Elves don’t normally sleep. They meditate instead, and run through mental exercises. Not dreams in the traditional subconscious sense.
I am aware of this, but screw it. Narrative over rules set all day, everyday.
This bit has been stuck in my head since The C team found the Maelith sigil, but a badass artist on Twitter, @doonami belted out a kick ass piece of art for a corrupted Walnut. So this had to get written.
Walnut felt a scratching at her hand. She presumed it was the cat of the inn, Onyx, wanting to leverage her attunement with nature to secure further snacks.
Opening one eye, she saw her own right hand, furiously scribbling onto the back of her left hand. She recognized the most hated sigil and dropped the quill. Looking down at the parchment she had fallen asleep on, they too were covered in the scribbled sigil of Maelith, The Betrayer.
Panicked, and still half asleep she stumbled to the wash basin and began scrubbing at the sign. She scrubbed the skin raw, only to spot the edge of another at her wrist.
Rolling her shirt sleeve up, she found dozens more of them. In a fervor she started scratching at the skin, forgoing the soap in her fervor to destroy the sigils.
The sigil started to move and she clawed at them harder, trying to catch them.
A pair of soft hands clasped her now taloned and bloodied fingers in theirs, the same sigil weaving around these intruding hands. “Ssssssshhhh,” whispered a woman behind her. Her breath was freezing against her neck and ear. “Calm yourself child. Do not peel my mark from your flesh.”
A second set of hands, cracked and burning, with an unrecognizable sign carved into them reached out to her bloodied arm and clasped it. The new icons bled ruby light, and an immense sound shook the her mind and the room. A sensation of cold and yet burning at the same time flowed over the wound.
A third set of hands, (were they hands? They were so jagged and swaying) reached out with an emblem carved on a wooden tablet, a thick cord tied to it.
The amulet hung over her throat, adorned in the same ruby light as the second icon, but the symbol was one she’d seen before. It was on the rock the Warlock obsessed over. As the clawed, almost tooth like fingers released the amulet, she screamed at the ineffable horrors she saw in the reflection of washing mirror. The wooden tablet thumped against her chest and the cold burn seized her heart like a fist.
Walnut woke at her makeshift documancy desk, shaken. She yanked her sleeves up and found no sigils.
She scoured the room and found the scrap of parchment that K’thriss had scribbled on, balled up beneath her bed. Onyx probably batted it there, she tried to convince herself.
She crept out the front door in the predawn light, Onyx following her down the stairs and looking disappointed that she left without feeding her.
In the morning mist, Walnut found a secluded patch outside of town and built a small fire and burnt the parchment.
But she could not burn the memory of the nightmare…
She could not burn the image of herself, tattooed in unknown sigils, dark spells and rituals painted on parchment in inks and blood tethered to tattered robes. She could not burn the image of the fiends that had appeared in the mirror behind her…