Wednesday, May 28, 2014

From the Internal Narrative of Callidus Igni


I stood in the shadows and waited, biding my time. The night was young, and I still had plenty to do. Early evening sprites passed by me, skipping in their ignorance of my presence, and though we were of the same world, I did not show myself to them.

My assigned quest was easy, tailored well to my nature: to lead adventurers astray.

"Callie, you out there?" A whispered call tore through the air, seeking me, but I did not expose myself. "Come on, Callie, we're not going to fall for your tricks this time. Fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice--I can't be fooled again!"

I twined the threads tethered to my cloak carefully, deciding whether to take the challenge. This one was not my intended target, but I would have plenty of time before he strolled by to reset the trap. I pulled the second frayed string on my left wrist, and the branches shuffled and bowed lightly under the spinning weight of a concealed pulley.

 "Ah, there you are, my good fellow. If you would be so kind as to join us on this fine evening."

I bobbed the hanging lantern and set it swinging slightly.

"Come now, don't make this harder than it has to be."

Truth be told, it didn't terribly matter who or how many I led astray, only that it would be done, and to double-tap (so to speak) a prior victim would likely be worth so much more in the end. I pulled the first string on my left wrist, and a second lantern fell, seventy degrees around the clearing from the first.

"Oh, did you bring some friends this time?"

I grinned deep within my hood. Even their group narrator was looking peaked. Right wrist this time, and I completed four of the spokes of the wheel, leaving only one, in the direction of my own self. With a spare fingertip, I brushed a button on my wireless remote that wasn't technically approved by the rules, but neither was it overtly or directly banned; creativity was necessary and expected for a character of my nature. Or at least, would be, if there were many others out there.

A murmur rose from the wireless speakers I had secreted around the ring, except by where I waited. It started rising to a wordless crescendo, and as the track neared its peak, I took my foot off the piece de resistance, the last thread, which was actually heavy, black nylon rope. As the slack was picked up by falling weights, all four lanterns swung towards the center, and then up. My victims screamed, crouched, and ran towards the opening in the ring.

I extended my staff out from behind my hiding spot and tripped the lot of them. Two quick button presses extinguished the hanging lanterns and lit the one on my staff in quick succession, and I leaned over them, the shadows beneath my hood deepening.

"Boo."

I think their narrator fainted for a few seconds, and he was better off than the others. Judging by the smell, none of them would be welcomed by their tentmates until they'd at the very least changed clothes. I waited until they were all settled down, and then, with my will still lit, I wisped back into the forest, waiting long enough for them to depart before resetting the system.

This was going to be fun.

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