“Who are you exactly?”
Ratve’s voice broke through the silence around the campfire. He asked what they were all thinking but he was the only one brave enough to actually ask the brooding woman with a sword strapped to her hip about her background.
Geika elbowed her husband, glaring at him. The last thing their little group needed was a pissed off brooding warrior.
The woman looked up from her bowl of stew, her eyes studying Ratye intently.
“I thought none of you would actually have the balls to ask,” she chuckled into her soup. Her accent was hard to place, she had barely spoken any words since asking if she could join their campfire a few hours before. Even her clothing was non-descript, no markings of any of the battalions in the area, but her sword looked expensive and Mage-made.
Geika smiled at the woman, before shooting a glare to her husband.
“He meant nothing by it,” she said, shooting another glare at her husband, “people deserve their secrets.”
The woman smiled back at Geika. It seemed genuine.
“Curiosity is no bad thing, not in these times,” the woman replied, “I am but a simple mercenary en-route to the Rattegon campsite north. They have called for arms, I have answered.”
“Pretty clean lookin for a Merc,” Ratye remarked, “you got a Guild?”
Geika elbowed her husband.
“I do,” the woman replied, “the Teggiri.”
“Ain’t they all dead?” Ratye said, “heard they died in their castle up North? Their leader took on thirty men by herself.“
“Rumours have some truth in them,” the woman said, “my Guild were attacked, but not all of us died. Those of us that remain have headed South to join Rattegon.”
“Where are the rest of your group then?” Geika asked, “are they safe?”
The woman shrugged.
“We work alone, travel alone,” the woman replied, “I will find my Guildsworn at the Rattegon site if they have made the journey successfully.”
The woman took a mouthful of soup, nudging her cloak over her sword hilt. She looked clearly uncomfortable with the questioning now.
“Well we are sure glad you’ve joined us, we could use more swords in our group, what with the bandits.” Geika said, “we should make the Rattegon site in good time. A few weeks perhaps.”
The woman nodded.
“You got a name we can use for you in the meantime?” Ratye asked.
“Ziulei,” the woman replied.
“As in the leader of the Teggeri?! Defeater of the Yatesh Caves?!” Ratye said.
She smiled at Ratye and Geika felt a shiver go down her spine. Whether it was the woman’s real name or not, it was a powerful name to use.
“I am no one of importance,” she replied cryptically, “but yes, that is the name I use, it is a good name.”
Featured Image: Photo by Joris Voeten on Unsplash