By Beale, (C) 2005
I knew it was a mistake.
Like the time I was drunk and assaulted the elderly man, I got caught up in the moment. By the time I got to the church, I was quite irritated from having to deal with some invisible attackers. Then, to top it off, I was unable to practice my craft.
I got into the church, and there it was. I could not even tell how much was in there, and that made me even more mad. He kept an eye on me, but not like he was watching a thief. He noticed my scratches and healed them. He was silent. Every time moved to take what I came for, something stopped me. He just kept smiling at me, and I became more and more irritated. Finally I snapped.
I did not even bother with a back stab. No, acting as if I were a obnoxious warrior instead of a stealty thief, I went for the angry, frontal assault. My blade was drawing blood before even I knew what was happening. I saw red and was in a bezerked frenzy. In spite of his pleas and his efforts to teleport me away, he died that day.
I knew it was a mistake the moment I took what I came for. In my battle drunken state I had not seen it. But the moment I touched the cash, I realized I had done the wrong thing. This was a good man. I had shed innocent blood.
I have tried to wash the stains off my hands for months, but I still see them sometimes.
I wandered south, unsure of my destination. I believe I was moaning Robert Johnson's "Walking Blues" or it was at least going through my mind. I was at a loss.
I felt tainted. I was tainted. My soul had shifted towards the evil I so despised. I had behaved as a crude, evil warrior instead of a good thief with honor.
I was still in a fog while slinking down the Southern Road when I heard her. Barely audible at first. But as I came closer, I saw her grief and experienced her weeping. Seeing her suffering roused my curiosity and took my mind off of my own misery for a few moments.
"My baby" is what she cried when her eyes met mine. I looked around and saw no child. "They took my baby." My jaw clenched as and I started feeling that warmth again. "A couple of elves, and a woman. They knocked me down,and took my Charlie." After getting a description of the child and the threesome,I told her that I would do my best to retrieve her son.
I was not sure of where to start. She thought that they headed further south, so I traveled that direction. I had heard about some elves to the east, so when I found a path to my left, I took it.
The hooker was not helpful at first. She just kept trying to proposition me, and initially said that she had not seen any elves carrying a red haired child. But as I was leaving, in an effort to entice me further she said, "Well, I may know of a wood elf that handles babies a lot." I gave her back one of the coins I had stolen from her and said, "Tell me more." "Well, there is an elf that hangs out at the bar down the road a bit. He is the one I go to when I get pregnant. He takes care of me and my little problems." "What are you talking about?," I asked, not yet seeing the picture clearly." "I sell him my babies, silly. Do you think I want a dozen rug rats hanging around interfering with my business?" hanging around interfering with my business?"
I have not ever felt bad about having her blood on my hands.
I sat down in the corner, with a glass of something they called "Blossom" in front of me.
I was just about to take my first drink when he walked in. I could tell he was bad news from the moment I laid eyes on him. The arrogant fool was throwing around gold like it was sawdust, he bought a drink for the lady and even one for the drunken idiot. I sat and I listened. I could not hear everything they murmured, but when the woman whispered,"I can't believe they gave us 900 for that red haired brat," I knew that I had found at least two of the guilty parties.
I said, "900, is that all you got? I got 1500 from them just last week." From where the words came, I just don't know. I was simply following a hunch. The elf immediately got very quiet, and the woman looked at me intently with her dark eyes. "What the hell are you talking about stranger?"
"They always give me 1500, have for months. As of last week they had not changed the fees they paid me." She looked at the elf with eyes that could kill, "What is going on here? Are you and Valenci holding out on me?" The elf looked a bit worried, "No way, at least I don't think so. Maybe the Trow just have a different arrangement with the man." She was not satisfied. She turned on him in anger, and in a flash, her evil rage overcame her. She screamed "liar" and sprung on him before he could react. The battle was quick. She was no match for the elf, in spite of her rage.
As she closed her eyes for the last time, he was hit by a heavy spear right in the middle of his chest. I had surprised him, and finished him off rather easily. No regrets.
I then turned my attention to the bartender. Leapt over the bar and had my dagger to his throat. You will live if you tell me where to find Valenci. He smirked, which almost cost him his life. But he said, "Amigo, I will do better than that. Valenci is almost always down at the mill. I have no love for his ilk. But I will tell you where you can find the Trow. They are the ones you really want. Damn baby stealing bastards."
He gave me the information, and I was off. Knowing that I could come back for the elf at any time, I headed for the forest west of Ralnoth as fast as I could. His directions were not precise, but I was able to find the entrance to
their cave within a few hours. I donned my hooded cloak of darkness, and snuck in behind the evil gate guard. I saw the worried look on his face as the room darkened, but he did not stand a chance of seeing me. I thought to myself "Kaoken attack!" as I plunged my Gaff into his back. "Is it going to be this easy?,"
After picking the gate and entering, I decided to play it cool and not attack anything else unless really necessary. I wanted to find that baby alive. For an hour I wandered their underground town, sneaking at times and walking freely at others as I observed these ugly creatures. I noticed that several of them were very happy, in spite of the sickness that was affecting much of their community. The first really disturbing thing I saw was some sort of observation post. They were watching a pregnant woman through a portal of sorts. I had an idea as to why. Then I found it, the confirmation of my suspicions. The clerk would not hand it over, even when I said please, so I had to pry it out of his dead hands. In this book were the records of dozens of "transactions." Over forty babies that had been stolen over the years, and given to "happy" Trow.
I heard crying from the north.
Without even sacrificing the corpse of the record keeper to Vember, I raced out of his office and toward the sad sound. I was too late. There lay the corpse of the little red head with a blade stuck in his back. "Asmodia, how could you?" But I knew the answer, "I am evil through and through Beale, where else would I practice stabbing?" Funny, I was not mad at her. Must be the bonds of Blackwind, but the evil, baby-stabbing, hotheaded girl just has a special bunny shaped spot in my heart.
The Trow were not so lucky.
Before I left that day, only one remained.
Perhaps it was the frazzled look on her face, but maybe not. I simply sensed thatshe was not as evil as the rest. I left her with these words, "I am Beale of Blackwind. Make sure that your people remember me."
I still see the stains of the priest on my hands at times.
I have yet to find the elf I seek.
I keep my eyes on the Trow.