Ankalik was not a large city, but it was busy and brimmed with life. It was also a relatively young one; the history of Ankalik could not have spanned more than 100 years. Limestone walls, smooth and polished, line the streets, and as the merchants and traders go about their business, the morning sunlight creeps over the city gates and onto the roads.
Ayanna squints as those first threads of light glaze over her scar-ridden face. She was never a morning person. Shielding from the light with her hands, she walks on. The streets were narrow and the air was a musty mix of fog and dew that was only now beginning to clear.
She entered the local tavern. It was a modest little place, but being so early in the morning it was eerily silent. The barman was setting up the counter, gave Ayanna quick glance over, and went back to work. A drunken man, dirty and unshaven, lay sprawled on the floor asleep. And in the corner…
Two figures in brown cloaks sat at the far end. Their faces partly concealed by their hoods, she could discern nothing of their appearance, but their physique tells her they are men. She walks up to them and sits down, her hand instinctively resting on her sheath.
The one on the left spoke, a deep and uninviting voice, yet barely audible. “You are Ayanna?”
“I am. You have a job?”
The one on the right reaches into his cloak. Startled, Ayanna draws her blade, and in barely a flicker of a shadow, lodges it beneath his throat. A wry smile crept across what was visible of his face. “Easy little one,” He slowly pulls out a parchment of paper and a pouch, places them carefully on the table. “Your ship leaves in an hour, I suggest you make haste.” With that, both hooded figures stood up and left the tavern.
Ayanna’s gaze followed them till they were out of sight. Of all the clients she has dealt with, those two were by far the most secretive. Sheathing her dagger, she picked up the items on the table. Inside the pouch was 10 gold pieces. She unfurled the parchment.
‘Half now, half on delivery.
Wharf no. 5, the captain will know where to take you.
Destination not disclosed.
To kill, Kelly Warmsworth.