“I’ve already told you why we’re moving in with Ace and Spade for the moment Helix, but we’re waiting for Zaela so I don’t have to repeat the same story twice.”
Yanika grumbled a bit as she stuffed more of her belongings into one of the bags. Ever since returning from the mountain and having learned why Opal was in town, and having made the choice as a group on how to deal with the situation, she had been home to pack her and her friend’s things so they could move in with Ace and Spade. The decision she had made could potentially leave her friends in danger and she didn’t want that, so she had asked them to move with her. Helix had readily agreed, being eager to build a large mattress and pillow room for all of them to sleep in, and Yaznika was sure Zaela would not make a problem out of it either. She was the most sensible of the trio after all. Talking about the devil, or orc in this case, and he, she in this case, will appear. The door opened and Zaela stepped through, stopping and perking up an eyebrow as she saw her two friends packing.
“Ok...what is going on?”
Yanika grinned and waved at her.
“I’ve been waiting for you to tell the entire story! Come in and start packing your stuff, we’re temporarily moving in with Ace and Spade!”
The orc looked confused for a moment but nodded and placed her weapon down next to the door before grabbing a bag and putting her meager belongings in there. As opposed to the two artificers, Zaela did not have the tendency to accumulate all kinds of random bits and trinkets.
“Alright, last time I left off we were heading into the mountains to talk to Kharan’s master and see what all of this nonsense was about. The trip was long and difficult, moving up the mountain in the snow is not much fun, especially not when you’re being tracked by a pair of winter wolves! They tried to ambush us, but Ace spotted them and warned us in time. It was a short and brutal fight, but in the end we killed one and knocked out the other. Kayne decided to carry the body of the dead wolf with him for some reason. The muscle on that guy never seizes to amaze me, I could barely carry my backpack at that moment, let alone a wolf the size of a cart.”
Zaela whistled in admiration. She, as a hunter, had encountered winter wolves before and knew exactly how big these creatures could be.
“The rest of the trip was uneventful and we arrived at a giant structure built into the side of the mountain. And by giant I mean, actually built by giants. Inside there was a small hall with a human sized door, and behind that door was a fancy room, which had been recently occupied. There was a large table with food for all of us, but except for Kayne, no-one wanted to have a bite. Instead we investigated the room and found a secret door leading further into the structure. And of course, curious people that we are, we went through it. It led to a large dancehall, with a bunch of dancers frozen in place and a large statue in the middle. The statue was holding a key and there was a locked door at the other side of the hall, so obviously we needed to get the key from the statue.”
Yanika grinned in excitement. The entire room had been a puzzle on how to get to the center, and she had figured it out quickly while the rest was still figuring out that stepping randomly on the dancefloor led to pain. All they had to do was dance between the frozen people without ever immediately passing in front of one. So while the rest stood at the die decided what to do, she had danced up to the center and grabbed the key. She had been quite proud of that moment. Most things they encountered required either brute force or some trickery, which the others were better in, but solving problems was something she was good at.
“After having gotten the key and opened the door, we got to an alchemical lab stocked with all ingredients needed to make poisons. And the only other thing in the room was a dagger. With no idea what to do with this, we just left it and went through the next door. The next room held a glass statue of a noble, protected by a golem. I figured out the dagger, with poison applied, was meant to take out the noble, but by the time the idea struck my mind, we had already killed the golem. Not easily though, this was most definitely the hardest fight we have done!”
She rubbed her arm where the creature’s initial attack had burnt it. The fight had been long and brutal and in the end all of them had been heavily wounded. Some had to be put back on their feet, which had included Yanika herself.
“We killed the golem and then stabbed the noble with the dagger, which made it crumble. We were all in need of a rest at that point and halfway through that rest an old man entered through the opposite door, surprised to see us. He introduced himself to us as Mos, the master of the assassins guild, and wondered why we hadn’t stayed in the first room where he had left food for us. He was very forthcoming with information, as opposed to Opal, and as we apparently had passed the initiation trials for the assassins, he also offered us training, which none of us accepted. Mos explained to us the philosophy of his guild, that “Strife bear Strength, and Strength bear Stability”. In short, they kill generals and rulers in order to strengthen nations and cities. And they truly believe they are doing the right thing. He also explained that he had been the one who had trained Opal and Aitlas’ uncle. But apparently Opal and the other two had decided to turn against the guild and try and kill Mos, but had failed. Mos eventually got them to stop their attempts, but Opal refused and is still trying. And somewhere in there, Mos and his guild had attacked Aitlas’ uncle’s store, and in that attack, his mom had died, so of course Aitlas is pissed.”
Yanika sighed deeply as she closed her backpack and brushed her fingers through her hair. The entire trip had left a bad taste in her mouth and had caused a bit of a rift in the group. She felt like right at the beginning with Brand’s group, where they had also butted heads on how to proceed. Zebulor didn’t want anything to do with it, and neither did Kayne, while Aitlas, Ace and Spade had wanted to stop the assassins once and for all. Yanika had argumented that the guild was too strong to take on, that they couldn’t do it. She knew how Aitlas felt and that he would attempt anyway, and she didn’t want to leave her friend to deal with it alone, but she also didn’t want to die in her sleep with her throat slit. The discussion had been heated, and in the end Yanika had argued that if they would go on with this, they would do it for vengeance. They knew the assassin’s guild was evil, even though they thought they were doing the right thing, but they also agreed they were too much to take on. They had agreed to talk to Opal to hear his side of the story too, before making any decisions. Mos had granted them safe passage back to the city, and on the trip back, Yanika had been mostly quiet and lost in thought, because the one thing from that discussion that had been stuck in her mind so very much, had been a stinging remark by Spade.