Writing Every Day in February: Day 4

When, suddenly, Vikings.

Once again, this scene is based on an idea I’ve had for a while that didn’t have a chance to get a full-length story out of it.

The two adventurers in this scene — the tall barbarian woman and the short dude in robes — are, at their most basic, are inspired by Fritz Leiber‘s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (think Conan, but it’s a buddy film). “Parody” is probably too strong a word for what I’m doing with them and I think it’s mostly deliberate, it feels like making them a direct parody of Fafhrd and the Mouser would be too limiting to my storytelling with them. If anything, they’re a parody of the sword and sorcery genre overall.

Anyway, they’ve undergone several revisions before this point but I think how we see them in this scene is mostly how they’re going to appear in a full-length story of their own.

It doesn’t really come up in this short scene, but this current incarnation of them is called Bruna and the Foxhound.

I do apologise for so much pre-amble, but I feel like explaining the background is important because the scene itself has so little context.

“You know,” Estelle Darkstone says, “my Kat is something of an adventurer herself.”

As the current manager of the Winfield and Sons Emporium, the jewel of Porthaven’s Outfitting District, Estelle regularly interacts with adventurers looking to upgrade their equipment.

Her customers are a strange pair: a very tall, very muscular woman with brown hair and a much smaller man dressed in rumpled robes and a hood who could easily be mistaken for a living pile of laundry.
Estelle is no stranger to making small with her customers. Although she’s no adventurer herself, her regular interactions with the adventurers of Porthaven have given her a good deal of familiarity with the state of the adventuring industry in the city.

She knows how hard it can be for a rookie adventurer to make her name among the adventurers in the city, so she does what she can to unsubtly point out to her customers that her daughter is available for hire.

The two adventurers exchange a glance — the tall woman looking a long way down and the small man looking a long way up. They exchange a wordless nod and turn back to Estelle.

“We welcome her assistance,” the tall woman tells Estelle.

A little later that very day, Kat is awoken from her doze on her beloved couch by the all of Darkstone Manor seeming to shake around her.

Earthquake!” she exclaims as she tumbles to the floor still half-asleep. “Bear-wolves!

It takes her a minute to realise that she is being afflicted by neither an earthquake nor a horde of bear-wolves. There is, however, a very large stranger looming over her — a tall, muscular mountain of a woman with an axe slung over her shoulder.

Kat stares blinking up at the woman.

The tall woman looks expectantly up at Kat.

“You are the one called Kat?” the tall woman asks.

“Y-yeah,” Kat answers.

She’s rather bemused — both by the living room seemingly experience a barbarian invasion and by the invader in question being one of the few people Kat has ever met who’s taller than she is.

“Very good. We ride at dawn,” the tall woman says, eagerly grabbing Kat by the arm, hauling her to her feet, and beginning to drag her towards the door.

“Are you kidnapping me?” Kat asks.

The tall woman thoughtfully rubs her chin. “I believe the word is recruiting,” she says.

“That’s not a no,” Kat mutters.

“Have no fear my young friend, we’ve discussed this with your mother,” the tall woman continues.

“You discussing kidnapping me with my Mom?” Kat exclaims. “What did you say to her? Wait. Are you holding Dunstana hostage, too?”

“I do not know who that is,” the tall woman says.

“Who are you?” Kat asks, trying to prying the tall woman’s massive hand off her wrist. “What is happening?”

“I am called Bruna,” the woman answers over her shoulder. “I am a professional adventurer in need of assistance. Your mother says you are looking for adventuring work. Consider yourself hired.”

“Why didn’t you say that first?”

Also, that “something of an adventurer” is not not a Spider-Man reference

Quick reminder: it’s Friday, which means the most recent full chapter also went live today:

Stay tuned for a new chapter every Friday and a new short scene every day in February. I’ll be posting my first recap of all those scenes so far on Monday.

In meantime, consider following me on social media or email:

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