The tunnel kept going. The light from his sword kept Jinnaari from tripping as the group navigated the passage. They’d been walking for a few hours, without sight of another creature. That was fine with him. Everyone could use the chance to catch their breath, relax a little.
A small alcove was to his left. The opening was narrow enough they’d have to go in single file, but it would be a good place to get off their feet for a short time and eat. “In here,” he said as he looked back at everyone. “We can rest for a while.”
He waited at the opening, letting everyone else fill the room. Adam stopped, “What about you?”
“I’ll stay in the opening, keep watch. Make sure Thia eats something, will you?”
His friend nodded in response. “If Pan doesn’t beat me to it.”
Jinnaari leaned his large frame against one wall and pulled out some food from a pouch. His eyes watched the passage for any sort of movement.
“What is it, Althir?” Bahamut’s voice echoed in his mind.
Jinnaari stood straighter. “What do you need, My Lord?”
A shadow began to coalesce in the hallway. “You’re the one that’s been asking questions, Althir,” Bahamut responded.
Glancing over his shoulder, he checked to see if anyone in the group heard the voice. They were all sitting down, eating. Pan said something to Thia and she laughed in response.
“They don’t know I’m here, Althir. And I cannot remain long, or my Sister will sense my presence. So, again. What is it?”
He turned to face his God. “It’s Helix. There’s something not right about him, and I don’t know how to fix it. Thia said she had a spell, but it would take us restraining him. There’s already a lack of trust there. Doing that would make it even worse.”
“Ah. That one.” Bahamut paused, “Althir, the Tabaxi don’t think the same way we do. They have no real concept of right or wrong, good or evil. They don’t have the attention span to adhere to moral codes like you and the rest do. They can become fixated on a single item, or ideal, and study it to death only to discard years of research for something else without a thought. I know this much. Helix is no danger to anyone in your group. Including Thia. The time may come where she’ll need to trust him. Does she?”
“No,” he shook his head. “Neither do I.”
“Fix that. It may make the difference between life and death for her. You don’t want her to refuse his help if that’s what keeps her safe.”
“How? He’s pure chaos!”
Bahamut’s shadow smiled. “Helix is fascinated by power, prestige, titles. How the nobility go about their day. He wants to experience that world. You’re part of that. Those wings didn’t come to you because I thought you needed them. They’re a symbol of your rank. Helix knows this. You want to keep him from causing chaos, then give him a taste of your world.”
“My Lord, I haven’t been home since my mother’s ascension to the throne. I don’t have the connections Helix thinks I have.”
“You and I know that. He doesn’t.”
“You’re asking me to lie?”
“No,” Bahamut gave him a direct look. “I’m telling you to keep Thia safe, and kill Lolth. And that means giving Helix enough of a glimpse into the clan’s nobility to keep him in line. You’re not ignorant in the intrigues that happen at court, Althir. Treat him as you would any other person who was trying to gain favor within the hierarchy. You’re going to rule after your mother. Cementing alliances now is not unheard of.”
The shadow dissipated, leaving Jinnaari with his own thoughts.