The golden fields sway in a gentle breeze, in the distance a hint of smoke glides along wind. A commotion can be heard as metal clangs on metal. As the din of sound rings through the air a woman screams.
Rynn snaps awake shaking the sleep from his head. Groggy, he stands taking the few steps to a puddle that formed during the night. Cupping the cold dirty water in his hands he rubs his face.
“Damn dream” he sighs to himself.
His eyes flutter open as he checks himself making sure no one divested him of his belongings. He takes a look around at his surroundings, getting his bearings. After a few moments of clearing his head he leaves the dingy back alley into the streets of Brightcliff. The bustle of the City of Splendor was already in full effect as Rynn steps out onto the walkway. Rynn closes his eyes and listens to the quiet jingle of purses as their owners make their way through the marketplace; Rynn smiles to himself.
Rynn slips his way into the crowd, weaving in through the river of bodies easily making his way toward the Central District. For as long as Rynn could remember he could sense the movements of others and of the world around him. In pale blue hues the subtle movements of muscles could be seen and allowed Rynn a sense of the world he felt no one else had. As he grew up, he learned that he could create these movements where there was none; picking pockets had never been so easy.
By the time Rynn made it to the Central District he had more than enough money to get himself a decent meal. Making his way to the Tawdry Tome, he spied an elderly gentleman with a rather large entourage. While this wouldn’t normally pique Rynn’s interest the fact that every member of this group carried chests and, more importantly, books certainly caught his attention. Rynn’s eyes lit up with some excitement as he saw the pale blue hue highlight the movements of the group.
“Today is looking particularly good” he said to himself.
Then out of the crowd, “RYNN! THERE HE IS!” yelled an older gruff man in armor.
Rynn, feeling the movement of the armor, ducked into the crowd. He began weaving through the sea of people like a fish in water. Rynn looked behind him to see if Guardsman Grimson was still on his tail. It was quickly answered with a scream as the guards shoved their way through the crowd. Seeing an alley ahead, Rynn took a hard right and began working his way up the wall to a balcony above. He heard the guards below poking through the garbage looking for him. He rolled to his back and smiled; this was the life.
By noon Rynn was back on the streets wandering through the wizard district, poking his head in random stores. He finally came upon his favorite shop, the Mages Monograph. He opened the door for a customer that was leaving and smiled politely as they passed.
“Gilliand! You here?” Rynn called out.
From the back a gruff old voice answered, “Rynn? You troublemaker, what do you want?”
Rynn smiled as he approached Gilliand, “Just thought I would check out any new shipments you have in.”
“Oh, that so?” Gilliand gave Rynn a stern look as if expecting the young man to grab anything and run. “Fine, fine, I think I may have some new material.” Gilliand began to look through some stacks of books around him, pulling out a few. “Here you go lad. Just remember the rules.” Gilliand stated waving his finger at Rynn.
“I remember. No taking the books from the store. Or you’ll turn me into a sheep.” Rynn recited, “You know ever since the first time you did that I haven’t done a thing.”
Gilliand gave Rynn a wry smile, “To me maybe.”
Rynn took the books to a corner of the store; he looked at Gilliand and smiled. He had known the old man for almost two years now, ever since he tried to steal some of Gilliands stock and was summarily turned into a rather plump sheep. Gilliand offered to turn him back as long as Rynn agreed to work for him for a year and a day. Since then Gilliand is the closest thing Rynn ever had to family.
After finding a comfortable spot Rynn began reading through the books that Gilliand gave him. Hours past as Rynn poured over the tomes of history, diplomacy, tactics, and magical theories; suddenly he smelled smoke and the ring of swords sang clear in the air, fire appeared all around him, and a woman screamed.
“Rynn! Rynn! Wake up lad!” yelled Gilliand.
Rynn snapped awake, sweat covering his face breathing heavy he looked around frantically.
“Same dream, lad? Are you ever going to tell me what you see?” Gilliand’s normally gruff voice softened as the words left his mouth.
Rynn set the books down, started to rise and smiled nervously, “Gilliand, its nothing. You must have the fire going to strong. I should be going anyway.”
He slipped past Gilliand and headed for the entrance to the store.
“You take care, lad” called out Gilliand.
The next day Rynn went to meet Gilliand in the warehouse district to help him transport some new stock. Gilliand was there to greet him with a smile and small pouch.
“For you lad, thanks for helping.”
Rynn looked in the pouch and saw the glint of gold inside; he grinned, “Sorry Gilliand, I can’t take that. Your money is no good to me.” Rynn stated
“By Ioun, take the damned pouch” yelled Gilliand.
Rynn raised his hands stepping away from the pouch as if it were poison, “Sorry, Gilliand.”
The pair made their way through the warehouse district winding through people; Rynn helped his friend through doing his best to provide a clear path for the old man. Once they had made it to the warehouse Gilliand asked Rynn to stay outside for a moment. Rynn nodded and leaned against the wall watching the crowds move along the streets like water. After a few moments Gilliand returned waving Rynn over to him where a box was resting. Rynn looked down at the box rather incredulously.
“One box? Really?”, from Rynn
“I’m old boy! What do you want?”, exclaimed Gilliand
Rynn shrugged and lifted the box, it was a bit heavier than he expected and immediately understood why Gilliand needed help; Rynn used his arms, but only to hide the use of his other ability. Before long they were back in the throngs of people. Maneuvering was a bit more difficult with the box, but they were managing. As Rynn was working his way down the street he “felt” the familiar movements of Grimson and turned his head in that direction to get a look. As he looked towards Grimson in the distance a woman screamed, Rynn stopped looking around. When he spun towards the scream he caught a glimpse of something near Gilliand and halted. Gilliand had stopped and was grabbing at his side; pulling his hand away Rynn saw the sticky red all over his palm. As Rynn dropped the box to check on Gilliand, the old man fell to the ground dying.
“Gilliand, wha…” Rynn started, but was interrupted with…
“MURDERER! THE BOY KILLED THE OLD MAN!” came from the crowd around the pair.
Rynn looked up and around in shock, both at Gilliand and at the accusation. He “felt” Grimson moving towards him, and fear struck down at him. He looked down at his clothes, now covered with Gilliand’s blood. He knew no one would believe him. He slide back and turned to grab the box, but it was gone. Dismissing the box he began running through the crowd. Before long he found himself back in his alley still covered in Gilliand’s blood and began crying. After calming himself and gathering his wits, he realized he couldn’t stay in Brightcliff. Gilliand was the only friend he really had and there was little doubt that Grimson was eager to put him on the gallows.
Rynn sat in the alley for hours coming to grips with what happened, trying to figure out who would kill the old man and why. Finally he decided that staying here wouldn’t give him a chance to figure it all out. By now it was well past dusk, Rynn worked his way through the back streets and alleys picking up some new clothes along the way. When he had all he needed he stopped at his favorite shop one last time.
“Thank you, old man. I’ll miss you. And I’ll figure out who did this.”