Aryyna smiled. "You're not pathetic, Neit." She kissed her, tenderly. "Not at all." Another smile.
"I think I need to be alone, for a while. You take care. Don't go dying on me. I'll be really fucking pissed if you did." A small but genuine laugh."
Neit thanked Aryyna and fawned over her furry spider some more, and then she was off, leaving the strange Ilharess behind her.
Yathrinser was a more traditional 'open air' Drow city, enclosed on one side by the natural cavern wall, and on all others by manufactured walls.
There was no fighting in the streets, so evidently the power struggle hadn't escalated that far. Yet.
First order of business was probably getting an audience with Zymyyra Faernsenger.
The fact that Neit had gotten rid of all her slaves was alot more obvious once she was on the road. A gnarly black riding spider replaced her ussual lizard, even. When questioned about it, she just insulted Ryyna for relying on a bunch of dumb ugly brutes all the time to clean her and dress her... Well, at least the witch seemed to be in a better mood.
"What a dump." Was her first remark about the city. Immediately after finding a decent hotel to stay at, she simply looked for the largest building with Faersenger banners hanging from the walls and namedroped Aryyna at the door. It hardly mattered if they incriminated her for plotting something inside of her own house, right?
Unsurprisingly, Zymyyra was in her home. A palatial estate on the west side of town, which was largely owned by her or, if nothing else, under her protection rackets.
It seemed the Faernsenger here were up to their usual business of providing arcane services and goods, and also protection and, in Zymyyra's case, trying to be valsharess.
Neit wished that Aryyna had told them that they were comming, even if it did make all of the connections a little too obvious. Instead all she could really do was cast inertial armour beforehand, and hope for the best. What would sneaking inside or trying to make bargians from affar accomplish? It all depended on Zymyyra's personality.
She approached the main gates with the other two, acting disinterested. Like the whole thing was just a massive hastle. Towards the gaurds, anyway.
"We are here to see Jabress Zymyyra. Ilharess Aryyna wanted us to have a chat." Was her straight-forward comment. Not too agressive, not too fearful. Her hand revealed a bottle of upperdark brandy, which she shook at the gaurd despite not even bothering to look at her. "No point in pissing anybody off. Just tell her we are here, please."
Booze was always a handy gift for underlings. If they had enough she-balls to actually taste that it was not poisoned, it would gain trust quickly. If they got drunk on it, then good on them. If that one hard-ass assumes that it is poisoned... Well, at least they would know that you mean buisness.
There were two guards, in low-cut, sexualized, plate-armor of dubious functionality carrying longswords by the entrance to Zymyyra's place. There were four murderholes, two along either wall of the alcove they were in, presumably with crossbow, wand, or bow armed women behind them as well.
The two guards exchanged looks with each other before laughing.
"Pull the other one."
"No, wait! Maybe she, maybe she does!" The other one took a patronizing voice, leaning in by Neit's face and resint a bit on her sword. "Look, cocksheath, I, happen to know the Ilharess Maelthra, that Rendanvlos retard, Ilharess Aryyna, and, sure, Lolth's Tits why not, the Goddess herself. So piss off."
"No, no. I mean, the poor confused thing came all this way out here. I mean, we should at least ask. The Jabress'l get a kick outta it. And maybe we can kick the shit out of her afterwards. And her friends."
"They look kind of derpy."
One of the women, still laughing, disappeared within the building. She emerged a short while later, not laughing.
"Jabress Zymyyra has seen fit to grant you an audience."
The group was thoroughly searched no less than four times by a different woman each time, and then magically scanned twice, by two different women. Naturally they were also disarmed. When it seemed none of them were hiding any deadly weapons or animals on or in their person, they were granted their audience.
The Jabress was bare-chested in a girdle, thong, thigh-high boots, and bracers. And jewelry. Lots of it. Her hair was worn loose and natural-white. With her were two veiled women with heavycrossbows, and three more wielding longspears. They met with her in a long reception room, where she was seated upon a throne. At the side of her throne was one of the large native lizards. Presumably it was trained. It hadn't tried to eat anyone, after all.
Zymyyra was quite attractive, but neither her chest nor the rest of her quite compared to Aryyna's. And her confidence and showiness seemed so much more... typical, to Neitar, than the effortless grace and confidence Aryyna had about her.
"Jabress Zymyyra Faernsenger," she said with a smile, "pleased to be playing host to friends of Ilharess Aryyna, may her tests be equaled by her triumphs."
"You wanted something?" For all Zymyyra's 'friendliness', her guards hadn't taken their eyes off the trio.
Neit was fuming after the treatment from the gaurds. Trying to be nice and yet again getting scoffed at made her feel so predictable. Still, it there would not have been much of a point complaining about it. Somebody with real power would have just killed them and said "Well I guess you don't need our help."... Snitching like children would only make them appear weak.
Still, the barely constrained fury came across in her restrained, mechanical voice.
"Glad to make your aquantience, Jabress. I guess I can sympathize with this level of security..." The sentence continued inside of her head, but she decided she'd leave that one to any mind readers that might be present. -but it's a piss poor way of hiding your guilt, or gaining supporters.
"Such a lovely abode, through. With a bewitching master of house. I find the clutter unfortunate... as I presume you do, also." Her dark eyes began to drag along the floor as macabre thoughts brought a smile back to her face. The personality of the predator was certainly the one that was required in this situation, but it was all too rare than it came when called for. "But, you see, we aren't here to ask you for a favor, and we aren't here on orders. The resplendent Illharess is my dearest freind, but I am not her pet..."
"Which leaves us with a rather unique situation with few strings. Freedom for us to become freinds at a simple request. Decluttering. Do you understand?"
Neit was perfectly aware that she was being obtuse, but if she was sitting in Zymyyra's chair, she'd think about killing the group to 'prove her innocence' too. If the woman was really dense enough not to realise what she was suggesting, then there was no love lost anyway.
Zymyyra gave a bit of a laugh. "Ahaha, subtle. I like you. But there's no need for it. My guards can be trusted. You're here to help me do something about the Cha'ara sow. Good. I like that, initiative. You'll go far.
I am not a subtle woman, Neitar. When something is in my way, I remove it. Cha'ara is in my way. I will remove her." She gave a smile. "And yet there remains work to be done. While my victory is, of course, assured, your assistance would certainly, ah, speed things along. I am a wealthy and generous woman, Neitar, and soon I shall be even more so. I can make it very worth your while, that is, if you and your associates are willing."
Neitar just shrugged for a moment, took a moment to light up a new cigar, then slowly exhailed whilst giving Zymyyra a blank glare. She was examining the woman's motives. Anybody that eager was generally just begging for people to be used as blade fodder...
Killing the party after they had dealt with her enemy was totally something Neit would think of, too.
In the end, she decided they had to take a risk some time.
"We are willing. But clearly concerned about the ramifications, Jabress... from both sides." Honesty for honesty. "I do appreciate your clarity on the matter, however. Clarity on a few other things, like her daily habits, or the internal layout of the palace, would be equally appreciated. That is the minimum price for my trust. Does she hold parties often?"
It sounded a little grating even to her, so she mentally fought to dig up a quip to add to the end.
"My apologies Jabress..." She made sure to add a smile, a wink, and a curtsey. The cigar mounted in her raised fingers made for an amusing juxtaposition. "But if I've learn anything, it's that the more beautiful a woman is, the more dangerous they are."
Zymyyra smiled. "You misunderstand me, Neitar. You will not be going to the palace. The Valsharess is my problem. The Yathtallar is being attended to, as well, so I have a different task for you." Another smile.
"There are tunnels beneath the city, of course. Besides the sewers, that is. One such network runs beneath the Valsharess' palace and contains not only her dungeons, but also her pet." Uh-oh.
"I am unsure as to how exactly she came into possession of it, but the Valsharess has a Red Dragon, presumably one of Harkaj's brood. She has done her best to keep it secret. Her best has not been good enough to stop me." A smirk. "I am under the impression, from the size given in my spies' reports, that the thing is a young adult.
This Dragon presents a problem. I need you to remove it. Am I making myself clear?"
Neit took another moment to consider a plan of action, but was eager to look fearless.
"Very clear. A Red Dragon?" Her voice was concerned, but nothing more. "I think we can deal with that, perhaps provided that we can see some of those reports."
Alsiif and Ryyna might not have liked that snap judgement too much, but truth be told, there was more than one way they could deal with this. They might well be able to convince it to simply leave, given that it had almost definately been abused in order to keep it in line. The tricky part of that plan was getting it to go quietly...
With any luck it might be well restrained, through, and in that case, they could just take their time in either trying to brainwash it, stab the thing in the back of the brain at their leasure, or even just leave if it looks like the battle just wouldn't be worth the price.
It all depended on the luck of the draw... and, well, securing enough pay to make it worth the risk.
"What kind of price were you thinking, my beautiful Jabress?"