Sea of Madness
Vistin is a Shadar-Kai Assassin, born in the Shadowfell, who has come to this plane seeking honor and glory for himself, for the Shadar-Kai, and for the Raven Queen. He is talkative, personable, and friendly, but also mercenary and utterly amoral. Like most Shadar-Kai, he is a thrill-seeker and a braggart, and he tends to adopt a more formal manner when he is extolling his own virtues or hailing his own great deeds. He is used to working alone, but is not opposed to cooperation, if it serves his ends.
History, religion, all our lives, all of them are stories. Telling you my story would take us more time than we have. It is, I assure you, a tale of bold deeds, of audacity, of cunning and skill and daring, but what would interest you most is not the story I tell of myself, but the times I appear in the stories of others, which I do quite frequently, though often at the end. You see, I am an Assassin.
I left Gloomwrought many years ago and found my way, in time, to Ishar. It is as far as a city can be from Gloomwrought during the day, but all cities are one at night. I appeared in the stories of many Isharan men who had made wealthy enemies, and they all came to an end in the same way: the quiet whisper of a sharp khopesh gliding through through a soft neck, and the two thuds of head and body hitting the floor.
There were footpads and hired killers in town, of course, but I was the only Assassin. Men of a certain quality value style as much as result, and style is my specialty. Hiring a crew of miscreants to swarm a rival and his entourage in the market and club them to death gets the job done, but it is a vulgar and disruptive way to get ahead. Hiring one man to step silently from the shadows and bring another’s story to a quiet close, privately, away from the eyes of others, speaks of civility. Assassination is the very soul of refinement!
I had a good life, filled with danger, excitement, and ample compensation for many years, until I was betrayed:
I was hired by men unknown to me, which was hardly an unusual occurrence, to bring the story of a wealthy traveling merchant to a timely conclusion. The only uncommon request was to make sure to end him before passed the gates of Ishar, but many powerful men have certain romantic notions about territory and timing, so I thought nothing of it.
For four days, I crouched in a hidden bolt-hole above the Eastern gate, scanning the horizon. Early on the fifth day, I spotted the caravan. One man, riding hard, could reach it in a day, but the caravan itself could not hope to cover the distance to the city in less than three. Taking a circuitous route to avoid notice, I approached the caravan from the South on the second night. I learned two important facts that night, both of them too late: The caravan was carrying a hidden troop of mercenaries, not goods; and I, not some merchant, was the victim of some subtle scheme.
Outnumbered though I was, I made them pay dearly for my capture. A dozen of these men could be hired to fight in a battle for the same price I ask to end the story of a single life, but even with my skills and experience, and the natural advantages I posses when fighting in the dark, I was overwhelmed after only a few hours.
I was blindfolded, gagged, bound in chains, and subjected to numerous discomforts, degradations, and depredations with which you, as a fellow slave, are likely all too familiar. How long I was kept in that state, I couldn’t say. I lost all track of time and distance, and it felt like I had been dragged and marched a thousand miles for a thousand years before my eyes were uncovered and I found myself here, in the slave-pits of the great Coliseum at Ishar.
Perhaps my story will end here, perhaps not. Either way, I suspect I have at least one more role to play. I feel a new story starting up, but you never know what a story is about until it’s over. Maybe it is my story, or maybe I am only part of it. Perhaps I will only play a minor part in the story, but I will play it with finesse and verve, and be remembered. If I am truly lucky, perhaps part of this story is about the mysterious man who wronged me, and how he was destroyed by a vengeful Assassin. But the only way to find out is to wait and see.
-Bio and Description by Drew Wright