Depths Untold

The Wanderer

Turn back. Don’t do this. You’ll die. Your luck’s run out.

“Jörmund. Welcome home.” The tiefling says, with a stiffness in her voice, and a frown where once there was a smile.

A bead of sweat rolls down Jörmund’s forehead, and his knuckles whiten as he grips his staff tighter. “My lovely wife”, he said, feigning a smile. He embraces her, and kisses her forehead. “How fares my daughter?”

“Well. I assume your mission has gone well.” She folds her arms. Her eyes glowering.

“It was like taking candy from a baby”.

They stare, Jörmund keenly aware of the many hidden pouches in which she likes to hide her daggers. Ready to activate his protection magic at a moments notice.

“You make light of your mission, need I remind you just how important the artifact means to our cause?”

He senses a presence nearby, watching.

“Of course not,” he says, smiling, “but right now, I have another mission in mind”. He playfully bites her neck. That mission of course, was to stay alive. It’s not uncommon for her to hide daggers in the small of her back.

“There has been talk of a traitor amongst us”.

He found it. Right calf. Hidden blade. Most likely poisoned. It is meant to be withdrawn with her tail. That’s fine, he can handle that.

“Oh? Who?”, said Jörmund, feigning ignorance

She pulls away. “You.”

“Do you believe them?”

She stares in silence.

Jörmund knows too well that his words mean nothing at this point. As they stare each other down, he can’t help but feel excited. The tiefling was a stunning woman, very curvaceous and alluring. Combined with never knowing whether she was going to kiss him or stab him made for a love life that never had a dull moment.

“No”, she says finally, “your body betrays you. You are a greedy man, and what could there be to gain by betraying us?”.

The presence shrinks away.

“You have not been yourself recently, Mellisan. Have you not had your hands full as a mother? When was the last time your blades have seen blood?”.

“Too long. My, dear. But, I have forgotten my manners, your daughter is in the nursery, go to her. I will go to the servants quarters and prepare for tonight’s … celebration.” She smiles.

To her, she smiles on two occasions. One, she wants sex. Or two she’s cornered her prey and is about to make the finishing blow, which is normally followed shortly with sex.

“I will do that, thank you.” He kisses her goodbye, and watches her leave the room. His legs are shaking, and his heart is about to pump out of his chest. Mellisan was – no, is, a highly proficient assassin, specialized in dealing with mages. She has never failed to complete an assignment. Well, except for one: Jörmund’s himself. The last year has been very unbecoming of her, and he could never have imagined the fierce, deadly and passionate tiefling as a mother.

He takes a moment, a deep breath, refocusing.

My daughter. Nothing else matters. I cannot let her grow up to become like us.

Jörmund rushes to the nursery. His dismisses the servant girl there and goes to his daughter. He cradles the newborn.

No time for pleasure. Go.

He bursts though the back entrance, still clutching the child. He hears horses galloping towards the main entrance.

They are here.

He bolts down an alley towards the slum district. He has a man there, and him and his wife will take care of her, and are being compensated well. He is trustworthy, at least, Jörmund hopes he is.

An unassuming dwarf and his wife come to greet him. He has time for one last moment with his daughter, and he will do whatever he can for her.

There are very few spells that can be made “permanent”, in fact, such magic probably does not exist; however, “permanent-enough” will have to do. As well, such magic is draining and he cannot cast it more than once a day… normally. Fortunately, with the artifact acting as a battery, such things are made trivial. His staff glows and the child glows from his resistance spell. He uses it again on a spare spellbook and it shrinks to 1/16 its size. He hopes that the child’s natural curiosity will draw her to it.

Jörmund looks down to the dwarf and hands him a heavy pouch of gold. The dwarf reaches out for it, but Jörmund quickly pulls back, “you swear you are out of the business?”

The smuggler scowls, then he swipes the bag away with lightning fast dexterity. “I swear it. I’m too old this. Time to settle down.”

“Thanks… partner”, he says, sighing with relief.

“You’d do the same fer’ me wouldn’t ’cha”

“’Course, I would”.

“Hey, you sure this is your child, it looks nothing like you”

“She, Bjorn, she’s a girl. And it’s what’s up here that matters”, he says pointing at his head, “I keep telling you.”

“Yea, yea, you were always the ‘smart’ one. Ha! Humans, always thinkin’ wit’ your cocks. Anyways, what should we call it –err, her”.

“Call her… Nisha.”

“Aite, and you, what’ll ya do now?”

“I have to keep running, if they think I have Nisha and the artifact with me, they won’t be looking for you. Goodbye, old friend”. They embrace one last time.

“Goodbye, and good riddance, you’ve lost me more profits than I can count”

“That’s because you can’t count past the number of fingers on your hands, Bjorn”

“Oh get out of here”.

Jörmund smiles back. This isn’t the end of the my story, he thinks to himself. I’m fated to do great things.

Not even Aucharia can stop me.

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