Tuesday, February 14, 2012

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.