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A Certainly Uncertain Future
Suka's deliverance, unexpected though it was, rekindled hope within him. Torak was free again but with limitations. His easy-money-making enterprise was over and he was a felon on the loose with a price on his head. To make matters worse he was broke. His bank account had been confiscated, small as it was (he was much too smart to put the bulk of his gold there), and his palatial mansion had been seized by Scar and his band of do-gooders. They had used HIS gold to rebuild it into a haven for themselves and other of their ilk, calling it "Sanctuary" of all things. Worst of all there was nothing he could do about any of it... not just yet.
His first contact with his drow "friends" had met with disaster. Having neither much money nor clout anymore to influence them, they jeered and mocked his misfortune. Thus his connection to the realm where Deminatza lived was cut, though perhaps not permanently. He begged them to reconsider and they told him if he would deliver a high ranking, prominent, elf to them, they would do business with him again. Obviously the poor elf would be cruelly treated, perhaps even killed, but that did not bother him. What did was that he would have to come out of hiding and move about in public. He was not ready for that, wanting the furor of his escape to die down first. So to get back to her would entail a long and dangerous waiting game.
He was glad, however, that from his last foray in the other realm he had brought across and kept hidden several items that would reveal to the world that her fiance' Scar was not what he seemed to be. He had a chequered past, being a lycanthrope that once was out of control - a murdering, cold-hearted, rampaging beast that could never be fully trusted. If he could not kill the swine outright, he could anonymously discredit him in the eyes of his do-gooding friends and allies. Some token of revenge was better than nothing and his ability to disguise himself and deceive by fair speech remained a potent asset.
In the meantime, he would join whatever band could use his skills to do the worst possible damage to the Imperial world. Suka was a good choice. So were the pirates. Maybe too this Piper fellow could use some aid. Whatever the future held, he intended to wreak as much chaos, plunder, and damage as he could for as long as he could.
Then he would worry about how to get back to his beloved.
One more drink and Scar knew he would be quite drunk. Shaking his head and waving him away, he declined an ale offered him by the waiter of his favorite tavern in Jhelom. His head hurt but not merely from the overabundance of ethyl alcohol. Things were going very badly for him.
Entering the tavern in Jhelom, Scar was met by the barkeep whom he knew well enough to trust. The man handed him an envelope. "I didn't open it friend, I swear," he vowed. "Never saw the fellow before but he made sure that I knew it was to be given to you only. Happened a couple of days ago," he added.
Torak's choice of agents to assist him was wise. A most discreet inquiry at the Jhelom tavern netted him the response from Scar he had sought:
"Torak, my nemesis,
I received your message. I have given it much thought. While I know you to be a chronic and pathological liar, I accept your offer. I will come alone as requested, but know well that at the drop of a word, aid will come speedily to my side. I have no doubt that your henchmen, pirates, or whatever they may be, will be around, but if they are, know this: If you ambush me I will chase you through the gates of the nine hells. And when I catch you, you will know pain like no other. You know my plight well and my fury. Be true to your word, give me the items, and we shall go from there in peace; perhaps even discuss the return of my love. She does not love you. If you have read the letter from her, you will know this. Let this be a first step in a form of reconciliation. If not, it will be the last step in anything you may call a normal, peaceful, life. On my life and soul I swear this. - Scar"
Duly received, it was duly delivered to Torak. Shortly thereafter he met with Malikai and together they discussed what was to come of it. He then sent another missive:
I accept your offer. I shall send word by a raven. We will meet at the place appointed by that message and at the time inscribed therein. Keep your word and I shall keep mine. Until you hear from me again, - Torak"
He knew what risks he was taking, but it would be worth it. Putting the mad dog down would grant him revenge and more freedom of action. Then he could concentrate on kidnapping some noble Elf to make the trade with the Drow, to send him back home, in the other realm, where he might stay for a while, safe and sound.