Shizzal Flees

The guards were on high alert. Hasami’s compound was built defensively, a large sandstone wall studded with gold-capped towers ringing the manor and inner gardens. Each tower contained a huge drum to signal the others in case of attack or other emergencies. All eight of them were pounding now.

Guards in uniform rushed along the corridors en route to their posts, calling out to each other in sharp, anxious barks. Shizzal hid behind tapestries to avoid them, heart thumping double-time with the drums.

How had they known of the murder so fast? And why had so many of them turned out? Continue reading “Shizzal Flees”

Mutual Betrayals

The compound was eerily quiet when Shizzal returned that evening. He had to double take at the white sandstone walls surrounding the manor, as the setting sun had colored them as red as blood.

He climbed up the sweeping front stairs, hand heavy on the gold-capped railing. As usual, Shizzal called out a greeting to the wall sentry as he entered the courtyard. He was about to walk past the great stone arch leading deeper in, when the guards on either side crossed their pikes, frowning at him from behind veiled helmets.

Shizzal stared at them. “Uh, mates, I live here. Remember?”

Another Redguard walked up to the guards, putting his hands on the spear hafts and pulling them apart just enough to see. Shizzal recognized Jeor, the captain of Hasami’s guard. He was a serious man Shizzal had never gotten along with, but this time the Redguard was frowning at him in concern, not dislike.

“Find a tavern for the night, Asurani,” said the captain. Continue reading “Mutual Betrayals”