Welcome all you disillusioned, disenfranchised, and faithless warriors. If you’ve ever suffered loss, you may be able to relate to my special guest, Kira Grasdon. “Welcome to the show, Kira.”
“Thank you for having me. It’s kind of surreal being here after hearing so much about the experience.”
“My bio says you were a successful business woman. What can you tell us about the Grasdon Merchant House?”
“To be fair, I wasn’t as successful as people think. My father built up the family business and made it an international trading power. We dealt in goods from every continent, which not many merchants could claim. My brothers and I were the successors, but I was the only one left after we were targeted by my fiancée’s enemies. That left me in charge and I didn’t do half bad considering everything else. Being trained as a warrior and more traveled than most of the prissy nobles, I was able to be more hands-on. I enjoyed going on the shipping voyages a lot because it meant less time traversing the desert. Be nice to get back to that life, but I don’t think I’d fit in there anymore.”
“Sounds like a pretty cush deal to me, but at some point you got to feeling adventurous. Where did that lead you?”
“All of that came from Luke Callindor who is one of the great heroes of Windemere. He was a foolish forest tracker that lied his way into an adventure at Hamilton Military Academy when I met him. I never had much ambition beyond taking over the family business, but he had this drive and wanderlust that . . . Well . . . You tend to adopt some of the traits of the person you love. I trained to be a better warrior, so I could join him in his adventures even though he was following a destiny. Last thing I wanted was to become dead weight and I would like to think I succeeded. I didn’t get to do a lot with Luke and our friends, but I did enough. Even got myself involved in the big battle against Baron Kernaghan, which is not a place you would expect to find the spoiled daughter of a famous merchant.”
“So hanging out with that crowd, you probably picked up some skills along the way.”
“Most of my training was done on my own while the champions continued following their destiny. I made sure to be stronger and better than the last time we met. I did learn a few things from Luke like remaining fluid in battle. People might say I was only staring at him because he practices without a shirt, but I was studying his moves. I mean, we were engaged, so I’ve seen him in less. Anyway, I use a kusari-gama, which is a chain and sickle commonly found in Bor’daruk. Being about to almost dance while fighting works amazingly well for this weapon.
“Another skill I picked up is planning ahead, which is something I already knew for business deals. This might be more of a transference if you think about it. I’d like to thank Luke for this, but it was really Sari. We were rivals for Luke and I may have gotten a little too aggressive at some points. I purchased gear and some heat elemental blood to counter her ice and water powers. If things went differently then it would have been a really nasty fight and one of us could have been killed. Thankfully, I caught up to her at a time where she wasn’t exactly at her best and I had to waste everything to help her. Come to think of it, I don’t seem to do much planning ahead these days. Just barrel right in and whatever happens is the hand I’ve been dealt.”
“Sounds kind of reckless to me. There’s something to be said about planning.”
“By the time the champions challenged Baron Kernaghan, Luke was the only family I had left. We weren’t married, but we had started making plans. I dreamed of the day we were husband and wife even on the morning of that battle. Then . . . he disappeared in the aftermath. He made one last mistake and got taken from me. All of Windemere thinks Luke Callindor died of his injuries, which were severe. I know he’s out there somewhere and his supposed friends know it too. He may have been badly hurt, but he’s come back from worse. Yet, all those who called themselves his friends believe he died and wouldn’t support the only loved one he left behind.”
“But you think Luke’s alive somewhere. Have you looked for him?”
“I tried to find him, but nothing worked. I bought every scrying tool that I could find and hired every seer that came by. I don’t know why it didn’t work. He’s out there somewhere. Maybe he’s protected by a relic or a spell that shields him from scrying. It would have to be very powerful like made by a god or . . . It doesn’t matter.
“My business partners got fed up pretty quickly because I developed a negative reputation. It was said that I went mad with grief, which isn’t entirely true. I was hurt and grieving, but I wasn’t insane. Still, I wasted enough money and ignored the business enough for my partners to push me out. Everything my family created was gone, including the manor and wealth that was claimed as company property. I had nobody left and ended up on the streets of Gaia, which meant my search for Luke had to stop.”
“So without your business obligations, what have you been doing?”
“Not what one would expect from a former member of the noble class. I was starving and sick, with nowhere to live. Lady Dawnlove found me and took me in. She’s the Madam of a brothel, which is a legal and regulated business in Gaia. I’ve lived and worked there for the last year.”
“No, really? I mean that red stripe is probably attractive to a lot of guys, but you can do better than that.”
“What? No, I could never do that. I really don’t like being touched that way since it reminds me of Luke. Nobody wants to sleep with a woman who cries from a hug. I run errands during the day like picking up food and clothes for the others. At night, I tend the bar and take orders for the kitchen. If there’s any trouble, I handle it. My warrior training comes in handy when someone becomes trouble. They never expect someone built like me to be a threat, which is why I’ve never lost a brawl. Well, the kusari-gama and its strength enhancer helps.”
“Whew. So when payday rolled around, did you keep looking for Luke?”
“I don’t know where I would start with that. I would never be able to afford anything that could pierce whatever is hiding him. So, I just found something else to do. I was told that Lacarsis is on the move and Lady Dawnlove was saying that I need to move on because I’m meant to be more than a brothel girl. Going into a city full of monsters that nobody has ever come out of alive doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Either I’ll find a new purpose in life or I’ll die. Both scenarios work for me.”
“Do you have a team?”
“I went in alone because I don’t know anybody worth taking. I made some friends inside Lacarsis though. Sort of. There’s Roland Gauntlier who attended Hamilton Military Academy with me. Seems he got scared and begged for his life, so the demon in charge kept him as a handyman. He can’t do much for me because he has to stay neutral, but it’s nice to talk to another human. Roland introduced me to Hyde the crafter gremlin. That’s not really a friendship though. He makes magical gear for me while I fight the monster champions. I don’t really understand why he’s sided with an adventurer, but I get the feeling that he doesn’t like the Shadow Earl.
“Then there’s Rayne. Where to even start with her? Apparently, the Shadow Earl’s game involves giving each adventurer who survives the first test an attendant. I was given this elf who can’t be older than sixteen and apparently grew up in Lacarsis. Her parents abandoned her or something, so she’s been raised by monsters. Rayne is sweet and helpful at times, but she’s so quick to accept punishment even if I’m not angry. The Gooie Pig that follows her around is a pain too. It’s this slimy pig that eats everything and makes a mess of the sheets. Still, having her as an attendant beats being stuck with a savage beast that will probably attack me in my sleep. I thought Rayne might be that at first, but you really can’t fake the level of . . . I don’t know how to explain her. Kind of creeps me out at times with the way she suggests punishments and apologizes without reason.”
“So is this like sneaking around and looking for Walkers?”
“Not sure what a Walker is, but I did think it would be sneaking and fighting throughout a monster-infested city. Turns out the Shadow Earl gets bored and uses all adventurers who enter his city as competitors in this tournament. I haven’t figured out the rules, but we’re randomly called to fight these champions. These would be monsters instead of the human ones that fought Baron Kernaghan, which confused me at first. Anyway, we get summoned to an area to fight and it’s shown to the populace. That or we’re jumped in public, but that might just be me because I’ve gained the Shadow Earl’s attention. He thinks I’ll be the first to earn a right to face him in combat, which is something that hasn’t happened in centuries. Like I said before, if it happens then I’ll do it.”
“So the prize for winning all those fights is to get into another fight? Maybe you should have entered a drinking contest or something.”
“Not much into drinking these days since it makes me moody. I don’t really mind the fighting because I lose myself in the violence. Just pushing to survive and seeing if the next move will be the one that gets me killed. Since I don’t care if I live or die, I dive right in and follow my instincts. Do I care if I face the Shadow Earl? Not really, but I won’t back down. Luke never did and I refuse to be weak. Maybe winning this thing will make me strong enough to travel the world in search of him or there could be a monster that’s run into him. I mean, it’s more likely that I’ll die since lifelong adventurers have been killed here and I’m only a former merchant playing hero. At least, the pain would go away if I die.”
“Should I put twenty bucks on you? Do you have any closing remarks for our listeners?”
“Best not to bet on someone whose apathetic to their own fate. I mean, it does seem to give me a suicidal edge as a few people have pointed out. The monsters aren’t used to someone being this aggressive, so I might get further than I expected. People should check this out and see how things turn out. I’ve been told my fighting style is very entertaining due to the high amount of action and destruction. Somebody once said they’re like what you see in movies, but I don’t know what those are.”
“You can read all about Kira and the City of Lacarsis in the book Quest of the Brokenhearted, by Charles E. Yallowitz. I’ll post all the purchase links and stuff after I go off the air today.
“Charles is a super supporter of this show, and may have reblogged every show I’ve ever broadcast. Today is your turn to give him a little of that support back. Pick up the book, leave a review, use those sharing buttons. Charles has done it for you, and you’d want people to do the same when your character appears on the next, Lisa Burton Radio.”
From the pages of ‘Legends of Windemere’
As Windemere moves forward, a broken spirit falls into the shadows.
Two years have passed since Luke Callindor was lost during the champions’ battle against Baron Kernaghan. Many mourn the loss, but none have been hurt more than the fiancée he left behind, Kira Grasdon. Plagued by grief and determined to prove he is alive, she has sacrificed her business, her reputation, and her hope. Surviving on the streets of Gaia, she has become an emotional husk of her former self. It is only by chance that Kira crosses paths with an old friend and learns of a path, which will either end her suffering or revive her shattered soul. As the rumors state, hundreds of adventurers have flocked to Lacarsis and none have returned.
Will Kira meet her death in the City of Evil or will she thrive among the monsters?
Quest of the Brokenhearted link- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F5V3CT5/
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Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.