The larger orbs’ outer shell retreated, and Jinnaari climbed out. “What’d I miss?”
Thia let herself relax for a moment, staying back as Adam and Lynn went to their old friend. It was nothing against Rhaine or Savy, but she’d not felt completely safe since Jinnaari had disappeared on them. Not disappeared, she reminded herself. Rhaine told you that Kelemvor and Bahamut needed him. And why. If he’s back, that means the training is over. Or Lolth is coming for you.
She shifted her attention to Lor. What little she knew of the other Dragonborn made her wonder how she’d react to Jinnaari. Caution bordering on fear from her posture. “Lor, he’s a friend. He won’t hurt you.” Thia turned toward Jinnaari. “You got wings. Those are new.”
“Yeah. You lost Helix.”
She clenched her jaw. “Not on purpose. He’s in a bag, somewhere. What’s left of him anyway. We’ll bring him back once the death curse is lifted.”
Jinnaari nodded, “Where are we on that?”
“Acerack’s down here somewhere. The intel we have points to him being the cause. He’s a lich, though. He won’t be easy to fight.” Adam replied.
“Don’t care. I love to kill undead.”
“What you don’t kill, I’ll turn,” Thia chimed in.
“Rhaine! There’s another tunnel this way,” Savy called out.
Thia turned toward her voice and saw the dirty deep gnome standing near an exit. This place was all tunnels, traps, and terrors. It was too much like the Underdark. At least, from the stories she’d been told. The cold shiver of fear that ran down her spine felt too familiar. It almost didn’t make her shudder any more.
“So, Thia,” Jinnaari said as he fell into step next to her. His voice was low. He wasn’t trying to talk to anyone but her. “How are things with you?”
She shrugged, “I’ve got an evil spider Goddess sending Drow after me. Ones that are intent on killing all of them,” she waved a hand toward the party, “and hauling me back to Lolth. Alive, as I understand it. How do you think I’m doing?”
“If it was me, I’d be pissed. And ready to fight back at the drop of a pin.”
“Pissed, angry, scared. More than a little scared, to be honest. The fear is constant. Every door we open, each hallway we find, I expect to see Drow behind it. I don’t like living this way, Jinnaari.”
He stopped her and she turned to face him. “Hold onto that fear. It’s important. You know why I left. In order to do what I’ve been trained to do, by both of our Gods, we have to go into Lolth’s lair eventually. Don’t ever think we can do this any other way. As long as you’re scared, you’ll survive. I won’t let them take you, Thia.”
“Jinnaari! I think we need you for this.” Rhaine’s voice carried back to them.
“Go,” she told him. “I’ll be right behind you.”