The shame heaped upon me for failing to assassinate the mark assigned weighs heavily upon my honour and reputation within the Coterie. I hereby prostrate myself and beg leniency for my shortcomings. It may blunt your anger – and, therefore, the anger of the Coterie itself – to know that it was only through the intervention of an unknown element that the Orlesian managed to slip through our grasp. There is only one man in all of Kirkwall who could possibly stand against the will of the Coterie and emerge unscathed.
I speak, of course, of none other than the Champion.
Whatever business the Champion of Kirkwall had with such an inconsequential noble remains a mystery but, regardless, he arrived at the estate shortly after I did. As is my wont, I kept to the shadows to avoid detection by the mark; silently surveying my surroundings in order to establish possible exit points should I be detected. I observed as the Champion was ushered in at the behest of the Orlesian’s manservant. From the moment he entered the building, it was obvious that he suspected something was amiss. It is the opinion of this agent that Serah Hawke had some prior insight into the events that were to transpire; it is a known fact that he counts Guard Captain Aveline Vallen, as well as that scoundrel Tethras, among his close companions, both of whom have a vested interest in removing Coterie involvement from their respective spheres of influence (more so Tethras, who has been trying to consolidate his own position within the Merchant’s Guild for several years). It is also possible that the Champion may have been seeking further retribution for Brekker’s theft of Bone Pit cargo, given his partnership with the merchant, Hubert. However, without tangible proof, these musings remain conjecture on my part.
Hawke and the noble, Aucoin, talked for a few minutes but I could not overhear the subject without compromising my position. Fortunately, patience is a prerequisite of my vocation, and it served me well, as the Champion did not linger for much longer. After his departure, the mark soon retired to his chambers for the eve. Once I was certain Aucoin was at rest, I decided to proceed.
Infiltrating the manse was easier than anticipated, a sign that, in retrospect, I should have acknowledged something was wrong. Doors remained unlocked and there was scarcely any activity from the servants. However, in my arrogance, I attributed this to simple carelessness and paid it no heed. I soon came upon the Comte’s private chambers and managed to gain entry undetected. The Orlesian was soundly asleep, and no-one happened upon me as I crossed the threshold. It was at this point that things began to unravel.
Having taken no more than one step into the room, I found myself utterly incapable of movement. As I was crouched low to the floor, I could tell from the sudden burst of white light that a Paralysis glyph had been inscribed on the floor and, stupidly, carelessly, I had triggered the trap, lulled into a false sense of security through a combination of my own arrogance and the ease of my infiltration. Held utterly in sway by the magic of the glyph, I was rooted to the spot for a few crucial moments. I felt control of my body return to me when I was struck by a bolt of pure energy from behind, the force propelling me into the room. The Champion appeared from the hall, wielding a ferocious staffblade, glowering with arcane energies. Dazed, I noticed the coalescence around his weapon, as well as his murderous intent, and realized that he was about to administer the final blow. Without hesitation, I flung a vial of Chameleon’s Breath down at the Champion’s feet and used the ensuing confusion to make good my escape. Stunned by the miasma, he was incapacitated for a few precious moments. I knew I could not hope to stand against an apostate, much less one as powerful as the Hawke. Fortunately, I had planned a route of egress earlier and my talents at blending into shadow allowed me time to recoup. To my knowledge, the Champion did not pursue me, nor recognize my face. It is only because of this, I believe, that I still live, able to relay this report.
As a member of the Coterie, I swear upon my honour that the details of this report are a true accounting of the contract detailed within.