On with the story.
Voice Over Guy:
"Previously on Relic Hunters..."
The Back of the Silver Sabre Tavern
Light spilled from the open door that lead to the kitchen at the rear of the tavern and bathed the small courtyard in a warm, orange glow, adding to the pale illumination of the moon above. Excited chatter rippled from the small crowd of patrons that had gathered there as they formed into a rough semi-circle around the two duellists.
The two men were polar opposites of each other in appearance, one slight and wiry with an elaborately decorated Laurencian broadsword sheathed at his left hip, the other a great hulking mountain of a man with a wide-bladed greatsword strapped across his back. The smaller man was dressed in a white silk shirt and baggy, black breaches that were tucked into knee-high leather boots. His shoulder length black hair was tied back into a ponytail and a neatly trimmed black goatee covered the chin of his handsome, olive-skinned face. A broad leather band circled his right wrist and bore a large, clear, oval gemstone. His opponent was naked from the waist up, his heavily tattooed upper-body tanned and rippling with thick muscle, his shaved head glistening with reflected light from the tavern’s open door.
Both men held a broom shaft, the brush from which had been removed. The larger warrior gave his a few experimental swings, cutting the air with a loud “whoosh” which drew some impressed nods from the assembled crowd.
The smaller man leaned casually on his own wooden shaft and regarded the bigger warrior with an amused smirk, his dark eyes sparkling.
The Man-Mountain seemed satisfied with his makeshift weapon and turned to face his opponent.
‘You ready?’ he challenged in a harsh tone.
The smaller man shrugged, still leaning casually on his stick.
‘Huh! Well I’m coming for you!’ The big man found his opponent’s laidback attitude insulting, seeing it as a lack of respect. He brought his broom shaft up before him and shuffled his way carefully forwards, changing stance and adopting various poses as he approached. Some of the crowd made impressed noises, which brought a confident smirk to the Man-Mountain’s lips.
The smaller, black-haired warrior rubbed the side of his nose and slowly stood up from his relaxed, leaning position. His only reaction to the big warrior’s posturing was a slight shake of his head. He didn’t raise his stick into any kind of guard.
The crowd watched in anticipation as Man-Mountain closed the distance to his opponent and several handfuls of coins were exchanged as various bets were made. When the large warrior reached striking distance he bellowed a long, loud war-cry and leaped forwards, bringing the wooden shaft down in a powerful swing, intent on caving in the smaller man’s head.
Only at the last split-second before impact did the black-haired duellist finally move, stepping nimbly to the side so that his attacker’s stick swept harmlessly past. The Man-Mountain was momentarily baffled as his opponent seemed to vanish before him and he froze when he felt wood touch the back of his neck.
‘Dead, I win,’ the smaller man spoke with a thick Laurencian accent and held his broom shank against his rival’s neck.
The majority of the assembled crowd broke into loud, spontaneous laughter and applause.
The sound infuriated the large warrior and he yelled in anger as he span around in a decapitating move, intent on smashing in the side of his taunter’s head. The black-haired man smoothly ducked under the wild swing and brought his stick up to tap the Man-Mountain’s impressive, but exposed abdominal muscles.
‘Dead again, my friend.’
The smile and tone of the smaller duellist, combined with the cheering and jeering of the crowd was too much for the big man to bear and he screamed in fury and began to swing continuously at his opponent. The black-haired man moved back against the onslaught and nimbly ducked and weaved as glided over the ground like he was floating, moving around the wild attacks like flowing water. He waited for the big man to get caught up in his own momentum and spotted his opening.
Stepping swiftly to one side, the Laurencian swept his broom shaft at Man-Mountain’s ankle and took his foot away. The big man crashed to the ground on his back like an avalanche of muscle, freezing as he found the end of his opponent’s stick at his throat.
‘Dead, once more,’ said the Laurencian with a wide grin and a wink. He kicked the big man’s stick away and turned to face the cheering crowd. ‘Come, my friends, let us return to our drinks!’
As the Laurencian began to make his way back to open kitchen door, the crowd paused, turning as one to look at Man-Mountain as he got to his feet. There was the unmistakable sound of steel getting drawn.
‘Draw your sword, scum!’ bellowed Man-Mountain.
The black-haired man turned to face the goliath. He retained his smile, but his eyes narrowed slightly. ‘Come now, there is no need for this, my friend. The game is over and you have lost. But there is no shame in it, for I am Aran Montoya, the greatest swordsman in all of Laurencia. Put away your weapon and let me buy you a drink.’ As Aran spoke, the crowd of people backed away.
Man-Mountain was having none of it. ‘Piss on your drink! Piss on Laurencia! And piss on you! Now draw steel, you cunt!’
Aran’s brow descended into a frown and his grin became frosty, his voice losing its joviality. ‘You need a lesson in manners, my friend. Come at me then and allow me to instruct you.’ He waved his broom shaft at Man-Mountain and the crowd burst into laughter again.
The big man let out another loud, savage war-cry and charged at Aran, the Laurencian remaining in the casual stance he had adopted previously.
Just then, a shattering sound came from above and a small hail of broken glass fragments rained down into the courtyard. As one, the crowd looked up and gasped. Then the body of a gambler crashed down and impacted with the charging Man-Mountain, flattening him to a heap on the ground.
There was a moment of stunned silence then the spectators burst into laughter. Aran raised an eyebrow at what had just happened and looked up to see a cloud of accumulated cigar smoke curl from the smashed open window of the tavern’s top room.
‘Evidently Monika is enjoying her own game as well!’ he said to the crowd. Most of them knew of the card games that took place in the Silver Sabre’s private room and they laughed in agreement.
The gem embedded in Aran’s leather wrist band sparkled and emanated a pale blue glow. The swordsman noticed it and addressed the crowd.
‘Alas, my friends, duty calls. Until next time!’ He raised his broom shank in a mock salute to his felled opponent that lay in a heap beneath the luckless gambler and strode off into the night, with the assembled crowd raising their mugs to him and cheering his name.
Again, the visual is only intended to aid your own imagination...
As before, there will probably be a bio of the next protagonist to be introduced.
Thank you for looking (and maybe reading) and for any comments left. Very much appreciated.
Feb 6, 2013 4:29:07 amby Cyberdene Homepage »
Never thought you were much of the story teller type. Very nice work though. I had yet another great scene that I wanted to post, but that shit looks a little bizarre and the story itself is rather strange. I doubt Rendo would let me post that one on here due to the awkward pregnancy scene I tried to create. ~laughs~
Feb 6, 2013 5:01:39 amby renecyberdoc Homepage »
i like the way you do the phrasing for example the open door at the rear ...,
me i am more the "breathless" type as in real life i speak short and crisp sharp blam blam blam you know with no nonsense (usually lol).
i would have written "the open door at the back of the tavern". period.
you add "that lead to the kitchen" see what i mean??
i should more circle around and integrate more details in the writing of a given situation.
Feb 6, 2013 12:47:31 pmby wysiwig Homepage »
I once read something having to do with another type of swordplay: "Size has nothing to do with performance."
Thanks a lot for making this so entertaining. Now I'll have to set aside some time to go back and read from the beginning.
Outstanding writing, rich in visual imagery without being too wordy. I think I am going to like this Montoya person.