The sword felt heavy in her hands, so cold and so hungry. Swinging it experimentally she almost decapitated a passing ghoul and the voice in her head murmured its approval.
Outside her head was clearing now, the voice so calming so seductive whispering through her foggy thoughts. Turning her blood to ice, inciting her to violence. Telling her all about those Scarlet insects, how she had to crush them beneath her black boots. Images flashed through her fractured mind, women screaming as the sword descended, children cowering behind their parents. All superimposed against a fiery red burning sky, so real she could almost taste the acrid smoke.
Never before had she waded in the blood of the fallen, never before had she seen people run screaming from her. It felt so alien but so so right. All the time, the voice was there, tutoring, encouraging, suggesting. The battlefield was a symphony of loathing, the screams of the dying, the singing of the blade and the grunting of the ghouls as they ran about their grisly business.
With time came the hate, these pitiful creatures didn’t deserve their lives, their beating hearts. Merely a pestilence on the face of the land, vermin to be purged once and forever. Where once she had brought succour to the wounded, nurtured and healed, now she stormed through the lines bringing her Master’s message of death and destruction.
She learned fast, a quick eye and a swifter blade brought passing praise from her instructors, not that it mattered. Whether they rewarded her or flogged her meant nothing. All that mattered was the voice, when it was silent she felt hollow, an empty vessel serving no purpose. Desiring it, craving it, she took to worse and worse acts of depravity. Slitting the throat of an infant in front of its moaning, mewling mother, ripping flesh from bone and crushing skulls under foot.
Then, came that fateful day at Light’s Hope. One minute she had been facing off against a young paladin, circling him, enjoying the dance. Then the next, a sudden burst of pain exploded in her mind. The voice…. the voice was gone, leaving a void of nothingness. It didn’t stay empty for long though, memories blood soaked and horrible swam through her consciousness burning her. Her armor felt too big, too heavy and her head spun. Slumping to the ground, her scream echoed through her whole being, bringing back haunting memories of women, their mouths open in frozen, gaping screams, women she had slaughtered, wives, mothers, daughters.
Desperate, like a cornered rat she begged the voice to return, nothing. Closing her eyes she threw herself at the throat of the nearest paladin, hoping either his death would return her one true master to her or failing that someone would end her misery by killing her like the rabid and diseased dog she was. Instead, gauntleted hands caught her wrists, disarmed in seconds she was forced to her knees. A cool hand stroked her forehead, voices talked over her, calling her feverish, saying she needed to rest, that it would take time, others, mostly those with a pulse suggesting it would be better to end it now, cut her down like a mongrel cur.
One voice, louder than the others spoke, “enough blood has been shed tonight. She lives”. All arguments ceased. Arms lifted her, loosened her armor and carried her away from the muddy field into the chapel. Losing consciousness, her last thoughts were first of all of loss and loneliness, but as her mind faded into blackness, that voice… the man who saved her, who gave her yet another chance…. perhaps there was still some hope.
Filed under: RP