The wharf side tavern was like so many others – dirty, dusty, dark and a spectacular combination of sea and human stink, but knowing my purse was almost empty as my stomach, this looked like a good place to start.
I actually made it through most of the stew (which was surprisingly good and filling) and bread before finally over hearing the server talking with a patron about the missing people and how she’s afraid of walking home at nights alone. He is not taking the bait, perhaps he just doesn’t like women because she’s not that bad to look at. A little plain but why would you make yourself pretty in this kind of a place? I chuckle to myself as I finish my food. He may not have taken the bait, but I will.
Once the place starts clearing out, I leave, meld with the shadows and climb up on top of the tavern. The walls are rough and uneven, so it is not even a challenge to find finger and toes holds as I scurry up and flip myself over the top. Whisper quiet, I follow along the on the roofs, staying in shadows and out of the moonlight as I watch the server get home.
I start prowling about, looking for other possible victims. It does not take long for me to find them. At least this girl had the good sense to scream FIRE instead of help. People don’t help, but they will work together to put out fires.
I follow them through a few alleys, they’ve knocked the poor girl out so she isn't struggling or screaming anymore. Finally, they knock, rata, ratata, tatat, on a door. A section slides open and back, and the door opens. It's a small looking building, so I look around the front to see what I am dealing with.
The crude sign on the door for “doctor” tells me enough. I’ve seen butchers like this before, and even if I don’t make any money on this one, knowing I stopped some evil from continuing will be payment enough.
I see some patron go in the door, holding a bandage to his side. Knife fight is my guess. I wait a few minutes, drop down and enter. The room is full of people in various stages of hurt and bleeding. The smell is.. Disgusting with a tinge of bleach. Someone at least tried to make the room smell better. There is a counter and a door behind it, guarded by two ruffians.
I sneer at them, and walk over to stand in front of them. I glare at them as they posture at me, stating to sit down and wait or else.
“I choose else.” I say as I unlock my Chakram into 2 bladed weapons and swipe at the left one's head. He rears back, leaving me his exposed soft stomach for my follow-up slash. He buddy shouts something and tries to hit me, I guess these guys are a bit out of practice. I easily dodge out of his clumsy strikes, but the first guy (Cecil) nails me good with his sword. My ears ring a little bit from it and I shake my head for a moment before I slash his stomach open, his guts start to fall out and he bends over so I whack him on the back of the head to help the process along. The other guy really gets going, but his anger and adrenaline make him clumsy and easy to dodge. He is quickly dispatched, I turn around and see that the occupants have all left. Good for them, they can get better help elsewhere.
I clean off my blades and connect them back into my Chakram and hang it on my belt.
Using the utmost care I open the door they were guarding, it's a hallway, one door on the left, 2 on the right. I quietly move towards the door on the left and peek through the keyhole, it looks like a sitting room. Well lit, fire going, decent looking couch. Not what I expected at all. As I turn I see shadows in the light from the far right door. I most quietly to it but I don't hear anything. All I smell is blood, so that's not a help, nor a surprise really. The door opens in, so I cannot oil the hinges before entering, I push it open slowly hoping for the best. If the doctor had not been reaching for something, she probably would not have seen me.
She sighed, as if this happens often? She mumbles something about “goodie two shoes” and I correct her, “The term you are looking for is HERO. Thanks!” as I separate my Chakram into the two melee weapons. I aim for her face and her chest. Scoring decent hits on them. She moves towards me at an angle and then JUMPS over me to land on my other side. That is a good move, I will have to practice that. She attacks with her scalpel but doesn’t do much damage. Another quick strike strike and she crumples to the floor, her neck severed.
The person on the table comes at me now, she had a cloth up on her face. Was she getting a new face?! That’s disgusting. And where did she get a sickle? She strikes at me and scores a hit, now I am mad. I slash her face and my blade snags the cloth, revealing the loose skin and hanging face of someone else. Under is all red and moist, but moist what I would expect from muscle tissue. My second hand strike connects and she steps back, but swings again. She’s a little off balance though so I strike out and slash across her stomach, she bends over and one good whack on top and she's done.
I clean off my blades, connect them and search them. Nothing much to note, a few pieces of paper with writing on them a couple of coins, enough for a good meal at any rate.
I step back out into the hallway and quietly peek through the keyhole to the remaining room. My blood starts to boil at the cages with people in them. I open the door and look around, seeing one of the older looking woman tied to a pole, blindfolded, arms pinned and restrained behind her. I step forward towards her “No, please. Release the others first.” Startled i stop and look at her. She’s blindfolded, but not blinded, Interesting. “No really, I am fine, just let them go first.” I nod and taking the keys off the wall near the door I proceed to open the cages and let the girls out, they run and scatter like the wind. “Thank you, now please, if you would remove this talisman from my neck.” I look at her neck and see one of the ugliest carving I have ever seen, how many arms did that create have? I take out a small dagger and slip it along her neck, with a quick motion the leather cuts and falls free. She shakes her shoulders and the necklace falls to the floor, then she transforms into a lynx, the bonds and blindfold falling away, and back to her human shape. “She stretches her arms and hands, “That feels better”.
“Glad to be of assistance.” I say as I smile at her.
“I was once the slave of an evil druid, but after many escape attempts he finally sold me and I ended up here.”
“And you’re a druid too?”
She smiles, “You could say that.”
I nod and leave the room, opening the door to the sitting room I start searching through the closets and cupboards. I find a case of wine, not great but not crap either, and a decent stash of cash in a safe. The woman watches me, casually leaning against the door frame.
“Was this a burglary gone bad, or did you come here for a reason?”
“For a reason, heard people had been disappearing, thought I’d look into it.” I shake the full purse at her. “Care to join me for dinner?”