Prologue: Omens There once was a mythology of gods and goddesses who selfish with their magic. Their parents forever cursed them to only use their gifts for selflessness and honesty. But one child turned against her parents and she was the most powerful and destructive of all. She escaped their curse and exiled herself to the Underworld where she continues to torture those many souls who enter her domain. The Titan Oracle foretold of a descendant born of the Light and raised of the Dark who would restore order to the throne of earth and the heavens.
With her powers of foresight, came her prophecy; Through the gate of Oracle’s Arc There, will the descendant of the Light and the Dark Raise the bow and take its mark. If Soul is Pure and if aim be True, Will reign be forged once anew. Chapter One: Sarah She is still. The moonlight sparkles off the wet cobble stones. With the dark hood casting shadows upon her face, passerby will have to strain to catch a glimpse of someone who might or might not be wholly there. Only the glint of the quiver upon her shoulder and the ivory bow in her hand confirm she is real, and not a figment of one’s imagery.
She had been staking out a tavern in the slums for over an hour, and her patience is wearing thin. But just like a mountain cat, she awaits the moment to spring. She would not return empty handed, again. Sarah stalks down the long opulent hallway of red carpet and velvet drapery, with a sack in her hand, hood thrown back, and a hard scowl on her face. Her long chocolate, wavy hair is pulled into a single braid and tucked into her cloak, and her weapons strapped to her back. She approaches a sentry posted outside her select door, and he makes a move to stop her. “He does not wish to be disturbed. Especially at this hour. The guard has a hand on the pommel of his sword, a warning. Sarah raises and eyebrow with a smirk. He is not a threat to her, and most people know not to get in her way. This man is not making the best of choices at this minute. “He will see me. He will hear what I have to say. ” She takes another step, and the guard draws his sword.
Within the space of a moment, he has collapsed to the floor, his blood staining the carpeting. “Tsk, tsk,” she clicked her tongue. “What a pity. To bad they’ll have to replace it. It was such a good color too. ” With that, she stepped over his body and the stained rug, and entered the room behind. Slamming the door purposefully behind her, she deftly side steps the knife that sticks in the door where her head would have been. “You really need to stop doing that, Nikos,” She hisses. “You really need to stop showing up in the middle of the night. ” “If you are alert enough to accurately throw a dagger at my head, then you could have waited up. ” “I didn’t feel like being disappointed this time,” he quip. “Well, I didn’t this time,” Sarah thrust the sack towards him. It hit the floor at his feet with a hollow thump.
Nikos inspects its contents before chucking the sack into the open fire. “That is all I get for my efforts? She asks in a grumble. “Would you rather keep the head? ” “You know what I mean, Nikos. ” “Yes. Yes I do,” he replies. “Your payment is in your rooms already. I figured you wouldn’t let me down twice. ” “If that is all… ” “That’s all,” he says with a dismissive wave. She bristled with annoyance. Then turning on her heels, Sarah sweeps soundlessly out of the room. *** As a child he had always been one to cut up small mammals just to see their bodies twitch and watch their blood spill from carefully placed cuts. It had delighted him to see them foam at their mouths, and their tiny entrails slip onto the ground.
Then he leave the rotting bodies in places like the guards’ barracks and the chambers of visiting dignitaries and nobles. When he was especially bored, he would attend executions and whippings where he would erupt with blood-curdling laughter. Now a days he would be the one carrying out the executions personally, where afterward he would toast with their blood. As of now, he is ruthless, but he is the sole heir to the throne and he was coming of age. Rumor has it that the Crowned Prince is possessed by a devil’s spirit from the Underworld and that he would one day take the throne of man by force so Gomos could rule.
Others say he is the bastard son, and that he beheaded the real heir. Why he wasn’t removed from the royal lineage, no one knows, but in this world, where the Gods are real, the rumors are too, and at his coming of age ceremony, he was given the name Lazithis, with the meaning ‘Hellfire’. *** Her own chambers are comprised of four rooms, and at this moment, as she discards her weapons on the table in the dining quarters, makes her way into her bathing chambers. After several days in the slums, she desperately needed a bathe. Moonlight filters in through the tall glass windows that replace the stone walls.
Sarah surveys the array of tonics lined at the edge of the tub, and chooses one at random, knowing that she would most likely regret it in the morning, but fatigue is overcoming her, and she could not care less at this moment. Scrubbing the tonic from her hair, she climbs from the tub, and dries the water from her body. Wrapping her elaborately stitched emerald green robe around herself, she promptly fell onto her bed, and slept. ~ When morning light breaks through the sheer curtains in her bedroom, Sarah is still sprawled atop the comforter and plush pillows.
Then comes a hurried knock on her chamber door. At first she ignores it, but it only becomes more rushed and urgent. Grumbling, she melts off the bed. Shuffling to the door, her throws it wide, and stares in irritation at the boy behind it. His eyes widen at her expression, and he quickly apologizes. “I am sorry for disturbing you, Ma’am, but this message came for early this morn’ and Master Nikos said not to–” “What is it? ” She growls. Biting his lip, the boy hands over the snowy crisp, paper. With that, the boy gives a sharp bow, and takes off down the hall.
Sighing through her nose, Sarah swings the door shut and returns to her bed. There, she examines the paper. It is a letter, with a stamped seal depicting the royal crest. Her eyes stretch with surprise. Hurriedly, Sarah breaks the seal and unfolds the letter. The message is brief. ‘Dear Assassin,’ it read, ‘I request your presence at the palace before noon today, the second sunrise of the first month of Laitia. ‘ Noon. She still had a good two hours until noon, but with all of the factors at play currently, she would have to leave within the next five minutes. “By the might of Augnis,” She breathed.
She had never been summoned to the palace before now, and she didn’t even know who from the palace was asking. Crossing the room in two bounds, Sarah tripped through the closet curtain and hit the ground. Rubbing her shoulder, she stood, and surveyed the racks upon racks of clothing. Flipping through hangers of dresses and tunics that would put royals to shame, she pulled out a dark green velvet tunic trimmed in black fur and matching black tights. Pulling on thigh high leather boots, Sarah carefully concealed two long blades at her calves. Sarah slung her quiver of arrows across her back, and fastened her cloak around her shoulders.
Her arrows are made from the yew tree with feathers from the Red Phoenix and polished obsidian heads. With her arrows was her amazing bow also made of yew, but what made it unique was all down the front, it was imbedded with polished ivory imported from the desert continent. Of course all of her weapons were of the highest quality. At her belt it was a leather pouch of assorted knickknacks that she always carried with her. Among the items were a variety of deadly poisons and lockpicks. Finally Sarah clipped her sword at her hip and left a her room. ~ The city streets were crowded with merchants and their vendors.
Market Day attracted people from across the country with its exotic merchandise imported from the furthest reaches of the distant continents. Sarah passed several merchants who had laid their goods on woven rugs atop the cobblestones, and gilded carriages trapped by the continuous flow of bodies. A group of nobles up ahead had gotten fed up enough that they disembarked from their coach and began pushing through the crowd. One-a man- shoved an elderly woman carrying a threadbare bag of produce, and she staggered, collapsing to the ground with a moan. Sarah lunged forward as the woman fell, and caught her.
The bag split open, and its contents spilled across the stones. Carefully, Sarah eased the elder to her feet, and placed gnarled cane back into her hand. The woman gave her a grateful smile, and patted her cheek. Sarah smiled in return, and whirled around. The noble was still unsuccessfully trying to thrust his way through the knot of market goers. “Hey! ” Sarah bellowed. Many turned to glanced at her, saw who she was, and hurried on their ways. The nobles however payed her no heed. She approached the noble and jerked him to face her. “I said, hey. I’m talking to you. ” He looked at her in disgust.
Addressing his companions, he laughed. “Look here. This street rat is talking to me. ” They howled with laughter. Ignoring his comment, she hissed, “You’re going to watch where you’re walking, Lordling. ” “You are going to watch what you say, street rat. You do not give orders to me. ” He pushes her away at her shoulder. Before he turned away, she palmed her periwinkle and ivory dagger. She held it against his unmarred neck. “I said that I was talking to you,” She breathed, coldly. Calmly. The kind of tone that would make an adult man soil himself. Guards who were accompanying them drew their swords. “I wouldn’t do that.
If you had known this, I think you wouldn’t have ignored me. ” “And what is it we don’t know? ” The noble’s breath hitched. “That you have just crossed the path of a now very angry and bored assassin. I don’t think you are in a position to do anything about it. ” The guards sheathed their weapons. “What do you want, Assassin? ” The noble growled. His voice shook slightly. “You will more conscious of your surroundings. You and your friends here could have hurt someone with your shoving. One day you won’t have people guarding your back, and one day you’ll shove into the wrong person, and one day you won’t be so lucky.
So this is your second chance, Lordling. This goes for your friends too. ” She pulled back, her dagger leaving a thin scar across his throat. Sarah sheathed her dagger, and turned, her cloak whipping behind her as she made her way back to the old woman, who was trying to collect her fallen produce. “Here,” she placed a small pouch into the woman’s withered hand. “for something better. ” With that, she left the elder, and continued her path to the palace. Sparing a glance over her shoulder, she watched the woman’s eyes widen at the fifteen gold coins in the poach, and the noble who stared after.
Chapter Two: Dearest Assassin The gates of Orion Palace swung silently open as Sarah strode towards them. A young man wait on the other side. He was dressed in a black leather and stitched doublet, with the royal crest pinned above his heart. At his side was an elegant broadsword with the pommel of a phoenix. “Good day, Captain,” She said as way of greeting. He nods assent. “It is nice to see you too Sarah. It has been too long. You look well. ” “You’ve looked better,” She grunted. He chuckled, and he escorted her up the palace steps and down the halls to the throne room.