The guards hesitated to let me go because I was the build and the height of the person that had warned the guard about the soon to come explosion. Currently I was in the jail of Trollheim. "So your name is PritheeJohn Darellius?" The head guard asked me. "Yes." I answered. "Son of John Darellius?" he asked. "No, my mother was a fan of his, and decided to name me after him. I hold no relation to him." I said with a slight lump in my throat. The head guard caught this, but did not say anything. He sat in his elvish made chair, and stared at me. The jail was slightly colder than outside. Normally jails are warmer so that if someone were brought in drunk, they would not be uncomfortable in the cold, and just go to sleep. "Alright...you can leave. You will find your possessions in the next room." He said, but I knew he wanted to detain me. He watched me...he watched me all the way out the door. I could feel it.

Walking out onto the main street I saw people look my direction with hatred. I could see both fear, and despise. Over 40 people had shown up outside the jailhouse, and were staring at me. Some of the women had children in their arms. I could swear even the children were looking at me with hate. Looking past a section of the crowd I saw something I had expected, but was in no way prepared for. The Thieves Guild had already, overnight, sent a seeker. A seeker is an agent of the Assassin's Guild. He noticed me watching him, and started to fidget nervously. Seekers normally are trainees in the Assassin Guild. They are like the go-getters of the Thieves Guild. He wasn't accustomed to being watched. In fact, he had probably been told not to be seen under any circumstances. I was not able to ask him however because he swiftly took out a blade from behind his black robe. The robe is what set him apart from the crowd. The crowd wore thin, cool clothing. Nobody wore anything as restricting as a robe, especially in the heat. The seeker took the knife and thrust it into his stomach with such effort that he wasn't even able to scream in pain before he died. The crowd yelled and screamed at the body that lay in their midst. Dead bodies...I am seeing a lot of this lately...

**I ran as fast as I could to the Thieves Guild complex. It is hidden and cannot be seen by those who do not know the secret. In fact you could walk right through the complex without knowing it was there. The complex is a section of the forest un-enclosed by walls or moats. Thieves can see and hear someone coming up on the great city of pocket-pickers from over a mile away. As such they hide in trees or behind trees becoming invisible to those who would not be looking for the city I now call home. I knocked on a near-by tree, and a knot in the tree opened up. A face I recognized came out at me. "Training end early today kid?" the man asked.

"Something has happened!" I said grief stricken. "Are you being followed?!" The man asked furiously and whipped his head this way and that to try and see my trackers. "No. They be able to track my footsteps." I said. "Are you sure? The wolves the ogres carry these days could even track the elves in hunting season." He said. "Yes, I am sure. Even I would not have been able to find my own tracks." I whispered under my breath. "I find that hard to believe." Said a voice coming from behind a near-by tree. It was a friend of my fathers, Oraen. "Oraen, something has happened to Dad!" I screamed recognizing someone who could help me.**

The citizens were so distracted by the death of someone in their midst, that neither they nor the guards saw me leaving the center of the circle. I was almost at the gates ready to leave when someone called my name from behind. "Hey PritheeJohn...that's your name right?" A person wearing a robe and a bulge near his waist said. "That is my name." I said simply back at him. "My name is Reptile." He said somewhat proudly as if his name should be followed by the phrase "the third". "What an original name, did your mommy hit her head when you were born?" I asked. "No, why?" He asked back completely missing my reference. "Nothing, what do you want?" "Well I figure you need a guide back to Terra." He stated. "Why would you think I was going to Terra?" I asked confused by the man's assumption. "Well I see you don't have a weapon or armor, and you don't look like you have much cash on you, so I would be happy to buy you something in Terra."

"So what you are saying is that you want to walk me to Terra to buy me some cheap weapons and armor?" I asked in disbelief. "Yup." He said as if I hadn't insulted him. Of course I hear you can't insult stupid people. "Alright, whatever, lets go." I said. We walked outside the town, and went passed the crossroads all the way to Peaceful Fountain before Reptile uttered a single word. "I'm supposed to kill you now." He said with unnatural calmness. "Well you can try, there's no denying that, but I would like to warn you my father has trained me well." I said with equal calmness. "I know. Your father is John Darellius, a very famous thief. He was also skilled in battle." Reptile said to me as if he were reading a birth record. There are no such things in the Thieves Guild...we know who is whose kid...but there is no paperwork on it...at least...I am pretty sure there...isn't...

**"So you are saying, if I am not mistaken, is that Ogres hired an elf to assassinate your father? Then after he did his job, you attacked the elf, but didn't kill him. In fact, if I am following this right, you helped your father's murderer regain his health." A high council member said in almost disbelief. "He told me he didn't want to kill my father. He said he was forced to do it." I said in my defense. "And you believed him. Didn't your father tell you that elves were tricky? That they never tell the truth when they were captured?" the councilor asked. "Yes he did, which is why I wasn't knocked unconscious by the elf when he tried to strike me with his foot. I don't know why I believed him, but he sounded sincere. And after I left I was sure he wasn't lying because..." The councilor interrupted me with a few words of sarcasm: "Oh yes, now about the ogres. No report went out of Ogres inside our borders. There were also no reports of elves in our area, but then again they are usually in our city before we know they are here. Those sort of things don't bode well on our reputation."

The meeting I was currently in consisted of Oraen, Mayalo, and the high counselor of the Theives Guild. Of course I was there as well, but that has already been determined. They talked amongst themselves while I thought of my father's death over and over. I still held onto the hatred I felt towards the elf, but I did not hate the elf. I hated the Ogres, and the elf in black. They would taste the blade of thieves. There was no doubt in my mind. "We know what you would do." Another counselor said bringing my mind back to the present meeting, "You wish to take a party and go kill those who killed your father." "That is what I wish to do." I admitted. "There will be no such thing. Thieves are not people of open warfare. During the most recent battle we tried to not even come within 5000 yards of the main battle. It is not our way, and I shall hear of no plan that goes along with that."**

"So you know me, this much is obvious. I, however, do not know you. If you are so sure of killing me, at least let me know my killer before I die." I lied knowing full well this man, with his poorly hidden king's dagger, could not lay a hand on me let alone the dagger. "I am who I have already said I was. My name is Reptile, and I am here to kill you." He stated plainly as if this was how he had introduced himself to me when we first met. "But you have failed to mention that you are from the Assassin's Guild." I said blowing his cover. He did not seem to mind that I knew where he was from. It would seem he was so confident in his skill that even if I knew where he came from, I wouldn't know for long. "This is true," he said, "I am an assassin, and I have been hired by the Thieves Guild. Although I am sure you have already guessed this." He said saying out loud what I was thinking in secret.

"Yes I have. But I have done nothing to earn this assassination on me, until late. This does lead me to think that the party which I offended recently is the one who sent you." I said almost confusing my assassin. He figured it out though and recovered very well. "That is correct." He said plainly. "So would you kill me here unarmed, or do you have another king's dagger hidden under that robe?" I asked surprising him by finding his weapon he took such care in hiding. He stood there for a second stunned slightly by my observation. "I have no other weapon for you, but I would not kill you unarmed." He said. "So what is the third choice then?" I asked. "To not kill you of course," He said extending his hand. "My name is Reptile, former employee of the Assassin's Guild." He said while trying to hold back a grin.

**After hearing the counsel's decision, I climbed down the meeting tree, and stormed off towards my father's house. As I walked inside the empty place I called home, the loss of my father hit me true, and it hit me hard. I wept till sunset, and even into the night. My tears started out as tears of anger, and then continued to sadness. I had lost my mentor, my trainer, and most importantly, I had lost my father. I tried to remember all his good advise at once, so that I could perhaps keep him alive for just a little longer. I fell asleep thinking of the most relevant thing he ever said to me.

"Now remember son, nobody lives forever. Every thief's dream is to die an old man, unspoiled by the stench of jail, and unstained by the dirty blood of your victim. But the most important thing is to never die from another thinking being. To be killed is to remove the very thing thieves cherish the most. And that, son, is honor. Without honor, you are nothing. You are a body on the road, or wherever you die, because no one will claim you as theirs. Without honor, you cannot be buried with your ancestors. Remember this son." His words echoed over and over in my dreams right up until I awoke the next morning with tears still in my eyes. **

For several moments I stood there staring with doubts in my mind at his outreached hand. Many a time a thief had taken the hand of a stranger and had been poisoned by a concealed needle or dagger. He could see me waver, and he turned his hand over, palm up. "See? No dagger. No needle. All is well." He said almost as if reading my thoughts. I took his hand, and he shook it vigorously. "Nice to finally meet the man who went against his own order. I tell you what PJ, there are a lot of people mad at you, but there are a lot of people who admire you now. Don't ever forget that. With every great event, there are always two opinions that follow. Those against it, and those for it."

He released my hand and started to walk down the road toward the abandoned outpost, but stopped when I addressed him, "You called me PJ...keep that up and I will have to kill you." "Oh common," he smiled and turned, "it's a great nickname. Just give it a while and it will grow on you. I promise. If you still don't like it by tomorrow you can punch me one right across the lips ok...PJ?" As it turned out, I was able to punch him squarely on the nose. Of course right AFTER that, I liked my new nickname.

**I woke up to the sight of Mayalo, my father's trainer. He was older than the trees that we lived in. "A counselor would like a word with you." He said with the voice of air passing through a small hole at great rates of speed. When I arrived in the meeting place, the counselor motioned for me to take a chair at the table. I did so, and he began to speak, "You must go find your father's body, and you must do it fast. If you are not back within 3 days we will not be here when you return."

Thieves do not claim the bodies of their dead, unless their families present it to the high counselor. The reason being is that if we were to find my father's body, he would take him from me to be buried. No one else could bring it, and if we were gone too long, he would assume we were captured, tortured, and made to tell the location of the Guild. The counselor was giving me the unheard-of opportunity to go find my father's body, and to bury my father with honor. I was not about to let this opportunity go by. Even if it killed me trying to find his body, I would still try. No...I would succeed. There is no try, and there is NO fail.**

**~~Now remember son, nobody lives forever...to be killed is to remove the very thing thieves cherish the most... You are a body on the road or wherever you die because no one will claim you as theirs... Without honor, you cannot be buried with your ancestors...remember this son...~~**

His voice still echoes in my dreams almost every other night. One night on our travel to Terra, I woke up screaming, and scared Reptile so much; he got up so fast and pulled several muscles. I sometimes wonder if he was every bit the well-trained assassin he claims to be. We would talk for a little bit and he would try to convince me it was all a dream. It never worked. I knew my past. I can never escape my past, and I can never outlive it.

The next day while I was still in my blanket; I heard Reptile talking to someone. I sniffed quietly and determined that it was a female, human, and she didn't have any weapons made of discernable metals. I turned over slowly to see exactly who was talking to my companion. What I saw was not what I expected. It was a man...wearing a dress...with a large wooden club. I decided that I was still dreaming and rolled back over. "PJ! You're awake! Say hi to someone I just met on the road." Reptile said with too much enthusiasm for this early in the morning. I turned back over to see my friend talking with this...thing, but what I noticed more was that he had his kings dagger in his hand behind his back...what was he...going to do with...that....

**I am alone now. There is no denying this. There was nothing I could do about it. I was ready to go out to find my father's body if it was moved from where it lay yesterday. I figured it would have been moved. Ogres don't like for trophies to be left behind. Since my father was known so well in all races, I had no doubt in my mind that I should start looking in the Ogre encampments near the edge of our borders. I would need help, and the counselor agreed. He sent along with me, two warrior-thieves along with Oraen to help me find my father.

The two warrior-thieves were added with the counselor's request. Oraen was going to come with me regardless of the counselor's decision. So the four of us headed out from the Thieves Guild. The warriors were equipped with skull daggers, blood fiend skins, dark helmets, and clamshells. Oraen was equipped with the Oraenasta, a small but deadly dagger my father gave to him as a gift, and subsequently named after Oraen. He was wearing the same equipment as the warriors. And as for me...I was equipped with the jewel dagger I had taken from the elf, but what they didn't know, is that I would be searching for my father's weapon we used to use when we went to our training grounds. He never took the blade home with him. He was afraid one of the other thieves would take it. The Darellius Magister. It is a dagger that can only be handled by the heir of the previous owner.**

Despite how cheerful his voice sounded talking to this person, Reptile obviously didn't trust him any farther than he could throw him. I reached slowly for my keepsake jewel dagger that I keep under my pillow, and put it in my belt behind my back. I then stood up, and stretched. The man in the dress looked at me funny, then he yelled and came at me. Reptile was quick on the draw though, and sunk his Kings dagger deep into the neck of my attacker.

The dressed up man fell to the ground with a thud. "I didn't like the way he was talking. It sounded suspicious." Reptile said. "And the fact that he was clothed in a dress made no never mind to you?" I asked. "Well of course it did. In fact it's what gave me an idea of who he might be. See, I was supposed to have killed you last night, and return back to headquarters." He started to explain, "Since I didn't, the high masters think I either died, or joined you. This man here must be the Mad Dresser. He's another assassin. Supposedly he dresses oddly to make his enemies concentrate on his clothes, instead of the hit he is about to perform."

"Thank you Reptile. I owe you one. And I intend to pay you back." I said. He nodded in acknowledgement back to me, and we packed up so that we could head out as soon as possible.