Adam pulled out a chair opposite of Jinnaari, his focus on Thia. Pan whispered something in her ear, and he saw her relax slightly. The panic they’d all felt when she wasn’t in her room faded, but he was still on alert. Vizeran had said he wanted to help them take down Lolth. That didn’t mean any of them trusted the Drow.
Whatever had been said between Thia and the mage would be shared later. She trusted the paladin enough to tell him everything. And Jinnaari would share what he thought Adam should know. The atmosphere in the room was tense; Thia’s casting didn’t lessen it, nor did Jinnaari’s assertion that it was necessary.
“I was wondering,” he kept his tone neutral. Waiting for Vizeran to focus on him, Adam continued. “Lolth has several different forms. Is there one She prefers?”
The dark elf responded, “This is true. Her true self She reserves for only those worthy to see it. Or who fail the trials and become Driders. Even most of her priestesses and the Matron Mothers have never seen Her in this way. It is, from my understanding, both beautiful and terrifying to gaze upon.”
Reaching for his wine goblet, he took a sip before continuing, “Rumor has it that preparations are under way for a rare occurrence. Lolth plans to raise someone,” he looked over the glass and settled his gaze on Thia, “to the status of Matron Mother, allow her to establish her own noble house among us. To be a priestess with power and influence beyond what most have. In this case, She would not reveal Her true form. Not yet. The new Matron Mother would need to prove herself worthy. During the rite, Lolth would likely take a human form. Limited, yes, for one of Her talents. But She does not want to run the risk of scaring away Her prize.”
Adam noticed Thia’s hands trembling. Both Pan and Jinnaari were whispering to her, trying to calm her down. Thinking quickly, he tried to shift the conversation. “And this device? When will it be ready?”
Vizeran looked back at his plate, cutting into the slab of meat. “Tomorrow morning. I’ll work through the night to make sure it’s completed. You’ll have at least three days of travel to get to the passageway, and I doubt it will be without incident. Every single creature in the Underdark wishes to gain Lolth’s favor. Being the one to present Thia to the Goddess would ensure that.”
“Yet you are helping us. Do you not also want Lolth’s favor?”
The mage turned to look at him. “I’m a realist, Adam. Not a devout zealot. I have my own alliances and allegiances. I fear Her, yes. But I think your friend,” he gestured toward Jinnaari, “has the best chance at driving Her back into the Abyss. That allows others to rise, or fall, within the Underdark. And that’s where my bets are placed.”