A Meeting in the Dark
Back at the inn in a secret set of rooms hidden behind a hollow wall, marked only by a cast of ale with a wax seal placed under a cast of rich ale in the basement, I waited for Mordin to begin our conversation. I dared not speak because of the incident earlier that night. I sat across from him examining the new ring in my hand. The dark room was for business and secret meetings concerning the society. I and Mordin were some of a very few assassins who took direct contracts from the society as well as cared for the facilities under Mordin’s charge. To know of the society and to know the society were two very different things, I had spent the first decade of my service and training without even knowing the name of the society and another decade before I began serving the society itself. The dark room was filled to the brim with books, everywhere, on shelves, and in great stacks on the floor, there were even a few in place of a chair leg under Mordin. They were everything from Dictionaries, Histories, and even alchemy recipes. Mordin was studying an anthology of botany of the region. Mordin demanded that all his students be well read, and for good reason, in our business it was essential, the difference between life and death could very well be a piece of obscure information from an old tome.
The silence was debilitating, I felt like I was a scorned child again waiting for the discipline of my mentor. Mordin was quietly sifting through the anthology when he stopped suddenly walked near the secret entrance and pulled on a small string hanging from the ceiling. He then sat in the chair opposite of me, and began, “Magic. No do not say a word until I am finished.” He said calmly raising his hand to stop my planned response. “Magic is something that can be unpredictable, uncontrolled, and certainly not subtle. That is why it is not taught by any of our order, and the type of magic you showed tonight is not taught by anyone east of Bjoruune Fjords in the northwest…” he trailed off raising an eyebrow as if he was asking for an explanation. “Nevertheless I’ve been curious about the lands beyond those far reaches and the seas, in particular the lands where the Honzon Qi mountains are located, where a technique called Honzi Hand Dōn is rumored to be taught”. I began to speak but Mordin held up a finger once more, “Let me be plain, you are no longer a student so I will not scold you like one but I would warn again against the use of such powerful arcane methods in your line of work, of all we know about magic little is know about the magic of this world that is not in the spoken word. Furthermore magic affects the world in subtle ways that those who might be attuned can sense. It is those whom are not known to you that could very well be your downfall. Yes, yes those small incantations that can detect life for you or move a small latch on the other side of a door, or even move the pieces of a lock, are well enough known to those in the order, however that which is unknown is unpredictable, that which is unpredictable can kill you in our line of work my friend”. There was a knock at the door and Axii walked into the room with a small barrel under his arm, a kettle of water, a bowl of tea leaves and spices, as well as a book in his other hand.
“Well what an occasion it must be that you should be celebrating and instead are plotting down here with this old brute” Axii said looking at me while handing Mordin the materials he needed to make his tea.
“We were attacked by two parties on our way to the meeting these evening, one of those parties is still alive” Mordin stated while pouring his tea.
Axii exclaimed, “You mean to tell me that two of the most dangerous people within thousands of leagues of this land let an attacker live?” while setting the same barrel down tapping it and pouring two pints of ale for the each of us except for Mordin.
Grabbing the pint I took a sip then said: “It was the same assailant that attacked me during my contract earlier”
Axii raised his brow, “Ah, and that was why you were late” I then explained what had happened during my contract that night while Axii emptied his mug and filled it again.
“So someone really want you dead! But who?” Axii he said as he filled up his mug a third time.
“That is what I’m hoping you can answer for us Axii, I know that none of those under my watch would dare to disrupt the business of the society, and you are the one with the most ties to other lands besides the Empire. Does anyone come to mind that would want us dead?” Mordin asked quietly stirring his tea.
“Aye there might be a few kings who’d want both of you dead, that is if they even knew who the hell you were. But I’m guessing that you don’t go throwing your name around of course” Axii said laughing dryly and said, “But I might have an idea, those daggers you brought back with you are far too unique to be from anywhere else as far as I know.” He said nodding to me.
“Hmmm and where is that?” Mordin asked interested now more than I would have guessed from him.
Axii emptied the fourth pint, sighed and said, “Gathdol Nardal… The Grey Sky Crags”.
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