Swords of the Weeping Towers, Part 1

This the rough draft of a project.  Andy & I are developing Desolation Isle as a digital game. This story and others are to serve as introductions & transmedia offerings for the IP.

“I usually prefer girls.”

“As do I.”

Lurissa leaned back against the wall, throwing one long, leather clad leg up on the table, pointing the toe of her boot at the man across from her.

“But you are the prettiest man I’ve ever seen.”

“And you’re a beautiful woman.”

Finn propped his head up with one hand, elbow on the table. He shifted his free hand to rest on her thigh, tapping a slow beat on the supple leather.

Lurissa pulled her leg off the table and leaned forward, placing her scowling face inches from Finn’s. He unleashed his best dazzling smile at her.

She traced the thin white line of scar from her cheekbone to the line of her jaw, just below her left ear.

“Scars don’t put you off a woman?”

Finn shook his head. “Tell me about it.”

Lurissa shifted her head slightly, drawing Finn’s gaze to Kytun.

“He gave it to me. Damn near cut my face off. Could have easily done for me.”

“Would you like me to kill him?” Finn offered.

Kytun nursed his tankard, not as drunk as the others around him. He returned their intent look with casual interest.

“Maybe later. After we divide up the treasure.”

Kytun interrupted their romance. “Let’s find it and get it out before we start dividing it up.”

Lurissa sneered at him. Kytun was comforted by the return to normalcy. Her friendliness and good cheer had made him nervous all afternoon.

Lurissa returned her attention to Finn, moving her face even closer to his, sliding her nose and cheek along his long blond hair. “You smell good, too.”

Finn smiled; blue-eyes, even white teeth, golden skin and hair. Lurissa leaned in further, nuzzling his ear, then gently biting it.

She stood, picking up the sheathed sword from where it rested against the wall in easy reach. She slowly smiled at Finn, then turned and headed to the stairs.

Finn watched, mesmerized by the movement of her hips as she crossed the yard.

She shoved a man who stumbled into her path, almost knocking him from his feet.

The drunk turned, ready to answer the offence. Recognizing Lurissa, he reconsidered, mumbled something and moved away.

Lurissa paused at the foot of the stairs, looking back over her shoulder, her face almost hidden beneath her veil of dark hair.

Finn nudged Kytun, “Watch my gear.” He crossed the yard, following Lurissa up the stairs.

Kytun took another drink, surveying the crowd. Habit. No one seemed interested in the exchange save the usual jealous suspects who considered themselves up the task of bedding Lurissa.

The Widow’s Hall was busy this time of night. It was an exclusive place run by the Widow, a woman famed for intelligence and strong will more than beauty. By her rule, only those who had proved themselves with heroic, or at least violent, deeds were allowed to eat and drink. Her hall was three stories high, with heavy oak beams supporting the two balconies enclosing and overlooking the open yard, boarded floor, long tables and benches, fire pits and lanterns. The hall served the best beer in Hobart’s Port.

Despite its rough reputation, the Widow’s hired men and the patrons themselves kept it peaceful, if not quiet. Some called it the explorers hall. Maps of Desolation Isle said to rival those of the Duke himself were kept by the Widow, constantly updated by returning expeditions in exchange for food, drink and, occasionally, gold.

Stories told of the Widow’s beloved husband, lost in some ghost city or haunted valley on the Isle. Others spoke of his being consumed by a storm. A few rumored the Widow herself had killed the poor man. No matter the truth of her departed husband, the Widow had a significant amount of influence in the port and the protection of the Duke.

“Think he’ll survive?” Captain Radaam belched, glaring about for one of the serving girls. “Finn. Think she’ll kill him?”

Kytun shrugged.

“I can think of worse ways to go!” Radaam roared with laughter at his own wit. He banged his tankard on the table to draw attention. A barkeep waved at him. Radaam held his empty tankard upside down, receiving a grin and nod in reply.

Tony Graham

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