Tyranny Short Story Series, Part Three: The Archon’s Voice

Narrative designer Paul Kirsch penned another short story for Tyranny, Obsidian Entertainment's upcoming isometric RPG set in a world where an evil overlord conquered most of the known world. The story focuses on the Voices of Nerat, the enigmatic Archon of Secrets. Here's a small excerpt:

Moving with funerary slowness, a pair of slaves bore the weight of a covered palanquin draped with red silk. A warm breeze stirred the covering. The slaves held onto their burden and stopped just short of Servio. A young boy lowered to all fours beneath the opening and waited.

A piercing, reedy voice catapulted from behind the silk canopy.

“Is this one worth our time?” it called.

Half Nose raised a fist in salute. “I believe so, Archon.”

“He understands what is required?”

Servio winced. The Archon’s words sliced the air to ribbons, at times sounding like multiple voices speaking at once.

Servio gathered his courage and called out. “I’m not such a fool as to come without knowing the price of your audience.”

The pause that followed was uncomfortable in length, until a dry chuckle sounded from across the gap.

“Fool enough to speak out of turn, though. We can respect that.” The Archon laughed once again – a jubilant, barking sound.

Servio was no academic like the scholars of the Vellum Citadel, and knew little enough about the happenings outside of his own borders, but he understood that a conscript army answered to bravado. That much he had mastered in his younger days, though he was long since out of practice.

The curtain parted at last. The figure that lowered onto the slave’s offered back was stranger by far than any of his cohorts. Green flames licked at the fringes of his crimson sleeves and fanned out from his tattered shirt in the shape of a glorious, burning collar. The head – if one could call it such – was a brass helmet, ornately molded into a man’s disapproving likeness, his brow adorned with spikes. It floated over the man-shaped inferno and regarded Servio with passing interest.