Posted by davidludwig
Jul 20 2011

[I’m experimenting with a flash fiction instead of a Character or Setting write-up this Wednesday. This one is for the swordmaster Slythe of Niar Saga. If you care about context you’ll want to have read through level 20 of Niar Saga and the Interlude after that as this event occurs about the same time as Level 21.]


Dust particles tickled the inside of his throat. Slythe coughed, stirring up the thin layer of dust his face had been resting against. The air was dry and slightly musky. Everything was dark. Slythe pushed himself up to his knees and then sat back against a shelf to wait for his eyes to adjust. Pulling open his heavy jacket he ran a hand over his chest. The wound was gone. Tracing down further to his side, Slythe was surprised to discover that wound was also gone.

The swordmaster allowed a faint smile to cross his lips as he rested his arm on his knee. Finally able to survey his surroundings he found he’d been laid out somewhat unceremoniously in the narrow aisle between two shelves nearly shoulder height that stretched off into the darkness in either direction. Both shelves were completely packed with knick-knacks and other miscellany. So this was the famous Merchant’s Shoppe. He couldn’t see the far side of the wooden carriage that contained the Shoppe, or the door that would grant egress from this place. The cart must currently be in travel. Slythe knew he could wander the aisles of this carriage for months without ever passing the same inventory twice, though he was not familiar enough with the magic in play to say whether the shelves would be the same or not. If the Merchant didn’t prevent him, Slythe also knew that he could find for purchase in this shoppe any item with a price to it.

Not his sword though. He was sure if Eric hadn’t left it with Slythe, then Slythe’s sword had to currently be with Eric himself. Apparently Eric had reason to want Slythe alive, but no time to deal with him right now. That’s the only way he could have ended up in The Merchant’s Shoppe, especially alone. Closing his eyes Slythe felt a lightness in his heart. An elated, soaring feeling. Letemra was dead. Opening his eyes again, Slythe allowed his smile to spread. He was finally free.

Dropping one of his razor-edged discs from his sleeve to his hand, Slythe began flipping the Mark between his fingers. Eric had brought him back from the dead. Then the light of the door opening broke upon Slythe and he turned to see the noble sword-god himself step up into the Shoppe.

“At the risk of sounding trite; it’s good to see you’re finally up.” Eric nodded solemnly to Slythe, though there was a twinkle in the sword-god’s eye from his days as The Merchant.

Slythe launched his Mark at Eric with a flick of his wrist. “I don’t like being in your debt. So let’s cut to the chase.” Slythe turned his eyes to where Eric had caught the razor Mark easily, “What do you need me for?”

“Have you heard of a demon called Rusty?” Eric frowned. When Slythe shook his head, Eric continued, “What about a priest called Bertrand?” Again Slythe shook his head. Eric sighed and folded his hands behind his back, “Both are frightful creatures of evil I have recently become aware of.”

“You don’t need my help to handle them.”

“I wouldn’t mind it either.”

“Why did you really bring me back?” Slythe fixed his pale eyes on Eric’s golden ones.

“I have reason to believe both Rusty and Bertrand are minions of a greater enemy.” Eric frowned deeply, “A mysterious Dark Goddess. Given the strength of her minions, it is more than likely I cannot defeat her alone.”

Slythe stood up fluidly and dusted himself off. “The Death Gate is finally destroyed and my people are free.”

“I had thought you were the last of your people?” Eric tossed Slythe his sword.

“I hid my sister, Aundreya, away—back in the beginning.” Slythe began walking for Eric and the exit, “I go to her now, to awaken her from her slumber.” Eric allowed Slythe to pass, though Slythe stopped once he was back to back with the regal man. “My Mark will allow you to contact me when you find your goddess. I will honor my Life Debt to you.”

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4 Responses

  1. Glitterlady says:

    I like the flash fiction version a lot better than the summary versions, great job!

    • davidludwig says:

      Wednesdays are just bonus content either way, you should try reading the actual saga. But thanks, I’ll probably have Wednesday be exclusively Flash Fictions with the next story since no one seemed to actually care about the setting or character stats as such.

  2. Mary Jo Ludwig says:

    I really like the Slythe flash fiction! It sets up all sorts of fascinating possibilities for additional story arcs; and it really makes me want you to keep writing about Niar Saga. But then, I am also enjoying my preview of “The Lost Girls Society”, so it’s a big dilemma.

    Happy Birthday Eve!

    • davidludwig says:

      Thanks for the comment! You’re actually getting more of a peek into central events of “The Game”, rather than the largely peripheral story of Niar Saga with this one. Unfortunately there will be no more Niar Saga on the site, so your best bet for getting more is if I can find a market for and get Leona Banisher produced.

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