A 550 word sword and sorcery flash fiction about the Rogue's visit to the Black City and his dealings with a sorcerer and a godling.
The folk of the Black City are suspicious of most strangers. This is why they forbade the Rogue entry. He came in anyway, through the sewers.
Becloaked, a dagger clutched in his hand, he wandered the labyrinthine streets of that evil city by night and amid fog.
He looked for a specific wine-soak.
He heard the music before he found it, a three-storied black building of black-brick and many windows, arched in the strange manner of this city: so many flaming eyes throwing red light onto the cobbled, greasy streets.
He went inside, found a table, shrugged off a courtesan, a beggar, a drunkard offering a game of dice. And he waited.
And when hunger came to him he ate a joint of meat cooked in red wine and brine.
He was licking his fingers when the quarry he came to the Black City to hunt entered the tap room: a harem-wife of the deceased king of Ruoc renowned for her love of beautiful men.
He lit his long-stemmed pipe and noted her companions: three thick-armed eunuchs, beardless and red-skinned, their nipples pierced, curving blades swinging at their side glinting in the light of many candles.
With a short introduction he seated himself at her table. Her conversation was as he expected: she was polite but mischievous, intelligent but without subtlety.
Slowly he ployed his art. Three bottles of wine later he was kissing her, tracing the contour of her navel, sliding her billowing pantaloons from her shapely legs while the eunuchs sat and munched on whole onions and talked of religious mysteries.
The following morning he accepted her invitation to join her caravan. Flushed with wine they left the Black City and struck out for the city of Ruoc where festival and feasting gripped the folk due to the coronation of a boy king, a little godling.
When they arrived at the gatehouse soldiers searched them thoroughly. A golden and bejeweled representation of the million-eyed god of Ruoc was placed before them; they were forced to kiss it, to swear an oath of goodwill. The words stuck in the rogue's mouth, for though he lied often he took no pleasure in it.
Being a cherished bedfellow to a harem-wife of the city’s dead king gained the Rogue entry into the palace, earned him access to the royal kitchen, admittance into the throngs, the orgies, the smoking dens where gongs vibrated to the rhythm of drum-beats and harped melodies.
Thereby the rogue grew accustomed to having his body cleaned by slaves, his hair anointed with rare oils and fragrances. As days rolled on he wore robes of fine silk and read from rare scrolls the poetry of Aret, the dialogs of Patru, the fever-dreams of Zeroshalox.
For forty days the city of Ruoc celebrated, and the rogue with them, as one of their royal courtiers.
And the night of the coronation came and the Rogue laid out the emerald eyeballs in moonlight the way the Sorcerer had told him.
And on the following day, when all were stupefied with wine and weed and gluttony, he trapped the soul of the boy king therein.
When the weeping folk of Ruoc heaped a mound over the gutless body of their boy king, the Rogue was halfway to far-flung Erok, twenty diamonds jingling in his purse.