugrym along with the comment. He took fair note of the other mage's point, of excluding him from their further musings. "So there you are, Saer Horock, a complete entourage for your endeavors. It should be ample enough to carry the day against said daemon."

Drazoul while an accomplished assassin, and despite his bloodline did not know much about magic so what the mage said was lost on him, so he asked, "Cogliostro what spell might that be?"

A brow is now arched in the Halfblood's direction, and a slightly amused, and partly intrigued, smile is offered. "Ah, someone in need of some magics, I see. Cogliostro then pauses slightly, not meaning it to be overly rude. "I will have a scroll sent to you later this eve, with a few such spells that may aid you in this situation." He turns to go, as if to leave them then but stops and faces Xull'rae, a suggestion coming to mind. "Oh, Drowess, don't forget your beloved. Perhaps he should accompany you all as well." He referred now to the bladesinger, whom still had not said a word, nor budged an inch, though the glazed crimson's were alight with some strong emotion or another.

"Are you sure that's wise?" Xull'rae sounded incredulous. She actually didn't mind bringing Vesz'aun. At least she'd have a companion she moderately trusted and one that could provide protection and entertainment.

Horock blinks upon hearing Cogliostro stating that the pretty male was Xull'rae's and Beloved? Drow did not love. Looking at his teacher though he could tell she did not, she talked about the male like he was not there and he could tell that it was not a facade.

Drazoul stares at the human a moment pondering more then glaring. He nods to the human. "Your help has been much obliged but I did not join this job to work for you, what do you gain out of this?" A small grin found its way on his face.

Though half mocking of tone whilst bringing up the unasked question, there lay within genuine curiosity as to how well...or not, as the case may be...the entire lot of them would work together. Again, a polite, reassuring smile is offered up as Cogliostro replies, "One can never be certain, but I see no reason that his blade should not be brought to bear in Horock's questing."

Horock nods in agreement. "I appreciate all your help," he says. "What should I do to prepare? I just need to know, because I need to talk to this demon, it will not be fun to have my parents knowing where I am."" As he says this, he realizes that Cogliostro would only tell him what he thought that he should know. He may not like it, but that is the way it was.

"Mm, I had kept that quiet for your own sake, Saer Drazoul, but now that you've lain it upon the being in my employ, that is...think of this as a test of your measure as such. I have a want to know the capabilities and weaknesses of those I take under my wing."

Xull'rae sighed and answered Horock's question, "Bring weapons, spells and prayer idiot. You're going into battle and you don't know how to prepare? How did you manage to survive so long if you ask such questions?"

Drazoul's grin only widens he nods showing he understands the scope of the situation.

"Mm, all the sarcasm aside, tis as simple as the drowess states, Saer Horock. Take this night to sift through that which you would find most useful against such a foe. Though you know not the daemon's entire nature, you should be aware enough of the basics when confronting such things." Cogliostro pauses again, peering at the malaugrym for a moment before continuing, "and if you wish to know more, perhaps would be best to consult with Saer Xarann, as he is more knowledgeable of the Shadows than I."

Horock glares at Xull'rae, his expression sour. "Very well, I will do what you suggest, oh great mistress," he says to her in his most sarcastic, yet mockingly respectful voice. "Is this conversation over? If so, I have a small war to prepare for," he says to all gathered.

"Mm, I for one am done relaying my messages. So unless anyone else has a point of business that needs be discussed at the moment, by all means, depart and prepare." Cogliostro waves them all off.

Xull’rae now peered at Vesz'aun in contemplation, studying him, dismissing Horock with an absent wave of her hand, not caring that he talked to her in such a manner. He was trivial compared to the situation at hand.

"I will release him in a short time, drowess," says Cogliostro as he takes note that she is now scrutinizing the bladesinger. "There are a few small matters he and I must, hm, discuss first. He will be ushered to the Tower later this eve, if that is your wish."

Xull'rae looked up at Cogliostro and nodded, whispering to him, "do so after Horock leaves. We both don't need him to get the wrong idea."

Cogliostro nodded in agreement and whispers back, "mm, aye, indeed, very well. Oh and the matter of Chessintra will be dealt with 'ere the waterclock strikes night's full bloom."

Xull'rae nodded once more, amusement evident in her voice. "Hmmm better let me usher him to the temple unless you give my brethren fair warning you are imposing him on them. As for Chessintra…I believe you, do be creative in implanting her memories."

Drazoul bowed before both figures of Xull'rae and Cogliostro. "Thank you Cogliostro now I must leave to prepare, I need to practice some throwing I'm looking to collect a demon head!" A twisted grin curled on his scaled face.

"Mm, aye, that I will." Cogliostro replied to Xull'rae, he then offers a knowing smile to the drowess, then shifts his gaze to Drazoul, returning the grin with one of a similar likeness, a nod offered up as well, "The scroll will be sent to your room within the hour."

Horock was fuming over Xull'rae's dismissal of him to fawn over the idiot Vesz'aun, and did his best to shrug it off as he offered a reply. "Thank you very much," he says in a sarcastic tone. "I appreciate your messages Cogliostro, and I thank you for letting me know this so I could take care of it. Draz, I am walking back to the tower if you care to accompany me." He walks down and into the street, heading towards the tower, the place that he now called home. All the while, he pondered why he was so angry of Xull'rae and Vesz'aun. Xull'rae was teacher, but she was also very attractive. Would she notice him though if he attempted to vie for her attention? And what of Vesz'aun? Horock was uncertain of the other male’s skill. He had to think on furthering his line later. First he had to survive and that meant he had to remove a Shadow Demon first. There would be plenty of time to pursue the drowess afterward. They did work together after all. He sighed as he realized he was acting like a brainless twit. Xull'rae was so distracting! Shoving the red head from his mind he concentrated on plans to confront his enemy.

Xull'rae meanwhile strides slowly to the handsome Bladesinger, having a seat across from him, simply waiting. Still studying him, kind of liking him being quiet that she barely notices Horock leave.

Drazoul decides perhaps he would find better targets along the street then he would in his quarters. He follows Horock into the streets his hands itching with an excitement only seen when a big kill is to take place.

Cogliostro allowed his gaze to follow the two males as they departed, then he turned it back upon those remaining, silence offered at the moment. Lost in thought more or less, though he was observant enough of the drowess' "interaction" with the bladesinger.

Xull’rae cupped her hooded face with one hand, while the other reached out with her fingers to slowly trace the interesting tattoo on his chest. More out of boredom and curiosity rather then a lusty action.

"Mm, young love, what a splendid thing." The words were quite dry of tone, though slightly humored as well, came from Cogliostro as he then turns to gaze upon the malaugrym. "I see you have dallied, Saer Xarann. Anything you wish to discuss, or comments you wish to render upon us? Perhaps you would partake of that drink I offered earlier?" with that in mind, he strides now casually to his seat, though he merely lifts his glass from the table, savoring the aroma of that amber hued liquid a moment 'ere partaking of no small amount.

The malaugrym offers no reply, he simply fades within the shadows in silence.

Xull'rae ignores the humans comment with an exasperated sigh as a reply to his comment, otherwise she continued on like he had not said a thing.

"You'll get no response from him at the moment, drowess, as the magics cannot be undone right now." Cogliostro said. It was of course a lie that it could not be undone, but he felt the need to speak with the bladesinger in depth 'ere allowing the two drow to converse or otherwise engage themselves.

"Didn't want it undone at the moment, I kinda like him quiet. And I don't bed him… this manner for him is good...."Xull'rae' softly replied.

"Mm," the bald mage allows the smallest of chuckles to escape his lips, despite himself. "Well then, enjoy it for a while longer, as I have a short matter of business elsewhere to attend." Turning to leave now, he pauses for a moment and as an aloud thought said, "Were I in your shoes, I would make it a point to return to your family estate sometime soon, lest more suspicions be aroused." Now once more his footfalls carried him towards his office across the deck as he leaves. "Fair eve to you, Drowess."

Xull'rae frowns, rising as he leaves, knowing he is correct. So she collected herself, tugged on one of Vesz'aun's braids before departing for the temple. Under her piwafwi she was wearing her Lolth priestly robes as she already planned to go there right after she left the tower, but the humans summons interrupted her plans

A glance had been given in the malaugrym's direction on the way out, though Cogliostro already knew that said entity had abruptly disappeared a short while ago. The time would come for them to face off in one way or another soon enough.

A number of emotions had played within Vesz'aun's being during the entire gathering, not the least of which was rage born of frustration...and an odd mixture of lust, and something "softer," a thing no self respecting drow would ever admit to, as the drowess had bestowed her gentle ministrations upon him.

After Xull'rae had disappeared from his limited field of view, however, the rage took over completely. His crimson pools trained on the human who was just now disappearing from view as well. Oh yes, that one would suffer dearly for today's transgression. Suffering only those in the Nine Hells could ever relate to. As for Horock, he would deal with him after the bald mage. For now, he could do nothing but wait.

LOG 14

Cogliostro was in his office. The weapon master had a sixth sense when it came to things like tracking. However he was not hunting the man, he was merely going to report to the Bald one.

The stocky man had no trouble locating him in his secret chamber. Matter of fact, he slipped right in, through the wards. They folded for him easily. Deathly silent as usual he waited for the other man to acknowledge him.

There were some long moments of rummaging about the cluttered shelves of the vault's interior 'ere it dawned on Cogliostro that he had a visitor. A decided frown settled upon his ageless countenance as his form spun round slowly, searching for the transgressor. Said frown deepened as the hulking, brawny figure known in these parts as Cyrus, came to view.

Sighing inwardly, his leather clad hands closed the lid of an ornately decorated box, producing a slight yet echoing bang. The middling sized container was then pulled from the shelves and kept in hand as he strode towards the doorway which led back to his office proper, his words intended for the tracker, despite never looking at the man as he left. "I see now why you flabbergast her so much at times. Anyway, I'm sure your presence here heralds some report of misfortune. By all means, enlighten me."

Cyrus followed the man like a dutiful soldier on guard, as they headed for the office. The blonde man did not question what the other man meant; instead he went right to his report in a calm matter of fact tone that was forever his deep voice. "The winged one is getting out of hand or rather that living weapon is. It's slowly consuming him, he and it have a like mind to kill Selena and have already tried, subtly for now."

Setting the box down upon his favored desk, the frown deepens yet again, if such a thing is possible. "Well, nothing like getting straight to the point," his oak brown gaze spins towards the large observation window, soft footfalls carrying him ever closer. Before replying further, his gaze settles upon the Bladesinger across the way for a few moments, and then sweeps the establishment as a whole, at least that part which can be viewed from this particular roost. His mind paid not much attention to anything that fell within view, however, as it was deliberating on the more important matter which just came to his attention.

Finally, he turns back to the blonde haired warrior, the frown replaced now by a look of singular determination. "I will waste not words on the matter here and now. You and my broodling can discuss that on the way to retrieve the girl." It was an order as much as anything, one he knew the large man would follow, as both men knew the stake of the situation. "I will have Brynn fetch her, and give word that she is to meet you at the Shop. For now, I have some other matters to attend." He spun once more, allowing his booted feet to carry him towards the deck once again.

Cyrus never moved as Cogliostro went passed him but he did say in abrupt bluntness to the bald man’s unasked question, "she is safe for now, I have seen to it personally, she is with her mother in the cube that is my true essence, no one can get out or in unless I allow it, but I need not state the peril surrounding the area." The big man nodded and preceded to do what was needed, leaving Cogliostro there alone.

Five minutes later, a portal appears and within the next instant winks out.

In another land on another world, a figure takes pause just inside the doorway of a ruined stone building, his blue-grey gaze surveying the storm-ridden, cursed landscape for some long moments. Absently, a stray lock of golden hue is brushed aside, then summarily tucked neatly beneath the tattered gray cowl which would partially protect him from the errant elements.

Another motion is then made, this one quite intentional, leather clad, calloused hands fiddling with the sword belt round his waist, removing the blade therein. When finally the scabbard blade hung casually yet securely within the grasp of his right hand, his booted feet stepped forth into the muck beyond that threshold, which once comprised a busy street. A slight frown of irritant creased his features as the cold, driving rain began its relentless hammering upon his form, though it was borne as much from the fact he could not find the one he was to meet in the rain itself.

Amidst the blackness, as lightening streaked the sky, a demonic form soared in the skies, circling an illuminated building in the distance.

The blonde man was all very familiar with this scene, but what caught his eye was another building some paces away almost literally hidden by a tiny grove of trees surrounding it, the little thing looked like it would fall over in this wind, it looked old but somewhat out of place in these dismal ruins.

A single brow arched in surprise as the ramshackle hut, for lack of a better way to describe it, came to view. Indeed it struck him as most odd, as he has come to know this ruined landscape like the back of his hand, and never once had such a building been here before now. Scratching idly at the ever-present stubble upon his cheek for a moment, he allowed his gaze to sweep the landscape once more, quickly and warily. An inward curse was given, directed at the fact he dared not use any magics this close to "ground zero".

In the time and place from which he'd just come, the effects of what now universally transpired had not yet come to bear, but here...well, best not to waste time dabbling in such thoughts. As those twin pools of bluish-grey came to bear upon the shack once again, it occurred to him that his large companion would probably be found there now, investigating much as he now intended to do. His path determined, he began the tedious trek through that ankle deep muck, scowling all the way, as the unavoidable sloshing and squelching noises were offering him no chance at a stealthy approach. At least a very limited chance, as the pouring rain offered its own small bit of noise to conceal his movements.

"No need," came a soft voice seeming to come from the building but everywhere at once. "nothing here can harm you, or wants to, they are all occupied with her. The child is safe there. The Guardian is there with her, waiting for you Darius."

The gray cloaked man was caught a bit off guard by the voice, but the only outward sign of such was a tightening of his grip upon his trusted bastard sword. Until such time as his real name was "spoken" aloud. At that point, he did make a decided halt of movement, his gaze narrowing, concentrating upon the hut which was but a few scant yards away now.

A handful of heartbeats passed as he assessed the situation, and his choices. Then, in his usual come-what-may style, he allowed his form to relax some, and continued on his way. As far as he could figure, it couldn't hurt to find out if the voice was truthful, and so far no reason had been given to make him think the speaker meant any harm. Even so, he switched the scabbard blade from right to left, ready to draw it if need be as he reached the ramshackle building, and searched out an entrance.

"I understand your unease, you can only be what you are, and trust is a frail thing." To the eye there was no entrance, until he dared to search with his hand. Upon touching the stone a doorway appeared and opened itself, admitting him entry if he so desired. It appeared dark and empty inside.

"Mm hmm...." The grunted phrase seemed to hold a distant, absent tone, betraying the fact he was paying more attention to the building and what lay within that darkness than withholding any sort of conversation at this point. Shadow had no real recourse to scan the area with magics, and felt like not taking the time to scour the entryway the old fashioned way, so with a small leap of faith, he stepped forth into the murk.

Upon the first footstep the whole area illuminated in dull light as candles lit on the walls. The interior was just as plain as the outside, no tapestries and no carpet laid within, it was just bare wall and floor, so everything echoed eerily, the room itself looked like it could only hold twenty people or less and the only thing that was to be seen was a set of steps, an alter with a strange symbol above it, and a brightly blue robed figure sitting in the center of the alter in a "ring" of candles.

The door behind him did not close, but neither did the sound of the rain or feel of the cold wafted in this place. In fact it felt odd, yet familiar here. Like it was something he should know but could not place what it was.

To outward appearance, he took the situation in stride, slowly lowering his soaked hood to reveal his face, and the shock of unruly golden hair which needed brushing. Inwardly, however, he could not help but try and solve the mystery of that odd feeling of familiarity which eluded his grasp by but a thread. Feeling it rude to bear his weapon in such a place, and having the notion that it would do him no good anyway against that blue cloaked form which resided within, he propped his blade against the door frame. Besides, he had other recourses in the ways of combat, if the need truly arose.

The fact his form was creating a puddle upon the floor, and that his boots were leaving a mess of their own was lost on him, as his curious gaze began to regard the mysterious figure with some deliberate intent at this point. The voice, and clothing, painted the form a feminine one to him, but to simply gaze upon its features otherwise, he would not have been sure, as it was draped in such a way as to almost completely conceal any sort of visage.

If he was not so intent on the shrouded one, he would've seen his wet puddle and mud disappear from his clothes and the floor within moments after he stopped. The figure he studied however showed nothing and conveyed nothing. No arrogance, no malice, no kindness, no sadness, no power, not even the residue of magic was detected. In all aspects this enigma was as plain as the building in which they both now resided. So why was his curiosity so piqued? As empathic as he was, it was the first time Shadow ever felt true detachment besides his curiosity. He could watch a massacre of loved ones right now and not even care, and wasn't worried about not caring. It was a very strange feeling, much like this whole place, familiar yet so foreign at the same time, and try as he might to figure it out, he could not, curiosity was the only standing emotion.

Still heedless that he no longer tracked mud, nor dripped water, he moved forward, coming closer to the solitary figure, coming to rest a respectful distance from the ring of softly illuminating candles. His gaze fell upon the stairwell for a moment, and then he shifted those twin pools of blue back to the enigmatic being. "Okay, my curiosity is piqued by this whole situation but even more so as to why you, whoever you are, have come here? Heralded by the Lady, perhaps?" He referred to the one who now lay dormant within a building not far from here, which was surrounded by a veritable storm of the dead.

"I am here because of you..." Came the soft reply, "you are troubled and seek answers. She on the other hand, I cannot reach, she has splintered into fragments and death already knows all…it just simply waits to be free. It does not need me." The voice seemed to have a tone of knowing the truth of the entire situation.

"Hmm...oookay then." As usual, when troubled, he used shruggish mannerisms and speech to assuage it somewhat, "so, yes, I am troubled, like so many other beings in the multiverse. Guess I'm just blessed more than most for all this to be imparted upon me. Anywho, you mentioned something about answers...."

"Blessed..." The blue robed figure said, the tone used, mused over that word, "yes in a are, you are a nobleman's son some would see that as blessed. You are, or were one of the Guardians of the one who would destroy us all, and you are a Chosen of Mystra. On your world she is the Goddess of Magic, the Mistress of the Weave. That is three times blessed, or cursed depending on how you yourself view your life," the robed figure said.

"Those answers I already know," Shadow stated. Indeed, the more troubled he became with the situation, the more he slipped into his off-handed and somewhat sarcastic routine. He never did feel comfortable around beings that seemed to hold all the control in a given situation, and this time was no different. "Now, as I agree those are all true and valid answers, and both of us know them, perhaps you would be so kind as to impart on me some answers I do not have."

The figure remained seated, the head behind the veil shifted slightly, in which Shadow felt eyes on him as the stranger asked, "where should we start first? Personal matters as to who you marry next, or your next child? Perhaps business matters? Will Zartenoth rise again? Perilous matters such as will death return? Will the one you guarded reawaken? Or maybe universal questions such as what lies beyond death? How many stars are in the sky and what makes a rainbow?"

"Ookay, let's see,I don't plan to marry again, I'd rather not think about what wench pops out my next brat. I know what makes a rainbow, who gives a shit how many stars are in the sky, and I've been dead a few times, so got that one covered too. Hm, guess that leaves questions as to what happens with this place, and the woman which lay at its center." Shadow paused seeming to contemplate something before speaking again. "Er, I would like to know why women are they way they are, if we get time to cover that one."

"What you plan and what will be can be totally separate in that regard. As for Zartenoth it will be restored but it will take years and regarding the fate of the Lady, she can be restored. How long depends on those searching for her fragments and the time it will take on finding them. To your last question, women are a part of men, in which man has been stultified by and therefore cannot hope to understand them. They are emotional creatures who need attachment. Men use reason and logic while woman use instinct. Women need to feel, while men need to ‘do.’ Sorry I cannot be very clear on that but you are not really meant to fully understand them. Just love them and complain like you always do," the figure replied, casual and refreshing as a summer rain.

"Oh, complaining I got down pat, and not too shabby at making love either...and so.... You've not answered as to whether or not we WILL restore the Lady. Is this something not set in the universal concrete?" Shadow asked, hopeful that he and others involved could restore her.

"You will restore the lady yes that is concrete," the figure said in a sincere carriage, but it suddenly changed to a more urgent tone as it continued, "death is another matter not yet set."

"Mm, well then," though he spoke in a most off hand and irreverent manner, the "oracle's" words were quite well noted, and weighed upon, "can you tell me if anyone will ever manage to pull that stick out of Aidan's ass?"

"Others will contribute to her restoration, he is one of them. As for him gaining emotions yes it will happen and when it does he will depart this world," the voice this time held hard truth.

"Oy, lotta good it will do him then, no use gettin' 'em if ya can't relish in 'em," commented Shadow, who now regretted asking the question.

The figure continued, as if Shadow had said nothing. "Who it will be has not factored yet. Opinions vary. I only answer, I do not debate."

Shadow now strides a few steps closer, and crouches down into a more comfortable position, relaxing somewhat, though the look upon his countenance becoming a bit more serious, however. "Yes, of course...If I may, milady, I've a question that is not so much an asking of prophetic answer: Can Soul Reaver be destroyed? And if not, can it be 'imprisoned'?" Being this close he can see eyes blink slowly as the question is asked, but as to what definite shape or color they were, even the color of skin could not be determined.

"Soul Reaver is a weapon of destruction itself therefore no it cannot be finished off, but such as all things and beings it can be quelled and trapped, but time, will once again release it," the figure replies.

"So you've already answered that it can be trapped, if only for a time," affirms Shadow.

"Yes," the figure nods, "until its Master returns or it finds a new one."

"Well, I thank you for that much, and I'll not be so bold as to ask ye the how of it...the brawny one and I will figure that much out on our own." He gazed then intently upon the eyes which he could not quite make out, having just asked a question without asking, and now searched for an answer.

The veil rippled as a nod was given but not even a glimmer of features showed itself still. "My eyes are depthless and are without any definite color."

"Mm, aye, so I've gathered." Shadow returned the nod, having gotten the answer he was looking for, that it was indeed up to him and his companion to figure out how to trap Soul Reaver, and that they would figure it out. Now, he only hoped it was sooner than later, as the boy was already being corrupted with ever-growing power.

"Uriel is vengeance," the figure spoke, perhaps reading his thoughts though he felt no intrusion despite him also having the gift. It continued to speak, "he is a husk…not a child, that is only his appearance; his true self is as deep and endless as the void itself. He has a wound that cannot be healed and with each passing breath and day it festers, making him rage all the more."

His leg began to fall asleep, perched as he was, and so his form then stood once more, and again, a nod was offered to the feminine humanoid, figuring it a sufficient reply at this point. The point about the boy had been easy enough to discern, and it would definitely not be forgotten.

Once more the blue robed figure spoke, "those that fight him, he will win over eventually, those that love him, he will hate and they will be pained, those that will pity him will watch him grow, and those that hate him will become him. Be careful not to feel much of anything toward him, for either way you will feed him."

"Sound advice indeed...I shall take heed of it. For now, however, I must take my leave...the girl needs to part ways with this cursed land for now. Perhaps I can offer her some relative safety whilst we do what must be done." He paused; looking rather concerned then shrugged it off with a shake of his head. "Then again, perhaps that is just hopeful thinking...either way, I will try."

"No, it is she who will give you safety..." The voice from the figure was neutral and cryptic.

At that, traces of a warm natured grin crease his visage. "Aye, somehow I can buy into that." He pauses now to regard the enigmatic one for a long moment, wishing he had more time to converse, and perhaps glean some more answers. Then again, it’s not always best for one to know what is, and what is to come. A respectful nodding of his head, almost a bow, is offered to it. "You have my most heartfelt gratitude, wise one." He didn't even ask as to where the girl and her uncle were at the moment. Somehow, he knew they would meet up soon enough.

"We shall meet again; my part in all this is not yet done. May you stay protected Darius, and may the Creator shine his warm light upon you and your goddess." The voice became a soft murmur now, echoing off the wooded walls.

'Ere stepping towards the door, he once again offers a simple nod of acknowledgment and parting. His scabbard blade is taken to hand, and the cowl of his cloak brought to bear yet again as he steps forth into the storm-ridden landscape. His thoughts racing over the entire conversation that just transpired, and on what must be done in the very near future.

As Darius steps outside all light that was there snuffed out, letting blackness reign and the door dissolved into smooth stone.

Despite all the matters of importance at hand, a simpler thought made its way to the fore for a moment...the oracle had implied he would marry again. He didn't know whether to be scared or overjoyed at the thought at this point. Then, it was shoved back into the recesses of his mind, much like his boots were being shoved into the muck once more. "Couldn't evil be bright, sunny, and cheerful for a change?" He mused softly to himself as the downpour soaked his form for the second time this night.

As he trudged on if he happened to look back at the tiny stone building, it was gone. Not even an impression of it was left in the mud, it was as if it had never been there. He was not surprised in the least to find it had disappeared. "Ahh, yet another of those mysteries I must solve 'ere passing into Oblivion. Right behind the one about why women feel compelled to spend all my money." Now was the time to collect Aidan and the little Selena and bring them to the treacherous Underdark, to the only safe haven he knew, The Vengeful Weave Inn.

Interrupt the Bard -or- let her continue