Milo woke up the next morning after a good job was done and went downstairs for a delicious meal to start the day. The others were stirring and getting up themselves. They all made it downstairs to eat some good grub before the day began for them. It was at that moment, when the food had been brought and Milo was about to dig in, that a halfling woman walked in. She sat down at the table by the window and ordered some food for herself.
He was instantly attracted to her as a fellow halfling. He had wanted, after the terrible battle with his brother, to make amends to his people. He wanted to reconnect with what it meant to be a halfling again. He kept an eye on the woman as he ate and looked back at his life. His memory wound its way back to the past and how he ended up here.
It was the beginning of dusk when they were found. His father and he had gone fishing for dinner and were bringing back their catch when they were beset by hobgoblins. He lost his father in the melee. He was captured and held by the hobgoblins as they decided what they would do. In the coming days, he met a fellow halfling named Xankin and a dwarf named Brafatin. To mark them as property, the hobgoblins cut off one of their toes and shackled them together.
Eventually they were sold to a criminal syndicate run by a man named Dezu. He started using the halflings as thieves and trained them to be unobtrusive and quick. Milo contemplated escaping a few times but he was so broken and changed by his experience that he didn’t think he would be welcome back. He was a thief now and there was really no going back. He spent five years working under Dezu.
He worked faithfully until the day Dezu brought in a broken and battered Xankin as proof of what happened to those who defied him or tried to leave. When Dezu slit his friend’s throat that was the last straw. He might not have been skilled enough to kill Dezu back when he had started but he had picked up a few things in the last few years. He ran at Dezu and fainted back as if thrown out of balance when Dezu protected himself only to duck and come up under him with a dagger. He gutted Dezu like a pig and left him to bleed out while he gathered as much as he could carry.
He left Waterdeep that day with no purpose and no place to call home. That was when he traveled to Neverwinter and met Aleera and Malachi. Then they were sucked into their crazy adventure and the adventures hadn’t stopped since. He blinked the tears back from his eyes as he looked into his breakfast bowl and contemplated his life. He wanted the sense of family he had grown up with back. He loved his friends, would die for them, but he wanted his halfling family back.
Milo looked up to find the halfling woman looking right at him from across the room. She smiled at him and went back to eating. He was done so he stood up and walked over to her. He asked to sit and she smiled again and motioned at a chair next to her. They spoke for a few moments about halfling life, Milo thought about his beliefs for a moment. He had been following his god, Brandobaris, for a few months now, trying to recover his halfling beliefs. He thought this halfling lady might be a sign from his god. He asked her if she wanted to go for a walk and she agreed. They left through the front doors, strolling down the street side by side.
They were about halfway down the street when the lady stopped and stood for a moment, looking off into the distance, before turning to Milo. She asked if he remembered her in a quiet voice before waiting for an answer. Milo was confused, this seemed like a weird thing for a sign from his god to say. It was then that the halfling woman’s visage shimmered and began to blur. As she changed, the woman chanted under her breath and black smoke rose up from the ground around Milo to shackle him under the arcane black chains that formed from the smoke.
Try as he might, he could not break free of the magical shackles. Instead, he was forced to stand there and watch as the illusion faded to nothing and showed who was beneath the glamour. It was Yora Baleard, of the Baleard Crest Gang. They had fought back on Novos when there was a bounty out for Milo’s life. She was the contract holder that had recruited Hepolita to kill Milo and find his means of traveling between places without a trace. She had eventually reneged on the contract and was attacked by the gang at their guild house in King’s Crest. During the fight Milo had managed to mangle her leg pretty well before she escaped.
Her current look reflected the consequences of their fight. She was still dressed in her black clothes but her leg was gone. She was also missing an arm and an eye. It was covered by a standard black patch. Yora was a shadow of the proud woman she had once been. Before, the fire of life had burned in her eyes, now they burned only with a need for vengeance. Milo was trapped, far from his friends and protection, as Yora held him in her unbreakable grasp and began to smile from ear to ear.