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Fantasy Writers

Villains’ Character Castle

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  • #132762
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    *Materializes in a cloud of glitter*

    Greetings, y’all! This looks like fun! I’ve been planning to drop some of my villains into the character castle anyway, so this is perfect!

    Could someone fill me in on what’s going on, who’s in the castle, and what happened? Any extra rules/goals, stuff like that?

    I’m going to drop in one of my secondary villains because she’s absolutely delightful and my main villain is about as interesting as a cardboard box, at this point. *Sheepish laugh* Working on that…

    Here she is! My villainous, assassin damsel that I got way too emotionally invested in!

    (Interview style)

    Name: “Chantara.”

    Me: And? 

    Her: “None of your business.”

    Age: “Seventeen.”

    Physical traits: “Smallish, about 5′ 4″. Everyone underestimates me, but I make up in skill and dexterity what I’m missing in strength. I have a scar on my right cheek, smaller ones on my hands and arms, and a big one from my left collarbone down. All knife scars–”

    Me; Where did you get those? 

    Her; “Where do you think? I’m an assassin. Most people notice my eyes first. I have straight, thick black hair, just past my shoulders, and olive skin. My eyes are pale, pale green, the color of aquamarine. Oh, and I’m ambidextrous. Takes everyone by surprise.”

    Personality traits: *Genuinely puzzled* “To who?”

    Me: Like… to yourself? 

    “I don’t know. I do what I have to. Justice is more important than mercy. I’m efficient, and I’d die rather than fail.” *Ironic smile* “If I fail, I might die anyway.”

    Okay, I’ll fill in some stuff, since she’s glaring daggers at me. She’s closed off, and the jury’s still out on whether she has a conscience. She can shut down her emotions when she needs to, but they always catch up to her. She’s very extreme, she either adores someone or hates them. Yeah, it’s not exactly the formula for happiness.

    Origins: “They asked if I wanted to join the Servane Siya, (The assassins) I said yes, I left. I trained until I was fifteen, now I do my ‘assignments.'”

    Me: What about your parents?

    “I told you I left. Haven’t seen them since and might never. You don’t leave the Siya. I don’t really care. I couldn’t have hoped for more.”

    Occupation: “Member of the Servane Siya. They call us assassins, but we’re elite forces. We solve problems before they evolve into bigger problems that would cost more lives.”

    Skills: “Knife-throwing, climbing, hand-to-hand combat, and getting information out of people when I need to, though that’s not really my division. The lower spy group does the subtle stuff.”

    Voice: “I have a sharp voice and I have a Kezbe accent. If you imitate it I swear I’ll stab you.” (The Kezbe accent is kind of a standing joke. It’s kind of nasal and rough, and everyone makes fun of it.)

    Very quick background info for those who don’t know this yet:

    The fantasy country is called Yerasht, it has a desert climate, mostly. There are seven tribes. The Lehabim and Kezbe have had issues with each other since a war nine years before this.

    Writing Chantara always kinda scares me XD Especially from her POV.

    Here’s a picture of her I drew:

     

     

     

     

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #132767
    Catholic Creed
    @hannahrenner

    @kimlikesart @rose-colored-fancy

    Hello!  Hope you enjoy the chaos.  We definitely could do with a few more people here.  I have a feeling things are about to get interesting.

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.

    #132780
    Catholic Creed
    @hannahrenner

    The Warning and Message rumbled over the landscape, swaying as the mountain rocked through their ribcage.

    The stone rumbled and thundered louder than the sky.  Rain blistered the seam between beast and burden.

    Precious burden.

    They glared across the landscape, at the looming, throbbing red light.

    Castle Oaken Door.

    They roared, thousands of throats rasping.

    Several hundred eyes spied a merchant camp.  About fifty people heading to the castle.  They were running, screaming, chaos.

    There was always chaos when they were spotted.

    But deep, deep, deep, deep, deep in the mountain, Grimme – what was left of her at the moment – knew no chaos.  She knew only the sensation of the calm blue light around her hovering body.  A deep, soothing sleep.  A dark, disturbing but calm dream.

    Perhaps a memory distorted beyond recognition.

    She was chasing a clear red light – and suddenly it was fire and a beloved voice – and suddenly it was condemning her and she deserved it – and suddenly there was water and the fire was gone – and then she cried.

    Perhaps it seemed chaos when laid out, step by step, but it flowed smoothly, logically when she was experiencing it.

    And then… there was something else…

    A checkerboard pattern, ripping violently through her safe-space.

    The Warning and Message shuddered, thundering to thousands of knees.  Roaring with hundreds of mouths.

    Something is wrong.

    Grimme and Warning and Grimme and Message and Grimme and monsters and Grimme and and

    and

    and she opens her eyes to see the Castle Oaken Door.

    and she gracefully lowered to the floor, landing gently on her knees.

    There is … she is …

    Broken.

    Her connection is broken.

    She runs her hands along the back of her neck desperately, kneading into the tender skin.  The device is supposed to be hidden not absent.

    There is a void.

    It burns.

    She needs it.

    She needs it.

    She needs it.

    She hears screaming and realizes that she is the one screaming.

    “Welcome.”

    She freezes, the mechanical voice suddenly grounding.

    “Welcome everyone to the Choosing.  It is a very special honor to participate in this exercise.”

    “Inner core!” Grimme hisses, digging her nails into the thin cornrows on her scalp.

    “I’m sure you – Grimme – are very alarmed.”  There is a faint laugh.  “Please relax.”

    Grimme gave her very frank opinion in a series of blistering words her father had, unintentionally, taught her.

    Grinding her teeth, she staggered to her feet.

    She pulled out her battle-ax, searching the room.  It was blank: walls, ceiling, nothing else.  Not even a crack to exploit.

    The floor was checker-board black-and-white marble.  The walls appropriately lined up black-and-white stripes.

    “At the end of each puzzle is a prize,  but only one can win each round.”

    “We already did this.” snapped Grimme.

    “No.  Actually, you skipped this.” The voice smirks.  “You stuck-up telepathic monstrosity of alchemy and industry.”

    “Ah, and there. You. Are.”  Grimme relaxed, arm loose, fingers tight, one foot slightly in front of the other.  “You aren’t an iota better than me.”

    “Really.” the voice sneered.

    Grimme waved her hands, encompassing herself and the room.

    “That… no. nononono. No.”

    “How.” Grimme paced, five tiles forward, turn, ten tiles forward, turn…

    “You already know.”

    “Not. The. Choosing.” Grimme ripped at the hair on the back of her neck.  “My link.  HOW?”

    “Well, you couldn’t be tempted by Wy…”

    “You don’t get to speak his name.” Grimme smiled serenely.  “You. DON’T. even get to think about him.  You have no right.”

    “I found the one reason you would stay… or rather, the one reason you couldn’t.”

    “Are you willing to risk reversing the curse onto yourself … over the Choosing?” Her voice dripped with sarcasm.

    “I would think the answer is obvious!” The voice didn’t scream, the whisper was far more vicious and loud.

    “Fine.  I’ll play your game.” Grimme peered at the symbol dancing over her hand: battle-ax surmounting an anvil.  “I’ll mislead your tools, I’ll ‘make nice’, I’ll entertain you.”  She grinned sharply, crushing the badge to her chest.  “After all, that’s what friends are for.”

     

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.

    #132972
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    @kimlikesart @rose-colored-fancy
    I’m so glad you’re here!!! Those villains sound great! *hugs you both tightly*
    Ok, quick catch up. This is like the character castles except the villains have to be invested in being villainous here instead of trying to get back to their world and all. So right now they’re in a cutthroat contest in a Labyrinth to reach the top the prize is to have complete control of the Castle and freedom to return to their world. Right now they’re in a grand hall recruiting Pawns for their guilds.
    –Pawns are Castle-property characters that any writer can manipulate and make up on a fly so if say person A writes Pawn 1 and has a scene where Pawn 1 is told to do something person B (fellow writer) can hijack the scene and have Pawn 1 do something completely different the only rule there is write the response before the other guy (:
    According to the current plot-lines each villain as of next day story-time will have lost something very very near and dear to them and go through a test to reclaim that. Villains can kill each other and Pawns but will respawn at the Great Hall. Every villain has a guild-symbol for their Pawns.
    Right now we have a mad scientist, Dominic, by @erynne, a Grimme(?) by @hannahrenner from what I gather a shapeshifting girl tied to a cursed castle?, a Viking, Þorunn, and a vampire, Karayan, by @skylarynn that are currently inactive but may be reactivated later, a bounty-hunter, Connel, and an abrasive glassgirl, Meira, by me.
    So the current objective is to introduce characters and invent some Pawns to prep for spiraling goal-by-goal gangwars.
    *skimming over what I wrote* dang that’s a lotta information at once, I hope I didn’t flood ya’ll, if it doesn’t make sense I’ll try again XD. I can also copy and paste everybody’s character-outlines on here for convenience I’ll probably do that tomorrow XD.

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #132981
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @hannahrenner

    Hello!  Hope you enjoy the chaos.  We definitely could do with a few more people here.  I have a feeling things are about to get interesting.

    OOh, I hope so! Honestly, the chaos is always my favorite part of the character castles.


    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Okay, I think I mostly got it! I’ll drop Chantara in, then we’ll see from there. New castles are always a bit of a learning curve XD

    I’m going to change a few names to avoid spoilers!

    Chantara

    My entire body ached, a dull, throbbing, searing pain. I didn’t move. I had no idea where I was, and I wasn’t going to let anyone notice I was awake. I lay curled up on the floor, somewhere. My muscles were stiff and painful. I must have just finished an assignment. Was I back already? Had I fallen asleep while waiting for the commander? I didn’t hear the voices of my friends, the seven other assassins in my cluster.

    I smelled like sweat, camel, and blood. The metallic scent was drenched into my clothes, mixed with the sickly sweet smell I always associated with Aydin. I relaxed, slightly. The thought of him was somehow calming. He hated that smell, but I didn’t mind it.

    Voices bounced around, my mind too exhausted to register the language. What was it? It wasn’t Kezbe. I wasn’t at the headquarters.

    My memory slowly came back. My target had been a rising merchant in Ticaret. He was rising to a position of power and he was loud about his views about the Kezbes, and our king in particular. No wonder an order had come through that he had to disappear. I’d been assigned, and I hadn’t complained, although I had barely come back from my previous one.

    had completed it, hadn’t I? My hand slowly crept down, toward one of the knives strapped to my thigh. The others dug into me, the pommel of one poking me between the ribs. I had at least eight with me, all hidden.

    My fingers closed around the knife and I slowly, almost imperceptibly, drew it. My hand was hidden by the corner of my tunic. It hid the knives, but they were still easy to reach. My finger traced the edge of the blade. There, right along the edge, was a slim line of dried blood. I barely felt it, but it was there.

    I must have completed the assignment, but I’d fallen asleep or been knocked unconscious before I could get back to headquarters.

    The voices slowly became clearer. I recognized it as a language similar to the common language, but the pronunciation was different, and some words were odd.

    “I would think the answer is obvious!” A voice hissed. Something about it made a shudder dance up my spine. It sounded… unnatural.

    “Fine.  I’ll play your game. I’ll mislead your tools, I’ll ‘make nice’, I’ll entertain you.” Another voice said. It was full of cold ferocity.

    “After all, that’s what friends are for,” the second voice purred.

    I risked cracking one eye open, ever so slightly. A girl stood before an oaken door, hugging a battleax. She was the second voice, and I felt apprehension rising. This girl wouldn’t hesitate to use that ax. She was dangerous.

    I hesitated, knife still in hand. From here, I could get up and throw the knife so it hit her squarely between the shoulder blades. My eyes pinpointed the spot. She wouldn’t live more than a few minutes. Then again, that would immediately give away what I was capable of. No, I wasn’t ready for that.

    I decided on my strategy and slipped the knife back into the scabbard. The motion was nearly invisible, and the girl was turned away from me. I brought my hand to my face, making no effort to hide the motion. I brushed my fingertips around my eyes, making sure I had washed off the black paint I painted around my eyes. The skin was smooth and dry.

    I opened both eyes and let out a small whimper. I couldn’t help finding a small, twisted sense of joy in it. They would never see it coming.

    I sat up, slowly and clumsily. That wasn’t hard, my muscles were still sore.

    “What– Where am I? Who are you?” I asked, my voice quavering. I pulled up the dregs of fear and let them echo in my voice. It was convincing, even if I said so myself. I was good at lying, even more so when it became an elaborate act.

    I could carry this off. All my weapons were hidden and I could lie away the few smears of blood on my clothing. They would believe I was innocent and helpless. And if anyone tried to exploit that, I would give them a nasty surprise.

    “Welcome to the Choosing.  It is a special honor to participate in this exercise,” the unnatural, disembodied voice said. It seemed to be coming from the door.

    “Excercise?” I said, hesitantly. I had no idea what the voice was talking about.

    I hunched, as though scared, but my eyes were already darting along the door where the voice seemed to be coming from, examining it for a place I could jam my knife. The walls were smooth, so there was no way I could find higher ground. I was stuck here.

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #132992
    Kimmi
    @kimlikesart

    @this-is-not-an-alien I believe I understand. 😊

    Maybe? Is this right-

    1. They appear here the day after something, very important to them, is taken away in their story.
    2. The goal is not just to get out of this place, but to take over the castle first, and control all the other Pawns, and characters.
    3. Pawns can be created, controlled, or murdered by anyone. You can hijack someone else’s Pawn, and make them do what you desire.
    4. Everyone is in a banquet hall, trying to convince Pawns to follow them instead of the other villains.
    5. There are currently 7 villains in the castle- Dominic: A mad scientist. Male. Grimme: A shapeshifting girl? Female. Þorunn: A viking. Male? Karayan: A vampire. Female. Connel: A bounty hunter. Male. Meira: Abrasive glassgirl. Female. Chantara: An assassin. Female. Soon to be added- Aadipta: Doctor. Male.

    Jominkreesa

    Passion = A Willingness To Suffer

    #132999
    Skylarynn
    @skylarynn

    @kimlikesart I believe you confused my two villains…

    Þorunn is female, the only daughter and second oldest child of a Viking Thane.

    Karayan is male, a vetala (a vampiric feline humanoid).

    ~*~

    Þorunn glanced around the hall, noting how the many Pawns stared at her naked blade.  It was always best to go with a gentle, amiable approach when dealing with chattel, her father had taught her.  So the young shieldmaiden slid her sword back into its scabbard over her shoulder and spread her arms in a gesture of goodwill and reassurance.  “I did not mean to frighten you,” she told the Pawns.  “I had thought I needed to defend myself from a danger.”
    They seemed mollified by her words and Þorunn barely prevented a predatory smirk from crossing her mouth.  Simpletons.  They will be my sheep, and I will be their wolf.

    Karayan gave a long, exasperated sigh and sat on the floor, recumbent against the nearest table leg.  “This seems a bothersome exercise,” he murmured.  He would have left, but he had a feeling interesting events may soon be occurring and he was quite contented to sit back and watch.

    "Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. Hale

    #133035
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    @kimlikesart
    Yes! (Although the thing doesn’t have to be taken away in their actual story XD)

    Soon to be added- Aadipta: Doctor. Male.

    lol
    Thanks again for coming! With you being so sweet and your character Nithel being so sweet I can’t wait to see what your villain’s like!

    Welcome to the Villain’s Castle @kimlikesart @rose-colored-fancy!

    my main villain is about as interesting as a cardboard box, at this point.

    Lol that is an awesome description! Also Chantara’s picture is gorgeous!

    ok the character charts;

    Name: Dr. Dominic (@erynne)
    Age: 103
    Race: human
    Occupation: evil scientist
    Family members and/or significant others: one cousin and his family (wife and daughter) who Dominic absolutely despises because he (his cousin-not Dominic) got chosen to lead the kingdom of Endoveria instead of Dominic
    Character history/origin: I think I just covered that. But to go into further detail his grandfather raised him and his cousin. They grew up as princes in the castle
    Highest level of education: science!
    Physical traits: crazy hair and amazing facial hair (see above) and glasses
    Mannerisms: um…he talks to himself and he’s kinda rude and yup evil scientist stuff that you wouldn’t understand
    Biggest motivator: competition; trying to prove he’s better than other people
    Biggest fear: being out-smarted
    Things he/she likes: science stuff
    Things he/she dislikes: horses, people who annoy him (like…EVERYONE)
    What does his/her voice sound like: LIKE-WHOOPS STILL IN CAPS LOCK- anyway, like this formal sort of an accent like rude scientist way…yep, that explains it pretty well!
    What are the 5 best words to describe your character? Scientist. Smart but not really. Conceded. Mean.

    (@skylarynn’s Karayan has two forms; one is a feline humanoid, the other is an actual feline (cat). His humanoid form is approximately 6’1″ in height, almost completely covered in short grey fur except for his palms, fingertips, and the soles of his feet. On his hands and feet he has retractable claws. He has catlike facial features with upturned violet eyes and vertically slitted pupils. He has whiskers on the sides of his face and strongly pointed teeth with prominent canines. His ears are triangular and tufted (cat ears) and he also has two twin tails about 2’6″ long. The tails move in unison and he has more control over the right tail. He is usually dressed in a simple robe tied with a sash for the sake of decency. In his cat form he is the size of a lynx and dark grey except for white at his throat. He retains the violet eyes and twin tails.Þorunn is roughly 5’2″, well-built with a mannish brow and jawline. Her hair is dark, weathered brown like the color of tree bark, and braided intricately with black beads. Her eyes are also dark and lined with black kohl, and there is a fierce hunger to them. Her front teeth have a groove filed in and filled with red pigment, making a red line across them. Around her neck is an intricate metal pendant in the form of a hammer. She is dressed in a coarse overtunic, trousers, and leather boots. A belt with various knives, tools and trinkets cinches around her waist. A sword is strapped over her shoulder. Her body appears hardened and wiry, like a powerful wolf in a woman’s skin.

    Character Name: Meira KalyaniAge; fifteenOccupation; hired servant at inn, trying very hard to be a brawlerFamily Members and Significant Others; foster parents and three or four siblings, just about anybody she claps eyes on that she decides to adopt, Alessio (see previous :P)Personality traits; does not really pick up on social cues like at all, borderline Asperger’s/autistic, about as unsubtle as unsubtle gets, way mom friend like ‘yo no mess with mama hen’ mom friend like seriously bad mom friend when she decides to be, very assertive, very loud, talks a lot especially when venting to someone she’s comfortable with, right now hates being a girl, scared of not being self-sufficient, hates injustice with a passion, shares one brain cell with Alessio and they take turns dropping it…ok jk; very (reckless) action-oriented where Alessio over-analyzes, laughs a lot, is smarter than she looks, very simple obvious motives and strong emotions,Character history/origins; rescued slave-girl, her father absolutely spoiled her with love, has not adjusted to more disciplinary foster parents, very resistant to losing the freedoms she’s used to having with her father/is triggered by new parenting style after having been a slave, Highest level of education; boldnessPhysical traits; porcelain-white skin, glassy violet eyes (is somewhat near-sighted), rose-red lips, cute chubby face, really long shiny/frizzy ink-black hair and bangs that’s constantly hiding most of her face (until post character-arc), is rather short, looks as cute as a button and hates it so much, also has little gold studded freckles which is a tribal thing but she’s pretty well acclimated to human traditions and doesn’t have a particular interest in her heritage, wears what’s somewhere in-between what she’s used to wearing and what her foster parents will allow (that is to say she has never had to wear a dress until she was adopted and they had to work something sorta like a dress that she can tomboy-around in without ruining it)Mannerisms; sits on her knees and erect kinda like a puppy, fumbles with her hands, cocks her head very expressively, has big gestures and tends to toss herself around so much her hair bounces everywhere, can get so enthusiastic she accidentally hits/knocks into people, has this quirk where she’s always collecting/stacking pebbles always has stones and pebbles in her pockets, mostly like ‘faithful guard-dog’ mannerisms, is almost always covered in bandages because glass people are very fragile but they heal much quicker than humans and instead of blushing they turn transparent, she does that when she’s really angry, has a very unladylike contagiously mischievous/maniacal laughBiggest motivator; standing up for othersBiggest fear; being weakThings he/she likes; fighting, cooking, competition,Things he/she dislikes; bullying; hates it with a fierce passion, etiquette; finds it impossible to understand and very inconvenient, girly things; it makes her feel like she needs protecting,What does this character’s voice sound like? Kinda this unique sorta ghetto kinda British-sounding accent with a some glass-people slangWhat five words best describe this character? She is very assertive/insecure
    (and bounty-hunter)
    Character Name: Connel Kyrell
    Age; *would probably stab you if you asked* mid-forties-ish
    Occupation; bounty-hunter, really infamous bounty-hunter, everybody knows he’s bad news the iconic Casumbran living legend of villains like evil George Washington legend
    Family Members and Significant Others; his pet draekonet, Tatira, is the only thing he genuinely cares about thru the book 1-2 roughly (ok maybe more books 1-3 maybe even 1-4 like idk it’s a process)
    Personality traits; not sure if he’s a psychopath or a high-functioning sociopath or just a normal ISTP adapting to a very harsh life, very practical/very charming, enjoys dangerous activities, it may be a trauma-response that he’s constantly looking for something stimulating, something dangerous, he’s reckless but in a very very calculated way, rather seductively casual and relaxed, doesn’t enjoy killing and will go through a fair amount of effort to avoid it when ‘practical’, is very sardonic but it’s really hard to tell whether his motives are good/bad/gray, is usually very laid back but has a scary temper when triggered, ruthless but secretly more or less cowardly, guardedly personable, doesn’t take relationships seriously and doesn’t pretend to, is illiterate and nomadic, afraid of commitment, hates losing his temper to the point that he’s likely to become more snappish in frustration at not being able to control himself, does feel guilt but won’t admit he’s wrong or if he does he won’t admit there’s a way to change.
    Character history/origins; good question…heheh…
    I don’t know all the details here but Connel was a sorta orphan taken in by a necromancer-lord or a vassal kingdom subverting the population to overthrow the kingdom, he was trained as an assassin from a very early age, became a favorite hated the necromancer with a passion but didn’t have the resources to escape, little foggy here but something forced him to finally cut off ties and without any other job expertise become a bounty-hunter, but there are plenty of versions of that story might become a layered subplot.
    Highest level of education; killing people
    Physical traits; shadowy dark eyes, coal black tangled hair pulled by with a cord, brown almost slate-grayish skin, think wolf motif,
    Mannerisms; beware the ‘casually stroking the hilt of his knife’ that means he wants to murder you or has decided murder might be the best option, there’s an art to seeming indifferent and he’s mastered it, always has a sardonic light in his eyes, bitterly cynical smile, very very very meticulously detached, talks to his pet like self-therapy,
    Biggest motivator; surviving
    Biggest fear; admitting he’s a coward
    Things he/she likes; excitement, short almost intimate relationships, sarcasm, pluck, almost oddly fascinated by idealism,
    Things he/she dislikes; people in general whoever he has to interact with in particular, crowds, solitude, everything
    What is the most interesting thing about this character?; a ruthless coward
    What does this character’s voice sound like?; a touch of smug indifference classic ‘tough’ voice
    What five words best describe this character?; a lonely monster who’s human

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #133055
    Kimmi
    @kimlikesart

    @everyone

    Wow! Your characters sound cool

    But from the sound of some of the characters, Aadipta might be inclined to believe they’re gods… ick.


    @skylarynn

    Oh! Sorry!

    ———-

    Name: Aadipta Magnus Dives

    Age: 29

    Race: Human

    Occupation: Doctor, father, and overseer.

    Living family members: Three sons whom he loves with a fierceness. A sister whom… he would despise, but for some reason can’t. And that leaves him high and dry.
    He has a father, and one other brother, but he has not seen them for seventeen years.

    Character history/origin: He was taken from his father at the age of twelve, along with two of his siblings and his mother. This was done by his grandfather and mother.
    He was already almost considered a man at that point, so he already had all the training he needed before gaining an apprenticeship, or joining the military. He chose to become a doctor.
    He married Catherine at seventeen, a bit after he had become a doctor. She was fourteen at the time. He loved, and loves her, with a passion. She bore him three living sons, as well as one miscarriage of a girl.
    His mother died, and he was happy about it. He murdered his grandfather with the man’s own sword, while the man was sleeping. Another man was executed for the murder. Aadipta’s wife died, and he almost committed suicide- Then one of his sons came in, and… a sweet moment. <3 (The wife was pregnant when she died, and he blames himself for both their deaths.)
    There you go, the basic history. He is being plopped in here the day after his wife’s death.

    Physical traits: He is tall, a bit over six feet.Very healthy. He doesn’t have bulging muscles, but they are there. He has no facial hair, and has a clefted chin. His face is hard, but he likes to laugh when he can. He has very short dark brown hair, that curls when he lets it get too long.

    Mannerisms: He rubs his chin with a thumb when thinking hard, and is trying to fix that.

    Biggest motivator: His wife, oh, she dead. Himself or his sons, depending on what he wants to do.

    Biggest fear: Being executed, and his sons being left alone.

    Things he likes: His wife. Talking about remedies and poisons. Laughing. Deep thoughts.

    Things he dislikes: Anyone who should obey, but disobeys him. New sandals. His wife’s tears. Death, usually. People in general.

    What does his voice sound like: There is a little roughness to the bottom of it, no matter what. But it is a strong voice as well, and there’s an easiness to it, as if the facts are just the facts.

    What are the 5 best words to describe your character?: Hopeless. Tiger. Angry. Smart. Maelstrom.

    Jominkreesa

    Passion = A Willingness To Suffer

    #133069
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Lol that is an awesome description! Also Chantara’s picture is gorgeous!

    Aww, thank you! Yeah, he’s definitely a cardboard box, but like, a cool one. Maybe a cardboard box painted to look like a rocketship! LOL

    Hmm, I think I slightly misunderstood the instructions. I’m dropping Chantara in on just another day for her, but I’m going to use the only things she cares about as leverage and stakes, otherwise she’d find a comfortable corner and watch everyone else settle their problems. She already doesn’t have much to lose, so I can’t take anything away from her ahead of time XD

    @everyone

    Y’all’s characters sound awesome! I can’t wait to see what Chantara does…

    Chantara

    Siya Chantara. It is a pleasure to see you here,” the unearthly voice intoned. My body stiffened and I gathered myself like a cat preparing to spring. How did it know my name? What’s more, it had spoken in flawless Kezbe!

    I refused to reply, but my hand was hovering near my knives. Where was I supposed to hit it?

    “What do you want?” I asked, trying to control my voice.

    “Play my game. Fight these people, and if you win, you will have everything your heart desires.”

    “Fight them? I’m outnumbered.”

    “You can choose your time, choose who will help you, and choose your manner. As long as you succeed.”

    “Tell me what my heart desires,” I said, sardonically. Off the top of my head, I could think of a few things. I wanted to go home. I wanted Aydin to stop speaking about the commanders as he did. I wanted a secure future. All of these things were out of reach.

    “Control,” the voice said, flatly.

    A prickle ran up my spine. When it all came down to it, it was right. And that frightened me.

    “You can’t give that to me. No, I won’t be your puppet. I owe you no loyalty, and I might lose my life.” It wasn’t reasonable, and it wasn’t logical.

    “As if you ever valued that. And I can give it to you. What’s more, if you don’t, you lose everything.”

    A giggle bubbled up in my throat.

    “What will you take from me? My life? I didn’t expect to live to today. I don’t expect to live until tomorrow. My family? I haven’t seen them in years. My future? I might die tomorrow.”

    “I know who. I know about them.”

    I stiffened, tightening my crouch. Somehow, I knew who he meant, and its next words confirmed it.

    “Your cluster. The seven other assassins in your group. Especially Aydin.”

    “You can’t touch them.” My voice was between a purr and a growl.

    Not Aydin, out of all of them, not him. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go! I wasn’t supposed to be left behind! He didn’t do fieldwork, and I’d comforted myself with the idea that even if we never had a future together, at least I wouldn’t have to see it crumble. I would die. Perhaps next week, perhaps a few years from now, but it was inevitable. They couldn’t take him from me!

    “I can. And I will. Play my games, or I will make sure they know your selfishness killed them.”

    Every muscle was quivering, and I had to close my eyes. Images of what I had seen happen to others flooded my memory. Among the Siya, group punishment wasn’t uncommon. None of the assassins valued their lives particularly, after all, it had been trained out of us. But this was different. The worst was when someone from your cluster was singled out to take your punishment. It hurt worse than taking it yourself.

    “Lay out your pieces, and prepare the board,” I murmured, finally relaxing. “Shah mat.” (Checkmate)

    The voice went silent, and I got up. A few of the others were looking at me quizzically, and I slipped back into my harmless-and-helpless act. I slumped my shoulders and peered between my lashes shyly. Thankfully, I hadn’t started screaming at the voice, and I’d hidden all signs of distress, though I felt them more than I wanted to.

    I glanced over the others. Three men, and four girls, near my age. Two of them I immediately pegged as dangerous, mostly because of their massive weapons, a sword, and an ax. One… thing… barely looked human. It had two tails and ears like a cat. The rest of it seemed human enough, so I wouldn’t have much trouble finding its heart. The other two men didn’t have bared weapons, but I still didn’t trust them.

    One girl seemed especially promising… She was small, with long black hair and dainty features, a few years younger than I was. She sat perched atop a table, licking something off her fingers. She seemed unarmed, and she looked naive and innocent. I would try to leech information from her.

    I got up and neared the table. I tried not to look as dangerous as I was. Someone had once mentioned I moved like a lioness or a black cat. I had taken it as a compliment.

    I stopped next to her.

    “I’m sorry,” I said, hesitantly. “Do you know where we are? I don’t know how I got here…” I said, letting my voice trail off.

    ________

    Oooh, that’s actually pretty cool! I didn’t know Chantara craved control, but it makes sense.

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Rose.

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #133112
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Meira picked at the bandage around her knee, licking the last crumbs of icing off her fingers when a lady came up to her with the most graceful frailty in her steps Meira had ever seen. Meira tilted her head, imagining how much attention the poor girl must get for her enchanting appearance, huffing to herself as she determined not to judge the lady as a helpless damsel.
    The stranger halted beside her and Meira looked up with a friendly, assessing look. There were smudges of blood along her clothing,
    “I’m sorry,” She said nervously “Do you know where we are? I don’t know how I got here…”
    Meira wasn’t sure what had happened to the lady before but wanted to be gentle with her disoriented companion which wasn’t something that came very naturally to Meira.
    “I don’t know neither, it just sorta blinking happened like a snapper ate in a clamgoblin, right? And it’s all now a bombusticated jamboree here, them folks there just appeared too,” Meira said pointing at Connel and the other new people before pointing at herself with her thumb. “Me too! We betta get moving I reckon, guess we, uh, just wander and see what knows what.”
    That said Meira heaves herself off the table, grabbing her spear and knocking over several glasses with it in the process, shaking her indigo mane out of her ivory face for exactly two seconds before the black strands flopped back. On her feet and several inches shorter than her companion, Meira gave the girl another glance up and down before lightly smacking her shoulder.

    “Up and at, miss, we’ll be just fine with a little work!” She twirled her spear onto her shoulder and almost lost her balance with her bad coordination. Meira grabbed her hand and dove into the group of Pawns, halting midstep to glance back a the now-disfigured cake wistfully with both her hands too full to snag a mouthful.
    “Yo! Anyfolk know where we is?!” Meira yelled bumping into a long-nosed, purple and black-clad Pawn who stared down at her with a gentry, confused smile.
    “You’re in the Great Hall, madam, a dance is about to start in…” he checked his watch “fifteen minutes precisely. Do you two have partners for the first dan–?”
    “Thanks!” Meira blurts brushing past. She knocked into a round Pawn in a brown dress and curler-ribbons that made her look like a clock.
    “My my, dearies, you look in a hurr–”
    “You know where we can blinking outta here?”
    “Oh no, not until the dance is over, dearie, and I must say you two are quite a sight, just darling,” she cooed “I remember when I was your age, I had just your figure, and the men, whew, you must have so many.”
    She waved her gear-embezzled fan over her painted face while Meira stared at her in absolute and total bewildered disgust bordering on trying not to be rude.
    “Men, I mean–” Clock Lady flusters “I was saying how lovely you two darlings are.”
    “Riight…” Meira said, consciously keeping her eyes from rolling out of her head as she tugs her friend back to the cake, which she jabs a glob off of with her spear point and munching off head of her spear.
    She’s a loon,” Meira remarks with her mouth full. “Oi…any ideas?”

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #133137
    Kimmi
    @kimlikesart

    Aadipta opened his eyes, lying in bed. He didn’t want to wake up. He felt like his arms were tied to the mattress. Heat burned behind his eyes. But he made himself get up.

    He pulled on a tunic and sandals, then strapped on his dagger before going to wash his face and shave. He found the water in the basin and splashed his face to wake him up. Perhaps wake him from the reality that his beloved was dead. Lost because of his incompetence.

    The water did wake him from reality, just not the reality he was expecting.

    His eyes widened, and he took a step back, water running down his face. What? He was in a village. Many people. Dust. Dirt. Stalls. A market. Fie… How? 

    He glanced about, then saw a stones stacked together so high they almost reached the sun. He stumbled, pressing his back against an adobe building. Fie. How? He grunted, clearing his throat, and tried to breathe.

    Aadipta’s eyes ran over the stone building. So large, like a giant garrison. There was a large arching door on the side he was facing. No guards. How… peculiar. As if it was inviting him in.

    He bit the corner of his lip, chest tightening. Perhaps there was a different entrance? A window?

    By the gods! What am I saying? How did I get here? His chest and body became more tight. Aadipta stood in silent contemplation. He had lifted his foot when a voice spoke in his ear.

    He swung about, dagger drawn, and would have cut into the person’s stomach, if there had been a person there. Aadipta’s lips parted in shock, straightenin his back. By the gods… Where- Then it spoke again, and Aadipta froze, hand tightening around the handle of his dagger.

    A calm voice. And the things it spoke sent fear into Aadipta’s heart. He had to get back. The man stood in shock a moment, then glanced both ways and jogged toward the entrance.

    The handles of the door were shaped like the heads of eagles. Do I just– He grunted, jerking the door open. I will be accepted, and if I’m not. I’ll convince them I was supposed to be here. Grunting as he had to push the heavy thing wide enough to look through, No guards on the other side either.

    The hairs on his arm stood on end, and he doubted the voice. But… if it’s true. He walked with firm steps into the foyer, then paused, cocking his head. Music. Strong music. Strange. It seemed to fill, and move. But not like a snake, or a woman. Like a cloud, with lightning and thunder. 

    His brows lowered, then glancing around once more, he started walking towards it. The halls were also scarily empty, except for tapestries, and suits of armour lining the walls. At the first suit, he paused and looked at it strangely.

    Apparently… it was supposed to be some type of warrior. But… how could one move– Aadipta’s eyes snagged on the statue’s sword. Hmm, giving it a hard glance Aadipta took it, then stole the scabbard and strange belt, tying them on himself.

    The music continued, dancing about like the notes didn’t know where to go. It slowly got mellower, sweeter, but it still didn’t sound natural. Aadipta slows, moving as if every one of his steps could brake ice. He stopped at large double doors, listening. There was talking inside. The music. And, from the smell, food. Aside from zuccnini, pheasent, or veneson he couldn’t tell what.

    After a slight hesitation, he pushed open the door, and stepped in. His shoulders were rolled back, face hard, but not angry. His eyes darted over everything, prospecting.

    Jominkreesa

    Passion = A Willingness To Suffer

    #133161
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Oh, I love Meira already! She and Liorah would have been best friends by now XD

    Chantara

    The girl looked up. She didn’t look at me suspiciously, or even warily. I resisted the urge to smile. This would be easy.

    “I don’t know neither, it just sorta blinking happened like a snapper ate in a clamgoblin, right? And it’s all now a bombusticated jamboree here, them folks there just appeared too,” The girl gestured to the others, then to herself. “Me too! We betta get moving I reckon, guess we, uh, just wander and see what knows what.”

    I blinked rapidly. I had understood only about four words in that sentence.

    The girl hopped off the table and grabbed a spear. I stiffened, then relaxed as she swiped several glasses off the table accidentally and almost hit herself in the face with it. She was barely a threat, she was handling the spear as though it was a club. She shook back her long black hair and lightly shoved my shoulder.

    I recoiled, taken by surprise, then rolled my eyes at myself. I was almost as bad as Aydin. He flinched whenever someone touched him, though I’d never quite figured out why.

    “Up and at, miss, we’ll be just fine with a little work!” The girl’s accent was odd and unfamiliar, but I could understand it.

    She grabbed my hand and dragged me along through a group of people. I let her lead me, keeping up my shy and dependant act.

    “Yo! Anyfolk know where we is?!” The girl yelled, crashing into a man.

    He replied,
    “You’re in the Great Hall, madam, a dance is about to start in…” he checked his watch “fifteen minutes precisely. Do you two have partners for the first dan–?”
    “Thanks!” The girl shouted, before dragging me onward. She knocked into someone else and I winced. Couldn’t she be more inconspicuous? It was grating across my nerves to crash around like this. Did she want to get everyone’s attention?
    “My my, dearies, you look in a hurr–”
    “You know where we can blinking outta here?” The girl said,
    “Oh no, not until the dance is over, dearie, and I must say you two are quite a sight, just darling,” the woman cooed, “I remember when I was your age, I had just your figure, and the men, whew, you must have so many.”

    I barely suppressed a triumphant smile. A pretty face was as much a weapon as anything else. There was a reason more than half of the Siya were girls. Nobody had ever suspected a teenage girl of being an assassin and it was easy to blend in. Besides, men were apt to tell their secrets to a giggling, blushing girl, especially if she was pretty. I’d used that often enough.
    The girl next to me looked flustered and even slightly disgusted.
    “Men, I mean–” The women said, flustered.“I was saying how lovely you two darlings are.”

    I looked down, shyly, inwardly smirking.

    “Riight…” The girl said, yanking me back to the table. It was filled with all sorts of food, most of it unfamiliar. I looked at it suspiciously, but the girl cut off a piece with the point of her spear and stuffed it in her mouth.

    I smiled. I had to admire her utter disregard of safety and social rules.

    “She’s a loon,” The girl remarked with her mouth full. “Oi…any ideas?”

    “I don’t know,” I said, sounding as lost as I could manage. “I’m Chantara. What’s your name?”

    The girl mumbled something around a mouthful of cake, then replied,

    “Meira,”

    “I think I’m going to see if that nice lady can help me find some clothes. These somehow got blood on them,” I said, sounding confused. Though, I knew perfectly well why they were bloody. I could see the bloody streaks my fingers had left and the place where I’d wiped my knife.

    Meira nodded, then focused on the cake.

    I wandered aimlessly toward the woman, my mind frantically assessing the situation and picking out the best course of action. I had to try to get as many people as possible on my side. The woman had seemed kindly, blinded by her excessively optimistic opinion of the world at large. She would be easy to manipulate.

    “I’m sorry,” I asked, touching her on the shoulder. “Could you help me find some clothing?”

    “Why, of course, dearie,” she said, sympathetically. “Come on, see if you can find something that’ll fit,” she said, leading me into a small room. It was a closet, and it was stuffed with clothing of all descriptions. Luscious ball gowns hung next to working clothes, and rich silks and velvets spilled over each other.

    “Could I–” I tried to make myself blush, but it wasn’t much success. “Could I just change alone?”

    The woman smiled and left me to myself. I securely shut the door, blocking it with a heavy chair. I wasn’t in the least concerned about my privacy, but if anyone happened to see all the knives I was carrying, my cover would be blown and it would turn into an all-out fight, which I probably wouldn’t win.

    I rummaged through the clothing. Most of it was unfamiliar.

    I hesitated, my fingers closing around the soft, fluid green silk of a stunning ball gown. The long, slim skirt was set off by a narrow bodice and wide sleeves. How I would love to wear a gown like that one day. I pictured myself in it, trying to imagine my hair pinned up, my eyes accentuated with dark kohl. I closed my eyes, frowning. I almost saw it, and it slowly became clearer. It was perfect.

    As my vision became clearer, I noticed more details. Scars trailed over my cheek, my chest, my hands. My eyes looked cold, and the green dress was streaked with fingermarks of blood.

    My eyes snapped open and I shoved the dress away from me. It wasn’t me. Not anymore. Maybe if things had been different… But now I was nothing but shattered glass, steel, and blood.

    I spun away from the dress and rummaged around until I found similar clothing to what I was wearing. Wide pants that gathered just below the knee, an undershirt, and a sleeveless tunic that came down to my knees but split open in front. I would keep my boots. The clothing was dark. Not black or gray, but muted shades. Burgundy, navy, and evergreen. They would blend in well.

    I pulled off my tunic and unbuckled the web of straps that held my scabbards in place. Two at my waist, two on my back, two on my thighs, and one in each boot.

    I slipped into the other clothes. They fitted well and hid all the knives properly. They were closer to the fashion the people hereabouts seemed to wear, so that was a bonus.

    I finally slipped outside. The lady was waiting near the door for me.

    “Why didn’t you pick a pretty dress? Don’t you want to dance?” She asked, surprised.

    “I don’t know how,” I said, truthfully. I had no desire to dance, but this was a better excuse. The Siya had no time for frivolous things like that.

    The most fun I’d had the last few years was when my entire cluster had planned an elaborate heist to steal the commander’s writing reeds. There was no logical reason behind it, except that we were bored and it was risky enough to tempt us. The commander had a quick temper and no sense of humor, so we would certainly have been punished for it.

    Layla and Lachlin had distracted him, I had stolen them, then Aydin had hidden them. The others had kept watch that nobody saw us. We’d hidden them for about a week, until he had time to make more, then repeated the process to replace them.

    I smiled at the memory of how puzzled and furious he had been. It was entirely worth it. Nobody had figured out who had done it, though the other Siyas had guessed that it was us, mostly because Lachlin and Aydin were the only ones who would ever think of such an idiotic idea. Still, they had no proof.

    “Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m sure someone can teach you, it isn’t hard,” the lady said, already peering around for someone.

    “No, thank you, that’s alright,” I said, hastily. “To be honest, the others kind of scare me,” I lied. I wasn’t in the least frightened of any of them. I could take most in a one-on-one fight.

    The lady smiled and I hurried off, back to the black-haired girl.

    “There are some nice dresses in the other room,” I offered. I wanted to stay on her good side, so she would maybe consider not killing me if it came to it. Perhaps she had more compunction about that kind of thing than I did. I’d try to do that with as many people as possible. They would be that much more surprised when my cover was inevitably blown.

    I sidled up to the girl who had been talking to the voice when I’d woken up. She was picking at the back of her neck, in an obvious sign of distress.

    “Do you know where the voice came from?” I asked, cautiously. “It scares me. It doesn’t sound like a person.”

    ________


    @hannahrenner

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

    #133172
    Catholic Creed
    @hannahrenner

    Grimme stormed through the ballroom, in an temper that would have scared a coal-monster into a furnace.  No one, of course, noticed her.  She wasn’t stupid.  Her powers were still in tact.

    Her link was not.

    She stabbed her thumbnail over the back of her neck.  “Stop thinking about it.” she muttered.

    Her other was still a long way away.

    Plan A: create a new link.  Assuming the supplies were available.

    Plan B: continue the Choosing.  Win. Re-implant link (Assuming it wasn’t tampered with).

    Plan C: …

    Grimme grabbed a pawn with her symbol, and pulled her out of the room.  “Where can I get cleaned up?”

    The maid smiled.  “Hello, my name is Charlie.”

    “Coal spit.” Grimme snarled.  “You… fine.  I don’t care.  I just want to have a bath.  A nice, hot bath.”

    “Okay,  if you would follow me.”

    Grimme growled deep in her throat.

    ~#~#~

    The bath was as luxurious as she remembered them.  And Fake-Charlie had provided bubbles, and rose-petals, and a rubber ducky.

    And then Grimme stared blankly at the vanity as the Pawn carefully brushed her hair.

    Fake-Charlie deftly parted, braided, and pinned her hair.  A messy riot of mixed curls.  A series of thin braids merging into the thick braid coiled into a subtle bun.

    The outfit was… well, it was.

    Her usual pants and tank-top, and sleeveless overshirt.  All that was missing was her leather apron.  She was tempted to rummage through the room, look for chemicals, vials, equipment…

    “Your gloves.” Char… Fake-Charlie held out the strong leather,  They folded over her belt easily.

    And then she was alone.

    Grimme cleaned her ax, sharpened it, and growled deep in her throat.

    “Stop putting it off.” She glanced at the door.  “Unless you want to be magicked back.”

    She glanced in the mirror again.

    Yes.  That was her.  That was someone Wy would recognize.

    She smirked.  Slid the battle-ax in place.  Nodded sharply.

    Spun on her heel and left the room.

    ~#~#~

    It looked like not even a minute had passed in the ball-room.

    Grimme drifted to a table, studying the meats.  But the desert table caught her eye.  Most especially the disaster of a cake.

    Whoever had devoured it, clearly never had a good cake before.

    She could make one better in her sleep…

    “But that was a long time ago.” Grimme glanced aside …

    Cookies.

    Her mother’s recipe.

    Handed down ten generations.

    One of the ingredients didn’t even exist anymore. Etherberry Extract.

    But when she tentatively nibbled the corner, she could taste it.

    “I’ll need to find who preserved it.” she murmured.

    She took the plate with her.  There were other cookies.  These were hers.  She sat at the table, scratching her neck.

    She raised an eyebrow as the assassin slid beside her.

    “Do you know where the voice comes from?” she – Chantara, 17, ambidextrous… “It scares me.  It doesn’t sound like a person.”

    Grimme squinted at the assassin.  Really?  That’s the cover she’s going for.

    “Castle Oaken Door, a shape-shifting, manipulative purple-spit, shatter-burned coal monster if there ever was one.”

    She discretely pulled her hand down, gritting her teeth.  This new tell would have to be crushed.

    “You haven’t seen a coal monster.” She pursed her lips.  “At the moment, it is the best insult I can think of.  Wy was better at that aspect.”

    She motioned to the seat beside her.  Elegant, twisting her wrist just so Mother would be proud. “This is a good recipe, would you like a sample while we talk?” She gestured to a servant, every line of her breeding shone despite her outfit.  “Tea please, for two… at the moment.”

    Grimme smiled gently –

    “Don’t show your teeth…

    – and every rehearsed motion

    “Always offer assassin’s food.”

    – and every memory returned.

    “Kill him slowly.”

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.

    #133203
    Rose
    @rose-colored-fancy

    @hannahrenner

    I love your quote!

    Chantara

    The girl squinted at me, then answered, shortly.

    “Castle Oaken Door, a shape-shifting, manipulative purple-spit, shatter-burned coal monster if there ever was one.”

    A smile curled around my lips. I tried to hide the amusement behind friendliness, which didn’t come naturally to me anymore. I had only understood a few of those words, but the others sounded like insults.

    Shape-shifting. Interesting.

    I knew many of the legends that had woven around the Siya. One of my favorites was the Nebatan legend that we were supernatural beings who could turn into shadows. They said our knives were made of shards of the moon that fell to earth as it waned. It also said that anyone who saw us would die of insanity within a week. They weren’t even that far off.

    The girl hesitated, then continued.

    “You haven’t seen a coal monster.” She pursed her lips.  “At the moment, it is the best insult I can think of.  Wy was better at that aspect.”

    “I understand the sentiment.” I smiled. I couldn’t wait until I could stop this smiling thing. I was tired of it.

    The girl gestured to the seat beside her, her motion graceful and studied. I recognized it, instantly. I knew that stiff, studied way of gesturing. I had seen Aydin slip in and out of it with ease. It came naturally to him, but he could abandon it within an instant. It was the mark of nobility, and I couldn’t help recognizing it.

    “This is a good recipe, would you like a sample while we talk?” She beckoned a servant. She sat perfectly erect, every motion flawlessly graceful.  “Tea please, for two… at the moment.”

    The girl smiled, and even the smile seemed practiced. A thousand alarms exploded in my head, and I felt the almost irresistible urge to draw my knife and end this charade. This girl was beyond dangerous.

    I wouldn’t run away. I felt the fear gushing through my veins but I wouldn’t let her know. She couldn’t know.

    I smiled back, my smile a little too wide, a little too sweet.

    “Thank you, that’s too kind.” I lowered myself onto the chair next to her, my motions as cautious and graceful as hers. I twisted so I was facing her, in apparent interest, but more because I could reach my knives easier.

    One of my knives pressed into my shoulder blade so painfully that I had to shift slightly. I disguised the motion by sweeping my hair up, off my shoulders.

    I examined the cookies with one quick, cautious glance. My instructor’s voice was ringing in my ears, so clearly I could even hear the contempt in his voice.

    “If you’re stupid enough to accept food from someone, you deserve your agonizing death by poison.”

    “Thank you, I’m sure the recipe is excellent,” I said, the faintest hint of sarcasm in my voice. I smiled. Not the wide, sweet smile I’d maintained the entire time, but my own brief, sharp smile.

    “What flavor is it?” I asked, casually, picking up a cookie. Instead of eating it, I broke it in half. It was a soft, creamy color, and the smell… It smelled delightful. A smooth, sweet smell. Just barely too sweet. Too sweet or too bitter was a sure sign of poison.

    The question sounded like casual interest, but I was curious to see her response. If she acted startled, unsure, or knowing, she would have realized that I’d figured out there was poison in it. Or if she started lying. I would be able to tell. Everyone had a giveaway, and it wasn’t hard to find if you were looking for it.

    I noticed the girl had only nibbled the corner of hers, but she kept the entire plate near her. It must only be dangerous in high doses.

    I didn’t put down the cookie, but smiled again, a genuine smile this time. This girl was clever, but if she thought she would catch me this way, she had underestimated me.

    My eyes darted over her, briefly. Simple clothing. A battleax. I had to stay out of range. No armor, of any kind. Automatically, I calculated which knife to use, and where to plant it. If I grabbed the knife on my thigh with my right hand, I could stab her in the back. If I needed to, I could jump behind her and slit her throat. There were plenty of options.

    “I’m Chantara, and I’m a Kezbe, ” I said, off-handedly.

    She had probably guessed that already. My dark hair and light eyes made that an easy guess. It was more common in the Kezbes than in any other tribe. I guessed this girl was probably an Orme. The intricate braids the girl wore were common among them, though the battleax was slightly out of place. Or perhaps she wasn’t from Yerasht at all.

     

    "Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark." The Tale of Despereaux

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 You can download the entire Tricky Subjects for Christian Storytellers series in e-book form for free!

 Learn how to wisely handle subjects like violence, language, and sex as a writer.

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Worldbuild Smarter, Not Harder

 Some worldbuilding questionnaires force you to answer as many questions as possible about your world.

 

Ours doesn’t. Answer targeted questions that reveal what’s actually important about your world.

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Take Your Style to the Next Level

Take Your Style to the Next Level

The written word matters to God.

 

Does it matter to you?

 

Learn how to develop an eloquent, practical, and personal style by downloading our free e-book.

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Every Year, Thousands of Writers Give Up

Every Year, Thousands of Writers Give Up

 Don’t be the next.

 

We understand how exhausting writing can be, so download our free e-book and find inspiration to press on!

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Don't Be That Kind of Christian Writer

Want to impact the world for Christ with your writing—without being preachy or cliched?

 

Learn how to avoid common pitfalls and craft powerful themes by downloading our free worksheet!

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So You Have Clichés in Your Novel...

Thankfully, we’re here to help!

 

Enter your email below, and we’ll send you a simple process for smashing clichés.

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Does Christian Fiction Need to Be Clean?

Our Tricky Subjects for Christian Storytellers e-book examines how to depict sensitive topics like violence, language, and sex with realism and wisdom. Sign up to download it for free!

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Poetry Isn't Just for Poets

Poetry Isn't Just for Poets

It can also help novelists write better stories!

Get our Harnessing the Power of Poetry e-book to learn how techniques used by skilled poets can enrich your storytelling.

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Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

You can download the entire Harnessing the Power of Poetry series in e-book form for free!

Learn what surprising insights and techniques novelists can glean from poets.

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Uncover the Secret to Relatable Characters

Uncover the Secret to Relatable Characters

Learning how to help readers connect with your story's characters doesn't need to be a mystery.

Get our Evoking Reader Empathy e-book to discover how successful authors build empathy.

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Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Knowing your character's favorite ice cream flavor won't help you write engaging protagonists.

 

Our questionnaire is different. Use it to discover your character's core fears, longings, hopes, and needs.

 

 

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Plotting Is Hard

Plotting Is Hard

That’s why we created a worksheet that will help you make sure your story hits all the right plot beats.

 

Sign up below to learn how to ace story structure.

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Learn What the Bible Says about Engaging Plots

Learn What the Bible Says about Engaging Plots

Enter your email to get your guide, along with other resources to help you grow in your writing craft!

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