Slalimar is lying on the ruby couch in the pearl chamber, her telepathic drakling Slig, interprets her dreams for me in mime.
"Ini, I'm sorry. It took me nine years to persuade the Dwarfs to send an envoy to the Plain of S'kones, if we do not meet it will take another six to draft the formal apologies. As the Queen I can not waft this away with a light hand, Please." The Slig begs me on her behalf with its fetching interpretative dancing. How does she do it? Even stoned out of her mind by the Lotus Fever she has the discipline to manipulate the tiny lizardling, and she looks ice carved and monumentally beautiful, her green eyes bright although one too many owing to the magickal effects of the fever which left her with a staring open Lotus Chakra mid-forehead.
"Of course I'll go, Slali, you should get some proper rest. Would you like hensbane or nightshade(2)"
"Nightshade," Slig mimed, passing me a runestone upon which I knew Slalimar's scribes would have microscopically carved the details of the meeting for the tracing of the feet of the special singing ants. Other carving ants would record my meeting with the dwarf.
"But I wot not one wit of him," I murmur, trying and failing to suppress my fear of ants.
"The ants' questions will see you through," Slig pirouetted, unsympathetically, I thought.
(2) Many human poisons are light medicines for elves. Conversely asprin can easily kill one, and viagra is a Class A drug in Elvenholme.