Wrenn darted into an alleyway, wide-eyed and out of breath. He gave himself a moment to think, his mind was racing. He knew his best chance at survival was to climb onto a nearby rooftop – he surveyed the alley for a way to ascend. Nothing.
Suddenly the two guards, his pursuers, clattered around the corner. “Found you, yeh little shit!”, one of them yelled, his ruddy face set in a sickening smile.
Wrenn never pick-pocketed unless the need was dire: the risk of conflict was too high. This was his nightmare scenario, but he was running out of money fast in this new and unfamiliar city.
He never liked to target common people when it came to stealing, a few gold pieces missing could mean starvation for a working family, so he planned his targets accordingly. He’d first seen the young noble, his mark, two days earlier.
The man was intolerable. Wrenn observed him from a distance making note of his movements, when he was alone, his interactions with other people. He was exactly the kind of man who deserved to lose a few gold – foppish, arrogant, thinking himself better than everyone else. He was followed by two guards of his house at all times, but it should be nothing to slip past them. It wasn’t nothing.
Wrenn snapped back to the present, he ran straight towards the two guards which had the desired effect. One of them made a grab for him while the other stood slightly confused – Wrenn slipped between their legs and out of the alley, back onto the busy high street.
He knew they were right behind him. On flat ground they had the advantage of speed, being nearly double Wrenn’s height. He needed to get up high and spotted his chance: a pulley was being used to load barrels into a nearby tavern. Wrenn launched himself up onto a crate and grabbed the rope, quickly pulling himself up hand over hand. It was a moment too late.
Wrenn felt a sharp tug at one of his legs as the first guard pulled him away from the rope and flung him onto his back. He was winded. The second guard placed his worn boot on Wrenn’s chest, pain shooting through his ribs as pressure was applied. When he felt the first guard’s foot make contact with the side of his head, he saw stars, the realisation hit him: he was going to die.
He closed his eyes tight. Waiting.
The pressure left his chest as suddenly as it had arrived, punctuated by the crash of armour against cobblestone. He took a sharp breath and opened his eyes in time to see a huge scaled figure towering over him and one of the guards slumped on the floor.
The dragonborn drew his longsword in a fluid motion, the afternoon sun glinting off of his golden scales. Expertly he struck the remaining guard in the side of the head, using the pommel of his sword. The guard staggered. Before he was able to right himself, there was a blade at his throat and he was staring into the eyes of an angry dragonborn.
“I suggest you leave”, Wrenn’s rescuer threatened, coils of smoke curling out between sharp teeth.
The guards didn’t give it a second thought, they jumped up and sped away, back in the direction of their young master.
After watching them leave, the dragonborn bent down to offer a hand to Wrenn. “I’m Jason”, he said, “I imagine the town guard are being summoned as we speak – we should probably leave.”
Wrenn accepted Jason’s hand. Still shaken up from his near-death experience, he managed to stutter, “Thank you… I’m Wrenn”.