Turtledove
Advertisement
Ricold Botron
Fictional Character
"Festival Night"
Fantasy
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: Cathaly
Religion: Polytheism (apparently)
Cause of Death: Killed either in street fighting, or in an earthquake
Parents: Rigobert Botron
Children: Unnamed misbegotten creature

Ricold Botron was the spoiled, hedonistic son of Cathaly's primary mercantile family. While horsing around one Festival Night with Dayne, Ermony, and Taurizo, Ricold noticed an open window in the house of Caffilos. Visible in it was Ellene Caffilos, the most beautiful girl Ricold had ever seen. Risking death, he trespassed into the house and courted Ellene. It was clear that it was love at first sight. [1]

Ricold and Ellene lost no time convincing their families of the benefits of the match. Ricold and his father Rigobert consulted Hilarion, the High Haruspex of Cathaly. Hilarion read in the entrails of an ox that the marriage would be advantageous to both houses, its failure to occur would be disastrous, and that the marriage would not take place. Ricold thought this last statement was preposterous, and eagerly awaited his marriage.[2]

Much to Ricold's dismay, Ellene chose for the wedding date the one-year anniversary of their meeting, which was almost a whole year away. Ellene flatly refused to give herself to him until then. A fever swept over the town, and Ellene died three days before the wedding date.[3]

In anguish, Ricold attempted to go out and celebrate Festival Night at Dayne's urging. On his way to the Lion's Brew pub, Ricold detoured to the Caffilos family tomb. He saw Ellene, pristine in recent death, and committed necrophilia with her corpse.[4] At the same time, Ricold's friend Dayne and the High Haruspex Hilarion were struck by visions of terror.[5]

Ricold's sleep began to be troubled, and he took to drowning his sorrows in wine and poppy-juice. His dreams involved him sowing a field, an activity in which, as a merchant's son rather than a farmer's son, he was inexperienced, not knowing one end of a plow from another. Ricold went to the temple for guidance, and was told that Hilarion had stepped down as High Haruspex and retired southeastward to Gosra. He began to here a voice in his mind, which said "Go to Ellene's grave and open it."[6]

Ricold returned to the crypt, and heard a voice announced "Open it, and behold the child you have begotten." The tomb burst open, revealing a disembodied head with bat-like wings for ears. "Well, father," said the creature, "are you not proud of your newborn?" Ricold went into shock, and never spoke another word in his life. Dayne, who had followed Ricold to the tomb, reached for the monster with his sword, but was struck by the creature in the center of his forehead. The creature flew into the city and broadcast the story of its begetting. This touched off a clan feud which made the streets of Cathaly run red with blood. Then an earthquake toppled every building in Cathaly, and killed every person in the city.[7]

References[]

  1. Spells of Wonder, pgs. 126-132.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 132-136.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 138-143.
  4. Ibid., pgs. 143-146.
  5. Ibid., pgs. 146-147.
  6. Ibid., pgs. 148-151.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 151-152.
Advertisement