Morgan Banebringer sat at her usual table in the corner of her tavern, her claws tapping slowly on the dark wood, making ripples dance through her drink. Her chin rested in her other hand, and her usual annoyed look schooled her features. Because of that, no one dared to look in her direction, knowing the Banebringer hated to be disturbed by commoners and peasants. She was, however, known for wanting their money. That being the only reason she owned this tavern, named as much as The Gold-digger Inn.
Yet, while no one seemed to purposely anger her, she felt the familiar irritation creep up her spine. On the table next to her, a group of men talked in hushed voices, but they did not realize there were little her ears did not catch on to. The human men at her tavern had been talking about the blind faerie for weeks now, wondering why she was headed towards Unlatta, their small town in the outskirts of The Cursed Woods.
“They say she’s looking for someone,” the youngest man said with great eagerness in his voice. “But no one knows who, because she refuses to tell.”
“I heard she is more beautiful than the stars,” a man with one wooden leg grinned. “A true goddess.”
Morgan growled, revealing her canine teeth before lifting the glass to her lips. Her drink burned pleasantly in her throat, making pleasure ripple through the very core of her soul. Fae-blood mixed with Black Root was such a rare, but so welcome treat.
“D’ya kno’ what she wants?” the drunkest of them said, with his glass clutched in his fat grip.
“Nah, she’s keeping her cards close to her chest,” the one-legged man shrugged his shoulders. “But, apparently she seems to be nuts. No one can really get a clear answer out of her, it’s like she’s cursed or something.”
Morgan scoffed to herself, and suddenly, the men realized she had listened in on every single word they had said. Tension fell over them, and the smell of fear filled sweat reached her.
“Curses?” she dug her claws into the table and drew an irritated breath. “What do human scum such as yourself know about curses?”
None of them replied as she stood from her chair, revealing her hourglass-shaped body. Their jaws dropped slightly as they took in her light brown skin, piercing red eyes, and long, long white wavy hair. Silence settled over the tavern, and every single human held their breath.
Curses this, and curses that, she thought before giving them an evil grin.
Their throats bobbed as they swallowed nervously, and she slowly walked over to their table while clicking her claws together. Everyone at The Gold-Digger In paid attention, although everyone did their best to conceal it. This was why they came here, to get a look at her, and to see if the rumors of her nature were true. At the moment, no one seemed to believe otherwise.
“How about you?” she asked, placing a long sharp claw underneath the chin of the youngest man. “Do you believe in curses?”
“I-I don’t k-k-know,” he replied nervously as a drop of his blood ran down her finger. “Y-yes. N-n.o.”
With a growl, she released his chin and looked around the tavern with burning eyes. Filth. So easily broken, and so treacherous. All of them. Anger roared underneath her skin and a surge of power started to build in her chest. It took control over her, rendering her unable to stop herself.
“All of you, out!” she shrieked before piercing the table with her claws, causing it to break in two.
The sound of the pieces hitting the floor was concealed by the uproar of panic of men who stumbled over each other to reach the door first. Chairs fell over, glass shattered towards the floor, and beer got spilled everywhere. Once the tavern was emptied she stormed over the floor and slammed the door shut with the smell of the young man’s fresh urine in her nostrils.
“Filth!” she screamed and drove her claws down the door, leaving gaping wounds in the wood. “Fuck!”
Blood rushed through her body and made her shake from trying to control her anger. She let her forehead rest on the damaged door as she inhaled deep and steady breaths.
“I hate them,” her voice was a mere whisper. “I hate them all.”
Her teeth clenched together as blood from her nose dripped onto the floor. All the murmur of faeries had left her even thirstier than before, but she knew her supplies ran low, so she had to steel herself until the faerie arrived in the town. Faeries were rare on this continent nowadays. So was a lot of other species, including her own. It had been so ever since the land started dying over a hundred years ago, not by magical curses, but from natural causes dealt by the greed of mankind.
A sigh escaped her lips as she locked the door and waved her hand at the mess for it to clean itself up. Humans and their eternal greed. They doomed all they touched, and yet they were no longer a hunting stock. Morgan looked down on her hands and retracted the claws until they were once more nothing but regular nails, and she did the same with her canines.
“Curses and robbers,” she muttered. “May eternity doom them all.”