An Episodic Journey in the Shadows of a Fantastic World
First, this is NOT a children's story! While I don't think excessive cursing will be used by any of the main characters this is an evolving story and my writing process is very different. Also this story was inspired by: The Witcher, Assassin’s Creed, Final Fantasy, Doctor Strange, Lord of the Rings, Sword Art Online, Dragon Age, Japanese Fantasy and lore, and a bunch of different stealth games. I hope these characters become as much a part of you as they have of me. My hope is that this becomes an ever evolving story and world that will strike your curiosity and a desire to know more about the mysterious places and people that I will share with you. Feel free to ask me questions about the world and characters as this will help spark my own creative juices and shape the story of our sly protagonist. As always suggestions are welcomed and I would love the participation of my readers. Enjoy and happy hunting!
Episode 3: Being Late
I removed my mask and cowl when I reached the edge of the forest, I also unstrung my bow to form a staff. I returned to the city, my black business garb covered by my hood and cloak. I was given a hearty welcome by the innkeeper, he was foreigner like myself, and a well known member of the society. “Welcome! Your business kept you late tonight didn't it Mr. Black?” His large smile broke through his red bushy beard and his auburn eyes looked at me inquisitively. This was a code, all members of the society were to be called Mr. Black. As a member of the society he obviously knew who I really was and what my ‘business’ was. “Oh you have no idea...” I formed a the countersign with my hands. As I did this, he smiled once again. The large man had once told me how he hated these customs and would rather yell out at every member of the society and ask how the killing was. I walked up to the bar where the stout bearded man stood his large hands pouring an ale into a mug. “Is our beloved handler here tonight” I ask with smile. This man made even a cold hearted killer like myself feel warm and invited, he was northerner like myself however neither of us couldn't be called ‘foreigners’ rightfully by any of the locals. He said he had moved here after a long and successful career with the Society in his homeland to make a peaceful living.
How successful this attempt at a peaceful life had been was obvious by my presence and the presence of an official handler. “Mordin just had his evening tea, he's in the next room” he said while handing me an ale and pouring himself one. “Axii, you know the rules. He hates that” I said low and serious. Mordin was good enough friend of mine, but he was very strict about laws by which the society had given him to enforce here. “I make no apologies damnit. I'm a man and I'll say what I please even if it doesn't please that stick in the mud than so be it” as he said this he topped his mug off and turn back to me, “to you great hunter!” And we drank the brew together. I had no feelings about my home, I was at home anywhere I went really. But I couldn't resist smiling as I drank a northern ale with a fellow northerner. As we finished our drink we both sighed. “I like that one Axii!” I said to home beckoning for another filled pint. “Aye I thought you might, my cousin sent it down from his new brewery, thanks to you he's been very successful.” He replied with cheer. As he turned to pour another pint for each of us a grunt sounded from the next room, Mordin had grown tired of waiting for me. “Oh right” he said remembering the business a hand “You're rather late aren't you?” He asked handing me the second ale. “Yes, long story, I'll tell you later” I said with a sigh. “I look forward to hearing it!” He said gleefully and then change his tone, “Is there service you require?” I checked myself. “Oh yes, I forgot” I pulled my cloak off and laid it on the bar top, “I my cloak will need some stitches, as will I” I then placed the daggers and my equipment on top of the cloak, “Send everything else up to my room, I'll examine these later”. “Oh these daggers!” Axii said in surprise as I began to walk away. “What?” I inquired. “I may know something about them, I'll look into my books for you but I'll need to hear your story first” as he said this I smirked. “That's a deal Axii” I replied and walked away. I was intrigued with the design of my assailant’s daggers as well but had not let my interest in the beautiful instruments take over yet. There was still the matter of the poison which had not taken any effect yet. “Axii, will send down the apothecary as well?” I requested as I walked into the next room. “Very well Mr. Black!” He said now following society mandate.
I knew exactly where my handler Mordin would be, nestled in his corner of the dim light lounge of the inn. It was well known within the society that certain seats throughout the entire country were exclusively for him. No one would dare sit in them, or at his table with him without an invitation first. He was nearly twice my age with much more experience in this business than many of the society members. His black hair flowed back bordered by a small amount of gray his beard was still as black as night however. His blue eyes pierced me with a scowl as I pulled a chair from his table and sat in it backwards. “You're late” he said in his deep voice, “You of all people should know how I loath tardiness”. “I apologize, tonight's hunt became quite complicated.” “I'm well aware, and I know why. You became cocky again” “I know” “How many times have I told you not to assume anything?” “Since the first day I met you” I was being scolded, I knew to be respectful and answer him quickly or risk him canceling a meeting he had made for me. He had the means to end my career with one word, the sole responsibility of finding members of the society employment rested on him. His power was far reaching in the Society and I knew when he was truly angry with me. He was one of my mentors and my greatest teacher. After I had left the monastery I had stumbled across him fighting off attackers as one swats away flies. I kept hidden and watched him kill eight large men without moving more than one arm. He called to me afterwards and looked me in the eyes even though I was well hidden. For seven long years he forged my natural talents into the skills which had given me legendary status within the society.
I had become refined and perfectly deceptive when he had finished with me and I was well fitted for my entrance into the Society. “Now both of us will be late and you're wounded as well.” as he said this a gentleman came next to me and began examining the cut. “He was an easy mark by any standards damnit!” he exclaimed thinking my target had attacked me. “No stranger did this, very skilled and they used very special tools” I replied wincing as the doctor poor something into my wound. “Really? And how did this stranger evade your aim?” He said slowly. “Like I said” now removing my shirt so the doctor could some the cut better, “they were very skilled”. “Well did you kill whoever attacked you?” Mordin asked irritated. “No” “And why not?” He scowled at me again. “I was already late and no one paid me to kill them, so I didn't” he didn't like this answer. “Damnit, is he fine doctor?” He addressed the man who had apparently finished his work. “He will live but I have no way of knowing what the poison will do to him” the doctor replied. “Poison?” Mordin exclaimed looking at me for an answer. I nodded my head, “yes I could smell it off the blades” I dressed again and addressed the doctor, “Axii has the daggers, ask for one and examine it”. I wrote on a small ornate note from my pocket and handed it to him, “just give this to Axii, the inn will pay for your services as well” I looked to Mordin as I said this with a subtle smile. “Yessir, as you wish” the doctor took the note and left. “Well let's go.” Mordin said shortly, “you've wasted enough time already”.
We both stood up and I followed out the door of the inn. As we left Mordin nodded to Axii and said, “the house is out on business” and Axii nodded back at him. This meant that no business was to be made while Mordin, the house handler, was gone. The few other members of the society that had been in the lounge room earlier would retire since it was too late to conduct their business now.
What's up nerds!!! This community is awesome! I've loved writing since I started college and I've loved video games since I was born! (almost true I started on my dad's NES when I was 4) So I decided why not do both, so I started a Youtube channel. Check it out here and give me a thumbs up! It's only a little sad I promise.