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By Teeuwynn Woodruff A tale of Dominaria


The following brief tale gives some insight into the elusive world of the assassin cult known as the Breathstealers. It is notoriously difficult to gain information about these silent killers, and it is certainly unusual for a Breathstealer to record his deeds. However, although we cannot be certain about the veracity of the exact details of this story, Suq'Atan history documents the results of the assassin's mission. -- Taysir


Third Day, Fifth Month.

Today I heard a mother whisper to her child that if he would not hold his tongue in the market then a Breathstealer would come in the night and steal his breath. In the morning the mother would have to wail for her child's spirit, stolen along with her child's life. What a story to tell a babe! But perhaps the young mother thinks the Breathstealers are merely fantasies to frighten children into behaving. I fear she is wrong.

-- Qhattib, Vizier of Amiqat

Two Days before the Slumber of the Bright Moon.

My mother named me Hilel because I was born at the very moment the Bright Moon turned its face away from us for the month. I have always been most comfortable in darkness. Even before I was stolen by the Breathstealers. When you become a Breathstealer you must face the ending of one life in order to begin your new one. I can still feel the breath leave my protesting lips, the air turn stale in my lungs, the hazy burning away of the conscious mind before awakening again to utter night. Last night I was awarded my first chance to gift a soul with shadow. I am honored to have been chosen for a mission of such importance. I must prepare. In two days I shall eat the breath of the living.

-- Hilel, Breathstealer

Fourth Day, Fifth Month.

I awoke this morning in a cold sweat. I dreamed the Pasha was assassinated and, when the other advisors turned to me for guidance in this time of crisis, I had no wisdom to give. The Pasha is not a man of profound wisdom, but he is an icon to our people and icons are of increasing value in these desperate times. This is the second time I have dreamed of death this month. I fear for the Suq'Ata nation. Kaervek's armies may only walk the land now in little more than memory, but I feel more certain than ever that the Breathstealers are real, and that they breed like a virus in the close darkness of our city streets.

-- Qhattib, Vizier of Amiqat

One Day before the Slumber of the Bright Moon.

I have watched my prey for a full day and a night now, and I believe my path is becoming clear. If I can maintain the patience of death I shall surely succeed in stealing the breath from perhaps the most important man in all of the Suq'Atan empire. When he closes his eyes tonight, I shall close mine. Our breath shall be as one. I will dream his dreams. Our spirits will ride the night winds together. When the next night comes and I enter his chambers, his spirit will welcome me as a brother. I sleep in the arms of the Spirit of the Night.

-- Hilel, Breathstealer

Fifth Day, Fifth Month.

I dreamed again of the Pasha's death. Only this time my tongue did not desert me. No, in this dream I spoke passionately of how our brave land must hold another man who could lead our people in honor and wisdom. I am ashamed to admit I even spoke ill of our Pasha in my dream. It is not his fault that his wisdom is that of the cheetah and not of the lion. I must pay special tribute to the Pasha in my prayers this night.

Has our land won its freedom from Kaervek's aggressive suit only to be losing itself to the wiles of a far more cunning foe? I wish the gods would grant me wisdom in this matter, but I fear in the past few days I see better sleeping than awake. I fear for our nation. If the Breathstealer assassins or another, unknown enemy should take the Pasha's life, the Council would almost certainly choose Telim'Tor as our new Pasha. Although Telim'Tor's words feed those hungry for a powerful protector, the loaf of his knowledge is unleavened by wisdom of any kind. The Suq'Ata might do better to have a child lead us. At least a child's gullibility is expected.

I shall pray for the Suq'Ata as well as the Pasha. And on the morrow I shall talk to the Pasha of my fears...for him, for our land, and my concerns about Telim'Tor. I am certain I can get our leader to allow me leave to investigate these Breathstealers. Yes, I am certain now that they are the real danger to our land.

May the gods' eyes be as blind as a mother's to her children's imperfections.

-- Qhattib, Vizier of Amiqat

The Slumber of the Bright Moon.

This night have I granted the Dying Breath for the first time. It is true that you can feel the spirit slipping its mortal tethers. We are indeed celestial beings. Last night as I walked the path of dreams with my brother, Qhattib, I could feel his fear of my kind. And I could feel his worries about Telim'Tor. What well-founded concern! Telim'Tor will one day soon, Spirit willing, grace the throne of the Suq'Ata... and his mind is as easy to bend as summer grass. Yes, my new brother had reason to fear. Tonight he breathes no more and we are safe from the brilliant light of his wisdom. Qhattib's mind was as a sun in Suq'Ata, and we prefer the darkness.

-- Hilel, Breathstealer