This post is part of the series Disputed Land Chronicles

Other posts in this series:

  1. Disputed Land Chronicles: Bartertown
  2. Disputed Land Chronicles: The Underworld
  3. Disputed Land Chronicles: Chaos

Out in the Chaos Prime Republic, many years ago, there was a shack in the desert. One night in a storm, as lightning and thunder rolled through the valley, a young couple gave birth to a baby. Just as the baby vocalized its first cry, the thunder and lightning died revealing a cloudless sky full of shinning stars. As if sent from the heavens, they named her Feleena.

When she was twenty, plagued by dreams she ran away from the shack leaving her parents to ask one another why she had fled. Truth be told, Feleena was tired of the lonely nights, poverty, grief and strife and decided to take destiny into her own hands. She had no idea where her final destination would be, but she knew that wherever she went it was where she belonged. She knew that she would find happiness, she would discover who she was. 

She spent a year in Mousillon, learning how life really played out. She discovered that her smile yielded fancy clothes, and most any man would throw themselves at her feet. She never went hungry, for there was not a meal that a man would not pay for, and there was not a dance that she could not hypnotize an audience with. She came to understand men, and regardless of who it was or where they came from, she treated them all the same. Her dark glossy hair was a rich as a fine wine, and nothing pleased the eye more then to behold Feleena.

Just as before, she became restless and left Mousillon for great adventure. On a train bound for nowhere, she met up with a man who suggested a far out place where none had seen the likes of her, he called it Bartertown. He told her that they never stopped dancing and the money flowed as bountifully as the whiskey. She commissioned a roamer to drive her to this mecca in the Disputed Lands, and made the three day drive to the forgotten place in the middle of nowhere. As the truck pulled into the dusty city, she could see the glow of a stadium, the bustle of inhabitants and a tumbleweed blowing around the vendor stands that lined main street.

She got a room at the Last Hope Inn and changed into form-fitting black satin dress before venturing out into the city. Every man stopped to stare, women gasped and children scoffed at the spectacle of such a rare and fine beauty. Women she talked to noted of her charm, and Feleena seemed to dance with laughter as she made her way to the biggest and brightest building on main street: Nancy’s Oasis Cafe.

Nancy’s Oasis Cafe was one place a nice girl would never be seen. Feleena knew the game, she knew that men would make fools of themselves at the thought of romancing her, and Nancy was wise to cash in on her luck. Nancy would pay Feleena to dance in her establishment exclusively!

A year or more passed and a young stranger came rumbling into town one day. She could see him through the glass as he parked his car and looked her way. His eyes lingered long enough for Feleena to stop dancing and take note but his attention was as quickly drawn to the stadium. A shout from outside quickly drew the patrons to the window and Feleena danced over to see what was going on. The handsome stranger was quickly brought low by a swarm of skaven and drug into the stadium. Feleena never knew that became of him, until that one day….

– – – – – – – – – – –

In through the doors came the stranger, haggard and disheveled but still the handsome stranger she glimpsed in the streets years ago. He was different, unlike the rest of the patrons. He had a far off look in his eyes, and at times seemed to be conversing with nobody in particular or perhaps himself. He nodded to the barkeep, who quickly gave him a mug – without charge and with shaky hands, and then he went to sit down in a dark corner by himself.

Feleena danced close to him and quickly sat down at his table. Nobody knew that was said between the two, but for the first time in many years, Nancy’s Oasis Cafe did not have a star dancer that night.

– – – – – – – – – – –

You’re a damned fool.

“I’ve been called worse. I’ve done worse.” he said to himself.

She will leave you, just like everyone else.

“You’re still here.” he replied, and for the first time in a long while he realized that he wasn’t under the influence of Cane’s drug concoction. He was able to distinguish the difference between who he was and who he had become, and more importantly who Feleena made him want to be.

– – – – – – – – – – –

For six weeks he spent every waking minute with her. He talked to himself less and to her more. People took notice…

“Wut des he think hez doing!” exclaimed Cane!

“Wez not sure,” replied Nitro.

“Hez obviouzly findz a cure to dez drugs!” Cane pondered.

The gathered rats looked at each other apprehensively, glancing back and forth as if looking for a place to hide.

“Uh bosz, wes thhhhought wes sttttopped that…cccuuuzzz wes dddoooing soo wellz ooon the fffff…fffield.” stammered a rat.

Cane drew a pistol and shot him dead. His face a crimson of rage and spattered blood.

“Get him, alive or dead! NOW!” he screamed, his language always clearer when he was enraged.

– – – – – – – – – – –

One night as he sat at his corner table in Nancy’s Oasis Cafe a group of three vermin scampered through the door. Tables flew and chairs crashed against the wall as they made their way towards the stranger. Reaching his table they threw it aside splashing his drink against the wall in a crash along with the table. The stranger smirked and stood up slowly as the three closed in.

When the dust settled, two of the vermin lay dead on the floor and the other could be seen limping away from the window he had been thrown through. He would be back, and with greater numbers. The stranger had to leave, so he ran through the back door.

Days passed and no sign of the stranger. Vermin roamed the streets and infested Nancy’s Oasis Cafe awaiting his return.

– – – – – – – – – – –

In the late afternoon, he walked into the street towards Nancy’s. Where he had been nobody knows, but his intent was clear: Feleena.

Runners came at him from both sides, nipping his ankles and raking his back. He stumbled but fought his way to Nancy’s front door. Feleena made a motion to run to him but he held his hand up, motioning her back. A swarm of vermin came at him from all sides; a mass of fur, fangs and claws descended on the stranger in one fell swoop. He was brought to the ground and buried under the undulating mass of vileness. Scraps of clothing and a few bits of flesh flew from the middle of the pile.

“Enough!” yelled the dwarf.

Cane walked up scene and the verminous horde dispersed, revealing a beaten and bloody mass of the stranger.

“Yous reala wuz a fool.” he said as he drew his pistol from his belt.

Cane cocked the hammer and fired a single shot into the mass before tossing the pistol aside and laughing.

“Iz guezz we needz a newz coach eh boyz?” he laughed as he turned away.

The mass snarled and jeered as they left the bloody scene and made their way back to the Thunderdome.

– – – – – – – – – – –

Feleena rushed to his side and knelt beside him. His warm blood flowed from the wound at his side and she raised his head to kiss him.

“Never forget me.” she whispered as she reached for the pistol laying in the dirt beside him.

Screaming in anger, she placed the gun to her chest and pulled the trigger.

Two bodies lay in a pool of blood in the middle of Bartertown.

– – – – – – – – – – –

The steady hum of the open road brought him out of his dream state. He groaned and reached for his side, his hand finding a tight fitting blood soaked bandage. The bright rays of sunlight beat into his eyes and he squinted to take in his surroundings. He could see open desert rushing by to his right and hot air blasted past above his head. A jolt of pain shot up his leg and he winced.

The hum slowed to a drone and the motion stopped. A thick cloud of dust came from behind him and rolled past obscuring all vision and making it harder to breath. When the dust cleared the stranger could see he was not alone. Another stranger sat to his left, behind the familiar steering wheel. In pain he blinked in disbelief.

Sitting behind the wheel was a face as familiar as the car that he now sat in. A wild look of adventure in his eye, a knowing smile on his face and the initials BCPH embroidered on his shirt.

“You look like you could use a drink,” said the driver.

– – – – – – – – – – –

Out in the Disputed Lands, whenever the wind blows, if you listen closely at night you’ll hear the wind sighing. Old folk will tell the tale of Feleena and how it is her voice crying for the stranger.

But when the wind dies another voice echoes off the canyons and dunes. No explanation is needed to comprehend the cry of agony that follows the wind:


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