DARKNESS GATHERING: INTERLUDE #5

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“CONCLAVE OF THE GODS”

“This is madness,” blurted Pelor. He pointed a single finger at the Elf sitting at the Stone Table across from him. “You cannot support this course of action!” Pelor was clearly barely holding himself back, red-faced and shaking with rage. The Elf raised an eyebrow, and placed a hand on the hilt of his sword. Pelor likewise withdrew his mace, scowling.

Moradin got between the two gods, placing a single powerful hand on each of them. “Calm yerselves down, ye fools. This is a Conclave not a battlefield.” The old dwarf glowered at both of them, his bushy eyebrows arching as he furrowed his brow. “Stop sit down before I clobber both of ye with my battlehammer.”

Pelor and Corellon Larethian exchanged bitter looks, but returned to their places at the Stone Table. Moradin sat down as well, rejoining his fellow gods and goddesses, including Gruumush, Garl Glittergold, Wee Jas, Yondalla, The Raven Queen, Tiamat, Boccob, and Vecna. The only god missing was Tharazidun who remained locked away hidden somewhere in the depths of the Ethereal Plane.

Tiamat smiled sweetly, brushing back her dark black hair. “Please, Corellon” she cooed seductively. “Continue.”

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Tiamat, The Dark Queen

The Elf stood again, glancing around at his allies and enemies, all gathered under a flag of truce to discuss the incident at hand. He nodded to Tiamat, and his eyes moved slowly around the gathered deities. “As I said before,” he continued hesitantly. “Lolth plans to seek apotheosis by combining her eight aspects from the Eight Realms to consolidate her power. She is being assisted by Tharazidun who still has a degree of his original multiverse-threatening power despite his imprisonment.”

Pelor cleared his throat at the mention of Tharazidun. Moradin gave the Human a warning glance before Corellon continued with his speech. “And,” he said with a glance at Pelor. “As I stated before, I plan to support her big for divine power. She will fill the empty seat left by Mystra much in the way that the Raven Queen filled Nerull’s place at the Stone Table.”

Murmurs filled the air and several of the gods began to whisper to each other. The large one-eyed Orc god was the first to speak up. “Gruumsh thought that Corellon hated Lolth. Corellon was god who banished Lolth to Abyss long time ago!” The statement was not meant to be a threat, but the way Gruumsh spoke, it sounds like one.

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Garl chuckled gleefully. “Don’t forget that Corellon’s the one who cut out your eye too, Gruumsh.” He chuckled again, clutching at his jiggling belly. Moradin glanced at the Gnome disdainfully, clearly telling the jokester that now was not the time or place for jokes and silliness. Gruumush snarled, gave Garl a look that could kill, and then looked back to the Elf who suddenly looked a little uncomfortable.

“Yes, mighty Gruumsh. You are right.” Corellon nodded, and sighed. “I was the one who banished Lolth and her kind to the Underdark. But that was centuries ago. There was a time that Lolth and I were lovers, not enemies. I believe that this ascention to a greater goddess to fill the portfolio of the Weave will provide Lolth with a chance to change her ways.” The Elf paused for a moment. “As you all know, she has recently stopped commnicating with her Drow Priestesses, and have been gathering worshippers from other races.”

Yondalla scoffed. “She may have turned her back on the Drow, but her choice in worshippers has not improved. She seeks support among of of the most monstrous races throughout the Planes.”

Wee Jas crossed his arms over her chest. “There is nothing to do. Lolth has already begun her apotheosis, and has started to fill the gap left by Mystra. We cannot oppose her by way of this Conclave.”

Mordadin nodded towards Wee Jas, and waved a fist in the air. “Indeed, brothers and sisters. Lolth ain’t seeking our approval. She’s just doin’ it. We’re wasting time sitting here discussing something that we have no power to stop.”

The Raven Queen sat back in her seat and sighed. “I am the youngest of the gods gathered here. I came here to the Stone Table to seek your blessing in taking on Nerull’s empty portfolio and seat. You all agreed during Conclave and supported me.” She paused for a moment, and Boccob spoke up before she could continue her thought.

“And yet despite our blessing, Orcus nearly usurped your rank and almost became the Demon God of Death. The blessing or disapproval of the Conclave means nothing,” his eyes glanced towards Vecna. “Otherwise, at least one of us would not sit at the Stone Table.” Vecna smiled wryly, but said nothing in rebuttal.

“That is exactly my point,” the Raven Queen said with a hint of annoyance in her voice. “Had not some of you taken action through your emessaries and faithful mortals, I would have been killed by Orcus in the Shadowfell, and -“

Moradin was the one to cut off the Raven Queen this time. “Faithful mortals, bah. Pawn more like it.” The old Dwarf spit on on the floor in disgust. “Those mortals had no idea what they were getting into when they went into the Shadowfell. They were looking for treasure and adventure.”

Garl stood up on his chair, winking at Moradin. “And they found it, Mordy!”

Vecna spoke finally, his voice barely a whisper. “Mortals have always been the pawns of the gods. Playthings on strings.”

Pelor stood again, speaking loudly. “Enough of this nonsense!” He picked up a gavel from the Stone Table, and held it close to his chest. “Actions have been taken to oppose the Spider Queen and her desire to take the Weave as her own. The pieces are already in motion, and pawns or not … the fate of many is in the hands of a few unwitting mortals.”

Yondalla shook her head. “Unwitting is true.” She sighed. “They don’t even know that their city has been removed from their own Plane and cast into the Astral.”

Boccob nodded. “All in good time, dear one. All in good time.”

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