The child wasn't sure what had happened, other than the world had come crashing down around his ears. He had been watching the pretty lights from the flying lizards decorate the town that surrounded his castle. Suddenly the scary black one had come towards the castle. He wanted to see what was happening, so he jumped out his window, extended his wings, and flew to a large tree that he knew would provide him with a better view.  He settled near the top of the tree and watched in horrific fascination the events that were unfolding.

 

He watched as the big black lizard belched fire at the people standing on top of the castle and his daddy's sword shooting icicles back at it. He had always liked his daddy's pretty blue sword, but seeing it attack the bad lizard was frightening. The icicles were making holes in the big black wings.

The light that was coming from the bad lizard's mouth had caused all of the people on the castle to fall down, except for his daddy. The pretty blue sword seemed to protect his daddy from the bad light. The child watched as the bad lizard crashed into the castle, causing it to fall down. Pieces of the castle went everywhere, and a piece of it hit him in the head, causing everything to go black.

When he woke up, the child didn't know where he was. He saw a familiar large tree behind him and white rocks of various sizes all around him. He didn't remember who he was or anything about his life. He wandered around the area not knowing where he should go. He didn't remember anything, other than his head hurt. He touched the area where the pain was and his hand came away wet with a sticky red fluid.

He heard a sound in the distance, a loud rumbling sound that seemed to call for him. He decided to go and see what it was. He hadn't gotten very far when he was lifted from the ground by gentle hands.

"Jarno, look, a survivor." A strange women spoke to her companion. "I don't see anyone else."

The man looked sickly. "I don't think that anyone else can have survived this."

The child stared at the two in fear. He didn't know who he was, much less who these two strangers were. There was something about the woman that quickly calmed his fears. He could tell that she was a good person.

"Come child, let's see to your wounds." She set him down and pulled a healers pack from her belt.

She washed and bandaged the wound on his head, and then examined the rest of his body. The child was definitely of Elven decent. His hair was white, the tips of his ears were pointed, his eyebrows arched up at a sharp angle, and his blue eyes were almond shape. He couldn't have been more than a year old, even by Elven standards. She was taken aback when she came across the wings that were folded in tight against his back.

"Jarno, look at this?" She called.

Jarno came over to where his wife was sitting. "What is it..." He paused when he saw what she was looking at. "Are those what I think they are?" He asked.

The woman smiled nervously. "The boy has wings."

"We should leave this place." Jarno said quickly.

"What about the boy?" She asked.

"Leave him here. Let nature take its course." As he looked at her, he couldn't help but notice the gleam in her eye. "Zorah, what are you thinking?"

"Jarno, there are no survivors. The boy's parents are gone." She began.

Jarno interrupted her. "No, no, and NO!" he exclaimed. "I know how much you want a child, but this will not end well. I can promise you that."

"He's just a baby." Zorah crooned. "What harm can he do?"

"What will we tell the neighbors?" Jarno asked.

"We will tell them we adopted him." Zorah answered.

The boy watched the exchange with mild interest. He didn't really understand what was happening, but he knew that they were discussing his fate. He had the distinct impression that it would be a bad thing if they chose to leave him here, so he did the only thing that he could think of. He threw his arms around Zorah's neck in a tight embrace.

Jarno stared at his wife. He knew that he had lost the argument. The child would be coming home with them.

"Oh, alright..." He said. "We can take him home."

Zorah smiled broadly as she hugged the boy back. They sat there for several minutes before Jarno brought them back to reality.

"We really should be going. Make sure that those things are covered." He said, pointing to the wings. "It would not be a good idea for people to know that he had those."

Zorah was giddy as she wrapped the child in her cloak. She hefted him easily into her arms, and she carried him as they headed home.

By the time they reached Bightbay, the sun had set and the dual moons were high in the sky. Zorah had carried the child all the way. Even with as light as he was, her arms burned from the prolonged effort of supporting him. Even with as much as her arms hurt, she did not complain.

Zorah was not a young woman, and the years had proven that her womb was barren. This child was a real answer to her prayers.

They slipped into their home un-noticed, and went about preparing for the eveining. A simple dinner was prepared and ingested without conversation, a fire was built, and they settled themselves into the comfortable chairs in the living room. Zorah still held the child, not daring to put him down lest he turned out to be a dream.

"What are we going to call him?" Jarno asked?

Zorah turned to the boy. "What do they call you, child?" She asked gently.

The boy looked confused. He screwed up his face in deep concentration as he tried to remember. A single tear slid down his cheek as he shook his head.

"What happened earlier today?" She asked.

Again the boy just shook his head. It was clear that he either did not know what had happened or he did not remember.

"Well we have to call you something. I have always liked the name Nathan. I think we will call you that."

Nathan threw his hands around Zorah's neck. He nuzzle into her shoulder, and was instantly asleep.

Zorah quietly placed Nathan on the pile of blankets that Jarno had put together for his bed. She had never gotten to watch a child sleep before. The effect was mesmerizing. He looked so peaceful, even after the devastation that he had lived through. She was just turning to go to bed when the knock came at the front door.

Zorah slid the viewing window open to see who was there. She didn't see anyone, so she closed the slot and turned away from the door.

The knock sounded again.

She was worried. Jarno was watching her from beside the fire. He had his hand resting on the hilt of his sword. She could tell that he was ready for action should it become necessary.

"Who is it?" She called."

"Someone who does not wish to be left out in the dark any longer." The voice was gentle, but there was great power in it.

Zorah's eyes lit up. She recognized the voice. She often went to The Dragon Storm's Refuge to listen to the bard tell stories. It was him... It had to be.

She slid the door open and the startling form of Shantar Fantis slid into the room. Most people didn't mind his appearance, in the well-lit common room of his Inn, but he was truly frightening in the low light of the fire in the Rose's living room. He had glowing gold eyes that offset his charcoal colored hair. Most startling, however was his skin. His skin was shiny black and he had a blood read scar that ran from the corner of his right eye to the corner of his mouth. The affect very often reminded her of obsidian.

The look on his face was serious. "I am here about the boy." He said

Zorah's heart stopped. Here it was, the end of her dream. "We didn't mean any harm." She said.

Shantar's face softened, as much as his black skin allowed. "I am not here to take the boy. He is actually much safer in your care then he would be in mine."

Disbelief filled Zorah's face. "You're not going to return him to his parents?"

"He has no parents to be returned too." Shantar said. "His mother died giving birth to him, and his father was killed earlier this day."

Jarno stood from his chair and joined his wife by the door. "If he is in danger, why should we keep him?"

"He will need to be protected." Shantar said, his gold eyes glowing brighter. "He has a destiny that is tied to the fate of the world itself. You must raise him as you would a king, for that is what he is. He is the son of Paron Elloy, king of the Elves. It would be best if he did not know this. When the time comes, I will be the one to reveal his identity."

Jarno was still unhappy. He had not been keen on bringing the boy home at all, now to find out that the boy could put him and his wife in danger...

Shantar spoke a few words in a language that neither Zorah nor Jarno knew. The air in the room became very heavy for a moment. In the corner of the room Nathan stirred. After the strangeness in the air had lifted Shantar spoke.

"I have blessed this dwelling. For as long as the boy is welcome here, my protection will remain." He turned, opening the door. "It need not be said, but it would be best if the world did not know he had wings." Without another word he walked out the door and disappeared into the night.

 

 

††††††††††† It was a beautiful day in the city of Brightbay. Five year old Nathan Rose followed his dad through the streets as they headed towards the harvest festival. He had a small travelers cloak wrapped around him to hide his wings. He knew that if anyone found out about his wings it would be bad. He didn't know why, he just knew that it would be bad.

Jarno Rose found his stall and quickly had his wares viewable to the passersby. Swords and knives with intricate patterns glittered in the sunlight, works of masterful craftmanship, all hand made by Nathan's dad. Jarno's weapons were known throughout the entire world of Phantaxis. His swords were sought after by kings and generals alike. The weapons that he made were not only beautiful, but they were fully functional as well.

Nathan loved to watch Jarno work. Not only was he a master blacksmith, but he was a master negotiator as well. Nathan could sit for hours and watch His dad haggle with the customers for the best price. Not only was he consistently able to negotiate the best price, but the customers were always happy when they left.

It was late afternoon, nearing evening, and Nathan was playing in front of his dad's booth. The last sunlight of the day glinted off the blades of the weapons that had not been sold during the day. The light glinting off the blades made some interesting shapes.

Nathan was minding his own business when he was hit from behind by someone that had been running at a high speed. He didn't know what was going on until his dad's voice rang out.

"STOP THIEF"

The person that had been running lay sprawled on the ground. He was dressed in black clothes the dagger that he had been holding in his hands lay several feet from his hands.

As the thief crawled back to his feet, Nathan grabbed a dagger from the rack in front of his dad's booth.

"Give it back." He demanded, pointing the dagger at the thief.

The thief stared at Nathan with amusement in his eyes. "Why don't you go back to your mommy, little boy. I wouldn't want to hurt you."

"Nathan, you need to stop..." Jarno said as Nathan lunged at the thief.

The dagger that the boy held sliced into the thief's leg. The wound wasn't very deep, but blood did ooze from the cut.

"You little brat!" The thief exclaimed. "I am going to kill you."

The thief pulled another dagger from a pocket in his clothes. He was confident as he advanced, he was sure that he would make short work of this child.

He tried to stab Nathan but the child easily side stepped the thrust, again stabbing the thief in the leg. Thief bellowed and swung his dagger at him. Nathan easily parried the swipe, then locked the blade of his dagger into the crossbar of the thief's weapon. With a gentle twist, the thief's dagger flew from his hand.

"I said give it back." Nathan demanded.

The thief pulled the short sword from his satchel, dropped it on the ground, and ran away as quickly as his wounded leg would let him.

Jarno hurried around to the front of the booth. "Nathan!" He exclaimed. "How did you do that?"

Nathan shrugged. "I don't know. I just did what felt right."

Jarno took the dagger from his son. The knife that he had grabbed had the picture of a rose etched into the blade. It was one of his favorite pieces of work. Setting the dagger on the counter, he walked over and picked up the short sword that his five year old son had just reclaimed for him.  The short sword had the image of a dragon etched into the blade.

Shaking his head, Jarno placed the sword into his personal bag. He lifted the dagger from the counter and presented it to Nathan.

"I would like you to have this." He said in a shaky voice.

Nathan jumped up and down. "Oh Daddy, can I really have it?"

"You have proven that you are capable of handling it." Jarno explained. "I also wish for you to have the short sword, but I will hold onto that until you are a little bigger."

Jarno turned and grabbed a scabbard that would fit the dagger. He grabbed a strap of leather that would fit around his son's waist. He quickly punched a few holes in it and fitted it with a small buckle.

"Here, Nathan." He said as he placed the small weapons belt around Nathan. "You be careful with that. It is not a toy."

Nathan was all smiles. "Yes, Daddy." He placed the dagger into its sheath.

The sun had set and the first of the double moons was beginning to rise when Jarno finished closing the booth for the season. This had been t he final day of the harvest festival. He was angry at the turn of events that had put his child in danger, but more than that he was amazed at the ease in which Nathan had defeated the thief. His wife was a good friend with the Thieves Guild Master, and he knew that anyone associated with the guild was competent with a blade. He would need to speak with Zorah about this.

The two of them moved quickly through the shadowy streets, returning to their home. Nathan was tired, but he did not ask to be carried, for he knew the bundle that his dad was carrying was heavier than he was. So he trudged along tiredly behind his dad.

When they arrived home, Zorah had dinner waiting for them. Nathan quickly ate the hearty soup and bread. When he was finished, he washed his hands and announced that it had been a very tiring day, and he was going to bed.

Zorah watched him leave the kitchen, surprise on her face.

Jarno just smiled knowingly. "We'll talk when he's asleep."

Zorah and Jarno finished eating and cleaned their dishes. They walked hand in hand to the living room where they took their customary seats next to the fire. The night was warm, so there was no fire in the fireplace, and the room was lit by small oil lamps.

Jarno turned to his wife. "You need to talk to your old friend, Garz. One of his paid my booth a visit today."

Zora's eyes went wide. "Are you alright?"

"I am fine. I didn't even lose my merchandise, Nathan saw to that." Jarno explained.

"What do you mean?" Zorah asked seriously.

"Nathan grabbed the rose dagger and attacked the thief." Jarno explained. He raised his hand as Zorah was about to speak. "You should have seen it. His bladesmanship was spectacular. You would have thought that he had been training for years. When I asked him how he did it, he just shrugged and said he did what felt right."

Zorah stared at her husband, open mouthed. For several minutes she could not find the words. When she finally spoke, her voice was low and dangerous. "You let my son... You didn't stop him... What were you thinking?"

Jarno had expected this. "He was playing outside as I closed up. The thief grabbed the dragon short sword. As he tried to escape, he tripped over Nathan. Nathan grabbed the dagger and it was all over before I could get out of the booth. It was amazing. I think its time to start calling in some favors that certain people owe me. With very little training, I think he could be the best swordsman in the world."

Zorah was still visibly upset, but she nodded her agreement that Nathan should be trained. If he had the talent that Jarno was talking about, it was the natural course of action.

She rose quickly. Jarno watched her in silence as she donned her cloak and hurried out the door into the darkness. He knew where she was headed, and he was secretly glad that he would not have to witness what was about to transpire.

 

 

Zorah hurried through the night streets. She could feel the heat radiating from her face as the rage coursed through her. Her baby had been put in mortal danger today, and she knew who was responsible. She would make sure that it never happened again

She slowed down as she approached the Elven quadrant of the city. She was a human, and it would not be good for her be caught in the Elf quadrant after dark. She didn't care, she had something that needed to be taken care of.

She found the dark alley that lead to the Thieves Guild.

As she stepped from the shadows into the light of the guild, the guild master looked at her in genuine surprise.

She took the time to look around. She had never actually visited the thieves guild. Books littered a large desk on the far side of the room. Behind the desk sat Garz Tish. His long black hair hung around his pale face. Next to the desk sat a man in block clothes, his left leg bandaged.

"Zorah, to what do I owe this visit?" He called jovially.

Her eyes blazed. "One of your men tried to steal from my husband. Not only that, he tried to knife my son. According to my husband, my five year old son beat him."

Garz's eyes glittered with glee. He turned to the young man. "Twenty men?"

The young man blushed and mumbled something unintelligible.

"I know this is not a laughing matter, Zorah, but it looks like your son was not in any real danger." Garz said. "Tino here is one of my best swordsman. From the state that he is in I would say that your son has a real talent in swordsmanship."

"I wasn't really..." The young thief started. One look from Garz silenced him.

"I will deal with this, Zorah. I will reaffirm that your husbandís wares are off limits." A sly smile crept across Garz's fat face. "I would like to see more of your son. Maybe I could recruit him."

Zorah threw Garz a scandalized look. "He's only five, dear friend. Stay away from him."

Garz through his hands up in an innocent gesture.

Zorah did not wait to hear what the Guild Master had to say. She spun on her heel and disappeared into the night.

 

 

Eleven year old Nathan Rose stood alone in the center of the arena. He had been spurned by most of the sword trainers in the land because he had rousted each and every one of them shortly after he had started working with them. Today was his third day with the new instructor. The master, having heard of Nathans prowess with the blade, had set up a training session where Nathan would take on the whole advanced class.

It had started out innocently enough. The older members of the class, thinking that Nathan would be an easy fight, had opted to take him on one at a time. After the third combatant had fallen, they saw that he was not going to be as easy to beat as they had thought.

Through a massive miscalculation, the rest of the class had decided to regroup, giving Nathan the chance to rest momentarily. This was enough. When the group attacked him, he was ready. In groups of twos and threes the attackers fell before the master swordsmanship of this eleven year old boy. When it was over, Nathan Rose stood alone in the center of the arena.

The sword master clapped his hands as he slowly walked into the arena. "Bravo, bravo. You are every bit the swordsman that I have heard you are."

Nathan bowed. "Thank you, Master Tarinian."

"Rise boy," Tarinian commanded. "Masters do not bow to each other, unless it is before combat."

The praise caught Nathan off guard. None of the others had called him a master, they had all called him a nuisance.

Tarinian pulled a wrapped bundle out of his cloak. "This rightly belongs to you, young master."

Nathan accepted the bundle without saying a word. He gingerly unwrapped it to find a beautiful sword. The blade was long and slender with a blue color. An image of a golden dragon was etched along the blade. The hilt of the sword was long enough that it could be used two handed, but the balance and weight allowed the sword to be used one handed. Nathan had never seen a blade like this before, and yet there was something very familiar about it.

"This Katana was left in my care many years ago." Tarinian explained. "I was told then that I was to hold onto it until the worthy one showed himself. You have proven yourself worthy this day."

Nathan was very uncomfortable. "I can't accept this." He argued, pushing the blade back toward the older man.

"Many of the students that you beat today have been training with me for years. They know almost as much as I and are a match for me in one on one combat. You bested each and every one of them with a minimal amount of difficulty. If any were worthy of this blade, it was you." Tarinian explained.

"I am just a child." Nathan protested.

"And yet here you stand. Look around you, Nathan."

Nathan looked around. Those that had been sent to test him were starting to rouse themselves. Many of those were older than Nathan by a number of years, and were far more experienced in swordsmanship. As they rose, they filed int a single line facing him. One by one, they all bowed to him.

He looked once again at the sword in his hands. He recognized the workmanship. He had stood watching his dad make swords for years, he would recognize the work of Jarno Rose anywhere. In all hi years watching his dad, however, he had never seen him make any sword like this. This sword must have been made before Nathan had been born.

Nathan looked at the sword master again. Along with the look of extreme pride, there was also a look of recognition. It was as if the master saw him as someone else, someone important.

"It is time for you to go, Master Rose." Tarinian said.

Nathan turned and walked slowly out of the arena. It was a half a dayís walk back to Brightbay. It was mid-morning, so he should be home before it was too late. He was in high spirits as he started out his walk. He strapped the new sword across his back, positioning it in an easy access manner should it become necessary to us it.

It was a bright sunny day as he walked through the forest on his way home. He knew that his mother would be surprised, and probably a bit anxious, at seeing him home so early.  He knew that there were not anymore sword-masters that he could train with, and after today he was not sure that he would want to. Tarinian was one of the best, and the praise with which he had showered Nathan had been genuine. Nathan knew that his sword training was done.

He was lost in thought as he walked, so he almost didn't see the shadowy figure step out of the trees. Instinct kicked in, and the dagger his dad had given him all those years ago appeared in his hands.

The man raised his hands. "I mean you no harm, young master." He said in a greasy voice. "I come with a business proposition."

The man was short, only coming to Nathan's chest. He was dressed in all black, a short sword hanging at his side. His long black hair framed his pale face. He was a fat man, being almost as big around as he was tall.

"My name is Garz Tish. I run an establishment in town that specializes in the acquisition and redistribution of wealth." The man explained.

"So, you are a thief." Nathan surmised.

"Not just a thief. I am the guild master of the Brightbay chapter of the Thieves Guild." Garz explained. "This is a recruitment visit." Garz's mouth split into a wide, toothy, grin that did little to improve his appearance. "What do you say, boy, do you want to be rich?"

Nathan shrugged. "Sure, why not. It sounds like it could be fun."

Garz stared at Nathan in open mouthed disbelief. He had never had anyone seem so nonchalant about joining the guild. Most people either vehemently refused, or enthusiastically joined up.

Of course, this was Zorah's son. Garz knew that if his old friend found out about his approaching Nathan, he would never hear the end of it.

"Letís not mention this to your parents, okay?" Garz cajoled. "Most parents do not understand."

"No problem." Nathan agreed. "They have been lying to me for years, I don't see how this could hurt."

Nathan followed Garz back to the guild hall for his orientation meeting. He had expected others to be present, but the guild hall stood empty. A messy desk stood on the far end of the room. To the right there was a false door and spin dial safe. To the left there was a massive bookshelf that held thousands of leather bound books.

"Garz handed Nathan a pouch with a set of pointy objects, "Here you are, your first toolkit. This little baby contains everything that you will need to get in and out of locked places." He gestured to the right. "Let's see what you can do."

They walked over to the free standing door. Nathan selected a tool from the kit and with a single fluid movement unlocked the door. He then sat in front of the safe and began to twirl the dial. His sharp ears heard the sounds of tumblers falling into place, and in a matter of seconds the safe door stood open.

Garz didn't see what was happening at first, so intent was he on the orientation speech he was mindlessly spewing. When he realized what Nathan had just done, he found himself in a state that he had never experienced before. He was speechless. He had never seen anyone accomplish what Nathan had just done.

"You are amazing." Garz said. "Never in all of my years have I seen anyone do what you just did. You have the makings of greatness, my boy."

Nathan just smiled.

"Why don't you go home and come back tonight. I have the perfect job for one of your talents." Garz patted him on his back and sent him on his way.

Nathan hurried through the Elven quadrant of the city. He wasn't doing anything wrong, but he was not well liked among Elves. He was of obvious Elven decent and he was raised by humans. Most elves were extremely offended by the idea. He considered flying to the human quadrant, but if he was seen it would be more than just the Elves that had a problem with him. So he moved stealthily, keeping to the shadows, as he hurried to the safety of his home.

He reached the portal to the Human quadrant without difficulty. Once he was in his home quadrant he dropped the stealth and strode easily through the streets. He saw smoke billowing from the chimney as he approached his house. That meant that his mother must be home. This was unusual, as it was still relatively early in the day.

"Mom, I'm home." He called as he walked through the door.

"You're home early." Zorah said in surprise. The surprise only lasted an instant. "Oh, no." She cried. "You did it again, didn't you?"

"In a manner of speaking. He had me fight his entire advanced class. When I beat them all he gave me this sword," He pulled the Katana from its sheath. "And proclaimed me a master myself."

Zorah's brow furrowed at the sight of the sword.

"Dad made this didn't he?" Without waiting for an answer, Nathan produced the short sword that he had retrieved from the thief all of those years ago. "Look, it's the same dragon."

"Your father made that many years ago for a great and wise king." Zorah started to speak, then she thought better of it. "Shall we try to find you another master?"

"No, I am done with sword training. I don't think anyone can teach me any more than I already know." Nathan said

"Oh, posh." Zorah said. "You can always learn more."

"Mom, I have bested all of the greatest swordsmen in the land. Who do you think would be willing to take me on?"  Nathan stood staring at his mother debating whether or not he should ask the question that was on his mind. "Mom, where am I from? Who am I?"

A look of immense sadness flitted across Zorah's face so fast that Nathan was almost convinced he had imagined it. He knew he hadn't, for it was the same look that briefly appeared on her face every time to broached the subject of his origins. He hadn't asked very many times. Every time that awful look raced across his mother's face, it broke his heart.

As with all the other times, Zorah answered his question with a question. "Why do you ask dear?"

"Mother..." Nathan began, but Zorah cut him off.

"Does it really matter where you are from?" She asked. "You are my son. That will never change." With that she turned back to what she had been doing, signifying that the subject was closed.

Frustrated, Nathan went to his room. He removed the large sword from his back and hung it on the wall. It was a nice ornament, but he didn't think he would ever use it in battle. He pulled his cloak and his shirt off and extended his wings as far as he was able to within the confines of his bedroom. It had been so long since he tried to stretch his wings it was almost painful. The muscles in his back screamed in pain after the effort of keeping his wings tucked in close to his back.

He relaxed his wings, laying on his bed stomach down. He had been tempted to tell his mother about the strange man that had approached him, but her evasiveness had changed his mind. He knew that he could not be her son. For one, he was an Elf. Just looking at him could tell anyone that. Then there was the matter of his wings. No Elf that he knew of ever had wings. He used to wonder why it was so important to hide his wings. Now he knew. The Elves were extremely prejudiced of anyone that had a perceived abnormality. Nathan's wings were a big one. This, along with being raised by humans, would be enough to get him killed.

He didn't realize how tired he was. He had battled a far superior force, and emerged victorious. He had thought briefly about flying home, but he was kinda tired, and he couldn't think of a safe place to land outside the city, so he walked. He wasn't in bad shape, in fact he was quite healthy, but the exertion of the day had gotten to him.

It was dark when he awoke. Cursing himself for falling asleep, he quickly rose and dressed. His parents were in bed, so sneaking out of the house wasn't difficult. He padded through the streets, retracing the steps he had taken earlier that day. In very little time he found himself stepping out of the shadows of the alley into the lights of the Thieves Guild.

"Ah, Nathan. I was afraid that you weren't going to come." Garz greeted him jovially.

"I'm sorry I'm late." Nathan said.

"No harm done, lad." Garz said as he pulled a slip of paper off of the messy desk. "I have a job for one of your talents. It is a job that I have been saving for the right person. I do believe that you are the right person." He offered the slip of paper to Nathan. "On this paper you will find the address of the target, the location of the safe, and the item that is requested. If you find anything else that you think may be of value, feel free to take it.

Nathan took the paper from Garz and read the information.

"Before you go, I think you are going to need a more suitable set of clothes." He pulled a black night suit out of a drawer in his desk. "Here, this should fit you."

Nathan accepted the clothes. There was a door that lead to an adjoining room behind the desk. Nathan went into the room to change his clothes.

The night suit consisted of a black shirt, black pants, a pair of black thin soled shoes, a cowl to cover his head and a pair of black gloves. The shirt was a simple affair with no room for modification.

"Well, I guess there will be no flying while I am on duty." Nathan mused.

He dressed quickly, stashing his clothes in the satchel that had been provided along with the new outfit.  Based on what he was going to be getting, he didn't think that space would be any problem. The new outfit was comfortable, for the most part. He didn't like the way that it constricted his ability to stretch his wings if he needed, but he figured he would get used to that.

He hurried through the main room, back into the darkness of the ally. He marveled at the way that he just melted into the shadows. Even he, with his keen night sight, could barely make out anything when he waved his hand in front of his eyes. Smiling, he headed back towards the Human quadrant of the city.

The address was in the rich section of the quadrant. The houses that were near the center, close to the Dragon Storm's Refuge Inn. These people were probably patrons of the inn that spent most of their time on idle pursuits and procrastination.

Nathan's family was not poor. His dad made blades for some very influential people, and they generally paid very well. His parents were not interested in living the lavish lifestyle that most people with large amounts of money. They preferred to keep themselves grounded. Thus they lived in the small two bedroom house that Nathan had grown up in.

When he reached the house it was breath taking. The light of the double moons glinted off the roof, showering the area in sparkles. The effect caused there to be far fewer shadows than would be present on a normal street. In the added light, He was able to make out further details of the house. The window panes were gilt with gold. The ornate door was inlaid with gold and silver, portraying some event that Nathan was unable to make out from this distance. There was a large bay window in the front of the house, one smaller window to the side of the large one, and two more on the second floor.

Nathan shook his head. He didn't know what Garz had been thinking. He had shown proficiency in lock picking, but this was going to take a level of stealth that he himself was not sure he possessed. First off, getting to the house was going to be problematic with the lack of shadows to hide in. He had to find a way; he had a job to do, and he had never failed to perform any job before.

He did know a little magic that would be helpful. He cast a simple chameleon spell on himself to help hide him as he traversed the space between his hiding space and the house. He wouldn't be able to keep it active while he was in the house. It may be a simple spell, but the energy drain was enormous.

He quickly moved from the shadows in which he had been hiding into the light. He had never actually attempted this particular spell for any reason other than practical jokes, and he hoped it would be sufficient to hide him from any prying eyes.

He was half way across the street when he saw the night guard coming down the street. Nathan froze, fearing that he would be noticed if he moved and hoping that the spell would be enough to hide him. Otherwise this was going to be the shortest career as a thief ever.

The guard passed by without a second glance.

Nathan waited until the guard was out of range before he exhaled the breath that he had been holding. He hurriedly finished crossing the street before anything else happened.

He approached the front door with apprehension. Once he entered the house, there would be no turning back, and he would be committed to the Thieves Guild for better or for worse. He wondered what his mother would think if she knew what he was doing. The thought of his mother, and their conversation from earlier hardened his resolve.

Nathan had always been able to tell if there was magic cast on something just by looking at it. It was for this reason that he knew that he was in no danger of triggering any magical traps that may be on the door, for there weren't any.

Pulling a lock pick from one of the pockets in his night suit, Nathan quickly picked the lock and entered the house.

The inside of the house was much darker than the outside had been. He dropped the chameleon spell and quickly cast a phantom fire spell. This spell would provide light for him to see by, but nobody else would be able to see it.

Quietly as a cat, he navigated the house until he found the safe. As the dial spun, he could hear the tumblers falling into place, just as he had earlier that day. In very little time the door to the safe swung open.

In the safe there were some papers, a bag of gold, and a matching ring and amulet set. He had been sent to retrieve the papers. He grabbed the entire contents of the safe and stuffed it into his satchel. Closing the safe he turned to leave, and was stopped by the site of a young woman staring at him.

"Who are you?" She asked. Her voice was very pleasant to listen to. She was dressed in a pale blue night dress that shimmered in the light of the candle that she was holding. Her long, dark, hair fell to her waist in front of her.

Thinking quickly Nathan blurted out the first thing that came to his mind. "I am Satchel."

"Well, Satchel, what is your real name?" She demanded.

"I am not going to tell you that." He said.

The girl took a deep breath as if she were preparing to scream.

"Don't... okay, my name is Nathan." He supplied.

She smiled in a charming manner. "See, that wasn't so hard. Take your hood off."

Nathan rolled his eyes as he pulled the hood from his head.

The girlís eyes widened. "Wow." Was all she could say.

"Umm... I need to get going." Nathan said as he shuffled towards the door.

"Tell you what Nathan, I will forget this little episode ever happened. You just need to make sure that you meet me by the fish pond in the park at mid-day"

Nathan couldn't believe hes ears. He had just been caught red handed, and here she was going to to just let him go. "A...alright, fine. I will meet you there."

She stood aside and allowed him to pass. "Don't forget"

Nathan didn't reply, he just hurried out of the house. He didn't bother with the chameleon spell this time, he just ran as hard as he could until he reached the safety of the guild hall.

"So," Garz smiled as he entered. "How did it go?"

"Not as smoothly as it should have." Nathan responded as he pulled the papers and the jewelry from his bag and handed them to the older man. "Not nearly as smoothly as it should have."