Chapter 4: Induction

Racieus’ eyes opened wide at those two words, and began struggling more fiercely than ever. Had Lieran betrayed him? After going through all the effort of training him? That didn’t make any sense.

But it didn’t matter.

“What does it mean?” Racieus shouted, as the big man readjusted his grip of the squirming halfling, so that he was holding his legs in one hand, and his arms in the other. “I had nothing to do with whatever it says! Someone gave it to me!” But the halfling’s protests fell on deaf ears, and the big man began to pull. Racieus’ eyes slammed shut in pain, and he tried, in vain, to hold his screams of pain in.

“Kellam, stop.” And mercifully, it was over. Racieus began to stutter out a thank you, but the opulent man hadn’t finished. “Take it outside. I don’t want to have to clean these carpets. Again.”

The big man began to slowly turn to leave, and Racieus knew his options were fading fast. Apparently whatever Lieran had put on that note was dangerous. Either that or it was merely the fact that this note associated him with Lieran, and perhaps Lieran and this man were no longer friends. It wasn’t much to go on, but Racieus was down to his last straw. The door was closing, both on the guild master’s office, and Racieus’ life.

“I can help you find him!”

The door stopped.

The big man didn’t. Back down the steps he took the halfling, but instead of going out the front door, he went the opposite way, to the back of the house. Night had begun to fall, and looking out a window to the left of the door, Racieus could barely make out the landscape, thanks to the light of a torch that was just outside. The big man pushed open the back door, and quick as a flash, Racieus acted.

Kellam had readjusted his grip on the halfling before going outside, again holding him with only one hand, but the move had also freed up one of Racieus’ arms, and the halfling put it to work, grabbing the nearby torch from its bracket, and, after a hard look at his surroundings, thrusting it behind him. The big man screamed, and Racieus was free, as Kellam dropped him to bat the torch to the ground where it extinguished as it hit.

Closing his eyes, Racieus brought up the mental picture of the space around himself and began to move. The alley behind the guild house was littered with what many would have called trash. Racieus called it potential weapons. There was a rock two steps to his left, and three steps beyond that, a heap of bottles. Racieus grabbed the rock, and continued, but took one step too many and the relative quiet was split with the clinking of glass. Racieus started to curse himself, but then was struck with an idea. Bending down, the halfling began to feel around for the bottles.

He grabbed one and launched it behind him, not aiming for any target in particular, but to create disorienting noise, and hopefully throw Kellam off. Racieus grabbed one more bottle then went completely still and listened intently. He could hear a pair of men arguing a ways off, and slightly closer was the bark of a dog, but then, during a moment of silence, the halfling could heavy footfalls off to his right. Taking a guess, Racieus threw the stone in the direction of the steps, and was rewarded with a grunt, and a thump, as the big man fell to the ground. Racieus took three steps, twisting around where he remembered a log was, before he fell upon the big man, who was slowly coming to his feet. Racieus wasn’t about to allow that though, and brought the glass bottle down in the direction of Kellam’s heavy breathing. There was another thump, and Racieus, still holding what was left of the bottle, moved the jagged edge of the remains forward until it touched upon the big man’s neck.

Then the door banged open and a torch sprung to life, illuminating the halfling, crouching over Kellam in victory. The bearer of the torch, a wiry female in ragged clothes, along with a companion who had come out with her, moved to attack, but were pulled up short by a familiar voice.

“Demien! Larc! Enough!”

And into the soft glow of the torchligh stepped Lieran.

The End

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