A Mercenary Gamble chapter 2 - another throw of the dice
Kaylea the Shaiith
Kaylea is typical of her race. White hair, red eyes and pitch black obsidian skin.
Born to the lowest of the low houses her mother died in child birth and her father barely able to get a job as a house guard for on of the lower families. He managed though and was just in time for the house to be attacked by a rival house. She grew up on the streets going from one gang to another learning to fight and survive. Some of the gangs called themselves houses in their own right but Kaylea never liked to run with them as even though she was female which granted her a kind of instant status she disliked being the centre of attention. Unlike the other street rats Kaylea found herself more at home away from the city on the outskirts dodging the dangers of the underdark. One day she bit of more than she could chew however and found herself set upon by an Umber-hulk. She knew she had no chance against the beast but suddenly found resolve inside herself. She was not going the be an easy meal. Instead of running away like the creature expected, she charged at her aggressor making it miss its horned attack catching only a single strand of her hair. She dove under the beast thrashing head and made it around the beast and found herself running deeper into the underdark wilderness. The hulk in step close behind her. The thunder of the beast feet on the stone floor must have echoed for miles. As she ran she spotted a narrow gap but as she changed coarse her foot hit something slippery in the dark and skidded her straight into the wall. She rolled just in time to avoid the thing as it too collided with the rock. The impact jarred the very ground beneath Kaylea’s feet. With an almighty crunch the Umber-hulk fell to the floor as a tone of solid rock landed on its back braking its back bone and paralysing it back legs. Kaylea did not give up. As the hulk thrashed in pain and frustration she scrambled to her feet and made for the narrow gap. After a few breaths she looked out, the Umber hulk was still there thrashing in pain and howling out. Her keen Drow eyes caught some movement suddenly and in a flash the Hulk lay still.
After many more breaths Kaylea poked her head out of her hiding place and was rewarded with a blade against her throat. This had happened before on the streets so she did not flinch even when the blade drew a tiny nick of blood. ‘Thank you.’ She whispered and closed her eyes waiting for the cut knowing it would be less painful than if the Hulk had caught her. The burning sensation of knife on flesh never came instead a voice said “Its not nice to leave things in pain like that even beasts.” “I have no blade or magic to use to have put it out of my misery.” She replied opening her eyes. The voice laughed. The woman came out from the shadows. Her red cloak seeming to blow in a non existent breeze. “Your misery? And no blade or magic to put it out of?” “No mistress.” Kaylea said adopting the submissive tone she had learned to use when dealing with anyone not from the street. “You show respect. Did I ask for it?” Said the woman almost angrilly. “No mistress but you spared my life.” “Not yet I haven’t.” she shot back. “I cannot help you with your lack of steel or magic but maybe I can help you with both.” She mused. Kaylea was about to answer but the loud clang at her feet stole her words. When she looked up again the woman was gone only her voice remained. “These are my halls, my homes. Hunt else where.” She knew there was no point in looking for the woman she was either long gone or looking on from the darkest areas watch and waiting. In the distance Were the sound of foot steps as a training partrol from the academy drew close. Kaylea picked up the blade and hid it in her trousers. If she was lucky they would let her leave. If she was unlucky they would beat her first and take the blade from her. As it turned out neither happened. When the patrol came rushing around the corner the first two members actually slipped on the blood of the Umber-hulk that was now pooling on the floor. They assumed she had killed the great beast, a girl of fifteen. They never asked and she never corrected them. She was taken back to the city and it was not long before most of the city knew about the days events. She was conscripted into a house guard and began her training. It was better than being on the streets but it was a hard and brutal life for her and she yearned for the days when she could return to the under-wilds but that would be many years away.
Ten years past. Ten years of solid training and harsh lessons before she tasted freedom again the first thing she began to do in the little free time she had was to return to the under-wilds coming close to but never entering the hunting ground of the woman she had met so long ago. She would spend longer and longer away. Hunting for food and trophies to decorate her otherwise Spartan living quarters. One day while out in the wilds the house she belonged to was attacked. All were slaughtered. There was nothing she could do but watch and wait as the people that had given her a home and some semblance of family were butchered. It was in this moment she realised everything she hated about her people. The pointless conflict and brutal loyalty to the spider queen lollth. It was not life to be caught in a pointless circle of death, assassination and revenge. With this in her mind and the words of her mysterious saviour all those years ago in her mind she turned her back on that life and walked away. ‘Hunt else where’ She said to herself.