Four weeks had passed since the events at the temple left the Senator Tiberius in shackles and scheduled for execution. Personally, I couldn’t care less about Maran politics – they bore me endlessly with their quibbles – but I work for Cevero Martamian, who is not only intricately tied to Maran society, but the man most directly responsible for Tiberius’ capture and conviction.
It was thus that Cevero called me into the main audience room at his estate in the city and discussed with me his new plan – to break Tiberius out of prison and move him to the safety of foreign shores. I admit that at first I thought of ending my tenure with the man. He was a good boss, to be sure, but chasing down a senator and fighting off cultist was one thing; breaking into a Maran prison and risking death for some politician, quite another. Still, his purse strings are loose, and Cevero sweetened the deal more by explaining the situation further: Tiberius was quite innocent, a progressive man interested in upholding peace and advancing social policy; a man who would defy the senate in battle; who would fight and die to protect ordinary people. Cevero would, by my estimation, gain great glory for his family by helping such a fallen hero reclaim his rightful place. My sense of honor roused (and my pockets brimming with coins) I agreed – for such a man to die in prison would be an honorless murder. I can admit, too, the fact that I would have the chance to match steel with several legionnaires greatly improve my disposition.
I left to collect the things we would need and returned to the house to find Cevero speaking to an Eldar – Vanek. The lithe creature spoke well and it was made clear to me that he would accompany us in both the breakout and the journey afterwards: for we were to move Tiberius to the Elven Lands. I could see the prospect of battle and glory slipping away (there was little hope for glory in such a foreign place) but, as I am Cevero’s servant and had already agreed to do a job, I had to oblige.
The plan was simple – I would travel into the prison with Vanek, come to Tiberius’ cell, use two potions to disguise Tiberius and myself as prison guards, then create confusion and claim there had been a break-out. Meanwhile Cevero would use his considerable influence over the public to whip them into a frenzy outside. The distraction within the prison would let us move Tiberius to the streets, while the distraction outside would cover and hasten our retreat.
Everything went swimmingly – once we had Tiberius, I tore the head from the lone guard sent with us to his cell. Tiberius and I downed our droughts and were thus garbed in the gear of the prisoner legions. We moved hastily outside where I killed another guard, before running into the plaza where I dropped my disguise. When I doubled back to the Elf and Tiberius, they had been surrounded by a team of men in black garbed. Well armed they were, and gesturing at Tiberius and Vanek in a threatening way. I approached from behind and subdued the leader, but not before his blade cut deep into my chest. I grabbed him and ordered him to stop his attack – they wanted Tiberius and so did we. In fact, Tiberius had indicated that they were friends of his. Surely we could work together?
Apparently not – they continued their assault and Tiberius fled, Vanek in hot pursuit. I held them off for a time, but my wounds were too grievous. I limped through the streets of Mara towards Cevero’s boat, which we had made up to look like a common fishing vessel. Long before I reached it, I collapsed against a stone wall in an alleyway, all but exhausted. Every step I tried to take, my wounds bled worse and I knew I would die. I was not scared, simply disappointed. To die in an unmarked alley, having failed my task which itself was not so grand a thing, and to have no Gnoll near to hear my Dying Breath.
Just then, a curious Orc came trotting down the alley. He picked me up, spoke some brief words of encouragement and jogged away. Instantly, my wounds were sealed and though I was still hurt, I found myself renewed by this second chance. I ran to the docks where I found I was the first to arrive. Soon I was joined by the self-same Orc! He ran up the gang plank and onto the main deck where he claimed the boat was his. I had to tell him that, although I was extremely grateful – and indeed, owed him a great debt of service – this was in fact the boat of my employer (I could see how he made the mistake – the boat was disguised as a common ship).
The Orc spoke in circles but it soon became clear that the Orc was Cevero in disguise! He left me stunned on the deck and went into his personal cabin where he soon emerged quite his normal self. Just then Vanek was arriving with Tiberius and I gave the order to beat the oars. We were off, cruising out of the Crimson Bay and beyond, to the Elven Lands.
Tiberius was grateful, if shaken, and Cevero was in good spirits, considering. And I? I was pleased. Pleased to be alive and with the open sea-air running through my mane. Pleased to have spilled blood that day in the pursuit of honor and glory (even if it was only two tiny guards). Most pleased of all, however, to work for a Maran who valued the life of a Gabo. He does his family much honor in this respect.