Tyna could not go back without answers. A rage burned deep inside, searing her soul, clouding her vision with scarlet spots. She lay perched atop a rooftop, her cold eyes staring into the dark recesses of the alley, shadows playing on the walls, cast by dynasty investigators who were scanning the scene. She had climbed here nearly an hour ago, her lithe form dark against the night sky, a silent predator, eyes stalking for prey. She could hear the language of her people, the guardsmen and investigators muttering to themselves. It was not every day that they found four Dusk Blades dead in an attempt to assassinate their target.

Dusk Blades were not supposed to be caught. They were a knife in the dark and their targets were always dead, but no evidence was supposed to be left behind. For four to have attacked Jerrick and have been slaughter in the attempt, would cause no amount of scandal to her people. Of course, none of that mattered to her. Her friend lay in that alley, his bloodied lifeless form still propped against an alley wall, eyes staring into the void. And she intended with her entire soul to find out why.

It was in another spark of rage within her, that she noticed the cloaked man. He was standing on the cobbled street, across from the sanctioned off alley, his eyes glaring with intent. A soldier approached him, crossing the street curtly, his officer’s sword swaying on his hip. The two men exchanged words, the distance between her and them too far for her to hear, but she noticed a slight smile cross the cloaked man’s face. She would make that smile larger for him, she thought, reaching for her wicked dagger, but she stopped, taking a breath, before turning her attention back on the cloaked figure. He was moving now, up the street, his long stride purposeful; as he pushed pass the meandering onlookers. She stalked with a cats grace, rooftop to rooftop, the cloaked man always in her sight.

She followed the man through the city, passing from the fish smelling docks, into a more industrial area, late night workers passing the cloaked man and going about their nightly duties. It was here where the man entered into a large 2 story building, a storage building of some kind, she thought. Luckily for her, there was wide set windows in the slanted roof, and she was able to deftly enter and balance easily og the wooden beams of the ceiling. The building was a large open space, varias sizes of boxes and supplies lining the floor and against the walls. In the middle of the space, was an open space, where a table had been place, three large men already seated, watching the cloaked figure approach. She hung silently in the shadows, her will determined, her body slightly quivering with rage.

The cloaked figure took a seat at the table, turning to the other men, he began to speak, his voice carrying easily through the open space. “Stone Lord Bravas, it is verified that the man killed is Jerrick Northedge. The Tsar should be pleased.” He said, pausing for a moment, before pushing on. “Although our gracious host may be upset when he finds out the cost of this endeavor. The man killed all four of the assassins before falling. Let it not be said that he did not have the strength of our homeland.”

Across from the cloaked figure, a large yet elderly man shifted, his stark grey hair tied and knotted in the back, falling across his broad shoulders. “That leaves the only threat to the north being the missing princess, Sapphire. The Tsar is currently using our Legion contacts to track her down. With her out of the picture, there cannot be any doubts of our Tsar’s legitimacy, and with Il’Valiran firmly in our hands, we will rule from Stuldar’s Hold to the south.” His head turning to man with bright red hair, slight horns emerging from close cropped black hair. “Frintil, How goes the negotiations with Osmandias?”

Frintil, the slight tiefling, shuffling through various papers on the table, finds one of interest, passing it to Bravas. “The deal is struck, and with the gold provided by Ranarran, we will have secured the mercenaries needed to drive this God-Empress and her people from these lands.”

Bravas looked pleased, giving a curt nod to the tiefling, before shifting around to the even larger forth man, who sat uncomfortably in a chair too small for him, various furs wrapped around him, his bushy beard falling in a braid past his chest. “Sven, is the Gruntyl secure?”
The large barbarian, azure eyes staring icily at the stone lord. “We are not so easy to corral. Our tribes are scattered, but we have men in place, and we are using the false threat of an Orc pushback to seek allies, so within weeks, the warlords and chieftains will be clamoring for your aid.”

Bravas, was pleased, and quickly brought the meeting to an end. The men stood, joking and exchanging drinks around the table.

They never expected the small form to land on the table before them. In mere seconds, Sven lay face down on the table, his neck split wide open, blood pooling and spilling in rivulets onto the floor. Frintil, a stunned look on his face, sat in his chair, a crossbow bolt, buried in his right eye. The cloaked man had tried to run, and now his body was swinging from a ceiling beam, Tyna’s whip wrapped around his throat. Bravas, shocked and in pain, lay crawling on the ground, his dark blood smearing behind him from the slice tendons behind his heels.

Tyna was sitting on the table, watching with cold calm, as the stone lord tried in vain to crawl away from her. Looking lazily over the table and the documents on them, she made a mental note to collect all of it, so someone like Oz could interpret their meanings. She was not good at such things, but she was good at others, and now was the time for that. She reached for her nasty serrated dagger and deftly hopped of the table walking towards the crawling man. As she reached the struggling form, she thrust the dagger into the bunch of nerves between his shoulder blade and upper back. The man screamed in pain, his breath ragged, jerking convulsively.
“I.. ..I… I’ll tell you anything you want?” He screamed.

Tyna looked at him, her dark purplish eyes staring into him. “I don’t want you to talk.” She said, her voice like a crypt. “I just want you to scream,” and her hand twisted the knife.

“Be prepared, it is going to be a long night!” She said with a smile, as revenge flooded into her, and the warehouse filled with screams.


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