It’s art time!
I was really looking forward to making this post, because I commissioned art from a very cool artist, Laya Rose. Of three lovely characters from City of Spires, typically called “The Halfies Trio.” Yep, they’re such tight friends they even have an in-universe nickname! So first of all, here is the awesome result!
From left to right, you have:
Hasryan, AKA Sassryan, whose job as an assassin may have left more than a few scars on his body.
Cal, AKA absolute ball of adorableness, holding the melted coin that serves as his holy symbol for Ren, the bigender luck demigod.
Larryn, AKA the grey-ace rage baby, probably too young and volatile to be in charge of a whole homeless shelter, but life has its ways, and there’s not a better cook in town.
Curious about why they’re called The Halfies Trio? Guess what? I have anexcerpt under the read more!!
Hasryan grabbed the mug and was about to stand when a nasal voice hailedthem from behind.
“Well, well, well … look at that. Half-drow, half-elf, and halfling. They should call you the Halfies Trio. All halfway to being worthwhile.”
The brilliant gem of wit had been brought by a snide, twenty-something human noble—Drake Allastam, heir to the second most important family in Isandor. The arrogant asshole had trimmed dark hair, a long straight nose and a pointed chin. He kept his hands on his thigh and his chest puffed out, putting forward his family’s crest for all to see. This little shithead had harassed Larryn for as long as Hasryan had known him. Whenever he could, Drake followed them around, throwing uninspired insults and trying to provoke Larryn into a fight—which worked more often than not. The noble had his usual goons just a step behind, rippling muscles waiting to be put to good use. Hasryan knew he shouldn’t answer the bad joke, but he couldn’t help himself. He’d had enough of Drake’s smug smile and constant taunts.
“You know what? You’re right. Without the human half giving me awful things like a conscience, I would be a lot greater. Perhaps I should give in to my bloodthirsty scheming impulses more often. Like … right now.”
Hasryan’s answer did knock his smirk down a peg, but the young noble flicked two fingers and his two goons drew closer. Larryn’s face had grown an ugly red, and his hands bundled into fists under the table.
“Halflings aren’t even half a race,” he said. “They’re just small. Why don’tyou take your half-assed insults elsewhere and stop harassing me? Haven’tyou done enough?”
Drake leaned forward and snorted. “I do what I want. But I guess you have a point about your friend. Wouldn’t call him small, though, considering his width.”
Hasryan sprung to his feet, his chairs falling with a clang, and grabbed the front of his rich doublet. Alone, he might have resisted the impulse. He knew his friend, however, and he’d only been a second faster than Larryn’s punch. No one insulted Cal in front of them. There wasn’t a single person in this city more generous with his time and luck, more open-minded and kind-hearted. The halfling might be the luckiest soul to walk these bridges, but he shared ever little bit of it. He had gone out of his way to earn Hasryan’s friendship, and that wasn’t something the half-drow would soon forget.
“What is it, drow?” Drake said. “Don’t think your friend can take a blow? He has all the fat he needs to cushion it.”
Hasryan’s twisted his grip on the doublet with one hand, curling the other into a fist. Cal grabbed his arm right away.
“It’s okay Hasryan. Let it go. I don’t care.”
He might not, but that was only part of the point. This little shit followed Larryn everywhere, mocking him, laughing at their rage. He thought his noble title made his invincible—that because he was Lord Drake Allastam, no one would dare touch him. Everyone knew he’d killed the Shelter’s previous owner, even if Larryn never talked about it. Hasryan wanted to teach him alesson. He took a deep breath, unwound his fist. A soft, self-satisfied laugh crossed Drake’s lips.
Hasryan grabbed his clothes with both hands again, and pulled Drake to him. He smashed his forehead hard into the noble’s nose, enjoying the cracking sound it made. Blood gushed out of it, staining the half-drow’s white hair inred. His victim stumbled back with an outraged cry and tried to staunch the flow. Hasryan grinned. He could tell Larryn was trying hard not to laugh.