Oshar slipped into the apothecary just in time to avoid the eyes of the approaching guards. Less noticeable now, the desert man had donned local garb and foppish hat that shrouded much of his face. The extra precaution was required as his work at the wedding had stirred the hornets nest and many more soldiers were evident on the streets of Ostiarium.

"Can I help you sir?" the voice startled Oshar and he turned to see the wiry specimen of a man standing behind the shop counter.

"Hemlock." Oshar tried his best to disguise his thick desert accent with brevity. Taken off guard he decided it safer to play the part of customer while he regained his composure.

"Oh yeah we got that, just up there behind you." Oshar turned to see the the flowers hanging in dense white umbels from a hook beneath a nearby shelf. The assassin moved over to study the poisonous flowers and gently ran the back of his hand across the intertwined stems.

He heard the serving mans limp before he saw it. The fellow walked over to stand at his side, a knife in hand. Oshar flinched ready to attack but the man reached instead toward the hemlock and with a deft tug of the blade unfastened them from the hook.

"What you tryin to kill?" the man asked as he limped back toward the counter.

"Kill?" Oshar was taken aback by the turn of conversation.

"You do know it's poison yeah?" The man looked confused now and regarded Oshar with a shifty gaze that seemed a little to keen for a simple shop keep.

"A stray cat." Oshar spat out the words without thinking, then realised that there might actually be some truth to them. He chuckled quietly to himself.

"Riiiight." the man was looking a little uncomfortable now, "Where you from mate?"

Oshar gave answer with his blade, drawing it from his tunic and slamming down to skewer the mans hand to the table in one swift motion. The mans cry was cut short by a second blade held across his gullet. The desert man applied just enough pressure to draw blood.

"I seek Nicolaus Caglistro, where is he?" Oshar spoke quietly as he locked eyes with the man.

"He's gone on holiday mate. Wont be back for weeks." the man gave a defiant grin and then spat in Oshars face. Such was the assassins surprise that he did not see the mans other arm swiping up to smash a small vial across his right cheek. The glass broke and cut into him and the contents emptied over his bloodied face.

Oshar staggered back losing the grip on his blades as a wave of nausea ripped through him. It was all he could do not to empty his stomach. With a sharp growl of pain the stranger pulled free the dagger that had pinned his hand and advanced.

"Don't know what you want with the boss," he said, "but I guess it ain't good."

The man charged then intent of stabbing Oshar, but the assassin was too fast. He side stepped his attacker and kicked his legs from beneath him, just as another wave of crippling nausea brought him to his knees. The man laughed as he scrambled up from the floor.

"Special recipe that... made out of some kind of fungus." he spat on the ground as he searched for a weapon. He had dropped his blade in the fall.

Oshar spotted it first and snatched it from the ground. His eyes widened as the steel seemed to burst into silver flame. His vision was becoming blurred and the mans laughter seemed to be coming from all around him now. He looked up to see his enemy looming over him... not a man now but some sort of beast with a feline face. It hissed and snarled as it approached, green eyes glowing.

"You should be hallucinating something awful about now." the creature kicked him in the ribs and he barely managed to hold on to his weapon as he rolled backward. Still the thing advanced.

"Spilled some on my hand once and thought I was growing apples out of my arse. Nic had to tie me up to stop me pickin em. Ha!"

Another kick to the ribs.

Oshar was shivering as wave after wave of nausea hammered into him. All these years of training... all this effort... to be poisoned by a heathen shopkeeper! The hulking shadow of the cat demon loomed over him. Silently he mouthed a prayer to the Twins as his end drew near, just as at the back of the room a door opened from the interior.

"Tolan what in all the hells are you doing up here. I am trying to concentrate..."

A black clad figure entered through the door, but Oshar paid it no heed as he saw his chance. Surging forward he assailed the beast as it turned to see the newcomer and with one viscous drag of his dagger he sliced into its throat and kicked it to the ground. it fell with a thud and Oshar watched the multicoloured blood pool out onto the ground.

Soon the room was swimming in a kaleidoscope of colours. Oshar watched as the hemlock on the counter began to shift and flutter as the petals burst into the air like a cloud of butterflies. He did not see the newcomer as he approached and slammed something hard and heavy into the side of Oshars head.

Darkness took Oshar Ka'hreth...

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