Ravenloft: Prisoners of the Mist

Within the swirling Mist (IC) => Biographies => Topic started by: ASymphony on October 19, 2021, 09:33:46 AM

Title: Infernal Verses
Post by: ASymphony on October 19, 2021, 09:33:46 AM

I found a barely usable scrap of paper near a trash bin, with the bit of charcoal I scavenged as well, I can now hold down my first few thoughts on this land. I think the paper used to advertise something, whatever it was barely makes any sense to me. Barovia is a country very alien to me. So is this place. From the few explanations I received from one of the other displaced people in this crumbling temple, it appears that this is some other plane. Yet somehow, even this one appears to hold Red Wizards, who appear to be somehow related to those from my homeland. I suppose I should be glad that I ended up here instead of there, after my mysterious escape from the fate awaiting me at my, now former, masters estate.

I recall walking out on the courtyard, in the early morning hours. My master always liked getting business done early. Yet, when I stepped out of the fog, it was not into a clear spot in the courtyard, but this strange land. It almost seems like a dream, the chains I wear around wrists, ankles and throat certainly familiar enough to feature in these as well. It appears, for all it left behind, the Mists, apparently here spoken off as an entity, did not see fit to solve this little issue for me. I will need to find a smith to get rid of them. This however, leads to the next issue I face. It appears the local population has little patience to understand the difference between a tiefling and a fiend proper. I have been advised that they would not be waiting for any explanations before making their displeasure known, most likely through means of violence.

I'll also need to find something other than the rags I am wearing presently, especially a pair of shoes would not be amiss. While I need not be too worried about the cold, I'd rather look vaguely presentable, at least in my own eyes. Oh, and not feeling every blasted rock and bit of paving stone poking into my soles.

I have mixed feelings on my situation, on the one hand, I am very glad to have evaded the fate waiting for my in Thay. On the other, I am in an alien country, where the average population appears to believe me a demon. I have no friends here, and making ones may be a daunting task, given my need of keeping out of society. On the other hand, different plane or no, the weave still answers me. May Lady Dooms gaze avoid me for a little longer.

Title: Re: Infernal Verses
Post by: ASymphony on October 20, 2021, 04:16:51 AM

They are gone. It almost feels alien to me. I expect my reactions to it yesterday were rather subdued, when it happened. It seemed unreal to me. I have been wearing my collar and chains for nearly all my life. Occasionally exchanged when I grew up, but beyond that, they have been part of my life as much as my limbs themselves have. They are gone now. I have been prodding my left wrist for the fifth time this hour. It hurts a little. I am free. Actually free. This is not something I ever had truthfully believed would occur. Even during the desperate last few hours before my ploy was discovered, I had no actual hope of succeeding, it just felt better than the alternative.

But now I am. Taken from Thay, and into this strange land. My shackles taken off by one sharing the plight of ancestry and a man of unknown motivations. I kicked the shackles off into some corner after I woke. I hurt my bared toes - I really need to find some shoes. And something other to wear than these rags, though given my present accommodations in this place below the sewers, my hopes of the smell improving are not high.

Yet, I will take the stink of this place and my own sweat clinging to my worn out rags, over the relative cleanliness of my former mistresses abode. This country may despise me.

But I am free.

Title: Re: Infernal Verses
Post by: ASymphony on October 21, 2021, 12:46:33 PM

Things have been moving. I have proper clothes now, boots. And while my primary accomodations are not exactly... pleasant right now, I am relatively clean. It was rewarding to scrub my feet and to discover that under the layers of dirt and grime some actual skin still existed. And now a pair of decent, if not fantastic, boots shall see that it won't get to this state again. I have met and talked to others sharing my plight, their experiences promise not much more than what I expected of this place. No point in lamenting these things however, practicality overrides these concerns.

Last night meanwhile, was exhilarating. I have no delusions about what occurred, or its significance. Yet, it was undeniably enjoyable, not only on a physical level. Sharing intimacy with someone else in this way, was something that one of the many fragmented parts of my soul desperately needed. It reminded me that I am alive. Every touch against my lips, hands over me, even the little hints of pain.

I am alive.

Title: Re: Infernal Verses
Post by: ASymphony on October 22, 2021, 05:37:56 PM

Three women, sitting around a campfire in some old mine. Yesterdays trip out into the darkness of Barovia was a less than pleasant event, yet it culminated in a rather pleasant evening. I almost felt inclined to become a little sappy. Yet, I just barely stopped myself. I... can not quite go down that route.  Not yet. There are too many inhibitions inside of me, ancient instincts, well trained. Yet, it feels good, I have friends again. Here in this country, so distant and far away from my home.

I wonder how Lureene is. Does she still live? I remember seeing her for the first time, just a little younger at me, at eleven or twelve years old, braids of blonde hair, fear in her eyes. She was justified of course. I taught her the ways of the mistresses house. We became friends. Moments, where they could be stolen away, where we whispered, gossiping, dreaming of freedom together. The older we got however, the more we realized how unlikely this dream was.
I remember how she came in about a week ago. Blood clinging to her beautiful blonde cheeks, her arms bruised, pale from dark magic, her breath unsteady. I saw her and I saw the signs I had seen so often before her. Her time had come. No slave in the house was save from the Mistresses experiments. All of us had suffered several humiliating and often excruciatingly painful experiments inflicted upon us. All to further her research.
We were expected to work again shortly after. Those who couldn't however... The Mistress was not, as she put it, wasteful. There were always the most deadly experiments lined up. Only slaves who were unlikely to be useful for some time after were used for such. And now, Lureenes time was about to be up.

Title: Re: Infernal Verses
Post by: ASymphony on October 25, 2021, 05:44:15 AM


Caves and abandoned sewer sections, usually the first things I see when I wake up. I did wake up in a cavern yesterday, but the first thing I saw when waking up, was not the craggy ceiling but the tufts of hair of another. Physical intimacy has been a rarity in my life so far, at best, stolen away with some of the other slaves, on very rare occasions. Twice in just a few days feels almost like absurd wealth now. I allowed those thoughts to linger for a while. One of the few luxuries life affords presently.

The next time I woke up, it was not in the embrace of another. But back down in the drain again, surrounded by the stench of the place and its inhabitants. Not that I can necessarily exclude myself too much from that. While I do take care to remain as clean as I can, the truth of the matter is that living in these conditions is not particularly fantastic for the purposes of hygiene. Matters of practicality allow one only to go so far there. The only thing I have taken exceptional care off, at points to silly degree, is my hair. As was the case with slaves back home, I was not allowed to cut it, nor to take much care of it. No one would stop me now if I did cut my hair, but a defiant part of me refuses. It is slightly irrational of course. But it makes me feel like I'd become more like them, and just as they enforced the differentiation, I do not want to be anything like them in physical appearance. So, the compromise is an absurd amount of time spent on taking care of my hair, despite the difficulties.

I found I am adapting quite fast to my new living conditions. Whether inherited or just by chance, I appear to have decent survival instincts. Though the fact that arcane power has flowed to me all too easily may have something to do with it as well. I am grasping concepts fairly quickly, that, as I am aware, took some of my former Mistress students far longer to achieve. Possibly an actual inclination, passed down to me through my blood.

I have had certain offers. And an eye or two on me. I do not presently think there is too much personal interest in me, beyond being yet another tiefling and outcast. But it is good to keep in mind the eyes that watch. Among the many lessons life as a slave teaches, is that too much attention on one self, is very dangerous.

Title: Re: Infernal Verses
Post by: ASymphony on November 03, 2021, 09:11:29 AM


I stopped writing for a while. It did not seem wise to bring words to paper which may betray intend that could fall into unknown hands. Power flowed to me. Not through demons or fiends, or creatures of the night. Not through whispered secrets in the dark, though it almost feels like it at times. Ultimately however, it comes down to study and force of intellect. My tools and laboratories for experimentation are essentially non-existant, truthfully, without the support of some other parties, I would likely have been very hard pressed. Yet, I had them, and so, I progressed.

Yet, for all the power I have been acquiring in such a short amount of time, I feel it is yet insufficient. Self-proclaimed chess masters and their pawns and bishops are around me, all hoping for their next grand move. Some are clever, some are very much not, but the price for either, all too often is blood. The latter category usually pays first.

May Lady Dooms gaze avoid me for a little longer.

Title: Re: Infernal Verses
Post by: ASymphony on November 06, 2021, 07:20:49 AM


Traveling. What an absurd idea this still seems to me. I have wandered countries now. A strange thought for one, who's world began and ended at the walls of an estate, with just the rarest glimpse of the outside world, on the very rare occasions my mistress required me to come with her. Now, I have walked countries and seen islands.

The writing appears to have paused here and resumed at a later point.

It's a strange sensation. At times terrifying. I need to remind myself that I do not have a home anymore. No shackles which hold me. There are temporary places I might stay in, but none of them will ever bind me again.

Meanwhile, wherever I may be, the games continue, I hear the soft clicking as figures are moved over the board. And I wonder when the next attempt to move me will come.

Title: Re: Infernal Verses
Post by: ASymphony on November 08, 2021, 04:20:50 AM


Despite our living conditions, there is one thing we are undeniable. We are adventurers, just in the same way so many are back home, making their luck in the abandoned ruins and dark corners of the world. It is a strange truth to realize but we fit the definition of the term, horns, strange eye colors or the occasional hoof non-withstanding. And so, at times, our conversations have a certain tendency to fall into curious patterns, which I only realized so recently, when the discussion came up on lacking skills, and the lack of a healer amongst our ranks was mentioned. Yet, we found that a priest could for the most part, could be replaced by the odd magic object, or potion. And there is a strange truth in that, for all the healing we might desire, we appear to have little need or interest in a priests spirituality. He might as well come in form of a bottle, the difference matters not.

I have never discussed this topic with the others, and yet, maybe I should, for I am curious. For me, the question of faith was never a large focus in my life. I know of the gods worshipped in Thay, of Ramathant, Gebthant, Hatharia, the firelord, the maiden of pain, the lady of loss and all the others, the gods of the rashemi, Bhalla, Khelliara and the hidden one. And the gods of the slaves from all the distant countries. Often they screamed out their names. From a young age, I had come to the conclusion that no god would come to aid me. There would be no one to save me. Of course, there were some feeble prayers, imitated from some of the others, early on. Though with time, those faded. Ultimately, I concluded that my prayers would not matter. That my only salvation would lie in what I could do myself, and that the best I could hope for, was that at least additional misfortune might spare me. And so, I spoke my prayers to Lady Doom, in the hopes that, if all the others would ignore my plight, at least she would deign not to add to it.

Title: Re: Infernal Verses
Post by: ASymphony on November 28, 2021, 01:11:16 PM


Days have been passing by quickly. Yet, my studies did not pause. And neither did the world around me. I enjoy magic, for it allows me to keep my thoughts in order, things have to occur in a very precise fashion, the right word spoken, focus kept up. If one does not manage, the spell fails. Meanwhile, interactions with other people are less simple. The relative isolation of my Mistresses household has left a certain imprint of expected behavioral patterns. This life however, sees me outside of most of what I have learned and come to expect in this regard. It seems though, that I am at least in part learning to adjust.

There is a worrying component. I have noticed that some of the behaviors instilled in my time as a slave appear to have transferred to some degree. And as of yet I am deeply uncertain where this will go and where such might lead me. Should I actively try to resist these impulses? And if so, how? My chains are broken, but their impressions on my flesh not gone.

Title: Re: Infernal Verses
Post by: ASymphony on November 29, 2021, 04:17:53 AM


They can be beaten, they can be overcome. Writing these words still almost seems like blasphemy to me. Blasphemy. A ridiculous notion for someone with so little interest in the gods as me. And yet. I can not deny that when the elf told me her tale, a small part of me wanted to loudly express my disbelief. Of course, on a logical level I am entirely aware of what they are, and their very own limits. I am a wizard myself now, one with an at least somewhat decent amount of knowledge and power. My increased training has dispelled much of the mysticism their kind once held. Yet, some part inside me holds them in a similar horrified regard as I expect some other people hold their dark gods. This notion is humiliating. Which in and of itself is a new thought. For almost all of my life, their absolute power was simply a fact of life, and indeed, if anything seemed to be proven at every step. Even my thievery of her arcane secrets and attempt at poisoning her was known, after all.

Yet now, that I am gaining understanding, these thoughts bring my cheeks to burn. I feel frustrated, an inane part of me wishes I could yell at myself. But I can not. And I can not exorcise these thoughts. It is at present, a theoretical matter of course. I have no war with any of the red wizards of this world, my general hatred for their kind non-withstanding. Nevertheless its like a splinter under ones skin. Nagging, irritating, and often complicated to remove, if one is not willing to employ a knife for the purpose. I do wonder what the correct knife for this operation would be. After all, it is not like I should feel all too much in the scar tissue.