“I won’t forget the’favour’if you let me go. Have you never wanted revenge so badly on someone that you wouldn’t go to any means to get it? It was a war, they were’infiltrating’our territory! We were just defending ourselves! Name your terms, I’ve amassed resources of my own, maybe not a king’s fortune but I can get you gold, or information. Surely, you can see I could be more useful to you alive than dead!”
“Well played, my friend. Your guise fooled even me in the heat of the moment, a thing that doesn’t happen often.”
“You know I’m going to kill you, right? That’s why my friends left; they have no doubt in their minds that I want to kill you. They’re not wrong. I have a reputation, you see. But something gives me pause. No, it’s not your plea. It’s that I think you may be more valuable to me alive than dead. I could be wrong of course; am I wrong? Are you going to be valuable to me? I think you can be of service to me, and I already know that I have something you desperately want. We are in unique positions, you and I.”
One with Shadow
You fade into the darkness, becoming a part of the shadow that swirls around you.
Standard Action Personal
Effect: Until the end of your next turn, you can make Stealth checks to become hidden when you have any cover or concealment. In addition, you can use cover from your allies to become hidden or to remain hidden.
You perform an amusing magical trick, such as creating a dancing wisp of light, freshening a wilting flower, making a coin invisible, or warming a cold drink.
Standard Action Ranged 2
Effect: Use this cantrip to accomplish one of the effects given below:
* Change the color of items in 1 cubic foot.
* Create a harmless sensory effect, such as a shower of sparks, a puff of wind, faint music, or a strong odor.
* Clean or soil items in 1 cubic foot.
* Instantly light (or snuff out) a candle, a torch, or a small campfire.
* Chill, warm, or flavor up to 1 pound of nonliving material for up to 1 hour.
* Make a small mark or symbol appear on a surface for up to 1 hour.
* Produce out of nothingness a small item or image that exists until the end of your next turn.
* Make a small, handheld item invisible until the end of your next turn.
“If I decide to let you walk away from this, it would only be if you and I have an understanding. I am looking for something, for someone. They have something I want. This is my only reason to be here. If you can be of use to me in finding them, then perhaps my shadows (Legion gestures backwards into the shadow he summoned around him) will go hungry one more night. If you’re useless to me,… well… let’s just say useless items are usually discarded…”
His eyes wide in desperation and fear, he nods rapidly.
“Yes. Of course. I can get it, I swear!”
He struggles to rise onto his knees while bound as he looks around in the shadows that encircle him, his breath coming in ragged gasps that mist in the cold air.
“Tell me what you need. Give me the chance, and I swear on my brothers’ graves that I won’t disappoint you. You have nothing to lose in the end, after all, it was not you who slew my brothers. There is no reason we can’t come to an agreement. In good faith, I’ll give you information that might help you now, if you untie me. Let’s just say it will be our first transaction to show you how good I am at picking up information. Information that even these pathetic Amn spies were never able to discover.”
He half turns, exposing his back and pushing his roped and shivering arms towards you.
Legion narrows his gaze further and looks at the pale, white skin of his captive. The summoned shadows linger, and even as night sets in Legion knows the darkness he is constantly shrouded by always look deeper and more terrifying despite the desperate attempts of the stars above.
“You misunderstand me, elusive one. You think that your willingness to help me is deserving enough of your freedom? Look into my eyes. See the decades as they pass into history. Know that the road I travel, what may come to pass, has never happened before since time began. You may have a role to play in this, and that is just a small part of what I can offer you.”
“What I need from you is information. If you can provide some to my satisfaction now, then it may be enough to stay my hand this night. Believe me when I tell you, that I have seen what you will if your eyes close for the last time in these next moments. I know what awaits you. This, if nothing else should be your motivation.”
Legion looks carefully around to ensure his colleagues have disappeared back into the city. Skill checks, thorough searching, etc.
“I am looking for someone named Sardis. He is a genasi wizard of questionable morals. He has come to the city very recently, and may still be here. I need to find him and that which he has brought to the city. I need my property returned. Have you heard this name or anything of the sort?”
Legion stands to his full height and casts his gaze down. The wind fans the flames behind him offering both cover and silencing Legion‘s threatened whispers into the deep of the night. The light from the growing blaze casts a thousand shadows at Legion and the doppleganger, and Legion knows his captive is convinced that he controls them all; that they are waiting to devour his very soul. Now, thought Legion, we will hear a truth…
The shifter slumps his shoulders, his back still turned to you and his head slumps in defeat.
“I’ve spent every waking moment since the death of my brothers tracking these men. It is all I lived for. At the time they wronged me, this Sardis you speak of was not among them, but in the months I plotted and moved south I learned all I could of their history, and I learned a thing or two about the genasi as a result.
He’s from Thay, but not born there. They say he was a slave to a member of the powerful Zulkir council. I’m not an expert on them, but I’ve heard the council is made up of liches and men who have mastered the arts of necromancy. I hear one mad man claimed that Sardis was a plaything of Szass Tam himself.”
He turns now, his face a picture of misery.
“I know its not enough information, but Sardis was never my prey, so I didn’t pay attention to any of the facts regarding him. I won’t lie to you – I didn’t even know he was in this city. I came in with the Amn forces, and they arrived after the necrotic event in Bloomridge.
But I can find him or information about him. Release me and let me prove it to you! I excel at getting information. For instance, Homphray is here in the city, he never left. I tricked that information from Stonefield before the Amn mercenaries started denying me access to him. I don’t know how Stonefield found out, but he seems desperate to stop some plot of Homphray’s.
Not even the Amn spies know about that. Stonefield clamped up for them, but when I snuck in as Gerrick in a fake rescue attempt, he poured it out to me. You know I can find this Sardis you seek. You know I can determine anything about him you need.
You’ve nothing to lose by releasing me, but you have everything to gain!”
He turns once again and present his bound arms to you.
“Quickly, before they come back!”
Legion nods a few times hearing the shifter’s words ring true in his mind. To himself, Legion‘s thoughts race and churn:’He speaks truly, this man without an identity. He is filled with desire and loathing, and only these things hold him upright. I will sate this thirst and show him how much more there is to live for…
“Your information is sound. You are a resourceful being, and one that I think has more to offer me. If I let you live, I will consider you indentured to me until our dealings are finished. You have made clear your heart’s desire, but this is not the time, not yet. If you accept my charge, I can see that your life is filled again with more than empty vengeance. Your service will be deserving of recompense, and I have so much to offer…”
Legion steps closer to his hostage and readies a spell with his staff. With his other hand, he takes a small knife from the folds of his robe and orients it in a non-threatening manner as an offering to his captive to loose his bonds against it and continues:
“This offer is made to very few, and I will only make it once. Betray the task I now charge you with or cast aside the trust I offer you, and you will find me an enemy worse than any other. I will be as the shadows that follow your every footstep; you will never be rid of me. This’night will seem a pleasant dream from the nightmare I will make your life.”
Legion casts again his’One with Shadow’power and makes the shadow surround them both, obscuring any hint of moon and starlight. Cocooned in this pitch of despair, ready to finish off the shifter in a split second, Legion holds the knife perfectly steady and says:
“The choice is now up to you, friend… but choose carefully. Your service or your life?”
“Tell me what you know of the genasi, and I will take it from there. I’m but three paces from the water, and once I am loose, I will slip silently into the harbor, and you will not see me again until I have something to offer you.”
He begins to cut himself loose slowly, in as disarming a manner as he can (<– I assume that’s what the knife was for).
“You will not regret this decision. Sardis does not know I exist, nor will he suspect me as his tail.”
He smiles at you as he rubs life back into his arms.
“You can name me whatever you choose. I wear identities like other men wear cloaks, and you can choose the one I use with you. I myself don’t get attached to names.”
The shifter changes shape before Legion, and is suddenly now the twin of the Amn spy master the group had just slain. He smiles.
“This form will do, for now.”
Legion‘s dull, black eyes glimmer for a split second as the shifter finishes his first sentence. It is done, he has chosen both…
“I am pleased by your decision. Showing reason under such circumstances shows you have character and means you will surely be successful in your tasks.”
Legion puts away the knife and relaxes slightly against his staff. The shadows continue to swirl around them both, and Legion seems oblivious to them now, giving thought to this new assistant’s first task.
“Of the genasi? I care little. He is a pretender devoid of your skill, a pretender of the arts he wishes to master. He is just another of those frantically searching for power but with no idea what power really is. He will be his own undoing, and so my own interest is not in his capture or punishment, but in taking back what he has stolen. I seek two books; old books… tomes that could easily escape the notice of those not looking for them. The books aren’t very valuable, and they’re not even magical, but it is the scholar in me that desires to read them, to learn from them… to know.”
Legion waits for a response, but receiving none, continues.
“The task I charge you with is this: find Sardis. Find the books. He will care for them above all others and will seldom leave them unattended if not secured somehow. I need all the information you can find on where he is, if he’s still in the city or whether he’s fled. If there is an opportunity to retrieve these grim volumes then take them and return them to me. These books are valuable to me, but all wealth is not in coin. You know of what I speak; the thirst burning in your veins cannot be quenched with the cool touch of steel or gold. So it is in this pursuit of different kinds of wealth that I know we are both now bound.”
“Impressive. Your talents serve you well, and now they serve us both. As for your name, I want only to know your first name… the name you are called by in your dreams. The name you have when you are alone; alone and safe. We all had a name, even if it seems like a long time ago.”
Legion uses Prestidigitation to drive down the temperature again; just enough for the Changeling to notice and feel it if only subconsciously.
“My name is Legion. I am He Who Is Many.”
The shifter stares out at the harbor. He seems to silently reach a decision before he speaks again.
“Fickleskin, is what my brothers named me. But it’s been a year since anyone’s called me that,” he says bitterly. He slips over the harbor edge sinking slowly into the cold water.
“This task will be easy for me, if this Sardis is as weak as you think. I will find you when I have either the books, or information on there whereabouts.”
He disappears quickly into the dark waters.