Dolorous held the crystal goblet up to the light, which caused the dark liquid within to shine burgundy. Reaching across her work table she filled a small syringe with dragon’s blood and began to slowly add the blood to the concoction. Dragon’s blood has multiple functions; most of them are for healing. However, that’s not what she needed it for this time. Her mother had been a healer for the king before he was overthrown by a rival kingdom bringing her family down to the level of peasantry. After the fall of the true king, ignorance and fear took the place of knowledge and exploration of the natural world and its properties. Now, the act of healing, once a revered art, now was seen of nothing short of magic, people grew to fear healers and one night during Dolores’s thirteenth year, her mother was seized by some villagers and dragged behind a chariot until she breathed no more. The reason behind it was some of the crops had failed due to a drought and they had blamed her mother.
Ever since then Dolorous had dreamed of fighting the establishment, and hopefully restoring peace and learning to her homeland. She knew things were going to get worse before it got better, and she had been right, a civil war brought out more fear and panic, but at least someone was trying to do something. She had joined the rebelling forces, willingly. She was not the only healer in the cause; in fact most of the rebel forces were descended from well-educated people and had learned how to read before it became a mortal sin to do so. They were not the barbaric and brutish force who rapped women and ate small children as the establishment would have like all their subjects to believe.
Dolorous added the dragon’s blood until the liquid turned a dark purple against the light. Filling a new syringe with the poison, she then poured wine into two more crystal goblets, and then began to add the poison to one of the glasses, until she knew it was fatal. Then holding the regular glass of wine and the poisoned one up to the light she carefully scrutinized it. There was no noticeable difference in appearance. Then she carefully smelled both of them, they both were the same. Then dipping her fingers in each she tasted both of them. Perfect. It was absolutely undetectable. She had been working on perfecting this poison for over four years. Now she was confident it was ready.
That was when she heard the distinct sound of a boot heel behind her.
She cursed beneath her breath just as someone seized her around the middle, then she felt a sharp object against her throat. She had thought she had been followed, earlier today, but she had felt sure she had shaken them off before she returned to her workshop.
She cursed again.
“For a lady, you sure do use a lot of foul language,” the intruder observed.
“Well, you would know all about being foul,” she retorted wrinkling her nose, his breath smelled like rotten everything.
There was a sound of an arrow and she felt the man gasp before he fell dead at her feet, nearly taking her down with him.
Turning around she saw her bodyguard holding a bow in hand.
“That was awfully close,” she said to him.
“You’re alive aren’t you?” He replied coolly.
Rolling her eyes, she went back to work as the bodyguard dragged the corpse out of the room.