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Chapter One


 Ambermill town hall was quieter than usual. Normally wizards scurried about at various tasks on behalf of nearby Dalaraan but just now most of them had been cleared out for a visitor. Despite being suspended from their duties for a few hours some of them hovered at the doorway, appraising the newcomer as they talked with the Archmage. Newcomers were rare here these days after all. If Nykolas Kyme was made uncomfortable at all by all the watcher he hid it well .He was tall, nearly six foot tall. Despite this he had a whipcord build, slender and tightly muscled. Even sitting in the chair he seemed watchful and alert, ready to move at the slightest hint of trouble. He was dressed in mainly in hardened leathers like a traveller but his torso was protected by light chain mail and a longsword hung by his side. A greatsword was strapped across his back in a black scabbard. His face was lined making it hard to guess at his age, a white scar running down his right cheek. The stranger's brow was furled in contemplation focusing on the archmage, his eyes gazing calculatingly at him. "So tell me more about your worgen," Nykolas asked the archmage, his voice low and harsh, "It can't be any ordinary beast to trouble the Kirin Tor let alone hire a hunter."

The regal looking mage nodded as he passed before the table Nykolas was sat at. "It's been assaulting us every night for the last two weeks. Every morning we awake with doors smash down and dead livestock and occasionally," the archmage paused a second, almost unwilling to admit their failures, "citizens, torn limb from limb and left strew on the village outskirts. It;s howling can be heard each night, deeper and longer than any ordinary worgen."

"All alone? Worgen are pack hunters, it unusual to see the solitary worgen away from their territories."

"We are quite sure, the signs point to this being a loan beast."

"Surely the Kirin Tor could handle a single rogue worgen," there was the slightest smirk on Nykolas' lips as he said it.

The archmage's features darkened momentarily before regaining his regal posture, "We have sent a group of mages to deal with the beast. We collect most of their remains the next day, the survivor lost half his wits. A nervous wreck. Obviously their talents were not quite as suited to the task as yours undoubtedly will be."

"Of course," Nykolas said glibly, "Can you give me a description of the beast? So I know what I'm facing."

"The survivor managed to give us a description but he was too mad with fright for it to be truly accurate. Its a terrible beast, he says, more fearsome than even any worgen I've seen. At least eight foot tall, powerfully built. Fur as black as night and fangs like curved daggers. With it's paws it cloud rip the head clean off a horse. A true Son of Aurugal. No doubt the deluded fool has sent it to torment us."

As the archmage gave the description Nykolas listened intently, leaning on his elbow propped upon the chair's armrest. His face remained impassive throughout.

"And my fee?" he asked flatly as the archmage finished.

"You'll be payed handsomely of course for your services," he waved his hand dismissivly.

"Fifty silver, up-front."

The archmage's eye widened in surprise for a second, "Fifty? Up front?"

"If your worried about losing your investment you can collect it off my remains in the event the worgen kills me. I doubt the beast will have much use for a few coins."

"No that's not it," the archmage shook his head, only just regaining composure, "Fifty silver is a rather large sum, even for a job like this. I mean a labourer or farmer might not even see that in a year here."

Nykolas leaned forward in his chair, a small, triumphant grin on his face, "The way I see it the deal is a bargain for you. How many more of my talents will you see here? Not that you really have time to wait for another. Your obviously working on something important here and this worgen is disrupting your plans. Furthermore if you had the ability to stop it you would have by now. It's formidable enough to hold up the Kirin Tor so this will be a difficult fight. Fifty silver is the best your going to get from this situation."

The archmage paused, hands clasped behind his back as he considered this. A few moments passed before he nodded curtly once, "The Kirin Tor will meet your fee, I shall have the money brought to you soon."

Putting on his most appreciative smile Nykolas nodded, "And I shall reward the generosity of the Kirin Tor. This Son of Araugal shall die this night."

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