Jinnaari pulled his sword from the fiend’s body. Blood dripped down the blade. Stepping aside, he leaned against the rocky wall of the pass and started to clean the weapon. He wasn’t sure how far until they found the inn Valerie was leading them to. Pan and Moon were looting the corpse. He had time.
“What was that thing?” Helix asked.
“An Abishai. Tiamat uses them as messengers,” he replied, not looking up from his task. “Take a close look at any pouches or pockets. There’s likely to be something.”
“What’s it say?” Thia asked. Her voice was tired, which didn’t surprise him. He was exhausted. Yes, they’d slept when they got to Cirrain. But then dinner happened, and everything that followed. He’d been so close to walking away from it all, going back to the chapterhouse. He had diplomatic immunity. The Baroness couldn’t legally hold him.
But he goes where Bahamut commands. For whatever reason, that meant staying with these people longer.
He looked up, watching Thia as she read the parchment. She’d changed somehow. Pan was openly hostile toward him now. The two Tabaxi still made his scales itch. Valerie he couldn’t figure out, not yet. Pan protected his sister more than he did Thia, and the blind woman certainly was a voice of reason that the druid listened to. She and Thia had spoken often during the trek up the mountain. If Thia trusted her, maybe he could as well.
“What’s it say, Thia?” he asked. He trusted her. She wouldn’t lie to him. Whatever it said, good or bad, she’d tell him.
“It’s a letter,” she looked at him, “to a Dezmyr and Zalthar.”
“They’re the current heads of the Shadowdusk family,” Valerie said. “They live deep in the Undermountain.”
Thia started reading, “The time approaches. Bahamut’s puppet,” she paused, directing a look at him, “is weak. Waterdeep will fall beneath Shadowdusk’s power. Watch Halaster. I do not trust the lich.” She took another breath. “It’s got the signet of Tiamat at the bottom.”
“Who’s Halaster?” Jinnaari asked Valarie.
“He’s one of the liches I believe to be responsible for our uncle’s murder. It was either him or Ezzat. They’ve fought each other for centuries. By killing Randy, and framing you, they’d be able to sow distrust between our lands and your mother. That would weaken the area enough to allow for some sort of takeover in Waterdeep. And now Tiamat’s playing along.”
He put his sword into the scabbard and walked toward Thia. “I’ll take that,” he held out his hand for the letter. “I killed Lolth. I’ll kill Tiamat.”
Helix laughed, “You didn’t kill Lolth, Jinnaari. You sent Her back to the Abyss, that’s all. For Thia’s sake, I hope we’re all dead before She climbs back out.” The Tabaxi grinned at him. “But everyone knows what happened down there by now. Word gets around fast. You, my friend, are marked. Every God or wanna be God is going to be trying to take you down a few notches.”
Jinnaari shrugged. “They can try. I’m not as weak as Tiamat thinks.”