In the Shadow of Kings

Deadly alley

Peikka al

Bloodthirsty killer…
…that is what I have become in the past ten years. Though my service to Salabus is getting to its end, I have never felt the reason that kept me alive over these years, so far as it seems now. My debt for the safety of Mealdis and the child growing in her womb at the time of our parting is payed back by blood and crime. How could I return to them after these long years, after so many corpses, as an old thug, haunted by remorse.

But even thinking of remorse is pissing on the memory of long-dead gods. Yesterday I murdered two defenseless man, and participated in the killing of some other city guards. Salabus sent me on a last task to free a group of falsely accused scavengers from the custody of the city-guards. The guards were led by two Templars; Jaqim Condo and Rithisak Dyan. Salabus blackmailed Dyan, so he led the marching to a blind alley, where I was waiting. My task would have been to intimidate Condo and his man, and force them to retreat. I surprised them overly well; my first hit found Condo unprepared, he paid with his head. His captain and hirelings did not fall into panic seeing the fall of their master, they were up for revenge. They remained disciplined even when they realized that Dyan is ordering his people to not to interfere. The soldiers stoke me organized and hard, I fell into the ground severely wounded. I always considered myself prepared for death, but in that moment I was paralyzed by fear, that this last mission will pay me the end that I deserve.

By that time Sariel and her companions regained their weapons and were prepared for fighting the guards. A strange blue man, Sarghon and a girl, Aryenne came to my aid and saved my life, allowing me to return to the fight. The forces were equalized; it was a good fight, until the commander fell. His death was the final blow to the moral of the remaining guards, they tried to retreat, but Dyan’s guards did not allowed anyone to leave the alley, of course he did not want to leave anyone alive, to tell about the ambush. The fight turned into a massacre, a bloody massacre. My sword crashed the bones and cut the guts of another defenseless man, I was burning in anger that was eased only when the grotesque grin of violent death froze on his blood-covered face. When it was finished I led the prisoners to a derelict warehouse. All of us needed the rest, badly.

The very last thing I ought to do is to lead Sariel and her friends out of the city unharmed or to help them clean their name. This morning I told them what I know about their arresting and the involvement of their ‘friend’, the Titan. I also unfolded what I overheard some weeks ago at the shop from the conversation of Salabus and a strange young man. The stranger claimed that Sariel’s comrade, Arannis is in trouble in a cave to the north that serves as some kind of meeting place for them. First, I did not gave credibility to the hearsay, and just told Sariel about it as a sign of good will, but the expression of her face, and her decision of leaving the city immediately to the north, leaving their unfinished business with the guards unresolved, convinced me about the importance of the information. The road to the caves leads trough the desert, the road is long, dangerous and hostile even if there is peace. However, now the lack of shelter is the least concern of the wanderers; the armies of Urik are marching against Tyr from the north.

After Aryenne helped me collecting the equipment and mounts for the trip, our next concern was the way out of the city. Sariel choose to set up a meeting with Musa Dyan, asking him to repay his debt by letting us go. It was obvious that her request was against everything he values, but in the name of honor he agreed to escort us to the gates and provide safe passage. But he also swore that, he will hunt every last of us down and deliver justice for our souls. So far, he kept his word…

Now, the wind of the night desert is freezing to the bone, war is ahead of us, justice is behind. After ten years like the one passed on me the company of traitors, cannibalistic gnomes and man-eating giant ants suites me better than the warmth of a family. Therefore I’m determined to aid this party until my soul is redeemed, one way or the other.

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Aryenne

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