Gottschalk could see that Gorm was upset. At least he had broken free.
“You bite pretty woman! Now axe bite you!!!”
Two blue-haired cultists, one likely male, though the other’s gender couldn’t be told for sure, fell before the barbarian’s mighty weapon. Their shrieking bodies hadn’t even a chance to hit the ground before he was upon the Patrons next. The older cultists tried to dodge away, but Gorm grabbed one by the back of his chiton. The others pulled a lever- an attempt to de-platform him via some hidden trapdoor on stage- but Gorm leapt out of the way before it opened.
“Me hope this not too violent!”
The irony of Gorm’s taunt was likely lost on the Patron he had grabbed as he crashed his axe into his rib cage. Howling like some fell bringer of death, Gorm then hefted the screaming older cultist above his head, his vital humors pouring over the barbarian’s face. At that, most of the others fled in terror. Finally, with a mighty motion, he flung the near-dead Patron into the Never Stray from the Cult Path minstrels.
“See! He support you!”
Gorm had taken great issue with the Patrons’ hypocritical support for those violent minstrels while removing support for those who spoke against them- all the while claiming that those who spoke out were the ones advocating violence. Ironically, silencing people, preventing them from stating their grievances would only lead to one outcome: violence. And seeing Laurissa Austral being molested by some orc dressed up like Zeus gave Gorm an excellent outlet to vent his fury.
The orc glared back at the approaching, gore-covered barbarian. “Me Master Magic Orc Zeus! Woman mine, mutha f’er, get loose!” It smiled, jabbing with its fake thunderbolt as one would a spear, its yellow teeth revealed beneath its fake beard.
Suddenly, two of the other ‘Olympians’, another orc dressed as some hero and a traitorous human wench dressed as a goddess, crashed into Gorm from behind. The large barbarian fell and his axe clattered to the side. Orcish Zeus laughed and went back to grabbing at Laurissa inappropriately.
Gottschalk struggled against his bonds, but could not escape to help his friend. Night had now fallen fully and only the fires of the devastated city lit up the sky. Cries from the victims of the riots could still be heard in the distance. Soon countless goblins would be upon them, just as they had invaded his homeland of Dinglesfuhr. And just like then, they had been let in by cultists.
He looked over at the other prisoner, the well-dressed, older man in spectacles, Ramzeus, but he too could not escape. Even worse, it appeared that the Never Stray from the Cult Path minstrels had arisen from the flung-Patron attack and were looking to take out their frustrations on Gottschalk.
The stunty lead minstrel grabbed him by the ear. “Look what we have here, Gender Equals: a f’ing human male!”
“Aren’t you a human male yourself, minstrel?” countered Gottschalk.
“How Dare You Assume My Gender! And I might look human, like one of the ‘Western Folk’, but at least I’m not Amaranthine like you! Don’t worry though, I’ll help you make Amends for all the Evil you’ve done...”
He then pulled out a fell brand, one similar to what Gottschalk had seen the cultists use on their victims in town earlier that evening.
“Come on, you coward,” challenged Ramzeus, “You’re not going to even give him a chance to fight back?”
“Of course not,” laughed the minstrel, who unfortunately then began to break into song, “We must kill off every last one of you Human Supremies... in the Name of Diversity... By Every Means Necessary. Why, Amaranthine-guy, would we ever fight fair? The Great Glowing Spectral Rainbow in the Sky just doesn’t CARE!”
And to emphasize his point, he stuck the brand in a nearby brazier. It still stunk of the fell herbs and filth common amongst cultists. Gottschalk hoped that the man would at least kill him before he had to listen to any more of his awful verses.
“So now... it’s time to say, ‘Goodni-’ ”
But the minstrel hadn’t a chance to finish; Gorm had cracked him over the head with his axe. The other Never Stray from the Cult Path members ran for it. It appeared that the barbarian had beaten the orcish hero and the goddess traitor too, and now turned to lumber towards Master Magic Orc Zeus again.
Gottschalk let out a sigh of relief, but then realized the peril they still faced. “Wait! Set us free!”
The barbarian glanced back for a moment and distractedly swung his great axe, nearly taking off Gottschalk’s arm along with the rope that was binding him. But the man remained unwounded and set about freeing Ramzeus as well.
Gorm had reached orcish Zeus, though the creature was too distracted biting Laurissa again to notice. The poor woman was sobbing over the attack. The orc had begun to remove its pants too- Gorm knew he had to act fast.
“Zeus not orc,” he said calmly.
Master Magic Orc Zeus turned at the barbarian’s challenge, enraged, but Gorm only lopped off its head in a fluid motion. Foul blood gushed from the now gaping hole in its collapsing body. Despite getting splattered, Laurissa appeared relieved. Gorm was relieved too: that orc was bad.
Ramzeus nodded to them both, thankful to be free. Cultists at the far end of the clearing appeared to be reforming to attack, but a great boom erupted behind them, even shaking the stage upon which the four former captives still stood. At first, they thought the sound might be Zeus himself, tossing thunderbolts at all the cultist heresy that had occurred here.
Ramzeus realized that it was more of an explosion- one made by mortals. “Goblins?”
“Probably,” replied Gottschalk. “They usually don’t take kindly to performances and attempt to blow them up.”
“The cultists are fools,” added Laurissa as Gottschalk bandaged the last of her wounds. “They let the goblins in, only to have them kill them in return!”
“Why they so stupid?” pondered Gorm out loud.
As if in answer to his question, they could now hear the cultists scream and cry as the goblins drove into them mercilessly. Their cruel, curved blades stabbed without regard to how ‘Against Racism’ they claimed to be or ‘What Gender They Opted to Flow Into Today’. To the goblins, the cultists were simply all stupid humans to be killed.
Gottschalk, Gorm, Ramzeus, and Laurissa could hear the Patrons too, members of the Honesty and Peace committee that had condemned them earlier. Even as they themselves were butchered, their only concern was that this slaughter might lead to some Anti-Goblin Bias.
Gottschalk realized then that cults like this one, the one that had now destroyed Caelum Mount and even his homeland before, were doomed to fail.
The only question was: how many of the People of the West would these lunatics get killed before then?
Next week: The Hacks of Gorm, Part XXIV! And also, audio to go with new episodes (including this one)!