Maylara Maltree is a drow with a greater height, size and strength than most drow. She is also more busty and voluptuous than many drow women, and partially due to being raised on the surface, has a more unusual skin tone, with a little blue mixed in with the more normal grey skin color.
More typically, she has red eyes and white hair.
Powers and SkillsEdit
Undefined magic casting abilities. Includes Fireballs, Stun spells, and a general Spell Thief capacity to steal or gain control of seemingly many spells either cast at her, or cast in a range close to her person of up to at least several meters. Her limitations on stealing a spell seem to be the 'difficulty level' of the spell, and her available power level.
Maylara is a Rogue of considerable skills.
- Maylara has sufficient nerve and dexterity to pickpocket or otherwise pickup items as a master thief. She is perhaps nearly as good at picking locks as she is at picking pockets.
- She is a good gymnast and is a skilled hand to hand combatant.
- Maylara is good at hiding and overhearing conversations, very observant.
- Maylara is good at roleplaying in order to infiltrate. She has considerable experience and expertise at playing various slave roles. She has an adeptness for other roles as well, such as playing as various elites.
- She has a hunting level skill with the crossbow, and some undetermined skill with short bladed weapons such as daggers, knives and perhaps short swords.
- Bilingual and literate in Hebonnor Elvish and Negeemi.
- Has studied fundamentals and some combat level Negeemi and High Elven spells and magic principles.
- Neroe Idrizzi
- Priestess Dahl'Arak
- Laeh'le the Temple Slave
- The "Fake Priestess"
- The "Temple Slave Hero"
- Hasstin Char'Isstra
Her mother was Ann'te Maltree, drow elf from the settlement of Animadelia, where Maylara was born at the 2391 a.a.H, during the Middle Human Age. Her Father was a drow elf named Sunn.
Death of ParentsEdit
Her mother and father were hunters in the surface, and during one of these hunts both her parents were killed by Kokto Orc (black orc) raiders the same year of her being born.
It is known that May's biological parents died some distance outside of the normal hunting proximity of Animadelia. Normally they hunted in a lower mountain valley, or on gently wooded slopes closer to the foot of some mountains in the Southern Nohalion Mountains. They had traveled further up in elevation, and further afield than in their usual hunts due to due to the presence and depredations of the orcs they were trying to avoid in the original published story. Currently, it would seem that the valley that Animadelia lies in was invaded by koktos orcs and Ann'te and Sunn were trying to avoid them. Although, if this is true, it would raise the question of how they were planning to get back with dead game meat encumbering them?
In questions of proximity to the mountain elves who live in the Nohalion Mountains, it remains probable that they did not stray too far afield as the Koktos orcs that killed them still crossed their paths, and the pasture range of the mountain elves of Gigfran Nyth and other villages were at that elevation, with sloped pasture and forests, so they clearly were not up to the tree line. Whether there were any previous or ongoing contacts between the drow settlement of Animadelia and the mountain elf village of Gigfran Nyth has not been determined, although awareness of the other type of elf and some animosity certainly existed between the communities.
Conjecture: There seems to have been some indication that the Maltrees had been determined to leave Animadelia for an extended period. If this was so, they may not have been on a hunting mission at all, and may in fact have been slipping out of Animadelia under the cover of a hunt and the invasion of the koktos orcs? The truth of this might be detailed in a future story.
Adoptive Hebonnor Mountain Elf ParentsEdit
She was later found by a couple of mountain elves from the village of the Gigfran Nyth, who adopted her as their own daughter.
Her adoptive parents are named Aldabeer and Thaergrud, goat-herders of the village. Thaergrud had suffered a miscarriage and was left barren. She saw the chance finding of an infant drow as a sign of divine providence. Her husband Aldabeer was not at all convinced of this, and was very ambivalent towards Maylara as an infant and into her toddler years. Aldabeer was initially prejudiced against her, seeing drow as inherently evil, and would only tolerate her. He would gradually become increasingly more connected to the drowling as Maylara grew up.
The couple moved to a hut outside of the village in the mountain woods, they raised Maylara there in secret for some years before revealing her to the village folk of Gigfran Nyth in order to quell the mounting rumors and prevent a disastrous chance revelation. The villagers were either disappointed by the 'mundane' drow child relative to their fevered imaginings, or dismayed at having a drow child living amongst them.
It should be noted that the Hebonnor mountain elves of the Nohalion mountains had long had conflict with the drow of Negeemiliel, and in times previous to this, their laws dictated death to drow on sight. Negeemiliel had won surface lands in the Nohalion mountain range and now engaged in some local trade in times of peace. As a result of this, that draconian law was ended, but animosity and an impulse to kill first still remained amongst the Hebonnor elves.
Fortunately, an elder of the Gigfran Nyth village spoke in favor of the drow child, and warned against any violence done to the child. Hence, Maylara Maltree became a mountain elf by nurture.
A Little RogueEdit
Maylara's skills as a thief began early. Mostly from stealing cookies that her mother Thaergrud had baked! Her father Aldabeer had some history as a rustler of livestock, it has been speculated that this might have also contributed to May's larcenous habits? It should also be noted that the Hebonnor mountain elves of the more rustic settings had a long history and culture of raiding each other's livestock, mostly sheep and goats. This only being a crime if done to members of the same village--or getting caught.
Additionally, Thaergrud had an elderly great uncle of some generations back who would come to live with them, named Corvin. Partly he moved in to help them, and partly to be cared for by them as he was often suffered effects of senility brought on by advancing age and chronic mercury poisoning earlier in his life. He had many stories of his life as an adventurer, wanderer, and peddler which he shared with Maylara, whom he had accepted as a relative. This too, doubtlessly influenced May's development, having another adult accept her and giving her guidance which probably gave her more incentive to being an adventurer.
Maylara faced early discrimination at the hands of the teacher in the village. She responded by stealing a magic book of his, and successfully hiding it, despite the efforts of the villagers to find this important book. May would study this book in secret, and it would be of profound importance in her later life, as she became a self-taught magic-user and spell thief.
Maylara also faced considerable challenges amongst the children of the village. She often was abused by them, and forced to play the villain in the children's melodramas. She would often study the spell book rather than be picked on by the other children. She did have one good friend, a girl of about her age named Neroe Rhedyn. Neroe would be a very important figure in Maylara's childhood and early years of adventuring.
While still young "teens" (elf children aging at half the speed of human children) the two would face off against a Kokto black orc, part of an army dispatched by the Nigromancer of Tok-Thoria. They were able to fight and defeat him, May burning him with a fireball spell that she had learned, revealing the magic that she had learned to Neroe. This would be the two girls' first "adventure".
Starting Out as an AdventurerEdit
Maylara and Neroe would leave their childhood home village in 2425 a.a.H., probably in the autumn of that year, to take up a life of adventuring. May would have been 34 to 35 years old at that time (17 in bio-years). They left the village more or less with their respective parents' blessings. They spent some months wandering, and it is known that they had a serious fight with pigmy Ur Dur goblins which they won.
Time in ZannasEdit
Later on, they came to live in the city of Zannas, that was a city-state coastal mercantile city that was expanding and needed to fend off large nations that wanted to absorb it. The city was in constant need for mercenaries, soldiers, corsairs, sailors, and simple tradespersons of all types. It was not a strange place for two young women to go in search of a greater destiny.
How long that the two lived in the city is not yet fully defined. It has been speculated that they may have lived there for a few months to over a year, and that they were able to accumulate some small money. They may have operated as criminals, this being suggested as Maylara had become a skilled lockpicker, logically and possibly, at about this time? They might have worked a variety of little jobs. Regardless, they seem to have had enough money to survive on, for Neroe to buy a good dress, and for them to join the Adventurers' Guild of Zannas, which was not an inexpensive endeavor, although the city had good demand for such individuals. The two might have thought that they now needed to take their adventuring careers to its next level by becoming "professionals" and joining the Adventurers' Guild.
Mission with Bog the BarbarianEdit
Being members of the Adventurers' Guild of Zannas did not immediately bring them new work, and it is known that they were running out of money as a result of the expensive registration process. They then sought out fellow adventurers who would be willing to allow them to join in a job. Using somewhat dubious advice, they frequented taverns in rented costumes that made them look like adventurers. Costumes that can be best described as being of the "chainmail bikini" type. This tactic was embarrassing for them, but it did result in them meeting the seasoned adventurer known as Bog. After selling themselves after fabricating a fanciful background, they went on their first big mission in the spring of 2427 a.a.H. It is possible that Maylara's low light vision might have been a major factor for their inclusion, given the mission involved entering into a mine.
The mission did not seem to be very complicated, other than clearing a mine and caverns of some Ur Dur goblins. Bog and D'Aryy wanted to hire Maylara and Neroe as backup and then meet up with more adventurers they knew, and then ascertain the situation in the mine, and possibly clear the tunnels of goblins. Not much is known of how the mission took place or of what precisely went wrong, it is known that the four did meet up with at least three more adventurers. But the goblins were very well organized and entrenched in the mine, and had an effective strategy for dealing with small groups of attackers.
Maylara and Neroe saw some of their companions fall and be defeated, and believed them likely killed. The two split off as Maylara tried to find their way out of the tunnels, while monster sized goblinoids pursued them. The giant goblinoids were osgos, half ogre goblins. Neroe and Maylara were both felled by drugged darts. They would be traded by the goblins to a dwarven slaver named Roothar, possibly including other members of their party without their knowledge as they were kept well blindfolded for most of the time. It is known that Bog escaped the tunnels to have other adventures, he was able to free most or all of his fellows from their captivity and to make good their escape.
However, Maylara and Neroe were not so fortunate, and had been split off from Bog's group, being apportioned to Roothar as his spoils. Bog and his friends being sold by other slavers who had been associated with Roothar for this mission of trading with the goblins.
The arrangement that Roothar had with this tribe of Ur Dur goblins suggests that the goblins were well organized in part to take slaves as well as for their own defense against outside incursions. If there was another party behind the organization of these goblins, or if these goblins were raiding the surface has not been revealed. It is known that Roothar had well conditioned and setup this goblin tribe to trade with him and that he was working with a large group of fellow slavers, and that he traded elven clothes and necklaces for Neroe and Maylara. It would appear that Bog and his fellows were traded to some of the other slavers and sent away elsewhere. That story has not yet been definitively told.
Maylara the SlaveEdit
Negeémi Drow OutpostEdit
Roothar then transported May and Neroe from the mines where they were captured by the unnamed goblin tribe, through the subterranean underworld of Kazrrad to a Negeémi drow outpost. It would appear that Roothar was alone at this point, but that may not be the case, as he would have purchased and transported silk wares from this outpost that seemed to have an informal bazaar in operation. This was where the girls would be sold to separate buyers, where they would lose contact with each other for a time of perhaps 9 to 10 months.
The drow city-state of Negeémiliel makes very heavy use of slaves, but it seems that slaves being sold outside of guild and the Negeémi slave commission oversight is illegal. Nonetheless, corruption of various forms is common in the Negeémi hegemony, hence, Roothar was able to sell slaves at the outpost for the price of bribes, some of which must have gone to the garrison commander of the outpost, one Captain Xuunera Lo'Kee.
Sold to Hubbaerrzo Lo'KeeEdit
Ironically, it was Captain Lo'Kee's husband Hubbaerrzo Lo'Kee, who had been visiting his officer wife at the outpost, who was the one to purchase Maylara from Roothar. As a surface raised drow, Roothar cleverly sold Maylara as a 'submissive' drow female, something that would be well received by a male master in the matriarchal drow society. Maylara being attractive, tall and busty for most drow, yet seemingly demure compared to the female drow, particularly the elite drow women that Hubbaerrzo was accustomed to.
Hubbaerzzo would sneak his personal slave into the capital city of Negeémiliel, and then into his wife's house, apparently without the knowledge of most of the servants. He had at least one male slave and perhaps the kitchen staff help him maintain his sex slave in the personal apartments. Maylara had to suffer the humiliations of slavery and enforced sex with this man, but she did so biding her time, as she still had her magic powers as her aura had not been suppressed by an aura sealing spell as is often the case of enslaved elves.
Uncertainty of May's Magic User StatusEdit
Roothar had apparently failed to learn that Maylara was a spellcaster, he identified her as a 'spellthief', but he either didn't know what that meant, or Hubbaerrzo Lo'Kee himself didn't know. Roothar knew that she was a rogue though, so he had tight enough control over his slaves that escape apparently was improbable, and Maylara was unable to cast spells at all. Maylara was never given freedom of her hands in which to cast any spells, and often was kept hooded for long periods as well. It is known that May tried hard to escape her bindings, but was unable to.
Cast into Negeémiliel, the culture and people of her birth, but alien to her, Maylara decided to learn all that she could before attempting escape, and to ensure that her magic would serve her well as an unexpected key to escape.
Master Hubbaerrzo, the EducatorEdit
Hubbaerzzo Lo'Kee also unwittingly did his part in aiding Maylara. He had a 'schoolmaster / schoolgirl' fetish that he wished to exercise on Maylara, particularly as she was ignorant of her own birth culture. Hence Hubbaerrzo would teach Maylara how to speak Negeémi and to be literate in reading and writing the language, as well as to teach her how to behave as a slave. It was a tough and lonely time for her, largely as it seems that Hubbaerrzo was the only one that she interacted with day after day, servicing him, sleeping in a closet wardrobe, and allowed out into only a few rooms of the mansion for lessons and role playing.
It is possible that his schoolmaster fetish may have also caused him to teach her to how to also behave as a seemingly elite drow woman as well, albeit one meant to be submissive to his will? Hubbaerrzo may have dressed Maylara in an old uniform of his wife's so as to pretend that he could dominate a Negeémi acolyte. Supporting this idea, May did know to steal that old uniform, and not to escape wearing any other clothing. She would also steal a priestess cloak later on, whether she knew that it would grant her even more authority is unknown. Maylara still had some problems with her accent and understanding of the culture at this time, given that it was alien to her less than a year before, and she was secluded in the mansion, learning from only one teacher, this is understandable.
Whatever his intentions and motivations, Hubbaerrzo proved to be a good teacher, as Maylara became fluent and literate in the language, and would be able to interact reasonably well with the Negeémi populace. He very likely taught his two daughters to read when they were young children, and may have used the same classroom setting for Maylara as he did his daughters? His teaching was training and play acting that would serve her very well later on. It should also be noted that as Maylara became a self taught mage at such a young age, that she must have considerable intelligence as well as adeptness with magic. The Negeémi culture helped her greatly as well, commoners were not inclined to question a woman that they would see as an Acolyte, one of the elite, even if she did behave and talk strangely.
Maylara breaks her chainsEdit
Captain Xuunera Lo'Kee took a brief leave from her command at the unnamed outpost late in the year 2427 a.a.H, and returned home to Negeémiliel at the same time that the Lo'Kee daughters were released from their Academy training. Maylara took this opportunity to escape while her captor and his wife were distracted, knocking the captain out from behind, while Hubbaerrzo was already bound in the midst of sex-play. Maylara would question Hubbaerrzo and would punish him for his assaults on her by sodomizing him with a paddle that she had used to knock out his wife, Captain Lo'Kee. By dressing in the old uniform of Captain Lo'Kee's, Maylara was able to pretend to be an acolyte and to casually talk her way past a guard and out of the house.
It is unknown if Maylara had ever experienced the city before while controlled by Hubbaerrzo, discounting her arrival into the city before her entry into the Lo'Kee mansion. It seems that she may have been imprisoned in the Lo'Kee apartments in the mansion the entire time. Experiencing the city of Negeémiliel must have been an amazing experience. Regardless, Maylara had developed a plan during her long months of imprisonment. She was able to leave the city, doubtlessly aided by her wearing of the uniform of an acolyte, and retraced the route from Negeémiliel to the outpost where she had been sold, a journey of several days.
Speculation: It was likely that Maylara was amazed by the immensity of the city of Negeémiliel on her entry there. That, and her experiences living in the large city of Zannas, may have been a major reason for why she put up with Hubbaerrzo, tolerating his assaults, to bide her time, and learn as much as she could? In addition, she felt that she had to escape--successfully--not only for herself, but for her friend Neroe Rhedyn as well. She needed as much knowledge and skill that she could attain.
Facing Roothar the Slaver AgainEdit
Upon reaching the outpost, Maylara then tracked down Roothar, who was fortunately present in the outpost at this time, and she attacked him, with less than perfect results as he defeated her, even with her use of magic. In another fortunate event, the Acolyte priestess Laeh'le Dahl'Arak had heard the fight and had entered into Roothar's rented stall, Laeh'Le's presence, and misunderstanding of the situation, and some dissembling of Maylara's managed to fool both Laeh'le, and Roothar, and goaded Roothar into giving her the information that Maylara was looking for. May then left the slaver having gained the information of to whom Neroe had been sold to, if not the revenge she might have wanted.
Laeh'le thought that Maylara was an acolyte, based on the uniform that she wore, and wanted an explanation for what was happening. When May did not give an acceptable response, Laeh'le generated a "stun" spell, that was then stolen by Maylara using her spell-thief ability, and then used against Laeh'le. Maylara would then steal Laeh'le's priestess cloak, and would hide the unconscious Laeh'le, and then escaped from the outpost, to return to Negeémiliel to rescue Neroe.
Hunted by both Orcs and Captain Lo'KeeEdit
The return was not without mishap. Captain Xuunera Lo'Kee had noted the disappearance of Laeh'le Dahl'Arak, and had her acolytes search the outpost looking for her, as Laeh'le was a member of the powerful House Dahl'Arak, and the daughter of a general. Upon finding Laeh'le, reviving her, and hearing the description of the assailant of the priestess, Captain Lo'Kee was alarmed. She had believed that the person who knocked her out, and assaulted her husband must have been an agent that a rival had sent against her. Now, she believed that that agent was working against her even at the outpost, and had selected Laeh'le to attack to get to Captain Lo'Kee, perhaps by furthering souring relations between Captain Lo'Kee and Laeh'le's mother, General Dahl'Arak. Fearful and enraged, Lo'Kee set after the 'agent' to get answers in what would prove to be a race back to Negeemiliel.
Along the way, Maylara had wandered into a band of rogue Kokto orcs, old surviving deserters, or second generation orc/goblins, of a defeated black orc army of Tok Thoria. These orcs had been a menace to the tunnels of this part of Kazrrad, and they preyed on travelers or inadequately protected caravans. Captain Lo'Kee's posting in the outpost was largely to counter these orcs or other orcs or goblins like them. The orcs were stalking, and about to attack Maylara, but were instead attacked themselves by Captain Lo'Kee. Captain Lo'Kee seized upon this coincidence of Maylara and the orcs being at the same place, seemingly in accordance with each other, as evidence that this shadowy agent who was plaguing her must have been an even more dangerous agent than she had first thought. Possibly even being an agent for a foreign government trying to cut off caravan shipments from Negeémiliel to destabilize the city.
Even though Maylara attacked the orcs with her magic, this attack was perceived as merely 'goading' her 'minions' to protect her. This is a good example of Captain Lo'Kee's habit of missing the obvious but letting her paranoia run wild. In all fairness though, such a plot was not inconceivable. Some rival drow states might well have tried such proxy attacks and sabotage to the Negeémi caravan system so as to hit the food issue which had long become the Achilles' Heel of the great city. Negeémiliel was greatly divided politically at this time, so such a threat could have emerged internally. Also, the Nortunk dwarves were again at odds with the drow state, and an active war with the Hebonnor mountain kingdom was underway, with Hebonnor elven agents who would later prove to indeed be operating in the tunnels of Kazrrad at this time.
Maylara would escape this situation, steal a reasonably good sword from the dead orcs in the battle, and then disappear in the battle. Despite greater numbers, the renegade orcs were no match at all for Negeémi acolytes, and a large number would be killed, and the rest retreat before Captain Lo'Kee's smaller force. Maylara would arrive in Negeémiliel and would successfully hunt for the owner of her friend Neroe Rhedyn. Captain Lo'Kee, for her part, would be delayed at the gates of the city, with her small force only allowed in by the order of General Dahl'Arak.
Part of the general's orders allowed Captain Lo'Kee to search the city looking for Maylara. This search would cause an unintended consequence of introducing Maylara into the public mind as a shadowy figure disguised as a priestess, complete with offensive powers like a martially trained magic user. This would create the legend of the "Fake Priestess" in the Negeémi public mind, with every branch of the public pundits seeing the "Fake Priestess" as they wanted her to be. Conditions were well suited for this sort of thing, and contrasting rumors were rife, as the city was tottering towards civil war.
Naeshi and GaveoEdit
Maylara was blissfully ignorant of all of this excitement over her presence in the city while wearing a priestess coat. She had successfully located the woman who had purchased Neroe Rhedyn illegally in the street market at the outpost, and entered into discussions with her. As May was dirty, with dried orc blood on her, and made some mistakes in her greetings, this confused and unnerved the woman, named Naeshi.
Naeshi had much to be afraid of, as she had taken up worship with the Jabharil Cult of the Flower, was giving them much support, and may have been giving them illegal aid. Even so, her daughter was a young Initiated girl in the Academy, and she had made a habit of buying slaves illegally so as not to pay taxes on them. Naeshi therefore thought that Maylara was a priestess sent to punish her, and left her at the door to her textile shop, to confer with the shop's real owner Gaveo.
Gaveo was a hobgoblin who had considerable intelligence, and had managed to become wealthy, and had selected Naeshi, a desperate, destitute, pregnant drow woman to act as his business front-woman. Like any entrepreneur, Gaveo saw potential where Naeshi saw punishment, and directed Naeshi to serve as hostess for the fearsome appearing 'priestess'. It is known that Maylara was aware at this time that her stolen priestess cloak was the reason that commoners feared her and gave her access and directions. Whether she had learned the significance from her former master Hubbaerrzo, or had simply deduced this fact, is not known.
Naeshi ordered that Maylara's outfit be cleaned and Maylara bathed together with Naeshi in a thermal bath. Neroe Rhedyn, being a surface Light Elf, was directed to serve them in the bath as an unusual and 'exotic' slave for drow. Neroe was startled and overjoyed at seeing Maylara, and had dropped her expensive bathing supplies and rushed into the warm pool to greet her friend. Naeshi and Maylara came to blows, and the two reunited adventurers dragged the defeated Naeshi to the apartment upstairs to confront Gaveo. Maylara declaring that Neroe was her slave and that Naeshi had bought stolen property, both Maylara and Neroe mispronouncing the name of "Negeé" the matron war goddess of the city-state.
Gaveo was not much fooled, but allowed them to leave with some of his money, but promised revenge the minute that they had left. In particular, he contacted the Guild of Backdoor Owners for their support in finding and identifying this supposed priestess. This caused a criminal search for Maylara even as Maylara's nemesis, Captain Xuunera Lo'Kee was beginning an official search for the 'Fake Priestess'. This would, over time, make the mysterious person of the 'Fake Priestess' into an urban legend in pre civil war Negeémiliel.
Maylara's Plan of EscapeEdit
Maylara had also stolen the makeup that Gaveo used, as he liked to wear wigs and color his skin to appear as a drow. In a secluded alley, Maylara helped color Neroe with the stolen makeup. Maylara had thought of a plan to escape the city, by giving Neroe the priestess cloak and some acolyte supplies that she had purchased, Neroe would leave along near the front of an army column sent out to reinforce surface forces that had suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Hebonnor kingdom's army. Maylara would purchase new supplies for herself and leave with the column from the rear. The two would then travel through the underworld of kazrrad with the column and then desert it when they had a good opportunity.
What Maylara didn't know--did come to hurt her. Maylara's description had been spread about the city and with her foreign demeanor made the supply vendor suspicious of her. Despite the vendor, it would appear that Laeh'le Dahl'Arak was at this gate looking for Maylara and saw Maylara and raised an alarm against her. Laeh'le attacked Maylara, but failed, but the company lieutenant, Dobeshae Ven'Lark fought Maylara and defeated her. Laeh'le then used her magic to place an aura seal on Maylara, suppressing her magic.
Maylara would then be taken--returned--to the house of Captain Lo'Kee, imprisoned in the dungeon of the house, tortured and interrogated by Captain Lo'Kee. Lo'Kee had great expectations of Maylara being a foreign agent, or at least some sort of agent from within the city being used against her and possibly indirectly against the Negeémi Senatorial Party particularly the Leg of the Spider General, Danieh'le Dahl'Arak, holder of a seat on the High Council, the executive branch of the city-state. Captain Lo'Kee wouldn't accept Maylara's story, and tortured her, with Laeh'le Dahl'Arak using her magic to heal May's wounds, so she could be tortured again.
Note: Given the limitations of magical healing in Aiers, and May's activities soon later, the physical torture could not have been very severe in physical damage, but there may exist many ways of causing pain. Alternative methods that might not leave physical damage behind might include pain caused by magic, from Laeh'le, perhaps? Or also from chemical means from drugs that might cause or enhance pain while in the system of a victim?
In any event, it required the use of a truth serum before Captain Lo'Kee would accept the truth--that Maylara was a simple sex slave purchased by her husband and had escaped from her house. This was devastating news for Lo'Kee, as she had imagined that Maylara was a dangerous agent at work against the Negeemi state; and had stated these suspicions to General Dahl'Arak, along with the fact that Dahl'Arak's daughter Laeh'le was assaulted by this agent. General Dahl'Arak had granted Captain Lo'Kee extraordinary leave to look for this mysterious agent; that this 'agent' turned out to have been a mere sex slave who escaped from Lo'Kee's own house was embarrassing to say the least! Especially as Captain Lo'Kee was already a 'marked' officer for her failure to protect the High Sorceress Khariel Baener from assassination.
Captain Lo'Kee's IdeaEdit
Captain Lo'Kee was desperate to get some recovery from this situation. She hit upon the idea of using the sudden and growing legend of the "Fake Priestess" to use against her party's enemies. General Dahl'Arak didn't seem remotely impressed with the idea on its face, berating Lo'Kee, but then giving Lo'Kee unofficial approval to use Maylara in a simplified fashion as a secret agent. She also assigned Lo'Kee herself, to be a political agent for General Dahl'Arak within the city, as well as the general's own daughter Laeh'le Dahl'Arak.
General Dahl'Arak had been placed in command of a second army column leaving Negeemiliel, and overall field command of the Hebonnor war had been entrusted to her. But General Dahl'Arak was also concerned with the movements of the Populists in the city towards staging a change of government. Captain Lo'Kee being discredited but available in the city, now seemed a good candidate for such an operation. Captain Xuunera Lo'Kee would be missing from her command for months, her lieutenant would run the outpost garrison in her stead. Conjecture: Possibly General Lo'Kee had officially stripped the disgraced officer temporarily of her active command? That might explain why Captain Lo'Kee was allowed to remain in the city?
Maylara the Secret AgentEdit
Training from the other SpouseEdit
So, Captain Lo'Kee set about to train Maylara how to become a secret agent. For all parties involved, this must have been a truly bizarre experience for a hunted and 'well interrogated' person to suddenly be working for the person who had pursued her and tortured her. Particularly in the same house that Captain Lo'Kee's husband, Hubbaerrzo, had kept her hidden as a sex slave, Maylara was even kept locked in the same closet wardrobe that Hubbaerrzo had kept her! On the other hand, Hubbaerrzo himself had been beaten as well by the captain and was sent away at this time to his mother, with full expectation of divorce, so her former master was no longer a factor at this time. Also, Maylara was now training in parts of the house that she had never seen before.
May was desperate to do well, largely as it was her only real avenue of survival, and a great deal had been promised to her. Her life and freedom for one, and honorary Negeemi citizenship which included allowing her to wear a priestess cloak. But all that was dependent on acting as an agent and getting results. Training wasn't easy, Laeh'le Dahl'Arak trained her in magic, and in codes, much to Laeh'le's chagrin, as she had developed an 'attitude' towards Maylara. This was largely due to their bad beginning when Maylara assaulted her and stole her priestess coat, but probably also because Maylara was a 'natural' in using magic, in being a thief and in so much of what she was learning? The two had an adversarial relationship during their training. Captain Lo'Kee herself, including her young daughters Carlae Lo'Kee and Imojin, also contributed to this training in teaching Maylara to become a much more accomplished fighter.
Conjecture: It's possible that May learned much of lower class drow and how to act naturally among them from the household slaves?
May did establish some halting rapport among her captors. She would make a pact with the two young Lo'Kee daughters, Carlae and Imojin, to mend relations with their parents in exchange for the girls arranging for Maylara to send word of her situation to her parents in Gigfran Nyth. Sometime thereafter, when Captain Xuunera Lo'Kee had gotten herself drunk in her sorrow, she attempted to rape Maylara in revenge and in trying to understand what feminine wiles Maylara must have to seduce her husband. Maylara took the opportunity to play 'marriage councilor' in explaining what Hubbaerzzo might have been looking for emotionally and sexually. Indeed, Xuunera would later summon her husband and patch their relations as a result.
Maylara's relations with Laeh'le Dahl'Arak? May would steal a magic book from her and study it herself on her own time!
The Cult of the FlowerEdit
Maylara's purpose was to infiltrate the "Cult of the Flower" a commonly used term for the church of Jabharil, a goddess of love and fertility, whose worship coming to the city had been a result of the acquisition of the conquered Kalhari drow people, and the expanding trade of Negeémiliel. The Negeémi law allowed considerable freedom of worship and polytheist worship, but Jabharil worship had been an import from a foreign drow culture, and it had become very popular in the city. Mostly among the poor and disenfranchised, but had been making inroads among the middle class, plus a few wealthy commoners and even a small number of citizens, mostly of the Negeemi Negeémi Populist Party. The Jabharil Cult had started violent demonstrations and performed various disruptive or illegal acts and terrorism. Yet the Low Council of the city was controlled by the Negeémi Populist Party, and in votes along party lines, refused to act to decisively crush the cult or declare it illegal.
There were many reasons for this reticence, not the least of which was the sheer and growing numbers of Jabharil adherents had transformed the politics of the city in itself, and the Populist Party was loathe to crush this cultural phenomenon. Especially as the cult's presence was generally to the benefit of the Populist Party, even if it arguably threatened the elitism of the Negeemi Acolyte System. That the Cult of the Flower threatened the acolytes of the city was no secret, as commoners supporting the system had been murdered, and even citizens had been murdered, and Academy girls initiated to Negeé had been kidnapped or murdered on the streets as well. The rival and minority Negeémi Senatorial Party in the Low Council, and the majority in the High Council had come to suspect that the Populists were using the Cult of the Flower to their own ends.
Maylara was to investigate the Jabharil Church to determine if there were links to the Populist Party, and to also try and determine where kidnapped initiate children were being held, perhaps freeing them if feasible. So, upon the completion of her training, she was sent out to infiltrate the Cult of the Flower. Doubtlessly, much of her training involved learning more about the intricacies of the city, and how to speak to various persons so as to cause less suspicion. Her cover story was that she was an escaped slave apparently from outside the city of Negeémiliel named "Neroe Idrizzi", the first name doubtlessly chosen by May herself, perhaps as a personal 'tweak' to her captors, or perhaps a means of inspiring herself to succeed so as she could rejoin her hopefully escaped friend. Beyond the name and that she had been an escaped slave, specifics of her cover story have never been revealed.
Infiltrating the CultEdit
She was successful in joining the Cult of the Flower as a 'fanatic' of theFanatics of Jabharil, a 'fanatic' being the common term for masked minions of the CotF, who operated outside the law, and supposedly outside of the hierarchy of the Jabharil Cult. In short, the actions of the fanatics were always disavowed by the Jabharil leadership as the actions of Jabharil fanatics, not the church itself. While the acolytes investigating the crimes of these fanatics were not at all fooled by this trickery, as very large numbers of fanatics would be captured and interrogated, many of these captured fanatics doubtlessly knowing enough to reveal damning information; the politically divided Low Council would not vote to act in crushing the Jabharil Church.
Indeed, Maylara, in her identity of Neroe Idrizzi the escaped slave, was inducted by the Jabharil sentry Akordia or "Scarface", and would meet several other inductees at this time. Two of these would be Musshil Kesalf, and Chadie Maltree, both of whom would become members of the Jabharil Trio. Maylara would learn that there would be many reasons for joining the cult, mostly due to reasons of the privations of the poor in the city, especially as grain shortages from the surface, caused by the ever growing population explosion of the city, as well as acute effects by the ongoing Hebonnor war, was directing many of the poor to the cult for reasons having little to do with faith. The Jabharil would give grain to the families of those drow who served the cult or would give their lives to the cult. Or, the church would give loans of money, and then sometimes call in those loans in the form of induction into the fanatics.
Musshil Kesalf was one who joined because she was part of a family that was reduced to slow starvation, and her great aunt forced her to join to bring food to the family. Chad'wii Maltree joined on the 'invitation' of the church so as to repay her loan to the Jabharil church. Maylara was intrigued by Chad'wii (Chadie) due to her having the same family name and having a similar large bust and larger build and general appearance as herself. She learned that Chadie was from the near surface drow village of Animadelia, and that she left due to youthful arrogance, and wanted to return; and in this way Maylara learned of her family origins. Maylara, in her "Neroe Idrizzi" identity, would stick close to Chadie and would be joined by the petite and reticent Musshil (Musshy).
Kidnapping an InitiateEdit
It is somewhat unclear how long the three operated together, as their original assignment was to interfere with a service dedicated to Negee, yet they also performed a kidnapping mission that has been described as their "first mission"? One might speculate that they performed little jobs as fanatics before being entrusted to a kidnapping? Also to how the information of the initiated girl they were to kidnap was leaked as the Jabharil Cult had at least one shopkeeper acting as a spy to watch the three fanatics, to ensure that the kidnapping was real and that they were performing well. In any case, it was a setup, using the Initiated girl Carlae Lo'Kee as the target.
Captain Xuunera Lo'Kee used her own daughter as Maylara was on hand and would ostensibly ensure her daughter's safety, and that using slave girls dressed in initiate uniforms had never long fooled the cult, probably because they had inside information of the initiated girls being leaked to their leadership by the Populist Party? Initiated girls from Populist families seem to have suffered less attacks than those of Senatorial families, but nonetheless, many attacks seem to have been unplanned murders and kidnappings done spontaneously by fanatics, all of whom were ignorant that they were also serving the Populist Party as well as their cult.
Young Initiated Carlae did a good job, as she didn't meekly accept kidnapping but fought back hard in front of a small group of commoners (one of whom was Captain Lo'Kee in disguise). Indeed, Carlae may have fought back too hard as the kidnapping attempt almost unraveled, as Carlae had felled or momentarily stunned both Chadie and "Neroe", with only Musshy's dogged efforts explaining how Carlae failed to escape. In any event, Maylara did manage to stun Carlae into unconsciousness and the kidnapping mission succeeded, with the storeowner spy reporting favorable things about the three. In this way, Maylara was accepted into the "visible" Jabharil Cult along with her two companions as they showed good teamwork. However long their 'internship' as fanatics was, this represented a meteoric rise for all of them!
Investigating the Temple of the FlowerEdit
As sentries, the three now operated in the Jabharil main temple during an important Jabharil festival, which was another bit of good luck for May. (Speculation: The Jabharil festival might have been tied to the Vernal Equinox, as it was a religion related to surface fertility performed to commemorate the coming of spring and the blooming of flowers? If so, the festival may have taken place during the last part of March of 2428 a.a.H.?)
Maylara would learn many things by observation, such as her friend Neroe's former mistress Naeshi was a member of the Jabharil Church, that acolytes would appear at the temple incognito, and by knocking out a slave girl named Larylene and replacing her in attending the Jabharil High Priestess Ma'Az and the daughter of the High Sorceress of the Temple of Doom Ver'acea Paen'Dhirra. From this, Maylara learned that there was indeed a connection between the cult and the Populist party, and that messages between the two were sent using a magic box that would destroy its contents if not opened properly by the correct magic key. Obtaining the messages would now become paramount to the later strategy of the spies.
Freeing the Captive ChildrenEdit
In the meantime, when the timing was right during the ongoing, days long Jabharil festival, Maylara made new use of the slave that she knocked out, using her authority as a sentry, and that the slave was in potential trouble for "sleeping on the job", Maylara had her serve much alcohol to sentries who were on duty or soon to go on duty. Maylara, as "Neroe Idrizzi" of course, was often partnered with Chadie Maltree, and the cultivated a friendship in their brief time together. How long they served together is a matter of some conjecture, but it was at least long enough for demands of ransom to sent to Captain Lo'Kee and for her to pay the ransom so as to protect her kidnapped daughter Carlae. Initiate Carlae herself, had managed to get beat up by Akordia and other sentry or fanatic guards on duty at the temple, despite the paid ransom, but was fortunately still able to function and prepare for an escape.
Maylara left the dungeon with Chadie, but excused herself and returned, sneaking up on drunk guards and knocking them out and stunning them with magic. It turned into a bit of a fight at the end, but the alarm wasn't raised. Maylara freed the captive girls, and using fanatic uniforms for the older girls, and smaller children's clothes woven with Jabharil flower patterns, the clothes helpfully supplied by the slave Larylene, the escaped girls defeated a couple guards themselves in a house over the secret dungeon, and surreptitiously emerged from the house, and mixed the Jabharil worshipers in the festival. Maylara had a conversation with Chadie, urging her to desert the cult as they went off duty. This would make Chadie suspicious and would lead to a bit of a problem.
The Jabharil TrioEdit
Maylara successfully brought the freed initiated girls to Captain Lo'Kee's house, however, Laeh'le Dahl'Arak was an acolyte observing the departure of the girls at a point between the temple and the Lo'Kee house, and detected three Jabharil adherents trailing Maylara. She in turn spied on them, and would capture them after they broke into a house near to the Captain's house. The three were Chadie Maltree, who had convinced Musshy Kesalf and Musshy's partner Numeda Tri'Se, into following "Neroe" in order to question her and keep her from making a mistake by deserting the cult; the three cultists would become known by the acolytes in the Captain's house as the "Jabharil Trio".
The three would now be imprisoned in the house dungeon and interrogated and beaten by the captain, with the captain willing to at least pretend that she was holding their safety hostage to Maylara's continued good behavior. She had learned of the letter that Maylara had sent with the aid of her own daughters, and was made suspicious of that event, and of the capture of the "Jabharil Trio" even as she was pleased by the overall success of the mission. Captain Lo'Kee's concerns would be settled by careful questioning, torture, and drugs to ensure that the three were not a sign of some betrayal by May. Afterwards, Captain Lo'Kee wished to use the three as a gift to the capturing priestess in her command, Laeh'le Dahl'Arak, in part because she'd already partially 'earned a share' of them by capturing them, but mostly as a means of demonstrating to the priestess's powerful mother, Leg of the Spider, Danieh'le Dahl'Arak, that her often inept daughter had some skill and potency as an acolyte priestess after all.
That the youngest of Danieh'le Dahl'Arak's daughters had captured the three would hopefully make Lo'Kee's training of Laeh'le look less lacking, and it was also a good way for the captain to punish Maylara and to try and restrain her more chaotic habits for fear of what she might do to her cousin Chadie, and friend Musshy.
The Light Blue RibbonsEdit
Over a period of a few days, Maylara was assigned the duty to return the children that she had rescued to their homes, along with a request that the family would support the position Captain Lo'Kee and Leg of the Spider General Dahl'Arak should the city spin into civil war. Maylara was used for this role as Populist agents on the street wouldn't know her as a Senatorial agent, although this action might well have increased the probability of her face becoming known to some of them? As strange luck would have it, one of the very young initiates that Maylara brought home was to the shop of Naeshi and Gaveo! It seems that the girl wasn't imprisoned so much as Naeshi was using the dungeon as her child daycare!
Gaveo had vowed revenge on the person that he realized might be the "Fake Priestess" that the city was still excited about, as the search for her never officially ended, though Lo'Kee had Maylara in her dungeon and on assignment for several weeks at least or even a few months by this time. For the protection of his shop, and a quick access of blades, he had contracted with the "Light Blue Ribbons", a mercenary company of little good repute. Used more as guards or brute muscle in private business in the city than "military grade" activities. Naeshi, seeing May reappear, in a priestess cloak and acolyte uniform, immediately called out an alarm. May was forced to defend herself from their attacks and to defeat them. Mostly through good use of the bottleneck of the front doorway, her increased fighting skill, natural acrobatics, and some judicious magic stun spells, she defeated several of these guards in a quick fight that she made look easy.
May followed up her victory by threatening Naeshi, and informing her to tell her backer and 'master', Gaveo, to stay well away from her in the future. Also, to mind her daughter better than to leave her in the care of fanatics of the Cult of the Flower! She then used a small fireball spell to start some piles of fabric aflame in order to punctuate her threat, and to demonstrate that her power was very real.
This event would start a new round of rumors in the city regarding the return of the "Fake Priestess", even if no one could say for certain which side she was on. The fight, and rumors of the fight, also impressed Hanster Lo'Kee, the niece of Captain Lo'Kee, that Maylara was a skilled fighter, and maybe someone she wanted know. Previously, Hanster had a less favorable opinion of Maylara as she'd been the one to deliver the letter to her parents in her home village of Gigfran Nyth. The trip to that village, in the seasonal cold and a dangerous fight with mountain elf bandits was less than safe and pleasant for her, although May's parents did give her some cookies for the good news that she had brought!
The Temple of DoomEdit
Following the completion of the mission of the Cult of the Flower, a month went by as messages were sent to General Dahl'Arak, and more plans were made. Getting the information from the High Sorceress of the Temple of Doom was indeed deemed most important. Fortunately, Captain Lo'Kee was the former captain of the citadel-temple, and Laeh'le was an alter tender who knew of 'secret' places that were now used as cubbyholes for lower ranking priestesses, and older initiates serving as under-priestesses at the temple. Secret passages and rooms that were now dormitory or preparation rooms or storage; these would make for convenient spaces for Maylara to slip out of sight. Conjecture: It is logical that the captain spent some time refining Maylara's skill in lock picking as she was familiar with the big safe in the inner sanctum of the High Sorceress.
Maylara and Laeh'le Dahl'Arak made a trip over the bridge hovering above the Abyss of Doom, a great shaft like chasm that is near the center of the city, and entered into the Temple of Doom. Maylara was dressed in her priestess coat and uniform, and was also wearing the black lacquered Dahl'Arak headband that is indicative of members of the clan, and those who serve them. Maylara was going into the temple pretending to be a Dahl'Arak cousin, should anyone ask, they were going to the temple for some unspecified duty, real or fabricated. Laeh'le helped Maylara enter a 'secret' passageway, and then went about her business to provide cover.
Note: Laeh'le must have been in the temple for quite a long time for one trip. One might speculate that she left and returned, perhaps with the explanation that her 'cousin' was staying behind for services? Or she might have stayed for the day and slept there? This proved to be a short mission, but it is unknown how long it went on for, as it must have taken many hours. Adding to the uncertainty is that the Temple of Doom was now under Populist control, and a headquarters of the Populist party, effectively enemy territory for the daughter of the Senatorial Party's General Danieh'le Dahl'Arak? Still, the danger was more from anyone spying on her in the temple than physically at this time, as the Temple of Doom had a vast open courtyard for the public, and as a priestess, Laeh'le had the right to enter areas of the interior.
Maylara entered the passageway that Laeh'le had shown her, and knocked out and hid a junior priestess that she found there. She dressed as a slave in the livery and collar expected of slaves in the temple, and then passed into some new areas of the temple. Whether she was able to come into contact with Laeh'le in this guise in not known. Maylara took on the name of "Laeh'le" a slave, doubtlessly another jab at her 'frenemy' Laeh'le Dahl'Arak. While in the temple, Maylara, worked in the temple laundry as 'Laeh'le the Slave', and then wandered about for some time with a laundry basket and looked for a way to get into the inner sanctum and the personal apartments of the High Sorceress. Within her laundry basket were her thieves' tools that she would likely need.
Suddenly, an acolyte approached Maylara and she was summoned into the inner sanctum. Despite her fear, she went ahead, it seems that the High Sorceress herself saw her outside and wanted her, or there was a blanket order to send anyone of May's description in for the High Sorceress to examine. The High Sorceress, Selene Paen'Dhirra, was a slight, petite woman of enormous power and voracious appetites. She had a liking for drow women who were tall and busty, and Maylara filled the bill nicely. Selene already had three temple slaves that she used for her personal pleasure, but she was happy to look into gaining a fourth.
This is not so improbable a risk as it seems as all temple slaves are raised from birth to serve the temples of Negee, and so are fanatically loyal and dutiful slaves. Also, they had enchanted collars that magically lock about the throats of the slaves, and have an aura that presumably serves to 'authenticate' them. Conjecture: Laeh'le may have been the one to create a 'forged' magic aura about Maylara's slave collar? This might be another reason why Maylara referred to her slave identity as "Laeh'le"?
Maylara had found her way into the presence of the High Sorceress, and was obliged to sexually service her along with the other three slaves, named Ash'ni, Sash'ara, and Lana, the "Inner Sanctum Trio". After two hours of love making, the High Sorceress ordered her slaves to sleep, at which point the three slaves curled up in pillows and did just that. Maylara pretended to do likewise, but marveled at the phenomenon of the slaves just falling asleep on command, and wondered if perhaps a spell was in place that caused that to happen. There was never a definitive answer to the question as none of the slaves never woke up until some time later, maybe hours later.
Selene would have an important conversation with her daughter, which was why she put the slaves to sleep, and didn't seem too concerned about them waking up, on the other hand, she never said it was impossible, and would check on them as well. It is possible that the slaves may well have simply been trained to sleep on command through auto-suggestion? However the process worked, it was another case of good fortune for Maylara!
Selene and her daughter, Ver'acea Paen'Dhirra, did indeed have a conversation where they discussed the coming coup in some detail with Maylara listening in. Much of having to do with the use of the Cult of the Flower being used as the minions of the Negeémi Populist Party. The cult would have also been used as a scape-goat to bring the acolytes together to fight and dispose of, even as a coup would have taken place to restore order, and replace key Senatorial Councilwomen in the high and low councils with Populists.
Unfortunately, General Dahl'Arak was revealed to have won a major battle on the surface against the Hebonnor elves, and had captured their king. This battle was the Battle of Cilfach, and this event was forcing them to accelerate their plans. Also, May got to hear them speculate about the "False Priestess"--herself--much to her enjoyment.
Opening the BoxEdit
In time, Selene would dismiss Ver'acea and take the magic box that she had brought with her. The box that Maylara was concerned about getting hold of. Selene cast the spell necessary to open the box, but Maylara very carefully used her spell thief ability and stole the spell, causing it to fail much to Selene's consternation. Selene was suspicious and checked her slaves behind their curtain, but Maylara had managed to get herself back into position just in time, and just quietly enough not to be detected. Selene might have been a schemer and sex addict, but she did seem to have a charming attitude towards her sleeping slaves, and dismissed the failure of her spell to herself being tired after sex, and returned to the box and her papers and Selene opened the box on her next try as she usually did which allayed her concerns.
After a time of writing and reading, Selene finished up, and left. May got up, with some difficulty got ahold of the laundry basket that was fortunately not disturbed, and retrieved her thieves' tools from the basket. First Maylara had to pick the lock to a large lock for the safe box that the magic box was locked in, then she entered into the safe and avoided traps within, including the temptation to steal items that weren't part of her mission that might have been trapped. May used the spell she stole to open the magic box, along with necessary lock picking as well, as there was a physical component to the box's locking mechanism as well.
May successfully opened the box, but she found that the records were in code. She thought about copying what she could, but instead just took the original papers, and then made many random letters of script on her blank pages. She then placed her gibberish papers into the magic box and deliberately tripped it, so that the magic would release an acid reservoir that would destroy the papers within beyond all reading. In this way, Maylara hoped to cover up the theft of the papers. She did complete her operation literally just in time, as she was putting her materials away, she found that the slave Ash'ni had woken up and began to playfully tease and sexually harass her. Fortunately Ash'ni had not noticed that Maylara was placing anything in her laundry basket, but nearly discovered the papers by kicking the basket in her frustration at May's refusal of her entreaties.
Leaving the Temple of DoomEdit
Maylara managed to leave the inner sanctum of the Temple of Doom, with her basket of laundry, and the encoded papers. She was to soon report to the "House of Pleasure", a facility in the Temple of Doom where techniques of love making are practiced.
Conjecture: This may be a facility where males and females sexually service acolytes or are inducted and trained to do so? A picture from the "Drow Trio" story alluded to such a place within the Temple of Doom, so it is logical that this is the same place? However, nothing more is known of the specifics of the House of Pleasure.
Maylara left the inner sanctum to supposedly return the laundry basket, and presumably her excuse for leaving would have had the practical value of informing her former overseer that she was now assigned to the House of Pleasure and the High sorceress. She found that she was assigned more work in trying to leave the temple! Plus, an overly helpful slave nearly took her laundry basket from her, so there were plenty of worries for her even after overcoming so much, and Maylara's nerves seem to have reached their exhaustion. She did hear again that General Dahl'Arak had won a major victory and Populist Captain of the Guard in the Temple of Doom was much worried about this and wanted to reinforce security.
Maylara managed to reenter the hidden passageway network, she removed her slave uniform and became an 'acolyte priestess' once again. She also took the chance on releasing the junior priestess that she had tied up and locked away many hours earlier, and pretended not to believe her claims of being attacked, and set her to work polishing temple silver to keep this junior priestess busy and more unlikely to raise any alarms! Finally, Maylara rejoined Laeh'le and the two left the temple with no further mishap, surely much to their relief. The two managed to go on a successful mission with each other, although they couldn't resist some final snipes at each other.
The two returned to Xuunera Lo'Kee's house, and reported to her as Captain Lo'Kee was torturing a male spy who had infiltrated the house. Conjecture: This might have been the same agent that was caught by Captain Lo'Kee that was alluded to in the conversation between Selene Paen'Dhirra and her daughter, Ver'acea? Or the agent being referred to might have been a woman who was captured over a month earlier, while Maylara's Cult of the Flower mission was going on? In any case, Lo'kee listened to the report of her agents, doubtlessly relieved that it worked, and assigned Laeh'le the responsibility of decoding the captured notes.
Maylara was given leave to relax within the house, she took the opportunity to steal a bottle of the captain's wine, and set about to enjoy herself. She was then interrupted by Larylene, the slave whose role she had replaced in her mission in the Jabharil Temple of the Flower, and whom she had ordered to unwittingly help her get the Jabharil guards drunk and obtain clothes for those captured girls to escape with, and finally 'ran off' with her. Captain Lo'Kee awarded Larylene to Maylara as another reward for her service. In all probability, the captain might have been motivated in bothering Maylara with a slave, as she knew that it would make her uncomfortable. Captain Lo'Kee might have also intended it as a reminder that she held May's cousin Chadie, and friend Musshy, and that she was having them trained as slaves. Certainly, after being the sexual slave of Hubbaerrzo Lo'Kee, and then roleplaying the role with Selene Paen'Dhirra, the presence of Larylene would be of considerable discomfort for May.
Maylara the war PriestessEdit
Laeh'le Dahl'Arak succeeded in her role as code-breaker in translating the papers that Maylara had stolen from the magic box. This led to new communications with her mother, General Danieh'le Dahl'Arak, who had determined that civil war was impossible to prevent. The general did her part to play the foppish fool to allay the concerns of the Populist Party, and to buy her own forces more time to counter the coming coup d'état. Maylara's spell thief abilities would come in useful yet again.
Sparring with Hanster Lo'KeeEdit
Hanster Lo'Kee, Captain Lo'Kee's niece, had been reassigned to work under her. She had been used by her cousins Carlae and Imojin, and indirectly by Maylara, to deliver the letter to Maylara's parents, whom she thought were surface elf agents for Negeémiliel, and could have lost her life in getting that letter delivered. She was eager for some 'payback', but was also intrigued about Maylara as the mysterious agent of her aunt, and also as a capable drow who had lived outside of the stratified and regulated Negeémiliel society. Despite being in her aunt's home, she also felt lonely and out of place, as she was now living in increasingly close quarters with acolytes older than her, not the ones she had trained with and served with over half her life.
Hanster had been forbidden by her aunt to interact with Maylara, but she chose to disregard that stricture, and had a quick sparring match with her. Maylara was trounced fairly easily to the amusement of the other acolytes present, being no match for the large, strong, trained acolyte. Hanster was pleased, because she won a bet with Maylara for her bed, and suddenly won the acceptance of her fellow acolytes. Hanster was a generous winner and seemed friendly to May once she got her 'payback'.
Conjecture: Hanster and Maylara might have become more friendly and trained together later on in the coming weeks?
Training with Shi'Nill Dahl'ArakEdit
Following a show at a theatre called the "Theater of the Chimera" Captain Xuunera Lo'Kee and Councilwoman Shi'Nill Dahl'Arak surreptitiously met, and entered a nondescript building near the theatre where they continued their discussions about the Senatorial Party's 'counter-coup'. Waiting inside was Maylara Maltree, who was introduced to Shi'Nill Dahl'Arak for the first time. Her political role as councilwoman aside, Shi'Nill was the eldest daughter of General Danieh'le Dahl'Arak, and would be fully trusted, for a price. Most importantly, she was useful in that she was a powerful war priestess, renowned for her power and lethality in battle. Shi'Nill was meant to the Senatorial Party's spell-caster who would challenge and kill or capture the Populist High Sorceress, Selene Paen'Dhirra. Maylara's role was to back Shi'Nill up and neutralize attacks against her by her spell thief ability.
Shi'Nill tested Maylara harshly, and defeated both May and May's spell thievery with a 'mana-burning' spell, and her own martial prowess. Although retired several years earlier from the army, Shi'Nill had been a premier war priestess and was still quite capable. Shi'Nill defeated Maylara fairly easily, even so, Shi'Nill saw enough promise in May to train with her in preparation of the confrontation with the powerful High Sorceress Selene. Maylara was then set up to become a green grocer, (conjecture: perhaps peddling surface vegetables from the surface through the streets), but taking her vegetables to the Dahl'Arak house as cover for their training. It is known that Maylara took her slave Larylene along with her to help her maintain the cover of these excursions.
On one of these trips to the Dahl'Arak house, Larylene's boredom and curiosity got the better of her, and she dressed as a Dahl'Arak slave, she got caught and it was revealed that she was unhappy with her old slave dress, and was often hungry as she wasn't always well fed in the Lo'Kee house. Maylara had some fun with her slave by going to a used clothes bazaar and getting old clothes for her to dress in and settling on an orange hoodie with pouches for the ears! It seemed that Maylara was starting to get accustomed to her slave, unfortunately, her slave couldn't necessarily say the same about her! Maylara would have preferred to free her slave, but that was both illegal to free a slave in Larylene's age category, and the prospect terrified the slave who had known nothing else. They were stuck with each other until May found a new home for her; Maylara wasn't going to just sell her in a sordid market, or give her away to just anyone.
The Senatorial 'Self' Coup d'étatEdit
The Battle With the High SorceressEdit
(Warning -- Spoiler)
The Senatorial forces, including Captain Lo'Kee launched their own coup successfully before the Populists enacted their own. it seems that Maylara had been reasonably well accepted as a sort of 'specialist' in the midst of the acolytes, and Maylara would fight as a team mate with the Shi'Nill Dahl'Arak. The duel with the two versus Selene Paen'Dhirra tested all parties severely. Selene nearly defeated both the teammates.
Maylara acted as a 'sniper' firing a crossbow bolt at Selene, while Shi'Nill dueled her. This distracted the High Sorceress, and Selene counter attacked but Maylara would successfully steal the spell used against her, but remained in hiding for an opportune time. Although Shi'Nill Dahl'Arak fought most impressively, she was outmatched and benefitted from Maylara's distracting their opponent. But their combined attack pushed Selene to the brink, but still failed to overcome her. Indeed, Selene Paen'Dhirra would actually fell both of them with one massive counter attack after their double-team attack failed.
Fortunately, Selene was both still smitten and enraged over Maylara, and had recognized her as the agent who had infiltrated Selene's own inner sanctum. Selene toyed with the barely conscious Maylara, wanting May to beg for her life and for the life of a sex slave. Maylara attempted to steal the magic force that Selene was using to empower herself, but failed, either due to May's exhaustion, or Selene's spell being too high level. It did momentarily disrupt Selene's power, which surprised and angered Selene all the more.
Selene resolved to kill Maylara, but was felled by Shi'Nill stunning her with a powerful spell of some sort. Shi'Nill had broken her arm, but had feigned unconsciousness. Fortunately, Selene's attention was taken up by the barely conscious Maylara. High Sorceress Selene was defeated by her own distraction of the surface drow who had defeated her by stealing her secrets, and now by her distracting her.
Siege of the Temple of DoomEdit
The Senatorial forces had been successful in both capturing the Temple of Doom and its High Sorceress. They still had to hold it against both the Populist Acolytes, and also against the Jabharil fanatics that would besiege the temple in very large numbers. Surrounding buildings and the plaza to the south of the temple would be torn apart in an effort to retake the temple. For many hours, running into days, Maylara would struggle to defend the main, south face of the temple, usually with her crossbow, along with the acolytes she had lived with for some weeks and months. More than once, charges against the temple would come to hand to hand fighting. Fortunately, most of their adversaries would be poorly trained Jabharil fanatics, but they would be pressed hard by Populist acolytes as well.
The importance of the Temple of Doom would make it a primary target for the Populists to retake, just as it was a target for the Senatorials. This might well have served as an important distraction from other important targets that may have been much more vulnerable? The civil war in the city ended when Leg of the Spider Danieh'le Dahl'Arak's army broke through and defeated several Populist forces and positions. The city of Negeémiliel had collapsed into lawlessness to the extent that Populists and Senatorial forces joined together to restore order from rioting and looting slaves and commoners.
Return to Being the Temple SlaveEdit
Maylara was rewarded for her efforts. She was openly honored as a 'Temple Slave That Overthrew the Corrupt High Sorceress', literally appearing in public in slave dress again. The implication being that the noble and well trained temple slaves despised the faithless Selene Paen'Dhirra, and acted to remove her themselves when the opportunity presented itself. The 'Temple Slave' becoming a legendary figure, Maylara Maltree appearing many times acting the role of the 'Temple Slave' in celebrations and public gatherings, and ultimately publically freed for her contribution.
Presumably, false records were created to demonstrate the existence of the 'Temple Slave' for anyone curious or investigating this strange personage. As the Temple Slaves of Negeé are trained, live, and serve separate from the greater slave population, there may well be presumably a separate system for accounting for them? Especially as the State is a theology with Negeé as its matron deity. So such a system might well be manipulated to create a new identity where the secular system ran by the Negeémi Slave Commission might have been more difficult?
Travails of House Char'IsstraEdit
Far more difficult, but nonetheless enacted, was bequeathing Maylara with the false identity of one Hasstin Char'Isstra. An acolyte of the Char'Isstra house had served the new Negeémi dictator Danieh'le Dahl'Arak well, but the Char'Isstra house had joined the Populist cause in the civil war. As a result of this, the house was censored in that its matron was disgraced and removed as the head of the Char'Isstra family, and the family had lost its holdings. In addition to this, the young acolyte Hasstin Char'Isstra had disappeared, captured, in actuality, by intelligence forces of the Hebonnor mountain elves. The absence of young Hasstin having a devastating effect on the family in that it limited the benefits arising from an initiative to promote more acolytes entering into the system.
Becoming an 'Acolyte'Edit
Maylara was therefore given the identity of the lost young acolyte Hasstin Char'Isstra. Hasstin's mother was now the new matron of her house, and was now being rewarded for her excellent performance on the field, and capture of the Hebonnor mountain elf king Hildetriel IV the Young in the Battle of Cilfach. The 'reward' was having her daughter restored to her in the form of Maylara Maltree! Hence, Maylara was to assume the identity of Hasstin Char'Isstra, a difficult proposition as she and Hasstin looked very little alike. A further reward was that House Char'Isstra would receive title to the small drow near-surface settlement of Animadelia, and May's home village of Gigfran Nyth
Both Maylara and her new 'mother' were understandably less than happy with this new arrangement. The new matron in that she had to lie and pretend that Maylara was her daughter Hasstin, and open and operate monetary accounts in her name. Also, in that Maylara wasn't a real acolyte in any way, and was effectively an alien to the society. She was also very concerned if the lie was supportable; Danieh'le Dahl'Arak assured her that 'Hasstin' would be assigned to the surface out of the sight of the acolytes who knew Hasstin.
Threat of Danieh'le Dahl'ArakEdit
The acquisition of all the people important to Maylara under the control of House Char'Isstra was clearly meant as a means of manipulating Maylara as, in one stroke, it placed May's childhood home, and her blood family that she had never known, under the thumb of Danieh'le Dahl'Arak, autocrat of the Negeémi State. The greatest reason was to ensure that Maylara had nowhere familiar to run, and to ensure that she would remain 'available' as an agent for Danieh'le Dahl'Arak into the future. The reward for hard work--is hard work.
Speculation: Danieh'le Dahl'Arak has an old relationship with the Maltree family. Maylara's great grandmother, Missy Maltree, had once served as a 'superior officer' to Danieh'le when she was a newly graduated Acolyte, in the opening days of the First War of the Power. Missy was a Dungeandar drow and the ways of Missy and Danieh'le were foreign to each other, and their personalities clashed. The two argued and Missy would punish the Negeémi 'military advisor', and would be overheard plotting to sell the then young Danieh'le as a slave along with some captured human Amazons.
Danieh'le would therefore betray Missy Maltree first, abandoning her treacherous Dungeandar drow cohorts to an oncoming patrol of Amazons after stealing one of the prisoners for herself to satisfy the mission to gain intelligence of the amazons. As Danieh'le has a certain fetish for incorporating personal enemies of hers, or their family, into her own family or house in some way, it is speculated that she might well be doing something similar with young Maylara Maltree?
Story Timeline and ConjecturesEdit
- Autumn 2425: Neroe Rhedyn and Maylara leave home.
- Spring 2426: Maylara and Neroe are in Zannas (May's skill with lock picking and such made me wonder if she'd have some urban adventures to pick up more sophisticated rogue skills before being accepted as an official Adventurer's Guild (tm) Rogue? Besides, they were officially at 2nd level when they joined up with Bog?)
- 15 Mar? 2427: Maylara and Neroe have joined with the Bog adventure, get captured and enslaved.
- 05 Apr? 2427: Maylara sold to Hubbaerrzo at the Outpost, Drow Trio captured by Roothar.
- 15 Dec? 2427: Battle of High Gadolinia, Drow defeat.
- 01 Jan? 2428: Preparations for relief army begins. This might explain Xuunera Lo'Kee's presence in Negeémiliel and her family visit? She may have been trying to have her unit reassigned? This might have also explained why she believed that she was attacked in her home by the agent of a rival at this time? To spoil her chances for new glory?
- 03 Jan? 2428: Maylara escapes.
- 04 Jan? 2428: Capt. Lo'Kee investigates the infiltration. Goes back to the Outpost the next day, or the next after that.
- 06 Jan? 2428: May smuggles herself out of the city, aided by the upset of the defeat and acolyte mobilizations.
- 13 Jan? 2428: May's fight with Roothar and Laeh'le Dahl'Arak.
- 19 Jan? 2428: Clash between Lo'Kee forces and May's "orc minions" not too many hours far from Negeémiliel.
- 20 Jan? 2428: Return to Negeémiliel, fun with Gaveo and Naeshi. Lo'Kee gets permission from Gen Dahl'Arak to hunt for the 'super-agent'.
- 22 Jan? 2428: May is recaptured by Dobeshae Ven'Lark and interrogated for three days.
- 26 Jan? 2428: Lo'Kee presents plan to use May as a spy to General Danieh'le Dahl'Arak before she departs. May starts crash course training.
- 16 Feb? 2428: May makes deal with the Lo'Kee girls to send letter to her parents?
- 09 Mar? 2428: May starts her mission and joins the Cult of the Flower.
- 18 Mar? 2428: May and Lo'Kee have set up plan to kidnap Carlae Lo'Kee. (There has to be enough time to for the Cult to demand a ransom and to receive it. May learns what she needs to know during the Jabharil festival starting in a few days from this point. The festival may have been chosen as a good opportunity to spy for this mission?
- 26 Mar? 2428: Jabharil Temple Mission concludes? (Jabharil festival runs several days that begin with the vernal equinox?) Jabharil Trio are captured by Laeh'le.
- 29 Mar? 2428: May concludes returning rescued children home, fight with Gaveo's goons.
- 15 Apr? 2428: Battle of Cilfach.
- 01 May? 2428: Word of battle reaches Negeemiliel. (a week to reach the Fallen Doors, a week to travel through Kazrrad?)
- 04 May? 2428: Mission at the Temple of Doom completed. The upset of the news of this victory might have goaded Lo'Kee and company to enact the mission at this time?
- 15 May? 2428: Unexpected Meeting between Lo'Kee and Gen. Dahl'Arak.
- 20 May? 2428: Secret Meeting with Lo'Kee and Shi'Nill Dahl'Arak.
- 10 Jun? 2428: Maylara meets Shi'Nill, arrangements for training begin. Gen. Dahl'Arak had an answer for Lo'Kee regarding the demand of Shi'Nill, had to travel to base on surface and return, plus an arranged meeting?
- 15 Jun? 2428: Gen. Dahl'Arak returns for her first official visit to the city, to request a triumphant return. This return is supposedly meant to capitalize on her victory and weaken the Populist position. The Populist are loath to allow that, and also seize upon a delaying tactic to make Dahl'Arak's repeated demands seem more and more self centered and pompous to neutralize her role as national hero. In actuality, Dahl'Arak smuggles acolytes into the city, and mercenaries coming in as private women in small numbers, and Hebonnor slaves entering that can be turned to the Senatorial benefit.
Given the large number of trips to the surface and back, and the time taken to do so, Gen Dahl'Arak must have stayed in Kazrrad not too far from the city? It would take over two weeks for a message, let alone a troop detachment to make the round trip to a base on the surface?
- 31 Oct 2428: Conclusion of the Senatorial Self Coup d'état. Maylara obliged to play a part as a 'Heroic Temple Slave' who helped unseat Selene Paen'Dhirra.
- 01 Feb? 2429: Maylara meets with the newly installed House Matron and mother of Hasstin Char'Isstra, and agrees to assume the identity of Hasstin, the missing Acolyte daughter of the Matron of House Char'Isstra.
- 15 Apr? 2429: Maylara, with her semi-freed cousin Chadie Maltree, leave Negeémiliel to journey to Gigfran Nyth and Animadelia.
Maylara Maltree the real drow was allowed to leave the city with all potential charges against her dropped. Indeed, officially, she does not exist.
Maylara Maltree is the original character of animal-delos. http://animal-delos.deviantart.com/ . Her design and story made in a commission to Shabazik.