Writer's notes. I wrote this 1000 word story a good long time ago, as a self-imposed challenge. It can also be found on my Blogger at the link at the bottom of the story. Feel free to give me feedback as to what you think of the writing style, the characters, the plot ... anything you like!

In Orlais, everything was a Game. Goldman was definitely one of the players, rather than one of the pawns.

As always, he wore a full face mask painted gold, and a plain purple hooded sleeveless jerkin, only half done up, as per the latest fashion in Orlais. Under this, he wore a chainmail shirt, golden of course, and black leggings, with ostentatious curled boots. A large coinpurse hung from his belt, a clear sign of his wealth, alongside a short sword with a diamond embedded in the hilt. A pair of daggers were also concealed in his jerkin, which was pretty normal, considering he was a player in the Game, and a bard to boot. Of course, Goldman was only a moniker, an alias he used all the time these days.

As Goldman walked down the street, with the strut of a man who knew he was more powerful than any of the other players of the Game, a young girl ran past him, “accidentally” jostling him as she went past. Unfortunately for the girl, Goldman grabbed her wrist and twisted it, snapping the bone and catching his coinpurse again as she dropped it, screaming in pain. Goldman whistled to the two guardsmen standing at the end of the street, pointing at the thief who lay crying on the floor. They picked her up and dragged her out of sight. Goldman chuckled behind his mask, then continued walking. He still enjoyed playing the Game, particularly with those who didn’t know the rules of the Game, like that young thief.

Goldman reached the house he had been hired to enter by his client, a woman from the Fant family, and pulled a small lockpick from a small flap of skin he had carved specifically for this purpose. It was most useful for hiding a pick, one of the main tools of his trade, and considering that he had too much money to spend, a worthy investment. He was promised ten thousand sovereigns for this simple task, to break in and vandalise the place. He just had to make it look like an inside job, and plant enough evidence to suggest that the Delacroix family were behind the crime. He had been given such evidence: a ring bearing the Delacroix crest, and a torn cloak bearing the same colours and crest. He dropped the ring on the floor once he entered, smiling as he heard the resounding clink of the metal, before continuing upstairs.

Once upstairs, Goldman grabbed the large drawer and threw it across the room. He ripped half of the posters off the wall, before slashing through several of the portraits with his sword. He grabbed a large lamp, throwing it heavily down the stairs. He wrapped the torn cloak around his fist, before punching it through the wall, which hurt a fair deal but also left a deep hole in the structure.

As his fist smashed into the framework, two men burst from in the adjacent room, grabbing his other arm and both legs. As he pulled his arm free, swinging it around to break one of the men’s noses, the guard smashed his fist into Goldman’s groin, causing him to howl in pain. He squirmed and broke free, rolling to his feet and drawing his sword. He looked closely at the two men, and recognised their masks, identifying them as servants of the Fant. He swore, realising he’d forgotten the first two rules of the Game: everyone is a player, and don’t be used as part of another person’s Game.

The two servants pulled out maces, brutal-looking spiked clubs that were liable to smash through the bard’s defenses. He raised his sword with one hand, grabbing a short wooden curtain rail with the other. He swung his sword in a feint at one of the men, jabbing the curtain rail into the groin of the other. As the man fell, Goldman stabbed his blade through the fallen man’s throat, spinning as he did so to clip the other man’s throat with the pole, incapacitating him. He dropped the pole, and immediately began planning an escape route as three more men ran up the stairs.

Goldman kicked the first man in the face as he flipped forwards, slicing with his sword as he did so. The blade missed the men, but was embedded in the thick mahogany railing. As he struggled to pull the sword free, one of the men tackled him to the ground. All three were carrying axes, one of which was swung savagely at Goldman. The axe blade cut through his jerkin and the chainmail underneath, all the way to bare flesh. He fell to the floor, blood pouring from the wound. The bard drew his two daggers from inside the torn jerkin, leaping into the air and spinning like a dervish. Both blades sliced into the men, but they were only flesh wounds, far from the incapacitating blow that he had suffered. However, neither of the men knew there was a poison coated on the daggers, one that spread rapidly, draining the men’s lives. Then an axe clubbed him over the head.

When Goldman came to, he was naked save for a pair of ragged trousers. His weapons were gone, as was his lockpick. Both of his arms were chained to the wall, and his leg was trapped in a ball-and-chain. He rattled his chains, trying to make as much noise as possible. However, he cursed when he saw the three men stood in front of him. The first was the patron of the Delacroix family, the second was his client, the woman from the Fant family, and the third was a Chantry priest. As he watched, the priest began to recite a portion of the Chant of Light. The section said to the dying.

Goldman's last thought was that he deserved his fate. This was what happened to those who forgot the rules of the Game, and his sufferance for his mistakes was deserved. (the promised link to my blog, as proof I wrote it myself)