You have been taken by the Mists

Author Topic: Revelations of a Shadowmaster  (Read 1155 times)

Aldarris

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Revelations of a Shadowmaster
« on: November 27, 2009, 04:28:00 PM »
I practiced as I usually do, using the shadows for cover and moving within them, revealing myself only to strike at an invisible opponent.  I have become much better at adapting to them, and blending in.  My eyesight has changed, and I can now see clearly in the darkness.  This makes my movements all the more deadly.  I feel that I am becoming one with the shadows, and given time I may even learn to use them as an extension of my body,  as well as for the sword that I use.  I find myself longing for that day to come.  And so I train...

After my combat excercises, I grip the Shadowborn Zweihander by the hilt, the blade's tip resting in the dirt as I lean against it cross-legged within the confines of a shadow.  Confined isn't the right word to describe it.  In the darkness I feel at peace, as if there was nothing else but myself and it.  It is truely a relaxing feeling.  My emotions ebb away slowly.  Fear, pain, doubt, remorse all become lost to me, as if they are small candles snuffed out themselves by the darkness.  I lose myself within these revelations.  But after a while I open my eyes...

What I see is truely horrifying for most.  But do I feel even more at peace upon seeing it?

When I open my eyes, the grass that I rested upon is blackened and wilted, looking as if it would crumble upon being touched.  Trees that have died ages ago, their trunks eaten away, their limbs disfigured and clawing towards the sky, as if begging for a sun that was no longer there.  I glance into the distance towards Vallaki.  The buildings look worn and crumbled as if by the sands of time, seemingly devoid of inhabitants for ages.  The once proud steeple of the church is destroyed, long since worn away.  The proud church of the Morninglord has crumbled to a pile of rubble.  I laugh at this, the sound masked even to myself, as if I had been submerged in liquid blackness.

Then I notice the people.  Walking along Old Svalich Road.  Walking without any sense of true purpose.  Their skin charred black as if badly burnt.  Their mouths ripped away to reveal boney teeth.  Their clothing devoid of any color.  Their eyeless faces show no emotion, their black sockets glance about in sightless wonder.

Can they see what I see?

Is this how things really are?  How they should be?  How they could be?...is this the future I am seeing?

It seems they are ignorant...for now.  My gaze meets a young noblewoman walking along the path.  Her bodice is torn, even shredded, and one of her nipples is laid bare.  The skin is rotted, and the pink flesh is nowhere to be seen.  For the first time in my life, I feel sick at seeing naked female flesh.  As I concentrate, attempting to lose myself further in this darkness, I can see the faces of those I have killed.  Their faces are contorted in the horror of realizing their last moments.  Their eyes are white.  Their unmoving mouths taunt me and call for me, wishing for me to join them in their plight.

Suddenly I get a churning feeling in my stomach.  The Zweihander I had raised to defend myself now drops from my grasp as I lean forward towards my victims, clutching at my stomach and dry-heaving.  At this moment I want this out of me, but despite how I heave, I cannot.  It is becoming a part of me now.  I glance past the ghastly faces to a suddenly blackening sky.  Thick black clouds swirl downwards, threatening to consume all in their path.  But the people are not afraid.  Instead they turn and stare directly at me.  Previously I had thought they could not see me, but now their gaze pierces through me.  I heave again, coughing as spittle drops from my mouth.

Their heads tilt as if examining me.  A few of them laugh, the sound high pitched and echoing hauntingly in my ears.  Even as the dark clouds descend and consume them.

Then the faces are gone in the blackness.  Swallowed whole.

Despite my ability to see in the darkness, I cannot.  Frantically I reach for a candle, magical in nature and always lit.  I reach for it for two reasons; for sight, and for warmth.  For as the darkness descends upon me my skin has grown even colder than before.  Goosebumps line my skin everywhere that I can still feel.  As I hold up the candle, I find that it gives off no light, and the warmth it would give is seemingly long since gone.  The orange light I always see is instead replaced by a grey hint of light, which is soon swallowed up in the blackness swirling around me.

Then I see nothing.  It is almost the same feeling as being burried alive.  My last thoughts are of Johanna, and how I long to see her again.  To feel the warmth of her body, and to see the light glistening off her sweat-slicked skin.

But as the darkness consumes me, I scream.

And suddenly my eyes snap open as I fall back.  My chest is heaving in breath.  I am breathing air, and not darkness.  The taste of ash in my mouth is gone;  one takes for granted the taste of air.  The Shadowborn Zweihander lays in the grass next to me, and I grab for it and place it within it's sheath.  I am alive.  And I am home.  And I attempt to comfort myself in realizing it was just a dream.

I get up slowly and glance around.  Everything seems to be normal now.  The people look normal, going about their daily errands.  But do they really have purpose?  I hesitate at the thought, then begin to reflect on what I had seen.  I need to clear my mind, and so I concentrate and encloak myself in a nearby shadow.

It is truely a relaxing feeling.  And I have a long way to go to master this talent of mine.

It is relaxing indeed.  But for how long...?
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 04:30:06 PM by Aldarris »
Figures, Soren's too busy to do something positive.  He thinks putting a smiling face in every message is positivity.

Heretic is a terrible player, always has been.  No wonder PoTM numbers are dwindling *sigh*

Aldarris

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Re: Revelations of a Shadowmaster
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2010, 03:48:29 PM »
So many people look outwards for something to save them.  Ideas, other people, "Gods".  There are so many extroverted ideas that those who need it find comforting.  I suppose I needed something.  I wanted a way to protect those I cared about, and there are so many more of them than there used to be.  There used to be only one.  That grew in to two.  Now I cannot even count.  I mask myself with my quick wit, and my snide remarks, but in reality for most there is nothing I would not do.  But the only one who holds my heart, body, and soul is Johanna, my wife.  And it is no longer just to save my sanity...I am starting to believe it.

I have accepted that of which I have found, which has become a part of me.  A month ago, I could feel it clawing behind my eyes, and whispering in my ear, taking on the voice of whoever it felt could impress upon me the most.  It was becoming so corrupting that I could not bare it.  Other people do not see the true shadow within them.  To them, shadow is something that is always there, never vigilant and simply follows behind.  But I know different.  Perception is something people take for granted.  The way we percieve something makes it real to us, and I suppose that is how I've learned what I have.  I have learned to change other people's perception with enough concentration and effort.

I indeed joined the slaving masses in searching for something externally.  Some form of salvation, yet only finding a way to numb the pain life has to offer.  And why should I do that?  There are only two things in this world that truely make someone strong.  One is pain, and the other is love, and both can coexist equally within one's being.  Yin and Yang.  It is quite impressive how things are starting to fall into place with my training and study of the martial arts.  It has only been a few months since I learned of Reiho and Ki.  I feel regretful that I did not persue such a path in the first place, but like most people, I sought to be saved by something outside of myself.  Not knowing there was power brought on by focus within myself.  And not realizing that my sword, while being rather large, thick, and impressive in stature was not just a tool...but an extension of my will that has always been at my side.  Regardless of my past, I can only look to the future.  And the more pain that I fight through, the more love and respect I will find.  Even just within myself...

Regardless of what I am fighting, in the end it is only myself and the sword.

I fear Johanna is losing herself to struggle.  She is slowly becoming wild, and sometimes I see a hint of madness.  When she is with me, she is as sweet as ever.  We do not bicker as much as we used to, and this makes me happy.  We do fight, but it is enjoyable because I feel that she shares my beliefs of pain and love.  I could not have found a better lifelong companion.  There is balance in our relationship.  From the passionate, unbridled sex, to the warmth we share when we cuddle, to the struggle we share when we hit one another.  I could not ask for more.  But I must find a way to focus her.  She can already release the anger she lets build up quite well at times, but if she were to learn how to focus it, I think I would no longer need to fear.  I don't want to lose her.

I sit atop the hill for the fifth time this week, with four fires lit pointing each direction.  The moon sets, and the sun rises as I begin my practice.  The fires flicker and as light fills the outskirts my shadow is always centered beneath me as I train.  That is where it belongs.  But while I feel this way, I respect what a shadow truely is, which is the negative aspect of light.  There must be light for there to be shadow, and without either there is only nothing.  Yin and Yang.  I had forgotten this respect I held for shadows months ago when Nameless appeared...but I respect it once more.

I push my body past exhaustion, using adrenaline and inner focus to strengthen my resolve.  Occasionally the blade sings, and when it does I quickly take note of it as the fires flicker with the force created.  But I do not let it interrupt my concentration.  When I am baptized in sweat, and my muscles ache, I lower myself to my knees slowly.  The blade, which is an extension of me I hold upwards.  My hand graces along the side of the edge as I extend my arms, fighting the fatigue I feel to begin my ritual of Reiho.  The Bowing to the Sword.  I extend the blade palms up at eye level, lowering my head and shutting my eyes.  In my mind, everything else fades away.  Only My sword and Yin and Yang remain.  Once I catch my breath, my mind is clear, and I have attained a focused state, I repeat my mantra once more attempting to ingrain it into my subconscious.

"You are my sword.  There are many like you, but you are mine. And I am yours.  You have seen me through the best, and worst of times, never more than an arm's length away.  Without me, you have no purpose.  Without you, I am incomplete.  I will constantly let the knowledge and enlightenment in learning from my experiences with you strengthen my resolve.  Together, you and I will face any obstacle that will appear.  Whether in front of us...or within me..."

I get up flourishing the blade slowly and sliding it into it's home on my back.

And as the sun rises, it is just us, and the sword.  It is a new day.
Figures, Soren's too busy to do something positive.  He thinks putting a smiling face in every message is positivity.

Heretic is a terrible player, always has been.  No wonder PoTM numbers are dwindling *sigh*