His Gods' Decree: Recruitment
Posted By: Dagorath<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 2 February 2006, 3:53 am
Trying to look slightly less enormous, Rukt started up the path towards the fields. The Brute guards looked startled when they saw him. Some bowed, some nodded their heads, but he could sense an underlying tension and hatred. The grey-skinned Brutes in Little Glen were obviously not liked.
There was a more obvious change in the Drudges. Frequently downtrodden and enslaved, Rukt couldn't blame them for their resentment. But any fool could recognize the immediate explosion of hatred when he walked past.
Continuing up the path, he reached the town gates. Two Brutes wielding long spears guarding it immediately knelt. When they didn't get up, Rukt frowned and said, "You may rise."
They got up and one asked, "Good day, sir. You are not from here?"
"No," Rukt replied. "I come from a village away up north." He waved vaguely in the direction of the mountains.
"Very good, sir. The Chieftain has asked that ones of your" the guard gestured clumsily towards Rukt's silvery skin "be invited to see him."
Rukt frowned. He had wished to lay low for a while, so as to learn more about the town. Presenting himself to the Chieftain would place him directly in the spotlight. But not doing so could have the same consequences disobeying the leader of the town would not leave a good impression.
Rukt smiled and said: "But of course. Lead the way."
The guard led him through the busy streets towards the castle. As he passed, Rukt could see shopkeepers crying their wares, guards marching around, and endless streams of Drudges running messages, carrying goods or sweeping the streets. Little Glen had changed beyond all comprehension.
The castle moat was guarded by a further six Brutes in leather armour, who waved them on. Passing a tall, draughty hall, they entered the throne-room of the Chieftain. Evidently he fashioned himself as a king of some sort, or the High Chieftain.
The Chieftain, a huge but aging Brute with the distinctive Mohawk and silver skin, immediately leapt down from his high seat, flinging a goblet of dark wine aside. Wearing a cape of dirty fur, his smile was broad and genial, but Rukt could saw his cold, calculating eyes. Whatever it was, the Chieftain was not welcoming him simply because they had the silver skin.
"Welcome, my brother!" he cried, clasping Rukt's arm. He reciprocated with a polite nod of his head. "Welcome to Little Glen!" He grinned at the antiquated name whatever it was, the town was not little. "How was your journey?"
"It was fine," Rukt said evasively. "Why have you summoned me, sir?"
"Oh, merely that I wish to help those of our higher race," he said smiling, pointing at his distinctive skin. "I can offer you a good job as one of my aides " he pointed at an advisor who stood in a shadowy corner. The Brute nodded.
Rukt considered this. Accepting would put him under the Chieftain's command. But insinuating himself could allow him to have greater knowledge of the town, and thus a better ability to follow the decrees of his gods.
The Chieftain's eyes darted to and fro, watching Rukt's face as he thought. Rukt let him sweat for a while. Finally, he said, "I accept your offer, Chieftain."
The change in the Chieftain was astounding. Before, he had been genial and kind. He was now cold and commanding.
"OK, my friend," he said, by the meaning of "friend" was very different. "I'll have someone take you to your lodgings. I want you reporting here within the unit."
"Of course, sire," Rukt replied, every inch the respectful servant.
A Brute lead Rukt out of the castle to a house on the edge of the town. Relatively large, it was sparsely furnished with beds, tables, storage compartments and tastefully placed ornate vases and ceremonial weapons.
Half a unit later, decked out in leather armour and the signature hammer of the "grey-skins", Rukt's status had changed even further in the eyes of the populace. The tension had grown to outright fear and anger. It was like a thunderstorm. And he knew if he ever went over the line, the whole town could come crashing down in civil strife. The Chieftain was running a very risky game here.
The Chieftain assigned him to supervise the shepherds watching over the livestock of Little Glen. The previous silver-skinned Brute assigned there had been set upon by the other Brutes and seriously injured, but the Chieftain was not concerned. "You can take care of it, I'm sure", he'd said jovially. Then he said, "Or else".
Rukt was troubled when he went to the pastures, which were located near the fields he had passed just coming up that morning. Greeted by sullen-looking shepherds who looked like they would pounce at him if he so much as opened his mouth, it looked like achieving his goal would be very difficult indeed.
But his gods would help him. Rukt was sure of it.
Author's Note: Very bad hair day today. Just consider this as a bit of filler. Maybe it's cos I'm listening to Maroon 5?