OOC Disclaimer: Hello and welcome to a series of player- and, perhaps occasionally, gm-run events taking place IG, centred on the battle between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts (and their agents) and the Darkfey (and their agents). This thread will serve as a summary of related IG events and a place where we can coordinate and plan. You will also find here all manner of relevant information about the fey in general as well as tips and ideas on how to get your character(s) involved in the narrative. Please note that this campaign will most likely feature PvP elements as the players on the opposing factions often get embroiled in real-time IG conflict. If you are not comfortable with PvP then this campaign is probably not for you ((note that scratch_flanningan's darkfey story arc is a separate narrative even though it greatly impacts on this one. Thus you are absolutely not required to participate in the Feywars to enjoy scratch's amazing story)). I hope to see many of you guys joining us for what we hope will be an entertaining and immersive experience! Seeyou IG!
Nearly everyone has heard of the Fey in one form or another. Fairies such as pixies and sprites take on a major role in children’s tales as magical woodland tricksters and guardians. Fey monsters, like hags and trolls, haunt our nightmares. And the graceful sidhe, the fey lords and ladies, are famous throughout the planes for their immeasurable beauty. Despite the stories, these creatures are rare. They are often seen only in fleeting glimpses, or in the wild, untamed lands of the world. Few, if any, doubt their existence since just about everyone has met an elf or perhaps even a gnome, but next to no one has met a fey creature, and even fewer have lived to tell about it. Why is that?
The answer is that the fey live separately from the material plane, or the "real world," on a plane of existence known as the Feywild. Known to some as the Twilight Kingdom, the Eternal Glade, the Wicked Garden, or the Nevernever, the Feywild is a place of beauty, grace, magic, and peril. Lanterns seem to float in the air, which is alive with butterflies and other insects. It is eternally twilight here, and the sun rests low in the sky, never rising or setting. Creatures that are harmed by the sun are safe here, and creatures that cannot see in the dark still retain their vision. The Feywild, and its sister plane of the Shadowfell (more on that later), are referred to by scholars as the "echo planes" of the material. Their layouts are very similar to the material plane, with much of the same geography. There are many differences between the planes, however. The Feywild is a mystical place, and things tend to be more glorious and breathtaking in the Feywild than on the material plane, despite the dangers. The land is ruled by two fey Courts, the Summer, or Seelie, and Winter, or Unseelie, Courts. Each Court has a stronghold, which is located in the same place in the Feywild as a castle on the material plane.
Titania, the Summer Queen, rules her land from Chateau Faria, an awe-inspiring palace of emeralds and other gemstones that teems with life. It is located in the Feywild equivalent of Neverwinter. The lands surrounding Chateau Faria are too beautiful for mortal eyes to comprehend. Flowers bloom eternally in the Summer Kingdom, where lakes sparkle as though made of sapphires. The air is always hot in the lands of Summer, and despite the constant twilight of the Feywild, it is much brighter here.
Mab, the Winter Queen, rules from Arctis Tor, an imposing castle of ice and black stone. It is located in the Feywild equivalent of Ironslag, a keep in the Ice Spires on the material plane. The lands surrounding Arctis Tor are as harsh as winter itself. Icy cold and windswept mountains and dead forests. Only the strong survive in this land, where deadly predators hunt each other in the snows and struggle, both for survival and for the favour of their cold Queen. It is much darker here than in the rest of Feywild.
While the Seelie and Unseelie Courts are each other's diametrical opposites, they are not at odds with each other. They are, in fact, in perfect harmony. Just as you cannot say that winter opposes summer, or vice versa, for they are indeed depenedent on each other for the cyckles of nature to transpire harmoniously, so too are the Seelie and Unseelie Courts intertwined.
The lands outside the direct influence of either court are varied, ranging from copies of either Court to combinations of the two, to completely individual areas. Most lands of the Feywild are subject to the changing of the seasons, unlike the lands of Summer and Winter. Majestic castles and sunken mires dot the landscape, which is inhabited by representatives of both Courts, and by the Wyldfae, which belong to neither. Strange music can often be heard in the wild lands of the Feywild, as can the laughter of the land’s inhabitants. The wild lands are just as perilous as either Court, but out here, it is much harder to let down your guard.
Summer fey are valiant protectors of nature. They follow their emotions, although they cannot break the Laws of the Fey. Fey that appear plant-like or have strong ties to animals, especially herbivores, are usually summer fey. Despite their appearances, summer fey are calculating and power-hungry creatures. They will make deals to try to get the upper hand in a situation, and are just as likely to twist the truth as winter fey. They see mortals somewhere on a spectrum of ignorant children to pests.
Examples of summery fey:
Blink Dog: A dog-like fey creature that can teleport short distances. They are more intelligent than they look, but prefer to act similar to dogs from the material plane, and are kept as pets by eladrin and the sidhe as a result.
Centaur: A fey creature with the torso of a human and body of a horse. They are fiercely territorial, but also valiant. Most centaurs avoid fighting, preferring nonviolent means to discourage trespassers. When they are threatened, however, centaurs become a deadly threat, using weapons and their physical strength to overpower and slay enemies.
Dryad: A humanoid nymph tied to a specific tree. They guard their trees, which hold their life force, against any threat. Dryads treat outsiders based on how they treat the forest. Dryads are incapable of traveling long distances from their tree willingly, although this distance varies based on the power of the dryad. A dryad that is forcibly moved will fall into a deep depressive state, and long only to return to its tree. Such a dryad will be incapable of taking any activity that does not directly aid it in returning. Dryads enter a hibernation when it is cold, and live only in or near lands owned by Summer.
Darkling: A fey creature that is aged by light. They love art and beauty more than they fear being killed by rapid aging. Darkling elders are particularly wise darklings who have undertaken rituals to heighten their abilities, at Titania's blessing. A particularly loyal darkling might be granted a brief respite from its curse as a reward for a job well-done, using this time to glimpse art and the beauty of nature in their true light, rather than the black and white haze of darkvision.
Faerie Dragon: A draconic creature tied to the Summer Court. They are playful tricksters who often roam independently, but they serve the Summer Court when called upon. They rarely fight, but can create powerful illusions.
Gruff: A humanoid fey that appear to be goats that can walk upright and use tools and weapons. They are varied in size, appearing anywhere from the same size as most humanoids to that of trolls and even smaller giants. They can do just about anything most humanoids can do, but better, making stronger and faster fighters, more powerful mages, and stealthier rogues. They typically serve as shock troopers, enforcers, and bodyguards, and a family of gruffs will always work together as one unit. If a gruff is killed, its family will make it their mission to kill the assailant, unless ordered to stop by the Summer Queen.
Merfolk: An aquatic humanoid fairy. They are common on the material plane, but will travel back to the Feywild when called upon by their Queen.
Pegasus: An intelligent winged horse that can be created by the Summer Queen. A pegasus is often gifted to the Summer Knight as a mount and a partner, or for an ally or champion of Summer. More than one mortal hero has befriended a pegasus on a divine quest without knowledge that they were being aided by a Fey Queen.
Satyr: A horned humanoid with goat's hooves. They love music and dance, and spread their love of it throughout the Feywild and the forests of the material plane. They can be powerful fighters when called upon, however.
Sprite: A tiny fairy that flies through the forest and brews poisons. They are champions of the forest, and gladly help those who they believe protect nature. Sprites act as scouts and archers in combat, flitting through forests undetected and attacking enemies in a flurry from all sides before flying off again.
Treant: An awakened tree that serves as a protector of the forest. They are some of Summer's most powerful forces, but are rarely called upon, unless a dire need arises. This is because a treant takes centuries to heal from even a simple wound, and healing magic is all but ineffective on them. Necrotic energy can fell even the most powerful treants instantly.
Unicorn: A magical, intelligent horse-like fey creature with a single horn. Unicorns are very rare and serve as guardians of places of the utmost importance to the Summer Court. Slaying a unicorn results in the killer being cursed as soon as the majestic creature's blood touches the ground.
Winter fey are much more predatory than their Summer counterparts. They live by survival of the fittest, and rarely defend one another unless necessary. They are cold and calculating creatures who constantly seek to rise in power. They often see mortals as prey, although they hunt in different ways.
Examples of winter fey:
Harpy: A humanoid fey with the body of a female elf and wings and legs of a bird instead of arms. They are vicious fighters who dive bomb prey, or grab enemies and drop them from the sky. Some use a siren song to lure prey to them, and others, known as Sylphs, can create whirlwinds.
Hob: A small white creature with no eyes or hair and needle-sharp teeth and claws. Hobs are weak individually, but operate in swarms, overpowering prey. Most fight barehanded, but some smarter and tougher ones use crude weaponry and armor. Sunlight is just as painful to them as iron.
Leanansidhe: A handmaiden of sorts to the sidhe. They appear as beautiful women with a cat’s eyes. They are predatory in nature, often making deals with the creatures they wish to devour, but as a result of an ancient slight against Queen Mab, they are treated as servants to the sidhe and to other high-ranking winter fey. Making a deal with one of these fey is dangerous, as they will do everything in their power to stop you from completing your end of the bargain once they have fulfilled their share, giving them free rein to attack. Mab's personal leanansidhe transforms her victims into hunting hounds.
Malk: A fey predator that looks like a grey, child-sized cat. Malks are pack predators, acting similar to wolves of the material plane, although an individual malk is a deadly threat to most mortals. They are fast, stealthy, and brutal, often killing prey before they are even noticed. In a fair fight, they use their speed and weight to their advantage, knocking over their opponent before tearing out its throat with sharp claws and teeth.
Meenlock: A yellow-green crab-like creature about the size of a gnome. Meenlocks feed on fear, becoming faster and stronger around creatures that are afraid of them. They work as assassins, frightening creatures and feeding off of their fear until they are killed. Some powerful meenlocks, called fetches, are able to brush off attacks made by creatures that fear them, and to take on the form of more frightening creatures.
Miksani: A brown-skinned humanoid fey that can change form into other fey creatures. They are capable of lying, unlike most fey, but only when outside of their true form. It is all but impossible for a creature without truesight to tell when a miksani is pretending to be something else. They do not take on the forms of specific individual fey, but rather the guise of the species.
Oni: A large, blue-skinned ogre-like creature that can take on the form of a humanoid. Oni delight in tricking their prey, hunting them through words rather than through physical prowess. They are very powerful, and have magical abilities, and can serve as either infiltrators or as brutes, depending on the need. Mab will sometimes grant the service of an oni as payment for a debt.
Quickling: A tiny, wingless, blue-skinned sprite-like creature. Quicklings are the fastest creatures alive. They are all but impossible to keep track of, darting faster than most minds can comprehend. Mab uses quicklings as spies and messengers due to their speed. They are very short-lived, with a lifespan of under twenty years, and love to play tricks on unsuspecting people and fey.
Troll: A huge, hulking creature with green skin and regenerative abilities. Trolls are a menace to deal with due to their strength and regeneration. A troll regenerates rapidly unless fire or acid is used to stop them, and are nearly impossible to kill otherwise. When their limbs or even heads are severed, they keep fighting, and can even be re-attached. Trolls are rather stupid, however, and those that end up on the material plane rarely are able to find their way back to the Feywild.
Redcap: Redcaps are deadly fey that must soak their hats in blood to survive. They never stop killing, and they rampage through the woods on the outskirts of Winter lands, hunting wyldfae and killing them. They are born with their feet encased in heavy iron boots, and, like all fey, iron burns them. The life of a redcap is short and incredibly painful, and a redcap’s life essence is drained away in a matter of days after it is created due to the damage dealt by its iron footwear. In order to replenish themselves and survive for a few more days, they must bathe their hats in the blood of freshly-slaughtered humanoids. Their constant pain and only way of surviving lead to redcaps being brutal and often insane fey. Those who survive longer than a month are typically beyond thought, killing anything they see on-sight. When they are called upon, it is because Mab wants to slaughter her enemies.
Yeti: A huge white-haired ogre-like creature with horns and blue skin. Yetis serve as guards throughout Winter, driving back creatures that come too close to Arctis Tor without Mab's approval. When needed, Mab can gather all of the yetis in her domain and direct them as a singular fighting force, commanding them through the abominable yetis, which are bigger, stronger, and smarter than the others.
- excerpt from "A Guide to the Feywild"
Other important mentions that tie directly into the story is the Unseelie-pacted Tel'Mordere Tribe. They revere the goddess Morrigan and her son, Horro. They also pay homage to the enigmatic entity known as the Stag King. These personas will not be further explored as such knowledge is strictly "find out about it IG."
Nearly all fey are bound to a specific set of rules. Some fey can break some of these Laws, but for the most part, they can be seen as a static code among fairies. Fey are physically unable to break these laws. Moreso, they do not see these laws as boundaries, but simply as the way things are. A fey creature cannot comprehend the idea of telling a lie, for example, although they know that mortals are able to, and are always on their guard. The rules of the fey are known as the Laws, and are worded in three simple commandments.
Speak No False Words
A fairy cannot knowingly tell a lie. This does not mean that a fairy cannot spread deceit, or trick an adversary into believing a falsehood. It simply means that a fairy cannot speak false words. By nature, fairies never tell the full truth, weaving their words in such a way as to avoid lying while at the same time leaving an impression of something false or incomplete in the mind of the one they are talking to. The closest thing a fairy will give to an absolute truth a fairy will give, outside of certain circumstances, is their answer to a question asked three times in succession. If asked in such a way, a fairy is bound to give some sort of answer or promise that is true and not misleading. In such a scenario, a malevolent fairy will often do everything in their power to warp the truth after the fact, making the situation seem much more confusing than it really is, or vice versa.
Break No Oaths
A deal made by a fairy is absolute, and a fairy cannot willingly break a deal. Fairies, by nature, try to make deals with other creatures that they want power over, often with the payment owed to them seeming much smaller or easier to pay than it truly is, or else not mentioning a return payment until after the deal has been accepted. Failure to pay within the given time results in the fairy having power over the dealbreaker, which was the original goal. A deal a fairy offers will always be equal, and anything offered by a mortal, should it be anything other than equal payment, will be seen as either an opportunity or an insult. Fairies hate to be in debt, and cannot give or take anything for free. Accepting a gift from a fairy is the same as accepting an open-ended deal, and the fairy can extract payment as they see necessary. At the same time, giving a gift to the fey puts them in debt, which they hate. While they are forced to repay their debt, they will also look for an opportunity to harm the gift-giver, except for very special circumstances. Similarly, promises made to or by the fey are binding, and must be fulfilled. An oath of fealty can only be broken through an agreement on both parties. Additionally, a vassal must fulfil all of the orders of their master, and their master cannot order them to break any previous oaths, and can only inflict harm on them if they fail to complete their orders to the master's satisfaction. Prisoners are automatically considered vassals.
Harm No Outsiders
A fairy belonging to a Court, even temporarily, cannot directly harm a fairy or mortal that does not belong to the same court, or is not ranked lower than themselves, unless if they are slighted by the individual beforehand. Duels are accepted, and open combat between the two Courts is also allowed. Because of the specifics of this rule, predators who wish to hunt prey that does not belong to them try to enter a deal with their prey or cause their prey to slight them, allowing them to hunt to their heart's content. Different types of fey have different definitions of a slight, and these definitions are absolute. If a creature intrudes on a troll colony's territory without offering something to the resident fey or proving their strength in some other way, it is considered fair game, and is hunted down mercilessly, for example.
"It's simple to explain what these creatures are and how they came to be, at least to my mind. We only need look at the history of our own creation and how we, the children of the Seldarine, treated our gift. As with any one race our place in the wheel of the universe was predetermined by our gods. We were taught laws and customs by which to abide, and we were taught of the consequences if we rebelled. The elves were told thus: be one with the land and always nurture it; be kind to your kin and always consider your words and conduct with wisdom; heed the words of the Seldarine for it is their blood that gave the elves life. For millennia the elven people thrived, obeying the rules of their gods. That is, until Araushnee, or, as you may know her, Llolth, determined to break the cycle of balance and challenge the Seldarine's ways. She was a black sheep, discontent with the fate she had been allotted. Perhaps she wanted more. Perhaps she simply wanted things to change. Her wars drove a wedge between our people, and, eventually, she was cast out. The Seldarine cursed her. They cursed her children. They would forever be known as exiles, pariahs and anathemas. They would be known as dark-elves.
I think the darkfey are no different. Like the drow they rebelled against the predetermined order of things. And like the drow they were banished and cursed for it."
- Renneleth Margaladhon
OOC Disclaimer: Above is, obviously, just a character's IG perspective. Because the darkfey is an ongoing story where not all secrets have been revealed, their origins will not be further explained here.
"Strange things have been going on of late. Stranger than usual, I mean. Yesterday, when I went about my day as I've done for a decade, taking my three sons to the forest to cut trees, we saw a colony of a hundred black spiders crawling among the canopies. They were unnatural and the size of a horse! We fled as fast we could, heading east towards Feywood. All the while we heard the sound of a mad woman's cackling. Then, in Feywood, thinking ourselves finally safe, we saw the strangest sights. There were magical trees everywhere and strange feyfolk were wandering about, some preternaturally beautiful, others grotesque and horrifying. And every once in a while one of the black spiders would emerge from the undergrowth or crawl down a tree, and the feyfolk would battle it. I don't know how we got out of there in one piece, but by Andarus I swear I'm packing up and moving my family to the Northlands. I'd rather fight wolves and giants than ungodly abberations!"
- Rendon of Hamley
Spider's Kiss Nest
Where: Adumbral Forest (West) Pact: Darkfey Involved Factions (list prone to be updated): - Player(s) Involved (list prone to be updated): Kallista (Squidget), Scragg (Oberon), Seran (Vaedryan), Halla (Thimns)
How to Get Involved:"The evil drow witch, Kallista D'Mora, wages war on all those who have wronged her on the surface. With her newfound powers and allegiance, she has vowed to bring discord and destruction to even the Feywild realms. In the heart of the Adumbral Forest, hidden among a thousand cocoons, she lairs and schemes. Her brood skitter among the trees, bringing her message to all who will heed it: "Thain will be reshaped and it begins with the Adumbral Forest. Join me." Are you bold or nefarious enough to answer her call?"
Glade of Summer and Winter
Where: Feywood (West) Pact: Seelie and Unseelie Courts Involved Factions (list prone to be updated): Tel'Mordere Player(s) Involved (list prone to be updated): Renneleth (Corlupi), Ymraith (Payne), Narawyn (Alanonas), Iskaria (Falkala), Laurelanthialii (Warlord-Kro), Kylynyl (Tucker99)
How to Get Involved:"Wherever there is evil and corruption, nature will rise up against it. Such is the way of things. Nature abhors all things unnatural, and for every Kallista there will be a myriad of champions to oppose her. One such (albeit dubious) champion is the former Feywood Captain, Renneleth Margaladhon. Mustering his Tel'Mordere hunters and beseeching the Summer and Winter Courts for aid, he has made camp west of Feywood. From here he plans to unravel Kallista's schemes and to put her back into the mud, once and for all! Renneleth has sent countless hawks to deliver his message to all willing to heed it: "A darkness is descending upon Thain. If left unchecked, it will usher in an endless night from which there will be no waking. Fight it. Fight Kallista. Thain needs her heroes. She needs you."
His eye opened to the blackness of night. The moon was pale, only half of its usual brightness. His eyes and back and legs were sore and cramped with cold. He was shivering, and he instinctively knew it was not from a lack of warmth. He raised himself to his feet. The feeling, the blackness of the dream, was still there. He stood, grateful to be awake, but fear roiled inside him. Something was not right. He took a deep breath, then another, but still he was shivering, his heart beating wildly in his chest. Around him, in the dark, he felt as if the smoke shapes were still sniffing against his clothes. He felt Kallista fingers on his skin. Finally fully awake, he glanced around. And then he knew it was not a dream at all...
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He could not hope to battle this alone. The Tel'Mordere were terrifying, the Talon and Decay Tribe peerless hunters, but they were not enough. Kallista commanded more than just power from the darkfey. She had gained allies, allies he could not ignore nor hope to overcome without considerable aid. Again he sent out his hawks, hoping they would reach their destinations before it was too late.
To the Druids of the Grove,
Nature is being set upon. Dark powers unite and conspire to bring an eternal night to Thain. The lands west of Feywood wilt and die as I pen this, a shroud of darkness suffocating the forest of its breath. The Tel'Mordere Talon and Decay Tribe has gathered to oppose it, but we are fey and our enemies are many. Seek me out in the Grove of Summer and Winter west of Feywood. Do not tarry. If I do not hear from you, I will find you myself come the next full moon ((I propose to attend Nature Night as Renneleth this Sunday)).
- Renneleth Margaladhon, Huntmaster of the Talon and Decay Tribe
To the Estel Tirindor of Greenvale,
Some of you know me as Renneleth of Feywood, and a few of you even attended the first Elfsmeet I hosted. I have oft walked the streets of your home, and I have stood proudly with you when fell men with fell hearts came to your gates. I am honoured to know your Queen, and to know you, her noble guard, as kin and allies. As kin I implore you to heed my warning: the drow Kallista has brought darkness to the forests west of Feywood. If she is not opposed, that darkness will spread like a plague across Thain. For the Seldarine and for Thain, help me vanquish it.
- Renneleth Margaladhon, Huntmaster of the Talon and Decay Tribe
To Highranger Styvn of Feywood,
Brother, our forest needs you. Look for me west of the Stronghold. I will explain in person.
Registered Member #20
Joined: 8:30:40 am GMT 02/25/04
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The map is stretched across a stone table, shielded from the falling rain by a curtain of spider's silk. Kallista speaks to the darkened figures gathered around. Any and all who might have heeded her call.
wrote ... The wars begin in earnest now. The lines have been drawn.
Our enemies array against us in full. Not only the empyrean But the fey and the elves, gathering to the east. The Tel'Mordere stalk the feywood, seeking to defend the land of the pale elves. And always, the half-faced elf is on the hunt.
Let them come.
Let them try.
They fear the darkness. And they are right to be afraid.
My allies gather as they hear my call. My broods hunger for the lands that should be theirs. This time, we do not wait for our enemy to besiege our lands.
This time, their nightmares will be coming for them.
💅 Registered Member #463
Joined: 1:37:12 am GMT 03/10/05
From the darkness gathered about the drow two pinpoints of green flash in a bestial manner. The withered towering hag they belong to moves in the shadows and lumbers forward, though once she approaches her form is only that of a venerable gnome, cowled in brown robes. Her voice crows in, small and deep.
"Nightchild, do you hear the words you speak?" Old Pooba asks, "Come for you? Nay, they merely slumber on the forest's edge. There will come a day when they bring fire and blade, but that is not now."
The elderly gnome turns to face the gathered silhouettes, the way they ring the dark makes it appear as though the shadows were blooming from each wicked creature gathered. "For now we must wait. Man is impatient, it is his way that he will strike. And when he bares his sword we will return the fury tenfold in fang and blood. But what we speak of now is not justice, it is not revenge. It is slaughter, and if we start churning the wheels of war I am afraid we will find it hard to stop the course." She turns back to face Kallista, looking up at the elf through her robes, "Tell me nightchild, if you were to know this would end in madness and chaos, would you still wish to be the catalyst?"
Registered Member #20
Joined: 8:30:40 am GMT 02/25/04
As the old creature speaks from the shadows, Kallista's eyes closed. Just for a moment. She should have expected that voice. She really should have. The crone had a way of turning up with her cryptic advice at the worst possible moments. Enough that the dark elf was beginning to suspect she had some special fate-granted talent for meddling.
"What I speak of, old one, is change. A shift in the established order." the sorceress spoke with familiar sharpness, but there was some trace of respect for the elderly creature. "Neither the first, nor the last that this world will see. What change has ever come without a little chaos? A little breaking?" A touch of playfulness edged into her tone, a gleam in her eyes like a playful child. And then it was gone, and Kallista's thickly accented tones had turned once more to steel. Fiery red eyes looking towards the east, the distant glade that blended summer and winter.
"Balance. That is always the word they use, isn't it? 'We must preserve the balance', these creatures will say. Light and dark. Summer and winter. A balance where witches live in darkened swamps while the pale elves enjoy the lush and prosperous forests. How convenient their balance always proves to be, for those already in power. How wonderful, for those who won the last great wars of fey and elves, and decided where each of those lines would be forever drawn. Dos of all creatures should See past such words, old one. And simply see what is there." The last word was spoken with an emphasis that was almost a feral hiss. As if her teeth had been bitten the word in half.
"There is no balance. No peace. There is only ever the wars of families and houses and sisters, each fighting to control their strands of the web. Some would be loved, and they will spin tales of their righteousness or honor. Others care only to be feared, and strive to earn that fear. And yet, all of us play the same game. A game where the only rules are those we make for ourselves." As the sorceress spoke, the sound from their surroundings grew louder. The chittering of spiders above rising, like the sound of laughter. The spiders were beginning to descend, on their strands of silken web. Dark shapes drawing inwards, above and around her, as if hanging on every word the sorceress spoke.
"These are my children. My brood. As much a family as I have ever had." A gesture of a dark and carefully groomed nail reached out to rest her nails on the dark abdomen of one of the spiders. A creature nearly as large as the sorceress herself. "I will not deny those who serve me the chance to live, to grow strong. Not for the sake of someone else's court." There was no doubt within her voice. "I will take what is ours. For them, and for me."
Her gaze settled on the crone once more, then. "You told me once, old one, that we are weak when we are divided. Stand with me." A smile twitched at the corners of Kallista's lips. "In this, at least. The dark suits you better than fighting alongside the fairy dragons."