Drizzt set the black onyx figurine on the floor.
Nothing that he had tried himselfwith fists or swordshad
penetrated the barrier. But perhaps Guenhwyvar, he thought,
can find a way through.
Softly, he called the cat.
Nothing happened; staring at the polished stone, he searched
in vain for the wisps of smoke that normally announced the creatures
What do you mean, it depends!
Wilawen slapped Pharauns hand away. Depends on whatwhy
am I even asking? Whatever it is, no. She pushed
past the drow, and made for the door.
Behind her back, Pharaun smiled.
I have already delivered my part of the bargain, in full,
she continued, angrily, and if you will not take me home,
What do you mean, how? Wilawen gestured through
the open doorinvisibly sealedat Drizzt, crouching
over the figurine of Guenhwyvar. He knows the Underdark
better than anyone.
But we are walled in here, said the Mage, indicating
the chambers with an elegant sweep of his arm. You cannot
reach Dourden and he cannot reach you. So how is he going
to take you home?
In the strange calm of the Archmages newly restored chambers,
his voice sounded loudand extremely annoying. You
bastard, said Wilawen.
No, replied Pharaun, unperturbed, I know perfectly
well who my father is, he smiledthough
I can be rather ruthless, it is true. However, on this
occasion, I am inclined to do as you askjust not from here.
Then why did you say it depended?
To see you crackle and fizz.
The Divor Rocks
How is he? asked Orophin, entering the leafy shelterset
a few yards from the foot of the cliffswhere Master Dínendal
was tending his patient.
The healer laid Valandils hand on his chest. I believe
that he will waken soon.
Good. I will tell the others. He turned to leave.
Dínendal followed his friend outside. We were wrong,
he said, quietly, quite wrong, to leave her there alone.
I know that she did it for usfor Valandilbut one of
us, at least, should have stayed with her,his voice
grew even softerI should have stayed with her.
Shhhh! The healer gestured towards his sleeping
We are not going to leave her down there,
whispered Orophin, grasping the other elf by the shoulders. Olwë
and Aistan have gone for reinforcements. It is not over yet, Master
Healer, not by a long way, believe me.
Pharaun raised his hands and, reciting a short spell, pushed
his fingers into the magical seal and swept it aside, like invisible
Wilawen stepped out into the corridor. Drizzt,the
drow, still crouching over the figurine, looked up at herwhat
Guenhwyvar, he said, rising and seizing her hands.
It is good to see you again, OWilawenbut I have
called, and Guenhwyvar does not answer.
Wilawen glared at Pharaun. Why? she demanded.
How should I know? The Mage closed the chamber door
and, delicately running his hands up and down the carved frame,
began replacing the Archmages original wards.
Try again, said Wilawen to Drizzt, now that
he has removed the barrier
For Llolths sake, hissed Pharaun, do
nothing more out hereunless you want to bring every master,
student, and servant of Sorcere who fancies his chances of casting
a spell of destruction, running. He offered the woman
his arm. Come.
I am hardly going to conjure up an entrance to the shadow
world out here, in the corridor, am I?
Very well, said Wilawen, lead on. Drizzt and
I will follow.
Are you ready? asked the Mage, pouring himself another
glass of brandy, and downing it in one.
Wilawen glanced at Drizzt; he nodded. Yes, she said.
You, said Pharaun to Drizzt, are no
longer needed,the warrior’s hands moved to his twin
sabresbut suit yourself. Stand either side of me,
and be quiet.
He started the incantation, and Wilawen, holding her breath,
watched as the the dimly-lit chamber faded, its colours flowing
like rivulets of oil from its walls and furnishings and gathering
in a dull, black hole standing somewhereit seemedbetween
herself and the wall ahead.
The spell ended. Come, said Pharaun, and the single
syllable stretched out into the distance, echoing and re-echoing.
He grasped Wilawens hand.
Farewell Underdark, muttered the woman. And
Together, the trio stepped through the circular shadow.
They were standing in a smooth, grey tunnel.
Beyond its translucent walls, which stretched and puckered around
them, worlds boiled, their fragments bubbling up to the surface
and bursting open in a succession of sharp imagesa dazzling
gateway to a stone city here; a troop of dwarves mining a glittering
cavern there; an ink-black lake; a carven labyrinth
We are everywhere at oncencence,
We are nowhereowhereowhere, corrected
Pharaun. Time and place are flowing past usast usast
us. Come, we must not linger. This wayiss wayiss way.
He pulled Wilawens hand.
But Wilawen had recognised something; and she slipped free of
him and rushed towards it, crying, Lookookook!
NO! shouted Pharaun. Wilawen! NooOH!