Online:The Assassin of Alik'r
|See Also||Lore version|
|Collection||Tales of Tamriel|
|Found in the following locations:|
A Shadowscale goes where ordered to do what's needed. We mete out justice for those who are unable to do so themselves. Our goal is swift death, for torture is generally frowned upon.
I asked for a new assignment, one different from my last in Alik'r. Even now, I taste the bitter salt of its desolate shore; feel the sting of sand blowing into my eyes.
And I can still hear the screams.
Does one know how to be an assassin from birth? For me, it was foretold, and I felt strength flow from this knowledge. All I learned, all I experienced would fulfill my destiny.
Transgessors must be punished. There are laws which must be upheld. Betrayal cannot be forgiven. There is gold to be made.
But Alik'r was different. I watched the convicted ones for several days, tracking them across the supposedly untrackable wastelands they call deserts. My chance came near the crest of a ridge overlooking the sea.
"We're safe now," she said, her voice filled with hope.
"We will never be safe," he replied bitterly.
I slipped my blade from its sheath and started forward, when I heard the wind change in the skies above us, and slid back into shadow.
Harpies! Their foul-smelling wings spread wide, they circled the oblivious pair, slave-traders and lovers not meant to slake their desires, silhouettes against the bright starlit sky.
They screamed as the beast-women struck them with their claws, raking razor-sharp fingernails through soft Dunmeri flesh. The harpies toyed with their victims, mocking their cries in whatever garbled tongue passes for their language.
I waited to ensure their deaths before I left. It wasn't the end they were meant to have, but what does it matter? Death comes to us all, unbidden, unlooked-for, and occasionally, from above.