Monstrous Compendium Ch8 bit – Tainted

Tournesol touched the necklace over her heart. “We found out how Pureshriek got through your wards. He had… he had Azul’s bloodstone.” It hurt. Her brother had been a thief and a spy and sometimes a horrible person. But to know a paladin had cut him down in Zarash’ak’s wet streets just because he was Caerulus’ son, to get the one key that would open a dragon’s lair…. Why? Gods, why?

A hissing exhalation, without a hint of sparks. “I see,” the dragon growled. “And if the retrievers stopped long enough to spread a plague, there would have been plenty of taint about. He threatened to drop it?”

Tournesol shivered, nodding. Bloodstones were a gift, but also a terrible vulnerability. They were connected to their kin until they shattered. What happened to one, could affect the whole clan.

And her father was many things, but he wasn’t a good dragon. A paladin would kill him. Wouldn’t even hesitate.

“I burned the tainted areas,” Connlan said quietly. “But by then….” Fists clenched, feathered snakes hissing in his hair as he looked away. “We’re youkai, not monsters! He didn’t have to threaten anyone. He could have just asked!”

“Ah. But that would mean giving a soul a chance to turn away from the Flame’s will.” Caerulus snarled. “I’ve seen corrupt priests of the Flame before, but humans never seem to go quite as crazy as the damned coatl-bloods.” He ruffled his wings. “So you thought if he threatened to kill me once, he’d go back on his word with the Eye, eh?”

“He said it had to be destroyed whatever the cost.” Connlan shrugged. “I thought he’d appreciate keeping his word.”


19 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Ch8 bit – Tainted

  1. Oooh. Nasty there Connlan.

    …but with the little bit of context we see I can actually see Kirito pulling the same thing. Whether I’d agree with full context…that remains to be seen.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Reminds me of how O’Neil described the “trade deal” that got them a Ha’tak from Cronus. “Cronus gave us his ship, and he got what was coming to him.”

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Sometimes paladins need to be reminded that there are limits… One of the hardest things to deal with can be a fanatic paladin, in some settings that leads to Death Knight status.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Speaking of Fantical Paladins…is Eberron a setting where you can have Paladins for evil gods or are they only available to those who are good? Or is it even more restricted to lawful good?

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      1. If memory serves it’s left intentionally vague because Paladin class abilities relate so closely to alignment, even moreso than Clerics.

        I don’t know what WotC ended up doing officially since all the DnD settings are supposed to be very loosely interconnected and high enough level effects let you travel from one to the other (Forgotten Realms to Greyhawk to Eberron, passing through Planescape each time. Theoretically you could get to Ravenloft too, but who would want to? Once there you’re not getting out as far as the Dark Powers are concerned), but I can take a guess at what Keith Baker, the creator of Eberron would say.

        Keith Baker was the one who made it so in Eberron Divine Magic is internal and Clerics’ own alignments don’t cause them to lose spells, leading to Evil Clerics of Good Gods or forces. From that I’m betting that Keith Baker would say that he made that ruling for all priests and Divine classes of the various gods, and paladins are a more fighter-y brand, but are just as priestly as clerics. Same ruling applies.

        But that’s just my take on Keith Baker’s logic. I do know that – alignment aside – the old ‘you can no longer progress as a Paladin after taking levels in any other class’ bit applies. Gwyll, above mentions Death Knights? In Eberron that’s a Karnnathi Prestige Class. The friend who’s the biggest fan of Eberron always wanted to play as one, and was the first to point out that – whatever other Paladin’s might say – the prestige class did not restrict based on alignment. Buuut the example Death Knight was specifically disallowed from continuing to level as a Paladin, even though the prestige class had several abilities designed to appeal to and stack with Paladin Class Abilities.

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  3. Yipe.

    Hope that if Asuna is viewing these memories it’s a similar effect to a movie and not experiencing them as Tournesol did.

    Though the bunnies chuckle about the notion of Asuna’s adopted? Step? Demi? (whatever label fits) father meeting Asuna’s current family.

    Granted they also cackle evilly about the notion of Caerulus having a chance to ‘deal’ with Sugou Nobuyuki. Because when it comes to dealing out justice, wizards can be very creative.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. >
        that mess with dismembering Oberon was a bit much….
        To be fair, after all the s**t the guy pulled on them inside and outside of the game, he was kind of asking for it.

        There are certain lines that Kirito has regarding his family and loved ones. And Sugou had proceeded to bloody well river dance all over them in steel-toed army boots.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. oooh, creative wizards – anyone here read the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane? One of my oldest fandoms, outside Agatha Christie. I started reading it when I really was a young adult, and now… well, my Dad pulled off being 22 for fifty years; I can pull off 29 for that long too. But yeah, the wizards in that set new levels for creative solutions – but then, it’s pretty much their job in the first place; creative thinking is usually a prerequisite for being invited to become a wizard in that series.
      Also, the Keeper trilogy by Tanya Huff. Sets new records for awesome puns. I mean, an entrance to Hell in the basement… which is not just sentient but talks to itself??

      Liked by 3 people

      1. One of my favorite authors. (And I’ll point to Book of Night With Moon in the same universe as a good example of non-human viewpoint characters. It has cats. And dinosaurs!)

        >>“Ah. But that would mean giving a soul a chance to turn away from the Flame’s will.”
        Oh dear, “I’ll kill you to save your soul”. One of the worst types of fanatics.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. He could have just asked!”

    Yes but that would have required thinking of youkai as people who can be reasoned with, deserve mercy, etc rather than monsters who you can sometimes terrorize into doing your bidding and then depose of them once they are no longer useful . . . either after you have finished whatever task you wanted them for . . . or it looks they are no longer cowed enough by your threats.

    You aren’t people to ones like that paladin, guys.

    Since I don’t have the full scene, cannot say whether or not I will think if Connlan’s reaction was excessive or not. I doubt I’m going to find it wrong, exactly. Part of that might be my leeriness for fanatics of any variety . . .

    Liked by 2 people

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