The Hound
The Hound

The Hound

The Hound

Part of a Series on the Barmies who reside in the Gatehouse of the Bleak Cabal

Planar Aoskian hound [he/him] / N[E]

If you’re as curious as me about Dead Powers, then here’s another cutter I reckon you’d be interested in. It’s going to have to be the last one though, cutter, ’cause I’ve got a job to attend to y’know. Can’t stand around here rattling me bone box to you all day, even if there isn’t any point in the multiverse. Philosophy (or lack thereof) doesn’t wash the dishes, does it? Bear with me, okay, it’s been a long day.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the Hound. As the name suggests, it’s a dog. An Aoskian hound, to be precise. They’re the two-headed vicious sods that the Red Death are so bloody fond of. Well, we’ve got one of them in here too.

Of course, it’s more complicated than a mad dog. (The Athar’ll pike themselves when they hear this!) See, I reckon that the Hound might be (and I’ll emphasise “might”) a vessel containing the barmy spirit of Aoskar himself.

Stop that laughing at once, berk, or I’ll be on me way now! I hear enough cackling on the ‘Wing as it is. Of course there’s reasons why I think that. I might be going barmy, but I ain’t gone stupid yet.

Okay, try this for size. Aoskian hounds ain’t normally very smart, and they certainly don’t talk. I’ll swear this one says the word “Aoskar” when it barks, though. Of course, there’s more: the dog can open portals by howling. Not just any old portals mind; these are proper ones to and from the Cage. They don’t need keys to work ’em, neither. ‘Till we discovered that, the sodding dog kept on escaping. We set up magical planar wards to stop the portals, but the damn hound could still open ’em up! We eventually found that an anti-magic shell’d do the trick, but not before we lost the dog another time.

What’s more, from its cell on the top floor of the ‘Wing the hound just stares out of the barred window. I’ll swear it’s looking across the Ditch to the Shattered Temple, and I’ll go further in saying that it whimpers at it stares. Believe me now?

Perhaps if I told you the dog gets visitors, then you’d consider it? Yeah, visitors. In fact, it’s that barmy dabus, Fell (if there’s anyone who should be in the ‘Wing it’s him). ‘Course, it’s against policy to let a visitor see one of the inmates, so Fell leaves messages with us. No, he don’t write ’em, he hands ’em over in bottles. When you uncork the top, the rebus-pictures come billowing out (you’ve got to be careful not to shake the bottle around though, or they make even less sense than usual).

Well, we couldn’t make head or tail of the messages. No, we didn’t give them to the dog; that’d be ridiculous! How could a dog open a bottle (even if it was Aoskar)?

Why a hound, you ask? Good question, berk. Listen, much as I hate to admit it, there’s something in the Godsmen’s philosophy that strikes a chord with me. They go on about reincarnation and such, and it gets me thinking. When a power dies, does it get reincarnated? Maybe it does. Now, if that power didn’t do very well, it might come back as something less powerful like, say, an Aoskian hound? How futile’d that be? You get to the level of a power, only to come back as a lousy dog! Think about it…

For the moment, we’re keeping a very tight grip on the dog’s collar. I happen to know that some splinter group of Signers calling themselves the Will of the One are very interested in getting their hands on the Hound. Shame that, ’cause they’re certainly not getting him; not while I still draw breath, at least. Signers? Make me sick, they do.

Bitter, me? Never! There ain’t no point.

Source: Jon Winter-Holt,

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