Legend's Wake
Copyright 2001 by
Simson Leigh

Chapter One

Jared pushed and elbowed his way through the busy bazaar in an attempt to reach his favorite restaurant. Pushing past tieflings, dwarves, gith and a variety of sods from different races he was able to create a space for the scholar walking behind him to follow in. Jared let out a grunt of effort whilst forcing his way past two bariaurs blocking the busy street. The small scholar's incessant chattering about his brand new invention only added to Jared's aggravation. He caught the odd word such as box, simple, boat and collapsing. Jared gave out the odd grunt to indicate that he was still listening with half an ear. But Jared's thoughts were more focused on the food waiting for them at the restaurant. It was the sudden realization that the small scholar whom he was escorting had stopped talking that made him realize that the sodding berk had disappeared.

A figure made it's way swiftly and skillfully between the shadows of the alley along the side of the City Courts. The bubber watched through bloodshot eyes as the specter of death itself advanced upon him. He unconsciously let his precious bottle slip from his hand in to his lap. No prayers passed his lips as he held his breath in fear and trepidation. Just as quickly as the figure had appeared and advanced upon him, it had sped passed him continued its prowl in to deeper shadows. The bubber let out a drawn out sigh of relief and fumbled in his lap to pick up his bottle with trembling hands. Just as he was about to wash away the frightful memory, he realized that the creature had left behind a strange scent with its passing. Sorrow and regret; a light cloaked in shadow. The bubber tilted back his head and fought the bitter tide of memory the only way that he knew how.

Despite the howls and screams emanating from the cells, Janitcar could hear the sound of flapping sandals as two of his aids rushed towards one of the cells. The elderly bleaker shook his head in resignation. His thoughts were clouded by a combination of guilt and despair tempered with hope. He looked up to see a small pool of dark liquid seeping under the door in to the corridor. As Janitcar noticed this, he allowed himself to finally accept the fact that his tortured friend had at last killed himself. This thought did not awaken any feelings of relief but instead all his emotions appeared to drain away. The senior bleaker stepped in to the cell and stared blankly at the still figure lying on the floor. Motioning towards his aides he beckoned for them to clean up the cell and to send the body to the mortuary. As they began moving the body, they saw a single word written in blood on the wall nearby. LEGEND.

The spy suppressed his desire to cough for the fifth time this hour, despite his fervent desire to clear his lungs of the foul air which he was forced to breathe. The frog like creatures that made up the majority of the tavern patrons might at first be mistaken for Slaadi. However, a few moments of observation revealed that despite their chaotic nature these frog like creatures were very malevolent and cruel. The noisy newcomers had managed to drive off many of the tavern's regulars. The spy shuddered at the thought of being caught by even one of the regulars in a darkened alley and he refused to permit himself to think what might happen if the Hezrou discovered who he really was. Realizing that his thoughts were drifting, he focused his will and resisted the temptation to cough for the sixth time.

The scribe's wail of terror tore through the library like that of a banshee. Clerks jumped in their seats and several of the more senior members gathered their wits quickly enough to rush over to where the scribe was standing. The tiefling woman remained perfectly still within the doorway of the reading room with a look of utter terror etched upon her face. Sheets of parchment lay scattered around her, but they were nothing in comparison to the scene of devastation that the senior clerks witnessed when they looked inside the room. Every single bookshelf, book, scroll and piece of furniture had been reduced to pieces. Piles of splinters and shredded parchment lay piled up against the sides of the room. However, it was the spread-eagled body in the center that immediately caught their attention. At the same instant the group noticed that the body was missing its head. The library, which until the scribe's cry had been relatively silent, was filled with the shouts of alarm and call for the guards. Men and women began rushing to and fro in panic. No one noticed the tiefling scribe pass out and collapse to the floor on to a bed of parchment.

Psioce felt awkward sitting on the bench in the Clerks ward waiting for his contact to arrive. The old park with its stunted and dying trees and a pond long ago covered with pigeon feathers filled him with a sense of melancholy. Each time that he approached the iron gate leading to the park he asked himself why his contact insisted on meeting in this depressing place. As a member of the Harmonium, Psioce was aware that his red armor shone like a beacon to anyone he passed informing them where his allegiances lay. But the moment he set foot in the all but forgotten park, he felt removed from the world. In this sanctuary he could trade information with his contact about happenings in the Cage in exchange for news of events around the planes. But this time his contact did not show up. All that he found was a small scrap of parchment with some words that had been hurriedly scrawled upon it. "Too many fiends in the swamp, traitor may be weakening prison."

Authored by: Ken Lipka
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