The Pointy End Goes Into the Other Men


Almund is a thriving township with a dark side. With houses made from the wooden bodies of decommissioned ships, there are many opportunities here, coupled with many dangers.

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The Pointy End Goes Into the Other Men

Sat May 05, 2018 5:54 am

45th of Ashan, 676

Volker had grown considerably in two years. He'd put on almost two inches, and he was filling out with muscle. Wiry, pre-teenage muscle, but he'd only had a good steady diet for two years. Oor was rather pleased with himself; he hadn't managed to kill Volker yet, and the boy was closer to him now than ever before. Their bond had become concrete with a summer of hunting deer and fish in the woods, and the constant supply of food had turned Volker from a malnourished preteen to something less pathetic to look at. He'd learned how to hunt fish from Oor's memories watching bears. It was harder for a human with such a blunt face, but Volker managed it with careful, quick strikes. At Oor's insistence, they'd tried to find some sort of home. A few human families had taken Volker in, and the current one wasn't too bad. They all had hands-off approaches to their foundling and that suited the Abberrant's needs just fine.

It was time, however, to move beyond deer. Oor had begun noticing a few men in the town. They'd stalk children in parks or wait until they were solitary. A few kids had gone missing, and he'd carefully steered Volker away from the suspects he had. The victims were always boys, roughly Volker's age, and while Volker was obliviously playing around trying to make traps, Oor had been watching. He was pretty sure Volker could do it. The boy had become tougher. He was still very much a child, and clung to Oor like a mother, but he'd started to become a survivalist.

He needed to learn what to do to keep his Harvester satisfied. As much as he liked raising a human, Oor needed ether. He had gone a year or so without it, only feeding on the life essences of the occasional rabbit or deer. Dumb animals didn't satisfy him. He led Volker into a narrow little spot between two shanty houses in the middle of town, and told him to look for a sizeable, but sharp, glass shard.

"I thought you said I was too young for weapons." Volker said as he rummaged through refuse.

'You are. This isn't a weapon. It'll break when you use it. Besides, it's just a safety precaution, I want you to use your teeth. Remember, when all other men can be disarmed by shattering a spear or taking a blade-'

"-You always have your mouth. Yes I know." Volker tentatively grabbed a large shattered wine bottle. A few quick raps against the ground, and he had a small trapezoidal piece just a little larger than his palm. The edges were sharp. He ground down the back-facing edges on the cobblestones, and tied a rag around it to serve as a hilt.

'Good, now hide it in your pocket. I want you to look for a middle-aged man. Fat, balding, stronger than he looks. Ugly shithead. Hangs around the park around dusk. I've seen other kids your age there. Go there, find him, be nice to him.'

Volker tucked his newfound blade in his pocket and frowned a bit. "Nice?" he echoed. Why would he want to be nice to another human? His adoptive parents were just fine with him stealing things from their dinner table and living like a wild animal. He barely spoke to other humans. He had Oor. He didn't need anyone else, or so the Harvester told him. What use was being nice? "Do you know him?"

'Kid, I am trying to teach you a very valuable lesson. That when you trust me, it has to be instant. Do you trust me? Do you trust me when I tell you to do something, and to do it now?'

Volker chewed his lip. "Yeah but-"

'No buts. Park, wait for dusk, go be nice. Sit next to him, put a hand on his leg, act friendly.'

Volker wasn't quite so sure about it, but he felt better with the knife in his pocket. That, and Oor hadn't steered him wrong yet. Since trusting the Harvester his belly had been full, he'd always had a place to sleep, and his magic could kill anything. Or so he believed. Oor, to him, was a paramount of strength and wisdom. When the Harvester told him something, it was usually for his own good. Perhaps this was one of those things, like building a fire and heating water to undrinkable heat before letting it cool. He didn't understand it, but somehow it protected him.

So he went to the park, and waited. It was a small, cramped little area. A courtyard, really, hemmed in by broken ships reclaimed by new owners and turned into buildings. They shifted and creaked as they settled, not used to being on land. Shifts were common; it was a well-known adage that one didn't try and squeeze through two buildings in Almund. Regardless of how stable they looked, they could turn on you quickly. Volker found a park bench and curled up on it, sighing and watching the sun go down. It was hideously boring. He looked at his knife to pass the time until Oor ordered him to stow it. He napped, he chewed on grass blades. He watched other children, chewed his fingernails, picked at loose strings on his shirt.

Oor was quiet for so long when the spirit spoke again he nearly fell off the bench. 'There.' Oor said simply. Volker saw him. Overweight, a pair of spectacles on his nose, greeting children still out playing in a strangely sunny voice. The children tentatively returned the greeting, but shied off from him. Volker played with his hands. He still wasn't sure of the purpose of this lesson, and was especially uncomfortable when the man settled next to him and made the bench groan.

"Why aren't you playing with the others?" The man asked. "Are you shy?"

Volker wasn't sure how to answer it. "Yeah." he muttered, looking around. Much as he wanted to squirm away he sat still. Oor wouldn't lie to him. Oor had given him a knife and powerful magic. He was safe, even if he didn't feel like it. "I don't play much." The truth felt right, but he wasn't telling the entirety of it.

"Why not? They look like they're enjoying it. Or do you not like childish games like stick and rock?" the man smiled warmly. Volker didn't like it. There was something predatory in that smile. The man put his arm around Volker's shoulders. Volker resisted the urge to bite him. His skin crawled. He didn't like other people touching him, even when it wasn't like this. This way, he had no choice but to press against the man's side. "If you like, I know where you can play in peace? You and I could play."

'Accept.' Oor's tone signified he wasn't ready for an argument.

Volker tried to smile and nod. He put his hand on the man's leg like he'd been told, and the predatory grin grew wider. "Okay." he said in a somewhat shaky tone. He took the man's hand when it was offered, and allowed him to lead him out of the park. He didn't like it. Everything in him was screaming to bite the man's hand and run until they were safe. He swallowed the urge. They were going to trust the Harvester. The Harvester knew what was right, and what to do. He'd given them a knife, settled securely against his thigh in his pocket. It would be alright. He wandered down through twisting paths toward a less-populated side of town. There were older ships here, abandoned due to their dangerous states. Half of them were rotted, others had collapsed entirely. The people had simply harvested the useful lumber and moved on. Volker followed the man into one such wreck. It was more than dangerous here; the floor was soft under his feet. The building swayed slightly above them. He could smell mold and rot.

"What's the game you want to play?" Volker asked, trying to steel his voice a little. The man knelt in front of him, and smiled.
"We're playing pirates in this old ship." he said. "Here. I'll put you in the crow's nest. You can be my navigator." The man put his hands on Volker's hips, and hauled him upward onto a half-rotted plank settled at an angle from the ceiling. His fingers wandered over Volker's stomach, and down his thighs. "Pirates don't wear shirts, do they?"

"I guess not..." Volker froze as those questing fingers peeled his shirt up, and then over his head. The man leaned in close, ruffled his hair, and smiled at him. He was too close. Far too close. His face was too close, and his body was between Volker's thighs to keep his legs open.

'Still have the knife?'

Volker swallowed hard. He did. He knew he did. His hand slipped into his pocket the second the man between his legs started to peel off his own shirt. 'Look at where his neck muscles meet his collarbone. That nice V of muscle that meets right in the center. I want you to follow that line up...right under his ear...and drive it as deep as you can. Now.'Oor's voice had gone as predatory, but it was a dark and comforting horror Volker was used to. Mostly because it wasn't targeted at him.

"See?" The man grinned and drew closer. He put a hand on Volker's chest, and Volker struck hard with the glass shard. He missed. He drove the improvised blade straight into the splenius muscle, and the man gave an unholy roar of agony. The glass snapped off in Volker's hand when the man pulled away from him slightly. The glass was buried in thick muscle, not in the jugular as Oor had planned, and while it was extremely painful it wasn't lethal. Volker lunged and managed to seize the man's throat in his teeth before he got too far away. Panick gave him strength, and he reached forward with his hands. While his palms were on the man's shoulders and his body dangling awkwardly...he pushed with his being instead.

His opponent gave a final, bloodcurdling shriek...and crumbled. Power surged through Volker's veins and he felt Oor sigh with the relief of an addict finally given his dose. The man's soul was torn to shreds, his body blackening and crumbling like rotted stonework. Volker fell forward in the pile, spitting ash as the throat in his teeth disintegrated. He scrabbled away from the ashes, his heart beating a mile a minute. The other half of the glass dagger clinked to the floor.

Oor appeared in front of him. 'Well done. That, kid, is the other half of your deal to me. I protect you...and you feed me. I need ether. The energy that all living things, including that pile of waste, have inside of them. I fed you, now you've fed me.' Oor told him. 'And while you didn't strike exactly where I hoped...what you did was so much better. Don't worry, it gets easier the more you do it.'

Volker stared. "H-he's dead?"

'Worse, you've erased him.' Oor said proudly. 'Humans like you need fish and meat to live. This is what I need. Alright?'

Volker nodded unsteadily, and climbed to his feet. "What if someone comes looking for him?" he asked.

'No body, no evidence. I chose your first flay carefully. No one's going to come looking for that one.'
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The Pointy End Goes Into the Other Men

Sun May 13, 2018 1:51 am

Name: Volker

Aberration: Flaying humans.
Blades (Knife): Strikes to the neck.
Blades (Knife): Striking at jugular and missing.
Blades (Knife): Making a knife out of a broken bottle.
Blades (Knife): Glass makes a poor weapon.
Unarmed (Brawling): Using your teeth to brawl.

Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Expenses: N/A
Renown: N/A
Magic XP: Yes

Points: 10 (May be used for Aberration)
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Comments: How creepy! Glad Volker got out of it ok though, even if he did sort of kill a guy. I made a minor change to your requested knowledge, because I believe you have to specify what weapon or style you are using. Ex. Knife, Brawling. Let me know if you'd like something different.

If you feel I've missed anything or if you have questions about your review, please don't hesitate to send me a quick PM. Also, please indicate on your request thread that this has been reviewed. Thanks!

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word count: 184
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