Codex: Four – The Great Schism

After the Guild’s construction it’s members further grew in number, more came to embrace the Dark Ones. The change in perceptions of a vast majority of Umbrianox’s population also changed their attitudes. Decades of the Venators’ presence saw the majority of citizens start to nurture the comradery and society cohesion that was once rare in a nation previously dominated by anarchy. Meanwhile, there were others, less inclined to act civil or with compassion, who found yet more reasons and excuses to commit evil acts upon one one another.

These conflicts between individuals became so frequent, and the need for retribution so strongly felt, that the Venators were in the constant employ of people seeking their talents. Other lesser factions, that were comprised mainly by those who had become disaffected by the Venators’ methods, seized on the financial opportunities and rivalries broke out between newly established guilds.

Forever more, the Umbrian nation would be plagued with its own internal war, between those believing they were the most morally superior. Most altercations would, fortunately, be confined to the darkness, where the majority of the public would be totally ignorant of, yet no less unaffected. However, slowly word would spread of their influence. Over the decades, and tired of the increasing number of altercations that grew between the citizens, thousands cried out in protest at the perceived failure of the Venators. Criticism arose over their ability to control the chaos that persisted on the streets of Umbrianox and the surrounding villages. A dozen or so years of bloodletting altercations and armed conflicts broke out, between those faithful to Unu’mia’s teachings and those who sought to undermine the Guild’s efforts, and thus this gave rise to The Great Schism. The internal Umbrian war was bloody, with parts of the city sectioned off in a multi-headed deadlock. Pestilence and disease broke out and supplies destined for each area were either intercepted or destroyed. The Great Schism almost saw the city of Umbrianox brought to the brink of destruction. The conflicts would eventually end, with the Guild’s combined efforts, prevailing ideology and, more importantly, their leadership under Una’mia were undoubtedly the cause of this. As a consequence, however, this would come at a heavy cost.

During a final desperate mass raid on the Venator Guild, by multiple aligned factions, a majority of the Venator were forced to defend their hallowed ground. The main force was preoccupied, while Unu’mia was left with but a handful of personal guards. This opportune moment, seized by a few traitorous Venator from within, eventually saw the assassination of Unu’mia. The killing blow would be delivered by none other than her most promising student, Carbor Fraus. Una’mia was left trapped in her chamber, through Carbor’s use of a rare Solis Orb; an artifact which renders a Venator unable to Shadowshift in darkness and was finally killed by a Venon bomb. Upon exploding, it released a cloud of a deadly toxin. Una’mia unable to escape was caught within its deathly vapor and perished without defense. What had become of Carbor, after the Schism, is still yet unknown. Rumour has it that he died due to the bombs exposure too, in a form of self-motivated sacrifice, however his body was never recovered.

The loss of their patron, Una’mia’s remaining disciples were blinded with rage and confusion. Without leadership, they found themselves temporarily unable to proceed and as a further consequence, without her guidance, the Venator became further divided.

This was argued, mostly by the few scholars that existed at the time, to have been the plan of the Dark Ones all along; that Unu’mia was merely their puppet and everything that she accomplished was of their design. With the exasperated anarchic conflict of Umbrian citizens being their ultimate goal.

The remaining disciples of Unamia, in their ruthless attempt to rebuild the Guild, began to refine their recruitment and methods.

The Guild, as it is today, is that which resulted in the Great Schism. Had it been left unscathed, it would have undoubtedly become much more powerful that it already is. This has been suggested, by many, to have been a good thing. Not just for Umbrians but the entirety of Hexterra itself. However, there are others, justifiably it might be said, to be far worse. The Venators have become far more ruthless and secretive. The tragedy that beset them refined their efforts, to the point that none dare speaks a word against them, less the shadows themselves convey their criticism to a bitter end. This may be true to some extent, but you can be assured, as a potential disciple of the Venator Guild, that our true motives, the real truth behind our aim, is far more complex than any of the ordinary citizens can discern. They will fear the Venators or die in our darkness.

Praise be to the Dark Divines.

from the Venator Codex of Vindictism: Codex Four – The Great Schism
– Circa 642 M.W.E. (Magikron Wars Era)


Laura Steel © 2016

Codex: Two – The Formation of the Guild

Upon her return to her home, Unu’mia Bristene was not greeted kindly. News from the battle of Ventrusarx, that everyone was killed when the floating rocks fell had eventually reached the citizens of Umbranox. It was rumored, unjustifiably, that because she was the only survivor, she must have fled the battle while her comrades died falling from the sky. They had not known exactly how she survived and more unlikely to believe her. Even if she were to explain freely what had happened, Divine intervention, let alone by the Dark Ones themselves, was not a widely accepted excuse. In the Umbrian Army desertion was an act punishable by death. So when she attempted to explain her side of the story, to her superiors and comrades, Unu’mia was met with scorn and threats of execution.

Before she could mount an adequate defense, it was swiftly and collectively decided, by many Umbrians, who were totally ignorant of the facts, that she must pay for her transgression against her fellow comrades. Many Umbrians, including those from the Umbrian Army, attempted to surround the young soldier while pointing their swords and pitchforks at her, with frothing anger on their lips and a red glare in their eyes. It was only then she was forced to reveal her new power. Desperate to flee, she disappeared as a puff of dark purple smoke in front of everyone and into the shadows protection. Those that had cursed her with blind anger were now cowering with fear; some steeled their defenses ready, while other’s dropped their weapons and fled.

A few trusted friends, who had harbored Unu’mia safely, while she was in temporary exile, attempted to spread her account of what happened and just how she escaped the impact by materializing into thin air and back again without so much as a scratch. Reluctant at first, the people of Umbrianox eventually came to accept Unu’mia’s version of the events. In time many slowly began to seek her out in order to understand what it was she went through. Those who already worshiped the Divine Dark Twins, as it was for old Umbrian tradition, thought they might seek this power out for themselves too; the reasons for their ambition would only be known to them but Unu’mia would eventually devise a method of combating this.

It was then Unu’mia began to teach the way that the Dark Ones had imbued her with, to explain the art of Shadow Phasing and the other knowledge of Dark Magik, that had slowly unraveled inside her mind. Praise of the Dark Twins Umbria and Noxia subsequently increased, along with Vindictus, Mortusus, and even Timorus, as more and more began people started to lose their atheistic attitudes towards the existence of the Dark Divines. Over time the city was slowly flooded with new statues and iconography, in particular of these five Dark Ones, and the belief in the power they all had held over their mortal subjects.

Before their numbers reached the hundreds, Unu’mia began to realize that the warehouse in the merchant district they were using was too small and that teaching a hand full of people at a time had become vastly inefficient. She was also aware that many recruits had already wished to donate their possessions and aurum, as compensation, in order to them to trained by Unu’mia in the first place. It was then that she and her disciples conceived an ambitious expansion plan and sought to purchase land and buildings to be demolished and replaced with a new gigantic structure that could house their needs. Many citizens, especially those who had begun to embrace the Dark Ones, thought that the prospect of a singular point of interest would be beneficial to the rest of the city and promoted what Unu’mia was teaching. Other’s radically contested the idea, yet was of no use.

Despite the objections, along with the reported threats of bullying, extortion of shopkeepers and homeowners, Unu’mia and her disciples managed to purchase enough land to begin construction. The next decade slowly saw the rise of Guild’s monastery-like structure. It had finally become the Venator’s central point of focus in which anyone who past the initiation could assemble, with its vast library of ancient tomes and texts and halls designed for sword training, Magik casting, equipment and meditation rooms. Ever since it was completed it has become a worldwide iconic symbol of Venator authority and Umbrian liberation.

from the Venator Codex of Vindictism: Codex Two – The Guild
– Circa 634 M.W.E. (Magikron Wars Era)


Laura Steel ©2015

The Venator – Winterbound Training

The thick blanket of snow from that evenings fall had yet to settle on the land of Terumbra. The woodlands and snowfall left the visibility too low to make any sense of direction. Cold, hungry and tired, the young Laurena was out traversing the woodland, under the wing of her Venator mentor Mathias. She didn’t really know why they were out there, she didn’t really trust him, but the young recruit was to be trained on how to be quiet; a vital skill for their trade.

Today the rather novice Laurena could only hear her own footsteps, crunching under the think white blanket, they were so numb she could barely feel her toes. Frustration would have to wait while she learned to copy Methias in his stealth approach, through the twisted black bark and bare intertwining extremities; reaching out like wooden claws, wondering how his footsteps were so silent as his breathing.

“How long will we be out here?” asked Laurena impatiently, rubbing her crossed arms in a vague attempt to keep warm. Methias slowly cocked his head to the side.

“As long it takes…and lower your voice.” his stern reply just barely audible through his cloak’s hood. “..and ease the weight on your feet slowly…control your breathing…in and out the nose.”

Laurena tried her best to mimic her mentor’s movements, but it was in vain…then Methias shot his hand skywards.

“…Hold it!” he whispered. Both ducked down lower until they were almost buried under the snow.

“…what is it?” Laurena replied mimicking his level of voice, startled by his abruptness.

“…we’re not alone…don’t move!” He tried to explain as fast and quietly as he could. The falling snow added to their camouflage.

Through the trees was a vaguely visible shape. A large creature, much larger than anticipated, emerged, carving a path through the snow with its large paws. It’s furry hide swiftly shifted in colour to unmatch it’s surroundings. It rose it’s shallow feline head into the air and took several deep breaths in. It smelt something!

Laurena’s heart was pounding, even it didn’t smell the two of them, she was sure it would hear her heart’s thumping echo inside her chest. She covered her mouth with both of her frozen gloved hands, swiftly blocking the steamy breathing being expelled rapidly in and out. Her eyes narrowed and fixated on the beast, watching so intently, beyond the falling snowflakes than canvassed her eyes. Her feet remained firmly still, if the fear didn’t cause it, common sense would prevent her fleeing. She was too afraid to do anything else.

After a few terrifying moments the beast gave up, gave a strong snort as if out of frustration. It’s hide shifted back into the white landscape, into obscurity, wandering off through the woodland bored from it’s failed hunt. Mathias knew they were downwind from the beast and the wind and snow were too heavy for it to pick up their scent, something he didn’t tell his apprentice.

“Heh heh…that was fun wasn’t it!” lightly chuckled Mathias, as he looked back upon his young petrified apprentice.

Laurena gazed upon him with a mixture of disbelief and anger. It was the first time in the five years since she started her training she had heard him laugh. She certainly didn’t expect him to lead them both into danger.

“Not many get to see a ferapex and live”. He cocked a sidewards smile. “Come on…we should head back.” Mathias started walking towards Umbrianox, seemingly without the aid of stars or compass, but Laurena understood he knew the way. She knew she could trust him, albeit uneasily, and today proved why.


Prompt: http://jeremysdailychallenge.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/3linethursday-week-ten/


Laura Steel © 2014

The Venator – A sleepless stormy night

With no curtain to draw and sat alone, Laurena stared blankly out of her bedroom’s only four pained portal. Buffeted by wind and rain, the rapid pitting and rattle flooded the room. The clear barrier was the only defence against the elements.

It was only to be made worse with the flash preceding rumbles. In the distance an approaching monster roared. Her eyes took notice of the periodical bursts of light and sound, They grew louder and loader as the minutes pasted. Laurena’s ears peaked at the impending monster; it’s rapid flashes and booming roars…the beast was getting closer and closer and closer.

Staring drearily at the streets below through her heavy eyes, there was always life in the late hours in Umbran. The light from the setting Sol would not wane the citizens from their duties nor the ability to carry out tasks. The shambling Bone-servants were also carrying various sized crates and barrels, autonomously done, so fearlessly due to lack of emotions. Just pale drones following magik orders. Their ossein feet slushed through the muddied cobble. The patting sound of cartilage was easily drowned out by the rain and the accustomed ears of the cities residence.

The creeping demon was coming and his rolling body blanketed the sky with it’s dark purple hues, lit up with the jagged streaks of forking bolts, swiping it’s claws across the blackened overcast sky.

Lightning storms were not uncommon for these lands but in the mid-year month of Ignary the storms raged more aggressively. The hottest month of the year and the region around Umbran where the perfect combination for the destructive randomness to strike furiously across the horizon.

Closer the strikes became. The booming sound rattled the glass that Laurena’s head caressed to cool from the stuffy midnight air. Quietly contemplating in a dreamy state about past regrets and desires that would always go unfulfilled.

Suddenly just a few streets away a bolt struck the top of a house and it exploded with an massive burst of fiery debris. Feint agitated screams of the unexpected rang around the neighbourhood along with the feint hint of children’s shaky crying.

Laurena’s heart pumped an unwanted amount of adrenaline through her veins and her eyes sprung open to bear witness to the destruction of wood and slate tiles. The beast had claimed a victim, it’s claw had gouged out a chunk of roof top. The harsh rain fortunately quelled any fire but not enough to suppress the smouldering supports, randomly spewing sparse embers, that once existed where a gaping wound was now present.

After the excitement subsided Laurena quickly grew tired of the boredom she was forced too returned to. She slumped her head back down on her pillow to stare at her own ceiling’s wooden beams. The storm had still not passed but was fading. Satisfied in it’s hunt.

It would take hours of frustrated turning and apathy, before she…finally…drifted…into…a…


 

Prompt: http://jeremysdailychallenge.wordpress.com/2014/10/04/weekend-medley-45-october/


Laura Steel © 2014

Travelling Companions (Part 1) – By the campfire

After a brief meeting in a small town, Ayron Glorand and Laurena Reaver found themselves as travelling companions, both in need to mutually traverse the Tenelunca Cave, as it’s not a solo-able journey by any means. After a few days, the two have made camp along the widening road some miles south of the cave’s entrance. Rolling hills flanked each side, blocking the horizon. Both were sitting in a quiet contemplation, while the camp fire flickered and spat embers, which died instantly on any surface.

Ayron occasionally took a bite from his roasted Pavorsus leg, thanks to Laurena’s hunting prowess. It tasted awful, but he didn’t complain. Laurena just nursed her meal, still skewered through with stick, distracted about past events. Ayron found himself caught staring by Laurena, who is more spatially aware than he had given her credit for.

“Why are you staring Solaran?” said Laurena, as she replaced her food with sharpening her jagged Dreadblades with a whetstone. Her head unturned her towards Ayron.

“My apologies my lady. I could not help but wonder,” he explained. Unafraid to look away after being caught.

“Wonder what? What makes me unnerved, because -”

“- No that was never my intent,” Ayron interupted. “Besides your are not nervous. If you wished me harm I would have been so already!” he said in his ever passive voice.

“So what is it you want to know?” she asked.

“Why, just how a woman of your inner beauty and grace, has eyes so clouded with hate, and a heart so leaden with grief,” Ayron inquired.

Laurena said nothing. She glanced under her hood towards Ayron’s face, illuminated through the fire.

“I was hoping to alleviate you from your pain, should you would allow it,” Ayron offered .

“And what do you know…of my pain?” Laurena asked, sheathing her weapon.

“I know you dwell on only one thing, of loved ones who have been taken from you.” Ayron asked as if he could see straight into her heart.

“I have long since gotten over that,” Laurena said dismissively .

“Have you?” Ayron insisted. “I suspect you have thought of little else, other than to see them avenged.”

“I am an Umbrian, it is our way.” Laurena deflected.

“Is it? I was under the impression that there was more to your people than seeking revenge. That you also know of honor and respect and comradery.” Ayron saw through the typical stereotype of her people, despite his inexperience of communicating with them.

“…and what do your people know of honour or respect, when your people are forced to live a life devoid of freedom,” rebuked Laurena.

“If you are referring to my people’s involuntary indoctrination…you may be right,” Ayron conceded. “But it does not deter them from peace, friendship or love,” Ayron admitted, with a mixed sense of guilt and hope.

“So why help me, I fail to see what you would gain?” asked Laurena.

“I was hoping to gain a friend, but more importantly, to not see someone capable of so much more than becoming a construct of hate,” Ayron explained, with genuine intent.

“I have been consumed by hate for far too long to be saved,” Laurena replied, as she rubbed the Noxia pendant with her finger and thumb, half caught back into her old thoughts.

“I do not believe so my Lady. You have the inner light of Lumia burning within you…I see it. Beyond your pale skin, white hair and blackened tunic, you glow with an iridescence aura of compassion,” Ayron boasted.

“No. You merely see the empty shell of a person, a person who could have been. No more, no less.”

“Then why do you strike at those who wrong others? Parry the blades of brigands and thieves, that would harm others, just as if they had harmed you. Aim to right the wrongs that would leave many without justice. Have a passion to help without the need for praise or personal gain,” Ayron said, trying to justify his inquisition.  “It is that I wish to save.”

“Even if you could, and even if I wanted you too. It wouldn’t matter until-”

“-Until what?” Ayron interrupts abruptly.

“Until I rid the world of one particular monster,” Laurena replied, sullenly, as she wrapped tightly around her pendant and her teeth clenched to almost crush them at the thought.

“Would that really help,” Ayron pleaded. “There are always other monsters out there. Some of which are far larger and far gruesome.”

“Maybe so,” Laurena hesitated. “But none that gone this long with out punishment, none that have deserved my blades piercing their heart more than that of my quarry.”

“And what would you do when said monster is slain? Rejoice perchance?Live the rest of your life in peace? Or will you find yourself with nothing but emptiness?” Ayron asked, persistingly, as he finished the last his Pavorsus and dumped the remains on the fire, while embers spat forth from the slowly dying fire.

“I will be, set free,” Laurena said.  She then laid down with her back turned to Ayron and the fire.

Looking one last time at Laurena with a genuine concern, Ayron turned on his back; to stare at the stars blanketing the clear night sky, and slowly drifted off to sleep.


Laura Steel © 2014

The Venator – Dreadwood Hunt (Part 1)

A battle was raging in the Dreadwoods. Laurena had chased the gang to their hideout in a glade to where they would store their ill gotten gains. She was currently fighting against three opponents. They had surrounded her and were poised to attack. Their boss Lugo, who was experienced enough to make sure his cronies went first, watched from the sidelines, treating them as nothing but fodder for her blades.

“We’r gonna ‘av fun wiv you!” Sneered Krane. He eyed her up, thinking of more than the fight he was currently preoccupied with.”

“Heh heh…Yeh. Whatcha finking Raz? Free of us…one ‘ole each?” Smirked Brohz. Looking towards he comrade.

“I gets ‘er head…after I removes it from doe’s prit’ey shoulders!” Insisted Raz. He lets out a furious scream as he charges forward to strike.

It was cut short when in one deft move she side steps him and with no appearance of removing the blade from her sheath, sliced clean through his neck. It bounced across the grassy floor, flattening grass and flowers alike. It wore a surprised look of disbelief of how it could have happened, as his body slumped to the floor with thud.

“Fuck me…grrr get ‘er!” Fretted Krane. Signalling his remaining comrade to attack at the same time.

“Bitch we’re gonna gut yu!” Angrerly shouted Brohz as they both closed the gap.

Laurena danced between them gracefully, a leaf lighter than wind. The pang of steel on steel echoed through out the woods with the leafless twisted trees, as her twin swords clashed with each of theirs. Brohz attempted to strike hard when he thought an opening appeared, once deflected Laurena positioned herself behind him struck across his back, he fell letting out a groaning pain.

Krane attempted to strike only to be parried with such force that he was spun round. Recovering Krane returned to his original orientation to find a lost target. She could not bee seen.

“She’s right behind you, idiot!” Lugo shouted in frustration.

Krane readied his weapon in a futile attempt, as he looked around, she had plunged one of her sword through his chest. His body gave out and lost grip of his weapon and his knees gave way denting the ground. Laurena instantly pulled out her holstered gun with her now free hand and shot Krane through the back of the head, the force propelled him of her sword.

Now there was only one left, Laurena walked towards Lugo who had now unsheathed his great sword. As she walked past the still wreathing body of Brohz, who had until now been drowning in his own blood, she shot him to end his suffering.

The Sol was setting and her shadow stretched out across the grass towards her next target. It started to rain as a gust of wind picked up, a storm was coming. Even Lugo a brute of his experience, still hadn’t anticipated that Laurena would face his men and still be alive. He would finally taste a minor fleeting moment of anxiety before the adrenaline kicked back in…


Prompt: http://jeremysdailychallenge.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/challenge-wednesday-30-july/


 

Laura Steel © 2014

The Knifed Skull and the Unknown Rogue

Edit* This was written well before I had established the character of Laurena Reaver, and as such she is not mentioned so in this piece yet


Deep in the merchants quarter, among the crooked streets, lined with stalls of all types astride the cobble paths, was an over-crowed tavern. One of much fame to the locals, or infamy if your an outside. It wasn’t the biggest in the city or even the prettiest. Not that there was anything to look at in this city beyond the towering Blackspire in the centre of the city. But this particular public house had it’s history. The Knifed Skull it was called. Mainly due to the large Torporc skull that was the priced trophy above in the loft space in the main hall. The grand centre piece, the main attraction, one that made every new patron crack their heads back upon first sight of the monstrosity.

How it was ever placed in such a building was subject to many a opinion and the instigator of just as many fights, some say the tavern was built around it from the ground up, the original owner couldn’t tell you, not from his grave. The wooden beams holding it aloft had buckled over time under it’s shear weight, only to have makeshift replacement planks patch up it where the split wood now grew. Adorning the now tarnished bone was with the famous longsword of swordsman Fedrick Spatose or so legend says.

Protruding at the acutest of angles in the beast’s right eye socket, it’s point exited through the left of the jaw bone wedging in it firmly. Age had covered much of the once polished blade to rust, however it’s value to the current proprietor or the aesthetic of the décor had never diminished. The odd tooth had been prized away from its large sloping jaw but enough remained to show off its gaping bite. Needless to say the Knifed Skull was home to many a drunkard, lured in to see this magnificent sight. Some one not so taken back by the splendour was a lonesome rogue, who used this place as a common retreat.

She always wore her leathery wardrobe, always worn with the hood up, one that covers the majority of her head. Her long bristre satin hair draped down through the hoods opening gape, flanking the sides of her face, one which nobody could see the true beauty behind. Her tight fitting outfit extenuating her slender figure, one that wasn’t made with the cheap leather in found stores. Nearly everyone in her profession most certainly wore a garb of much less quality.

Clothing not made from Vis or even regular cotton, was normally made with leather sourced from locally farmed Ferrisus, The six legged Ferrisus swine was also one of the main food sources for the city not for it’s irony taste of course. It’s leather was often used for armour and heavier clothes, it was tough and flexible as the same colour as flaking rust. The perfect material for creating garbs for those who wanted some measure of protection. Seedier persons would often darken their attire staining it with colour from the almost black crushed Noxweed petals, mixed with soot as an offset additive. To this stylish rogue sat in her corner wearing her more pricey regalia; and to someone of her experience, they were just in a childish costumes.

Her own outfit was made from actual Ferapex hide, it was the much prized material for those sordid types of a darker disreputable profession. Hide that didn’t come cheep either, not because of the rarity of the source animal but the stealthy ferocity of it’s nature, sulking the forests preying on large game or the a wayward caravan traversing the paved route through the dense foliage. A nocturnal predator of almost unbeaten prowess. Many people die when hunting one of these beasts is pursuit of it’s skin, claws and teeth. The veteran hunters of the creature, have an on going inside bet to see which of the rookie hunters fall prey to it first. The inexperienced unknowingly aware that they are but fodder for the Ferapex, as a means to slow it down. Survivors of a successful hunt were considered by many to be heroes, when in reality they had been lucky no to fall prey to the beast ferocious apatite.

It’s highly valued chameleon like skin retained this adaptable property even after the creatures death, as was like it was permanently alive and aware of it’s surroundings. Covering the skin was semi-light bending fur, each strand refracted light away from it’s body. The perfect predatory disguise. It’s special quality imbuing the rogues own attire as it would scantly blend the rogue in with her own surroundings, to the point that she rarely seen by even those who had not drunk a drop of liquor and although the fireplace blaring light and embers didn’t even cast a shadow of her.

There in the far corner however did seat someone, the quietest of rogues, she spoke when needed and only entertained the idea of chit chat with those of whom she most trusted. There was no one of that description here. Nursing her ale as if it was the last in the world. She sat alone, with one the male maids occasionally bringing her a renewed beverage. Leaving with the previous empty container and the four required coins already cascading on the table, a pre-order for the next.

Her feet resting crossed on the short and narrow, thick planked table. Her feet acting as the bouncer, guarding her from the rest of the taverns clientèle. So relaxed and laid back you could swear she was sleeping, her eyes were wide open of course. When her roguish paranoia kicked in her eyes scanned the room of it’s occupants, broken back up again by staring inside of the tankard. Occasionally when she felt comfortable enough she would stare blankly into oblivion as some of her past regrets that couldn’t help but take up the majority of her concious mind.

Strategically is was the most optimized place for a person who’s business generated a small amount of notoriety, very few knew of her true occupation,. Most of those who have, had taken that secret with them in their untimely swim in the Deadflow. Backed by the taverns brickwork and a lack of a shadow. Both of her sheathed serrated long swords rested by her side, making sure both hilts with always with in reaching distance. All entrances could be seen, along with the wall length bar. No one was going to sneak up on this tactful advantageous individual. She made sure that even while at her most drunk, no one could blind-side her. Her fast hand could reach for either of the twined pistols strapped to each side of her hips. Inebriation didn’t dull her reflexes least of all her aim.

The last person to try; attempting to force himself upon her. Even after she made it abundantly clear she wasn’t interested. Had to hastily vacated the tavern while screaming in agony. Both hands cupping the remains of his genitalia. At the same time being laughed out by those more wise to leave this woman alone. No one made that mistake any more. It was due to the combination of acknowledgement of previous deeds around the city and that type of fear that was rooted in the unknown. The sure-shooting woman in her colour changing leather left alot to the imagination about her past. Everyone knows her speed is unmatched save for an ignorant few, and all of the locals afforded her an un-leveled amount of respect…and she liked it that way.


Thanks for reading.

This is a short side story to a larger one I am working on, and may or may not be changed at any time to co-inside with it, nor is it indicative there of.

Laura Steel.