Igmar sneered coldly beneath her cowl as the three greenhorns made their way across the bridge toward her. They looked dazed, confused, and thoroughly miserable. Perfect clay to be molded.
"I see you have finally decided to wake up," the woman said coldly. "Do you remember your names, or should I just assign you numbers so I can keep you straight?"
"My name is Jerea," answered the first to cross the bridge.
Jerea was a tall, spry young woman with short cropped blonde hair and pale skin. She was garbed in a white and blue tunic and soft brown boots. She smiled warmly at Igmar as her bright blue eyes cast about the area.
"You said that we'd be given gear soon, right?" Jerea asked.
"After introductions," Igmar replied quickly.
"Hi everyone, my name is Saitomi," said a lanky young man.
Saitomi was a ruddy skinned youth with long black hair and dark eyes. He was garbed in a black leather jerkin, matching trousers, and tall black boots. Igmar nodded to him curtly, then turned her eyes on the third member of the group.
"My name is Ree Aper," the cross-looking young woman said. "I hate starting at level one ..."
"Get over it," Igmar grumbled. "Your appearance please."
"Oh, right," Ree said. "Here, you can read it."
Igmar sighed and rolled her eyes, then stammered incoherently for a moment. She stomped her foot angrily and pointed a long finger at Ree.
"Really?" she snapped. "THAT is what you look like?"
"Yep," Ree answered smugly.
"Black hair," Igmar listed off, "skanky dress. Big boobs."
"I hate low level game play," Ree said. "If I survive past level five I'll bother with more detail."
"Whatever," Igmar grumbled. "Anyway, the three of you are here because you are in need of rehabilitation. You three were badly wounded in the last war, and your memories taken from you."
"Wait, we're war veterans and we're level one?" Ree questioned suspiciously.
"Your memories and experiences were taken from you," Igmar repeated. "Get it?"
A blank look crossed Ree's face for a moment, then she nodded in understanding. Satisfied, Igmar continued.
"There will be a ship departing for the mainland in three days time," Igmar said. "Why not enjoy your stay for a while? I guarantee that you will find plenty to keep you busy until the ship is ready."
"Do we have to pay for our boat fares?" Jerea asked.
"No," Igmar answered. "Your passage has already been paid for."
"By whom?" Ree questioned.
"I cannot reveal that information to you," Igmar said cryptically. "However, I can provide each of you with a weapon. Wild animals and other dangers are not unknown on this little island, so it would be wise to arm yourself. What weapon would you like?"
"I want a sword, please," Saitomi replied brightly.
Igmar nodded, reached into a small black bag tied to her belt, and withdrew a thick longsword far too large to be contained in such a small bag. Saitomi took the blade from her with wonder in his eyes.
"I think I'll be creative," Jerea laughed. "I'll take a ... um ... oh, I'll take a maul."
"What's that?" Ree asked quietly.
"It's like a big hammer, I think," Jerea whispered.
Igmar nodded and procured a massive stone mallet from her magical bag and handed it to Jerea. Ree folded her arms over her chest and nodded toward Igmar's bag.
"I want that," Ree said, indicating the bag.
"No," Igmar said flatly.
"Bah, fine ... I'll take a dagger, I guess," Ree muttered. "I don't plan on attacking anyway."
"You don't?" Saitomi asked concernedly.
"Of course not. I'm a sorcerer," Ree answered.
Igmar sighed and procured a long black knife from her bag. Ree shrugged and put the knife in her belt. After sheathing his blade, Saitomi grabbed Ree and Jerea by the hand.
"Come on," he said excitedly. "Let's go exploring!"
Saitomi pulled them along behind him, ignoring their protests. Igmar watched as they ran off into the distance. She laughed coldly when she saw what direction they were going.
"Those fools are headed right for the watchtower," she murmured. "All according to plan."