Current listening: Via Purifico – Final Fantasy Piano Collection
Current Reading: In between.
I come to you with a dilemma. Two prompts, two amazing ideas this week for Ink and Quill. I am giving you one tonight but you will definitely have to wait until the weekend for the other. (Who would have thought a guided prompt could produce so many possibilities?) So this week, our vague prompt is itching to have me introduce a new face to anyone involved in the Maes universe. To long time readers, tell me if you can figure out who and what she ties into. Ladies and gents, meet Brona Rae and check out our vague prompt for Ink and Quill.
The starlight cold of the capital made Brona Rae shiver. She watched the city below with calm, careful green eyes. Her target just left the cathedral. The girl understood that a mission was a mission but she could not bring herself to remove her target. The woman brought so much good to a world that was once starved of such warmth. Just watching the woman as she had these last few days had given her cause to doubt the merits of her assignment.
She would never be as calm, cold and collected as the fabled Shadow, or even Lily. Brona understood that the act went against her nature. If needed, she could do what must be done but she questioned her superiors in an effort to understand her purpose and the reason behind that assignment. This was no different. Her blond to brown hair was tied up in a loose knot to prevent an attacker from using the mass against her in a figh
Unlike many within the Guild, she favored her daggers and the crossbow. Distance weapons, close combat was more difficult for her. Killing from a distance, thievery, spying these things she could do with ease and often requested those assignments. How she was put on assignment assassinate a royal, she would never know. At last word, none of the assassins had succeeded. Every single target failed and, at this juncture, they each had a death warrant over their heads. Rumor had it the guild had tried to eliminate Lily.
Brona paid a great deal of attention to the inner workings of the Guild. She knew their younger members were disappearing and, in a way, she was glad for that. No child should have to grow up as she did, as Lily did. She followed the city rooftops well above her charge. In truth, she had spent months watching the woman. She tried to understand why someone would want her dead. Tessa Starson, the people whispered, was a blessing to the realm and the people. She healed them, she prayed for them. The cleric brought them peace. No one within the guild knew Brona’s true last name. Given the history of the realm, Fate knew she was reluctant to reveal such information.
Late at night, long after the cleric retired from the cathedral, she would wind her way into the building and sit in silence. This place called her and she could not understand why. Her father was dumped in an orphanage when he was seven. Until he died, they lived in the squalor of the capital. He died just before her eighth birthday. Before he died he made her promise to seek out the guild. The man understood what life he was sending her to but he wanted to see his daughter protected. “Never tell them your full name. They will use you.” He made her promise on his deathbed.
Brona knew that. She had power, she knew she did. The power was a steady slow beat in her soul. If she focused hard enough, rain would tumble from the heavens. The slumbering giant had gotten stronger the longer the royals remained in power. She heard voices and, at a young age, forced herself to lock that part of her mind away for the sake of her sanity. Her father heard voices too and she suspected that drove him mad in the end.
So lost in thought, she almost lost her target. Brona followed the woman as far as the castle gates. Another pulse of the familiar lingered within those walls and Brona found herself reluctant to pursue that. The Guild sent her all over the realm on recon missions before this one. Lochton and the North called to her like a siren’s song yet, there was that itch of the world she knew here in the capital. Her charge was in the palace for the evening and that was as far as she wished to pursue the woman. She wound away through the shadows en route to the cathedral. Perhaps it was time to think and gain herself some peace.
The prayer book was old, many of the words faded from multiple readings. Brona thumbed through the pages. Fate bless this place. She thought as she lowered herself into a pew at the back of the cathedral. In truth, she could not fulfill a contract against one who brought so much Light to the world. Darkness was all she knew. The city streets sometimes wept of her loneliness. Her green eyes shadowed a moment as she read the old prayers. The book, her father told her, was her grandmother’s.
Fond fingertips turned the pages as she murmured those prayers beneath her breath. She knew from experience if she pushed power into the words, her hands would glow. Brona tried this once before in a dark alley away from what her life called her to be. At last her fingers found the back cover of the book. She traced those letters since childhood. After her name, they were the first two letters she learned to write. R.D. The second set of initials occupied the bottom corner of the cover, N.T., she had no idea whose they were or what they meant. That, she suspected, would be the mystery of not just her lifetime but her father’s as well.
In many respects , the cathedral was the only peace she knew. The rest of her life, she felt was running the rooftops and following the woman her employer asked her to remove. Her conscience stayed her hand. Those that came before her, their hands would not be stayed. A mission was a mission. Still, Brona could not bring herself to eliminate her target so, she watched. She prayed for Fate to intercede. Fate take this duty from me, please.