Sav’s head spun. It felt like reality shattered around him, the world crumbling before his eyes. Nausea threatened to overwhelm him,and he felt like the time Fresh Fish Fred sold him the discount mussels down by the pier. It had all started so innocently, so diminutive and impossible to perceive. Korvosans liked their routines. For Sav, routine meant odd jobs, perhaps a little breaking and entering, and the occasional stab (both dispensed and received). All perfectly withing the rule of law of Korvosa, of course. Or close enough.
So when he found himself drawing his bow and letting fly an arrow, the intended target an officer of Korvosan justice, everything came crashing down. Sav realized that little by little, drop by drop, both he and the city that he loved had changed. The fact that the shot went wide and he missed did not matter. He had not intended to miss, and that was what was important. At least to Sav.
How was he supposed to have known things would change so much in such a short time? Korvosa had a habit of surprising you, throwing challenges and tragedies at you, showering you with luck and fortune one day, and taking it all away the next. Sav had no reason to think this time it would be any different.
What had started as an inevitable collaboration with Twitch and Shakro had grown beyond their mutual hatred of the villainous Gaedren Lamm. The three misfits worked well together, despite the considerable differences amongst themselves and the city around them. Perhaps that was why, even in disagreement, they had taken on job after job with, in Sav’s opinion, overwhelmingly positive results.
So when Field Marshall Kroft tasked them with finding the nephew of a Shoanti chief, Sav’s principal concern was that the Field Marshall was not paying them enough for their outstanding services. The fact that they would have to descend into a mausoleum in the Greys to recover the body of the nephew from the hands of a necromancer, and the risk of outright war between Korvosa and the Shoanti, were not as important to Sav.
Once below the city, in the dark tunnels that spread under the most dreaded district in Korvosa, Sav and company had run into animated skeletons and the mythical derros that snatched up people from the surface, never to be seen again. They battled a flesh golem, an ogrekin, and even an otyugh. They rescued a group of prisoners, amongst them Deyanira Mirukova, who had sparked Sav’s interest in the Opera, something that had never even crossed his mind.
Sav had enjoyed every moment of it. Even on the brink of death, fighting Vreeg, that last derro, his life slipping from him as he mustered the strength to swing his sword relentlessly at the vile creature. If it hadn’t been for the acrobatics of Twitch, darting all over the place, and Shakros strength and determination dealing that final blow, Sav would surely have expired there. In the last few months he had come to rely more and more on his companions, depending on them in and out of battle. Things had changed, and he had been enjoying himself too much to have noticed. The city in chaos, riots on the streets, necromancers and derro under them, the wrong person framed for the murder of the King, Sav had failed to notice that the world around him was not the Korvosa he had grown up in.
By the time they emerged from the mausoleum and discovered that Trinia, the poor, innocent painter, had been found guilty of regicide and was to be hanged at any moment, Sav felt as if he had climbed out into a completely different city.
All three of them, Sav, Shakro and Twitch, had stared dumbfounded as Trinia was led to her execution, frustration and helplessness threatening to overwhelm them. And then a miracle. Blackjack, the legendary hero, appearing out of nowhere and spiriting Trinia away. When the executioner was about to strike at the famed folk hero, something in Sav’s mind snapped.
Sav was not thinking when the drew his bow and shot at the executioner. Sav had just acted. It was the right thing to do. And yet, it was wrong, and illegal, and reckless. That he had missed made no difference. The deed was done. The threshold crossed. He bought Blackjack enough time to make his escape. The price for his actions Sav did not know. But the way things were progressing, Sav knew he would end up paying dearly.