Monday, April 1, 2013

1.3 Cruelty Rears

Once evil entered the door the the Milkmoon, it expanded, broadly inviting those other emotions filling the chasm of thought. The streets of Rivermoon beckoned, growing louder and longer to its onslaught. There was no doubt that someone was coming. The rumble of the main tavern room muted to a dull grumbling. Anxious eyes peered the gloom, the hollow space, utterly ignoring the presence of Evil sitting at the NoName table. The warriors, the mercenaries, the thieves and other patrons looked to the Taverns side door. The area bulged under the wake of a commotion, as someone, some thing, some phenomenon, a sadistic will moved its way toward the Tavern.

"Now hold on there, you just can't..." the watchman warned, his hand on the hilt of his club. But the words tripped and fell, jumbled out of his mouth as Cruelty itself grunted and smiled, firing a fist, a clenched cannonball into the man's plexus. Ejecting the air from his lungs, the watchman bent over a moment before Cruelty's steel knee slammed into his face.

The assault had its intended purpose, the crowd gathering to watch the sailing of Cruelty along the streets of Rivermoon toward the Tavern opened, parted by the storm. Hair cascading over his shoulders, Cruelty rounded and faced the Milkmoon, heading towards it as the people opened still more. The beggars no longer opened their palms to him, stalls and shoppes avoided his gaze, watchmen moved to other districts. Men cast their eyes down, and women shivered, Cruelty's eyes on the Tavern.

But ale makes men do evil stupid things. Ale takes courage and turns it into vomit. While mead is the elixir of the Gods, sneezing forth from the Lord of Lies, Volin's, nostrils it turns inspiration into sleep. Wine the venom of Shar's beast may seduce kings' concubines but ruins the experience under the pillows. Cruelty knew this all to well, this icon of the dieties and demigods, and that pushed him forward. A dark wind at his back.

Pushing, and tossing men aside, Cruelty thrust the side-doors of the Milkmoon open. Open doors never made for a grand entrance, and Cruelty demanded a grand entrance. The better to wield fear with. The first step of Cruelty is astonishment, the pain searing hot.

Thus the men that resisted, that proved slow, Cruelty laid it on, cruelly as his name sake. A barmaid shoved, a table of scholars overturned, the gift of a lover spoiled, a neck snapped for no good reason but to hear the noise, Cruelty dealt his way toward Evil with abandon, as if proving a point. His skills honed through years, he had watched men stab their comrades in the back, torturers pull answers from their victims, the vengeful without precision.

Cruelty knew what it was doing. It watched as Evil turned toward him, a tiresome necessity. Evil noted that upon this occasion Cruelty had chosen the armor of a Crusader, his taste for irony grew more tiresome over the years. His taste for sarcasm and even puns made even Evil cringe. But it did do a good job. Cruelty being Evil unchecked, its right hand.

Kicking a beggar in the teeth, Cruelty joined Evil, their backs to the table. Evil sneered slightly, the scent of Cruelty not unlike that of a wet dog trapped in a hole.

"Don't look at me like that," Cruelty hissed. "You want this done right?"

Next: E 1.4 Sword & Shield