by Rick Goon
young dark elf becoming a shadow dancer and perfect spy/assasin
| Deep in the Underdark, in a city of Dark Elves a young female who wishes for a different life than the one laid out before her. She is the ninth daughter of the eighth house by the name Ikitherana or Kit for short . Now as the ninth daughter of a ruling house she went relatively unnoticed, as long as she showed up at the holy rituals and brought no disfavor to her house she could do as she pleased.
As a child she learned to hide and move without a sound. She would sneak around the house surprising her siblings and the slaves. While doing this she heard a lot of secrets flowing through the house. Being young she did not realize the power these secrets gave her, but she knew they were important. So when she heard two of her sisters whispering "don't tell mother!" She decided it was time for pay back. Just that morning her sister had hit her with her snake whip for no indiscretion so Kithra went to their mother. By the evening rituals her mother knew how her fourth daughter had been meeting secretly with the second son of the ninth house. Her indiscretions earned her lashing from her mother's whip in front the family. The matron mother rewarded Kit with a hand crossbow and sleeping darts, and told kit to tell her all the secrets she found, and she would be rewarded. This gave Kithra a real sense of power.
As she got older her mother gave her permission to wander not only the house but the grounds as well. This allowed her to move among the warriors and slaves. So as she gained her adolescence and her new freedoms her mother presented with another gift. A whip " but mother, this is not a snake head like yours" states an ungrateful sounding Kit.
"Mine and your sisters were granted to us by the spider queen. If you gain her favor maybe she will grant you one when you start you clerical training. This one I had made for you. It woven from lizard hides and enchanted to be stronger with a barb woven into the tip. Tomorrow you will go and see your brother Brin he will train you in its many uses." Brinthorin or Brin for short was the houses second son and weapon master. It was his responsibility to train the houses soldiers and guards and when the time came lead them into battle on the front lines.
The next morning she went to see her brother at the training ground. He taught her the basics and she returned everyday dueling and practicing for hours, before she started her daily spying. Some times she learned more sparing with the warriors than eavesdropping on them when they thought they wee alone during their private times. During their off times the common soldiers did not scheme like the nobles (at least her family), but when they were sparring their emotions usually came out. She learned to read those emotions and knew who was trying to impress and who was jealous or overly tired all signals indicating who had secrets and where to dig.
Her favorite place to visit was her bother Spurnaldir or Spur for short. He was the first son of the house and was the house wizard. He was in charge of the arcane casters of the house. He trained them and led them in battle. His mage tower is located in the middle of the courtyard. It had only two levels above ground but several below. She loved it there, because there were so many wonders. She once found a small tower about two inches tall. It looked so perfect she just had to have it, so before she left it found it's way into her pouch. On her next trip there she met Rolo a slave about her own age, who was beaten because of its disappearance.
Rolo was taken when Kithra's city followed the spider queens orders and destroyed a rival city. It was a small city that had attacked the newest dark elf city that had the spider queens blessing. Spur went looking for some powerfull artifacts that ere rumored to be in the city. When he saw Rolo he took himself a trophy (a male child, not of the ruling house but fifth) he had just started warrior training and was taken in a mages study. Spur paralyzed him with a spell and stuffed him into a bag of holding with the rest of the books and magical treasures. He gave the boy life with one condition complete and unwavering loyalty. With out a choice Rolo became his servant.
On the day after the disappearance of the tower statue, Kithra saw Rolo in a battered and bruised condition. When she asked what happened, she found out that it was due to the disappearance of a magical artifact. She knew it was the tower, but could not tell so she kept quiet and listened. That listening earned Rolo's loyalty.
Her brother may have had his suspicions but never said anything. Instead he started to listen to her and the secrets she found. Even sending her out to learn things for him and through the years of spying for her mother and brother she became very good.
"Matron mother thank you for meeting with me in private." Says Spur bowing to his mother. "I have sent our little ears spying on my brother"
"Why Spurnaldir what ever do you mean" responds the matron mother.
"Why mother I mean your youngest daughter" he replied. "Now don't worry I haven't told anyone I have been using her some myself and strengthening her skills. I have an idea if the spider queen blesses it."
"I will not have some male risking my favor with the spider queen. Not even my eldest." Says the matron mother with steel in her voice.
"I would never do anything like that matron mother, I am your loyal servant...."
"Only because I let you have free reign. As long as you conduct yourself appropriately and do not bring disfavor to this house."
"Of course Matron Mother" responding with a deep bow. This is a proposition I think would be very beneficial for our house. When we destroyed that city for the spider queen I saved all the head mages books and magical trinkets. One of them was an ancient tome on shadow magic and the art of a shadow dancer. It is a book from the surface, but the magic and learning came from the Underdark, of that I am certain. What I have translated so far a shadow dancer would be the perfect spy and assassin, but to be perfect it would also need to be a female dark elf."
"I am not going to dishonor The spider queen my daughter will be given to her service!"
"It will be in her service, if She blesses it."
"What do you mean." Says Matron mother her hand sliding to the handle of he whip.
"You have granted the spider queen eight daughters all in her service as clerics one for each leg. You just need to pray for another way your youngest can serve. I will instruct Kit to pray for another option to serve the spider queen's needs, while thinking about her skills. If she sends us a sign it will be in her favor and if she doesn't Kithra will become another priestess. Now if she can get the blessings she becomes a shadow dancer she will be the spiders bite. She will be the perfect spy assassin thief and the greatest asset in the under dark. All I ask is for you to say a prayer I will take care of the rest."
"I will pray for guidance for my daughter, but if you bring disfavor to this house I will curse you with the queens worst curse. Yes I see the look yes you will be sent to the hollows."
"I will bring no disfavor upon the house or upon you Matron Mother. I will give guidance and ask her to pray."
"That better be the way it plays out or I will be using you to regain my favor."
Later that day Kit enters the Mage tower "Ah Kithra nice of you to come visit, Rolo fetch some tea. Now sit and tell me what have you uncovered today."
"Well our brother is trying to catch the eye of some girl in the seventh house. He thinks she's beautiful, but I disagree I don't think she is anything special."
"Are we a little jealous today. "
"No! He just cut my training short. So he could spar where she may see him outside of our wall, and I am not allowed out side the wall."
"Well I wouldn't worry about that any more you are very good already, but I have something new for you. It is an ancient text that can improve your hiding and stealth with power over the shadows themselves.”
"Is it magic? Does Matron mother know about this?"
"Yes she knows, and it is a magic of a sort. It is the power over shadows. I have an ancient text here that came from the surface detailing the art. With patient studying and practice you could become the greatest spy and assassin the under dark has ever seen. If The Spider Queen grants you her blessing."
"But mother said I was destined to be a priestess?"
"And you still may be one, but I am going to give you the opportunity to be something different and study to be a shadow dancer. If you become a priestess you will be one of nine, no special honor for you or our house. Now if you pray hard and sincerely to the spider queen she may grant you the privilege of becoming the first spider's bite.
"So you think that if I pray asking to be a dancer she will let me dance? I'm not stupid you are trying to fool me and I never even told mother your secrets."
"I know you haven't told on me and to tell the truth I don't think mother would even care about my secrets. No I'm not playing you. You need to pray asking her for a way to serve her, asking if it could be different than your sisters but just as important to her. You can pray saying that you are learning shadow dance abilities until you can take on your priestess commitments. These need to take place over many days. You can always tell her how you would to be able to deliver her vengeance by stepping right out of the shadows giving a slow or fast death and right back into shadows again. Work something into each prayer session."
"I guess that could work and I like the idea. Who is going to teach me?"
"I will guide you but you will have to study learn and practice on your own. Now I have cleared out the level below us for your private study and training area."
"But how will I learn?"
"I have one huge ancient text here" he sets a huge book in front of her. "I have had this for some time now and have been slowly reading it among my other studies. Now in recent months I have acquired a few other books and a dozen scrolls that have information on shadow dancing. The other books are already down stairs. This I have created for you." He sets a ring on top of the book "I have enchanted it with the ability to read any language. Now to be a good assassin you will need a piercing weapon to compliment your whip and crossbow. I have found these" he sets two stilettos in their own wrist sheaths on each side of the ring. Now the stiletto is a blade designed to puncture through armor. These two are a matched set they are enchanted to even more deadly and the wounds will resist healing. Once they are attuned to you if you need to throw one or become separated from it it will reappear in its sheath."
"I like them but what do you get out of this?"
"Right now not much just some one to keep an eye out and pass on information I might be interested in. Now your day should go like this: morning prayers, weapons training then studying here and then evening prayers. Take what ever time you want between do what you want, but do those four things everyday for the best chance to become a shadow dancer."
"Ok I will but don't give me orders!"
"Of course not."
As the months go by Kithra became a marksman with her crossbow. With her whip she nicked herself countless times, but learned to disarm opponents trip some one trying to escape and even use it to swing or climb. With the stilettos she became deadly wielded or thrown. Her shadow dancer skills were excellent she could wrap herself in shadows hiding her heat signature and could even shadow jump across small open areas. Even with her prayers morning and night there was no message from the spider queen and the time for her confirmation has arrived.
She finds herself nervous about the ceremony to make her a full priestess and wonders if something will alter the events. She takes her spot in front of the family alter as every one files in and goes to their seats. When at last all have entered the door is closed. There appears infront of Kithra one of the spider queen's handmaidens and she speaks directly to her. "Child your prayers have been heard and the great queen blesses this endeavor of yours as long as it does not dishonor her. She bids you to continue in these studies and continue with your prayers and she will grant you basic spells, because from now on you have become the spiders eyes and bite. You are the first and with your continued success you will be asked to train others. Now as the first spider's bite she grants you these gifts." She steps aside as she gestures at the altar there is a fold of cloth with a whip coils on top of it. "The suit is woven from the finest of spider silk and enchanted by the goddess her self it will allow you protection like armor while allowing you free movement and better stealth capabilities. The whip has also been enchanted by the goddess it is stronger and more powerfull, it is woven from the finest hides and inter laced with fine strands of mithral making it almost indestructible and the two barbs woven in at the end are pure mithral."
Kithra bows and says "thank you your grace I will not disappoint the spider queen."
"We will be watching......." and the hand maiden was gone.
Right there at the alter she stripped off her gown and into the body suit so smooth and light it was like wearing nothing at all it came with a sashling that had a multitude of small pockets on the inside and a few hooks including a larger one for a coiled whip.She wraps the sash around her securing it and hangs the coiled whip from it's hook.
After Kithra's coming of age ceremony she was allowed to travel outside the gates into the city, as long as she did not go outside it's boundaries. Which was fine for her it was more area to explore and so many more secrets to find.
She had a year till she left for the academy, where she would learn combat tactics. All young adults went through the same thing. Every four years all the young ones that came of age and haven't gone yet go. They first enter the arena and learn team tactics. When they are ready they will take over patrols outside the city (under the supervision of their instructors). Then they go to the city garrison and conduct patrols into the Underdark farther out. They also act as a quick reaction force should anyone attack the city. They stay here for 10 years and then can return to their houses or stay to serve the city.
Kithra enjoyed her new freedoms. She would rush through her morning tasks so she spend her days exploring the city. Her average day started in the chapel with her prayers, the spider queen granted her a few basic spells every day she prayed. So not only did she have her Drow abilities faerie fire and sphere of darkness but she was also granted cause light wounds, detect magic, detect poison and cause fear. Then she heads to the training yard with her brother Brin. Although now there were few who would spar with her. Most were scared that if they bested her they would receive a whipping for striking a female. Those few that did fight let her win or were such terrible fighters they wasted her time. She did practice with the whip when anyone tried to use the sparing dummies she would try to disarm them and trip when they stormed off mad. After an hour or two she normally goes to Spur's tower to study shadow magic and practice her shadow dancing. Then when she felt she had studied and trained enough she went out into the city.
The first time she went into the city, she finished what she had wanted to with Spur she told him that she was taking Rolo with her.
"But I have need of him." Responded Spur.
"I desire an escort, unless you would like to come he will have to. You could bring it up with mother."
"I was beginning to remake an item that I am sure he lost."
"Well you will just have to wait or find a new apprentice."
"I don't need a new apprentice I have Rolo."
"Ah but he will be coming with me when I go to the academy, so you will need one by then."
"Fine Rolo go with Kit we we will remake the tower later."
"What tower are you talking about?"
"The one Rolo misplaced or sold!"
"Was it magical?"
"Of course it was. It was an instant fortress I have spent years researching how to make one. I had finally made it tested it once and it disappeared. I am now ready to start making another one and you are taking my apprentice away."
"Well maybe you should have one of the house slaves help you." Whispers Kithra "That way he will not know how to work it"
"The last one wasn't even finished. I never cast the concealment spell, that would conceal the power word that was etched in the bottom."
"I will send Rolo to fetch Tika she is my most trusted slave and she can help you she was born and raised in our house so she can be trusted."
"I hope she will listen. "
"Rolo!" Yells Kit "Go get Tika from my chambers and tell her to come here right away!"
"Ok" responds Rolo and he takes off in a rush.
"Now brother she is quite competent , and I will pull her aside and ensure she follows any and all of your instructions. Plus I need a male escort. I can't humiliate a female the same way I can a male."
"She doesn't know where anything is at, has she ever worked with my art."
"No, but you can tell her where things are at and you don't have to craft anything you could just enjoy her. She is rather attractive and will do what ever you want inside this tower."
"Well I will try to do other things till you return Rolo to me. Please be quick."
As if on cue Rolo walks into the tower followed by a beautiful dark elf wearing a tattered shirt and leggings both seem to cling and accentuate her lovely body.
" Tika come here I must talk with you first" commands Kit to her maid. When they are away from the males Kit whispers. "Do whatever he says, to keep him happy. This is only your first trip to the mages tower. I need you to locate where his magical stash is located. We will shadow walk in and take what we want later."
"As you command mistress." Responds Tika bowing low.
"She is all yours Spur. Come along Rolo we are heading into the city."
"Now master how shall I help your spell work or would you prefer a nice meal or am I lucky enough to provide you with pleasure." Asks Tika.
"It has been some time since a young elf wanted pleasure from me maybe we should start there." Replied Spur "Rolo can help me later with the spell, since he lost the item in the first place."
As Kithra walks through the house gate she saw a whole new world open to her. "Rolo show me around you have been here before
Rolo starts to guide her through the gates when Kit pulls him aside and says "You will not push nor pull me around town you will walk a step behind me like a good slave! Just tell what places I am approaching and warn me if there is danger."
"Yes mistress Kit"
Kithra walks through the gates and starts to explore with Rolo a step behind her describing everything there were several shops weapons armor magic and a small market with food products right at the entrance to the slave market. Here she took some time to listen and observe there were a few Drow none that really grabbed here attention but by listening she learned that sometimes more exotic beings could be found here.
They walked around the whole city ending at the tavern where lots of the young elves liked to go.
As they enter the tavern they see a circle of elves around one elf in the middle being picked on. Kith decides to take matters into her own hands. She pushed her way between two bullies and grabbed the elf and shadow stepping with her to the other side of the tavern.
The five elves start looking to see where the target of their abuse went. "She is over here with me" shouts Kithra drawing a knife. "What gives you the right to torment this female? When the ruling council hears about this....,,.,"
"We are members of the ruling houses and she is not. That gives us the right to do what we want to anyone." Says a tall muscular female drawing her five headed whip, showing great favor I the spider queens eyes.
"I don't see my house represented here! So I know you don't speak or act for all the houses." Says Kithra placing the knife in her left hand and freeing her whip.
"Hahaha well I see your whip has no heads and hers has only two. So I know you have no favor in the goddess's eyes." States the brutish leader of the group.
"Before you do anything let me introduce myself." Says Kithra bowing with a smile, "I am Kithra the ninth daughter of the eighth house. The rumors you heard are are true. During my conformation I was visited by one of the goddess's handmaidens she granted me gifts, one being my whip, a position and the title, the spider's eyes and granted the spider's bite. By the looks on your faces you have heard. With that she flips the whip out and pulls one of the males down and with a quick shadow step she lands on his chest stiletto touching his throat. "Now does any one want to continue with their game."
The others moved back towards the door. The pinned male mumbled something trying not to move. She took it for a no and got off of him.
He jumped to his feet an ran for the door. The big female said "this isn't over!"
Kit turns to Rolo and the female "now my shy little friend who are you?"
"Miriandias, but people call me Miri" says the female "and those elves..."
"Were not your friends."
"Well the big brute is called Britta and the tiny male you bested was her Brother Dorn he claims to be a great fighter. The other female was Liza she idolizes Britta, I have no idea why. The average sized male is Kril and he has a thing for Liza and the big male is his body gaurd Mik. Britta is crushing on him and they flirt when ever they are together. When ever I come in here. They always give me a hard time because I am from the tenth house. We are responsible for the weapons of the city we have the finest smiths in our house and alliances with the dwarven smiths. I believe we buy the ore that comes out of your families mines."
"You can call me Kit and you may be right about that I know we have control of the mines and we craft fine jewelry from the precious gems and metals we find there. I just never took much interest in the family business. I have my own plans for my future. Now you won't need to worry about them." Says Kit reaching out putting her hand under Miri's chin and lifting till their eyes meet. "Always look people in the eye it shows confidence let us sit and have a drink. Rolo get us a bottle of wine and something to eat so we can sit and get to know each other." Looking at Miri "that is Rolo he is actually my brothers slave or apprentice and a good friend of mine."
They found a table in the corner and Rolo brought over a tray of food and a bottle of wine and three glasses. They sat ate and drank while getting to know each other. When they parted Kit and Miri made plans to meet at the entrance to the slave pens the next day.
Kit and Rolo return to their house and went straight to Spur's tower. When they enter they see Tika coming down the stairs wearing a cloak she did not have before. "He ripped my clothes so I told him I was taking his cloak, since I left him blissfully happy he said ok" said Tika as they looked oddly at her.
Well Rolo I think Tika left my brother all worn out you should have an easy night. We shall see you tomorrow for my studies.
The females left the tower "so what did you see or were you to busy to do what I asked." Asks Kit as they walk towards the main building.
"I didn't get much time to look around, we just barely finished in the bedroom when you arrived I did snag this cloak which radiates magic. I think I know how to work it too just need to find some time to try it. I did catch a glimpse of what I think are called fighting fans. While he gave me a tour of the tower I believe they are in your training room. Tomorrow I can look better." Answers Tika.
"Well tomorrow after my studies I plan on training with Brin for a bit and then back into town. I want you to accompany me?"
"What ever you like."
"Good I met the cutest little cleric and I think I want to find a place to set up my own little shadow guild. You will be my number one. And I may have a use for a cute cleric."
"What ever you like, but what would we do actually?"
"We will learn the secrets of this city and take what we want. Just like the goddess wanted. We will be spies thieves assassins what ever we need to be. Secrets will be our specialty and we can sell them to the highest bidder."
"Sounds like fun."
The next morning after morning devotions Tika brings Kit a tray of bread and cheese with a cool pitcher of mint water to break her fast. "Where do we go first?"
"First we head to my chambers at Spur's. I need to study the shadow book and some time today try a longer shadow walk." Responds Kit then I was hoping to get some sparing in with you and maybe my brother. I know your a lover not a fighter but, I need you to be able to defend your self."
"I can protect myself I just have never found a weapon I liked better than my body."
"With the plans I have you may need to use something a little more deadly."
"Well if those really are fighting fans and I can acquire them they may do"
"We will see when we get there."
Spur greets them at the door " ah my dear sister" smiling evilly. "Come in sit, Rolo tea for four." He steps aside ushering them in and over to the table.
They all sit and as Rolo is setting a tea tray down Spur speaks. "I have come to a conclusion that you are the one who stole my instant fortress!"
No one says a word.
"What no denials!" Says Spur in anger. "After staying up most of the night torturing Rolo then recreating it I realized he would have talked by now if it was him. So the only other person in my tower was you. Now I can not do a whole lot right now to you, since mother has taken an interest in you. She would not care how much gold my magical trinkets make for our house, if it looks like I had a hand in your death. Now in the future if anything were stolen from within this tower the thief would receive a nasty surprise. Since you already have it we will consider you on the payment plan. You will find things for me to study. Most of these the current owners will not want me to have. I will let you know when you have repaid your debt. If you think you will just ignore my requests mother will hear how you will not help the house earn gold. Is all that understood?"
"I guess so brother!" Answers Kit seething in her seat.
Good, now that cloak Tika thinks she stole was a gift for you. It is called the cloak of the black opal inn, or the cloak of room and board. "To activate it just hang it on a hook or something and say "welcome to the black opal" now when you pull aside the edge a doorway will open to an extravagant room at an inn. As you enter you will see a sitting room with a fire place and four doors three will go to bedrooms and the fourth you won't be able to open. That fourth door is for the servants, when you are hungry just say you order to the air and a servant will deliver it from that door. If you are in the cloak for a long period of time you will also see the servants enter and clean up after you.
"Sounds good, but why are you giving it to me and why would I need it? Asks Kit.
"It's for the academy, I told mother I would help you, but when you go you can not come here to study. So I have been gathering anything that I think is remotely related to shadow magic and storing it in your chambers here. I recommend you put everything into the cloak and this haversack. It is a magical haversack and carries a whole lot more than it looks like it can. Now the haver sack can be put into the cloak as long as it is not left in there but the cloak can not be put in the haver sack and I think both can go into the fortress. Now to find something inside it you put your hand in it and picture in your mind what you. Want and it just jumps into your hand. I think it is empty now but I can't be sure it is possible to picture something and have one that is not yours appear. So I want you to put the entire room into the cloak and haver sack before going to the academy. The cloak will give you a private place to study and research it may be best if Tika attends as well as another dancer."
"Why Tika and another shadow dancer?"
"They will break you into groups based on your skill set. Mother has been talking with the head mistress and she has agreed to let you come as a shadow dancer if it is a group. So more than one you will be assigned an advisor a cleric most likely."
"That will fit nicely with my plans. Depending on who this advisor is."
The advisor will probably be a cleric who just finished her tour of duty. What plans do you have?"
"That's none of your concern!"
"We will see about that and we will figure out what you owe later."
They walk in to Kit's chamber and start to look around. "These are the weapon of my choice. I think these are a dancers weapons, very graceful. " Says Tika allowing the fans to open and then flipping them closed before handing them to Kit.
Kit takes the fans and lets them fall open. There are eight ribs about ten inches long made of the finest mithral. Each one thin and topped with a half inch double edged tip sharpened to razor perfection. The skins made of the finest black silk that goes right up to a half inch from the top. "If you can use them they are yours."
"Thank you." answers Tika taking the fans back.
They continue to look through their new treasures. They see books stacked every where. Several trunks a couple with weapons a couple filled with dark clothes maybe some armor at the bottom. There were a couple filled with scrolls and a few were loaded with miscellaneous trinkets wands jewelry.
"Well right now I have a lot of reading to do I need to ask for another ring of tongues for you" says Kit sitting down to study.
"What should I do?"
"Probably go sweet talk Spur into giving you another ring."
"Ok it was kinda fun see you in a bit."
A couple hours later Rolo walks in holding a ring. "Here is another ring of tongues for you Tika. We should be going to the inn to meet Miri."
"Yes let's go" answered Kit placing her current book and the very first one she read into the haver sack, along with a small sack filled with stuff from the trunk with Miscellaneous trinkets and last she grabbed a small crystal ball off the table. "Bring the cloak" says Kit as she leaves the room.
"Sister are you leaving so soon?"
"Yes we need to meet some one at the tavern." Says Kit rolling the crystal around her hand.
"Be careful with that" cautions Spur "that is a two way crystal. Whisper my name to it and we will be able to communicate with me as long as I am near the crystal. If you need help or questions about something."
"Ok whatever. Rolo is coming with me" and she leaves the tower, followed by Tika and Rolo.
The trio headed towards the tavern where they would meet Miri and Kit would tell the others about her bigger plans.
When the enter the tavern they see Miri talking with cute female about their own age dressed in simple clothing. "Ah Kit there you are here this is Tori the tavern belongs to her family. She was pleased with your actions yesterday."
"They were not friends? Even though they seem to spend a lot of time here?" Asks Kit. Looking Tori over and noticing she isn't carrying a whip.
"They are no friends of mine!" Answers Tori "they try to bully every one who walks in and anyone who tries to stand up to them gets hurt."
"Well they don't scar me." Responds Kit "when we get established they will be put in their place. Now let's find a quiet place to discuss things. Tori you come too I have proposition for you."
Tori guides them to a large room at the back of the tavern. Opening the door she says "this room has been warded against all types of scrying, so everything we do inside this room will imperceptible to those outside."
As they enter this long room they see a fireplace with a few chairs arranged around it at the near end and at the opposite a raised platform with all kinds of plush pillows and a low round table and a great feast table in the middle of the room with benches down each side. Seeing the cushions Kit stretches out beckons to the others and says "Tori if you are going to make us this comfortable, why don't you get us some wine and food before getting comfortable yourself? Rolo you help her."
"As you wish" and she left returning with a tray filled with a pitcher of wine four glasses bread cheeses and a bunch of small fruit grown in the underground lake. She sets the tray on the table and sits down next to Miri "Listen up I plan establishing a spy guild." Announces Kit "we can do some thievery and assassinations but I want information to be the priority. This shadow dancing or shadow magic is the way to do it."
"But you are the only shadow dancer in the city. How do you plan on doing this?" Asks Miri.
"I may be the only shadow dancer now, but not for long." Responds Kit "Tika is already a thief and is already learning some shadow magic as I learn. If my plan works and Tori is willing she will be our next dancer."
"But I don't know any magic!" Stammers Tori. "I have been getting ready to preform the rituals to become one of The spider queen's chosen."
"I know your ceremony is coming up that is why I am asking you to try and follow my path. If you are willing start praying to Lloth asking her in her Devine wisdom to allow you to follow me in my path. In order to bring more honor to her and our houses."
"It sounds great and I would love to but what if the spider queen doesn't bless it?"
"You will become a cleric, but if she grants her blessing and I think she will then a new world begins. I will have use for clerics. Now Miri she will be the guilds priestess and ensure that our actions always please our goddess. She will in time learn some shadow magic but mainly provide us with healing and The spider queen's blessing. Last is Rolo he survived as a thief before my brother took him on as an apprentice he will be our arcane magic support. We will deal mostly with information and selling it to the highest bidder. If everything goes right there will be three of us in school doing our own thing as long as we can show results they won't care what we do, giving us time to learn the secrets the matrons don't want others to know."
"Are we all agreed?" Asks Kit
"I will follow in your footsteps, if the goddess permits." Says Tori.
"I would be honored Kit." Says Miri bowing her head slightly.
"Kit I have been your hand maiden for a long time I am not leaving your side now. I'm not sure about the dancing sex has always been my best weapon, but I will do what ever you desire." Says Tika smiling.
"And Rolo doesn't have a choice so thank you ladies. Rolo you may return to my brother and your studies" as he leaves " tomorrow while I go and study I'd like Tika and you two find a secluded part of the city to set up the instant fortress. It will become the shadow fortress and we will do our raining and planning there but take the fortress with us when we return home. Now lets enjoy our meal and wine." With that settled Kit leans back against the cushions next to Miri with Tika and Tori across from them. They all relaxe and enjoy the pleasures of each others company.
The next morning Kit spends the morning conducting her usual training. Then meets her brother spur for lunch at the tavern where she tells him of her. - r plans and asks for more rings and if he could enchant whips for her girls.
"Well you are reaching for the world." States Spur. "I have a couple of the rings and I will have Rolo make a couple tonight. I have one whip that I was going to enchant for you until you received your current one, I will teach Rolo
how to enchant it. You will just have to get the whips."
"I will have Miri talk with her smiths to craft me some. " answers I Kit sliding a small pouch across the table "here consider this payment for everything so far, including the rings and whip you have now. I have made arrangements with Grog."
"Who?" Asks Spur opening the pouch and seeing it filled the the finest gems.
" it's none of your concern." scolds Kit "lets just say one of my connections. There will be many more in the future. The first few are going to be critical for our success the knowledge of them is going to be limited to only those who need to know. Now you brother are not a member of the guild, but just one of my connections. So you will receive the same courtesy."
At that point before Spur can try and renegotiate. A female elf about the same age as Spur walks over to the table glaring daggers at the two of them. Then to Spur she says "how dare you try and make my daughter bring disfavor upon my house by turning he back on the spider queen."
When she reaches for her three headed whip, Kit speaks out " matron mother I mean no disrespect I think you misunderstood, it was my idea if the spider queen willing to have some one with me. So I asked her to pray and ask the great spider queen for permission to follow in my steps."
"YOU!" She looks at Spur "leave us!" She sits in his vacated seat. "Explain yourself!"
Kit tells Tori's mother how she started on this path what she plans for Tori and some of her spy plans. Now just to convince her totally she told the matron mother how the brewer was only letting her sample the good keg and leaving the watered down ones. She was grateful for the information and After a lot of questions. It ended the same as it did for Kit, as long the spider queen grants her blessing and Tori brings no disfavor to her house she can try.
With that settled she looks around but dose not see Spur or the girls. As she leaves hoping to find them Miri comes jumping in the door and embraces Kit pulling her close she whispers "this room isn't safe we found a spot" with that she kisses her cheek and takes her hand leading her out the door and into the city.
Miri guides her to the outskirts of the city just outside of view of her house. As they approach the city edge Kit sees a large cavern open up and getting closer she sees its the water supply. With an island in the center of that island stands her tower forty feet high and forty feet around. "We found a folding boat in the haversack so that is how we got across. But we are thinking that we will shadow walk across once every one knows how."
"Of course." answers Kit taking Miri's hand and stepping into the shadow realm and they walk across ten times faster than if they walked on land. At the tower door they return to the world.
"That was so much easier."
"I will find a way to get you across quickly" kit squeezes her hand and enters the tower.
"Welcome to the Shadow Fortress!" Yells Tika when she sees them enter. Let me show you around this is our feast hall the kitchen area is at the back and you can see our three huge tables. Let's proceed down stairs." She leads them down the spiral stair case. "This is our dungeon plenty of cells and ways of making people talk. If you will turn around we can head up stairs." They turn around and head up the stairs past the feast hall and on the next landing they see a few beds along the wall. "This is the sleeping chamber we will make our nest of plush pillows and cushions over there directly over the kitchen area. Now as we head upstairs we will make this the study." Once they get to the landing they see s huge round table and bookshelves along the wall. "I am thinking we might want to put a few desks around the wall to make some isolated study stations. And up stairs is our combat room. When they see the room the center is open for sparring and there are partially full weapon racks, throwing targets, and training dummies along the wall. "We went up again we would be on the battlement we have four ballistas a few crossbows and a lot of bows I think that is what they are anyways and a ton of what looks like ammo for all that. You can go up if you like but I am going for a glass of wine." As they descend Tika asks "have either of you seen Tori?"
"No" answers Miri
"No, but I did run into her mother" replies Kit. "She drilled me kinda hard but I think we have an agreement and Tori is free to do as the spider queen permits. I am going to take a trip to see her later for now I am going to sort through more of the stuff from Spur. I want to fill the haversack tomorrow and hopefully have everything stored in the cloak. And anything that we will not need to use at the academy will be kept in the tower. Any type of survival gear or anything we may need in an instant will be in the haversack." After a couple hours she has it all sorted she found a small throwing hammer inscribed with shadow runes she is not sure what they say but wants Rolo to identify it if he can. She leaves a small pile in a corner of the cloak's room with the items for the haversack and takes the empty haversack hammer and a strange ring. And leaves the cloak. Then she goes done to the kitchen to sit with Miri and Tika. "Tika I want you to take the cloak and Miri you take the fortress. That way our assets are distributed among my lieutenants." Kit starts to examine the hammer the shadow runes engraved on the head Miri I think this hammer is for you but I'm not sure what it does. This one on the face of the hammer looks like shadow bolt a spell I just started researching and the one on top looks like drain or charge but the ones on each side I can't place but they look so familiar."
"Let me take a look." Says Tika reaching for the hammer Kit releases it and sits there deep in thought when Tika laughs. "Are you telling me that you can't remember these two runes."
"No I can't" answers kit indignantly.
"This one is shadow walk your first ability."
"Oh no how could I forget but the other I haven't studied."
"No it's on your stilettos. I believe iris the one that returns them to you. I read about this hammer...... I will be right back." She runs upstairs.
Miri giggles " it was right there in front of you all this time."
"Don't go there or I might not give it you. Now if you are done picking on me. I need you to craft something for us. I want to have a symbol to identify us as different. I want mini stilettos in a sheath worn around our necks you don't have to where it there but I want it possible."
"I can do that how many."
"Right mow there are five of us and we each need one. If we recruit more we will need more."
"I will take care of it."
"It's right here I found it." They hear Tika yelling as she runs down the stairs. And starts to read "the hammer of shadows created for a particular cleric for assisting a shadow dancer in her hour of need . It has the ability to return to its owner when thrown, allows the user to shadow walk dain power and cast shadow bolt. Drain is how it charges, shadow walk uses one charge and shadow bolt uses more. Return will not use any charges just returns the hammer to where it is happiest."
"Well it's yours if you want it you will be able to shadow walk to the tower. And throw it if you need to hurt something at distance you will just need to charge it." Says kit handing the hammer to Miri.
"Thank you.says Miri with a smile on her face. How do I use the powers?"
"Just say these power words for what you want." Answers Tika showing her the book.
Kit stands and says "well girls I'm going I need to find Tori. Don't forget to take your items. She kisses each of them and leaves.
After crossing the water Kit stays in the shadow realm to speed her travel to the inn and when she gets there she steps out of the shadow realm with shadows still clining to her. She wraps those shadows around her to conceal herself and walks into the inn. After looking around the common room she heads through the kitchen and when Tori was not there she went out the back and into the compound proper. She steps back into the shadow realm and enters the main house opening a small window between realms when necessary to see who is in the room. After an hour of searching and several calls she finds Tori praying in her chambers.
"Hello there we missed you today." Says kit as she leaves the shadow realm startling Tori.
"Don't do that! You scared me! I have been praying all day and trying to get ready."
"Ready for what?"
"Ah my ceremony you told me to pray for, it's tomorrow."
"Tomorrow I thought you had weeks I will leave you to your studying." Kit tells Tori how to get to their new location and leaves.
The next morning as they near the lake she sees someone coming towards her. It is Tori and she is excited." Kit I got it a handmaiden and granted my prayers look I have a whip too." She un coils the whip.
"The fortress is right there we can sit and have a drink." Kit pats the haversack takes Tori's hand and shadow walk her to the tower.
They enter and yell to the others setting the haversack down and pulling out all three kegs. As Miri and Tika come down the stairs Tori grabs four mugs and they sit down to drink honey mead and hear about Tori's ceremony.
Tori takes a long drink of honey mead and starts. "It's as it was for you. I was at the alter and a hand maiden appeared and looked right at me and told me I would be the next spider eye. She looked at my aunt next and said yes. Then she was gone on the alter was my whip my mother was exited too. Right there during everything my mothers whip grew another head and my youngest aunt's grew two. Turns out she is going to be the advisor they assigned. So her favor doubled she is easily the nicest of my aunts."
"Well we have our team. After our training we will start recruiting I want more muscle but that will come later. For now we need to work on our skills. Then we will integrate with the others at the academy and learn every secret there is to know.