02/04/2023 Snippet, VERDICT OF HISTORY.

This might be important, later. Like, years later.

Razor-Claw knew how to get somebody off of a restraint frame. There was a trick to physically breaking the control spells you could learn, if you had enough time, and bodies to practice on. By now he could do it quick, and safe — safe to him, at least. The other guy? Well, they could usually tough it out. This fucker toughed it out. In fact, he recovered almost before Razor-Claw could slap a hand over his mouth.

Almost. “Shut the fuck up, and listen,” Razor-Claw hissed. “You got one chance to get the Hell out of here. I ain’t got no food, no water, no bandages, and I ain’t gonna help you find any of that shit, neither. I don’t even want to ever see your fucking face again. This is all you’re gonna get from me. You hear?”

The guy nodded. Razor-Claw gave back a tight grin. “Good. I’m gonna take my hand away. You try anything dumb, I’ll kill you.”

He wasn’t entirely sure about that — this fucker looked like he had been a hardcase before the Dominion bagged him — but the guy didn’t do anything dumb.

02/03/2023 Snippet, VERDICT OF HISTORY.

Another viewpoint character I loathe! Yay!

Wake up, asshole.

Razor-Claw’s eyes snapped open. He’d always been a light sleeper, and decades of being a raider, a raider boss, and finally rebel scum had honed that knack until he could cut throats with it. Shrugging off a weak Dominion daze spell that couldn’t bite him properly was nothing. Neither was popping loose the shackles that bound him to a circular frame at wrists, ankles, throat, and middle. Firebrand had told him they’d unlock as soon as he pulled at them, and the motherfucker hadn’t lied about that, at least.

He knew he didn’t have long to work, so he took a quick look around the tent. It was full of frames like his, stacked close together, and every single one of them had a twitching, unconscious captive on it. He recognized about half of them; men and a few women from his own last band of fighters, a couple of rat bastards from the other side, and one guy who just looked different. Too well-fed to be one of his, and he had on the remains of a uniform Razor-Claw didn’t recognize.

02/02/2023 Snippet, VERDICT OF HISTORY.

I need to get back to the orc and the reporter, soon. These two are horrible.

“Beef ribs it is, then,” Firebrand said, as a servant wheeled in a cart. Seeing Razor-Claw’s eyes linger on her tense form, the mage smirked. “Business and lunch before pleasure, I think. We have a schedule.”

“Yeah, yeah, sure.” Razor-Claw dragged his eyes away from the girl, who promptly left the room. “You gonna start with a name?”

“Better than that.” The Warmage summoned an image ball, showing the image of an graying, bitter-looking woman. “This is Senior Warmage Festering Lacewing of the First Usurpation. My second-in-command, but you knew that already.”

“The Town-burner? Oh, yeah, I know her. She’d burn anybody who looked at her funny. Slowly. So why the Hell do you want her dead? She was a big reason why you kicked our asses.”

“That’s the problem.” Firebrand held out his hand, and a drink drifted into it. “Lacewing’s perfect for clearing land for settlement, but we’re starting a different campaign soon. One where I want to keep too many towns from being burned down.”


“Because squeezing them to death instead is more profitable,” Firebrand grinned. “More fun that way, too.”

02/01/2023 Snippet, VERDICT OF HISTORY.

I don’t remember if I’ve put anything up about this story already. It’s going to be tricky, because the two main characters are both absolutely horrible human beings. And I don’t mean ‘diamonds in the rough,’ either. Killing either one of these guys wouldn’t be murder; it’d be the penance you’d have to perform to be forgiven for committing murder.

Firebrand raised an eyebrow when Razor-Claw’s guffawing didn’t stop after a few seconds, but he let the mundane get it all out. Extensive experience had let him hear the faintest notes of hysteria in the bandit’s laugh, which was… reasonable enough. His self-control is remarkably good, Firebrand thought. It’s a real shame he doesn’t have any arcane potential. He’d be a perfect recruit, otherwise.

“Aw, this is gonna be good,” Razor-Claw eventually managed to wheeze. “What the Hell would you need me for? Killing somebody?”

Firebrand grinned. “Got it in one! That’s exactly what I need you for. I want it to be as filthy a death as you can manage, too. Legendary, if you can swing it.”

Razor-Claw squinted at him — then scowled. “Wait. Is this political shit?”

“That’s two in a row. Dammit, is there any chance you might have some magic?”

“Naw, muttering and waving my hands around never did nothing. Shit, spells don’t bite me as hard as… ohhh. You need somebody who magic can’t fuck up as much.”

Firebrand beamed. “Exactly! Except that I also need somebody who’s good at murder, and you are very good at murdering people.”

Patreon Microfiction: ‘Verdict of History.’

‘Verdict of History’ is there because of one of my pet peeves: people who assume that they know what their descendants will think of them*. Judging from the entire panoply of human existence, I’m going to guess that said descendants will think of this entire time period as being full of, no exceptions, dangerous barbarians with horrible dentistry. They’ll also likely ignore the popular art of our time in favor of honoring the more obscure art and its creators, which is honestly great and hopeful news for me.

Moe Lane

*Actually, in many cases it’ll be what my descendants will think of them.