Belmarniss shows up early the next morning for her consultancy meeting, munching a pastry from her breakfast spread. "Hey - I was told to meet with a Luay?"
"It's about some things she said incidentally in passing about me and my, uh, adventuring career - and how many of me there are whatever that means - has she got a glossary - but I have some original magic research projects cooking if that will get me the opportunity to encounter more incidentals, there's a spell downstairs for letting allies through spell resistance that I'm wondering if it can be adapted to various other purposes."
"Well. Not this month I guess. If she does wanna tell me anything about... how many of me there are or whatever... I can usually be reached at the Onyx."
And she catches up to her parents.
He will shadow until she has them settled in, just in case.
"I was expecting this to be a weird day but I did not see the way it was weird coming."
"Nefreti? I hadn't met her before but everyone says Nethys drives his clerics a bit crazy, eventually."
"She knew about my brother. Though I guess I could be reading into it."
"Yeah. She might have, but also - fake two-bit psychics with a ball that can't scry sometimes do a damned good job, just mumbling under their breath and seeing what you react to."
"Or it could've been a lucky guess just 'cause we're drow, in retrospect. Though there being only one dead one is a lowball."
"Tried writing it down. So you could read it back over when you were less distracted. I probably fucked it up, but."
"No, that'll help a lot even if you only got the occasional word actually, I'll try to reconstruct it without looking and then check against yours, see where it's fuzzy."
"If she wasn't making shit up I still don't know what she meant by lots of you. Unless she was just being racist, I guess."
"I mean to ask her at some point, although it's likely that my intention to do so will not keep pace with the substance of the requested donation."
"If it's a scam it's a very comfortable one. That palace is as nice as the pharaoh's."
"Oh, how would you know." She elbows him.
"Ah, you see, I was born a girl in Qadira, and shipped to Osirian as a slave, and chosen for the pharaoh because of my great beauty. But he was no great beauty himself so I ran away by weaving a girdle of sex change out of my own hair and then walking out in a guard's uniform."
"I didn't know you could weave!"
"Well, only when I was a girl. The girdle of sex change does a number on that kind of thing. I cannot cook or flirt anymore either."
"Oh no, a terrible tragedy. And your great beauty, of course, that's gone too."
"The price I paid for my freedom was terrible indeed."
"Couldn't you just take the girdle off now that you have escaped?"
"Unfortunately the only kind I could weave from my hair was a cursed kind and it is impossible to ever turn back."
"Oh no! I will never get to look upon your great beauty. I'm very deprived."
At the Onyx Rynaeri is able, just barely, to get the floating disk upstairs with Chal on it, and she and Belmarniss haul him onto the bed, and Belmarniss shows her where the snacks are and murmurs about maybe not eating too much, and Rynaeri is delighted by figs and manages to get Chal to eat some even though he chews very slowly.