R is for Ronové #atozchallenge

Still the wind was blowing soft and gentle here under the oak
Which gave me shelter and rested for my trial
I’m not strong, weak is my mind, a new beginning, where to find?
I’m the last one on earth, please forgive us our crime, oh, oh

Under the Oak by Candlemass

The crumbling ruins surrounding the palace, and the tangled maze of vines, thorn bushes and creeping moss, give the place a dishevelled, abandoned feeling. But this appearance is carefully maintained by a strange looking fellow named Ronové.

He is the groundskeeper of the palace’s grim exterior and courtyards. He feeds the sinister flowers, tends to the vines and ensures that the Black Maples are properly tapped for their bloody sap.

While he takes orders from Desdemonia, he is completely autonomous; he loves his routine and cares deeply for the well being of the gardens. He can be seen outside at just about all times and seems completely oblivious to anyone unless spoken to or if they have harmed any of the plants on the Isle.

Anyone who deliberately or even accidentally harms the plant life or upsets the gardens will invoke his wrath. While he is bent and crooked, his strength is devastating. He’ll either attempt to kill the intruders with his enchanted sickle (magical, always does maximum damage to anyone who’s consciously touched any of the flowers in the ruins) or he’ll drag them to the nearest well to become the latest addition of the Lemures. For the latter he also makes sure that their “Moon Well” is always clear of overhanging vines or other obstructions.

While he is completely deaf, he can sense the presence of other beings like a spider can sense vibrations in her web. He has an almost psychic connection to the plants on the Grey Isles and can sense moving individuals through the vegetation and earth.

He spends his nights in a little shack attached to an old oak tree that has grown into it. The shack is filthy, musty and full of overhanging gourds and roots. Inside of that cramped place is the object that Ronové cherishes the most in all of the world: his Ghost Lotus, a plant worth a King’s ransom to experts in poisons or dark magic rituals.

On his forehead is a symbol that betrays his nature: it is the sigil of a demon to whom Ronové owes his name and his life. Their bond is mysterious and incomprehensible. However, the way that he weeps and berates himself at night for some past misdeed may reveal some clues.

If, somehow, someone is able to speak with him, he will seem surprised and explain that he thought that he was the last man on earth… If asked why he weeps at night, he tells of some vague crime that he committed in response to an even greater misdeed by all of humanity (who have been damned eternally).