The Golden Wastes
Former Flower Girl, Now Wife to Wu Chow Chi
What brought the young women known as Jade Apricot to Velos is not known except to her, and her new husband Wu Chow Chi. No matter how she arrived, beautiful and young she entered into the Flower Houses of Velos and became Jade Apricot, one of the highest paid courtesans of the city. It was in this capacity that she became introduced to Wu Chow Chi, who had fought in various brutal battles over many months. Enjoying some rare wealth, a jeweler recommended he see Jade Apricot for relaxation.
This was the first of several sessions with Jade Apricot, and he became her favorite client. Wu had a reputation of a mighty warrior who gave generously to the poor, yet who always treated her tenderly in-between their passions, and his occasional brooding silences kept her perpetually intrigued.
Then Wu disappeared for several months as he and his companions explored giant ruins in the wastes and encountered all sorts of horrors in the deserts. In Velos, rumor ran wild about zombie hordes, strange goings in the night, and the impending attack by the Beast King. Jade Apricot missed Wu Chow Chi’s strong arms to hold her, and she realized she truly loved him, yet believed he would never return.
This proved false, and Wu returned a battered, yet victorious man from the wastes. A huge gash was on his side from a great axe of a cyclops, and Wu had barely survived. The first night he only slept in her arms, and on the second they both proclaimed their love for each other, and Wu proposed marriage to her. Of course, she immediately accepted, and the entire district of Dogtown celebrated their union.
It was the biggest party the poor residents ever had, with first Wu and then many of his companions spending money on the grandest entertainment, food, and drink. After almost a year of constant bad news and horror, the people rallied to the improbably good fortune of the people’s hero. Even old Ali Usufru, leader of the populist faction of the city and immensely wealthy, gave Wu a bungalow cottage in Dogtown as a wedding gift, and the talking dog, Prince, surprised everyone by briefly attending the wedding and wishing Wu and Jade Apricot a happy life. The residents of Dogtown had never heard of anything like it.
While Wu Chow Chi will soon leave his new bride to battle the mysterious menace that surrounds the Golden Waste, he has asked his steadfast companion Elstev to stay and watch over her.