Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Beast of Heaven

Victor von Esel felt good.

He liked horses. He liked their simple, easily-understood minds. He shared their love of speed. They were strong and healthy creatures, a study of muscular action wrapped in sinew and skin. Horses, he could have a conversation with.

Pity they'd eaten them all under the influence of his savage spells.

Flossing with a length of horsehair, he sauntered across the wreckage of the square, humming. Around him, soldiers stood with blank faces. One was retching into a gutter, coughing up chunks of raw meat. Another was stammering "I was just so angry, you know?" to a comrade as he tried to work out why he'd just battered another man to death with a helmet. Two more, still partially under the influence of Ghur, were snarling at each other under an upturned haycart.

"Of the air! Ha!" Victor sniggered to himself. "Stupid bugger."

He kicked a whimpering guard sergeant out of his way as he headed for Herr Bleimf's Better Blazonry. The griffon rampant on an amber field, he thought. Maybe get them to leave the wings off, just as one more in the eye of the cloud breather. Yes, a keythong, that'd do nicely. Maybe get it on a throw rug for the den back home too.

The heraldry shop exploded in a bright blue flash.

A whirling debris cloud ripped over the market square, tossing injured men around like cabbages. Around the vegetable stalls, actual cabbages were tossed against injured men with solid leafy detonations.

The Comet of Cassandora might not have been the right choice for Pieter Gucker's final spell. It certainly hadn't saved him from being torn from his flying carpet and beaten to jerky by crazed guardsmen. It didn't, in the event, even actually hurt Victor von Esel.

But it did make him very very angry.

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