SESSION 004 - Tendrils of Corruption
STARDAY, 01 NEEDFEST (MID WINTER) 579CYDarius was in no mood for the argument that had erupted after the discovery that Malek had escaped. They had paid no heed to his words and now the assassin was once again a problem. He pondered there options as he played with Malek’s ring. The light from the torches catching the silver band, as it rolled back and forth in the palm of his hand. It was then that Darius remembered about the assassin’s magical cloak. Looking around he saw it laying on the ground near to where the fight had taken place. He walked over and picked up the cloak that they had stripped from the Malek; the cloak was a lot lighter than it appeared.
Erehwon cupped his hands over the hilts of the daggers that were stashed in his belt. He thought back to how he had managed to disarm the assassin in the chamber with the pool of dark stagnant liquid. “How Malek had cursed his luck,” he chuckled softly to himself and now he had both of the daggers. The half-orc tightened his grip on the daggers. The buzzing sounds of Markus and Duerin voices soon faded into the silence that filled the half-orc’s mind.
The voices at first were hard to distinguish, but after a while he could make out two distinct voices calling out to him, one male, and the other female. Then voices spoke in unison, “Return us to the sanctum of our father, do this and you will be richly rewarded…” then sudden silence ensued thereafter. Erehwon shook his head and blinked his eyes to try and clear his mind. The corridor came back into focus, his friends still stood arguing before him.
“WHY dammit! Markus muttered to himself more than to anyone else. Bren always said, “Boy listen to your gut, it will save your life.” If only he had listened to his gut, then he wouldn’t be stuck down here in the crypt with Malek halfway to who knows where.
They had only realised the assassin was gone when they had heard the stone slab fall into place. He could still hear the grating sound the stone made as it slid into place followed by a dull thud as it locked into place. They were in no position to explore the crypt any further, as all of them were injured and in need of rest. The ranger’s shoulder ached from battle with Malek, it would be a while longer before he could rest and get Darius to check it again.
Malek made his way back to the village. He wasn’t looking forward to delivering his report, let alone report that he had lost the daggers. He waited in the darkness in the small cottage.
The cottage he waited in had fallen into disrepair and watched as a large rat passed him by. The rat stopped sniffed the air, its whiskers twitching as it turned to regard the man hidden in the shadows with its beady red eyes. Malek stepped forth to give the wretched rodent a kick, but stopped in mid stride. He watched as a figure appeared from the shadows before him. The man brought his steel shod boot down on the rodents head. The rat’s squeaked as its head was crushed into a gory mass of flesh and bone on the stone floor, the rat’s body continued to spasm for a few seconds after the fur-lined cloaked man removed his metal shod boot from the rodents head.
“Are you a rodent … assassin?” He asked from the shadows of his hooded cloak, while he scraped the gore from his boot on edge of the hearth.
Malek was cut short with his response, “It was a rhetorical question … assassin. Do you have the dagger?” “No Master Blackwolf ...,” Malek let his answer hang in the air for a moment before continuing, “There were complications.”
The man’s cloak bellowed as he struck the assassin …. “Foool!” He hissed. “We need that dagger before the end of the festival. Vanaur will not be pleased. I will not be accountable for your incompetence assassin. GET ME THE DAGGER!” He growled at the assassin.
“What of Markus du Monte? He was amongst those that were in the crypt.” asked Malek.
“Kill him … kill them all, but get that dagger back,” said Master Blackwolf as he turned and walked back into the shadows he had come from.
Malek walked over to the hearth; looking over his shoulder he removed a stone from the side of the stone worked fireplace. Carefully placing the stone on the floor, the assassin reached in and disarmed the trap he had set. He removed the bundle from the cubbyhole that he had hidden when he first arrived in the village. The assassin laid the bundle on the floor of the cottage and slowly opened the waterproof sack peeling the layers back to reveal its contents.
He collected the items from the floor and stashed them his belt pouch, except for the ring which he put on his finger. All that remained left was a potion and a silver dagger. Malek uncorked the potion and down its contents. He could feel the warmth of the liquid course through his body as the magical liquid began to heal his wounds.
Lastly the assassin picked up the dagger, the dagger gleamed with magic. Malek activated the dagger by saying the phrase as he had many times before. “Markus du Monte,” he said aloud, followed by the same phrase he had spoken to activate the dagger earlier. The dagger flared with a red glow as he spoke the final word.
Now the Markus du Monte would meet his death he chuckled …