Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rune Takk

Poor houses depressed Rune. Derelict woodwork with no style, built purely for convenience, they barely keep out the rain. No delicate carvings or comforting windows graced these poor excuses for buildings. Even for stacked shacks they were poorly constructed, every pun intended, and she couldn’t help but turn her mouth down at the sloppy nail work and filing every time she passed by. If she had any choice in the matter she would go around through the artisans quarter, where each and every oddly-cut window was adorned with ribbons, amulets, chimes, or some sign of the dweller’s trade. The detour added about 10 minutes to the trip, but it was worth it to not go through this quarter. Lately, though, the way of passage hadn’t been up to her at all, and it was getting annoying. She compared the thoughtless pounding of nails that went into these dwellings with the crushing grip of the man on her right, the misshapen sloppiness and soggy rotting edges to the gait of the woman on her left. The woman’s hold on Rune’s arm was softer, no doubt she would rather slit Rune’s throat if she tried to escape than go through the trouble of maintaining the tug. Last time the pair come to fetch her had been much handsomer and much louder, these two were creeping her out with their decisive silence. Could it be Takk was finally sick of dealing with her and had made up his mind to get her out of under his feet for good? A month ago she would never have thought so, she knew she was too valuable for him, but lately... lately, things hadn’t been all good. A greater slice of bad if she had to think of it that way. For every two jobs she managed to get done like usual, with no trouble and shining results, she messed one up so badly Takk had to pull out completely. Her reputation as the best and infallible was shot at this point, the grim expressions on her captors faces confirming what she hoped was her being too hard on herself. What would she do if he really was going to— the snail slime. She’d blame it on the snail slime. Wrong type of snails for the confection, what were his gathering brats thinking? Except she couldn’t remember the markings on the snails required if such small details mattered in her profession. She cursed herself for insisting on gathering most of her own spell ingredients, next time she’d have a wider variety of people to blame things on if it all came back to bite her in the ass. They approached the tunnel leading under an ordinary collection of infested houses to an inner dwelling place hidden from random wandering and street patrol. It was said the higher council was located not far from there, in a series of underground lairs. If only she could see such ingenious planning before she croaked. Imagining the expression on his face, cold and still, was enough to make her wish she was anywhere in the world besides heading to meet with Takk Ghini.

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