by Just Jae
A young halfling finds the unexpected while casing a mark.
Skrie stood staring at the portrait by the dim light of her hooded lamp. She had seen that face before but couldn’t place where. As she studied the painting, the ring the woman wore caught her eye. A deep blue stone surrounded by three colors of gold filigree emanated a sense of … something … from the canvas. The young halfling couldn’t identify the feeling, but it made her skin crawl.
She had what she came for. The documents she was sent to pilfer were tucked into her pouch. Skrie crept through the manor, reconnoitering as requested. Her sharp eyes picked up few details in the dark of the hallway, but her ears heard the faintest of sounds.
Ducking into the corner between a side bureau and the wall, she barely breathed as a guard passed her hiding place. If he turned his head her way, she would be spotted. Making herself as small as possible, she waited as he moved from door to door, checking to make sure they were locked. Her heart pounded as panic caused a rush of adrenaline to race through her body.
The guards’ actions told her more than all her sneaking around had revealed. He checked each door, making sure it was locked. She watched as quick fingers and soft arcane words spelled each lock. Somehow, she managed to remain completely still, not drawing his attention.
When he moved on, she breathed once again. Seeking the attic stairs, she hoped her luck held and the guard hadn’t spelled the attic door. She scrambled into the dark space and up the ladder to the safety of the roof. As she left, a picture of the ring appeared in her mind, sending a shudder through her body. It was time to leave Blackford.