The Demon Prince
The Dark Wanderer
A dark figure, shrouded in shadow and mystery.
Each morning as Marrek prepared the bar he did so with a sense of unease, like a man attending Christmas services knowing that others were silently judging his absence on the other 51 weeks of the year. He tried to pay attention to his work and the happenings of the village, but the stranger in the corner was always there, always…. watching. The Dark Wanderer, Marrek had begun calling him.
Every day it was the same: the Wanderer always placed two silver coins on the table in the corner before sitting down without a sound. Marrek would collect the coins, wait for an order and, when none came, would quickly walk away to find something to distract him from the terrible fascination the man gave him. Only once had Marrek asked the Wanderer what his order would be, but never again would he repeat that folly. The man had merely turned his head, ever so slightly, as if to say something. The memory still haunts him as he lays down to sleep at night, trying to get the horrific visage out of his mind- the ominous red eyes, the ashen-gray skin, and worse of all, that horrible mouth, locked forever into a silent scream of fury and vengeance. As soon as Marrek had seen the face it seemed to fade away into shadow, and the characteristic shaded human face was all that was visible. Marrek had wanted to scream, or cry, or tear his eyes out, or all three- anything to release the horror knotting his entrails. After the Wanderer had looked away Marrek felt the strength return to his legs and he quickly put them to good use. He had yet to look into the hood of the Wanderer again…
After taking the silver this morning Marrek offered a pathetic half-smile, then nearly tripped over himself as he back away hurriedly. He wanted the man to go away, and was indignant that the stranger showed up everyday without doing anything. Always just sitting there, watching. Whatever it was the man wanted, Marrek hoped he found it soon.