Contract Thorn


#A Manticore’s last job doesn’t go as expected.#

The night above the Akasai was the colour of a wilted rose, broken by a rain of white petals.

Ceru dodged a splash of rice wine as she shouldered through the Moonshard Festival crowd, pushing past the doors of Caged Noin. “To another year of long life!” she heard somebody say, “or one night of good drink!”

It was a curse and a blessing, a local saying. The Caged Noin was a place reserved for locals, a venue where fate coalesced in gambles of life and coin. There was a small line to the front doors: she took the place of a beastman who was kindly removed with a boot to the back.

A Love Stronger than Death


The darkness was pervasive, all-encompassing, all-consuming, and every other word or series of words that he could use to describe where he currently was. He didn’t know how he got here, he didn’t know where he was, and he certainly didn’t know how to get out.

In fact, he didn’t even know who he was, but he knew for a fact that he was a he, that one fact seemed etched into his very being. He tried to piece together anything, but the wisps of memories he still held onto seemed to slip and slide around in his subconscious, unable to form a coherent thought. Even simple thoughts, things that should be easy to recall, seemed to allude him, any train of thought that lasted more than a few seconds seemed to derail into nothingness, much like the void he was in.