‘Wher..? Wha..? Ugh!’ Looking blearily around isn’t providing many answers. On my back. In a muddy ditch. Even that small amount of information is not easy to determine, in part due to the moon shrouded in thick clouds, but more due to the blinding pain that courses through my head at the slightest movement.

I am sure that most people have found themselves in this kind of situation at one stage or another. A few too many light ales and it is almost a foregone conclusion. Much of my teenage life was spent in such a manner. Being the son of a noble has its advantages after all.

Lying here trying to think whether I actually enjoyed the evening leading up to my current position, my memories start to return and the pain is nothing to do with overindulgence.

‘The plan is simple.’, she said. ‘Nothing can go wrong’, she said. She was right. For someone with my natural flair for light-fingered activities, it was a cinch. Of course, she failed to mention the part where, after I did all the hard work, she was planning on hitting me over the head and rolling me into a ditch. ‘Thick as thieves’ they say. Pah! Carla the cutthroat. Her name should have given me a clue but I am not exactly known for my intelligence.

The aforementioned plan was for me to relieve some of the local ‘traders’ of some of their ill-gotten gains. Carla provided the information about one of their stashes, extracted from a loose-lipped guard who liked the ladies a little too much, and I did the heavy lifting, so to speak.

She didn’t know the true reason for my wanting to dig through the belongings of a bunch of smugglers. The money is always good but one of these days I will find a clue to who murdered my parents and why.

Another set of more painful memories intrude…

Drunk. Staggering home again.

‘You are disgrace to this family’, I mimiced what my father would have said if he had seen me. But it is hard to speak or see when someone has cut the tongue and eyes from your head. There he hung, mutilated, in the courtyard. My mother hacked to death at his feet. The servants and guards slaughtered to the last one.

Screaming in rage and confusion, I cut him down. Who had done this and why? There was a message here that made no sense to me. I tried to remember any details about the trade caravan that was arriving as I left earlier but I recalled nothing. If it wasn’t fun it held no interest for me.

I vowed then to avenge their deaths or die in the attempt and left my home for the last time.

Driven to my feet by the memories, the physical pain forgotten, I walk to the road determined to continue my mission for vengeance.


The Betrayers Bink