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Aug 10, 2022 11:02 PM
Tanidio kicks the dog
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Her Majesty's Government sents to the Worldwound exactly as much food as they need. 

But there are loopholes in the law, and this one noble here diverts some of it to their own coffers, and this other noble there takes his cut, and even if your battalion commander is careful to pay all the tips that are not bribes because bribes are not legal but that smooth the way all the same, you usually get less food than your battalion needs. 

Tanidio's battalion, specifically, got seventy percent of the food it needed this month.

It hasn't gotten a hundred percent for eight months. Inquisitor Chrisor is looking into it. 

The wizards, the fighters, the clerics got full rations; you don't want to lose someone important because they were hungry and had a slow reaction time. So the shortfall was taken out of the camp followers' rations. 

Tanidio carries a bowl of porridge to where one of the cooks is unable to move do to being under the effects of a Hold Person. 

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The cook smiles at Tanidio, his very best friend in the whole world, whom he can trust with the secret of which of the grain stores have made their way into his stomach. (He had had meat this week. No camp follower had had meat in over a year. His friend would be so happy for him!)

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Tanidio dismisses the Charm Person. 

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The cook's face transitions from simple trust to a realization of exactly how fucked he is. 

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No one can afford healing for the camp followers, and if you execute them you'd have to pay for new ones. 

Tanidio dismisses the Hold Person and dumps the porridge out on the dirt in front of the cook. 

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The cook's face fills with the thoughtless horror at wasting food of a very hungry man. 

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"Eat it."

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The cook stares at him stupidly. 

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Tanidio spreads the porridge flat on the dirt with the tip of his boot. 

"You're hungry, aren't you? I'm giving you food. Eat it."

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The cook stands up to move towards the food--

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Tanidio stops him with the wave of a hand. 

"Crawl."

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The cook drops to hands and knees and crawls. He licks at the dirt-encrusted porridge like a dog. 

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"Don't use your hands. I want to see you getting in there nice and good."

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The cook nods frantically and licks. An ant crawls across his tongue; he swallows it. 

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"I pissed in it."

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The cook visibly hesitates.

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"I didn't tell you to stop."

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The cook licks with desperate zeal, although he can't stop himself from gagging, partially from the now-obvious taste of piss and partially because he had licked up enough that he was getting closer to the dirt. 

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Tanidio walks over and puts the heel of his boot into the cook's back, pressing his stomach flat against the ground. He grinds it in. 

"You know what the worst part of this is?"

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"No, sir."

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"Don't stop licking. --I can forgive eating a little meat. We all want meat when we're not supposed to have it. But I am busy. There is a war. I take no pleasure from doing this." He presses his boot harder into the man's back. 

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The man makes a pained noise.

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"But if supplies are going missing, that might be something important. It might be Lastwall or Mendev or someone from the River Kingdoms, and what are they going to do with the hole in our security next time? They could poison us, or worse. And so when you steal food-- I didn't tell you to stop licking-- that means that I have to investigate. And that means that I have to take time away from dealing with actual real problems, not least the demons continually bursting through the Worldwound to kill us all, because you can't exercise some basic Abyss-damned self-control."

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The man whimpers.

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"You're pathetic and you disgust me. Stand up."

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The man scrambles to his feet.

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