With Hands So Gentle He Destroyed The World, With Bloodied Hands He Cradled A Babe At Rest

Hunt Master

Fear. He knew the smell of it like he knew the paths of the world. He knew the ways of things that felt fear when they heard the Hunt Master was searching for prey. This was different, this was something he had never known. He walked in the soft snow of the lands surrounding the people he was to slaughter and he finally understood.

He was afraid. No, afraid was weakness compared to the overwhelming dread that hung over his mind and heart as he stalked the creatures to make sure all of them were accounted for before he set to work. Siobhan, the Dark Goddess, she had filled his mind with precisely what she would do to him if he failed her. He was shown the Darkness that Devours, he had seen It, It had seen Him, and he would never be able to escape from it. Even the fleeting memory of it made his blood run cold and his palms sweat.

Not now.

He nodded as he saw the last of the ones he was looking for. There was not going to be subtlety, there was not going to be traps and snares and the thrills of the hunt of a cunning prey. No, this time he had a different weapon that he rarely used, but it never failed him.

Cracking his neck from side to side slowly, he simply grew. Ten, then twenty, then thirty feet. Above the trees, at last, he looked down and could pinpoint each of them, their locations locked into his mind as he knew they still did not see him, for he did not want to be seen as of yet. He walked if moving aside trees could be called such until he stood in the center of the village. There was the white of the snow on the tops of the dwellings and they were surrounded by a crude fence, which he sighed in happiness about, it made his life so much easier.

He took a breath, whispering a prayer to the Dark Goddess herself that he finds success and at the moment he remembered the Darkness seeing him with Her, he appeared to them.

A giant, fifty feet tall with blood running in rivulets down his skin, the heat from his body melting the snow. No one moved, no one understood what was going on precisely, but they all knew it was going to be bad. He did not hesitate and, he bent his knees, lowering them to nearly the ground and took in a deep breath.

Looking around once more to make sure they were all there, he let it out in a shriek that was filled with neighing horses and the scream of the eagles. It was filled with the fear of the Hunt, and, most importantly, it was the heat of anger.

The fire instantly destroyed every building, tree, and every single one of the people there in an instant. A circle of destruction spread wider and wider and the Hunt Master let it grow to make sure that no one escaped. He k where the young lady was and she was in no danger at all. He had warded her earlier and placed her deep into a sleep so she would never know the sights of what needed to come next.

He opened his eyes wide, counting each charred corpse and reaching outwith long arms and plucking them from where they had fallen and placing them in a pile in front of him. He counted them, then counted them again, then even a third time and when he was satisfied he had completed the first task his Dark Goddess had set for him was complete, he sat down in the fiery waste of the village to do the part he was used to.

Cleaning the kill.

He sucked the marrow from the bones, ate the flesh off them, tore the clothing off with his teeth until he got to the skulls. Each one he carefully cleansed with a vial of a clear liquid that looked of water but ate away everything save the bone from the skulls. He polished and buffed each one, his workmanship noteworthy on a normal day, but there was so much more at stake.

Satisfied he had done this well, he stood again, the village an ashen heap beneath him. This would not do.

Again he took another deep breath and the scream that came next was clean, it was pure. It erased the village, replaced it with the trees and shrubs that had been there before. It buried their bodies and let the maggots feast and soon no one would be able to tell that there had ever been anything here other than the serenity of a wood.

He gathered the things he needed and walked in strides to where the wee lass lay against the river. Her body broken and so far past the hope of any save the one she would see next when she opened her eyes. He picked her up as delicately as an ice flower in midwinter and closed his eyes and whispered.

“Siobhan.”

The Hunt Master With Power Of Spirit And Righteousness Of Duty

Hunt Master

There was a silence in the cavern after his name was said by the Dark Goddess. The power a thick and palatable thing in the air. It only lasted a moment before the singular sound of the drop was added too by the sound of a heavy footfall on the rocks.

Siobhan sat still and waited for the Hunt Master to come to her, she was contemplating all of the things that were going to be said to him, the fate of so very many depended on her exact wording. She had made him, yes, however she did not control him and she had designed it that way. Once the parameters of the Hunt were given, it would continue until the Hunt Master himself decided that it was over. He reported to Siobhan, worshiped her as the Goddess who created him, but in this, he was the absolute and ultimate source of power.

Raising her head from where she stared and casting a glance backward, the Hunt Master was revealed in the glory of what she had made him.

A giant, literal and metaphorical approached her. Cloaked in the blackness of shadow and cover, his head adorned with great antlers of a long-dead beast. He was on an eternal hunt that never ceased, never in the history of time and space would it stop. He approached Siobhan and bent his huge frame with uncanny grace, his knee touching the floor with virtually no sound as it did so. His head bowed low and his black hood and the very shadows themselves fell in front of a face she had never, and would never, see. No one can see when the Hunt is coming, it is the power in it, it is the source of the fear.

Siobhan turned fully, nodding to him, knowing he could see she greeting him as the equal he was in this respect.

“Hunt Master, I have called for you this day because there are beasts that disguise them as other things that need be captured.” As she spoke the images of a woman, bones shattered and mangled, sitting and sipping water that brought her life, or at least as close to life as she could maintain. The Hunt Master began to rise, his target, in his mind, chosen. “Stay your movements, Lord, there is a twist to the knife blade of this hunt that you need know. The Hunt Master froze in his movements and Siobhan spoke lowly and quickly, his mind filling with the sights, sounds and smells of each and every member of the tribe that had done this to the girl.

“All of them. Each one in the tribe save her. No mercy, no respite. They will be hunted, culled, slaughtered and collected. Each of their skulls you will bring to me, polished and I will make a throne of them for that young Goddess who does not know who or what she is just yet to sit upon and join me and mine in the governance of the world. On the Darkness that Swallows and Destroys All Things, I bind you to this task until it is completed. Should you fail me, you are Oathbreaker and your power will be broken and your pain limitless.

Siobhan turned away from the Master then, his rise was slow as he made the magic within himself to do what must be done. The wash of it over her was like hot and scalding water, his rage was hers, his anger from her own. She only cocked her head slightly as she heard the sounds of the great steeds enter, the ethereal beasts that carried him to collect the hunted and terrorize those that had not yet been collected.

“Your will be done Great Goddess, so it is I swear.” His voice was cracked, from the lack of use, the authority behind it, however, was unquestionable.

The Goddess felt the exit of the colossal amount of power as she was once again left alone, the singular drip of blood her only companion as her eyes sparked with fire and amethyst in pools of forever.

Deliah

Siobhan

She awoke with a start, her heart racing in her chest. She swallowed several times to try and push the dust away and all she could manage was to cough weakly and try desperately to focus her eyes on anything, anything at all. Her body was numb, unfeeling in every way. Her eyes darted back and forth desperately trying to find…something. She had no idea what it was, who it was, just that she needed to find it because it was important. Yes, important, that’s what it was. With an extraordinary effort, she raised her back off the ground, her eyes finally settling, fixing on one thing.

Her arms, or at least what used to be her arms. Now they were not but mangled pieces of flesh-covered bone. They were broken, shattered in dozens of places. Some of them sticking out of the skin, others at angles that should not exist. There was no pain, none at all. She sat up farther, her back screaming as she did until finally, she was sitting straight. Then she saw her legs.

They were worse, so much worse, than her arms. They were at a dozen angels, flesh torn and blood dried where someone had left them to knit the way they were, not setting them in place where they should be, not caring that they would cripple her beyond hope.

Then it all came back to her in a flash.

Deliah, that was her name. She had been hanging for the slaughter of her friend, for reading the future, the reading that saw this very moment where she remembered everything while she was in a twisted and deformed pile of broken bones and twisted flesh. She did not know how she got to where she was, or how long she had been unconscious. Looking at her arms and legs both, it must have been weeks. The flesh had begun to heal over the breaks, the bones setting hard into place with calcified nodules exposed everywhere. Deliah took a deep breath, not a calming one, no there was no calm in the foreseeable future. She knew everything that was to come, and she knew that the next little while would be a hell, an agony that would make her want to live no longer, but the other side of it would be everything she had worked so hard on, a plan realized.

She looked around and saw what she knew would be there. All of the trying to remember what she was looking for was realized in that glance. She blinked back tears as her weak and crippled arm reached and, with a massive effort, picked up the stone beside her. She wept loudly, not wanting to do what must be done.

Even as she slammed the rock down with all of her force, breaking the broken over and over again, even then she did not lose hope no matter how much her body screamed, how much blood she lost, how much agony moving each bone back inside her caused her.

Never. Was. Hope. Lost.

——

Hours? Days? Time was meaningless through the pain. Every movement was agony, every breath was the weight of the world pressing down on Deliah’s chest. She looked over her body, or what was left of the old one. All the bones were in place, at last, even the memory of it made her close her eyes and nearly panic. They were where they should be and with time and a blessing from a deity she tried so very hard to despise, she would at least be able to walk again. Her arms were easier, the bones thinner, knitting faster than the ones in her legs.

She could not remember the last time she had been free of pain, had not been covered in blood and piss, snot and shit. She had made it, over days, to a small creek. She had greedily drunk from it when she could. The small fish that were too dumb or slow to get out of her hands had nourished her the best they could.

Anger flowed through her like blood. She was mad at creation itself and everything less than that. She knew it was coming, she knew every detail and yet she was still not ready for the agony and weight of it all. How dare some thing she did not see or know curse her with the ability to see the future the way she could. How dare this goddess in the darkness presume to make her do things. Why would anyone want to know the precise second they were going to die? Deliah could close her eyes and see the vastness of time in front of her and not be surprised by any of it. It was a burden she did not want, did not ask for, would try all she could o to rid herself of.

There was the future that she knew, but then there was the future that could be, and that single thread of hope is what kept her as sane as she was all this time as she sat in a pile of her own filth, most bones in her body broken, the shape of her body permanently disfigured. Why? Why was she punished for something that came from a Goddess they all claimed was all-knowing and loving?

She would have her answers, one way or the other the truth would come.

Oppositions, For What Is A Chess Game If There Is No One To Play Against? What Is The Purpose Of A Game If You Know All The Results In Advance?

Siobhan

Siobhan had divided the world betwixt the loves that she cherished more than any other, but that does not mean for a moment that the Dark Goddess was idle, she did not disappear into the Darkness from whence she came and was left to be forgotten by the thousands of generations from that moment until this one. Whilst Beithíoch and Neart guarded the entirety of the worlds Siobhan had created with them, the Dark Goddess created more things than anyone ever thought Her responsible for. They gave credit to authors and songwriters, the idiocies of radio, television, and movies. They took it from…..However, perhaps I am getting ahead of myself, however, let us go back to the moment where Siobhan walked into the Void of the darkness and pick up our tale and tell it as it should be told.

—–

The world safe, Siobhan walked to the home she had always known, the dais not empty, even without Beithíoch and Neart to sit with her for they were always in Siobhan’s mind and heart. She could tell what they were doing every moment if she so desired, but she trusted them implicitly and would only check in on them when she felt a need come across that she did not find an easily explained thing.

No, there were things that only Siobhan could take care of, things that Neart and Beithíoch would be able to comprehend in the slightest. Their great wisdom combined would not understand why Siobhan had, in the paradise universe she had made for all of them, created an enemy for herself. Not just one enemy at that.

As the metamorphosis was occurring, there was a need, a raw and burning need to have in the world something to strive against. Something to pit her will, her power, her charms, everything that Siobhan had at her disposal, against. So in the greatness of the moment, she had allowed the seeds of these adversaries flow from her and into the Universe. She had not cheated however, she did not know where they were, what they could do, even how strong they were in comparison to her. She had purposely allowed that knowledge to be kept from her. It is not a battle if you can so easily defeat them that you against is it?

—–

In the depths of the glacier, there was not cold and dark, but a paradise of color as the light reflected infinitely off the ice and rainbows like dust motes populated the air. The people that sat and watched them with awe were simple people, yes, but they had within them the power to harness the power of the light they fawned over. They had with them the power to direct it, intensify it, manipulate it. They were savages who had not been shown the free meat of the kill, infants who had never known the struggle.

Tall they were, all of them almost the same in the soft pink of their skin and white of their flowing hair. Thin and well-muscled, piercing blue eyes that saw anything that the light touched.

Save one.

There was a little boy, exiled by choice, whose skin was black like the night they had never known and eyes red like the fire that was sometimes used in the sacred rites. He had never once fit in with the people of the cold, he longed to feel the sun on his skin and to feel it coursing through him, allowing him to take, to kill, to destroy without thought. He did not think himself good or evil, those words were meaningless to him. he simply saw himself as strong and they as weak and they needed someone to show them the proper path to get them to rule the places of Light and to drive the Darkness out and forever purge the land of it.

he knew he could not do it yet, he was but three seasons into the thousand season life and still, his strengths were coming, all of them twisted like deformity of darkness that had afflicted him since his birth. His mother had tried to love him, she had never once shunned him, but he could tell he disgusted her, disgusted them all.

All of them would pay for it, all of them would know that the Light was the power he would take from them and before he killed them all as he had the first few who strayed too far, they would worship him as the Lord of Light and would know all of their dreams would be destroyed before he ripped them apart and feasted upon them.

—–

Her hands had been bound behind her back, her arms then raised above her and she was hung by her wrists. The agony was intense and continuous. Her screams echoed off the trees and there was no one who could not hear the woman who had killed one of her own and been caught looking at his entrails, blaspheming the rites of her people and looking for dark portents in the blood and viscera that occasionally she would shyly place into her mouth and close her eyes in pleasure at the taste of the mother of her childhood friend.

She had not resisted when they came for her, she had never tried to deny anything that she had done. Lying was for lesser beings, besides, she truly did know the future and even all the agony she was to endure was not that which would kill her, and in that there was an infinite comfort.

So, pain raged through her as her shoulders dislocated first. The pain was dulled as she passed out from it and when she woke again her legs felt so heavy. She looked down and saw they had tied boulders to them, her elbows and wrists screaming in pain, her ankles and knees near the breaking point. They did not want to kill her, they would have done so if that is what they craved. No, they wanted something far more ruinous for her.

Among her people the worst punishment was not the things they were doing to her now, no those were simply the opening moves in a longer dance. Her people were not kind, they were worshipers of a dark goddess that no one knew the name of and they regularly sacrificed their own to her. What they were mad about is that she had not dedicated to the sacrifice when she had butchered her friend. So now, she would be rendered a cripple, then other and far darker things would be done and finally, she would be left alone, shunned and forsaken to wander the world without their darkness in her eyes, with no love for the dark goddess in her heart.

Little did they know she had known and planned for precisely that.