Rescue Mission (southern belle, Xel, Andeh and Vane)
Kandred stood at the edge of a rusty Iron Gate, which served as an entrance to the small town of Nethoac. To prevent trespassers, the top of the gate and fence surrounding the town was covered in gleaming spikes. At the centre of the centre of the gate was the emblem of the town: a griffin and a gargoyle fighting for control.
“Who are you, and what is you business?” A guard questioned him.
“I’ve come for the job of rescuing the Mayor’s son; I saw the advertisement in the last town.”
“I’m sorry, but I’ll have to see papers.”
“Papers? Why should one need papers to get into an old town?” Kandred stepped past the guard and began to open the gate.
In response, the guard quickly jumped at Kandred, drawing a Glacius and raising it under Kandred’s chin. He spoke gruffly, “I cannot let you do that, sir. Not without papers.”
“That was an unwise decision, David.” A wry smile spread across Kandred’s face, his hands rubbing together behind his back.
“How’d you know my name?”
And then there was a loud crackling noise, like lightning and thunder, a scream, and a clang as the copper-clad guard fell to the ground. Kandred swung the gates open, striding in confidently.
“Who are you and what is your b— Arrgh!”
Kandred’s hand loosened around the man’s neck, and he lowered the body to the ground.
“I am pleased with you, Agrazdiel.”
“I don’t need your help, Drakduroth. I plan on simply saving the child, claim the reward, and buy myself a house. It needs to be done as quickly as possible, without drawing attention to myself, and killing whoever necessary to achieve my go—” Kandred doubled over, clutching his stomach. Veins on his head bludged, and some popped, sending trickles of blood down to his chin. Kandred gasped. “What’s…Happening?”
“You need to drink.”
“Water…” Kandred’s voice came out graspingly, ragged and smoky like his Dæmon’s.
“Not water, fool. Blood…”
Kandred forced himself upright, trying as hard as possible to fight the black craving that smothered his heart and mind.
“You must contend with the monster you’re feeding, Agrazdiel.”
“Leave me alone – I’m fine…” Kandred stumbled into the church of Nethoac, the place of the Mayor’s residence.
A servant dressed in a waistcoat of purple and gold walked up to him. “Do you wish to see the Mayor?”
“Yes, thankyou.” Kandred allowed himself to be lead by the servant into a large hall covered in paintings and stained-glass windows.
“I suppose you’re here for the rescue of Illerin, the Mayors son?”
“Yes, I am.”
The servant walked over to another, whispering in her ear, who ran off, disappearing behind a door.
“The Honourable Rellerin, Mayor of Nethoac!” Another servant shouted, his voice echoing throughout the hall. The Mayor Rellerin walked out of a door at the far end of the hall, a broad-shouldered, rope-muscled man wearing a bear-fur greatcoat, with a sword at his side.
Kandred and the servants kneeled in respect to the Mayor, who walked over to them. “You may stand. And who are you?” he asked, indicating to Kandred with his left hand.
“I am Kandred, or Agrazdiel. I’ve come to inquire about the rescue of Illerin.”
“Ahh, good. I see you will do well: you are of the warrior type, and smart too, I presume.”
“Well, I would’ve assumed you would do it yourself, being the strong, brave man that you are. But I guess that there are matters of court that need attending to by yourself.”
“Right you are, Agrazdiel.” This was the first time anyone had called him Agrazdiel other than Drakduroth. “He’s been kidnapped by a group of man covered by cloaks of black and gold, my son. You must rescue him.”
“And do you have any idea as to where he may be?”
“No, unfortunately. That is why the reward for finding and returning him is so large.”
“Sir!” A guard ran up to them, puffing and heaving. “Two of the guards have been killed!”
“They’ve struck again, those bastards!” the Mayor yelled, obviously outraged.
And a smile spread over Kandred’s face as he sped from the church and took to the skies.