Last night, I did a very quick character concept and render for Izramith Ezmi, the main character of Soldier’s Duty. She is, of course, the soldier, one of the fearful veiled guards at Hedron (about which I wrote a little while back). I’m thinking that before this character is cover-worthy, she’ll need a fearsome bloodied knife held towards the reader and some spooky lights. The background is probably going to be orange. Yes, there is a lot of urban-style fighting in the story.
A very rough “what is it about”:
In Barresh, they still haven’t dealt with a number of disagreements with neighbouring behemoth nation of Miran that’s sliding further into dictatorship. The Chief Councillor of Barresh, Daya, (who is also from Hedron originally) has hired her to oversee security at a high-profile wedding (read Trader’s Honour to find out who’s getting married), but prior to the festivities, a security patrol stumbles on evidence of a spying ring. The plot involves disgruntled locals, who used to earn handsome kickbacks under Mirani occupation, as well as any number of the many itinerant building workers in the city. Postponing the festivities would mean embarrassment. It is time to bring in the big guns, meaning: Izramith of the Hedron guards.
But she brings problems with her to a world that already has enough problems of its own. In a couple of loosely-related worlds, people have gone missing off the streets for years. Her uncle and newborn nephew are two of those people, and they are the reason why she agreed to leave her home in the first place. Because they are rumoured to be in Barresh.
Of course, the disappearances are related to the spying, which goes back to something that’s been mentioned passingly since Watcher’s Web, something that leads Izramith and a few die-hard suicide-wishers and frenemies deep into Miran for a mission whose hare-brained-ness will astound everyone.
So. Fighting. Hiding in disgusting places. Infighting (remember that association instinct in The Shattered World Within? Yeah, that). Sex. That, too. And a couple of “that wasn’t quite what I was expecting” moments.