Hello! this is my weekly serial, written raw as a writing exercise. This week as a bonus I was sick and exhausted to boot!
You can find the first post in the series here.
Last week’s post is here.
I drank with Birgir and his men late into the night, long after Wolki and his men left. There was no doubt in my mind that the current master of the Shadow Wolves would seek out his henchman, Ulfgorr. Later, when the beast was healed, he would seek me out again, Wolki would make certain of that. I would have to ready myself for that encounter.
I set those thoughts aside and enjoyed my time with the Sea Wolves. Birgir listened to my tales of Myrrhn and repaid me with a wealth of news from Nordan lands. I found it hard to conceal my hunger for news of my homelands and old friends.
It was dark when I left Cassander’s Shield, I doubted that Wolki and Ulfgorr would dare to attack me so close to protected ground, but I kept to well lit and well-trafficked areas on my return home.
Vethri and Eiskra greeted me as I returned home. Eiskra seemed amused as I related my exploits at the Nordan stronghold, while Vethri rolled her eyes.
“Did you remember to ask about who killed Rake?” asked Vethri.
“As soon as Wolki spotted me that line of inquiry was scuttled. Given his surprise at my presence though, he could not have been involved.”
“Are you sure he wasn’t faking, Ragnar?” asked Eiskra, her face taking on a comical expression of surprise.
“Wolki never fakes something that would make him seem less knowledgeable or less in control of the situation. His reaction would have been different had he expected me there. He seemed genuinely surprised that Murith and I bested Ulfgorr as well.”
“Speaking of which, with Murith’s testimony you could take news of Ulfgorr’s attack to The Nightblades; they will not look kindly upon an outside assassin acting in Myrrhn,” suggested Vethri.
“I don’t know…”
“Well, it might be worth visiting Night’s Finger regardless,” said Vethri. “If Lily Gemarkand is nervous, she might have a price on her head.”
All active assassination contracts are displayed in Night’s Finger, a process that allowed the potential victim to outbid the person who placed the contract, often creating a bidding war of sorts.
“Couldn’t she just buy it out?”
“Not if her available money is tied up in some other pressing venture,” said Vethri. “It is worth checking…”
“…And asking about Ulfgorr while you are there,” added Eiskra, grinning.
Night’s Finger is one of the most recognizable structures in Myrrhn. Visible from several islands away, it thrusts arrogantly into the sky, crooked and irregular looking. Its odd appearance is due to the fact that it is actually several adjoining towers that have been built into and atop each other over time.
Night’s Finger dominates the Bonemarket, a small district island in the middle of the Myrrhnese archipelago. The tower itself is off-limits to most, save for the foyer at the very bottom where the public can access various records related to assassinations and buy contracts.
More important clientele can arrange meetings with representatives of The Guild at one of the Luxurious hotels or brothels on Bonemarket, or elsewhere in the city.
I arranged to meet Murith at the bottom of Night’s Finger, but shortly after entering the Bonemarket I sensed someone was following me. Rather than trying to throw them off my trail, I merely stopped and waited.
After a moment an old woman approached me.
“Ragnar, how did you know?” said a familiar voice; Carmen, once an apprentice to my enemy, Sildus.
It took me a moment to see lithe, beautiful Carmen through the wrinkles. I laughed.
“I had no idea, actually. Just though I was being followed. You should have been more patient my friend.”
“Ugh,” Carmen’s wrinkled prosthetic face took on a sour look briefly. “Your friend Murith arrived early with a watch delegation. They are meeting with Guild representatives. Since this disguise is now useless, I want to change. How about you follow me?”