Muhulda Urswyk is a reporter in the Xaggarene Empire, usually from Sangeron. She claims to have an inside path to the emperor and has a hatred for the Shadow Walkers. She owns and runs The Lock and Key, a publication that spews her particular form of bile (though I haven’t put one out in a while).
I’d meant for Muhulda to put out an edition every month, but time has gotten away from me, and, for some reason, my ability to organize my time has gone the way of the dodo.
I was in the process of creating another edition of The Lock and Key when it dawned on me that I had no idea why Muhulda hated the Shadow Walkers so much. Sure, there are plenty of people in the Xaggarene Empire with prejudice against those of magical blood, but that, alone, didn’t explain it. Not to the extent that she hates this group.
Write a story about why Muhulda hates Shadow Walkers.
Below is a snippet from the story. Feel free to comment and make suggestions.
The tavern was loud, as usual. I carried yet another tray of Melon Peckers to yet another group of reprobates who had nothing better to do than drink and smoke and pump Crying Smoke into their brains. If they had brains, that is. I wasn’t sure. They surely didn’t act like it.
“Hey, beautiful, wanna let me show you the town?” His words tangled in his mouth and came out in a mush that I only understood because I’d heard it so often.
“Not tonight, darling. I’ve got to fill the generator.” A classic, cliched line, I knew, but, hell, even if he wasn’t scruffy, half biotic, and drunk off his ass, I still wouldn’t want to let him touch me.
“Aw, come now. Give my buddy a break. He’s done had his heart broke.” This one wasn’t any better. A metal plate covered one side of his head, and a lens had replaced his left eye. I could see wires running from the back of his head down into his shirt, and I wondered what other parts he’d had replaced with metal. He was more human than his friend—whose entire right side appeared to be mechanical—but I’d already brought him three hits of Crying Smoke, and that was since middle night.
“I wish I could, but the mister’s waiting at home, and he wouldn’t take too kindly to it.” This was a lie, of course. There was no mister, and there wasn’t likely to be one, but I couldn’t let him know that.
“Leave her alone, guys.” This was the third one of the bunch. He’d consumed far less than his buddies, and his only alteration was a ring in his nose that connected by chain to a stud in his ear. He had a tattoo on his bicep of some kind of symbol, I wasn’t sure what, but, otherwise, he looked nearly respectable.
I mouthed a thank you and high-tailed myself back to the bar. It was almost quitting time, and I was ready to leave. Heck, I was always ready to get out of the place, and I hated myself for having to be there to start with. It wasn’t what I’d wanted to do, and it sure as hell wasn’t what I had spent four years in University for.
I set my tray on the bar and gave the place a look. The brazier still glowed a healthy orange, so I knew it had plenty of coal. The floors were mostly clean, and the oil lamps on the tables still flickered. No one had knocked the armor off the wall tonight. Even the sword, supposedly dating back to the days of the first emperor, Arronax Billinghurst, had been left alone. A good night in the eyes of the Steam Whisper.
“Muhulda, you stayin’ or goin’?” asked the barkeep, who also happened to be the owner. He was an ass most of the time, but, every once in a while, some vestige of a decent person shone through.
“I’m going,” I replied. I glanced back at the table I had just served. “I’ve had enough for one night.”
Bramwell nodded once and didn’t say more, and I took my chance and skedaddled before he had a chance to change his mind.