A cold shiver ran down Briar’s spine. Though she had learned to tolerate her sister’s minions, she found no comfort in their presence. The undead-warlord led her up the crumbling steps towards the antechamber. She sensed this was not a social call. Typically Eva would have offered to meet her anywhere she wanted. But Briar could tell this meeting must be important since Eva chose the bone council chambers for this palaver. She had only been here for a matter of minutes, but it had seemed like hours. The night sky might as well been 100 miles away in this ancient tomb. She briefly thought about leaving, but new that Eva would finder her. Worse she may take offense and she did not want to anger her sister. There had already been a confrontation with Kallina, she didn’t want another disagreement within the group.
“Good of you to come” came a whisper from the darkness.
“How could I refuse” smiled Briar wondering if she really had a choice.
“I sense your disquiet my sister, I assure you have nothing to fear here”. Eva materialized from the darkness as if birthed from it. How long had she been their Briar couldn’t help but wonder.
“You know my convictions as well as anyone my dear. I put the safety of my inner circle above everyone else. Our ka-tet is at the center of that circle”. Briar nodded in agreement, she heard Eva’s words and couldn’t help but notice the lack of fluctuation. She used to speak with such passion, but she was different now. Whether it was holding death so close for so long or spending too much time in the presence of these things Briar wasn’t sure. What she did know was that Eva wasn’t lying. She would lay waste to every man, woman, and child in Waterdeep to keep her and the rest of her “circle” safe.
"I don't want you to fear my home" Eva said emotionless.
Briar failed to hold back a tear as a wave of guilt flooded her heart. She had been so riveted with attaining aspects & vying for Tauren’s affections the she had been oblivious to the changes Eva had gone through. It wasn’t until now, standing in this horrific place, surrounded by the walking dead, without the presence of the moon or the stars did she begin to understand, this was Eva’s eternity. Briar couldn’t help but wonder why, why would someone choose this type of existence it was unbearable. Briar was startled as Eva suddenly wiped the tear from her cheek. The silken handkerchief was cool and soothing to the touch.
“You needn’t trouble yourself with these thoughts” Eva smiled warmly. “I needed you to come here, that was the only way to get you to understand”.
“Sorry, I don’t understand” Briar said looking puzzled.
“This is my moon well” Eva said gesturing around the unholy temple. “The undead here are my children, I covet there protection as you would the Fey or your animals. And because our nature is one and the same I am constantly faced with my own form lycanthropes…the living”. Briar began to realize the reason for this invitation, Eva knew! She didn’t know what to say. All she could do was wait for Eva to finish.
“For a number of reasons I cannot eliminate all the living, and extermination isn’t the only answer. Exceptions can & should be made from time to time. Nature is balance and”..Eva trailed off mid sentence. Briar notice the expression on Eva’s face had changed from caring teacher to a hostile defender.
“What is it Briar” said looking around? Eva had already started casting and almost instantly a half dozen Specters took up defensive position around Briar.
Briar heard the boot steps as soon as Eva finished her spell. Looking towards the stairs she gasped as a skeletal figure standing close to seven foot tall was moving up the stairs. Wielding a pistol in each hand he walked towards Eva with steady resolve. Tipping his hat he spoke in a rough, raspy common.
“I come to serve the Mistress of Death. How may I be of assistance ma’am”? Eva pointed into the Darkness
“Keep an eye on that bridge for now, I will call you soon”. The pale-stranger turned and was gone as quickly as he arrived.
Eva turned back to Briar “sometimes they come in under someone’s control”. She waved off the Specters. “I want you to have a couple things..call them wedding gifts. Eva produced a scroll, I want you to have this. This spell seems like something you may need. And second take my rune staff of curing. These two items will give you the ability to make an exception I think you can live with, if you choose. After all we shouldn’t have secrets in the family.
I have tortured you enough; I believe we have an appointment for crown fittings.