“And that’s how our Uncle Randy defeated the troll,” Pan barely paused before launching into a new story. “Let’s see, who’s next? Oh, yeah. I haven’t told you about Uncle Bran!”
Thia smiled slightly, letting the druid keep up with his stories of their ‘family’. Disguising her as his sister may not pass a close inspection, but he regaled her with tales all the same. It was a welcome distraction from everything else going on.
The cavern Ishacte had led them into was narrow. Thia didn’t need light to see, but she was tempted to create some all the same. Being able to distinguish her surroundings in the dark was part of her Drow heritage. Her soul desperately needed the light as a reminder of her human side.
“Wait. What was that?” Something about Pan’s story made her listen closer.
“Oh, you see,” he kept going, “Bran would make these small boxes for spell components. Mother always claimed that he used magic to do what he did, but I don’t think so. Anyway, his signature was to put three acorns made out of copper somewhere in the design. He’d hide them. Rumor has it he was part of a group of artisans that came down to the Underdark to trade with the Drow. I don’t know what happened, but Mother said he moved away and stopped making the boxes shortly after that trip. Nobody knows what happened to him.”
She stopped and turned to Pan. “I do.”
“I know what happened to him.”
His eyes flew open. “Really? You knew him? What happened?”
She started walking again. “He settled on a small farm outside of a village called River Run, several days out from Waterdeep. Led a quiet life until the villagers turned on him. The last time I saw him,” she drew a deep breath. The memory was still painful, even after all this time. “The last time I saw him, his body was lying across the threshold of our house as it burned.”
“Wait. Your house?”
“Yes. A local wizard wanted him to make the boxes for him, but Father refused. Said he’d made the last one he’d ever make after I was born. The mage turned the village against us, claiming I was a force of evil. A local priest of Kelemvor beat the mob to our home, got me out.” Her hand caressed the leather pouch on her belt. She could feel the outline of the small silver box. “The only thing I could take was the box he’d made for me.”
Pan’s face split into a grin. “Cousin!” he all but screamed.
Ishacte turned around, glaring at them, as Thia realized what Pan was saying. “You’re right,” she replied. “I guess that does make us cousins.”
A small crack of light broke through the darkness she’d been living under for the last several weeks. “Tell me more stories,” she asked him, “about our family.”