Gather ‘round, ye fine citizens, and if someone would but refill my mug of ale… thank you, good gentle!
What a gloomy company we have among us! And yet I must commend you for your bravery. For, as we all know, the Broken Rune, though it be understood only by the Wisest of the Wise, has shattered the very working of the World, and all of us have had to adapt. We may hunger a bit, but ‘tis better than chewing a bit of mutton and finding yourself transformed into some horrid parody of humanity—like our innkeeper here!
Oh, barkeep, I do but jest. Here, have a coin to sooth your mercurial spirit! Catch! …Barkeep, thou clumsy oaf, I told you to catch it, not let it land in that glass of ale. Well, I shall make good thy loss. Fish out the coin, and bring me another ale; I shall need one in each fist to recount properly the horrors of life under Lords of Darkness.
You think you have it bad now? Hah!
Just WAIT until The Dark Lord has her way with you.
Oh, certes, I do mean “Has her way”. Ask not about her appetites; know only that they are vast and unnatural. I, myself, have known them directly, and a less-experienced man than myself surely would not have survived. But that’s not the half of it.
All her people starve! None of them have food! It is just as the Wizards say!
Also, if you go visit, be sure bring some coin. Some of those farm-husbands can cook like MAD, and their prices are very reasonable. If you end up renting a little cottage by the shore, the seafood is to die for. Sometimes literally, of course, with all the 60-foot sharks washing up on beaches lately, but unlike other places, they seldom have a lot of casualties. Some kind of early-warning system, and some kind of alliance with giant squid. The Sharks burst up on the beach, and they’re quickly restrained by ye Kraken-like beasts, then killed by fishermen. Egads! It makes you wonder: what kind of lunatics go near giant Gods-damned sharks? Especially with huge tentacled things clinging to their fore and aft-quarters! …but damn, those things do fry up a treat.
Uh, the starvation? It’s, ah, I’m sure they only eat when someone like me is around, you know, to check on them. It’s propaganda. I’m practically doing the peasants a service, giving them an excuse to show off for strangers, unlocking food from the vaults of the Dark Lord. And they still make me PAY FOR MY OWN DRINKS! Uncivilized.
Oh, yes, the Dark Lord has granaries, but we presume they’re full of snakes and giant spiders. Why would someone like that want to feed her people? Ridiculous.
At any rate, they have a sweet setup in that Keep, let me tell you. Comfortable, roomy, and, of course, every hallway is stuffed with evil. One of them tried to bake me muffins. Avocado muffins. They’re mad there, you know.
Can’t wait ‘til we kill the bastards. I wrote quite a good song about it, only this one Witch, she came out, and she sang at me, and she mocked me, and the whole tune went right out of my head.
I remember her tune though.
All her tunes, in fact. They’re quite catchy, really.
Anyone want to hear a bit of music from the voices of pure evil?
You ALL want to listen in?
Well, pull me another pint, pass me a wench—hm? You don’t pass wenches around these parts? Strange customs and strange times. Pass me a pint and a second pint, then, and I’ll play you a song or two that’ll chill your blood.
This one’s about the foul potions they brew. Oh, they call it moonshine, but no moon could have this much alcohol in it. It would wobble, and crash into stars, and fall out of the sky.
All right! Another round, and another, and let’s settle in to telling of the Horrors of the Great Citadel, and why we should all go ‘round and give the inhabitants a stern talking-to and any spare pastries we have lying around.
I know, it’s a bit of a mixed message. It’s by someone named Akané, who may be some kind of enchanted servitor, or possibly a siren. Probably a Siren. I’m lucky to have escaped with my life. And you’re lucky to have me here, to tell you of the aforementioned horror.
Ah, thank you barkeep. Right, let’s settle in, and I’ll tell a tale that’ll curdle your blood, if you haven’t already wisely converted it to alcohol. It’s called “The Ballade of Susane the Psychotic”. It’s based on a true story. Or so I’ve heard.
My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities and create things. Every year, I put on Evil Expo, the Greatest Place in the World to be a Villain. I also write a lot of fantasy and science fiction.. You can get most of my books right here. Go ahead, pre-order “I HATE Your Prophecy“. It may make you into a bad person, but I can live with that.