Flashback Opposites Contract (Alexander)

Konrad has wind of a profit to be made, but needs a few extra hands to grasp it

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Opposites Contract (Alexander)

Postby Konrad Venger on February 6th, 2016, 2:00 am

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15th Bell - 14th Day of Spring, 512AV - The Seaside Market


The smoke from the Slums hadn't cleared yet. It couldn't hold a candle to the endless, belching hellpit of the Slag Heap, but it reeked of far different stenches. Waste and refuse, wood and cloth, used rubber and foulness, that was the Slag Heap. A chemical mix of trash and the simply unwanted. But the pall drifting over the city from Sunset Quarters was far different.

Konrad sniffed a little too sharply and the sight of that place was vivid and clear again from the smell he'd tried to leave behind. Charred wooden dwellings. Baked stone almost turned to slag. A perpetual sheen of dust you could never shake off nor swallow enough water to banish. Shit running down the gutters and bodies rotting under rubble.

The sellsword grimaced and spat. It helped a little. Focusing on whom he had to find helped even more.

"Still dunno why we need anuvver," Three Eyes said at his side, sulking like he'd been doing for the last half-bell. He scratched his bulbous, tattooed nose and kicked halfheartedly at a street kid waving a bowl under his nose. "Fuckov, brat! I mean, hones'ly, you an' me? We'll handle it, yeah? Fuck we need anuvver-"

"Because this is the best bit a' work we've got since that Riverside business-"

"Wadaya mean 'we'? You didnae invite me along f'that crack-"


Konrad stopped, and whirled, and Three Eyes felt his blood stop pumping. Most of it fled his face, actually. Something tall, scarred, black-swathed and presumably human glared back at him, the whine in his voice, the fucking presumption. He didn't even need to speak, just stand there, with the fishmongers and housewives bustling around them and studiously ignoring a potential daylight murder.

No, Konrad told himself calmly, he's still useful. For now.

"An' since youse were buried in a bag a' fuckin Rez so big you couldnae move for a week. Remember that?" Three Eyes felt a tremble in his hand and gripped the other one to still it. Konrad raging was one thing. Calm and low and hissing... that made his sphincter tighten. "An' from what we knowa' Duncan, he's got muscle enough for two a' us. This sword, though... he's gettin' somethin' of a reputation. An' he's cheap."

He turned back and strode onward, crowd parting in his way, either voluntarily or otherwise. The rubble of the Quarters was replaced by the throngs and aromas of the Seaside Market. Fish, shelled and scaled and otherwise, packed every vender, all the merchants hollering and shouting and doing a brisk trade. Konrad could tell at a glance there were far many more people than usual... and some of them in clothes filthier than usual.

"Just gotta find the bastard."

Three Eyes muttered something that Konrad chose to ignore, but not forget. Little cunt needed a lesson in manners when next it was convenient, but not today. They had a job to do. Handed off by one of the Big Brothers of the Daggerhands, with word that "the boss wants this handled sharpish".

Konrad didn't have to ask who "the boss" was. There was only one man a Big Brother would describe with that word, bloated piles of muscle and ego that they were. The only one they feared, maybe.

Musta' been happy with our... my work in Riverside, he thought, correcting himself as he went. Three Eyes had been a partner of his for a couple of years now, on and off. Sometimes they worked together and made big money; just as often, they worked solo. They knew they could rely on each other to not kill the other as long as a reward was coming, and that was as close as you came to camaraderie in Sunberth. But after his spectacular, drug-addled no-show last season, Konrad wasn't putting all his eggs in one stocky, unreliable basket.

"Oi? C'mere..."

The street kid froze, flinched and hunched like an alley cat hit by a stone. Konrad knew well the attitude: that had been him, gods, twenty years ago, and more. Suspicious by nature and virtue of the fact he was conscious, too-wide eyes flickering around in hunger and latent paranoia.

"Wh-Whadja want?"

"Lookin' for a bloke,"
Konrad said easily, producing three copper coins as if by magic. The street kids were like dogs; you keep them interested with coin, or food, or they bolted. The boy was rooted now, leaning forward without seeming to move his feet. "Wonder if you've seen 'im..."

Of course he'd say he had, but Konrad still described this new addition to the sellsword circles as well as he'd overhead in taverns and at The Establishment, the long-desiccated stone fountain in The Commons where many of his mercenary ilk went to find work. That had been his first stop; the Quarters had been the second.

"He lived in Sunset until, well, y'know."

"They burned down?"

"Or fell down. Whatever happened, he's gone. Thought he mighta' moved here, found lodgin's."

"An if I find 'im, whod'I say wuz lookin'?"


Konrad smiled, really put forth the effort into not looking like a gargoyle when he did so. The kid wasn't fooled, but he was still just a kid. He reached forward for the copper and Konrad let him feel that momentary cold, metal satisfaction on his fingers before-

-snapping his whole hand around the tiny, emaciated forearm of the kid. The coins went tumbling, skittering, rolling away and the rat could have wept with their loss-

-until Konrad shook him roughly and he looked again. Saw what Konrad was, honestly, truthfully, not making an effort to hide what he was.

"I wuz you, kid," Three Eyes said, knowing his role well enough. "I'd lissen t'this bit."

"Tell 'im Black Hat from the Reaches wants t'see him. Got a job. Something wet with a lotta shine. Youse tell him that, and you get these coppers... and a nice silver one t'go with 'em."


He let the rat go and the boy dropped like a stone in water, scrambling around to grab the precious coins, one after the other, hand closing around the third one-

-Konrad's boot stepped on his palm. Tears sprang into his eyes but he knew the big, scarred man wasn't even putting pressure on him. So did Konrad. He was bigger, he was stronger, and he knew how to hurt in ways the boy hadn't even had nightmares about yet. It was all about making a point.

"We got a deal?"

"Y-Yes!"

"Good. Wos'yer name?"

"D-Devin, sir."

"Good lad, Devin. Y'can find me at the Pig's Foot most days, or The Establishment, when y'find yer man and y'want yer silver. After you find the man, and after we do our business. Now, off you run. There's a good boy."


The boy didn't need to be told twice. Three Eyes snorted and patted his pockets for something snortable. He'd been too long without a good dose. Konrad, ever the forward thinker, pulled out a little wooden box and withdrew a short, fat taper of hemp and fibers. He lit it from a match and Three Eyes felt his mouth water as the thick, crispy, sense-crackling aroma of Temper washed over him in the breeze.

"So... So you think he'll, ah... do the job? Or just run?"

"Might do. Might not."
Konrad said, holding in the smoke as he pondered both possibilites, then shrugged. "He does, he makes some coin, we find our man. He doesn't, we lose half-a-handfulla' coppers, we find some other way, and I gut that kid in the street as a warning to the next smart little cunt."

Konrad turned and smiled. Theoretically. Three Eyes couldn't quite reconcile what came out of Konrad's mouth when he was buzzing on Temper. It sauntered from his puckered lips too easily, too airily. None of the menace, triple of cold, indifferent inhumanity.

"S'all a matter of taking opportunities, Eyes. The boy. The job. The man. S'what I've always thought, anyway..."

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Opposites Contract (Alexander)

Postby Alexander Faircroft on February 6th, 2016, 4:13 am

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Description "Alex Common" Alex thoughts "Myrian" "Fratava" "Others"

The slow trudge thought he morning streets of the city was something that Alex had never enjoyed, his father less so. Still there as a feeling of animosity between the pair of them. His father was always willing to take the less than savoury jobs just to get them by. Alex however tried his best at hunting and other more honest trades and clean lines of work. Little to no effect since the calamity that befell them on the first of spring when his father was out of town briefly Alex hadn’t quite felt the same. Only fifteen years of age and he’d already been through things people twice his age had yet to experience. He clenched his teeth looking around for something anything. His hand reached for the symbol of priskil at his neck as he did so.

“Alex. Keep those hidden. Nobody in this city would hesitate to take them off of you. If they thought they were worth a coin.” Alex nodded at his father’s words callous as they may have seemed they still had an air of sincerity to him. His father was a hard man and even swifter with a bow or a blade. Alex tucked behind him quietly not wanting to draw attention to himself. Using his father like a shield and a shroud. Hiding his intent and presence as best he could. His father was the complete opposite of Alex though where he had dirty blonde hair with jade green eyes and a smaller thinner frame. His father was a behemoth of a man standing at sixfeet four inches. Close cropped black hair with shockingly ice blue eyes. On his back rested a huge executioners sword which he not only knew how to use but he knew how to use it well.

Alex only had his bow, and an array of daggers most for throwing but one was there for the primary purpose of being his only line of defence. Comparatively between the two of them Alex was the better shot but up close Alex could not even hold a candle to his father. The two of them rounded a corner slowly. “Dad, what exactly is this job you’ve accepted to do today?” Alex asked him quietly softly almost like a ghost.

“Simply put I’m not sure. Simple job I was told working with a man named “Konrad” He knows what we gotta do so it’s on his orders.” His father’s voice powerful and imposing. In the year since his mother’s death Alex and his father had become very different people. Alex shifted from this loud and rowdy kid into a quiet and contemplative one. And Randall had become a much colder and harder individual.

Both stepped up to see someone holding up a kid and quite shockingly interrogating the life out of them. Alex literally watched the colour drain from his face. He wanted to go over and stop it but before he could he saw his father’s arm move. Clearly he’d sensed Alex’s intent and stopped him before he could.
“Konrad I presume?” Randall spoke with a much more learned tone. A simpler voice to him, he never presented himself as one to aggravate a situation, the sword on his back was almost always what did it for him. “Whose ya friend?” He shifted his piercing blue eyes to the one he’d heard called ‘eyes’. “Thought it was supposed to be just you and me?” Not mentioning Alex who’d tried to stay tucked into the shadows. “Anyway it don’t matter. Names Randall Kravenedge. The boy behind me is my son. Alex.” Seemingly appearing from the darkness Alex’s smaller form speared behind his father his hood raised and his eyes darting across the town. He was taking in the area. Noting what was around him. Tight alleys and simple terms of talk.

“Dad. I don’t like this.” He spoke softly and calmly and so quietly only his father heard it. Shrugging off the warning Randall smirked at Konrad and his compatriot. “Shall we get down to business then? What’s the job?” Curt and to the point if a little blunt. He needed to know what the job was and whether or not it was worth the money.


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Opposites Contract (Alexander)

Postby Konrad Venger on February 6th, 2016, 5:02 am

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Well, there goes three fuckin' coppers.

That was Konrad's first thought as he turned and saw the big, broad bastard with plenty of years on him. His face was lined and his hair streaked with gray, but a fool could tell this man was hewn from stern stuff. The monster of a sword across his back stretched from behind his rock-like skull down past his knees.

“Whose ya friend?”

"Three Eyes," Konrad said with a little jut of his chin at the squat, round-faced man by his side. "Dun' ask wodis' real name is. Everyone's forgotten."

Three Eyes grinned, something unwise for a man with his dental history. That was one benefit of that abomination plastered over his nose: everyone forgot that awful fucking name he'd been saddled with. Honestly, what mother would-

Nope. Don't even think it. S'not you anymore...

“Thought it was supposed to be just you and me? Anyway it don’t matter. Names Randall Kravenedge. The boy behind me is my son. Alex.”

A boy with a smooth, flawless face appeared from behind the hulk. Thinner, lither, not yet with true muscle on his bones or hardness in his eyes. Green as Spring grass, darting everywhere and over everything. He tipped back his hood and a tangle of dark blond hair spilled around his shoulders.

Konrad chuckled around the taper at his lips. Smoke puffed and oozed from his mouth, sizzling around his face like the breath of a monster spewing flame. Like a mirror, almost. The sellsword and his partner; and another, older and gnarled, with his son instead.

"We needed only two pairs a' hands fer this," he said, words coming out lilted and meandering thanks to the Temper, heady herbal effects chittering and cackling through his body. "Youse wouldn't have been called."

Not totally true, of course, but Konrad had never been big on the unvarnished reality of things. Better the man think he was on the job as an option, not a neighbor to necessity. Men didn't try to drive such a hard bargain when they believed the other party could go elsewhere once you said a syllable they didn't like.

The boy spoke. He didn't hear it, but the voice... breaking, but not broken. Almost a man, but not quite over the threshold. Through the gap in his cloak Konrad spied gleaming metal, odd knives he remembered from some scrap or another... slicing through the air like arrows, but without a bow to shoot them.

Hmm. Boy fancies himself.

“Shall we get down to business then? What’s the job?”

Whatever it was, it wasn't enough to dissuade the old man, as expected. Konrad took a deep pull from the Temper and the blazing cherry at the end seemed to wink at Kravenedge like a third, stalked eye in his mouth. He sauntered closer to the man, black duster swaying and swishing below his knees. He looked down, and his face vanished to Alexander's eyes behind the brim of his duster. Free hand hidden in his pocket.

"What didja' expect?" Konrad looked up again and let them get a good, close view of the face his bastard of a father had left him with. "We're goin' t'kill folk. An' get paid mightily well for it."

He waited a few moments to enjoy whatever reaction flickered and danced over the older man's face... but didn't get any satisfaction there. So he looked to the boy instead, eyes shining like a cat's for a moment as the boy stiffened.

Leather creaked. Metal groaned. Both sounds minute, almost drowned by the street around them. But Konrad heard them. He'd been close to the man making them, after all.

Kravenedge, or whatever the fuck he was calling himself, had barely moved. But moved he had, and slightly, delicately, pointedly, closer to his weapons.

"Riverside. West side a' town, opposite the Seacow. Know it? Petch it, y'will soon." Like the man said, he got to business. Couldn't have fun all day. "Stonemason's yard is right across the way. Man name of Duncan. Inna' guild back in Zeltiva, they say. He's a builder. Anything y'pay him to build."

Another deep draw on the Temper-taper. Enough that the smoke wreathed the father and son like grey fingers, like the crowd, like Konrad's words.

"He's got the contract t'build the Quarters back up. All that land, all those buildings, gone... lotta' money to be made making that right." Konrad chuckled, an eerie sound when genuine, like the thought of righteousness was amusing to him. An aberration. "Only he ain't the one who's right. People who pay me? They're right. They tried t'make him see that. He didn't. Doubled the swords at his yard and went ahead with his plans. Word is, got 'em drawn up. Ready t'start breaking ground, carting stone, whatever the fuck the guild bastards call it."

He dropped the taper and crushed it until the smoke and smolder was dead.

"Think youse can fill in the rest. Like I said: he doubled his lads. So an extra pair of hands'll be nice."

Green eyes. They were like Alex's. But they weren't bright. They weren't grass or jade; they were moss and reptile hide. They sparkled again under the brim of his hat.

"Maybe two. But he takes his pay from yer split, if he's comin'. Oh, and a'fore y'ask, two hundred. Sixty-" he pointed to himself "-forty-" then back at Kravenedge "-since I'm bringing you this job."

There was no second hemp tube of narcotics. Just a slow roll of his head on his shoulders, black had bobbing with it as he went, shoulders and spine cracking and creaking like wood being chopped. When he was done he exhaled at the sky and turned his head down to face the old man, the big man, the only man whose decision he needed to hear.

"Everyone in our way, dies. Everyone in his office, dies. People payin' me, they don't want this comin' back up. An' they want the message sent, to all the other builders. Well?"

OOCFeel free to describe the yard, if you're gonna RP taking us there. As usual, lemme know if I go too far. ;-)

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Opposites Contract (Alexander)

Postby Alexander Faircroft on February 6th, 2016, 4:04 pm

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Description "Alex Common" Alex thoughts "Myrian" "Fratava" "Others"

As Randall spoke both he and Alex watched the one known as three eyes smile with a mouth full of browning cracked teeth. Some missing some slowly turning black. Alex looked around only now taking in the scope of the man before him and his father. The splitting scar atop his lip curled back as he took a long drink of smoke. Older, harder. A face that had seen hardship and pain, and a air that said he’d given out more than his fair share too. Alex subconsciously swallowed. He wasn’t ready for this. Not by a long shot but still his father wanted him with this time.

“Only two pairs of hands is it?” Randall smirked lightly lifting his well-muscled arms and crossed them in front of his chest. “Oh should I just go then? After all it wasn’t what I was told by your boss.” Randal didn’t hold all the cards but he knew enough to know when the clientele was bullshyking him. Alex slipped behind his father again, briefly and took scope of the situation. The cowardice in him flared. He wanted to run he wanted to flee. He raised a hand subconsciously beneath his cloak and gripped a hold of the symbol of priskil now hidden beneath his clothes. Please. The only word of prayer in his head as he looked back around his father dropping his arm to see the man in the duster walk over.

As Konrad moved closer Alex could see the myriad of blades in all strange shapes and sizes. He wasn’t hiding them like Alex was his throwing daggers. No the only piece of gear he wore openly was the bow. Still his father continued the conversation. Though As Konrad now stood in front of Randall, Alex looked him over taking in what he could not that he wanted too. His face alone spoke of pain and agony. Not to himself but unto others. And eyes. Eyes like swirling vortexes of suffering, green wells of nothing but agony. Alex couldn’t help but feel majorly out of his depth.

They were going to kill people? Alex looked at his father with a look saying ‘this isn’t want I signed up for’ His father was impassive, hardened, emboldened. He did what he had too and it wasn’t just his hands stained red but all the way up to his damn shoulders. Alex on the other hand had never taken the life of another man and didn’t intend too. His hands were still clean. Still unsoiled. Then before he realized it Konrad’s eyes were boring into him picking apart his very being. There was a reason Alex’s father used the massive sword on his back. It often detracted from the hand crossbow and the dagger at the back of his belt. After all when a man’s eyes were on the bigger blade they often failed to notice the smaller one at their throat.

The sound of steel and leather moving softly broke the bonds of silence and the smell of smoke crawled around him. Alex instinctually coughed lightly. What was this stuff it smelt like burning hair? The slowly directions began to fall from his mouth. Riverside, Seacow, man named Duncan. Apparently he was the one who was swooping into fill the space. He just needed some room. Another billow of the Ashen grey smoke billowed out around them, masking both Konrad and his intent somewhat.

“So to cut the crap. We’re going in to cut this guy like a fish? I can handle that.” Randall smirked and let him continue slowly. A sixty fourty split was better than what his boss had offered him so he wasn’t about to turn it down. And having seen that Konrad didn’t know fully what his boss had told Randall. He simply nodded and spoke. “Generous offer. Guess we don’t have much of a choice.” Alex did a small bit of math in his head and then near silently whispered to his father. “Dad, that’s eighty mizas…That’s not much. Are people’s lives worth so little?” Randall for the first time in the whole conversation broke his eye line lock with Konrad and looked over his shoulder the stark blue told Alex to be quiet without saying a word.

“Everyone dies. Simple job isn’t it?” Randall smirked and led them on the way. The small winding path through the streets that he led them down was a quiet and tapered path. Away from prying eyes. Alex felt a little more at ease hiding away in the shadows, but that wasn’t where he wanted to be. He wanted to be far away from this city after the events that transpired. He just wanted to be gone. Still they emerged from the ally into a more open area. The yard ahead was filled with near a dozen simple sell swords. Randall looked em all over. “Huh. Not that well versed with a sword. Still sheer numbers may be a problem.” Alex peered around his father and sure enough. The field was littered with men.

The yard was strewn with stones and other large blocks of masonry. In the corners several pines grew tall, one was knocked over from the sheer force of the winds days earlier. A tower of smoke rose from the centre of the yard. A campfire was being started as they simply sat in the cooler spring air not allowed to leave for fear of the strike at any time. Perfect. They were comfortable Even with the two guards at the edge inside the gate, barring people from entry.

“Alex. Up.” Two rods told Alex what he needed to do. The building next to him was…jagged. The storm at the beginning of the season had seen to a lot of the buildings and this one was one which had taken a hammering but not fallen. Thankfully a few bricks had slid out into firm hand and foot holds almost like a ladder. Alex scrambled up it. Kicking himself over the top he sat in the damp mirk at the top of the building. He now had a vantage point. Slipping his bow from his shoulders he took a slow breath pulling the symbols free from his chest again. Gripping tightly a hold of the symbols of Dira and Kihala. Please, please don’t let me kill anyone. I’ll incapacitate them but I won’t kill them. Please let my arrows fly in such a way. He exhaled slowly stuffing the symbols back into his shirt.

Below Randal and given a small overhand signal to Konrad and Three eyes to follow him. Randal stepped up to the gates of the yard only to be met with questions.
“Who are ya and whadda ya want?” One sell sword spoke. Randal simply smiled and liftee dhis hands openly in a non-threatening gesture.
“Oh nothing much lads. Just wanted to come in and say hello.” He flicked his fingers forwards lightly and Alex caught the signal. Drawing an arrow he took a deep slow breath and then let it fly. Over such a short range and with such a powerful bow he punched through the air and hit the second guard at the gate clean in the chest just below the sternum but thankfully avoiding any major organs. Randall near simultaneously reached through the bars and slammed the idiots head into the steel gate caving in his skull. “Right ladies, want me to get the door for you too?” He joked lightly pulling the huge blade form his back and cleaving the chain that locked the gate together in two with a single swing. The gates screeched open as Randall stepped in sword now resting on a steel armoured shoulder.

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Opposites Contract (Alexander)

Postby Konrad Venger on February 6th, 2016, 9:29 pm

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“Oh nothing much lads. Just wanted to come in and say hello.”

Konrad had to admit, the boy could shoot. It was hardly the natural-law-bending aim that he'd heard the Drykas or Myrians had, for example, but it was a clean, neat shot at a difficult angle. The guard barely had time to open his mouth before the feathered, metal-tipped stick zipped through the bars, buried in his chest and it was done-

-a second before Randall slammed the other guard's head against the bars that should have been his protection, crushing his nose, something more important crunching behind it. He slithered down to the ground just as the arrow-struck guard tried to choke down or spit out his blood and shout-

Konrad moved quickly. Almost desperately. Good shot, kid, but not fucking good enough, he thought as his right hand shot out to grab the man by the collar of his chain-mail shirt, pulling him closer-

-as his left hand grasped the kukri at the small of his back, whipping it out and-

-stabbing it clean through the guard's throat. The man's eyes and mouth flew open in sheer, confused pain, like he'd wake up in a moment and Konrad wouldn't be slicing his neck open, blood pouring down the blade and down his chain-mail, pitter-pattering on the cobbles.

No such luck that day. Both men sunk down to the ground, one very dead, the other only probably, and in a shower of sparks and broken links, Randall opened the way for them.

“Right ladies, want me to get the door for you too?”

Konrad's answer was lost in the howling hinges as the gate swung open. But he spared an extra tick to jerk his head around and scowl at the spot he knew Kravenedge's son was holed up, watching them from under his hood or behind a pile of debris. He wasn't much for subtle communication, but the tightening of his lips and narrowing of his eyes should have carried some signal.

Don't fuck up again. This isn't a game. This isn't practice. Shoot to kill or fuck off and stay poor.

Then he was striding through the gate, clapping Randall in the shoulder as he passed and drawing his kopis.

"Follow my lead." He broke into a run without further explanation,heading for the group of men around the fire. It was strange, eerie how the men crouching or huddled around it were still at ease, with two of their fellows dead. But they hadn't yet seen. "Do as I do-HEY?! Hey, we got trouble!"

The sellswords got to their feet quickly, a chorus of steel sliding from leather and kissing the air resounding around the yard, bouncing off slabs of stone and fresh-baked bricks. Confusion clouded their faces along with the smoke, seeing Konrad leading their motley trio over to them.

"Got Daggers comin'! Whole bunch of 'em, from the Reaches!"

"Where's Banquo?"
One of the men said, older and with a sash tied around his bald head, toothed sword in his hand. Konrad locked eyes with him. A talker was a leader, in his experience. "And Malcolm? Why didn't they-"

"We ain't got time, mate! They're coming!"


Closer, closer...

"Who the hells-"

Konrad knew their little deception wouldn't work for long. Once they got close enough for smell and sight, seeing the fresh blood on them, not to mention fail to explain even a fraction of their story, they'd be stains on the stones. Konrad knew it wasn't the lie that mattered, it was the time it bought them. Bare ticks to get across the yard, get close, keep them confused and thinking in the fog until-

-Konrad's arm swung out low at Sash's right leg before he could finish his question. The curved blade, designed specifically for chopping and hacking, crunched bone and severed tendons, muscle, arteries, nearly lopping off the limb below the knee. The sellsword cried out and raised his sword-

-only for Konrad's other hand to snap out and grab him by the wrist, agony in his leg keeping the man from pushing, fighting, doing anything but growl and try not to throw up.

The black-hatted sellsword buried his shin between the man's legs and he doubled over like an accordion. Down to his knees and Konrad ripped his sword free at the same time, drawing it back high before bringing it crashing down again-

The kopis crushed cranium and sunk deep into his face, destroying bones and features as it went. The man sputtered, managed to burble some lost fragment of a word even with a sword through his head, and Konrad kicked him off with a curse, sending him tumbling across the fire even as he died on his feet.

"Shyke!"

The rest woke up, but Randall and Three Eyes were already among them. Eyes was slashing and parrying and stabbing with his dagger, fat man moving with more speed one would expect (their not expecting was, Konrad knew, something Three Eyes often banked on). Randall, though, was an unholy sodding terror. The giant sword swung and arced and swooped like a rogue comet made of steel, slicing through links of metal and leather armor like all was butter to it. Sellswords span away from him, falling over each other, spilling food-

Konrad stayed busy. They were still outnumbered, and he needed to finish this quickly.

The man next to Sash roared as if some mortal injury had been done to him. A relative? A friend? Konrad didn't spare a tick to care. He jerked up his kopis to parry the enraged chop at his neck, pushing the blade away, opening up the man's chest-

-then bursting forward and shoulder-tackling him away, sending the man stumbling, off balance, sword waving futilely-

-and Konrad lunged again, kopis tight to his side and then shooting out straight-

-impaling the short-wielding mercenary through the stomach. Chain links creaked and held their ground for a tick, but the sharpened tip and the force, the weight and the speed, their own cheap, pig-iromn construction... a multitude of factors saw the armor fail, and Konrad's blade disappear into the man like a magic trick.

Bringing the two men close. Konrad not letting go. In fact, gripping with two hands as the man's rage turned to shock turned to agony, but before pleading could take center stage next-

-Konrad ripped the kopis upward. Gutting the man as he stood. Sending things warm and wriggling spilling onto their feet from under his ruined armor. Konrad sidestepped as he pulled it out, trying to avoid anymore, already racing past the man and heading for the townhouse that he knew was the office.

Behind him he could still hear crashing metal and dying men and the occasional hissing whistle of arrows. But he kept his eyes on the house, the target, the job, the bag of gold that those corpses represented.

There was a cry from inside. Very young. Konrad didn't blink, but remembered the only words he heard from Randall's boy, muttered in the worrying tones of a kid far too green for Sunberth.

Are people’s lives worth so little?

No, boy, he said to himself as he got to the good, hearing men shouting and sputtering inside, feet slogging upstairs, women, a crying child. Usually they're worth petching nothing. But if you're lucky, you can turn that clay into gold. You just have to know the right people.

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Opposites Contract (Alexander)

Postby Alexander Faircroft on February 6th, 2016, 10:37 pm

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Description "Alex Common" Alex thoughts "Myrian" "Fratava" "Others"

Alex lurked atop the building to the back. He couldn’t say anything he watched the man he’d shit slump down and then watched Konrad step over and slip a blade into his skull. Alex winced. It wasn’t the first man he’d seen die, nor was it the first he’d played a part in. Still it didn’t sit right with him. He said a small prayer to himself, both apologizing. Dira…Sorry for the inconvenience…You’re about to have a few more arrivals than you probably planned for. And Kihala…I’m so sorry. I’ll do what I can but…I’m not going to let my father die. He steeled his gaze looking onwards.

His father and the other two men had headed into the yard. Alex spoke slowly to himself. Unintelligible to all but the gods who could hear him. The three of them stalked slowly, Alex caught the glance his way. For money or to save himself there were just somethings he wouldn’t do. He wouldn’t brake a vow, for money. The only time he’d break it was if someone was in danger. In serious trouble. And even then…Still the three of them walked slowly towards the group a slow pace, the guards ahead. A small conversation between them something Alex couldn’t even intelligibly make out. Too far away and too much noise from the whistling winds around him. Coupled with their quiet voices.

The world then swung into chaos. His father dealing with several men at once whilst the larger rotund man dealt with another two. Konrad it seemed held his own against two quite well. But Alex had heard there was a dozen men on site from his father. The total that were being dealt with was nine. Alex scanned the horizon, another arrow knocked and ready to be drawn should it be needed. He spotted one atop the building a crossbow drawn. Alex drew back breathing slowly. Let it hit. He exhaled slowly taking a moment to line up his shot. And within a small flick his fingers let the arrow fly. It cut air sailing overhead twisting with the wind and falling off course slightly before plunging into the crossbowman’s shoulder. His father heard the whistle of the arrow and looked to see the grunt of the point of impact. Drawing his hand crossbow he fired a single shot at him piercing his forehead. The body slumped and fell form the building.

The corps landed on another guard emerging from the side pinning him to the ground briefly as Randall walked over and drove the blade through the pair of them. I’m so sorry. He thought to himself drawing another arrow. He watched the streets and then a sudden rush of air whipped past his face drilling a hole through his hood. Gulping he ducked back down behind the ridge of the roof. He took a moment to scan the horizon. He wasn’t the only archer out there. Back against the all he breathed slowly looking out over the grounds. The over cast sky split for a moment and Alex caught the glinting of steel as another arrow raced towards him embedding itself in the brickwork. He now had a location and angle and a target. He waited and waited hearing another arrow whip past the stone work. He knocked another.

Breathe slow, calm. Let my arrows be guided true. He swung around from the stonework lining up his shot the break in the clouds just long enough for him to loose his arrow. A tick passed. A loud scream called out as the archer lost his balance and tumbled from the crows next in the tree line. The arrow he’d fired sticking out of his knee. That was going to hurt. A least Alex thought it wouldn’t be too bad, until three eyes mopped up and slid his throat smiling all the while. Alex winded and hung back against the wall Not entirely sure that the place was safe he glanced over to look in the windows of the building and saw Konrad slowly ascending the stairs. Alex watched the events. An arrow knocked in his bow. Unsure if any others were in the area.

Randal however now wiped his blade clean on the back of one do the bisected bodies he’d created. Slipping the larger blade over his shoulder, and into it’s secured mooring. He stepped into the building after Konrad knowing that Alex had the grounds covered. “Konrad. Outsides clear. You do what you gotta, I’ll secure the ground floor." The difference in morality between Alex and Randall was simply how they looked at life. Alex wouldn’t take a life, armed or not. Randall didn’t care if they pointed a sword at them but he wouldn’t kill an unarmed man. It never stood him in bad stead, but it often barred him from the bigger better paying “removal” jobs. Much like this one which is why he’d signed on as “assistance” rather than the actual knife in the dark.

Randal cleared out the ground floor of the remaining two men both brandishing knives at him. “Idiots.” If only you hadn’t drawn the blade…He sighed heavily and drew his own dagger ending them in a flash of steel. Alex’s attention however was watching Konrad. Something told him he was possibly going to have to intervene. Don’t kill the kids. Not the kids, they’re too young they haven’t done anything yet. Alex felt his grip tighten around the bow. Something’s were simply unforgiveable…And that was one of them.

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Alexander Faircroft
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Opposites Contract (Alexander)

Postby Konrad Venger on February 6th, 2016, 11:05 pm

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It was like cracking an egg. Once the hard shell was dealt with, all that was left was the yoke. Soft and malleable, helpless without it's armor around it. Konrad kicked open the door and clerks and laborers went running, scattering like roaches with a torch shoved into their hole. They squealed like rats and a couple of them tried to be brave, out of love or desperation.

Konrad was in no mood to appreciate valor. They were simply in his way.

The first slashed at his chest and he swayed back a step, letting it pass by him, kopis coming up at the same time-

"G-Gods!"

-before swinging back down in a half-circle of shining steel, laying open the man's tunic and his chest beyond it. He choked out that word, as if in all the cities in the world, the gods would interfere in this one. Konrad kicked him back and to the ground to bleed out, just as the other one charged him, screaming, crying.

He didn't last much longer. Konrad tried to parry but the man was too close, the sword squashed between them as he crashed into Konrad, driving them both back-

-dagger stabbing at his side and sliding off his ribs, making Konrad roar, throwing back his head-

-then bringing it back down and biting down hard on the clerk's nose. He squealed, high and agonized, dagger forgotten as Konrad clamped the man's knife arm under his free one, pinning it against his side-

Ripping. Chewing. Gnawing. Jerking his head side to side like a dog tearing off a chunk of stubborn meat-

Until it came loose and he spat that bloody glob of gristle far away.

"Sh... Fu..."

Konrad's knee between his legs obliterated what balance the man had left, flecks of bile peppering the sellsword's shoulder. Konrad pushed him away when he heard the dagger clatter at his feet, hard enough to smack into the wall-

He roared like some beast from the pit as he swung his kopis diagonally down with two hands, breaking a shoulder bone, splitting ribs, lodging in the man's breastbone. Blood and effluence gushed over his blade and still, with Dira holding his hand, the man raised one and gripped the blade inside him... tried to push it away...

Konrad answered his silent plea. He pulled it out and let him drop, bleeding out faster than the other man was. Their sobbing and gurgling and the splash of blood barely registered to him. He flicked his kopis to the side, sending a spatter of warm red streaking across the floor, then sheathed it.

Close and narrow, when you're inside. Need something smaller.

Three Eyes bounded up the stairs and found a charnel house in the reception area, with Konrad holding court over the corpses. The black hat swung to him and nodded to the back door.

"Make sure no-one gets out. I'm goin' up. Outside?"

"Big man and his brat're handlin' it."

"Good."
Konrad fixed his gaze on the stairs. Tears were beyond it. Hushed voices and a man pleading for quiet, for calm, like he could make it right with words. He gripped his kukri tighter and started to climb them. "This won't take long..."

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Opposites Contract (Alexander)

Postby Alexander Faircroft on February 6th, 2016, 11:34 pm

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Description "Alex Common" Alex thoughts "Myrian" "Fratava" "Others"

From the outside Alex watched the small family burst free from the building, huddling into a quiet mass atop the building. Alex surveyed the area glancing about the place. Alex saw no more immediate threats. Nothing that would have warranted Him staying atop the building any longer. Still he couldn’t be too sure. Alex traced his eyes along the building, nothing particularly stood out barring the family. Stay away from them please…Or I’m going to have to involve myself. Alex hunkered himself down and sat quietly amongst a pile of rubble and broken woodwork. The hood over his head, and the cloak over his body masking him as just another piece of rubble until he stood to fire. Had he been more versed with the bow he may have been able to fire without even giving up his position, and that may have saved him the tear in his hood.

Alex breathed slow watching out over the buildings. A sound of running feet padded off into the distance. Alex managed to catch sight of a lone guard running off to go and deliver a message. Alex weighed the options of letting him go and stopping him. If he got there it would mean that he and his father would be in danger. Gritting his teeth he took the only option he found left too him. Knocking another arrow he leant out off of the edge of the building slightly to get a better angle. Drawing the shot he loosed. The feathered arrow spinning as it flew. It drilled into the poor saps hip cutting something important as it did. He’d split a motor muscle the poor guy just dropped to the floor the moment his leg connected with the ground to keep running.

Alex looked at him from above hiding back within the rubble again. Hearing the whimpering noises Alex felt sorry for him wanting to head over and rag him out of this mess. To apologize, but unfortunately that wasn’t a viable option. Inside the building Randall heard the whines and whimpers of the unfortunate messenger. Lamenting the fact his son was so unwilling to kill. He sighed slowly and stepped free of the building loading another bolt into his hand crossbow. Lining up the shot he took it piercing the guy’s neck. His eyes then lifted to where Alex was. He gaught the glare of disapproval in his father’s face.

Alex was principled though. He wasn’t going to compromise his beliefs unless he had absolutely no option. The two of them shared a glance for a brief moment until his father broke away in disgust. The now littered yard filled with death seemed a natural occurrence as of late. With the sheer number of dead from the first no-one batted an eyelid at the extra bodies that had begun to pile up. No-ne much cared anyway. All Alex really knew though was he had to get out of this city. And soon, lest it start to corrupt him in a way he didn’t want.

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Opposites Contract (Alexander)

Postby Konrad Venger on February 6th, 2016, 11:55 pm

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They ran until there was no more ground to run to, and in the end, it still wasn't enough.

Konrad slunk from room to room, kukri cocked and ready to do his butchery. A kitchen, offices, storerooms, a pantry, what looked like bedrooms, worker's quarters... two floors of nothing warm or living. But he kept moving. Kept walking up the stairs until-

-the roof creaked above him and Konrad's eyes jerked up. The merest smirk of satisfaction tugged at the scarred, gnarled corner of his mouth and he started looking for... ah, there it was.

"Shhh, shhh, it'll be all-"

The word died on Duncan's lips when he saw the man in the black hat walk up the stairs. Blood coated him from boots to nose. His eyes were dead, sunken stones in his face and the blade in his hand swung and caught the light with every step.

The builder saw him take them in. His wife. His daughter, crying and confused and waving her pudgy, tiny fists in her mother's arms. His son, trying so hard to be brave in his waistcoat, shirt soaked through from sweat.

Duncan swallowed and bowed his head for a moment. Commended his soul to whomever would take it. Then he rose, and left his family.

"We can do a deal," he said as the black hat approached. "I know who sent you. I know why. You've killed my men, you've proven that they're not going away. I accept that."

The man didn't slow down. Wind whipped and clawed at them all as it flew across the roof, catching the sellsword's bloody coattails as his boots tapped out that inexorable, unchanging rhythm. Duncan felt something shake loose in his chest, and battened it down, kept talking, walking forward with his arms spread.

"I'll leave. All of us will. Zeltiva, Syliras, I don't care, we'll go and-"

The man raised his curved blade and Duncan stared. He hadn't heard a word.

"Father, no-!"

His vision blurred as strong hands pushed him to the side, everything becoming a meld of grey stone and blue sky and black smoke and-

Red. Scarlet. Crimson splashing on the ground. When he looked up from where he'd fallen-

"... no..."

Thanes was spluttering and gagging and holding his throat, as if strangling himself. His clean hands - always so fastidious, nails trimmed, hands washed - were run ruins, not a scrap of pink left, as he tried to stem the deluge coming from his throat. He was gasping and choking and his mother was screaming and his father was shouting and his little sister wailing, but all he felt was that pain, that slash, the force of it draining him, driving him to his knees...

The boy, the heir, the apprentice mason, managed to pull his head around. His vision swam and his eyes faded, but he could see a massive crow, all in black and red, throw up his arm to block his father's punch, then make a spike of silver vanish in the old man's belly.

The old man coughed. More crimson. The crow jerked up the blade and took Duncan with it. Thane heard his words, not understanding, not believing, looking into green eyes like mutant mold and gasping his last words with froth and dying anger.

"They... You... You don't have to... I'm g... dead... my son... please..."

"Sure I do,"
the crow said, just before he pulled his spike free and split his throat. Just before Thanes slumped forward and never moved again. "S'what I'm gettin' paid for."

Lisamera clutched her daughter tight to her. She whispered soothing words and lullabies, covered her face and let her scent, her smell, her warmth still the crying baby, if they could.

She knew what would follow. She didn't want Sara to see.

Fat tears spilled from her cheeks and she prayed, harder than ever before in her life, as Konrad walked over from her dead husband.

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Opposites Contract (Alexander)

Postby Alexander Faircroft on February 7th, 2016, 12:27 am

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Description "Alex Common" Alex thoughts "Myrian" "Fratava" "Others"

Alex watched the event unfold his eyes scanning as he watched Konrad appear on the very roof of the building. Alex tightened the grip on his bow as Randall made his way up the building from the inside. Alex watched Konrad close in on the family, like a black cloaked spectre of imminent doom. The father tried to plead, bargain, and beg even. Konrad was having none of it. He raised his kukri and brought it down. But as he did the mason’s son pushed him out of the way. Before Alex even caught it his throat was split open. Blood poured out from the open wound. Racing out form his body. Randal had only just begun to reach the staircase for the second floor and Alex was already knocking an arrow. He didn’t care. There were three things that never happened in front of him. And killing a kid was one of them.

Alex drew back his arrow watching as Konrad plunged his dagger plunge into his gut. Alex drew back the arrow not even caring about hiding himself now. He pulled back on the string holding the shot waiting. He loosed it and the shaft punched into the brickwork in front of Konrad, as Randall stepped up onto the roof. The woman retreated from her husband’s body and that of her son. She retreated to the corner her daughter wailing in her arms. Randall caught Konrad’s glare at the rest of the family he gave him a hard look then he caught sight of the arrow in front of him. Only one place that could come from right now.
“Konrad. You’ve done the job. Time to go.” A hard couple of words from Randall, as corrupt as he was he still had some principals. Besides seeing another woman around his wife’s age killed in front of him would possibly make him snap. The veins in his forehead bulged lightly as he took a deep breath. His words were less informative and more of a warning.

Alex knocked another arrow at range the distance was minimal the only thing that would way his aim would be a large burst of wind as the arrow flew. Konrad had one option walk away or find himself in a bad spot. Alex would suffer whatever he needed too later from either man infront of him but he wouldn’t let someone do that.
“Mason’s dead…Unfortunately the son too. We’ve a small window before someone gets here.” Randall spoke with an affirmed tone. Alex sat at range now. Take one more step, just one. See what happens.

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