Dark Sun: Shards of a Broken Crown
Sandra "The Scourge"
Beautiful, refined, and graceful… perfect if she were not a sneaky, lying, bullying murderer.
It was a slow night, as per usual of late. The Brickers had been out rioting all day, so Sandra expected very little excitement. Hoarse from shouting and tired from marching, they would certainly desire a mug of cactus blue ale or javo nectar. But those poor bastards were striking for better pay, or some such nonsense, and probably don’t even have a ceramic bit to rub together between the sorry lot… phah silly freed slaves.
The whole stinking mess with the death of her sister Perasai had put her in a foul mood. In her frustration and anger she had pursued the Trail of Five Darknesses and traded a piece of her soul for shadow-stuff. After all the things she had done, what more was a little dark bargaining?
To suit her disposition, she drowned her morbid sorrows in Sapwine. It was a tart drink fermented from tree resin. Although most considered it to be the foulest drink available in the wineshops of Tyr, it had a powerful kick; and suited her demeanor perfectly. She languidly stretched out on her divan and briefly toyed with a n’ku’ru’ma before tossing it in her mouth. Her Thri-kreen friends may prefer it raw, but Sandra liked the finger-sized pod roasted over an open fire just the right amount to take on a slightly sweet flavor.
Just then, the front door was thrown wide and in walked a hairy hulk of a man. He towered over both the hostess and half-orc strongman that served as bouncer for The Weeping Widow. The brute carried a great big steel double axe, over-sized even for that ilk of weapon, casually slung over his shoulder; a fortune of a mark if she ever did see one. And he was covered head to toe in blood and gore, much his own but far more from others.
Clearly he was a slayer, and ready to keel over with even as little as a gentle blow from her lips. The bouncer seemed to think something similar and looked at her for permission to strike. But there was something about this beastman that made her appraise him differently. In any case, The Weeping Widow catered to fighting men and gladiators, it would not do to waylay a customer so openly… perhaps later when it could not be traced back to the establishment. She nodded to let him in.
A dancer rose from her chair to take her appointed turn upon the stage, but Sandra was queen 6itch here and shoved her right off the raised platform just as the woman started her routine. She did not own the place, but neither was she one of the low women that shamelessly served the clientele in the back rooms. Sandra “The Scourge” was a supervisor over those rouged and perfumed trash, and along with her partner the security guard at the front door, she was a yakuza enforcer. The tavern bard did not miss a beat and continued playing as if nothing had happened.
Gorgeous and lithe, she began an enthralling combination of the dramatic liaka-ih and militant wriquoh-ih styles called the shadow dance. Though it revealed nothing, the allure and entrancing nature of those intricate steps and graceful flourishes interwoven with teasing eldritch gloom shades made it just as beguiling as any burlesque performance. One would think she were a trained Nibenayan Gifted Dancer, but it was all bluff and bluster copied from performers she had seen in passing. Loud cracks from her many-tailed whip barked sharp punctuation to her graceful strides.
With a snap of her scourge, she pulled a chair onto the stage. A second flick of her wrist was to bring the brute to sit upon it so he could take a good close look at her luscious wares and smoky, loving eyes. Among other things, she was known for the Exquisite Agony she inflicted upon men as she chained their heart to her spiked boot heel.
That was the plan, but he was too agile, and they started a new dance with their twirling bodies, spinning steel axes, and glimmering, splaying cat-tails. The Wandering Duelist in her rose to the challenge. There was some new blood sprayed in delicate patterns across the room, but with cheshire smiles, their deadly beautiful ballet eventually ended upon her divan in mutual embrace. His heart was indeed chained now, but so too was hers.