Short Story (TL;DR): Lae’zel, a githyanki warrior, dedicates her life to fighting mind flayers. She becomes a host for a malevolent tadpole but hopes to be cured. Her loyalty lies with Vlaakith, the githyanki queen. On her quest, she encounters adversaries and discovers a plot against Vlaakith. The story unveils Vlaakith’s declining health and the Inquisitor’s threat to her rule. Lae’zel faces choices about her destiny, involving allies, love, and resistance against Vlaakith’s reign.
The Tadpole’s Curse
Lae’zel, a fierce githyanki warrior, currently resides in the Astral Plane, dedicating her life to combat the enslaving mind flayers. Her expertise revolves around close-quarters combat and martial skills.
In the year 1492 DR, Lae’zel falls into the clutches of the mind flayers, enduring a harrowing experience where she becomes host to a malevolent tadpole that threatens to transform her into one of them. A daring escape from the mind flayer ship marks the beginning of her quest to rid herself of this parasite and rejoin her people. Lae’zel meets Shadowheart, who possesses an artifact that protects them from becoming mind flayers.
Unwavering Loyalty to Vlaakith
Lae’zel’s unwavering loyalty lies with Vlaakith, the lich queen who reigns over the githyanki from the Astral Plane. She clings to the hope that Vlaakith possesses the means to cure her of the tadpole and perhaps elevate her to the coveted status of Vlaakith’s chosen warrior. To fulfill this destiny, she must seek out a githyanki creche, a sanctuary where young githyanki are nurtured, and a device exists to extract the tadpole from a host’s brain through a process called purification.
The Elusive Githyanki Creche
Her quest leads her to a mountain pass on the road to Baldur’s Gate, where rumors hint at the presence of fellow githyankis who may aid her in her dire plight. When Lae’zel finds the creche, her arrival reveals that these githyanki are not allies but adversaries. When Lae’zel sits in the chair to purify her brain from the tadpole, they attempt to kill her. There isn’t a purification process; it always results in the death of the person in the chair.
Lae’zel learns their primary objective is to secure the artifact linked to Shadowheart, a relic of Selune, the moon goddess—an enemy of Vlaakith.
During her travels, Lae’zel is visited in her dreams by the Inquisitor, someone who has saved her life multiple times. Eventually, she meets the Inquisitor, who has stolen the artifact from Vlaakith. Their soul is within the artifact, which is how the artifact Shadowheart has protects them from turning into mind flayers. Lae’zel also learns that Vlaakith has kept Orpheus, the rightful king of the githyanki, prisoner within the Astral Prism. Vlaakith has been using the powers he inherited from his mother to exploit githyanki people and continue her reign.
As the story unfolds, the once-concealed truth about Vlaakith’s deteriorating health becomes apparent. Vlaakith was able to hide her mortality because time on the Astral Planes moves slowly. Githyanki’s do not age, which is why their youth were on the material planes. The Inquisitor, a formidable githyanki warrior, discovers Vlaakith’s secret and poses a significant threat to her rule. Fearing a potential uprising, Vlaakith orders the Inquisitor’s assassination.
Lae’zel stands at a crossroads, faced with pivotal choices that will determine her destiny:
1) Lae’zel can slay Orpheus, a former ally who transformed into a mind flayer to save his people, viewing him as a traitor.
2) She may be fatally wounded in her attempt to kill Orpheus, leaving him alive to battle the Absolute. After defeating the Absolute, Orpheus goes back to the Astral Planes to continue the rebellion against Vlaakith.
3) Lae’zel may be fatally wounded before Orpheus succumbs to his transformation into a mind flayer. After defeating the Absolute, he requests death, sparing him the agony of living as a mind flayer.
4) In a radical shift, after defeating the Absolute, Lae’zel and Orpheus could journey back to the Astral Plane, aiming to liberate their people from Vlaakith’s oppressive reign.
5) Should Lae’zel find love, she has the option to remain in Baldur’s Gate with her beloved, discovering the meaning of freedom.
6) If her lover becomes a mind flayer in the fight against the Absolute, Lae’zel will end the relationship, unable to bridge the gap between her and a mind flayer. She will remember them always for their sacrifice and helping to free the githyanki.
7) Lae’zel might fall under the thrall of the Absolute.
Lae’zel’s journey is a complex tapestry of choices and challenges that determine her ultimate fate.