ShadowStalker - Treachery's Poisoned Blade (Part III)

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Nilan
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Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2001 6:01 am

ShadowStalker - Treachery's Poisoned Blade (Part III)

Postby Nilan » Sat Aug 18, 2001 9:00 pm

Marcus tossed a vial of poison against the wall of Nilan's room within the guildhall. The glass shattered and a thick green substance slowly ran down the stone wall. Growling in anger Marcus turned to face the two assassins with him. Both stopped abruptly and cast the deadly man a baleful look. Marcus eyed the two, his piercing gaze flashing in cold fury. "There must be something in here that will lead us to that traitor!" Marcus roared in frustration. "Keep searching"

"Sir, what is it we lookin fer, there aint nothin 'ere but a few vials o' poison and some daggers." The red-haired assassin asked in apparent exasperation. "Surely, our street snitches can tell us more o' the drow's whereabouts."

Marcus paced the floor. "I want him, when we find him, you'd both do well to remember Nilan is mine." With that Marcus plunged a serrated dagger into the pallet before him. He brutally twisted the blade and tore it free. A wicked grin flashed across his scruffy face. Twirling the deadly blade, Marcus recalled every possible method of administering pain. Faces flashed before him of the countless marks he had brutally tortured. He recalled the hours of sadistic agony he had put each and every one of those pitiful wretches through before sending their souls to oblivion. "I wonder how long you'll last, drow," Marcus whispered. "Will you cry out, will you beg me for mercy as you choke on your own blood, what will you do, Nilan?" Marcus paused thoughtfully. "I wonder." He let those last thoughts filter through his cruel mind. He felt his blood come alive with excitement. The thrill of the hunt and impeding capture exhilarated him.

"There ain't nothin' 'ere." Growled the other assassin, standing abruptly. "This is o' waste o' time," he sneered. "Kang put out o' huge contract on Nilan's head, we should be out combin' the damn street not wastin' our time in 'ere. Shouldn't be to hard to find a damn drow in this city."

Marcus glared at the man silencing any further comments. "Fine, we search the streets then. Either of you find him, you report to me, understood?"

The red-haired assassin snickered disdainfully. "Kang wants 'im alive. We get a bigger cut if we bring 'im before Kang still breathin'."

"I have every intention of bringing Nilan before Kang alive," Marcus grinned evilly. "I intend to be fully compensated for my efforts," he paused and considered the two thugs before him. "Our efforts." He added, noticing the smiles that found their way onto their smug faces. "Master Kang can kill the traitor as he sees fit, but…" he slowly twirled the dagger he held in the palm of his hand, "not before I have my own fun." He cackled sadistically and slowly ran his serrated dagger through one of Nilan's black leather garments that hung on the back of the wooden door. The sound of the blade ripping though the thick black fabric sent a shiver of excitement running up his spine. Marcus licked his lips and smiled. "Tonight we hunt." Marcus's eyes flashed with excitement. "We split up, scour the streets, tonight we shall have him." Marcus continued, "Use whatever contacts you must, but remember I want him alive." He eyed the too thugs coldly. "There is a thousand in gold in it for you both, in addition to the price Kang has put on the bastard's head. See to it that if you find him he is brought to me. You know the meeting place."

Both men nodded and proceeded out of Nilan's room in the Guild heading in separate directions into southern Waterdeep. Marcus watched as the pair left. His heart beat in anticipation of the coming fun he was sure to have. "I'll carve ya up real nice, traitorous dog, so nice in fact even ol' Kang will have a hard time recognizing ya." Marcus whispered to himself. "I'm gonna enjoy watching ya die, drow." He snickered and sauntered out into the alleyways of South Waterdeep.

*****************************************************************

Nilan awoke with a start. Pain pierced his injured shoulder and he gritted his teeth in defiance. Nilan struggled to a seated position. His head throbbed and his eyes slowly began to focus. Nilan glanced around, disoriented and confused. The dull throbbing pain in his right shoulder reminded him of what had transpired. Wincing, Nilan inspected the bandages. A thin line of blood had begun to seep from the bandages staining them once again. Nilan groaned, gritting his teeth as he attempted to stand. A wave of disorientation and dizziness assaulted him, but Nilan held his balance until the nauseous feeling passed. Tucking his wounded arm into the belt of his leather tunic, Nilan started towards the warehouse entrance. Never once did he look back.

Nilan found himself in the alleys of Southern Waterdeep. The darkness of the night and the shadows gave him some feeling of comfort. He leaned heavily against a wooden wall of one of the many run-down buildings closely packed within the tiny twisting alleyway. The dull pain in his shoulder continued to throb. The burnt flesh pulled tightly with each movement, and Nilan felt the tears welling in his eyes. His chest also burned like fire where it was seared by the Paladin's blade. Nilan grimaced as he glanced at the burnt and mutilated flesh that ran from his left shoulder to the centre of his chest. He needed rest, but suddenly the thought of his little room in the guildhall did not seem inviting. The events of the past few days played over and over again though his addled mind. ‘The assassin that tried to kill me…who was he, and why?’ Nilan thought hard. ‘Was he guild sanctioned? He's alive and has no doubt returned to the Guild? They know my true heritage now, I'm sure of it?’ Nilan muttered softly. ‘So be it!’ The drow clenched his teeth in defiance. "I'll see you in hell Kang, that's a promise."

The chill of the night air brought with it a rush of excitement and Nilan felt his heartbeat quicken as he hurriedly rounded the corner of the alleyway. The drow recalled numerous deserted houses that he could hide out in until he was strong enough to leave the city and return to his Underdark homeland. Torchlight flickered from sconces set high and often protruding from ledges or window sills of many of the run down buildings of South Waterdeep's poorest section of town. Nilan quickened his pace. The shadows that had once protected his human form with a cloak of darkness now seemed to reach out for him, promising to draw him into its deadly embrace. The pain in his shoulder throbbed mercilessly, but Nilan's mind was elsewhere. He concentrated on every sound, on every movement, on the way the torchlight flickered off the surrounding buildings. Years of training had taught him that being attuned to one's surroundings often meant the difference between life and death. And Nilan was a master at his craft.

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A shadowed figure made his way through the twisted alleyways that lead to Southern Waterdeep. Pulling the cowl of his cloak tightly around his muscular frame, he stopped briefly to catch his breath. He had tracked his prey to this part of the city from the Dripping Dagger tavern. Twice he had thought his target had eluded him, but he recognized the walk of the injured drow a few blocks ahead of him. ‘I have you now traitor’, he whispered to himself as he rounded the corner of a dilapidated building. ‘It won't be long now, Marcus will have you and I shall have my reward’, he mused. Ducking into a shadowed alcove, he drew two thin darts from a pouch at his waist. They felt light and perfectly balanced in his hands. Grinning, he removed a vial from the folds of his black cloak. A thick crimson substance slowly slid over the walls of the glass. Dipping the tips of the darts into the vial, he marveled at how the viscous substance clung to the barbed metal. A muffled groan up ahead caused him to thrust the vial into his cloak. He gripped the darts and cautiously edged closer toward his prey.

Nilan groaned and leaned heavily against the rotted wooden wall on the west side of the alleyway. His eyes darted into the shadows as a cold, clammy feeling washed over him. Shaking his head in an attempt to drive the unwanted thoughts from him, Nilan clenched his fist in a tight ball. His knuckles grew white in rage, but the throbbing pain in his shoulder caused him to release his grip. His shoulder ached mercilessly. Nilan knew that he needed rest, he was barely able to walk without staggering. He waited until the pain subsided somewhat before continuing on in the direction of the abandoned homes. There were few people out on the streets this evening, and fewer still in this section of town. Nilan rounded the final bend in the cluttered alleyway. He shivered and pulled what was left of his cloak around his injured body.

Suddenly, a whizzing sound whistled through the still night air and instinctively, Nilan dove to the right. A dart thudded into the wooden wall where only seconds before he had been standing. As quickly as he could, Nilan rose to his knees, pulling a stiletto from his waist-sheathe. The movement sent a piercing stab of pain lancing through his shoulder and Nilan let out a muffled groan. His keen drow eyes scanned the darkened alley for signs of heat in order to better gauge the direction from where the missile had been thrown. Suddenly, a barrage of darts was sent flying in his direction. Nilan scampered to his feet and flung himself toward a shadowed alcove, but not before one of the vicious darts had found its target. Panting heavily, he tore at the dart that had embedded itself in his side. He sensed his attacker approaching, and struggled to remove the barbed tip from his skin. Grimacing, he tore the barbed metal free and fell back heavily into the wooden wall.

"Ya can't run drow," a mocking voice called to him from the shadows. "The poison works fast, even now yer feelin' its effects."

Nilan inspected the bloodstained tip. Sneering in contempt, he recognized the gooey crimson substance - paralysis poison. Nilan grimaced, forcing himself to remain calm in an attempt to slow the poison's effects.

"Give yerself up, and I promise to kill ya quickly, I doubt ya'll get such an offer from 'Marcus the Butcher'."

Nilan's hand shook as he struggled to maintain his grasp around the hilt of his stiletto. The barbed dart slid from his failing grip and fell to the ground landing at his feet. Straining, he focused on the dart but his vision blurred. The dart seemed to fade in and out of sight as the ground itself appeared to shift beneath his feet. Nilan leaned heavily against the wooden walls of the alcove, his legs trembling in an effort to support his weight. ‘Think’…Nilan told himself. ‘Calm yourself and think.’ He closed his eyes tightly trying to recall the symptoms of the paralysis poison that coursed through his veins. ‘If he wanted me dead, surely a more suitable poison for the job would have been chosen’, Nilan considered, hoping that he had reasoned correctly. With great effort he secreted the stiletto blade into his wrist-sheathe and staggered from the alcove into the alleyway. His eyes caught a glimpse of his attacker for the first time. A muscular man, several inches taller than himself, Nilan recognized the man as an assassin in Kang's Guild. He had seen the killer in the tavern on one or two occasions. Squinting his eyes and forcing them to focus on anything at all, Nilan staggered, clutching at his side where the dart had pierced his skin. The killer encircled him, grinning wickedly and fingering a serrated dagger.

"Don't fight the poisons effects, drow," the assassin snickered, seeing the elf weaken. "Accept ye fate, ShadowStalker." He let the final word roll off his tongue with obvious disgust.

Groaning, Nilan staggered again, this time unable to maintain his balance he fell to his knees, a dagger slipped from his failing grip and skittered across the road. Nilan clumsily tried to reach for the blade. Laughing, the killer moved closer, kicking the fallen dagger out of the drow's reach. Nilan groaned, desperately struggling to his hands and knees. He tried to stand but his legs refused to respond and he collapsed heavily to the dirt-covered street. The killer watched as the fallen drow assassin lost consciousness and lay motionless before him. A smug grin crept over his bearded face. The assassin approached the drugged man, and prodded his ribs with the toe of his black-armored boot. Nilan moaned and his eyelids fluttered weakly, but otherwise he lay still. Snickering, the killer sheathed his dagger and knelt before the elf, drawing from his pouch a black silk rope. Nilan stirred weakly as the assassin gripped the front of his tunic. The killer released his hold on the tunic and Nilan allowed his body to fall backwards in a limp crumbled heap. Silently, Nilan fingered the wrist sheathe and the stiletto slid into the palm of his hand. The assassin realized the treachery but it was too late. Nilan's eyes flashed open as he thrust the deadly blade between the assassin's ribs, piercing his heart. A look of fear and shock found its way on the killer's face. Nilan mercilessly tore the blade free, and watched with grim satisfaction as the killer shuddered and breathed no more.

Nilan rolled the body off of him and struggled to a seated position. Hands shaking, he tore the pouch from the dead man's belt. As the poison coursed through his veins, Nilan was rapidly feeling the all too familiar and unpleasant effects. With great effort he forced himself to stand and staggered off in the direction of one of the abandoned homes. Nausea surrounded him in waves. He could barely focus and his vision grew cloudy with each passing step. Desperately, he clung to the walls of the dilapidated buildings. His legs barely functioned and his muscles refused to obey simple commands. Nilan could barely make out the rotten door that hung loosely from its hinges leading into one of the deserted homes. Staggering, he collapsed against it. His weight caused the door to open inward and he sprawled to the floor in a heap. The room began to spin. Faster and faster objects faded in and out of focus. Nilan clawed at the floor in a futile attempt to turn away from the nauseating image. The poison burned in his blood and he felt his eyelids grow heavy. Nilan groaned in a desperate attempt to fight the poison's devastating effects. Darkness surrounded him however, and he drifted into oblivion.

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A sharp knock on the door tore Lord Piergieron away from the scroll he was reading. "Come," he called out as he carefully rolled the scroll and placed it back within its bone case. The door to his private chambers opened and Sir Karinak entered and knelt before the Waterdeep Lord.

"Rise and report, Sir Knight," Piergieron commanded as he abruptly stood.

"Sir, our informants have learned the identity of the assassin that murdered Lord Garthus, and quite possibly the young man that happened upon the scene."

Piergieron arched an eyebrow, "Indeed … who is this fiend we now seek?"

"The news is grave My Lord, I fear the security of our city has been compromised," Sir Karinak paused.

"Well out with it Karinak, I want this man brought to justice as soon as possible, who is it that you speak of?"

"Not a man, Sir" the knight replied. "But a drow."

Lord Piergieron's eyes widened suddenly. "Drow, a drow assassin here? … are you certain, Karinak? Are you sure of your information?" Lord Piergieron stared hard at the knight before him.

Karinak's gaze never faltered. "I am sir, had I not have been I would have never come to you informing you of this development."

"Does this black hearted demon have a name? How is it that he walks freely within my city walls?" Piergieron's voice rose in anger.

"Our informants say the drow goes by the name of Nilan."

Piergieron paced the floor. "Nilan … Nilan, ah the young merchant who works out of Kang's tavern if my memory serves me correctly. But you said he was drow, how is that possible?"

Sir Karinak shrugged, "Perhaps, magic my Lord. I do not know the murderous ways of his kin."

Piergieron tightened his grip around the hilt of his sword and scowled. "Find this Drow assassin. I want him and all that he associated with brought to justice. If indeed Kang and his so-called merchants are involved, destroy them in the name of what is holy and just."

"You are dismissed, may Tyr guide you," Piergieron waved the Knight out. Returning once again to the scroll he was reading, he didn't even hear Sir Karinak close the heavy oak door and exit the chambers.

******************************************************************

Kang's eyes narrowed suddenly as he sat further back upon his throne of blackened bone. The fingers of his right hand tapped impatiently upon the armrest. "Come closer and report!"

The young guild guard approached tentatively, averting his eyes from his master's imposing glare. "Well, sir, he…"

"Speak, damn ye, don't ye be wastin' my time," Kang’s voice boomed throughout the shadowed chamber. "Has the traitor been caught yet?"

The young guard shook his head slowly, "N..N..No, my master, but your finest assassins have taken up the contract, it shouldn't be long now."

"What news of Marcus," Kang bellowed.

"Not a word sir, I assume he's on Nilan's trail, along with the others that took up the hunt." The guard shifted his weight nervously.

Kang slammed his fist upon the armrest of his chair causing the very platform upon which he sat to shake. The guard lowered his eyes and swallowed hard. "What o' the fat Lords o' Waterdeep? What information does my spy network have on 'em?" Kang demanded.

"Sir, it's no secret among snitches that Nilan assassinated High Paladin Commander Garthus. Word on the streets of a drow assassin with the city walls travels fast. That he is err was in your employ is also no secret, Master. The Lords of Waterdeep also seek the traitor, they want justice served…after all. Perhaps they will catch him, the end result will be the same, would it not? Far less casualties on our members."

"No, damn you!" Kang roared in anger. "That pleasure will be mine and mine alone." Grimacing Kang stroked the ornate snake headed dagger fastened at his waist. "See that we find Nilan before they do. I want his blood! He shall face my own brand of justice." That last word rolled off Kang's tongue laced with sarcasm.

The guard bowed low, "I'll see to it, my Master." He turned and left the room, breathing a sigh of relief as the huge double doors clanged shut behind him.

*********************************************************************

Marcus came upon the body of his thug in the wee hours of the morning. Bending low he touched the still form that lay in a pool of blood in the darkened alleyway. "It's been an hour at least," he groaned in exasperation. His dark eyes took in the surrounding area where the dead man lay. Footprints were scattered around the corpse. "Ye still got some fight left in ya, eh drow." Marcus snickered derisively. Gingerly, he ran the tip of his finger along the curved serrated blade of his dagger. A single set of erratically placed steps staggered off toward the southern part of the alley. "Nilan, it won't be long now," he sneered. "By now Kang has many assassins combing these streets for ye. I shall find ye first, and claim my reward." Marcus headed off in the direction of the injured elf's footprints, a smug evil grin spread across his cruel face.

*********************************************************************

Nitania fingered the dagger at her waist as she negotiated the twisting turns within the alleyway. A cool breeze caused her to shiver and she pulled her warm cloak tightly about her body. ‘Damn it, Nilan, bloody drow traitor,’ she thought to herself. ‘They are wrong…they have to be wrong’. Nitania rested for a moment, leaning against the wall of a run down building in Southern Waterdeep. She thought about what Kang had said, about the Guild…the Family. ‘Had Nilan betrayed even that? What if they are right?’ Nitania pondered silently. ‘Am I to lay eyes upon you after all these years that we have known each other, which we have shared together, only to drag you before Kang and watch as you are slowly put to death?’ Nitania growled vehemently. ‘Damn it Nilan, don't make me do that. By the gods, they have to be wrong.’ Nitania grumbled and headed toward the poorer section of Southern Waterdeep, a place she new would hide those wishing to remain unseen. It was the only place she could think of to begin her search. Nitania wondered what she would say to Nilan if she did indeed find him first. This last thought caused her stomach to tighten involuntarily. Nitania steeled herself shrugging the feeling aside and continued southward.

********************************************************************

Nilan awoke suddenly, the breath driven from his lungs. Instinctively he reached for his stiletto fastened to his waist belt but his hands wouldn't move. Dazed and confused he struggled to lift the groggy drugged haze from the paralysis poison that had stole his movements and his consciousness earlier. He heard cruel laughter and forced his eyes to focus. His wrists were bound together tightly in leather thongs and secured to the center wooden pillar that ran from the floor to the ceiling. Panic consumed him and he tugged at the bonds in a futile attempt to free himself. The leather thongs tightened around each wrist and the drow soon felt a tingling sensation creeping into the tips of each of his fingers. Nilan looked around the room in confusion, trying to shake the clouded haze from his addled mind. He lay face down arms bound and stretched out before him. Shivering in the cold air, Nilan realized that he had been stripped to the waist. His eyes vaguely made out his black leather tunic lying in a crumpled heap some eight paces away. He turned his head toward the direction of the sound of the laughter, only to catch a glimpse of a black leather boot driving into his right side. Nilan groaned, desperately trying to regain his breath and at the same time cling to consciousness. He felt his cheek pressed against the cold dirt covered floor and shut his eyes gasping for air.

The man standing over him knelt suddenly, placing his knee roughly into the small of Nilan's back and pulling back on the braid of his stark white hair. Nilan winced as his head was yanked back, exposing his throat. Steel flashed before his eyes and Nilan felt his entire body tense with fear. His eyes focused upon the blade of a wickedly curved dagger. Nilan groaned as the man pressed his knee further into his back but otherwise remained still.

"Remember me, drow." A cold cruel voice spat. "I've come to finish the job I started when we first met." He sneered. "But ya won't die quick, traitor, that much I promise ya. I'm gonna have some fun before I deliver ya to Kang and claim my reward." The man snickered as he felt Nilan wince in pain. "Yer not so deadly now are ya?" the assassin chuckled diabolically.

Nilan tugged at his wrist bonds and attempted to squirm out from under the assassin's hold. Marcus yanked back hard on Nilan's hair causing all struggles to cease. Then with one quick motion he turned the wicked blade over in his hands and plunged it into Nilan's forearm. Blood sprayed Nilan's face and he howled in agony, his body convulsing nearly throwing Marcus off balance. Tearing the dagger free, Marcus got to his feet. He marveled at how the blood flowed down the cold steel and into the grooves onto the hilt. Glancing down he grinned as he watched Nilan's body writhe upon the dirt and bloodstained floor.

"That's only the beginning, ya filthy drow," Marcus sneered. "Get ready for a night of living hell." Marcus twirled the bloody blade and laughed mercilessly.

Nilan rolled onto his side and glared up at the assassin. Blood flowed freely from his forearm slowly seeping into the leather thong that bound his hands and wrists. Marcus eyed the wounded elf, smiled coldly and licked the blood from the wicked blade. "You sadistic bastard," Nilan growled through clenched teeth.

Marcus casually approached the bound and bloodied assassin at his feet. Nilan glared defiantly and spat at the man. Blood mixed with spittle struck Marcus's thigh and Nilan managed a smile despite the stabbing pain that lanced through his forearm and shoulder. Marcus roared in anger, delivering a series of vicious kicks to almost every part of the drow’s prone form. Nilan cried out as kick after kick slammed into his body. Light flashed before him and he struggled to gasp for air. His vision clouded each time the vile man's boot drove into his body. He heard Marcus scream in anger but his own ragged cries of pain quickly drowned out all other sounds in the small house. Clawing at the floor Nilan tried desperately to curl up into a tight ball in an attempt to avoid the vicious assault. Marcus's boot slammed into the side of his head. Stunned, Nilan's eyelids fluttered weakly and he felt his body go limp. Dark gray clouds coalesced before him and he lay panting and gasping, the breath all but driven from his lungs. Dazed and confused, he vaguely was aware of Marcus slowly backing away. Nilan moaned softly barely clinging to consciousness.

*******************************************************************

Nitania rounded the final turn in the narrow alley that emptied out onto the street that a row of dilapidated houses stood. The houses that lined either side of the street were in various states of ruin. Most, she noted, were falling apart and abandoned. There wasn't a soul to be seen, just the rats and stray alley cats that fed on the garbage that was strewn about the roadway. The chill wind brought with it the foul stench of rotten garbage and decay. Nitania grimaced in disgust and trudged onward.

A cry of pain pierced the otherwise eerie silence. Nitania instinctively grabbed her daggers, tearing them from their leather sheathes. Her heart racing, she cautiously headed in the direction of the screams. Slowly she crept along the side of the alleyway her keen eyes scanned the street. There it was again, a muffled groan of pain. It appeared to be coming from somewhere up ahead, towards the end of the street. Nitania shuddered when she realized that the agonizing sounds could very well be coming from the house directly in front of her. Gripping her daggers tightly, Nitania steeled herself against what he might find up ahead.

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Last edited by Nilan on Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Korin
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Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2001 6:01 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Postby Korin » Fri Mar 29, 2002 6:55 pm

can't stop now.. i'm gonna have to read the last now too. :P
Nilan
Sojourner
Posts: 681
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2001 6:01 am

Postby Nilan » Wed Mar 05, 2003 7:45 am

Bumped Up for you Ashod, Enjoy

Nilan
Nilan
Sojourner
Posts: 681
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2001 6:01 am

Postby Nilan » Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:24 am

Just bumping it up as i did some editing to it made it easier to read
enjoy

Nilan

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