By Malfrak Duggems
It’s election season in Temin’s Vale, and it’s one of the strangest races we’ve ever seen as political newcomer Elver Sanderson runs against Doruvak the Skullsplitter. The big story here, of course, is Doruvak’s surprise entry onto the ballot.
A chaos demon, Doruvak’s embryonic form was implanted into former Mayor Aldo Mezmer’s body in secret by an anonymous cultist. Rapidly reaching maturity, Doruvak burst forth from the Mayor’s torso right in the middle of Mezmer’s re-election campaign.
“I don’t think anyone was expecting it, to be honest,” the demon told the Chronicle. “Nine Hells, I didn’t even know it myself until I was cleaning [Mezmer’s] ribcage and viscera off my face. I mean, I figured I was probably incubating in an adventurer or something–that’s the norm. I never dreamed I’d be occupying political office.”
Although Doruvak’s emergence technically killed Aldo Mezmer, Doruvak was able to successfully argue that he be allowed to finish out the Mayor’s term.
“It’s unusual, to be sure,” the Skullsplitter admitted. “Unprecedented, even. But I figured, look, I’m a chaos demon, right? I’ve got to do the unexpected. That’s chaos. I tear out of the Mayor’s chest, and everyone is thinking, ‘oh, gods. Look at this thing. It’s going to kill us. It’s going to eat us all,’ or whatever. What no one expects is for me to put on the Mayor’s hat and keep campaigning.”
Was it difficult to convince the townsfolk to allow a demon into the role of mayor?
“Not at all,” Doruvak said. “I mean, Temin’s Vale is a small community. Farmers, mostly. I don’t think a whole lot of people were looking to step into Aldo’s shoes, especially in the middle of a pretty fierce election season! Plus, I am fully capable of skinning alive all who oppose me; that had to factor in at least partially.”
Despite his unconventional entry to the position, Doruvak’s time as Mayor has gone relatively well. Crime has dropped significantly in the month since his emergence, although disappearances have been trending upward–something Doruvak’s party assures the Chronicle is due to the large number of wolves in the area.
“Yeah, the wolves are real bad this year,” Doruvak agreed.
The main issue facing the Skullsplitter in terms of election prospects: a muddled, uncertain campaign platform.
“It’s tricky; as a chaos demon, making–and sticking to–promises is a bit of an issue for me,” Doruvak acknowledged. “What will I do if reelected? I really can’t say. I’ll tell you this: crime will continue to drop, I will make sure of that. Beyond that, who knows? Here’s how I think of it. My platform is a mystery, sure. But my opponent can only deliver on one thing–if he wins the town will, without a doubt, be slaughtered by a chaos demon. Is that a policy you feel comfortable voting for?”
Doruvak’s opponent, Elver Sanderson, would beg to differ.
“A lot of my policies center on economic growth,” Sanderson explained. “That’s sort of my main focus. I also want to revamp healthcare in Temin’s Vale–I’ve been in touch with some clerics and I think we could get something set up here that would really benefit the common folk who maybe can’t afford a trip to the alchemist or physician when they get sick.”
Campaigning against a literal force of evil isn’t easy, Sanderson says, but he’s prepared to make a real run at it.
“With all due respect to Doruvak the Skullsplitter, I intend to give him one heck of a fight,” Sanderson told the Chronicle. “I want to give the people a leader they don’t have to fear; one who does not wear a cloak made from the skin of his predecessor.”
In terms of campaigning, Doruvak certainly has the edge, given his innate ability to infect the dreams of his constituents.
“He’s in my head just about every night,” said Susan Grapeflower, 126, a life-long resident of Temin’s Vale. “He’s always making these speeches and what have you. Or sometimes, he’ll give you a nightmare; you know, the town burning, dead folks everywhere, and up in the sky it says, ‘This is what life will look like in Elver Sanderson’s Vale.’ It’s effective, I’ll grant him that.”
Sanderson hopes to counter that with a wide-reaching door-to-door strategy.
“I have big plans. The main issue I’m running into is funding,” Sanderson said. “To really get my campaign off the ground, I need a lot of gold. If anyone reading this would like to donate, it would be extremely helpful; with enough funding, I’ll be able to hire an elite team of… campaign strategists. These campaign strategists should be able to pinpoint Doruvak’s, uh, political weaknesses. Together, we can really take this thing right to the Skullsplitter’s front door.”
At the time of this writing, 59% of Temin’s Vale residents polled said they were planning to vote for Doruvak, while 37% favored Sanderson and 4% were undecided. The election will be held three weeks after this story’s publication.