Rhiallis: It’s a Bitch

      Today’s snippet, titled “It’s a Bitch”, is a piece I wrote about my PC in Mark’s new (Good) Pathfinder Campaign.
      Be forewarned, there are mature themes and naughty language below.
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      “…but I don’t detect evil auras upon them,” Rhiallis had said as Mickey charged forward.
      It was admirable, she decided, that he had been so blind in his need to save the girl – not as helpless as one might think – from the four crazed inquisitors who had surrounded her. But they had not been evil, not innately, not… irrevocably.
      “Just, subdue them!” She had cried out, cursing that he was so much faster than she, burdened by heavy armor where he had trained to wear lighter mail. Before the words left her mouth, he – and that great fucking hammer of his – slammed into one of the men. His skull had exploded like a ripe melon, spraying priests, victim, and Mickey, with an alarming amount of crimson.
      “Wait! We needn’t kill them!”
      Anguish clouded her voice and she felt honestly as though her heart might break. She fought for her life, of course she did, when they fell upon her with naked blades. But she tried to use the flat of her own so that the wild-eyed men may have a chance to live and redeem themselves.
      It had been to no avail.
      Within the space of a few seconds, each of the men lay dead in the streets. They had rescued the girl, Clara, who as it turned out was returning to her sister, Lily, when she was accosted. Rhiallis worried at a thumbnail with her teeth, recalling the relief Clara had shown when told that her sister was still alive and waiting for her. She was already gone, headed back to Lucien and Lily with instructions to meet the rest of the party at Defender’s Heart as soon as they safely could.
      “We saved a life here today, that’s what counts.”
      Rhiallis shook her head, golden eyes blazing. “There were five lives here, damn it. Five we could have saved!”
      “They were crazed, they were going to kill Clara.”
      His dispassionate tone egged her on and she fought back the urge to claw his eyes out of his big, hairy face.
      “They were sick with desperation and hunger and the stench of evil in this place! They wanted to fight the evil, Mickey, they were just- just misguided. We could have-”
      “What? Let them go so they try it again and kill other girls?”
      “No! Of course not, but we could have bound them and questioned them. We could have made certain that they deserved execution before murdering them!”
      Scoffing, he had wiped the last bit of brain matter from his hammer and slung the massive thing up over his shoulder. “It ain’t murder, Rhiallis. They were going to kill Clara. We saved her. Done. You can’t go around all bleedin’ heart like that.”
      “Yes, we saved her, but what about them? You can’t just assume that-”
      “Whatever. It was no different than the goat-fuckers with the glaives, and you killed them quick enough with your little glowy sword.”
      Her fingers touched Radiance’s hilt involuntarily. “They were evil, you great big dumb savage! They were EVIL! That is the difference!”
      Mickey shrugged, having decided it wasn’t worth arguing the point, given that the men were dead already, the girl departed, and the library not so far away.
      But as they trudged on, Rhiallis could not let the subject die inside her own mind. She had been trained to kill in Iomedae’s name, she knew how to wield her blade with deadly purpose. Yet her skills were to be used for good; for justice and for honor, to protect the helpless and to vanquish evil.
      Wasn’t it within my sacred orders to redeem those who could be redeemed? Isn’t it the honorable thing to do? To spare those whose souls were not corrupted utterly and show them back into the light? To give them a chance? It seems to me that only our great enemies show no mercy – kill without exception or thought. It is an evil deed to slay an innocent, or a man who is not, yet was caught in the act of committing such an crime. Those men – they were starving and sick with exposure, they had seen atrocities we cannot imagine. They deserved a chance to apologize, to seek Iomedae’s grace, to right their wrongs. They were only… confused by a legend and desperate to put these abyssal fiends to the sword.
      “How could we kill them for that?” She asked out loud.
      “Still dwelling?” Anevia peered up at her from the stretcher.
      “Yes. A bit.”
      “For what its worth, my wife is a Paladin too. And I can’t say as she wouldn’t agree with you in theory, but in practice… sometimes…”
      “You must break a few eggs, as they say,” Idril said, glancing over his shoulder.
      “I am not reassured,” she managed a small smile, “But I do appreciate the kind words. There are things that must be done here, things that – I cannot condone or justify within my own faith. But Kenabres is forever altered and perhaps Mickey is right. Maybe my bleeding heart, as he called it, is a liability here. Those men could have lied and killed again, or planted their blades in Emma’s virgin heart the moment we turned our backs.”
      “Aye,” Anevia nodded. “It’s a bitch, isn’t it?”
      Rhiallis nodded. “Not quite my turn of phrase, Anevia, but you have hit the nail on the head. It is, indeed, a bitch.”
– – – – – – – – – – –
Signed, Josie
Note: Image is “King Jagiello Statue Central” by (Mulligand) from SXC.hu; edited by me

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