Coming to his senses, Melothil was immediately over-ridden by pain surging through his right arm.

It all flooded back to him; the failed assassination, the escape from the Guild, his near-fatal run-in with Freth.

Freth. The name was like poison now. He had taken the map, and now was headed to the true location of the king. Of course he had not meant to travel to Haven. It was too easy a solution. Rickard of all men would know that. He would take the king to a safehouse elsewhere and ensure that his life was no longer in danger before he returned.

Melothil looked to where he expected blood to be continuously pouring from his elbow, but the wound was clean. A neat white bandage covered his new stump, and another was tied tightly around his upper arm, obviously an improved tounriquette than the previous model.

Melothil then took a moment to survey his location.

Neat and fresh beds filled the room; he counted five, including his own. But no other inhabitants were present.

Looking to the other side of the small room, Melothil saw a staircase that appeared to descend, and after letting himself grow used to the pain in his arm - which seemed to be dulling - he climbed slowly out of bed and limped over to the stairs.

He had not realised his leg had been injured, but he assumed that the pain in his arm had numbed him to all else.

Taking the steps one at a time, Melothil arrived eventually at a small kitchen and dining room, where three strangers were eagerly waiting his arrival.

A rugged and well-chiselled man sat at the table with a young boy who looked very similar. Obviously a father and son. A woman whom Melothil assumed to be the wife had her back to him and was cooking on a small fire.

As Melothil made the final descend to the floor, the man looked up from the table. He broke the silence.

'My God! You're awake!'

His voice was typical of his appearance - husky but somewhat heroic. The sound of it made Melothil jump a little, and as the woman turned around, Melothil smiled to the trio.

'Ooh! You cleaned up good! Not to blow my own trumpet but I must say that the work on your arm is my best to date!' The wife seemed equally as excited as her husband.

Melothil could only smile as they fussed about, asking him if he was hungry, begging him to sit down and chat with them.

They introduced themselves as Darinal, the father, Darna, the boy, and Floral, the wife.

Melothil, eager to forget his past, introduced himself as Ghorda, a name he had always liked but had never had a chance to give to a son.

Melothil lied and claimed that he had been attacked in the forest whilst hunting for food. He admitted that he was from Hated, but the family were reluctant to allow him to return until he had made a 'full recovery'.

Melothil thanked them for their hospitality, but talked little after that. He did not want to make up too much about his fake life, for fear of being asked to recall it later.

From now on, his new life started here, in Haven. It was in no way as exciting as his life as an assassin, but it was what he had yearned for secretly for many years.

The Gods had blessed him. He could start again.

The End

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