Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hard and Soft (04/23/09)
By mick dawson
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A half blood Soravian woman idled around the port of Adella. She smiled pleasantly at the seaside workers on the docks. They grinned back, albeit out of lecherous intent. It was considered the “right” of the criminal element, for the weak to be preyed upon by the strong.
The woman in green silk dress; the one with the long brown hair and the alluring smile did not belong there.
Lustful eyes followed her as she strolled to the end of the pier where a small but handsome merchant craft with twenty oars bobbed where it was tied.
Two crewmen, waited for her by the ship’s side.
“Are you the two men who I engaged through Radgen?”
“We are,” said a balding, stocky man in leather jerkin.
“I have just bought the “Leviathan” from him yesterday. Are you sure that you can sail him with just the two of you?”
“You mean sail “her,” good lady,” corrected the mariner.
Her eyes shifted to the mast, as a smile curled her lips.
“I am not sure that he would like being referred to as a female,” she said extending her hand.
The other sailor took it, helping her on board before assisting his comrade in getting under way. Under the gentle breeze, the sail billowed full, lurching the vessel forward over the choppy waves.
“That is pretty jewelry you wear good woman,” said the seaman who helped her on board.
“Thank-you,” she said, smiling delightedly.
The balding man slapped his arm, ushering him to the rudder.
As the cliffs of the bay began to recede beyond her peripheral vision, the Soravian woman walked to the prow to take in the blue expanse of the ocean. She smiled to herself. The two men were talking about her, but then men always did.
Something crashed on the deck behind her. She turned casually to see the balding sailor writhe feebly on the deck under the weight of the mast. It slowly rose back into place as the man breathed his last.
Her gaze shifted to his fear etched comrade; her pupils narrowing, similar to a cat’s.
A dagger whispered free of its sheath, and the mariner plunged down. It struck something hard, deflecting it to one side. He stabbed several more times as hard as he could, but the invisible barrier was impenetrable.
“Who are you?” he wailed, backing away.
“I am known by many names,” she said stepping forward as he retreated. “I am Moxatol.”
The glint of recognition flashed in the terror stricken face. He was Soravian, and all Soravians knew of the most powerful sorceress of the age.
“But I have also been known as the Nightmare Weaver.”
The sail suddenly enveloped the seaman, binding him so that no part of him showed through the canvass sheet but his face, much like an insect caught in the web of a spider.
She approached the sail which lowered itself so that she could address him, mere inches from his face.
“I prefer the Chaos Monger,” she said softly as her eyes reverted back to normal.
“Do not kill me,” he begged.
“And why not?” she asked calmly. “I heard you and your comrade speaking. You were going to steal my jewelry, take my ship. All this was after you had partaken of my “soft pleasures,” as you put it and then you would have killed me.”
She turned away for the prow, dismissing anything further he might say.
“No; wait, you cannot sail this ship alone! You will need me!”
All protests were cut short as the sail covered his face. The bulge within struggled for a few moments, then went limp. The sail bent to one side, unfurling to allow the body to fall into Leviathan’s wake.
Moxatol heard the splash behind her, thinking on his last words. He spoke the truth when he said that she could not sail the ship alone, but he was wrong about one thing; she did not need him.
“Leviathan, take us to Nusalle, the port of Caliet.”
Even with no one to man the oars, they began to rhythmically rise and dip in the water. The ship suddenly veered to the east.
She stared grimly from the prow. In Caliet she would find the king of the most progressive nation of the known world. With his death, the world would slip into a state of Chaos. This thought cheered her immensely… she was the Chaos Monger after all.
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