Shoulders hunched and head bowed, Mauorc made his way through the main street of the city weaving between the merchants crying their wares and the locals come to peruse. He really hated all the people clamouring and jostling along the street but it could not be helped on this day. He would just have to hurry and finish what he’d come here to do so that he could leave this retched place.
He stepped off the main street into a dark, damp alleyway populated by feral dogs and filthy humans wearing little more than rags. How people could live in such squalor was beyond him but he ignored it as best he could and tried not to breathe too deeply. As he made his way out of the alleyway into the next side street running off at an angle from the main street he became aware of a figure following in his wake. He could only catch glimpses of the man but he was big, much bigger than Mauorc himself although being smaller than an opponent had never troubled him before. The man following had his hood up which kept his face shroud in shadow yet it was clear that he was looking at Mauorc with intensity that would likely not bode well for him. Humans always distrusted the elves for some strange reason when it was they who could not be trusted.
Mauorc cut across the street and made for another alleyway. At the corner of the entrance to the alley he paused just long enough to get a good look at his follower. The man had one hand resting on the pommel of his sword and was using the other to force his way through the crowd making no secret of the fact that he was following Mauorc. This was not a subtle assassin or thief, this man wanted Mauorc to know that he was being followed and watched. He entered the alleyway and quickened his step to try to put some distance between himself and the follower but didn’t want to go so fast as to attract unwanted attention.
He was almost halfway through the alleyway when it started to curve. Once he was around the bend, Mauorc loosened the two blades in the sheathes on his back and checked the throwing knives secreted inside his coat. He risked a look behind to see his follower just emerging round the bend in the alleyway, but as he turned back to continue towards the end of the alleyway he found his way blocked by two giant human men. The two men were armed with knives and had a dangerous gleam to their eyes. Mauorc slipped two throwing knives into his hands and kept on advancing towards the two men blocking his way.
“How’s about you just stop there and empty your pockets, friend” intoned the smaller of the two men. Mauorc took another step and stopped just outside of arms reach of the two men.
“You seem to be blocking my path gentlemen, I think you should move aside” Mauorc suggested calmly. The larger of the two men grunted and smirked while moving to take a step forward. Before he could do more than lift his leg Mauorc launched a knife up into his throat and the big man crumpled to the ground choking on his own blood. His companion, clearly infuriated, rushed forward swinging his knife wildly at Mauorc who easily ducked under it and side stepped around the big man before planting his second knife in the base of the man’s’ skull.
Mauorc looked up to find that his follower was leaning casually against the wall with arms crossed. The man straightened up and pushed his hood back to reveal a scarred face with only one eye and a small smile across his crooked face.
“You’re a hard man to find, friend” he noted while slowly stepping towards Mauorc. Mauorc placed his hands over his shoulders and freed his two daggers from their sheathes. The scarred man stopped advancing but did not reach for his sword or seem particularly worried. “If I’d wanted you dead I could have intervened in this little scuffle you found yourself in and killed you while you were otherwise occupied, but alas I do not wish to see you dead young Mauorc”
“Do I know you?” Mauorc demanded. The scarred man smiled again and took another step towards Mauorc.
“You don’t, but I know all about you and your little revenge mission that you’re here for”. Mauorc froze.
Who was this man? How did he know who I am and why he was there?
“What do you want?” Mauorc demanded while trying to watch the man in front of him, but also the mouth of the alley behind him expecting an ambush.
“I have a proposition for you” the man announced, smiling cruelly at Mauorc.