What path?


Watching Zildath and Take disappear, Nethrali covered her eyes with the heels of both hands, rubbing gently at first, then swearing as she pushed her hands up her face into her hair. Her nails brushed her horns and she screamed in rage, the flames arcing off her body spiking until they disappeared. She was so tired of being useless.

She’d been unable to save her father, and when she’d tried to stay with him she’d been too weak to fight off the bard that had pulled her from the fire. She’d been unable to free Nyx from the vault. She’d had no choice but to not even try to save Siska and Luca. She was utterly useless in a fight where she couldn’t use magic.

The only reason she’d managed to find anything that had helped get them answers about the artifact was because of the ring Fomher had given her. When she’d been growing up, she’d never hesitated to think of him as her father but lately she’d been afraid to. He was the only father she’d ever known and even if she did find whoever sired her, she’d thought that Fomher would still be her father.

Now she hesitated and that hurt. She felt her knees crumble as silent sobs racked her body. She knew she needed to be paying attention in case any of the slaad left the temple, but she couldn’t bring herself to care. She knew Talithey didn’t trust her, or even really like her but having to leave her had been excruciating. She’d tried so hard to get them both out safely, but it hadn’t mattered.

Talithey had been so sure that Nethrali needed to leave and while she might have questioned Talithey regarding the situation with Zuri, she wasn’t going to question her now. With another close-mouthed scream of frustration and tears of anger filling her eyes she sat down and ruined her braid with her hands. She could see the light from her eyes reflecting their burnt yellow color off her clothing as water dampened her trousers.

It took so much to sit on the ground and clear her mind. She let her well of magic free in that moment, let it wander and lost any concentration she could have had on any protective spells. Her mind cleared of all the awful memories from the recent months. Right up to the keelhauling. It had been so long since the last time she’d prayed, at least a few years before Fomher died in the fire.

Her heart clenching in her chest she pulled her dagger and sliced her palm. She let the blood pool in her hand and then let it slide down her finger, drawing Loki’s sigil as tears fell on the marking. As she drew the symbol from memory, with her eyes closed she prayed internally.

‘Loki, I don’t know if you can hear me right now. I know we aren’t friends; I know you have no idea why you want to protect me, but I need your help. The door to my demi-plane is always open to you, and Amaryllis will ALWAYS tell me if you have need of me.’

‘Right now, Talithey is trapped in a temple with slaad and mindflayers controlled by an Elder Brain. They stole our friend Othos and made him a host. My well of magic is entirely gone so I won’t be much help and we’re in limbo. If you’ve got ideas or advice old man, I’d appreciate it. Stay out of the fucking material plane. I mean it! I don’t need to be worrying about you too.’

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