The White Badge of Deceit; Chapter 11

Twitch stifled the laughter that welled up in his heart. He still had a job to do. He made a mental note of all that he had seen, and looked for a place on this side of the city to jump down, but on the middle-class side of the inner wall. He wasn’t going to risk sneaking around the part of town that could afford effective security.

It took a while to find a suitable place to climb down from the rooftop of the inner wall. One of the major factors was how much light was available on the wall itself. Twitch didn’t want to descend and risk being seen, and if the lights were out in the buildings facing the wall, then the risk went up even further. Finally he found a spot that he deemed about right. There were still lights on in the building across from the wall making it harder for anyone inside to see anything happening. He hooked the grapple to the peak of the roof, and lowered the rope down. Very quickly, and thanks to his gloves, he slid down the rope like a shadowy spider. The descent was fast by necessity, and Twitch gave the rope a snap, freeing the grapple, which he caught in his other hand. He coiled the rope and tucked it back under his cloak.

This was the northern side of the city, and the river ran through the section not far from where he dropped from the wall. He made his way to the waterfront, doing his best to stay in the shadows. He had to utilize the alleys more than the main avenues, because the latter was very well illuminated. The outer ring of the city had no street lamps but this middle section, and the innermost section even more so, were very well lit at night. It made for safer streets, but did nothing to make the life of a spy easier.

In due course Twitch found exactly what he was looking for. A dead-end alley that went far enough back from the main street to allow for somebody to act unseen. This was just what he wanted. There were plenty of hiding places in this alley, and the doors that opened into it were not of very good quality. The locks wouldn’t be difficult to pick, even in a hurry. The alley had a small sign for it out on the street, the designation being Unter Court 89 right off of the Relger Strasse. Twitch smiled. Easy as could be.

Now it was time to make his way back to the cellar at the inn. He zig-zagged about from street to street, taking time to note any sentries or patrols. There really wasn’t much to note. The gates that separated the middle ring portions of the city were not reliably guarded, and were all left open. The gates to the innermost section of the city were guarded, but open. The gates to the outer ring of the city were closed and guarded. Twitch moved through the middle portions of town with no trouble at all. He found the spot where he had first climbed over the outer wall, and climbed up again. At the top he looked down to the left and the right to check for sentries. There was a soldier on the wall, walking away from him. Twitch decided to just go for it.

With strength not often seen in an elf, Twitch pulled himself up and then jumped across the rampart to the far parapet, spun around and dropped so he was hanging by his fingertips. The guard on the wall heard something, perhaps fluttering cloth or a breeze, and turned quickly. He saw nothing except the open doorway of the tower next to which the shadow elf was dangling. The sentry shrugged and turned back around to resume his patrol. Twitch began to scale down the wall, dropping the last ten feet or so. The inn was close to here. Twitch ran the rest of the way. This being the poorest ring of the city, there were virtually no lights to be had. He made full use of his elven vision and in almost no time at all he had reached the relative safety of the inn. Racing around the back he vanished down the stone stairs, pick tools in hand. He opened the lock, slipped into the darkened room, and secured the lock again.

Malek’s voice in the darkness whispered hoarsely “You had a good run, then? Careful where ya step. Not all of the rats is asleep. But I is, so keep any planning until morning, hear?” The jor then rolled over in his bed and Twitch could hear him yawn.

“Alright.” Said Twitch and he laughed as he headed for his own bed. He laid down on the bedroll, and allowed himself to sleep. The dawn would be here in a few hours. He should rest before then. He had a couple of errands today that needed doing.

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