The Behayla Awakens
Sorvani was, in a word, BORED. Morning court in the city of V’ral was ALWAYS the least interesting yet most attended service in the day-to-day business of keeping a kingdom running. Invariably, the early-rising farmers and other folks with the early bird gene came shuffling into the main hall, impatiently waiting their turn to speak to Rose about whatever idiotic thing had gotten their knickers in a knot TODAY. How he longed for the laputans to give up their foolish war, and go piss in someone elses oatmeal - elsewhere on the planet !
Still, it wouldn’t do to leave V’s adopted daughter without high-level supervision - the red-armored dwarves and stupid battleogres were a nearly-undefeatable physical force to be reckoned with, but there likely wasn’t a soul on the PLANET who could match magics with the speed and versatility of this world’s first Powermaster. That wasn’t a bragging statement either, as Sorvani had spied DIVINE scrying eyes peering down at his tower on several occasions - glowing starbright to his enhanced vision below.
“Farmer Dreylik and Herdsman Arrvor request your wisdom on their countersuits, Lady Rose…” the minister spoke, after ringing his staff against the newly installed and compacted dwarven bedrock. Sorvani sighed and wondered if anyone would notice him in the time it’d take to invoke a phantasmal replacement and sneak away.
The young rolandite motioned towards the dirtier of the pair. “Milady, as a herdsman of six-score animals, ‘tis impossible for me to keep watch on e’rey animal - much less worry about policing the wee fence between our pastures - and when a pair or three sheep or goats go a wanderin’, the ruddy beasts ain’t smart enough to know wheres they can step an’ where they can’na !” The powermaster idly pondered growing a wall of thorns along the property lines, ALL property lines - just to stop the endless whining of neighbors in his court.
As Rose turned to the tidier farmer, he spoke up “And if they were a’sniping away a few ears o’ corn hither and yon, wouldn’t be givin’ a damn - boot TWICE now i came oot in ‘da dim o’ tha morn and found yer whole ruddy fluckin flock IN ME FIELD ! YOU owe me recompense - for me lost crops AND tha’ broken fence !”
Being uncommonly wise for her years, Rose considered the bigger picture. Banging her gavel stone on the throne arm, she caused the court to go silent - as she drew down a corner of her hood over one eye, checking current prices. “This is a threefold problem. Herdsman Arrvor, you will recompense Dreylik with a sheep or 2 goats OF HIS CHOICE to replace the crops they devoured. Farmer Dreylik, YOU will put up a stronger and more respectable fence around whatever fields you wish protected against local wildlife - for there will NOT be another claim allowed you until that is completed. Guardsman Gakk ?”
At the main doors, one of the battleogres suddenly straighted up and shot his brother a befuddled look - then stomped his way to the front of the courtroom. “Aye, lady ?”
The child-sized in comparison white robed figure grinned up at the towering giant. “Something tells me we have a predator hunting the southeast fields at night. Find out what flavor of barbecue sauce tastes best on it, won’t you ?”
A very large toothy grin made Rose’s dwarven protectors check their weapons, as the ogre got her meaning. “Happily, my liege !” Rubbing his big tummy, the guard returned to his post - grinning like the cat that got the canary.
“And you might want to keep your herd close to the northern fence tonight, Arrvor. Make sure there’s no collateral damage to your beasts. Next case !” she called, banging the gavel stone down again.
The powermaster smirked, inwardly proud that the draconic girl had assimilated so much wisdom from his instruction. His ruminations were cut short by a strangled half-chime from the Obelisk - which was immediately followed by a wave of shivers, shudders and goosebumps across the entire assembled populate in the great hall. Frowning down at his own arm, Sorvani glared at the bumps that marked his flesh - not really sure HOW he’d gotten goosebumps when technically he didn’t even have SKIN, just a semblance of it.
“Chancellor ? What was that ?” Rose inquired sweetly, rubbing at her arms. Only a heartbeat later, 40 red armored dwarves materialized inside the courtroom - forming up a more solid perimeter around their white-robed charges without a word being spoken.
Grumbling to himself, Sorvani folded a bit of flesh over a brooch and kicked on a 5x magnified 9th lvl spell. “I C U,” he hissed - scanning around the room for hidden or cloaked figures. A wealth of sensory data bombarded his multiplexed mind - infrared heat signatures, magical emanences, EM radiation, dormant spells and magic items, all that and more were visible to the Powermaster.
Of everything unseen, only 3 were unusual - an admantium rose floated above the young rolandite, a different rolandite lurked invisibly in an upper window, her hairless and powder white skin almost ghostly in the morning sunlight, and the collection of wizard eyes trying to peek in the windows outside which she seemed to be taking notes on. Studying the admantium rose, Sorvani backtraced its energy with a scrying orb of his own - unsurprised when it led to the bigass golem trudging around the spellmoat of magical energy which now ringed V’ral.
“Nothing untoward in here, Rose - let me ask the Obelisk.” A mental command sent Sorvani’s mini-me over to the open courtyard where the currently cloaked obelisk sat absorbing sunlight. A soft reddish glow suffused the air, which gave some creedence to the dwarves’ heightened alert status. “Something amiss, crystal ? I assume its not directly threatening us or you would have sent out an alert.”
There was a pause of several seconds, which in itself was a bit worrisome - the V’ral obelisk wasn’t known for its patience. “A… situation has arisen. Dregnoth’s… gone sane.”
The powermaster blinked, then removed his ears to check them physically - growing a new pair from the side of his head. “Pardon ?”
A flare of energy shot down and traced out a rectangular image, showing the mad alchemist in his lab - apparently cleaning and organizing, trying to make sense of the chaos. Extending two fingers, Sorvani drew the screen wider and fed it a tiny spark of magic. “Hey Dregnoth ! What’s… erm, happening ?”
The alchemical clone turned around and stared at the image window with startlingly clear eyes. “I must make preparatations !” he murmured with an excited smile.
“Hokay - for what ?” the former drow tried to draw out of him.
A beatific, dreamy look of joy crossed his face. “The day has finally come ! The Forsaken One is awake !”
Sorvani had goosebumps again. “Oh fuck…” 2 of his 4 brains blinked offline in a panic, the physical one grew a second face to watch behind him for creeping alchemists and the psionic mind relayed that message mentally to Rose - who echoed his sentiment moments later. Withdrawing his fingers from the image, the powermaster banished the display and looked at the cloaked crystal. “I know there’s no way to be sure, but d’ya got an ETA on her arrival ?” he queried as he rebooted the 2 magical processors.
Calculating probabilities and possibilities with the speed only he could manage, the obelisk replied “Operating under the assumption that Dregnoth knows that because his other self DIED, thus triggering her emergence, i’d hypothesize we’ve got a few days. 72 hours, a week if we’re lucky.”
Teleporting the mini-me back to his tower, Sorvani leaned close and traded whispers with Rose for several minutes. “Ladies and gentlemen of the court, we need to take a short recess. Be back in an hour !”
Grasping arms, the rolandite and powermaster vanished in a twinkling - to the still-sealed door that led to the Godsroom, where the avatars of Roland, Mystra, Torm and Reorx/Damien worked tirelessly to bestow spells and answer prayers of their followers. “Yeah, i think a bit of divine guidance might be in order…” Sorvani admitted, unlocking the big sigil puzzle on the door and ushering Rose inside…