Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cruor et Caedis Chapter VI

Earlier chapters:
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V


"Books! Books! All these books are useless. And they won't even burn! What was this city about, anyway? Was it one big library or something? What did the people eat? Letters? Were they fighting with pens and building houses with ink? There is nothing in Frostgrave. We're out!"

"I do not think you should judge so hastily. The books contain more than you should think of. Mayhaps you could study just one of the volumes? And you have found artefacts of power, no reason to deny that. You have even found a respite from this... affliction of yours."

"No! I have sacrificed everything. I sacrificed everything, and I gained nothing from it! Frostgrave... bah. I'll drown the city in sea of flames, and what's left I will burn with rain!"

"What a spectacle that would be, I must agree. But such a grand show requires a bewildered crowd."

"Yes! A crowd! There are people there, I know! We have ran into them many times now. We will capture them, we will shackle them and we will offer them a show they shall never forget right in the middle of this stupid city and its false riches!"

"If that is your wish, mister, then we will proceed. But we don't have enough food to feed Groldo. I hope you consider how Groldo can be when hungry."

Ennu was right. Still Jack felt strangely attracted to the city, despite his expression of frustration. Being overly dramatic was, so to say, an illness that came with the profession. Something was happening. The dimming of light felt like it was in direct relation to the mysterious power he felt coursing throughout the city. Jack could sense these sort of things.

Circus had been camping on the outskirts of the Frostgrave area. They didn't have too many supplies left as Ennu had commented, so they'd have to pay a visit to the inn soon enough. If not for anything else, they'd have to do it because of Groldo. Cruor et Caedis couldn't afford to lose any additional clowns. But time wasn't right, not just yet. The atmosphere was exciting... almost thrilling. There was no clear reason for that, but it felt just like it had felt in his childhood when a new set of performances were about to get revealed to the audience. You'd have to be crazy to miss the chance to watch how things would act out... That moment was one of the few happy memories Jack harboured until this very day. The moment didn't usually last very long, as the crowd started to slowly realise the somewhat more... experimental nature of many of the numbers. So it goes.

Now it looked like Jack wasn't the only one who sensed the surge of magical power. Various travellers had started gathering on the scene.

"Alright! We have our crowd!" Jack told nearby members.

"Dim the lights! Take positions! We're going to offer this rabble our greatest show right here, right now" Jack was raising his volume as he spoke. "Ladies and gentlemen... welcome to Cruor et Caedis! Tonight's show is called Total Eclipse of the Heart... we hope you enjoy what you shall see!"

The "rabble" was groups of multiple rival wizards, but this tiny detail escaped Jack's attention. He was no longer present. Deep inside his own mind he was re-living some smashing success of a show. In that show there had been a debut of a new stage number: the Human Torch.

The fire had been supposed to be magical in nature, then, and wouldn't burn the performer. Thirteen year old Jack disliked such illusion and tried to manipulate the performer's clothes with flammable oils. He had been stopped, though...

But tonight there would be no-one to stop him.

Next chapter.

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