Something Evil Lurks
as written by
Ilvoren Dyjorshen, Bard to Merdressa, Queen of the Lands of Cerdrinal, The Mysty Realm of the Elves.
"I don't lie. I don't cheat. I only take those into my bed who want to be there in the first place. I don't believe in unwilling victims. Only willing ones, who want to be used and abused for their own ends. Not my ends. Pure and simple evil. None of this destroy the world bullshit! I like my evil nice simple and subtle. You got that boy? Because if you don't, then you are the wrong one for the job. And I should just kill you now and get it all over with."
He took a step back, staring at the mad man sitting in the chair, cleaning his nails. "What do you want?"
"What do I want? What do I want?! You have a lot of nerve asking me that question after breaking into my bed chambers and telling me that I am the epitome of evil and you are going to make it your life's work to remove my evil presense from Saivryth. Look closer to home for your evil, boy. I'm just the Lord of Chaos, Ruler of all the evil gods on this benighted world. I'm not demon spawn, like some beings I could mention."
Saidryn took a step back towards the door. Maybe he had bitten more off than he could chew here. He tried to ignore the stench of the chambers he was in. The foulness of the place made him want to wretch. He glanced over at the bed and its occupant. "You can't honestly tell me that she went to you willingly?"
The mad man smiled sweetly. "Are you actually saying you want the truth from someone that in your opinion doesn't know what the meaning of truth is?"
Saidryn stood his ground. "Yes. According to you, you don't lie and you don't cheat. Prove it. Make a believer out of me."
"How old are you?" the lord of chaos inquired, leaning forward in his chair.
"Four hundred eighty seven," Saidryn answered bluntly.
"You are a child. A child demanding that the adults pay attention to you. Well, let me ask you this? Do you want my attention child? Because you have it. You have my complete undivided absolute attention."
Saidryn swallowed, trying not to panic. He could hear his heart beating faster every second.
The Lord of Chaos stood up slowly, his robe flowing down to his feet. "And here I thought you wanted answers, godling. I guess I was wrong. Now if you are done and you don't want an education on what I call a willing victim, I suggest you leave."
Saidryn stood his ground, watching the older god stalk across the floor to the helpless young woman on the bed. "What are you going to do with her?"
"Ah. So, it wants an education after all." He sat down on the bed, twining his fingers in the girl's black hair. "Nothing that she isn't used to. Or doesn't want done to her. She's mine to play with. And as much as I would love to teach you child. I hate an audience."
Saidryn felt himself forcibly shoved towards the door. Before he could stop himself, he had the door open and he was walking through it. It slammed shut on his heels. Once the door was closed, the compulsion to leave the dark god's chambers left him. He leaned back against the door, sighing in relief. "Maybe I need to be a bit more sure of myself before I go on that crusade again," he whispered softly to himself.
He made his way back along the corridor to the gate house. His new home. Saidryn walked inside, looking around. It wasn't much, really. Just a bunch of rooms for him to live in. He closed his eyes, getting his bearings. Out of reflex he checked the lock on the door to the gods' prison. It had been placed in his care recently, and he wanted to make sure that it was still secure. He ran his hand along the dark wood paneling of the door. "I wish this wasn't my job. Honest." he whispered softly. "I am so confused."
"So, you confronted evil and came away without any battle scars. I would say that was a good day's work. Don't you?"
Saidryn turned to face the woman who had entered the room. "Hello Mother. What can I do for you?"
"I wished to see how well my boy did on his crusade to eradicate evil." She reached out, gently brushing back his sandy colored hair. "Did it go well?"
"No mother it didn't. Like a fool, I stormed in there right into his chambers declaring that I was going to stop him at any cost. He even had a girl in there. She was trussed up like a chicken being prepared for the oven." Saidryn closed his eyes, letting out a sigh. "He threw me out of his chambers! How am I supposed to fight evil, when someone as evil as him can just toss me out of his chambers without a by your leave?"
Zehna smiled at her son, her green eyes blazing in delight. "In time it will come to you. It takes years to develop the finely honed reflexes to deal with someone as dark as Ninrath. Fighting evil doesn't mean that it will be easy. I told you before, when you first express your intent to take him on, that he is a crafty old god. And he will not be easy to remove him from the god structure. Give it time. I am sure you can do it. Now, I must go. I have lots of other concerns that I must look into. There are other gods out there my darling. Not all of them are as evil as Ninrath. Of course not all of them are as good as Drisal either. But it gives me and your father something to do. We must always have a form of balance in the world." Zehna gently kissed her son on the cheek, before leaving the room.
Saidryn shook himself. "I really need to get myself sorted out. I need some air." He walked over to a different door, leading out of the room he was in. Gently, he opened it, wincing at the squeak of the hinges. "Another thing to fix. Or maybe not. At least rusty hinges will let me know if someone uses this door." He stepped out into the gray formless void on the other side of the door. "Time to check on the neighbors." He looked off to his left at another door. "Good that one is closed too." He slowly looked around the void, finding the other doors. Once he was satisfied that they were all securely closed, he sat down on the outer step to the door to his world. "I sure hope I can do this. It would be nice to have someone to talk to about it." He leaned back, stretching his arms and hands over his head. "Oh who am I kidding? That old god is right. I am a child. A child with a very dangerous weapon in his hands. I'm doomed." Saidryn leaned back against the door, closing his eyes in frustration.
Ninrath traced a path along the girl's side. "Do you think I was too easy or too hard on him, my sweet?" He chuckled, looking into her wide gray eyes. "Ah yes. You can't answer my question. Now can you?" He very gently removed the leather strap from her mouth. "Now where were we?"
"You were playing with me master." she whispered.
"So I was," he chuckled wickedly. Slowly, he let his hands wander her body. She gently bit his shoulder, as his handsfound just the right spots. "Such enthusiasm," he whispered in her ear.
"I try my best to please master."
"So you do." He looked her over again. He shivered in delight at the fear in her eyes.
"Milord? The court awaits you."
"Damnation take all leadership and responsibility!" Ninrath sat up, throwing the leather strap at the individual standing at the foot of his bed. "If it's not one child it's another."
Rovis dodged out of the way of the strap, grabbing it. "Is something wrong, milord?" He stared at the girl on the bed. Slowly, Rovis grinned as the girl tried to worm her way farther up the bed.
Ninrath pulled his robe closed. "Of course something is wrong! It is the nature of evil for something to be wrong!" The Lord of Chaos glared at the young god staring at his latest victim.
Rovis came to attention, trying his best to ignore the girl on the bed. "I am sure that you will work it to your best advantage, milord. Like you always do."
"I'm sure." Ninrath agreed snidely. He walked over to the wardrobe, slamming the door open. He grabbed a fresh set of clothes, preparing to put them on. "Oh stop that pathetic drooling Rovis. It makes you seem like an over eager hound dog."
Rovis turned away to wipe along his mouth, making sure that he wasn't really drooling.
Ninrath rolled his eyes heavenward. "Oh for the love of... All the demi gods in the world, and I get a pathetic sadistic excuse of a child." He finished getting dressed. "I am done with her Rovis. Be a good little demi god of Chaos, and kill her for me. Then place her back on the alter of my temple where her father left her as a sacrifice for me. I have to be at court in a few minutes. And for Hell's sake, get some slaves in here and clean this mess up. It's a sty in here." Ninrath didn't even look back as he left the girl and the room to the tender mercies of the demi god.
The Lord of Chaos walked into the large grim hall to see all the forms of evil lining up to greet him. He grinned insincerely at the goddess of Discordance. Then Lord of Chaos glared at the god of Hatred.
Selyth bowed to his overlord, hand outstretched over his head. "And greetings to you as well, milord."
Ninrath rushed him, shoving him up against a pillar. "Don't patronize me, Hatred. I am in no mood for your twisted games. You want a piece of me. Kindly state the fact and get in line like the rest of these pathetic fools. Don't send Zehna's little lapdog brat after me."
"How could I know that the new gate keeper had a grudge?"
"Oh you knew. You knew and you encouraged it. Well as the Lord of Evil, I am ordering you to stop encouraging it. Because if you don't, I'll chain you to this pillar for the rest of your miserable godly existence. Am I making myself perfectly clear on that score?"
Selyth stared calmly back at his overlord. "Yes milord. Perfectly."
"Don't play games with me, Selyth. I don't like being screwed with. And if I do find out that you are screwing with me. You will be on the receiving end of being screwed. And I am not talking about head games here. Do we understand each other?"
Selyth pushed himself farther into the pillar trying to get away from the Lord of Chaos. "Yes milord, I think we do."
"Yes Master, I think we do!" Ninrath snapped.
Selyth's eyes widened. "Excuse me?"
Ninrath shook the god of Hatred. "Say it! Say 'yes master, I think we do.' I want you to properly understand how mad I am right now."
The god of Hatred looked down in defeat. "Yes Master, I think we do."
Ninrath shook him again. "Say it again. And this time look at me when you do so."
"Yes Master, I think we do." Selyth responded, through gritted teeth.
Ninrath smiled, patting him on the shoulder. "Now that is how it is supposed to be. Nice little slave of Hatred." He let the other god go and finished making his way across the room to his throne.
"I am not in the mood for this, Elethya." He smiled pleasantly at the goddess sitting on his throne.
"Ah. My lord is not in a mood to play." She slowly rose from the throne to stand in front of the Lord of Chaos. "Maybe my love will want to play later?"
"If my mood changes. Maybe."
She curtsied to him, then took her place at his feet, as he sat down on his throne and looked at the mass of evil that was his to control. Elethya looked over her shoulder at the lord on his throne. "You are in a foul humor today. Care to talk about it?" she inquired softly.
Ninrath leaned forward, placing his hand gently on her shoulder. "To be honest? No. Now drop it." He gently squeezed his hand on her shoulder, until she winced in pain.
"As you wish Master." She bowed again to him, accepting his desire to keep what was bothering him to himself. She had seen this before in her lover. She knew that a proper obedient attitude would only mollify his anger. She looked out at the other gods and goddesses of evil, and hoped that they too had noticed the danger signs in their lord. She nodded to Imdradas the goddess of Nightmares, who nodded back in understanding. Elethya sighed in relief. She wasn't alone in her reading of Ninrath.
Ninrath just sat back and let his minions present their petitions before him. He sighed in boredom, as the god of Murder again expressed his dissatisfaction with the god of Revenge over a sloppy handling of a feud between two mortal noble families.
"Did the families die horribly?" Ninrath inquired.
"Yes milord they did," Brierth answered.
"Then you have no complaints Nierthas. They are dead. That is all that matters. I am sure that Elethya's son Terriz has no complaints on how they got into his pale dead hands."
"But milord! There was no finess about it." Nierthas protested. "No blood. No guts. Just a bunch of dead bodies. And Brierth's minion didn't even have the grace to kill the one that had actually started it all. She was left alive to sate Brierth's desire for more revenge!"
"Of course I left her alive, you pompous fool! I am the god of Revenge! How can I possibly encourage revenge if there is no one to seek it?" Brierth snapped.
Ninrath chuckled. "That is true. Really Nierthas, you are starting to sound as bloodlusted as poor Slaughter over there in the corner."
Elethya looked over at her husband then quickly looked away again. As much as she loved Ninrath, and as much as she respected her husband. He did not deserve to be treated in that manner. At one time she did love her husband, and she knew that he still loved her.
"Is something wrong, my love?" Ninrath whispered in her ear.
Elethya sat up straighter. "No Master."
"Don't lie to me, Elethya. It is unbecoming for the Queen of Hell to lie to the Lord of Evil. You know I hate liars."
Elethya felt the cold metal of the collar around her neck tighten. "I didn't mean.."
"Mean to lie to me?" Ninrath finished for her.
"Yes," she whispered.
"Then don't. Tell your lover what is bothering you, my queen."
She looked away from her husband. "Please Ninrath. You are scaring me."
"But that is the whole point. For the master to scare the slave. Now, answer me."
"Do.. Do you have to humiliate him like that?" she whispered.
Ninrath looked over at the god of Slaughter, chained in the corner alcove. "Yes I do. I needed an example. He very kindly provided me with one."
Elethya looked up at the Lord of Chaos. A tear trailed down her pale face. "All he was doing was trying to win me back from you, Love."
"By trying to kill me Elethya. By trying to kill me."
Nierthas and Brierth took a step back from the dais and Ninrath's throne. They finally realized the mood their lord was in. Slowly, the other gods of evil departed from the room. Leaving their lord alone with his captives.
Ninrath gazed after the departing gods. "It would seem that court is over. Unless someone still has a petition for me." He looked down at the Queen of Hell.
"Yes. I do," she answered simply.
"And that is?"
"Let Scirnal go. He has paid enough. I will be your example." Scirnal stood up, his chains clinking as he moved. "Be quiet woman! I will not have you beg for me to that twisted bastard you call a lover!"
"That's enough out of you Scirnal!" Ninrath ordered. "This is between your wife and me." He looked back down at Elethya. "Did it ever occur to you that you might also be an example, my dear?"
Elethya gasped, spinning to face Ninrath on his throne. "I gave myself to you willingly! I love you! And don't even try to say you don't love me. Because I know you do. You told me. And you don't lie, Ninrath!"
Ninrath pulled the queen of hell towards him, kissing her. He let her go with a bitter laugh, when he heard Scirnal fighting his chains. "Don't worry old boy. I'm done with your wife. You have no fear on that score. I can't have her. The other gods have decreed it so. She is yours again. As is your freedom. Both of you." He stood up. Carefully stepping around the goddess on the floor, he left the room. As he passed through the doors of the hall, the chains on the God of Slaughter and the Queen of Hell faded into nothingness.
"And what does the void provide as comfort to you boy?"
Saidryn jumped to his feet, facing the door back into the gate house. "What do you want Dark One?"
"Honesty." Ninrath pulled his robes about himself, sitting down on the step. "What do you want?"
Saidryn grinned. "For you to take another step out into this void so I can close you out of Saivryth for all time. Easy. Simple. Neat. Care to oblige me?"
Ninrath threw his head back, laughing. "I would, if it wasn't for the fact that I know you don't want to deal with Rovis if I was gone. He's an ass. And would have Saivryth destroyed several times over in his desire to create chaos, pain and suffering."
"And you are better? I saw how you had that girl! She was chained to your bed!" Saidryn glared down at the god in outrage.
"And I told you she was a willing victim." Ninrath jumped up, equally outraged.
"What did you do with her Dark One?" Saidryn demanded.
"Killed her." Ninrath shrugged.
"Oh it was nothing. She knew it was going to happen. Her father gave her to me to use and then to kill."
Saidryn balled his hand into a fist. "How can you be so callous about it?! She was a living being!"
"Don't get all sentimental child. She was her father's choice as a sacrifice to me. From the day she was born, her father had her trained to please me and then die."
Saidryn slammed his fist into Ninrath's jaw, knocking him back into the gate house. "That is inhuman!"
Ninrath ran his hand along his jaw. "Nice punch you have there boy. I play by the rules, Saidryn. And the rules say that I am evil. And evil has to do things that those of the light find inhuman. I accept that. She accepted that. Her father accepted that."
"What did her father get out of his sacrifice?" Saidryn asked sarcastically.
"Ah. The bloom is fading. Good. He wanted power in the kingdom he lives in. In exchange for the girl, I gave him the information he needed to get that power." Ninrath stood up, brushing off his robes.
"That's it?! All he wanted was some lousy power?! A daughter's life for power?!" Saidrdyn took a step towards Ninrath, fist raised again.
Ninrath grabbed the fist. "You got one free shot at me, Boy. The rest you have to
work for. Yes! All he wanted was power."
"What kind of power?" Saidrdyn demanded, pulling his fist out of Ninrath's grasp.
"The power to remove his king." Ninrath smiled grimly.
Saidryn stared at the dark god in front of him, not believing his ears. "Let me get this straight. You gave this inhuman monster the power he needed to overthrow his rightful king?!"
Saidryn sat down slowly in a chair, defeated. "Why?"
Ninrath chuckled. "Why what boy?"
"Why do this? Explain evil to me Lord of Evil. I don't understand it."
Ninrath laughed, slapping the younger god on the shoulder. "That's because you don't have any evil in you, Saidryn. One cannot understand evil, unless one has some evil in them."
"Well that's a narrow way to look at things. Now you are going to say that one cannot understand good, unless one has good in them." Saidryn said sourly.
"Ah so you do understand after all." Ninrath sat down in another chair in the
room, putting his feet up on a footstool.
Saidryn jumped up irritated, getting himself a drink. "Comfortable?" he asked rhetorically.
"Yes. I am. Get me a drink too." Ninrath waved his hand nonchalantly towards where Saidryn was standing.
Saidryn stared at the god sitting in the chair. In a fit of anger, he threw the glass of liquid across the room. "Get it yourself, you son of a bitch!"
Ninrath sighed, shaking his head sadly. "And here I thought we were making progress. Saidryn, the fool decided to take his king down, because his king was destroying the kingdom in his greed and indulgences. So, he gave his daughter to me to gain help."
Saidryn laughed mirthlessly. "So he used evil to combat evil. That's disgusting."
"Sometimes you have to do that, Saidryn." Ninrath explained sadly.
The gate keeper looked at his guest sharply. "You really regret it don't you?"
Ninrath's head snapped up. "What?!" he demanded.
"The fact that he is using evil to combat evil. You really regret helping that fool and killing his daughter."
"Of course I regret it, you fool! What do you think I am? An inhuman monster?!" the Lord of Chaos snapped.
"Yes!" Saidryn snapped back.
"Because you are the Lord of Chaos, and the leader of the gods of evil! That's why! You are evil!"
Ninrath stared at the outraged god before him. Suddenly he started laughing. "You do have a point Saidryn. You do have a point."
"Well hallelujah on that score."
"Don't worry too much about the inhuman monster that would sacrifice his daughter." Ninrath smiled.
"And why is that?" Saidryn demanded.
"Because the king has a son that is full of zeal to redress the wrongs his father has done. Once his father is out of the way, he can take care your inhuman monster and restore order to that particular kingdom." Ninrath explained.
"How do you know this?!"
"Because my sister and I have had this planned for years now." Ninrath explained.
"Yes. Solarin. Goddess of Justice. I presented it to her, when the old king got out of hand in regards to his idea of pleasure and servitude." Ninrath walked past the younger god, to the table with the drinks. "I think I will help myself to that drink after all."
"Solarin agreed to this, this travesty of Justice?"
"That poor girl was raised to be yours to torture!" Saidryn yelled.
"Of course she was," Ninrath explained gently. "I had to get something out of this. After all, as you pointed out. I am evil."
"Why do they let you get away with that?!"
"Because in the end, I helped put a good man on a throne and restored a kingdom to the light." Ninrath sat back down in the chair, taking a sip from his glass.
"You call using murder, pain and suffering restoring a kingdom to the light?!" Saidryn grabbed the glass out of Ninrath's hand, throwing it against the wall. "You know, if you keep that up, you won't have any glasses for your other guests to use, when they visit," Ninrath chuckled.
"Damn you!" Saidryn growled.
"Been there. Done that," Ninrath smiled.
Saidryn walked over to the door to the gate house. "Get out."
Ninrath sighed. "Very well. Just remember that things are not always black and white, Gate Keeper. You have a few lords and ladies of the light in that prison of yours as well as dark lords and ladies. Someday, someone will get out of hand. And your sensibilities can't get in the way of your job. Evil has it's place just like Good, and Neutrality."
"Get out," Saidryn repeated.
Ninrath nodded and left.
Something Good Lurks
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