A Zahnia Short, part 3

Part 3 of Dubiousbyhabit’s ongoing story set in the Renaissance of his First Empress setting. Looks like a part 4 is coming, though I didn’t expect it!

One thing you’ll notice that Dubious is good at – better than I am, certainly – is making sure that all of the characters are real people with loved ones and points of view, who behave in ways that seem reasonable to them (to the extent that the characters are reasonable themselves). The brave, wise, good-hearted characters grieving for a lost loved one in today’s installment are very much in opposition to Dubious’s protagonists, but there are no Dark Lords in Dubious’s world.

(Well, probably not…I’m running into some characters in First Empress who are engaged in illegal magical experiments on human subjects, and they’re pretty vile, but even they’re human in the end.)

Sartorially Smart Heroines

Major Anda Othro and Lady Norva Othro are two characters I’d like to do more with in future stories. In scene three, the longest of the four scenes in this story, we learn how strong and politically savvy Lady Norva is, as well as how seriously badass Anda is. This scene also alludes to Queen Viarra’s current alias as Lady Ellona, head of the First Empress Trading Company. (Part 1, part 2)

A Zahnia Short, part 3

“Mr. Wernod, kindly go to hell,” Lady Norva interrupted tiredly, still staring out the window of her sitting room. It took all of Major Anda’s self-control to not grin at the request as she stood nearby.

Financial attorney Sir Nerrek Wernod looked up in surprise, a few sentences into reading aloud one of his inheritance-management contracts. “I–I beg your pardon, my lady?” he blinked, though Anda was half certain…

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