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.
It was foolish to trust Carmen. She was beautiful, she was smart, and she was a nightblade. Still, the information that she gave me about Wolki looking for a sword was nearly as tantalizing as her flirtations. As we walked toward the looming bulk of Night’s Finger itself, my mind danced between thoughts of her lithe form in my arms and what sort of sword Wolki might be be after.
Magic weapons are, as one might expect, considered the greatest of treasure among the Nordan. My people are very fond of their arms and armour and most of the clans have armaments dating back to their great heroes and even the divine founders of the clans. Wolki would certainly kill to recover the lost sword of Skygge, for example, or even a blade from one of the other clans, which could be traded for a favour from a grateful Jarl.
Of course there were other blades that had been lost over the years. I knew one, the Blade of High King Siggurd, lost in the battle where I died my first death. It seemed unlikely that Wolki would care enough about that blade to risk the wrath of the Nightblades though.
“You’re quiet all of a sudden. Nervous?” said Carmen.
“Not at all, I am just thinking.”
“Regretting not taking me up on my offer I hope,” she said with a wicked smile.
“That goes without saying.”
Carmen led us through hidden alleys, past fountain squares, and even over a thin metal bridge between two building. We made rapid progress toward Night’s Finger. I saw a familiar figure waiting for us outside the only visible entrance in the massive building.
“Murith, it is good to see you.”
“Likewise, Old Wolf. Who is your friend?”
“This is Carmen. She is with the Nightblades.”
Carmen smiled. Murith looked her up and down and then nodded.
“How was the meeting?” I asked
“The watch presented our case to a high ranking guild factor and her assistants.”
“Most of The Guild havenothing to do with assassination, Ragnar,” said Carmen. “A Factor in the Nightblades performs the same function they do in a merchant house. Think of them as an accoutant or a financier. Can I ask the name of this one, Murith?”
“I thought so,” said Carmen. “That is a good sign for us. Come on, then. I’ll explain on the way. Octavia handles accounts for the City of Myrrhn itself. She understands the politics of the city and the world and what needs to be done to keep the peace. If you met with her, it means that The Guild is seriously considering acting against Ulfgorr.”
“That is welcome news,” I said.
Carmen led us into the cavernous foyer of the tower, a room bustling with activity. It looked almost like a bank or a place where commodities were traded. Money changed hands. Transactions were recorded. Deals were made. The only difference was that in this place they sold death and protection.
As she walked, Carmen’s dexterous hands greeted people she passed with rapid hand-signals. I doubt many outside of the guild would notice her signing, let alone be able to read it.
“I’m asking for directions,” she said before I could ask.
She led us up to a fourth floor and along on an elegant balcony overlooking the famous board where the largest contracts were listed and then into a meeting room decorated in brass and dark wood where a bookish looking woman was sitting in a leather chair sipping a glass of wine while she examined reports. She looked up as we entered, and stood.
“Greetings. It is nice to meet you Ragnar Skyggesson. I am Octavia, senior Factor with The Nightblades of Myrrhn.”
“Well met, Factor Octavia,” I said.
“I know Carmen, and I have already met with Watch Sargent Murith. You may be wondering why you are here and what the Guild’s has decided to do about the actions of Ulfgorr of the Shadow Wolf Clan. I will explain everything.”