Monday, July 15, 2019

Why did he have to use snakes?

"You're back!" cried Torea, as the paladin Alein staggered back into the temple of Helios. "I was so worried!"

Alein embraced her apprentice, then turned back to her rescuers. "Come in, my friends. Come in and make yourselves at home. You might as well rest here tonight."

Ruin reached out to touch Marshall Mercy on the shoulder as Martini and Azrael stepped into the building. He'd been thinking, and now he had questions. This human priest had been better company than he'd expected: willingly fighting as part of the group; healing the others, including himself; and generally behaving as just another member of their odd little band. He'd even gotten them answers from the wererat. Still...

"The wererat leader, Squim." Ruin looked at Mercy, who nodded. "He was awfully sick when we found him. Almost like he'd been poisoned."

"Indeed he was," agreed the priest in his slow, drawling accent. "Awfully sick."

"You didn't actually cure him of the poison, did you?" Ruin was certain of it now. "You let him walk away thinking that he was cured, while the poison was... what? Delayed?"

"Well, yes," said Mercy in that same slow drawl. "I suppose I did."

He seemed to be looking for a response, but all Ruin could come up with was: "Huh." He motioned for Mercy to go on into the temple, and the priest inclined his head and went inside. After a moment, Ruin chuckled. Then he followed, closing the door behind them. Mercy had stopped a couple of steps into the room; the apprentice paladin Torea had thrown her arms around him and was thanking him volubly for rescuing her mentor.

After a moment Torea released the cleric and turned her delighted smile towards Ruin.

He took a half-step back and held up a hand. "I'm just here to kill things." So, he supposed, was Marshall Mercy... but the cleric seemed to do his killing in the service of his peculiar sort of faith in Artemis, rather than with the goal of subjugating anybody who wasn't human. And if so, I can live with that... He still wasn't sure he entirely trusted the human cleric, but at the very least he didn't need to have his guard up all the time around him.

...And probably not around this human apprentice paladin either, he supposed, as he watched her expression collapse. "I'm sorry," he said. "I am glad we could help. It's just... been a very long day, with a lot of otherworldly horrors."

She brightened, but at least she didn't step forward and try to embrace him. "Oh. I understand completely. Come on, let's get you settled. Do you want food, or rest, or...?"

Unsure of what her vows to Helios permitted, Ruin settled for asking: "Are we allowed to have beer in the temple?"

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