Portal Posi Boss Battle: What is a Man?

Chapter 1: What is a Man?

Prompt #8: Some villains really know how to put on a memorable show. Draw or write about what your character’s stunning intro moment would look like if they were the villain of their own story.




The soft tup, tup, tup, of leather boots on the ground rousts the hound from its slumber. It whimpers and presses itself against the bars of its cage, dull, red eyes pleading for its master’s attention… his warmth… his love. Even if the hound doesn’t get to see the sun much… that is all this creature needs to persist. Even if, day by day, the master visits less and less… that love is enough to give the otherwise emotionless husk an inkling of hope. 


But today is a special day. 


Swishing into the room, iron crown on his brow, the Emperor of Tavia smiles down at his most loyal companion. Even if it was a little withered right now, a good soak and some time in the sun would set it right as rain. 


He just couldn’t afford for it to grow too large. 


Wordlessly, he opens the door of the cage. The beast clambers towards him, but he shows no fear. Rather, he crouches and cups the creature’s cheeks between his hands, planting a chaste kiss on its dry, crackling lips. 


Hmm… perhaps a little too dry… 


Flicking his wrist, he gathers water out of the air and into his palms, offering it for the other to drink. It pauses, looking up at him a little warily, as if waiting for something. 


“... Good boy. Go ahead.” 


The Emperor revels in how well-trained his hound is as it quickly laps the water from his hands; a fine example of how a broken man is even easier to control than a common dog. Though… it is hard to imagine that this thing at his feet was ever a man to begin with. Having come from a land without magic, a man made of plants had been such a… unique find upon entering this “Paperverse” as the locals called it. The creature had even looked strikingly - no, alarmingly - human. 


As its ‘hair’ started to crackle and shed its dull, dead petals, the pink peaking back through, he can’t help but idly think how much better the beast looks now that it’s embraced its true nature… It’s true, nameless, speechless nature. 


He quietly takes a small, leather strap off of his belt, carefully tying it to the beast’s collar. It wouldn’t be necessary… but it gave the troops the illusion that he still needed to exert some control over the creature… and for the beast it was a sign that they were going to have a little fun. 


Leading his hound out of the tent where its cage was kept, the Emperor took him before the fighting men, the legions standing quietly in their ranks watching with anticipation as their beloved leader and his pet took their places on the front lines. From slave to god… No one before him cut such an imposing figure without so much as a single trumpet of fanfare.  


Pausing in place, he gently caressed the plant-creature’s face one last time before his hands work to untie its bindings. He would never treat his creature as poorly as the original Tavian Emperor had treated him… had treated his family. He would keep it as close to his side as the skull of that same previous Emperor that hung from his belt, while also giving it the freedom to run free, if only temporarily.


After all, a loyal dog always comes back to its master. 


As Emperor Adrian Clarke lifts his hand, and the Emperor’s hound leaps forward, tearing towards the nearest river and plunging in, a cry rings out among the soldiers, echoing across the fertile lands of Castimeria, letting the people know that their true leader was finally here… and they would either embrace him as such, or his loyal, quickly-growing servant would show them the error of their ways. 


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  • Mar 4, 2024, 3:47:15 AM UTC
    Reading this literally made me shiver. You wrote the evil Adrian arc so so well... and made him interesting and dynamic in so few words. I love this more than I can express, and am so grateful that you chose my boy.

    Poor Gabi....