Heroes of the Dark

Personal and secret journals of Aunrae Sel'rue - 5
Not all is as it appears.

There are forty hatchlings in my stables. Forty. One would think that would fill me with glee… but all I feel is apprehension. These things, these monsters that would threaten our home, are nothing more than children with voracious appetites, and minds made up about things they cannot understand or know. So, I have just enough time to convince these beasts that they cannot worship the son of Loth in this city, or face the consequences that suggest we implanted this information in their tiny heads. They are not Drow, which means so long as they obey the law that says while they are in Menzoberranzan they do not worship other gods… the houses should be appeased. I would honestly prefer them convinced of her superiority, but I don't know that we have that kind of time. 

Add to this the fact that their mother insists on them molting with her… we have to convince the council to send their prized pets away to molt and hope that they do not break the law. Perhaps in forty years we can have settled with Q'Xorlorin. It would be safer should that dragon attack us for breaking her word. Perhaps that is where I should apply myself, in establishing a presence there, to protect us from what happens here. To protect us from the conniving and deceit that led our own mother to betray us. This is what it is to be a house in Menzoberranzan, and I would not change it, but I would protect my daughter from it, for as long as I can.

The tasks before us, at least have grown more simple, we only need to establish ourselves as a trading power, hand off blasphemous dragonlings without having fingers pointed to us, raise an army of our own in less than six months to protect the house from attacks, and sell the flesh of our brothers for the sake of building strong ties with other houses while the rest of our flesh trade takes off. A small task, I'm sure. Then there is Maya, the prodigy that we have taken as sister. She could serve to be an asset, or an undoing. Keeping her from court would be most simple, though it is not likely that it will work as she's already made a name for herself. She longs for her family, which means that it will fall to us to find them now that the dragons are handled. Oh, and we have to dig into the deep dark for a swath of treasure. likely alone so that we can take what it is we want from it. 

I will say one thing, it is most likely that we will need to leave someone capable in our stead, as we will protect our house by being away from it, as least until the children are born. Knowing that Maya is … good… at heart, she is the most likely choice, we can use her honesty as a tool and set her in the position of Castilian for lack of a better term. Hopefully, she will serve as a deterrent for spies and those that mean to attack us. We will see in time, for now though it is my aim to be the most kind to her, as it will color her favor towards us. That at least is something that we are capable of.

A Stirring Darkness

The goblins piled together at the base of the water, washing their garments in the nude.  It was unnoticed that one of them dipped into the water to bathe himself.  It was forbidden, but rules were broken often when the overseers were not in attendance.

Muck slid through the water toward the bottom of the deepest rift.  There, in the dark, he found what he was looking for.  The fish were eagerly pulling at her flesh.  An eye drifted without from its socket, and her hair danced like serpents in the current.

The wand sparked out toward her, and her dead form began to writhe.  Her eyes flew open, and she began to breathe, choking on the water as her skin began to bubble away and new muscles began to grow.  Shiny scales began to protrude from her skin as she writhes in terrible, wracking pains beyond death.

What rose from the water was lizardfolk, but as the naked form was taken back to the slave quarter, it said only one word, and it said it many times.  "Mother.."

Personal and secret journals of Aunrae Sel'rue - 4
Matricide makes two.

This isn't the way I anticipated that things would go. I assumed that Valan'rae and I would have time to establish ourselves, build power… but no. She, our matron, decided that we'd embarrassed her. She planned to have us sacrificed, to Lloth… who's favor we've been shown to have many times. She lost her mind. 

The joke was on her, we were prepared. So was she to an extent. Zincarla are powerful, but only if their maker survives. She wasn't expecting that we would switch our tactics. She wasn't expecting that we would co-opt her forces, or her sons. 

I should be ecstatic because we won. We are matrons of our house.  Instead I am exhausted and jumping at every threat or cross look. I know that the paranoia comes with the daughter that I bare… the only daughter of house Selrue now. 

Now, we only have a dragon, Trielle Baenre, and all of Menzoberranzan to contend with. Apparently, dragon first. 


Treason, then....

Mother locked the children in the barracks, and then began to sacrifice them in order from youngest to oldest.  The party acted quickly, and rousted several dead from their long slumber after fleeing to the catacombs.

The guards for their part went to their rooms to wait, and see whether there were about to be a change in management.  Undead, drow, and magic make for a pitched battle in the best circumstances.

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Breath Weapons in Caves
"Come on Rover Boy, Let's Go Hunting!"

The war party met to discuss their intentions.

Daughters of Sel'rue dedicated themselves to the creature's destruction, and mitigated the risk to the city by determining the battle take place in the ruins of El'Varad, the ancient outpost taken up by the former first house in the first days of the city, while the massive caverns that would be Menzoberranzan were still being cleared.

The entrances and exits leave little chance for survival if the dragon traps them inside.  There is only one way in and out.


Personal and secret journals of Aunrae Sel'rue - 3
Betrayal of the worst kind.



I have no words for the atrocities committed to my blood. A curse laid to insure that any child that came from our blademaster, her son, my brother, would not be fit for Lolth's service. A curse that I never looked for because I did not believe she would weaken our house or our line. 

I was wrong, though only this serves as proof for that. He has the right to be angry, she violated him in ways that even we do not. It is not illegal, but she stripped him of his will, took his mind, body and seed without his concent. If he were anything less than he is, it might have gone unnoticed, I might have never thought to look. The problem is, I am cautious and we take him to our bed habitually, he sired the child I bare, did she think I would never have thought it possible? Does she even care? No, that is a clear answer. 

The betrayal of rewarding our adopted sister with a whip that outranked ours, her whip for that matter… that was repaid by Lolth herself; whips with nine heads each were given despite that we tired separately. Dyan'ette has been blessed with the touch of Lolth, and with that he is near untouchable. Not free as he'd like, he's tasted the surface and I believe we have lost part of him to it, though it would be that lack of the conditioning of our matron. There are grave concerns now however, so rather than dwell I will put it all to use. That being said, should one of the houses he will likely entertain feel obliged to claim him, my sister and I will take him as consort, to keep him here, and there would be no end to the fury that would be wrought should our Matron try to take him before we are done… nor the end of Lolth's, because she has chosen him. I had never considered the likelihood that I would share with our goddess,  though the idea is not unpleasant.

Right now we have a dragon to reckon with, something that will take the might of all Menzoberranzan to face it. It was freeing, I will admit, not being trapped in the confines of the city, though I get the feeling that Dyan'ette was horrified that we would risk so much, or maybe just annoyed that he had to do his job. 

Then this is over, however, I have plans. Our matron refused to train a priest that had the ability to serve Lolth, because then he would have rights to refuse her I imagine. I have the power to preform all of those rites, and to teach him everything he needs to know, and there is little she could do without risking the wrath of the self-same goddess that has singled out Dyan'ette.

Then, and only then can we begin moving against her. I will have my family, my people, and my sister and I will have a house with contacts in plenty. It pays to be a friend of House Baenre, and I think with our last visit we more than entertained them. 

Though, I confessed to Valan'rae that I have been marked, she has removed the wound and healed it clean to remove the ability to set us apart. Some will likely still know, but if my mother had to mark me to prove that I was myself she knows nothing of me. I would like it to stay that way at least while we wait. I know that we will not always rule together, it is always fleeting, partnership. Though, for now it suits us both and we've found nothing to argue over, and I pray it stays that way until it must change.

There is more but I do not trust myself to say it here, perhaps I will be willing to write it, but to put a thing to ink has a way of making it real, so for now it remains unsaid. 






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Nearly two thousand years ago she destroyed Chulssin.  Now she is nesting less than ten miles from another great city, and the houses are up in arms and determined to drive her out.  But can the City of Spiders come together to defeat so dangerous a foe when they have their own intentions?

Death in the Darkness

Three hours to die.

That's how long the sacrifice was kept, while Dyan'ette recovered from his wounds.  The destroyed husk of the traitor who betrayed him lay flayed open for the spiders before a burning cauldron.

And Dyan'ette left, not quite a free man, but a live drow.

Tower Freth

The massive spire atop the Isle of Rothe has been developed and hollowed over several hundred years to create a massive citadel, surrounded by multiple high walls, themselves surrounded by the massive Lake Donigarten and further protected by the dense mushroom fields and rothe herds that no drow may risk harming.

Tower Freth easily could accommodate far more than the 400 bodies that routinely inhabit it.  Presently, every drow has a room of their own, even the lowest guard and servile.   The tower also houses two dark secrets—a catacomb leading to a necropolis, and a secret passage leading out of the city, both things forbidden by city law.

One level of the tower leads out onto an immense balcony, which provides a beautiful overlook of the entire city.  The Spire and Tower Xorlarrin are easily visible from the heights of Isle Rothe.

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Isle of Rothe

The Isle of Rothe is the formal home to House Sel'rue.  Formerly Freth and Hunszrin before them, the Sel'rue dominate city politics by controlling the food supply of mushroom fields and rothe herds.  There are over one thousand rothe and 70 acres of mushroom fields covering a full quarter of the city, but those fields exist only around the one natural water source, Lake Donigarten.

Rothe are the primary livestock of Menzoberranzan, and the blind musk oxen of the deep provide fur, meat, milk, and cheese, as well as occasionally beasts of burden.  There are surface variants that exist in the World Above, and there are ghost rothe, strange creatures from the Lowerdark that appear to have retained their sight, and developed a language of flashing lights to communicate.  Rothe bred with their Lowerdark cousins sometimes gain the ability to cast Silence spells, and transport themselves across short distances, making them unexpected escape artists—better, if they can be trained to use their power with a rider.