Saturday, January 17, 2015

City of Curses: Not A Gib! 1

Here is part one of a new short story set in Crux, about a Feyborn Albino Ferret by the name of Kaze Skysword.  Capable of speaking and taking on a class, Kaze is a Ranger with a talent for acquiring arcane relics of bygone eras.  Can he sell off his latest goods, or will old enemies get their chance to one up the ferret ranger?



"Gk!"

"I'm not a bloody gib!"  I screamed as I tightened my grip on the shopkeep's throat.  "Do I look like my balls were cut off you hairy piece of drek?"

Ok, I didn't grab his entire throat.  My "grip" was more of my entire body squeezing hard on his windpipe.  To be fair, this liar of a human was trying to cheat me out.  He also was several times larger than me.  So going for the throat was the most fair approach.

What?  Violence works, ok.  Goes double when you're the ferret and the other guy is some half-ape thing.  Mind if I continue?

Thanks.

"Still ain't paying that much for a- gk!"  He nearly knocked the relic I'd brought to sell onto the floor.  Honest.  Had to tighten up to protect the goods, you know.

"Its a classic elixir vase from Pre-Tomasi Crux.  Practically Gruudl-esque in culture, still radiating some magical energies.  Tell me that isn't worth something to some enterprising spellslinger, hmm?"

"Its a stinkin' pot."  The man grasped me by the tail.  Shit.  This was going south fast.  "And I don't do hostile negotiations, Kaze."

"Wait-"

I tumbled through the air after he flung me.  A twirl and a spin later, I landed on my feet in something soft.  I felt a instinctive hiss come out of my throat.  Generations of feyborn ferrets and I still react annoyed with a hiss.  "Hey!  My goods-"

"Take your bloody business elsewhere, Skysword!  I don't want it!"

The vase soon came afterward, aimed at my head.  I spat a command word and tossed out the onyx figurine from my belt pouch.  Yra sprang to life, caught the vase with her snout, then turned back to me.  Yra was a mastiff.  Her fur was as dark as the Onyx her figurine had been carved from.  Intelligent too.  One of my handier finds, she had a agile build to her.  She could move fast and had a talent for keeping out of sight.  All handy for a feyborn albino ferret like me.

What?  A ranger's got to have his animal companion.  I just decided on a talking dog is all.  Gee, you don't have a problem with a talking ferret telling you the story, but the talking dog part, now that crosses the line?

The magic item shoppe's door then slammed shut.  Its bell fell off in what I suspected was the universe trying to enact some justice for me.

"So I guess it didn't go well, boss?"  Yra asked, putting the vase down next to me.  The damn thing was the size of my head.  For Yra, it took control and precision to gently set it down.  Ficking world of twins-damned giants.

"Shuddup, fuzzball."  I snapped, rubbing my head.  "Damn fool wanted thirty copper for it."

"Ah."  Yra mused for a moment, then gave me a glance.  Talking animal companions that come in wondrous figurines can do that, mind.  I don't where the hell their creators thought it up, but they can.  "The Grand Bazaar then, like I said before?"

"Ack."  I tried not to spit out a hairball in disgust.  "I hate selling anything in that shitstorm.  Fricking Spice Khan's out to get me throat."

"Not if you're quiet, I think."  Yra suggested, but I could see bemusement in her eyes.  "But quiet isn't one of your strong suits, though."

"Spice Khan only hates me a tad less than the damnned Archwitch.  Still think that incident last year with the summoning circle was my fault.  All I did was recover the ruby.  I didn't know it'd light all that cinnamon on fire."

Yra let out a bark of laughter.  "You charging them double did it, I think, Kaze."

"Yeah.  Grand Bazaar I guess.  You mind...?"

"No problem, Master."  She gently sat down, then flattened so that she was lying on her belly.  I easily climbed onto the back of her neck.  I secured the vase to her leather collar.  "Ready?"

"Yeah... Grand Bazaar it is then."

"Grand Bazaar we go..."  Yra agreed.  We rode off.

Of course, my day was only about to get worse, not better.  Frick it all.

Crux is the City of Curses, at the center of the world.  An ancient city, its been the capital of empires and in the current age, the center of a new industrial age sweeping the Sorcerous Republic of Ith.  Its a world I've been writing about a lot, and I've been running a Fate Core game in it the last few months too. 
Feyborn are animals that can speak and interact at the same level of language and intelligence as humans.  Generations of druidic magic created strains of these animals that always are born this way.
The Grand Bazaar of Crux is a entire borough of the city that falls under the influence of the Spice Khan.  Supposedly anything can be purchased at the grand bazaar, for any price.
The Spice Khan is one of the most influential people in Crux.  The wealthiest of the Khans of the Immortal Khanates of Maliph, she lives in Crux and is always trying to expand her empire further in the nations of Ith and Ainesia.