WARNING: The following blog post may contain strong language and imagery that may not be suitable for, well, anyone.
This blog post is a submission for Chuck Wendig’s FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE: WHO THE FUCK IS MY D&D CHARACTER.
YOU THINK YOUR CHARACTER IS COOL? MY CHARACTER IS A FUCKING
COMPOSED TIEFLING WARLOCK FROM A BUSTLING CITY WHO WAS KIDNAPPED BY CULTISTS
A cockatrice called out in the distance. Scrunching her closed eyes, Valdis von Goebel rolled over onto her back with a wet *squish*. Having gone to sleep last night in her own bed in the royal palace, logic would indicate she should be feeling smooth, silk sheets and soft down bedding. Instead, the young woman felt cold, wet, and sticky. Opening one eye, she could see pale, rose-tinted light pouring through her window. Reluctantly opening the other eye, she squinted and scanned the room. Everything in it seemed to have been colored a glossy red –
“Faengwen!” Valdis shouted towards the closed door to her bedroom. “Draw me a bath. Then find my mother and tell her that I need to speak with her.”
“Hi mom.” Valdis fired off with a smile. Even though her eyes were closed, she could hear the sound of the door open over the slow boil of the bathwater.
“Hi sweetie.” her mother replied. Valdis heard the scraping of metal against stone followed by a soft *thump*. “How are you doing?” her mother continued, her voice now closer.
“Fine. We need more pumice though. I think I used up the last of it.”
“Good. About you being fine. Today’s a big day for you.”
“This is it.”
“Your officially a young woman now.”
“And you know we have a lot to do in a very small amount of time.”
“There’s the coronation ceremony, the royal inspection, the bonding, the ritual blood letting, the signing of the infernal contract, the live humanoid sacrifice -”
“I know.” Valdis said yet again, slowly trying to sink into the milky, burbling bathwater.
The young woman felt something strike her on the forehead. Opening her eyes, she was greeted with her mother’s sharp, obsidian visage. The older woman’s eyes glowed like the embers of a fire just waiting to be brought fuel so that they can turn into a raging firestorm.
“Don’t ‘I know.’ me.” Her mother mimicked the daughter’s tone. “Have you met any of the potential familiars? I know you like dragons, and you know how picky they can be-”
Valdis started to open her mouth, but the elder shot her a glance and gave a slight nod of her head. The young woman promptly closed her mouth and smiled. Her mother smiled back in return.
“Ok. I know you know what you are doing. I’m just… well… very proud of you and want to help how ever I can. So, I’ll clear my schedule for the day – and I’ll be available to take care of anything, whenever you are ready. You can send Faengwen to me regarding any items you need me to arrange. Though…”
Valdis’s mother looked around the room. The door to the bathroom was closed and no one was inside other than the two women. Nevertheless, the woman leaned in close to her daughter and whispered, “I know the two of you are close. She’d make a beautiful sacrifice to honor your ascension. But… you know…” Her mother looked around the room again. “Not all elves see being sacrificed for their mistresses as the honor it is. They may… try to run away… or cause a scene…” Holding up her hands, the older woman continued, “Just, if you want her to be the sacrifice, just… Don’t send her with the request. Send it via another servant. Just… it can get messy. You remember your uncle Nietzsche? We all want you to live long enough to be able to place your phylactery in the family vault…”
The older woman’s eyes started to glow a soft, warm red. Leaning over, her mother kissed Valdis on the forehead – right between her horns – before standing up and opening the door to the hall. Turning back, the elder woman smiled. “Oh, and please don’t select your great, great, great aunt Brunhilda for the ritual cannibalization. Yes, she is brave and strong and smart – even now – but that’s made her awfully popular, and there’s not much left of her. She’s already lost an eye, an arm, a leg, a kidney, and quite a bit of her brain.”
As her mother closed the bathroom door, Valdis leaned back, closed her eyes, and drifted off to sleep.
When Valdis opened her eyes again, she was greeted with the sight of sunlight trickling through a thick canopy of green leaves. “Wha…” she started to say as she sat up in the soft grass. Off to her right, she could make out several voices speaking in elvish. One of them sounded like Faengwen.
“Faengwen!” the young woman called out before turning to face the voices. Several yards from where she was sitting, three young elves stood, silent. No longer talking among themselves, the gaze of all three turned to Valdis.
“She’s awake.” spat a male voice. Valdis had to squint in the bright light, but she could make out the forms of three white elves – two women, one man – garbed in white robes adorned with…
“Oh… For the – You worship the light of creation, don’t you? I can’t believe this.” Valdis said as she scrambled to her feet and began to look around. Unfamiliar trees stretched out in all directions. Looking down, she found that she was dressed in the same white robes as the elves.
After making a brief motion to her fellows, Faengwen turned to Valdis and smiled. “Look, I know this seems a bit sudden, but-”
“But what?” Valdis interjected. “You kidnapped me on what is probably the most important day of my life.”
Faengwen looked over her shoulder at her fellow elves before looking back at Valdis. “Well… yes.” she said uncertainly. Valdis’s solid, jet-black eyes narrowed; but she said nothing.
“Look I,” she motioned to the other two elves, “We have all served your family faithfully for years. But…”
“But I couldn’t stand by and watch you be turned into a monster.” Faengwen stopped and looked to the other elven female. The other woman nodded and Faengwen continued.
“Before you woke up, I was bringing your your morning breakfast. When I opened the door to your room… The minute I saw… I-I knew…” The young elf made a choking sound and her eyes grew wet. She turned away from Valdis and the other elven woman spoke up.
“Faengwen knew you were an adult and, as such, would be made to join the pact your family made in ages long past with some infernal power. I’m not from here, but stories of your family’s… activities… are wide spread.”
Though shorter than Valdis, the elven woman somehow managed to look down her nose at the other woman while she spoke. “Those who serve the light of creation have been seeking a way into the walls of your mountain city for years. We have attempted to make contact many times with our fellow elves, but we have never had anyone contact us back.”
“Until today. Faengwen reached out to us and explained the ordeal before you. It was she who abducted you and brought you here – here where we can help you.” The elven woman’s face softened a bit, and a smile forced its way across her face. “We can take you far away from here. Protect you from the reach of your family.”
Valdis broke out into a bout of laughter that caused her to double over at the waist. The elves looked back and forth among one another, seemingly confused.
“What’s so funny?” asked the man.
Wiping away an oily tear with her obsidian-clawed hand, she managed to stifle her laughter. “Oh – you don’t understand at all.”
“What do you mean?”
“Why do you think my family performs all those rituals – why do you think they engaged in that pact?”
The elves looked at one another again.
“It doesn’t matter.” dismissed the man.
“I’m trying to save you.” followed up Faengwen.
Valdis shook her head and choked back another round of laughter. “The mountain is a volcano. Ages ago, it was supposed to erupt. One of my ancestors make a deal with the Devil to ensure it would remain dormant. The pact has a number of stipulations, including certain rituals that need to be performed. Failure to perform said rituals will result in the volcano erupting and wiping out the entire population of the mountain – which is sizable.”
“Well, that’s not a probl-” Valdis holds up a finger to cut off the older elven woman.
“Besides potentially destroying the entire city and killing its population, the eruption will open a gateway to a far plane – a plane where an ancient and terrible being exists. Waiting for its chance to enter our world. It is an immense and powerful being whose very presence is anathema to our existence. If that being gets even a toe-hold into our world, we will be subject to horrors unparalleled by any seen in any of the Hells.”
Pausing, Valdis took the time to make eye contact with each of the elves.
When the man started to open his mouth, Valdis shook her head. “No, your gods and angels will not help you. What? Do you think entering into a infernal pact with the powers of darkness was my family’s first thought? Hey, let’s engage in ritual brutality, victimization, and oppression! It’ll be fun! The fluffy-feel good powers of light either were unable or unwilling to protect us against dangers, both mundane and fantastic. So we did, and do, what needs to be done.”
The male elf furrowed his brow. “You’re just spouting this off to try and trick us.” Looking over at his companions, he motioned to Valdis. “She’s visibly tainted. Her entire bloodline is – and not even subtly so. Tieflings one and all. She’s irredeemable. We should just kill her now and be done with it.”
Seemingly on the verge of tears, Faengwen looked up at Valdis. “But… but I heard that joining the pact was voluntary.”
The young tiefling nodded. “It is. I can. Walk away. Only one of our bloodline has to perform the rituals – but the fewer the rods, the weaker the bundle. Single point of failure and all. What sort of daughter – person – would I be to walk away from my responsibilities? To my family? To my friends? To the world?”
…And the ultimate answer here would have to do with just what type of party she’d be joining up with/campaign she’d be in. I’m already way over the 1000 word count, so I’m stopping here.
However, here are a few things for the record:
- This is exactly the sort of character I’d make for a D&D game. I think that says everything you need to know about me, and why I don’t get invited to fancy parties.
- I actually did tons of world building for the von Goebel family, their servants, and their underground city that I now wish that I could use somewhere.
- I found it incredibly hard to find minimally sexuallized images of female Tieflings/demons.
- @LianaBrooks really wanted someone to add the line “I’d rather swive the Devil.” into their manuscript today. Honestly, I think it actually works really well as the last line to this story. However, it does then commit the main character and story to a very specific future path, rather than being slightly questioning and uncertain.
The image and video in this post were used without seeking permission. I believe their inclusion falls under fair use. If either are yours, and you feel its use is inappropriate; please contact me and let me know.