“Tonight, you are facing my son in the ring. While he is a most capable fighter, and surely will pose quite a challenge to you. It mmm, would be a great boon to our house if we could guarantee his success.” She glanced sidelong at the man who spoke. “I understand it’s the championship, and you’re defending your title but…” he raised his eyebrows at her, as his left hand moved to a coin pouch. “You want me to throw the fight?” She looked past the nobleman at the bookie Ivan. He grinned. “Don’t worry Locke, you’ll be paid plenty.”
He shoved a larger man out of the way as he came down the stairs. She had seen him before. He was a regular during her nights in the fighting pit, but that was all she knew of him, she never paid much heed. Although he was more scarred up than most, he was just another face in the crowd. Tonight, wasn’t any different. The place was packed. Rowdy, unsavory types everywhere, drinking, yelling and having a grand time, the air was heavy with smoke and liquor.
”Dinnae think they grew ’em tha’ tall down South.” The jovial dwarf muttered between the puffs on his pipe. The young woman gave him a sidelong glance, he had fiery red hair that was decorated with braids and golden beads. His garments were colorful, purples, pinks and greens, interspersed with yellow. He looked entirely out of place on a ship like this. “My father is a Northerner.” “Ahh… tha’ll explain it, lass. Ye almost look like half a giant from down ‘ere, ‘cept on the count of yeh bein’ a li’l on tha scrawny side an’ all. Where’s ye pa? He on the ship too?” She inhaled sharply through her nose and held her breath for a moment before exhaling.
The Drunken Whale was famous. Not for its drinks or fare which both left much to be desired, but for the coin which flowed plentifully below. Especially in recent days. Ships from the Isle of Maelström had docked in the city of Agos during the Autumn and since then, hefty sums of coin had exchanged hands among the blood, sweat, and tears in the underbelly of The Whale.
Gren crouched down to inspect the remnants of the vicious beast that had attacked their camp in the early hours of the morning, the lightning strike brought down by the cleric had left a gaping hole in its middle, the inexperienced wizard named Robin observed the thing with a look of mild horror. “Well, she ain’t subtle, but she’s effective.” He gave Robin a look and then glanced back the cleric.
In an effort to reclaim my weekends, I joined my small group of friends in a weekly Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) game, every Saturday evening. Now you have to understand Dungeons and Dragons were part of why I first dreamt of being an illustrator. I have always had the mindset of a dreamer, and when I was introduced to the world of roleplaying in a medieval-inspired adventure world as a teenager, I was sold. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a warrior or wizard that can fight dragons and cast magic?! And the books were so beautifully illustrated.
She had won. Of course, she had won - but it was at a greater cost this time. The challengers were getting stronger, there was no doubt about it. She slumped into the copper tub, her face torqued in a pained grimace before she settled in and exhaled slowly. The embrace of the hot water was a welcome change, as was the feeling of the cool copper against the back of her neck. Her muscles felt stiff, or maybe it was just the bruises.
Water lapped against the side of the warship but otherwise, it was dead silent. They had been locked up in the brig for the better part of a day, after the ship they sought passage on had been boarded.
“Her ribs still felt bruised and her knuckles raw. It had been five days since the last fight, just five days but she already felt the itch for another. Usually, she would go longer between fights to recover, but not this time. She was frustrated and she knew only one way to calm her emotions.
Like many other children of the 80s and 90s, I have enjoyed playing Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) since my teenage years. My first experience with it was Baldur’s Gate II and I was immediately hooked. D&D opened this fantastical world to me and was one of the reasons I became obsessed with creating art