He did so hate such theatrics. Far too melodramatic for his tastes. But the surest way to ensure his own safety was to play off of the Pvethian's superstitions and myths that veiled his identity. If they believed him to be a demon then so be it, their fear would be his shield. He only hoped that the Pvethian would believe all that curse bullshit.
Kaelus trod over the worn road with the heavy the footfalls of a man laden with the hardships of a long journey. The small rocks and bits of gravel on the path crunched under his feet as he passed over them. Far away in the distance his tired eyes could barely make out clouds forming over the city through the fog of Pveth. Marvelous. Now i'll have to deal with walking through this stinking country in the rain. There was still some time left before his weary legs could carry him to the city. His lungs burned, how long had he been walking? The sun had already set once on him since he last broke for camp, Kaelus planned to make sure he would not see another while travelling the grim landscape. He pulled up the hood of his cloak in preparation for the imminant rainfall. Talia, the last remnant of his service with the resistance, bounced against his leg with every step. The old sword had served him and her previous wielder well, despite the latter's grisly end.
In the last battle at the South Coast Saen and Talia cut down more than a dozen of Pveth's warriors. Along with Kaelus and a handful of the best soldiers in the resistance Saen managed to hold the line just long enough to buy time for the rest of the freedom fighters to escape to the sea. Kaelus stumbled, kicking up dust and breaking his chain of thought. He fell to one knee as a man coming from the city had come into view. The stranger started at Kaelus' sudden, uncontrolled movement and rushed over to help him. Reaching down to help Kaelus up, the man spoke. "Are you alright? This fog can have quite the effect on your vision eh?" Kaelus waved away the man's offer for help and rose on his own. Kaelus avoided eye contact, instead looking off at the city and stepping forward slightly, keeping the man to the back of his left side. All he wanted to do was glare at the man, to let his resentment and hatred towards Pveth and the man's kind be felt through the burning gaze of his 'soulless' eyes. Instead he let the passion he felt manifest in his words. The urge for vengeance dripped off his tongue like a viper's venom. Rage, anger, sadness, regret. All of these emotions were tangled into the complex tapestry of his voice. ”Exhaustion. Your ghastly fog had nothing to do with it dog.” The man seemed shocked at the vile tone from Kaelus. ”Who pissed in your ale? Gods, you colonials are nothing but ungrateful pigs.”
Kaelus nearly whipped around and ripped out his heart with the steel claws of his demonic arm but managed to maintain his composure. ”Lucky for you I find myself otherwise occupied. If we had met in different circumstances your Pvethian arrogance would have resulted in a more... satisfying end.” This really seemed to irritate the man. He fired back with a litany of indignant insults. ”You... Self righteous animal! Our king unified your impudent little nations. You owe king Jafeth everything! Kaelus spit at the cursed name. The man seemed momentarily insulted, then smiled and spoke with a spiteful tone. ”Where are you from? Fjorland? A friend of mine was with the garrison that broke your little resistance. He took one of the woman fighting at South Coast as a trophy. Every now and then he tells me that she still weeps when he enters the room at night.” Kaelus' blood boiled at the mention of the abuses his people had suffered at the hands of Pveth. His right hand clenched into a fist, nearly punching holes through the glove that masked his claws. The physical reaction seemed to urge the man forward.
”Ooooh, that one hurt didn't it? Were you there coward? One of the weaklings who fled to the sea while your comrades were butchered like animals. All of them killed or captured. All but the accursed demon your backwards people chose as their champion. I heard that in the end he ran like a rat from a hawk. I only hope that I find him myself so I can claim the rewa-” Kaelus broke his composure. Whipping around with blinding speed he caught the man around the throat with his right hand. Gasping for air, the pedestrian grabbed Kaelus' hand with both of his, trying desperately to pry the pointed fingers from his compressed neck. Kaelus hissed his words, like a pipe leaking steam. ”Claim the what, dog? Were you going to say reward? I'll give you the chance right now.” Kaelus turned his head to face the Pvethian and stared into his eyes. Terrible realization dawned in the expressions of the Pvethian. His eyes softened in sudden terror and his mouth drifted open. He stammered for words but only managed a broken, disjointed response. ”It's.. you're...... Kaelus tightened his hold, causing the man to choke.
He took in a deep breath as he calmed himself, speaking in a relaxed and casual tone he continued, much to the Pvethian's horror. ”Go ahead. Strike me down. Kill me in the name of your glorious leader.... No? What a shame. In that case it seems you have two choices. You can die here and now, watch the still beating heart torn from your chest, or you can leave with your life. I will mark you with the symbol of my God. A terrible curse that will inform me of any treachery you commit and allow me find you wherever you hide. Know that if you betray my mercy I will hunt you down and submit you and everyone you hold dear to torture so vile and wretched that you would trade the soul of your own son to instead spend the rest of your days in one of the Pretender's torture chambers..... Kaelus' tone lightened and he smiled seeming entertained by the morbid threats. Savvy?” The man's eyes were wide with terror, and he merely nodded wildly. Kaelus pulled the man up and spoke through his wicked smile.”That's a good dog.” Kaelus took the man's palm in his hand and carved the ornate crescent into it, shoving the Pvethian away before he could muster a response. The man merely stood there, palm bleeding, as Kaelus walked away. He did so hate such theatrics. Far too melodramatic for his tastes. But the surest way to ensure his own safety was to play off of the Pvethian's superstitions and myths that veiled his identity. If they believed him to be a demon then so be it, their fear would be his shield. He only hoped that the Pvethian would believe all that curse bullshit. Odds were about 80/20 on that line. Every now and then he actually found a Pvethian loyal or pragmatic enough to risk calling the bluff. The smell of rain filled the air and small droplets began to hit the top of Kaelus' cloak. He pulled the cloak tight around him and bent his head down as the heavens opened above him. Still so much time. Such a long walk before he could finally rest.