Good Luck. You'll Need It
(Dear Reader – this is a tale set in the Forgotten Realms, somewhere in Faerun, circa 1370 DR. It takes place in a large, human-dominated city I've called Capitol. I have not had it Beta read. Hope you enjoy.)
Chapter 1 – A Request
Daelynn watched the old woman from across the square. On a whim the young elf had taken a different route home after shopping in a small market she frequented. Stopping to enjoy the warmth of the setting sun, and finishing eating some sweets she had purchased, Daelynn had noticed the older well-dressed woman seated on a bench by a fountain in the center of the small square. The woman called out to the occasional passerby, mostly able bodied men. The few who approached the elderly lady spoke with her for only a moment then, shaking their heads in negation, walked away. After each interaction the woman appeared smaller and more forlorn.
Daelynn was curious, and having a kindly nature she thought she should warn the old lady. The westering sun signaled the end of a day and in this part of Capitol it was best not to be out by oneself after dark. There were patrols, but the City Watch could not be everywhere, and Old Town was not the most respectable of neighborhoods. Being young and full of the optimism and the arrogance of youth, that rule did not apply to Daelynn. Finishing her candy the elf walked over to the woman who looked up at her approach. Daelynn smiled and sat down beside her.
"Grandmother," she said using a title of respect among her people. "It grows late. You should not be out in these mean streets. Can I help you home?"
The elderly human looked at the elf in surprise. "Oh, thank you dear. But I must retrieve my necklace. They stole it!"
"Who stole your necklace?"
"Why those boys. The ones who ran into that building. I am too old to try to reclaim it myself and have asked several people to help me but they seem afraid. It is a favorite trinket of mine. Hardly worth anything."
Daelynn examined the structure at which the old woman had pointed. It was a shabby stone three story building at the far end of the square. Run down with the lower floor windows boarded up and half the upper floor windows shuttered. The others open to the elements. The third floor only had one window at the front. Someone had scrawled runic characters across door and mantle. She recognized the symbols. The mark of the Black-Scars, a local gang.
"Perhaps the City Watch can assist you," suggested Daelynn. "They can be found through that arch and past the market. I can lead you there. They would be best suited to deal with Black-Scars."
"Humph," was the elders reply. "I have heard that the Watch is next to useless in this part of the city. I am an old fool for wandering so far from my house without escort. But it was such a lovely day for a walk."
The old woman appraised Daelynn with bright blue eyes. "You seem like a nice girl. How is it that you know the name of the gang who robbed me? And the location of the Watch post? Do you live near here?"
Daelynn traced her fingers over a long scar that ran along her left forearm, her eyes momentarily focused on something far away in time.
"Um? No, I live on the other side of the Temple quarter, but I have... experience with the Black-Scars. They are mostly boys; a few girls. They spend their nights gambling and drinking; their days are spent in petty theft. Not true Thieves Guild members. Just toughs and pick-pockets. Although some do worse."
"You hold them in contempt."
"Oh, aye. I do. They're a nuisance and a menace. Robbing old people. And children. That takes no skill and brings no honor."
Daelynn stared at the building across the square, her eyes narrowed and hard. The old woman watched the young elf and nodded her head ever so slightly, as if confirming something to herself.
"You are a Moon Elf are you not?" She asked of Daelynn. "Trained in hunting, stealth and magic. Your people wonder the forests, yes?"
Daelynn laughed politely. "Those are Wood Elves. My people prefer more civilized surroundings. But some of us have... talents, such as you mention. Why?"
"Could you get my necklace back for me? You seem to know what goes on in this part of the City. I will pay you. Ten silvers. That is far more than the item is worth but as I said, it has special meaning to me. It is one of my favorites. Perhaps you could purchase it back from these Black-Scars?"
Daelynn looked at the woman with amazement. Ten silvers! That was a pretty amount of coin. More than the monthly allowance from her uncle. The elf stood up gazing intently at the building. A light had appeared in one of the second-floor windows at the east side. So, they were still in there.
The old woman also rose from the bench and was surprised to find that the young elf was much taller than she. The elf maid was dressed in sleeveless blouse and pantaloons, her feet were sandaled and she wore a matching vest. A sash of a silvery metallic appearing material circled her waist. Her icy blue skin was becomingly offset by a mass of wavy black hair. She sported an intricate tattoo of a fish on her right shoulder. The older woman also noted that while overall of a slender build, the sleeveless clothing showed off well-toned arms and shoulders. The elf turned to the woman, a smile on her lips, her eyes a bright violet.
"You have a bargain, Grandmother. I will meet you later tonight at the guard post I mentioned. It won't take long to take back what was stolen. Best you be off and away from these parts."
"Thank you! The necklace is a long silver chain and sports a green, four-leafed clover. It is about this big," she held up her hand indicating that the pendant was about two to three fingers wide. "Oh, thank you...?"
"Daelynn," the elf stated.
"I am Lady Alline. Here, take this with you." Lady Alline pulled out something small from her sleeve. "It is a lucky token from Tymora's temple. I always carry one. Foolish, I know. It brought me little luck today. Well, except for meeting you!"
The elf graciously accepted the silvered disk, a common token used to invoke Tymora, Goddess of Good Luck. She placed it in a small pocket in her sash; a little luck never hurt. She watched the white-haired woman walk briskly across the square and down the street Daelynn had indicated earlier, her gray cloak wrapped close about her. Spry old thing, she thought.