Thursday 15 June 2017

Trollbane - Part 5

Rienhart came around, his world turned upside down, literally. Suspended by his ankles from a beam that ran across the length of The Emperors Hand frontage. Blood ran freely from a large gash in the back of his head, courtesy of Muldar’s hammer. His vision blurred as he opened his eyes. As his senses came back to him he focused on the form of his captor.

Reven stalked back and forth in front of the man. The bloodied remains of Reinhart’s men piled in the street behind him. Crimson speckled the floor around the bodies and here and there rivulets of blood came together to form sticky, dark puddles. The sun was already rising and Reven’s shadow danced across Reinhart’s face, momentarily keeping its glaring rays out of the man’s eyes. Several Briarmoot residents had gathered to watch the spectacle and their stern, unforgiving face’s darted between the mercenary captain and the hanging man. Looks of derision were cast at all involved in the previous night’s disturbances, yet not a word was uttered as the small crowd watched the events that unfolded in front of them.

Reven was much recovered from the previous night’s attack. The worst of the wounds he had received was already just a long pink line across his forehead. Anger burned through his veins as he eyed his prisoner returning to consciousness. He approached Reinhart and grabbed the man by the throat, lifting him to the side so that the men could meet face to face. “Your men have been most helpful with my enquiries and have been rewarded justly for their assistance”, Reven said as he indicated to the pile of bodies in the street. “The only information I need from you is your name before I release you from your miserable life. I like to keep a list of all those that fall beneath my blade.” The smile the mercenary gave Reinhart hid the fact that all of the captive man’s men had been too grievously injured or too dead to answer any questions. Reven hoped to use shock and awe to bluff the man into giving up his identity and the reason for the attack. Searching him whilst unconscious had proven futile with nothing of any value being found beyond a few coins and a silver pendant. The pendant was finely fashioned into the shape of a hoof but little could be divined in terms of its importance to the man’s identity. Reinhart tried to chuckle but couldn’t gave his laughter voice due to Reven’s grip on his throat. He was released and swung widely from his tether, gasping he finally sputtered a chortle but much of its mocking intent was lost as spittle dribbled over his top lip and down his cheeks. Successful chuckles erupted from onlookers causing Reinhart to thrash and whirl in an apparent rage. This caused a fresh round of laughter from the crowd as the bound man flopped around in mid-air like a freshly caught fish. Reven rolled his eyes at Agrippa as he held his hand up to appeal for calm from the crowd. It was at this point that the interrogation fell into farce, Reinhart roared, “The great pigs foot will crush you beneath its magnificence and destroy you with its stench”, more laughter rang up and down the street, even the mercenaries couldn’t contain themselves. “Strength…. I meant strength…”, Reinhart corrected but far too late, his cries lost in raucous howls of mirth.

It became apparent to Reven that nothing would be gained from his ministrations and with quick whistle he summoned Fang to his side. The warhounds arrival quickly ended the noise from the crowd and silence reigned. Reven turned away as Fang advanced and screams of horror replaced what only a moment ago was laughter. 

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