The “ENOUGH!” Marlane threw the rolling pin with famous accuracy. “I am tired of hearing about the exploits of this silly man. Can you not come up with anything more entertaining? Day and night I hear of how you once met the Grey Devil himself.”
Reneld rubbed his quickly balding head, and snatched the sizzling plate of sausages from where his wife had lain them. He wandered out of the kitchen, rubbing his head and thinking about how nice it would be to not have to duck everytime he told one of favorite stories. He threw the plate down in front of his only customer and held out his hands.
“Eight silver for the plate, if you please sir.” He didn’t even bother to look at the man as the coins clinked into his palm, his attention was still on his wife’s deadly accuracy, and his sincere hopes that a knife was never as handy as the rolling pin. Reneld strode away to the kitchen, still rubbing his aching head and left his customer to his plate. The customer looked at his plate and had no appetite any longer. The sausages had been badly burnt on the bottom, had been made with sub-standard meat and were swimming in fatty grease. Pushing the plate out of his way, the man sat back in his chair, stroking his long mustache.
He remebered when a man could eat a decent meal without being fleeced and handed terrible food. He remembered when he could have bought a good plate of sausages for a few coin and filled his stomach. He frowned at the plate again and glanced about him.
The inn was in terrible condition. The hay on the floor had not been changed in weeks, and was beginning to rot, the tapestries on the walls were threadbare and dirty, the windows were caked with grime, the rugs were infested with lice and fleas, and most sacrilegious (to his mind), the fireplace was crumbling into ruin.
The man removed his cloak and tossed it carefully into a corner. The sword that hung at his side glittered brightly in the poor lighting, it’s gems glinting briliantly. THe dagger that graced his other hip lay comfortably in a quick-draw sheath, ready to be thrown at a moments notice. He smoothed back his graying hair and took eleven finely crafted daggers from a pouch at his side and stabbed them into the table before him, all in a row. From a worn backpack he carefully took an assortment of wands and potions and laid them in front of him. Last he took a worn piece of silk from where it hung on his belt. He rolled it over in it’s hands, and unfolded it carefully. It was a full face mask, it’s silk well worn from use and well cared for. He placed it on his face and sighed as the familiar feeling of the change took him.
His skin turned a dark grey, his ears grew longer and pointed, his eyes glowed a deep red, his teeth elongated and grew sharp. Claws grew from his hands and his voice deepened. He chuckled as he remembered what he had done in the mask he wore now.
He had stolen from merchants, raided caravans, eluded hundreds of Guards, robbed nearly every store in the Queen’s City, pick-pocketed priests, nailed rats to the doors of Justice members, burned down the winewarehouse, filled the Temple with snakes, and even once dared to break into the Queen’s bed-chambers and leave a grey rose on her pillow. He sighed as he realized that his prime had come and gone. His name was made and continuing on at his age would only get him caught. His reputation was made, and would outlive him by scores of years, and he was content with that. He chuckled again at the irony of what he was about to do. With a throaty yell, he called the innkeeper and his wife into the common room. With a start, the innkeeper peeked into the room.
“Come out of there, both of you, or I shall kill you both where you stand.” The innkeeper grabbed his wife’s arm and yanked her into common room.
“I am the Grey Devil and both of you are to leave this City. If ever you return, I will haunt your dreams, steal your lives and cast you into the Abyss. Do not doubt my desire.”
With a whimper, the two dashed from the room, and he watched them flee into the night. With a smile he replaced the weapons in their pouches, returned the wands and potions to their backpack and retrieved his cloak. Lastly he removed the mask, feeling himself return to his true form. Again he rolled the mask in his hands, feeling it’s silkiness and imagined what stories the mask would tell if it had a tongue. He laid the mask on the mantle of the fireplace and strode behind the bar.
He glanced around himself, and ran a finger across the bar, scattering the dust. The door suddenly banged open and a warrior entered. His cloak was torn, his armor dented, his face well tanned and scarred. He slapped down a silver on the bar.
“One brew bartender.” The man pulled a large brew from a keg beneath the bar and set it in front of the man.
“Please call me Selama,” he said with a grin.
No related posts.