I’m posting this in it’s virgin state, so there are bound to be a few mistakes and it’ll probably change a fair bit before publication.
My reason for putting it up before it’s been edited properly?
Maria Kuroshchepova has often said that she can’t write fantasy, yet she managed to turn her recent house move into a tale no sword & sorcery devotee would throw away…
*shrugs with a perplexed expression*
…so I am posting this for her.
* * *
The situation in Jiren had a number of interested parties watching it
From Il Mor Barad, the Overlord and the Jar watched eagerly as the Orc Shamen began to incant.
“Would my Lord like to place a small wager on the outcome of the coming battle?” The Jar remarked as the Elysian warrior took up a stronger stance in front of the Elf.
The Overlord snapped his fingers and a small pile of gold coins appeared in front of the window. He sorted them into three piles and with a gesture created an image of the people the money was on, sitting them on top of the relevant pile.
The jar grinned. “Excellent idea, Lord. I shall match that and we’ll see what happens.”
The window next to the one they were watching lit up and the Lych Mistress appreared on it.
“Lord, Sir Grald has set off for his mission.” She paused and took in the scene. “Are you wagering on something, my most handsome of Lords?”
“Yes, Lady Lych. The elven knight travelling with Sir Grald’s sister has got himself into a spot of bother with an Elite Elysian Warrior and an Orc Shamen in Jiren.” The Jar replied, his eye fixed upon the scene playing out on the main window.
The Lych Mistress did something and a sexy smile spread over her ripe lips. “My, my. I never thought my brother would have the guts to do something like this. Mother would kill him… figuratively speaking, of course, my goody, goody mother never even raised her voice to us.”
“That is your brother?” The Jar said as the Overlord’s head shot round.
“Oh yes. Vrenstallien was a baby when I saw him last, still in First Class. I’ll put ten gold on him and double the amount on the others.” She snapped her fingers and the piles of gold appeared beside the ones the Overlord had placed.
“You would bet against your brother?”
“Aranok was more of a man than he could ever be.” The Lych Mistress dismissed the Jar’s question. “Besides, he is the enemy now. I am my Lord’s most loyal follower.”
The Overlord made a pleased whistle and with a wave of his hand, a pair of earrings with a large rubies in them, appeared in front of the Lych Mistress.
She gasped, flushed and smiled. “Thank you, Lord! They are divine. I will await your message on the outcome of our wager, with pleasure.” Her voice dropped a decibel and she blew a kiss before her window returned to normal.
“I still think she would make an excellent Mistress or even a Wife for you.” The Jar grumbled.
The Overlord stared at the jar and the heat of his gaze from underneath his hood made the Jar quiver on its pedestal.
“Look, Lord. The knight is drawing his sword!” the Jar distracted the Overlord and breathed a quiet sigh of relief when the gaze was directed at the scene on the window.
A White Banded Hawk perched on the roof of the Golden Dice, her head cocked so that she could watch the fight starting below. Inside her head a voice was speaking, but she could only understand the emotion of the words and not the content.
“Why is the child just standing there? She needs to stop this. If the next few days are to go as planned, these two need to accompany her, not attack her guardian.” Calliale’s frustration boiled over and startled the hawk into flapping her wings. “Sorry, my friend, but I can’t help it! Why is it that Father allows Espilieth to interfere in the Human’s lives and not me?”
The hawk settled again and waggled her tail.
Calliale watched as the knight and the Elysian feinted and circled. The orc Shamen had finished his incantation and now an amorphous sphere of green light floated over his shoulder. “Why is an Otherworld Spirit involved in this? Is Vaarzasia trying to influence things?”
The hawk made a soft keeing noise in the back of her throat.
“I know, I know. It’s not her fault that one of her Shamens is here, but they are the best two for the job. They might at least be able to get her out of there alive.”
The hawk shifted from one foot to the other as the combatants lashed out at each other. Calliale lost sight of the girl as they moved in front of her. “Damn. Can you get any closer to her?” The Hawk shook herself. “Fair enough. I suppose it would look a bit odd if…”
A pulse of jubilation made the Hawk flap rapidly in surprise. She called out and Calliale answered. “I’ve had an idea…”
I hope you enjoyed it!