AN: This is an idea I’ve been thinking about for awhile, based off my research on the Vigors in Bioshock: Infinite as well as other sources such as +Anima and Howl’s Moving Castle, etc. I really wanted to do the story of an assassin at some point (I blame Taji since she got me into the Riyria Chronicles and Michael J. Sullivan :P) and this guy seems to be the winner in the character bios I’ve created so far.
A brief tidbit about this story before I go into it more; this world is not a prosperous one for all. Some areas have technology spanning the most modern and powerful while other places are dingy and deplorable with little to offer besides an eyesore. In ancient times, humans were the lowest class of occupants of the world with the majority being a breed of beings called krafters. Krafters are humanoid with the exception of the powers they possess, each one is different and they believe their powers represent their destiny. Some can control the weather and climate, some can transform, some can influence otheres; there’s a neverending list to what these powers can be.
Krafters were all-powerful but as the human population began to grow so did their lust for power and so a war was started which gave way for the humans to claim most of the land and take seige on the Krafters. From then on, humans were the high class and over time Krafters began to hide their power from the world for fear of being discovered by the humans and killed.
In modern times, Krafters still exist but mainly hide in the shadows of their human counterparts; some of them mainly staying out of trouble and blending in. However, there are some that use their skills as a means for survival; such as the protagonist Corvo, a Krafter with a link to crows. He works as an assassin in order to survive.
BTW all these details are subject to change and likely will; this is just a quick jot of things. This was originally going to be the prologue of the main story but it turned into a little short story instead. So I’ll write this really quick then with the full story, I’ll feature his bio with the first chapter. Hope you guys enjoy! I’m totally open to doing an RP with these characters btw if anyone wants to *winkwink* Also, just to let you know: I put too much trust in WordPress again because I typed this into WordPress and it suddenly crashed as I was almost done AND KILLED HALF OF WHAT I WROTE! So I’m going to likely be going back to word documents that I copy and paste into here instead of posting straight from my phone and whatnot anymore. >.< Anyway here we go!
A crisp frost beckoned from the crack of the door of the pub, Crispin allowing a quiver down his spine before turning back to the warmth of the fire and the remaining patrons at the bar. Soon the lanterns would flicker out for the evening and curfew would set in across the town of Drubin, causing each drunkard to gulp down their brew before venturing out into the dreary landscape of their decrepit home with a fresh dust of snow on the ground to nip at their toes. For the time being, everyone sat and took in what warmth they could; after all, the town wasn’t a kind sort and finding warmth outside of community thresholds as the pubs and brothels were unlikely.
Taking back his familiar stool at the end of the bar, Crispin lifted up his half-drowned glass and finished it off; the ale lighting a fire in his belly as he grinned at the bartender with a plead for more. Quick to add the drink being the last to the order for the night, the bartender filled the emptied glass outstretched to him before going about his duties cleaning up for the night; leaving the patrons all to enjoy their final moments before braving the wintery night beyond the walls.
The chilling fate didn’t seem to deture Crispin however; he was used to the icy tundra that season anyhow. All he really focused on was his lick of ale and the particular figure sitting at the farthest end of the bar. A recognizable face haphazardly hidden by the veil of a hood, he could tell immediately that it was Carlton Stead, a shady character who often dealt in handlings of the underground markets. Usually such a face wouldn’t hide from the open in Drubin, being as it was a town known for its shady deals and its famous characters who had a hand in it all. Yet there was Carlton, clearly in a panic as he hid in plain sight drowning back another mug of ale.
Seemed ole Carlton Stead had a scare that sent him in need of a spot of drink and a small company for good measure in such a despicable town…not that the company in Drubin would protect him from even the most gruesome of fates.
Convinced of what was to come, Crispin chugged every last drop of ale from his mug before slamming it down on the wooden bar along with his tab for the evening. With a nod of thanks, he struggled to his feet and wrapped himself in his coat and scarf before preparing to venture outside for the evening. He paused his steps however and turned towards Carlton instead, making sure not to disturb the other patrons as he manuevered over and patted the man on the shoulder. Crispin wasn’t surprised to see the panicked man jump at the touch, turning abruptly in his seat with eyes wide and maddening as they stared back at him.
“Calm down mate, just wondering if ya got a light is all,” Crispin stated with both hands raised in defense, hoping his unarmed gesture would calm the other’s nerves. It didn’t have such luck as Carlton followed every sway, every movement, every breath like a snake following its prey. A chuckle formed in Crispin’s throat as he took a step back and continued to speak. “Heh, looks like ya might need a cig mate; wanna come out for a light and a smoke? You can have one of mine, my apologies for the fright yeah?”
At first, Carlton continued to stare at him with his panicked gaze; eyeing him from head-to-toe in question. However, once deeming him harmless the man let out a sigh before contemplating the request. “Y-You know it’s cold as death out there; why bother for a smoke at this time of night anyway when they’re about to shove us all into the street anyway?”
The voice was as familiar as the face; Crispin confirmed it was definitely Carlton. “Ah well, if they’re going to kick us out might as well get a head start yeah? We can smoke and head out. I’ll even walk with ya to your home if ya want; ya probably been drinking a lot from the look at ya.”
“For your information, I haven’t been drinking a lot you dumba-,” the other hissed at the accusation when he suddenly relented, his notice falling on the bartender who began to usher out lingering parties no longer providing him business to the door. Taking the hint of the man wanting a bit of shut-eye, the shady character drowned his last bit of ale before slipping out of his stroll and gesturing towards the door. “Yeah, you know what, fine. No point lingering about; might as well just get the whole cold ordeal over with then. Besides, I could use a smoke; I got the light if you got the cigs. I suppose you could escort me to the fountains, savvy?”
“Heh, savvy indeed,” Crispin said with a nod as he took the lead for the door, waving to the bartender as he opened the door to the outside world.
A clear mistake with the speed he yanked at the handle, the door flew open and both men were engulfed by the chilling winds and the spray of snow that fell from the cloudy abyss above. Howls of protest echoed from within the pub as both men bundled up in their clothes and dashed into the storm to brave the icy travel they were subjecting themselves to. Pausing only a moment to light the cigs and take a whiff of the drug, which was quite difficult in the ripping winds; both men thus began their journey together towards the edge of town where the ruins of fountains stood without a purpose besides to remind them what was once a grand city in its time.
For most of their travel, the two men strolled in silence; the only sounds being the roaring winds and the crunch of the snow beneath their boots. A steady stream of smoke escaped through Carlton’s lips and it seemed he was no longer the jittering, panicking form of a man that was found at the opposite end of the bar. Still, he did his best to hide his face behind his hood and conceal the identity of the shady criminal figure of the underground; too bad for him if Crispin could see through the ruse then so could any man for that matter.
“Got a name or should I just call you drunkard,” Carlton questioned as he looked over his shoulder to his newfound companion, Crispin caught off-guard for a moment by such a request. “You gonna answer me or what?”
A pout formed on the addressed lips as he slipped the cig between his lips. “Damnit mate, give me a moment to answer the bloody question. If ya must know, my name’s Crispin. And for your information there’s more to me than a drunkard; I’m quite the addict of many suits.”
“I’d believe it,” Carlton retorted with a chuckle. “That’s my type of guy though so I guess we were destined to meet huh. I was a bit worried I must admit when you startled me in the pub but I can see now there was nothing to worry about with you.”
His scarf shifted with the wind as Crispin bared most of his face into the wool fabric, hiding his curious grin from the other as he thought of what to say next. “You were quite the frightened pup in there, mate; thought ya gonna shoot me for tapping your shoulder,” he muttered, sounding muffled through the scarf. “You all right mate? I have a feeling that it wasn’t the drinks making ya act that way. Don’t mean to pry, just worried is all. Savvy?”
There was a pause in the conversation as Carlton seemed deep in thought, clearly puzzled if he should bother to share even a lick of knowledge to his new friend or simply keep his mouth shut and go his separate way. However, being quite the boasting type in his job in the underground, the man’s mouth could not be tamed; he allowed a few details slip as they neared the fountains.
“If you must know, I’ve had a few bad dealings recently; one can’t help but be on edge after such things,” he answered with a shrug of the shoulders. Nearly stumbling over the ruin’s rubble through the fog, Carlton came to a halt while finishing off his cig. “Lucky for me, nothing happened this evening; tomorrow’s a new day after all. Perhaps instead of a nuisance, you’re a good luck charm instead.”
Making a face at the ‘nuisance’ comment, Crispin lingered back from his companion with a shifted glance towards the foggy area around them. Save for each other and the outline of the ruins themselves, nothing or no one could be seen out on the streets. Lanterns had already been snuffed as curfew drew close; it was unsafe to remain there for much longer before the truest lowlife cornered them on that dismal street.
Returning his stare to the small of Carlton’s back, Crispin dared to open his mouth again before the other could continue his way home. “Ya know mate, I never did catch your name.”
A small hesitance, he answered, “It’s Carl.”
“Short for Carlton, I trust?” Crispin continued, noticing the addressed shoulder’s tense at the question. “Carlton Stead, even?”
No sooner had the last syllable rolled off his tongue, Crispin found the barrel of a pistol against his temple; Carlton pressing his gun firmly against the other’s skin as he frowned. “Ah, so you have heard of me. Let me guess, them bastards from Lockhart sent you to take care of me after that deal with Pentross went sour. Well I’m not going down like that; you best scurry on out of here before your brains mix in with the fresh powder this fine eve.”
The threat was no surprise to Crispin as he allowed a chuckle, the other man not amused with his actions and pressing the barrel harder against his skull. “A gun is your big protection in a hellhole such as this. Aye, Lockhart was right about ya in the request.”
“Enough talk, you daft bastard; I’ll-!” Carlton hissed as he began to tug at the trigger, the gun suddenly reverberating in his hand and scolding to the touch. A howl erupted from his throat as he cast the weapon aside and backed away, the skin of his palm bubbled and peeling away as if he touched fire itself. “W-What the fuck?!”
“Must admit it humors me what humans call protection. They rarely even use stances anymore, just flat out dependent on weapons of all likes. It’s ridiculous if I do say so myself,” Crispin mused as he stood proudly in the snowy haze, the spot where the barrel had been pressed glowing red and scorched as if it were a lava bed itself. It was at that moment that Carlton realized what he was dealing with; he began to fear he wasn’t going to make it to the next morning at all. “I’m your lucky charm, aye; ya should be lucky its me that’s ending ya instead of a few other blokes I know. Be good on ya mate and just accept what’s what, savvy.”
“Y-You-You’re-,” Carlton stuttered as he took steps backwards, only coming to a halt once his back pressed into the crumbled wall of the fountain itself. His eyes searched for anyone to help him in his time of need; alas, it was Drubin and there was nothing that could save him now…only the swiftest speed if he had it in him. Reaching his uncharred hand behind him, the man ripped up a brick and sent it flying at Crispin; the other dodging the brick while trying his best not to fall on his face into the snow. Seeing the stumble, Carlton launched into a dash; hoping to find someplace to hide until morning. “Fuck you, you damn Krafter. I’ll see you hanged for all of this!”
Another chuckle erupted from his throat as Crispin finally caught himself from the icy floor, the man then beginning after his target. He had to find him soon and handle the job less he lost out.
Not a soul was on the path as Carlton maneuvered through the alleyways he grew to remember from his various trips through town. If he kept straight on the path, he’d be able to come to some acquaintances’ houses who would think twice before dying him safety. He just had to keep running; he couldn’t look back. That Krafter wasn’t going to kill him; there was no way in hell.
The sound of a caw startled the man into almost stumbling forward in his trek, his heart racing wild as he caught the sight of a crow through the fog. It landed atop a pile of rubble and watched him eerily as he passed by. Carlton never did like the damn birds; they were a hideous sort and known to get under his skin with their raspy calls. Crows were a symbol of darkness in his eyes; darkness and death.
Another caw was heard as several more crows suddenly swooped in and landed near his traveling path, Carlton letting out a yelp of shock as they continued to close in to his location. Were even the devil birds against him too? He was so engrossed with the curtain of birds flooding the path that he barely had time to notice the silhouette before him hidden under a midnight cloak.
“S-Shit-!” Carlton hissed as he skidded to a stop before the figure, his eyes wide and fearful as the other stood silent and ignorant of the other before him. “I-I don’t have time for this; move you daft bastard!”
Silence. The figure stood without falter as his cloak clung to his slender frame; crows beginning to flock to his stand and perching themselves upon his shoulders and at his feet. The wind tugged at the seams of the fabric and Carlton caught sight of the man’s hand and nearly screamed; though humanoid and mixed with skin, feathers and claws pertruded and revealed the man to be another Krafter. There was no doubt in his man; another assassin.
“D-Damn it!” Carlton howled as he tried desperately to turn heel and flee; unfortunately it was too late and he was already caught in the deadly trap. Without a word of comfort or warning, the figure raised the hand and gestured forward; the crows answering to the silent order and taking flight. The ebony-feathered beasts all swooped in on the fleeing man and their beaks and claws worked as one to rip at their prey’s skin, ripping it away in bloodied chunks while he tried desperately to cry for pain. He was unable to however as crows had already dug into the flesh of his neck and ripped at his vocal cords.
Falling forward in the snowy grave he fearfully knew that path to be, his eyes watered as he felt his body mercilessly shredded away centimeter by centimeter; all until darkness finally took hold and then nothing else.
Crispin caught sight of the pool of red mixed with the snow and felt his heart sink at the loss of the score, his eyes narrowed at the sight of the shadowy figure standing in the fog with crows skirting about his body. “Damn it, Corvo; that was my target mate. Ya knew that damn well ya bloody bastard!”
The figure seemed to raise his head at the other’s words. “You were too slow; I handled it.”
Growling at the cloaked man’s answer, Crispin soon relented with a sigh before bending down beside the target to examine his vitals. “Well, he’s dead. Quite a mess ya left though.”
“It will be cleared soon; Aspin will make sure of that,” he retorted, his cloak fluttering in the wind as he turned heel to leave the scene. “I trust you’ll handle the report then?”
“W-Wha? But ya killed him, ya bloody bastard!” Crispin hissed but soon realized Corvo had vanished completely from sight in the fog; the only thing remaining from his presence being the feathers from his crows and the bloody corpse on the snow below. Pocketing his fists and biting at his lip until the taste of blood filled his mouth, Crispin took one final look at what remained of Carlton Stead before fleeing the scene with ease.
Already, the blood and the corpse seemed to slowly form into dust and blow away in the wind; leaving no traces of the act that took place there.