Chapter 1: Prologue


Destiny is for those of us who cannot be great on their own merits. Destiny is not a tool that can be wielded in the present, but a way to make sense of the past. A hope for the future. But in the present there is no destiny. There is either power or luck. And luck is a fickle mistress.

Artemis awoke with a shiver. His face flushed red as feeling returned to his body and he noticed the wetness of his legs. Not that he hadn't expected it. Artemis had not managed to sleep through the night without incident since the dreams started three months previously. The discovery of his father had been unexpected. More unexpected had been his kidnapping and torture at the hands of the same man. But he always dreamed of the lectures his father had given him.

Artemis threw the blankets off of himself, pushed himself off the bed, and walked quietly to the window. There was no light outside, so Artemis tripped the latch of the window and slowly, cautiously levered himself out, holding on to the eaves above him with both hands. He lifted himself with utmost care onto the roof of the building, and climbed slowly to the ridge of the roof. Looking down, he could see the flickering of a single torch, illuminating the sign of the inn. Two scimitars were painted in silver on a black background. The owner of The Drizzt had a serious hero-worship problem. How an inn could be named after a living person, Artemis did not understand. And given what he knew about the dark elf, he could assume that Drizzt Do'Urden didn't want or need the recognition.

Artemis began to clamber down from the rooftop, feet moving slowly but surely to find purchase on the slate roof-tiles, hands following the feet at a steady pace. Reaching the eaves once again, Artemis put his weight into his fingertips, and gently rocked his body until his feet made it through the window, and let go, landing with a quiet thud. He crossed the dark room to his pack, and began to change his clothes.

Minutes later, Artemis' legs were wet once again. He wrinkled his sizable nose with distaste, and looked down. His pants were covered in blood. Perhaps straddling his target to prevent him from fighting back hadn't been such a good idea. He hadn't realized how much blood a knife wound to the chest could spill.