Home of Sword and Soul
Omari strolled through the streets of Biswana, ignoring the curious glances at his makeshift outfit. He'd done worse; he grinned as the memory of Ile-Kanta came to mind. He'd been caught in a compromising position with the head elder's daughter, an embarrassment to the local Mikijen garrison and a blow to the young woman's loloba. He was forced to strip naked in the middle of the village to walk a gauntlet of the village men, but the protests and attention of the village women forced the men to give up the gauntlet idea. They dressed him and gave him a head start to run for his life instead. Luckily for him the village women provided a reasonable obstacle to their jealous men.
As he reached the docks he felt a pressure in his chest. Omari rubbed it, noticing it was the spot where he received his Wadantu wound.
"I'll have to get a medicine-priest to look at this," he mused.
He massaged the wound as he walked along the mooring. Fishing dhows tainted the sea air with their pungent cargo. A few merchant dhows rested on the calm sea, while further out Mikijen war dhows guarded the harbor entrance. A flood of bittersweet memories invaded his head; Omari began to question why he had returned. But there really was no choice. He was technically broke. True, he could live well for quite some time with the gold dust in his pouch but he had no intentions of doing so. Omari was a planning man; he envisioned a small tavern in a quaint town where he would live out his old age reveling the locals with stories of his travels and keeping the old widows company.
He finally came to the building flying the Kraken banner. He walked in and was greeted by a sleeping mercenary, his snores echoing through the small, dingy room. Omari grinned; he walked up to the table then slammed his hand on the table. The mercenary's eyes popped open.
What in the Cleave?" he shouted.
Omari folded his arms across his chest. "I've come to re-enlist and it looks like I'm just in time."
The man scowled at Omari. "You're former Mikijen?"
Omari turned and revealed his tattoo.
The man stood, walking to a wall of scrolls divided alphabetically. "What's your name?"
The man stopped then turned. "You're Omari Ket?"
Omari grinned. "You've heard of me, I see."
The man nodded. "Yeah, I've heard of you. Decent fighter; ladies man."
He looked Omari up and down. "You don't look that good to me."
"I'm glad I don't. You're not my type. Too much between your legs."
The man grinned. "Smart mouth. I heard that, too."
The man pulled out Omari's scroll. The Kiswala kept meticulous records. Once a person entered their employ he or she was forever in their archives. He opened the scroll then went directly to the bottom. He went into his table drawer, taking out a quill and an ink vial. With the dip of the quill and a quick scribble Omari was active again.
"You'll come in as you went out, third rank. You'll be paid accordingly."
"And how soon will that be?" Omari asked.
Omari frowned. "I could use an advance."
"You won't get it. This is Biswana, not Kiswala."
The man sat, rubbing his chin. "There is an opportunity to make a little extra coin."
Omari eyes brightened. "How little?"
"Twenty nari," the man said.
Not a bad amount, Omari thought. "I'm in."
The man smiled. "Give me a minute."
He went into the back room then returned with a lance and a bow, a quiver of arrows on his hip.
"Haisetti?" Omari guessed.
The man nodded then extended his hand. "I'm Zenawi."
Omari grasped his hand. "Hello Zenawi. Let's get on with it."
He followed Zenawi into the street then waited as he locked up the office.
"This way," Zenawi motioned.
Omari grinned. Now this was more like it.