This is a story I may or may not come back to. It’s a shameless fan-fiction if we’re being honest. I believe I’ve mentioned before that I play a lot of tabletop rpgs, and this is a bit of story featuring a character I played awhile back. If folks want to read more I might have to finish this, but for now it’s just a short one page excerpt of the character’s life. Saghir de Oppara (aka Samwise Turnbull Hunter; aka Alsaghir Mukrah) who believes himself to be more competent and a far bigger deal than he actually is. Still, he has gotten around a bit, and has friends (and enemies) in some very unusual places. Scenarios like the one below, are not all that uncommon for him.
The first thing that hit me was of course the floor. The second was that I had been thrown there from my cot, and anyone who throws a sleeping man to the floor is not waking you to have a pleasant chat. I fumbled for a knife at my belt, not remembering at the time that I had pawned the knife to by more shiver, and unleashed a torrent of scathing curses upon my attacker. I couldn’t see who they were or how many through the dim lit haze of the den, but I can curse in seven languages and almost everyone takes equal offense to a well placed barb about their mother. I yelled and flailed with a free hand whilst fumbling for the knife, until a young lady in heavy plate armor kicked me soundly in guts. I presume to prevent me from further embarrassing myself.
Gasping for breath, clutching my well bruised stomach, and still shaking off a night of shiver induced dreams, I politely declined to resist when she grabbed me by the arm and hauled me over to a chair.
“Saghir de Oppara?” she asked in a voice low and gruff.
I coughed once unintentionally, then thrice more in an attempt to stall for time. I had hoped the span of three coughs would be enough to spot an easy avenue of escape. No such luck. The windows of this particular travesty in Taldane architecture had been boarded up by the locals, and I don’t care what you’ve heard from whatever storyteller you’ve heard it from, it is not a simple thing to dive through a boarded window. That left the stairs, before which stood the hulking woman in front of me, and at least one person in similar garb. Black cloaks over dull, beaten armor. Instead, I just lied. “I have never heard that name. My name is Sam.”
She stepped on my foot.
She was wearing very heavy boots.
After an undignified shout of pain and the biting back of a few tears, I confessed. “I am Saghir. Sorry, I’m not quite awake yet. ”
“Good,” she knelt down, putting her eyes on a level with mine, “Is it true that you once spent a year in the court of the Queen of Lamasara?”
The fog around my mind cleared just a bit, replaced by a chill down my spine. I looked at these two I had taken for thugs a bit more closely. The cloaks were a cliche, to be sure, there was no hiding all that armor, but black cloaks still meant something. A black cloak in the night was the universal language for “I do not wish to be seen, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll go about your business.”
That armor under the black was something too. No gold, so not Eagles. No spikes, so not Hell Knights. Just cold, grey steel. And well used too. Not the sort you send to deliver a message. These two were the sort you send to kill a man.
I started looking at those boarded windows a bit more carefully. The building had only been abandoned recently but the boards on the third window facing the street must have been when they ran out of good wood. They look at least a little bit weaker than the rest.
“Answer my question,” The gruff woman insisted.
“Well, you see-,” and I bolted for the window. And though I shall never know for certain, I maintain that I would have been able to break through. The one who hadn’t done any talking yet got me. They tackled me to the floor, and were kneeling on my back pressing my face into the splinters before I was even halfway to the window. The woman who’d been talking stood up slowly, walked casually over to her companion who was pressing a metal clad knee into my back, and crouched down to my level again.
“I will ask again: did you serve in the court of Lamasara?”
Cooperation was, at long last, my only real option. “I may have spent some time there, many years ago.”
“Good,” the woman nodded, “We have questions.”