Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Luminous Adversaries

Having spent most of my writing time on this year's Santicore submission I return to my regularly scheduled game session prep ... After this one last riff on the pudding golem.

An excerpt from Magnapentral Slitter's memoirs: Tales with no morals
A Tale of my days with the mercenary troop Karnë Eloā, not the most halcyon days of my sojourn. We used to fight at night, using it to our advantage being used to the darkness and this tactic had always given us the edge we needed in a tight situation. Not so this time. 

We were marching under the order from some Yaswan bureaucrat to apprehend the Magus Bethmethmah the perspicuous. Approaching the glazed and spandrelized manse from the valley we had intended to surround it, and under the cover of darkness take the sole resident with minimal effort. Before we had ascended a scant quarter-march a murmur rippled across our ranks at what we saw up on the manse-ridge. I was not the only one who, at this point, began to ponder why an entire battalion of marshal rapscallions were tasked with the apprehension of a single dodderel hill-man. Had his aetherial facility been severely under reported? For we saw what one might describe as luminous scare crows bobbing against the night sky between us and the hillcrest where our quarry abode. Tall and glowing faintly their strange gait simultaneously jilted and smooth (as a stilt walker on St Bogə's day) they were closing the gap between us. Then somebody said, "my spear's all dry!" which is one of those things we say when there's too much thinking on the march, and we accelerated toward combat. But we never got to wet our spears. As we loped toward the vile things an odour of mildew and lye increased until many of our number heaved with sick as they ran forward. Then, when we were close enough that the glow of the aberrations lit the faces of our fronters, suddenly, a puffing sound, and, smarting of the eyes, retching, hot pain in the temples, some went down whimpering there. Others, no longer able to discern friend from foe their minds touched deeply by the foul vapours, began to hew at their comrades. When I awoke I was among a dozen living wounded and two score corpses. Since that day, whenever the southwind blows hot, I smell lye and tiny claws seem to be pulling my eyes deeper into my skull until I can taste my own blood and I must soak my throbbing head. Bethmethmah, that old serpent, is rumored to have fled south surviving the purge through his ingenious manipulations.

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