“Well?” Herasta asked her guest. Her back was to Diak, but even the Yathtallar couldn’t sneak up on her in her own home.
The tall woman eased into a chair across from Herasta. “It’s done. Now, we wait.”
“Where did you last see them?”
Diak shrugged. “We let the paladin go near enough to them that he’d be found easily. Last time I saw them, they were enjoying Vizeran’s hospitality.”
“Ishacte went into his tower? She loathes him.”
Diak leaned forward. “Ishacte wasn’t with them, Herasta. And Thia wasn’t cowering like you thought she would by now. That one’s stronger than she looks.”
Herasta narrowed her eyes. It was possible Ishacte tried to hurry up the timeline and ended up dead. The girl always was impulsive. “Tell me what you saw, Diak. I need to keep Lolth informed of any changes.”
“The human they picked up back in Waterdeep…he was protective of your daughter. He called her ‘cousin’ more than once as they fought old Josiah.”
“Josiah left his lair?” Surprise crept into Herasta’s voice.
“Vizeran stole something from him. You know dragons – don’t disturb the hoard unless you want to die.” Diak leaned back in her chair. “Doesn’t matter now. The one Tabaxi’s soul is still in the hoard, and Josiah’s dead. They’re not going to find it before Vizeran sends them here. There’s no way.”
“He’s on board, then?”
“Yes. He still believes you’ll overthrow his rival, and let him back into your bed, by doing what you demanded.”
Herasta nodded. Everything was in place. A week or two at most, and she’d be able to present Thia to Lolth.
“Keep an eye on them, Diak. When the time is right, extend the invitation for Thia to come home.”
Diak rose, disappearing into the hidden passage she’d entered through. Herasta reached for the bottle of brandy on her desk. At this stage, Thia’s companions wouldn’t see what was happening within their very midst until it was too late. And that was exactly how she’d planned it.