Vya – A New Plaything
In the darkness, she had to admit that there were some reminders of the abysmal dungeon she had been trapped in. Still, Vya Moot embraced the shadows of the place—and the light where she had placed it.
A bioluminescent glow rose up from the stone, her drawings illuminating the pathway she took to her work area. While the lines were curved, they did not waver, and were only interrupted by an odd rune here or there. But there were circles and swirls in place as well, and Vya stopped at each of them, chanting another word under her breath.
The gnoll warlock stopped, and spun about on her heel, looking back the way she came. The natural stone steps led to the outside world, and in an instant, she could have gone to them. But she was committed to the task at hand, and with an outreached hand, and another word that sounded like shadows given voice, the earth folded up like a piece of paper, darkening the void beneath the hill further.
That change only seemed to make the magic lines glow brighter. Vya continued along, and as she took one step after another, she grew into a rhythm with her chanting. The only place she lingered was on the circles, for there it was that the magic grew stronger—and more unstable. Shallow blue and violet flames rose up from the lines of the circle, nipping at the fur on Vya’s ankles as she passed. It was not some ornate summons, but real flames harkening the return of something wretched and dark, yet Vya moved about as though she could not feel the smolder of her fur, or the smell of the flames eating away at her.
It was the price she knew that she was bound to pay.
With another shadowy word, the flames raced from the circle, entering the next chamber, irradiating it with strange colors that could never be seen in the light of day. They illuminated the altar, just as they illuminated the body atop it.
The task ahead would be difficult, but Vya thought to herself, most things worth doing usually were.
And besides, dragging the hulking corpse all that way was the hardest part, she reasoned.
When she stood before the altar, and spoke her words, the flames rose up, framing the rhinotaur’s body, but never growing close enough to burn or singe his rough hide. If he had been alive, it would have been uncomfortable—untenable—but there was no life left there. It was only a husk.
For the time being.
The flames continued on, dancing against the wall beyond the altar, where they coalesced, blending together into a bolder color. Even then, a black line, pulsing with energy, drew through it, expanding it, causing it to change shape. The flames yawned like a mighty dragon’s maw, the flames taking on the shape of teeth.
Or at least that was what Vya chose to believe as she invoked her dark magic.
The black line began to swirl about, setting a mesmerizing pattern on the wall, and bringing along with it a strange and guttural sound. After it grew to an unsustainable size, a hand reached through the portal she’d created, slimy and black, as though it had been covered in oil.
“I beckon thee,” Vya chanted in her shadow language, far older than that of the gnolls of her homeland. “I beckon thee, enter our world, and use the host ye have been offered, so that ye may call this realm your new home.”
Her invitation accepted, the creature from the dark plane reached further, grasping at the rhinotaur’s corpse. The rest of the monster emerged from the portal, everything black and greasy, except for its stunning red eyes.
Vya continued to chant, her call growing louder, and quicker, and in time, the creature felt compelled to listen.
Once it was fully gone from the flaming portal, though, it realized the error of its ways. New hands grasped at it, reaching up from within the corpse. The flames dissipated, only its red eyes offering any illumination in the room.
“You truly thought someone like you could bend my will?” Vya wondered aloud. “No, you are bound to me now, in a body that can do much worse than in your own.”
With a sickening slurp, the demon was pulled within the rhinotaur’s body, and all went dark. Vya seemed content with the absence of light, and the quiet for the time being, only the sound of her rhythmic breathing filling the place.
But as she reached forth with her orb, calling upon a muted cobalt shine to display within the glass, another light was slowly entering the chamber.
“Open your eyes my prisoner,” she said. “Open your eyes my warrior.”
Kiano—or rather, the entity that found itself trapped within the body of the rhinotaur charger—did as instructed, opening his eyes. A pair of bright red lights set the room aglow.
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