Mathias ran through the ruins of the empty building, slamming doors behind him. He even went so far as to knock over bookcases trying to evade the shadow that had been following him since he left tavern, where he’d split the lucre with his colleagues after a particularly choice night of targets.
What he and the rest of his crew failed to realize in the heat of the moment is that one of his targets had been a retainer of Geoffry Warne, Duke of Schellsea. Unfortunately for Mathias, his mate Job got overzealous and instead of knocking the man unconscious, his head hit the pavement with a sickening crack and killed him.
It didn’t take long for the rowdy tavern they were in to turn quiet, the patrons murmuring and exchanging sheltered glances at Mathias and Job. Word travelled quickly that they had been marked by The Umbra.
Mathias didn’t know where Job got off to, he could only imagine that he was dead at best or worse. Much, much worse. He leaned his back against a door, listening for a sound but only hearing his own pounding heartbeat in his chest. By the time his eyes focused in the darkness, it was too late. The human-shaped shadow emerged and clapped him upside the head with a truncheon.
When he awoke, there was darkness all around him, but he could feel eyes on him as he struggled against the chains the bound him to the wall, his screams would echo out into the Schellsea Night – a staunch reminder that The Umbra are not to be crossed.
It’d be the last time anyone would hear from Mathias or Job, and when their names are mentioned, those around them have the tendency to make a sign with their hands to ward off the Shadows. if the rest of his crew continued to line their pockets with stolen gold, they did it in a much less risky fashion.