Alarms rang and guards shuffled across the Central Didact of the Inquisitor’s headquarters. Leila and the tiefling, Azmal sought to use the opportunity to escape from their captors. After reclaiming their armors and weapons, they simply needed to sneak past the busy guards. Unfortunately, their path led them straight to Blackfire, the assassin from the Nest of Shadows sent to retrieve the Eye of Ashara from them. 

Episode 17/Other Anthology Episodes

The distant cries of Inquisitors marching out of the Central Didact filled the silence of terror from Leila and Azmal as they stared down the corridor to the cloaked Blackfire. The hood of the cloak concealed the assassin’s face, along with a face mask that covered over his mouth. Two curved daggers flexed under his expert hands, the faint scent of brimstone and ash permeated the air around him. Leila was visibly annoyed, the plan had not worked, the assassin managed to find his way into the Inquisitor’s headquarters, a feat few could pull off safely. Did Zeke fall against him? She thought. Unfortunately she had to think about herself and Azmal, the red-haired swordswoman unsheathed her slender blade pointing at the cloaked assailant.

“Back me up Azmal,” she ordered before charging at her full speed toward Blackfire.

Leila unleashed her hidden reserve of physical mobility that had been pent-up from being in the prison cell, her steps became light and trailed along the walls of the corridor as she went for a sharp thrust with her blade at Blackfire’s blind spot above him. The assassin tried to parry the blow but not before bright sparks of light dazzled across his vision, the sudden recoil resulted Leila’s blade striking her target. A deep cut along the assassin’s shoulder,  red crimson dripped along segments of the dark cloak. Blackfire swirled with the blade strike, using the momentum to move closer to the tiefling before tossing his curved blade at him. Azmal had just finished casting his illusionary trick but could not dodge the blade as it stuck into his clavicle. The tiefling let out a shout of pain, the blade became engulfed in black flames, extending the agony further.

With a quick flick of his wrist, Blackfire inverted the blade and lunged it at Leila who easily deflected the blade with her own. But the effort was all calculated as Leila noticed the gentle warping of her blade from the extreme magical flames. Leila would need to conserve her parries, she believed herself a capable person with a blade but not if the blade becomes unusable. She took out a dagger from her underneath her boot, taking a defensive stance using the longer blade as her guard and in the secondary striking position over her primary.

“You’re good, almost as good as your friend. He could barely land a blow on me, but you lot managed to leave a cut at least. I’ll make sure to make you suffer,” Blackfire cursed. From an open hand, tendrils of black flames formed something akin to a scourge or whip, the assailant lashed out at Leila who tried to dodge the strike. The assassin’s quick reflexes took advantage of Leila’s momentary pause as she tried to process his words. The flames seared past the leather hide and burnt bits of skin on her thigh. She bit down on her teeth trying to suppress her cries of pain.

She could not get the image of Zeke out of her head.

What happened to him? Did he truly fall to this assassin? Were they doomed a similar fate? Doubt begun to settle in her mind, she knew that she had to shake off his words but they would not falter. Azmal managed to pry the flamed dagger out of his upper shoulder, tossing it aside while retrieving a jagged metallic wand from his coat pocket.

“Get down Leila!” The tiefling shouted. He channeled arcane power into the wand, sparks of electrical energy unleashed at Blackfire. Thunder rang through the corridor as lightning illuminated the corridor, Leila fell flat on the floor as soon as she heard the tiefling’s shout. Blackfire somersaulted into the air, his form became black flames arched through the air before reappearing behind the tiefling with both curved daggers in hand. The two blades dug into the tieflings shoulders and chest, the sharp pain of blade and black flames forced the tiefling to let out a scream of pain. Tieflings with their infernal natures would be resilient to fire of any sort, but these flames seemed to transcend the realm of the mundane. Azmal stumbled to the ground from passing out to the pain. One down.

Blackfire stared back at Leila as she got back her footing. Leila looked down at the unconscious Azmal and back at the assassin again, it was an uphill battle against an inevitable outcome. She tightened her grip on her blade and dagger, her purple eyes glared at the cloaked slayer. If this was death staring back at her, she would greet it with blades high with a roar of defiance.

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