Thursday 24 August 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #222: Execution Spikes

One hex southwest, nine northwest of Alakran.

Three Governorships ago, the civil governor of East Wahattu was held by a man of infamous cruelty, Erkuzakir the "Fragile Tunic," so called because the slightest affront to his image or authority would cause him to go into a rage, rend his garments, and ordain a sentence of death to be carried out at this remote place -- the Execution Spikes.

The site of the spikes is visible from the road Nama'a in the hexes to the east. There are five of them, twenty feet high, of black lacquered cedar wood. Their pointed bronze tips have long since been salvaged, and indelible stains imbrue the ground around each one.

There are no ghosts of the victims here, no cries or groans in the night. An old woman, Ettu, visits every day to lay withered flowers, the last surviving daughter of one of the victims. She itches to unburden herself of the tale; of how a mobile scaffold once stood here, so that the victim could be impaled at the top, but with care to bypass major organs. They were then given an agonizing choice; to stay immobile and die of blood loss and thirst; or to wriggle down, multiplying injury, but with the chance of reaching the water and honey offered to anyone who reached within five feet of the base.

A demagogue may be heard today in the market square of Gesshed, opining loudly that Governor Zakiti is a soft touch; that crime and disrespect are rampant today; and that the cause is quite simply that wrongdoers no longer fear the Execution Spikes. More and more agree with this opinion, and the only voices raised in opposition are soft and somber and fewer every year, a generation of Ettus fading from the earth.

1 comment:

  1. Wow a stunning piece of writing and a truly chilling hex.