My dreams have been dark and disturbing, of late. Well, my dreams have always been dark and disturbing, but they were always the same, and I kind of got used to them. I say them, but really, there has only ever been the one. Since Sims, however, it has changed.
At first, the dream was the same, save for the addition of a ritual chanting, soft and seductive, resonating within the dark corners of my mind. Over the next few weeks, the chanting grew louder, and now I can make out words:
“Altfl Mn Aldhlam! Altfl Mn Aldhlam! The Child of Dark is come!”
With pleasure, I watch those I love die. Hot blood spills over me, and my heart rejoices as a long, wailing howl fills my ears.
I awake with a start, and my body aches. It’s as if I had spent the night fighting, not resting, and my scars burn as if they had been carved anew into my flesh; indeed, my exertions during the night must have been extreme, for the marks on my shoulders have torn open; the dark blood wells up to form rivers of dye that stain my clothes and discolor the ground.
This new dream stays with me throughout the day, every day. Teasing my heart and tripping my thoughts. I am too easily distracted, forgetful, and short of temper. This has become too much for me, and I will seek help when we return to The Pyramid of Osiris.
At the temple, I visit the Ramen with some few of my companions, intent on begging their help, but when the Ramen look upon me, the Darkness rises up and silences my tongue that I can not speak.
The dream’s effects have grown stronger. I feel the Darkness within, shifting softly and watching for it’s chance to pounce, as the foolishness of my companions begins to anger me.
Last night it changed again.
I see my parents, my Love, and the assassins gathered together, but as if from a distance. A series of three long, wailing howls fill my ears, followed by a succession of three quick yelps, and the chanting seeps in from the darkness:
“Altfl Mn Aldhlam! Altfl Mn Aldhlam! The Child of Dark is come! Altfl Mn Aldhlam! Altfl Mn Aldhlam! The Child of Dark is come!”
I witness the Child of Dark receive the Marks of the Seventy-Two, in honor of the Seventy-Two Subjects of the Dusky Queen, and the chanting grows louder.
I watch as the Septenation of the first Guardian Finds the Way.
The chanting grows louder, and I smile as the Septination of the second Guardian Prepares the Path.
The chanting grows louder, and Dark joy fills my heart as the Septination of The Beloved Opens the Way.
The chanting reaches a crescendo as Wahdh Farghh, The Empty One, is born.
I awake to find I am confined within a dimly-lit cell. The wooden walls and the movement of the floor tells me I must be on board a ship. Through the darkness, I can make out the shape of my axe, resting on a chest at the foot of my bed.
I smile. My captors have foolishly neglected to disarm me. I seize my weapon and hack through the door. The blood on my shoulders flies through the air to form patterns on the walls, the floor and the blade of my axe, as if in promise of more to come.
I enter the hallway, and am attacked by a dwarf. My axe bites deep, and a voice in my ears exults: “I name thee Wahdh Farghh, The Empty One: Altfl Mn Aldhlam, Child of Dark and destroyer of light.” A large knife of some kind strikes me, and I cannot move.
The Darkness rises up, and swallows me whole.
I awake to find myself lying in shackles: a true prisoner. All around is chaos as I hear scuffling sounds, and people arguing. I open my eyes and see that I am lying at the foot of the stairs, rather than in my bunk. I struggle to my knees, trying to think, refusing to believe what I see; unable to accept the unacceptable. My movements capture the attention of everyone around me, and I am instantly greeted with the business ends of several weapons. They speak, and the truth crashes around my ears. I try to explain, to beg forgiveness, to find some way to make things right, but I know nothing will ever be the same again.
The small one tries to see Within my mind, but the Darkness reaches forth. The Power surges within me, and I casually snap the chains that bind me as I lift Myself to My feet with but a thought. Rage darkens My sight as I berate those foolish enough to pit themselves against the Will of Anubis, Guardian of the Scales, Lord of the Underworld. I know they seek to restore Osiris, the overthrown, whom I mummified and helped to disperse that I could reform the Underworld by My Design.
Why would they do such a thing?
I seize the dwarf and demand an accounting, but his mouthings are foul, so I throw him away. I pick up the child, but he is unable to speak. I would force his tongue, but am distracted by an upstart wolfen who yells defiance in the name of Isis, the impotent and bemused. Suddenly, a pretty man with a proud heart stabs me with a trident and, for the first time in aeons, I feel pain.
I will destroy this one. His soul shall reside in my privy, that I may void my bowels upon him.
A Sword of Light commands my attention, and the pretty one is able to block my attack. I prepare to destroy him, but the upstart wolfen takes up the Sword of Light, and for the second time, agony sears through my body.
The wolfen will be next. I shall skin him alive, and his pelt shall adorn the bed of Anput, my beloved wife. After congress, I shall use it to cleanse the seed from my manhood, and in turn, he shall be called upon to cleanse his fur with his tongue.
I punch the pretty one into the wall, and he falls senseless to the floor. His will be a lingering death. Several centuries, I think.
I turn to the wolfen, to put his feet on the path of his Eternal Destiny, when the child offers up to me a stuffed animal which explodes in my face. For the third time in as many millennia, white-hot agony courses through me, and I feel weak.
I shall give this child to the Deviants, who will make sport of his orifices, one after the other, for eternity.
But what is this? The Vessel is awake! In my weakened state, he has broken free!
He speaks to his companions, I must…
The Sword of Light!
I woke up for the third time today, exhausted in mind, body and spirit. Every inch of me burned, inside and out. I wanted nothing more than to crawl into my bunk, and sleep for a week, but Greldarr insisted on performing an exorcism on me immediately. He stopped after a few moments because apparently some kind of bird arrived, and it set off a fierce discussion about books, for some reason. I went to bed.
Greldarr and I spent the greater part of the day secreted in my cabin while he performed an exorcism. Towards the end of the ritual, the cry of “Pirates!” went up. Without pausing to don my armor, I grabbed Inas and joined Gavin in the crow’s nest, just as Chip managed to shoot everyone on deck with the light cannon, much the same as Rell did a few days ago.
I counted 6 ships, one of which had launched a barrage of stones at the crow’s nest. I tried to dodge, and Gavin threw up some kind of shield, but I was struck by two of the stones. I attempted to return fire, but my arrow bounced off solid air, right in front of my face.
Yeah. Shield. Right.
That gave me an idea. I waited until the first ship had fired at the crow’s nest again, and I bore my buttocks at them as the rocks bounced uselessly off Gavin’s shield.
Then Chip shot everyone on deck again.
Suddenly, Gavin started to climb down the rigging, which was fine by me, but with his shield up, I couldn’t fire upon the pirates. I attempted to climb down below Gavin’s shield, and the next thing I knew, I was experiencing the most wonderful sensation of weightlessness, followed by a fierce rushing of air past my head as the deck and I prepared to establish an extremely intimate friendship, the likes of which I had never prepared for.
Posted by Cava on the 8th of Corg, in the 340th year of the Dominion.