The Reward for a Job Well Done - Casual


Hestia of the Hearth
Margaret watched the last of them reach the edges of the meeting-place. A gentle tilt of her head brought the black cloak hood over her eyes, shift of her arms covered her hands, a whispered small-spell blended her in with the wall behind her.

To be invisible, don’t move, she had taught many a youngster.

Some of them were about to look back, and she would be gone. The legend would thrive.

She could still feel the touch of their hands - gang leaders, thieves, pimps, swearing fealty to her and to the treaty it had taken nine months to forge. Margaret chucked silently at the gestation parallel. She could still feel the touch, also, of two perfectly placed daggers, of four trusting children’s hands, of foreign coins. Her nobles thirsted, as parched for order as the king’s court - and she, in contrast, could deliver on promises. A word or two, a favor, a missing heir and lever, a meal for the starving, a show of respect for the hopeless - these were her tools, more powerful than the sword or law. It was she who had rescued her city from war, pillage, degeneration. She was Badonica’s shadow queen, and moved now slowly and quietly through the streets toward her anonymous rooms above the Mertcian bakery.

Something glowed in the street. A person glowed: in the middle of the street at an impeccably laid tea with shining, snow-white linens sat a glowing white person. The table was set for two and no one else riding, walking, lurking the wee hours of Horswel Street acknowledged its presence - not a glance, not a step to the side, simply missed it by inches.

Margaret approached and the shining one in white looked up. “Are you Death?” asked the mortal one in black.

“I am,” replied the woman, whose eyes were a pale lavender, “but that is not relevant at this moment. Do join me.”

Margaret waited, ascertained that no compulsion had been laid on her, and perched in the second scroll-back chair.

“You have worked an impossibility here.”

Margaret only nodded.

“This is not the only place that suffered in the war. Your touch is needed elsewhere.”


“Godmount. We fought, we died, we did… much worse than that to each other and to the mortals. The City of the Gods is a ruin, body and soul.”

Margaret blinked. Calculated. “I would have to have autonomy,” she said.

The shining woman poured tea. “I can see that. But there is much for you to know, things we need to tell you. I-”

“And I would have to have parity.”

Apparently Death was unused to interruptions. She closely scanned Margaret’s weathered face and silvered temples. “Yes. You have a snowball’s chance, which is better odds than I have seen elsewhere. You would have full standing among us.” She poured the second cup and let the mortal choose her cup and saucer. “What will you be goddess of?” She offered honey.

Margaret accepted, and spooned a small amount into her tea. "I am Night.”
I am not sure why but this reminds me of an old movie about a knight who is returning from the crusades and plays a game of chess with death. Good stuff I wanna read more.