Tag: Sword & Sorcery

The Battle Pit

Reiver Two Swords stood alone on the sands of the Battle Pit of Dnur.  About him lay the bodies of forty-nine fighters, many of their spirits sent to the feast in Dath's hall by Reiver's hand.  Yet Reiver still stood, blades in hand.  After two years of captivity he had grown accomplished at waiting patiently for something new to be thrown against him. Dnur's citizens filled the stands that encircled the Pit with their chanting of his name.  The barbarian in the Pit raised his eyes to the Imperial Box and the sweating form of the corpulent wearer of the Ivory Crown.  Reiver's eyes lingered long upon the barely concealed curves of the girl clad in slave silk who held the Emperor's cup.  He had already decided she would be his.  She looked upon him with both contempt and admiration, contempt for a man fallen slave, admiration for a man who still stood after a Bout of Fifty. Reiver's eyes didn't miss the flash of anger that crossed the Emperor's face, nor the command that caused the slave-girl to blanche.  Minutes later the Beast-gate creaked open and the crowd fell silent.  Nothing stirred in the darkness behind the gate for several long seconds and Reiver stood, silent and poised, waiting.  Then, with a roar that elicited screams, both startled and excited, from many in the crowd, a giant mountain grinyt charged onto the sands, straight for the lone warrior. Reiver dove to the side as the grinyt landed on the…

Identity Thief

“What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you?” asked Pin Wei. Reaper leaned back against the rock and drew deeply on his pipe. He held the smoke in while he thought about it, then sent up a long plume of smoke that broke up in the breeze that was whipping over the top of the narrow gully they were taking shelter in. “I dinna ken ifn it be th’ strangest, but t’were unusual, an’ all th’ fault o’ a young minstrel what liked ta embellish me stories an’ make ’em more… palatable-like.” Pin Wei snorted. “You’re always blaming minstrels for the way people treat you.” Reaper chuckled. “An’ ye dinna think tis all yer fault, eh lass?” “It’s not!” Reaper nodded. “Mebbe ye be right.” Pin Wei smiled. “But then ag’in, mebbe ye be wrong. Ye tell me.” He took another pull on his pipe and this time sent a flurry of smoke rings sailing away out of the gully. “So, this were a long span back, afore anythin’ what happened in Ishmek. I’d been out an’ about in th’ world some years, mostly fightin’ as a mercenary in one war or ’nother. People was startin’ ta know me name an’ ta want th’ glory o’ havin’ killed me, but dinna yet know th’ futility o’ tryin’.” Pin Wei snorted. Reaper quirked an eyebrow at her but when she didn’t say anything, he kept on with his story. “I’d just finished up a contract fer a bunch o’ merchants…