The Xaniqos gather in the throne room, where the Matron Mother awaits them.
Because of the latest developments, House Godeep is not interested in a collaboration anymore. We have been made a fool of. House Vae is still interested – though they are not well liked – but for it will suffice.
The day has come to strike back against the second House. Take all your gear with you, for you will leave the city immediately. Do not expect to return until things have cooled down. You will act against House Aleval tonight!
Your target is Charicide, a Bard of great renown, who was once part of the family of Aleval. This evening Charicide performs in the Hall of Shadows, a theater in the Ghetto of Performers. Afterwards she will pay a visit to the Silk Curtain, to enjoy the company of men. Take care of her there.
Further instructions will be given to you in Blessed Seahaven, a small Kua-Toas settlement, led by Pliil Seachild. Since – being Drow – we are all honorary Kua-Toas, these creatures will help you. Their demi-god is Blid Dool Poolp. Take the route over the Glimmersea to Dunspeirrin and return overland with an army of lizards in a few weeks.
The siblings prepare themselves for the journey. Lilith hands her sister a bottle of holy water, and together they visit Lolth’s shrine. Platinum and diamonds, worth five thousand gold pieces, are entrusted to the Cleric for negotiations over the riding lizards, plus extra gold pieces for daily needs. Jharrath has crafted anti-toxin and gives his sisters one potion each.
In the evening they leave for the Halls of Shadows. The buildings in this Ghetto are fancy and lush, it is all decadency – no slums. The old Hall of Shadows was destroyed in the past and the place has been rebuilt into a grand half-circle theater in the typical Drow architecture. The theater slowly slopes down towards the stage and it is crowded with nobles. Aleval Guards patrol the area and the Xaniqos leave their weapons and backpacks in the checkroom.
They are escorted to their seats and watch flashy and magic acrobatics being performed on stage. Next is a mime artist. He is not really that good and the more nervous he gets, the more mistakes he makes. The crowd gets agitated and suddenly a Drow magician stands up, deep in trance. A moment later a dirty filthy demon appears on stage. It grabs a heavy chain that is wrapped around its body and, cheered on by the crowd, crushes the mime artist with its multiple arms. He then devours him. The magician, notwithstanding the clamor that erupts around him, never loses his concentration and sends the demon back to its plane. Bugbears clean up the mess on the suddenly empty stage.
Ten minutes later the curtains open again to reveal a man in flashy – though bit overdone – garments. Meet Shelos, the owner of the amphitheater. He has a ready, cynical tongue. For a Drow, he is even comical. When he announces Charicide, the audience goes wild.
A young Drow female steps out. Dressed in a shimmering cloack she is gorgeous and lithe. Then an ugly troll enters the stage. Next to Charicide, this giant seems extra large. The Bard takes out her 64-stringed lute, called Vazhan-do, and starts playing. A wailing sounds fills the theater. When after a while the music picks up speed, she suddenly draws her rapier and starts cutting the troll, faster and faster, while the music somehow lingers. The giant stands motionless and doesn’t move. Fingers and other body parts are hacked off. Fortunately trolls have the ability to regenerate their limbs (as long as they are not hit by acid or fire). For the next fifteen minutes the audience is captivated, under the spell of the performance of music and fight. When Charicide finally stops, the whole theater erupts in cheers and salvos of applause. This artist is a feast to the eyes: a true performer!
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