The Silence of Death (OPEN)
"Kilena. That was her name. Once upon a time, she was Silentdeath, one of the most revered titles ever given to an assassin, but after her entire Assassin clan was destroyed, she dropped the title and assumed the title "the Assassin". She traveled far and wide, hoping to outrun the group that ambushed her and her clan. Word has it that she's back. And there's a price on her head." A bilge rat leaned over the table, holding a flagon of wine in one hand. The weasel to whom he was talking to, toyed with a dangerous looking dagger and said, "How long till she gets here?" The weasel made a little jump and stared in surprise at his own dagger, the point of which was sticking from his chest. A sleek, female pine martin whispered in his ear, "Hmmm, it depends." She drew the dagger out and pushed the dead weasel to one side. The pine martin sat down in front of the rat and said, "Tell me, where did you get your information?" The terrified rat shakily pointed behind her. Kilena the Assasin gave him a pretty smile and said, "My thanks." Then ran him through with the dagger. Kilena didn't bother turning around. "So, how do you know about me, whoever you are? It takes quite a bit of digging to get anyone to even whisper the name of the once called Silentdeath."
It had been a long time. Nearly two seasons had passed since Rogg Streambattle had set paw in Mossflower wood and the air smelled fresh. The familiar trees and streams which the otter had spent so much of his young life comforted him. They seemed to emanate a sense of security and peace that he had not felt in quite some time.
This was no holiday though. Rogg Streambattle was in Mossflower on business.
Only days before he had been slummed over a tavern's bench in the north, drowing his sorrows with the cool elixir that is far to accessible to the weary. These two seasons had not gone well for the otter; hired blades were in plentiful supply and the true professional was under appreciated.
Just before Rogg felt as though life would never get better, he had been approached by a cloaked figure who had offered the first job he had seen in months. It was a simple mission, one mark, decent coin, and no questions asked. He hadn't even been given the target's true name, only the name by which this creature was known. Silentdeath. The very mention of the name and Rogg instantaneously knew that this was not going to be a blue milk run.
So he set off for Mossflower.
After the journey it was not difficult to find a general location of where the one known as Silentdeath would be; for the name was legend among the inner circles of the darker characters of the world. Rogg felt like he knew the information his contact had given him was accurate, but he never did trust rats…
There it was, the small rundown construction where some clandestine meeting between the mark and some others was supposedly happening. He quickly took cover as he watched a weasel enter. This must be it.
Taking a deep breath, the otter ruefully stretched a gloved paw before entering the shack, muttering under his breath.
"Its been far to long..."
Kilena the Assassin, stood up and turned around, facing an otter that stood in the doorway. She looked him up and down with her emerald-green eyes, assessing him. He was an experienced killer, of that there was no doubt. She flicked her wrist and a stiletto slid out into her right hand. She smiled slightly at the otter. "I've been marked before, otter. 'Tis a dangerous thing to hunt Silentdeath."She motioned to the two dead bodies around her. "Tell me, how much did the cloaked beast offer you? Two-thousand? How much? Anything less than that, and you've been severely ripped off. Hunting me is about as dangerous as it gets, otter" She sat back down, uttering a half-hearted oath. "Ah, what does it matter? Mine clan is gone, and I have only my title for company. I even had to lose that so they couldn't find me." She glanced back up at the otter. "Because I'm not in the mood, I'll grant you one of two things. One, you can get out of here, and say you couldn't find me. Or two, you can sit down, and we can discuss this, like civilized people. I'm sure you're wondering how a creature like me came to be Silentdeath. Or even what Silentdeath is." Kilena pulled out a dagger and flipped it in her left hand. She grabbed it in mid-air, poising it for throwing. "Your choice, otter."
Rogg raised his paws placatingly, making sure to keep them far from the blade at his side. He knew that he had lost the element of surprise and that the only way he could survive was to stall as long as he could. Somehow Rogg felt as though he could not actually fool the weasel, he might be able to buy a little time that might save his life.
"I have no idea what you are talking about. I'm just a simple traveler passing through. I overheard the commotion from outside and thought i should investigate to see what was going on" He glanced down at the carcass slumped on the floor.
"But it looks like you have everything under control."
As the otter spoke he slowly started moving towards his quarry, not aggressively, but calmly. This was not the first time he had knives pointed at him.
"Why don't we just talk about this?"
OOC: It's actually a pine martin all good though!
BIC: Kilena rolled her eyes expressively and lowered the blade. "Please, don't insult my intelligence. The gloves, the blade. All the marks of a bounty hunter." Kilena hopped over the table, putting it between her and the otter. "Let's begin with the formalities, shall we? Hello! My name is Kilena, the assassin. Or Kilena Silentdeath, whichever one you prefer." Kilena fiddled with the dagger in one hand, the stiletto in the other. "How about this, we can swap sob stories, and share some wine before we try to kill each other. If we're going to kill each other, can we at least be civilized about it?" Kilena tensed, waiting to see if the otter would accept her offer, or choose to try and kill her. Both were a win-win scenario for her.
[sorry lol, shows what an observant reader I am ]
So this was the fabled Silentdeath. Rogg had heard stories of her deeds for years and he knew that a contract for her life was absolutely ridiculous. But ridiculous is what the otter liked.
He smiled charmingly and shook his head.
"You seem to misunderstand my intentions, I'm only here to, well, transact a little business. It's nothing personal, not at all." He paused and looked her dead in the eyes, "Kilena Silentdeath."
The otter took a step back and seated himself upon a stool. He was not a barbaric creature and he could not see the harm in talking a little with Kilena before, well, before whatever would happen then. The thought of the coming fight was pushed to the back of Rogg's mind as he began to speak.
"I like your blade" He gestured at the stiletto that the martin was toying with. "Reminds me of something only one who could use it would carry." Again the otter's blue eyes flicked up to better assess his opponent.
"You know what I'm here for, but I agree, there is no need for vulgar shows of force. My name is Rogg Streambattle, from Green Isle."
He stood and proffered a webbed paw.
"Its a pleasure to meet you Kilena"
Kilena tossed the stiletto in the air and caught it, deftly hiding it again before taking Rogg's paw. "Green Isle, eh? Been there a few times. Nice place, but the climate was a bit stuffy for me." She gave a light laugh and said, "The pleasure is all mine. It's nice to know civilized creatures are trying to kill me." She leaned back and right the chair the weasel had sat in. She smoothly seated herself and looked Rogg in the eye. "Business with me can be dangerous. But you look like one accustomed to danger." She cocked her head and said, "Would like to know about me first, or would you like to be the first to deal out the typical pack of lies. Or maybe we should skip all that and get to the truth?" Kilena laughed again and cocked an eyebrow, awaiting his response.
Rogg's eyes narrowed a little at her mention of Green Isle. It had been far to many seasons since he had been back home and he missed his family, profusely. But now was not the time for flashbacks.
"Its an alright place, guess one has to be from there to really appreciate the….climate."
The tension in the air was almost palpable. Rogg felt like when it came down to it, he would be able to take care of Kilena in a fight, but somehow he did not want to find out if he could survive.
"Well, what is truth but a pack of lies made up by other creatures?"
What was this "truth" that the martin spoke of? The young otter was curious and genuinely wanted to know more aboot what she wanted to talk aboot.
"But please, by all means, explain what this truth is, I'd really loike to know."
Kilena pulled out a flagon of wine and took a sip. She set it in front of Rogg. "Hmmm, I guess it doesn't matter, anymore. The truth is, I'm technically a princess." Kilena pulled a face at the title and took a sip from the flagon. She set it between her and Rogg. "Help yourself. I was second youngest of the eldest, my sister, Darkod, imagined I wanted the throne. I never wanted to rule, but noooooo, she thinks I'm intent on killing her to get the throne. I fled after she tried to poison me. I won't lie to you, I loved palace life. I was never cruel or unkind to my servants. The court, the colors. But I left it so I could live. I had a rudimentary training in knives and was able to fend for myself. I lived on the move, my sister hunting me still. I grew in skill and, one day, I discovered an underground group of assassins. They devoted themselves to the art of killing and I had nought else to do, so I joined. There was a close kinship and I finally found a place to belong. So I grew in skill and cunning. I rose swiftly in the ranks and eventually became the leader of the strongest assassin clan. I became the Silentdeath. One of the most respected titles for an assassin to receive. I lead my assassins, distributed contracts. I was happy for a time, but even assassins make mistakes. My past caught up with me and my clan was ambushed in our stronghold cave. The group was lead by my sister. I fought until my last follower fell, and then I fled. I've been on the run ever since. I stayed in Mossflower for some time, but left for a while. I've finally returned to find that Darkod's put a price on my head. And that's why you're here, my dear otter. To kill a pine martin for her disillusioned sister. What's your story?" Kilena laughed bitterly and leaned back in her chair.
Rogg's eyes widened at the word 'princess'. The genuine article too from the story she told, and unless it was complete balderdash, it made sense. What an interesting way the world turned, the two of them, meeting.
The otter grasped the flagon, elegantly sipping it's contents.
"Sure, that's a foine tasting beverage there."
He sat back, taking in all of Kilena's tale. It seemed plausible to him that she could be royalty; the way she carried herself seemed somehow, noble. But the way she handled that blade, he could see she was no aristocrat when it came to dealing death.
Then she asked what his story was.
Rogg looked at the rotting floorboards, a small smile creeping onto his whiskery face as he recalled his early past, then slowly morphed into a smirk as he remembered who he had become.
"Well, as I said, I was born on the Isle, my dad was a sergeant in the guard and my mum was well," He smiled, "Well she was just my mum. Then I've got two brother still…" He paused, "Still out there somewhere, and of course all the extended friends and relations."
His eyes glistened in the flickering candle light as he continued.
"It was great growin up there, fish in the sea and the rivers, sun in the sky, and," He snickered. "Lotsa water, always lots of water for us. When we were little, we'd spend days in the water, jus playing and having the grandest time. When I got old enough I joined the guard with my dad, and let me tell you he didn't go easy just 'cause I was his blood. It was rough, but I learned so much from it, I wouldn't have done any of it differently." The otter shook his head regretfully. "But then, he...he died and well, I was immature and headstrong and felt as though the unknown was calling my name. I knew I had to leave, across the sea to Mossflower, the place I had heard so much of. So, I took my father's blade and set off. Haven't been back there since..." His voice trailed off. He took a breath as he shook the tingling sense of loss from his bones.
"So I arrived here and basically wandered the country side for a couple of seasons, just seeing my little part of the world. Then I sort of fell in with a mean bunch of beasts, called themselves mercenaries, but they weren't anything more than murders who would kill for a shiny stream pebble. I....I killed for the first time then. One day some scummy vermin, no offence, hired them to 'collect' something these poor creatures owed him. So a few of us went to where they lived and sure, it wasn't nothin but a family of field mice who were in a real tough spot. Of course, they had nothing to pay the debt and so our leader decided that needed to collect a little blood in stead. Well, he swung his ax at the creature's poor wife, so I stabbed him. It was the first time I had done something like that and I panicked. I slashed at one of my former comrades and ran. I ran until I couldn't run anymore, found somewhere to curl up and woke up in the morning. Strangest thing though, it didn't matter in the morning what I had done, I only felt unnerved that I couldn't help that family. Never did find out what happened to them..." Rogg sighed.
"Eventually I found myself, my stride, I could find work doing legitimate contracts, not thug's work, but something you could really, sink you teeth into. That's pretty much what I've been doing up till now, working....and I've got to say," He grinned. "These paws have gotten pretty quick. Which brings us to somewhat of..." The otter smiled. "An impasse"
Kilena flashed Rogg a grin. "An impasse indeed. I must say, I do find it amusing that our stories are slightly similar." She stood up and straightened her tunic. "Well, it has really been a pleasure. We now have three options. Or rather you have three, I have two. We can fight. You can leave and say you couldn't find me, or we can become a team. Honestly, I do like you and would regret it terribly if I had to kill you. I think you and I would be great friends. I actually have a contract to fulfill within the week, and my prey has been…elusive. Of course, we'll have to take care of your contractor first. It shouldn't take long though. Anyway, it's your choice, Rogg Streambattle."
Rogg hesitated. Teaming up with others was a thing that the otter generally did. But then again, if he was going to team up with anyone, a skilled creature such as Kilena was going to be the best he would ever get.
"Sure…its quite a quandary in which I find myself...Its been a while since I've worked with a true professional, and well, I don't see why we can't work out something that would be mutually beneficial."
Going up against the enemies she spoke of though, it was going to be an adventure right out of the gates of Hell. Rogg liked adventure.
He nodded. "Alright, I'll help you in your quest."
Unfortunately for the pair, they were lot alone in the run down building. Another beast had been there all along, hiding in a dilapidated corner, hugging the shadows. Now the hooded and cloaked figure rose from the darkness, letting the light of the candle fall upon him. He was dressed all in black, so even in the faint light he still seemed part of the darkness. Only one feature of his stood out in shadow. His blood red eyes.
"You would be mistaken to think that Rogg was the one who gave these thugs the information, miss Kilena," the hooded figure began in a voice tinted with amusement, "for it was me. It was just a little test really, I knew it would take the real Silentdeath but a second to dispatch of them." The beast came forward further into the light, so that the edge of his face could be seen under his hood. His snow white fur had become visible, showing that he was clearly an albino. "Rogg Streambattle, you should be ashamed of yourself for betraying a client so easily," the figure continued, "I am bounty hunter, and I will not return to my contractor without my target." He gave glance at Kilena which made it quite clear who his target was.
"You know, you and I have something in common, Silentdeath. You were are a princess, and I am a prince, Prince Vikenti Whitedeath of Syrean," the bounty hunter explained in a strangely jovial tone, "though I would rather not be addressed by that title." He turned his back on the otter and pine marten, and started for the door of the little building. "At the moment, you have the advantage, and any attempt to capture you would be met with failure," Vikenti said, "so I will take my leave. But, I will take you, Silentdeath." With that, he flung open the door and walked out into the surrounding woods.
Kilena was about to reply to Rogg when she heard movement behind her. She kicked her chair down and leapt over the table yanking out her dagger as she did so. She watched the figure with extreme caution. She had been so caught up in conversation she hadn't heard or seen him at first. Her blood chilled at his name. "Even the Whitedeaths are after me now? Rogg, don't interfere with this." She followed Vikenti outside and said quietly, "Vikenti, how much did Darkod offer you?" She narrowed her eyes. "I will kill you if I must."
OOC: Short XP
Vikenti turned to face Kilena with the smile of a shark who had smelled blood. "It's not a custom of mine to tell my prey how much my client paid for them," he said, "but if you think you can match her offer we might have a deal." Now that he was out of the shadows, he drew back his hood, letting his face become fully visible.
"As for you killing me, I would love to see you try. You are a skilled combatant Silentdeath, I'll give you that," Vikenti said with smile, "but you are an assassin, you work best with surprise on your side. I'm a bounty hunter, I kill beasts face to face all the time." He made no move to reach for a weapon, but simply stood waiting for Kilena's reply.
Kilena whirled her knife around one finger and held it backwards. "I'll make you an offer. Help me kill Darkod. I'll take the throne long enough to get enough money to pay you off, but then I'll turn the throne to some one else." She took a step forward menacingly and said, "Your choice, Whitedeath."