Last Updated: June 14, 2012
The Fall of the House of Shobalar
Power and authority over others is the one of the most important indicators of your station in Drow society. Respect for those above your station (until you have the chance to usurp that power and rank) and distain for those below is the norm.
House Shobalar was reclusive, but not a weak house by any means, but without powerful allies was a prime candidate for elimination by an ambitious lower-ranked house.
The family was seldom seen in public, but when they were seen, they were usually accompanied by enormous spiders which had been bred for riding. These spiders could spew forth sticky strands of webbing to catch prey, not unlike that of a cave fisher.
House Shobalar was a house dominated by females. This house showcased six wizards, which wasn't unusual, until you realize that they were all female.
The wizards of the House were rumoured to be using spiders in strange and wondrous experiments. The small tidbits of information that fuelled these rumours had been gleaned by spies from the other houses through deceit, bribes and coercion.
It was a couple minutes after the glow from Narbondel (a great natural rock pillar at the centre of the city, which joins floor and ceiling in a massive shaft) had faded, indicating midnight on the surface that the assault on the House of Shobalar began. Only the low whistle of hand crossbow bolts in flight, gave any indication that a great battle was to ensue.
Most of the night watch were despatched during the first few seconds of the assault in a co-ordinated volley of poisoned hand crossbow bolts.
The riding spiders burst forth from their stable, charging toward their quarry, alerted by the vibrations through their carefully placed webs about the compound walls. Several intruders met their demise at the hands of the monstrous arachnids.
Alarm bells sounded inside the main house rousing the inhabitants from their beds.
Irrstra jumped to the floor from her bed. She quickly donned her armour and prepared for battle. She set forth from her room, quickly and quietly making her way toward the courtyard. She came upon one of the riding spiders writhing in agony from gapping wounds to its abdomen and two severed legs. She knelt by its head and whispered soothing words as she drew her dagger to end its misery. A convulsion rippled through its body driving its fangs into her arm. Irrstra quelled a scream of pain and surprise, but what happened next was even more shocking. As the spider drew its final breath, its body began a strange metamorphosis and at her feet laid the corpse of one of wizards of the house.
The whistle of a hand crossbow bolt jolted Irrstra from her reverie. She returned fire, then sprung to her feet and sprinted toward the Laboratory.
She was picking her way down the corpse strewn corridor, when she was tackled from behind. There was a momentary flash of light and her skin tingled. She landed hard on an unusual surface with her assailant on top her. Irrstra drew her dagger, but her hand was stopped by the ragged voice of her mother calling her name, followed by an eerie silence.
Irrstra rolled over to find her mother's lifeless body beside her. A strange noise filled her ears and a cool breeze kissed her tear stained cheeks. It was the sound of wheat stalks rustling. She looked up to see small pin pricks of light dotting the night sky. Her mother's final act was to teleport her only daughter to safety.
Irrstra had read many accounts of the "surface" and had spoken with many travelling merchants in the market place, but this was her first time in an alien world and all alone.
Irrstra used her mother's cloak as a shroud and carried the body as best as she could, looking for a suitable body of water to lay her mother to rest. After several hours, she came upon a small lake, it would have to do. Irrstra performed the ancient funeral rites to the best of her abilities and with several heavy stones enclosed in the makeshift shroud, she entrusted her mother's body to murky depth.
The sky had begun to lighten with approaching dawn. Irrstra saw a structure in the distance. She made her way to the dilapidated barn and with her modest "toolkit" was able to bypass the lock. The damp darkness of the barn embraced her and she collapsed on a pile of hay.
Pus oozed from the puncture wounds on her arm and a high fever set-in. Her fever fuelled dreams were populated with images of monstrous spiders and Drow dancing and writhing together in a frenzied celebration.
She was a rudely awaken by the firm nudge of a heavy leather boot. Irrstra squinted due to the sunlight streaming in the open barn door. She reached out tentatively into the void. Her hand quickly found the business end of a massive sword at the ready.
A gruff voice barked at her, "Do you feel lucky punk?!"...
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