Descent into the Depths of the Earth

Descent into the Depths of the Earth by Undead), Paul Kidd - (ebook by Flandrel

Book: Descent into the Depths of the Earth by Undead), Paul Kidd - (ebook by Flandrel Read Free Book Online
Authors: Undead), Paul Kidd - (ebook by Flandrel
Tags: Greyhawk
faeries spied on him from afar, he pulled Cinders into
his lap and silently brushed the hell hound’s fur.
     
    * * *
     
    In the summer house, Escalla stood facing her mother. The
older woman kept her hands folded in her lap, her slanted eyes cold and serene.
The woman had the same thin face and long, straight golden hair as her daughter,
but there the resemblance ended. Escalla was a creature of pure passion, and she
paced like a leopard in a cage.
    “What the hell were you thinking—that I’d be a good daughter
if you asked, that I never meant to run away?” Escalla whirled in a rage. “What?
Are you totally stupid!”
    Escalla’s father and sister stood by the windows. Tielle
looked over at the burning north wing of the palace and smiled. “The prodigal
returns.”
    “You can shut up for a start! You spend about as much time at
home as I do!” Escalla flung a bitter jab at her father. “If she wants to play
at being the good girl, then have that Sable idiot marry her!”
    “It must be the heir.” Lord Charn paced, no longer the happy
father as he glared at his willful child. “To seal our return, we must marry our
heir into the Seelie Court.”
    “I’m not doing it!” Escalla flexed her fingers as though
wanting to choke something. “I can’t believe you thought you could round me up
like a wildcat and just marry me off!”
    Escalla’s mother looked down her nose at the angry girl. “If
necessary, a spell might calm you.”
    “Just try it!”
    Lord Charn chewed his moustache. Escalla had moved to a far
window where she stared angrily out at her mortal friends. The faerie lord paced
toward her, raising a spell to keep away curious ears and eyes.
    “Daughter, this is the marriage of dreams. Clan Sable is at
the pinnacle of the Seelie Court.”
    “Well those are not my dreams!” The girl turned, and
tears stood out in sharp green eyes that seemed so suddenly vulnerable. “Not my dreams!” Tired and trapped, Escalla ran fingers over her little skull.
“It’s been five years. For Erythnul’s sake, how did you find me?”
    “You happened to fall in range of our scrying spells just
when your mother needed you.” The faerie lord twiddled his fingers. “It’s a big
world. If you wanted to stay lost, you should have kept your distance and kept
your shields up.”
    “I have other uses for my spells. I do stuff these
days! Important stuff! Stuff that matters!” Escalla rubbed her eyes. “Five
years, Dad. Surely that was a clue that I’d gone for good.”
    “A mayfly flicker.” Lord Charn waved a hand at the gardens.
“Escalla, the council is almost at war over this. Clan Half Moon has convinced
the queen to reprieve us. Clan Sable is furious. When Nightshade left the court,
it was Sable that seized power. By welding Sable to Nightshade, we prevent a
rift in the court! It is the only way to return and bring peace!”
    “Why do they want us, dad? Why now?”
    “Because they need what we can do.” Lord Charn paced the room
beside his daughter. “We are the only clan with experience on the primal plane.
We have spied and studied, intermingled and coexisted with the powers peculiar
to this layer of the universe.”
    “It sounds thin.” With the slowglass necklace clenched like
brass knuckles in her hand, Escalla turned away. “Who’s this Tarquil, anyway? A
damned duelist?”
    “He’s a sorcerer and a swordsman.”
    “A murderer.” Escalla tugged her clothing tight about
her little frame. “I won’t do it.”
    Escalla’s father put a denser shield between himself and his
wife, then leaned quickly closer to his child. “Escalla! Your mother knows how much you value those mortal friends of yours. You refuse to do this, and
she will kill them.”
    The little faerie turned pale. She swung about to face the
window. Behind her, Escalla’s father hissed quietly in her ear. “Escalla, do not
underestimate your mother’s ambitions for power. The court means everything to
her.

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