So I've been thinking about this.
I think the Netherese Shadow Magic and the tadpole being in stasis are unrelated.
1. The stasis is built-in because the Mindflayers don't want people to start to turn right away, they want them to turn on command (we can see that on the ship) once they start their invasion (basically the announcement cinematic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcP0WdH7rTs
). They created the cult to have humanoids pawns, but it might not have been their ideas (see next point).
2. The Netherese magic is someone manipulating the Mindflayers behind the scene. This someone is why the PC is aware of the tadpole. This someone is influencing the Cult of the Absolute but not necessarily entirely in control of it. It's quite telling that the cult wants to kill the Druids because they worship Silvanus, but have no issues with a Loviatar Priest and Bane followers around camp.
3. For the mindflayer invasion to work, the Githyanki have to be depowered. How? By stealing an important weapon from them of course! Now this is where it gets weird. We know the thief
, but the thief doesn't seems to know what they stole exactly. The thief isn't associated with the Cult of the Absolute either. That leaves us with more speculations:
- the people who gave the thief the mission are tadpoled or didn't get the request from whom they claim
(i.e. usurped identity)
- the mission is exactly as it was which raise more questions about #2 "someone"
4. Nobody seems to know what the thief looks like,
5. We can see the goal of the Mindflayers, we don't know the goal(s) of the puppetmaster(s) in the EA. We also know some demons are very interested in something, but maybe they just want to swoop in and screw everyone else over at the right time.
6. The Nightsong...Am I the only person confused that it's considered a Selûnite artifact when Shar is the Nightsinger? ...and the trails seems to follow the Absolute.