Jacob Landry's Blog
Nightmares
That night Diero’s sleep was restless. He tossed and turned as The Butcher’s face, broken with sorrow, flickered into and out of his memory. ‘How could he?!’ he had wailed, clutching his daughters body and rocking back and forth. ‘What could I possibly have done to offend him? I’ve been nothing but obedient!’ The following morning Diero woke early and prepared himself for a long day. With whatever feud his mentor and the Butcher were having out of the way, there were far more pressing issues to deal with. A few wandering adventurers had been gathering in the inn Diero stayed at lately and rumors had it they were planning to form together to attempt to run a few small districts in the city. Diero had been sent as an envoy to see if they would serve his mentor like the other groups in the city did and they resisted, they were the next order of business.

“Rogue!” The innkeeper boomed from down the hall. “Deal with this, now!” Diero rushed out of the room and into the hall. “I told you that you could stay here as long as you brought no trouble here! Deal with it or get out.” Diero eyed the man suspiciously, he hadn’t done anything or attracted any attention as far as he knew the night before, he always kept to the shadows. The innkeeper pointed down the stairs and Diero obliged, keeping his hand on his dagger and eyeing the innkeeper with an icy glare. The large man averted his gaze as Diero passed him, he didn’t much care for the rogue but gold was gold these days.

As he crept down the stairs silently, unsure of what was awaiting him a foul stench assaulted his nostrils. The tavern at the front of the inn had been completely redecorated overnight. Bodies hung limply over tables, chairs, and on the bar. One dangled precariously from one of the hanging lamps in the middle of the room. Red splatters and smears dotted the walls and the floors were slick with blood. A quick count turned up eight bodies as Diero counted and recounted. The man hanging from the lantern had small piece of parchment flittering in the wind attached to his belt. As the rogue grabbed it he read: ‘I am sorry. — The Butcher’.

“Curious…” Diero muttered to himself, pretending to be confused in case the innkeeper was watching. He pulled on the hanging man’s shoulder and spun the body slowly. He recognized the face immediately as a man everyone called “Pierce.” He was one of the adventurers attempting to form a gang here in town. He counted the bodies again, eight. Eight adventurers encroaching on his territory, eight bodies left to rot. It may have been messy but his mentor always got his way. Diero strolled out into the street, tucking the note into his pocket.

“Hey! Who’s going to clean this up?”

“Dunno. Sounds like a job for the innkeeper.” He continued down the street without turning back, the innkeeper cursed and threatened behind him but he knew better than to take it any further. He found the old man enjoying a hearty breakfast and an ale at his favorite tavern half a mile away. He always started his mornings as such, claiming that the best days come from the best parties. Diero handed the old man the note and quietly sat himself across from him at the small wooden table.

“Hah! I hope he didn’t make too much of a mess.”
“I’ll probably have to move.” The old man laughed at that remark, Diero’s face stayed stern, he wasn’t looking forward to the process.
“Alright, next order of business!” The man’s face cracked with a fearsome smile.
“Yes, sir, what will you have me do?” He wiped his mouth on his sleeve after finishing the rest of his ale and eyed the young rogue thoughtfully.
“You’ve learned to keep to the shadows, to pickpocket from the keenest of folks, and to sneak into a crowded room without so much as a peep.” Diero’s eyes narrowed, his mentor was not usually so forthcoming with compliments. “Today…today you’ve earned your first kill.”