Codex: One – The First Venator

The first ever individual to embrace the dark side of the Pantheon of Deusan’s benevolence was that of a young woman, Unu’mia Bristene. It was during the latter years, in 506 M.W.E., that this young eager warrior of the Umbrian Army, became one of the most powerful individuals Hexterra has ever known.

During an attempt to capture a Magikcron from the winged avian Nubani, the Umbrian Army assaulted the floating rock keep of Ventrusarx, in their airships. Each one clasped on to the keep and rock faces with metal hooks and Magik tethers. By the hundreds Umbrian soldiers leap forth and rushed the Nubani troops, who defended themselves the with ballasts and spells; Ventus ‘wind’ Magik was their specialty. Hundreds of Umbrians fell through the clouds to their deaths but too many would still overwhelm the Nubani and they were matched sword to spear, spell for spell.

While the regular ground forces assaulted the front of the keep, Unu’mia, along with a handful of skilled infiltrators, proceeded to enter a cave at the rear of the floating rock face. It was guarded but not so much as to prevent them access. Their airship plowed into the side and was caught and severally damaged; they now knew they were on a suicide mission but one that was necessary for them to succeed.

Unu’mia, was desperate to prove her worth in combat, just as any Umbrian soldier would, but was considered by her squad to be inferior for such a mission due to her lack of experience. Despite her proficient use of Magik and infiltration techniques, the rest of her squad reluctantly proceeded through the caves with her with her in tow.

However, heavy fighting, cannon fire and the assortment of Magik being cast outside had weakened the cave’s structure. A cave-in trapped her inside alone, separated away from her squad. She called out to her comrades, fearing that she would be buried alive; yet they callously bid her farewell; believing that her fate was already sealed and wanted to be rid of their perceived weaker member. More and more she screamed, trying to dig her way out but the rocks were too heavy. Her hands and fingers become bloodied from the sharp course stones. Angry, confused and left feeling betrayed she continued down the path as her only option.

It was here Unu’mia happened upon a lost shrines to various Dark Patheon members:  Umbria and Noxia (the Twin Goddesses of Shadows and Darkness), Vindictus (the God of Vengence), Mortusus (the God of Death) and Timourus (the God of Fear). All sat separately inside of a circle, each at five separate points of a pentangle, in the dark and damp; shrines even the Nubani have forgotten and have fortified the keep above. She knelt down in the center and cried bitter tears and prayed to the shrines, hoping that her pleas for intervention would be answered by the Dark Ones, that her transgression of being left alone to die would be avenged; her prayers would be heard.

It was here the Dark Ones spoke to Unu’mia in her mind and issued her the profound ability to embrace the darkness within. To take control of her fear, the darkness and shadows around her, and weld them to strike death in the form of vengeance to her enemies. It was here she would become the first hunter of the dark five. Spoken as Venator in the old tongue. She would become a hunter among the darkness and shadows. A hunter who uses fear and is driven by a need for vengeance of the unjust. But there was a cost. She would have to pay a toll for such a power. The Dark Ones made but one request of the desperate Umbrian: to kill in their name, it was after all in Umbrian blood to kill, but it was not to kill just anyone. No blood must be spilled unnecessarily, as innocent blood was of no interest to the Dark Ones. Only the blood of the wicked, the callous and of those responsible committing evil acts upon others. Those of blackened souls would only be suitable to sate their bloodlust. So on this Unu’mia made an oath to the Dark Ones as she sat no longer alone: that only the blood of the deserving must be spilled, no more no less.

Now in control of the shadows around her, she could disappear and form at will. She retreated back to the cave-in, embraced the darkness within and reemerged on the other side like black smoke poured forth from a burning building. She continued up through the caves where she came across her remaining squad, of those who left her for dead. In their bewilderment, she cut them down fearlessly, one after another; while their pleas would fall on her deaf ears. Mercy would not be given, and so to would her vengeance would be sated.

As the war raged on she contemplated her role in the fighting. Unu’mia knew she could help win the battle with her new power but this would also go against her oath. Her decision to remaining within the caves was hard, as the sound of many of her fellow Umbrian friends being skewered by Nubani spears could be heard. Many would have considered their deaths justification for her intervention but they were the aggressors, by her oath they could not be saved. The rumble of the floating rocks could be felt and eventually the battle was won, but with an unsuspecting consequence.

As the Magikcron was seized by the Umbrian forces, the power that once flowed forth from it collapsed. The floating rocks would no longer float at all and began to fall. Panik ensued. The remaining forces attempted to retreat back to their airships but too many were damaged to fly again. The tethers and hooks that once held them were ripped away as the rocks fell and so the Umbrian Army was stranded to fall with them.

After the impact nothing remained. No airships were left undamaged, no forces of either side to be found, the Magikcron was nowhere to be seen either. Yet, one person did remain, however, Unu’mia. She emerged, from the colossal pile of bodies, ships, rocks and dust, completely unscathed. She looked around to see nothing but chaos and destruction and wept at the death that befell her. It was then she started the long journey home.

Born anew from anger and empowered by the Dark One’s hand, she had become an agent of fear, darkness, death; become an agent of vengeance; she became the First Shadowhunter.

from the Shadowhunter Codex of Vindictism: Codex One – The First Shadowhunter
Circa: 616 M.W.E (Magikcron Wars Era)


Laura Steel ©2015

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 – The Perpetual Nightmare

To many having being cursed with reoccurring nightmares would be a problem, but Laurena relished every opportunity that presented itself. It was the same one over and over, of her mother Elenanor. Even awake she can clearly remember the day her mother died, as clearly as if it just happened the day prior. She was on quest of vengeance over the the death of both her parents and no one could stop her, the nightmare would only perpetuate the hate that boiled inside her.

…the panic in the twelve year old was quite clearly evident to her by the thumping of her heart even if she knew nothing of the reason. It was about to explode out of her chest. Along with her mother, they had reached their home in the poorest district in Umbran.

“Common hunny…quickly!” Elenaor was much faster and agile than her teenager and done her best to keep her at the same pace.

“Mum your hurting.” Laurena tied running running through the streets as fast as her mother but could have not kept up. Her hand was held tightly, which felt like her arm almost about to be yanked out of the socket…

A Day prior Laurena’s father Raenes attempted a kill contract assigned by the Venators Guild, he had failed. It was meant to be a simple run, no different than the ones before. A rather disgusting vocation to some – the basis for the negative notoriety of the Venators, to those outside Umbran that is. To the Umbrani it was little more than a job, one that brought home the standard going rate. A few hundred aurams for a life, that was just enough to keep their family going for awhile. Death was apart of their culture, one where only the strong survive and the weak are culled…or those who could afford to have another killed.

…with out trying even explain the situation to her child Elenanor rushed through their home without stopping. Dashed up the creaky wooden steps into Laurena’s bedroom, her mother prised open a secret wooden panel of the wall towards the back room. It used to be for storage but when their daughter was born it was converted into the only bedroom. Elenanor shoved her child into the tight space as much as possible, to the point that a bare supporting frame dug into the side of her, the adrenaline would stemmed the pain.

“…you must hid here my dear…and don’t make a sound!” Elenanor was panting from the terror that had beset her.

“But….mother?” asked Laurena as she tucked her knees to her chest even though it hurt to breathe.

“…No honey! Be quiet…and don’t move…promise me you won’t say anything…regardless of what you hear!” Elenaror knew time was short.

“Mother…what’s happening?” Laurena still confused in her inquiry.

“…Promise me!” Elenanor pleaded as she draped her necklace of the Goddess Noxia around her daughters neck. Laurena nodded as tears rolled down her cheeks.

“I love you!” Elenanor whispered. The loud crash of the front door had indicated to her that time had now ran out. She closed the wooden panel in front of her child.

“BITCH! Where are you?!” Bellowed a low rumbling voice in the next room.

Elenanor had unsheathed her sword and stood ready in the centre of the room as the door was almost smashed off it’s hinges.

“There you are you whore! You think you and you husband would get away with it?!” The large brute had found out who she was from one of the locals, undoubtedly sold out by a neighbour.

“Where’s my husband?” Elenanor asked even though she didn’t want to know.

The brute chuckled. “You mean that worthless skinny fuck. Who’s neck I snapped like a twig.” A deep sense of remorse flooded Elenanors entire body as she knew he had not lied or exaggerated .

“Nooo! You bastard!” Elenanor didn’t even try to contain herself. The rage over her spouses death built up and she lunged at the tall brute hoping to avenge her husband.

Her quick feints and deft attacks would have been enough for most, even without all the years of training and being a member of the most ruthless guild of mercenaries. The larger built up body of of the overbearing man-statue had far more experience as a fighter, proving to be too much for her.

Without even drawing his greatsword that was firmly sheathed on his back, he had knocked the blade from her hand and grabbed her by the neck with the other. Eleanor struggled to free herself from his grasp, trying to pry his hand away for one minute gasp of air.

A shallow gargling sound poured from her mouth and with one tight grip of his hand, a distinct crack echoed through out the house. Her hands dropped to her sides as he let go and Elenanor’s lifeless body fell into a motionless slump. He looked down at her corpse with a side worn smirk.

“Humpf, not worth my time…but no one fucks with Lugo.” He scoffs and walked out.

It’s at this point that Laurena wakes from her nightmare, something that used to be accompanied by a scream of terror, but after some months it fell silent. The same one that wanted to escape on the actual day of her mother’s death.

She still remembers covering her mouth with both hands, in an attempted to not scream out in pain, hoping to not attract Lugo to her location. Laurena had unfortunately bore witness to the whole event through the crack in the wooden panel. Paralysed with grief knowing how badly she wanted to help but couldn’t.

To see her very own mother, killed so effortlessly was unbearable. Specially from the woman who taught Laurena how to hunt and kill just as soon as she was old enough. It was the Umbrian way. Taking the life of another way often key to survival and it was the responsibility of the parents to ingrain it on their offspring as soon as possible. How could she even contemplate avenging her parents if they was meant to be the best hunters Laurena knew, let alone ever have the strength to do so.

She just caught glimpse of her mothers killer – who she at least now knew by name and one she would never forget. She could see he wasn’t human, a “Stonekin” in fact, remembered from one of her parents stories. His wide broad face was clear to see even through the slimness of the cracked panel. She done her best to remember his appearance as best she could. He was the first she had seen so up close and the tales of the Khryosians would allow her to recognise their appearance with little effort.

…for several hours Laurena sat their in her hideaway. Crying into her arms hoping that at any moment her mother was going to pull her out and hug her and say everything was alright. She never did. Her body remained in the same position, drained of all life and had turned paler than her Umbrian skin was already. No amount of wishing or praying would change it. Laurena knew now that she was now alone, from now on she would be on her own to fend for herself.

After she built up the courage to venture forth, she prized open the panel. She could see her mother so much more clearly. The deathly stare of her face with the her eyes still wide open was still worn. For a moment Laurena could have thought that her mother was still alive and merely jesting, but the realization would soon sink in that her mother would no longer be able tell Laurena just how much she loved her…

She awoke and sat up. She caressingly rubbed the Noxia pendent around her neck. The last parting gift from her mother brought some comfort from her dreams but it would quell them. As disregarding of passed on loved ones the Umbrians were, Laurena couldn’t help but feel nostalgia.

Even looking onto the side of her cabinet sat a painful reminder. Her training sword she had as a child. On her twelft birthday, the “coming of age” day that all Umbrani go through is to be presented with their first proper weapon. Training had been done with dull toy-like imitation and used just as a child would. It couldn’t cut through bone or flesh but sharp enough to cause pain from a lack of concentration.

Her parents trained her well in survival but not how to cope with their untimely departure, that was never in their nature as good Umbrian parents. Every new day was perpetuated with the searing pain of losing her parents, renewing her vigour to find her parents killer. She knew it was only a matter of time the Lugo would return to Umbran, as she could never afford to travel beyond the furthest edges of the continent Mortister.

She wouldn’t stop to avenge her parents, it was just a matter of time.


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.