“You Hate those who would Love Another Of the Same Gender?!?!!!!!!!!!!!”
“No,” replied Gottschalk, though he knew that the screaming cultist wouldn’t believe him no matter what he said. “Such things have been around since long before even Lights Out. I only hate when people are forced to accept such things as usual or even to teach such ways to children. Societies die when gayness becomes the norm.”
“And two women much fun to watch too!” piped in Gorm. The large man still lay on the ground from his grave injuries by the Boas Constrictor’s earlier attack, yet his spirits remained good.
“Well!” began the cultist again, ignoring the barbarian’s levity, “Well... you Hate Goblins then! How could you be so RACIST?!” He blew a crude horn in Gottschalk’s face to stifle any reply. Its obnoxious sound mingled with the cultist’s stench of hypocrisy.
“No,” replied Gottschalk again. “I only hate when they’re used to replace my people... and I’m not very fond of all their rapine and slaughter either!”
“But They Must Not Be Turned Away! They Need a Home!” whined the cultist, even as his fellows and some goblin rioters beat a nearby hoplite watchman on the ground.
Gottschalk moved to help, but the vicious crowd had already boxed him away. Cultists and goblins loved to prove their Courage by attacking only those that they greatly outnumbered. This was the case for most lower-order creatures.
More waves of cultists swarmed then, overwhelming the hoplites that Salpinx had sent to keep the peace. The cultists uttered foul oaths to their Multi-cult Demon Lords, swearing to destroy all human society, to bring goblins into all human lands, to usher in a new Golden Age of Peace and Harmony... where humans were no more!
Of course, nearly all of the cultists who said so were human.
The crowd, now even more frenzied, pushed further, beating and kicking Gottschalk and anyone else unfortunate enough to get in the way of their Noble Altruism.
Eventually, Gottschalk rose, bruised and bloody, coming face to face again with the cultist he had been debating a few minutes before. “They already have a home,” he said finally, “It’s called the Goblin Lands.”
At that, the cultist cursed and struck Gottschalk with a wine bottle he had been carrying. It appeared that the young man was now concluding the debate in typical cultist fashion. It was then that Gottschalk recognized him as the same one he had fought with earlier that morning (in Part XIV). He still had on his rainbow face paint and oath to not produce any children written upon his pants.
With a few more kicks to the chest, Gottschalk gasped, collapsed, and lay still. And though Gorm struggled to rise, he too could not. The barbarian only hoped that his smaller friend hadn’t perished, especially in such a way as this.
The cultists moved on then, cheering over their latest act of Standing up to Intolerance, some stopping to pose for quickly-drawn portraits as buildings burned and citizens screamed. Others dragged an aging man out of his house. His children cried in horror as the cultists beat him to death before their eyes and then branded some fell mark upon his forehead.
What was his crime? He had written something that they didn’t like and they killed him for it.
All in the name of Acceptance.
* * *
“Father- why does that strange beast keep following us?”
The sun hung low in the western winter sky. Salpinx glanced down at his young son walking beside him, the Baron. “That’s just a donkey.” He motioned for his hoplite guards to keep the beast away, but it only snorted and moved past them as if under some strange, protective enchantment.
Such things rarely boded well.
The donkey pointed its filthy snout at the young Baron first. “Diiiiiiiiidn’t you have a meeeeeting with Mauriatown?”
Even worse: it was C’nnamon, the talking donkey.
The young Baron looked alarmed, but Salpinx only glared at the beast. “We’ve been over this already, why are you bothering my family with your false tidings?”
“Because you coluuuuuuded with the Maurians to win the Captainship of Caelum Mount!”
“And how did I do that exactly?” Salpinx stared right into the donkey’s eyes.
“People you knew met with theeeeeem.”
“Ummmmmm,” the donkey’s eyes went blank for a moment. “They helped you steeeeeeeeeeal the election!”
“Ummmmmmm...... they helped people learn about your rival’s corruption.”
“That helped you win!”
Salpinx laughed “Wasn’t it your job to report such news yourself? To let people learn about my rival’s corruption, including any I might have? Not very terrific, are you?”
C’nnamon had no reply.
Salpinx smiled, started to remove his shirt and motioned for his guards to escort his son a safe distance away.
C’nnamon looked concerned. “What are you doooooooooooing?”
Now with his shirt off, Salpinx began to clap his fists together. “I’m going to teach you a lesson.”
“How daaaaaaare you threaten violence! Apologiiiiiiiiiiiiize!” it brayed.
“I won’t,” replied Salpinx. He lowered into a fighting stance and appeared ready to wrestle the donkey.
“Apologiiiiiiiiiiiize! Or else I will reveal to all cultists where you and your family liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive, and I won’t be reeeeeeeeeeeesponsible for what haaaaaaaaaaaaappens then!”
Salpinx lunged at C’nnamon, but the beast darted away.
One of his hoplites came forward then. “Captain?”
“Yes?” he replied, though he still kept his eyes on the treacherous donkey.
“Cultists are destroying the town.”
Next week: The Hacks of Gorm, Part XXI!