A Last Stand
Charybdus Hell's Reaver
Returned from Hell. And pretty pissed
Charybdus was born in a small town known as Pern. He grew into a fine blacksmith. But the villagers agree that there was always something a little bit off. He was a little to quick to anger. Too quick to point a finger when there was blame to be had. He spent his days repairing farm tools and using his own on farmer’s daughter’s. It all changed on the day the guardian arrived. The guardian had been hunting a band of worshipers of the Darkness. They had been secretly operating out of Pern for some time now. The cultists attacked in a blur. It was the middle of the day on market day. The slaughter was gruesome and swift. The guardian dealt swift justice to all who attacked him. But the one thing he did not expect was the friendly blacksmith who had repaired his horses shoes earlier that same day. He snuck up from behind and slipped a knife between the man’s ribs. The guardian crumpled with a cry and an astounded look on his face. He felt something in him scream and then go silent. Charybdus felt no remorse. Only rage. His friends were dead. And nothing would ever be the same again. He saw the bodies strewn around him and felt the anger seep into his soul. He took a scythe from one of the cultists bodies and vowed revenge. He became known as Charybdus the Reaver. He waded through streets of blood, crushing the skulls of the innocent and weak underneath his boot. No one was safe. But his rage was never satisfied. His lust for violence was never slaked. He stood on piles of the dead and laughed. He didn’t realize the error of his ways until it was too late. Blinded by rage he slaughtered defenseless village after defenseless village.
It was dusk. The streets were redder than the crimson streaks cast by the sun across the sky. The bodies were numerous but not as numerous as in some villages. He was wiping his scythe on a young girl’s corpse when he heard something behind him. It was a sound he recognized. Yet it was somehow different. He wheeled, scythe in hand. But what he saw confused him. It was a guardian. He wasn’t charging or yelling a rebuke. He was kneeling. And crying. Charybdis hesitated a moment. He wasn’t sure what to make of this. He had seen people cry before. Mostly tears of rage or fear. Sometimes sadness. But this guardian was staring straight at him. The sadness in his eyes was for him. This man cried for him. He ran at the armored man and started beating him with his fists. Punching him in the stomach and face. But he never retaliated. And all of the sudden Charybdis felt it.
It him him harder than any hammer and cut deeper than any sword. It pierced him to the very soul. He felt the chill of it spread to his arms and legs making them stop in their violent assault against the now unconscious guardian. He collapsed to his knees. The weight of it was more than he could bear. He lay there next to the guardian. Weeping. He tried to stand. He had to get out of this place. This gruesome entry in his chronicle of blood. He could only come to his knees.
He never saw them. The angry farmer and his son who had been in his fields during the blood bath. They recognized the man’s weapon next to him. It was Charybdis the Reaver. The man grabbed the knife from his belt. He stabbed Charybdis. Once. Twice. Three times in the back. Charybdis collapsed wordlessly onto his scythe, happy for the release. Finally he would rest in silence. No more would his guilt wrack him. Now he could be at peace.
But it wasn’t peace he felt next.
It was pain. Searing pain. As if every nerve in his body had been set on fire.
And the guilt remained.