If she walked down a street in any other village, in any other land, they would never know what she did. And it amused her when in her village, the people often veered to avoid her. She was stunningly beautiful and very shapely as a woman, yet no man or woman dared try to even flirt with her. Most women would be immoralized by that, but she saw it as a good thing. A matter of pride.
And it wasn’t just that she was chaste among chaste women either. Or that she was a priestess even. No, it was far more about what she did as a priestess that they found so off putting. Though their rites asked it of her, the people were dismayed that she took such pleasure in the tasks. How does a wife, a mother, chop limbs off people and torture them?
Well that may have been the answer. She was NOT a wife or a mother. She was well suited for her cruel occupation. The people just couldn’t reconcile it. Most women in the village were suited to their hard lives, but kept a sense of dainty and feminine about themselves. She was only gentle when she was teasing a new torture victim. Letting them think they would get off easy. Letting them think she might change her mind, because she liked them too much to hurt them.
Nobody outside the temple saw the details of her craft, so they wouldn’t know that about her. They saw the end product though. Where a human being died with a scream on their face. Where there were no hesitation marks in her design. And there were such vicious markings on the body they collected. They got a hint of how long it had taken to create them. A hint of how much pride she had taken in her task. And that is what bothered them.
Maybe a modern profiler could enlighten them about how a sadistic woman thinks, but she wasn’t sure they would ask. They shuddered at the thought. It was unseemly to the villagers.
Each victim endured horrors at her hands that made them lose their mind, before they lost their life. She played with them, like a cat plays with a mouse before eating it. She listened to their fears and griefs then used them against the victim. Only when they were in a mess did she begin the physical aspects of the torture.
Though no one in the village knew this, and no maiden under her would dare chatter, she knew that if she were anyone but the priestess, she would have been excommunicated. But as the priestess, she had to be endured. She laughed. It was her greatest victory over them. But because they considered it to be the will of the gods, she was revered for her craft, even though it repulsed them that she liked doing it. She was good at it. And that meant they didn’t have to be. That’s what it came down to. These men and women who would gladly kill an enemy who threatened their children were not cowards. These men and women who had no qualms about butchering an animal to eat were used to blood and reticulated limbs. They had no queasy stomachs.
Yet she petrified them. And that just struck her as hilarious. And somehow, they knew. That was why they avoided her.