The young woman stalked her prey through the town streets. Light of foot, moving from hide to hide, it was a craft honed through years of necessity. Her parents, the fools, had let themselves be corrupted into the shadows long ago leaving her and her younger brother to fend for themselves.
Strong, loyal, obedient, her brother had found work as a blacksmith’s apprentice. She tried to follow a similar path, but simply lacked the skills to find success in any standard trade. Not wanting to be a drain on him, she left her brother without even a goodbye. No family, never one to be good at making friends, she struggled on her own, sat hungry and cold on the packed dirt alleys many nights. That is until she discovered her own natural talents.
El'Yst Maggann snuck up behind the two Arcanum scholars, neither the slightest clue of her presence. Just as she was about to pounce, their conversation caught her attention. She slipped back into the darkness to listen, staying hidden as she followed.
“One of the A’nekshay told me the most interesting tale the other day.”
“Ah, the A’nekshay… a good people, their culture is deeply fascinating.”
“Indeed. During the start of the Mu-miyah invasion of Neftet, there was one peculiar mage who stood out from the rest. He took many of the A’nekshay and bound them to his service, as was the dreadful custom of the time.”
“Terrible what befell such a peaceful elemental race.”
“True, true. At least they have begun to get some relief. Adventurers flocked to that city once they were enlightened to the A’nekshay’s very existence.”
“There are some great souls in these lands.”
“So he took several of the elementals, but then he did something odd. He retreated to a dungeon and sealed himself inside.”
“Strange… why would he do that?”
“Well, it seems he wanted to further his knowledge and reach a deeper understanding of this world and its magics. He even brought some special artifacts in with him to aid his thoughts.”
“What did he discover?”
“That’s the most fascinating part of all. No one knows. He’s never returned, and no one has ever found their way into his sanctuary.”
“That is intriguing. We should research this recluse more and discover what was so important about his studies and the belongings he brought with him.”
Maggann heard all she needed. She stumbled out of the dark, bumping directly into one of the researchers. Grumbling about the annoying intrusion, he never knew what hit him. Maggann stumbled back into the darkness, opened the pouch she had lifted, and counted all the pyreal and notes within.
“Well this should be just enough to buy myself a fine robe to play my next role; one which just might move me out of these dreadful alleys forever.”