Sprawling metropolis of second-hand timber, with windows lined with stolen silks for screens, towering high up to the reject-wall above us—Elysium was our citywithin-a-city, built with our own hands. The folks up in Eden, Tynan’s hightown, thought we didn’t have much down here. My people did a damn good job at acting the part: they walked around wearing torn-up shawls and hoods to protect themselves from the heat waves.
They sat around like hoodlums on the filthy streets of Kin and Brood, picking at their soiled fingernails, scratching at the ground; tweaking for a hit. They got into fights in the nearest bar; smashing machetes into whoever fucked them over—well, that might’ve been for a real reason. They begged the temple knights on-watch down here for coin and food, knowing the scorpions wouldn’t show them any decency. Scorpions, we called them—it was for anyone from Eden who came crawling down to the heat down here for whatever reason. We made sure the scorpions didn’t figure out the truth: that we all had it made down here without breaking the law. Most of the time.
Vassago was my homely headquarters at the center of it all. My gang was in charge of keeping everything in order down here. From here I had a view of the rising stone bridge leading up to the rest of Tynan. Dozens of temple knights were stationed there, shooing away any small groups of people who wanted to pass through. Behind their backs, my bandits snuck through to the scorpions’ outpost, nicking all kinds of knick-knacks and weapons to sell on the black market.
The Scorpion’s Empress Description:
After years of serving a corrupt government, Ser Videl, an idealistic paladin, learns that her younger sister is tangled in a dark scheme against Raj Mangala, the compassionate yet troubled empress of the city’s oppressed lowtown; the two women meet and are deeply drawn to one another, finding a shared sanctuary in their violently-divided city.
Videl’s loving devotion is just what Raj craves, but Raj is wary of letting her guard down while protecting her throne. Determined to prove her worth, Videl chases after Raj and works to unravel the mystery of the plots against the empress. Raj wants Videl to serve her emotional and sexual needs, and the two explore a meaningful relationship of dominance and submission that delves fully into their deepest wants. When the conspiracy against Raj comes to a head, Videl’s loyalties are tested when she is forced to choose between her past and her empress.
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