Adam brought up the rear of the party, keeping his ears open. Thia had been acting odd during the last fight, screaming at someone the rest of them couldn’t hear.
Jinnaari and Caelynn went down a staircase. “How the hell…,” Jinnaari called up to them. “I thought you guys said Helix was dead?”
“He was. We saw him die. His body’s in the portable hole.” Caelynn responded.
“Then what’s in the damn cage?”
Adam went to move forward, but Rhaine held up her hand. “Lathander calls me home, Adam. Take care of her.” The redhead elf’s body dissipated into a thousand tiny sparks, drifting upward through the stone.
Thia stared at him, “What happened?” she whispered.
He shook his head. “I don’t know. But when she came to us originally, I remember her saying it was only until Jinnaari came back. I guess Lathander’s not big on sharing His followers longer than He promised Kelemvor and Bahamut.”
“Don’t come down here!” Caelynn called out. “There’s some sort of anti-magic field. We’re bringing Helix up to you. Thia, can you heal him while I get rid of the field? He’s barely breathing.”
The cleric leaned against a wall, her hands over her ears. “Thia?” Adam asked.
“Why won’t she leave me alone?” She whispered, her voice wavering on the edge of panic.
“Just concentrate on Helix. Take care of that. Then we’ll talk about these voices.”
“What voices?” Jinnaari demanded as he placed the Tabaxi at Thia’s feet.
Adam watched as she knelt next to Helix, her fingers weaving the healing spell. “She’s hearing a voice in her head.” He kept his voice low, not wanting to disturb her concentration.
“Did she tell you what it was saying?” The Dragonborn’s voice was emotionless.
Adam glanced at the paladin and saw his fingers tighten slightly around the hilt of his sword. “No. I think they started during the fight with the demons. I was next to her on the statue. She started talking, no, arguing with someone.”
“I don’t like it.”
“Neither do I.” He took a deep breath and released it slowly. “Are you sure this is our Helix?”
“From what the corpse in the portable hole looks like, the one that died was a doppelgänger. This is the real Helix.” Jinnaari paused, then spoke louder. “Thia? You okay?”
She nodded, stepping away from Helix. “Yeah. He’ll be fine now.”
“Adam says you’re hearing voices.”
She swallowed hard, fear on her face. “It started during the fight,” the words tumbled out of her in a rush. “She said she was my mother, that I needed to come home. I don’t know her! I don’t want to know her! Why can’t she just leave me alone!”
“It’s the hags,” Helix’s voice, dry and raspy, broke the tense silence.
“Hags?” Adam asked.
The Tabaxi sat up. “Yeah. There’s three of them. I’ve been their prisoner for weeks. They like to mess with people’s brains.”
“They’re down there?” Jinnaari gestured down the staircase.
Jinnaari looked back at Thia. “Then it’s not your mother. It’s not Lolth. And we can deal with this. Right?”
Thia nodded, “Yeah, we can.”
Caelynn looked around, “Where’s Rhaine?”
“She and Savy were only on loan until Jinnaari came back, so Lathander took them both out of the equation. We’re on our own now,” Adam said.