The blue white light beckoned, chasing the darkness of the maze into the recesses of his mind. He’d slain Aust, beaten him to the center. The glow could only be the portal.
Finally, he’d be allowed to return to his companions.
Jinnaari resisted the urge to rush toward the light. Time had lost meaning in this place. His eyes had adjusted and moving too fast would potentially blind him temporarily. He forced himself to keep a slow, steady pace. Allowing his vision to adjust, he listened for any movement. He was so close! The last thing he needed was to walk into a trap.
A light shuffle of feet made him stop. He flattened his back against a wall. Someone, or something, was ahead. The sword left his scabbard with a steely hiss. One way or another, this game was going to end.
“Come forward, Prince. There are no monsters left for you to slay in this maze.” The deep voice had an ethereal quality to it. He knew it wasn’t Bahamut. That left only one other possibility that made any sense.
Kelemvor. Thia’s God.
Jinnaari shoved the weapon home and walked out. The portal shimmered in the center of the circular room. Five other tunnels led off of it, back into the maze.
Kelemvor stood, his hands folded in front of him and hidden within the sleeves of his robe, next to the portal. His eternal face was tinted with a sadness that made Jinnaari’s heart sink.
“Did something happen?”
The God shook his head, “No, not yet. You’ve done what was asked of you. My Brother is proud of you, and we both feel that you are ready to return to your companions. There is nothing left we could teach you to succeed at the task Bahamut has given you.”
He wasn’t sure, but knew Kelemvor wasn’t saying everything. There was something more that He would ask. “But?”
The God drew a breath, “You’re perceptive, which is necessary. There is a favor I would ask of you.” He held up his hand, and Jinnaari remained silent. “Do not answer me aloud, or even right now. You’ve earned the right to return, no matter your decision on my request. I only as that you consider it carefully.”
Jinnaari nodded, “I will.”
“Let me see the sword.”
He drew the weapon and rested the blade against his forearm.
The God reached out a hand, but didn’t try to take the blade. Instead, He brushed his fingertips along the channel running down the center of the sword. “It is as I hoped. Bahamut gifted you with a Holy Avenger. A weapon uniquely suited to aid you in bringing down Lolth.” He let out a sigh. “It may be necessary, however, to use it on someone else.” He took a step back.
“Who?” Jinnaari asked as he put the weapon away.
The God looked at him. “Thia has a purpose in this life. I have nurtured her gifts. Bahamut knows what her destiny is. So does Lolth. We cannot allow that abomination to have sway over my Daughter. If ever you think that she has turned away from the path she was meant to walk, that she has embraced the evil that is Lolth, I ask that you use this weapon to end her life. In doing so, her soul will come to me and not that vile Goddess of the Drow. It’s not about her life, but her very soul. If Lolth were to corrupt Thia, have access to all she is capable of, the world would know darkness. Do this for me, please. I cannot bear the thought of Thia serving Lolth in both this life and the next.” He waved a hand at the portal. “Your companions await. May you succeed if our fears come to pass.”
Jinnaari took a deep breath and stepped through the portal. He wouldn’t make any promise he wasn’t prepared to carry through on. And he had to get back to his companions before knowing if Kelemvor’s fears were real.