In the Shadow of Kings

At the crossroads

Sarghon

After the long night before, I was looking forward to a long night’s sleep, resting my body and processing the events of the past days. The troubles of Tyr are many, and many people are eager to use this situation we are in for their own benefit. It is truly troublesome times, but I was convinced that we were on the right path of rebuilding Tyr and helping its people. But as I closed my eyes and fell asleep, old memories came back and began to trouble my mind. I slept, but it was shallow, and I couldn’t help thinking about what I’d seen in the dreams.

But my thoughts were cut short, as faint movements in my isolated living quarters alerted me. I made out a dagger in the dark, ready to strike; I clearly saw its sharp edges revealed as a silhouette against the soft light from the morning sunrise through the windows. I lost my chance to divert the dagger from its target, and awoke quickly as it plunged into my shoulder. Quickly, I got up but could already feel the poison from the dagger flowing through my veins, weakening my body. I was puzzled at first and tried to grasp the situation, trying to fend of my adversary as thoughts went quickly through my mind. Soon realized that I had no chance to survive under these conditions, and I grasped into the deep mind of my opponent and filled it with distracting images, meant to disorient him long enough for me to escape outside.

While running for the door, I became worried of the two sisters that I had taken pity upon and taken under my protection in the aftermath of the rebellion. Their house was just across the big empty place where the area’s water well is positioned, and I worried that the same fate had fallen upon them and the others of the group. As I came closer to the door, my fears were realized as I heard the soft thumps of bone and wood meeting in fierce battles. I quickly became tired as the poison flowed deeper into my vessel; I felt heavier, slower. Limping through the yard, I tried to get closer to Aryenne and Alina, who were fending off attacks from what appeared to be guards in the morning light. What are the guards doing here attacking the girls? Thoughts ran through my head, nothing made sense anymore. I tried to get closer to see better, but my steps got heavier as my body’s energy was depleted by the poison. My cowardly attacker quickly caught up with me, I could see his elvish distasteful face now in the light. Between dodging feeble attempts of attacks by this rogue elf, I could also see Corrin and Legion fighting of a strange, black, two-headed Panther. What monstrosity was this? I was only hoping I was having a terrible dream, and it would soon be over.

But while looking over my shoulder to see how the others were doing, my adversary took his chance and thrust his spear deep into my shoulder. The pain was excruciating, so intense, I had never felt any pain like it before. The disgusting elf raised his spear for a finishing blow, but just as he was thrusting it into my heart he halted his movement as I heared a sharped high-pitched whistle. All the enemies quickly ran away, shortly after followed also by the panther who seemed eager to stay and finish the job. My adversary stopped in his steps to deliver a message: “This is a lesson from Aitekki to leave us alone”. Aitekki? This elvish name certainly makes one wonder. But the message left by the elf echoed in my mind, I began to doubt whether we were really going down the right path.

Soon after I understood the reason they left, as a group of heavily armored soldiers passed by the square shortly after the abominable band of scums left us, and they were walking towards the golden tower. What was going on here? Too tired to care, I tried to regain my consciousness as began people pouring out of their houses to see what had happened. Obviously these people were afraid of the fighting and did not dare to interfere. They aided us to get inside to recover from the battle and there we were able to get back home for some rest.

But we didn’t get more than a few hours to rest, as we were waked up by loud voices outside accompanied by storms of footsteps. After going out to see what was going on, we understood that something was happening by the arena, as hordes of people were gathering towards this old entertainment spot. We all were tired still after the long day, but decided to go look for what was causing all this commotion. There I recognized several old acquaintances, but went up to talk to the especially familiar face of Davith Vordon, one of the wealthiest merchants in Tyr. He was surrounded by bodyguards dressed in heavy armors and big swords, but remembered my face and allowed me to join him. A place was made ready for me, and with a little wine I tried extracting some information from him. He had clearly enjoyed a big rise in income from the current events in Tyr, as he had grown even fatter than when we last met. But our discussions were cut short by Ortlo the Lunatic, previous member of the legendary Crimson Companions, entering the arena floor. People cheered as she walked onto the center of the arena and dumped someone who’d apparently gotten a serious beating; the man could barely stand. Soon after Shamash entered and the crowd cheered, if possible, even louder. He explained that the man, a traitor Templar named Harsu Handar, has been working with the enemy state of Urik, who’s armies recently occupied the iron mines of the north, and are now marching towards Tyr as we speak. He was guilty of treason and would pay with his life for this. Harsu Handar sat on his knees in the sand of the arena and shouted how the true king is coming, but his words were cut short as Shamash thrust his sword into his heart. It was silent for just a heartbeat before the crowd roared once again and Shamash exited the arena.

Spooked by the news, I excused myself Davith Vordon and joined up with my group once again. As we left the arena I spotted Nori Silktongue staring at me, and shortly after he began walking towards us. He informed us of the Titan’s absence, but refused to answer us on his conditions or the reasons to this sudden absence. He also informed us how his old rival had walked down one of the streets, Shivrin Halfblood, who he claimed to be associated with the Toothcutters. Legion picked up Nori Silktongue and we ran through the streets to catch up with this man. He was not hard to spot, surrounded by four bodyguards that only with their appearance cleared the path ahead of them. We were able to convince the man to give us audience for a discussion in a secluded place over some fine wine, and sent away Silktongue with words that we should meet again soon. We found a nice secluded drinking place, and ordered in some wine. Shivrin Halfblood emptied bottle after bottle and became more and more talkative, revealing more information as more bottles were emptied. It seems the intelligence of Nori Silktongue was true, as Shivrin Halfblood confirmed how he works with the Nori Silktongue. Once again the name Aitekki came up, as their leader. Happy with the information we’ve gathered, and happy to survive last night’s assault, although barely, we went back home to return to our beds.

But for a while I could do nothing but stare at the roof with my mind filled with thoughts of day’s events. Who was this Aitekki, what are devilish two-headed panther-creatures doing in his service, should we join the army’s march to oppose the marching forces from Urik, what about the toothcutters? Many questions, but the biggest one was the hardest to fully grasp the extent of, and answer; have we joined the right side of this fight? I felt we were at a big crossroad, and we had no idea where neither of these would take us. A dark, terrifying crossroad filled with choices.

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Aryenne

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