Sweetest credits goes to Aza-Vela for the lovely
little poem at the end of this entry.
Thank you so much, you sexy wordsmith. 💚
E n T h r a l l D
eath may perhaps be too easy a toll one must pay. With that notion mused well, It has no desire to simply exact it as punishment for... transgressions
. It, a heavenly horror or a hellish sky-spawn hailing beyond the borders of the known cosmos.
It is a Visitor
. Its privileges to challenge those within the higher domains of existence are woefully limited. Restrictions put indiscriminately by certain powerful laws of reality. They safeguard along with those at the highest of the Cosmic Pantheon who sanction and sustain them the indescribable expanse of life and death, order and chaos, matter and energy, concretes and concepts, space and time.
It understands the need
for it, death. Not all is eternal. Far from it. Whether it is shorter than a single wing-beat of a hummingbird or as enduring as a star promenading its eons of effulgence until fading into the void surrounding it, the sensation and the breath of life differs from what and who. And in the final chapter, when the last stroke or spot of ink is penned on the book of life, it ends... and death waits to welcome the transition.
But to use it as a definitive sentence to express contempt, infinitesimal or colossal, is dull for the odd otherworldly and unnatural being. However, in a different fashion, the Visitor may have been privy to cheat the employment of death as an alternative of unconditional penance. Death can be kept at bay, should one account to nature being disgraced with callousness and a smile.
But enough about abstracts requiring divine wisdom to fathom. It, the Visitor, is moseying around in a forest that men dared to plunder. But to their grief, powers older than their ancestors reside, do take notice and go well at work to fend off... looters
. Greedy minds and hands bearing fire and steel to amass resources and consume it like a locust horde on a verdant field, they have been. O, do they deserve not just a sermon but something more vindictive and more visceral that their bodies and minds can recall the severity of their own misdeeds until their days are spent. Men can trek the city ripe with fertile soil, healthy logs and wholesome beasts, yes. But to pluck the riches with no discipline may lead to the forest being their sudden grave.
Moonlight lends radiance on the quiet lake, leaving it to glimmer quite glamorously. The night sky is clear enough to see the civilization of fiery dots and spots; immeasurable in distance these countless twinkling tenants, the brilliance seen are the portraits of their past, equally immeasurable in age.
The Visitor is garbed in a thick battered black cloak from head to heel. Threads look frayed like the soiled skirt of a once prominent princess after her kingdom is torn and as her life is then plunged into that of a prized whore. The open hood may welcome the gaze of another with its abyss for a face. How can one meet another without a considerable façade or perhaps one made out of restless shadows? It is a sore for the mind, if not deemed well perhaps over a hot tea or a fine toke of the pipe.
The Visitor breaks forward stride to be at a wide rocky bank. The hall of trees is behind It. Soon, It stops as Its bony feet are kissing the shallows of the great cold canvas where fish and their gill-born ilk live in. There is no breeze to ruffle the surface, but Its journeying pair did make the surface ripple a bit.
There are many splendors this world offers, pondered on by the cloaked one. One of them is how the practice of the Mystic Arts for display, for wisdom and for gain. It has learned a few. The means to move things without holding them. Conjure unseen walls to deflect harm. Reconstitute and reshape soil, water and air into marvels that will leave jaws drop. Use them to delight, to deceit and to devastate.
But there is another Art
. This one presents blasphemy to both life and sath. Necromancy
, the designation of the enchanted art. It bodes ill for those with a sense of moral inclination, straight and steep or shallow and swerved. Even more so, what or who the art is bestowed upon
On the same rocky bank, a few yards to Its left, there is a corpse lying on its side. A man who has spent the last hours in his life in pain. Signs of savage swordplay are on his arms and on his chest. What crows may have flown away, they pecked on his face and took an eye. What legion of maggots there are on the ground, they feast on his rancid remains, making a lair in his bowels. How fortuitous. A way to test Its sinister spellcraft.
It turns to face the carcass in bloodied clothing. The Visitor raises a hand. No flesh. The gray bones of the withered fingers creak as they become less and less crooked but desire none to be straight. The pointless reach is made to be directed at the lifeless loner. From Its blackness, deep, brooding and croaking, It hisses away a set of unsavory words, if they can even be considered words. Hag and hermit by the tens in callous choir and had smoked the pipe for decades, It proceeds in uttering to banish silence. The sinister song is an incantation
. It has nary the intent to provide comprehension for men to drink with their ears, the lacerating language.
Ten seconds had passed since the ill speech began.
Moan. Groan. The wrinkled lips of the corpse move. His body jolts, head and limbs crackle. The Visitor takes a step forward. The outstretched hand guides the sorcery It is conjuring to bring about this morbid moment into reality, a repulsive one at that. The man slowly helps himself to sit down. Wounds that have helped nurse his miserable fate are ignored. The hundreds—perhaps thousands—of little flesh-eaters in him, their gluttonous banquet of him is too ignored. He soon rises to his feet, one missing a shoe while the other is still with him but it worn out enough to see those horrid wriggling toes. Groan. Moan.
No joy. No woe. No rage. No proper thought. Perhaps there is calm. A calm that feels unnatural. Whether the raggedy man with unsightly wounds and short unkempt hair has his consciousness or not, it does not matter. He is a puppet. A puppet with strings. The string is sorcery. The sorcery wielded by a puppeteer. The puppeteer, this Visitor. How ghastly... and gorgeous
. “Dark tidings,”
It said with Its many hoarse voices in tandem, one that can belong to an unholy abomination that should not ever be privy to walk this earth for the good of many. Alas, It does and It does more than just mosey and mingle. “Walk with me.”
The living corpse keeps groaning. The Visitor departs from the bank with Its companion in pursuit with stumbling legs. The bony fingers wave, each soon clenching into a fist while It puts the hand down to Its side. This deed allows the unseen string to have better control of Its... thrall
. Yes. This man is now a thrall
. A living toy. Living
. How cruel a joke. This is no way to live.
A slave to unholy sorcery, flesh and bones waiting to be commanded to do the bidding of another, even so by one that is perhaps awfully unkind.
Back into the forest they go, the wicked Visitor and Its ugly thrall. The night is young. Much can be done before dawn, whether it is to the comfort of anyone who crosses paths with them or not. The bastion of bark and beasts has nothing ill towards the Visitor, even with what blood-cooling sinister sensation It may bring. It actually is one of the old powers safeguarding these woods, perhaps other great halls of trees somewhere out there too. Dearest Death, to hell with thee.
Life shall stay, can thou not see?
Renew a breath with remedy.