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Jigsaw Piece (standard:fantasy, 1119 words)
Author: SalamanderAdded: Oct 04 2000Views/Reads: 3297/2204Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
More Canor and Silvire, giving a bit of background on the world. Not much, but some.

Canor and Dutch walked into the tavern side by side, and took two seats
at the main bar. 

The Gate had it’s own bar called Tyforcm’s, and no one knew who the
original Tyforcm was. But it was a friendly place for general 
conversation, despite the few bizarre people that always gathered at 
the back table. In fact, it had something of a reputation for 
instigating fights and arson. Usually, the instigators weren’t drunk. 

The bar itself had a pale wood floor and ceiling and dark wood walls,
giving it an interesting effect. It was a vague square, with a third of 
the bar devoted to the drink bar, while the rest of it was well-spaced 
tables. The back table was never unoccupied, much to the general dismay 
of the other patrons. 

Dutch greeted the bartender with demands for vodka, while Canor sat back
in the chair and looked around. It wasn’t quite full, but still fairly 
crowded. Just the optimal for conversation. He addressed the Fox Kin 
next to him. “What’s the word on the wars in the normal world?” 

He spoke slightly too loud, because the entire tavern turned silent and
gazed at him. The fox blinked, and stared. Canor was beginning to feel 
like he had a knack for being the center of attention... Finally, Dutch 
spoke. “You’re the one down there, don’t you know?” 

“Of course I know, Dutch! I just kind of want to hear the general
perspective on things.” 

Screams from the back table, mostly of pain, although there was a hearty
chuckle as well. Canor resisted the urge to look back. “Well, that’s 
easy enough to give. It seems that the big guys, like Wildfire, the 
Screamer horde, Bleak, and Junik are all duking it out between them. It 
gives the underdogs a fighting chance! Three cheers for the 
Alchemists!” Dutch seemed rather cheery about everything, as usual. 

The entire bar, except the back table, chanted. “Hip hip, hooray! Hip
hip, hooray! Hip hip, hooray!” Canor blinked and turned to Dutch as the 
bar resumed the usual conversation level. 

“What was THAT?” 

Dutch gave his barking laughter. “Everyone loves the Alchemists! They’re
an unbelievably small faction, probably no more than 100 people, in one 
town, in the dead center of everything. They opened up right in the 
middle of Junik territory, and after the first few assaults made by 
Junik forces, they’ve come to a peace treaty.” Dutch guzzled his vodka 
down as it arrived, and ordered some ale for both him and Canor. “Hope 
I’m not being too much more assuming than you can stand?” 

Canor laughed. “No, you know me too well. Thanks. But why didn’t Junik
annihilate them? Aside from the Screamers, and they don’t count because 
they get all of their power from numbers, the Juniks control the 
largest armed force in the continent!” 

Dutch snatched a nearby person’s drink without them noticing, and
finished it before they did. “That’s part of it. The Junik emperor was 
in a screaming rage after his first attack failed, he nearly beheaded 
all the Samurai survivors...” Dutch made a grab for both ales as they 
came, but Canor managed to snatch his before the black hole known as 
Dutch got a hold of it. He drank it slowly as he continued to inquire. 

“But why? 100 people versus 300 or more of the best Samurai warriors?

“They have amazing devices, that’s why! There are reports that they can
make water fly through the air, make the earth open up beneath enemies, 
send huge rocks toppling down on them, make –“ 

Canor laughed at the enthusiastic Dutch, who was gesturing wildly to
accompany his speech. “Okay, I get the idea! That’s amazing... Maybe I 
should visit them soon.” 

A long wail from the back interrupted anything else Dutch had to say,
and a huge Pigeon Kin from the back table took out a huge halberd, 
slicing someone nearby into several pieces. Canor’s sword was 

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