The battle had been harsh and quick. There had been no time for Beatrice to scream or fight back; three of her best men had been almost instantly subdued and shredded by the fabled White Tiger, and now she had been captured by the beast. Where was she being taken? She had heard legends of the White Tiger–her great grandmother once told a story to her village when she was a girl of six years, upon having seen it, when she was a little girl; but no one seriously believed it. Maybe that old codger, Sirial, but he was as daft as anyone. The last ravings of a near-insane old woman, nothing more–bless her heart (although she was a bit of a witch).

Beatrice had nearly forgotten that tale, it was merely the flotsam of a myriad of seemingly inconsequential childhood memories–her first kiss, being forced to drink yam-heart pudding on her 11th birthday, as was the custom, the subsequent throwing up–also part of custom, her first husband–whom she escaped from, her second husband–whom she poisoned (it was entirely a case of self-defense, she had maintained, before being exiled from The Mooring of Leering and all its villages, of which Renyur was one). And so it was a great surprise, shall we say, to suddenly see a blazing, near-albino beast waiting for them at the top of the difficult mountain pass they had just come out of after 6 hours of grueling climbing–the sight of which was enough to send her and her comrades into sudden shock–during which, their defenses were helpless, and well..

And Beatrice was helpless now. She stood solemn (if “stood” was the right word, which it wasn’t), her huge head attached to the back of the brutal, silent creature, which it had skillfully woven around its body with a cloth, merely using its mouth, as if it had done it a hundred times.

“And all this time,” she thought, “while the idiot elders were laughing about its existence and other ‘tall tales’ over their daily grog, He was sharpening his claws, carrying out who knows how many missions.”

A solemnity was carved into her face, and she thought of people she had not thought of in a long time, people she had deemed as pathetic and not deserving of anything more than her contempt, and a single tear, almost too small to see, fell from her left eye.

Its mission. Sudden awareness crept into her mind and she attempted to regain her composure along the bumpy, seemingly, ever-accelerating ride. The creature had known that she was a Detacher–kicked off her head instantly in the same way it nonchalantly broke the necks of her companions–but was careful not to inflict the slightest laceration upon her face. It was obviously planned, well coordinated, with plenty of advance-reconaissance–mission was the perfect description of what had happened–and she hated that word, in all its passiveness, yet she could not think of a better one for what had just transpired, and she held back further tears.

But why? She enumerated possibilities, sworn enemies (of which she had many), motivations, etc.  She searched her mind through rain, hunger, and lack of sleep, all the while on this terrible caboose, judged the position of the hills, stars, and moon, and the natural flora and fauna of the surrounding environment (which was of a lush, yet brackish nature–confusingly), and in the end, there was a single word left: Brimothir. She was being taken by the White Tiger (whose existence, up until several hours ago, was thought to be purely of a fictional, quasi-Grog induced state of  < 0.4 % probability, give or take a few micro percentage poiints)–to Brimothir.

But why? She didn’t know why, didn’t understand. But this was bad. Oh yes, this was very bad.