"He is coming back around. Everyone quiet."
This couldn't be. I was dead, why could I hear that women's voice? I felt the sharp cold blade at my throat moments ago. I could feel the warmth of my blood spilling on to my shirt. No. No, I had to be dead.
My lungs burst with air as I tried to scream, a hallow, empty choking noise was all I could manage though. Flinging my eyelids open I tried to glare at the women I could feel standing before me. My eyes, however where already accustomed to the darkness from being deceased, therefore everything in the room was a blur of bright white and gray shadows.
Muffled voices echoed around the room, mixing with each other to make a strange humming sound. The smell of stale air and blood burned my nose as I tried to steady my breathing. After a few moments I looked again at the figure before me, her body appeared as a gray mass, a white halo gently distinguishing her features.
"If he wont talk now, I will take him with me until he will." The shadow outline of Twigs turned her attention on Bloodgrin. "Brake his arms. I don’t want him stabbing me in my sleep."
Brake my... what? No. This all a bad nightmare that was taking a turn for the worst. Who where these people? Did they really do all this just to find out what a couple of symbols on a map meant?
The shadows slowly begin to lift from my vision as panic swept through me. Bloodgrin vigorously grabbed my arm with both of his hands. The grin he was named for plastered on his face. I leaned in my chair, away from the orc and struggled to stand and run. My legs where still numb from death and refused to work; the muscles contracted wrong causing my legs to fling under my chair. I attempted to swing at him with my now free hand but it slung, limp at my side.
I hung my head as my mind went blank. My eyes came to rest and focus on my brother, or rather his corpse. Snapping sounds echoed through the room, for a moment I hadn't realized the sound was my arms braking. Not one muscle in my body moved while the orc worked. Not one flick of pain shot through my limbs. I was as dead inside as my brother's corpse.
"Irkin no agree with this. It is weird. You humans is weird."
Twigs pulled me down into the dinning area of the inn after she declared me her slave. Now the four intruders, plus one, were gathered in the corner of the inn. They huddled around the table Twigs had shoved me down at; each of them eyeing me up and down suspiciously.
Irkin, a kobold by the looks of him, was gathered at the front of the group shaking his lizard like head in disapproval. His eyes where closed and his tinny claws where fists on his hips. He clicked his tongue on the roof of his mouth in a disproving manor.
"What are you going to do when we go in towns? How are you going to hide him?" The nervous blond boy whispered his questions, but the whole group gathered around, nodded wanting answers.
"I will throw a cloak over him." Twigs defended matter-of-factly. "His knowledge of the Night Masks could help us, Kain"
Kain seemed content with the answer for now. He reluctantly turned away from Twigs and seated himself at a separate table. Wormtail and Irkin, followed his lead. The three of them eyeing me and whispering at the separate table. The dwarf seated himself at the bar and rested his head on his hand, as he muttered under his breath.
"I’m not sure if I completely agree with this ether." Zavra the assassin whispered to Twigs, the assassin was the only one of the group still standing at the table Twigs and I populated. "We shouldn't take prisoners." She refused to acknowledge my presents at the table, looking only at Twigs.
"He is not a prisoner. We can use the info he knows." Twigs kept her voice hushed as she spoke. Even though her group where the only people in the dinning area of the inn this early.
"How are you going to keep him under control? What if he tries to run away? How are you going to bring him along with us, you know Thoreug wont let him on the wagon? You have no plan." Zavra motioned with her hands as she spoke adding emphasis to each question.
"I will figure it out before we leave town. Let me see my money." Twigs held out her hand and Zavra reluctantly dropped a small bag in her palm. "We'll be back by noon. Meet you guys here for lunch?"
"Yeah, and try to be careful, he is an assassin." Zavra answered monotone.
Twigs yanked me from my chair by my arm. I could feel the sharp sting from her grasp on my broken bones from being touched, but the pain seemed distant. As we walked out of the inn Twigs threw a long black cloak over me. The cloak was far too big on my small frame. The hood folded over my face too low and the bottom grazed the floor in some places; the extra fabric threatening to trip me.
Once out on the streets I followed Twigs mindlessly. I watched the back of her shoeless feet as she whinnied through allies, down back roads, and across the major streets of Kindrace. The early morning air was crisp and cold, and people in Kindrace where just starting their day. I hated them all with a white burning fire. They got to go about their normal day in their normal predictable lives. I was trapped now. Everything was stripped from me again. In just one night.
Twigs stopped in front of a shop. The old wooden building looked unkempt like most the places in Kindrace. You could smell the mold that was growing on the decaying place. Almost taste the damp wood from the morning dew. I kept my eyes on the dirt road and the bottom of my cloak. It sounded like she tried the handle but it was locked. "The shop keeper must not be here yet." Her voice was soft. A lot different then when in the interrogation room. "Why did you try to steel those maps from us?"
I didn't say anything for a long time, and just watched my breath turn into buffs in the cold air. There was no hostility in her voice like back in the inn. Like she was just asking a simple every day question. "We where told to. The marks on them are of different camps and posts set up by the Night Masks. They don’t want anyone to have that kind of information." My words sounded flat. I wasn't even sure why I was explaining any of this, suppose there was no point in resisting anymore.
"Do you have a name?" Twigs' voice was as flat as mine when she asked. My name? Why would she want to know my name? She killed my brother then she killed me, and now she wants to know my name? She is mental. Crazy! I didn’t speak another word while we waited for the shop to open.
When Twigs finished her shopping, several hours and five shops latter, she was the proud owner of a leash, caller, and donkey. Wormtail tracked us down around noon and informed Twigs that the group was re-supplying and would meet her by the wagon. In Kindrace all the wagons where checked and left in a dedicated area. They where supposed to be watched but the guards where not professional by any means.
The wagon as the group called it was a misleading word. It resembled the appearance of a war wagon, fully armed with a ballista, and reinforced armor sides and wheels. The stupid wagon was hell to brake into for my brother and I. The group was loading up supplies onto the wagon and took no real notice of our arrival.
Twigs fastened the donkey to the back of the wagon, and motioned for me to stand by the animal. I watched as Twigs, Wormtail, Irkin, and Thoreug walked to a more secluded area where they began chatting. Wormtail produced the maps from his backpack and Twigs pointed out different areas. They all seemed to come to a conclusion and rolled up the maps.
Thoreug gathered the group around him and announced the plans, "The maps point out different areas that the Night Masks are." The dwarf paused and let out a belch. "We are going to head to the closest area marked on the map and see what's there." Kain and Zavra seemed to accept this and loading began again.
Within an hour the wagon with a weeks worth of supplies for six people was loaded. The horses where tied and pawing at the ground to get moving. With a few sideways glances from the town guards we where passing by the town gates. Me on the donkey, Twigs walking beside me, Thoreug manning the wagon, Wormtail twitching around on top of the wagon, Irkin Kain and Zavra inside.