Friday, February 23, 2018

Tiny Frontiers: Laneira #3

This was a challenge to write. Not because I’m out of ideas, but because I have too many of them. Once I realized the nature of Laneira, I started forming a plot. Then I realized I was switching from gaming to writing. Initially, I thought of ending her story arc and moving on to prevent her from getting railroaded, but, after some consideration, I’m thinking it may be a sign her first chapter is closing and chapter two should begin. I’m thinking between five to ten more scenes.

Icon for Hire, Make a Move

Two angelic women dressed in bronze and leather stand within arm’s reach of each other; hoplon shields gripped tight in preparation. The yellow sun shines down on the green meadow marked with a single hill. A small cave leads down into the depths of the earth beneath it. Trees form a fence around the perimeter, secluding this tiny emptiness from the rest of the world.

“Sisters, please.”

The two figures turn toward the cave, the origin of the woman’s voice. She’s a study of contrast: where the two warriors are lean, athletic and armed for battle; the newcomer is tall, voluptuous and wearing a thin flowing gown. Her hair is slightly more auburn; her eyes, a deeper shade of green.

“We are-”

“-NOT sisters,” I growl, made the more annoyed that Brencia the Last answered as I did.

“‘Cause everybody’s so scared. We don’t wanna go there...”

The delicate Brencia the First snorts, “We should talk,” and turns back into the mouth of the cave. Polite command versus polite request.

“Screaming in the dark while we just play our part…”

Brenica the Last scowls at her back, muttering, “We have nothing to talk about.”

“I’ll play right along like I don’t know what’s going on…”

I glance at her then make my way toward the familiar cave. Brencia follows my lead, her anger shifting from my intrusion to the object of her hatred.

The cave turns from earth to stone work steps that spiral gently down into a chamber beneath the mound. An immense statue of a raven with wings spread, tips brushing against the vaulted ceiling, stands furthest from the stairs. A stone altar supports the still form of someone dressed in anachronistic plate armor of charred mithril.

“Somebody make a move…”

Brencia the Last turns her surprised gaze from the figure on the altar and fixes the First with a burning glare.

“This is wrong!” she says, voice low and seething.

“Somebody make a move…”

Her empty hand flexes and pulls her spear from Elsewhere. Booted steps strike hard against the stone floor as she closes the distance between them.

“No, this is how it has to be,” the First calmly replies.

“Please, somebody make a move…”

“Wait,” I step deeper into the chamber and approach the other two. “Maybe she kno-...”

“We all know. We all know what’s going on…”

I try to tune out the intruding song.

Brencia the First smiles arrogantly, “Finally, a voice of reason.”

Pointing my fingers, the problem still lingers…”

Brencia the Last glowers, “I have nothing to say to you, bitch. I kill you; none of this happens; and Visemar is free.”

“Killing me will doom him.”

“They keep getting bigger, and I hold the trigger…”


And everything happens so quickly in slow motion. I see Brencia the Last lift her spear to lance The First Grey. Instinctively, I call to Delenn and the Thunderbird materializes in my hand.

Brencia the First looks on, unconcerned. Brencia the Last leaps at her, spear stabbing toward her target. The First shifts her eyes from her assailant and focuses on me. And I pull the trigger.

“Playing with fire, I live like a liar…”

Fetu's voice cuts in too late, “D, wait!”

The Thunderbird claps with an explosion of thunder and brass. The .50 caliber pierces the bronze shell of Brencia’s helmet; the Last lurches and falls lifeless to the stone floor inches from the First.

Instantly, the air snaps as a fiery blade springs to life, the charred visage of Visemar swings down on Laneira. One moment, he was lying on the altar; the next, he is in motion. His eyes burn a dull orange from the shadow of his angular visor.

A wireframe of glowing azure envelops Delenn, the pistol flares white and reconfigures into a xiphos; my shield comes up to intercept the incoming attack.

My voice is distant and desperate, “Fet, pause it!”

The world grinds to a halt. The only movement are tongues of fire licking the air from Visemar’s sword and the orange ribbons frozen behind him like tattered wings. Brencia the First, statuesque, her regal and elegant form still watching Laneira confidently. Echoing in the stillness of the air,

“Please, somebody make a move…”

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