Plague Of Tyrants
Seefer made his way into the darkening cave. The vast army of creatures echoed their welcome. The darkness grew, swallowing him as he went farther into the cave, and his thoughts turned to his journey. He had a powerful master now, even if he was mad. People were being flung from the cliffs every day now. No one was even allowed to see him anymore, this living god amongst them. What do I care? As long as I make my little toys, I am safe. The cave walls echoed with the chirping of his friends, the little monsters that gave him their precious gifts.
Seefer didn't worry about anyone stopping him as he gathered his ingredients, he was protected now. The beatings and teasing he suffered as a child were distant, yet still painful memories. My mind saved me, he thought as the cave drew darker, I can build things, and I know how to be important to powerful people. Besides, he had nothing of value, not to anyone else. He laughed to himself as he realized that even if he was robbed, no marauder would ever understand what he had in his hands. But Seefer knew that he held the ingredients to create another batch of the most dangerous, and therefore the most valuable substances in the world.
As soon as the world finds out about it, that is.
The chirping sounds were getting louder, the noises bouncing around the great cave. They mostly stopped during the day, but these were easy creatures to frighten from their slumber. Quick to awaken. He was always quiet, never desiring to waken the horde all at once. Seefer only wanted what was left behind after their night of hunting. Precious droppings, valuable waste.
He wondered why the man had shared the secret. No, it wasn't a man that gave me this secret. That fact bothered Seefer a great deal. The secret that three ingredients could make such a powerful weapon was now his. But why? Seefer decided to let that constant question sink into the lower waters of his mind, churning as always. Focus on the task.
There was little light this deep into the cave, but he had grown accustomed to that in his many recent visits. He opened his sack and took out his scraping knife. Seefer knew that he was made for this kind of work, not minding the smell or the way the droppings felt in his hands. All he could think about was what he was going to make it into, after it dried.
The beautiful destruction.
Above him, the horde of creatures hung upside down, their wings wrapped around their bodies, no doubt uneasy with dreams of last night's kill. As he gathered his ingredient, his mind wandered to the problem of gods and men. Was his need to create worth the growing madness of his new master? Worse, could he deceive the Queen that he truly believed in the living god that she worshiped? The god was getting crueler by the day. Men thrown from the cliffs for even the smallest mistake, or slip of the tongue, or no reason at all. But he would have to pretend to love the monster and build more toys.
He collected all he would need for the next batch, and stood up with his sack, making his way back to the light. It would be a long journey back to his jungle home. Seefer smiled, thinking of the secret he had been shown. Now he had to focus on the task, calculating how fast he could make the dark powder. The god was demanding more and more. He kept just enough powder to protect himself, in case he was summoned to the tower and the cliffs. He wondered if the workmen even knew they were building a monument to death.
He stood at the mouth of the cave, finally back into full daylight. He let the wind whip at his face, knowing he was headed back to the heat and dark. He relished the fresh air as he looked out at his world. It would soon change forever. Seeing the distant mountains gave him a chill; the inner rings held monsters and men. He wondered how the distant rulers felt about this new god in the jungle. The old stories say they don't let anyone rise above them. How long before they came and struck down this new god?
Seefer shook off his fear, thinking of the future world where his toys might be used by vast armies. The thought disturbed him and excited him at the same time. He felt a vibration, as though his very thoughts of the future shook the living world around him. Dark times are coming, and I will sit at the table. Like a dark omen, the fluttering chirping sound got louder, until the entire flying army exploded out of the cave, flying all around him. Something strange and unknown had awoken them.
Seefer closed his eyes, not afraid of the tiny flying monsters. He stood still, imagining the future world where his dangerous toys would bring down kingdoms.