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Archive for the ‘Vignettes’ Category

Merit, Part Three

Merit, Part Three

by T.S. Luikart Cleave Merit was in the saddle before dawn, riding hard southwest on his third horse in as many months; the first had broken a leg while he was travelling between the camps of the Mountain Folk in the Eagles’ Claws, the second had been shot out from under him. When he had first set out from the Three Moons outfit near half a year before to bring word of the imminent return of the Rebel General to

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Merit, Part Two

Merit, Part Two

by T.S. Luikart You can read Part One of this story by clicking here. Ara Masber rose with the sun, mumbling snatches of a prayer to His Radiance as a thin sliver of His light stole into her tent. Her breath was visible in the cool morning air as she rummaged about for her boots. When she finally located them she knocked their soles together and shook them out to dislodge any unwelcome guests that might have taken up residence

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Merit, Part One

Merit, Part One

by T.S. Luikart Merit found the corpse that was destined to change his life forever just before first light, staked out in a cave. It had been carefully concealed beneath a stone facade that most would’ve walked past without a second thought. Many would’ve called the discovery mere chance, but those folk wouldn’t have been ones who ever knew Cleave Merit. He’d roused early that day, sensing the unease in the court’s booming whoops. His range-cat Ripper had already been

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“Binding Ties”

“Binding Ties”

by T.S. Luikart In the dusk of his life, the Venerable Sage Tinbaroo deigned to stay for a week with the Sleepless Scriveners of the Istralene Valley. The Scriveners were desperate to record all they could of Tinbaroo’s wisdom and experiences before his last breath joined the winds of the Far West, but decorum limited them to a few choice questions each evening. On the third night of the sage’s visit, a scrivener young enough to not know any better

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Jade Ghost Story

Jade Ghost Story

by Laura Hanson Skarka Jemiah twirled the irregular green circle on its edge around the bar and flipped it across his knuckles like a coin. He couldn’t stop messing with it, hadn’t been able to since it had appeared a week before, lying next to his head on the pillow when he awoke from yet another drunken stupor. He knew what it meant. He’d ridden out of Ganneston less than an hour after waking, knowing that it would do him

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To Save My Ass

To Save My Ass

By T.S. Luikart The shot took Dekvar off his burro from several hundred paces off at least. Any closer and he would’ve known about it in advance enough to do something, of that he was certain. He was already in the dust when he heard the crack. A master shot, truly. If he hadn’t been on the receiving end, he would’ve complemented the shooter. He lay on the ground and waited for them to come. They knew enough about him to

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Saddle Up

Saddle Up

By T.S. Luikart A small black blizzard blew in from the east, and worse news came with it, riding along the outskirts of the dust: Razor-Grin Ranisae Mosrear had broken out of an Imperial lockup, killing several squads of soldiers during his escape. Sheriff Buridwane set about to organize a posse, as the odds were short that Razor-Grin had forgotten the town that brought him low. Most folk were hesitant to enlist at first and rightfully so, till sooner or

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Purity of Purpose

Purity of Purpose

By Gareth-Michael Skarka The old Master leaned heavily on his staff as he surveyed the group of students seated before him on the hard clay of the courtyard. A dozen or so, each of whom had braved the hard climb through some of the roughest terrain in the Eagle’s Claws to reach the remote hermitage. Getting here was test enough, yet today, as with every day since their arrival, the old Master continued to test them. “Answer me this: What

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Journey to the West

Journey to the West

by Gareth-Michael Skarka. With a piercing howl, the locomotive belched smoke and steam that trailed out behind the train, swirling and flowing like a great mane around the head of the cast iron temple lion that formed the entire front of the engine. The trains of the Western Periphery & Frontier Rail were not the newest machines, nor in the best condition. The flags fluttering from the engine’s wheelhouse were tattered by the wind and faded from perhaps too many

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By Any Other Name

By Any Other Name

by T.S. Luikart Lilhaydra the Hare lost her name while playing at throw bones in a betting den called the House Resounding. Whether it was destiny, chance, or the strange echoes of the Restless City throwing her aim off she cast the Void thrice and was thus undone. She gambled away her rights to the sobriquet she had long carried amidst the martial artists of the Dust Road, since her master had bequeathed it to her. So it was Lilhaydra

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