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Juxtaposition

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Bullheaded
« on: January 24, 2018, 03:27:27 AM »



When did it all start?

A young girl, no more than six winters old, searching around the corners of the outside of her family home. Her violet eyes were watering, her nose runny. Where did they hide her?
The ragdoll her sister made her. She searched every crack, every basket, every cabinet, every nook and cranny. It was nowhere, until she heard the mocking. The neighbors' boys came around, hoisting her ragdoll by the arms, pulling at it in clear view of the girl. They were going to tear her.

She ran over. Fast as her legs could carry her. Up the hill, over the road, and after the two older boys, with their longer legs. She ran, and ran, until she caught one of the screeching brats by his shirt. She pulled at him, yelled. He balled his fist and slammed it against her cheek, and she fell. Fell...


Could she ever give up?

The girl was ten. Her sister just finished braiding her hair before she went out into the forest, to pick some herbs. Her brother had just returned from his shift at the town watch.
It was time for training. Toy swords had to do, with how rough he would get. There was no room for mistakes. She would be bruised by the end of it, and had already collected a fair share.

He swung at her, a lame blow to the chest. She parried, with some strain, then jabbed at his foot -- he was too quick. He had already used his other arm to push her off-balance, and she fell. Fell...


Dispassion, disassociation, neither stopped her.

The girl was fifteen. Her family's features grew the softest on her visage, enough to attract attention. Her quiet, dull, absent-minded, flat exterior did little to dissuade. When she turned the bend on her daily walk with her sister, they were waiting for them. One of them was militia, upholders of the law, but that did not stop them. They hollered, tore at her dress, tripped her, and she fell. Fell...

Even fleeing the source of her troubles brought nothing but the same.

The girl was twenty. The road east was long and winding, painful to endure. The war her countryman waged on the locals made her a target. Her hood served well for most of the path, but she was accosted all the same. Highwaymen, out for gold, blood, or entertainment. She drew her sword, the one she inherited from her late brother, and without humoring their suggestions, swung. After a brief exchange of blows, her rusted blade broke away, and she fell. Fell...

There was no denying the fire that came with her blood. Even as she cursed its direction, and she cursed the circumstance that brought her to where she was, in all of its grandiose, complex, outward appearance, she could not ignore it.

The early deaths of her parents left her and her siblings to fend for themselves, when she was but a tender eight years of age. They barely scraped by, but for years, it was mostly quiet. Their house went in flames two years prior, her sister incinerated and her brother impaled by a pitchfork at the front door, for reasons she never fully understood.

She was never viewed by anyone as normal. Too quiet, too calculated. Possessed. Void of heart.

They were wrong. Lucía Merlo was the very definition of 'Invidian Heart'.

The girl of six pushed up to her feet with clenched fists and grappled with the boys over her ragdoll, biting, scratching, kicking, headbutting. She broke their noses, and although she was bruised, and her doll ruined, she left the two older boys in a heap on the cobbles.

The girl of ten rolled aside to avoid her brother's next jab and the subsequent bruising. She hopped back up and twisted away from another blow, ducked the thrown punch, and socked his groin, pushing the blade of her toy sword to the crumpled man's throat.

The girl of fifteen drew out a small knife from a strap on her leg. All she needed to do was to cut at the closest attacker, and they would disperse. The man screamed in agony, his hot blood flowing onto her arm. They scrambled, and fled, and she carried her beaten sister home.

The girl of twenty held onto the hilt of the broken sword and growled at her assailants. They closed in, but she was already standing, and already moving. She stuck the broken blade into one's neck and kicked him in the stomach, leaving him gushing blood and disoriented. One grasped at her from behind, and she struggled to throw him off, overcoming before the next came with his sword brandished at her stomach. The two crumbled against each other, and the last attacker's blow was parried with the groove of her sword. She punched him once, twice, thrice, then stabbed him in the gut. The others had scrambled up to their feet, but she had already held their comrades swords in her hand.

She smiled, leaving the only thing she had left of her family broken and lodged in a dying man's gut, along with three other corpses, and kept on her road east.


Not always did she win, but it took being driven to unconsciousness or to the brink of death before she could be torn off from her quarry. Her fire was for the struggle; her lust burned for overcoming the impossible, for vendetta, and for the death of that which would bring her harm...




...

Quote from: Some time in the past...
...



"You have drawn the Broken One, giorgio..."
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 12:17:19 AM by Juxtaposition »

Juxtaposition

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Bullheaded
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 04:13:15 AM »



Quote
Merlo, Topics of Research

  • Effect of Concoctions on the Body - Unclear. Suggestion that increased exposure to certain types of effects will cause strain on mind and body, in example: dependency on accelerated, unnatural healing will slow down natural healing process and coagulation. Reliance on tonics to increase ones strength might cause feeling of flabby musculature. While imperative to working on my own, not being a witch, I must be careful using my own brews and observe other users for adverse effects.
  • The Undead - Acquired book describing the servile, brainless dead, written by some gnome. Odd folk. Either way, will dissect it at a later date and make own observations. Still require a source on the intelligent dead, namely, vampires.
  • Shapechangers - Fought werewolves with success. Strange process occurs when they perish, reverting them to their human forms, thus making dissections pointless after death. Might need to capture one alive and changed. Tendons seem to be the weak point, with their bent curvature - while it allows for speed and agility, it is a target for thick, accurate steel, and thus must be abused until better methods are learned. Still seeking those out. Usual superstition involving them appears correct thus far.
  • Swordsmanship - Training with my brother clearly not sufficient for prolonged engagements in the wild with creatures beyond human capacity. Have sent a note to someone of reputable expertise, waiting for answer. Would like to develop fighting style of my own specifically for Old Night.
  • Use of Magic - While witchery is more heavily scrutinized in Barovia than back home, I am beginning to learn how to cast spells from a few simple scrolls. Enchanting my weapon, my eyesight, and veiling myself under the illusion of invisibility are challenging, expensive tasks, but ones I should master for the above topic.
  • THEM - No new information.


Quote from: Some time in the past...
...

"This card is important, giorgio, especially at the forefront of your reading. You may not realize it, and others may not see as much on the surface, but something within you is broken. For your question to be answered, you must heal and mend.

I take your silence as imploring me to continue. Very well..."

       
                               

"The Nine of Swords, the Torturer, comes in as your past..."
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 12:18:51 AM by Juxtaposition »

Juxtaposition

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Bullheaded
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2018, 01:33:59 PM »


Quote
Recorded Thoughts, Early February, 773

I have arrived in Port-à-Lucine with some of my companions on an errand that should not have taken as long as it has. The City of Lights is both a terrifying and mesmerizing sight, one which a girl from blood-washed Curriculo would be devoured by in an instant. Thankfully, I have been steadied by others, ones more accustomed to this alien world, if by a little, and by my books, research, and purpose.

The Department of Arcane Sciences remains the most bizarre, interesting, and yet beautiful place I have visited in this land and anywhere else. That all of these crafts would be openly learned by people my age is astounding. Claudia would have been even more enchanted than I am, though she always seemed to know of more about the world than she let on. I miss her.

Finding books about the subjects I am interested in has proved to be an almost trivial matter, too. There is so much knowledge here, even on things that the people do not believe in. I could spend months, years, simply reading. Like Martha. But, I do not think it would get me anywhere, and especially not where I want to be.

I cannot stop feeling the bitterness. I thought maybe making some friends, new people to be with, would make me feel better. It just makes me miss them more, and feel that burning desire to draw blood. Murderous. "Crabby". I hurt her feelings, even if she would not admit it.

It is the Sainted Mother's wish that the Legion be destroyed, wherever they are, and Her faithful's duty to do so. A holy duty. Others are not my tools, but I am Hers. A sword made to thrill at battle.

My writing deteriorates. I will write more when my mind stops swirling.

Quote from: Notes on Research and Progress
1,

I have observed only one thing to change in my bodily functions after prolonged and numerous consumption of a variety of poultices, although whether or not the effects are beneficial or detrimental would vary by personal opinion. I have become more hardened to pain and bleeding -- not in the sense that it does not induce hurt, but rather, it does not give me as much alarm, nor does it give me more than superficial physical pause. Unsure how tonics of invisibility or ones that enhance my sight will develop, but this is so far, the only noticeable change.

2,

The discussion of these creatures is purely for knowing how to combat them and prevent their creation.

THE MUNDANE DEAD
  • Creation: Arcane magic falters in this process in comparison to the Divine, for no apparent reason other than the supposed ease of Divine prayers in manipulating positive and negative energies. The creation of Skeletons and Zombies, supposedly involves filling the eye sockets and mouth of a corpse with gems known as black onyx -- the more of the gem, the more likely the animation to succeed, and the more powerful your creation. Untested and liable to remain so, but until other countering evidence rears its head, I will be destroying these gems at every opportunity. No knowledge on the creation of Wights.
  • Skeletons: Animated bones with eyes that glow a faint red, yellow, or green, they are possessed of no personal will of their own as far as any tests or testimonies go. They are usually made to guard places important to their masters. The creatures are not necessarily evil, but just are as they are. Their creation, on the other hand, is vile, even if their existence has naught to do with who the bones belonged to in life. They possess a sense of sight, as to be expected from creatures with magical eyes, and a sense of hearing, as well. Both, obviously, magical. Uncertain about other sensory capacities at this moment, and cannot think of a conceivable way to test such. Bludgeoning and scattering its bone structure is the most effective way to destroy it, if its master is not around to reanimate it.
  • Zombies: Nearly the same as Skeletons, except possessing of flesh. They are slower in every possible capacity, though they strike harder. As opposed to their boney compatriots, hacking them apart is the correct remedy.
  • Wights: Fully capable of thought and speech, these creatures are violent, fast, and deadly. Merely being exposed to their skin inflicts the malaise of negative energy upon its living prey. They smell exceptionally putrid, even more so than Zombies. Fire is their ultimate weakness, and should be used in every opportunity over blade or cudgel.

Quote from: A tacked-on note within the journal
[The handwriting is fairly legible, though it slants on the page.]

ETHEREAL UNDEAD

Ethereal undead are mortal souls that cannot move on from our world and are a class of undead with many forms and origins. Don’t have trouble moving through solid stuff but can’t move through other ethereal things. Most mundane armor useless. Need to find out if something can be solid and ethereal. Ethereal undead cannot be struck by most mundane blades – magic or platinum required. Not clear whether they can see through solid stuff where it blocks sight. Ethereal undead in Raduta do not see me through doors suggesting they can’t see through solid stuff. Not known if universal. Some forms of ethereal undead can be created with necromancy. May be released by breaking magics binding them. Others more complicated – see ghosts. Common ethereal undead can physically harm or wither flesh with negative energy on contact. Intense aura of negative energy around some can cause uncontrollable panic – best to have abjuration or a dark orange when nearing.

Ghosts created when strong emotion present at point of death. Emotion creates ‘resonance’ on ethereal and stronger feelings create stronger resonance. Intense emotion at death traps soul creating ghost. Torment of soul about circumstances of death feeds resonance so soul remains trapped until the way the person died is learned and the circumstances resolved. Resolution quiets emotion of soul and breaks its chains. Direct confrontation not really useful until history resolved. Stuff ghosts do varies and they are trapped in the same state until freed. Some are capable of necromancies or illusions – protect against negative energy and use appropriate divinations or abjurations when handling. Gilos may be example of ghost – outraged at betrayal of faith.

3,

No new information.

4,

Individual I contacted to better my swordplay seems to be absent or simply is not interested in helping. Slowly getting better by my lonesome, thinking of wielding a bigger sword.

5,

Collected a couple of books on the subject written by a Z. Sorrill. Intending to study them in-depth alongside Martha's tutelage of the craft. My mastery of the gestures relating to cantrips increases, as does my grasp of Darkonese. One day, perhaps soon, I will be able to cast a simple spell.

6 (THEM),

Due to sudden influx of content and its volume, I will be writing in a new journal entirely dedicated to the subject.

Quote from: Some time in the past...
...

"Things of evil have clearly haunted you, giorgio. The very definition of fear has ruled your life, before, as did its proponents. Perhaps it was someone close to you, or perhaps, something beyond... your next card, is the present. What you are facing now, what your mind works around."




"The Six of Stars, the Evoker... how strange."
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 06:58:48 PM by Juxtaposition »

Juxtaposition

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Bullheaded
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2018, 10:44:38 PM »
Quote
Recorded Thoughts, Late February, 773

I will burn that cultist to ash. Him, his anchor, his every possession. He will be erased. Signed on with the blackcoat to make it possible. All I have learned and done would be for nothing if others keep getting hurt.

Drowning the memory out in wine later.

Quote from: Notes on Research and Progress: General
1,

No new information. Thinking that for the short term, any effects are mostly internal. Will revisit when something changes.


2,

The discussion of these creatures is purely for knowing how to combat them and prevent their creation.


VAMPIRES
  • Creation: Currently unknown, other than the creation of 'spawn'.
  • Feeding: A vampire must sustain itself at all times, through human or demi-human blood or other life energies. Consequence for not feeding is unknown; presumed withering and weakening, then eventual demise.
  • Sleeping: Unlike other undead, they must sleep. Once the sun rises they will not wake until dusk.
  • Aging: Vampires age and grow more powerful with age, but such is indiscernible to the eye, as they show no signs of aging.
  • Powers & Weaknesses: Vampires gain both powers and weaknesses as they age, ones that differ from one to another. Some might be weak to garlic,
    others may not be able to feed off something that is still alive. In contrast, they can change forms to a type of animal, turn invisible to the eye at will, or animate the dead with ease (beyond the boundaries described earlier in this journal).
  • Spawn: Created when a victim is drained entirely of its life energies and is not buried properly. Eternally chained to its killer, until that is destroyed.
  • Destruction: Submerging a vampire in running water will disintegrate it. Staking it in the heart will paralyze it, allowing for a beheading.
    Specially blessed weapons might be enough. Prolonged exposure to sunlight. Destruction of its anchor (usually a coffin), and then of its corporeal form. Warning: Not all of these methods are guaranteed to work, as every vampire is unique, as described in 'Powers'.
  • Mindset: When created involuntarily, these creatures have a hard time distinguishing between whether or not they are still alive. When they realize their new nature, they are often driven near insanity. These creatures will compulsively cling to remnants of their old life and shreds of humanity, but over time they will lose direction and become misguided in their obsessions. Other vampires believe themselves the masters of the world thanks to their immortality and nigh-indestructible existence, treating all living as their property and all other vampires as rivals to that title. Cooperation between these creatures is rare thanks to that, and every individual in such congregations would have plans in their mind to ascend and control all its peers. As expected, they are exceptionally arrogant and delusional beings.

3,

The discussion of these creatures is purely for knowing how to combat them and prevent their creation.


SHAPECHANGERS
  • Identification: Shapechangers may, as their categorization suggests, change forms, often to that of a man-animal hybrid. Their hair color turns to the color of their fur, and their eye color carries over, although consuming the pupil, in most cases.
  • True: Born of other shapechangers mating. The line of ancestry is liable to be long, but two 'afflicted' may create a true. They are in complete control of their forms and may pass the disease (or curse) to others.
  • Afflicted: These creatures were, as their categorization suggests, afflicted with the condition by other shapechangers (other afflicted ones or a true). They are not in control of their transformations, usually triggered by extreme pain or the full moon -- they have no recollection of their memories while transformed, and may change forms to either hybrid or common animal, but not both.
  • Powers & Weaknesses: Some individuals can command animals, heal supernaturally quick, and be supernaturally quiet.
  • Curation: Obviously, only the afflicted can be cured of this condition. First, the natural lycanthrope that began the chain of afflictions must be destroyed. Secondly, various curse-removing magics must be applied to the individual. This can only be done once, and the chance of death is high; otherwise, if it fails, the shapechanger is forever diseased and must be put down.
  • Known Forms: Wolves, bears, boars, pigs, rats, bats, badgers, foxes, jackals, crocodiles. Other listed animals sound fictitious, or otherwise extremely unheard of. Will add if proof crops up. Shapechangers may only be carnivorous or omnivorous.

4,

Swordplay will become my own progress as I have taken up the zweihänder. Got a lot faster.


5,

Casting spells from scrolls with relative ease, now. Not far behind unlocking the formulae for the cantrip 'Disrupt Undead'. Should prove useful in future, to be able to cast this.

Quote from: Some time in the past...
...

"This card is usually drawn as your future, or your past -- for it to be drawn in your present is ill omen, from this one's view. There is temptation in you, giorgio, one that ruled your recent days and will rule the ones to come soon after. You may resist it, though tragedy is sure to follow if you do not... Your future, now, if you are willing."



"The Four of Glyphs, the Shepherd. This is..."
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 11:04:39 PM by Juxtaposition »

Juxtaposition

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Bullheaded
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2018, 12:13:02 AM »

Quote
Recorded Thoughts, Mid-March, 773

Trying to call that thing did not work. Got Chitters instead. Unable to focus on what is important. Wine and lethargy flow more freely than blood and righteous death. I fear wandering the Core for years without finding the object of my wrath, before spending it on the undeserving.

Perhaps release will come sooner than I think.

[The rest of the page is scribbled upon with sketches of an inverted, six pointed star, adorned by arcane runes; each sketch is of a different size, with differing accuracy. Wide, feathered wings follow, also done in alternating capacity, as if the author was drunk while scribbling all of this.]

Quote from: Notes on Research: Fiends
On Fiends

In my travels, I have ran across many heinous, revolting creatures, each with their own characteristics that, while vulgar and bastardized, can be felt as a particle of humanity. A particle of personhood, of the woes that hunt an everyday man, and of the pleasures that he seeks. The terrible lust of a Vampire, the hunger of the Wolf, the agony of the Spirit; all of Old Night mirrors the worst in men and intensifies it a hundredfold.

And yet, there are creatures worse still. For, if Humanity's worst is portrayed in the horrors that we become, what preys and lures a man to his final hour, what has no semblance of humanity about it -- no compassion, no love, no grief and no despair, is the truest and most final evil. From beyond the mists of death, they have been brought as poison by maleficent fools seeking to empower themselves, thus dooming us all. These are Fiends, the denizens of Iadul.

My first encounter with such an abominable crime of creation was just over a year ago, in what was a ruined, smoldering wine cellar. In its centre was drawn what I now know to be a variant of the ritualistic pentagram. While the traditional pentagram is a five-pointed star, and is not necessarily malicious, this specific star had a total of thirteen points to it, and a circle connecting its points protectively. It was inverted, and decorated in arcane writings; words of summoning, and protection against the malign, as I would now guess with my rapidly expanding pool of knowledge. A smell of burnt wood and ash assailed my nostrils, as did that of brimstone. A compound used by alchemists, as I have learned, it had no place being where it was. In between the wreck, I found the devil's victims, two charred and mangled corpses. The monster itself was not monstrous at all, but a beautiful human-appearing woman with only two oddities to her, though these were enough. Wide, white-feathered wings sprouted from her back, and her skin was the color of dimmed slate. I have come to know, through an encounter detailed later in this journal, that this type of creature is called an 'Erinyes' -- charming with both looks and spoken word, and with swords just as sharp, magic just as destructive. Their allure is their weapon, and the final result is never as pretty as they are. Only catching a glimpse of her, I dared not reveal my presence, and for my own luck,
the sighting had only lasted for a mere few seconds before she flew out into the night sky, through the smoke left behind by her scene of carnage.

The next I encountered such a being was in an old cavern in Barovia, though this sight was not at all impressive. A fat, bulbous creature that had no capacity for speech besides incoherent gurgling, with a distinct and laughable lack of motor functions, it was felled with but one strike. I later found that these are called 'Lemures'. They are the carrion, the slaves, the masses that serve the other fiends for all eternity, mortals that signed their souls away and are forever caged in pitiful forms. When I carved away at its flesh, only ooze and what perhaps once was a person's internal organs seeped out. It had no brain, only more acidic matter that made my stomach churn in disgust.

Later that same night, I came across something I can not yet dub, though through stories and tales it would be only as impressive enough as to fit the depiction of an 'Imp'. With red, leathery skin, two crooked horns and bat-like wings, it held the most palpably annoying countenance I had ever seen from a thinking creature. It seemed to believe itself the ruler of a place called 'the Maggot Pits', in a layer of Iadul called 'Avernus'. It proclaimed that it cannot be killed by weapons nor spells, being immortal, and all-powerful, which were all equally preposterous. It then proceeded to explain to me, when I had questioned it, what the two of its kind I have seen before actually are, and how they compare to it. When asked for its name, the creature stubbornly and cravenly refused, preferring I inflict upon it eternal torment -- which at that point, was the only way in which I got it to speak at all. There is something of interest to be gleaned from that, in how, in all likelihood, these creatures preserve their names to protect themselves. Finally, it spoke of how its kind cannot be killed, and that the 'Lemure' that was slain had its spirit sent back to 'Avernus' to reform, and that through this immortality, their numbers are endless, and so is their dominion.

There are several books out there, in the Core, with accounts detailing various incidents relating to rampaging fiends and ones more discreet in their vile machinations. To begin with, the accounts regaling the destruction of a town called Creeana, in Darkon, by an entity known as 'the Whistling Fiend'. Over two centuries ago, a farmer fell ill with some unknown disease, and his body began twisting and bending. A local priest had deemed it the influence of infernal entities, and has sent for wizards to deal with the problem. They could not. Instead of saving the man, they trapped him using ensorcellments, yet it did nothing in the case of protection. Using the farmer's body as a vessel, a demon burst through and began whistling merrily as it butchered the wizards, the priest, and the townsfolk. Accounts of the creature itself describe it as taller and beefier than any man, with a red hide, long claws, and a horn growing out of the back of its head. It wielded a pike and always, either whistled, or laughed, while butchering its victims. It cared not for magic spells, but when it was cut with an enchanted blade, it screamed in pain and vanished.

Saint Igrayne Blaith the Sorrowful is a story from the Ezrite Church, while, whether real or fiction, demonstrates the lengths to which fiends will go to corrupt and ensnare those of a mortal mind, by appealing to their darkest desires. It is a tale that you, the reader, may freely hear in any Refuge, and I invite you to attend Fifth Day to do as much. Another example of such behavior is the account written by a Borcan monk, some seventy years ago, about the 'Prince of Twilight'. In this inane, self-gratifying tome, the Borcan speaks of how he was saved from a miserable death by the hands of this Prince, with a most endearing lesson to follow. Revealing "many secrets of the land" to this monk, the Prince also spoke of a person's "missing half". Through rituals and appropriate sacrifices, one could call their missing half from the nether in which it resides.
The Prince continued to say that people would fear this change in a person, change that would see them transformed into something better that would be able to control the land, the elements, and everything else. That the better parts of our mortal souls, strived for power above their station. To my subjected view, all of these marks point to an attempt to lure a mortal into possession -- and perhaps, the peasant that fell ill during the events of Creeana, tried the very same rituals. We may never know.

It is through all these examples that I then ask a very important question. As I have learned, the 'Lemures' were once mortals that collaborated with fiends for power. They reside in their domains, and are, for all intents and purposes, fiends themselves. Is this, then, the origin of the fiends, same as it is for the vampire, the wolf, and the spirit? The mortal coil falling into temptation and evil? Or were they there before us? Were they waiting for eternity for playthings to make into their armies, their food and entertainment, and moreover; are they above the mists of death, as I still suspect? Are they above Lady Ezra, and all the other Gods that we worship? I do not believe we can say for certain.

The vileness of fiends remains the most brutal and terrifying of all, and while we are right to fear Old Night, there is yet something else we should fear more.

I will be categorizing my findings when I stumble upon anything new.

Quote from: Some time in the past...
...

"I have not seen a surer mark of catastrophe than this, giorgio. Inverted, with combination of your other drawn cards, this tells me nothing else but the eventual betrayal of your loved ones and those you impart trust upon. How you may recover from this, I do not yet know, and nor do I know if you will recover at all.

Let us draw the finale."



"You have drawn the Prison. At the end of your road, when all of importance is said and done, you will stand alone. If not dead, then bent, damaged, and left to rot. Isolated and imprisoned within your own shell, and for all that will befall you... not a single loved one will remain.

Perhaps, it is not so bleak. Perhaps, the inverse is true, and your chains will be broken out of the prison full of deceit, betrayal and death you have been flung into. Perhaps..."

"Oh, shut the hell up, Mateo."
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 12:30:39 AM by Juxtaposition »

Juxtaposition

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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2018, 09:33:06 PM »


Quote
Recorded Thoughts, September, 773

Losing sight of the goal. Even though it is lofty, I make no strides toward it mindlessly flailing against the rat, the wolf, or the leech. They are miniscule. Unimportant. The winged beast and the seductress in-wait have eluded my eyes. The bastards from over the mountains cling to their forests.

Old strategies need to be repeated.

Quote from: Notes on Research: The Thing Under the Mountain
Krofburg, Barovia

Nearly a decade ago, the mountain hamlet of Krofburg has been nearly razed to the ground by a fiend of unspeakable power and a horde of its minions. The effects of that event can be felt to this day in the scars worn by the people of the village, and the ruins scattered around it. It has been beaten and imprisoned, but now, with all of what has been happening in and around that area of the mountains, I have reason to believe it shall resurface. How that creature happened by is currently a mystery to me, and it will remain so until I find proof of fact, but I have theorized the most probable scenario following these facts:

a) Around Krofburg, in the mountains, there are several summoning circles burned into the stone, with massive rock formations towering above them, much alike the effect that occurs when a single of these creatures is brought into our Misty Hollow, except much more powerful and lasting, a testament to the summoned being's strength. However, these summoning circles only had five points to their star.

b) Under Mount Ghakis, in winding tunnels now exposed by the eruptions of 772 (further supporting my suspicions of its return), there are various occult and perhaps arcane markings inscribed over walls and ancient arcways, undoubtedly the work of cultists and madmen.

c) Instead of banishing it, those that defeated this being opted for caging it under complex arcane sigils and barriers, as deep within Mount Ghakis as possible. The top of its prison, liable to be this forgotten cult's temple, remains unharmed at the mountaintop. That a banishment or dismissal spell, or a ritual of similar, more effectual capacities, were not appropriate, suggest that it is indeed a god-like behemoth.

Following these three points, I find that it is logical to conclude that the creature has been within our world before it was summoned to Krofburg. It perhaps even spoke to its cultists directly or through its minions. It perhaps resided in the infested sands of Perfidus, or somewhere deeper, far more wretched and abhorrent. It is possible altogether that I am wrong, and the summoning in Krofburg is its second occurrence, or that the cultists used powerful ritualistic spells to open the five-pointed star for such a monstrosity.

As for what transpired that day and how this demon may act, I have inquired with a witness. I will refrain from mentioning her name, but we will refer to her as 'Vera' in these writings from now on.

Vera has confided in me that those days were as terrible as one would expect. The assailant was winged and massive, its skin alike horse-leather of dark colorings, its eyes bonfires that lit up the night. It wielded a sword, spat fire and acid, and could crush a man to a pulp by clenching him with its fist, commanding powerful magicks to make even the most learned magi appear frail and jealous. In addition, it had the capacity to summon forth smaller fiends, its aforementioned minions, all of which were equally brutal and deadlier than the average man... and when those fell, Vera told me, they would turn into mindless servants, with rotten and torn grey flesh, and eyes of burning coals. Her recollection of such happening to her friend might be one of the most chilling encounters with a fiend that I have read or heard of.

That is as much as she could say at the time. I had half a mind to press her for more, but I feared she would call for the militia. I do not understand how someone can live through such horrors, ones that many would argue leave scars that last for life, and not dedicate themselves to prevent that from happening again. She did, however, ask me why this sort of thing interested me, and all I had to say to her was the truth.

I will be there when it breaks its shackles, ready to send it back to Iadul.

Quote from: Notes on Research: Fiends
The Blooded

"Can fiends procreate with man?" A question that has risen up from observations of peculiar individuals has received an almost entirely positive answer in my head, disgusting as I may find it. They do not appear human, and they do not appear as a beast from Iadul. They appear as something in between, with qualities that can be ascribed to either, much like fey mongrels. I have not asked any of these things in person of fear for my own temper, and yet I stump myself with a question I cannot answer.

Do the Father's sins dictate the child's verdict?

It does not in some cases, not to my eyes, but that is when the father and mother both are human, and the child is born innocent and plain. How can I know if those that share blood with Hell itself are born that way, too?

Regardless, they will need to be catalogued by specifications.


The Temptress

While most fiends appear in disgusting aberrant forms, some choose to walk among us in the guise of our kind. They appear to present themselves as beautiful women or men, and unlike their ravaging, violent and bloody kindred, they choose subtlety as a way into corrupting our souls. Pleasures of the flesh are offered, and soon the subject is lost in sensuality, with death and damnation following closeby.

I once theorized that such a creature was following an acquaintance of mine, whom we shall refer to as 'Marina', as the symptoms were the same: hot, bothersome flashes of the creature in her mind, alluring gestures and outbursts, subtlety and lies. Though something yet bothers me there, due to both Marina's and this creature's strange behaviors from witness accounts.


The Lord

Every society has rulers or commanders, those at the top of the hierarchy whether through political cunning or outright prowess. How this is achieved in specific within the depths of Hell is unknown to me, though those that rise up to the top I believe fall under the same category as what lies beneath Ghakis. One such creature has been terrorizing the environs of Vallaki of late, though it has been much tamer in its effect. It is told to be of a massive wingspan, with red horse leather serving as its layer of skin, its dog-like skull exposed and flaming, leaving behind a pungent stench of brimstone, its strength matching that of a score of seasoned adventurers. It seems, moreover, to be resistant to dismissal or banishment spells, which fits my once-mentioned assumptions of the Thing Under the Mountain.

If what is said of fiends is true, that they are immortal, then the only thing that can be done in the case of something this terrible, is to capture it. Plans have been made, though an execution is yet to follow while this predator lurks.


Questions to Ask

a) Inquire about specifications in as much detail as possible, including of the Blooded, the Temptress, and of the Lords.

b) Inquire about places of origin other than Avernus. Seek the truth of Iadul as they understand it.

c) Inquire about the question of immortality.

d) Inquire about it.

Use extreme force if necessary.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 09:40:04 PM by Juxtaposition »

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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2018, 11:53:57 PM »
Quote
Recorded Thoughts, October, 773

I set them loose. Even one would have been a tremendous sin, inexplicable and unforgivable. How do I explain more in confession? I don't. I drown myself in wine, again. I take to foot, again. May my eyes and mind not fail me, before it is too late for someone, somewhere.

Hurt hearts and shed tears forge stainless steel.

Quote from: Notes on Research: Fiends
The Worldly Order

New discoveries were made recently. Names that were written in previous entries, ones that refer to 'worlds' - namely Stygia, Phlegethos, and Avernus - were considered by myself to be simple things. This was naivete, clearly, as now it is found that there are cities and settlements within them. In Stygia resides "the frozen city of Tantlin", which implies to me that 'Hell', as we understand it commonly is as equally diverse as our own space of living. As there are fiends there that are barely sentient, so do we have the caterpillar or the ant. As they have their armies, their lords and agents, so do we have ours. The striking difference remains, however, in the core of the mortal being. We are capable of emotion and thought that is beyond them, and while I would argue there is no crueler than the ones that lust for souls, mortals tread a dangerously close line.

As was postulated and is now confirmed, they and their existence are the exemplification of the worst qualities we, as mortals, possess. They are a mirror to our sins, and they will use these facets of ours they know so well to steal us.


Immortality

I have been informed by an exceptionally reliable source that these things are indeed, immortal. However, they possess upon passage into mortal realms an item or thing of significance, into which they infuse their spirit. Working under the assumption this is not destroyed with the drop of metal, there will be experimentation with the next lesser monstrosity I run into - on whether or not the claim is true (as there is always margin for hearsay and error), and whether or not it is simply destroyed, by fire, sword, or abjuration. If none of these methods are viable, I will retain cutting them down with a blade as my primary mode of operation.

The Question of 'Celestials'

"Evil cannot exist without Good". I have heard this phrase or a variation thereof countless times during my short life, and I have seen evidence enough to testify to this being true. Kindness exists amongst mortals, and so does cruelty. However, it is hard for me to imagine the opposite of a fiend, as there has been no evidence to it. How can something that is so benevolent and kind exist alongside such ravagers, and not be called to action when they bereave mortals? It is something I cannot fathom. If such a thing does exist - then their definition of goodness is something I cannot apply myself to.

Regardless, many outlanders seem to believe that they indeed exist. One was kind enough to elaborate upon the matter, speaking with factual confidence. Supposedly they are all what is claimed of them to be, and more. As 'Hell' is referred to as the lower plane, they reside in the upper. The Heavens, and are just as varied as their counterparts.

Whether or not this is true remains up for testing and observation in future.


Quote from: Some time in the past...
...

"What, gypsies' stories don't interest you? Hah! And to think Claudia read you her fancy Borcan stories that the old man brought over. They're more or less the same, except the Borcans don't got flair."

"Nothing fancy about a horror story coming from a Vistani's mouth."

"It ain't funny, either. Your broth's getting cold while you're playing with those stupid cards."

"Aw, whatever. You girls just don't like fun... thinking about it, neither did that gypsy."

"We don't need to hear that stuff around the dinner table. Cut it out before you make Claudia queasy."

"You're the one that goes to bed early when I talk about work, Lucía."

"Am not."

"Sure are."

"Enough, you two. Just eat. Lucía, did you read your pages?"

"Yes, sister."

"Recite to me what you learned."

"Bet you all the gold in the cellar that she didn't."

"Oh, you're just asking for it now...!"

"ENOUGH!"

...

"You think this'd work?"

"I practiced the incantation and measurements a hundred times because you've asked. Are you sure you want to do this...? Because I'm not."

"Weren't you the one that read about this? Didn't you tell me that these things can give us what we need? Legion or not, if it's true, they'd help us more than Ezra ever has... besides, I got my sword."

"The cost is-"

"I got it the first time, Claudia. Truth is, I rather pay the cost than have us all live like this for much longer. We don't deserve it. Not you, least of Lucía."

"I rather still have a brother than live a life I never knew."

"But I knew it, and I might as well have stolen it from you. Just let me do this... are you sure it won't wake her up?"

"We're beneath a cellar hatch and a full storey. She sleeps like a dead man."

"I don't know this kind of stuff. Just... let's just get this over with."

...

There was very little that Lucía failed to hear that night. At the time, she had no idea what the issue was, nor why they kept it secret — she simply figured that if they wanted it so, then she would rather not be home while they do it. Off she went, then, for a walk out back, into the edge of the woods of outer Curriculo, the full moon shining brightly overhead. Her family consisted of her brother and sister for as long as she could remember. She knew only a glimpse of her mother, a simple peasant girl of the usual Invidian stock, and nothing of her father, other than that he was a Borcan mercenary, later militiaman and vintner within Curriculo, that fell in love with a local woman and decided to settle down with her, rather than take her home with him. They were both reaped, prematurely, by a passing episode of plague, and while their children fell ill, they were saved by the grace of a wandering Anchorite, some mere hours after the passing of their parents.

She knew nothing but seizing opportunity since those days, lunging herself at the throat of what would be likely to bring bread home. Nothing degrading, nothing glamorous, nothing unusual for urchins of the day. She had no idea, that that very night her siblings hid from her in that musty cellar, that her way of life was about to change.

From afar, she saw the first spark of flame. By the time she ran halfway through to their home, it was collapsing, the flames turning night into day, and by the time she reached it, she only caught a glimpse of a winged figure spreading its feathered wings and soaring into the sky. Within the wreck, glowed a crimson circle, inscribed with indecipherable arcana, and yet within that — two charred corpses.

...

"What's the matter?"

"The last time something like this happened, I didn't have the chance to say I'm sorry."

"That's just 'ow the dice roll."

"Maybe."

...

Every time she wakes, her heart burns. The fire from that night clinged to her body like sweat. A putrid stain that would never go away, but it would drive her onward. Her eyes watered with grief and her brows knit in a scowl, from the flashing images that enter her mind and perturb her sleep. Those of the monsters she wished to erase, and those of her now gone family.

A skin of wine reminds her of life. A deep breath restores her sight to the fresh new day. A stride out of the door, and the new family she's made would stand in greeting.

For her, there was only now.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 07:14:38 AM by Juxtaposition »

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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2019, 09:02:11 PM »

Quote from: Notes on Research: Fiends
The Immol Archives

Recording of notes regarding my visit to the highly selective archive in Immol starting below.

The Annals of Yeritsia: The language is difficult and archaic. I can barely make out what it says, but from what I have deciphered, these depictions of times long past specify a ritual of destruction. It goes as follows:

"A sacred circle must be drawn and consecrated by a priest of good heart (Yeritsia mentions only the "Light on High"). Salt must be cast within it. The creature's flesh must be pierced nine times with blades of white gold, to reflect the light of Goodness. An incantation must be made in which the creature is named (assumed to be its true name, of course) and consigned thrice to eternal nothingness."

The rest of the process, before the husk is burned, is unintelligible. For this to be a valid approach, the last third needs to be found. Until then, other sources can be looked to.

Godslayer: Even a worse text than the last in terms of readability. This is a heroic tale regarding a hero that slew a powerful, deific like being in the distant past. The most important part goes as follows:

"Against the Terror Wrought in Flame he did pursue. Unto the Gate, and there leapt through, into the Hells which lay beyond. And there, wherefrom the creature spawned, he gave it battle, fighting well. So hard he struck, that down it fell, and struck the earth with such a smash, that broke the ground with a mighty crash, and then it was, as all things must, turned again into mortal dust."

The obvious implication here is that to truly kill a fiend, you must follow it to the Abyss or to the Nine Hells, and best it in combat there. No small feat to do either, but the question remains of how to come back. This warrants further inquiry.

Self Assertion: The title of this tome is irrelevant, as it only holds one message. Fiends seek to solidify their power; for this purpose, they travel to other planes and collect the souls of mortals, as a form of fuel to their ascension into greater form and power. They can be badly hurt there, as was already known, but when they are taken to planes that "share their essence", they may be ultimately destroyed by absorption of their essence. This implies that a fiend that is not native to the Hells may die in a plane similar to it, but not exactly it. A good piece of knowledge to note.

On Lesser Imps and Demonic Servants: Repeating many things already known, there is a relevant footnote telling the following:

"The Demon Archaoth was destroyed and no other demon could ever find sign of him again and it was reported that he was truly dead."

I do not know how whoever wrote this had near infinite access to the minds of demons to assert this, nor to what is being muttered in the lower planes, but it is more supportive evidence to the fact fiends can die. Even if small and laughable.

This concludes my notes for this visit.


Currently Known Fiends:


  • Chitters, the imp. This creature is currently at-large and was the one I first reported to be the "ruler" of the Maggot Pits of Avernus. A very proud claim that I doubt carries any weight. This will be the first test in true destruction.
  • Nameless Erinyes. A truly despicable being that was more of an annoyance to deal with than the first. Currently still at large.
  • Two Nameless Balor Lords. These terrifying, pseudo-deific monstrosities will be more than a little challenge to bring to heel. One of them has been brought in by the tricks of a vistani card reader, and a woman called Jeanne has become its target; the being believes it summoned her to our world, and wishes revenge for the act. I have not seen or heard this woman since she came to me to speak of this, and so I will assume she has perished. The other was summoned by an unknown magi and has been terrorizing Vallaki some time ago. Its disappearance leads me to believe that it wishes for more entertaining hunting grounds, since word of its earthly destruction has not reached my ears. Both creatures are still out and about.

Quote
Recorded Thoughts, January, 774

My heart is heavy. I miss her, she who was like my sister. I thought I could erase her from my heart - she is just a gnome, I thought. I never held her in much regard because of this, and never imagined I would care so much. Perhaps this is why she turned away from me, even after her promises. And yet, my heart is heavier with guilt. I let her walk away from me, freely. Knowing that she was lying. Knowing that her death is the only true answer; her death and the death of those she served and was served by. Can I still make amends, or do I just keep scrubbing? It would be a waste of my time and a risk of my life for a secondary matter. It is not the goal. It is not what I was destined for by blood.

Sainted Mother have mercy on me for gracing the Legion. It will not happen again. No more talking, no more forgiveness. No more. Pains will be ended by fire and steel.

There is much to do, and little time to do it.

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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2019, 04:21:04 AM »

The sounds of a street musician's violin drifted into her room through the barely open window. The melody was raunchy, incessant, but played with care, as she has come to expect in her time within the City of Lights. It was a lullaby to her, when the midnight bells struck far above the city's many terraces - a reminder that the drink should be kept for later and that the book was to be shut. She slowly followed through the motions and leaned back in her chair, a creak of wood following the shift in weight. Her arms came to an all too natural fold as she silently considered the floor underneath her desk, the furrowed-brow stare bearing sign of the thousand wheels churning in her mind. The toll of the bells continued, each second between as if a small eternity...

...

"...You would give your soul away for power?"

"If it meant her life held meaning."

...

Another deep breath escaped her nostrils. She was no closer to her desires than she was a year ago. She knew more - she knew plenty. She knew things that others of her rearing would not dream to find out, and she learned them through the pain of her hand. But at what costs, when naught could have been done? Knowledge was told to have been power by many, though in her mind the stroke of the sword cleaved harder than the flick of a tongue. Wit was paramount, always, but what good was knowledge when it could not be put to use? Through the never-ending stream of thoughts, it always rounded back to the same point.

At what cost?


...

"She could never forgive you."

"You seem confident enough it could work. You try to talk me out of it, but you are here, preparing, drawing your sigils in blood."

...

The musician's violin hit a crescendo while her thoughts took her. Under the cover of the bells, the melody turned tense, as if arching its back and preparing to strike at any listeners. For a moment, it felt almost fitting to the direction her mind took. Why was she here? What was her role in the Sainted Mother's Grand Scheme? She was so convinced, in the past, that it was to bring the Legion to the sword. To serve as Ezra's instrument of wrath... it seemed as though her destiny has revealed itself to thesis and theory. Would she really let them all slip away?

...

"I am trying to convince the both of us, Mateo. I-... your devotion swayed me time and again."

"Are you done, yet?"

"Yes."

"Then lead me to tomorrow, sister."

...

Death and decay has surrounded her on every front. Her books held no answers, and her arms held no threat. She felt no security, only the questions of what the future would hold for the one who swore utter vengeance. Surely, it is damnation in her own folly... whether to rot and wither, or to die abruptly at the end of a flaming lash.

But she could not stomach either.


« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 04:42:09 AM by Juxtaposition »

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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2019, 01:50:09 AM »

...

"...And I said to myself... that I will send whatever remains of her to peace. But every time I see her - every time, it is as if my heart is torn to shreds. I freeze... and I cannot do a single thing for her. I am... too weak."

"We are flawed, and it is on us to seek to improve, both in mind and body."

"I failed. I failed to atone for my sins, and only... only brought about more."

"And thus your 'friend' must be dealt with. The poison brought about can only be redeemed with mercy... mercy in death."

...

The clank of steel was heard for quite the distance while she sped through the forest. Birds of any sort dispersed a long distance ahead of her, before she was even in full view; her long-legged sprint proving more taxing with every second. It was the evening of the New Moon, but no drinkers of blood seemed to be hunting, nor beasts that rend prowling the grass. Aside from the beating of wings, the rattling of her armor, and the crackle of dry leaves underfoot - there was no other sound.

...

"...You wish to send me out to die."

"We all must die eventually. I would rather see you follow a valiant path than to have you suffer in vain."

"You ask me... to give up. You ask me to accept what is and what absolutely must be."

"The work you do brings your life in danger constantly, no? Death is always but an inch away."

"I do not live to die."


...

Why was she running? It seemed as if an eternity had passed since she started, because she had no memory of it. Where was it she was going? And why would her feet not listen to her mind's call to stop? Every rhythmic huff of air a muted question. Exhaustion overtook her mind, but her limbs kept on going, leading her straight ahead... into nothing. The trees and forest floor gave way to emptiness, an emptiness dominated with the darkness of a moonless night. A hushed snickering reached her ears, though she could not will herself put... and eventually, a hunched over figure came into view. It seemed to lurch over another, and with time details came to sight; the figure was short, and more so than most. It - she, held a bloody knife in her right hand. Her hair was full and a dull ashen shade, visible from this distance. The run came to a slow trot, then a walk, and stop, a mere arm's length away. That is when the gnome turned toward her, smiling bitterly over Lucia's own eviscerated corpse.

She suddenly woke, thrashing out of her bed, drenched in cold sweat.


...

"I think you have come a long way, and I think that with time... you can get where you want to be. I still do not know where that is."

"Yes, you do not. And if you knew, you would also know that I have come nowhere. Continuing on this course of... burying my head in books and scrolls... investigating the worthless for their past sins to see if retribution was earned."

"What good does it do if you give up?"

"There is no giving up because nothing was done in practice toward my goal. Nothing will be done, unless there is change of direction. The question is where to go."

"I would advise against going somewhere that is not worth it in the end."

"My course is ran for the end, not the middle."

"Maybe I could help?"

"The time of my handing out that type of trust has been over for a while."


...

The rooms in the Blood on the Vine have always been comfortable. That evening, and that dream - that nightmare, soured her mood to stay. She washed herself clean and collected her belongings, preparing for armed travel. It was time for movement, but the question of where hovered over her. She wanted to act now, but knew it was folly. She is a fighter, a warrior, but a mere mock. Her skills, while varied, did not lend themselves well to hunting down sewer tunnels... and her heart remained heavy with grief. Where were the days where she contemplated her lack of remorse? When it disturbed her that putting her sword through another person did not bother her? Perhaps it was the effect of loss, of the only two people she had ever loved before. Perhaps it was only just that, that foiled her soul from her fellow man. But now it was bare, and it was not a feeling she wanted. It was weakness, to her, a hurdle on the way to achievement. She needed to find a way to shut off her heart.

...

"You mistake me for a lamb. I will not die."

"Perhaps not. But where is the harm in dedicating yourself to protect others from the legions of the night...?"

"...The harm lies in dereliction of my promise to myself. That my swordarm belonged to all souls. That I would strip away the darkness by force and bring light to those that have never seen it. I may not be that light... but if my life is to have any meaning, I must end the dark. Allowing the Grand Scheme to take me over does not see this through."

...

She reached to feel for her collarbone, as if grasping for something that was not there. What once would have given her solace to hold seemed such a childish thing. The promise of succor at the cost of your will. Losing that promise always felt to her as if it would bring a void, though each time the missing icon was meant to be held, she found herself steeled with new resolve.

She needed a way to shut off her heart. She needed power.

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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2019, 03:29:37 AM »

...

"Your kind will take wiv deception wot they cannot take by force."

"Please, tell me some more constant truths. Ah, wait, here's one - you're a rat. But I am offering you a way not to be one."

"Wot 's it?"

"I would need your word that it stays between us."

"...Yeah, I swear."

...

"...My sins don't gotta be yours."

"It is my fault. It is my fault by virtue of how I am, how I think and how I act. It was my fault that I was not there after the tomb, it was my fault I did not rush to find you after you'd left me behind. My pride turned you away from me, because I'd have rather not felt the way I did. Loved ones always die... so one cannot love if one is to be happy.

It is stupid. It is my greatest regret.

And if I can take you out of here - if I can have you live a better life than this, a life where you can love and feel joy... why wouldn't I? You still can.

I don't think I can."


"I don't need it. Jus'... th' people I 'ad. This... achin' need... t'stop."

"You won't have them. I don't think you'll be able to ever feel what you used to. I think you know this as well as I - you just don't want to admit it."

...


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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2019, 04:56:20 AM »

...

"She's scared of me."

"I know."

"She confronted me on the lakeshore - wanted to be friends. Pleaded with me that what we know of her kind is all lies... that she can be good to me. Better to me than you."

"But you came back."

"And you will never act on these beings again. You will follow what I say, when I say it, if you want a sliver of a chance at succeeding... and you will never pour my wine.

...

"Why do you hunt my kind with such... purpose?"

"Must you really ask? I know what you are. You know what you are."

"All I am is a stranger in these lands - the same as so many. Why can we not be friends...? I helped you once before. Would you not help me in return?"

"You are not selfless. Do not try to play the wounded soul with me, because I know you do not have one."

...

"Yes. I hurt you. There is no taking that back. But it was a chance, to strike at the dark cloud hanging over you, and I would take that chance a thousand more times."

"I am not your child. I am not a hapless urchin or stray dog waiting to be nourished."

"You are my friend."

"You used me as bait to take matters into your own hands. You abused my trust. How many dark clouds do you think hang over me - just one?"

"One more, now."

...

"There is nothing you can offer me."

"Think on it."

...

"We have to delve deeper into the heart of darkness to bring her back... or mow her down."

"Would you have, if I did not dive onto her?"

"It would have been... freeing. It would have set my heart to ease. The snapping pain of seeing her life draw out would have been replaced by relief. That she is no longer... I can't look at her. I can't put my eyes on her without feeling... pain. Guilt. I can't..."

"And seeing her die would have been relieving?"

"She would be free of her pain... and I would sleep better knowing that she is at rest."

...

There have been few times in her life where Lucia felt gnawing doubt with what she was about to act upon. In fact, she could not even remember the last time something churned with such burning speed in her stomach, with such self-hatred at what she was about to do. She ventured down into the mountain valleys, where only a few days prior the grip on her mortal coil was attempted to be released.

...

"Lucia."

"The circle is broken. If your entire intent was to slay me, then all you need to do is walk forward. But if you wish for more...

"Behold, for I do not move."

"If you wish to prove that you can be a friend... I have three things to ask of you, before I return the love."

...

"We will have to go diving."

"Will we come out in one piece?"

"So long as there is strength in your arms to pull me out."

"I would let my arms rip and tear before I let go."

...

"It is done, then."

...

As the parchment flickered out of Lucia's grasp and appeared a few feet ahead of her in foreign, hateful hands, dread washed over her as a cold wave of icy waters. The first step was taken on the path to what she saw as her redemption; to final fulfillment, to the succor of her most cherished, and what will finally be release. But nothing prepared her for that sudden feeling of loss as when she took the first step down into the mouth of that dark abyss, that stared at her with crimson, burning ire.

Someone will have to pull her out, as now? Now, it was too late to turn away.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2019, 06:56:40 AM by Juxtaposition »

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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2019, 05:41:46 PM »
The yellowed paper of the journal is stained with lone tears, the ink smudged in some places.

Quote from: Lucia's Recorded Thoughts, somewhere between blank pages...
She's gone. She left me to the Abyss.

I wish for death. The promise of what comes next is I have to try. I have to escape it, by any means necessary. I won't be damned.

This life is Hell enough on its own.

I will not be damned.


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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2019, 09:00:19 AM »
A sketch of a bear-headed individual in armor and what appears to be a radiant, floating orb accompany the text.

Quote from: Lucia's Recorded Thoughts, somewhere between blank pages...
Normally, I would write of my findings, though I have not the heart anymore.

I still feel it, the despair, the nothingness in my tainted soul.

But it is coming for me. It looms closer. It and I will dance for a moment and then...

Salvation. Salvation from my own actions, salvation from my own mind, salvation from the Abyss, and salvation from Eternity.

I will be free.

Juxtaposition

  • Outlander
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Bullheaded
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2019, 12:59:09 AM »
...

"I shouldn't worry about you. You're tougher than I in most regards."

"You think so...?"

"I think so."

...

Lucia never felt more shame in her life.