Eliza crouched down behind bush, waiting for the pair of figures in front of her to part. Her fingers were wrapped tightly around the smooth blade of a dagger and she held her breath in anticipation.
“What’cha waitin’ for Missy.” The sudden stench of day old cabbage and mead filled her nostrils along with the shrill voice of a man everyone simply called ‘Snake.’ Eliza’s eyes bulged and she frantically backed away from the bush hoping that the pair she had been following didn’t hear or notice her mentor speaking so loudly to her. She was never going to get promoted in the guild if this happened every time she went out on her own. “Why Snake, of all people,” She sighed to herself.
“Thanks a lot. I almost had them!” She huffed, slipping the dagger back into her sleeves.
“Oh Ya did, did ya?” Snake grinned, he was obviously having a lot of fun with her discomfort. “Well, yer parents want ya home Missy, so you had better run along now and leave the pilferin’ to those who know how to act quickly, before the next day begins.” He taunted, and before she could send out a scathing reply he turned from her and walked away.
Eliza groaned. As much as she disliked Snake, he WAS her mentor these days, and he didn’t tend to lie when it came to her parents. She began walking back to her families house in Harkenwold, a small village made up mostly of farmers, woodcutters, and woodworkers, like her mother. She was the youngest of five, all daughters, and her parents absolutely dotted on them all. As Eliza grew up it became apparent that she didn’t share the same skills as the rest of her family. She wasn’t strong enough to cut down heavy logs, and she killed pretty much every plant she ever touched, which left her father shooing her from the farm fields more often than not. While she was apt enough with her daggers and a short sword, she couldn’t use them to carve figures into wood like her mother could. So Eliza had begun training with the thieves guild, under Snake. This worked great in two respects, it kept her out of her parents hair while they decided what to do with her, and it was something that she was actually good at. So far she had done nothing more than pit herself against the simple bandits that wandered along The King’s Road to the West, but it was something.
“Eliza, you’re home!” Her mother came out of the house, brushing wood shavings from her apron. “We’ve been looking for you..” She spoke too fast, and her smile was too broad. Something was going on.
“Of course I came home when I heard you were looking for me. Why did you have to send Snake..” She frowned.
“Well, because he knew where you were of course!” Her mother didn’t look daunted at all.
“I have great news. Lets go get your father.” She started to pull Eliza towards the fields in behind their home. Her father was working with a handful of other people, taking in this seasons crops. It was never much, but it was enough to feed them and leave a modest amount to sell afterward. The real money the family made came from the miniature carvings that Eliza’s mother did. She had such talent, each piece carved with painstaking detail.
“Oh you must be getting ready to tell Elizabeth the news!” Two sisters came up behind Eliza and her mother, sounding like a flock of excited ducks.
“Tell me what! No one has told me anything yet..” Eliza was beginning to feel a bit left out. Some big news that involved her, that no one would tell her about.
“Why, that you’re getting married, of course!” One of her sisters piped up.
“I’m.. I’m WHAT?!” Eliza screamed, freezing in place.
“I KNEW she would do this!” Her father stood up with a rake in his hand, pointing at Eliza’s mother. “She’s acting as though the undead were here, forcing her into marriage with them.”
“They may as well be!” She exclaimed, still not believing the news. “Why on earth did you think I would want to get married! I mean.. Why.. What..” She floundered, unable to express herself properly.
“It’s time.” Her mother said, finality oozing over each word. “You have been running a-muck for far too long dear. It’s time you settle down, with babies!” Her mother blushed a bit, but didn’t stop her excited speech. “We had an offer from the next town over. They’ve offered a VERY nice price! The young lad is quite handsome you know, we should count ourselves to be so lucky.”
“I don’t feel blessed or lucky at all.” Eliza sobbed.
“You don’t exactly have a choice in the matter.” Her father said, the exasperation in his voice ringing clear. With that the conversation was ended. Eliza ran to her room, slamming the door behind her. Life was so unfair. She didn’t want to get married! She had heard rumors of things happening to the West. She wanted to be there, she didn’t want to be chasing after children and changing diapers and growing old. It was a life that her parents had envisioned for her from the start, she realized. The life of a daughter. “I’ll show them..” She thought to herself. She began tossing a few things into an old leather pack, planning her rout. She would leave after night fell, when the farm was silent. She would travel along The King’s Road and prove to them all that she had more potential than to simply be someones wife.
“I’ll show them all..” She murmured to herself, as she waited for darkness to come.
(( A brief introduction to Eliza Droverson, my human rogue for an upcoming D&D campaign. She may seem young and naive but I’m sure she’ll come into her own as time goes on. ))