“Excuse me, but have you found Nifleithog?”
Garrot and Heylg both screamed, backing away from the otherworld creature that had barged through the door. It leered down at them, puffs of acidic gas shooting out of its nose.
“Is…is Nifleithog the artifact in this maze? The one that will cure the Basilisk Halitosis that has afflicted out village?”
The beast looked at Garrot. “Nifleithog is in all things. It is in the last breath of your neighbor as you smash his head in with a boulder, the screams of the underchicken as you eat it from the feet up, and the color of the flower as you spill viscera and stomach fluids all over it. His power and general dislike for anything that breathes lives in all things great and small.”
Heylg backed up a little bit more. “So…is that a yes?”
The beast looked up at her, pulling a sack full of scrolls from its enchanted fanny pack. “Do you like to read?”
She took one, looking at the six-headed beast painted on the cover. Its maws were open wide, speaking to an assembly of smiling-faced children. She sighed, trying to think of a polite way to get rid of him.
“Jeez, well, you see, we’re both Wendigo Witnesses, and we’re not really looking to convert. We’re trying to cure this disease that makes morning breath turn people into small resin representations of half-nude women from popular adventure stories.”
“The Wendigo was a wise creature, of that I won’t argue, but Nifleithog birthed all creatures. Even Wendigo owes his ruthless cunning and line of topless dancing bars to mighty Nifleithog.”
Garrot held both of his hands up, reaching for the steel door that the beast had come through. “Look, we do have an appointment with the Netherfather at the bottom of this Twisting Gorge, so we really don’t have time to discuss religious matters. Virgins can’t be thrown into the Abyss of Sacrifice unless they walk themselves down there, you know.”
The beast kept one clawed foot in front of the door, his unnatural strength keeping it open. “Nifelithog cares not if you are virgins. He accepts sacrifices from all behavior types, up to and including skanks. Skanks are the preferred form of sacrifice, to be honest.” His eyes fell on both of their lack of clothing. “Uh…are you two sure you’re both virgins?”
Garrot scratched the back of his head. “Well…we were when we came in.”
The beast grinned at them, revealing rows of razor teeth. “Nifleithog loves you even if you drink the blood of infants while mating with a particularly attractive piece of furniture.”
Heylg threw both of her hands on the door. “Look, it’s really nice of you to talk to us, but I don’t think it’s any of your deity’s business what we do in the privacy of our own Journey of Rituals.”
The beast reared back. “All I’m saying is that sometimes, life is just so hard, and you need a friend to lean on. Nifleithog will always be there. He will be by your side when you get so drunk that you sleep with your best friend, denying it to his face for the rest of his life until he commits suicide. He will be your ally as you devour a medical shipment destined for a village of poor children on a dare.”
Garrot raised one eyebrow. “What about if we build an orphanage?”
The beast looked at him strangely. “Nifleithog doesn’t care for that.”
“Build a house for people who’ve lost theirs in a fire?”
“Not so much.”
“Give food to the starving?”
The beast tapped his feet for a second, looking away from them. “No.”
Heylg snapped her fingers. “I’ve got it! We’re on Crystal of Truth, aren’t we?”
The beast smirked, a whole crew of monsters coming out from hidden corners, all of them clapping and smiling. The beast pointed toward the scrying crystal that had been embedded into the wall just over their heads. “You’re right, you got us. You’re on Keylvara’s favorite reality quest program, Crystal of Truth! Give them a hand, everybody!”
They did, then giant worms tore through the earth and ate them from the feet up.