News from Kyspert
«I disposed of both prophets today,» wrote Roroku. «Vem-Thu and Ko-Go-Nwa, both relegated to footnotes in religious history, and Ko-Go-Nwa still living to see it, too.»
«And you, of course, are the next and final prophet?»
«I am not merely a prophet, my dear queen!»
«Did you go all the way to declaring yourself a deity, then? Are you one of their current gods, or a new one? If you are declared to be a god, do you show up on your own theoception yet, or do I need to get Borybran to explain to me how that works?»
Roroku wrote, «I wriggle with amusement! No, I took a more moderate approach. I declared myself to be an angel, a messenger and lower-order kinsfolk of the gods. I gave certain signs by which angels might identify themselves!»
«Let me guess,» I answered, because this is a risky but established approach toward conquering worlds, and we have both been taught the lesson by the same teacher (Osoth’s mother, if you’re interested). «The unmistakeable signs of angelhood are things which kysps cannot naturally do, and you are quite familiar with. Shapeshifting?»
«Three signs: being able to turn into a dragon, being able to breathe fire, and being able to heal wounds instantly.»
«Ko-Go-Nwa was rather deflated when I explained the new order to her! But I reaffirmed some of her prophecies and gave her honors. And of course got most of her followers that way. Vem-Thu was harder to persuade, being dead and all, but Vem-Thu’s successor Del-Nwa-Thu was susceptable to persuasion,» Roroku politely boasted. (Yes, boasting of one’s accomplishments is polite for dragons, and I’m glad to see Roroku being polite enough and self-confident enough to do it.)
«By ‘persuasion’ do you mean ‘claw through the belly’?» Because that’s how Llredh persuaded the government of Trest to surrender to him.
«I simply proclaimed, ‘the judgment of the gods is on you now!’ at the start of our discussion. And whenever he said something I didn’t like, I brushed him with my hukuchô, and asked him quietly if he’d like to reconsider that. After three incidents of intolerable dread and minor convulsions due to no material agency or action on my part, it turned out that he would like to reconsider all such. I gave him a benevolent kysp expression (they can’t smile per se, that would look horrid), and told him that by agreeing with me and working for me, he was becoming beloved of the gods.»
«Classic!» I wrote. (I had a long discussion with Nrararn that evening. He says that torturing even one small person into submission is a vile act, even if thereby you end a war that has been doing worse to grands of small people. It may be the better choice, says Nrararn, it may even be the best choice, but it is personally vile of the torturer, and should be considered dishonorable. I don’t agree in this case. I think that a dragon stopping a small-person war without actually killing anyone is rather impressive, and a bit of low-grade torture is a small punishment for a high priest whose orders have killed and agonized any number of kysps. After an hour or so, when it became clear that neither of us was going to convince the other nor to feel entirely happy with their own position either, we decided to copulate instead of debate. He won that, as always (in the sense of enjoying it.))
«Not as effective as acquiring Ko-Go-Nwa! Pockets of fanatical kysps decided that Del-Nwa-Thu was a traitor and apostate for surrendering to me, or perhaps for working for peace alongside Ko-Go-Nwa. So, fighting, and spellwork, and flying through here and there lashing around with my hukuchô, and burning one scoral away with firebreath, and all such traditional things.» (Nrararn said that counted as a bouquet of massacres and her victory was not nearly as bloodless as she or I said. I said it was a different event and didn’t count as part of the main conquest. Nrararn is right.)Support this project! Show that you’re reading it by exchanging notes with the characters, other readers, the writer, and occasional other entities at sythyry.livejournal.com. And/or buy Bard Bloom’s books on Amazon, especially Mating Flight and World in My Claws, the prequel to this story. Also: Glossary and Dramatis Personae.