The Crimson Dirks, V8

Author (in-game): Gathers-the-Coin

In his time with the Crimson Dirks, Urgnok had killed countless men, and heard all manner of reaction to their deaths. He’d heard women gasp, men cry, and children scream. Yet never in his life had he heard the noise that cascaded from the archways, when he plunged his sword into the belly of his assailant.


When the crew disbanded, many of the Dirks were forced into the shadows, yet Urgnok’s path took a different route. He met with a face butcher, adopted an alias, and joined the arena. And for the most part, the tactic seemed to work. These days, the only pursuers the Orc feared were the adoring fans that followed him in the street.

“I suggest you turn around now,” Urgnok grumbled, seeing a shadow cut through the door, “the last fan who annoyed me was this baker. He offered me a pastry, and I smashed his face in. Now he eats his sweet rolls through a straw.”

“Funny,” the shadow replied, “I seem to recall a sparring session years ago that ended with you crying back to Tyra like a newborn babe.”

“Zaharia. What are you doing here?”

“I came to see our mutual Orc friend,” the Redguard said, examining a nearby weapon,” I see you’ve already paid her a visit, judging by that armor. Dwarven, right? Although not exactly what I pictured.”

Urgnok spit at the ground, acknowledging what she left unspoken. The blacksmith was a magician with a hammer and anvil, working with all types of metal. Perhaps that was how the Redguard puzzled out his identity, yet it was unlikely a Blood-Kin would betray his confidence.

“You know, the funny thing about fighting styles,” Zaharia said, swinging the practice blade, “is that they’re almost like fingerprints. You may have changed your armor, your name, and even your face, but I recognized that clumsy top foot of yours almost immediately.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Urgnok sneered, “The guard haven’t sniffed me out yet, and they won’t ever. I’ve been able to hide in plain sight, while everyone else is dying in the shadows.”

“Hiding in plain sight may work in the short term,” Zaharia said, sliding the weapon back onto the rack, “But over time, you know what happens to things in plain sight? They get seen.”

“Cut the crap, Zaharia,” the Orc groused, “we both know I don’t care what you think.”

“True,” the Redguard replied, handing him a letter, “but you’ll care about this.”

Urgnok wasn’t sure how he was discovered, or who wrote the letter to the guard. Had Zaharia not killed its bearer, he would already be in chains. He stopped short of accusing Zaharia of forging the note, however. She was crafty, but not a liar.


“North,” said the Redguard, “Get into one of the Strongholds, or take a job fighting in the pits. Either way, you can’t stay here.”

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