The Assassin's Promise
A short story by Selket Shadowdancer
Inspired by and based on the setting of Guild Wars.
Part One: Way of the Assassin
Another arrow whistled past Selkets head as she stumbled through the moonlit woods towards the village which she intended to seek refuge in. Bloody and wounded Selket had to stop to regain her composure, though almost as soon as she had stopped another arrow that narrowly missed piercing her athletic body forced her to press on. The guards had been chasing her for three days now with no relent in their pursuit though having assassinated their employer she couldn’t say she was surprised. Selket cursed to herself after reliving the moment of being spotted by the Ministers mistress, probably the main reason why she was still being chased by the deceased Ministers guards, to keep his affair quiet to the public. She needed to make a stand, she had no choice, those guards would not stop pursuing her no matter how far she ran. It was at that sudden thought Selket stopped dead in her tracks and turned to face her pursuers. As they came crashing through the undergrowth of the forest they stopped when they came into her view and started forming a circle around her, heart pounding as she assessed the situation. There were five of them, lightly armoured but well armed, the Minister obviously looked after his employees well. They had all drawn melee weapons at this point, too close to risk hitting each other with their bows in such close proximity.
The first guard charged straight at her sword high in the air, ready to bring down onto the top of her head. Selket sidestepped him, at the same time drawing a dagger from a sheath on her armour and stabbing it into a chink in the guards armour in his back. The poison on the blade started kicking in before he even hit the ground, thrashing and scrabbling as his face turned blue from the lack of oxygen that the poison so quickly deprived him off. He was dead by the time the rest charged her, weapons raised to mob her and get an easy kill to finish the fight quickly. Shadow steps really come in handy in situations like that, specialist spells learnt from Selkets training as an Assassin.
“Now you see me” She said out aloud as some of the guards swung their weapons to take her life. ”Now you don’t” She whispered in the ear of a guard as she teleported behind him and drew her knife across his throat. Selket pushed him away towards his comrades, gurgling and bleeding out from the fatal wound she had inflicted upon him. As he slumped dead on the floor the last three remaining guards shifted towards her nervously, unsure of how to handle someone trained the way she was in close combat.
It was at this point Selket charged them, silently but swiftly, not giving them a chance to recover from her assault. Relentlessly, she drove home her attacks on them, using a combination of Shadow Steps, and hexes. They were well trained but were no match for Selket, they were scared to die but she was not. To Selket death was just a path to another life, an escape from the life she currently lived. As the last guard fell dead to the ground and exhaled his last breath from Selkets final blow, she heard a whistling sound behind her, as she turned around she felt a sudden and stinging pain in her chest. She looked down at the arrow protruding from her chest, the blood trickled around Selkets gloved hands as she grabbed it around the head of the shaft to extract it from her body. With a scream and a spurt of blood the arrow was expelled from Selkets chest. She fell down to one knee clutching her wound. As she looked up from the ground the last thing she could remember seeing was the pommel of a sword before it struck her in the head, rendering her unconscious.
It took a while for Selket to focus clearly on her surroundings when she awoke from unconsciousness, it didn’t take her long to realise that she was hanging from a thick tree branch by her tied wrists. Selket looked down at herself to examine her wounds and noticed that her armour and clothing had been stripped and her weapons taken. She shivered, not so much out of fear mind but more because she was naked hanging from a tree in the middle of the night. Selket didn’t know how long she had been hanging there but felt cold enough to know it had been quite a while. Noticing Selket had awoken a short man limped over to her and struck her across the face with the flat side of a Longsword.
“So, you have awoken assassin huh?” He said in a gruff voice, prodding her slim, but toned, bloody abdomen with his sword. Selket looked at him as he spoke, she couldn’t focus much but noticed he had long black hair in a pony tail and wore an eye patch over his left eye. Before she could make out any more of his features he grazed the point of his Longsword down her body cutting her skin, laughing with a twisted look upon his face. Selket couldn't hide the pain from the cut being made, which only fueled the mans laughter more. Somehow, from somewhere Selket managed to speak.
“Who are you? What do you want? You want me? Huh? You sick freak! Don’t you get laid at home? Minister not pay for your whore last night?” She hissed, her body in pain, blood welling from the cut he had made. He looked at Selket and laughed coldly.
“My name is not important to you Selket Shadowdancer, as for what I want, well the only thing I want is your slow but inevitable death” He replied, a sinister smile on his face. “You are infamous for getting out of tight situations, so I’ve made sure you have nothing at all that you can use to your advantage to get out of this one.” He pointed over towards her armour and weapons. Before she could make any form of reply he stabbed her with the point of his sword in the stomach. Selket could do little more than whimper quietly in pain, she was so weak from her injuries she couldn’t have been louder if she wanted to, any sound she did make was drowned out by the mans laughter. Selket could feel the blood seeping from her wounds and travelling down her limp body, looking down she could see it dripping off onto on her assailants armour and onto the ground below, her life slowly draining away. She noticed that the man seemed injured slightly as he seemed to tend to his arm for a second after his attack upon her.
"You will pay for this! I promise you, you will die by my hand!" Selket voice was soft, almost forgiving in tone.
"I doubt that" Her assailant replied, waving his sword about randomly in the air. "You'll be lucky if you manage to make it through the night by the time I'm done with you, Assassin!" He stabbed her again with his sword, grinning maniaclly. Selket couldn’t even utter a sound, the pain was too great. She closed her eyes awaiting the final strike but would never know if it would come. Whether due to blood loss, fear, cold, or death, she passed out, a sea of darkness embracing her.
Selket wasn't sure how long had passed before she regained consciousness again. She was surprised to find she wasn't dead. The rope that bound her wrists was biting into her fair skin, not surprisingly seems she'd been hanging here for a while now. Selket had lost a lot of blood and her life was still oozing out of her wounds. Her assailant was nowhere to be seen. Her weapons, armour, and clothing were still on the ground around 10 feet away from her. No matter how much she tried Selket could not slip out of the binds that tied her wrists, they were tied too well. "So, this is it then" she said to herself, hanging her head. All she could do now was wait for the inevitable. Selket was feeling so weak, she could feel her life slowly draining away from her, she knew she didn't have long before death took me. As Selket contemplated her fate she noticed a small Hare gazing at her naked and bloody body.
"Think yourself lucky Hare; most men would be dead by now if they saw what you just saw." She smiled weakly. She found it ironic that in her last moments before death her final company would be a rodent. Almost as quickly as the Hare had appeared it was gone and Selket was left alone to her fate. Yet again she slipped into the darkness of the void that was called unconsciousness.
Selket awoke to find herself not hanging from a tree anymore but lying on the ground with a cloak mostly covering her body, and a Hare sitting on her chest. Sunlight flickered between the branches of the surrounding trees, illuminating the area in an orange hue. She could smell a campfire burning away and the roasting meat skewered above it, and as she looked around for her armour and equipment, clutching the cape close to her body to give herself at least some form of dignity, the Hare scurried off into the foliage. She found her equipment close by, relatively untouched, and as Selket put it on, along with the cloak she had been covered with, she noticed that the majority of her wounds had been tended to, though not fully healed. She looked around for any sign of her would be saviour, but there was no one to be seen. Not wasting any time Selket cut off some meat from the skewer and salted and packed it away for travel, then cut off some more and ate quickly. She hadn't eaten in a while and it tasted good, so good that she just had to have more. Selket saved some on the skewer for her unknown saviour, in case they returned, and dowsed the campfire before getting her bearings and making her way from the camp towards the village that she intended to seek refuge in while she was being chased.
Coming to the edge of the woods, Selket quietly observed the village from a distance to make sure that there was no activity there due to her presence. She decided it would be safer to approach the village at night, just in case, and waited at the edge of the woods under cover of the foliage there until nightfall. Once night fell Selket approached the village cautiously, pulling up the hood of her cloak over her head, as she approached the main gate. Selket entered the village unchallenged, and made her way to the closest inn for food and shelter for the night. There were several inns in this village, as it was quite large suprisingly. It was an amazing settlement popular among traders and merchants for it's large population and extravagant night life. It was also a great place to go unseen for the same reason, while locals were known to each other very well it had enough commercial trade to pass yourself off as simply another traveller looking to earn coin.
Selket entered the inn she had chosen to stay in for the evening and sat down in the darkest corner, waving at the local maid for some food and drink. After going through all the usual formalities of buying her consumables, renting a room for the night, and gaining directions to the local herbalist, the maid left Selket alone to serve the many other customers they had. As Selkets meal was brought to here along with a jug of wine she thanked, and tipped, the maid and started to eat her meal, which while looking nothing special, was at least nourishing enough to pass as a meal. When Selket finished eating she left the inn, informing the innkeeper she would be returning later that night. As she stepped out of the door she took in the hustle and bustle of the night life of the village and made her way towards the Herbalists premises to gather her much needed supplies, with one thought on her mind.
Part 2: An Old Friend
The sound of a skirmish could be heard in the distance of the forest. Durkon stopped to think about whether it would be wise to carry on in the direction he was taking or go around and take a safer route, then smiled to himself.
“What do I have to be scared of a few bandits for? He looked down at his hand, a small fireball forming within his palm. “I’m the greatest Elementalist in all of Tyria.” He always travelled alone and often spoke to himself. Fortunately no one was about to comment on how mad he must have seemed though that was nothing new for the solitary life of an Elementalist. Almost as soon as he had spoken the sounds of the skirmish had stopped, an eerie silence fell upon the forest, and not even the sounds of the wildlife within it could be heard.
“Quietly now, we don’t want to disturb our new found friends.” He whispered quietly to himself. He brushed back his silvery white hair from his face, a face that showed youth yet also showed great wisdom. In the pale moonlight he could make out a broken trail, not worn by the years but seemingly freshly made by recent passage, and decided to follow it seems it was pretty much going in the same direction as he was anyway. After following it for some time he could hear the sound of laughter close by though it sounded far from friendly. Durkon stopped to see if he could get a better understanding of what was happening before he pressed forward into the unknown situation ahead of him. A male voice could be heard, quite clear in the quiet that surrounded him.
“You are infamous for getting out of tight situations, so I’ve made sure you have nothing at all that you can use to your advantage to get out of this one.” The sound of someone obviously in pain could be heard afterwards. Durkon could just barely make out another voice, female, but whatever she said was said in such a quiet tone he couldn’t make out the words. "I doubt that" The male sounding voice said again. "You'll be lucky if you manage to make it through the night by the time I'm done with you, Assassin!" Then all went quiet, the eerie silence that followed the previous skirmish fell upon the forest again, leaving Durkon with a choice to make.
“Whether deserved or not someone’s death may be on your hands if you do nothing Durkon” He contemplated what challenge may lie ahead of him then answered himself. “Should I really be getting involved in this? This isn’t my problem after all and I really dislike being involved with Assassins.” He looked down at his hands, fire flickering around the tips of his fingers as he came to his decision. “I am Durkon Thunderstorm, master of the elements, I have nothing to fear from whoever is ahead of me whether man or bea...” He stopped himself short to convince himself if that was actually true. He was a good Elementalist for sure, but perhaps not the greatest, that part was just every Elementalists fantasy. “Damn it; let’s just get this over with shall we?”
As the source of the voices came into Durkons view he was unprepared for what he saw. A woman was hanging naked, bloodied, and hands bound from a tree not to far from him. A man wielding a Longsword looked to be preparing to deliver what would be a final strike to end the woman’s life.
“Unless you wish to end up on a skewer as my meal tonight I suggest you drop your weapon and take what miserable part of your life you have and go back to whatever stinking cesspit you came from!” Durkon bellowed, fire forming in his left hand as he spoke out to the man.
“This is none of your business! This woman is a murderer and will be punished as one!” The man said as he turned to face Durkon. He was surprised to see someone so young looking standing before him with fire burning in their hand.
“How about give the woman a fair trial before condemning her to death? Isn’t that the law of this land? Or do you wish to become what you claim this woman to be?” Durkon allowed the fire in his right hand to grow, illuminating the area around him so he could see more clearly.
“Sorcerer leave us or you will meet the same fate as this Assassin, and I assure you her fate will not end well.” A sadistic grin crept across the mans face. He was old and battle hardened that much Durkon was sure of. The grip on the mans sword had tightened, his knuckles whitening in the glow of fire before him as he prepared himself to battle the Elementalist standing before him. Durkon realised that there was no other option but to fight this man to save this woman’s life.
“The only person who decides my fate is me!” Durkon shouted as he launched a powerful fireball towards the man. Surprisingly the man avoided it with ease, much to Durkons dismay.
“You think a mere fireball is going to help you Sorcerer?” The man let out a rapturous laugh before rushing forward to attack Durkon who quickly responded, slamming down his staff on the ground, pushing out with the elements of the air to throw his attacker backward far away from him crashing into the depths of the forest. Durkon chuckled somewhat to himself lightly; he always loved doing that to people in a fight. He quickly closed in on the man, entering the shadowy forest but couldn’t see him anywhere. He slowly and quietly searched the area for him.
“Damn you Sorcerer!” The man screamed as he threw a knife that was strapped to his armour at Durkon which narrowly missed his head. As Durkon recovered from the instinctive attack from the man he was hard pressed to defend against the mans second attack. The thrown knife allowed the man to close in on the Elementalist and start attacking at close range with his sword. Durkon was too busy blocking the mans lightning fast attacks with his staff to be able to cast any spells as they required intricate inscriptions drawn with his hands to be cast. Suddenly the man lashed out with his fist cracking Durkons head hard and dazing him. The mans sword came thundering down towards Durkons head leaving him just a split second to move out of the way and avoid the quick attack under his condition. As he moved out of the way of the death imposing strike his staff was caught by his attackers sword and knocked out of his hands. Reaching out to grab the staff from the ground beside him the man relentlessly attacked at Durkons hand, narrowly missing taking it clean off from the wrist. He summoned a quick fireball and launched it at the mans face. It was too minor to do any major damage as all his power came from the ornate inscriptions and runes set onto his staff, but it was enough to give Durkon the time needed to reach down and grab his staff to quickly block against yet another relentless attack. The smell of burnt flesh as the man drew his face close to Durkons, his sword locked against Durkons staff, was sickening. Durkon kicked out, landing his blow straight in the mans ribs forcing him to stagger back and quickly launched another fireball at him that was more powerful than the last. It hit the man square in the chest, setting him alight, his skin and clothing burning as he thrashed about on the ground rolling to put the fire out. Durkon walked over towards him, ready to deal a final spell to end the fight.
Without warning the man threw a handful of dirt and stones at Durkons face forcing him to cover his face so that he wasn’t blinded. When Durkon moved his arm away from his face the man was nowhere to be seen. Durkon readied himself for another attack, slowly turning on the spot to anticipate an attack from the shadows surrounding him. There was none.
“Why do they always run?” Durkon smiled, rubbing the bruised side of his head where the man had hit him previously as he made his way back to the area where he had found the woman that was hanging from a tree. As he approached where she was he looked up at her, quickly averting his gaze from her bloodied and naked body. He removed his cloak and wrapped it around her before he burned away the rope that bound her and kept her tied to the tree. “My magic only hurts those I choose to hurt with it.” He said softly. It mattered little as she was unconscious; nothing he said would be heard by her. “I need to keep you warm don’t I?” He said as he laid her down on the ground wrapped in his cloak. He quickly gathered some wood from the surrounding area to make a small campfire igniting it with his hands as he laid it down. He unpacked his cooking kit and meat from his backpack, which he skewered, then started roasting it above the small fire while he tended to her wounds. It was then that he got a look at her face properly for the first time.
"Selket Shadowdancer?" He brushed away her blonde straight hair from her bruised and bloodied face and was mesmerised by her hidden beauty. She too was quite young, surprisingly scar less considering her proffession. Her face was slender and her lips full. Her nose was slightly flat and wide. Durkon couldn’t see her eyes as they were shut but recognised they were slightly slanted upwards marking her as a Canthan. “What are you doing in this part of Tyria?” Durkon asked himself. After he had tended to her wounds he headed into the forest to find something to kill for food later. He pondered the question he had just asked himself, and then asked himself one more question.
“What the hell have I gotten myself into this time?”
Part 3: The Assassin's Remedy
Beetletun. Now a largely populated, and prosperous, settlement. The crumbled watchtowers now rebuilt. Historians speculate that these watchtowers guarded Kryta from some unknown northern threat. Now restored to their former glory they stood like ancient stone soldiers still awaiting the arrival of that mysterious enemy from across the great saltwater lake, Giants Basin. The nightlife bustled with activity with market traders eagerly trying to persuade customers to part with their coin and Guards actively patrolling the crowded streets in groups of two. The smell of various animals and vegatation being cooked was strong. Beggars, while few and far between, could be seen approaching people for coin.
Wind chimes jingled melodically as Selket opened the door to the local Herbalists trading shop. Stepping in from the cold night, she pulled down the hood from her cloak and looked around for an assistant to aid her in obtaining the supplies she needed. The shop was fairly large; being the only Herbalist within the village it was also well stocked. Jars of various antidotes and herbal remedies lined the many shelves along the walls of the premises. A clinical smell filled Selkets nostrils as her gaze wondered over the many supplies within the shop.
“Is there anything in particular you are searching for young miss?” A short man asked from behind the counter at the back of the shop. He was middle aged, with a face that showed a lot of knowledge. He was bald, though it looked shaved rather than due to ageing. His eyes slanted upwards which gave away his Canthan heritage.
“Yes.” Replied Selket, showing the wounds inflicted to her stomach.
“Let me have a closer look at that.” The man said, walking around to the front of the counter to inspect the wounds more closely. “You are quite lucky that they were tended to quickly, they could have been quite fatal.” He said, squinting slightly, as he examined her wounds. “Wait here a moment please as I ready what you will need to keep them clean and to make sure they heal properly, I won’t be too long.” With that he disappeared through a doorway towards the back of the shop. Selket noticed as he left that tattoos decorated the back of his head, tattoos she recognised to be assigned to the Monks of the Shing Jea Monastery.
“You are a Monk from Shing Jea Monastery?” Selket asked, as the Monk returned, Selkets needed supplies in hand.
“Yes, how did you know what Monastery I was trained at?” He replied, slightly taken aback by the knowledge of the young woman stood before him.
“I recognise the tattoos you have. They are the same as those a friend of mine has. He was trained under Master Togo himself.” Selket replied.
“Ah the great Master Togo. We still mourn his passing to this day. He was a great man, did many wonderful things that helped shape Cantha as it is today.” His face was slightly saddened at the mention of Master Togo. “Tell me young miss, why are you so far from home?”
“Let’s just say that my work brings me away from home.” Selket replied with a smile.
The Monk smiled back at her, nodding his head in understanding.
“Here are your supplies, apply the cream twice a day and allow the wounds some fresh air when you sleep.” He advised, placing the supplies on the counter. That will be 50 gold please.” Selket quickly handed over the money for the supplies without fuss. With hands clasped together he bowed and said “Be sure to tell your friends to visit Brother Seraphs Herbs and Medicines if they ever visit this wonderful village young…”
“Selket, my name is Selket, Brother Seraph.” Selket replied, also with a bow and hands clasped together.
“May Dwayna watch over you young Selket.” Brother Seraph said as Selket left the shop. Selket looked back at the Monk and nodded to him, smiling, as she walked through the door back out onto the streets of Beetletun.
Selket returned to the inn so that she could apply her medicines to her wounds and rest. The innkeeper greeted her warmly as he did all his customers and showed Selket up to her room. It certainly wasn’t made for a King but it would suffice and was pleasant enough to want to stay in. He showed her where the necessary commodities were then left. Selket locked the door behind her then proceeded to strip her armour and clothing to wash her self clean and tend to her wounds. As she washed herself clean she pondered over all that had happened the past few days wondering how such bad luck could fall upon her. Then she smiled, after all if her luck was really that bad she would probably be dead now. Her thoughts tracked back to whom had saved her from her almost certain fate. She still had no clue as to who had saved her life and surely owed them a great debt for their deed. She dried herself down and wrapped around herself the towel that had been provided and sat down upon the bed.
“I don’t know which of the gods is watching over me but one of them surely was.” She said to herself as she applied some cream to her wounds, wincing as the medical solution stung a little. Her wounds were healing well considering, surely some sort of minor magic had been at work as her wounds were indeed, as Brother Seraph said, surely fatal. The events that had passed were a mystery to her. Someone had saved her life and she needed to know who and why. In the life of an Assassin deeds like that normally come at a price. Soon the thoughts that clouded Selkets mind disappeared and she drifted off to sleep, this time voluntarily, a hand resting on the Dagger placed under her pillow.
Just in case.
Part 4: Illusion of Weakness
A heavy rain fell upon the town of Beetletun, a strong wind carrying it across the town sending it crashing against storm shutters, rattling them, trying to pry them free. A small figure crept quietly through the town against the rain, completely hidden by the cloak worn around its head and shoulders. Keeping to the shadows and making no sound as it strode toward its destination, the figure was seen by none. Reaching the location it strived to seek the figure began to look for a way into the building it was hidden against that would keep it unseen from the watching eyes of the guard patrolling the streets.
As the wind picked up and slammed the storm shutters of the building against the walls the figure looked about, slightly startled by the sudden noise, checking warily to make sure it was undetected. It slowly began to climb up a sewage drainage system that was fixed upon the wall. Reaching out and grabbing a storm shutter that was loosely blowing in the wind the figure shimmied over to the ledge of the window it was meant to protect. Carefully the figure checked to see if the inhabitants of the room were awake before slowly prying the window open with its blade. Once opened it crept into the room and pulled the window shut, then remained still for a moment allowing its eyes to retain focus in the darkness of the room. Lightning flashed, illuminating the room slightly for a moment, showing someone sleeping in the only bed within the room. The lone figure remained still, awaiting the inevitable thunder that was to follow before making its way across the room to the door, which was the only other exit.
The door was locked from within, no latch existed. The shadowed figure quietly pulled out a lockpick and started picking at the lock. Lightning again bathed the room in light and the figure quickly glanced around to make sure the occupant of the room had not been awoken before carrying on with the task at hand. As the tumblers started to click into place the figure felt a sharp object pressed against its back. Slowly the figure rose hands held out high and to the sides showing no signs of any weapons. The owner of the sharp object spoke out, a soft, yet commanding voice drowning out the sound of the unrelenting rain.
“If you have a good reason to be within my room then now is the time to give it!” Lightning lit up the room at that point showing the cloaked figure to be around the same size as the woman holding the sharp weapon. The mysterious intruder remained silent, slowly turning to face the woman holding the weapon, hands still outstretched. Thunder echoed through the night, and with the end of the thunder came the end of the rain, the sound of gentle dripping being the only sign it ever existed in the first place. An eerie silence shrouded the room, the woman seemed nervous, her arm shaking slightly. The figure seemingly noticing this struck out at the woman, knocking the weapon from her hands and grabbing her by the throat, lifting her from the ground one handed then throwing her across the room. Crashing into the wall the woman landed hard on the wooden floor, choking and gasping for air. Just as she managed to stumble to her feet the cloaked attacker grabbed her again, throwing her across the room into the mirror hung upon the wall. As the woman crashed into the mirror fell with her smashing into large sharp pieces that cut her as it landed upon her. As she got up the figure strode across the room, arm outstretched to grab her again.
The woman lashed out as hard as she possibly could, out of sheer desperation, knocking the arm aside before plunging a shard of the broken mirror deep into her assailants ribcage. The intruder screamed in pain, but the woman had no relent as she lunged and lunged at her attacker in the darkness. As the body of the assailant fell to the ground, the woman for a moment stood silently still in shock before almost in a frenzy, leaping upon the intruder to land a final blow. As she raised her hand to strike lightning illuminated the room once more, the hood of the cloak had fallen revealing the face of the intruder. The woman gasped in horror at the face before her, sat atop her assailant, shard of glass raised above her head poised to strike.
“How can this be?” Before she could utter another word a sharp blade pierced her chest, rupturing her heart. Her eyes rolled back into her skull as she collapsed in a heap on the floor beside the intruder. She could feel her life quickly ebbing away as her heartbeat grew weaker and weaker. As she took her last breath everything around her began to distort into a kaleidoscope of colours as her mind began to rest. She could no longer feel any pulse of her heart beating in her body.
They say that when you die the last thing you see is your life flashing before your eyes. The last thing Selket Shadowdancer saw before she died was a Canthan face before her that was completely identical to her own.
Part 5: Underworld
The sound of a thousand whispers pulled at her soul, tormented screams ravaging at mind. Almost unbearable. Around her was nothingness, emptiness, yet everything. The moans and wails of the dead were intolerable, and it was at that point that it became apparent to Selket Shadowdancer that she was dead. Suddenly everything around her became silent and she found herself standing within a medium sized chamber. The walls glowed slightly blue hue in colour, and around the outskirts of the chamber was shrouded in darkness, not allowing one to see too far away.
“Come… Talk to me Selket Shadowdancer” A spirit quietly whispered, yet the spirits words were so clear it seemed like it was talking normally. Selket warily stepped towards the ghost, instinctively reaching for a dagger that she found, to her dismay, was not there. She cursed to herself at her apparent state of arms. She stopped just out of reach of the spirit which was stood before some sort of home made shrine. Candles burned on shelves tackily made behind the spirit.
“Who are you? Where am I? Am I really… dead? Selket couldn’t ask her questions to the spirit quickly enough.
“My name… is Sarah. You are within the Underworld, the realm of Grenth himself. If you are not dead then it seems the god of death himself has some purpose for you. Alas I am not a keeper of souls, so it is beyond me to tell you what your fate truly may be” Her voice went from a quiet whisper to a shrill scream. “RUN!!! The Grasping Darknesses, they will damn us both into oblivion!” The fear was evident in her voice as the clicking and screeching of the Grasping Darknesses could be heard in the darkness that surrounded Selket. She looked around the chamber and saw a chest across the other side.
“I will protect you Sarah… somehow.” Selket said, immediately running towards the chest, which at the time seemed like an offering of the gods themselves. It was ornately decorated and, at a closer inspection, had what seemed like no sort of lock at all. “If there’s no lock how the hell am I supposed to open it?” Selket exclaimed loudly, feeling around the chest for any form of hidden catches. Almost as soon as she had touched the chest the lid slowly opened, making no sound as it did so. Selket cautiously looked within the chest and was astounded at what was within it, a bow and a quiver of arrows. However this was no ordinary bow. It glowed an ethereal pale blue in colour and as Selket picked it up ripples of lightning surged up and down the length of the bow. She looked over toward Sarah, the ghost was cowering in fear, sobbing, it was evident she feared for her soul as the mob of Grasping Darknesses leered ever closer towards her. “Leave her be!” Selket shouted aggressively at the floating grey coloured Octopus like creatures, notching 5 arrows to her newly acquired bow as their tentacles flailed at Sarah. The Grasping Darknesses stopped at that point and quickly turned and closed in on the lone assassin.
Selket released the barrage of arrows into the clumped together mob that charged at her, and quickly readied another before releasing again. Lightning surged through the Grasping Darknesses as they fell to the overwhelming assault from Selkets repeated barrage of arrows, their tentacles flailing and twitching as they lay in their final throes of death. She looked down at the bow in her hands again, and smiled slightly at the weapon she now carried. “I could get used to this” Her joy was quickly interrupted by Sarahs voice, slowly and calmy whispering across the chamber to her.
“Thank you, Selket Shadowdancer, you have no doubt saved my soul from everlasting torment. I cannot give you the answers you seek, but perhaps I can lead you in the right direction to gain them.” Almost as soon as she had spoken she started running towards a set of steps that the Grasping Darknesses had previously entered the chamber from. “Come Selket, follow me quickly!” With almost no hesitation Selket broke into a quick dash, bow in hand, to catch up then ran just behind the spirit at a steady pace.
“Where are we going Sarah?” Selket asked, cautiously watching her footing as she took in the nature of her surroundings.
“To the one and only place you can get the answers you seek Selket Shadowdancer. The hall of Grenth himself” Sarah let up no pace as she spoke, but then one would not expect the dead to. They encountered no resistance on the run to the hall through icy wastes, though many strange creatures and many spirits could be seen along the way. Sarah pointed out the names of some of the creatures to Selket, creatures that had only previously been known to her in folklore. After nearly an hour the duo came to a halt within a large hall that was roofless. An ethereal sky lay above their heads. Before them were a large set of doors with what seemed like a shining light glowing between the cracks of the doors in the middle. Stone pillars lined to the left and right of Selket as she approached the stairs that the doors stood at the very top of.
“Thankyou for your assistance Sarah, but now I must venture forth alone.” Selktet turned toward the ghost but she was nowhere to be found. She had disappeared and now Selket was all alone before the very doors of Grenth himself, a shudder travelled down her spine as she thought about what she should do next. This was after all the realm of the gods, and before her was the chamber of Grenth himself. “Disturbing the peace of the gods themselves, however they may find that peace is probably not a good idea, but answers I must have!” and without any further though Selket climbed the steps to the great doors before her. As she reached the top she took in the marvel of the decoration inscribed upon the great doors of Grenths chamber before reaching out to push open the doors and head into the chambers of the god of death. However, Selket had a slight problem; the doors simply would not budge. It would have taken a giant to open those doors, and no matter how hard Selket pushed they just would not open, not even an inch. Selket tried to peek through the crack in the door to see beyond, but the light that shone through was almost blinding, not allowing her to see anything. “Great, I come all this way for nothing, now what do I do?” As if it was a magical password the great doors slowly started to shudder open. A mighty rumble shook the hall as they opened up, the light that was shining within suddenly bathing the hall, and Selket, in a great, blinding light. A female laugh could be heard in the distance, almost chaotic, yet at the same time soothing. As Selket stepped forward the light quickly dimmed and the source of the laughter was visible before her.
“Welcome Selket Shadowdancer.” The voice came from a woman whose beauty was unsurpassable, tall, dark haired, slender, and fair skinned. Her clothing was alluring, almost provocative. Selket stood mesmerised by the womans looks before another woman, identical to the first, approached her. “Welcome indeed.” The second woman spoke softly. It was at this point Selket realised she was not in the hall of Grenth, she wasn’t even in the Underworld. It was at this point that Selket realised who the women before her was, and that they were certainly no ordinary women.