The Prettiest Maidens Sing the Saddest Songs
Morah, A Bard's Tale
Chapter 3: The Making of A War
The night wind was unusually quiet for Stormreach. The breeze that would normally blow through the harbor and the streets of the city had abated for the evening. Telano Boromar sat crouched behind some stacks of barrels in an alley of a hidden section of the Stormreach Harbor. Flanking him on either side were two of his distant cousins. The halfling rogue had chosen them specifically for their loyalty to him and for their discretion.
Saldez Boromar had given Telano strict instructions not to make a move against the Dassk until they had gathered enough information to know everything about the extent of the Dassk’s power and influence in the city. Saldez’s larger plan was to strike only when it would make the biggest impact on the Dassk, and perhaps shut them down entirely.
Telano clenched his fists at the thought of doing nothing. He had waited far too long! This was too perfect, too good of an opportunity to pass up. Corvile, the human rogue who was the head of operations for the Dassk in Stormreach, had entered a brothel alone. Indeed, he was still there. Telano could hear the music of a lute and the laughter of many human courtesans’ drift out of an upper window, and down to the street below.
The fact that Corvile was bold enough to walk around the city unescorted was further evidence that the Dassk lacked regard for the Boromars. Telano told himself that after tonight they would have to show his family more respect! He smiled a bit to himself, thinking that if he were able to stop them by himself, he would be rewarded.
The skinny visage that was Corvile appeared on the street. He was overly pleased for several reasons. The samples of Dream Lily he had given to the courtesans were a big success. This house would be a regular customer once the entire field was harvested; a fact he knew would make him very rich.
Glancing around, his dark eyes searched the darkness. His personal guard was supposed to be waiting for him here. Silently he cursed their ineptitude and began walking through the alley unescorted. Corvile heard a noise behind him and stopped abruptly.
“Who’s there?” He spat into the darkness. In response, he heard nothing save the echo of water dripping into the alley from the rooftops and the scurrying sounds of rats moving in the shadows. “Sevante is that you?” He asked again into the nothingness calling the leader of his hired men by name. Still there was no response.
Corvile turned and continued down the ally and was pulled into exquisite darkness abruptly as Telano Boromar pulled a bag over the man’s head and cinched it back so that it could not easily be removed. Telano’s cousins were out then, hitting the rogue repeatedly with clubs. Corvile managed to blindly grab one of them, throw him roughly over his shoulder, and into the wall of the ally. Ripping the bag from his head, Corvile ran at full speed down the ally and into the street that emptied into the doc. Several lucky shots landed on Corvile’s neck and back as his assailants pursued him relentlessly, following him down the deserted street.
Corvile could see the peer in front of him. He tapped an enchanted ring on his finger and began running at very fast pace. So fast, in fact, that his pursuers could not keep up. He sprang into the water from the end of the peer. As he floated away bloody and bruised he could see the silhouette of a halfling holding a club looking out over the water. His eyes narrowed and pure hatred welled up within him. “Boromar…” he said to himself through gritted teeth.
The next morning, birds were singing outside the window of Saldez Boromar’s villa that overlooked the well-manicured gardens of House Jorasco. Light streamed into the open window of the bedroom he shared with his companion, Morah. Saldez stared up at the ceiling with his hands relaxing easily behind his head, the sheets from his bed draped across his hips. Only one thing was on his mind this morning; the Race of The Eight Winds. He had lost more time training than he would have liked dealing with the loss of one of his fields of Dream Lily. Lying in his bed next to the sleeping Morah, Saldez decided silently that he had wasted enough time.
Morah’s soft moaning broke into his thoughts and the pretty girl rolled over to nuzzle her head on Saldez’s chest and wrap her arms around him. In response the halfling brought on of his hands down to stroke the girl’s hair.
“Why did you not go out to train today love?” She asked stretching. It was unusual for the athletic little halfling to be there when Morah woke up.
Smiling, Saldez grabbed the girl playfully and kissed her, “are you trying to get rid of me?”
Morah giggled in return and accepted his affection gratefully. “Of course not, Silly!” She looked at him a bit concerned. “What’s the matter? Are you not feeling well?”
Looking at Morah suddenly and very seriously replied, “I’m fine Lovely, it’s just,” he paused realizing that this would be harder than he expected. “I am arranging for my Glidewing to be transported to Stormreach. I have to train with it as much as I can, or I will not win the race.”
The girl knew that nothing was more important to Saldez than the Race of the Eight Winds. She also realized that time was growing short for him. “When will he be here?” She asked.
“She,” Saldez corrected, “will be here as soon as I arrive in the Sharin to go and get her.” He went silent to allow Morah to process the realization that he was planning to leave.
Her eyes glazed over with sadness and concern, “I could come with you.” She said hopefully, but Saldez was already shaking his head no.
“No Lovely,” he smiled, “where I am headed is no place for a beautiful woman.” He caressed her face and kissed her forehead.
Morah was not pleased at the thought of being left alone, “how long will you be gone?” She asked.
He thought over the matter carefully, there might be more business he had to attend to. “Four days, perhaps five,” he grabbed her hand and kissed her fingers lightly, “I want you to go and visit the ranger from the port authority, your cousin’s friend, Gindel. Do you know him?”
Morah looked displeased, “of course I know him.” She replied, “I wondered how long it would take Lessah to set her dogs on me.” She rolled into Saldez and wrapped her arms around him tightly. “Why can’t I come with you?”
“She only cares about what happens to you Lovely.” Saldez comforted the girl. “I care as well, which is why I think you should pay him a visit.” He lifted her face so he could hold her eyes in his, “promise me you will do this?”
Morah had long since given her whole heart over to the handsome, young halfling, and she could no more refuse a request from him than she could willingly stop her heart from beating. “I will,” she nodded and changed her tone suddenly, “but you must promise that no other girls are going try and steal you away from me while you’re gone!”
Saldez laughed and hugged Morah tightly, “do not worry Lovely,” he assured her, “I cannot be stolen.”
She seemed overly pleased at this response and Morah proceeded to shower the man with affection in an attempt to make him miss her as much as possible.