"Beware my music in the darkness"
User: Sketch
Campaign: The Time of Tiamat
Race: Dark Vrolfin
Gender: Female
Role: Striker
My first memory is of red eyes. Red eyes in the dark, and a bloody hand lying in the gutter, the rest of the owner lying in shadow. The hand, is young, female, and has a large gold ring on it. On the ring is a scarab that has jewels for eyes, they wink in the light. The blood drips slowly onto the street,and there is laughter, haunting laughter that seems to accompany the red eyes as they focus on me. As the eyes come closer, there is a noise behind me. Suddenly I am grasped from behind by strong hands, a smell familiar and comforting coming from the indistinct form. We quickly move away from those eyes and that bloody hand, the sound of the laughter fading behind us.

My next memory is of myself sitting in a kitchen, eating ravenously the food before me. So much food, more then I have ever seen in my life. I hear voices behind me, and see the shadows on the wall near the fireplace of two forms, arguing furiously. Of what they argue I know not, nor do I care so long as they do not take away the food. The argument breaks off, and one of the shadows comes closer to me, I feel a hand on my head and hear the man say, "Take care of her, I do not know how long I will be. I will come for her when I can, till then tell her nothing. Let her live in shadow, she is safer there." Then I hear his voice by my ear whispering, "So young to be alone, I am sorry little one. I promise, someday I will return for you, till then, do your best and remember that hiding is your best protection."

My life was a simple one. A child, discarded, forgotten, unneeded. A little precocious, and perhaps somewhat smarter then the average street rat. I was raised in the training camp of the mercenary company known as The Adders. So called as a reference to their flag, but also for the reputation of being deadly in any situation, and silent, like their namesakes.

I was a foundling, or so I was told by Gizmo, the goblin that was my one constant in a world indifferent to me. He was the fixer of our company, and also the sometimes inventor of new and clever ways to kill. He seemed to take a special interest in me, and made sure that I always had some special tidbits on my joining day. He called me "Mist", whether because it was my name or because of my nature was unclear. He said that I was always a sneaky child, and my skills and eventual choice of vocation proved him correct.

Recruited at a young age to learn the ways of a mercenary, I was tried at several different positions. It soon became obvious that the best place for me was as a shadow's shadow. I learned the skills of a sniper, assassin, and at times, thief. All for the benifit of my company. I became proficient, and then I became an expert, till the day that I surpassed even my masters and became junior officer in charge of the scouts. I had the ear of my commander, Elissa Te'Evart. All seemed to be going my way, a bright future on the horizon, until the day I opened my mouth and my whole life changed.

We had been commissioned to fight for one of the houses in an upcoming bloodwar. I had been sent to check if our scouts equipment was in good shape, or if any of it needed replacing. Gizmo had just created a masterpiece of a crossbow and given it to me for my joining day. I knew my gear was as good as it could possibly be with this new addition, so I did not have to check my own equipment.

On my return to report to my commander, I overheard voices in her study. I have no idea why I did not make my presence known, but I paused to listen to what they were talking about. I clearly heard my commander, but the other voice in the room was unfamiliar to me. It had a sibilant quality to it, and I found the hairs on the back of my neck rising in fear and revulsion.

They were speaking about the war, and about the house we were going to fight against. My anger rose as I realized that they were talking about betrayal, about turning on our current employer to eliminate him. They were going over plausible explanations the commander could offer our company to convince them to change sides at the appropriate moment. The voice that caused my fear said that it needed the opposing house preserved in order to further its plans. Something about this voice disturbed me, it seemed familiar somehow. Just as I started to get closer to the door to try and see the face of the voice, it faded, with an admonishment to my commander to be sure to follow orders.

I stormed into the room, outraged at our commander's duplicity. We had always been an honorable company, following the code. Once payment is made, our loyalty was bought till the contract was done. It was what made us command the highest payment. Our reputation had afforded us the best quarters, the best equipment, the best food, and the first pickings of treasure. Our commander would ruin it all for a little bit of extra reward for herself. I confronted her and told her how I had heard it all. I stated I would be informing the council. That she would be brought before them for breaking the code.

She immediately started yelling for her guards. As they entered the room from an opposite door she started screaming that I had proven traitor and she had caught me as I was trying to siphon off some money from the company fund. I punched her as hard as I could into the brazier behind her, and bolted from the room as she started shrieking in pain. I heard the guards following, but no one could find me if I did not wish to be found. I ran back to my quarters, grabbed up my gear and emergency pack, and ran back out. I had to hurry if I was to make it out of the complex. I ran to Gizmo to say my goodbyes, and that was my undoing.

He was waiting for me, almost as if he had known what would happen, and as I approached him we both heard the sound of the outer gate coming down. He hurried me to his sleeping quarters and showed me a secret passage behind the wardrobe that I always wondered about. "This goes to the postgate, there is only one guard there. You must leave quickly, I have done all that I can for you. Remember that hiding is your best protection!", and so saying he quickly pushed me in and closed it behind me.

Why did those words strike such anguish in me. I did not have time to try to puzzle it out, I had to run for my life. I ran as fast as I could in the darkness, without tripping or bashing my head on a wall. I reached the gate quickly, and there was a peephole to see out. There was the guard, just as Gizmo had told me.

I snuck out, carefully staying to the shadows and approached the guard, I came up behind him, and reached out to slit his throat. Just as I managed to slice, I heard a sound behind me and an agonizing pain pierced through my middle. I looked down to see a sword potruding through my stomach. I let go of the body now become too heavy to hold and let it fall. As I did the sword was wrenched from me. I started to collapse and as the person came to grab me I stabbed up into his chest as hard as I could. I heard a gasp and looked up to see Maurtine staring down at me with glazing blue eyes, my officer's dagger still sticking out of his chest, his hands curled around it. He blinked once, and then his eyes seemed to lose focus as he sank to the ground.

I stood for a moment, paralyzed with shock and anger. Then I staggered to the gate, leaving the dagger behind, and winched it open a few inches, just far enough for me to slip out. I wandered the tunnels for what seemed weeks, but was probably only days. I was delirious with pain and fever, the wound in my stomach on fire. I stumbled along, trying to keep moving. I would wake in panic lying on the cold tunnel floor, certain that I heard pursuit. I do not know how I came out of the tunnels alive, but I remember coming out to a world that seemed on fire. The light stabbing into my eyes, and echoing in my stomach. I crawled out of the cave and collapsed, I knew no more for a long while.

I awoke to the sound of someone humming, and the smell of frying meat. I must have made some sound, because in the next instant there was someone holding my head, and trickling water very carefully into my mouth. When I opened my eyes, I saw the most astounding sight. A human!!! He looked at me as if with nothing to fear and began to speak. I did not understand him and so did not answer, he only smiled and offered me more water.

Over the next few days, he nursed me back to health. I slowly learned his language, and could communicate with him when it finally seemed I could travel. We took it slowly, and headed down away from the mountains. It was so terrifying at first, no roof, all open. The light hurt my eyes, and I took to wearing bandages over them to ease the pain. I eventually became used to the light, as I became used to my companion. Although I still did not understand him after all these months, I came to understand that he had saved me and was on a quest of some kind. We traveled together while he pursued his duty and while I learned about the world outside. I tried to explain to him my reason for staying with him, but he believes it is kindness on my part. He does not seem to understand the code, or so it appears. He does not act as if he has a flawed mind, and yet simple rules apparantly elude him. Unless of course he is more clever then I thought and is deceiving me. It is a puzzle, one I am determined to work out. A fitting pursuit till I can figure out a way to exact my vengeance upon my former commander, and until I have paid my debt to this human.