He was fantastic. As I watched his dagger gleaming in the desert sun I knew I had found my calling in life. It was a Taru taking down the notorious Vulkurm Empress. A hairpin dropped into his hand that everyone said was worth millions if anyone actually sold them. We couldn’t help but be impressed as my experience party gawked at it. That was the kind of treasure I wanted; the kind that stopped people in their tracks for another look.
He must have been annoyed by my open mouth staring.
“Mind your own business Elvaan.” he snapped.
I was totally the wide-eyed noob as I gave him a big, “Gee willigers Mr. That was great! Can you teach me to do that?” Ok maybe not my exact words but it might as well have been.
I’m sure I caught a grin before he scowled again shooting a sharp look in our direction. “Elvaan don’t make good thieves. Actually, Evlaan don’t make much of anything but annoyance.”
Just then I heard an awful shriek. Ice cold claws tore across my back that made me gasp from the sting. Before I could even react the taru shoved me out of the way and killed the bogy that had attacked me and would have done me in with one or two more strikes.
“Idiot!” he hollered. “You have to be more careful around here. An inexperienced adventure here can be dead five times over in a day.”
I get that he was being a bit of a jerk but I was hooked. I wasn’t about to give up. My experience party disbanded then so I trotted off after him to glean the secrets of his trade. I must say Taru move much faster than it seems like they should. He practically flew between strides when he got going at a good run. Keeping up with him was a bit tricky. Although the mobs in this area didn’t pay a bit of attention to him he carefully stayed out of their way as I closely followed behind him.
It was night so we headed into Selbina for something to eat. He didn’t say a word to me but he didn’t try too hard to loose me either.
Dinner at the Shepherd’s Muster was eaten in silence. He just eyed me from across the table as if he was trying to determine my worth and integrity from simply watching me. I’m sure Taru don’t weight more than 80 lbs for a large one but it didn’t seem to slow this man down. Mug after mug of the house brew came and went away empty in silence.
“The name is Foxx.” He muttered between drinks. “And I don’t like Elvaan, especially worthless Elvaan woman.”
“Noted.” I said with a grin.
I was more alarmed to hear him speak than over what he said. It had been 3 hours of silence. He had just tolerated my presence. I can’t say what it was but I could tell there was something about this Taru I liked. Something magnetic. While he acted crankier than any Taru I had ever met but he had a heroic kindness to him that all the glaring he could muster could not hide. I could only imagine what had caused this wall of hatred. It would be a long time before he would ever tell me.
I think you can say we bonded that night. He told me to become what I desired I needed to set aside my warrior ways and take up the job of a thief. He told me about sneak attacks, stealing, and the best daggers to use. He described how to best avoid attention from the monsters while hand picking just the right one for my experience party to take down. His eyes gleamed with delight as he told me tales of notorious monsters killed and treasures collected. At one point he even jumped up on the table and played out the kill by wildly stabbing at the air with his daggers. I couldn’t get enough of it.
As the night went on he slowed down. “You can’t do everything alone and become the best.” He whispered. “We all need help sometimes. Not me of course but only because I earned my independence. You seem a decent young one and I think you’ll turn out ok despite your bad breeding. Take this and use it when you’re in a bind. I’ll see what I can do for you.”
He grabbed my hand and forced a friends list pearl onto my palm and wrapped my fingers around it. To my surprise tears began to run down his face and he stared out the window. I have no idea what came over him. He started to hum a song I had never heard before and put his head down on the table and took a deep gasping sigh.
I think at this point he was officially intoxicated and done for the evening. I had to laugh despite how inappropriate as a deep rumbling snore erupted from the Taru that sounded like it should have come from a man twice his size. That was all I was going to get out of him this evening. I knew he might possibly stab me to death in the morning for doing so but I picked the Taru up in my arms and carried him like a child to the room he had already paid for and tucked him into bed like I had done for my little brothers many times before. Somehow it made me a bit homesick for a moment. This was the first person since leaving home that I felt I could call a friend.
By this time the sun was starting to rise. I’m sure I should have been tired but I was so inspired with all the information I had newly packed into my head that I set off right away for San ‘d Oria to change my job to my true calling as a thief.