Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Pen and the Sword: Infernal Sorceress

"Quick as a weasel, but you'll die like the pig you are!" Don Filberto snarled when he saw what had happened and gathered himself for a more careful attack. He saw the twin daggers, feinted with his sword, then stepped back and and quickly drew his own to use as a main gauche. Now the match was highly weighted in his favor again, more to his liking. Not that he was a mediocre swordsman. On the contrary, the small Iberian aristocrat was indeed a master of the art. It was a matter of enjoyment. Don Filberto took great pleasure in watching his opponent die slowly. With a sword against two daggers, he would have had to be cautious, strike to kill or else risk being slain himself. Now with a pair of weapons himself, he could play the game he loved. "Come on then, you stinking pig! Let's see what you're made of."

Ferret wasn't goaded by anything his foe said. He knew all too well his chances were slim when facing a swordsman from a distance. He needed to get in close, but Don Filberto's main gauche made that near impossible now. If he managed to get past the threat defense of the long blade, then the left-hand one would be there to attack. Then again, he had seen the little man move. Don Filberto was graceful and fast. He could dance back, keep Ferret where he wanted him before his sword point.

The priest could recover at any moment - or Colonel de la Cabarro for that matter. Guardsmen might come in. Time was his worst foe, and Ferret knew that all too well. He could not fence with Don Filberto, hope that some obstacle in the cluttered office would throw the man off balance and expose him to attack thus. Ferret had to attack. "You are a nasty little mannikin, aren't you?" he said with derision. "You must have been the runt of the litter your bitch mother whelped!"

The words made Don Filberto seethe with fury. He was most sensitive of his barely-over-five-foot height, and any insult to his mother spelled death to the one speaking. The rage didn't make him inept, though, but actually gave him a deadly calmness now. It had been used against him before, and Don Filberto was a veteran who had been schooled well. He made no reply, and attacked.

- Infernal Sorceress, Gary Gygax

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