And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire
Ghaul’s kindness is fickle and often difficult to see – he burns his son’s wounds to keep him from bleeding out, and then he taught him to take a life. The lessons he gives are difficult. His own father had taught him what it meant to be lonely. Anaxarete had taught him not to rely on affections and unearned words of kindness. They have each sculpted him into the monster standing before them. But they amuse him infinitely in the way they continue to bristle and react no matter which way he approaches. There is still some of that strange kindness in him left for them.
“Her blood trail does not end in a corpse,” he says with a shrug. “I did find your monster though. He didn’t kill her, lucky for you. He did the opposite.”
And then he laughs at his own joke, callous and forgetting they are not privy to the same information. He had never thought to allow such an affair to survive but he can’t pretend to understand the philosophy behind Wolfbane’s actions. His laughter dies to a soft chuckle when Lilliana explains she intends to add fire as a weapon for their home. But then Eurwen points out her friend’s physical state and he examines the pregnant girl curiously.
“Then go to the Cove,” he says with a shrug of his shoulder. “You could even approach my brood, if you like. Asphyxea is the only one who bites.”
Ghaul thinks to offer her a visit to Hyaline but he worries Atrox may think she is a gift for his next meal. She still holds enough value to him alive that he keeps that offer off the table for now. Though, he does think the option could be revisited for another prisoner, should he find himself bored enough. Phyx would love to watch a practiced hunter subdue his prey while he grooms her little fluff of mane.
“I’ll make a deal with you, as I would like to see you ultimately survive my games, Lilliana,” he thinks aloud as he stares off in the direction of the Cove. “I favor Neverwhere as the leader of the north, but I favor my own goals far more. When the time comes for me to set your Taiga ablaze, you will stand aside and watch from the safety of the Isle. In exchange, I will not only let you choose your new leader, but Pangea will spare Taiga from any steals for one year. We won’t even initiate any challenges.”
And then he turns to look at her, his grin wide and full of crooked fangs as he steps closer until their faces are inches apart. He imagines it would be delightful to see those ancient trees burn and fall all around him. It stirs his heart to a vulnerable state.