Twine and bundles
A merchant. What does a merchant do anyway? Your father was often busy and away, but when he was home you looked forward to tagging along on “his business.”
A warehouse. Playing. Dodging between crates and barrels. Your father said, “Stay close. Stay in earshot.” Coming around a corner quickly you stumble, knocking over a barrel spilling it’s contents across the floor. Small sackcloth bundles bound with twine. You pick one up and it fits perfectly in your palm.
“Son!” Your father shouts from around a large spindle of twine. Startled you step back tripping over a pile of sackcloth linen. Your father runs up to you and sweeps you up in his arms. “I told you not to wander off!” The bundle falls breaking open on the stone floor. A fine, translucent, sand-like substance spills over the floor.
“Father,” you ask, “what is that?” Turning to see the broken bundle your father pauses. “Nothing, child…nothing.”
With a snap of your staff you ended her miserable existence. You did what you said you would do. Olive’s lifeless body now lay at your feet. The stain of her betrayal will no longer haunt Dagger Falls. A familiar burning crawls beneath your left forearm. You look down to see the tattoo of the dragon growing, twisting, writhing around your wrist and forearm. A soft glow and warmth fills your being as your memory drifts away…
The fire dances and pierces through the cool of the night. You stare intently at the tattoo. Mesmerizing. At times it seems to crawl along your skin. The same tattoo your master gave you many years ago. Spirit of the dragon. To look at you now. A foreigner in an alien land. A mercenary. Swinging steel like a commoner. How much longer can I do this?
“K!” The familiar sound of Dreg’s voice pierces the silence. Out of the darkness a familiar figure emerges, standing tall with a broad smile. The firelight dancing off his face. “May I share the fire with you?” You nod and motion for him to take a seat at the fire with you. After a long while, Dreg breaks the silence, “Kotono, you have served me well and have earned great honor. I am grateful to call you, friend.” You look up and see sincerity, depth, understanding. Who is this half-orc? “I have watched you for some time. Why do you stare so intently at that tattoo?” You look at Dreg and a tinge of fear sweeps over you as you consider him seeing you for what you really are, but then, peace. Reaching out to you he grasps your wrist. “I know you are not a common mercenary. I have seen this tattoo before. Steel is not your weapon. Embrace your destiny, friend.” A soft glow and warmth fills your being…