A Sorrow Shared

A silent knife. A shadow in the dark. A drinking blade. He was all of these things and more.

Now he was captured too.

When he awoke, there was nothing but darkness and the damp, cloying smell of rot and feces. Regret and guilt hung to the stones like mold and Altian tried his best to ignore the aura of the place, but it was built for this purpose and had done it's duty well, this time was no different.

They'd taken the knife, the tainted, freshly-blooded thing. It was taboo to wet a killing knife twice, so was the law of his order and secretly he'd been glad to see it leave his presence as things faded to black. He could not leave without the killing knife, however. It must be cleansed and returned to the Citadel, so that the monks of the Order might place it in the hallowed halls.

He felt his way in the darkness, his finger tips brushing through soft, wet filth as he traced his way to a wall. There, he climbed, fingers finding purchase amongst the roughly hewn stones, and he waited.

It seemed like a thousand years had passed before the grating of metal on stone echoed through the room and light spilled in from beneath where Altian hung silently.

"He's gone! Ugh--" was the last thing the owner of the voice uttered as Altian dropped silently as a bat and with expert grace slid his fingers into the positions on the guards neck that would send him into unconsciousness, and as Altian held on longer, into eternal sleep.

It took a while for his eyes to adjust to the light, but quickly pulled the guard inside, stripping him and donning his clothing. He pulled a cruel looking whip from the mans belt and tested it. It had no real power and was little more than a sad tool for man who felt the bigger man for inflicting his suffering on others. It would have to do though.

He had entered as an assassin, now he would leave as a guard. He closed the door behind him softly, tears wet on his cheeks. Despair, it ate at him, as it did at the rest of his order. It was their totem, their strength. Others killed with anger, with hate, with greed or lust. The Order killed with sorrow, they wielded despair as their blades and sadness as their shields. His kind were feared, and rightly so. Despair was the strongest, the sharpest of emotions. Where others wielded anger as a blunt club, they wielded sorrow so sharp their blades sung out in mourning as they cut the air.

But he was Altian no longer, now he was just another guard. He would retrieve the knife and then he would return home. The corridor was lined with doors, other cells no doubt. Light shone from a torch hung from the wall. Gripping it, Altian followed the corridor round the corner. As he stepped around the corner he came face to face with a woman in black, her eyes full of tears. He looked down to his stomach.

It was red.

The End

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