Friday, October 16, 2015

Ardara's handmaidens are busy filling a large stone tub with buckets of water. The Priestess demanded her water be directly taken from the spring in the courtyard and heated to a desirable temperature before being added to her bath. The bathing chamber was as dank and dark as the rest of Underdark, the only light from lit torches hanging on the walls. High above the tub are three large large gothic style cathedral style windows that let in little to no light and only served to let in the mist that was always heavy with the smells of death and decay that permeated the entire underground world

Ardara stands in front of a heavy full length mirror, slips her robe from her shoulders and lets it float to her feet. She glances over her shoulder at the servants noting that the tub was almost ready. A handmaiden adds a handful of herbs, a poisonous concoction, meant to keep Ardara safe from some random sycophant trying to take her place. Her attention turns back to the mirror and her reflection there. She admires her still slim body, the grey blue color almost blending in with the surroundings.

As she takes a step back there is a loud splash and several gasps from her servants. Water has splashed from the tub and steam rises in a heavy veil, obscuring her vision and leaving her unable to determine what had happened.

Anger rising at suddenly being doused with water and unable to see, Ardara stomps her foot. “What is the matter with you imbeciles? Can you not even fill my tub without making a mess?"

Grabbing a towel Ardara stomps towards the tub, shoving one servant out of the way and pulling anothers hair.

She shoves the towel at a small fae, a capture from one of the many raids the Drow make on others lands. “Fan this steam away, I cant see a damned thing....”

As the servants fan away the steam using towels and their hands Ardara steps closer to the tub and peers over the edge. Her handmaidens watch as their mistress' face changes from its normal grey blue to a deep purple. Her red eyes narrow to slits and hands clench into tight fists at her sides from the rage about to boil over.

The small fae gasps loudly and slowly lowers the towel she was fanning with. As the steam begins to dissipate the tub and its steaming contents are revealed.

Charred black bones fill the tub, the smaller ones floating to the top. Ardara looks as if she could explode herself in an instant and the servants slowly start edging backwards. She gives the small fae a vicious shove, who is lucky to land on a stack of towels and only scraping a knee.

“Who dares to send this...this... mess to my private chambers?” Blind fury takes over and reaching into the bath Ardara starts to fling the charred bones at her handmaidens.

“I will not have this... one of you has to be responsible for this atrocity. Who of you would dare shame your Priestess....You will be a feast for Lolth...” Ardara pauses and looks at each of her cowering handmaidens. The fae had wisely seized her chance and fled the chamber once the screaming started leaving the Drow women to face their mistress' wrath.

Turning back to the steaming tub Ardara sees the charred blackened skull and slowly lifts it from the water. She turns, intending to further torment her servants when something makes her stop and look at it more closely.

Its a Drow! There is no mistake... the forehead... but who? Ardaras eyes suddenly go wide as her fury and fear increase tenfold. My assassin, it has to be. Those damn... humans and whatever else clings to that damn tavern....but how could they know...?

With a scream of pure evil and hate Ardara smashes the blackened skull against a stone wall.

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