Part Two

By: Adam Janus

Sarel and the druidess were quick to get between the angry dwarf and sneering human whose right hand never left the hilt of his sword. Kimba spoke angrily to Dev, "You too have blood on your hands, Dev Von Fritz. You too are an outlaw of the empire albeit for different reasons.” She turned to Khaz and apologized, gesturing for him to sit and to please excuse Dev's outburst. Glaring at the large human, Khaz righted his chair and sat heavily.

When she was sure everyone had cooled down, Kimba returned to her seat and continued. "You are both renowned warriors. Sarel’s stealthy talents as well as his kin’s knowledge of the dark arts could be invaluable," she was referring to the frost elves’ worship of dark gods and dabbling in the dark arts. "Khaz Axzen, your inherent subterranean dwarven senses and mastery of explosives could mean the difference between success and failure. I need you both".

"What's in it fer us and why wouldn't you just tip off the city guard about this Creed and his nasty little cult?" Asked the dwarf his face still flushed with anger at being called a thieving murderer.

"We have good information that leads us to believe that Dandyar Pharus, Governor of Isegoth and King Pharus' favored nephew, belongs to the cult of Hisseesha. And the corruption runs deep through the guards’ ranks. As for what’s in it for you besides ridding the world of a depraved, demon tainted madman who exacts tribute from his followers, I'm sure there's enough imperial gold to satisfy even two mercenaries like your selves," the druidess paused to let the information sink in.

"Before you agree, I must warn you that Primus Creed’s lair is well guarded," Kimba leaned forward on her elbows to make sure Sarel and Khaz where listening. "He has many hell spawned fiends in his employ not to mention his mindless followers and the magical and alchemy deterrents."

Khaz and Sarel just looked at each other and shrugged always up for adventure especially with the potential to line their pockets, the two mercenaries agreed.

"It's done then. You can meet Dev and I outside the gates to the old cemetery on the edge of the Twisted forest, south of Isegoth, at midnight two days hence. Now I suggest you two get some rest; dawn is almost upon us. And I don't think either of you wants to get caught within the city limits especially knowing what you know now. I bid you good night".

***Chapter three***

Khaz sat cross legged with his back resting on the rear wall of the cave he and the frost elf, Sarel, had called home this past winter.

After carefully mixing the volatile ingredients of his explosive flash powder, the dwarf poured measured amounts in small, hollow, perforated steel arrow heads usually used by assassins for poison. He then fitted a wooden quarrel with small pieces of flint embedded in it, in the arrow head’s sleeve, leaving about a thumb's width of space between the flint and the sleeve. Shot from a small, one handed crossbow, the small, sharp dart didn't look like it would be more than an annoyance. But upon impact the shaft would slide the rest of the way into the arrow. The embedded flint would strike the steel of the sleeve causing a spark and igniting the black, sulfurous smelling flash powder. The ensuing, small explosion would leave a gaping, shrapnel-filled wound in the unfortunate target.

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About the Author

Adam Janus lives in the Pocono Mountains of northeast P.A., with his wife and three kids. He has been writing for several years, but only recently began to submit his work for publication. His work has appeared in a number of small press and semipro venues, and he has been a staff writer for "The Silven Trumpeter" gaming magazine for almost three years. When not writing, Adam can frequently be found carving walking sticks, reading, watching Yankee baseball...or changing diapers.

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