After two more days of failure, Ildrim now running low on confidence joins Scarlet, Sibrari and Tamara in Talreth’s old chambers.
“Your Grace, I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. I felt the need to visit the Temple of Sarenrae before returning for another attempt.”
“That is perfectly understandable Ildrim.”, Scarlet’s eyes glance toward the bed once more. She decides to sit at the edge of the bed. She looks at the desk where her wine glass sits besides the mostly empty bottle of wine. She takes a breath to help her focus her concentration on Ildrim as he prepares for the ritual but the bed still holds a faint scent of Talreth’s musky perfume. She falls back into the bed…
“Your Grace… Your Grace. ” Ildrim interrupts her daydreams anxiously waiting for a response. “Are you alright?”
Scarlet blinks, snapping back to reality. All eyes fixed on her in an expression of confusion.
She nods dismissing their concerns, quickly stands, straightens her gown and responds, “Very well. Proceed”.
Ildrim starts chanting while Tamara and Sibrari move into position. Magic engulfs the statue, the stone starts to glow with a bluish light, the stone seems to start turning to a pale skin tone, but then the light quickly changes to purple and then a dark red. Ildrim closes his eyes, raises his hands and the dark red becomes a fiery red light which appears to burn a layer of stone off the statue leaving only the body of Soletha.
Tamara and Sibrari manage to hold her body upright but suddenly Soletha’s arms and legs thrash out. Tamara looses her grip and Sibrari is pulled off balance and falls with Soletha into a heap.
Ildrim is vaguely aware of Scarlet casting spells while he rushes forth to make sure Soletha is alright. Soon enough Scarlet’s spells seem to have taken hold and Soletha’s thrashing subsides. Ildrim tries to lift her but struggles and Sibrari picks her up easily and moves her onto Talreth’s old bed. Ildrim fetches a cloth and wets it in a bowl of water. He holds it on Soletha’s forehead.
Several minutes later Soletha seems to gain consciousness, her eyes focus on Ildrim and then notices her mother.
“What is she doing her?”, Soletha blurts out, annoyed. “It was supposed to be just the two of us, traveling to the homeland to be married.”
“My dear, you had taken ill and been turned to stone”, Ildrim says, “It was while you were away on a trip with your father.”
“Father… how is father?”, Soletha calms suddenly and asks in a childlike voice.
“We don’t know dearest, he is lost and we fear may have followed the instructions in Zudiggar’s book.”
Soletha attempts to rise from the bed and Ildrim helps her up. Her eyes scan the room and come to rest on Scarlet.
“YOU!!! Don’t you think I’ve seen what you have done? Ildrim, who is she, why is she here?”, Soletha demands.
“She is the Duchess of these lands. She took over after Talreth…”
Soletha’s eyes focus on the twin Elven curved blades which decorate the wall. Suddenly calm once more, “Tali? Where is my brother? He should have been back by now. He isn’t to be out this late.” Soletha looks at Ildrim who is now paler than usual.
“Dead? But he was only a child”, Soletha collapses back onto the bed crying. After a few moments she asks again in that childlike voice, “How could you let this happen mother?”
A few minutes later, she sits up again in the bed, “I am absolutely famished and dying of thirst. Is this what you offer for hospitality?”. She looks once more towards Scarlet, “Wench, bring me a plate of bread and cheese and a glass of the finest wine available.”
Ildrim looks at Scarlet with a pleading look on his face, “Your Grace, can I please have a word with you and Lady Sibrari in the hallway?”, Ildrim says in a whispered voice, “Tamara, can you please keep an eye on Soletha for a minute?”
“Dearest, while Scarlet fetches you some refreshments, your mother and I will look for some more appropriate attire for you.”, Ildrim says to Soletha.
“Your Grace, my sincere apologies on behalf of Lady Soletha. She does not normally act like this. I don’t know if it is just her having been turned to stone or whether she was partially conscious during the entire ordeal. Have you done all you can with your magic? If so I think maybe we should teleport her to the Temple of Sarenrae in Restov.”
Scarlet responds, “I believe I have done everything I can. Perhaps further examination is in order. May I see to her?”
Without any objection from Ildrim, Scarlet enters Talreth’s chambers and assesses Soletha from a safe distance.
She turns to Ildrim and says, “I am afraid Soletha is infected with an insanity enchantment. Unfortunately I lack the experience to treat her ailment and sending her to the Temple of Restov would be futile for as I recall they are also inept at removing this enchantment.”
“But in the meantime, Lady Soletha can stay with you in your chamber while you attend to her needs. Since this task will be far too exhausting for Sibrari. ” Scarlet continues unable to refrain from smirking, “After all, the two of you have history together so this will give you plenty of time to get reacquainted.
Scarlet then turns to Soletha and says, “Oh… forgive me my dear Soletha but due to the shortage of wine…” Scarlet quickly glances at the empty bottle of wine on the desk and then back to Soletha. “I regret I am unable to offer you any but sincerely hope water would be an adequate replacement.”
Before anyone can reply, Scarlet scurries out the room. As she paces down the hallway, she can easily hear Soletha’s cry of frustration.
“ Arrggghhhh!!! Ildrim! What kind of HELL Hole place is this! No WINE! In a castle like this – that is the most absurd thing – ever. Sheeshh…”
“Poor Ildrim” Scarlet thinks to herself.
“Come with me dearest, I’ll teleport us both to Iadara in the homelands. They will have the best of everything for you…”, Ildrim quietly mummers to Tarama, “If I accidentally teleport away without her, keep her safe until tomorrow morning when I return…”
Ildrim then casts teleport while touching both Sibrari and Soletha.