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“More wine, Mr. Silverlond?” the man asked as he poured himself another glass of the port. Blue Silverlond sat across the table, amazed at the man’s ability to intake the strong liquor. But he said nothing of the matter, and, despite his distaste for the lord’s own taste in fine alchohols, simply replied a humble yes.
        Lord Kader poured the red liquid into another fine glass and handed it to the man across the long table. Although nearing the end of his own youth, the lord seemed right at place among the antiques and olden pictures and statues amidst the elegant dining room. His jet black hair had already begun to fall out, revealing to the rogue who took the glass in reply, the signs of male pattern baldness. Kader was dressed elegantly in a simple blue robe, decorded along with pictures of flowers; jasmines. The man had he voice of a diplomat in some regard, although for tuned to induce sleep to those not paying attention, with the face of a poker player who thinks he might pull off the bluff with the cheap cards he’s holding.
        Blue sipped the wine, its not-so-well liked taste running down his throat. Lord Kader had begun to talk again, as Blue remembered to look as formal and polite as possible, “…And so you are to go to the East end of Savron City and infiltrate the castle of Lord Vestille. You are to take him out by any means necessary, and bring back to me proof of death for full payment…”
The rich man droned on in his long voice. Blue brushed his dusty brown hair from his own eyesight, trying to still pay attention to the important details. He had begun to lose focus, and whether it was the effect of the cheap fine-wine, or the whine of Lord Kader, he could not tell.
However, the man had still been talking about the job for the magent, and Blue tried to remember as much as he could without starting to snore, “…a wedding ring, a wallet, or something. His head perhaps?” The man stared at Blue and seemed to notice the discomfort.
        “Is something the matter, Mr. Silverlond? You seem a little anxious.” He himself had stopped pacing about the dinging hall, and had seated himself down at the table’s opposite end. His wine glass was more than half empty. Blue felt edgy, and shifted in his seat. He sipped the foul wine again.
        “A little, perhaps, your Lordship. However, I would like to request I get my half of the payment now, and be on my merry way.” The rogue leaned back and, forgetting his rule to be nice around the lord, put his black boots on the table lazily. He smiled and sipped the wine again. He really wanted to leave.
        “Ah…so hasty are we, Mr. Silverlond. It is settled then, correct? I will give you 300 pieces of gold before the mission, and another 300 pieces upon completion in which you will bring to me proof of Lord Vestille’s assassination.” Lord Kader smiled and emptied his glass as he started to rise to fill his cup and empty his bank. “Sure thing, your Lordship.” Blue replied as he stood up, dusting off his long coat. His chain-mail underneath sung softly with the sudden movement, and he secured his sword and his belongings and fixed his long disheveled ponytail behind him.
        Kader, with a new glass in hand, had put on the table a black leather pouch, tied fashionably with a white linen rope. Blue smiled at the lord’s generosity, and put the bag within his chain mail shirt as not to lose. “Thank you for the dinner, your Lordship, it was most refreshing”, the rogue lied as he bowed humbly. “I will have this Lord Vestille’s death as you requested.”
        “Thank you, Mr. Silverlond.” The lord replied as he took in more of the wine. “I trust you know your way from here?” he smiled almost chaotically as he showed the magent the door and bid him a good evening and, as if to purposely make a pun of the matter, “happy hunting.”
        Blue bowed again at the lord’s own manners, and he strode out from the door and Kader shut the oaken barrier upon Blue’s exit from the dining hall. Blue shook his head, pondered Lord Kader’s current blood alcohol content, and shrugged. He laughed quietly to himself as he begun whistling to himself as he acknowledge a butler and soldier here and there, and left the compound that was Lord Kader’s own castle. He was happy to have left the awful wine’s home as the nighttime breeze slowly cooled the summer’s stagnant, air.

        Blue Silverlond ducked behind the shelter of the stone wall, reloading his crossbow within the chaos. The sounds and footsteps of the nearing guards echoed loudly in his mind. He did shabby job of preparation, but his time was waning, and he hurriedly got up and took a shot into the group of soldiers that were closing in on him.
        The arrow flew, and someone dropped, but Blue knew the attack had unfortunately not been fatal. Blue dropped the crossbow, its own use now in vain, and took of running back through the night to the tower he had entered from.
        Blue’s legs burned with lack of energy, and he almost took a dive twice into the stone floor. He clambered clumsily about the darkness through Vestille’s castle, trying to keep ahead of the guards getting closer to biting his heels. He heard faint barks and growls as he realized dogs were being used to find the magent.
        “Shit,” he swore as he took a wrong turn. He kicked the wall lazily, and turned back down the hall. He had tried to mentally map Vestille’s castle when he broke in, but he obviously knew it had been to no avail. He was supposed to leave through the main doors under guise in the chaos of the lord’s death. But that wasn’t going to happen. He missed the shot. He missed his target and took off running.
        “Stupid, Blue!” he yelled at himself as he made his way through the stone and shadows. He seemingly by luck or fate found the tower he entered from, where he had left a rope and grapple in the window. He shut the door, made a poor attempt to lock it, and moved to the window. Looking down, he gulped at the height. “Stupid idiot!,” blaming himself for looking down. He secured the grapple amidst the stone, and, just to be sure, tied it to a statue nearby via rope. He took the hemp rope in hand, and slowly clambered out the window, repelling down the southeast tower of Vestille’s castle.
        A few minutes later, as guards shouts were droned out by the walls of the surroundings, Blue dropped to the ground, the pain and numbness in his legs preventing him from movement. He cursed again, and slowly pushed himself up and sprinted lazily off into the city called Savron. As he neared the lights of the fist row of nearby houses, an arrow cut through the air, making itself known to Blue. “The magent turned in haste, looking back over his shoulder. “What the…?”, more arrows flew through the night, now trailing flame and ash. The forms of soldiers could be seen emanating from the castle, shouts of orders and growls and barks of the search hounds grew again more apparent, and Blue coughed as the smoke from a new storm of arrows ablaze had landed just feet before him.
        Blue straightened himself, regained his composer, and bolted faster towards the city, never stopping until he was safely amidst the lord’s city and the arrows themselves would at least stop.
        The rogue’s own legs had begun to waver again, the pain and tiredness returning. Trying not to falter, he slouched down by a thatched house nearby, regaining his breath and surrounding.
        Another arrow struck. But it didn’t miss. His left leg seared with pain as the shaft moved through the lower part of his thigh. Blue cried softly as possible, and grimaced at the pain the shot through his body, metaphorically just like the arrow that was the cause.
He tried to pull the arrow out in its entirety, but the pain was almost too bearable. He sighed as the sounds of guards seemed to enter the city.
        He leaned back against the wall, and slowly, summoned from within him his magic. He didn’t have time or preparation for any major healing spell, so he merely used a spell which he hoped the bleeding from the arrow’s wound. He cast the spell, the wound slowly closing, the blood staining less of his white pants and black leather boots. It wasn’t much, he thought as the spell finished it’s work, but it would have to do.
He got up slowly, blackness and pain forcing him to nearly to black out. The guard’s neared him, and as he looked back in opposite direction, he could see his pursuers on the horizon, the forms of men and dogs, swords and bows, within the night’s soft blackness.
Blue leaned against the wall, then tried to run back in the direction of Lord Kader; back to whom would shelter him till he recuperated and he could get another head start.
        As he exited the alley of buildings and houses, a mass of guards appeared before him. Damn it! He thought. How the hell did they get there! He drew his blade from its sheathe, and prepared to fight, slowly back up within the alleyway, sinking back into its enclosed protection.
        But more guards had appeared at the other end, and Blue was forced to watch both sides in his tiring condition. A guard o his left approached, and he lifted a short-sword in attack. Blue parried the strike, stepping back from the combination of his own faltering strength and the soldier’s might. He attempted to counterattack, and thrust. But the guard moved and a new blow had sent Blue to his knees. Blood ran from a fresh wound on his right arm, his grip on his own blade slowly loosening. He propped against the wall and tried to fight back the next attacker, slowly trying to stay conscious as much as possible.
Another wound hit him in the front, on his chest. He shirt of chain-mail took the blow, prevented any cuts, but the impact itself was enough t knock the wind out of him.
        Blue Silverlond sank to the ground, the wall of the house behind his seemingly caving in. Blackness had spread, and he knew he was going to fall unconscious. As the magent lay on the ground bleeding, he struggled mentally to keep awake. But the darkness came, and as a slender form stepped in front of him, shadowing the guards, he passed out into sleep.

        Blue awakened in a warm house, the soft light of a candle blinded him momentarily as reality returned with the pain of his wounds, which were now cleaned and tended to. His head throbbed with the past’s blows, and he was startled to find someone in the room with him.
        A girl, small and fragile-framed garbed in a simple red dress. Her blonde hair fell softly in whips about her young, fresh face. Large and dark doe-like brown eyes worked with her as her slender arms moved up and down a washboard, immersed within a bucket of soapy water. There was the dark traces of blood stained within the rag she was washing. She hummed softly to herself, a pretty little tune, and Blue had almost felt like passing out into the darkness of unconsciousness again.
He did.

It was nearly dawn, and the first rays of the sun over the hills and mountains and seas began to peer through the window into the small house that Blue still lay in. He would have still been asleep, had the sun not been right in his eyes, and he was forced from slumber. He got up slowly, rising. His body ached, and there was a sharp pain in his ribs as his breath moved in and out from his body. His head buzzed, and for a minute, he thought he was in a bar, and unfortunately had drank a lot. But his sense soon emerged, and he lay in a bed, stripped of his shirt and items, his sword not near him. His wounds had healed more, but he wasn’t sure. He opened his eyes and scanned the room.
It appeared to be a one-floor house, the wooden walls and floorboards looked well cared for and shined happily with the approaching sun. A large luxuriant thread rug lay in the middle. To his right there was a clothes chest, further down, an assortment of shelves, cluttered neatly with books and a varying assortment of pots and small urns. A picture was a hung on the wall his bed lay next to, an ocean view with mountains and trees. There was a door leading to an adjacent room, but it was shut.
The girl was still there, across the room at a desk. She was apparently sewing, humming to herself in a soft and sweet tune. Blue this time did not pass out, but made an attempt to rise from the bed.
He sat up, and the pain that shot through his body caused him to groan slightly. He grimaced and touched the wound. Bandaged, and cleaned, almost healed. A good job, he thought.
Hearing the sound, the girls jerked around fast, shocked at her awakened patient. Her voice fluttered slightly, yet sweet to Blue’s ringing ears, “You shouldn’t move, good sir. Not just yet.”
She had rushed over to him, a hand pressed the wound to make sure it hadn’t reopened. She slapped his hands away, and tried to persuade him to lie down again.
“Sir, your wounds aren’t fully healed. You should rest another day. It is not safe.”
She started to plead, but Blue was in a hurry. He stood up, fighting the pain. But he was overcome with dizziness and a nausea that swarmed his brain, and he fell to his knees.
        “See what I mean”, the girl lectured. She walked over to him gracefully, and helped him stand. “But you sure have a lot of strength. After all those blows, the arrow, and the wounds not being fully healed.” She helped him on to the bed. “You are quite a piece of work.” She complimented. Blue moaned, and replied with a little effort. “Well, one sees a lot of variety of art in my line of work.” He could hear his inner-child laughing at the cheap “philosophical” line he just used to try and cover the fact that he was a professional assassin. The woman got up slowly. “I know” she rebuttetld.
        She moved to the room’s other side, and opened the door. “Stay here” she ordered, “I have some tea ready, and it’ll most likely do some good for you.” She left Blue alone in the room.
        Blue was left to his thoughts as the smell of an herbal tea slowly and almost subtly filled the quaint room. He recalled the contract with Kader, the lord who was at odds and ends with a man named Vestille. Blue was assigned to kill him, and has gone to latter’s castle to do the job. The shot missed. The image of the arrow falling short before the lord, the guards, the chase, the escapes from the maze of Vestille’s castle. He pondered the ensuing fight after, the run into Savron City. The pain and splint on his leg brought back to him the arrow that impaled his thigh. More guards had begun to close in on him, and a useless fight sent him blacking out. The woman had rescued him. He almost shuddered at the thought. Getting saved by a woman he scoffed.
In moments the girl had returned, with an iron kettle and a porcelain mug, filled with the black, steaming tea. “Here you go, good sir”. She handed him a cup. “My name is Elissia, by the way.” She introduced herself as she got up and proceeded to the desk where Blue had found her working previously.
“Mine’s Blue…” He responded, “My name, I mean.” He took a long refreshing sip of the remedy. The tea felt nice and warm, and energy had soon returned to Blue not long after.
“I know your name.” The girl said as she bundled what appeared to be Blue’s coat and belt,, fixed and patched up. “I also know why you came to Savron, Mr. Silverlond” she added, handing the other his clothes. Blue thanked her humbly and asked for a refill of herbal tea.
Blue cocked an eyebrow, giving Elissia a quizzed look. “Oh? And how might that be?” he inquired as he took his belongings and set them aside.
“You’re here to change our government. The ruling state of Savron.” She looked sternly at the man, and she knew she had guessed right. “I also know that I need you for that purpose,” she added.
“Need me? And what am I supposed to do for you?” Blue was puzzled by the odd web that was beginning to form within the politics of Savron.
Elissia gracefully moved back to the desk, and shuffled through one of the drawers. She produced a small cloth pouch, and stood again before it to Blue. She emptied the contents into the palm of her feminine hand, and showed to Blue a small green pill.
“This is a poison, known as quarecide. It is not deadly in most cases, and is quite beneficial as a stimulant to depressed merchants or lawyers. She put the small pill back into the pouch. “However, it has a extremely deadly effect to Elves. There is something in their pointy-eared blood that makes this quarecide freeze blood and plasma, making their insides cold and ice-hard within an hour. It’s like inhaling the Void within you and then holding your breath.”
Blue was amazed at the potency of the little guy. “Not a very friendly little pill, is it?” he stared at the floor, and then at his coarse hands, stained in many ways with blood. He raised his head and looked back to the beautiful lady called Elissia. “So who am I supposed to feed this thing to, and how much will ‘ya pay me for risking my neck. You realize these services aren’t free.”
“I am aware of that. You would be paid a sum of 1000 pieces of silver, and reimbursed on any expenses. I expect this is a fair offer, Mr. Silverlond?”
Blue shook his head. “Depends on the target, Miss Elissia.”
“Missus,” she corrected, “And your target would be one of the current running lord of Savron. An easily cracked, if not jokingly doubted, man named Tamieras Kader. That is your man. His residence can be found at the Southern borders just outside city walls.”
Blue didn’t listen to her last few words, Kader’s name shocked him enough. What the hell does she want Kader dead for? He shook his head, discarding the loose ends that weren’t his to kitten around with. If she had paid for Kader dead, Kader would be dead. “I’ll do it.” He finally replied. “But, what does the pill, this..questin..quega..”
quarecide,” she helped. “The quarecide will dispatch Kader as promised. Just get close to him, and slip it into his food, or his mouth, if extremes are required.”
“But, how’s that gonna kill Mr. Kader?”
“You are unaware that the lord Tamieras Kader is half elven by blood?”
Blue was again shocked. Damn! How could he miss Kader being a half-elf! He pondered to his meeting and realized he hadn’t actually looked at the bastard. He made a mental note to be more aware next time. "No, I was not. I have only been here for a day,” he lied.
“I see.” Elissia handed him the pouch. “Well, now you know better.” She smiled. “You may stay here for the night, to finish the healing, if you wish.” Her subtext was subtle, and although Blue knew exactly what kind of healing she desired, he still had some kind of honour he wasn’t going to give away. Besides, he backed himself up, his name was already poisoned ages ago by an old royalty who was executed. I wouldn’t want to make any mistakes like that.
“That won’t be necessary. I plan to leave within the hour.”
“I see. A pity” Elissia shamefully retorted. “Very well. Let me know when you leave, then, will you, Mr. Silverlond?”
“ I most certainly will, Miss, err, Missus. Elissia.” Married? To whom?, he thought.
Elissia nodded, took the bundles of bandages and crimson cloths and left to the adjacent room, with Blue to collect his thoughts about what to do next.

After a short time, Blue had dressed, washed, and packed his things. With a kiss goodbye, Blue left Elissia’s house in the outer edges of Savron City, and has started his journey to, and list of excuses for, Lord Kader. And so he went South in two days travel with light sleep and some food well cooked by Elissia herself, to accompany his solitary life.
It was late afternoon when Blue reached the small stone wall that laid out physically what was Lord Kader’s fief. He traveled down a cobblestone road that led winding down through some boring hills to the door of Kader’s castle. Blue had thought about the girl, Elissia, and her request to kill the lord. He played with the small green pill she had given him. Quarecide he remembered.
“He is an elf. The poison should take affect within the hour. It is ice in his blood stream”, the memories said. Blue crazily wondered about why he hadn’t known the man was elven blooded before. Of course, being half-elf, the features of pointy ears and slender, slanting eyebrows were much less significant. Still, his ass hurt from the kick the blunder had given him.
And what about Elissia, he pondered. What does she have to do with these two babies? He expected foul play, or a midnight back-stab, but he wasn’t certain. Many possibilities were open. His best assumption was she was working for Lord Vestille. Upon reaching this conclusion, he shrugged the matter off. Their spousal business should be none of mine, he decided, and continued down the trail to the large oak framed door at the castle.
He stood in the entranceway of the door, and raised the large iron ring, banging it several times for permission to enter. A large ominous thud echoed through the walls and the door, and after some muffled shuffling and cursing, a small iron window opened up to peer at Blue from behind the door’s heavy and secured protection.
“Who be there!” called a scrawny and nagging, high-voiced.
“It’s me” was Blue’s reply as he started to wait impatiently.
Little bloodshot green eyes looked Blue over suspiciously. “That’s great, boy. I’m me too, but lest me gets a name, your entrance be in vain” the high pitched voice squealed behind the door. “Heehe, that one rhymed” the hidden man complimented himself audibly.
Blue knew the doorkeeper. He was a stocky, puberty challenged dwarf named Ridnick. Blue had told him before his parents should have more aptly named him “Redneck.” Ridnick was very guarding to Kader, Like Igor to his mad scientist. Blue knew this might take hours, and he was getting more impatient by the passing minute. He kicked the door.
“Come on, dammit! It’s Blue Silverlond, Redneck!” He shouted through the door.
“Who?! I’s be hard of hearing nowadays. Swears don’t go far in the caravan of Ridnick the short man!” He laughed again at his ingenious stupidity. The iron window slammed shut, and bluntly never opened.
Blue was mad now. Fine, he thought. The bastard wants to play hard ball, let him. He went through the reaches of his mind, scrolling through his soul, puling forth the magic he needed to get past.
He was trying draw forth the spell of passing. If he concentrated he’d be able to put mind over matter, eat a sandwich, and go right through the door before in him. He smiled at the surprise on Redneck’s face as he would be doing so. The magic was gathered, his spirit in tune to do what it had to do. He summoned the power, and stepped through the door.
In a minute, his entire body, coat and all, materialize within the entrance halls inside Kader’s castle, behind the locked door. Ridnick was still making odd faces and poking out definite fingers seemingly to Blue from behind the metal view plate that Ridnick had closed. Blue grinned. This will be fun.
He dusted himself off, stood tall, and tapped Ridnick on his four foot high shoulder, now at Blue’s thigh from a visible stack of books and naughty bed time literature.
Scared and shocked simultaneously from Blue’s appearance, Ridnick leaped into the air, cold and stiff; his face showing signs as if he had suffered a heart attack. Blue waved a friendly hello to the short and scrawny dwarf, before drawing back a clenched fist and allowing Ridnick to view stars through the now shut lids of his bloodshot eyes.
“Well, now. That wasn’t too hard, was it, Mr. Redneck?” Blue asked the unconscious watchman. “Guess not, your great excellency Mr. Blue Silverlond” was Blue’s throaty, high-pitched, mockery of the dwarf. He laughed and continued up the stairs ahead of him to Kader’s study, where he knew he would find the man. Probably playing foosball, he though.
Blue knocked on the door, and the man called Kader was quite surprised to see the rogue. “Mr. Silverlond, I’m honoured, yet, puzzled. Is Vestille not dead? I heard no news, and it’s almost sun set. Surely I would know if you had struck down my foe or not by now.” He was in a black robe, sipping a cup of vodka. He looked down at Blue, who had now gone to kneel at the Lord’s bare feet.
        “Forgive me, your dear Lordship.” Blue humbly faked. “I have failed in my attempt. The arrow I had missed him, and I was forced to flee into hiding.” Blue let the water works go. His acting had paid off. Kader kneeled next to him and helped the rugged magent to his feet. “Come now, my dear boy. Come with me and tell me everything. Perhaps we can try again?” Kader huddled Blue in to the book laden room and beneath his illusion of sorrow he smiled happily at Kader’s stupidity.
It took almost an hour for Blue to retell, and make up, the events of his mission impossible. He told about the stray arrow he shot, the guards, and all the running. He told the sap about his wounds, but lied completely about the encounter with Elissia, for obvious reasons. He instead, invented an inn he passed by on his exiting Savron, and said he stayed there the night, and was healed by a traveling cleric who blessed him. “Thank goodness for the little monk too, or I’d be groaning about this damned leg.” Kader nodded in understanding, downing his fifth glass of the harsh alcohol.
“It’s is okay Mr. Silverlond. We will eat tonight, a hearty meal, and then tomorrow we can plan a new attempt, since timing and circumstance had changed.” Being a poor reader, Kader bought all the lies Blue fed him, and Blue now had a chance to kill the sucker at suppertime, and be home by bedtime.
Blue thanked him kindly, and Kader led him to an eastern hall, where lie Blue’s room in which he would stay. Blue again faked some manners, thanked the dumb bastard, and went into the room and locked the door. He had a lot of planning to do before the food was ready.

Blue decided that he would slip the quarecide into one of the many ornamental gourds of wine that Kader obviously would have for beverages that evening. With all the unnecessary details settled, Blue relaxed and practiced some sword techniques before the meal.
Two hours passed, and Kader had supper ready on the long table of his in his old and pride furnished dining hall. Blue recalled a seemingly similar set up only a day earlier. He entered the room, where he met Kader, who was finishing a tall glass of chardene’. Blue inquired to Kader if he could have the honour of passing drink around after the supper, and Kader, seemingly sober, agreed. Blue was still amazed at the man’s alcohol addiction talent. He was like a freaking vampire!
The dinner passed on lazily, and Blue and Kader talked short handily about many subjects, touching here and there on things from poetry, art, and types of armor knight prefer in combat. Blue was bored, as usual, with the mess of the lord’s droning and intoxicating words, and smiled as he played with his food and dubbed Kader the “beer-mage.”
At the evening’s end, Kader produced the liquor, and Blue was given his chance to slip in the green pill that would make Kader croak. He picked a jar of some old and fancy sounding elven stuff, remembering to be aware more often, and poured the sparkling white liquid into his own tall glass at his eating place.
He then proceeded down the table, and as he moved, he took the pill from the pouch it was contained in, and slipped the drug into the wine jar. He smiled happily as his plan fell right into a vacation slot next week. Upon his weary arrival, Blue began to remove Kader’ arsenal of glass soldiers, which were, still shocking to Blue as Kader seemed untainted, all empty. Blue shrugged, sighed, and poured the elven brandy into Lord Kader’s glass. His smile of success was neatly reflected off the balding man’s shining dome.
Blue whistled as he then walked back to his place on the table, bowed, and sat down. But Kader’s look was puzzled. He looked Blue in the eyes. “Mr. Silverlond, are you trying to kill me, or harm me in some liquid involving way?”
Blue put his feet up, again forgetting the manners, and sipped his wine. “I beg your pardon, your lordship?” He was shocked. Had Kader been leaked information? “I do not understand your inquiry of why I might have poisoned your beverage, as I see you had inferred. Is something the matter?” He frowned secretly. Damn it! His ruse was almost unburied. He thought about running, but then decided Kader was playing games with that voice of his.
“Well, Mr. Silverlond. Unless you’re trying to commit suicide before my eyes, I must assume you are trying to commit homicide.” He raised his glass. “You see, for some reason, your drink is a sparkling and refreshing white elven wine, while mine seems to have turned to a dark shade of blue…” He looked at his alien glass, and back to Blue. “Can you explain this to me before the guards come, Mr. Silverlond?”
Blue’s jaw dropped. What the hell happened! The damn quarecide must have changed the color of the damn wine! But how? He was mad, and his ass hurt even more for the steel toed boot that Elissia was kicking him with as her words ringing in his ear…”And slip it into his food, or his mouth, if extremes are required..” her sweet voice sang his stupidity and defeat.
“I…Well, you see…funny thing happened…” he stumbled about on words and lies. Kader had stood now, and had poured the vile drink onto the carpeted stone floor of the silent dining-hall. Blue’s breath was harsh, and his heart pounded. “You see…Mr. Kader…my family was…an apothecary and…well…” he scratched the back of his head in a manner as to stand up. Kader had not moved since, and Blue decided to make a rush.
Kader did not move. He knew exactly what Blue Silverlond wanted to do now, and he would make him pay. Ridnick, as summoned, had already entered the room, and Blue didn’t see him. He smiled his chaotic smile.
His sword was drawn from its sheath. And Blue had jumped on to the table. Blue ran fast, across the table, his sword ready to sever Kader’s head. He summoned the magic within him, his brain focused, and he cast a shield spell, which protected him from harm to his front. He smiled. He would have Kader dead. Hr reached the end of the table, jumped up with his sword in the air, and the impact of the arrows to his abdomen threw him sprawling doubled-over on the table, and, with the dining cloth pulled alongside, he fell to the floor unconscious.
Kader’s smile faded with disappointment. “Such a poor fool”, he said. “To think…I could use the workings of such a man.” He knelt down and rummaged through Blue’s chain shirt as he lay on the floor, and pulled from it his bag of money, which he put back on his own person, and then he pulled forth the white pouch that Elissia had given the magent.
        Kader’s stern face turned to a cold stare of anger. “Damn them!” he cursed as he rose and stored the pouch with the other into his robes. “Take him to the prison. He will be executed as sun’s setting tomorrow.” And with his condemning order, he strolled out of the room, and Blue’s cold body was taken by the dwarf down three floors and chained up behind bars in Kader’s castle.

        Blue awakened groggily in the rattling caravan. He shook his head, his eyes focusing on his new surroundings. A circus he thought? No. He grabbed the iron bars of the caravan and peered out into the gray day’s surroundings. He wasn’t near Kader’s castle anymore. He saw a shrine which had looked familiar, and he realized he was in Vestille’s lands. But what the hell was he doing here?
He looked around, moving clumsily about in the cramped caravan, the chains around his hands and feet making his agility even more less graceful, and saw he was being carried by a horse, with a patrol of spear wielding guards around. He counted four or five, but wasn’t sure. He tried to undo the bindings about his limbs, tried even magic and other spells, but none had seemed to work. He didn’t like these what appeared to be magic-inhibiting ropes, he thought, and called out to the guard closest to him.
        Upon Blue’s shout, a large and burly, built if not bear related, guard clambered in his chain-mail, put his dwindling spear to rest, and peered at the magent through the lead bars. “What do you want, you scum bag!” his gruff voce, bad hygiene, and even worse taste in past time beers was enough to make Blue retch his guts out. What is with this damn region and bad wine, he though, before remembering to focus on getting information.
        “Where am I?” he questioned the soldier, disadvantaged, but hoping the damn sentry had no brains to answer.
        “Where the hell do you thinks you are, you dumb fool! You’re in a magic-sound caravan, goin’ countryside!” He laughed at his remark, and Blue suddenly shivered at the thought of this jerk at a dinner conversation with the dwarf Ridnick He wanted to leave more than Kader’s castle of bottles.
        “No” Blue detested, “I mean, where the hell are we going? Better not be Oz, I already killed three wicked witches.” Blue shifted his position in the cramping cart to relax him more often.
        The guard gave him a queer look. “You’re going to visit the great Lord Vestille, that’s where you’s is going. He wants to have a chat with you about your trying to shoot him down three ‘eves past.” The guard spit on the ground, and pulled forth a pipe, which he lit with tobacco and happily and greedily smoked. “So…must think you got some big balls to wanna take down Vestille Opnev!” He smiled an ugly grin.
        Blue had ignored the guard, and continued his information retrieval game. “But I was in Lord Kader’s dungeon. I was to be killed, most likely. How did I wind up in Vestille’s position? What the hell happened while I was dreaming of sugar plum fairies? The guard gave another rotted grin after a relaxing drag on his pipe.
        “Don’t ya remember anything, boy? It was really freaking cool!” He blew a failed ring from his pipe. “Yeah…Vestille took all his neat little men, me included” he happily appraised himself. “And we went over to that son-of-gun Kader’s home, encircled it, stole that dumb dwarf guy that was in the door, and we’s say something like, ‘Surrender the prisoner we want to kill, or the midget will see his own body from ten feet away’”. He chuckled heartily. “So Kader thinks you was working for good Vestille, so he throws ya to us, and the dwarf goes home like a little big!” He laughed again, spitting in Blue’s unfortunate direction. “Man, ya should have seen us! We was something!” He laughed some more, and eventually dawdled, got bored, and went back to his post some ten feet away as Blue had taken no more interest to the man.
        After the sun had dropped, and the moon took its own throne amidst the stars, Blue’s company had reached the inner walls of Vestille’s castle. Blue was taken a harsh and rickety ride up a road, trough two gates, and was left for fifteen minutes in the night’s cloak within a courtyard, as one of the soldiers “had to go.” He was getting really furious at the guards present, and decided to tell Vestille his feelings of the poor service.
        The caravan was opened up by a tall guard who said nothing in words, but motions and hand signs as he waved Blue out of the caravan, which was hard enough considering Blue was tied and bound hand and feet and had to bounce out into the courtyard until that guards finally cut the ropes on his legs so he could walk normally on two feet.
        Blue was then hurdled by spear-point into Vestille’s castle, the summer’s cold air and dampness from the rain which waited to pour the next day turning to the heat and staleness of the castle’s walls of mortar and dusty stones. Blue was marched up a couple of flight of stairs, three to be exact, and through more doors than he cared to count after the first twenty or so. No wonder he thought as he was led like a rat through Vestille’s dungeon-like home Now I know why I got lost in this damned maze of halls! They all look alike, and with very few rooms, it’s like one’s going in circles. Nothing’s as I remember running through…It’s like a whole new castle.
        And it was true one was going circles. Vestille had his castle built on a hill, so when a person neared the center, which was cliched as Vestille’s quarters, the castle halls went in circle around it like a whirlpool of corridors. The lack of rooms was also quite apparent, and Blue figured that Vestille must really hate solicitors and salesman. He smiled at the thought of impersonating a salesman or seller of cheap crap that would just piss the rich bastard right out of his expensive trousers. The other work was Vestille’s use of magic and deception in his home, the art of the illusion magic.
        And all the while Blue thought of funny things he could be doing at the moment, he was sadly being led to a man who wanted him dead. He swallowed hard against the thought and dreamed a little more never-weres before the sentry with him in tow approached a furnished set of brass and steel doors that obviously was Vestille’s own hideout.
The guards opened the door, the room ahead was a study, with a desk in back, and rows and rows of books and tomes and literature for a cultured man to spend his time with. Blue took a step back, but the guard’s, with a mighty burst of energy and strength, dumped the magent in, his body hitting hard against the rugged stone flooring, and the doors instantly shut and locked, leaving Blue Silverlond alone with Vestille Opnev. Blue stood wearily, gained some balance and posture, and faced the man he was originally charged to kill, now in person, and not the last time some twenty yards in the distance.
        A tall man, more imposing than the drinking Kader, Vestille had a frame and face that represented iron rule and will. His face was long, and sharp, a long nose and bulging grey eyes that most nobleman of his race had. His hair, orange and red like blaze of wild fires, was cut short, and formed a funny goatee upon his chin, and not nearly as old in appearance as Kader was. He was garbed in a blue long vest which covered his elbows to thighs, underneath he dawned a purple coloured tunic, tied with a sash of green dyed silk, and black leather breaches, fitted to size with pockets for money, and a loop for a sword. Although gaudy and almost clownish in the attire, it seemed to highlight Vestille’s temper and desire of either money or death, and never both for the same. A man with more dignity Blue thought to himself. Vestille looked him over with either a look of curiosity or malice, which frightened Blue because he could not tell which.
        And finally, after a silent examination of body and soul, Vestille spoke, in a harsh, and worn out voice, much more fitting than the drone and whine of Kader and his army of bottles and booze. “So…” he pondered, stroking his goatee, “You are the man who was hired to assassinate me? Such a noble fool, such un-noble needs. What is the world coming to these days? Neh? Political rivals can’t even have a good fight any more without the flinging of slander and mud, the blanket of lies, the hidden glint of the hired sword. The world is just all going to hell I suppose.” He threw a punch into Blue’s abdomen. Blue gave a short shout, followed by loss of breath and quick tumble to the ground on hands and knees. He gasped for air, a small trickle of blood running down his chin. “And you had to involve me in it.” Vestille accused as he turned on heel and moved back to a desk within the room’s annex. He sat down, and folded his hands under his chin. A smile came to his face.
        “But nonetheless,” he continued, “If Kader wants to invent new rules, so be it. As the winds of society itself, I suppose I must change.” Blue rose weakly to his feet, struggling against the blow, the pain, and the chains that bound his hands. He was ready to kill Vestille now, end the madness, strangle the bastard with his own worn and bloodied hands. Vestille’s eyes seemed to light up at Blue’s faltered attempts. “You can stop trying. Those ropes are magic woven by the dwarven smiths north in Devouri. The runes are imbedded into them, suspending the use of magic as well the might and brute force one might use to leave their bounds. All your struggling will only end in more blood on those torn wrists of yours. ”Blue gave up, and, with a rugged sigh of loss, he sat down with crossed legs upon the hard, cold stone floor and waited for Vestille to finish his preposition.
        Again, Vestille was surprised, and enjoyed his prisoner. “You are quite a man. You accept the defeat I have handed you, but also never give up on your pursuit. Like a lone wolf. Such determination. Such honour and pride.” Blue rose his spinning head to face the other. “You know exactly what I am going to say, don’t you? You that I am about to ask something of you, and you want to accept, no, you will accept.” He raised his hand motioned Blue to rise. Blue sat still, disobeying. “And so stubborn. None the matter. I still will ask you…” Blue’s ears perked slightly.
        Damn it! What does the bastard want from me? He must think I’m Restoll the Bringer or something. Blue pondered the lord’s words in anticipation. Vestille sensed the rogue’s dwindling patience and smiled.
        “I want you to join my army, to help in the extermination of this rat, this Tamieras Kader.” He spoke the name with disgusts if Kader was a grotesque demon or disfigured planar entity that would turn other who saw him turn to stone like the medusa.
        Without liquor he probably is Blue jokingly guessed.
        But the lord had ignored Blue’s daydreaming, as he knew his words were still sharp on the magent’s ears. “You have quite the skill, surviving my own army, running from my castle, Kader, his own soldiers, all quite remarkable. I need someone like you. It is a necessary in such rivalries these day, unfortunately.” Vestille rose from the chair, it’s wooden legs squeaking loudly against the slabs of stone of the room’s floors. “So, will you join me.”
        Blue was looking around the room, paying attention to books and shelves, reading the titles of the tomes and stories kept within. His head turned sharply to see Vestille Opnev suddenly next to him. Startled, he stepped back. “huh, I beg your pardon…” he stumbled about. Vestille frowned slightly. Perhaps his assumption of this character was wrong. Perhaps he wasn’t paying attention to him. His frown sank deeper, then became flat again. He repeated himself. “Will you join with me? Become a legend, earn your status, fame. Money. Lots of money. Women too, in their prime, no less, and no more.” He leaned forward slightly, his eyes widening and fiery eyebrows rising for recognition and response. “Well?”
        Blue was caught slightly off guard, but bent his head in thought. If I say yes, I’ll be free…but then I’ll have to work for this sleaze, probably still die in the end…but if I say no…my head will most likely roll off the guillotine for sure…Blue sat another minute torn by the indecision before coming to his conclusion. “Yes.” He smiled.
        Vestille Opnev’s face lit up with enlightenment and success. He smiled maniacally. “Excellent.”
He clapped his hands, the sound brining a guard escort who entered the room, taking Blue by the arm, and leading him back through the maze of corridors and stone walls, made to look a little nicer with paintings of odd genres and caliber, and tapestries of varying colors. He was led down the halls to a wooden door at the end of one of these odd and inconsistent hallways. The guard stood still for a minute, and. Ruffling through his person, drew forth a small blue handled knife. He cut the ropes which bind Blue’s hands behind him, and pocketed both within his black uniform. “This here is your room. You are free to roam the grounds for now, get used to Vestille’s design. This castle is quite a unique thing to behold. Just don’t do anything funny, or the Lord will know right away to send you down to the guillotine.” The guard handed him a small brass key, with a short explanation of it being, obviously, the key for Blue’s own room. Blue sighed and waited impatiently for the guard to finish his automated lecture of doors and keys and relationships therein, then bid the guard away, and opened the door with a turn of the brass key and small “click.”
His room was rather large, well furnished. A four post, black silk curtain bed lay in center back, with a lamp next to it. A wooden dresser, brass plated and filled with varying clothes of taste and money, lay to the right. A small vanity set lay on top, a mirror, about mid waits high, with a washbasin and washcloth folded and put neatly with the set. A painting of landscapes, a large framed window, and matching black silk curtains completed the other side of the scene. Occult Blue thought. He slowly, at an expense of energy, into the room.
        The past events and encounters had drained him energy and stamina, and the tiredness and need to sleep hit him like a blow to the head. He stood to the bed, his head beginning to spin. He laid down on the black sheets and fell sound asleep.
        Blue dreamed that night, and got little sleep from the reoccurring events of history seemingly repeating themselves in his mind, one by one, leaping like proverbial sheep through his slumbers, wakening him often in cold sweat with the beginning and end of each new moment. He rubbed his head. The dreams, as he recalled, were merely thing of the past.
        He dreamt about his childhood, his training as a knight for his homeland, the blood-fought kingdom of Shinaria. His father was an excellent warrior, and had served the king deeply. But during a small war within the country, Blue’s father had assassinated the king’s son. His father was executed, and Blue, who had happily achieved status as a knight for his country, was expelled.
        His dishonor had carried him south to his grandfather’s hometown, Keltin. It had been here where he met the old man. The old eccentric, senile old bag named Yugu. The old goat had been wise, if not slow, and taught him in the ways of magic, in the realm of Mentalism. Blue learned many tricks of his trade, and was forever grateful to Yugu. When the old man died, Blue remembered mourning silently one gray afternoon, and leaving that same dreary night, alone.
        In his travels, he came across a man who would become a good friend. The man was a well-dressed, sharp worn man called Lochlin. Lochlin was a mercenary, a veteran who had seen time deteriorate his youth and looks, but not his skills. Upon meeting the ex-knight, Lochlin asked to hire Blue Silverlond to help defend a territory called Vandal Spire. This land was neutral area in Shinaria, but after the recent wars, and the minute hunt for the assassin’s own son, the Knights of Shinaria had deemed the land necessary for ruling the country. Blue remembered cursing a storm, going on about revenge and how he hated the bastards at the capitol of Beowulf. He agreed whole-heartedly.
        Blue was a vigorous fighter. His skills in arms and magic had proved his own ability and competence within the battle. He was motivated by the hatred for his own, the hatred for the Knights. He intended to win. After a fierce and ongoing campaign against the Shinari elite, Vandal Spire had been saved, and the military gave up on the land, allowing it to be the unowned territory for runaways and thieves escaping the law. Blue was thanked for his help, and after time, his skills were boasted about the land, and Blue had begun to travel the same road as his buddy Lochlin as a mercenary. He was good at his job, and had, for the most part, completed his missions as ordered, and been paid handsomely.
        And although he burned quickly the money he earned, he had lived happily, wandering the lands as a sword for hire. Money and revenge would propel him one day to regain his status.
        At least, that’s what he hoped.
        And so, Blue dreamed of various events-missions he had done during his time. Although in the end of his youth’s prime, he felt he was at least doing something with his life. Blue told himself this each time he wakened, clenching the sheet, with hard, rapid breaths. He shrugged the fatigue, and soon went back to dream.

        Blue was roused to wake by a large repetitive banging at his door, like a bird at sunrise that doesn’t shut up to let the lazy man sleep. Blue thought of implementing the strategy to the guest as he did that bird by putting it back to sleep with the impact of large rock. He smiled, laughed silently to himself about doing so, and rose and opened the door. It was the same guard as before, the black dressed robot of stupid. Blue groaned and shut the door upon the sight of the man.
        But the knocking continued. Now louder, and louder, faster. Eventually there guard had begun to play music with different beats of the door. Blue rose his head from under the pillow and decided living might be better than suffocation. He got up slowly again, grabed his sword, still sheathed, and opened the door.
        “I ha-“ the guard fell with a blow to his head to the ground. Blue was about to close the door and return to the warmth and lazy comfort of his bed when the he noticed a rolled up scroll kept tightly within the guard’s hand. He took it, shrugged, and turned into his room, closing the door on the guard outside who took his job.
        Blue stood for a moment, collecting his thoughts, then unrolled the parchment. It was not:

Breakfast is in One hour. Please come to the Dining Hall. (You’ll find it when you think you have.)

        The note was signed by Vestille. Blue threw the note to the ground, and his set his sheathed sword next to the bed, propped against the carved wooden bed-post. He moved to the dresser, where he washed up. He cleaned his face and hands, and dried them with the convenient towel nearby. He stared at himself briefly in the mirror before deciding he better bathe fully before the day’s done. He was dirtier than hell, and probably smelled worse. His brown hair was more disheveled, messed about more than usual and torn and rags from the travel. He made a mental and material note to do so, then began to rummage through the drawer of clothes.
        Nothing appealed to his liking, but Blue thought he should borrow a couple before he left. Although he didn’t find any of the apparels good looking, he figured he could use them someday, or give them as gifts. He closed the drawers and left the room in his own coat and chain mail.
        Lord Vestille waited patiently in his dining room. The large and marvelous, and quite expensive, marble dining table was being filled with food and treats by the servants and squires he paid to do so. He looked at his watch, and pondered the obvious and easily recognizable fact that his guest was lost. He smiled, sipped his morning tea, then made a few gestures of the hand, waving and pointing. Under his breath, the incantations of the illusionary magic were sounded, the thought and mind of the arcane power slowly working about the castle. Vestille sipped his tea again, and patiently waited for Blue Silverlond.
        Vestille made not note or mention of upset when Blue arrived at the dining hall an hour later. His breath was short, and one of his hands was badly bruised and bloodied, battered and worn. The lord could only guess at what the magent had tried to accomplish, being lost in his castle of mind altering trickery and deception. But, despite the tardiness of the magent and the now cooling temperature of the breakfast now gone to waste, Vestille simply smiled his maniacal smile and begged Blue to sit at the opposite end of the table with him.
Blue did so, the embarrassment from becoming not only lost and tardy for his appearance with the lord, but also of seemingly becoming the end and punch lines of jokes which spread from ear to ear and mouth of the castles numerously hidden guards and servants. Blue sat down slowly, and bowed slightly as he did so, as to keep his manners, more so than he had done for Kader. There were no words shared between the two for a long time as Blue poured himself a cup of the black tea, as it was the only thing still kept warm by the servants for r their breakfast.
        Blue sipped happily on his tea, watching the lord across the table. Vestille seemed different than Kader, more…bearing, more up held in his demeanor. He assumed that this guy must be the one the people like for lord around here. But again, the exact details of politics would only interfere with the fact that he was still being paid, however inconspicuous that now seemed, to kill the man. Blue sipped his tea again.
        He found the whole situation not only a blessing from the little leprechauns, a charm and radiant beam of luck and fortune, but also quite ironic. He was doomed to be executed, by the man who hired him to kill the lord he now as with, and Blue failed, deemed to be killed by the latter. Now he was being saved by the very man who should be having his head fed to the Behemoth-king Gorre for trying to kill him. He silently chuckled the whole prospect. At least the girl Elissia was working for him. He thought about getting a shot at a relationship with the odd hostess who had hired him to kill his first employer.
        Blue shook his head, and took a long sip of the tea before him on the marble table. All this thinking and sewing of missing pieces and puzzles was beginning to confuse him, and, although the idea of this massive government conspiracy and uprising happening in Savron seemed all fun, he was getting headaches from trying to think about the matter. He lazily decided, after the stress began to get to him, that he would simply play it all by ear, kill Vestille, and leave the region, fleeing-hopefully-from Kader and his men.
        It was Lord Vestille who, after contemplating the thoughts of the magent, whose name was still unknown to him, broke the silence. His voice startled Blue, as Vestille calculated that the breakfast had been continuing on in its current silence for almost half of an hour.
        “I apologize for my frankness, but, I have hired you as my personal assassin, and I still do not know your name. It would be much easier for me to call you by something other than….”you there”, for instance.” He smiled again, and Blue tried to hide the shudder this man seemed to send to him. “Perhaps you could tell me what you are named?”
        Blue looked down at the swirling cup of tea within his cup, and thought the situation over. He determined that it wouldn’t matter now if used his real name anymore, as no one who wanted to kill him didn’t know who he was. “Blue Silverlond, your lordship.” He told Vestille. He frowned slightly at the prospect, seeing that his skills were not being used to potential and wavering slightly. He decided to do better at his job next time.
        Vestille poured another cup of the dark tea, and then continued on his speech. “You see, I used to be the ‘goody-two-shoes’ of the competing lords in the regions. In earlier-perhaps simpler-times this all would have made a difference. Back in the day, it would have all accumulated to something more profitable and worthwhile as a politician. It might have made sense.” He sipped his tea. “But times have changed. People change as well. The desire for these “good-boy” politicians and rulers is nearing its last breath. Oh, people want a good, pure hearted leader. They want such a man to rule there lives, insignificant, a paladin to their everyday journey of home and market, problems dealt by the court of such a man. Yes, the people desire such a leader. They deserve it.” He looked a sharp glance at the magent, his grey eyes searching for recognition of his words. He had found it.
“But nowadays”, he continued, “Such men are almost never born. At least, not into politics. Such hearts and souls are bred as monks as knights, and templars to a church. They do not have the exact calling, the feel for the politics. And with no such feel, there are no good men to lead. He real politicians-men such as myself, or my rival Mr. Kader-are of little of that caliber. We have no such morality, no-honesty. We have to resort to men like you. Am I wrong?” The last words came with a hint of a sneer from Vestille. Blue had felt it, known the meaning of Vestille’s words, but said nothing of that matter. Instead, his rebuttal was for Vestille’s speech.
        Blue, setting down his empty tea cup, shook his head. “No your lordship, you are
right-and wrong. Such men are not always born into such roles. Some men of heart and spirit do get caste for the role of the knight or man of the cloth. They become contempt with such casts, they play the lines, they move in harmony with the music of their chosen path. They are as happy in any such field, helping the good of the people. But, men such as yourself, bound to thrive in the world of politics, men such as yourself who desire to rule, even though your heart isn’t as pure as the people would like it to be, well you can change that.” He poured himself another cup of the dark tea, took a sip of it, then pressed on in conversation.
“You men can rise to such positions, and become the ideal leader. You can become such men, ruling with good heart and mind. You throw mud and strike with sword to obtain such positions, and you continue your ever straight path in such manners. You politicians get into that chair or that office, and you still continue to fling mud at your rivals. Only now, your actions splatter dirt and grime on the very people you wish to help. You soil the people by being such a man. You see, your lordship, it is men such as you who can change. You can make a transition as such while in power. Become a man of your people.”
Vestille’s eyes seemed to glisten at the rogue’s own attempt. Although he found the words amusing, and intriguing, Vestille was laughing inside. And after a moment this laughter became audible, and Blue was puzzled, ands slightly insulted, at the unknown humor the lord found in the words of the magent. Vestille’s laugh was loud and roared like a lion that was tickled with a feather. And Blue Silverlond was suddenly angered by Vestille Opnev’s ignorance. His hard face was overcome slightly with rage, his eyes flared, and a knife nearby him had been grasped. A movement of the arm, a throw of the steel. The knife cut fast through the air as the magent tried to make the strike contact the fool.
Vestille was still laughing at the magent’s plea when his hand was impaled by his very own kitchen knife. His face reflected with pain, and his red hair only seemed to enhance the similarity of his face to a candle flame. Blood began to leak from the wound, staining the cloth of the marble table, into the tea. Vestille screamed with rage and agony.
His head jerked up to meet the unkempt rogue’s gaze, and Blue suddenly grabbed for a sword that wasn’t there. Damn it he cursed as he remembered his sword was still in his room, somewhere deep in the labyrinth compound. Blue rose from his chair hard and fast as to knock it over onto the dining room’s carpeted floor. He was driven by rage, and hate, sprinting to Vestille, wanting to silence the bastard. His legs carried him quickly over the expanse, and in a moment his fist had connected with full force across the lord’s jaw. A crack was heard, and the impact sent Vestille sprawling to the ground. He clenched his jaw. The blow dislocating his lower face. His eyes seemed to glow red as he raised a shaking, uncontrollable bloody hand at the magent.
        A word, an arc of energy and magic, a spear of magic and essence formed at the biding of Vestille. Blue had no time to react as the spear of light and energy flew through the air, gracefully, into his left shoulder. The shear force and pain sent him screaming, the shaft went through clean, and Blue tumbled onto his back, with a loud thud, and the clanging of his chain mail under his now burnt brown coat and ashen white pants.
        Vestille rose, with the support of the marble dining table, now stained autumn with spilling of the dark, black tea and crimson color of his own blood. His face was akin to the magent’s, fury and rage blinding all senses. The betrayal had not only shocked him, but left his jaw unhinged. Blood now ran down his face from his mouth, the wounds and crimson fluid merging with the fabrics of his tunic and cloak. He raised another hand, more magic at his command. Coming into a ball at the fingers, a swirl of energy and mana, glowing green with the faint light of the essence’s power. His face twitched, and he sent the ball hurling through the singed air, onto the magent that lay on the ground.
        Blue was just coming to his senses when the magic bullet hit. He screamed, the energy enveloping him like a blanket of fire, the green power sparking about in swirls and arcs like lightning in a fierce storm. Blue tried to struggle against the magic, but even he knew there was no use in such a vain attempt. The soft sizzle of his now tattered and blackened coat and charred shirt of chain, his pant bloody and scarred with soot and multiple tears was the only sound amidst the two wounded men’s ragged and faltering breath. With a short sigh, the magent fell to the ground in a lazy, burned heap.

        The guard repeated the banging of the sword against the bars another time. The simultaneous rattle and vibration of the prison’s bars, the constant noise of the guard, was enough to make Blue go insane. Still, he did nothing. He just lied on the clod stone cot of the damp, musk cell, and waited.
        Blue recalled being knocked unconscious after a fierce attempt to slay Lord Vestille Opnev. His body was charred, burned as a result of the ignoramus’s magic. Blue had been struck in the shoulder. A lance of magic and mana. The spear had torn through. A gaping, bloody hole in his flesh still marked the wound. A wound that wouldn’t let him sleep. It burned his flesh, brought him pain whenever touched. Even the air seemed to wind through it like acid, making the pain all more unbearable. Blue had whimpered in his cell for at least a day. And then he gave up trying. He gave up caring.
        Vestille had visited him once, since he awakened in the small stone prison room. He came to mock the magent, and sing about his execution day. Blue tried to ignore the man, but his voice, as strong as it was, begged Blue to perk an ear for attention. Vestille’s own wounds had been healed, probably by magic, and there was no trace of a broken jaw. Vestille’s anger had seemed to subside, although Blue heard the hatred in the lord’s voice every time he spoke. It almost made him shiver with fear.
        It as another day of laying in the cold damp cell, upon the stone, rock-hard cot. Blue sung softly himself as he awaited the execution day’s coming. Only one more night. This one he thought as he tried to devise a plan of escape.
Unfortunately, there were more than ten guards in excess guarding the magent’s prison cell, and probably some mage-warriors or sorcerers waiting outside the large wooden door at the end of the hall. Blue’s cell had also been guarded, from the inside, to prevent the casting of any of his own magic as a means of escape. Blue had looked over these runes, studying them, for any hopes of being able to break the chain, destroy one, and allow him to do something but, of coarse, there was no way to penetrate the lord’s defenses.
Blue hummed his song, tossing and turning on the uncomfortable bed, hoping sleep might come to him, allowing him to escape the situations dire outcome that seemed now all too real and apparent. He started to feel depressed that his stupidity and pride had gotten the best of him, again, and that he was going to die for such mistakes. He tried to shrug off the feeling, but it still lingered inside him, nagging at his heart and soul. It was like a massive ball of despair that seemed to bounce and grow bigger and bigger. Blue was almost on the verge of breaking down, bawling aloud within his cell like a broken man.
But Blue Silverlond wouldn’t break. He wasn’t that small of a lowly being. He was a man. He was determined to live, get his revenge. He would make things right. He wanted to leave, kill Kader, kill Vestille, end this whole tangle of feuds, and leave. Savron City had suddenly become a hell for him. Vestille and Kader were like twin devils-Satan and a clone. He merely chuckled at the thought, the small burg-a realm of torment? The thought of Kader and Vestille ruling together made him laugh even louder, and he almost got the guard’s attention. Blue’s humor subsided shortly, its moment gone, and he sat up on his bed, and pondered.

Tamieras Kader stormed into his briefing room, a large circular cellar with maps and tables for campaign and warfare purposes, with Ridnick trailing behind. He moved to his giant map of the region, and stared at it with furious eyes. Ridnick, a little frightened, spoke up.
“M, m, master?” he asked. His body trembled, shaking violently. “What shall you do now?” The dwarf seemed smaller than usual as he shrank beneath the shadow of Kader.
Kader’s nostril’s flared, and he batted off the table all the little figures that were the army of Vestille. “That idiot has two-faced us! I have to take care of things my way now!” Despite the dwarf being the only other person in the briefing room, Kader was raising his voice shouting. The dwarf seemed to fall to his knees in a fetal position, frightened at the storm of the man. “Y,y,yes” he stuttered about,”B,bu,b,but what will your Lordship do now? You lost your assassin, and he’s with Vestille now.” Kader looked down at the dwarf and smiled.
“I’ll go personally to his castle then.”
“You heard me. Rally all my soldiers, gather a battalion from the northern barracks, and have them group up at the astern walls. I’ll meet them there. We will march right up to Vestille’s castle, and we’ll stomp him out. It can easily be accomplished.” He played with the figures on the table, visualizing the words he spoke. Ridnick was silently watching, noting his orders to gather men and arms.
“What about the Western Border Guards?” The small dog questioned. “They’re not needed out that far for another week, and we can pull them out and have them at your estate by the afternoon’s end. Then you will have five hundred men strong.” The dwarf circled the table to stand closer to the lord, in hopes of praise.
“You’re right, Ridnick. That’s a novel idea. Contact the Border Guard at once, then. Let them know the details, and I’ll wait for them at the eastern gate with the other units. As for the local sentry, I need you to divide the, and send them here.” He wrote the directions on a scrap piece of parchment laying stray on the table, and hoped the dwarf would understand.
“Why here, your lordship?” He was puzzled at the sentry’s deployment orders.
Kader moved gracefully to the door. “I have a feeling Mr. Silverlond might b playing another side. We don’t want any surprises from the town.” He strolled out of the room, and Ridnick gleefully skipped on after his lord, and then left to prepare for the oncoming attack. He sent out letter to the Western Border Guard, told the soldiers to wait at the eastern gates, and then dispatched the local sentry. Still… he wondered, Why the church?
Night fell seemingly quickly that day in Savron, and the clouds whisped away, the blanket of darkness covered the sky, and the sun bowed to let the moon stand. The stars peered out from the back cloak to lend their shining brightness to the summer’s warm evening. Kader inhaled the fresh smell of the summer night.
Tamieras Kader stood with an army of his soldiers, atop a hill on the eastern outskirts of the city. Waiting patiently for this moment, he lifted his right hand, which clenched a shining brass war trumpet. He paused momentarily to survey his men, their uneasiness about the long battle ahead didn’t show in the waiting black mass of armor clad men, with sword spear and bow. There was almost an air of desire to march quickly to his rival Vestille Opnev’s castle, and he smiled. Today he would rule this city, Savron. Later, he would be ruler of the entire country. He would see to that. He pressed the brass of the trumpet to his lips, and blew, the large bellowing sound echoing along the slight breeze of the wind.
At the command, Kader’s men had picked their bodies off from the grassy fields, and began a steady, anticipating march to Vestille’s castle. Some sang songs of battle and victory, other smoked pipes, or chewed tobacco. There was a feeling of glee with high morale among the troops.
They marched along the fields, trampling the fresh blades of grass. The army moved like a snake, a snake armed with a mass of weapons of blades and arrows. A snake with a greedy, selfish brain called Kader. The snake wound its way on the edge of the city on foot, silently and paced as not to tire. The battle ahead would be long, and the struggle would be a challenge. But the barrel of gunpowder that was the politics in Savron had to be set ablaze, or the situation would remain solid and unmoving for too long. Kader wanted nothing more that to win. Even if he were the last man standing against Vestille he would win. He would be ruler of the land. He deserved it.
The snake crept swiftly through the blades of grass in the summer’s cool night. And the brain directed the orders to spare no one. Not even a rogue magent.

Blue sat quietly in his stone cell in the depth of Vestille’s castle planning escape. Or perhaps his death. He was starving and his mouth hurt from lack of drink. Vestille had not come again. He had not been visited, or taunted to by the lord of the castle. It almost puzzled Blue.
Blue sat quietly on the cold, rock made cot in his cell. His escape was not possible. He sat, and imagined death. He imagined the bony claw of the reaper grasping him, the dark figure draining from him his life, his energy. Blue saw despairingly the scythe of death taking his head. Blue saw no way out.
The guards, all ten of them within the corridor, had disappeared. The soldiers who held him here and harassed him had gone away. Blue knew not where, and decided not to learn where. It wouldn’t matter. He was happy with the silence. The long, endless silence save his own person. He had thought he was going mad. He began to shout, curse ramblings to Vestille and Kader. He was going to kill bot of them if he wasn’t killed first. Which, of course, was the now blatant case.
        He sat with his face buried in his hands, worn and dry, and wanted to die. But, without any means of escape, he’d have to bury out his heart with his own hands in order to kill himself. He stood straight up from his cot. I can’t go insane! He shouted to himself. “I can’t go insane!” He punched the stone wall of the cell, hard and cold. His hand became bruised, and blood began to drip to the floor. He said nothing. He began to pace around the room, in circles. He sung to himself ballads and tunes; all he knew. He hummed the parts of symphonies and musical scores he could remember. He tried to keep a right mind.
        A loud bang against the wooden door at the hall’s end. A shuffle, a sound of a man’s cream. Blue was startled, and rushed to the barred door, peering out from the right side’s edge to see the hallway, the door just barely visible to him. The scream subsides, and there was for shuffling. The door was being jimmied open, rattling and screeching against the stone floor. And then it opened. Blue left his position, and hid against the wall, out of sight. He slowed his breathing, trying not to be heard by the intruder.
        A shadow appeared in the door, and Blue glimpsed its movement as the sound of metal clanging against metal was heard, and the lock went off with a switch. The steel barred door swung open, and a familiar blonde, short girl stepped in the cell.
“Blue?” she questioned with her soft, feminine voice. She turned her head to see the magent, who, upon her arrival, had rushed up to hug her in his worn arms.
        “Am I glad to see someone other than a soldier!” he happily said as he swung her girlish body about in his arms. “And a beauty such as yourself!” he had almost been brought to joyful tears. “How did you get in here Elissia?”
        Elissia smiled at him, brushing her long hair behind her shoulders. Her dress was blue, with white laces. Blue noticed that it was the outfit she wore now she had been sewing when she rescued him may nights past. She looked at him with her large brown eyes. “Consider it a reunion by the gods” she told him.
        Blue smiled at her, then bowed as best he could, stumbling and falling over to the stone ground. “Here, let me” the girl said as she produced a large water gourd from a leather belt she wore around her waist. It was filled with cool, fresh clean water which Blue thirstily and thankfully gulped down. He used the little that was left to briskly clean his hands and face, the wiped his mouth with his arm.
        “Thank you so much. I thought I as going to die” He got up slowly, and seated himself for a moment on the cot. She handed him a loaf of bread from another pouch, and he munched it down hurriedly, making sure not to choke. He ate until his stomach was full, and finished the last drops of water.
        “You almost did” she said in her soft voice. “Now come on, Mr. Silverlond. We have to get you out of here. You have an assortment of work to complete” she told him with a smile. She grabbed him by his arm and dragged him out of the cell. The two hurried down the hall, past the wooden door, into the adjacent room. A guard, who’s neck was broken, lay in the door’s way. Blue stepped over it, easily guessing what happened. “Here, your things are somewhere in here” Elissia told him.
        The two looked quickly for the magent’s coat, chain shirt and sword. They rummaged amidst the hoard of weapons and armor, until Blue not only recovered his uniform and blade, but his beloved black oak crossbow he had originally used to attempt to kill Vestille. “Thought I’d never see you again baby!” he told the weapon. He turned to suit up, and tied and secured his weapons to his belt. “Ok, Mrs. Where now?” he asked, turning to find himself alone in the room. The girl had gone.
“Elissia?” he looked back down the prison hall, and midst some of the bigger pieces of artillery in the room. Damn it! Where the hell did she go! He looked quickly again, and still found no trace of the girl.
        Shaking his head, he left the matter alone. “None the less, I have two missions to do.” He took his equipment and bolted out of the next door, into the halls of Vestille Opnev’s castle. He found a flight of stairs leading up, and followed them into an large chamber, where he found the masses of Kader’s army against Vestille’s guard. Sword were clashing with each other, arrows were being shot about. Down every visible hall, the sounds and sights of warfare were heard. Blue looked around. He had stumbled in the middle of the deciding war between Vestille and Kader. The room was ablaze, charred from strewn candles and tapestries. Paintings and statues, used as offense as well as defense, were all in shamble.
        Blue looked abut, but from a glint in his eye, he caught a guard running at him. With a quick dodge and strike to the gut, the guard fell to the ground. Blue scanned the room, the large crowd of warriors, but didn’t spot Elissia.
        He fought off another two guards, and began to move across the room to a nearby hallway. Swarms of arrows began to soar across the chamber, and Blue picked up the pace. On his right side was a hallway, thirty feet distance. He sprinted and made it past the battle, into the corridor.
        But in its safety he found one of Kader’s men, dressed in a leather jerkin, recognized by the large black “K” sewn across his chest, running to meet him. Blue dueled the man, the quick exchange of blows ending in a cut across the man’s torso, and Blue kicking him over. More guards were piling in from various intersecting corridors. Still, no Elissia.
        Blue ran down the hall, slaying more men. At the end of the hall he found only one person. His eyes fixed on the man: Tamieras Kader.
The man stood, waiting in a large room. He had with him a large two handed sword, which he flailed about skillfully with only one hand. Guards from Vestille fell at the lord’s point, and tumbled in heaps of armor and blades.
Another wave of soldiers came at Kader, running with sword and shield, and Lord Kader swung his blade about, in circles and waves, cutting the attackers down. Blue was impressed. Kader now turned. He saw the magent in the hall, watching, and smiled his chaotic, evil grin.
        Blue was almost scared stiff, but brought courage from the anger that started to rush within him. He cooled his head, and strolled out into the chamber to meet the lord.
        The chamber was shaped like an octagon, with candles on the walls, burning silently, allowing illumination to the room. There was a carpet of red velvet on the floor in the center, where Kader stood his ground. Blue noticed there was no blood on the carpet, and spilled only on the stone floor around it.
        The two eyes met, glaring at each other. It was almost like a staring contest, a battle of the will. Blue’s green eyes meeting with Tamieras’ dark blue stones. Kader was the first to interrupt the silence, his voice now stiff, and not as dull or boring to the magent as when they had pretended to like each other.
“Well, well, well. If it isn’t Mr. Silverlond. I trust Vestille has paid you well to be in his ranks.” He twirled his sword around and rested it on his shoulder. “Poison any good drinks lately?”
        Blue chuckled. “Vestille hasn’t done anything for me, wine-o.”
        Kader looked past the rogue, into the hall where the bodies of his men lay dead on the stone floors. “Is that so? I bet you’re working for free then. How pathetic. Joining his side, killing my men to help him win this war, going after me yourself. Vestille is a fool. He can’t even fight his own rival.”
        “So that’s it, isn’t it?” the magent interrogated. “You think I’m working for Vestille, don’t you?” The magent cleaned the blood off his sword with a torn piece of one of the dead soldier’s uniforms.
        “Would there be any other explanation?” the lord asked soberly, and calmly as he lifted his sword off his shoulder. Blue knew he would strike soon, and set his blade ready to defend.
        “Yeah, yeah there is.” The magent proclaimed as he brushed his rugged hair from his face. He straightened his long pony tail, grown more from being locked up, and smiled. “You see, your drunken-ship” at which Blue noted the flare and blood rush to Kader’s poor concealing face, “Your me are too dumb. I just waltz around and stick my sword out like this-”,he demonstrated as he turned to have his blade meet the ribs of a soldier of Kader’s who had tried to creep up behind him. The man gave a gurgle of saliva and blood and fell to ground in the corridor. The magent continued, “And all they do is die.” He smiled. He knew he was winning this one. “It’s like you programmed them to be moron. Dumb, drunken, incapable idiots. Like yourself.”
        “Enough!” Kader screamed as he bolted off heel to rush as Blue with his large two- handed sword. But Blue was faster, and the blade met Blue’s parry as the magent sent a kick to the lord’s midsection. But, surprisingly, the kick yielded nothing, and Kader simply took his sword and struck again.
        But the size and speed variance was too much. Although the impact of the large sword sent Blue stumbling back a few steps, the blade couldn’t hit because Blue was smaller and faster. Blue counterattacked with a slash to the shoulder, which hit. He tore cloth and flesh, and blood leaked from a mall cut in Kader’s arm.
        The lord said nothing, but continued his assault. Blue was crushed under the blow, and attempted to roll away to the side, but Kader caught him in the side of his chest Blue let out a short scream, and tumbled in failure. He got up, and noticed more soldiers, four leather garbed reinforcements, had arrived to defend their lord. Blue caught one of them as the guard rushed at him, and cut his face. Blood and flesh fell with the soldier screaming to the stone floor. Kader’s face did not change, and he still seemed passive.
        Kader picked up his sword, and with two more soldiers, charged at Blue. Blue turned, stabbing one of the men in the back, and threw it to the other, who stumbled onto his back, his blade cutting himself on the way down. Blue’s sword was up just in time to meet the large force of Kader, and Blue quickly retreated his sword to catch the lord’s legs.
        A strike, and the Lord fell to knee, blood pouring from an open wound. Kader grunted, and his face now grimaced, twitching with the pain. Blue side-stepped around the robed lord, and caught the last guard running at him down the chest. The threat fell swiftly onto the carpet and stone. Blue turned to meet Tamieras Kader.
        Kader rose from his spot, slowly and painfully. He used his sword as a crutch, it’s blade worn and chipped from contact with the stone. His legs trembled. He looked at the magent, blood streaking down his face. His bald head was untouched, and Blue saw in the reflection the dwarf behind him. The magent turned to meet Ridnick.
        The dwarf stood in a suit of plate and chain, stained with blood and ash. A large battle axe rested in his armored hands. He resembled a true dwarf in that instant, whose spirit was meant for such battle. Blue walked to face the dwarf. He stood not five feet from the short man, and almost two feet taller.
        Ridnick raised the axe to strike the magent. His chest heaved with his slow, rugged breaths, and his eyes flared with the pain the magent brought to his lord. “You…” he said in a rasped voice. “You shall not harm my lord…” He took the axe over his head, and Blue drew his sword from the dwarf’s belly.
        Ridnick said nothing, but his eyes showed betrayal and meaninglessness. Blue said nothing but pushed the dwarf over, and let the dense short body fall to the stone floor of the chamber with a crash and thud.
        Tamieras Kader was now on both his feet, standing tall and unwavering. “This is it…this is the end for you magent…Blue Silverlond!” He raised his sword and attacked Blue. The other defended, but Kader seemed to have a new found force that was incredible. Blue flew back, his sword flew from his grasp, his body went numb. He hit the wall behind him with a loud thud and grunt. He groaned and rose slowly and wearily from the wall. With a quick sense, and spot of the glinting metal he jumped to his left in time just to miss Kader’s massive sword cut a six foot gash down the wall. Blue rose to a knee. Kader stood like a golem now, a mass of might and anger.
Blue realized he couldn’t joke around any more. He had to play seriously or Kader would kill him for sure. The magent found his sword to his right, slightly behind the oncoming Kader. He had to reach it. Fast. He got up and ran clumsily to the other side of the room. Kader was after him with remarkable speed. He was almost on top the rogue with his blade, but Blue stepped to the right, allowing the blade to ruin the stone behind where he previously stood. Kader looked over to where Blue now stood, to slow to dodge the fury of punches the magent had started to throw at him.
Blue gave him multiple left and right jabs, then kicked the lord in his leg, but still no damage. Kader began to laugh, and Blue began to move backwards, toward his blade. Kader’s eyes seemed to flare as he pulled from the wall his ruined large sword and walked slowly up to Blue, the sword raised in hand. Kader smiled the evil, wild smile, and dropped his blade on the magent. Blue stumbled back, but it was a little late. The blade came down his chest, cutting a large part of his chain shirt, drawing blood. Blue gasped and fell to the ground. He groaned, and left the handle of his sword next to him.
        Kader laughed. “This is the road’s end of your life.” He said, his sword rising again over his bald head. He began to swing it in circles, like a propeller. “Tell me if anything interesting pops up when you see your life flash before your eyes!” And as if in harmony with his following laughter, the sword cut through the air to meet the rogue’s skull.
        The large sword shattered at contact with Blue’s sword. Blue ducked his head into the collar of his leather brown coat to dodge the shards of metal from Kader’s monstrous edge, and he rose quickly to his feet while the advantage was still his.
Kader was in shock as he brought up the remains of his precious sword. All left to him was an ornate family heirloom handle, with torn wrappings, and a stub of warped steel. His eyes rose to meet the magent, and then widened as Blue Silverlond delivered the killing blow, two strikes down the chest, in an “X” pattern, just for flair and style. Blue smiled. Tamieras Kader fell to the carpet, and the only blood to leak onto to the red carpet in the room was the lord’s very own. His eyes went milky, his body shivered, then lay still. The magent went to the body and produced a small black leather pouch, which jingled softly with the sounds of money. He also took out a small iron caste box, which was the other half of his undelivered pay. Blue sheathed his sword, and continued to find Vestille Opnev.
Blue wandered down the halls of Vestille’s castle, cutting down any person he saw that was not Elissia. He struck out both Vestille’s men, and those of Kader who were not either yet dead, dying, or fleeing due to the unawareness of their brain. The first snake began to coil up in the fight, losing its life.
Blue picked up the pace, passing a multitude of doors and halls, ignoring any indirect threat. The soldiers were too emerged in their own duels to care about the magent.
Eventually, the magent knew where to go. He realized where he would find both Elissia and Vestille. He took up his blade and made his way to the castle’s exit.
It was some time before Blue found the entrance hall. He went through a large pair of doors to come into the room atop balcony, with a stairway that led down into a large open room that had only one adjoining hallway which led outside. He then saw them. Vestille and Elissia were in the center, among dead soldiers and blades. They were both waving their arms about, and shouting words of power. Elissia blue dress was blackened and torn from wounds, and there was a slight trace of blood on her bare back. Vestille, across the room, was in a black and gold high-collared robe. He appeared unscathed. The air sizzled with the taste of their magic, and Blue began realized what was going on.
He ducked behind the stair’s banister, and pulled forth his crossbow. He took an arrow from his quiver, and started to load the weapon. As he did so, the flames and magic from the battle below lit up the room like a celebration, and Blue tried to shied his eyes from the green and blue flashes of light. He concentrated his own magic, preparing to make the arrow strike the heart. He wouldn’t miss. He rose to his knees, and steadied the crossbow on the banister, allowing a perfect shot below. He squinted, sighted the target, and pulled the trigger.
The arrow flew through the air, towards Vestille’s heart. The lord, concentrating too much on Elissia’s spells, was caught entirely off guard from the magent. But, as when Blue first tried, the arrow hit a shield of magic, and detoured into a nearby wall, where it his the ground with a clatter of metal against stone.
Blue stood up, frozen from both shock and fear. Vestille looked to him. Anger and hate filled those loathing grey eyes, and an arm reached out from under his black robes to form another spear of magic and energy. I formed quickly, and the lord hurled it towards the magent, who was hiding for protection behind the banister.
Elissia looked to Blue, and, coming out of distraction and lost focus the arrow had caused, fired another similar spear of magic in Blue’s direction.
“Damn!” Blue cursed as he saw the spears coming for him. He got up and ran for the other side of the stairs to attempt to dodge the magic spears. But he had gotten the wrong impression, and Elissia’s magic again collided with that of lord Vestille’s and both spears shattered in a pretty picture of light and dust. Elissia gave a smile to Blue, who had ducked under his coat due try and survive the blast of magic that hadn’t happened. He rose slowly, and peered out to see Vestille and Elissia at each other again, throwing bolt and balls of flame and ice and various magic.
Spells were being cast quickly, action, reaction. Vestille had cast a wall of earth and mud, but Elissia had responded with teleportation spell behind him to catch his illusion image off guard with a blast of electricity. Vestille’s true self laughed as he appeared above, casting a torrent of rain and heavy water to soak and drown the girl.
But Elissia was just as cunning, and had cast a wall of air and wind, which she directed upwards, causing the water to rocket into its caster. This time she had gotten the lord. Blue watched as the battle wore on. He drew his sword. He wanted to help. He had to wait. This was Elissia fight. She had to kill her husband on her own. And so he sat, waiting.
Vestille hit the stone ground with a large crack. He rose cautiously, and raised a hand to the broken rib, which in moments, was regenerated. He shot an arrow of mana at the girl, who cast a missile turning spell. The arrow hit the shield, causing the light around her to fluctuate. The arrow went astray, and missed Blue by nearly a foot, shattering into tiny bits of mana and energy. Blue ducked under his coat for protection, dropping his sword, and cursed magician’s for not being as smart and calculating as they wanted to think they were. He decided not to move until the magic war subsided.
Elissia ran to take cover behind a pillar of stone that stood within the room, supporting floor and ceiling. Her stamina was wavering, and her breath was becoming heavier. Both she and lord Vestille were exhausting their power. The magic would soon fade and weaken, and they would eventually fall unconscious. But she had to kill him before that happened. But how? She questioned her panicking mind.
And then it came to her: Blue. The magent was still quivering beneath his coat, trying to remain a safe bystander of the battle the two wizards waged below. She had to reach the stairs, reach Blue. Then she could devise a plan with the magent, and Vestille would fall…at least, she hoped he would.
She looked around, darting her eyes about to scan the surroundings, peering through the fading smoke and dust of magic and essences about the large chamber.. Vestille was still there. He stood about thirty feet from her position, tall and unmoving, save for his arms, which were outstretched before him, gather his power. Gathering the magic, forming before his tall frame a large ball of green energy. A sneer went to his once strong composure, unwavering face, and his red hair lay about his face in wisps. His goatee was singed, blackened and burned from the backlash of the magic gone haywire.
“Come out, girl. I have a present for you! If you’re good, it won’t hurt a bit!” He began to laugh. He laughed loud, maniacally, like he had taken the world as his own. He let go his direct concentration on the massive ball of magic and power that hovered next to him in the air some five and a half feet off the stone ground.
“I sense your presence, witch. I know where you are! You cant hide from me.” He turned in the girl’s direction, and moved slowly towards her, in small, practiced steps. The globe of energy and magic creation moved with him, ready to strike. Vestille smiled. He knew where Elissia was. He would have the wench dead.
Elissia pressed her body against the stone pillar, trying to think fast a solution. Her heart pounded harder, faster, in tune with the rush of adrenaline flowing through her blood. She turned and loomed over to her left side, in the direction of the stairs. Blue hadn’t moved yet, and she began to conjur a spell to get her to the top of the stairs ahead.
        Vestille stopped. He could hear her breath. Her panic and fear was radiating strongly. He took another step. “Come now, Mrs. Elissia. Don’t you think we should end this like civilized people. That is, my dear, what we are trying to be, I assume?” The magic globe hovered about his black garbed frame, slowly making circles, glowing faintly in the chamber’s candlelight. “Wouldn’t you just want to end all of this, end this madness and fighting. That would be a great thing my dear, would it not?” His words echoed across the room, and although Elissia heard them, she made no attempt to communicate back. She had to concentrate on reaching Blue at the op of the stairs.
        Blue, who had been cowering away under his coat from magic and energy that still lingered briskly in the air, now got up. Slowly, he got to one knee, and surveyed fully the surroundings. There were three pillars to the left and right. In the center of the room, Vestille was standing, tall and fierce, his red hair making quite a spectacle of the blackness he had worn. A strange sphere of green magic had been gently hovering in the air next to him. He couldn’t see Elissia. He looked about, but all he could see besides the castle’s lord were candelabras, a few doors, and the hall that led outside.
        Blue prepared a moment, and cast a sensing spell, which would make him aware of any sentient beings within the vicinity. He sensed people. He counted them-three in all. Vestille and I are in the open, so we’re accounted for. So Elissia must be the third person. But where the hell I she? he wondered. He began to panic, thinking that perhaps was not Elissia that was there, but an ally of Vestille’s. Blue swallowed down the notion.
Nah, that couldn’t be the magent assured himself, I heard Vestille talking to Elissia. She has to be here. He took his sword in hand, and peered over the banister again.
        Elissia suddenly darted from behind the pillar’s safety, like a mole from the ground, and began running towards the magent, towards the stairway. She threw her arms in the air, and a flash of light filled the room. The next instant, a faint, rainbow aura had covered her body, a shield of light. Vestille had cloaked his eyes from the sudden brightness, but turned to see the girl trying to run away. He sneered.
        “Not yet, my dear!” He shouted to her, as his arm raised, his finger pointing at the running woman. The magic globe hummed softly, twirled in a circle for just a moment, and then shot right towards Elissia, like an explosive arrow.
        Elissia heard the sound of the magic sphere. In her hastiness, she turned to see the globe coming directly at her. She lengthened her steps, trying to run faster, but the globe was gaining speed. It wasn’t going to miss. Blue looked in horror as the realization that Elissia wouldn’t make it came to him, and he had to do something. He got, looked about, and devised a plan.
        It probably’ll never work he told himself bit I have to try! She saved my life, and I do have to return the favor. I’ll probably break a leg for this one. Blue you moron, how do you get into these thing,. Well, here goes nothing-except me. He leaped onto the banister, sliding down the brass rail like a bottle on the sea. Despite his beliefs, h reached the end safely without faltering, and he leaped in the air, brining his sword with him. He came down on the green energy globe, his blade crashing down on the sphere of magic. Sparks and magic flew everywhere, and Blue heard someone scream. His blade contacted the energy, the magic, and shot through him like a poison. The magic sphere shattered into little piece, and Blue, fried and burned from the power of the obstacle, fell to his knees, smoke rising from his injured body.
        Elissia ran to his side without hesitation , producing a small vial of a brownish yellow liquid. “Blue!” she screamed as she fumbled with the cork of the glass container. “Blue, you idiot! It wasn’t worth it!” Tears began to swell in her eyes, stinging them. She began to weep. “Such a stupid way to clock out!” she yelled at him. She pressed the vile to his lips, trying to get him to drink the medicine, but there was no sign of life. He appeared not to be breathing. Vestille said nothing. He stood unmoving, uncaring, of the events that had coincided. He simply smiled and began to walk off.
        Elissia’s sorrow turned to rage, and she turned to Vestille. “Opnev you bastard, I’ll have your head myself for this!” Vestille stopped, and turned his head. The girl clenched with both hands Blue’s sword from off the charred stone ground, and stood up, her body shaking. She trembled, almost dropping the weapon, but justice for the magent’s death had to be sought. “I’ll kill you Vestille.”
The lord simply said, “Are you so sure?”
“Yes.” She replied back. She ran towards him, the sword raised, ready to kill. Vestille simply raised an arm, casting a blade-turning spell. The blade came down, and then the attack moved to the right, Elissia’s light body with it, the blade missing Vestille by more than three feet. The force of the spell’s entirety sprawled Elissia on the ground in a tangle of blue dress and blonde hair. The blade left her grasp, and she gasped as the air was knocked from her. “Dam you Vestille!” She clenched the cold steel of the blade’s handle, and tried again. She raised the sword up, and brought it down on the lord’s figure. But Vestille was taller, and much stronger that she. He grabbed the girl’s arm which held the blade, and took his other hand to the sword’s hilt. He ripped the tool of death from her grasp and thew it behind him, it’s metal slowly clattering as it hit the stone.
“It would appear that is not the case, my dear, is it not? You have failed. I am the ruler of this region now. Even the church can’t stop me.” His face was still hard, and he bothered not to look at the girl as his grip on her arm tightened, and he lifted her up to face her. “Come now, why don’t you desire to rule with me? It would be just like goof old times, my dear Elissia. Wouldn’t you want to be known as the queen of this land? Think of the power, the glory you would attain through me! We would be unstoppable, my dear!” His grey eyes were sharpened, looking past her lovely faces, into Elissia’s own deer brown eyes.
Elissia tried to kick the oppressor, but Vestille blocked the attempt with his freehand. “such slender, beautiful legs, Elissia. You haven’t changed a bit” He smiled, his hand moving slowly up her thigh. “Well, what is your answer, Elissia. Do you want to remain my wife, become ruler of this great empire I will forge?” His hand continued its perverted progression, passing the first of the blue fabrics of her dress.
Elissia struggled. “No!” she shouted, flailing about, resisting the lord’s advance. But he grasped her arm tighter, raising her off the round, bring her into the air, to match her face with his. “I will not be a tool of your monstrosity!” she cried, spitting in the lord’s fiery face.
“Then die.” He simply said. He turned the way he was going, Elissia still in hand. He thrust his arm out forward, sending the girl’s light body through the air. She hit stone behind her, falling to the ground. The impact was enough to send her unconscious, but she fought to stay alive. I have to do this she cried to herself For me, and for Blue. She got up, slowly, her frame quivering. Her arms and legs gave out, and she tumbled again to the ground. It was no use. She tried again.
Vestille lifted a gnawed hand, and sent a wave of magic upon her, like a net of energy. It enveloped her, sending magic through her body. She screamed, the pain racing through her blood, every inch of her body ached, cringing with the magic. Vestille continued to advance towards her. “Well my, dear. Are you prepared to die?”
“No!” screamed the voice.
Elissia raised her head. Vestille turned in surprise. The voice that shouted wasn’t a woman’s but a mans. It was Blue Silverlond’s voice. He was standing up from where he had fallen. Blood and burn marks tattooed his body in a scene of pain. But none of that seemed to bother the magent. He looked Vestille in his evil worn face with hard green eyes. “Let her go.” he demanded. His voice remained unyielding.
Vestille, although taken back by this happening, simply laughed. “Come and get her, fool.” He dared him. Blue began to walk towards the two, his steps firm and sound. He drew from within his chain mail shirt a knife, which glinted in the candle light.
“Let her go. Now.” His voice wasn’t raised. It was like a determined plea. But Vestille wasn’t listening He simply stood to a side, his black robes floating with him, and waved an arm at the girl huddled against the shadows of the stone wall ahead of the magent.
“She’s all yours. Come and have her. Like I did.” He leered at the magent. Blue took the knife and threw it in the air. It spun I circle, and he caught it again, like a coin, blade down.
“Very well, then.” His steps were more rapid, and he increased his speed. He was almost running by the time he reached Elissia.
“Blue, you’re alive! But, but how? How is this possible?” she questioned him as he put a finger to her lips.
“No time for explanations. Are you okay?”
“yeas….it’s a broken rubs.” She humbly replied, grimacing at the movement which strained her chest.
“Can you walk?” the magent asked her.
“Yeas, I can manage.” She rose to her feet, Blue helping her, keeping her balance. She leaned on him, the motioned him away. “Thanks,” she replied, “But I’m fine.” She leaned against the wall. Her brown like eyes met the magnet’s own, then shifted to confront Vestille, who watched the whole thing with amusement.
“Good, Mr. Silverlond. Ver good. Now that both of you are here together, I can kill both of you!” His face seemed to twist in sadistic pleasure, and Vestille raised both his scarred hands from beneath the black robes. A large swell of energy formed at his finger tip, magic, powerful magic. It was crimson in color, a dark red, like blood. He simply smiled as he closed his eyes. The magic coming to life at his hands. He conjured up the red power, forming it, spinning it between his fingers like a spider’s web, into a large ball.
Blue and Elissia watched in horror as the magic sphere was formed. It grew, bigger and bigger. The red went darker, little sparks of electricity and magic flew through the globe in random currents. The magic hummed and swelled, and Vestille stood motionless, conjuring up all is power, all his energy, to kill the last to meddling rats.
Blue suddenly realized this. He pulled Elissia to him. “Elissia, you have get out of here. Now.”
She was startled. “Wha, what do you mean?”
“No time for talk, lady, get out, now!” He swung her around by arm to his other side, and pushed her towards the exit, the main doors. With a short stumble, Elissia regained her footing, and began to run out of the chamber, out of Vestille’s castle. She stopped at the doors, taking one last look at Blue before she pulled the brass handle, opened the door, and ran out into the night. She knew where she had to go, and went there. She would return. She was determined to see Blue again.
Blue watched quickly the girl’s flight. With her gone, the magic would only kill one person. He could concentrate on killing Vestille. Blue knew Vestille’s entire strength was going into this magic. He could see the lord’s tall frame quiver, wavering. Struggle was shown in his clenched eyes and set jaw. Exhaustion would soon come, and Blue had a short moment to react. He took is knife, and began to run, strafing from side to side. He called out to Vestille, but the words were fruitless. Vestille would know where the magent was. Blue just had to weave out in just enough time to catch the lord.
He ran in a line, left and right, stopping every now and then to hurriedly cast a spell on the knife, making it more effective, making the edge sharper, the flight true, the aim unwavering. The magent knew Vestille would not have another shield up. There wasn’t enough magic in the world that could save Vestille after he used up that sphere. Blue took his knife in ready, and waited.
Vestille slowly came around, his eyes opening. Blue saw the lord’s once grey eyes had gone bloodshot, turned red with the over exposure to the magic’s raw power. Vestille looked at Blue. He spoke, his voice deep and scratchy, as if being used up by the magic.
“Mr. Silverlond…” he smiled. “You have no…place to go…! He raised his arms over his head, the magic ball going with, attached to him like an arrow that would fire when e pulled the trigger. “You have….no place….to….live!” the words rang in Blue’s ears, and Blue tried not to lose his concentration. “You shall….die!” he voice creamed as Vestille threw his arms down, throwing the destructive, deadly red magic sphere at Blue.
The magent had to react. He quickly ran to his right, and then leaped, making a falling strafe. He took his arm back, and threw the knife just as Vestille let go of the magic globe. The knife flew straight, and lord Vestille Opnev fell to the ground as the blade his the center of his skull, puncturing his brain.
The magic sphere lazily flew towards Blue’s general direction where he had once stood, and shattered against the wall in a burst of energy and flames. Blue ducked under his coat, trying to hide from the flames and heat. The wall it contacted shattered and crumbled, and the floor stones were torn up, burned away by the shear force of the magic. Blue’s coat was also burned away, and he cursed himself as the last rays of heat and magic wavered and dissipated into the nighttime air. He coughed, heavy smoke filling his lungs.
He looked at Vestille’s body, which lay in a mangled, dead heap on the ground. There was no blood, just some torn material of the robes that resulted from the lord’s duel with Elissia previous. Blue himself was mangle of blood and burned flesh and scars. His body ached, and he was dirty and unclean. I need a bath he thought.
Blue kicked the corpse over, then left, walking towards the castle’s exit. Vestille’s castle, now a graveyard to Savron cities political seers, loomed darkly amidst the night sky. He hummed a little tune, slowly crossing the grassy fields and dusty roads. Blue Silverlond bother not to look back as he made his way to the city of Savron below.

        Blue sat in the back of the Great Goat Tavern, sipping a fresh cup of the elfish ale he had ordered. The bar was empty, save for the gruff old barkeep, and a lowly piano player, who sat upon his trade and played softly tunes the entire evening. The magent waited patiently for his guest to arrive, so he could be paid for another job.
He tilted his head back. Two days had past since that night….this was his last day in Savron. He recalled the events that played out after the death of Kader and Vestille under the light tune of the piano in the tavern’s back.
Apparently, Elissia had been married to Vestille Opnev, as Blue had determined in the battle. She left him because of his selfish ideas for domination and ruling, which she wanted no part of. Kader had been the same way, and she wouldn’t back him up either. She then worked with the city’s church. This was the third party. The church wanted to instate the prime minister as Savron’s lord.
Of coarse, even the people realized that if such a thing were to happen, Vestille and Kader would have both killed the prime minister. So they wanted to get Kader and Vestille out of the picture. Elissia told Blue when she heard he was hired by Kader to kill Vestille, she realized that the magent might be the church’s break. So The church set up the entire confrontation, so they could leave the lord’s fighting each other in ruins. When the two were dead, which had been sooner than expected, the prime minister would step in the fray, picking up the pieces as a hero.
The people liked the prime minister, and so the plan went out without a hitch. The prime minister was elected as lord, and he took the seat a day ago. Elissia married the minister, became a lady of the court and is helping rebuild the region. Blue hadn’t heard any complaints as of yet. He figured it was his time to go.        
As for himself, he had been bandaged and healed, and, despite the recommendations of his doctors, and wanted to leave as soon as possible. His material possessions had all been replaced by the church, happily, and Blue only had on thing left to take care of.
        The tavern doors swung open, the old wood creaking from age. A woman entered the bar, moving gracefully in the magent’s direction. Blue brushed his hair back as she sat down next to him. The blonde hair was pulled up with pins amidst a dress of many ruffles and frills, plum purple, and quite revolting with added dark greens for “taste”. Blue was staring, almost gagging.
        “It came with the job.” Elissia remarked about the dress. “I rather like it myself.”
Blue almost said nothing but sipped his wine.
        “It looks good.” He told her. She smiled back. She knew he was lying. She was able to tell with him.
        “You don’t have to please me, Mr. Silverlond.” She said in her soft sweet voice. “I know you don’t like it. I know you’re lying right now.” She giggled.
        Blue chuckled, taking another drink. “Yeah, but I know you’re lying too.” He saw the deception she had tried to pull, knowing she loathed the wardrobe as well.
        She was caught a little surprised. “You’re right. I don’t like it either.” She told him, almost as if regretfully.
        Blue chagrinned. He straightened his coat. “So?” he questioned.
        Elissia cleared her throat. “You’re very frank, Mr. Silverlond.” She pulled forth from a small handbag a black wooden box. She set it on the table, sliding it to the magent. “Your money is all there, plus some extra bonuses for the other work you helped us do. You were quite helpful, Mr. Silverlond.” Her brown eyes begged him to stay. But she knew he’d be going.
        “Yeah, yeah. But it’s my job to get screwed over.” He said jokingly as he opened the wooden box. He counted one thousand silver crowns a mythril shield, and two hundred bronze doublet. He smiled happily, knowing he’d have no financial problems for at least a week. “Thank you very much, Mrs. Elissia. I am happy to serve you.” He kissed her hand and smiled.
        He began to get up from his seat. “Now, if you’ll ex-“ the arm grabbed him, begging him back.
        “Don’t go” she pleaded, “Stay here, with Savron, with me.” Her brown eyes were staring right at him. “Please, Blue.”
        “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that to your husband. I wouldn’t want to start any more wars here in Savron. Now, please, Mrs. Elissia.” He took her arm away, and kissed her gently on the cheek. He gathered his equipment, secured his money inside his chain shirt, and left the bar, whistling a little tune of happiness. Blue Silverlond stood still outsized the tavern a moment, then continued on his way west, back home.