In this episode, Malric launches a bold assault on the temple of Thulos.
Malric bit his tongue to shut out the memory. It terrified him and filled him with rage because the Guild had refused to believe his story, refused to believe because they had planned his death from the start of that job.
Malric’s thoughts of vengeance were disturbed by approaching horsemen. He quickly disengaged himself from the thicket, silent and dark like a piece of the night itself. He lowered himself into the tall grass and waited.
The rider was wrapped in an emerald cloak that seemed to swallow his gaunt frame. He bridled his powerful gray warhorse to a post near the southern portal. Malric crawled forward to make sure he was within earshot. A sentry stepped out of the darkened alcove of the southern portal and confronted the rider. The rider held his arms towards the sky in supplication and cried, “He will rise again!”
“Aye, and make his servants Lords and Keepers of the Land!” replied the sentry.
The two figures then disappeared into the darkness of the temple. Malric crawled back to the thicket on his belly. His mare snorted at his approach.
Malric rose and put his palm against the mare’s head until she was silent. Malric removed his tools and two throwing daggers from the saddlebag. He ran a hand along the outside of his right boot and felt the reassuring shape of Sliver within.
What he was about to do went against all of the rules of engagement he had learned as a thief. He was slightly nervous, and he accidentally let the buckles of the saddlebag fall against one another. It was a subtle noise, but Malric removed a dagger from his waist all the same. Finally, after several moments of utter stillness, he sheathed the blade.
Malric shook off his doubts and mounted his steed. He moved off at a slow canter towards the town, careful to stay within the thicket’s perimeter. As soon as the shrine had disappeared into the velveteen background of the night he moved out of the thicket and once more rode towards the Temple of Thulos.
Striking the mare with his boots, he slid low into the saddle as it broke into a full gallop. He gripped a throwing dagger in one tense, sweaty palm and gritted his teeth as he struggled to stay horsed. The temple was just ahead.
Hearing the sentry unsheathe his blade, Malric pulled back hard on the reins, causing the mare to neigh and flail its forehooves. Malric shifted in the saddle and his dagger missed the sentry. Placing both hands on the hilt of his broadsword, the sentry prepared to strike. Malric watched in horror and struggled to fight the horse back.
A moment later a hoof crushed the sentry’s face, sending him crashing to the earth in a shower of armor. His hands trembling, Malric leapt from the saddle and finished the job by slitting the sentry’s throat.
To be continued…