Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thirty-First of Summer, 14th Year of the Wind

     Sinvida is now whispering to me, it is past time that she feeds. An assignment has not been given, but I have other channels with which to acquire a means to feed my blade. Some would think this is a conflict of interest with my brothers, but the payment goes to the brotherhood regardless.
     I do not know if there is an accurate history of Sinvida in a library somewhere, though if there was, I think she would ask me to destroy it. She is not fickle, no, she merely has a profound distaste for opinions interfering with truth. You may think me crazy for talking about a knife as though it were a person, but Sinvida has always been a tool for the use of men she found worthy... she has not always been a knife though.


     I dreamed for the first time in my life, the night I found the green-bladed knife. I saw it, stabbed into the trunk of a tree as I was making my way home from a job in my early teens. When I wrapped my hand around the hilt, I knew immediately that it wasn't a tool like any other I'd ever had before. It hummed and warmed my hand, and when I slid the knife into my belt, I could swear I heard a sigh of content.
     That night I dreamed of strange things. A woman, a dancer, plying her trade upon a raised dais in the middle of a great room surrounded by hundreds of people. The clothing was exotic and the music was not familiar to me, but the smells of food and smoke were. All eyes were on the woman in a sheer green dress, swaying to the heart of the music. She moved in such a way that even I was captivated, her hips and shoulders always alternating, her body flawless to my eyes.
     A chorus of cheers rose when she bowed at the end of her dance and stepped down from the platform. A man in a coat studded with gems held his hand out to her and smiled a greasy smile. He said a few words in a language I couldn't understand and she blushed for him. Praise, I believe. She took his offered hand and he pulled her into him, smelling her hair and making more comments. Only royalty acted this way, and only for royalty would people allow this kind of lewd behavior.
     I watched as he offered her drink and drank himself, they ate and the comments and blushing continued for a while. They danced some, and I saw the look in his eyes change when he leaned in and whispered to her. The shock on her face was plain to me, but she schooled it quickly and nodded, bowing graciously. I knew what was to come.
      I was made to follow though the castle, I now knew it to be, as hundred of rooms were passed, flanked by guards holding spears and halberds. The weaponry, the clothing, and the decor reminded me of something far east of where I plied my trade, somewhere with much more sand than I will ever see.
      The bedroom is where I was stopped, to watch a brief scene of her dancing more for him to no music, him motioning her to the bed, and though I expected the obvious... that was not what happened. He hit her hard enough across the face to break her neck. He picked her up and threw her on the bed, beating her with his fists. Her face, her body. Sweat poured from him as he beat her. This was not sexual, this was feral. It continued until almost nothing was left that was recognizable, but bubbles of blood could be seen at her mouth, meaning she was still breathing. He wiped the sweat from his eyes and crossed the room to a small chest, where he retrieved a golden knife. I understood.
     This was a sacrifice to his Gods, not a sexual encounter. The look of shock on her face when he propositioned her meant that she understood that. He whispered something to her and she let out a wheeze. He plunged the knife into her heart and the room exploded into green light. When my eyes adjusted, she was gone and the blade of the knife had turned from gold, to the color of fresh grass. A deep green. The man plunged the knife into his own heart, and fell to the bed, dead.


     I knew when I awoke that the dream was not a dream at all, but the story of the knife I had found. Why she chose me to wield her, I'm not yet aware, but I feel that something this powerful has a reason for all the things that it does, and I will some day have the honor of knowing.

Twenty-Fifth of Summer, 14th Year of the Wind

     The aftermath of the attack by the Mage guild has been cleaned away. We lost just under fifty of our brothers and sisters. Currently Father Tobias is not talking retaliation, but I see the look in the eyes of those that helped me move our dead and bury them. I have a feeling it will soon be open season on anyone who uses magic.
      On another note, Sinvida is starting to feel cool to my touch. She is hungry again, will be putting my name on the wheel for another assignment.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ninteenth of Summer, 14th Year of the Wind

     Arrived at the Den in Brimms early this morning, greeted by brothers and sisters alike. It's always good to come home, since most of my time is spent away. It all seemed like it was going to be a good day, Father Tobias was he usual amiable self, nothing seemed out of place in his office.

     We didn't have a warning, it would seem that our sentries were dealt with silently. I heard it first because I was closer to the door, and the look in Father Tobias' eyes confirmed it. Someone was chanting. We climbed opposite walls and held ourselves in the corners of the room closest to the door. I knew what was coming and looked away before the fireball hit the door and it exploded outward, showering the room with splinters, metal, and molten lava. The fire burned for a few seconds engulfing the desk and bookshelves behind it. It winked out completely, not even smoke left behind.

     The first two men entered the room together one with a sword, one with a mace, neither in robes. The third person that entered the room was in a dark blue floor-length robe with hood. I took a breath to ready myself, and before I jumped down, Father Tobias was standing between the three men. The two armed men were already falling to their knees and the mage sagged. I hadn't seen Father Tobias move at all, but in the time it took me to consider my next action, there were three corpses in the room, and a humming chant coming from beyond the door.

     I knew that Father Tobias dabbled in the Arcane, but I wasn't aware that his taste was in darker arts. Screams replaced the chanting, a chorus of screams. I hopped down and stepped to Father Tobias' side, kneeling to check for life in the three men on the floor. I glanced through the door and saw a tentacle the size of a horse rip another robed man in half, the tentacle coming out of a shadowy mist against one wall.

     I feel that Magic, for the most part, makes people complacent. Why gather wood and make a fire when you can just cast a spell? Laziness, as far as I'm concerned. I don't fear those that use magic, for the most part I pity them.

     Seeing this chills me to the bone.

Fifteenth of Summer, 14th Year of the Wind

     There is backlash from the assassination at Mount Matol, and it is considerable. It would seem that the guard that I dispatched in the dungeon prior to my sanctioned target was a member of a more public guild. I truly hate politics. I've been summoned before Father to give a full account, evidently the Mage's guild is asking for retribution.

     We don't negotiate with fools.

First Entry, Ninth of Summer, 14th year of the Wind

     I've been commanded to keep record of my deeds going-forward, in such a format that can be used as reference material or instructional reading for future generations. I'll start with formalities: Since I've no way of knowing what will change as time goes on, currently our calendar is based on the four seasons. Ninety days per season, each year is counted from the release of the great elements. Earth, Fire, Wind, Water... repeating. I am Thomas, my family name and title are unimportant, my rank is "Second". My weapon is Sinvida, and I have no heirs.
     In the past several weeks we've undergone a change of leadership, due to the death of our beloved father Allum. He was not removed from power, he had seen a millennium. A thousand years as the leader of a guild that no one believes exists, we're all in agreement that he did his job well. The new Father was selected by Father Allum only thirty years ago, about the time I was brought into the fold. Some of the older brothers are unhappy with the decision to make a human our leader, and Tobias has been challenged twice. We are, sadly, now short two brothers. No one can refute his prowess or his ability to make any situation work to his benefit. I see and understand why Father Allum made the decision he did, and I'll stand by it.
     Father Tobias has decreed that all activities sanctioned by the guild are to be recorded for the study and use of future members, so that we continue to be the catalyst that controls the Change of the Tide. We are assassins, first and foremost. Through channels of various means we take money as payment for the death of living things. Some would say "people", but we don't differentiate between the races, and after having poured poison on the roots of a tree in the middle of a Dryad's glen... Our scope is broader than most consider.

     Formalities and current events concluded, pomp and circumstance aside, today I dethroned a King.

     The tools of my trade vary from task to task, and for infiltrating Castle through the dungeon, I needed a drink. On the Eighth of Summer I went in with a group of common folk to watch judgement be passed on those that had violated the law. I dropped Sinvida in the well in the center of the Great Chamber and left the Castle. Having only the my clothes and a handful of coin, the rest left at the safehouse here in Mount Matol (City named for the mountain it was built against, how original), I headed for the inn. I drank enough to be convincing, and made a ruckus with a surly looking fellow, took him outside, slapped him around a bit and as the law demands, was thrown in the Dungeon for the night to sleep off my intoxication.

     I don't know of my heritage, but I know that though I look human, there's fay blood in me as well, because though I'm in my mid-thirties, I look to be in my late teens. I mentioned the tools of my trade, one of which is the ability to play naive when it suits me.A few hours had passed since I'd been taken in, and I gauged it to be mid-morning.

     "Guard, please help, I'm going to be sick." I said in a weak voice, "I don't want to puke in your cell, please, a bucket."

     The guard looked at me and took the bait. An older man, greying beard and mustache, grey at his temples. I noted the corded muscles on his forearms and hands, the calluses on his fingers, and the ease with which he unlocked the door without a swift motion of his hand. A practitioner of Magic and well versed in combat, I could not draw this out. I fell to the floor face down as he tossed the bucket into the room, the timing was flawless, it hit me in the head.

     "Damnit boy, you need to be chasing skirts, not drinking and brawling, spending your nights in a cell like this." The guard huffed at me disapprovingly as he came into the cell.

     He lifted me easily by one arm and one leg, not the most graceful of lifts mind you, but effective nonetheless. It left his hands busy and the dagger at his waist considerably accessible. He tossed me on the bed and turned to leave the cell. He stopped and looked at the ground where he had been standing. He'd noticed his knife missing. It could have gone badly if he expected trouble, but I was pretending to be unconscious and I imagine he assumed I landed on the knife. When he rolled me over to check, I stabbed him in the heart. He slouched and died without fuss. I replaced the knife at his belt and dragged him to his chair, leaning him against the wall.

     Leaving the Dungeon with the keys and navigating the Castle were simple from that point. Breakfast was in the works and servants were moving around hurriedly. I grabbed an empty bucket on my way to the well and leaned in to fill it, calling to Sinvida. My knife came to my hand with a familiar warmth and I placed it in the bucket, now half full with water. En route to the kitchens, I crossed paths with the King and his single guard, neither of which spared a glance at a mousey-haired youth. Originally I'd intended to poison his meal, but with just one guard, why waste the chance? Sinvida flew true as she always does, end over end a single time before burying into the base of the skull of the King's guard. The King didn't notice his escort's demise at first and turned to say something, noticing the lack of company. When he turned to see the corpse falling to the ground, I met him nose-to-nose. Sinvida in his heart.

     I'd already walked past the well and was passing through the gates, no sign of an alarm. One would think that people would care more for their King, but if that was true, I wouldn't have made any money today.