Quinn moved down the darkening alley; though no one saw him, he tried not to draw attention to himself. He should have taken the first portal out of Sigil, but taking the time to find a door to Excelsior would pay off in the end. That gate-town was as far from Plague-Mort as he cared to go, and being surrounded by do-gooders wouldn’t be so bad if it kept the Great Eye off his back.
Were those adventurers who sacked the Citadel of Fire do-gooders? Quinn couldn’t be sure. He’d been surprised when they’d spared his life – even more surprised when he gave them the information they sought. Quinn never trusted Green Marvent, but he was downright terrified of Baltazo – why in the Hells had he turned stag on him?
Doesn’t matter now, he thought. Just get out of town.
He looked down at the shining white feather in his hand, which seemed supernaturally heavy. Had it really come from an angel’s wing? The old tiefling at the antiquities shop seemed sure, and she hadn’t charged him much for it. Once he found the portal, the dark of it would come to light.
At last, he saw it – two buildings joined together by a narrow bridge spanning the alley. He headed for the archway underneath, crossing through a flat, black shadow.
A sudden, sharp fire burned through Quinn’s gut; he looked down and saw a shining silver blade thrusting through his midsection. At once he reached for his own sword, but another flash of silver sent it flying, still in its scabbard. Was that his hand flying with it?
Quinn screamed as his attacker’s weapon tore itself free, and he fell on his belly. A shadow rose from the darkness, taking on the rough semblance of a humanoid with a silver sword in either hand.
The shadow turned Quinn onto his back. “Fade finds all who betray the Eye,” it said in a voice like a wind bearing dry leaves. “Olwyn is already dead. Next, I’ll find Trent, and all of the turned barmies those adventurers know about.”
Quinn tried to answer, but only coughed up blood. His vision was dimming, but he saw a sparkling gem appear between Fade’s fingers. “I’ll find the adventurers as well,” said Fade. “Make no mistake about that. As for you, Quinn, your usefulness to the Great Eye is over.”
Quinn felt the blade pierce him again. He felt his soul leaving his body, and knew the time had come to move on to the afterlife – but he couldn’t escape the clutch of the shadow’s jewel. In an instant which seemed like an eternity, the gem swallowed Quinn’s spirit, causing it to bloom with a dim flicker.
“Your usefulness to me,” said Fade, hiding the jewel in his fist, “is only beginning.”