Hateful are the Wicked

Riders thundered down the hill, following the road that curved past the inn where Renna, the innkeeper’s daughter worked. Under the gaze of the moon, she saw that they wore the livery of the crown and though the moonlight was bright, darkness seemed to ride amongst them. Even their mounts appeared as unholy beasts, wild and strange.

Six of them came inside, and she knew that they were looking for the man that had captured her heart. She had been forewarned but there was nothing to do but to go and welcome them.

By the embers of the night’s fire, she ignored their jests and lewd suggestions. In her mind, her love gave her strength and it was this more than anything else that enraged them.

They each had a turn and none did give up their share of the misery, and under the flickering light of a single candle, Renna couldn’t tell if they were devils in the shape of men, or men in the shape of devils.

Finally, the candle was extinguished.

When her love returned, there was naught left but sorrow and vengeance.

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