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Midsummer 1372 - Evening

"All right Agent Windweaver. Tell me what you know." I'd known Nim Tagen for several years. He was usually more pleasant than this.

"Captain, I'm sure there's been a mistake. If you'd only let us investigate, I'm sure we'll find that it's some sort of plant . . ."

"I'm not in the mood for your games, Harper! Nor will I give you time to manipulate the evidence to clear your little drow whore. Perhaps your infatuation has clouded your judgment, but let me assure you that we do consider her a serious threat to Silverymoon's security. As you should already be aware, we can execute her merely for having stolen the Lauthaul token. If we choose not to, the best fate in store for her is life imprisonment. Now, whether or not she, or her accomplice, the druid, ever see the light of day again may depend on you, Agent Windweaver. Do you understand?"

I took a deep breath. Both girls were counting on me, and they didn't even know it. "Yes, Captain Tagen."

"Now, Agent Ma'frejya has already informed us that the girl comes from Menzoberranzan and operates under three primary aliases: Corael Sh'aneth, Dhavra Drii Upoth, and Mayurra Aerynrae. Is this correct?"

"Yes, Captain."

"Now, can you tell me what is the girl's real name?"

It was a delicate situation, but I had to keep my promise to her. "To the best of my knowledge, it is Mayurra Aerynrae, sir."

Tagen looked away for a moment. "I was hoping I'd convinced you not to lie, Agent Windweaver." He looked back back at me grimly. "Do you think you people have a monopoly on information? We know that this girl is wanted in the Underdark for crimes ranging from petty theft to treason. We know that during her time in the Underdark, she participated in surface raids with a band of mercenaries, which would have been grounds to deny her entry to the city, had the Nailo girl not vouched for her under false pretenses--and I'm sure I don't need to remind you what sort of penalty Miss Nailo can expect for that. We know that she is an associate of Nimos Talerlir, head of the thieves' guild in Everlund. And we also know that she apparently appeared out of nowhere in Menzoberranzan a little over ten years ago, and none of her known associates really know who she is. Personally, I'm for gift-wrapping the girl and sending her back to any of the various groups that have posted wanted notices for her, but unfortunately, I have to wait for approval from my superiors." The captain stood and leaned forward with his hands on the table. "Now, give me a damn good reason not to put her in chains right now and throw her in our deepest dungeon."

I swallowed hard, but I tried not to show any emotion. Ralenthra would be so angry, but they already knew anything I could've have told them to deflect them from her full story, and they were ready to lock her away for it. Her fate might--almost certainly would--be better if they knew the truth. I looked Captain Tagen in the eye, and hoped Ralenthra would understand why I had to do this.

"Her name is Ralenthra Ilphukiir. She is a surface drow, a fugitive from Cormanthor."

"That's a start. Why is she a fugitive? If her own people want her dead, why should we harbor her?"

"She's an Eilistraeean, and she is the only known survivor of a large-scale attack on an Eilistraeean enclave there."

"Lucky girl." Tagen sneered, but sat down again.

"Well, we believe there may be other Eilistraee followers still in the area, who simply weren't present at the ritual that was attacked, but none of them have communicated with the clergy at the Promenade."

"I see. And when was this purported attack?"

"Twelve years ago."

"What a coincidence. And the girl told you this?"

"Yes, but I verified it independently. I have documentation available," I said, resigned.

"Very good. Please have all relevant documents sent to me within the hour. I thank you for your cooperation, Agent Windweaver. You may go." Tagen opened the door for me. How polite.

"Captain." I nodded curtly as I exited.