(From Corone Mission Board, “Assassination”; closed to Tobias Stalt)
The flavor of a good pipe never really got old to Storm, as he breathed in the rich burn of the smooth tobacco. Nothing else calmed him down as reliably, he considered, as he leaned back against the grey-stone wall of the Radasanth library. The rising sun was a welcome respite from the morning cold, as his thin dress shirt and fine linen suitcoat were not designed for harsh weather.
Where in the blue hell are you? Nine-thirty my ass…
The small, squirrely man with nervous eyes quickly popped around the corner, searching for the tall wizard and his eyes widening further when he spotted the infamous villain. Amidst the morning bustle, others looked at the squat traveler with confusion as he bumped into several, bee-lining towards Veritas with an effeminate, low-handed wave.
“So good to find you! Here, you know how to read common, I presume?” His nervous voice fit well with his useless, tubby frame. A wattle of blubber shook under his chin as he spoke.
“Enough!” Storm glared through thin, furious eyes as he breathed a mouthful of smoke at the small man. He took the envelope the man carried without hesitation, pulling it tightly into his vest pocket and tapping the edge of the paper frame flush to the bottom of the pocket. “We’re done.”
He turned and walked away, leaving the confused and flabbergasted messenger awaiting some response. The job would be simple; if Storm had planned anything but acceptance, he would not have met in the first place.
Walking up the stairs of the library, Storm entered and quickly strolled to an abandoned stretch of bookshelves lined in neat rows. At any time of day in Radasanth, one could find five men in a bar for every human in the library. He quickly opened the envelope and extracted a few bank notes and the letter.
Storm neither smiled, smirked, nor frowned upon reading the note; there weren’t any real surprises in there. It was a simple job, one which felt absurdly overdone with the solicitation of two experts in the field. He could easily have done it himself, but reasoned that another set of trustworthy hands would help make things operate more smoothly. There was one thought which bounced around his head, not settling quite right with him.***~~~***
As per our arrangement, the needs of the people outweigh the ambitions of the few. The first one hundred and fifty crowns are enclosed for you based on good faith of your acceptance. We will send a messenger following completion of your task the morning following execution at the same point of contact.
Your job is to remove Edwin Francis from office. We have sent similar details to your colleague, whom we have found to be equally skilled in handling delicate matters such as these.
We thank you in advance for your discretion and valor.
The People of Radasanth
Amazing how these people make an execution seem like public service. You don’t hire killers to be heroes; you hire killers to kill.
He took another deep pull from his cherrywood pipe, lighting a furious fire within the bowl. He rolled the letter and envelope into a tight cylinder, pushing the edge down and smoking, feeling the fire catch quickly on the corner.
The small fire had burned through over half the paper when a neatly dressed old woman came around the corner as a house of fire.
“What is the meaning of this!? There is no smoking in the…”
Despite the old, greyed eyes that hinted at cataracts, the elder statesmen of the city knew Storm Veritas when they saw him. Fearful from the horror stories of years ago, her tone and volume dropped like a stone.
“Ahem, I’m sorry. Please take your smoke outside sir, these books are very flammable.”
Didn’t back down completely, I like that. Ballsy old bitch. Good.
Bright white teeth flashed in a smile that clenched his pipe taut. Nodding with a hint of respect, the would-be assassin carried the last edge of paper past the terrified woman. His hand quite warm from the burning paper, he hurried outside, where the wind quickly killed the fire. Only black ash and tiny fragments of parchment remained. With one more deep inhale, Storm finished his pipe.
Time to go; work to do.