Fluffing Off - 12 Days Of Fluffmas Day 3 - The Value Of Abuse (By Thk)

Its embarrassing to be an edgelord when you learn the degree of social self-awareness to know better. Its fun to do edgelord things on your own time, anonymously. But doing them ironically, to satisfy your deep desires and impulses? It scratches an itch you only know you have when you partake.

Excelleriazsh loved being an edgelord. Not as himself mind you, one of the perks of being a dragon is the ease at adopting mortal guises. Fabricating a backstory, trying to stay within the boundaries of arbitrary skills and talents, and roleplaying. Such a pity that the meager beings of the continent couldn’t find a way to experience the joys, they could certainly be inspiring in what they came up with.

Fluffies for example. One mad king, an arrogant court with no limit to their flamboyance, and a guild of wizards looking for a living trade good that could pay for construction of a series of college towers. Failure after failure after failure. Rejects, and escaped successes, fleeing to the streets to breed. A slight affinity for the flows magic helping them survive, barely, via just the right amount of luck to escape the doom their inadequate minds and bodies would otherwise spell. Excelleriazsh was no holy being, but it seemed strange how outside the morality of the world the creatures were given heroes of faith could torment them in the worst ways while a devil could keep a herd safe and happy, neither punished by the cosmic laws of morality. Not that the dragon cared in the end, it was just another supplemental creature largely unnoticed in the planes.

Humans were what mattered. Orcs were rarely of any interest beyond cheap, albeit largely unreliable, labor. Dwarf settlements were barely worth notice outside their fortresses, and nothing quite said “kill me” like grievously offending such tight-knit long-lived bipeds and becoming the richest scaly idiot on the continent at the same time. Elves could be interesting, they didn’t have quite the same importance on riches and were so scattered that it was easy to pull stunts like, for example, snatching the bulk of a king’s treasury in an enchanted satchel and kidnapping the princess, dumping off the former atop a mountain alone while leading a trail of baubles from the former leading to a rival’s domain. Relief overshadowing avarice and someone for the ire to be spent on.

Of course it didn’t pay to add that wealth to his own hoard. Any wandering Kobold relation could pass the gossip around the dragon homes, and Vehemiantro was eager to find whoever caused the sudden influx of adventurer travelers who had cost him his wing and eye.

No, humans were the ones most fun to play with. They also responded eagerly to Elf treasure, and before long Excelleriazsh had completed the creation of his persona: “Excellente Ravish”. Silly, but the more over the top he was the more he could stretch the flamboyance and unremarkable intelligence of his guide. The more believable it was when he dropped it to reveal “Boris Montega”, son of a dead slum lord who climbed to the lower-top rungs of society and vents his frustration at his station on subordinates and street filth. He could hobknob with the other elite sadists, as well as a vampire aristocracy who tolerated Excellente as long as he brought money and a string stomach.

All just to torture some humans. But that’s what made it fun. Made his hoard have value.
All dragons have a spiritual connection to their hoards after all. As the value increases so does their magic, their power, and their health. But based Tiamat does not merely go by mortal concerns of what metal is worth more than which other, what opaque rock is harder to find, and which antique clocks are by popular dead artisans. Excelleriazsh was the sort who valued stories and memories. All other things equal the diamond mined at the cost of the lives of hundreds of enslaved human children was worth far more than the one uncovered by a Gnome’s automated mining golem.

His favorite treasure to date was merely a corroded copper coin, one drilled hollow which would make spending it nearly impossible. Each year he added to its value during the winter months. The first time, he left it in a sewer grate beneath a bridge where a homeless man saw it shine from above while sheltered there. Famine and cold enough air to freeze exposed flesh rapidly made the man desperate, with even just one copper he could pay for a penny sit-up in a warm inn. Once his hand was through the grate there was no escape, the metal bars refusing to surrender his hand and the penny slinking just out of the range needed to pinch it up. The man’s rusty old blade suddenly missing, he was unable to free himself from the icy burn of iron on his flesh. Even when his arm went numb he struggled, losing the blanket he wore as a cloak when the whale bone pin somehow broke. His sightless frozen eyes were still locked on the penny when the rats claimed them as a breakfast meal in the morning warmth.

Nineteen lives his precious penny had claimed. Some tragic, some promising. ‘Diamonds in the rough’ as stated by a silly fable.
The strength it brought him was roughly on par with a crown of a petty Dwarf king, but today he would lend its strength to a new kind of artifact. Something equally worthless to any observer, trash nobody searching the residence or travel bags of Excellente would consider long, nothing that plunderers would even notice in the subterranean lair of Excelleriazsh.

He had devised the idea while visiting dear old Duchess Emanuella’s estate for lunch. How the bitter old woman valued bloodlines, still spiteful over the choice of her only blood relations, her sister and cousin, to marry commoners and accept her threat to disinherit them. She explained to him how Fluffies of quality were provided with immobilized inferiors to service them. Lowest rank were those with the task of cleaning the posteriors of their master Fluffy with their tongue, and were subject to all kinds of tortures such as a plugged rectum causing their own bowels to eventually rupture, having their limbs removed, and general scarification and mockeries that the naturally arrogant creatures were tormented by. When he remarked that it seemed ineffective based on logic and the brown-caked posteriors of her own fancy Fluffs she merely chortled. “If I wanted it done right I would hire a Halfling slut out of the mercy house, or buy Fluffies that can reach it with their own tongue. The cruelty is the point boy. I would have throught you knew that.”

Excelleriazsh could certainly teach her a thing or two about suffering, and part of him would have enjoyed stretching the lightless crevasses of her face on the wall opposite her so she could see what beauty she once held. But just as Duke Iagostin DuLucc had inspired him with tales of the facial skin removal of captive Corridaqian camp followers one hundred years ago in the city of Germassque, dearest Emanuella taught him a new torment today. Such wonderfully creative creatures, humans.

Instead the canvasses of his sadistic play would have to be something undeserving. Something with potential. Those on lofty heights, but without the sin which comes from basking in the atmosphere of their social status too long. It was promise he chose, the surety of great minds to change the world. An artist, a wonderful girl who’s childish hands had added the life to the eyes of her father’s fesco in the grand chapel rectory of Old Germont Town. An alchemist, talented youth who’s steady hands and attentiveness had measured the exact dose of willow bark powder and zinc at the exact correct times around the exposed brain of the king of Serrato, preserving the man during a risky trepanning. A poet who had spent his days deciphering and collecting forgotten sacred documents with his uncle in the Serrato monastery before penning his own first two epics about still-living men. Of their breast the boys were still faint of hair, the girl still firm. Each one was lead by the sound of a copper coin rolling on the ground to a wealthy and flamboyant man offering to be their patron if they would accompany him in his carriage to his castle tomorrow.
All three would be discovered dead, heads missing, in a cart which had been drug off the road by great claws near the new lair of Vehemiantro.

The three heads were kept alive through the eldritch alchemical devilry of an Illithid collaborator in exchange for a boring old obsidian puzzle box from the Elven hoard. Shimmering inky purple blood circulated through the three, driven by a kind of mechanical heart which whispered into the dragon’s mind if stared at. No neck and chest muscles to provide the young victims with speech, just an old Flumph skin in druidic preserving fluids being compressed by an enslaved and spiritually lobotomized nymph to function as a shared lung. One stomach and a small length of digestive viscera, all removed from an uppity Aboleth, maintained digestion. An Alpine Dwarf nobleman locked in a trance perpetually farmed mushrooms fertilized with the fetid slop that dripped from the Aboleth rectum.

Nine Fluffies. All worthless Feral vermin, with coats resembling the splitting leather of an ancient rotten horsehide boot slipping from the muck of a stagnant swamp, worthless spawn of anonymous fathers and hateful trashy mothers. One would be hard pressed to find a more insignificant creature of their size capable of speech.

Three youths full of such promise who could have changed the world and been celebrated so long as civilization endures. Now forever alone save a drooling mumbling Dwarf, two damned fellow souls barely within the furthest corner of their peripheral sight, and nine babbling idiots with nothing to say beyond what a toddler might. Nine puckered posteriors backed up to three waiting mouths every hour or so, cursed by the far worse torments they were promised by their faith if they allowed themselves to perish. Their only sustenance was not entirely terrible given the pasta-like cut strips of candy mushrooms that were the only dietary source of the Fluffies came out not significantly different than they went in, but the sheer humiliation and bleakness of the situation left the feeling of their long-gone hearts sunken into the depths. There was not enough for the three human heads to survive comfortably, forcing each head to give the cleaning their full effort, using toothless gums and snaking tongues to squeeze out every flake of excrement from beneath the wagging tails in the attempt to reduce the miserable gnawing hunger they felt in their shared alien gut. Too much enthusiasm and the creature would be startled, and sometimes they simply became bored and scampered off with chunks of precious but vile nutrients stuck hanging to the side of their hole.

When Excelleriazsh would sit in his throne above them as “Daddeh Ecksewentee” and pet the beasts he felt somehow satisfied in a similar way he had when he slept as a hatchling after consuming the remains of his egg, and they had since accepted his dragon form as “Wawm Munstah Daddeh”. The simpering Kobolds worshiped him and obeyed every word, and he hated them for it, but the transactional nature of Fluffy love was respectable, and understandable. They initiated a contract with requests and demands. He provided for their needs, and for this he was made the most important person in their lives without any complicated societal norms of afterlife-based rules. In his book this made them far more intelligent than the other lesser species, though humans once again deserved credit for their wonderful ideas.

The youngest Colt lay on his lap. The oldest Mare was backing up to the alchemist, flicking her tail happily and explaining to nobody in particular how happy she was when she was clean. The rest were arranged at his feet or across the back of the throne. In his hands twirled a rusty seax, unremarkable save for the youth-restoring magic it was filled with when it carved through the skin, bone, and muscle of the nerds.

He sighed happily and thought about what blessedly tainted object he would cling to next. Perhaps a spoon? At his lunch appointment with Bishop Copilleau tomorrow he’d try and find out what the Inquisition was up to lately. They were always worth a visit. “Oh yes, they are.” He let out a deep and comically dramatic laugh. “Wha dey daddeh?”
He looked down at the little Fluffy and simply smiled. It returned the smile for a moment, then its mouth went slack and took on an expression of concern. “Oh, gonna poopie daddeh, nee go downsies.” He chortled softy while it bounced its way to the poet.

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I’m taking way too long to write these.

Inspired by an idea from…Heroes Of Horror I think, a 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons supplement, suggesting how to make standard tropes more serious where a dragon kills a homeless man for a copper because that man’s need for the coin made it more spiritually valuable than the king’s platinum coin is for him.

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This was a very enjoyable read. Very thought provoking

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Glad you liked it, thank you.