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The Whole of the Moon

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This story is No. 7 in the series "The 'Tabula Avatar' Universe". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: A diversion within the 'Tabula Avatar' universe concurrent with the start of Book 3. The goddess Shar seeks to end old conflicts as she prepares for war against Lolth. Her attempt to negotiate a truce with her sister Selûne goes horribly wrong...

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Games > Dungeons and Dragons(Current Donor)SpeakertocustomersFR18310,8590187,18323 Oct 0825 Oct 08Yes

To the Moon and Back

Yoshimo bowed to the goddess. “You have news of my mistress, Lady Eilistraee?”

“I have,” Eilistraee confirmed. “She is held captive by Selûne.”

“Hah!” Yoshimo grunted. “I suspected as much, but you told me I must be mistaken.”

“You were right after all, and I was wrong,” said Eilistraee. “I would never have believed it.”

Yoshimo scowled and his fingers went to the hilt of his katana. “Such treachery dishonors her.”

“That is exactly what I told Selûne,” Eilistraee said, “but she did not listen. She will not release your mistress. We shall have to rescue her.”

Yoshimo’s eyebrows climbed and his eyes widened. “Rescue one goddess from the prison of another? It will not be easy.” He grinned. “Of course, if it was easy then everyone would be doing it.”

Eilistraee grinned back at him. “I take it that you are willing to take part?”

“Of course,” Yoshimo said. “Who could resist such a grand adventure?”

“You must take care,” Eilistraee warned him. “If you are slain in the realm of Selûne your soul will be forever destroyed.”

Yoshimo’s eyebrows climbed but the grin remained on his face. “I shall be careful. Yet nothing worthwhile is without risk.”

“Shar is fortunate indeed to have such a servant,” Eilistraee praised him. “I have a plan as to how we can achieve this. Am I correct in believing that you were, in life, a skilled thief?”

“A bounty hunter,” Yoshimo corrected her, “but the skills involved are the same. I can disarm traps, pick locks, and slink unobserved in the shadows as well as any thief.”

“Shadows will be few and far between in the realm of Selûne,” Eilistraee said, “but sentries will also be few, or so I hope, for no-one evil can enter her domain against her will. I shall visit her with a retinue of my petitioners and hide you amongst them. I will try to keep Selûne busy and thus give you a chance to reach Shar’s prison and set her free.”

“I am at your command, Lady Silverhair,” Yoshimo said, “but I hope that it does not mean that I shall have to dress as a woman.”

Eilistraee tilted her head to one side and scrutinized him. “It would be amusing,” she said, her eyes twinkling, “but the moustache would probably give the game away. You need not fear, Yoshimo, for I have male worshippers; even some human males, although I suspect that most of them joined my church simply for the chance to see comely drow females dancing naked under the moon.”

Yoshimo nodded slowly and his eyes twinkled to match hers. “I can think of less appealing inducements to join, certainly.”

“I think, however, that you would stand out less if disguised as a half-drow,” Eilistraee decided. “Some stain for your skin, perhaps dye for your hair – and, of course, we’ll have to do something about your ears.”

- - - - -

Yoshimo danced in the throng of Selûne’s joyful and smiling petitioners. The music was the product of a cultural tradition not his own and held no resonances for him. It seemed rather plain and overly simple, compared with the exhilarating rhythms and melodies of some of the tunes he had heard performed by Giles, and sadly lacking in energy.

He went through the dance steps nonetheless, returning the smiles of his partners, despite feeling a strong urge to wipe off their smiles with vigorous applications of his fists. It wasn’t their fault, he knew; they would have been told only that their goddess had captured her eternal enemy and not that she’d done it by treachery. They would be feeling elation equivalent to how he would feel if he heard that Sorkatani had slain Bodhi or Irenicus. He could understand their point of view, to some extent, but he still wanted to punch them.

The dance progressed to a change of partners. The Selûnite in front of him, a young woman in a long blue and white dress with an elaborate starched collar, was replaced by an almost naked drow priestess. Yoshimo’s fake smile became genuine; not because of the nudity, although – as he had told Eilistraee – he didn’t exactly find it off-putting, but because of the person. And because it meant that the time for action was here.

Evelintra, the recently deceased petitioner of Eilistraee, held out her hand to him and they moved through the forms of the dance. It was no more familiar to her than it was to him; both of them kept glancing to the side, watching the Selûnites, so that they could keep in step. They followed the example of the others and advanced towards each other, so that her breasts touched his chest, and she spoke.

“I tire of this dance,” she said in Drow. “Let us go somewhere more private and enjoy ourselves in other ways.”

“As you wish,” Yoshimo replied in the same language. He would hardly call himself fluent in Drow, but he had picked up enough from Viconia to communicate reasonably well; certainly he spoke it better than Evelintra’s shaky command of the Common Tongue of western Faerûn.

One of the Selûnite dancers frowned at them as they left the assembly. “Where are you going?” she asked.

“Where we go?” Evelintra repeated, her words heavily accented, and she waved her hand in a vague indication of direction. “We go… there.” She gave up on Common and spoke in Drow. “Udos ph’lorith whol natha suust k’lar vel’klar udos shlu’ta vith.”

The Selûnite stared at her with blank incomprehension plainly written on her face. Yoshimo ventured an extremely watered-down translation. “We, ah, are taking a… romantic stroll,” he said.

Evelintra grinned and made a hand gesture that unmistakably, and obscenely, conveyed the exact meaning of her words. The Selûnite blushed crimson. “Oh,” she said. “G-g-go ahead.”

Yoshimo and Evelintra strolled away from the dancers. Another drow couple also slipped away from the dance and headed in the same direction. A thought crossed Yoshimo’s mind and caused a twinge of alarm. If any of Selûne’s petitioners decided that a ‘romantic stroll’ sounded like a good idea, and followed the example of the drow, it would create awkward complications. Luckily, whether because the Selûnites were less carnally inclined than Eilistraee’s followers or simply because the natives of this plane had homes to go to if they felt such desires, none of them left the dance.

“It had not occurred to me that there would be sex after death,” Yoshimo remarked as they crossed the plain towards the isolated rock building that was their destination.

“If there was not, then it would be Hell,” Evelintra replied. “Thus far I have found that there isn’t enough sex after death, as there simply aren’t enough male worshippers of Eilistraee to go around, but perhaps things will change if we can fraternize more with the worshippers of Vhaeraun in the future.” She glanced around to check that there were no Selûnites in the vicinity. It wasn’t safe to take it for granted that they could not speak Drow. “And with Shar’s worshippers too. You are not unattractive. Shall we fuck for real after the mission is over?”

Yoshimo swallowed. “Ah, thank you, but I think not,” he replied. “I would be happy to call you a friend, Evelintra, but I desire nothing more. My heart belongs only to Sorkatani.”

“She is alive, and you are dead,” Evelintra pointed out, “and so it would hardly count as being unfaithful. Still, it is your choice, and if you wish only friendship that is agreeable to me also.” She stared ahead and her eyes narrowed. “It seems that our target is not unguarded.”

Yoshimo followed her gaze. A planetar stood beside the prison. Her white skin had a pearly luster and her long hair was a light sky-blue, and she stood some six and a half feet tall, but otherwise she appeared to be a young human woman. “One of Selûne’s Shards,” he said. “I expected nothing less. Formidable, no doubt, but we must prevail.”

The Shard moved to bar their path as they drew near to the building. “You may not enter,” she declared. “Entry is forbidden by order of Selûne, the Moonmaiden, Mistress of this realm.”

“Usstan xuat kampi’un dos,” Evelintra said. She gave the Shard a beaming smile. “Ud’phuul lac’nou natha k’lar ulu vith. Nindol k’lar gukluth suust z’lonzic.”

The other drow couple arrived. A male called Solaufein, who Yoshimo had been told was a highly skilled fighter, and a female drow named Ulvira. They walked up to the Shard without haste and with smiles on their faces.

The Shard rolled her eyes. “I don’t know why you came here if you don’t speak the language,” she said. “I suppose I’ll have to cast a Tongues spell.”

“I speak some,” Evelintra said. “What you say? I say – nin!” At her signal Yoshimo and the three drow hurled themselves on the Shard in sudden and all-out assault.

Planetars have highly-attuned senses, and fast reflexes, and it is said that it is impossible to take one by surprise. In these circumstances that turned out not to be true. Yoshimo had the Shard in a wrist-lock before she even realized that she was under attack.

They had to do it the hard way. A planetar is highly resistant to magic, especially in its home realm, and they were hampered by having no wish to cause the Shard serious harm. All the drow bore two swords, a religious requirement for devout followers of Eilistraee, but they couldn’t use the blades. Instead they bludgeoned her with the pommels, raining blows upon her with frantic haste, while she struggled to shield herself and to free herself from Yoshimo’s grip. She failed. She was much stronger than him, as strong as a hill giant, but Yoshimo had leverage on his side. When she tried to bring her other hand across to break the lock she left her head unshielded. Blows thudded home and she slumped to the ground.

Yoshimo wore a small backpack. It was slightly incongruous for the ostensible purpose of their visit to Selûne’s realm but it was essential, as there was no other way of concealing the tools necessary for the job, and luckily none of the Selûnites had thought to query it. He slipped it from his shoulders, opened it, and pulled out a set of shackles. For a moment, as they hastily chained and gagged the fallen Shard, he was struck by an eerie sense of unreality. It took him a few seconds to recognize the cause of the sensation; no-one was panting for breath, despite their furious burst of desperate activity. A side benefit of being dead.

The Shard wore a belt with a small pouch fastened to it. Yoshimo thought it highly unlikely that it was a purse for coins and he checked it out. It held a key. “Surely it cannot be this easy,” he remarked. “If I had designed the prison this key would snap off in the lock and seal it.” He had spoken in Common and so repeated his remark in Drow as he made for the door. “The real key would be somewhere else,” he added.

Evelintra grinned at him. “You are cunning,” she said. “You would have made a fine drow. I doubt if the Selûnites possess such subtlety.” Solaufein and Ulvira nodded agreement.

The key turned in the lock and the door opened. They wasted no time in entering, carrying the unconscious Shard between them, and then Solaufein and Ulvira left again to serve as look-outs.

“Yoshimo,” Shar greeted him. When first he had met his goddess her smiles had seemed forced and artificial, as if she was adopting an expression she had been told about but with no real understanding of the emotions involved, but now her beaming smile lit up her whole face. “It’s good to see you.”

“Thank you, my Lady,” Yoshimo replied. “We shall get you out of here as quickly as we can.” He hastened to examine the bars.

They were beams of light, intangible and offering no resistance to the passage of physical objects, but when he passed his hand through a beam he felt searing pain. When he withdrew his arm his skin was blistered. He guessed that the light would have an even greater effect upon Shar. “We must block the beams,” he said. “Our swords, perhaps?” He drew his katana and used it to break the path of one of the rays. This revealed that they were projected both from the ceiling and the floor. He held out his reserve sword, a short wakizashi, and was able to create a gap by blocking the rays in two places. “This works, but it is awkward.”

“If they are moonbeams they will not harm the Shard,” Evelintra suggested. “I might be immune, too, but I’d rather not make the experiment.”

They dragged the Shard to the cage and maneuvered one of her feet into the path of a beam. Nothing happened. She didn’t stir and there was no visible effect upon her skin. “Excellent,” Yoshimo said, as he and Evelintra rolled the Shard over to block the beams at the bottom. He shielded himself with his katana and slipped through the bars. “Now to get you out of these chains, Mistress.”

He examined the glowing shackles that held Shar’s arms and legs and bound her to a pillar. “They have no locks,” he said, frowning. “I will have to cut through them. I am prepared,” he announced, extracting a wire saw from his bag of lock-picks and tools, “but it will take time. Perhaps too long.”

“Fear not, my good and faithful servant,” Shar said. “Find something to shield my wrists from the light of the chains, and to put my mouth into shadow, and I can snap them.”

“Your mouth into shadow?” Yoshimo did not understand what she meant.

“I can work magic with song,” Shar clarified, “but this light saps my power. I must have at least partial shade for me to be able to imbue the song with force enough to shatter steel.”

“Of course, my Lady,” Yoshimo said. He used his katana to cut sections from the Shard’s robes and slipped the cloth between Shar’s skin and the chains. He held another piece of cloth in front of her face and maneuvered until he shielded her mouth from the light without bringing the cloth close enough to muffle her voice. “Will that do?”

“It will,” Shar confirmed. “Thank you.” She stamped her feet, making the chains jingle, and then opened her mouth and sang.

Listen to the wind blow
Down comes the night
Run in the shadows
Damn your love
Damn your lies

Well you may have fooled me now
But you’ll never fool me again
And despite your betraying
I will surely break the chain…


As she sang the last line she jerked hard against the chains around her wrists. The links shattered. She unwound the rest of the chains, freeing her legs, and stepped free.

Yoshimo raised his eyebrows. “I see you have learned from Giles,” he commented. He tucked the piece of cloth into his belt, in case it might be needed again, and used his katana once more to block the light beams and create a gap in the bars for Shar to use.

“I have indeed,” Shar said. “His repertoire of songs is full of possibilities for magic and I have had ample time during this imprisonment to consider their use.” She stepped out of the cage. “Now to free Egeria.” She waited for Yoshimo to follow her out of the cage and then dragged the Shard’s body away from the beams. She picked up the body, carried the Shard over to the other cage, and laid her down.

Forty seconds later Egeria was free. “Thank you, Mistress,” she said. She turned to Yoshimo and bowed her head. “And thank you.”

“Egeria, this petitioner is Yoshimo, relatively new in my service but greatly valued by me,” Shar introduced. “Yoshimo, meet Egeria. I charmed her at first but she has freely chosen to stay in my service since I lifted the charm.”

Yoshimo narrowed his eyes and scrutinized the former Shard. “I am pleased to meet you,” he said. He remembered his own situation in the service of Irenicus, when his seeming escape had been rigged so that he could attach himself to Sorkatani and her companions as a sleeper agent, and for a moment he suspected that Egeria might be filling the same role. He examined the possibility and decided that it was unlikely. Nothing he had encountered in Selûne’s realm showed that level of forethought and sophistication.

Egeria dipped in a small curtsey. “I greet you, Yoshimo,” she said. She looked down at her unconscious former colleague. “We must leave at once,” she warned. “When Pherousa awakes she will send out a call for help. The cloth in her mouth will not hinder her.”

“We must disguise you, Mistress, so that you are not recognized on sight,” Yoshimo said. “The robes of the unconscious one, perhaps?”

“I have a better idea,” Shar said. “Shield me from the light for a moment.”

Yoshimo and Egeria obeyed. Immediately Shar transformed into the form of a drow. Her bra hung loose on her smaller body and her panties slipped downward. She allowed them to fall, stepped out of them, and unhooked her bra.

“You will need a pendant and two swords, if you are to pass as one of Eilistraee’s worshippers,” Evelintra said, “and we did not think to bring spares.”

“Take this,” Yoshimo offered, removing the pendant from his own neck. “It will seem as if mine is out of sight beneath my clothes.”

“It is a good thing that it is only Eilistraee’s female worshippers who go in for nudity,” Shar commented, as she took the pendant.

“I think it is a shame,” Evelintra contradicted her, “although perhaps not in these circumstances.”

“You are Evelintra, are you not? I recognize you from Eilistraee’s description,” Shar said. “We shall talk later.”

Yoshimo had averted his eyes, as he felt that ogling the naked breasts of his deity might be pushing the limits of her new tolerance a little too far, and he spotted a sword belt propped against one of the prison walls. “Well, I have found one sword for you, my Lady,” he announced.

“That is mine,” Egeria said. She had not understood those parts of the conversation involving Evelintra, all of which had been in Drow, and did not realize that Shar needed two swords to complete her disguise. Yoshimo gave Egeria a quick translated recap as he retrieved the sword and passed it to his goddess.

“There is another sword here,” Evelintra said, pointing down at the unconscious and bound Shard. She unfastened the planetar’s sword belt, slid it free, and gave it to Shar.

Each of the two belts held a sword and a mace. They removed the mace from one, and slid free the scabbard from the other, and soon had one belt with two swords and another with two maces. Egeria donned the belt with maces and Shar the one with the swords. “They would be overly long for me to wield effectively in this body,” Shar remarked, “but as symbols they will serve well. Hopefully there will be no need for combat. Let us depart.”

- - - - -

“You have betrayed me!” Selûne glared at Eilistraee. “How could you? You have been corrupted by Evil. Perhaps I should have expected it from the daughter of a demon.”

“I will not stand for injustice,” Eilistraee replied. “You should know this. I did not want to jeopardize our friendship but there was nothing else that I could do.”

“You could have just minded your own business,” Selûne said.

“No,” Eilistraee contradicted her, “I could not. You would not listen to reason and therefore I had no choice but to take action.”

“There is nothing more bitter than the treachery of a so-called friend,” Selûne said, her upper lip curling in a sneer. “Perhaps I should imprison you in her place.”

Eilistraee’s lips tightened. “You could try.”

“I shall recapture Shar first,” Selûne declared. She swept an arm in a circle. A Wall of Moonlight surrounded Eilistraee. Selûne’s sneer grew more pronounced. “I will decide how to deal with you on my return.” She teleported herself away.

Eilistraee stood still for a few seconds, making a conscious effort to relax, and fighting back the anger that was threatening to run away with her. It occurred to her that it was probably anger, or hatred, that was distorting Selûne’s personality and actions; making her paranoid, obsessive, and stupidly forgetful. Eilistraee did not want to make the same mistake. She took a deep breath, walked through the Wall of Moonlight, and went to see if Shar had managed to escape.

Selûne was facing the exit from her realm, her lips tight and her fists clenched, and a flock of her Shards milled around her. Selûne turned around as she sensed Eilistraee approaching and her eyes widened. “How did you get out?”

Eilistraee rolled her eyes. “Has your intelligence, then, completely deserted you? You used a Wall of Moonlight to bar my exit. What is your next cunning plan? Will you, perhaps, use a Wall of Water to trap a fish, or a Wall of Fire to pen a red dragon, and then wrack your brains as you wonder how they escaped?”

Selûne’s cheeks reddened. “I… forgot, in the heat of the moment, that you are also a goddess of the moon.”

“You forgot? We’ve known each other for nearly fourteen thousand years and you forgot? I take it that it took you the first ten thousand to be able to remember the color of my hair.”

“Such mockery is uncalled for,” Selûne said.

“It’s either use sarcasm or else belabor you about the head with the flat of my sword,” Eilistraee said. “The choice is yours. I am ill pleased with you, Selûne, and it will be long before our friendship returns to what it was unless you work hard to restore my trust.”

“Your trust? What about mine? You deceived me, pretending that you wished to talk whilst secretly stealing away my prisoner,” Selûne protested.

“A prisoner you had seized by breaking the sanctity of a parley,” Eilistraee riposted, “and I told you that I sought her release. If you don’t see the difference, well, that’s your problem.”

“Shar is Evil,” Selûne declared, “and thus I was justified.”

“No.” Eilistraee shook her head. “It does not work that way, Selûne, and no-one is better qualified to know that than I am. You cannot defeat Evil by doing evil. The Ilythiiri tried that in the Crown Wars, when they were initially the innocent parties, and it led to them being blamed for everything and condemned to the Descent. Do you want to take the same path?”

Selûne snorted. “That comparison is ridiculous.”

“Is it?” Eilistraee stared into Selûne’s eyes until the other goddess looked away. “Be assured that we will talk more of this another time. Now, unless you are again going to try to detain me, I shall return to my home.”

Selûne moved aside. Eilistraee advanced to the gates, stepped through without a farewell, and was gone.

- - - - -

Shar embraced Eilistraee. “Thank you,” she said. “You have my gratitude and, if you will have it, my friendship.”

“I accept both gladly,” Eilistraee said. “I was only too happy to repay the debt that I owe you for your part in my reconciliation with Vhaeraun.”

“You do me too much credit,” Shar said. “I thought only of the logic behind an alliance. It is Yoshimo who you must thank.”

“I have,” Eilistraee said. “He is a good servant, Shar, and deserves to be well rewarded for what he has done for you.”

“Indeed so,” Shar agreed. “I have thought upon a suitable reward and I have something in mind.”

Eilistraee grinned. “My servant Evelintra would have rewarded him but he turned her down. She was disappointed, and somewhat taken aback, as she is unused to rejection from males.”

“I can see why,” Shar said. “If there was to be a demi-goddess of spectacular breasts then Evelintra would be the prime contender for the position.” Her eyes twinkled. “I would like to reward her, and your other petitioners who took part, for their assistance in my rescue. In her case I think that the most appropriate reward would be a set of underwear patterned after mine; although, of course, slightly differently proportioned.”

“That would please her, I am sure,” Eilistraee agreed.

“And another set for you also,” Shar added, “if you so desire.”

“I’d love a set,” Eilistraee said. “I may spend much of my time nude but those undergarments are indeed very pretty.”

“Then you shall have them,” Shar said. “Also, I plan on hosting a small gathering of gods to engage in conversation, to hear some music, and perhaps some dancing. I would love you to come, of course, and perhaps you could bring along Evelintra and the others who helped rescue me. I shall ask Vhaeraun to bring a select few of his most handsome and least evil petitioners. Evelintra may find someone among them who can compensate her for Yoshimo’s rejection.”

“A party? Count me in,” said Eilistraee, “and I shall bring my followers as you ask.”

“I am pleased,” Shar said. “I will invite no-one too evil, I promise, only those who can be relied upon to behave themselves and ensure that the gathering is convivial.” A smile played on her lips. “Tell me, Eilistraee, have you met Hoar, god of poetic justice?”

- - - - -

Shar stood within the Crystal Spire and faced the God of Death. “I am looking for the deceased sister of one of my petitioners,” she told him. “She was originally from Kozakura, in Kara-Tur, but she died in Faerûn.”

Kelemvor, Judge of the Damned, raised an eyebrow slightly behind his silver mask. “She might be with the Eight Million Gods of Kara-Tur, and not within my jurisdiction, but I shall find out,” he said. “Jergal will have the records. I shall summon…”

The Scribe of the Dead appeared at his shoulder. “YOU CALLED, MASTER?”

“You don’t need to call me ‘Master’,” Kelemvor said. “I’ve told you many times.”

“IT’S TRADITIONAL, MASTER,” Jergal said. His voice was hollow, sepulchral, and reminiscent of the tolling of an ancient bell. “WHO DO YOU SEEK, LADY SHAR?”

“Her personal name was Tamoko and her family name Ishii,” Shar told him. “I don’t know which way round she used the names. I would guess the Faerûnian way but I’m not certain. She died last year in Baldur’s Gate.”

“ONE MOMENT, LADY SHAR,” Jergal said. He opened a massive tome. “AH, YES. TAMOKO ISHII, AGE 22, SUICIDE. SHE IS IN THE WALL.”

“What?” Shar’s eyes widened. “The Wall of the Faithless? That’s horrible. Get her out.”

“I can’t do that,” Kelemvor said. “She has been Judged.”

“RE-EVALUATED, RATHER,” Jergal said. “LORD KELEMVOR INITIALLY PLACED HER IN THE GUARD OF THE CITY OF JUDGMENT, ALONG WITH MINOR SINNERS FROM AMONGST THE FALSE, AND SHE SERVED WELL. IT WAS ONLY AFTER CERTAIN COMPLAINTS WERE MADE ABOUT MY LORD’S JUDGMENTS THAT SHE WAS RE-ASSIGNED TO THE WALL.”

“Ah, yes, I remember,” said Kelemvor. “She was an honorable warrior whose sins came about because she had fallen in love with, and given her loyalty to, the wrong man. And, of course, she had abandoned the Eight Million Gods of her homeland without choosing a patron deity of Faerûn to replace them.”

“And so you sent her to the Wall of the Faithless? A harsh decision indeed. I had not thought you so heartless, Kelemvor.”

“You were one of the Circle of Greater Gods who sat in judgment over me, less than half a year ago,” Kelemvor reminded her, “and deemed that my mercy towards the Faithless threatened the divine order. I was held to be guilty of Incompetence by Humanity. It was to comply with the decision of the Circle that I remodeled the City of Judgment and re-instituted the Wall of the Faithless. She was Faithless and so had to be condemned to the Wall. ”

Shar sighed. “I would not vote the same way today,” she admitted. “I have come to realize that there are better ways to win the worship of mortals than with threats of torment. I wish to reward a faithful petitioner, who has done me great service, by re-uniting him with his departed sister. Please release her.”

“I cannot do that,” Kelemvor said. “She must suffer her duly ordained fate.”

“Cannot, or will not?” Shar asked. “What harm would it do to pardon her? I claim her in the name of her brother, loyal and faithful to me, and I implore you to set her free.”

“There can be no exceptions,” Kelemvor stated. “That is how it was decreed.” His tone softened. “You show compassion that I would not have expected of you. I sympathize, and I would accede to your request if I could, but my hands are tied.”

Shar’s eyes had narrowed at his pronouncement, and her lips tightened, but she relaxed slightly at his latter words. “They are tied only because you allow them to be tied,” she said. “There has to be a way around it.”

“There is not,” Kelemvor said, “or I would have found a loophole when Mystra came to me to plead for Adon’s soul. The judgment is irrevocable.”

“THUS IT WAS ORDAINED,” Jergal confirmed. “SO MOTE IT BE.”

“I do not accept that,” Shar said. “I will not go back to Yoshimo only to tell him ‘All in all she’s just another brick in the wall’. There must be a way. I will find it, Kelemvor, no matter what it takes.” She turned to leave but spoke once more before departing. “I’ll be back.”

The End

Glossary of Drow phrases
• ‘Udos ph’lorith whol natha suust k’lar vel’klar udos shlu’ta vith’ = ‘We are looking for a quiet place where we can fuck’
• ‘Usstan xuat kampi’un dos’ = ‘I don’t understand you’
• ‘Ud’phuul lac’nou natha k’lar ulu vith’ = ‘We seek a location in which to fuck’
• ‘Nindol k’lar gukluth suust z’lonzic’ = ‘This place seemed quiet enough’
• ‘nin!’ = ‘now!’

Disclaimer: Shar, Selûne, Vhaeraun, Eilistraee, Kelemvor and Jergal are the property of Wizards of the Coast Inc., and Yoshimo and Solaufein belong to WotC and also to Bioware. The lyrics sung, and amended, by Shar are from ‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac; she also quotes from Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall Part 2’. The title of this chapter is taken from a Savage Garden single; the title of the story as a whole is taken from a single by The Waterboys.

The End

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