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Hidden treasure
by Balaern'sus
Sat, 27 May 2000, at 12:52 p.m. CST

In those days as the Alliance Weaponsmaster, Balaern'sus came here often, the quiet of the underground broken only the occasional chanting of the odd sect of human mages--these humans in crimson he could kill. The drow, reflecting back on those days, moved with practiced ease to a spot he had discovered long ago. He crouched and pulled away the stone. Looking over his shoulder, he pulled the metal chest from the niche and unlocked it. His ever-present smile turned mournful as he looked at the contents of the chest. His Dark Rychen sash earned with Velnarin in these very halls, books describing the doctrines of the Socialists, and the gods Paladine and Malik, the notes on Ssin'urn and a scroll of recall, penned by that most troublesome of humans, Xandie. There were other baubles, and he jealously guarded them all, but the scroll brought a sad, sincere smile to his face.

The smile failed as he pulled the sword from the sack he carried. In the bitter darkness, it appeared no different than any well-wrought weapon of the Underdark. Adamite, gems, bone and silver hilt, this was no ordinary sword, no ordinary magic sword even. There was a powerful force in it. Some vengeful spirit of the lower planes, Vlondril had said. ("If I could not recognize it," she had chided the old drow, "no one could.") It could warp the strongest of human minds, as the Shadow Rangers could attest. Nei seemed convinced, it could devour the spirit of a drow with but a touch. And from the hateful emanations, Balaern'sus was quite sure it's reputation was no small stretch from the truth. Quickly, he placed the weapon in the chest, locked it and slid the chest back. He replaced the stone, taking nearly an hour to make sure it was completely hidden; a skilled drarven miner would be hard-pressed to find the cracks without a careful search.

As he turned to go, he thought he heard a tiny voice from behind that rock. It called out for blood.

He smiled, mentally ticking off names on his long list of enemies that would slake the sword's thirst. But the old drow would bide his time and use it only when necessary. In the mean time, he could afford to be patient (many of his enemies would die of old age before he had to use the sword) and spread a little chaos in the process.



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