"The Plans are Laid"

The walls were wet from the water above. The air was moist and damp. Lucan stepped carefully in this dark and dank place.

“The sewers were no place for one such as me,” he thought to himself. “Why was I summoned, It must be about the boy. I found the boy walking in town and I would have killed him, but he had the Dam Syndicate medallion. If I had killed him then the Syndicate would have known. Then all our plans would die, for there would have been Syndicate there to investigate.”

Lucan stopped at the scraping sound to his right. A small rat scurried to a small hole and disappeared. A little on edge he continued on through the sewers of Free Port. There were Thieves and cutthroat down here and even he had to be careful.

Lucan shivered as his thoughts returned to the Syndicate, “The master must be mad if thinks he can defeat the Syndicate, they are many and powerful.” Thoughts of the powerful Syndicate brought a figure to Lucan’s mind. Dressed all in blue, always laughing and singing, till he would lash out with his small sword and dice you into many pieces. The Syndicate Bard, this person brought anger to Lucan’s mind. Many times had he met this Bard, only to be fooled or lulled into some spell and left to die. “If I could just catch him in my hands before he could sing then I would have my reward,” Lucan smiled as he pictured this. Lucan stopped in his tracks as another figure intruded on his mind. Dressed all in black, dark eleven skin, power crackling at his finger tips. Lucan shuddered; this Dark elf would have to be taken out, but how. Anyone who ever faced him never lived to talk about it, except maybe Lucan himself. Lucan’s legs trembled a little as he remembered the only time he had Faced Demandred.

He watched as the traveler enters the gates of the city, his purse heavy. “Another purse to fatten my own,” Lucan thought to himself. Signaling the guards, Lucan follows the silent traveler and when he saw that he will pass close to a dark and lonely alley, Lucan took a side route and sat in waiting for what seems a nice reward for a nights works. The traveler steps into the entrance of the dark alley and stops. He turns and faces the alley; his teeth show as he smiles. Lucan waste no time in moving towards what he thinks is an easy target. “Ah entertainment,” the words Lucan hear as he rushes his victim. The travelers raised his hand up and blue lightning fires from his fingertips. Lucan is bathed in the blue light and cannot move.

The Traveler approaches the now immobile Lucan and pulls back his cloak. “You have picked a bad night to work, my friend,” the traveler said. “Not only have you chosen to attack a Syndicate member, you have chosen the one that cares little for your kind.” The traveler says as he lets his cowl fall back. Lucan now sees the Dark skin, white hair, and evil smile of a Dark Elf. “Many of my brothers would teach you a lesson and let you live, not me. I will rid this world of you disgusting presence for good. If you live long enough to see your friends then tell them you have insulted the Syndicate, and that Demandred has taken your life in payment.” Demandred raised his hands again and blue lightning shot forth again. Lucan fell to the ground, withering in agony. The Dark Elf replaced his cowl and smiling turned and left the alley.

Lucan tried to open his mouth to scream, but his muscles would not respond. Pain and torment were all he could feel. His life slip from him, slowly he was dying. With all the force left to him he placed his hands on his chest and prayed to his dark master. The pain receded as he felt the healing touch course through his body. Drawing in a deep breath as the pain faded, Lucan shouted out for help. At the end of his words the pain returned in force, again he could feel his life slip away from him. A footstep sounded close to his head and Lucan turned to look at his Brother, Jentry. Jentry bent down to Lucan and laid his hands on his head and said a few words. The immediate relief from the pain caused Lucan to pass out. When came to again the pain and blue lightning was gone, Jentry was sitting in front of him, He was pale and trembling.

“That took all I had, what happened to bring you to this state,” Jentry said. “If I had been just a few more minutes then you would have surely died.”

“It was a Dark Elf, he claimed to be part of the Syndicate,” Lucan said finally making it to a siting position.

“Did he give a name, did you recognize him at all? Jentry asked.

“He said a name, I cannot remember it though,” Lucan answered.

“Demanders, Demon, or something like that,” Lucan said.

“DEMANDRED?” Jentry said snapping his head up.

“Yeah that’s it, that was him. You know this Demandred?” Lucan asked.

“Everyone knows of this creature. He is high in the Syndicate and counted one of the most powerful Necromancer’s if not the most powerful in all of Norrath,” Jentry said with fear in his eyes. “You must pick your victims better next time. You are lucky I was close by and heard the sounds coming from this alley. I know of no one that has ever lived after an encounter from this Elf.”

A scraping sound brought Lucan out of deep thought. His legs still a little shaky, Lucan continued walking. A few minutes of walking brought Lucan to a large door with two guards dressed in black guarding the door.

“You are expected,” the right guard said.

Lucan reached for the door, but it moved to open before he could lay a hand on it. Neither guard moved as he entered the doorway. He stepped into a poorly lit room.

“You are late,” the small gnome sitting behind a desk said.

“I came as soon as I received the summons,” Lucan said.

“The master dose not like to be kept waiting, you had best hurry before he decides to come looking for you himself,” the gnome said making a small gesture.

Where once there was a wall of rock there now stood an iron door. Lucan stepped up to the door and pushed it open. He stepped into a room so large he could not see the far side. He resisted the urge to look around, he had been here many times and still he could not explain how this room could exist. Many times he had tried to find the ceiling or the far side of this room but it was just to dark. His footsteps echoed as he followed the path between the braziers, to the large throne and the figure seated upon it.

Lucan approaches the throne and kneels. The figure hidden by the shadows and sitting on what looks like a throne, looks down upon him. Although not a smart man, Lucan has his purposes as a pawn in his plans. “Little dose this man knows of his destiny, at great cost I have peered into his future and read the Signs. The signs are not clear but they each point to this man as the man who will Die a 1000 times,” the dark Figure thought.

“You disappoint me yet again you fool. I have asked that you destroy this boy before he comes into his power and you could not accomplish this small thing,” The dark figure said in a booming voice.

“But master, he had the symbol already. If I killed him then there would Syndicate here and that would ruin our Plans,” Lucan said.

“Your Plans! You fool these are my plans and do not forget this. You serve me and until I have no further use for you, you will serve me and not fail me,” the power in the dark figures voice could be felt as his voice faded in the echo’s of the room. “All is not lost yet. The youth has not yet come into his full power. You still can dispose of him before he becomes too powerful. Use all at your command and destroy him before this happens. If you fail me in this then you will suffer as no mortal has suffered before. Take this,” the dark figure leans out and drops a small box in Lucan’s hand, “before you destroy him, place the amulet he wars in this box. It will stop all from knowing what has happened to him. Mark my words fool, you must place the amulet in the box before he dies or all is for naught. After you have destroyed him then drop this box into a lava pit. Now be off and fail me not in this”!

Lucan rose to his feet; with a shaky hand he put the small box in his pocket and looked up to the dark figure. The shadows around his form clung to him like a mask. “I will not fail thee master”, Lucan said has he back away. Not wanting to present his back to this evil that had a hold on his life. Backing into the door, Lucan turned and stepped through. Instead of a small room, he found himself in the sewer tunnel again. Increasing his pace he hurried through the sewers. Plans raced through his mind. The youth had left long ago by boat and headed to the Lands of the Elves. Trackers would have to be sent out to find him. Opening the door from the sewers to the city, Lucan was confronted by Jentry. “Call out all the guard, we have a mission to complete and it must be done in all haste”, Lucan said. Closing the door and striding though the alley, Lucan and Jentry talked in whispers. Entering the main street, they headed towards the guard office, quietly talking between them.

The short stocky Dwarf dusted himself off as he passed through the main gates. “It has been a long month of traveling, I need to find a place to rest. Me thinks a bath and a good mug of Ale will clear the rest of the road dirt from me body and mind,” the Dwarf thought as he strode towards the Inn quarter of Freeport. “Perhaps there may be a wee chance some lass may be in need of some attention.” This thought brought a smile to the Dwarf’s face. Though short of body, many would know at a glace that this was no novice that walked with a purpose. Each step he took told of the confidence and skill this Warrior possessed. The scars on his thick arms and proud face showed he had spent time in many battles. Many people stepped aside as he made his way to a favorite inn he knew of in this town. Many guards watched his approach, showing no interest at all the Dwarf continued on his way with out so much as a glance in their direction. A smile spread across the dwarf’s face as he caught sight of his target. The Dragon Inn sign showed the outline of a Dragon carrying a mug of ale in his claws. Pushing the doors open, the Dwarf stepped into the inn. The bar maid approach the Dwarf, “ what will it be for thee this day M’Lord?” “Bring me some ale and something to eat deary, it has been a long time on the road and I need to clear my mind a bit,” the Dwarf said as he flipped a platinum coin towards the barmaid. “I’ll be needing a room and a hot bath also, if you would be setting that up for me as well.” The bar maid caught the coin and her eyes gleamed, “Coming right up M’Lord,” she said as she scurried away. Selecting a small table in the room, the Dwarf took off his packs and sat down to rest. The bar maid approached with a mug and a platter of food. Setting them on the table, the bar maid asked, “Will thee be needing anything else M’Lord? Your bath and room is ready upstairs first door on the right. I will take your things to your room while you enjoy your meal.” As the barmaid Bent over to grab the packs, the Dwarf reached out and cupped her backside in his large hands. Letting out a small squeal, the barmaid smiled at the Dwarf and headed up the stairs with his packs in his arms. The smile on the Dwarf’s face faded into hunger as he looked at the platter in front of him. A month of living on trail rations made his stomach rumble, taking a leg of meat off the platter, he quickly tore into the meal before him.

Five mugs of ale and two more helpings of food later, the Dwarf leaned back in his chair and brushed away the crumbs on his shirt. The Inn had filled a little while he had been eating. Glancing around the room, his eyes came to rest on the two city guards near the bar. His stomach full and his throat no longer dry; the Dwarf turned his head to hear what was being said. The dwarf had spent many a day in the woods listening for the approach of his enemy. His hearing was better then most and he easily picked up the conversation between the two guards

“So we do not kill him but just capture him,” the whispering voice asked. “Yes you idiot,” another voice answers in a whisper. “We are not to hurt him only to take him and get him to the master as soon as we can.” “How do we recognize him, there are many young men in the city?” the first voice said. “Lucan said to look for a snobbish young Paladin. Not to skilled but has a swelled head” The Dwarf’s head turned to look at he guards at the mention of Lucan’s name. That name was well known; anyone that he is after would be in serious trouble. The Dwarf again turned his ear to the Guards, all thoughts of a bath and sleep leaving his mind. “He left Butch Block two days back and should be in port this evening or at the latest in the morning. Jentry told me to tell you we have the night watch and if the boat comes in then we must get word to him as soon as we see the sails.” The guards voice said. “Did you catch the name of this Youth?” the first voice asked. “Let me see, it was Lonin or Loriin or something like that. I am sure we will not miss him when we see him. His name is not important,” the second guards voice answered.
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