She still didn't always answer to the name - so very different from her given one, not that anyone living spoke that any longer. The young Changeling pushed a tangle of white hair from her forehead and eyed the pretty Priest's-pet Feign as he sashayed past for the fourth time in an hour. He was oiled and shined and smelled of flowers and incense. Hell, her hands were probably rougher than his, would catch on his pretty clothes if she dared touch him. She flexed her fist, smiling at the warm pain in her knuckles from the last brawl she'd let herself indulge in.
Feign, the Priestess' son. She'd never have imagined it when she came into the dark depths of this place--that this center of backstabbing and lies, manipulations and cross-talk, would hold such a polished jewel of a man.
Despite the fact that she was not, nor ever would be a Drow, and would most likely be found out and killed, Mechant did what all stupid young women do. She let herself fall in love. What was to be a learning excursion, a dare, a venture into the asp's nest, became the happiest years of her life.
When she learned she was with Feign's child, she cried with joy without letting her husband see. A wife, a Mother, her knuckles scarred but no longer bloody. The day of her daughter's birth brought a spark of warmth to her soul, and from then, fire again burned in Mechant's cold heart.
Her daughter, dark-skinned and pale-haired despite the Changeling heritage that must be hidden at all costs, struck a chord with her Grandmother as well. Feign's bitch of a Mother declared her holy to Lloth, and stole her away.
The letters from Feign's Mother began immediately. They knew the girl-child was a Changeling. They had always known...and their plan to breed a Changeling of their own, well...the temptation was too much. This one was to be given over to Llolth and made a drider. The next? Time would tell. And what were her orders, the blackmailed Mother? To bide her time, to keep herself available for further breedings. Fooled from the beginning. Mechant began to waste away, even as Feign's resolve grew stronger, as he spent more and more time away from home. He always returned with stories of training, speaking only of their daughter, and his determination to find her. Nothing was certain anymore, most especially the words of her husband.
The child, her little pale-haired wonder, was no longer hers. That hot spark that had illuminated Mechant's life briefly flared to fitful, desperate life, and died a cold, silent death in her breast as she packed her things. She'd be no plaything. If Feign's Mother had known, then who's to say he hadn't been in on the whole thing from the beginning? Where was he now, her soft, sweet-smelling bedmate? Always away. Always doing something elsewhere. Probably laughing at his good fortune and bemoaning having to bed a Face-Changer.
She would find solace again in physicality, violence was an unsubtle dance that she knew well, and would lose herself in again. No more political maneuverings. No more talk.
Weeks upon weeks of nonstop illegal paid brawls and mercenary runs of dubious intent found her deep within the vast forest, lost and enraged at the world. Nature felt her wrath, and as darkness gave way to green-tinted dawn, the woman-creature who was once Mechant beheld a solitary hooded figure. It held out a single clawed hand, beckoning.
Her first instinct was to attack, to rend, to pour out her considerable anger upon this lone enemy.
A bestial growl emanated from the hood, and she woke three days later, cleaned and clothed and with flashes of sharp fangs and kind golden eyes.
"There is another way." came the soothing, rough voice, tinged with animal violence of it's own....yet strangely contained. Balanced.
Life needn't be cold, she needn't pour the heat of rage into herself to begin to feel again.
Slowly, she learned another way. There was violence in nature, yes. Enough to satisfy her. There was also creation, protection, nurturing.
Mechant faded away, as easily shed as the Drow disguise she'd long-ago abandoned.
In her place, Niraj.