The Demeter Daggers

∴ A Kindred Calling ∴

“It’s time,” she says.

For years you’ve trained for this moment, but she’s been preparing far longer. For every kindness, a caution. For every peal of laughter, a pertinent lesson.

She is kneeling beside you now, placing the plain wooden casket on the silk-strewn divan. She gestures for you to open it, and you hesitate, willing the dawn dark longer.

She places her battle-lined hand over yours, and together you draw back the lid. The daggers lie like ivy and oak, distinct yet bound by their very nature. Enchanted, you trace the silvery spiralling grips, the blackened swooping guards.

“They’re beautiful,” you murmur.

“And fatal,” she replies.

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The Blaggard Alehouse Dagger

∴ A Brawler’s Friend∴

After two days on the rainy road with only hard bread to cheer you, the russet firelight glimmer of the tavern is a welcome sight. As you slip through the woodworm-pocked door, you grin at the sign above it: “The Fighting Cock”.

A pleasant half hour later, feet thawing and belly full, you’re startled by the sudden clatter of stools. Turning, you see a slight figure surrounded by bristling locals. Whatever the young man had said, it hadn’t won him any friends

A heavyset man with a walrus moustache is the first to throw a drunken punch, but the younger man deftly sidesteps. As he does so, the red-faced fellow behind him raises a pewter tankard and swings it down toward his skull.

Despite yourself, you cry out, raising the young challenger’s attention. With a lightning glint, a dagger is in his hand. Its heavy blackened hilt neatly deflects the vessel before the blade rebounds to press against the attacker’s throat.

A viscous silence fills the room, broken by the clatter of pewter on floorboards as the ruddy man raises both hands and steps back slowly. Without a word, the dagger is secreted amidst folds of roughspun. All eyes are on its owner as he strides – no, saunters – toward the door, pausing only to flash you a lopsided grin.

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