Whispers from a Shadow.   Posted by Guildmaster.Group: 0
 GM, 51 posts
Thu 25 Sep 2008
at 14:50
Whispers from a Shadow
This thread belongs to Moerdyn

Bright eyes and an award winning grin that speaks of mischief and charm, marks this young man only known as Moerdyn. Not much history is known of this character other than the fact that he appears to be a charmer - a lady's man. Who knows how many times his tact and knack for words have saved his skin. Born not of the lowest of classes, Moerdyn is both a curiosity and a wonder and it would be a shame if we did not know more of this fine young lad...

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:13, Sun 28 Sept 2008.

 player, 14 posts
 Less than a prince
 More than a thief
Tue 14 Oct 2008
at 16:45
Re: Whispers from a Shadow
“Really boys, if you struggle less against the ropes, it won’t hurt so much,” Moerdyn said with a smirk.  The bound men responded with muffled threats from their gags--bringing a bigger smile to the thief's face.  “Ah well, suit yourself.”

He waved a salute to the bound up guards and walked off down the hall, his glib comment hiding the fear that was beginning to take root in his mind.  That was the third set of guards he had had to deal with tonight.  Not that these types of bungling guards were ever a problem—-far from it-—but his informant had told him this place was virtually unguarded; “nuttin’ more ‘an a watchdog and  a drunk wit’ a sword,” as he had so eloquently put it.  Well the swords he had seen plenty of, but no dogs, (Thankfully!) and certainly no drunks.  These guards were well prepared, if anything.  But even all of that didn’t really shake Moerdyn—informants were often a little off on their details.  What made him truly apprehensive was that these guards seemed to be waiting for him; hiding in shadows and lurking at key entry points.  And although he could dismiss all of that individually, the combination of so many unsettling factors had him on edge.

Slipping up to the next corner silently, he clutched his long-knife and snuck a peek around the corner.  From his hiding place in the shadows of where the corner turned, he studied the hall for a few minutes before finding what he was looking for.  He silently admired the skill this guard had shone in hiding in the darkness covering the far corner.  If not for the small end of his cloak hanging a bit out and catching the moon’s light, he might well have missed this one.

Searching through his mental map of the place, he tried to think of a way to slip around for a closer strike on the guard, or maybe a way around him altogether.  Nothing immediately came to mind, and again the well prepared guard setup made him cautious.  He nearly turned and left the place, but the draw of the promised treasure was too good to pass up.  Assuming the informant wasn't off on that, as well.

“Ah well, such is fate,” he remarked under his breath as he thought of a way to get to the guard before he could react.  He paused however when the guard moved.

“Who is there?” the man said, his accent giving away that he was of noble birth.  Moerdyn silently cursed himself for being foolish enough to speak out loud, even under his breath, “I heard you whisper, I am not some witless guard,” the man said.

“Well then the game is up,” Moerdyn said as he stepped from the shadows, “but if I may not speak without a person becoming hostile, then who might?”  The smile beneath the deep red veil Atreides wore across his mouth disappeared when the noble stepped into the moonlight.  His pale yellow robes had small, silver stars and crescent moons cascading down the sides, and his hand glowed with the telltale signature of magical power held in check.

“Drillenius,” Moerdyn said unhappily.

“Of course, fool.  Did you really think I’d let you get away with that little stunt?” he sneered.

“Stunt?” Atreides responded innocently.

“You know good and well what I mean, you pathetic worm.  The ‘Crimson Mask' throwing my coin from my balcony to any beggar or passerby who happened to feel the urge to claim it,” he said as his face became more and more flushed with each usage of the word “my.” The red of his face offset his pale robes which in turn painted a stark contrast to Atreides’ charcoal gray leggings, cloak and shirt.  Indeed, the only spot of color in the rogue's outfit was the bright red veil that wrapped about his nose and mouth.  This veil gave him the name many of the peasants had taken to calling him, ‘The Crimson Mask.’  Although it didn’t afford him the fame of his real name being known, he did sort of like it--it didn’t hurt that the ladies thought it was quite dashing.  Ladies, however, were far from his mind now.  The significance of Drillenius’ presence was unsettling.  This was a rich noble who fought with hired swords, not his own abilities.  Something was wrong...as he had suspected.

"Let's be fair...most of that was their coin."  Moerdyn said in mock diplomacy as his mind raced through the possible implications of the noble's surpriing presence.

"Don't insult my intelligence.  You and I both know your little escapade was just your way of buying those beggars' silence.  You care nothing for them."

True, Moerdyn thought as he said, "Not true.  At least half of that was my way of angering you.  Good to see I've been at least half-succesful."

“You escaped from my guards that night, but this time, we have you caught like a mouse,” the nobleman smirked.

Moerdyn was about to respond with another sitty comment about mice and men, when the implications of that stement hit him.

“We?” Atreides asked warily.

“All those you’ve stolen from and those who simply want an outlaw such as yourself caught.  We set a trap, and despite your confidence in those peasants, they led you right into it.  We knew you wouldn't pass up this opportunity.  What self-respecting thief would pass up a treasure guarded by nothing more than ‘a watchdog and a drunk with a sword,’” he laughed, “I see you remember the reference.  You were duped, fool, and now we will dispose of you like the dung heap you are.”

Moerdyn grimaced under his veil, angry at the ease with which they had tricked him, but then, anger never got a person anywhere in life.  He had been in worse spots before and getting angry never helped anything.  Smirking again, he said,  “Now I can understand your anger, dear Drillenius, but let’s please dispense with the name-calling.  I think we can both agree that if anybody here smells like a dung heap it certainly isn’t me.”

“You insolent, little...” Drillenius trailed off in shock as Moerdyn twitched and a dagger flew from the folds in his cloak through the air towards the noble, causing him to lose his focus as he dodged to the left.  The air flashed with lightning from his hand and arced across Moerdyn's vision as he dove to the left.  The wall on his right exploded in a brick and mortar cloud and the very air shook as a tremendous boom sounded.  Moerdyn rolled out of his dive and broke to his left down the hallway, thankful that he hadn’t let Drillenius actually aim that spell and use it to its full effect.  Despite that, his right arm throbbed with the heat that the bolt of lightning had generated as it passed by.

Drillenius called after him, “You can’t run, little worm, there are men everywhere and your little mistake just tipped them off to your whereabouts.  You will be caught.”

Not so sure that Drillenius’ claim wasn’t true, Moerdyn began to run for the steps, but realizing the front door would be heavily guarded, he changed his mind and made for a room down the hall.  He opened the door, sword in hand and nearly yelled in surprise as a sword came slashing towards him.  He brought his own blade up barely in time to avoid being cut in two but the impact, together with his surprise at his being attacked, knocked the blade from his hand.  Cursing his ill luck, he rolled back into the hall as the guard swiped again, slicing his belt but missing Moerdyn's skin by less than an inch.  He rolled into a crouch just as another bolt of energy cut the air above him and the darkness around him with equal ferocity, crashing into the door way and knocking the pursuing guard backwards.  Waving a slaute in thanks to a scowling Drillenius, Moerdyn sprinted farther down the hallway; he had to get to a window!

Fortunately the next room had nobody waiting in it, but not so fortunately it had no window--only a door.  Moerdyn ran towards the doorway and opened it.  The room it led to was dark but for the moon shining through it’s lone window.  Breathing a sigh of relief he moved to the window and noticed there were too many people on the street to jump down.  And the building across the way was entirely too far to jump across.  He heard Drillenius calling out directions to guards and the pounding of footsteps in the hallway and decided there was but one way to go.

He reached out and grabbed the ledge to the roof, thankful that he was on the top floor.  Pulling himself halfway up, he cursed as he felt his belt catch on the ledge.  As he pulled himself up completely he felt the belt snap where the guard had cut it before.  He rolled to the roof and reached for it just as he heard it clatter on the street below.  Cursing his luck one last time, he grabbed his sole remaining dagger tucked in his boot and stood up.  Wondering where to go from here, he scanned the roof and noticed a trap door opening on the roof as a guard peeked up.

“I found ‘im up on the roof.  Hurry, he's..." the guard’s words trailed off into a snore.  Moerdyn could hear metal crashing and grunts from those below as the guard fell off the ladder he was on into those below. What had just happened?

Moerdyn wasn't one to curse good luck--or narcoleptic guards. The one thing he had avoided earlier turned out to be his only option—jumping off the roof. Tucking his dagger into his belt, he took a deep breath and walked to the edge of the building and looked down the three stories to the ground.  There were a few cloth overhangs sheltering the windows and a small pile of garbage that would help is fall.

If only there were another way.

"Hello, Moerdyn."  A voice sounded behind him.  Whirling, his dagger cocked to throw, he paused.  Standing on the closed trap door was a little man in black robes.  He calmly smiled at the masked rogue as the door under him was pounded on by guards.  How had this man gotten here?  Who was he?  And more importantly, how had this man known Moerdyn's real name?

Saying nothing, Moerdyn just stared.  The man smiled and spoke.  "Please don't jump.  It took quite a bit of effort to get you into this position, and I'd hate to have to save you again."

Again?  Of course!  The 'narcoleptic' guard.  He had heard of sorcerers who could make others sleep with a wave of their hand.  Moerdyn realized this man must be versed in the arcane powers.  He smiled and took a step away from the edge of the roof.

The man chuckled as if he could read Moerdyn's thoughts--and who knew?  Perhaps he could.  Moerdyn tucked his dagger into his boot once again.  "Well good sir.  I fear you have me at a disadvantage.  You know my name..." he left the thought in the air.

Ignoring him, the man simply said, "I have an offer to make you, Moerdyn.  If you accept, I can spirit you away from this...predicament."

Glancing back over the edge, Moerdyn didn't see as he had much choice in the matter.