It wasn’t that the city was a normally quiet place. The tiles in the central square were worn smooth in places from the constant stream of citizens and visitors of every description. Even the odd werewolf could be seen passing through the gates, if one knew how to recognise them.
Today was different. The striped tents of the marketplace had been hurriedly dismantled and stowed away, and the crowd that had assembled were not the usual tourists, traders and vendors. The voices were low and serious, and the speakers had the dull gleam of bravado or fear in their eyes. Neia could almost smell the sense of foreboding that had descended on the city.
War was coming, and it meant trouble.
Soldiers from many races were pouring through the gates. There were nagas sharpening blades and running restless tongues across their fangs. There were demons and other winged beings, some in flight, keeping a wary eye on the surrounding plains. There were humans too, and a small gathering from the were-races, who had their own troubles with an Angelus or two, hence very few had been spared for battle. Everybody was busy - helping with weapons, encouraging those next to them, gathering supplies, or speaking with the green-hued demon who occasionally flew down from the keep.
Neia observed all this with a feeling of dread. The races of the worlds did not gather so freely together for a mere battle of dispute.
“Heard the blue excrement leading their army is one of us.”
A silky voice spoke near her shoulder. Neia turned to face two pairs of violet eyes. She noted that only the speaker held her gaze, the other's gaze was slightly lower.
“So I hear,” she replied.
They were twins, judging by the identical colouring. Twins with an obscene amount of testosterone. Neia cast a withering look at the twin with the wandering eyes.
“Yes, it gives us such a bad name,” the silky voice continued. “You never know who might be out to get you .But then again, we’d look after a sweet little thing like you, we’d look after you ver- ”
The speaker was silent. A blade, flecked with purple liquid, had appeared at each twin’s throat.
“Double-ended. My own invention and my venom. Isn’t it pretty?”
She grinned, and the blades vanished as quickly as they had appeared.
“Thanks for the offer boys, but I can look after myself.”
She smirked until the retreating orange tails had vanished into the crowd, and then cast a worried glance up at the keep. So the rumours are true. She had overheard these rumours in various bars, shouted by the village drunks. Apparently Avery, (the ‘blue excrement’), had been dearly loved by some, so opinion was divided as to whether he was villain or victim. Many recruits were saying that Avery had been a dear friend of Fyre Hellfire, the long-haired figure who was at that moment pacing back and forth up at the keep. A lot of those to whom Neia had spoken were afraid of him, and those who had been close enough claimed there was something in his eyes that would make even the most battle-hardened soldier hide beneath tail, wing, or whatever else they could find.
A horn blast jerked her away from her thoughts, and a small army of demons winged their way over the walls. Two demons in glittering armour aimed for the keep, the rest landed amongst the growing crowd. Neia glanced upwards once more, then slithered across the square to join a crowd of nagas making use of a local blacksmith.
This war was going to get interesting.
I just lost my afterverse-fic virginity. Enjoy!
note: Neia is mine. She watched her boyfriend die at the hands of evil evil bastards, so if she encounters anyone fitting that description, if left to her own devices she will kill them, or die trying. She's a bitter little thing at times and HATES being patronised or cracked on to (the last to try this had a voice two octaves higher for a month).
But under all that 'don't fuck with me' she is nice. really.