Inferno of the Living
The Silent Knife
Even though they are driven to desperation by the loss of their home plane, even though they would make perfect assassins and the work would lift them out of destitution and afford them the opportunities they so desperately need, few changelings will take such work. Because of their natural telepathy, they cannot help but feel the victim’s pain, terror, and confusion as they die. The changelings say that such an experience kills them a little bit, too.
Taketios is a changeling desperate enough to take the work anyway. To accomplish it, though, he subjected himself to a lobotomy, chopping out the part of his brain tied to his telepathy, cutting himself off from the ancient communion of his people in his desperation. Without a mouth, he still cannot speak, and now without telepathy, he can communicate only by sign language.
Urban legends spread across Dis about “the Silent Knife.” You think your friend is simply quiet today, until you realize he has become mute altogether. Just when you realize that something’s wrong, that’s when he draws his knife and slits your throat.
Taketios has been well-compensated for his sacrifices. He lives alone in a fine mansion in one of Dis’s most wealthy parishes. He has slaves and attendants, as well as an interpreter who helps him with negotiations.