For Profit and Glory!
“Oh yes, Lord Toryn! I’ve never seen a human with such a long and sturdy spear!” The Iron Maiden moaned over the roar of the crackling lightning. “And the tip- it’s so hard!”
“Don’t touch it, Iron Maiden! It’s a dangerous weapon!” Toryn whispered in her ear as he pulled her into an even tighter embrace.
“But I like danger.” The Iron Maiden purred, “And the electric charge… Toryn- it’s turning me on!” Her voice grew higher in pitch as she began to stroke the shaft of Toryn’s massive great-weapon. Burst of static electricity danced across her metallic skin as she began to stroke more furiously.
“No-” Toryn grunted, “If you keep stroking it like that, it’ll-”
“Yes!” The Iron Maiden’s shrieks of pleasure cut him off. “Shoot your electrical discharge all over me!” The duo’s breathing grew heavier as their bodies pressed firmly against each other. With one final thrust, the spear erupted in a blinding stream of energy. Lightning began to shower the pair as Toryn’s furious cries echoed around the chamber.
“Thunderbolt!” He grunted, “Brutal thrust! Black Penny! Uhg-” His grunts of pleasure were lost as long threads of static electricity slowly arced across the Iron Maiden’s body, which shuddered at the sensation.
“Yes! There is so much, Lord Toryn- It’s getting all over me!” The static charge pulled the two lovers even closer and their lips locked together. Flesh and metal intertwined as-
Frogan winced in discomfort as a large stream of water fell to the broken pavement beside him. Shards of liquid muck splashed across his dirty cloak and fell upon the molding parchment he gripped with claw-like fingers. Scoffing at the interruption, the old beggar furiously brushed his dirty cloak with an even dirtier hand as he shuffled further back against the alley wall.
The overhang he had taken refuge in barely protected him from the shallow gale of the mid-morning rain. A slow fog covered the main thoroughfare of Corvus, leaving little opportunity to panhandle for his dinner. Instead, Frogan sought the comfort of the imported Khadoran smut he had ‘rescued’ from the refuse bin. He hadn’t enjoyed a read quite as good as this one in a while, and a little rain wasn’t going to spoil his mood now.
A large shadow jumped out at him from the fog rolling across the main street. Squinting, Frogan could just make out the shape of a horseman passing by the alley’s entrance. The beggar scoffed again at the shadow, making sure it had fully passed first. Fearing new distractions, he settled in admits the soggy rubbish and attempted to find where he left off. As he licked his chapped lips in anticipation, he tried to shake the ridiculous image from his mind. Just an illusion of the fog, he thought to himself, who ever heard of a horse wearing a top hat anyway ?
As it so happens, the few citizens of Corvus brave enough to traverse the murky streets were suffering similar illusions. The distinguished horse trotted along at a slow gait, its hooves crashing across puddle after puddle on the cracked cobblestone street. His rider, mask pulled high to protect against the chill, payed little attention to the looks of astonishment thrown his way. His attention was on his companion, a large beast of a man riding an equally large stallion, and on the roaming patrols of guards scattered about the street ahead.
The pair made excellent time to the bare city docks, stopping only when some a rambunctious pair of guards were feeling ambitious and took the initiative for a random search. Despite the passionate drive of the guards, the pair’s overflowing saddlebags failed to yield any trouble. The pair of guards were forced away, sneering in disgust at the time wasted on sacks of grain and seed and the discomfort of their soggy uniforms.
Reaching the docks, the pair disappeared at the end of a deserted pier. Beneath the wet gangplanks, three more guards crouched in wait. If the rain had caused them any discomfort, their stern and somber expressions did little to betray it. Instead, their vigilance and anxiety was demonstrated in their rushed stirring at the rider’s approach. After a tense exchange of hang ciphers, the guards relaxed and the riders dismounted.
The clandestine meeting did not last long. The masked rider tore open the sacks of grain and pulled forth a single hidden flintlock pistol for inspection. The second rider split open a container of seeds and small packets of wrapped ammunition fell to the sandy shore. Satisfied with the merchandise, the guards began to unload the sacks as multiple figures emerged from the shadows beneath the docks. The assorted sailors and merchants grabbed their parcels and began to slowly disperse back into the city proper. With shared nods, the guards disappeared into the shadows of the dock as the riders mounted their steeds.
Constable Lancel pulled his cloak tighter around his shoulders and tried to will the dampness out of his clothes. Their patrol had been stationed on this street all morning, and the weather had done little to help his mood. He wanted nothing more than to be done with this duty, to sit in his favorite chair by the fire with a warm mug of mead and a fresh woolen cloak wrapped around his bare skin. But the patrol officer had refused to disperse despite the lack of heavy traffic.
Lancel watched with a scowl as the officer, Rench, conversed with a pair of armored riders heading deeper into the town center. The masked rider spoke loudly, and his accent was almost as ridiculous as his horse. The stallion shook the water out of his eyes and Lancel nearly laughed aloud as the black top hat fixed to its head sent a new shower of moisture back onto the creatures face. He soon regretted the repressed laugh as it caught in his throat and turned into a gagging cough.
The second rider, a mountain of pure muscle, sat staring at the constable with unblinking eyes. The rain dripped across the rider’s glistening armor, clearly recently crafted, and Lancel could tell the rider was aching for a fight to test it out. Unwilling to offer that opportunity, the constable slowly turned and retreated beneath a shop awning nearby. He kept his gaze pointed anywhere but at the riders until well after they had been released on their way.
With a wave from Rench, the patrol began to disband. Lancel barely hesitated as he turned in his weapon and began scampering across the streets toward his home. In the distance, he could have sworn he saw the silhouettes of the two riders slowly disappearing into the fog, but he shook the thought from his mind just as quickly as it came. Palming the battered cover of the small book stuffed into his pocket, Lancel’s mind was quickly filled with thoughts of a warm fire, a belly full of mead, and a night of passion and romance as he immersed himself in the new Iron Maiden novel he had managed to liberate from one of the city’s unwashed masses.