The harsh clipping sound of horse hooves upon uneven cobbles filled the air around the chestnut horse with its fur wearing rider. There was no hurry, no real effort was being made to make an appointment or reach a destination. The light gold of the rider’s hair gleamed in the steady sunlight that emanated down in shafts between thin and wispy clouds as peasants began to turn their heads her way. This rider was an interesting Nordling to be sure. A female rider clad it rings and chains the formed mail armor… the gleam of a well oiled sword attached to her back… the gore of a threatening handaxe that rested at her side. No, this was no normal rider…
The woman stopped in the middle of the bustling outskirts of Novigrad and stopped her horse at a hitching pole. With one graceful movement, she hit the ground with a thud. Her armor rang, and the strange buckler attached to her back clacked woodenly against her back. The pigments of the dye along it could easily remind one from Skellige of home, a truly Northern design. Pulling back her hood, she looked around with cold eyes and stern face. She looked as though she may be in her mid to late thirties, but the scars on her face and hands betrayed a more extended life experience.
The peasants began gossiping the moment she had pulled back her hood. It was only natural, even more so in the case of a well armed woman coming from the roads that led to the Northern provinces. Her horses’ saddle was ornately made, displaying colors of Kovir and Poviss. The furs adorning her armored form appeared to be originating around different beasts. Several goat furs, hare furs, and one massive bear fur that slid down her back. One of the farmers grew bold, curious as to the traveller that had entered the village.
“Welcome, welcome!” He shouted, extended his hands out to either side in the gesture of a hugging motion. Surely, he thought, a woman with arms and armor would have wealth to spend if she were only somewhat encouraged. “What is it that you seek in Novigrad? Surely you come due to…” He stopped, frozen by what his eyes were taking in. He had grown close enough to see… see the yellow of her eyes. The vertical pupils filled with black that would remind anyone of a cat… or a monster.
The woman gave little notice to him, and even less when he stopped his conversation. She tied her horse, clearly a stallion, to the hitching post and turned toward what appeared to be a well used and well loved tavern on the other side of the dusty road. Walking across and pushing open the battered wooden door, the woman looked to either side, noticing that she had gained the immediate attention of the entire establishment nearly.
Instead of apologizing or greeting them, she sauntered to the bar. It was simple, as was much here. The building was made mostly of stacked logs and the interior was incredibly wooden and filled with two fires for warmth and cooking. The twisted hardwood that made up the surface of the bar was beautifully shined by the peasant that stood behind it. He immediately made note of the sword on her back and the axe at her hip.
“What’ll it be?” He asked in a monotonous tone that had been said by him nearly a thousand times in just this spring and early summer. The woman approached closer, putting a hand on the bar and looked at him with her yellow hues. “I’m looking for work…” She muttered softly. “I’m a Witcher.” The barkeeper opened his eyes slightly but didn’t remark as he noticed two men behind her stand up.
“What’s all this then?” The burliest of the two said. The smaller one, chicken necked and scrawny let out a mean spirited cackle before commenting as well. “Ain’t ever heard o’ no Lady Witcha’s before… ‘ave you?” He looked to his friend who shook his head and put his hands on his sides. “Nope, not ever. Sounds like some foolish wench to me who has a death wish…” He commented before putting a hand on her shoulder.
The agile and fluid movements were lost on the two of them as the ornately painted buckler swung off of her back and with the force of a horse, hit the largest man square in the face with the steel boss at the center of the shield. The man crumpled, falling to the ground, out cold. The second man wasted no time in letting out a warcry and attempting to attack with the small dagger that was in his hand. The shielded woman man no effort in smacking the attack to the side before pushing into him with a force that sent him back onto the table, cracking one of its legs and forcing the the man to fall to the ground.
The witcher took a moment to survey the damage before returning the shield to her back and reached up to her neck, pulling out a silver chain with a roaring bear maw upon it. She turned back to the barkeeper and displayed the medallion triumphiantly. “I am going to sit by that table over there… I wish for you to bring a me a drink… and then I wish to know if there are any jobs that pay coin in the area….”