I am working on a fantasy novel at the moment and I heard that if you are going to make a character, any character from the protagonist to the minor characters, make sure you can write a whole story about them. Chances are we won’t use these stories or mention them but it helps the writer flesh out the character, know how he will act and what his motivations are.
So today I have made a little short story about one of them. He has no name at the moment but I doubt he would use it even if I gave him one. This isn’t his full story but I wanted to write a bit of his origin and what he does.
If it’s good I may return to him.
So without further ado. Here is the Assassin.
What was left of the man lay in the dessert, broken, burned and near death. He lay naked on the scorching sands but he couldn’t feel the heat. His skin was blistered and burned, holes in his cheeks where acid and poison did its work. Not a hair on what’s left of his body. It was a miracle that he made it this far.
And the day started out so well.
He was hanging over the fortress, hands bound to a small crane, an example to the other denizens of what happens to a spy.
He thought to himself, step on complete, infiltrate the fortress.
Yet hanging from this position wasn’t ideal, he expected a cage with a lock or perhaps a pit of some kind.
Not that it was a problem.
He looked around for guards; the same two men patrolled the rooftops.
He began swinging on his rope, just lightly at first, then building up momentum.
Three. Two. One
A quick swing right to the wall, he used his bare feet to grip onto the wall, then pull himself up almost like a monkey. Hands still bound he looked for something sharp, no joy, still there was always the guards blades. Now where were they? Ah coming right over for patrol.
Clad in bronze armour they had a small knife on their belts as well as their scimitars. Easy enough.
He jumped out of the turrets and wrapped the rope around ones neck and planted a foot on his neck to strangle him. The other guard made a swing but with his dying friend in the way he couldn’t get a hit. The guard then used his sword to cut the rope, freeing the first guard. Now a downward blow to kill this man who merely jumped back and let the blade slice through his bounds.
The prisoner made a mocking bow.
Then attacked, he pushed his sword hand up and knocked him against the sandstone wall, grapping his knife and throwing it into the throat of the first guard, now he pulled the second away from the wall, side stepped and kicked his leg joint. The guard now on his knees the prisoner held him in a headlock and broke his neck.
“Again I thank you both for the co-operation.”
The prisoner retrieved the knives and one of the scimitars.
Step two, deal with the actual spy.
The hanging bodies lined each corner of the fort, his spy was on the opposite side, it wasn’t difficult, and there is no need to guard the bodies of the dead and dying so he reached the spy with ease.
“Oh thank the gods, you’re here to rescue me, I-I have the information I-“
“Hush now, just tells me what you know and I shall cut you free.”
“I-It’s the king of the southern lands. Well the religion their really, they are preparing to go to war in the west, the lord who owns this f-fort his son plans to help them.”
“Ah typical money loving lords eh. Now tell me, have you told anyone else?”
“N-NO! Of course not.”
“Good, I’ll let you down now.”
With a swing of the sword he severed the rope, dropping the spy off the fort, he was too weak to scream and hit the ground with a loud thump.
Step 3, grab my gear.
Inside the fort there were plenty of ways to hide, up on rafters, inside baskets and even closets. He made no sound as he went by and although he saw plenty of guards no one saw him. He found his items held in a cabinet. A simple lock pick away. He quickly changed out of the prison rags and into black leather armour, black cotton legs, soft soled boots and his cloth mask. He also picked up his blade, a knife as large as his fore arm, a sheath of smaller more throw able knifes and a couple of smoke bombs.
Easier done than said.
Step 4, kill the fort lord.
He left the room the same way he entered, hiding in the shadows as he went. He even pickpocketed a passing guard because he can.
When he reached the lords chamber he could tell this will be annoying. He could hear the dancers and whores entertaining the man, a large fat man in jewels with slaves feeding him nuts and fruit. Two guards flanked him as protection, though they were more focused on the dancers as well.
But still no point waiting here.
Up on the rafters he looked down at the target.
I could poison his wine without him knowing it? He would be dead by the time I am long gone. No, why waste decent poison?
A knife in each guard and then slit his throat? Yes that will be better.
And the girls? Smoke bomb will obscure their vision, easy.
He did just that, throwing the bomb down into the girls, it made a loud popping noise and dust filled the room. He jumped off the rafter and threw two knifes into the throats of each guard then using his large knife he slit the throat of the bulbous mass before he could utter a sound.
By the time the dust faded away he was gone.
“You did well, my student. I knew I could trust you”
“Just doing what my life intended Sensei. I couldn’t have done it without the skills you taught me.” He replied kneeling.
“We are grateful. But your work is not over yet, our employers also wish to speak to you.”
“Of course, the spy’s information”
The employers wore simple clothing, brown and white ropes, trying to remain inconspicuous. Yet he could tell they were from the southern countries, they had smooth and pink skin making them stand out here. After giving the information he had learned and revealing that he had the spy killed as requested they seemed pleased.
“Very good, your order will be a valuable ally in the future.”
“Glad to be of service.”
“Oh not you, I am afraid you have done enough. You see, the information you have is all need to know. I can’t have you running around selling our secrets can we?”
“I swear I would never betray an employer, especially one who pays so well.”
“I can’t take the risk I am afraid.”
With that the assassin was hit on the head with a blunt instrument, his master had delivered the blow.
“I am sorry young one, but it is for the good of the order.”
“But senc-“he was knocked out.
When he woke up he was in a pit, as deep as a grave. His arms and legs were star fished out; rusty nails nailed him to the ground. And he was naked.
“He has awoken.” A gruff voice said.
“Good, we shall begin. I look forward to seeing how this stuff work.” A polite and sophisticated. Clearly one of the southern men.
And so they began, a bottle of clear water like liquid was poured onto him, it burned and blistered his skin, he screamed in agony, trying to pull the nails out and escape.
But he couldn’t.
He didn’t remember how long they did this, how many bottles and what their contents were. But he remembered the burning as his skin melted before his eyes.
He woke up crawling out of the sand, he can’t remember being buried much less get out of the nails. But it wasn’t as surprising as the pain.
There was none, his burned hands crawled through the sands and felt nothing. But one thing was on his mind, his sister. Was she alive, was she ok.
After a while he was walking through the dessert, he knows his way but is weary, a burnt man walking through the night. Maybe he is dead, just an animated body or a ghost haunting these wastes.
He pulled out of these thoughts, he was alive, his blood pounding through his veins is all the evidence he needs.
He kept walking. Hoping his sister was safe.
There was no house left, nothing but a burning husk of blackened wood.
And there she was, lying in her own blood, wearing a silk dress he once got her, now torn and stained with blood.
His knife still in her chest.
He screamed at the night. Screamed with fury and grief.
He sat their dazed for a lifetime, unable to cry and unable to think.
By morning he knew what he would do.
Vengeance, vengeance is all he could think of.
He took his knife, determined to use it against those who used it against him.
He tore a strip of silk from the bloody dress and tied it to the hilt as a reminder; a reminder of what killed his sister and what he must do with it. And then he marched into the dessert. Naked and burned, knowing that he only lives for vengeance.