Walking towards the Main Hall just outside the Arena, Tocharaeh had chosen the outer practice ring. A lot larger then where we’ve usually practiced. But, traveling the Rifts and fighting in open areas has prepared me for such so I don’t worry. Upon entering the area, I take a quick scan around to get my bearings. The area in itself is heavily wooded. Trees of great size dot the plain. Tocharaeh, quite literally a Master of great skill could use this to his advantage.
During my travels I met with and dueled an Assassin. I won the dual but only because he let me. Apparently, he was testing me in his own right and I showed great skill so he sought to teach me few
skills such as hiding within the shadows. I spent a day with him for he said that hiding oneself and revealing oneself at the perfect time would make the biggest difference in a fight to the death.
Tocharaeh looks at me as I enter the area and laughs, as he laughed he simply melded with the shadows. He continued to laugh, I could hear it coming from every direction which made it difficult to pinpoint his location. I suspect that was the point. The a flash of steel caught the corner of my eye and I barely had enough time to pull up my own blade to deflect the strike. For what seemed like moments, the sound of steel on steel resounded as I parried each blow from Tocharaeh. Already I was bleeding in several places but not as bad as it would have been on a normal basis. Tocharaeh pulled away then rushed at me with great speed intending to slice me in half, I pull up my blade to block and just barely make it in time, his sword struck, my blade deflecting it but at a great cost for it was greatly weakened and finally broke in half and my arm went numb from the blow.
Having nothing more then a dagger available to me, I rush into the trees, Tocharaeh’s malevolent laughter following me as I descended deeper into the woods. Climbing tree, I wait within its shadows, concentrating as I was taught, slowing my breathing, and keeping as silent as possible to hear for anything. I knew my hearing would be useless as Tocharaeh was as silent as a Ghost, only there when he wished to be seen. Hearing some leaves rustle behind me, I quickly pull out my dagger and in a swift motion toss it towards the source of the sound. The dagger embedding itself in another tree with a THWUNK, a loud noise fills the air as a pissed off Owl flies out. As it flew into the open, the moonlight caught it and I could see it was a large silver Owl. Seconds after the Owl flew away, a fierce voice whispered, ”You almost killed my Owl, and will now die for that!” I let myself drop to the ground as Tocharaeh just barely missed cutting off my head and the fight was on in full force once again, but this time, it was merely a chase for I no longer had a weapon to fight with.
Running back to the clearing, I notice Don Jason sitting in a chair in the middle of the yard, enjoying a cigar and watching as events unfolded. He looks at me and chuckles. With a flick of his wrist, he sent a dagger flying towards me but not intended to attack, merely to assist. Then he muttered,” You best be careful now that you’ve REALLY pissed him off. That is his favorite Owl.” I laughed. I started to run again as Tocharaeh appeared out of the trees. Heavily breathing but with pure hate emanating form him and he stalked towards me. I stopped at the edge of the trees and realized that running would do me no good seeing as he would find me no matter what, so I turned around to face him. As pissed off as he was, something seemed….. off. I couldn’t figure what it was but didn’t really think on it for he rushed towards me and we were busy deflecting each others blows once again. Tocharaeh was lost in his hate, seeing as I had only a dagger, was much more difficult to deflect his sword, and once again, I had a few more scars to add to my collection. Dodging and weaving between blows, Jason just sat there, amused beyond belief at what transpired before him. I could never understand why he found the fighting between Tocharaeh and myself so amusing and never really put much thought into it. As I stole another glance at Jason, he made a gesture towards the dagger he gave me and flicked his wrist. Taking the hint for what it was worth, I pull away from Tocharaeh for a split second and flicked the dagger in my hand to find it extended into a longsword.
Glad that I am able to fght on equal terms now, I rush in at Tocharaeh at press as much as I could to gain an advantage. Tocharaeh’s hate still remained, but he seemed worried about something, but he still concentrated on the fight at hand. My thoughts went back to what brought the hate into the fight, he was enraged about the Owl I nearly killed, and also Jason had mentioned the Owl, knowing full well that it would enrage him more but I was desperate for an advantage. Shouting over the clamor of the swords connecting, I began to taunt him, “I’m almost sure I cut off that Owls leg when my dagger struck it, did you see?” Tocharaeh faltered but not by much and seemed even more enraged then before. But I didn’t stop.
“That owl will make a good trophy for my quarters, I think I will finish the wounded beast off later.”
That enraged him further, but this time his blows became somewhat clumsy and easy to deflect, That’s all the advantage I needed. I pressed my attacks as hard as I could until finally I disarmed him and swept his legs out from under him forcing him unto his back and under my blade.
Standing there, the tip of my blade resting on Tocharaeh’s throat, time seemed to have simply stopped, Tocharaeh’s hate overwhelming, bloodlust completely enveloped him. Don Jason got up from his chair, quicker then I’ve ever seen him move, and grabbed my wrist, moving the sword from Tocharaeh’s throat. Tocharaeh slowly got up and glared at me. Without speaking, he turned and stalked into the woods. Jason let go of my wrist then without noticed, his fist connected with my head and I was sent flying, literally.
He stood over me, and with his enraged voice, he said simply,” Never taunt him like that again or you will surely die.” and walked towards the Hall. I know not what importance was held for the Owl, but I was sure to never ask nor speak about it again.
A week passed by since the dual, I continued my duties as normal, whether it be moving products or carrying out a hit assigned to me before I was summoned by Don Jason.
Walking towards his office, I could not help but worry that I would be punished for what I had done a week before, he seemed pissed off at what had transpired but that was the way of things to gain an advantage in a fight to the death. I arrived at his Office and announced myself and was bade enterance. A few minutes went by, then an hour, before I was told to enter.
Don Jason sat at his desk, a quill in hand writing something down, possibly another tax dodge plan. Don Tocharaeh at his side, a sneer showed itself on his features but not directed entirely at me, but I’m almost sure it was for me. I stood at the foot of the desk for what seemed like another hour before Don Jason set down the quill and looks at me. I met his hard stare before speaking, ”You commanded my presence.”
He continues to stare at me before responding, ”Yes, and for good reason. Now that you have mastered the way of the sword as a Warrior, I figured it would be time to make a change of pace and have you start training in the Art of an Assassin, this way you could be more useful when we have a mark to make instead of peddling products.” I was overwhelmed, “I had just completed training, yet you want me to train once again!? What insult is this!” Knowing I had spoken out of turn, I expected Tocharaeh to lash out for my disrespect, but he simply turned towards me and said, “Reason being is because of the small training you received from a certain Assassin about 2weeks ago when you wandered the Rifts.” I had told noone of the Assassin, so how did they kow? “Yes, we know about him, actually, he was a Member before he retired. A very skilled person, and believe me, your lucky to have received a lesson from him. He knew who you were form the start, that’s why he dueled you, and offered you a lesson that might help you.. But, you won’t train with him, you will be training with……..” Tocharaeh completed the sentence, a devious smile dominating his features, “Me.”
The only thought that came to my mind was “Oh dear god, not again!” but instead of voicing my thoughts, all I could do was groan, already I could feel more pain on my body. Don Jason and Don Tocharaeh just snickering, as if an unknown joke just passed between them without my notice.. “We begin your training again in 2weeks, rest yourself until then, but not to much or you’ll become lazy and I’ll end up killing you.” It was no idle threat.
Training began as was instructed, my skills as an Assassin have progressed, but I was no expert. The words ‘Concentrate” was literally beaten into my body for every one of my failings. On a daily basis I was trained with merely a dagger, and almost every other day I was given a task to remove a nuisance from Sicilian Territory. These tasks were used to gain a perspective as to how much I am improving and given a lecture as to what I did wrong and what I should have done. Examining every possibility before striking should always be done. Places to hide, sneak through, and timing. Key elements for a successful hit without leaving a single witness. I paid as much attention as possible to the lectures I received, taking it all word for word I quickly improved when carrying out my hits as ordered. Years has gone by and I was almost equally good as an Assassin as I was a Warrior, but only time will tell, one never knows when oneself could be tested to the fullest so I hold no hopes of mastering my skills. As much as I had shown hate for having to train once again but in a different way of fighting, I rather enjoyed the change of pace. 22years have I been training as an Assassin and being able to be of more use to the Family that took me in so many years ago was the best way I could find to repay the un-shown kindness that I had received or I would probably have been found dead those years before. My skills of course need improvement in many ways, so I continued on as usual, but with more of a goal now then a necessity. I was intent on proving myself more then anything for I have done nothing to show my devotion. Without being instructed, I ran through many of the files that held targets that were attempting to impede on Sicilian Territory and went on to recovering such annoyances. I was careful to not show a pattern but a pattern would show nonetheless, I chose a target at random and killed one every 2weeks, until more then half the file box was empty of such targets. Whether it be from another Family or a small time dealer refusing to pay the Family for dealing in our Territory. Most of the Police force were bought off, but there was always a small faction that could not be bought. The unspoken rule was never to kill Policemen, for they could eventually be bought, so naturally I left them alone, but the thought of it brought a smile to me as I imagine ways of killing those who would endanger the Family. My skills have continued to improve, but I still had much to learn. I am 91years old now, mere teenage years for my Race, and already I have taken a turn that a normal Elf, aside from a Drow, would never take. Had I been able to finally discover my Homeworld of Aber-Toril and my Family again, they no doubt would have ostracized me for the evil I have done.
To this day, I continue my search for Aber-Toril but so far, have had no luck. I have explored many Worlds but Toril still remains beyond my grasp. I somehow get the feeling that Tocharaeh knows how to get there, or maybe even Jason, but none have let on they do or have expressed any thoughts on it and I haven’t really thought to ask and probably may never because for some reason....................
.........I almost fear returning home.