You had me at "You can feel the grip pulse".
I was then fully yours when the wounds bled sand momentarily and, if severed, shatters as sand. Great details and those sold me on it. The stats and such, while distracting, were easy to flow right through to see the beauty (ugliness?) of the ideas.
Awesome first sub!!
Honestly, Haukagaron was my favorite part of this. I would have been willing to learn much more about him! I feel similar about the difficulty of the location but it is easy enough to pull out of the abyss and use it as is in some other random location. Enjoyable location. Would be willing to visit but wouldn't spend the night.
Quick added scenerio thoughts:
- The characters do end up freeing some innocents causing the overall count to go down below 2024 number and nobody really noticed. Usually they have more than that so it isn't an issue but the years of peace have slowly limited the crimes that call for death.
- The King, after years of slowly gaining support for ending this barbaric custom, finally succeeds in canceling it for the year. Instead they pardon 2024 of the lesser criminals or simply don't kill them.
For either of those, what is the outcome of not meeting the requirement? Loss of all the battles that year? The return of Tyragorn to complete his attack? Does the king survive the year as proof that the tradition is foul or is the kingdom ruined?
- Those that believe in the curse to the depth of their bones go out and assassinate or kill 2024 people anyway regardless of the king's intention. So even if they king protects his subject from that fate, those that believe and fear the curse will simply go on a killing spree to fulfill the need.
Now he has to decide to I continue the custom and spare the innocent citizens or fight those that would defy his decision.
Awesome. I like it because there is so much you can do with it. You have a benevolent ruler that does it as a matter of course or you can get a bastard (in the attitude sense, not the offspring) that brings the torture and defilement into the main city.
Then there are so many little plots and twists you can throw around that could have as wide reaching reprecussions as you want. If they don't sacrifice then anything that happens in the world against the kingdom can be tagged part of the curse.