Esper

A Dark Walk Home

Jerrick sat at the tavern bar, the overwhelming scents of stale ale and pipe smoke permeating through the air, playing in his nostrils like old memories. Throwing back another shot, he swerved slightly on his stool, his reflexes allowing him to stay upright, when a lesser man would of fallen. Behind the bar was an older bartender, his round belly pressing against the stained white apron, as he shuffled over to pour another shot for the big man. Again, the shot went down, burning through his veins, his face flushed with the strength of the grog.

A sound at the entrance caught his attention, as a group of dynasty soldiers entered the tavern, their faces full of delight, having just changed shifts and ready to drink their woes away. Jerrick muttered under his breath, silent curses to the enemy in his presence, as he emptied several gold from his pouch onto the bar. “Keep all of it.” He muttered to the bartender, standing and making his way to door.

The night air was cool, the ocean breeze from the bay curling through the streets of Desdan’s Peace, whipping his cloak about his legs. Cursing, he wrapped the cloak closer, and made his way away from where he was staying. He had made up his mind, and he was not going to get caught up in the bullshit anymore. Wiggle-fingers and Gods, Kings and Empresses, long lost relatives all trying to get him caught up in their problems. All he had wanted after leaving the legion was to make some money. That is why he had teamed up with that sneak thief Jhobin, so he could fight battles and make a gods-damned living. But now, even that little sneaky bastard had bought all of this shit, hook line and sinker. But not him, he was out of this mess, no more fucking magic for him. He would leave town, maybe join up with some bandits or outlaws, and live life by the sword, for fuck’s sake.

Turning down an alley, he never noticed the shadows following him, and it was only at the last moment, some unknown instinct, that he turned to face the figure that rushed him.

Even though he was caught off guard, he was able to deflect a blow from a long sword aimed directly for his heart. Grabbing the cloaked attacker, with his strength, he started to strangle the dark skinned attacker. He slammed the figure against the wall, his fingers tightening, blood now running from his assailant’s mouth. He knew there were assassins after him, and his rage was pushing through his righteous indignation.

In his fury, he failed to see the other three forms, skulking from the shadows, as they rushed in behind him. One went low, keen edge slashing the back of Jerricks legs, slicing through tendons and sinew, dropping Jerrick to his knees. The second stabbed through his sides, puncturing the lungs, as blood spurted from Jerrick’s mouth, spraying the cobblestoned ground. The third, closed in with an effective slice to his throat, opening up his artery, sprays of crimson painting the alley walls. It was here where the assassins made a mistake, thinking that these actions would be enough to stop this man. Like a beast, cornered and bleeding from everywhere, Jerrick growled, grabbing the sword from the dead assassin he still throttled, and quickly spun, slicing high and wide, catching one of the black clad attackers from groin to shoulder.

The other two backed off, their guards now raised against this foe who was impossibly still fighting. Jerrick charged to the left most attacker, swatting aside the defensive attacks, and crushed the attacker against the wall, bringing the sword up and close between their bodies, the tip sliding just under the attackers chin to emerge from his right eye socket. The last attacker, stabbed furiously at the big mans back, his blade slick with blood, piercing Jerrick’s hide a dozen times. Jerrick went to attack this man, but his legs gave way, he ended up spinning around, sliding down the wall, his back against the grimy surface, staring at the dark armored assassin. It was in this moment, that he finally understood, in the moment that seemed to stretch forever, he remembered his conversations with Ta’lin, sharing his pain and holding a secret hope for her love. He remembered his friendship with Jhobin. He remembered the silent guilt he had felt when that Orc had died. He remembered the hidden chuckles he would hide when Oz would spout his ridiculous ideas. He remembered the awe he had in the strength of character that Magni showed. And he remembered the moment that he had begun to trust Tyna, and had come to rely on her as a friend and companion. It was in this moment, that he realized that his only regret, was that he could never share those feelings with them all.

Coughing blood, barely holding on, he looked at his final assailant, his lips parting, his words strained and harsh. “Do your fucking best you inked skinned son of a bitch.”
The assassin lunged forward burying his sword through the warriors heart.

Sheathing his blade, the assassin slowly started walking from the alley, his job done. Before stepping onto the street, another person turned to enter the alley, another half blood drow, such as himself. He was about to greet the fellow assassin and tell her to move along, when he caught shock and surprise in her eyes. Before he had time to act, a thin rapier had passed through the bones of his chest, puncturing his heart as he dropped to the ground.

Without saying a word, Tyna entered the alley and fell to her knees in front of the fallen warrior. Cradle ling his head in her lap, tears shining in the moonlight, she began to sing, words to her goddess, all she ever knew. She knew the big man would of hated this, but she had to mourn, and this was all she knew how to. After a short time she stood, tears still on her face, she silently walked out of the alley, to inform her friends, and to add more to the revenge she held in her heart.

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