Showing Your Colors

Tormenoth Interlude - June 2021

The Color of Betrayal

As the group walked hurriedly away from the gathering hall, frequently casting furtive glances over their shoulders for more of the shadowed ‘actors’, they began to slowly relax and let down their guard. Fingering the crumpled event ticket in his shaking fingers, Tormenoth couldn’t help but replay the scene again and again in his head. He felt Huron’s actions as a gut punch of betrayal, leaving him in confusion and embarrassment.

How had he misunderstood the old general’s mental state so badly? Had the scheming been going on for a while now, the absentminded affect nothing but a pretense to throw off suspicion? When had the old man found the time to recruit so many students for his secret project? Tormenoth was humbled by his overconfidence. It had turned out that minding a legendary war criminal was beyond him after all.

Compounding his feeling of failure at not noticing the signs was the Black Tally’s assertion about Tazoa’s own writings… a perspective obvious in hindsight but outside of Tormenoth’s vision at the time. The general’s desire to teach and show off his prowess certainly implied that he would also write, and his influence within the Akshi empire made it more likely that some of those texts might even survive centuries of ruin.

Every time Tormenoth’s thoughts wandered to Altreyo’s bloody dagger, it was difficult for him to not feel a bit sick. Somehow his years of military brutality didn’t prepare him for the complicated intermixture of fondness and rage for someone that he had felt charged to protect. The amount of blood and stabbing required to ensure the old man couldn’t harm any others didn’t help. It was some small consolation that the necessary act could prevent harm to others, now that his true colors had been shown.

Tormenoth wasn't yet sure how he could face his companions while shouldering such a burden of shame. That was a problem for the morning, but his best hope was that they would understand and still be able to trust that he had learned from the situation. Explaining this to his mother, if she ever found out, would be another matter entirely…

[This is Tormenoth’s perspective prior to gaining some deeper understanding of the Black Tally Society’s goals. What he learns later on will shake his resolve even further.]


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