"Two Deaths as one"

The air was cold, street as dark as the ocean’s deepest depths, and the town was as quiet as the sleeping dead in their coffins. One lone figure, garbed in the most cimmerian black hooded cloak, stood at the end of the street brooding over the idea to enter the town at this late hour.

Not one street lamp, window, or tavern doorway cast light on this street. “He is here. He must be. This is the exact discription of the town and street that the old hag gave me. She might have been pulling my leg, but… no, no she was sincere,” were some of the thoughts that crossed this figure’s mind. His mind froze on the second to last word “was” for a long instant and a slight line of white appeared where a mouth must have been.

With clothes as black as the feathers of a raven, the lone figure took his first step on to the street and into town. The figure’s steps were light almost as if he were not wearing or weighed nothing. Zero dirt, no dust, not even a stray piece of lint littered this figure’s person. Any sane man would not hesitate to give this figure a wide girth when passing him in the street.

“Two Deaths as one” is the most sacred pact among the Githzerai people. Not many have really known the depth of such a spiritual and mental commitment. The pact means the person that made the pact would take a blow for the other all the way up to and including death. One way someone might tell that the pact had been upheld is by inspecting the eyes of the living half. The living half would have pure golden eyes, which had changed from the usual grey or black.

The black cloaked figure tilted his head up just slightly to look at the sleeping town and with the slightest nod, darted to the nearest building and silently climbed the wall to the roof. Now, if there had been anyone from the youngest child to the oldest elder watching this figure he would have seen a glint of golden appear and disappear from under the hood of this figure. However, not a soul, save one, was watching and that was the first mistake.

One, two, three, four, jump one, two buildings over and down the alley. Memorizing the drawn map of the town and buildings was part of the careful preperation that had taken place before arriving. Zerch, the black cloaked figure, would see this act through with every bone in his body. The soul was a terrible thing to loose and Zerch had most definately lost his. What was left of his outer shell had commited itself to killing one person.

“Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose. Anything less is a form of slavery,” was one of the idioms that Zerch repeated in his head for solice and focus. “Two Deaths as one,” was the reason for this death. Approaching the wooden doorway to the next life or to a life of slavery, Zerch did not hesitate in openning it. Zerch was aware of an ancient saying by his people, “no battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” Anything can happen.

The room was dark, just like the outside world in which Zerch just came from, however this did not affect Zerch in any way. The sweet smell of hay and Githyanki hit Zerch like a punch across his chin. Laying in front of him was a family of 4 Githyanki, two children around the ages of five and seven, and two adults in the same cot enjoying the warmth from each other during their restful slumber.

Zerch stood there for a minute mouthing a “thank you” to the darkness where no one could see, however if one were to guess it must have been to the hag that had given him his prize.

“An eye for an eye, you took my wife so I shall take your’s!” Shouted Zerch, however Zerch had not brandished any weapons of any sort. The Githyanki family all woke up immidiately with a scared and startled look on their faces except for the adult male, who had jumped from the bed instantly.

“Zerchai, how did I know you would be back to haunt my steps? Let me look at you…” the Githyanki male started from the black boots and scanned over the body of Zerch stopping on the eyes. At that moment the Githyanki male’s eyes openned wide and a look of amusement crossed his face. “So you have come to do to me, what I did to you?”

“Yes, you need to feel what I have felt. Experience what I have Experienced. And above all come to know what I have known. You will weep in the end,” stated Zerch as he closed the door behind him.

A few moments past and with that furious blows between the two men, who seem to know each other from another life. At the end of it Zerch had come out ontop with the Githyanki male face down in a pool of his blood, however still breathing.

Zerch pulled an engraved Kama from the folds of his cloak and in one fluid motion pinned the female adult Githyanki to the wall with the engraved Kama against her throat. He sat there for awhile staring straight into the eyes of this soon to be dead women and thought “two deaths as one.”

“I release you from this life of slavery into the freedom that each of us will see at the end,” and with that said Zerch moved the Kama across the throat and let the female Githyanki fall to the floor. The next second was a blur to him, however he returned to the outskirts of the town and looked back and then down at his Kama that was still in hand.

“Two Deaths as One” was the phrase that was engraved on the Kama…



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