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Rose and the Moon (End)She passed under the gates into Lucamere castle dressed as a farmer’s wife, head hidden under a plain worn shawl. She walked beside a gruff old man who led a pair of oxen pulling a cart filled with cabbages and apples. The guards nodded them through without a second glance, all new faces to Rose. She stayed by the farmer’s side until they reached the market place, then left him with a curt nod.
She headed for the keep, silently slipping past dozing guards as the sky darkened to a navy blue. She tread along the stone pathways, and froze when she heard a group of people moving up ahead. The footfalls passed, and she moved on.
She stopped before the doors that opened into Charles’ chambers, pressing her ear to the door. Muffled sounds reached her ears: a crackling fire, pacing boots… but nothing else. Another few moments… still no voices, no second pair of feet. Rose did her best to ignore the racing of her heart as she raised a fist to rap on the oak, and
The Rose and the Moon (Part 3)“Well, if it isn’t my dear friend Rose Rondall!” the fat man boomed from his small throne, rolls trembling with gales jolly laughter. “Aye, you’ve helped me through some tough times, wench! A sight for sore old eyes, yes?”
Rose inclined her head, food before her untouched. Lord Whiteburn chuckled, joked, and chatted like an old woman, but she knew this visit was business. His horsemen had caught her on the road as she left Lucamere Castle, gruff and stern. No bawdy jokes, no shoves. It was almost boring after her time with Charles’ guards.
Now she sat before the glutton lord, waiting for her next assignment. She’d worked for him before, several times, in fact. Always some tax collector who kept more than his share, some pettier lord who whined about lost lands too much.
“Oh, be a dear and drink some whine and eat some meat! I’ve got another bit of business between you and I, and I believe you’ll find the payout to be qui
The Rose and the Moon (part 2)The server was plump, bald, and silent. He poured sweet red wine into silver cups, and served roast pork drizzled in an apple glaze upon silver plates. Nearly all the silverware and platters were engraved with a crescent moon, and from the rafters of the hall hung a striped blue and black banner, emblazoned with a silver crescent in the center.
Rose gazed down the table at the Lord of Lucamere castle, taking a small sip from her cup. She could think of no other reason for him to invite her into his own hall other than to hire her, but then she didn’t know how he would have heard of Rose Rondall. The lords and ladies who hired her kept sealed lips, to ensure their safety. And of course Rose herself kept her victims clear of any evidence that would point to her.
“My lady, I must apologize once more for the way you were greeted. My guards… they are not much used to having newcomers, let alone a lady traveling on her own with a sword and dagger.” He offered a small
Charles Lucamere RefName: Charles Lucamere
Weapon: Charles carries a dagger with a gilded silver handle at all times, and wears a one-handed sword with a silver hilt when he wishes to impress others. In the pommel of the sword there is a grape-sized emerald, with the vines engraved around it.
Appearance: Charles is 6’, with short, dark brown hair and dark green eyes. He has tanned skin and a stocky build, though he does not have as much lean, toned muscle as most knights. He is often found with a thin brown stubble on his chin, though he shaves it off before he can have anything close to a beard. His normal garb is silks and vests of sapphire and black, the colors of his family, and often wears a silver crescent moon brooch to hold his cape in place. When heading out for battle or needing to look impressing, he wears shining steel armor with the crescent moon wrought in sapphire upon the breastplate, with a dark blue cloak embroidered with silver moons flowing from h
Rose Rondall RefName: Rose Rondall
Weapon: Rose carries three daggers: one in her boot, one in a hilt, and one hidden in her bodice. She also carries a short sword, made of normal quality steel with a simple hilt. When on discreet missions, she may also acquire various poisons - all of which are deadly, and leave the appearance of a natural death.
Appearance: Rose is 5’7”, with black, waist-length hair that she often ties back in a braid. Her eyes are a dark gray, her skin pale. She is lithe and thin, though well muscled. Most often she wears breeches with a sword belt, with her sword and a dagger there, along with leather boots, a cotton undershirt, a mail shirt, and boiled leather vest. She usually has a grim smile, smirk, or frown on her face, and is little known to give genuine smiles - even then, her eyes remain icy cold.
Personality: Rose is cold person, rarely allowing anybody to learn of her past or her desires. She hires herself out as a mercenar
The TrundlerThe waste land behind the fire station is always silent. No birds sing there, and even the wild rabbits and feral cats avoid it. Weedy wildflowers nod their seasonal heads in the breeze. Lying fallow in the midst of housing developments, shopping malls, the new movie theater — the vacant lot stands out like a knife wound on a woman’s placid face, shocking, brazen, ugly.
It is always empty. Except for one thing: a ragged heap of old trash, all nasty black tar paper and vicious snarls of rusted wire, car parts and broken glass and other junkyard jetsam. The embodiment of injury waiting to happen, an invitation to a tetanus shot... the city never hauled it away. No one ever wants anywhere near it; it radiates an eerie sense of calculating watchfulness.
And at night, it wanders.
When darkness falls, and the last cars heading into the hives of tract housing stop illuminating the asphalt with moving-picture shadows, it… unfolds. Bitter, broken tangles, grotesquely mov
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