Iron League Book 1
Available December 2017
Chapter 1 (sample) It's a Living
"We seek your appearance with all haste. Gray Star Tavern, Fallfell," was all the note said. The note came with three rings, one made of wood, one of iron, and one of stone.
“Fallfell,” Tomo said, “Sharian, you can’t go all that way alone. It’s so far south, other side of the Great Forest.”
“Tomo, you know better than to tell me I can’t do something. You're just like all men, you think because I’m young and pretty I need a man to help me.”
I wasn't mad at Tomo, I know he was just looking out for me. But I don't need anyone to do that, especially a man. In my experience, men were slow, lazy, immoral and stupid and they served no need other than lining my pockets with crowns.
Tomo was right about one thing, Fallfell is a long way to send for me. Why would someone send a message a hundreds of leagues to hire me? I'm good at what I do, yes, but not so great to be known throughout the lands.
“Shar, it’s time.”
I took my place on stage, adjusting what little clothing I wore, while the tavern erupted with howls and catcalls. The place was packed. Everyone in a prime mood to see the pretty young thing perform. I saw every manner of men looking at me, from street gutter trash to nobles. Men, glaring at me with a lust, brought on by fantasies so shameful to border on the vulgar. This is perfect, their pockets should be empty by the end of the night.
There is one immutable truth to the world. And I remembered it each time I went up on stage. When it comes to men in a tavern, for that matter, men everywhere, the less I wore the more coins would be thrown in my collection pail. It was sleazy, even obscene, but here, staring at an all-male audience, I knew the number of crowns I took tonight depended more on how much skin I showed rather than how well I played my music.
The troupe and I started after dark, so the tavern was full and already many of the men had drank past their body's capacity to stay lucid. That too worked well in my favor, for the more they drank, the less they cared how much they spent.
The other side to all this were the comments screamed over the din of the tavern. Nothing I hadn't heard before, but still, it grew tiresome. The other problem occurred when I left the tavern to find a place to sleep. Without exception, I found one or two, sometimes more of the braver and less savory characters waiting outside in the dark. My scanty clothing and the cheap mead gave them evil ideas and poor judgment.