Kaylish, a dark elf assassin has been hired to dispach a wizard only to be betrayed
| Weary after his long journey the dark elf assassin stared forbiddingly at the opening to the cave, pondering over the unfortunate chain of events that led him to this point in his life. |
Kaylish had been rather pleased with himself. He had just been hired by Lord Dryas the Fox, one of the many devious lords of the underground city Skullport, to take care of a rouge wizard by the name of Maeniel. Kaylish wasn’t worried about how he was to kill a wizard. Over the past two-hundred years he has dispatched three elven high mages in Everskia, as well as the Archmage Hêrst Valeñish of Host Tower of the Arcane in Luskan. This exalted reputation was the reason why Lord Dryas had hired him. Kaylish received as payment two enchanted daggers, one that banishes the dead, the other being a duel edged blade one side able to deal instant death the other able to heal mortal wounds. Next came an assortment of hard to get poisonous herbs Nightshade, Belladonna, Wolfbane. In addition there were two large gold and silver embroidered purses bulging with Waterdhavian gold crowns.
As Kaylish met with Lord Dryas in his shadowy palace he asked the arrogant noble what should be expected. “What is there to know? You’re a wizardly assassin and he’s a wizard, so just be done with it,” he smirked.
“There is plenty to be known,” Kaylish growled directing his deadly gaze toward Dryas. “For instance what are the known protection spells about his manor. Are there others besides this Maeniel and his servants does he employ the services of plainer beings, golems, and the such?”
Reclining in his tall backed chair Dryas took a sip of his wine, waved at the exquisite porcelain pitcher adorned with gold and silver dragons in flaming aerial combat, and said “I’m forgetting my manners. Would you care for a glass of this magnificent Rashemi wine?”
“No,” snapped Kaylish. “Answer my questions Dryas and quit bantering if I am to complete this task you have placed before me.”
“Very well then. You will come across Maeniel’s pet griffin.” and Lord Dryas proceeded to tell the drow what he knew with Kaylish asking short questione hear and there.
Kaylish emerged from Dryas’s compound in the darkest part of night. When all things good were asleep. A drow’s favorite time.
As Kaylish approached the wizards manor on the outskirts of Skullport he picked his way looking for the traps and wards that Dryas had told him about, invisible barriers, poisoned darts, Dryas even mentioned a gargoyle. Although he was not very skilled in the art of gramarye, his piwafwi, the magical cloak that all drow possess, kept him hidden from prying eyes and magical detection. He also possessed more than a few cattrips and magic detecting spells to get him by any obstacle that would oppose him.
He came upon two stone golems in the shape of giant bull mastiffs, with their heads resting on their paws, hidden inside his piwafwi they never knew he was there. As he traversed the edge of the courtyard Kaylish could detect the aromas of skullcap, mullein, lotus, rose, mint, and jasmine coming from the wizard‘s herb garden. Kaylish resisted the urge to explore further.
On the steps of the manor sat a magnificent golden griffin that Dryas had mentioned, although he did fail to express how large it was, placidly preening its’ tail feathers. Intertwining his fingers in such a way as only an elf could, and humming deep in his chest was able to put the mighty beast to sleep.
Inside, Kaylish was confronted with a labyrinth of corridors that were constantly changing. He smiled. This was a standard deterrent in wizardly dwellings either on the grounds surrounding the compound, or like this on the first floor. After studying the shifting hall for a short time he was able to discern a pattern to the shifting. Leaping into action Kaylish sprinted down the left-hand hall. At his fifth intake of breath he leaped to the left, to avoid the sudden appearance of a pit filled with noxious green gas. After traversing two more similar halls, in which one was equipped with a magical trip wire that he found summoned a pair of partially decomposed skeletal warriors. When he reached the stairs he looked them over. After a few seconds Kaylish nodded his head satisfied. He then proceeded to creep up the stairs. At the third step he jumped straight up with a front flip and cleared the last seven steps to the next landing, also clearing the break away section of stairs and the three rows of dart holes in the walls. Two flights of stairs, 3 ignorant servants, and a werecat that was preoccupied with a large rat in a far corner of an adjacent hall, later Kaylish sat in an alcove across from Maeniel’s Laboratory door. Disappointment coursed through Kaylish. It had been laughably easy to get here. Still, he proceeded to study the door. It was made of a single large piece of oak, runes and strange designs carved all over and inlayed with gold. Here and there it was also studded with precious gems. Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, jades, and sapphires. All big. All perfect.
This has been too easy, he thought. Even with Dryas’s embellishments it should have been much harder to get here. He searched the doorway for the expected wards and locking spells and was disappointed to find them all barely sufficient to keep out a novice pickpocket. Despite his growing apprehension he gave the equivalent of a mental shrug and reached for the door.
It swung open at his touch. Hearing nothing moving inside Kaylish stepped in. The door closed of its own accord. Eyebrow raised, Kaylish looked at the door, turned around, and surveyed the room. He saw what he expected to see, shelves and benches piled haphazardly with books, scrolls, random sheets of parchment, smoking vials, cages with doves, skulls, and all the rest of the things that a wizard needs to perform his magic. As he picked his way through Maeniel’s laboratory, Kaylish noticed that an alcove in the far wall was unusually free of clutter. Cierouse, he slinked his way over being careful not to disturb anything. When he arrived at the alcove, still wrapped in his piwafwi, he froze.
What Kaylish saw was something that he recognized but knew almost nothing about. Clericical spell components. which meant that Maeniel was not only a powerful wizard, but apparently also an accomplished priest, with a priest’s arsenal of spells. On the heals of this startling realization came an even more ominous one, he could have tripped any number of alarms and not known it. Engrossed as he was, Kaylish did not notice the figure materlize behind him.
“Well, well, well. If it isn’t mighty Kaylish the assassin,” chuckled Maeniel. “It seems that Dryas failed to keep out this important little bit of information, shame on him.”
Kaylish cursed under his breath and started to make his way towards the only window in the room.
“If I were you I wouldn’t think about attempting to leave just yet.” As Maeniel points towards the door and window he says, “The spells on both door and window are designed to allowed entry but no exit unless the proper word is known.”
Removing the hood of his piwafwi Kaylish stared defiantly at Maeniel. “Quit annoying me with your ramblings human, and either kill me or let me go.”
“Now why would I want to do that? When you would be so much more valuable to me alive and here.”
Kaylish went ridged. He wants me for a slave! A million thoughts ran through his head at once trying to figure out how to escape. In less than a second he came down to one option, do what he had come here to do in the first place. Kill the wizard. Before the thought was finished Kaylish was leaping through the air with his dagger leading towards Maeniel’s throat. Only to stop in mid air and the dagger a hairs breath away from Maeniel’s adams apple.
Stepping back and trying not to laugh, Maeniel regarded Kaylish. “Do you know how I knew you were here? Our esteemed friend Lord Dryas hired you to assassinate me at my bidding.”
“And I suppose that my payment came out of your coffers as well?"
“In a way yes for I control Dryas as well as several other lords around Skullport and in other cities as well, in much the same way as I am going to gain control of you.”
“Well, first my patron Eterue god of intrigue, ambition, and deception, is going to fuse a small part of your soul to this crystal.” Pointing to a large smokey diamond shaped gem on the alter to his left. “Then with several short spells I shall make it so that you must obey me, and so that you will not be able to directly attack me.”
Kaylish saw a moments hope, there are many ways to indirectly harm somebody.
“Oh come now Kaylish. The opportunity isn’t that large, for the spell won’t allow you to kill me and you’ll take the brunt of the damage,” said Maeniel eyes gleaming with twisted pleasure. “Oh and you’ll only be able to use each attack once forcing you to be creative.”
“Are you done babbling yet human?"
“That tone just won’t do, but yes I suppose I am. Shall we get on with the casting?”
“I can’t wait.” was Kaylish’s reply but before he could say anything else pain tore through his body in raking waves fiery hot and icy cold at the same time.
When Kaylish woke up he was laying in the floor where he used to stand. He hadn’t been out for long, his clothes were still drenched in sweat, his breath was still shallow, and he still felt weak.
“Awake already? Excellent! You are free to come and go now whenever you wish. Just be prepared to answer my summons promptly. And one last thing before you go Kaylish, I can feel your presence where ever you may go. You are dismissed."
Determined not to cause himself anymore pain today Kaylish only said "yes Master,” picked himself off of the floor and left the way he had come.