“ Meddle not with the dark arts of necromancy, lest your soul be consumed by vengeful spirits, tormented by Vimair.”
THE DARK STREETS SEEMED TO GO ON FOREVER. The whole “city” thing was a new concept to Adrian. It was bustling and busy in the morning, but when the sun set everyone went inside. This wasn’t normal, at least for adrian, the whole thing seemed strange. He had stayed up all night and day for as long as he could remember. In fact, he had distinct memories of staying up all night in his mother’s library. Reading tomes that were all but forgotten and covered in an inch of dust, lost in this realm, at least. He had learned much by doing this, and eventually figured out the old arts of magick. He would spend many-a-night talking to spirits, wisps of memories that had crossed to the physical realm through a summoning spell. They were curious creatures, what seemed to be little orbs of light bobbing up and down, could convey complex emotion and thought. The main purpose of the spirits was to spread knowledge and history, allow scholarly mages to learn spells and more in depth experience of the realm of the dead -- but Adrian knew of their other talents, once revelled but now hidden by the fearful elders of the many magick universities. These spirits could be used as tools, telescopes to see the world around him, per say. They could tell him secrets of corrupt lords, schedules and times of mundane activities -- and Adrian could use this information to kill. Of course, he didn’t just kill anyone. Adrian walked along a stone pathway, acutely aware of every sound around him.
Wind whistled through the wooden buildings around him, and leaves drummed against the ground. He stepped lightly, and when a guard came around a corner, weilding a torch, he would sneak behind one of the many buildings around him. He repeated this process until he finally reached his destination -- the Viscount’s estate. Adrian smiled buoyantly, content with the progress he made. From where he was standing, he could see that the estate was heavily guarded. There were two guards by the main entrance wearing heavy plate armor, and at least five other guards in leather armor patrolling the perimeter of the estate. Adrian silently clapped his hands together and whispered an incantation. A spirit emerged into the physical realm in the form of a little girl, and rain into the street, screaming at the top of her lungs.
“Help! Please help me!” She bellowed, tears streaming down her face incessantly. She hiccuped, “Its my mom, she’s bleeding and I… it won’t stop!”
Two of the guards that were patrolling gave each other a concerned look and followed the girl, oblivious to the fact that it was a spectral trap, and that they too would cross to the spirit realm, lost forever. While the thought did fill Adrian with a pleasant feeling, this meant he was now on a time limit. In some time the guards would notice that a couple of their comrades were missing and go on high alert.
Adrian moved quickly, knocking his arrow in his bow. He let the arrow fly, and it sunk deep into a lone patroller’s jugular, causing the guard to silently collapse. Adrian snapped his fingers and whispered yet another spell, and a hole formed under the limp body of the guard, pulling him twelve feet underground and sealing back up. He unbuttoned the pouch on his hip and drank a bright yellow potion. It reacted in seconds -- his arms were the first to turn invisible, then his legs, then everything else. He sprinted closer to the estate, making sure to evade stones that he could trip over. A pair of guards came around the corner, the last two patrollers.
“He’ll be angry with you, ya know.” one of them said concernedly, the voice deep and masculine.
“Yeah I know. I’m not doing this so everyone will be happy, I’m doing it because It feels right. I can’t just sit around while he does this.” The other conveyed, it was another man. The guard sniffed, his eyebrows clenching together, “it smells like-”
“Sulfur. That means magick is about.” Both of the guards unsheathed their weapons and looked around.
Why in Variin does the Viscount have Templars guarding? Adrian asked himself. He needed to deal with them quickly before they sniffed him out like a bloodhound. He grabbed a knife from the pack on his hip and held it firmly, moving silently to the side of the two guards. He couldn’t use magick, it would be a dead giveaway of his position. He snuck up behind one of the two guards and stabbed him in the back of the neck, bright blue blood spurted out from the edges of the wound and the man spun around. Adrian could see the pain in his eyes as they rolled into the top of his skull and he toppled down to the ground. His partner whipped around quickly and swung his greatsword. Though he wasn’t able to see Adrian, his smell gave a hearty advantage. Adrian slunk back into the bushes as he planned his attack. He knocked an arrow in the notch of his bow, pointed it at the burly man, and let it loose. When it made impact with the man's armor all it did was break on impact, fall to the ground in pieces. The templar smirked and ran towards the bushes, sword raised to the heavens. Adrian rolled away from the swing of his weapon, and as he skid against the dirt he noticed that he was no longer translucent. In fact he was quite opaque again. The man turned to him and laughed.
“I’ve got you now you sneaky fuck.” he blustered, clammering up to Adrian like a hungry kid, ready to devour. He swung again, and Adrian rolled out of the way. Dirt flew into the air as the heavy sword plowed into it. Adrian clasped his hands together and whispered a spell to himself. He could feel his hands start to warm up as a fireball formed in his palms. The Templar smirked.
“You think your magick can hurt me?” He asked in a condescending tone.
“No,” Adrian replied meekly, “But this will.” He flung the fireball above the templar and it seemed to swirl about, dance like ballerinas at a show. Then it condensed into something more solid. With a pause in the air, it dove down at a high velocity. It landed on the Templar and seemed to smash him to the ground. When Adrian stood and looked at the man, he could see the skin on his face bubbling like a pot of hot water, and his leather armor melting down into a serous form. The Templar was still now, and Adrian was certain that he had been killed. A smile spread across his face as he looked at the lifeless bodies of the guards, and he closed his eyes. He breathed in deeply with satisfaction, the feeling of death running through his veins like a drug. When he opened his eyes he felt refreshed and ready for any obstacle the gods would place in his path of wrath. He walked to the body of the templar he had stabbed and yanked the knife from his neck, blood trickling out with it. Adrian clapped his hands together then flung his arm to the left. The bodies of his victims floated, and purple tendrils of magick surrounded them. He then flung his hands to the left and with it the bodies flew out of sight.
“That was intriguing to say the least. Why would there be Templar’s here, at the Viscount’s estate? Unless, of course, the innocent and much loved Count was hiding something. Something magickal, perhaps?” Adrian divulged to himself inquisitively. “The two I sent away with the spirit must not have been of this sort, or they would have known better. So why is it so selective? How curious.” He paced back and forth, contemplating the situation. “Ah, but I get ahead of myself as usual. I still have the two poor sods in the front to dispose of.” An incredulous reminder. He felt as if he should be done with the contract already with the risk he had put himself in up to this point, but his employers were clear, and he intended to get the job done -- no matter the consequence. For a reminder he dug for the note that was in his pouch and pulled it out, he read over it again in his head:
Tis’ a matter of utmost importance, and a situation that I am afraid is out of my control. I have heard of your deeds, and, to say the least, think you suitable for this job. I have evidence attached to this letter that the Viscount of Maerwood has been dealing in unscrupulous activities, and would like him eliminated. He is scum, and should be treated as such -- like a bug. I want him dead. This is a hefty request, I see, but I also know of your other jobs, and there are rumours that you are responsible for the death of VahLa Suree. If this is true, and you so will this letter to be of importance, then I have two thousand gold as payment. I will seek you out once more when news of his… natural… death comes out, and tell you where to meet me.