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Roren Lion 2: Swordmarked

December 20, 2023
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After escaping from a life of captivity and torture at the hands of wicked and bewitched men who gave their lives for their crimes, Roren was delivered unto the islands. Some landlubbers who have never known time at sea are prone to seasickness, but the opposite was true for Roren, who suffered from an unquenchable landsickness. As a baby, she had been rocked to sleep each night by the gentle waves of the sea, and now as a young landbound woman, she could find no rest.

The voice of the lion stayed with her, like a stern teacher who always hovered over her shoulder, waiting for her to make a mistake. In her teenage years, Roren learned much, but she mostly learned to resent the lion’s lessons.

One windy evening, Roren crouched beneath a clumsy shelter that would crumble under a gust at any moment. She was playing a sad melody on her air harp as loudly as possible, in hopes of drowning out the lion’s voice. Her music had fed her these last few years. The lion always told her what songs to sing, and with her own mournful voice she had captivated the townsfolk in all the coastal villages–at least enough for them to toss some silver and food scraps her way each evening. Eventually she had saved enough silver to purchase the small and shiny air harp, the only item of true value Roren had ever owned. Satisfied that tonight the lion’s latest song would go unsung, she blew melodies without words into it as she waited for the sea wind to tear this week’s house down.


You are a stubborn girl.

Ha ha! To be honest, I have always valued that quality in you above all the others. Some may say that you have a poet’s heart, but they are speaking of my poems. Others may claim that you have a bardic gift, but it is the passion of your tempestuous life that captivates your small crowds. Men may call you beautiful, but only because their hearts are overcome with darkness. Beauty may surround you someday, but beware of beauty, for it is a great deceiver.

It was I who delivered you from the clutches of the pirate crew and the evil witch to whose rule they had succumbed. I taught you the songs you have sung for these past three years, and now you sit there, windblown and shivering, thinking you can ignore my voice? You are quite mistaken, child. My voice comes from within you, and should you drown it in sad melodies, it will simply drink them and become louder.

I have not yet told you this, but the witch lives. Other than yourself, she was the sole survivor. She could not use her wicked magic to spare the ship, but she was transported to her own version of safety just before the greater explosions began. In the years since, as you have scraped out survival with my help, her power has only grown, and the two of you will meet again.

I know your heart’s desire, child. You want to ride the seas, not as a prisoner, but as a commander. To say the chasm is wide between streetbard and naval commander is to discredit the architect of the world’s wonders. You have a long way to go, and you have much still to learn from my instruction. I will continue to protect you and ensure that you reach the place and time to which you have been promised. This is not a promise that I offer to you, but one that I offered to another long ago, one that you will meet someday if the wheels of time allow.

Yes, blow your airharp ever louder, softening every noise of the world around you and calling unwanted attention to yourself. Even now, three men are approaching with sinister thoughts. They have you surrounded, and one of them holds a rather fancy rapier. You will first listen carefully to me, then execute my orders.

Continue playing and looking at the ground until the first man lunges at you. You’ll see his shadow as he steps in front of the streetlamp, but do not move too quickly. From your crouched position, you will roll in a somersault directly into his drunken legs, causing him to topple to his right. His companion who approaches from your left will stop to laugh at this, revealing his position to you. The man behind you is the greatest threat. He is a skilled swordsman who was once exiled by Shakram’s personal guard; he means to skewer your calf so you cannot run. The three men have been planning this attack for several days.

No, child! Do as I say!

What are you doing?!


Raging with disobedience and hatred in her heart for the lion, Roren rose defiantly to her feet. In the fading light, she looked straight at the hooded face in front of her, fixing upon her own a seductive smile of beckoning. Tricked by her perceived willingness, he came quickly closer and grabbed Roren’s shoulders. With a sudden fury of strength and speed from within, she spun the man around and tripped him so he buckled forward.

The rapier wielding attacker had already begun his lunge, and his blade sunk silently into the hooded ruffian’s chest, killing him instantly. The second man appeared from the left; Roren quickly grabbed the handle of her iron cookpot and swung with full force, connecting with (and caving in) the right side of his face as the swordsman pulled his rapier blade from the first dead man’s chest.

The man held the rapier’s point an inch from Roren’s face and the two paused to catch their breath.

“I lost a bet to these fools, and I have no interest in hurting you,” the man said in a despicable and defeated voice. He continued as Roren stared down the blade of his rapier: “Still, you made a fool of Vonero and for that you deserve a punishment.” The rapier flashed and Roren felt a sting under her left eye. Then the swordsman laughed and backed away into the night.

The lion spoke.


Do not follow him or he will kill you.

You were foolish to ignore my instructions, child. Now you have been swordmarked.

Play Eternal Paradox

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Roren Lion 1: Crawl Forth

Coming Soon

Roren Lion 3: Feud or Famine