Thule Season 2: Prologue
Arcandur has discovered the existence of an item that would allow him to be undetectable by anyone. It would allow him to sleep again. It would allow him to dream again. The Amulet of Asura itself. He has also discovered that a map to its location exists.
After months of searching he tracks down the last known location of the map: Ikath. He delves further and using sorcerous magics he finds out that a man named Fakalt Hernath has a map to the amulet’s location. He cannot find the location of the Amulet itself due to its properties - it is undetectable.
Upon heading to the house of Fakalt Hernath he finds a snake drawn across the door in red paint. Chosen by Set. The man has been prayed upon by the Set priests. The Set priests have instilled in the people a belief that the man’s family would be blessed by this, but too often the people who are killed have no family and all their belongings end up going to the Church. Arcandur enters the house and finds it empty. It seems that the priests or his relatives have cleared it out already.
The book hums in his pocket. He opens it. He sees the familiar face of Captain Jorthra just before a knife is sliced across his throat. A knife with a symbol of a snake's forked tongue on the hilt. The books pages then turn. Now he sees the map rolled up upon a table, lying next to a knife that is nearly identical to the one that killed Jorthra and a giant red ruby. It seems that the man that was hunting Mahin has friends, what Arcandur is looking for and something that could entice Mahin as well...
It is evening. Mahin has been awake now for three hours. She has finally adjusted back to her old nocturnal life. She walks through the souk her hood up. She knows that there is still a bounty out on her but for the life of her she cannot seem to find a lead on who has set it. She is good at lying low though. She has done it before. Her hunt continues. Someone will slip up.
She stops by the old fruit seller. He looks her up and down with interest.
“You look like a lady who knows your fruit. How about some of these grapes that were shipped in this morning from Quodeth?” he asks her.
She glances down at them. Grabs one and tastes it. Crunchy. She glances back at him about to reply but the man has gone rigid. Frozen in place. His eyes have gone glassy and his gaze is elsewhere. Then he smiles.
“I think I have a lead on your man”, he says in a disembodied voice. “Come meet me at the Serpent Head Inn.”
“Looks like I scored some free grapes”, she says wryly as she takes the best bunch she can see. “Is that you Atlantean?”
"Yes thief. Be more cautious, I found you too easily and you are being hunted".
Alena puts down the overly sweet elven wine. The room around her is stuffy even with the breeze coming through the woven wood floor. She can hear the sounds of the jungle outside but she feels stifled.
“Why don’t they have any rum in this place?”, she asks herself. “No. It’s the human ways that made you weak Alena. You need to stop. You need to stop. This is why they are making you leave.”
She glances down at the letter on the desk. Who even knew how to find her here? All the elves are… that thought trails off. She can’t afford to think of that anymore. She had gotten herself in enough trouble with booze and those thoughts. Her hand subconsciously goes to her bruised face.
She picks up the letter and in one motion withdraws her knife and opens the top of the letter, sheathing it again afterwards. Her hand barely shaking from the anxiety growing in her stomach.
Alena, I hope this letter finds you well. I have managed to find a lead on someone who dispatched a mutual friend of ours on a dock in Marg. I was hoping you might be able to assist with some further investigations. If you can meet me at Ikath in the Serpent Head Inn on the 15th of Kislon I am confident that we can together find the ones responsible, get rid of the prize that is upon my head and perhaps even make a tidy profit. Also, please keep this date and location a secret. I would not want any others discovering my whereabouts. Yours faithfully, Mahin
The knot in Alena’s stomach relaxes. Mahin you are an Angel. This was just what she was seeking: An escape.
Alena readies her pack and quietly and stealthy slips out the window.
Kar walks his rounds for the day. The temple is quiet. Lots of training. Lots of trying to read. Well its mostly always quiet around here. Except when its not.
“It's not my fault they come looking for me. I have to defend myself.” he mutters to himself stubbornly. Then he shakes his head in resignation. “No. They are right. I must leave. The temple needs serenity. It needs peace. And at the moment it can't be with me around. I will return when I am but a shadow in the people's memories. When Kar the Killer is forgotten.”
He hated that name. He wasn't really a killer. He only did what he had to to survive. They had called him that name. It was his title and, unfortunately, his fame.
His mind’s meanderings continued along with his walking. He was much better suited to training days. The repetition of The Fight kept him at peace. He could bury those old memories. On guard days it was just him alone with his thoughts.
It was then his superior Melanor approached. Kar stopped and bowed respectfully.
“Brother Kar. A message has arrived for you.” says Melanor. “Would you like me to help you to read it?”
“Thank you for the offer sir but I think I will attempt it myself first”, Kar replies.
“Kar” he read aloud.
He knew that word. It was the first one he had learnt.
“Come to Eee-ka-ch and meet us.” Kar continued.
“I think he means Ikath, Kar”, Melanor commented.
“I need help. I can't… ex… explain in a letter. Too danger. We could use a good fighter.”
“Well done Kar. You are really starting to get the hang of it now. This sounds like a friend in need! Perhaps you could better serve the temple and Mithra by having a bit of a sabbatical!” His superior's eagerness was a little disheartening.
Kar read the date and location nearly by himself.
“Can you help with this last word?” asked Kar.
“It says simply ‘Mahin’”