Pain. It surges through bone and blood. It tears at Belmarniss' heart, where the Relic of the Reaper once rested. A hole has been carved in her flesh, just above her heart, and raggedly stitched by an unskilled hand.
She - tugs clumsily at her clothes, trying to get a look at the damage.
She's not quite paralyzed, but it's not as easy as it should be to move her hands. She can get a look, anyway.
It's ugly. Amateur surgery often is, especially this close to vital organs. Considering how ugly the stitching alone is, it seems like kind of a miracle she's alive.
...okay, well, Belmarniss is a very accomplished arcanist by now, by which she means she can imitate a much lower level cleric on short notice, and she is going to hit the ugly hole in her chest with a decent Cure spell bootlegged via Limited Wish.
She feels better. Better enough, at least, to notice how hungry she is. Even back in the Underdark, she was never this hungry. It doesn't seem to be affecting her clarity of thought, so she's probably not literally starving to death no matter how much she might feel like it?
She can also notice her surroundings. Unworked granite walls, surrounding a circle of rune-inscribed iron pillars that hum with abjuration magic.
She can also notice the footsteps and light source approaching.
They turn the corner, revealing themselves to be connected to a bald, heavily tattooed woman in scarlet robes. She startles slightly when she sees Belmarniss up and about.
"Hello. I'm, ah, here to save you?"
She examines the runes on the nearest pillar and casts Mage's Disjunction. The abjuration magic thrumming through the air whines into nothingness, and she steps into the rune circle. "I was told you might be hurt. Do you need a healing potion?"
"I was. I fixed it. Having a spare never hurts." Does she have her stuff on her?
She has some of her stuff. Her bag of holding is missing, but everything she had physically on her is still there.
The wizard rummages through her own bag and hands over a vial of iridescent green liquid, the color of a beetle's shell. "Here. Do you need anything else? We have a little time before the spirits of this place awaken to our presence - but I'd still like to get moving as soon as we can."
"I'm really hungry and all my spare snacks were in my bag."
"Oh, let me -"
She pulls out a paper-wrapped crunchy honey thing and hands it over. "Thayan trail rations. They're a bit magic, more filling than they should be."
Ooh honey. Nomf!
She doesn't feel much less hungry. Maybe a little. Upon examination the main feeling of hunger doesn't even really feel centered on her stomach?
"...still hungry but not like impairingly so, so maybe we shouldn't stand around, lead on."
The wizard leads on.
She almost trips over a skeleton leaning against one of the pillars. She swears under her breath. "Gods, I didn't even - that's... bizarre... look at how it's posed. Like someone just... sat down and waited to die." She peers at it quizzically. "No signs of violence."
"Where exactly are we?"
"We're in a barrow deep beneath the soil of Rashemen. The locals say that powerful spirits dwell here, hostile to those trying to enter and those trying to leave. I didn't notice any on my way in, though. We might get lucky."
"How did you know I'd be here? I didn't know I'd be here."
"My mother told me," she says. "I don't know how you got here, or how she knew. But I'll take you to someone who might... and make sure we both get some answers."
"Mistress Safiya's mother is strong and smart!" pipes a voice from within her robe.
"Oh, not now, Kaji," Safiya says, embarrassed. "Um - Kaji, this is Belmarniss. Belmarniss, this is Kaji, my familiar."
"Nice to meet you, Kaji."
A homunculus flits out of Safiya's robe to examine Belmarniss. "Bel-mar-niss pretty! Almost as pretty as Mistress."
"Kaji, please." Safiya is blushing faintly. "This really isn't the time. - oh, I can't believe I didn't think to - do you need to prepare spells?"
"I can get by on sorcery but it wouldn't hurt."
Safiya fidgets her hands a bit. "I'd like to get out of here before the spirits awaken... but that might be a lost cause anyway, and I'd rather have a fully functional companion. Go ahead."
She pulls out her spellbook. "What're we expecting?"
"Some elementals, probably, and some telthors - Rashemi totem spirits, incorporeal but with very sharp teeth. They don't count as undead, I think they're positive energy spirits of some kind. Which is a bit inconvenient but at least neither of us is a cleric, that'd be downright insulting."