Harmless Hamlet grows. It is an eclectic
settlement founded by adventurers and populated with men, monsters,
and even some women.
In a tall tent, Colgrevance stands with
his arms spread as his orc squire attires him in green-tinted full
plate. He is the defacto ruler of Harmless and the sheriff for the
Jutting out his chin, Colgrevance rolls
his shoulders and squats. “Feels like it fits, but how does it
“Magnificent.” The orc dips his head
and shuffles his feet.
“Be honest, Quad.”
“You are magnificent, Sir.”
Colgrevance snorts. Quadagh was born in
the way of orcs a month earlier, eating free from the womb after his
mother was slain. Colgrevance took him under his wing, raising him to
be a squire during the curcial imprinting and growth that transforms
an orc infant into an orc man.
“Fine craftsmanship from a past age.”
Colgrevance clips his sword and helm onto his hip and his shield onto
his back. “Martle has done well refitting this armor for me. I must
also thank Pipit for recharging its mystic power. It takes discipline
to praise useful people you despise. This is especially important for
“Yes, Sir.” Quadagh furrows his
hairless brow. “Praise people you despise.”
The many windows of the gothic mansion are curtained, blocking the late afternoon sun with thick midnight-blue canvass.
Colgrevance settles his horse as a dozen men from the Pale Crusade form up to either side. The soldiers plant shields and kneel, peeking over with helms on and heavy crossbows aimed at the tall doors of the ballroom’s entry. Their holy man stands before them, hands clasped, mumbling in Celestial until a white light glows through his palms. Behind, their leader slips on a helmet to seal plate armor fancy enough to rival Colgrevance’s and strides around humming hymns of the angel’s tongue.
“Tristen?” Colgrevance puts on his own helmet.
His armored peer pulls a greatsword off his back and rests it on his shoulder. “We’re ready. Where’s your wearebear?”
“Beorn’s fetching the big lout.”
Tristen taps his breastplate and whispers a word. A white glow spreads across his suit, like moonlight shining through a metallic window.
Colgrevance drums his fingers on his saddle. “Messoack!”
“I am present.” The gray-skinned magician steps out of the shadows of the alley behind them.