Ceci est l'article 4 sur 4 de la série Kyra

I arrived at dusk. I always liked this time of the day. It’s darker yet still bright enough for the trained eyes to see, and the fauna is quiet, diurnal animals are not here anymore, and nocturnal ones haven’t replaced them yet, making it easier to sense danger to come.
I had all my fortune on me, that is a set of foot pad clothes, four peaces of rancid darnassian bleu cheese, a worn dagger, a hundred throwing knives and not a copper in my pockets.

As I approached the abbey, a guard spotted me and called to me. Since I wasn’t hiding, I casually came to him. Apparently they are short of guards in the area, and they are recruiting any good willing soul that knows how to handle a weapon or any kind of arcane. Since I need the money to properly equip myself, I decided to go see the guard’s superior, Marshal McBride, inside the abbey.
The marshal wasn’t blind, he knew what I was. And in normal circumstances we will not be on the same side. But those days are hectic, humans and alliance must face more and more raids from the horde side. Its not open war, but the skirmishes are enough work to keep most of the guards occupied in the far sides of the kingdom. And the marshal had some domestic issues of his own with a group of kobolds. He asked me to lower their threat by taking out ten of the kobold vermin.
So I left the abbey and venture in the nearby woods. The kobold weren’t even hiding, they had established a small camp right outside the eastern walls. They weren’t even a threat to me; I mean I could have crossed their camped with nothing else but a curious look from their part. But instead of that, I took my dagger and started to strike them. Two strikes and I could eviscerate one of those beasts. Took me less than five minutes to complete the job, I even got time to loot the corpses. It had been a long time for me since I had to fight like that, and it really awoke my senses.

Level 2

I felt I was quicker and more precise after a few kills.
I went back to the marshal, showed him the loot as proof of the killing, well not all the loot of course, I had hidden the 36 coppers I had found first. It was mostly ragged leather and flimsy chain clothes, a few apples and some spring water. That was enough for the marshal, he gave me my 25 coppers fee and I got to keep the loot, it was a fair deal, I had made more money from the loot than from the reward itself!

The marshal had something else for me. First he had received an encrypted letter for me that I should give to a mysterious Jorik Kerrida. And second he wanted me to investigate Echo Ridge. Apparently some scouts spotted a much larger concentration of kobolds, and a workers camp near the mines. Again he asked for ten killing, this time of kobold workers. I took the letter and decided to sell my loot, then to search for this Jorik Kerrida, the kobolds could wait, their camp will still be there later on.
I made some extra coppers selling the stuff. I actually kept a pair of ragged leather bracers and a ragged cloak for my own use, and then I went looking for Jorik. He wasn’t really far, just standing in the shadows of the barn at the rear of the abbey. I gave him the letter and he received me as if I was a sister of some kind. Sacro-saint brotherhood of the rogues I presume… I never really have been around my own kind, so I wouldn’t know. Anyway, he taught me to stealth, which really was easy for me since I have pretty much been playing hide and seek for the past ten years. He also add that he could help me learn some more. I’ll keep that in mind…

After my quick training, I resumed my course toward Echo Ridge. Soon enough I found the kobold workers camp. They seemed a bit tougher than the vermins I had already killed, but I was feeling strong enough. So I entered the dance, strike, strike, eviscerate, strike, kill. I really didn’t need to stealth. Again the killing was over before the kobolds realized it.

Level 3

And again I felt I had been more precise in my last kill, more focused. I looted some more, and actually find a useful pair of ragged leather gloves for me.
Then I went back to the marshal who gave me my reward on my own word this time, forty coppers! I now had a full silver in my pocket, had not seen one of those since a while.
The marshal was eager to give me my reward since he had one last job for me. This time I was supposed to go inside the Echo Ridge mines and kill not ten, but twelve kobold laborers. No money in exchange of my task this time, but a nice outfitter belt. Since I could really use one of those, I took the path to the mines.

On my way I met Eagan Peltskinner. The guy was short of eight peaces of tough wolf meat. He asked me to get those for him in exchange of a pair of wolfskin bracers.
That really was a walk in the park; none of the beast even scratched me. Funny thing, I don’t know whose poor souls those wolves had attacked before, but one of them had a flimsy chain coat twisted around one of its leg, and another one had a pair of frayed pants caught in a claw. I dusted the coat and the pants and kept them for myself.
Actually, fighting the wolves was really different, faster, and more aggressive also.

Level 4

I could have sworn I had used some new moves during the fight, like my body was more flexible. So after getting my new wolfskin bracers, I decided to go back to Jorik to talk about it.
He actually found that I had much improved my dexterity and was ready to learn how to properly backstab a prey, as well as pick pocketing while being stealth. Pretty handy stuff!

After my lesson, I was curious to test all that new knowledge in a real fight, so I set course to the mines. There I ventured a bit, playing with the poor kobold laborers like they were toys. Hiding, backstabbing, striking out of nowhere, I had my twelve kills in about ten minutes. Longer than a face to face encounter kind of fight, but I felt so much more in control!
As I was putting my loot together, a young human paladin approached me and asked me in a duel. Allan was his name if I remember correctly. He was my rank, way more armoured than myself but hey, why not a little challenge?
As soon as the duel began, I went into stealth and ran on the side, in the darker corner of the cave. I immediately saw that he was disoriented by my move, roaming around, looking for his opponent. So I moved behind him and launched my backstab. He took it pretty well, thanks to his armour, but he still felt it. As he turned I stroked him in the flank. I saw his weapon in the air and tried to fledge… Too late! I took the hit from behind, a powerful hit too! I ran back in the shadows, time to recover a bit. That had been a bad move from my part, letting my back open, but at least I didn’t gave him a chance to touch me a second time and take control of the fight.
Again, I silently went behind him. That time I knew what to do. I backstabbed him once more, and doubled that by a first strike. Then he was onto me, but this time I did not move, not an inch. I knew it was going to hurt, but at the same time I felt his mass on my shoulder, I was striking him a second time in the flank. And when he lifted his weapon in the air for a second blow, I jumped on the side and eviscerate him. It was one of my most powerful moves, and he fell on his knees, duel was over.
I helped him to stand up, and that time I left him the time to heal himself. He was in all equity stronger than me, by his weapon and his armour. But he anticipated a more known way to fight, a way with honour, taunting and parades. Well, that day he learnt that the rogues were dancing on a much quicker pace. I left him to his quest and headed back to the marshal.

He gave me the belt he had promised, and told me I should report to the marshal of Goldshire. I intended to go there anyway, but not just yet.
First I sold my loot and made my second silver doing so. I even kept a nice frayed robe. Sure it is kind of blocking my movements, and it is not the best armour for me, but I’m also a woman, and it looks really good on me! So I kept it in my backpack, figured I might use it one day to sneak in a fashionable ball.
Before going to Goldshire, I wanted to talk to the guard in front of the abbey, the one that had called at me earlier in the evening. Since a while I could tell he was kind of trying to get my attention…
He wanted to ask me a favour. Rumour has it that a new thief’s brotherhood, called the “Defias” is growing on the other side of the river. Deputy Willem wanted me to bring him back ten red bandanas of those guys. With a nice militia dagger as a reward, you can bet I went there.

Honestly, those Defias thieves were way over-rated. I sneaked in their camp after killing the guard posted at the bridge. And then, I did not only backstabbed ten of them, I also pick pocketed them before attacking. I even managed to take onto three of them at the same time, well one of them was already half dead after the backstab I had inflicted him, and he found no better idea than calling for help! Fighting 3 to 1 pushed me to my limits, and

Level 5

I got out of it with a new strength.
Back to the deputy, I was now the proud owner of a brand new dagger! But the kind guard told me about a friend of his that could use the help of someone that could defeat the Defias so easily. He also mentioned a bounty on the head of one of the Defias boss called Garrick Pad Foot.

I went to see the deputy’s friend, a woman called Milly Osworth. She was devastated by the idea of loosing her grapes harvest because the Defias had taken over her fields. Since I was looking to go in the area to find that Garrick boss of them, I promised her I will take a look for her buckets and bring them back if I could.
Then I went, crossed the river and ventured in the vineyards. The buckets were there, in plain sight. I couldn’t get them all by just going into stealth; I had to cut some throats too. But I soon got the buckets, and before I knew it, the boss’s hut was in front of me.
Those two guys guarding it looked tough. So I went behind the first one for a nice backstab. Of course the second one arrived promptly to help his friend. But by the time he got there, his friend was in a whole lot of trouble already. I let him pounding at me while I finished my mark, then I turned back and started striking him like crazy, one, two, three, four hits. Here was my chance. One last strike, and I released a devastating eviscerate that left him dead on the spot. The damned son of his mother had ruined my bracers though; I will have to have them repaired. But for now, it was time to recover some health before confronting Garrick.

Some bosses are just nothing without their little busy bees to do the dirty work. Garrick was one of those. He opposed little resistance when he saw that he was left alone. It took me more time to sever his head than to actually kill him.
I was soon back to the deputy, and traded the bloody head of the Defias for a nice layered tunic. A bit provocative peace of clothing on my person, but a good protection nonetheless; and added to the ragged leather boots I had taken on one of the dead Defias, I had now nothing left of the clothes I had started with.
I left the deputy and went to give her buckets back to Milly. She was very happy and asked me to deliver a wine manifest to brother Neals, the food and drink keeper of the area.
I found him at the very top of the abbey. I don’t know if it was the exercise of climbing the stairs, or the wine emanations, but

Level 6

I felt much stronger when I reached the top of the abbey. Brother Neals was standing there, a little drunk and he offered me a filthy wine-stained cloak that I sold as soon as I could.
Nothing else was restraining me of leaving NorthShire, but before I did, I went to see Jorik one last time. Good for me, because he taught me how to gouge and also a neat little movement to improve my sinister strikes. He was showing off a bit, but I could see that I had mastered him now and that he will have nothing else to teach me, so I went to have my stuff repaired and finally took the road to Goldshire.

On my way, a nice guy accosted me and asked me if I was going to Goldshire down the road. As I acquiesced, he went on and on about his friend over there, the inn keeper, and how I should stop there, because he was doing the meanest stew around.
As I left him, I thought “An inn, why not?” After all, I had now three silvers in my pockets, I could afford a proper room and a bowl of stew when I’ll arrived.

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