Book 3 - Glove
The Splintered Keg was a drab little tavern nestled in the bowels of the shadier side of Hawk's Landing, the largest port city off the Storm-Swept Sea. As a local haunt in the docks for those weary and rowdy pirates and sailors just back from time away at sea, many would venture there to spend their recently-acquired plunder or pay on wine and women, and the sounds of drunken song filled the air and ale poured like fountains. Merriment mingled with drunken madness and the half-dressed serving girls danced and weaved through a throng grasping hands.
In one of the darker corners of the tavern sat a tired-looking half-orc seemingly drowning his misery away. He stared into the mug at his worn pale green reflection, mad at the world. Not long ago, he was a crewmember on one of the most respected and most feared ships in the whole of the Storm-Swept Sea. The Crimson Widow was her name and she had the sexist and most dangerous captain any pirate could ever imagine, Captain Kasa Brace. The half-orc took another drag from the mug.
“You know, there is a special place in the Shadowed Realm for mutineers,” a familiar sensual voice whispered in his left ear.
The pirate’s eyes went wide with fear, and a lump the size of an orange caught in his throat. He sat frozen in place, unable to move, except for the uncontrollable trembling that coursed through his large frame. He felt the warmth run down his leg as he lost control of his bladder. Kasa leaned forward over the half-orc's shoulder, making eye contact.
“What's the matter, Horka? Aren't you glad to see your former captain?” she asked with a fanged smile.
“I... I...” Horka stumbled over his words.
“Shhh. It's OK, I don't blame you,” Kasa said, pressing a finger to Horka's lips. “Just tell me where I can find Winston.”
“Captain Deadeye... dumped most of us after we returned to Hawk's Landing. Said he couldn't trust a crew that would so easily turn on their captain, the bastard.”
“Deadeye? Is that what he is calling himself these days?” she asked, inches away from his face.
Horka stumbled on his words, fear flooding his alcohol-laden mind. He knew his former captain could and likely would kill him without a second thought. “Yes, Captain... he lost his left... eye to the poison from... yer bolt. It left... a horrid scar across the left side of his face.”
“And what of the plunder?” she asked in a sweet, sultry voice.
Though the half-orc feared for his life, he could not help but become aroused by her voice and sweet scent. Horka found himself mesmerized by the shining silver orbs of Kasa’s eyes. The crimson-skinned pirate captain smiled, biting her lower lip in a wanting manner, and Horka found himself eager to please her.
“Captain Deadeye traded it with Kalderan Forgehand, the dwarven black market trader,” he said, sweat beading on his heavy brow.
“Of course, I should have known Kalderan would have been the only one to understand the treasure's true value,” Kasa stated, gently caressing the green-skinned half-orc’s face with her red hand. “Did he manage to open it?” she inquired.
“Nay, Captain. He did not; lost four of the crew in the attempt. There was powerful magics on the blasted thing.”
“I see; well then, I will leave you to your drink, Horka.” Kasa stood and took a step back.
Horka was too afraid to look behind him. He sat there still, waiting for the deathblow. He knew it would be futile to try and fight her. He was well aware that she outmatched him in blade skill by leaps and bounds. After a minute or so, Horka finally dared to look behind him. Captain Kasa Brace was not there. He desperately ran his eyes around the tavern, fearing he would spot her beautiful tattooed face, a crossbow bolt trained on him.
After a time Horka relaxed. “Maybe the Captain was being merciful,” he said aloud. With a deep sigh he raised the mug to the gods and gulped in one long pull. He was dead before the mug hit the floor.