Trune felt as though he couldn't breathe. He clasped his bone ribs beneath his magister robe, then realized how silly it was to think he would be unable to breathe. No, now he realized that another of Death's Hand had been killed, and then he realized in almost a panic that it was the girl who had dispatched it in quite a spectacular fashion. He was losing time. She was learning to harness the rage inside her. He could feel the white hot power. Her fury was delicious, but he did not have her here to exploit. What Nidhuggr did have however were her parents. He could use them to find a way to defeat her in their blood or bone. But would his Lord give up his toys? Only one way to find out. He concentrated on the black crystal around his neck and felt the connection find His Lord Nidhuggr.
"Yes, Trune?" Nidhuggr seemed to wheeze.
"My Lord? Is everything alright?" Trune was worried about the weakness in his voice.
"Have you found a way to block Hima from taking back my body? I have more skin and scale, I feel weak." Nidhuggr said in a hoarse whisper.
"My Lord, I beg you to abandon the body..." Trune had begun to implore
"Never!" Nidhuggr bellowed with more strength than he had.
"I have been unable to find Hima's daughter or any descendants that may contain the samples I need to start the experiments," Trune said reluctantly.
"Then why contact me if you do not have any progress to report!" Nidhuggr was annoyed.
"My Lord, I was hoping to ah, use your toys to carry out some experiments to stop the child, we must remember she is the main mission, if she lives, we lose everything," Trune said calmly, almost shyly.
"I will tell you what our mission is!" Niduggr thrashed the link between them.
"Yes, My Lord God." Trune acquiesced.
"I felt the assassin die, I am not a fool." Nidhuggr growled, "You may play with my toys."
Trune felt Nidhuggr leave the link and pondered just how sick Hima had been making His God. Trune then turned to his apprentices.
"Gather the instruments and the books, we are going," Trune said with a very satisfied sigh. Then went to his study to gather some of his more personal items into a bag.
"We are ready Lord Trune," One of the apprentices bowed.
"Shall we then?" Trune said cheerfully. He knew the cave by heart. So he opened the portal up to the inside. He was the only one who could do it and take into account the tide, which made the cave especially secure.
Everyone stepped through and the apprentices gagged on the stench of the neglected man and woman huddled in a corner of filth bound in chains.
"Oh, now, this will not do," Trune said while inspecting the couple, "Let's get them washed and fed, they need to be strong for what comes next."
The apprentices bowed and took the keys from Trune to unlock and start the process of washing the area and the two people. Then Trune turned to his supplies and set up a table and took a dragon hide book from his sack. He opened the book and then took out his special ink made from both his blood and a corrupted ink stone. He dipped the featherless quill into the inkwell and started to write.
We arrived to find the subjects in poor shape, starving and dirty. We will wash and then feed them to get their strength up for the sample harvest. The first tests should be for a connectivity to their daughter. If it weren't for their daughter they would be of noninterest, since they are not extraordinary on their own. Only their offspring has shown a talent beyond measure. The search is still on for any of those who prove to be of Hima's line as well. My lord God continues to deteriorate and refuses to abandon the body that sickens him.
"My Lord Trune," an apprentice interrupted.
"Are they bathed? and food?" Trune asked.
"They are bathed, My Lord, and await you." The apprentice bowed lowly as Trune passed him.
Trune inspected the pair and was happy that they were intact, but badly bruised and beaten. Things would have to heal and they would have to gain weight to make the gathering of blood and tissue easier.
He pointed to the woman and she came forward a defeated look on her face. Nidhuggr must have broken them, they were quiet and compliant. All for the better then.
"Tell me, my dear, what shall we call you?" Trune asked pleasantly.
"Panka," The woman barely whispered.
"Good, good," Trune seemed to laugh, "And tell me Panka, do you know of your lineage?"
The woman seemed to be distraught for just a moment and then looked back to the man behind her.
"No, look at me!" Trune said in a louder voice. The woman startled and turned to face him again.
"I know of only draconi, elf, and human, My Lord," She said evenly.
"What dragon line do you come from?" Trune asked patiently.
"I do not know. We have no titles or land, and the line was lost to us a long time ago." Panka answered worried to get it wrong somehow.
"Where were you born child?" Trune was curious and wanted to prove competent of the riddle before him.
"Ashland," She said obediently.
"So a minor line then, the Ash Dragons fell during the Necromancer War. Their line is extremely weak." Trune shrugged. He scribbled in the margin of his book, "Yuck, human. Lower than Goblins, in my opinion, at least goblins possess a legacy magic."
He wrote some more in his book and then pointed to the man. The man stepped forward quietly.
"You, what is your name?" Trune said sharply.
"Marta," The man said but he sounded different, more angry.
"Ah, I see. And your lineage?" Trune asked.
"Orc and elf," Marta said evenly
"Those are obvious, what else?" Trune was becoming annoyed.
"That's it," Marta said leveling his gaze at the empty eye sockets of Trune's skull.
Trune laughed and let a bit of light shine into his skull, dark purple with the edges seeping black. Marta looked a bit startled but gathered his composure quickly.
"You are going to be fun," Trune laughed again.