Leap of Faith

Chapter 7 - Epilogue

Sard had just settled into a comfortable chair, cup of wine in hand, when there was a firm knock on the door. Reaching down to his right, he hoisted a cocked crossbow up from the floor. Pointing the weapon at the door, he called out.

"It's open."

The door slowly opened. A dark shape stood to one side of the doorway.

"Just me" said Daelynn.

Sard relaxed, placed the crossbow down and rose from the chair.

"Kestrel. Come in, please", said the thief, moving to the door to greet his visitor. "Glad that Brother Quintin was able to deliver my message. However, I did not expect to see you again so soon."

Daelynn walked into Poke's old apartment, now Sard's new safe-house. The elf was wearing her blue-trimmed grey cloak and a wide-brimmed slouch hat. A short sword was strapped to her back, the hilt jutting up over her right shoulder. She doffed the hat, turned and tossed it onto a peg that jutted from the wall beside the door. Turning back to her host, she locked eyes with him and smiled.

Sard stopped.

A few candles and a lantern gave sufficient light for Sard to see that the elf's eyes were now their normal violet colour.

"No dog. No cane. You and your goddess have… reconciled", he asked?

"Aye. Three days ago, at the close of the High Holy Day."

Taking her sword off, Daelynn hung it over a chair, then unfastened her cloak and threw it over the sword and chair. Standing with her hands on her hips, she surveyed the room.

"Place looks good", she said. "Where did… "

She pointed to the empty spot against the west wall where a large chest had stood. It had recently contained Poke's body.

"Ah. Disposed. You really can get rid of anything if you know the right people and have some coin", chuckled the thief.

Daelynn walked up to Sard, reached up with both hands and turned his face to the right, exposing his burned side to her.

"Not so bad", she said.

"Not so good, either", replied Sard, wryly.

Daelynn twisted her hands, rotating the thief's face the other way.

"This side is better, but not by all that much." She laughed as she spoke.

"Have a cup", asked Sard?

"Why not?' responded the elf. "I am a thirsty after an evening's work!"

Sard moved over to the tall table, poured a second cup of wine, and handed it to the elf.

"Busy few days?"

"Spying on the underlings of a dark goddess, delivering secret missives, and then several hours spent prowling Old Town. My recent absence allowed for the Black-Scar gang to grow too cocky. Had to put a few of them in their place", stated Daelynn. "And you?"

"Let's see", said Sard. "That debacle at the temple put Beshabans in a bad light. So, the Guild is cleaning house. I spread a few rumours that I was the one who saved Master Kelln. And, I let it be known that I was returning to the Thieves Guild and claiming my council seat. Doubt I will have to kill anyone to keep it."

Daelynn, leaning against the table, laughed.

"That is true enough! You did save Kelln", agreed the elf. "Talk of Divine Seekers, and Goddesses, are best left for story-time!"

Sard regarded his guest. The elf wore a long-sleeved tunic, leather breeches, and knee-high boots. She also wore Poke's old belt but had had an Elvish pattern stitched on to it. The buckle was also different. A long knife was strapped to her left leg.

Daelynn pulled a leather sack out from behind her back. Removing a bottle of wine from the sack, she placed it on the table beside the bottle that Sard had opened. Walking over to the man, the elf looked up at him.

"I recall that we agreed we needed more than one bottle of wine for this", she declared.

Sard saw that her violet eyes now appeared darker, almost purple.

"Ah", responded the thief. "You want to hear the tale of how and why Sir Roland and I parted ways!"

Daelynn rolled her eyes, shook her head, and turned back to the table to grab the open bottle. Leaving the second bottle on the table, she leisurely sauntered past Sard, heading towards the rear of the apartment.

"Bring a candle or lantern", she said over her shoulder, as she passed through the doorway into the darkened bedroom. "You will need some light if you are to find that second tattoo."

- END -