Story by Searska_GreyRaven on SoFurry

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Another old story of mine, back when I was writing Forgotten Realms stuff. Forgotten Realms is copyright of Wizards of the Coast. I don't own the world, I just play in the sandbox from time to time. ;)


© Searska GreyRaven

It was Matron Barriath's wish to prove that drow breeding was stronger than draconic nature, that no matter what dragon was put into the mix, the offspring would always be as violent and chaotic as the drow. While chromatic dragons bred easily with the Barriath nobles, their metallic cousins did not. Years of fruitless attempts passed before they had their first success.

She was beautiful, the epitome of drow form mingled with the ferocious features of a silver dragon. Without a single weapon, she defeated four drow warriors and scattered their dismembered bodies across the pit sand like confetti. She licked the blood from her claws as if it were the sweetest nectar and looked at the Matron with eyes the color of ice.

"Zebey'maycice. Your name, little one. Learn it, and learn your place, and you shall be great." The Matron crooned, wiping the blood from the child's face. A pair of silvery horns were just coming in on the top of her head, and the Matron caressed them with her fingertips.

Zebey'maycice was taught to fight like a drow, how to think like a drow, but she was always kept apart, always reminded that she was not really drow, just a creature created to please her drow masters with her bloody battles and displays of carnage. She longed for something...more. Even when she had the company of Zekirhc, her copper half-brother, she yearned for the freedom of an open sky, for a place without confining walls of stone. Then, House Barriath burned.

Zebey'maycice, called Z, was left alone.


Z ran her hand through her silver-streaked hair and growled. The draegloth's-tooth necklace around her throat jingled quietly with the movement. House Barriath was gone, its embers still seeping haze days after the flames had vanished. The rest of the city of Menzoberranzan mostly ignored the wreckage. The few that did not were scavengers searching for something valuable to pawn. Z sneered, curling her lip to reveal one of her fangs. It wasn't like the salvage rats would find much. House Barriath kept their most valuable treasures far from prying eyes. Z turned and left, searching for the hidden passage that lead to the Barriath treasure vault.

House Barriath kept all of their most valuable treasures far below the cavern floor in a secret network of tunnels. Only one with Barriath blood in their veins could open the door and enter. After an hour of pushing aside rubble, Z found the hidden latch undamaged by the blaze, and lifted it. The tunnel's walls were still warm to the touch, and Z had to be careful where she placed her hands as she squirmed inside. She blinked, switching her vision into infrared, and dropped down several feet to the vault floor. To her left, a wide stone door was barred shut. Z knew better than to try her strength against it. It was magically sealed, and even her sharp claws were no match for the stone. But Z wasn't here for the trinkets in the treasure vault. She had come for the dragons.

The fire above had turned the dragon stable into an oven, and a bead of sweat trickled down the silvery scales along her spine. In spite of the raging fire, the matron's magic still bound them in a magical sleep that only the touch of a drow could break. Most of the dragons kept here were chromatics, but a handful were metallics. She passed the stalls containing chromatic dragons with a look of disdain. Z had no intention of waking a chromatic, honor be damned. But the metallics... they were a different story.

As she walked down the polished hall, Z caught a glimpse of her reflection. She looked as if someone had taken parts from a silver dragon and melded them with the form of a drow. Ebony skin, rather than the tough scales of a dragon, covered most of her body except her spine, tail, and limbs. Her tail, as bright as polished mithral, bore a short sail that was notched in several places where the claws or blades of her foes had marked her. Her twin horns extended backward and glimmered like blades. Silver wings were folded along her back. She flexed them, stretching them as far as she could, before returning them to their place. With a low growl, Z continued down the hall. The steady glow of faerie fire was just dim enough for her to read the labels on the doors. Red, white, green, black, shadow, rust... Z named the dragons as she walked by them, looking for the telltale glitter of metallic scales behind the enchanted bars.

Finally, near the end of the hall, she found the stalls that held House Barriath's only metallic dragons. The first was a brass, lying in a pool of his own blood. One of the nobles had severed the artery in the great dragon's neck. The drow in question lay face-down in the tacky red liquid. She turned her gaze to the next stall and found it empty. No surprise there. That stall used to belong to Zekirhc's father, a large copper who had finally killed himself rather than allow the drow to use him any longer. But the last stall, which should not have been empty, was vacant as well. The tarnished tag on the door read "Echostar." Her half-brother often spoke of this Echostar, and of their plans for an escape to the surface. Z drew in a sharp breath of denial.

"Zekirhc. My brother, what have you done?" she whispered. "Was it you who set the blaze? You who made me an orphan and left me alone? How could you, little brother? Why didn't you take me with you?" Z crossed the empty stall and found a silvery scale buried in the dust. With an oath, she threw it across the room, burying it in the stone wall.

"Lolth damn it!" Z collapsed to her knees and dropped her head into her palms. The shimmering scales along the backs of her hands became wet with tears. "This was the only home I ever knew, and you took it from me. Damn you, Zekirhc. I know it wasn't perfect, but you could have at least tried."

Z took a deep breath to steady her nerves. She wiped her palms on her black leather pants and rose to her feet. Where to start? If Zekirhc could escape, maybe I could as well. Perhaps he took this Echostar dragon and went with him. Who was he, anyway? Z went back to the stall door and uttered a few words of drow. Silvery script appeared on the door, and Z read it to herself.

"Echostar, silver dragon, male, 511 years old, ninety-seven attempts, one success." Z blinked at read the last line again. One success? What did that mean? Z stood and stared, stunned. She was the only half-silver in the compound. That meant that she was the only successful attempt House Barriath had with any silver dragon. And House Barriath only ever had one silver dragon. Z went back inside and pried the silvery scale out of the wall. She held it in the palm of her hand for a long moment before slipping it into her pocket. Why didn't I guess sooner? All this time...

Zekirhc must have taken Echostar with him. And more than likely, he made it to the surface. So if I wanted to find my sire and half-brother, I'd have to follow them upwards. Z frowned and sighed. Where was she going to find someone willing to take her to the surface?

"Who are you?"

Z snapped around with a feral snarl, flaring her wings and baring her teeth. Behind her stood an elf. His red eyes glowed in the shadows like embers, and he wore little more than a pair of leather pants and a sword sheath on each hip. His skin was as pale as a surface elf's, but he wore the same cruel, arrogant smile of a drow. And glittering in dim light was a slaver's ring on his right index finger.

"What in the nine hells is a darthir doing in the stables of House Barriath?" Z demanded, using her bravado to hide her fear. She backed up, putting as much space between her and the odd elf as she could.

"That would be a good question, wouldn't it? Of course, you'd have to find a surface elf here first. I'm a drow, my draconic friend. But a very special kind of drow." He took a step in Z's direction, his hands hovering over the hilts of his blades.

"I don't care what you are, get the hell out of my House!" Z snarled.

The strange elf gave Z an indulgent smile, and spoke as if her were addressing a child. "In case you haven't noticed, you don't have a House anymore. Your petulant brother burned the whole thing to the ground. Unless you find another matron willing to take you in, and I doubt it, you are in for a rough time. Rougher, I'm sure, given that you are quite the find for an ambitious slaver. Who knows where you'd end up? The Arena, perhaps? Or even better, one of the brothels in the lower parts of the Market would purchase you. There are a few, just a few, that cater to a male's whims," he said, his wicked grin widening.

"Insolent male!" Z growled. "Do you fancy yourself good enough to enslave me? If what you say is true, I'm worth quite a bit. But you'd have to capture me alive to get your gold. Care to match your bravado with my claws?" She flexed her hands, and the scythe-like talons of her draconic heritage sprang forward.

"With pleasure," he purred, and drew his blades. The scimitars' blades were as black as onyx and shimmered like oil in the dim faerie fire light. He slashed at her, and she curled her lip. Z dodged easily, making the smooth maneuver look clumsy and slow, and slapped the blade away with the back of her hand contemptuously. She ducked under his guard and lashed out with a powerful kick. The white drow leapt away with the grace of a cat, laughing. Something slick from the blades wormed under the scales on Z's hand, slowly numbing the limb. Z looked at the white drow with slightly more respect. But a half-dragon can easily heal the damage from venom and poison, even the potent cocktails of the drow, and soon her claw was back in working order. But the strange elf didn't seem to know that. A sly smile curved Z's lips.

"You are good, half-blood, but not good enough." The strange drow gloated. Z dropped into a defensive stance and held out her claw, palm up. She smirked and made a "come-hither" motion with her "numbed" claw.

"That's Lolth's Blood, you should be half paralyzed by now!" he said.

"Bring it, darthir*[*]*," she hissed. "I'm not afraid of you or your petty venoms."

"I'm not a bloody surface elf!" the white drow shouted.

"You look like one, you talk like one, and you fight like one. I bet you worship the sun, just like a pansy darthir," Z taunted. The white drow came at Z with a roar of rage and slashed at her with a will. His attacks held nothing back, and before long Z was stepping back and giving the white drow ground. The black blades whirled around her, and it was all Z could do to block and dodge them. But she had fought weapon-wielding enemies before, and they all shared one key weakness.

The white drow thrust with his scimitar, and Z stepped back, bracing her weight on her back leg as she bent backward and grabbed his wrist. The bone broke with a wet snap between her fingers, wrenching a scream from the white drow's throat. The blade dropped to the ground, useless. He recoiled and glared at Z with pure hatred.

"You'll pay for that," he said, clutching his broken arm.

Z's laugh was mirthless. "No, foolish darthir, it is you who will pay!" Z pressed forward, forcing the white drow on the defensive. His remaining scimitar spun through the air, striking sparks when it met with Z's shining scales, but he couldn't break through her guard long enough to land a crippling blow. They battled across the stable and into the stall with the dead brass dragon, but Z didn't notice until it was too late. Her foot slipped on the tacky blood, and she fell to the ground.

With a cry of triumph, the white drow plunged his blade downward. Z grunted and kicked, dislocating his knee and fouling his attack. The white drow crumbled to the ground with an agonized scream. Z flipped back to her feet, skidding in the blood, and approached the squirming elf. She pulled his last scimitar close and cut the white drow from ear to ear. A geyser of red blood gushed out and Z leapt out of the way, watching as the fresh, cherry-red blood of the white drow mingled with the dark, congealed blood of the dragon.

A quick search revealed that the white drow was more than what he seemed. He carried no House insignia, but his weapons and clothing were very high grade, almost noble status. She searched his pockets and found something rather intriguing. Inside of a tiny velvet bag she found a citrine pendant attached to a long chain. She held it up, and the gemstone tingled between her fingertips.

"A Finding Stone?" Z murmured. Such things were rare in the Underdark. They were considered an expensive novelty. And yet their powers were not small. If one asked, the Finding Stone could be used to locate anything from missing personal things to love. Even, perhaps, a path to the surface?

Z held the end of the pendant's chain in one hand and dangled the stone over her upturned palm. "Show me the way to the surface." Z commanded. The pendant hung still for a moment, and slowly began to swing. Back and forth, back and forth, until it seemed to hold its position just a moment longer in one direction. Z looked up. It pointed to the exit of the dragon cells. Z slapped her forehead.

"Not the surface here, you stupid rock. To the surface! Out of the Underdark!" Z growled. With a sigh, she pocketed the thing and grabbed a pack from off the wall. She clasped a spare piwafwi around her throat, a drow cloak that masked the wearer's heat signature and allowed one to blend in with the stone of the Underdark. She filled the pack with everything she thought she would need on the surface and left the dragon cells. She tried the spell again, and this time was more specific.

"Show me the way out of the Underdark," she said. Again, the pendant began to swing back and forth, and finally paused, its chain nearly horizontal as it strained to point to the proper path. Z took one last glance at her former home and began to walk.


By the time she made it to the edge of the city, the pillar of Narbondel had turned cold and black to her heat-sensing eyes. She hesitated, the Finding Stone in her grasp urging her forward, and looked down at the "skyline" of Menzoberranzan. Sharp, angular buildings carved out of enormous stalagmites were aflame with every hue of heatless faerie fire, making the city glow like a beautiful tapestry of light and dark.

But only a fool would mistake that beauty for goodness.

Z curled her lip into a silent snarl. She had no place here, no ambition to become a pawn of the Spider Queen. So why did she hesitate?

"Because it was my home. But not anymore," Z murmured to herself.

"It was never a home."

Z startled and turned. Behind her stood a dark elf maiden in glistening mithral armor. A thin chain, as fine as spider silk, wound around the drow's neck and vanished between her breasts. She was beautiful, with high cheekbones and a kind face. Her lips were curved into a slight smile, as if she had just woken from reverie.

"I didn't ask you," Z growled, stifling her attraction to the strange female. It had been both a blessing and a curse that she felt no interest with males of any species. Unwilling to violate the sanctity of the female body, Matron Barriath had never forced her to breed with the noble males of the House. But it led to some uncomfortable moments with the females. Z was only too thankful that her black skin hid her blushing.

"No, of course not," the drow said with an infuriating grin. Her eyes were a dark green, a color Z had never seen before. "But I said the same thing, when I left here for the first time."

Z looked at the drow female. "You have left the Underdark before?"

"Many times. I return to find others who wish to leave as well." She replied.

Z gave the drow a suspicious frown. "Why would you do that?"

"Because the drow are not beyond redemption. Many are beyond hope, but... Eilistraee and her followers have faith."

Z held back a snort when she heard that name. Eilistraee was the drow goddess of moonlight, of those who followed the vapid beliefs of the surface elves, the _darthir._Kindness, compassion, for Lolth's sake, _love..._That explained the strange sword on the drow's hip. Priestesses of the faith occasionally wore singing swords, a blade that sang through the air like a melody. Even the slight movements of the drow's hips as she shifted position set the blade humming. Z looked away from the drow's hips, thankful that her dark skin hid her blushing. The drow was lovely, with onyx-dark skin and a lithe form. Her green eyes seemed to penetrate right to Z's soul. Could she really mean what she said?

But the strange drow had been to the surface! The sword was proof enough of that. If Z could convince her to take her there, she may find her sire and brother yet! A pair of drow would have much better odds in the wilds of the Underdark than one alone. She would just have to endure the trip listening to a heretic priestess try to "convert" her.

As if she could be redeemed.

She was a killer, had wet her claws and teeth in the blood of countless creatures for the pleasure of her drow masters, and enjoyed it. No good deity would accept her.

"Are you ready to leave this dark legacy behind?" the drow asked. Z hesitated, torn between her fierce independence and her survival instincts. At last, she nodded.

"You may call me Greyzyne. And you are?" Greyzyne asked.

"Zebey'maycice Barriath. Just...call me Z," Z replied. "Greyzyne? That means 'ghost seeker,' doesn't it? Why are you a priestess of Eilistraee if...?"

"Because many of my fellow priestesses believe I am chasing phantoms, looking for drow here who wish to step out of the darkness. Shall we?" Greyzyne said, gesturing to the open tunnel behind her. Z swallowed and nodded.


Their first night was uneventful, but they were still close to the city, so Z wasn't entirely surprised. Drow patrols kept this area clear of the more dangerous denizens of the Underdark. The pair walked in silence, either unwilling to risk being noticed or unsure about what to say.

Finally, Z spoke. "Aren't you a priestess? Can't you just ask your goddess to teleport us to the surface?" she asked, after the third day of walking. Not that she minded overmuch. Greyzyne took the lead, and Z enjoyed watching the beautiful drow walk. She was grace incarnate, and it made Z's heart ache in a way she had never known before.

"No, not until we are far enough away from the faerzress. It would disrupt my spells," Greyzyne replied. Z shuddered. She didn't know much about magic, but she certainly didn't want something to go wrong with a teleportation spell. And the faerzress, a magical crystal that laced the tunnels of the Underdark, was unstable enough to spoil even the greatest mage's work.

"It'll probably be another day or two before it's safe, depending on how fast we travel." And how many monsters we encounter. Z added silently.

Inwardly, Z groaned. She had already walked farther than she ever had in her life, and her body burned for rest. The tight tunnels made stretching her wings impossible, and they ached terribly. But not as badly some of her other parts since this journey began. Something in the way that Greyzyne moved, spoke, simply existed made Z wish she could be more to the priestess.

"So, what made you want to leave?" Greyzyne asked, her voice barely above a whisper. She pulled something out of her pocket and glanced at it. With a slight grin, she dropped it back into her pants. Z narrowed her eyes. The bauble looked like a strange sort of compass, but she wasn't certain.

"My House burned down. It isn't like another matron would take me in. I'm noble blood, and half dragon to boot. Half silver dragon. No one wants me," Z replied bitterly. "Not even my half-brother. He burned down the compound and left without saying a word."

"More than likely, he was just trying to escape and couldn't find you in the confusion," Greyzyne replied. Z looked at her and curled her lip.

"He's a drow, we don't think like that. Zekirhc probably hasn't even thought about me since he left. He survived, why should he care about anyone else?" Z said.

"Not all drow are like that. The priestesses of Eilistraee--"

"Are fools," Z cut in. "The only deity that would have a people as damned as the drow is a spider demon."

"We weren't always damned," Greyzyne countered quietly. "But they don't tell you that in the Lore Room. They weave lies and mistrust, and perpetuate a cycle meant to keep us from the Light."

Z scoffed. "And your goddess will put an end to all that?" she said derisively. "You think your sweet, weak goddess will gain you acceptance in the surface world?"

"She does. The Masked Lady teaches us to grow, to learn, to--"

"To what? Dance?" Z folded her arms over her chest and scowled. "I don't dance. I don't do religion of any kind. So you can stop trying to convert me. I only went with you because I thought you would lead me to the surface. Not take me around the Underdark in circles while you try to convince me I need saving."

Greyzyne only smiled and gave Z a slight bow. "As you wish. We should make camp for the night up ahead. There's a nice cavern with a river where we can refill our water skins."

Z frowned as the priestess slipped by her. Wasn't she going to demand that she listen? That she knew what was best and right, and that Z had no business contradicting her? But Greyzyne simply walked on, as if nothing Z had said had bothered her. Confused and more than a little intrigued, Z followed her dark elf companion into the cavern.

Greyzyne was as good as her word. The cavern had a narrow underground river flowing down the center. Giant, glowing mushrooms grew along the walls, bathing the room in pale green light. The luminescence made Greyzyne look almost ethereal. Z swallowed, feeling that strange longing begin to grow inside her again. But she only shook her head. It could never be. Greyzyne would only use her, like every other drow in her life had. With a sigh, Z leapt up the walls and settled down on the highest mushroom, well out of the other drow's reach. She curled up, her back to the cavern and the achingly beautiful Greyzyne, and pretended to be asleep.

Greyzyne seemed unconcerned with Z's strange actions. Z could hear her unpacking her bedroll and setting a few wards near the two entrances. Finally, the other drow stopped moving.

"Sleep well, Z."

Z grunted a reply, feigning disinterest, but she doubted she would get much sleep. Drow don't really sleep. Like their elvan counterparts, they fall into a trance-like state that passes for sleep. Dragons need not sleep unless they wish it, but Z's mind was too full of questions for her to fall into that blissful state of oblivion.

Who was this Greyzyne, and why was she bothering to help her? Was it because her goddess told her to? Was Eilistraee just another puppeteer for the drow? Z shook her head. She just didn't know. And the only gods she had ever known wanted things she could never give them. Sacrifices, blood, death, and misery. There had to be more to life than that.

But was this Eilistraee simply a sweeter face to the same depraved religion? _All_gods demanded sacrifices. She simply couldn't fathom a deity who didn't. And what would a goddess of moonlight demand from her followers? What if she was simply a rothe being lead to the slaughter?

Z sat bolt upright and began to shake. She had been such a fool! This Greyzyne meant to sacrifice her to Eilistraee! What better sacrifice than a tainted silver-drow half-blood could you give to a "good" goddess? Oh how could such venom be so sweet? Z lamented. How could someone so beautiful, be so treacherous?

She dropped down from her mushroom perch and landed as silently as a cat. Greyzyne was deep in reverie, hardly aware of her. She looked so peaceful that Z wanted to walk up to her and touch her cheek, to press those perfect lips to her own. With a silent hiss, Z slunk out of the cavern and into the wilds on her own. And she ran.

Z ran as hard and fast as her legs would take her. She ran blindly through the tunnels, picking paths at random and hoped that she could confuse the priestess enough that she would give up hunting for her. Z ran until her lungs screamed for air and she collapsed against a wall. She gulped lungfuls of air, and finally caught her breath. She listened, but only the silence of the Underdark greeted her. With a deep sigh of relief, Z tried to get up.

Suddenly, she was yanked upward by her arm. A sticky tendril was latched around her wrist. Z looked at the wall, and her jaw dropped. The rock was covered with dozens of finger-thick strands of webbing, all coated with sticky glue. It was the work of one of the most dreaded monsters of the Underdark: a cave fisher.

Z screamed and thrashed, trying to break the web, to pull free, but she only got herself more tangled. Her claws, able to rend flesh from the bone, stuck fast to the strands. Z finally stopped moving and panted. The cave fisher was smart, it would wait until she couldn't struggle any more before reeling her in and eating her.

Then I shall give it something to remember, Z thought. She held still and waited. The cave fisher resumed in pulling her up the wall. She could hear it breathing, could hear the clacking of its claws as gathered the sticky web. Finally, she could see the beak-like mouth with it's sharp edges caked with dried blood and the pinchers that would snip her head from her shoulders as easily as a drow child could flick the cap from a mushroom. Better this than to die at beautiful, terrible Greyzyne's hands. Z thought. Just make it quick!

Suddenly, there came a wild howl, and the cave fisher jerked. Z tumbled to the floor in a mass of sticky webs. Above her, she could hear the singing of the priestess' blade as it cut through the air and sliced open the beast. The cave fisher shrieked and fell to the floor inches from Z's face. Z tried to crawl out of the way, but the web had wrapped around her limbs and she couldn't do more than roll a short distance from the fighting.

Greyzyne jumped from the cave fisher's ledge and stabbed downward, plunging her sword into its carapace with a resounding crack. Her blade made a joyful cry as she severed the cave fisher's head from its body. It collapsed in a heap of chitinous legs and was still. Greyzyne landed lightly on her feet and approached Z.

"No! Don't come near me!" Z shrilled. Greyzyne paused.

"Z? Are you well?" she asked, her brow furrowing in concern. She looked so worried that Z had to choke back a sob.

"I'm...No! I'm...crippled! You can't take me to the surface and sacrifice me to Eilistraee if I'm not perfectly well, so just leave me here and I'll find my way to the surface on my own," Z replied.

Greyzyne blinked and looked as if she was about to burst out laughing, but she quickly regained her composure. "Eilistraee doesn't want me to sacrifice you. She doesn't accept sacrifices. Or at least, not the sort you are thinking of. She is content to watch us dance under the moonlight."

"Not me! You don't understand! I have killed, murdered! countless drow, gnomes, and yes, even elves, for the pleasure of my Matron. Eilistraee won't accept me. Can't accept me," Z cried.

"Do you not think I was a priestess of Lolth before I left Menzoberranzan? That I didn't sacrifice upon that dark alter harmless creatures for Lolth's favor?" Greyzyne laughed and shook her head. "I still remember the chants and ceremonial words, if you would like to hear them."

"No! Just...leave me alone!" Z felt panic rising in her throat. Greyzyne stepped closer, cautiously, and placed her hand on Z's shoulder. Z trembled violently under the touch, expecting anything but comfort from another drow. She heard the sound of a blade coming out of its sheath and thrashed frantically. Greyzyne struck, and Z screamed. She struck again, and stepped back.

Z lay still. The sticky webs had been cut, leaving not so much as a single scratch on her skin. Z scrambled away from the remains of the webs and clawed her way up the cave wall.

Greyzyne chuckled. "You don't look all that crippled to me." Z hissed furiously and refused to come down. Greyzyne sighed and dropped to the floor. She pulled out a cloth and began to clean the cave fisher's blood from her sword. The blade whispered under her touch and started to hum. It was a slow, wordless lullaby that soothed Z; her tense muscles began to relax in spite of themselves. Greyzyne added her smooth alto voice to the song, and soon Z was humming quietly to the song. Finally, Greyzyne finished and sheathed the blade. Z shook her head, trying to clear the haunting melody from her mind.

"Z? I know there's probably nothing I can say that will convince you that I mean you no harm. The damage the drow have done to your trust runs deep. But I give you my word that I will get you to the surface, and that I will keep you safe until we get there."

Z growled and looked away. Trust, such a simple word, and for a drow such a meaningless one. But this was no follower of Lolth, she was a follower of a deity who believed in such things as trust and, dare she think it? Love. She _wanted_to love this strange drow who made her heart flutter as if it had wings, whose soft voice tamed her rage and pain. With a deep, shuddering breath, Z slowly crawled back down the wall and approached Greyzyne.

"I trust you," Z breathed. "I trust you." The words nearly caught in her throat, but somehow she found the strength to say them. Greyzyne smiled, and Z felt her heart lift.

"Then we're almost there. Just a little further, and we can teleport to the surface realm," Greyzyne said. Z nodded, feeling oddly bereft at the idea.

The pair walked in silence that neither wanted to break. An hour passed, and they came to a deep ravine. Greyzyne pulled a rope from her pack and tied it around a stalagmite. She tugged it a few times before carefully climbing down. Z looked at the rope warily, her tail lashing behind her.

"Will it hold both of us?" she asked nervously.

"Absolutely," Greyzyne replied. Z grabbed the rope and, after carefully retracting her claws, began to climb. She got about halfway when she felt a rock shift under her foot. She lost her grip and tumbled down, crashing into Greyzyne. They landed in a pile of limbs and wings, with Greyzyne on top. Z panted and swallowed.

"Are you alright?" Z asked, looking into Greyzyne's eyes.

"I'm fine," Greyzyne replied, looking confused.

"That's...good," Z said, taking a deep breath.

Greyzyne reached up and gently ran her fingers through Z's hair. "I never realized that you had silver highlights. I should have guessed, since you're half silver dragon, but I never looked. They're...beautiful. Some of the priestesses dye their hair that color."

Z took a shuddering breath. "Thank you," she murmured. "You have a beautiful smile."

Greyzyne smiled, and slowly bent her head. Her long, snowy hair fell around her eyes like veil, and the necklace around her throat fell out of her mail shirt. A crescent moon, the symbol of Eilistraee, glowed brightly to Z's infravison. Z took a deep breath, and looked back at Greyzyne. Her lips, descended, brushed Z's, and Z shivered at the intensity of such a small thing. Her tongue flicked against Z's lip, and Z responded in kind. Greyzyne deepened the kiss, and Z moaned, caught between desire and fear. The priestess' hands flowed down her body, smoothing over skin and scales alike, and Z mirrored her movements, touching Greyzyne as she had only allowed herself to do in dreams. The rough pads of her claws rasped against Greyzyne's armor.

Greyzyne pulled back from the kiss, leaving Z breathless. "Don't hurt me," Z whispered, her eyes filled with tears of fear and hope. "Please don't hurt me."

"Never. I promise, I won't hurt you. I promise," Greyzyne whispered in her ear. She untied the lace on Z's leather pants and slipped them over her legs. The leather hissed against her skin, and Greyzyne set them aside. She ran her hands along Z's thighs and between her legs. She slid a finger along Z's moist opening, and the half-dragon couldn't help but utter a cry. Suddenly, Greyzyne was gone, crawling down her body. She looked at Z and smiled just before she ran the tip of her tongue over Z. Z gasped and writhed under Greyzyne's touch. It felt so good that it bordered on pain, but she didn't want her to stop. Greyzyne slowly slid another finger into her, and Z shuddered with pleasure.

"Mmm...you taste like rain," Greyzyne said with a grin.

"I'm glad you like it," Z gasped. Greyzyne plunged into her again, giving her a kiss of a different sort. She quivered and shook, her body aflame with desire. She shifted, trying to give back to Greyzyne some of the pleasure she was being given, but the beautiful priestess gently pressed her back down.

"No, no, let me. For now, just let me love you," Greyzyne murmured, kissing Z with lips still wet with her fluids. She's right, I do taste like rain. Z thought as she fell back to the stone. Greyzyne gently ran her nails along Z's thighs, and Z arched her back as Greyzyne slid her fingers into her again. Slow and deep, shallow and fast, until Z felt something coiling inside her, growing hotter and hotter until it burst over her in a rush of heat, making her writhe and howl with unbearable pleasure.

Z lay, gasping for breath, while Greyzyne licked the last of Z from her hand. "Are all of Eilistaee's priestesses...or are some of them..." Z asked.

"Most are female, and more than one of them prefers only female company." Greyzyne replied, handing Z her pants. "I'd rather not bother with a male. Too much trouble. They expect things like children and I really would rather be out here, helping others, than caring for a child. Not that I don't like them, I just don't want one of my own."

"I don't know if I can have one," Z murmured. Such a thought had never occurred to her.

"We could ask, when we get to the surface," Greyzyne said. "Once we cross this crevasse, we should be able to teleport. We'll give it a try then."

They finished crossing the cavern and crawled up the other side. Greyzyne took Z's hand and murmured something under her breath. There was a wrenching feeling, and suddenly they were standing at the mouth of a cave. The opening was several feet above them, but Greyzyne simply whistled, and a rope ladder dropped down.

"There are other priestesses up there?" Z asked nervously.

"This cave opens right next to one of our temples. When one of us goes below, we station sentries here to watch for our return." Greyzyne held out her hand. "Would you like to join us?"

Z shrank back, hesitating.

"Come out of the darkness, and into the light," Greyzyne urged gently. The full moon glowed along her skin like a silver halo. Z swallowed, closed her eyes, and reached out to take Greyzyne's hand. She led Z up the ladder and out into the surface land.

Z stood for a moment, startled at the wide open expanse before her. The stars glittered like a thousand thousand diamonds across the velvet blackness of the sky, and the moon hung full and white as if some deity had hung it there like a lantern.

"Home," Z murmured. "I'm home."

Greyzyne nodded. "This is your home, your legacy. Even if you don't wish to stay, know that you will always be welcome among us." Z looked at Greyzyne and frowned.

"Echostar." Z murmured.

"Your sire." Greyzyne said. Z pulled the silvery scale out of her pocket and looked at it. She should find him, should...what? Z put the scale back in her pocket and took out the finding stone. _Show me what I want most,_Z asked the stone. It swung back and forth, back and forth, until it finally settled on a direction. Z looked up to see where the stone was pointed.

It was pointed at Greyzyne.

Z took a breath and let it out slowly. "I think you are in the way..." Z murmured. She walked around Greyzyne and tried again. The stone pointed to Greyzyne again. Z blinked, and finally smiled. Echostar can wait, Z thought to herself.

"I think I'd rather stay here with you for a bit, if you didn't mind?" Z said. Greyzyne embraced her and smiled broadly, her teeth flashing in the moonlight. The sound of singing rose from the forest behind them, and Greyzyne took Z's hands.

"Then you will have to learn how to dance!" She said, pulling Z along. Z laughed and followed, her heart as light as the night wind.

"I will learn whatever you wish to teach me," Z said.

[*] Drow slang, meaning a surface elf, traitor.

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