I goofed the newsletter schedule, so everyone gets a bonus post.
I’m starting a new project — I know, I know.
This is going to be a ‘when I feel like, because I want to, not on any schedule thing.’ Basically, a few years ago I made a sword-and-sorcery-meets-kink world and wrote a few pieces for it. I am going to start playing around in it again. Other folks are invited to play around in it too. Some stories will be more sword-and-sorcery, some will be more kink.
Anyway, here’s the first short piece I wrote as an introduction to the world of Vehan.
Tevali watched the last of the caravan disperse. She had already paid off the few wahin who had served under her this trip and packed her bag. The haoza, of course, did not get paid. Sen Heret had paid their owners before the caravan set out. Officially, the merchants and carts were the city’s responsibility now, but she liked to watch, just to be sure.
Not that she could do much if there was trouble, with her weapons peace-bonded within city walls. Still.
When the final cart was out of sight in the city bustle, the wahin turned herself towards Sen Herest’s house to give her report and receive her payment.
And argue, one last time, with Heret herself.
“No!” Tevali saw the haoza kneeling next to Heret wince and caught herself. “No, Heret. The crystals were right, and we were wrong. This is what I was meant to be. Taking a permanent contract with you won’t change that.”
Herest snarled, “I am sen. You will show me respect!”
“And I am wahin, sen. I bow to no one unless I so choose.”
“For five years, you’ve bowed to me happily. And before that, you knelt!”
Tevali sighed, abandoning any hope of salvaging this once-friendship. “For three years, I bowed happily. For two years, only out of remembrance of our friendship. I knelt as a child, not knowing my place in the world or who I was.
“My contract with you is ended, sen. As you will not give over trying to make me the haoza I am not, I will not renew it. Gods guide your steps.”
She turned and walked out, Heret’s scream of rage. At the last moment, she turned and looked back, unsurprised to see Heret about to strike her haoza. Heret’s frequent lashing out in anger was one reason their friendship had failed. “Do it, and I’ll report you to the priests. That haoza is in your care but belongs to the gods.
“You, of all people, should know better.”
She watched, waiting until Heret lowered her arm before she left.
Heret had shorted her pay. Tevali sat in her favorite tavern and glared at the small wallet of copper that should have been a mix of copper and silver.
She had a room in an apartment house, given her by the city as a wahin. She had enough coins to replace and repair her worn equipment and buy food for a week.
The wahin didn’t even consider putting off the repairs. Tevali’s attention to detail had taken her from newling guard to caravan commander in three years. She wasn’t going to slack now.
But that left her only a week to find another contract. If she couldn’t contract with a sen, she would need to take work with the city. Guarding the walls or commanding the haoza who inspected the incoming caravans. For five years or more — the city didn’t take short-term contracts.
She’d go mad trapped in the city for that long.
Nothing went faster for waiting. Tevali finished eating and paid her small tab, then headed out to get started on repairs.
I’m basically going to be adding stories and snippets from Vehan as I write them. No schedule or expectations. But if you want more, than like most writers I can be bribed with likes, comments, and hot beverages.