Today’s snippet, titled “The Last”, is a piece I wrote about my PC in Mark’s new (Good) Pathfinder Campaign.
Be forewarned, there may be mature themes and naughty language below.
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Betrayal! He had screamed, vomiting on himself in a queer, irrational rage. Betrayal!
Rhiallis closed her eyes. The scent of his puke had scarcely left her nose in the hours since Radiance had spilled his guts upon the floor. Marhavok, he had named himself. Marhavok, a big, brutal man with a beastial countenance and brilliantly white teeth. Sister! Join me! Together we will be unstoppable! We can rule this land with the power of Jerabeth! His voice echoed in her mind, loud and booming and yet somehow shrill.
She had always longed for a sibling. Since before that awful day at the waterfall, when the village lost an entire generation of children to the marauding forces of darkness, Rhiallis had dreamt of a little sister or brother. They would cuddle in the scariest parts of the long winter nights, giggle beneath the hot summer sun, dance in the spring, fight like tomcats over the best apples at harvesttide. They would be best friends, confidants. They would defend each other against local bullies and anything else the world had to throw at them. A sibling – someone who shared her childhood and her blood.
But this man – this demon-worshipping savage. He was no kin to her. They may have been marked by the same beast, but there was no love. No familial tie. No blood-shared.
Only the evil in his heart, calling out for the purity in her own.
I am not your sister, I am nothing like you. Rhiallis swung Radiance and watched the golden blade move with an alacrity of its own. Crackling with Iomedae’s holy light, the sword had sliced Marhavok open with a gout of blood and viscera. He had gurgled, slipping down into a pile of his own filth, betrayal… sister… betrayal…
She glanced over at her friends, squeezing foul-smelling interdimensional stomach juices from her braids, and could not help but smile despite the events of the day. Aimsley had bespelled Sadie’s hair dry – and streaked the warm gingery color with sparkling strands of green. The hin preened under the attention of Korael, who offered grooming tips that were not particularly well-received, and Tom Parris, who seemed to look just a touch too long at the hin’s ample bosom. Cole and Ezekiel were discussing something – probably how to avoid getting swallowed by another meeting with a two-headed, dimension-hopping, snake-limbed monster.
“…can’t wait to fuck that dragon UP!” Sadie was saying.
“We still have so much work to do, though. All of this terrain must be explored and cleared and mapped, for Irabeth, does it not? Wasn’t that part of our assignment when the Queen departed Drezen?”
“Oh Aimsley,” Korael sighed. “The dragon is more important. And that Jesker guy, too.”
“But-” she began, then shook her blonde head and acquiesced. “As you will.”
Rhiallis listened to the banter. She found herself listening more and more, these days. New companions meant new personalities to learn, new quirks and new opinions. But it also meant new information, new thoughts, new ideas. The dynamic of the Valorous Order of the Golden Sword had changed so much.
She gave a start and dropped the glove she had been attempting to don.
I’m the last.
When the streets had given out beneath them on graduation day in Kenebres, Rhiallis had been celebrating with some of her dearest friends; Mira, and Ema, and even Navarra. She had met Mickey Shambo then, and Lucien and Idril. Navarra had gone back to her work with the library, but then Seraphina had joined them in their service to the city. Lucien and Idril had been killed in action, but Celeste and Kumiko had replaced them. Alisandra, the poor broken sorceress, had briefly joined them but been unequal to the mission and chose to depart. Jensen, that queer duck, joined up as well, during the cold, bleak days Rhiallis herself had been dead. An elf named Nîda had taken her place for awhile. Then, once the power of the Wardstones has restore life to her body – Rhiallis had rejoined the fight and never looked back. Graves joined then when Sera fell, and Isadora when Graves was slain as well. Then she had realized she was not cut-out for the life and soon afterward, Sadie arrived. Korael and Mytra had found them near Drezen, but Mytra and her badger, Isaac, had not lasted but a few days. Aimsley. Niro. Cole. Tom Parris. Ezekiel.
They’ve all gone now; Mira and I were the only ones left from that fateful day in Kenebres. Once I’m gone… will they even remember how this all began? Will they know about Terendeluve’s great sacrifice or will they just polish the scale upon their breast and make use of whatever vestigial power remains? Do they really know why we fight and die here? Why we’re running head-long into the depths of the Worldwound? Does it even matter – as long as they get the job done?
Rhiallis began ticking the names off on her fingertips, like a prayer. She knew they would never leave her heart, so long as as life remained in her body, these friends and comrades – both living and dead. Mira, Ema, Navarra, Mickey Shambo, Lucien, Idril, Seraphina, Celeste, Kumiko, Alisandra, Nîda, Jensen, Graves, Mytra, Korael, Niro, Isadora, Sadie, Cole, Tom Parris, Ezekiel. Mira, Ema, Navarra, Mickey Shambo, Lucien, Idril, Seraphina, Celeste, Kumiko, Alisandra, Nîda, Jensen, Graves, Mytra, Korael, Niro, Isadora, Sadie, Cole, Tom Parris, Ezekiel…
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Note: Image is “King Jagiello Statue Central” by (Mulligand) from SXC.hu; edited by me