They took their time getting back to Immesvale, to give their contact time to make the suit of flesh armor. After all was said and done, Viconia still wanted it, and Adrian did not feel he could begrudge her. He was, truth be told, a little worried that Irenicus might take the Elven city before then, but somehow he did not think so. He rather suspected that Irenicus' former people were as stubborn as he was, and would hold out for some time yet. Viconia shared that assesment.
The Doppleganger, Frennendan, was worried as well, but for reasons he would not say, and Adrian did not press him. They would work it out after they had destroyed Irenicus.
Viconia joyed in her flesh again. Her only regret, she said, was being unable to indulge Adrian that night. He smiled and assured her it would be no problem.
"It is finished, then?" he asked the dark merchant without premable.
"It is," the man said, handing it over and grinning toothily. "Admire it. Perfect, is it not?"
"Yessssss," Viconia agreed, holding it in her hands, eyes shining bright. Even Adrian, in his soulless state, was discomfited.
"I call your attention the stitching," the man said, smile fading. "The stitching you did not do. You are not our artist; he is dead, and the Rune enclave linked to Athkatla likewise destroyed. I have some friends that would like to speak to you. Well, more like kill."
Three mages popped into reality behind the man.
Viconia and Korgan shared a hearty laugh, and Edwin was smirking.
"What is so funny?" the flesh merchant demanded, put out. His mage friends didn't look too happy either.
"You pathetic monkey," Edwin sneered. "Who did you think it was that destroyed your Athkatlan contingent."
The man's face twisted with rage as the more mundane merchants of the town square scattered.
"You fool," Tree said in a distant voice. "You have brought down the wrath of not one terrible Bhaalspawn, but two."
The man's face whitened, and one of the mages with him said, "Bhaalspawn?" in a voice that bordered on fear.
"Imoen," Adrian invited his sister.
With her soul restored, Imoen could take the monstrous form if she so desired. But her ice-powers had also expanded.
She spoke a single Word, and stomped her right heel. A sheet of ice expanded, and suddenly the merchant and his mage friends were slipping, stumbling, and bumbling. Somehow the frost did not affect the party, but did their enemies.
An exploding crossbow flasher from Jan erupted amongst them, and then Korgan and Tree were there. Anomen and Viconia were not far behind. Frennendan stepped forward with his warrior form's sword raised.
Adrian simply grabbed the merchant himself by the throat with one hand....and lifted.
"Your gift of the flesh armor is appreciated," he said drily as the man asphyxiated in his grip.
"Well done, Bhaalspawn," said a new voice. A voice disturbingly like his own. "But the Twisted Rune is the least of your worries."
Adrian turned....and saw duplicates of him and his entire party, surrounding them.
Frennendan began to shake. "No....not the white palace.....it cannot be so soon...."
"Soon?" Frennendan's own mirror image mocked. "No, brother, you and your little Athkatlan sect have hidden from us too long."
"What is this?" Adrian demanded of the Doppleganger.
Frennendan seemed, in his human glamour, to be terrified. "They seek to rule all the mirrorkin...and they are ruled by a powerful--"
"No need for such exposition," said Imoen's copycat. "You will all know soon enough the truth of our masters."
And they attacked the party....
Adrian Shadows of Amn 374
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