This is my weekly serial, written raw as a writing exercise.
You can find the first post in the series here.
Carmen’s invocation of Lily Gemarkand’s name remained at the vanguard of my thoughts me as we walked through the crowded streets of Myrrhn toward the gathering hall of The Doxies’s Union.
Lily was a queen in everything but name, the head of one of Myrrhn’s seven families. She had enough wealth and influence to shape the city. Her interest in the Doxies’s Union came about because of her estranged sister, Sapphire. But, even after Sapphire’s death she was still trying to break the Union. Was it simple ideology as Diamond Silvermane suggested, or was it something deeper, like revenge against Madame Glorianna for killing Sapphire. I could not say.
I did know that Lily’s continued interested boded poorly for The Twins and The Doxies’s Union as a whole. As powerful as the whores and joyboys of Myrrhn were, they could not match the sustained ire of one of the Seven Families…
Of course, Carmen’s presence was a sign that the one guild that could resist the Seven Families was interested in the outcome of this contest: The Nightblades were watching, perhaps even taking a hand. I hoped that they were favouring The Twins, it made sense if they wanted to keep the balance of the city intact, but I could not be certain.
The Twins were girded for confrontation, wearing the signs of their craft and station as they strolled through the streets of the city in a kind of procession. Taking a carriage at this point would be safer, but walking through the streets would create the kind of stir that The Twins wanted.
Vethri and Eiskra wore no masks, leaving the ugly scars that Gentleman Jim had gifted them with plainly visible, Some recoiled by beauty marred by such savagery, but many more saw the determination in the eyes of the women who bore the scars, and the dignity with which they walked, and they admired their toughness. The people of Myrrhn are much like the Nordan in this respect; we both admire those who survive and those who prosper after great suffering.
In Myrrhn there are a fair share of those who turn up their noses at prostitutes, and some people crossed the street to avoid our procession. Still more, however, stopped to watch, aware that an event of import to the city was heralded. Most of these onlookers were curious and well-wishing, but others watched with calculation, no doubt wondering how their own fortunes would rise or fall based on what they thought they saw. In a city as mercurial as this, it was not unusual behaviour.
The Twins stopped to greet to every member of the Union that we encountered. Eiskra did most of the talking, infectiously animated, with Vethri adding a calm word when needed. Carmen watched them closely, flashing me a smile when she caught me looking at her.
My presence did not go unnoticed. By now, rumours had spread of something important happening at Cassander’s Shield. My countrymen would be spreading the tale and my friends would make certain that my name was cleared in the murder of Rake. I hoped that the membership of the Union would see the truth in that instead of clinging to the rumour that The Twins sent me to kill him because he spoke of joining Diamond Silvermane.
By the time we reached the Union Hall, the sun was low in the sky and our little procession had become a parade. The Union hall was packed and Diamond Silvermane, in all her glory, awaited us.