I was raised in the dungeons of Grier, feeding on rats to survive. A bastard prince, condemned to starve in the dank filth.
When that didn’t work then King Ocnomad, the man who was my alleged father, paid an assassin to take me down to the NetherRunnel and drown me in the river.
But I’d survived this long, and I wasn’t one so easily dispatched.
And conveniently that day a Demon Master and his troupe came through. His Warlord, Chavias, spotted me for something not altogether good but not altogether evil and groomed me for war.
But the Warlord didn’t favor the demon master and freed me from my sort of slavery.
From that point, my life became about slow vengeance against the demon trying to take over the country like a dark cloud.
Now, I’m the ruler of the Blue Lark Assassin’s Guild, the King of Assassins.
They know me.
They fear me.
And they’re the most Seditious men on the continent.
I often go down to the docks. Spotting ships to raid to gain more commerce or buying goods from the merchants who haven’t yet sold their wares.
Slowly overtaking the power of the realms through the goods I obtain.
Goods only I sell…
But while at those docks I spotted her. A small redhaired slave girl that the Captain of Willow Grace was trying to sell the services of for less then two coin.
I was disgusted but he didn’t need to know that.
I watched her.
And she watched me.
And one day I asked her the question that had been on my mind. The same question I have frequently asked the demon’s Warlord since my liberation.
“Do you want to be free?” She finished scrubbing the pot she worked and looked furtively at me. Catching her dirtied skirt, she rushed away several steps before pausing and whispering over her shoulder. “Yes.”
That was all I needed to hear.
1718 Meadowbrook, Grier Country
Chavias, Radix’s fiercest warlord was watching a creature delivering one of the demon master’s notes.
Chavias thoughtfully climbed down a tree. As his feet crunched to the muddied earth, he heard a familiar whoosh and felt the weight of his crow landing on his shoulder.
“Hello, Thadeus.” He reached up and caressed the bird’s back.
“Don’t look so forlorn.” An unemotional voice above him had him lifting his eyes.
A grin already pulled at Chavias’ face as he spotted the shadow perfectly balanced on a narrow branch above his head.
The boy he’d raised in the demon’s lair. And most definitely, Chavias’ favorite person.
Thadeus turned on Chavias’ shoulder to stare up at the other man. Squawking and bowing up. Flapping in objection to Savage’s spying.
“You are aware, even I, find you unsettling?” Chavias commented.
“You should.” Savage strolled along the branch. Tilting his head down to look at Chavias.
“What are you up to, Lad?”
“I’ve a question.” Savage paced along the branch, thoughtfully.
Chavias watched him intently, wondering how he balanced on beams and narrow branches so smoothly. “Yes?”
“I saw something.” Savage said pensively.
“Something unusual, I take it?”
“It was a girl with this…” He paused, brow furrowing he walked the length of the branch. Waving his hand as he searched for a word.
“Light. All,” He framed a head and shoulders. “Around.”
“It’s beautiful.” Slight excitement entered Savage’s voice. “The opposite of the darkness the demons in the lair exude.”
Chavias was astonished to hear excitement in Savage’s voice. He’d never heard more than passing interest in the younger man’s voice.
“I knew someone who could see things like that.” Chavias remarked.
Savage still moved along that blasted branch as though it were an expansive walkway.
“What is it?” Savage crouched on the branch to look at Chavias.
“Something. Rare. Something Radix will want to own or kill.”
“No.” Savage went eerily still in his characteristic way. Saying nothing more.
Chavias could already tell the assassin wouldn’t be letting the demon master get his hands on this one.
A small demon squealed in the distance.
“I have to go.” Chavias said urgently. Knowing Savage was Radix’s most desired target.
“I know.” Savage stood and began strolling back toward the trunk of the tree.
“Yes?” His head whipped to look over his shoulder.
“Keep her safe.”
He grunted in agreement. “Chavias?”
“Are you ready to be free yet?”
“No…” He whispered, eyes falling to his boots.
There was a long silence during which, neither of them moved.
Savage waited for him to say something more, but Chavias turned instead, and aimed for the shrieking Noni.
“Be safe, Chavias.” Savage’s words carried to him.