The Accursed Teaser 2: The Heartless by TerinasTiger

The Accursed Teaser 2: The Heartless

TerinasTiger

24 December 2016 at 23:53:21 MST

“Evening, stranger. Couldn’t help but notice you sitting all by your lonesome in the back of the bar. Mind if I sit here?”

“...I couldn’t stop you.”

“Thanks, thanks! You know, you couldn’t help but catch my eye. We don’t see many from the Great Southern Expanse this far north.”

“Uh huh.”

“It’s the chill, you know. The cold around here crawls inside you, freezes and kills your insides. It rots you away from within if you’re not careful. I’ve heard Southies like you just aren’t built for that.”

“It is mighty cold outside, yeah.”

“And it’s obvious you’re a Southie, mister. Your species rarely leaves the plains. At least not unless they’re swinging a sword for some state’s coin.”

“...we do some trade, too.”

“Oh yeah, forgot about that! Yeah, isn’t the Great Southern Expanse the only place to find that one thing alchemists can’t seem to get enough of? What was it called? ‘Sevas’, or something?”

“Something like that, yup.”

“Haha, yeah. But you ain’t a trader, are you? Not in that garb. Not with scars like that all over you.”

“...”

“You know, they say the tribes down in the Great Southern Expanse pride themselves on their mighty warriors. Can stop a charging Belzef with their bare hands, shatter stone with a kick, stuff like that. Quite a sight to see, or so I’m told. But, and maybe I heard this wrong, they’ve got this rule about never fighting amongst themselves. ‘Blood Something something, something something death, something something kinstrife’ or something like that. Even when they sell their services to kingdoms, even if they meet each other on opposite sides of some war, they won’t fight each other. Seems pretty close knit, you know?”

“It’s ‘Blood begats blood, death begats death, kinstrife is the greatest of sins’.”

“Yeah! I knew it was something like that. Was bothering me I couldn’t remember it. See, I fancy myself a scholar, of sorts. I like to study people. Specific people. People a bit like you, mister, who seem out of place.”

“Do you now.”

“Yeah. I do. Mighty worn robes you’ve got there, mister. Seems like you’ve worn them a while. You know, they’re missing the sleeves, but those look almost like the robes those crazy Southie priests are supposed to wear.”

“Heard of them, have you?”

“A’course I have, a’course I have. You know, it’s said that they don’t usually leave the Southern Expanse, though. Something about seeking purity on the plains or whatever. Not like those tribal mercenaries. There’s a lotta good coin out there selling violence, and the Southie Sellswords know it. But those priests? Supposedly they only leave the plains if they’re hunting someone.”

“Can’t help but wonder who you keep hearing this stuff from. Half of its nonsense.”

“They say that if a Southie merc kills someone from the tribes, those priests come and tear their hearts out. Something about purging the taint from the tribe’s shared soul or some nonsense like that. So if you see one off the plains, you should keep your distance. They’ve got murder on their minds.”

“I wouldn’t believe everything you hear.”

“So is that you, mister? You a Southie priest? Come on, say a prayer for me. I’d love to hear that crazy tribal tongue.”

“...”

“Ahahaha. Didn’t think so. Just a hunch here, but a priest wouldn’t walk around in robes that shabby, would they? All those tears and frays. I mean, you don’t even have sleeves anymore.”

“...”

“And all those scars along your arms! Why, a man might suspect you’ve fought for a living.”

“I think your tongue waggles too loosely.”

“Maybe, maybe. Bad habit of mine. Another one of those is that I’m curious. And right now I’m curious about why a Southie merc might be wearing their holy men’s robes, so far from home that no one might be looking for them.”

“I should probably go.”

“Stay! Stay! See, there’s a bounty out there for a mercenary from the south whom they say slaughtered his entire company. Friends, family from the plains, not to mention a sizable number of Narcrian soldiers. Gristly stuff, you know?”

“P-Please, put that down. Any who raise a hand against me are cursed.”

“I’m sure they are, mister. Nothing personal, but coin’s coin.”

“Regret… so much regret…”