Exalted: In A Mirror Darkly
“Was it wise, Lord, to give the mortal such a boon?”, the creature asked him.
He twirled and danced on a grassy knoll in his favorite glade. Sunlight shone in from the trees, making all the leaves and the flowers sparkle. Even the floating seeds and insects in the glade would shine with the light, as if made of brass or gold. And all around him the creatures of the forest danced, up on hind legs if they could, twirling around him. Cats, dogs, gophers, mice, even a wolf. He liked it when the danced for him. He liked it even better when they brought along instruments, like that rabbit with the fiddle, and played them as they danced. Some brought tiny drums, or miniature flutes, and they played such happy melodies.
“Of course it was. I did it, didn’t I? And besides, he gave me a promise in return. I’ve never had a promise from a mortal before,” he told the cowering thing.
“Yes, Lord, but, the others…they might… become jealous.” it stammered out.
He thought that it was trying not to upset him. He wondered, why? The creature had served him loyally for… well, for a long time, anyway. It should know by now how nice he was to his friends.
“It doesn’t matter. I didn’t really give him anything, just told him where to look. And one day, I’ll claim my marker from that young mortal, and the prize I gain in return will be well worth whatever tales the others tell in the meantime.”
“But… my Lord…”
“Why do you insist on questioning me? I’m enjoying my dance, you silly thing. Now, hush.”
He waved his hand, and the noisy creature vanished. Gone, save a wisp of colorful smoke that had been it’s physical body, and a soft, sad scream that hung in there air where he had cowered.
Without another thought for the creature, he pulled his flute out of a pouch on his belt, and went back to dancing with his forest friends.
He liked it when they danced. And he especially liked how, if you looked closely, you could see them shaking with the exertion of their dance, and the stark terror in their eyes.