“The Queen of Zazzau” novel is a story I needed without knowing it. Like most NJLers, I am a heavy consumer of stories and fantasies in all formats I can afford (and some I can not). Cherry and I both have an affinity to anything with strong world building, flawed yet interesting characters, and honestly overall fun to read. So please try to understand my excitement when I found out about the “The Queen of Zazzau” by J.S. Emuakpor. A story about an African princess, turn warrior, made queen, with gods, and magic written BY a black woman?! *Cue God’s plan playing in the background.* To add to the awesomeness of such a premise, when I later found out that this is based on a true story, that there was an actual Amina who was a Hausa queen in Northern Nigeria….fam. Did you know Xena the Warrior Princess was loosely based on her exploits as a warrior? That she ruled for almost 40 years as woman in a time that certainly was not easy in the 1500s? Or how about she ruled historically one of the largest and extensive Hausa kingdoms ever? Hell, to this day there are still signs of her legend through statues and the standing walls around her trade cities. Talk about Black Girl Magic for real.
The novel centers around Amina the princess of Zazzau, and how prophecy and destiny makes her into a both queen and legend. It starts with Amina in her mid to late 20’s with her bodyguard/best friend Jaruma during a confrontation with an enemy state called Kwarafa. The conclusion of this initial contact leads the audience to a strong impression of Amina’s character and why she makes the decisions that contribute to her rise. I enjoyed J.S. Emuakpor’s decision to reveal early in the story the prophecy surrounding Amina from birth that she was destined to become the Wife of War and be the cause of hundreds of deaths. Amina, being strong willed and having a kindness of heart, tries her best to prevent this from happening at all costs. However, her naivete as a princess slowly loses to the reality of responsibility as a future queen.
What was great to me reading this is even though I am well versed in the tropes of a hero’s journey and the genre of fantasy itself, I had to look deeper into African cultural aspects to better grasp this story. For example,I know what a “ Duke”, a “ Knight”, and a “ Halbert” are because of the Western European fantasy I have read. Yet, I had to Google and refer to the glossary for definitions of “Gimbiya”, “ Takouba”, and “ Sarauniya.” From stories like “ A Song of Ice and Fire” to “ Lord of the Rings.” the majority of today’s popular fantasy is written with that European background in place almost as a default. Some would say this makes sense, considering the historical background shared between most readers...but that argument in itself is a lie. Even sci-fi and fantastical stories written by persons’ of color have this default narrative, whether there is a tone or perspective from a P.O.C. or not. Emuakpor writes from a African ( Nigeria specifically) backdrop, and does this with an apparent bias. There is nothing more special to me than reading about a person of color and feeling like the writer wrote them with such authenticity that, as a black person, I instinctually pick up on. A good example is when Jaruma, who technically is her servant, throws shade at Amina. Her love and manner of showing it reads truthful. It is a sisterly bond I have seen with black women in real life and it grips me to the story organically.
Another strength the“ Queen of Zazzau” has for itself is the magical world offered through African mythology. In most European-viewed fantasies, things like fetishes, or non Abrahamic religions, are considered taboo and almost always linked to evil or savage like moments in the adventure. So to have a story that discusses them without a negative connotation, or makes them seem as natural as spell incantations in the “ Harry Potter” series is refreshing. A perfect example is seen in the character of Ruhun Yak’i, the God of War. From his demeanor towards Amina, to the magic he is able to do, and even the limitations of his magic as the God of War are clear examples of the black lens this is all being done through. So while the reader can clearly see the character template of most Gods of Wars seen in stories in Ruhun, Emuakpor gives him a distinctive personality and way of doing things that is strongly African. As we watch the transition from first brutish interaction with Amina to his docile-like nature that stems from Amina’s own strong personality later in the book, it is clearly told from a person of color’s perspective, and is a joy to read from start to finish.
I never realized how thirsty as a reader I was for Afrocentric fantasy works until this story and I look forward to more from J.S. Emuakpor. “The Queen of Zazzau” is a great introduction to the author, and a thrilling adventure I could hardly put down. While I personally would have loved to have seen this story fleshed out into multiple books, I know that is more my personal taste and will bear with a great story ending early. Amina is a strong black woman with a heart for her people and a sensibility of balance between her people and herself that I admired. The afrocentric backdrop makes this story feel culturally important to the reader, which I imagine is one of the goals Emuakpor had in mind when creating this story. Lastly, the fact that all of this is based on a real-life Amina Zazzau and her powerful 34 year reign in Nigeria makes this a tale I plan to share with as much friends as possible, out of my own sense of duty and love.
For more from J.S. Emuakpor
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An avid procrastinator of starting multiple books at once and never finishing them.
Queen Chersei, Ruler of the Onxyian Elves, Protector of the Kingdom of Onyx.
Hey guys, it's your boy Jay with this weeks continuation of "The Emissary of Veritas" story! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday, and ate like the fat kids I know you are lol. I originally started this as part of the #NaNoWrimo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge to write either a novel, or a 50,000 words equivalent. I have always had the major plot points and certain characters in mind, but was too afraid to ever start. So thanks to the challenge, and sharing my weird imagination with you guys I finally took the plunge keeping myself honest to try it lol. I also really want to thank all the NJLers who allowed me to superimpose some of their funnier traits or ideas to my characters, which made writing this even more fun to share with them. Also special shout out and thank you so much to Jaslyn, Chichi, and Jen who have helped me edit this just enough to share with you guys. Pray for them having to deal with my writing style ya'll, cuz whoooo child lol.
So to thank you all, this week will be chapters 4 and 5! Click here, here, or here to catch up if your new to the story. Like always, please like, share, and comment and let us know if you want more of "The Emissary of Veritas" story! Strong language and and mature situations below.
Loc King has never been past the 2nd floor of a " Goody's Bits for Tips " before. When he first walks through the door tied to the magic entrance to the 3rd floor, there is a moment his brain needs a second to catch up. He stops completely in his tracks in a slightly defensive stance, his mind working overtime as he thinks “ OK, ok, ok. This is not, uh, this is not...SHIT!This is clearly bigger than it should be. Two, three, hell maybe even FIVE times bigger than...Cats paw this is some serious magic. The ability alone for this level of magic is crazy. To use it to create an entire neighborhood without any hint of magical leaks or seepage? What master sorcerer do they know who’d even be interested to do such work? Oooh fuck, I am NOT high enough for this.” “ Is everything ok?” asks Goody looking at him with concern from behind, as she closes the door reactivating the barriers and wards. Eyes wide staring in front of him Loc responds with a paranoid look on his face. “ I am not going to lie to you Goody, I think our friendship is important enough for that. So I will let you know that I am slightly on nerve a bit finding a small town square on the 3rd floor of your nice, yet modestly built building.” Loc proceeds to sniff the air as he walks cautiously, “ And if my nose is not fooling me, there is a large swimming hole scented with jasmine and honey air up here.” “ You like it huh? Designed it myself when we first got started. Only a few aesthetic changes really since then.” Goody says beaming while grabbing Loc’s furry arm and leading him along to catch up with the others. “ Goody, I know first hand how fine a sorceress you are, but if you can do this you should be in Chersei’s Celestial Corps.! Hell, you’d be leading it!” “ Aaawww, how sweet of you to say that.” Goody coos while petting his furry arm she’s holding. “ What can I say Loc? I really like bits for tips”. Loc simply looks down at her for a bit and laughs following her lead to Sir Wordplay, and Chesterfield at her office door.
“ Glad to see your head clear up with that talk from Goody, cub. Because we need to talk.” Sir Wordplay telepathically says toward Loc. He enters through the (one..two...three….four…!) barriers leading into Goody’s office space as Chesterfield holds the door open for the group. Bowing at Chesterfield’s constant professionalism and invitation, Wordplay enters the Winthrop’s domicile. Loc and Sir Wordplay never knew if the permanent telepathic connection they have is due to Wordplay being his Ancestral Spirit, or if possibly by his necromancy magic somehow. Either way, as annoying Loc thought it can be at times having literally two voices in his head, it most definitely helped serve the purpose of keeping him alive. “ Took a moment to adjust, but a cat always lands on his feet. I am still all in to doing this job, whatever it is.” Loc replies to Wordplay “ Hah, good! This is literally the job of a life time, and since I’ve lived more than a few, I know what I am talking about. I just wanted to make sure we had an understanding on a few things while we still have time.” “ Of course my most honorable and respected Elder. Please show me the enlightened path you see so clearly before I.” Loc sarcastically thinks while rolling his eyes for dramatic affect. “ Ya momma cub, but I’m gonna lead your ass anyway. For one thing, with us now knowing now Goody did all of this, she is clearly way more than we thought she was; magic wise. In that same vein, it stands to reason her dearest spouse is more than he appears as well. That’s including the fact he is able to speak for the Queen. ” “ Damn, you guys have a beautiful space Chesterfield.” Wordplay says while walking by Chesterfield looking at the oceanic view with the sunrise in the distance. “Wait a minute, why am I not burning to my death?” Wordplay says almost to himself in shock, while he looks for the nearest shaded area. “ Well as you may have noticed- ” Chesterfield starts as Loc and Goody come through the entrance for him to close “ - the space is protected by several magical barriers. One of them keeps certain free-forming types out of our place without invitation. Apparently, one of the side effects to this is if one of them is invited it protects them from the consequences derived by direct sunlight. ” “ A ghost-proof and safety house, all in one. That must have been that last barrier I felt.” Wordplay thinks amazed, while walking towards the large balcony with the first sunset he has see in decades. “ Goody is amazing, cub. I think I may love her now. ” thinks Wordplay to Loc. “ I could understand why Elder. Knowing how amazing she is magically, yet the person she is at heart is still humble. I almost feel lucky to consider her friend. ” “ Ayy. ” Wordplay says while he places his hand towards the glass, wishing to feel the warmth from the sun. His mind playing cruel tricks on him, he could almost swear.... “You CAN, elder. Since you’ve walked in you have been as solid as any other living thing I have placed eyes on.” Loc says with a smile to his elder while pushing his hand with his on the sun warmed glass. Chesterfield quietly walking towards his wife grabs her hand while kissing her forehead tenderly. If those two near the window only knew she had modified the spell just a bit earlier this evening when leaving the warmed bath she had prepared for herself. “ Simply because she wanted her friend to enjoy the comforts of her home and feel happy. Darkness, I am truly blessed.” Chesterfield thinks while letting the two families enjoy this moment separate, yet completely together.
“ Please take a seat anywhere you would like.” Chesterfield offers after their moment of silence, pointing Loc and Wordplay towards his living area furniture. Wordplay, eyeing the large armchair next to the drinking case close to the fire pit, dashes over, plumping into the seat soundly. He looks at the drinking case, and then towards Chesterfield with hope in his eyes. “ Please Sir Wordplay, enjoy yourself with this special gift you’ve received this day. Within reason of course sir. We do need you fairly level-headed this day at least.” “ Aya, don’t worry I am a consummate professional when it comes to being on the work clock. Just a glass. Maybe three. Promise.” Wordplay says licking his lips with his thick Felis tongue while his ears perk up with the choices of delight he has in front of him. Loc shakes his head in amusement, but dares not ruin the fun of his Elder this day. Wordplay deserves himself a day of drunken revelry all things considered. " Cat’s paw who knows when he’ll ever receive this chance again." Loc King thinks sitting in the large couch directly in front of the fire pit allowing him to fully stretch his arms and legs, while Goody and Chesterfield settle in the lover’s seat next to him. Chesterfield speaks, “ Thank you again for accepting this work before hearing the current details. I would be remiss however, in not giving you those details now. Queen Chersei is needing you to leave Lagina Atlas and find a particular person. We don’t know exactly where they are now, but we know the general area to start looking around, we believe. Your job will be to find this person, and bring them to Queen Chersei herself. Do this and all will be rewarded to you as promise. Any questions so far?” Chesterfield says while sitting somewhat intimately with Goody so she may lay her head slightly on his chest and shoulders. “ Clearly we know who runs their domain; Chesterfield being the epitome of appropriate behavior or not.” chuckles Wordplay in his mind as he takes his second deep sip of his drink in hand. He then says out loud, “ If you know where this person generally is, why not simply send message to have delivered to them?” Chesterfield nods replying, “ That is because this person would never allow to have anything delivered to them from official sources. Let alone something specifically from Queen Chersei herself. Jayvenn will not initially want to come back.” “ Who exactly is this Jayvenn?” asks Wordplay. “ That is none of your concern.” Chesterfield says as if the question was simply insignificant. “ You fucked right? You don’t think it matters that we know who the person you want us to catch is?” Loc says gingerly. “ No. You need to know where they could be currently. You will need to know pertinent information on their abilities. You will even need to know the possible ways you have to bring Jayvenn to Queen Chersei." Chesterfield looking at both Wordplay and Loc continues “ Knowing who they are is not necessary, or needed for completion of the task at hand.” “ That’s foreboding as hell isn’t it? Now we definitely need to find out who Jayvenn is.” thinks Wordplay to Loc, finishing his 2nd drink. “ Agree completely Elder. Seems you may have a lot of work ahead of you this time. You might actually earn part of your half for once.” “ Very well.” says Loc nodding his head, “ You said we can receive info, and to know how to bring Jayvenn back to Queen Chersei, ya? Can we find out that Intel now, or do we wait for bits and pieces as the trip progresses?” “ Very deep indeed.” Chesterfield impressed again thinks to himself, noting to no longer underestimate his Lionus friend.
“ You are correct Sir Loc King, so here's what I shall tell you at the moment. First, it will not be just you two working to find Jayvenn. Ulong Tea has also been tasked to assist you in this endeavor. I myself will be directly heading out with you to find Jayvenn as well. Since I am the only one who will be able to identify them once found. More importantly I maybe the only one to make them come back with us.” “ Maybe? Make?” questions Wordplay with a tone of concern. “ As I stated before, they initially will not want to come back to Lagina Atlas. More so, not at the beckoning of complete and armed strangers. My being there will afford a degree of importance, and calm to the situation. Jayvenn will also understand that my presence there is the Queen Chersei’s presence. Now whether that fact will make the task harder or not, that’s based on Jayvenn and their mood.” Loc nods “ Fair enough. Having the official do elf of the Queen makes sense to give status reports, receive updates, bring me food, and such. I feel it. My following question then is what are the abilities we need to know of Jayvenn?” The way Loc says this last part, makes a small part in Chesterfield’s brain, the most instinctual part say “ The predator is awake now. The Lionus wants to hunt!”
Chesterfield clearing his throat replies “ Yes, well Jayvenn is a very well trained fighter. I doubt there are truly two handfuls of beings in the known realms who could be Jayvenn's equal. Let alone beat them one on one. Which is one of the reasons in deciding to hire a bowman of well renown. For long distance capturing purposes, if need be.” “ Yes, IF need be.” Wordplay sarcastically thinks to Loc mid way to completion of his third drink. “ Remind me to take a look at my equipment, and stock up on arrows and bolts before we leave on this job. At that one specialist shop with the handmaid I like.” Loc mentally replies back, while actually taking a slight glance towards Sir Wordplay’s direction. “ You’re gonna have to get use to being outside my-” “I know.” Wordplay replies somberly. “ Why do you think I am enjoying myself so much on the drink this morning? You know when I lived true life, I was never a drunkard like this. My hackles are straight up cub.” “ Yah.” Loc agrees his gaze back towards Chesterfield and Goody. “ It seems Chesterfield wasn’t lying about completion or death at all.”
Has used Cyber monday to buy some wavy new crocs, and a screen protector. #Winning
Loc King, first met in Chapter 2, part of the Felis species and Lionus tribe.
Starting the week strong here is chapter 3 of "The Emissary of Veritas." Last week introduced Goody, Loc King, and Sir Wordplay here, and this week continues the story with them. Strong language and adult situations below.
Chesterfield stands behind the bar, mixing up something special when he hears the joyful laughter of his wife from upstairs. A small grin graces his face. “Seems she’s been able to have her fill of fun tonight after all,” he ponders to himself while pouring the mixture into the 3 various sized mugs before him. Being the head butler of Queen Chersei is a full time job in itself, but at least a few nights a week one can find Chesterfield behind the bar of “Goody’s Bits for Tips” helping his wife, Goody. “Goody’s” is a chain of “barthels” all across Onyx, with the main hub in the Capital Kingdom Lagina Atlas first established around 50 years ago. While each of the 100+ locations are tailored for the area and clientele they serve, the basic layout is generally the same. The first floor holds the main bar hall and lounge, where people can drink, eat, and have themselves a generally good night. This is also where others working as companions can be found either enjoying themselves or being enjoyed by the customers interested in their services. "Goody’s" is a place known for its open mindedness, regardless of race or form. Once a patron’s type is found and the business portion is settled, they are led to the second floor, for a more intimate atmosphere. There are over 20 rooms to choose from- all soundproof, fully stocked, and with private bathrooms. All surrounding a magically sealed sauna area, where the real fun happens.
The third floor is where the companions and other staff live, as well as Goody’s office space. This floor magically compressed, so while the outside keeps the shape of the building, it’s usually three to four times bigger on the inside. This allows staff members to have personally sized rooms with a bathroom and balcony. The floor also includes a staff-only complimentary bar, lounge area with kitchen, garden area, and swimming hole.
The rest of the floor is solely Goody’s office space and home; in truth, her space is more of a large floor penthouse in another establishment than an office. Its desk is positioned looking east towards the Atlas Ocean, which the capital is partially named after. Connected to the office is the master’s suite, and while it’s smaller than Queen Chersei’s room, isn’t that much smaller. The room is filled with fabrics, trinkets from around the world, and furniture that just screams “lay in me and never want to get up again!” With a bed that seems to be made big enough for the mountain giants. Connected to the room isn’t just a bathroom, but an entire bath house. Across the hall from this area is a lounge living area looking out towards the ocean with a shaded balcony . In the middle of this small housed size area itself, is a dining room and kitchen with an island bar/counter separating it. The other side of the area are two guest rooms across from each other and hallway leading to an outside patio with Goody's private magical garden, and exercise area. The whole area is in shades of blue, black, and white with most areas open in the style of Onyxian design and vaulted architecture. In fact, there was only two doors in the whole area, the one leading into the office space itself, and a simple all white door that can almost be missed in the master suite. Assumingly for storage and such.
“Even though as head of the house for Queen Chersei we are given our own quarters in the palace, it is nice to have a place to call our own. Rarely that I am actually there…” Chesterfield thinks solemnly, just as Goody comes downstairs with Loc King and Sir Wordplay behind her. She smiles and slightly nods as she sees her husband in his favorite area in the whole building...well second favorite. Chesterfield nods back, falling always in love with his wife's smile even though he knows part of her happiness is from the mischief she participated in earlier. “Better them than I…” he thinks only half seriously. While she clears the ceiling wall coming down the stairs with no issue, Loc has a moment of serious contortion to make sure his head doesn’t smash the wall. Standing almost 7 feet tall and broad shouldered packed with muscle. Covered head to toe in a light brown and dark fur that signifies his Lionus tribe coming from the southern regions, most Onyx doorways are too small for his frame. With the addition of his long mane of locs, dark beard, and hands that could palm any regular mans head Loc was an intimidating being too see, as truthfully most Lionus are to the other species. The fact personality wise Loc was the exact opposite of his appearance was usually a shock for most people. It was in fact how Loc and Goody and by association Chesterfield became friends over 5 years ago. Apparently even in work situations usually involving violence as a for hire bowman and tracker, Chesterfield has heard his personality doesn’t change much, outside of the focus needed to do whatever he is assigned to do. And do it very well is his reputation, hence Chesterfield making the decision to hire him for the task at hand. Well him and his...sigh….”partner”.
Sir Wordplay being the ghost that he is, simply floats through the ceiling directly behind Loc, almost as if being pulled to follow. Similar in appearance enough to Loc to clearly be family, Wordplay was a little broader with dark and grey fur, see through as he is. Wearing (can ghosts actually wear anything...isn’t it all just... them?) a simple long tunic and cloak, he looks like the appropriate image that a respected Ancestral Spirit would be. Then, of course, he talks. “So who do you want us to kill, or fuck, for 5,000 Onyxians? Can I, er I mean Loc receive like discounts at all your fine establishments? Can we OWN one of them? Did Chersei finally hear of our prowess and has deemed us to be her official concubines?!” At the disrespect given to his queen Chesterfield sharply looks at Wordplay and with a calm but stern voice says “Apologize.” Goody makes a face of oooh shit looking back and forth between the two. Loc meanwhile, sidesteps to sit at the bar making sure to be completely out of the path of the look Chesterfield is giving Wordplay. “Uh, heh...apologies to the Queen Chersei, Chesterfield. Of course, a thousand apologies. You know my mouth even in death is known to cause trouble.” “Trouble I seem to always have to deal with...” mutters Loc as he lifts the glass nearest to him towards his mouth. “No disrespect meant at all, just the sum your wife spoke of has my mind reeling from the possibilities.” Wordplay states as he moves his beard to show his bare neck, lifting his head up in the Felis gesture towards apology.
Recognizing the importance of the gesture, Chesterfield nods deeply “Accepted and honored. Yet, for me to be perfectly honest, there is truth in Queen Chersei interested in retaining your services.” Loc jerks, spilling some of his drink upon his beard. “Cat’s paw elf! Chesterfield are you serious?! I knew the work would be for a serious backer, but the Queen! She knows about us!?” Chesterfield shakes his head firmly, “Oh absolutely not my guy. No, no , no, no, no. The Queen Chersei has no idea of your two’s existence, let alone your work reputation. I am tasked by her behalf to find suitable help for a situation, and entrusted with her sovereignty to make decisions on her absentia.” Loc looks from out the mouth of his mug, one of his eyebrows piqued up. “So you are voice, and ears on all decisions for this task, is that it? The Queen Chersei minus Chersei...Interesting.” “I see the focus towards a task others speak of. Definitely deeper than the stream seems to be.” Chesterfield thinks nodding approvingly of Loc’s quick understanding. “As such, gentleman. With that I offer you two said job. Understand two things. I will give you information as I seem fit to give you. That does not mean all the information, and even if you complete said task you may never know. Secondly, once you accept you are tied to this task, and only this task. You will either complete it, or you will die trying. There is no other options.” he places his hands, palm down, on the bar and looks at both Loc and Wordplay earnestly “That-that type of deal seems a tad more expensive than even 5,000 Onyxians. Each.” Sir Wordplay states while giving his great-great-great nephew a look of slight trepidation. Chesterfield bows his head deeply “My deepest apologies for the misunderstanding. The 5,000 Onyxians is just for accepting the job. Each day you work after you will have all expenses in the path of completion paid for by the crown. While earning 50 Onyxian coins on top a day.” he looks at Wordplay than Loc quickly “Each.” Wordplay starts smiling a toothy grin as his eyes start turning the brightest shade of green. “And yes Sir Wordplay, if you wish at the end, you could own one of “Goody’s Bits for Tips”. If you wish to ac-” “WE’LL TAKE IT!” Loc King says excitedly while grabbing Chesterfield’s hand and shaking it firmly. Chesterfield glances over at Goody, as he notices her trying her best to keep her demeanor civil. “The mischief demon is wanting to rear its head again it seems.” He thinks, with a small smirk showing up on his lips itself. “I’m glad you have accepted the job so eagerly. It soothes me to see such eagerness towards completing one’s future work. With this part behind us now, let us actually get to the task at hand, shall we?”
Waiting for all the men with locs to claim Lionus status after this lol.
Goody Winthrop, owner of "Goody's Bits for Tips".
Hey guys welcome to this week's continuation of "The Emissary of Veritas" ! Thanks so much for the positive love so far, and hope you enjoy chapter two! You can check part 1 here, starring the introduction of Queen Chersei and Chesterfield, the husband of Goody pictured above. Strong language and adult situations below.
Goody Winthrop stares down at the masses of bodies, sprawled around the room and along a bed not big enough to fit them all, and wonders how exactly should she handle this situation. As the Owner and Madame of the many brothels and bars (“barthels” for short) called “Goody’s Bits for Tips,” she is not unaccustomed to seeing certain things. But this? Well this is definitely a Top 5 moment. The center of the storm, so to speak, was a massive and very tall Lionus in deep slumber and snoring loudly. Lionus are a tribe and part of the feline-like people, known as Felis. They come in different shapes and sizes, similar to their smaller domesticated cousins. They, especially the males, are known to be the biggest of their people with long manes they tend to loc up and beards just as long. This particular one had his mane of locs and beard apparently occupied with the feet, or is it the hands, of the several species of women sleeping on top of him. One human woman seemed to have nestled in between the top of his mane and the headboard, like a little mouse. Her foot crossed over his chest and on top of the Onyxian curled deeply into his right shoulder. The Onyxian woman’s arm draped across his chest interlocking with another woman who twinned her position on the other side. Their positioning was actually quite ironic being that the two women were actually twins. Lastly, for the bed portion anyway, laid two dwarven women hugging each other and sleeping soundly. They found themselves occupying the space between the long legs of the same Lionus. Around the room in chairs, on the floor or even floating laid other women. Separate, together, of all shapes and types, using covers, clothes, books or whatever else to cover themselves as they slept. All of them naked, of course. “Bits and tips. This is a masterpiece of hedonism if I’ve ever seen one.” Goody thinks to herself. “I almost feel ashamed for waking him up, but I also can’t wait to see the look on his face when I do!” Deciding if it’s worth it to get the picture apparatus her husband built for her as a gift, she decides against it and will just savor this moment in her personal petty bank.
“AHEM!” as she clears her throat loudly. Not a body stirs. “Excuuuse me, heathen and heathenettes? Yoohoooo!” Someone stirs in the puddle of sin and lust but still no one awakens. Now annoyed by her polite approach of waking them up being ignored, Goody grins devilishly. Closing her eyes for a moment, she raises the pointer and middle finger of her left hand pointing them towards the ceiling. Maintaining this gesture, she spins them in a circular motion once and smirks. A second later, a large portal seemingly opens up over the bed and water from the warm bath she had prepared for herself earlier splashes over the bodies before closing. The Lionus, shocked awake from the water jumps up flinging the women on, over, and under him across the rooms, proceeding to hit his head on the roof above. “FUCK!” he yells as he lands back down in the bed rubbing the top of his head, naked, wet and confused as hell. He looks at the culprit of his personal hell, as the others in the room awaken themselves due to the chaos of the last few seconds. “So Loc, will that be coin or credit for your night’s adventure?” Goody says matter of factly. As she tries to not let a cheshire-like grin cross her face, she performs a quick hand spell that evaporates the water in the room before it does more damage than humor to her place of business. “What the hell do you me-!” Loc growls out before he realizes the complete scenery of naked sprawled bodies, moaning and shuffling as they all tried to get up. He then realizes he is not in the original room he is renting from Goody this week and, more apparently, that he is as naked as one covered in light fur can be. Quickly realizing the angle of his dangle is front and center of the proprietor of this fine establishment he resides in, Loc reaches for the pillow next to him and covers himself sheepishly. “Bits and tips, I should have gotten the device just for this alone!” Goody thinks as she tries to control the laughter inside her. “Just a few more minutes girl, just hold it in for a few more minutes.”
“This is NOT what it looks like Goody!” Loc King pronounces with one hand in front of him like he’s waving someone to stop. The other hand palms the pillow that keeps him modest. “Oh really?” Goody questions with a smirk. “Yes, not at all!” Goody proceeds to look at her two Onyxian twins as they help themselves out of the tangle of bodies they landed in as a result of Loc’s reenactment of the storm summer of 5 years past. “Lotus? Lavender? Is this what I possibly could think it is?” The twins look at their Madame and nod in unison. Lavender, or is it Lotus, then says, “Oh yes Ma’am. It’s definitely what you think it is...and has been for half the night if the dawn breaking is any indicator.” Loc, with this statement, sighs and simply hangs his head down in defeat, losing the battle before it even started. “Oooh kitty, don’t be upset. We enjoyed every moment of it immensely. It was the most fun we had in ages especially since we’re getting paid for it too!” innocently said to Loc by Lotus, or is it Lavender, as they both kiss his cheek. The twins pick up their clothes and almost on cue like the rest of the girls, quietly and quickly exit the room letting their boss and favorite new customer have some privacy.
“So.” Goody says while using her fingers to do the math “I counted a baker’s dozen of my girls. Five of them my top earners. For at least 3 hours in the Soldier’s Suite. With no protection from what I saw.” “Wait, a min-!” “Hush now darling, I am doing the math in my head. So like I was saying, with no protection, which as company policy states, I have to whip up a spell to do a blanket cure all, just in case. I’m sure you’re clean Loc. I trust you, but you know...company policy. What else? OH! How could I forget, the twins! Both of them together doubles their individual and group pay. We don’t kink shame here, but quality services, deserve quality prices! If we add it to the tab you left with me earlier tonight at the bar and the warm prepared bath you just to-” “YOU SOAKED ME!” Locs shouts incredulously. “Yes, pretty kitty, and with it being a spelled bath that once you are fully soaked in all ailments, dirt and sores from the day are removed, so you’re very welcome for that by the way. That leaves your total at….1,847 Onxyian coins. Whatever equivalent you have on your person in foreign coin we accept as well. We are a certified currency exchange for all major denominations around the world with just a small 5% fee.”
Goody looks at Loc with a smile on her face as she sees the number hit the Lionus like a siege battering ram against a flimsy door made of kindling wood. Loc becomes deathly silent, while his muscled furry chest starts rising as he breathes in and out as if hyperventilating. “Here it coooommmesss…” Goody mischievously thinks to herself, cupping her hands against her ears right in time. “WOOOOOORDPLAAAAAAYYYY!” Loc angrily roars, the look on his face making Goody glad it wasn’t herself his current mood was for. Lionus’ roars, when just used for communication between themselves, can be heard for miles easily on a quiet night. When a Lionus, like Loc King, roars out of anger for those not prepared, it’s a shockwave of primal force that has been known to turn the tide of battles more than once. “Welp, there’s definitely going to be some very pissed off people this morning. Thank the Dark Divine I am friends with Chersei or I could actually be in trouble here.” Goody muses to herself, right before a spectral figure seems to float from outside the second floor window into the room.
“Funny for you to call me, since I was just on my way back with the night being over” the ghost says nonchalantly. “Morning Goody, looking as lovely as ever.” “Morning Sir Wordplay, I would say you look almost alive...considering. Had a good night out I assume?” Seeing the wolfish grin on Sir Wordplay’s face at her observation, Goody coughs in her hand to hide the laughter coming forth. Meanwhile, Loc stares Wordplay down and yells “CAT’S PAW, YOU DID IT AGAIN YOU SELFISH BASTARD, DIDN’T YOU!? YOU WAITED UNTIL I PASSED OUT AND USED ME AS YOUR FUCKSUIT AGAIN! WHAT KIND OF ANCESTRAL SPIRIT DOES THIS TO THEIR DESCENDANT?” In a scary whisper, almost to himself, Loc continues “Do you have any idea how much you cost me tonight…? ONE THOUSAND, EIGHT HUNDRED AND FORTY SEVEN ONYXIAN COINS!! WHERE THE FUCK IN LIONUS BLOOD AM I GONNA GET THAT MUCH COIN?!” Goody, realizing Loc is likely to roar again, places a quick sound barrier spell around the room and magically floats a pillow towards Loc. He catches it in mid air and just pushes it against his face letting it block the roar he lets out. After 30 seconds, the roaring subsides and Goody hears a slight muttering covered by the pillow “ 1,847...1,847...1,847...I’m just gonna have to sell my body...”
At this Goody finally loses it and starts laughing as if all the laughter in the world is being funneled through her. As tears roll down her eyes, she quickly leans against the wall before she falls backward from laughter. Wordplay and Loc look at each other, then nervously at her. “Uh...Goody? Are you ok? “ Loc says with a level of concern and sweetness in his voice that Goody cherishes him and this whole night more for it. “Yes, my dear, this laughter makes me feel either you have lost your mind or maybe there’s a joke we are not fully aware of?” Wordplay asks quizzically. Goody, through the laughter, works on catching her breath amid the tears, finally able to compose herself after a minute or two. “Bits and tips I enjoy you two so damn much. You are never a disappointment in entertainment when this happens and it never gets old!” As she wipes the final tear from her left eye, she chuckles “Don’t ever change you two.” Loc realizing finally the turn of events this night, while mostly Wordplay’s fault, had a hint of the Kingdom’s renown mischievous and playful nature of Goody Winthrop, says hopefully “So you knew about this? This was all one of your jokes right?” Goody barks out a laugh almost as loud as before and just shakes her head “Oh fuck no, you definitely owe me my money. Luckily though, Chesterfield is downstairs waiting for you two with a job. From my understanding, if you accept it he’ll cover the costs of the night….and pay you 5,000 Onyxian coins extra. Each.” At the sound of “each,” Loc and Wordplay finally look like the family they are, with eyes as big as saucers with shock. “Best night ever!” Wordplay says with a huge smile gracing his face.
Recommends listening to Anita Baker in the morning for daily affirmations
I like to consider myself an artist. Or a creative person, when self-identifying as an artist seems to bourgeois. Yet honestly, between my work, volunteering, traveling, and this NJL life, I wasn't getting to create enough. It's why while working in Asia I was doing a lot of baking and creating recipes from scratch. Or taking more pictures, as ways to engage even a little bit my need to create.
Luckily enough in October I was able to do the #Inktober2018 challenge, where every day I had to draw something. For 31 days I was given a theme and drew something from that. I really loved it, and I don't want to stop creating so I decided to do another challenge for November. This time it wasn't a drawing challenge, but a writing one. Specifically to write a novel or 50,000 word equivalent. That's when the idea of "The Emissary of Veritas" came along.
Sir Chesterfield Winthrop the 3rd. A character in the story "The Emissary of Veritas"
For the next month and maybe longer if there's real interest for it, I will share a chapter or two of 'The Emissary of Veritas". It isn't going to be perfectly edited, but shout out to the few who do help do some light editing and insights. The characters and story are one's I have been wanting to bring to life for a while, intertwined with the NJL itself. From main characters, inside jokes, or even story beats, there's a bit of the League everywhere in this story. Hopefully I am able to write a novel in the next month, but if not at least enjoy this story from a humble heart. Strong language and adult situations below.
Emissary of Veritas