The Honorable Assassin

Which is more dangerous — the enemy with a purpose, or the enemy without one?

--Zoraidia the Sage

He turned and looked behind him uneasily, eyes darting from side to side. But here in the dense thickets of the Forestborn's lands, it was nearly impossible to see beyond the dancing light of the bonfire. Shadows seemed to move on their own, and the night rustled with the sounds of unseen creatures. He tried to dismiss his concerns by focusing instead on the heavy purse he'd taken from an earlier luckless traveler, but not even the sparkle of gold coins could hold his attention for long.

A sharp crack made him leap to his feet, his dagger in his hand before he even realized what he'd done. He snatched up a burning stick from the fire and waved it in front of him like a torch, trying to see.


He let out a long sigh of relief and turned back to the warmth of his fire. Just as he turned, he felt a sharp sting at his throat, and his mouth opened in silent surprise.

Then everything went black.

The Forestborn felt no remorse as he glanced down at the body at his feet. He'd given him ample warning with that earlier misstep. Nothing more was needed.