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    Community Member Questdoer's Avatar
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    May 2013
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    Default Detestari Vierum: A name feared by the gods.

    As a side note, the in game bio space is too short.

    -------------------

    Most people believe that reality is a static thing, with a set of eternal rules that never changes.
    Most people, are wrong.
    For in truth, the whole of existence has been destroyed and remade countless times before.

    Within one of these previous versions of reality there was a creature known as the Vierum, a powerful beast of might and magic.

    Driven by its insatiable lust for power the Vierum ravaged the various planes of existence, stealing from the gods, and slaughtering their followers.

    Time and time again the gods tried their best to smite the creature down, but it was too clever and too strong for even them.

    The gods became concerned that the Vierum would one day overthrow them, and as it grew stronger that fear escalated into outright terror.

    Eventually the gods decided that they had to put aside their differences, and work together to collectively erased every aspect of the Vierum’s existence from multiverse.
    But by that point it was too late.

    The Vierum’s essence had already bled into the very fabric of reality itself, and no matter what they did, no matter how many times the tried, the Vierum would always return.
    Not as the all powerful Beast Before, but as a mere mortal being.

    The Vierum clings to existence even to this day, all memories of what it once was gone forever.
    All it knows is the name Detestari, an ancient word meaning cursed or broken, and a constant unquenchable desire for power.

    The gods allow Detestari to live and die just like any other mortal adventurer.
    But every time it gets too close to the ancient power of the Beast Before, it is struck down and forced to begin its life a new.

    With every incarnation, Detestari returns just slightly stronger than before.
    So it is quite possible that eventually, Detestari the god feared will one day wake up, and become the Vierum once more.

    -------------------

    1st life: Drow "Blood Monk" 12 wizard / 8 monk
    Code:
    Darkness
    
    
    Quolish Wren stalked down the darkened streets of House Jorasco at a rather brisk pace.
    The somewhat disgruntled halfling didn't like being out this late at night, but it couldn't be helped. 
    He needed to go fetch some more slightly magical water before sunrise, or else he would never finish replenishing the feather fall apothecary’s stock of potions in time.
    
    Quolish couldn't understand how they had sold so many positions of inflict light wounds anyway.
    They were, after all, rather niche items.
    ‘There is probably some uneducated rogue out there who thinks that they're common poisons or something.’ he thought condescendingly.
    
    The air grew noticeably colder as Quolish Wren rounded the corner.
    It looked like he wasn’t the only one with plans to use the reflecting pool tonight. 
    
    The blood monk Detestari sat at the water's edge with his legs crossed.
    While within its meditation the infamous wraith of Stormreach looked just like a normal drow elf with purple skin, and short, spikey, almost obnoxiously blue hair.
    So it took Quolish a moment to realize what he was looking at.
    
    Quolish was never one to trust beings from beyond the veil, but as far as the undead went, Detestari wasn't so bad.
    Sure it constantly sought out things to kill without rest or mercy, but it was also extremely easy to manipulate into fighting for good. 
    In fact Quolish couldn't think of a single authority who hadn't convinced it to clean out vermin, deal with cultists, fight off invading armies, or even slay the odd dragon or two.
    
    Quolish’s heart skipped a beat as Detestari’s burning red eyes of flame snapped open.
    ‘surely it can't have been bothered by me… at least not from this distance.’ he thought to himself as he froze stiff with fright.
    
    Without the meditation maintaining its physical form, Detestari’s flesh began to blacken and crumble into increasingly fine dust, until there was nothing left of it but an amorphous spector of shadowy vapor.
    
    “So you have learned what am as well then?” it said in a thousand unfocused voices.
    
    “W-w-what?” Quolish whispered nervously. 
    However he soon realized that the spectors cryptic statement was not meant for him. 
    
    Dark wisps of bat like shapes fluttered somewhere behind Detestari, culminating into the imposing form of a vampire lord.
    “My master has known you from the beginning…” the vampire admitted with a contemptuous hiss. 
    
    The blood red flames vanished for a moment as the shadowy silhouette of Detestari closed its eyes “And now that I know?”
    
    The vampire drew out a sinister looking dagger of corroded black silver from the folds of its crimson tunic.
    
    The blood monk scoffed before vanishing from his spot by the fountain and reappearing behind the vampire.
    Its outstretched hand was pricing straight through the vampires chest, without even leaving a viable mark.
    “Vol has sent you to unmake me with naught but a drowned blade?” Detestari’s thousand voices rang out in chorus.
    
    The vampire cocked in pain for what seemed like an eternity, as the wraiths touch invisibly distorted its already decaying heart, but it bore its fangs defiantly. 
    “No.” It spat with seething hatred, right before slitting its own throat.
    
    Dark energies came pouring out from the blade as the vampires death completed some kind of unholy ritual.
    The streets of Jorasco grew darker and darker as until Detestari’s shadowy form could no longer be seen in the black.
    Then just as quickly as it came, the darkness receded and the specter was gone. 
    
    Quolish Wren never understood what he had seen that night.
    All he knew was that every unquiet grave in Jorasco feel silent that year, and that Detestari the blood monk was never seen again.
    2nd life: Halfling "Acupuncturist" 18 rogue / 2 monk --- Redirected into a Human 20 fighter "Sword Collector"
    Code:
    Blood Stains On An Unused Blade
    
    
    Detestari nervously walked down the lavishly decorated halls of his mansion.
    He didn't even remember what his dream was about, yet it still made his hands shake with fear. 
    Walking always helped calm him down after a nightmare, even if he was all alone in the dark.
    
    The glint and gleam of many shades of steel reflected the dim candle light around the hallway.
    Revealing shiny traces of the many exotic and powerful weapons that Detestari had decorating every inch of every wall in his home. 
    
    Then as Detestari rounded the corner, he was startled by the unexpected sight of a rather unassuming looking man, who had apparently been admiring his collection in total darkness.
    
    “Who are you? How did you get in here?” Detestari demanded, as he snatched a khopesh from off of the wall in case he needed to defend himself.
    
    The stranger turned to him and smiled gently.
    “Oh I'm just… An old friend.” He said with a subtle hint of irony. 
    
    Detestari couldn't remember ever meeting the plainly dressed man before.
    Yet despite his unsettling and unexplained intrusion, he still felt strangely comfortable within his presence.
    It was almost as if... 
    
    “As if you've met me in another life?” the stranger asked, before Detestari could even finish his thought. “I get that alot from you.” 
    He then begin admiring the decorations again, as if nothing had ever happened. 
    
    Detestari lowered his overly ornate blade in surprise.
    “Who are you?” he asked again, this time more as a genuine question than as a demand. 
    
    The stranger smiled without looking back and said “It seems you've done rather well for yourself this time.” 
    Silently he caressed a black crystalline greatsword that was engraved with all manner of nightmarish iconography. “And to think you managed to amass all this without ever drawing blood.”
    He sounded impressed, yet also strangely troubled for some reason. 
    
    Detestari took a step back as his voice took on a defensive quality “Well you clearly have never met me before, if you think that I would ever do such a thing!”
    
    “Oh, I have met you.” the stranger insisted “Only once, and countless times. Though now that you mention it, I suppose that never is true as well.” 
    
    “Is this a riddle?” Detestari asked with one eyebrow raised. 
    
    The stranger sighed in mild irritation “I speak in riddles because the ideas I wish to convey lack proper words with which I could explain them simply.” 
    
    Detestari fell into a puzzled silence.
    
    The stranger rolled his eyes “Perhaps you can think of it this way.”
    With a smooth motion he plucked a blade from off of its perch “Imagine a man that is given a sword. He graciously accepts the gift, but as he grips its handle it shatters into a million pieces, he then spends hours cleaning them up, one piece at a time.”
    
    “It must not have been a very good sword then.” Detestari interjected flatly.
    
    The stranger shook his head as he placed the greensteel shortsword back onto its spot “Actually it was the mightiest of all weapons.”
    In a dark and quiet voice he added “Which is why it had to break.” before quickly getting back to his allegory. 
    “Anyway, my point is this. How many times would one say that the man touched the sword? Do we count every time he picked up a shard? Or can we no longer consider the pieces to be part of the whole, once they have been separated?”
    
    Detestari fell silent and his face grimaced.
    “Is that what I am to you?” he spoke finally “Just a fragment of some great design that you have yet to clean up?”
    Fear gripped at Detestari as he backed away from the stranger.
    “Are you death?” he asked in a hushed whisper.
    
    The stranger burst out into a hearty laugh “No old friend.”
    He scratched his chin “Though I suppose you could say that we’re coworkers… I am a god after all.”
    
    Detestari gritted his teeth in pained anticipation, then gingerly returned his khopesh to its proper place.
    If what the stranger said was true, then it would do him no good anyway. 
    “Which one?” he asked through a shaken voice.
    
    The stranger shrugged “That's not important right now, after all, it's not like you'll remember this conversation.” 
    
    Detestari looked at him with a baffled expression. “Then what is the point of all this?”
    
    “I suppose it is for my sake...” The stranger said wist'fully. (seriously DDO why you censor wi****lly?)
    “But that's enough about me.” He shrugged “Why don’t you tell me a bit about yourself? How did you get to where you are today?”
    
    Detestari felt an overwhelming and invasive feeling of calm wash over him. 
    This caused some small, hidden, paranoid, corner of his mind to start screaming in utter panic, but the rest of him felt relaxed and at ease.
    
    “Where to begin...” he pondered with a fond nostalgic smile “I suppose I’ve always had trouble fitting in... I was adopted you see, and at an older age than most too.”
    Detestari’s voice got dimmer suddenly, as if telling a secret “I was a vicious monster as a child. But luckily for everyone, I somehow found my way into the a loving home, and was taught right from wrong by the best pair of parents a human could ask for.” 
    
    Detestari’s smile widened as his thoughts wondered to days long past “My dad taught me how use a blade, and more importantly, when not to use it. While my mom taught me how to manage money, and handle people.”
    He squared his shoulders as a visible surge of pride ran up his spine “With nothing but my wits and few bricks of iron, I started my own smithy. Then I slowly grew my business into an empire that stretched across every corner of Xen'drik.”
    
    “Yes it's quite impressive.” the stranger said in a tone that implied it wasn't impressive at all “But are you satisfied, now that you have everything?”
    
    Detestari shrugged “I wouldn't say I have everything, jus-” 
    
    “Yes yes.” The stranger cut him off impatiently “But what if you did? What if you reached the limits of what industry, ingenuity, and mutual benefit could give you? What then?”
    The stranger looked haunted and maybe even a little angry “Would you really be content with it this time... or would you want more?”
    
    Detestari was about to say something, but before he could an image was pressed into his mind, almost as clear as if it were actually happening.
    
    He saw himself dressed in fine garments woven of pure magic, standing atop a tower of precious metals and stones.
    Looking down was every army in the material plane at his beck and call, funded by a vault of riches more vast than one would think possible.
    He couldn't see them directly, but he knew that beyond the horizon stretched his kingdom.
    Every living soul in existence answering to him, and contributing to his impossibly peaceful and prosperous rule.
    
    There was no sorrow, no famine, no war, no illness, no strife, and death was always preceded by a long and happy life.
    
    The world was perfect… He had made it perfect.
    And that filled him with an extreme sense of pride and accomplishment.
    
    But at the same time, he felt empty inside. 
    
    Detestari shook his head with an increasing level of desperation, but the illusion did not relent.
    Only a few seconds had past in real time, but from within the hypothetical he could feel every year, every month, every day, passing by as if he had really lived through it.
    
    Pained tears filled his eyes.
    
    The world around him was a utopia, full of peace and joy for all. 
    And yet he felt some deep and primal need for… something… he didn't quite know what.
    It was like he had just tried holding his breath for the first time in his life, and only then realized that he needed to breathe.
    
    Detestari wept openly, as he collapsed to the floor and clutched at his sides.
    “Make it stop!” he begged, in a shaking wail of confused desperation.
    
    In reality the stranger stayed silent, with an unreadable grimace on his face.
    But from within the illusion the stranger approached him with that same soft, innocent, disarming smile as he wore when they first met.
    
    Or at least.... The first time he remembered them meeting.
    
    “Well met friend.” He chirped with little bow.
    
    “What have you done to me?” Detestari demanded from both perspectives.
    
    The stranger shrugged “I’m simply showing you what the world could be.”
    His voice turned dark and mildly accusatory “But that hunger you feel? That is not my doing. That is part of what you are.”
    
    The stranger produced a small decorative box, seemingly from thin air, and mused “What I want to know is whether this iteration of you can overcome it or not?”
    
    Time within the illusion seemed to be passing at the same speed as reality now, which lessened the pain somewhat.
    Though the deep seeded need still dug uncomfortably into Detestari’s mind.
    
    “Wa-what is that?” He asked nervously “What’s in the box?”
    
    The strangers voice rang with a cruel poetic tone, as he held the box with an air of great importance, and said “Why, this is a new name for your hunger grate Vierum.”
    He briefly looked up and to the right as if remembering something “You collect weapon, yes? So let’s say it contains...”
    “A dagger.” he decided after very little thought.
    
    Detestari was intrigued, and that seemed to somewhat quell his groundless desire by a minor fraction. 
    It was like getting only a single spoonful of water while dying of thirst. 
    “What does it do?” he asked cautiously.
    
    The stranger shrugged again “It doesn't matter really. Just so long as it's something that you can't do, or don't have.”
    
    Detestari wanted that dagger, and he was going to work towards possessing it.
    For some reason that simple fact made him feel better.
    But somehow he knew, that his hunger would only stay sated as long as that held true.
    Once he claimed his prize, the need would return.
    
    And that terrified him.
    
    “What do you want for it?” Detestari asked, through a suspicious, squinty, side eyed, look.
    
    The real stranger looked at him intently, while his illusory likeness cheerfully explained “The box is yours to keep. Just know that opening it, and claiming the prize within, will cost you a terrible price.”
    He handed him the small jeweled case, as his cheery facade melted away into a cold hearted warning “Should you so much as peek inside, then everything and everyone within this world will perish. Save for you.”
    
    Detestari nearly dropped the little box “What in the bloody pits of Shavarath! Why? What kind of a deal is it that?!”
    
    “A very bad one.” The stranger nodded in agreement “One that has been overly exaggerated in order to prove a point.”
    
    “There is no way I'm opening this.” Detestari said with conviction. 
    He stopped pursuing the dagger.
    Whatever power it held, he didn't want it… not at that price. 
    
    And so the hunger returned. 
    
    The time differential started to widen again, as the hypothetical version of the stranger walked away.
    “I hope you make the right choice this time.” He said absentmindedly, before disappearing from sight. 
    
    Years worth of temptation burned at his mind, chewing him up from the inside out.
    Nothing tempered it.
    
    He thought of the beautiful world he had build, the countless people who only wanted to live their own lives, the nations who trusted him to protect their citizens, the innocent wildlife that were incapable of fully understanding the world, the children… Oh gods the children! 
    They had only just begun their lives within the paradise that he had created for them. 
    To take it all away from them now would be a cruel joke indeed.
    
    Detestari could not get away from the box.
    All he had to do was think about it and it would appear in his hands.
    And he thought about it often.
    It consumed his every thought like a fire through a droughted forest.
    
    His adoptive parents didn't know what it was that afflicted their child, but they knew something was wrong.
    It was only through their love and support that he had managed to last as long as he did.
    
    Detestari caressed the box longingly.
    
    He loved his family deeply, more than anything in the world.
    He would have done anything for them.
    He couldn't bear to hurt them. 
    He didn't want them to die. 
    He just wanted them-
    He should have-
    He wouldn't-
    He was-
    He… he…
    
    Detestari loved his family more than anything in the whole world.
    But in the end he learned… that love was not the strongest thing in his heart. 
    
    “I’m sorry.”
    
    Click.
    
    In an instant the illusion broke, and all Detestari could see was the real world, blurred through a thick haze of guilt and tears.
    
    “I'm sorry... I'm sorry... I'm sorry…” He kept repeating, it was the mantra of a broken man. 
    
    The stranger seemed disappointed, but not surprised. 
    He walked up to the quivering human and placed his hand on his shoulder. 
    
    “I’m sorry too.” The words were sincere, and full of old pain.
    Then he spoke again, in a voice so cold and impersonal that one would hardly believe it came from the same person. “The next time we meet, I will not say a word. But you will remember what I showed you today, and you will know...”
    
    …
    
    “Why it is that I must kill you again...”
    
    Detestari blinked. 
    He couldn't remember how he got on his knees, or how he had wandered so far away from his bed.
    Blearily he got up and looked around.
    The empty halls were dark at this time of night.
    
    “Well at least my candle is still lit.” He noted to himself as he sat up.
    Though he could have sworn it was burned down far more than it should have been.
    
    As Detestari started the long walk back to his bed, he couldn't help but feel as if something was wrong.
    He was already halfway back before recognized what that feeling was.
    
    “Have I been... Crying?”
    3rd life: Dwarf "Con'demner" 16 paladin / 2 rogue / 2 fighter
    Code:
    Something Good
    
    
    Pools of blood splashed beneath his heavy metal boots, as Detestari surveyed the battlefield.
    The streets of stormreach market were riddled with nothing but the bodies of guardsmen, as the devils of shavarath would vanish back to their home plane when they were defeated in combat. 
    However the once deafening roar of battle had finally died down, which signaled the end of the devil’s assault.
    
    Exhausted by the fight Detestari collapsed on to the bloody floor, the rattling of his armor echoing through the empty marketplace.
    
    Detestari inspected the damage done to his greataxe.
    This wasn’t the first time the oversized weapon had been broken in battle, and it probably wasn’t going to be the last either.
    But it was getting more and more worn down by ever encounter, and he suspected that it would become impossible to repair pretty soon.
    
    Detestari couldn’t help but feel a bit sad about about losing the old axe.
    Sure it was a crude, poorly made thing, that clearly wasn’t designed for someone of his short dwarven stacher.
    But it had served him well for more than half of his adventure, and from what he could tell, nobody made axes quite like it anymore.
    It had even been blessed by the magic of the midwinter festival, which gave the blade an extra frigid bite.
    
    Detestari soon realized that he was tending more to his weapon than to his own wounds which made him chuckle to himself a little.
    
    It was then that a blinding light appeared beside him.
    
    Detestari rubbed specs of blood and grime from his cracked glasses and watched in disbelief as a beautiful, red winged archon materialize from within the glow. 
    
    “It is time, Detestari.” she said, her voice echoing with absolute divine authority.
    
    Detestari raised an eyebrow before checking himself up and down.
    Sure he had sustained a myriad of injuries, but none of them were life threatening as far as he could tell. 
    
    “Hu…” he said to himself quietly “Somehow I never thought that I’d be headin’ for the hereafter so soon.”
    
    The archon looked mournful “Alas there will be no afterlife for you new ancient one.”
    
    Detestari’s eyes shot wide open “What!? But why? I have done nothin’ but serve the sovereign host fer the whole of my life.”
    
    “That is true…” the archon said absentmindedly “This fragment of your vast soul has been a powerful force for good in this world.”
    She then turned to face him directly “But I think you know, deep down, that you are far more than what kneels before me right now.”
    
    Sudden clarity washed over Detestari as he pondered the archons words.
    “They’re not dreams at all... are they.” he said as desperate tears of fear filled his eye “They’re memories!”
    
    The archon nodded “Yes… You may be good and just now, but as you continue to awaken this part of you will become overwhelmed by the weight of your true nature. You will become the Beast Before.”
    
    Detestari sobbed for a few minutes before steeling his nerves and rising to his feet. 
    “I understand now.” he said solemnly before looking back at the celestial being “Do what you must.”
    
    The archon gave Detestari a look of pure respect and then said gently “Be undone.”
    
    With that the market was filled with heavenly light, and everything faded away.
    4th life: Human "Jawfist" 15 druid / 5 monk
    Code:
    Sparing With Draitak
    
    
    Draitak let out a frustrated grunt as he once again fell to the hardwood floor with a heavy flop.
    He tried to scramble back up on all fours, but just like before he was held down by some kind of invisible force.
    
    “This is so unfair.” Draitak moaned angrily.
    
    “Don’t worry.” Detestari reassured him with taunting flick of his tail. “I’m sure you’ll shrug it off eventually.” 
    
    The infuriating canine was right of course.
    After all, Draitak was blessed with the natural endurance of his druidic bear shape.
    Yet every time he did manage to power through it and pull himself up, Detestari would just give him a gentle bite and he would once again collapse to the ground.
    
    It infuriated Draitak how Detestari would just sit there and stare at him while he lay there helpless. 
    
    “You know… This would have been over a lot sooner if you didn't insist on teasing me like this.” Draitak said bitterly, as he squirmed around on his back.
    
    Detestari nodded “True. But where’s the fun in that?”
    
    Draitak managed to get up and was fill with a sudden rush of triumph as he was able to resist his friends attempt to retrip him.
    
    Moving with all the speed his wild bear form would allow he clasped his teeth around the white wolf’s neck, not hard enough to draw blood but hard enough to hurt.
    
    Startled by the attack Detestari reacted with a swift few bites of his own, and Draitak was suddenly imprisoned in a solid block of ice.
    
    Detestari said something but Draitak couldn't hear it from inside his frozen tomb.
    He was so cold and exhausted that he didn't even care about being tripped again when the ice shattered away.
    
    “Man you’re tough.” Detestari said with a genuine grin.
    
    “Just kill me already.” Draitak moaned teasingly, as he took a few minutes to catch his breath.
    
    Draitak was beginning to regret challenging the puzzling animal to a sparring match.
    As the next time that he managed to break free from the endless cycle of trips turned out to be even less successful than the last.
    Detestari had noticed that whatever cursed magic he was using failed, and before Draitak could even get an attack in he placed his paw on Draitak’s shoulder and hit him with one of the monk like attacks that gave him the title of jawfist.
    
    In an instant Ki energy was thrashing through Draitak’s body, making all of his muscles twitch and sputter. 
    It was so much worse than the trips, or even being frozen, and once his senses returned to him he found that he was trapped on the floor again.
    
    “Gods that felt awful!” Draitak sputtered.
    
    “Oh sorry I-” Detestari began but Draitak was not going to pass up his opportunity just to hear him out.
    
    He leaped onto Detestari, and used his superior size to pin him down for a change.
    Not wanting to give him a chance to stun him again Draitak began repeatedly hitting Detestari with his paws.
    
    For a moment he thought that he might actually have a remote chance of winning this.
    But then the next thing he knew he was back in human form, while sitting at a table in the phoenix tavern.
    
    “You’re awake!” Detestari declared excitedly as he rushed up and place his head on Draitak’s lap.
    
    “Wha… What happened?” Draitak asked blearily.
    For some reason he felt horribly stiff, like every fiber of his body was complaining about his demands to move.
    
    Detestari’s tail stopped wagging and he looked a little embarrassed “I… Kinda turned you to stone by accident there.”
    
    Draitak blinked “Hm? … What?”
    
    “Please don’t be mad.” Detestari pleaded.
    
    “No it’s fine.” Draitak said with a heavy sigh. “I shouldn’t have pushed you like that.”
    
    Detestari looked confused “But. I thought the whole point of this adventure was to find out what I am, and what I’m capable of?”
    
    “True.” Draitak agreed “But I should have known not to mess with you after what happened in necropolis.”
    
    Detestari looked relieved “So does this mean that your still coming with me for the house Cannith challenges?”
    
    Draitak gave the excited dog a smile “The gate keepers would have my head if I didn't.”
    
    Detestari laughed gratefully “That’s good. Because I keep having this strange yet familiar nightmare about being like, a dragon or whatever, and I really need a good fight to take my mind off of it.”
    5th life: Half Orc "Wize Striker" 20 monk
    Code:
    First Everything Over Again
    
    
    His eyes open for the first time and he sees the open blue sky.
    It is the first time he has ever seen the sky.
    Indeed, it is the first time he has ever seen anything.
    
    ‘it is a good thing to see.’ He thinks. 
    
    The waves crash gently onto his toes as the sand mixes into his hair.
    It is bothersome, but still, it is good.
    
    He sits up and looks around.
    His lips peel away from the rest of his teeth and he forms a bright tusked smile.
    It is the first time he has ever smiled. 
    
    ‘I know what this is.’ He thinks proudly ‘It is named a beach.’
    
    He nearly blurts out the word, but he quickly stops himself.
    Solely because he wants his first words ever to be something cooler and more insightful than simply declaring the name of his current environment.
    
    He folds his legs underneath him and thinks for a while about what he wants to say.
    It's a more difficult task than he expected, given his general lack of experience in… well existing.
    
    He knows a couple languages worth of words, including the meanings behind them.
    However, he lacks memories of any kind, so everything is new to him.
    And yet, at the same time, it's all strangely familiar…
    
    ‘Amnesia.’ He decides, but that conclusion doesn't sit well with him. 
    He doesn't feel like he's forgotten something, in fact he feels like he's starting brand new.
    Just with a little more than he was supposed to.
    
    He grins mischievously.
    For some reason he can't help but feel like he's gotten away with something.
    
    Eager to know what his own voice sounds like, the man opens his mouth and speaks.
    “Hello, oh world of many facets. May I never find an end to the secrets that you have surly set out for me to discover!”
    His voice turned out to be soft and deep, but also gruff and a bit gravely.
    Overall it wasn't a bad voice, though he probably could have chosen better first words than that.
    
    He shrugs. 
    After all, it's not like he can take them back now.
    And it's not like they're terrible.
    In fact, he highly suspects that most people’s first words are far worse than his.
    
    ‘Oh yeah! Walking is a thing.’
    He realises as he shoots to his feet and gives it a try.  
    
    Strangely enough, his legs are not as shaky as he would expect them to be. 
    After all, this is his first time doing this.
    
    Despite his initial lack of confidence he finds that he is running across the grainy sand in no time.
    As he runs the wind blows his hair around wildly.
    He feels free, he feels fast, he feels tall, he feels new, he feels unburdened by anything, he feels…
    
    After approximately a minute or two of running, he slows down and his smile fades somewhat.
    He feels tired, he feels lost, he feels overwhelmed by it all, he feels…
    
    “Sad.” That was the word for it.
    A heavy feeling of loss pressing down upon him. 
    
    But what did he lose?
    
    No… not him. 
    Someone else. 
    
    He didn't know who's sad this was, or why his heart held their feelings for them. 
    But it was clear to him that something had faintly etched its greif onto him, like a pen with no ink.
    
    “Whatever you are, or were... I'm sorry.”
    No one answers him so he shakes off the old stale feelings clinging to him, and begins to break into a happier pace.
    
    As he walks, he sees a rather nice looking piece of ocean polished wood laying on the sand, and picks it up to use as a walking stick.
    It feels pleasant and weighty in his hands.
    Yes, he would definitely be able to give any adversary a good waking with this. 
    
    He looks around eagerly, wanting nothing more than an opponent to hit.
    But the only other living thing on the beach with him, is a small reddish creature with a hard shell and little pincers.
    
    He sighs in disappointment.
    The little crab is just burying himself in sand and minding his own business. 
    So it's hardly an evil foe that deserves to be viciously attacked for no reason.
    
    “I don't suppose you know where I can find a dragon to fight. Do you?”
    He asks playfully, but the crab does not answer back, which felt about right to him.
    
    Still, he really wants to at least see a dragon.
    The conceptual creature that connects to that word, is magnificent and terrifying to behold.
    Within his mind's eye at least.
    Which only makes him want to encounter a real one even more.
    
    The only problem is that he has no idea where to find one.
    Assuming they even exist outside of his own thoughts that is.
    
    “Oi! You there.” a voice calls out to him from further down the beach.
    
    As he approaches he sees the small man with glasses waving at him.
    
    “What’s your name?” the stranger asks “You ain't undead are you?”
    
    The wandering half orc frowns, and looks down at his body.
    He doesn't notice any injuries or wounds that might have given him that idea. 
    Though he does suddenly feel a bit self conscious about his lack of clothes for some reason.
    
    “I don't think so.” he replies to the first speaking person that he has ever met. “I feel pretty alive actually.”
    
    “Well that's good I guess.” The halfling stamers as he uncomfortably averts his eyes from the naked half orc. “Um… are you alright? Do you need anything?”
    He coughs into his hand politely. “Some clothes maybe?”
    
    The half orc just shrugs dismissively. “I'm fine, thank you for asking... Though... I actually wouldn't mind a free pair of pants if you're offering them.”
    
    The halfling nods briskly then beings searching through his oversized satchel of suspiciously assorted items.
    After a few seconds he pulls out two different pairs of pants, compares them to each other carefully, then hands him the least fancy of the two.
    “Here you go. You can pay me back later.”
    
    “Thanks.” The half orc beems gratefully, before slipping into the white and red silk leggings.
    
    He nearly asks why such a small person would be carrying around clothes of his size, but he decided against it. 
    Mostly because his awfully suspicious bag of basically anything valuable, coupled with his peculiar black jumpsuit, makes him really look like a graverobber off some kind.
    And he doesn't want to ask any questions that might get him into trouble.
    
    The halfling bats his hand in the air and goes “Naa, it's nothing. Just send me a dozen or so silver pieces in the mail whenever you get the chance and we’ll call it even.”
    He then offers his hand and grins “The names Jeets Schmee by the way. Just so you know who to address that letter to.”
    
    They shake hands.
    It's the first time he has ever touched another living thing.
    
    Jeets stands there expectantly for about a minute, before politely coughing into his fist.
    “And you?” he finally breaks down and asks “What is your name?”
    
    The half orc pauses suddenly.
    He didn't expect to be able to answer that question.
    
    But as he searches the hidden depths of his mind he finds that he actually does know something that could be like a name. 
    A very old, very important word, that perfectly describes him for some reason.
    
    He doesn't know what it means exactly, but it's etched into his soul like a scar.
    And it's far a deeper wound then any of the unearned knowledge, unfairly written into his brain. 
    
    A single word that means nothing, and yet everything, to him all at the same time.
    
    “Detestari.”
    6th life: Human "Inceptionist" 20 warlock
    Code:
    Unwitting Vanity
    
    
    Detestari snapped his fingers and the wave of flesh golems collapsed in upon themselves and simply vanished from sight.
    They left no trace of their twisted existences, save for the rapidly dissipating wisps of sickly green smoke that wafted up from where they once stood. 
    
    He briefly wondered if the church of the silver flame wanted him to preserve the bodies so that they might be given proper burials.
    But he quickly decided that it didn't really matter in the end, as these were not your typical undead.
    No, these were flesh golems, monsters woven out of the body parts from countless individuals.
    
    It would be nearly impossible to sort them out into proper matching sets again.
    So they would have to be disposed of in some kind of unceremonious mass grave anyway. 
    Which is why he felt justified in completely removing his quarry from the material plane.
    Their sickeningly discolored flesh could rot within the ether between worlds for all he cared.
    
    ThereIsALadderUpAhead
    
    It wasn't so much a voice, as a feeling.
    An intense intrusive thought that could not be silenced or reasoned with.
    
    DoNotBotherKillingTheAirElementalsAtTheTopAsTheyWillSimplyReturn
    
    Detestari clasped his hands over a cold rung of the heavily corroded iron ladder and begin to climb. 
    Sure enough, as he approached the top he could hear the growing sounds of wind rushing wildly within the confined space.
    
    “How am I supposed to shut this thing down again?” he asked himself aloud. 
    Mentau might have told him earlier, or he might not have, Detestari didn't know.
    He hadn't exactly been listening to what the rouge fleshmaker had said to him. 
    
    Move
    
    The thought pressed itself against Detestari like a strong river current, pushing him towards an unknown destination.
    
    Lightning crackled as he heaved himself onto the upper platform... rafters maybe?
    Immediately, half a dozen or so swirling tornado like shapes appeared, and began approaching him aggressively.
    
    With the power at his command, it would have only take a few seconds to unmake the extraplanar beings.
    However, his eldritch master had deemed it a waste of time, so he stayed his hand. 
    
    DoNotLetThemTouchYouOrTheyWillBlowYouOffOfThePlatformAndYouWillHaveToClimbBackUpAgain
    
    Detestari winced. 
    He could practically feel the pain of repeatedly falling all the way down, and smacking his face against the floor.
    It was like a small nightmare that he could have sworn he had experience many times before, even if only in his dreams.
    
    Detestari shook his head, and blinked the invasive memory like premonitions away.
    “Right then.” he mused before jumping to the other platform so as to put some distance between him and the elementals.
    
    “Now it's time for the hard part.” he sighed, as he searched his pockets for a plain grey band that was covered in thin dimly glowing blue runes.
    
    The contract ring reminded him of a bracelet of friends, only modified to be less useless.
    Detestari still had one of them forever taking up room in his bag.
    Perhaps he was just anti social, because he could never find a good time to use it.
    Though to be fair it did have some ridicules limitations. 
    
    Seriously, what was the point of summoning a friend to you if you couldn't bring them across worlds or into dangerous areas?
    
    He had gotten two of them as free samples once.
    And the only reason he had used the first one was to help a random guy get off of an airship that was refusing to take him to shore until he told their unconscious captain a story.
    Or something equally stupid like that.
    
    Detestari really hatred people most of the time. 
    Perhaps that was why he still hadn't used up his stupid free bracelet thing.
    
    DoNotJustStandThereKeepMoving
    
    Detestari looked up from his bag to see the mini tempests slowly closing in on him.
    But that was alright, he had found what he was looking for. 
    
    The contract ring was a much more sensible device, because it let you summon your hired mercenary from anywhere.
    Regardless of whether it was an active war zone or not.
    It was just a shame that the kind of people who rented themselves out as hirelings, tended to be the least sensible people in existence. 
    
    Detestari pressed his thumb hard against one of the contact rings many symbols until it flashed green for a second. 
    As it did, a female drow elf inconspicuously appeared in his face.
    
    Larafay Do'rret flashed Detestari a hotty smile as she crept into existence. 
    Her pearly white teeth contrasted sharply with her dark purplish skin, but matched well against her ash white hair.
    
    “Well met friend.” she bowed deeply, but when she looked up her smile quickly melted into horror. 
    “You’re injured!” she gasped while pointing as his side.
    
    Detestari lifted his arm as he looked at the shallow slash marks which had barely pierced his leather vest.
    He was about to say “It's nothing.” But as the words left his lips Larafay had already thrown a healing spell at him.
    
    It wouldn't have been that big a deal if she had cast something small like a cure light wounds spell.
    But as the massive wave of positive energy washed over him, Detestari realized that she hadn't just cast any old healing spell.
    She had cast the Heal spell.
    
    Heal was the most taxing and highest level spell in Larafay’s arsenal.
    Save for maybe Raise Dead.
    And she had just wasted it on a scratch. 
    
    Detestari pinched at the bridge of his nose and inhaled sharply, but he ultimately decided not bother trying to explain to the hireling why that was such a monumental waste of energy.
    Mostly because he had failed to explain it to her many times before, and it just wasn't worth it at this point.
    
    “Okay first of all-”
    
    Larafay stopped listening to him as she raised her voice and pointed.
    “Elemental!” she screamed, and a moment later a nimbus light was bursting forth from the tip of her finger.
    
    Detestari rolled his eyes. 
    He had no idea why she thought that an unmodified first level spell would be at all effective against the extraplanar creature.
    But what else would he expect from someone of her profession?
    
    Surprisingly, after about her fourth nimbus of light, Larafay seemed to realize that her spells were ineffective against this particular fow.
    Unsurprisingly, her next move was to rush the vortex of rapidly spinning air with a hammer.
    
    She screamed as she was flung off of the platform, and then her armor clattered loudly against the metal grating below. 
    There was what felt like a long pause before the words “that hurt” weakly drifted up from out of view.
    
    Detestari was in no mood for this stupidity. 
    Without a word he pressed the button on his contract ring, and Larafay once again appeared before him. 
    Although she did look significantly more disheveled then before.
    
    “Are you done?” he asked dryly, with one eyebrow raised.
    
    Larafay’s grip on her hammer tightened as she straightened her back indignantly. 
    “No…” she said dramatically as she defiantly raised her weapon.
    “I will not be overcome so easily.” she insisted with a cocky almost triumphant sneer.
    
    Detestari watched flatly as Larafay charged right back into the same elemental, and once again was promptly flung off of the platform.
    He tsked loudly before jumping to a neighboring platform, so as to avoid the elementals that were closing in on him again.
    
    Once he was across Detestari called down to the drow woman.
    “I didn't hire you for your fighting skills miss Do'rret.” He said pointedly “So leave the elementals alone. In fact, don't do anything at all unless I explicitly tell you to, okay?”
    
    Larafay got up rubbing at her shoulder, then quickly nodded. 
    “Understood… But uhh… why did you hire me then?”
    
    Detestari’s condescending expression faltered for a moment, with a quick flash of uncertainty. 
    “That’s a good question.” He admitted. 
    
    He didn't really know the answer himself.
    It was just something requested of him by the-
    
    EnoughTalkingDontWastTimeUseTheHireToHelpYouExtinguishAllFiveRunesAtOnce
    
    Detestari blinked, then looked around.
    He didn't notice them at first, but there were indeed five glowing rune stones attached to various pillars of purple crystal that were scattered about the rafters. 
    
    One of them was right behind him in fact.
    As a test, he reached his hand out and pressed it down gently. 
    Instantly the rune’s steady lightning blue glow flicked off, like a candle being blown out.
    It stayed dark for about ten seconds, before just as suddenly flickering back to life.
    
    Detestari smiled. “I hired you to help me push buttons.”
    
    “What?” Larafay called up incredulously, but Detestari didn't answer her. 
    
    Instead he silently jumped to the largest platform.
    Actually, it was more like a small alcove in the cave really, as part of its floors was solid rock instead of raised metal grating.
    
    Detestari summoned Larafay up to the alcove with him using her contact ring, then pointed at one of the glowing runestone embedded into the purple crystal.
    “You see this rune?” he asked before moving his finger to point at the other “And that one naught forty feet over?”
    
    Larafay tracked where her employer was pointing before finally nodding after just a bit too long of a delay.
    “I see… But what do-”
    
    Detestari cut her off “I need you to deactivate them both in rapid succession.”
    He glanced around “It shouldn't be too hard a task. Of all the runes, these two are the closest, and you'll have solid ground beneath your feet almost the whole way. So you won't need to jump over any gaps in the floor to get from one rune to the other.”
    
    He paused, as she still looked a little confused.
    “Stay here and wait for me say go, then press down on both of these runes as quickly as you can.”
    
    Larafay stood to attention and nodded “Understood sir.”
    
    Detestari nodded back then returned to where the floor was just raised wire grating.
    On his way he snapped his fingers twice, and destroyed three of the elementals.
    
    They reformed nearly instantly of course, but that was not the point of blasting them.
    He had done it because he knew that it would get them to start chasing him, which was definitely preferred to them closing in on his hireling.
    
    Detestari was fairly confident in his abilities to evade the extraplanar creatures, as they moved surprisingly slowly considering that they were made of pure rushing wind. 
    However Larafay would find it much more difficult to escape their displacing touch, assume she even realized that she was supposed to avoid them at all. 
    
    She was a hireling after all, and hirelings were notoriously stupid.
    Especially when it came to avoiding traps. 
    Detestari shuddered as he remembered countless hired companions walking blindly into halls of spinning blades or standing unresponsively within jets of acid.
    
    He shook his head and quickly dismissed the frustrations of adventures past. 
    Larafay might have been completely clueless, but she was probably still component enough to do something as simple as pushing a pair of buttons.
    Maybe...
    
    All he had to do was keep the elementals off of her.
    
    “Ready?” Detestari asked as he glanced over his shoulder. “GO!”
    
    In an instant his button was pressed as he was flying across the room to get to the next one.
    The jump spell that he had cast on himself earlier really helped him move from one platform to another, though he still had to be mindful of not jumping straight off the edge. 
    
    Another rune lit and Detestari was off for his third.
    
    He didn't quite have time to count the elementals as they blurred past his peripheral vision, but it appeared as if all of them were still following him. 
    
    The young adventure smiled as pressed down on the last runestone.
    He had completed his allotted run with almost three or four seconds to spare.
    
    Then he turned to look at his hire, and near instantly his triumphant grin evaporated. 
    She was just standing there… pressing the same already dimmed rune over and over again.
    
    “Larafay!” he whined scoldingly.
    
    Detestari’s gaze shifted to the last lit rune.
    Perhaps if he had moved perfectly, without any room error or delay, he might have had a chance of just barely getting four runes lit by himself.
    However he had already spent far far to much time looking and thinking for that to be a possibility this go around.
    
    He watched helplessly as one by one the runes he had just darkened rekindled themselves.
    
    ! W a s t e d ! T i m e !
    
    The feeling weighed down upon him like a heavy load, yet instead of slowing him down it compelled him to grit his teeth and keep pushing forward.
    
    Detestari clenched his fists and fought back a scream of pure frustration.
    At the same time the whole room seemed to darken a few shades, and twist slightly as every elemental was simultaneously ripped to shreds.
    It didn't accomplish much of anything though, as they had all returned soon after.
    
    “What was that?” Larafay asked worriedly a few seconds after everything had returned to normal.
    
    “Nothing.” Detestari nearly spat “Now what in the blasted depths of Khyber do you think you're doing?”
    
    “What you… asked me too?” Larafay replied uncertainty.
    
    “No you're not!” Detestari almost yelled.
    He pinched at the bridge of his nose and inhaled sharply.
    There was no point in him getting short tempered with the woman.
    She was just a hireling after all, and as such it was unfair for him to expect any level of competence from her.
    
    Detestari sighed, “Just... Stop what you're doing and we’ll start over.”
    
    Larafay gave her employer a brisk nod, before jogging directly towards him.
    Only problem was that the paths which connected the platforms were rather windy and indirect.
    Which is why he had to jump over gaps if he wanted to move directly from one rune to another.
    
    Larafay though… did not jump.
    Instead she just blindly walked into the pit, as if she simply didn't notice it.
    
    A scream, a crash, a clatter, and an exasperated sigh echoed around the room in sequence.
    Detestari pressed the summoning button on Larafay’s contract ring one more time, once he had gotten back into the spot that he wanted her to be.
    
    “I guess more than one instruction at a time is too much for you then.” he said dryly to the confused and disheveled drow elf.
    
    Detestari straightened his back “That’s fine, I'll just have to give you your orders one at a time.”
    He frowned as he looked her up and down “Starting with casting a healing spell on yourself… You look like you're about to fall over.”
    
    Larafay sniffed as she shakily rubbed at her bleeding nose “Yes sir.”
    She whispered something magical and all of a sudden her injuries and fatigue were visibly washed away with holly light.   
    
    Detestari nodded, satisfied. 
    “Now stay here for the time being.”
    With that he bounded off to the first of the three runes he was prepared to extinguish.
    He checked one last time to make sure that all of the elementals were still focused on him, then he hollered “Alright, press the first rune!”
    
    Larafay nodded and obediently did as she was instructed, but Detestari didn't wait to watch. 
    
    He had already darkened his first rune and was halfway to his second one, when he suddenly stopped, turned around, and pointed. 
    “Now press the other one.” He shouted.
    He waited just long enough to watch his hire change direction before bounding off to blacken his second rune.
    
    Detestari heard the loud clatter of armor hitting metal grating, as he jumped to the platform with the last rune on it.
    For a moment his heart sank and he wondered if Larafay had managed to complete her task before blundering into the pit again.
    However he didn't bother looking to make sure.
    All he could do at this point was finish his part, and trust that his hire had done hers.
    
    The last rune locked into place with a flash and a click, before crumbling to dust.
    Then the whole room begin to hiss like a slowly warming teapot.
    
    “What’s happening?” Larafay asked, but she got no reply.
    
    Instead Detestari glanced around wordlessly, as the air elementals seemed to unravel themselves into thousands of tiny strands of wind, which harmlessly scattered in every direction.
    
    At first he thought that they might have been banished to their home plane, but he soon realized that assumption was wrong.
    
    All at once, the all but invisible threads of wind simultaneously changed direction, as if caught by some unseen force.
    
    Detestari had to struggle to keep his footing as the air around him rushed to the far edge of the room.
    He watched in awe as it was woven into a massive growing shape of air and lightning that swirled within the stoney alcove.
    
    Somehow he knew its name. 
    Chained Lightning.
    A true embodiment of a storm given wrath. 
    
    Two words rang almost casually in the back of Detestari’s heart.
    
    DestroyIt
    
    It was a simple, and familiar demand.
    An almost ever present request, that had seamlessly drifted from one context to the next, since the first of his memories.
    
    Detestari smiled. 
    To most, the foreign demand for destruction would have been a cause for concern, but to him it was comfort. 
    
    Dark tendrils of eldritch power began to radiate from the walls and floor.
    Slow growing, reaching, grasping.
    Everywhere they touched the air broke and crackled with pain.
    
    Killing was easy, killing was simple. 
    
    There was no talking, no thinking, no uncertainty, no trying to find the right answer.
    It was pure, it was primal, and it touched something within him.
    Something old and dark.
    
    Detestari’s faintly glowing fingers snapped with a loud resonating click, and then everything was silent.
    
    The air quieted into stillness, as the elemental being vanished from the world.
    And without its power the constant buzzing, werring, crackling, coping, and grinding of distant machinery died as well.
    
    The fleshmakers laboratory had been silenced at last.
    
    Only after the last black tendril had receded back into the dark unseen corners of the world did Larafay dare to speak.
    “What was that! Did… did we do it?”
    
    Detestari could barely hear her from down there, but he nodded.
    “Yeah… Yeah it's over.”
    
    NotOverNeverOver
    
    The premonitions insisted. 
    
    GoFindTheGlacialAbyssHiddenInsideTheHollowTree
    
    Detestari mentally nodded.
    Strangely enough he already remembered where that was, despite the fact that he had never even heard of it before. 
    
    Not one to simply walk anywhere Detestari cast featherfall upon himself and jumped down from the rafters.
    As he gently glided to the wire frame floor below, he seamlessly transitioned his fall into a swift near run.
    
    Larafay struggled to keep up, and only barely managed to match his pace.
    “So what even was that thing? And how did you kill it so blazing fast?”
    
    Detestari’s pace slowed only slightly as he shrugged. 
    “It was just an enslaved air elemental that was being used as a source of power for this place.”
    
    Larafay gave him a sideways look.
    “Kinda like how I get my power from my connection with my god?”
    
    “I suppose you could say that…” he admitted dismissively “Although I would imagine its a bit less vaulintary than that.”
    
    They half ran for a while in silence.
    It was almost unnerving how quiet and empty the winding halls of the flesh maker's laboratory were now. 
    There weren't even any bodies left to testify to the massacre that had occurred, just a collection of greasy puddles on the floor.
    
    Eventually though Larafay spoke up again, with a question that made Detestari nearly stop dead in his tracks. 
    “What about you? What is the source of your magic?”
    
    Detestari was taken aback, as it wasn't like a hireling to ask such thoughtful questions.
    Actually, it wasn't like a hireling to ask any questions at all really.
    
    MoveMoveMoveFastFastYetFasterStill
    
    The feeling urged him, but for the first time in what felt like forever, Detestari fraught against his instincts.
    After all, it was a good question, and she deserved an answer for asking it.
    “Well, I'm a warlock. We get our power from special pacts made with great beings or forces.”
    
    Larafay looked extremely hesitant “Like... With demons?”
    
    Detestari shrugged “Yes, but not only them. Some get their power from the fay, or from extra dimensional creatures sleeping in the space between worlds.”
    A small wisp of emerald flame appeared sleepily between the fingers of his partially outstretched hand. “Me? I get my power from a great old one known as the Vierum.”
    
    “I see.” Larafay nodded “So you have struck a deal with this thing then? Prey tell, what does it ask of you in return for such power?”
    
    Detestari shifted uncomfortably, and not just because of the alarm bells going of in his head, demanding that he return to his eternal goalless quest.
    “Perhaps ‘deal’ is too strong of a word here.” he mused “Perhaps it's better to say that I have always had a kind of… bond with this entity, though I'm not sure if it even realizes I'm alive.”
    
    “It doesn't talk to you? Then how do you know it's name? Did you name it yourself?” the drow woman asked curiously.
    
    Detestari was impressed, she really wasn't as brain dead as a typical hireling after all.
    “Have you ever thought about becoming a real adventurer?” he asked, half teasingly.
    
    “What? What does that have to do with-” Larafay blinked rapidly a few times before answering “I suppose I have thought about it before but… I don't think I could handle the inconsistency you know? Always hopping from one disaster to the next? Always looking for the next big opportunity? Always having to make so many life or death decisions?”
    
    She shuddered and shook her head. 
    “I couldn't live like that... It’s better to just pass the planning, funding, and responsibility off onto someone else. You know?”
    
    Detestari smiled gently “I agree wholeheartedly. That’s why I let my otherworldly instincts make most of my decisions for me.”
    He explained as he ironically resisted the urge to teleport out there without another word.
    
    Larafay gave him a confused look which made him tense up a little.
    “What do you mean?”
    
    Detestari paused for a while, his voice choked out by an awkward inability to think of the words.
    It was rare that he stumbled into a conversation that he actually wanted to participate in.
    “My bond with the Vierum gives me a sort of insight. It’s like… Like I know how things are going to play out. What I'm supposed to do next. It feels like I've done it all before but… But this time I'm me, so it’s all different somehow.”
    
    Detestari shook his head. “I'm sorry. I'm not explaining it very well.”
    He wasn't used to talking about this kind of stuff, but he let his thoughts spill out freely. 
    “As you might imagine, it kinda kills most conversations for me. All I have to do is take one look at someone, and before they have even said a world, I already know what they want from me. Or what it is that I can get out of them.”
    
    He shrugged absently “Maybe I'm just anti social, as I tend to use my powers as an easy way to cheat past talking to people in a meaningful way. After all, it's not like I get any of the humanizing details out of it. Just a cold, distant, impartial summary of what should have been conveyed through normal interaction with another person.”
    
    Larafay placed her purple hand over her black and gold chestplate.
    She looked like she was about to break out into tears.
    “That's so sad.”
    
    “I guess…”
    Detestari felt very uncomfortable all of a sudden.
    This was the first time anyone had ever felt pity for him, and he hated it deeply for some reason.
    He regretted telling her now, and that made it nearly impossible to resist the pressing urgency that clawed at his mind.
    
    TeleportLeaveRunGoExitMoveProgressAwayContinueRecallNextAdvanceEgress
    
    Detestari winced as he gave in to the demands of the Vierum.
    “Either way, I've got to go now.” He said with a grateful nod “Maybe I'll hire you again someday.”
    
    Larafay waved goodbye as Detestari opened a dimensional door back to the orchard of the macabre.
    “Until then.”
    
    “Until then.” Detestari echoed as he stepped through and closed the shimmering doorway.
    Then all was deathly quiet, save for the crunching of blood red leaves beneath his boots.
    
    Detestari thought as he ran. 
    Not of the of the numerous undead that stalked the orchard, as they were easily dispatched, but of a question that had been asked of him.
    
    “Where does my power come from?” he muttered contemplatively as he vaulted over the twisted black roots of a floating tree that had long since fallen from its erie perch in mid air.
    
    Vierum
    
    The word was burned into Detestari’s mind, just as distinctly as his own name.
    
    But what was it really, and why did he share such a strong bond with it?
    How could it show him the future in the form of memories? 
    It was as if someone else had lived his life before him.
    
    ManyTimesThroughManyEyesInterpretedByManyMinds
    
    “Many times, through many eyes, interpreted by many minds.”
    
    Detestari broke out into a cold sweat.
    He was on the verge of something.
    A horrible truth that he genuinely did not want to know.
    But there was no turning back now.
    
    ManySoManyBrokenLostAndForgotten
    “Many… so many... broken lost and forgotten.”
    
    Detestari ran faster than he had ever ran before.
    Perhaps, if he just ran fast enough, he could escape from the realization for a little while longer. 
    But of course, deep down, he knew it would never work.
    
    “And Yet Together They Are One.”
    
    Tears flooded Detestari’s eyes, as the world blurred past him.
    
    It didn't matter how fast he ran.
    No one could outrun themselves.
    
    At least… Not forever.
    7th life: Human "Bug Cutter" 12 barbarian / 6 warlock / 2 fighter

    8th life: Human "Lost Hunter" 14 ranger / 6 rogue

    9th life: Warforged "Crossbowman" 20 Artificer

    10th life: Human "Blade Whistler" 20 Bard

    11th life: Human "Fallen Angel" 14 favored soul / 6 warlock

    12th life: Human "Railgunner" 20 rogue

    13th life: Sun Elf "Bug Zapper" 9 Cleric / 8 Warlock / 3 Paladin

    14th life: (planned to be) Warforged "Chemical Mixer" 20 Sorcerer
    Code:
    The Intruder
    
    
    The sound of metal clanking against stone echoed through the prison as the mysterious lone warforged approached.
    
    Denz’Neznyx tilted his head in confusion, as he wondered what kind of lunatic would be so brazen and disrespectful towards the spinner of shadows herself.
    
    Plates of deformed and corroded green armor covered the stranger from head to toe, and his melted face lacked any recognizable features, save for an unevenly placed set of glowing green eyes.
    One of which was so corroded over that it looked like nothing more than a mere pin prick.
    
    Still, despite looking like the corpse of an already lifeless construct, the stranger walked forward smoothly, and confidently.
    
    Denz’Neznyx’s whiskers twitched with rage as he snarled “Destroy this intruder my lady! We will report your glorious release to the world.”
    
    “Now let us leave this place.” Pureed Denz’s brother excitedly. “You must help us release the other demon overlords!” 
    
    The spinner of shadows flashed him a look of disgust at the thought, and even though Denz wasn't the direct focus of her ire, his fur still began to stand on end.
    
    Denz knew that something was wrong, and he instinctively begin crafting a powerful illusion around himself while her head was turned.
    Sure enough, just mere moments after his casting was complete, a powerful force rose up and ensnared the decoy he had hastily made of himself, while he barely slipped away into invisibility.
    
    “I will do no such thing.” snapped the spinner of shadows hatefully “Now that I am free, I have no need for the other overlords... Or for you tedious lords of dust.”
    
    Denz had to force himself not to scream as he watched his brother, and his illusory likeness get ripped to shreds by demonic energy.
    
    Rakshasa were known for their talents with illusion magic, and Denz’Neznyx was one of the best among his kind.
    Yet despite his talents, it was near impossible to hide from the demon he had help free.
    
    His only hope was if the lone adventurer could somehow keep her occupied long enough for him to find a way out.
    A task that proved near impossible considering the burning walls of silver flame that resolutely guarded every possible point of egress.
    
    “Ah, so you’re done talking then?” said the adventurer, as he wriggled free from the demonic bonds that the spinner had used to restrain him.
    There was something off putting about how the strangers kind and polite voice contrasted against his nightmarish and unmoving face.
    
    The spinner of shadows called forth an entire army of lesser demons to fight by her side.
    Reavers, hezrous, jariliths, and flame eaters all rose up from the depths of khyber to meet their solitary fow.
    
    The strange however, did not run, did not flinch, and did not even brace himself for a fight.
    Instead he just stood there calmly, as a glowing green liquid begin flowing through the shallow channels that covered his body.
    It dripped off of him like blood from a fresh wound, and as it hit the floor it began hissing like fresh meat on a hot skillet.
    
    One of the hezrous teleported behind the adventurer, and bashed him over the head with a large rock, crumpling his skull in.
    He staggered forward, but did not fall, and once he regained his balance he almost indignantly turned to face his attacker.
    
    The stranger reach his hand towards the hezrou in one smooth motion, and blasted it with a powerful cone of cold which froze it solid in place.
    The hezrou’s frozen body then began to slowly melt into the puddle of acid on the floor, feeding a rising green smog as it did.
    
    The stranger then turned back around, his crumpled metal head melting and reshaping itself like clay until it looked basically like it did before.
    
    Denz’Neznyx watched in horror as wave after wave of demons disappeared into the ever growing fog, their gurgling cries of pain and agony flooding the spinners prison. 
    
    Every so often a jarilith or two would come careening out the mist, its limbs frozen and topmost layer of flesh seared away.
    But even in the clean air it would choke and die on its own lungs, as the rest of its flesh dissolve away from its bones.
    
    Holy fire singed Denz’Neznyx’s fur as he backed up against the barrier of silver flame.
    He was no longer afraid of demon overlord scuttling away into the darkness, or even the opposing god that blocked his escape.
    
    He was afraid of the friendly sounding warforged, standing placidly alone in the center of an ever growing cloud of death and destruction.
    15th life: (Drow) Drow "Gleaming Shadow" 12 Wizard / 8 Warlock
    Code:
    The Gleaming Shadow
     
    
    Skin that’s dark as midnight, eyes as red as flame.
    A forgotten word for broken, that passes for a name.
    
    Radiating darkness, casting shadows made of light.
    A walking contradiction, a silent spectral knight.
    
    A beast of untold power, hides beneath that darkened glow.
    It sleeps within the nightmare, we call the gleaming shadow.
    16th life: (Drow) Drow "Star Cannon" 15 Rogue / 3 Monk / 2 Artificer

    17th life: (Drow) Drow "Voice of Irrationality" 20 Bard

    18th life: (Human) Human “Revolving Revenant” 20 Wizard
    Code:
    A world revolving. 
    
    
    My eyes are open. 
    The light pours into them, and paints a blurred image onto the inside of my mind.
    Everything is spinning, everything is motion.
    
    I alone stand still within this tempest, even as the world revolves around me.
    
    Voices flood the air, convincing it to pound itself against me in a soft rhythmic pattern.
    Perhaps it holds meaning to someone, but not I.
    
    A force pulls my leg into the spin, threatening to make it twist as well.
    Yet as the rotating ground presses itself against the heel of my foot, the focus of the spin changes.
    
    The world pulls itself past me some, and then my other leg is pushed forward.
    Again and again, my legs are moved in sequence, and the world inches around me. 
    
    Yet nothing had changed.
    The world still moves and spins, while I remain still.
    
    The light in my eyes dims, as a great dark tunnel swallows me whole.
    
    The warm leather handle of a flaming greatsword finds its way into my cold hands.
    As it tightens my grip upon it the sword comes to a relative stop.
    
    More sound waves touch my ear drums, but they are louder and more unhappy then the ones before.
    They grow closer and more intense.
    
    Images of orange fur and worn steel assert themselves within the spin.
    
    Something throws itself onto the sword in my hands, and it doubles.
    
    I seem to be wet now.
    
    Sticky red water clings to me, trying desperately to remain still.
    But despite their best efforts many droplets lose their grip, and are quickly flung into the spin. 
    
    Waves of sound are aggressively pummeling against me now.
    Voices maybe? 
    Rather aggressive voices. 
    
    The rest of the fuzzy orange shapes within the spin move.
    Well… it was more that they added an extra layer of complexity to their movements.
    
    The sword in my hand finds a friend, and the two of them embrace with a hefty clang.
    Sady though, the other sword is much smaller and gets thrown back into the spin of the world. 
    Where it disappears into the vast eternal blur of motion.
    
    The furry figures are moving differently now.
    They spiral away from me slowly, but then rush back every time my legs are moved.
    
    Two are moving closer slightly faster than they are moving away.
    Eventually they get close enough to meet the sword in my hands and…
    
    As the furry shapes touch the sword they start to divide into more smaller furry shapes, and sound explodes outwards from them before disappearing just as quickly.
    
    Even more thick red liquid materializes into existence.
    It covers my skin, attempts to drown the confused weapon in my hand, and floods the spinning world with crimson.
    
    The angry noise changes…
    Perhaps it means something else now. 
    Maybe the fur shapes know. 
    
    Air slowly leaks into my lungs, bringing with it the smell of death and bile.
    I do not know those smells, though they have introduced themself to me many times before.
    
    Then the air bursts out of me so furiously that it folds in on itself, and accidentally becomes a soft raspy sound.
    “stop” 
    Perhaps it means something, I'm am unsure what.
    
    Maybe the furred shapes understand it, because their behavior suddenly changes.
    They stop cautiously keeping their distance and head straight for me.
    
    No… not for me.
    It's the sword in my hand that they come for.
    They divide like the others, then spiral away on the floor.
    
    The colors are gone. 
    Red has chased them all away. 
    Only red lives here now.
    On the wall, the floor, the ceiling, me?
    
    The red looms menacingly, then it too spirals away in the direction of the spinning tunnels exit. 
    
    More of the larger undivided shapes of orange appear, but they keep their distance and politely move past me. 
    As they do they throw things.
    Sharp pointed sticks with feathers at the end. 
    
    Most fly by, or are simply swallowed up by the spin, but one of them quickly kisses the flaming sword in my hand before running away and singing.
    
    Then one bites me in the arm.
    Instantaneously it stops spinning, and grows still.
    It seems to have died inside of me.
    
    Pain comes to visit me from within the inner chasms of my mind.
    It does its pretty little song and dance which seems to annoy the air hiding in my lungs.
    Frustrated, the air quickly wheezes out of me and hisses something. 
    
    “mend”
    
    Perhaps the pain knew what it meant.
    It must have… Because the moment it hears that sound the pain gets offended and leaves.
    
    The thing in my arm is gone too…
    It must have also been offended by that word.
    
    The world spins on forevermore.
    
    More shapes of orange and red fur go by, and split themselves against the sleeping sword.
    
    Occasionally a teardrop shaped gemstone appears from within the blurry world and stops to enjoy the stillness with me.
    They fit together… Perhaps they are a family…
    
    The floor suddenly falls away then rushes back up to slap the souls of my feet.
    Pain shows up for just a second, then it remembers that its still mad, and it quickly leaves again. 
    
    After a moment the spinning tunnel expands to reveal more red fur, and an aggressively invasive wave of sound.
    
    Stuff happens around me.
    
    The sword in my hands seems sick and tired of stuff touching it now.
    It retreats to the bag that's still hugging me sleepily, so that it can rest in peace without having to get caught up in the spin of the world.
    
    There are other items that decide to sleep there too…
    Axes, armor, scrolls, gems, and a magic wand, all move out of the spinning chest in which they used to live.
    So that they may lie still with me.
    
    Then the tunnel decides that I taste bad, and it starts to spit me up.
    
    On the way I see a lot of divided lumps of fur spiral up to me on the floor.
    Then they silently spiral away just as quickly.
    Perhaps that means something... Perhaps not.
    
    Angry, cold, sticky, wet, dark, dripping, familiar, patches of red liquid spin into view. 
    They say nothing to the red that still clings to me, and then swiftly they wonder off.
    
    The cave finishes spitting me out, and at the same time the light decides to attack my inner eyes even more violently than before. 
    
    More sound. 
    It's gentle, and pleased, and scared.
    
    The tear shaped gems decide that it's time for them to leave, yet the bag hasn't gotten lighter. 
    More gold coins seem to have appeared out of thin air to weigh me down.
    
    The world continues to spiral out of control.
    Around and around and around and around and around it spins.
    Orbiting me… The only unmoving thing in the universe. 
    
    Movement? Color? Emotion? Sound? Life?
    It all just happens to me.
    Inflicts itself upon me. 
    
    A lonely, thoughtless, corpse of something long dead.
    And forgotten longer still.  
    
    ...Perhaps...
    
    Perhaps it all means something...
    Last edited by Questdoer; 04-28-2019 at 11:30 AM.

  2. #2
    Community Member Questdoer's Avatar
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    Forgot to add the two side stories that I had written already.

    So in addition to Something Good and Sparing With Draitak, here is the new one based on my current life The Intruder

  3. #3
    Community Member Questdoer's Avatar
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    Cool

    Added a bunch of new stories that I neglected to put up here.
    But that's fine, because nobody reads this anyhow.

  4. #4
    Bwest Fwiends Memnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Questdoer View Post
    But that's fine, because nobody reads this anyhow.
    I skimmed.
    “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” ~ Mark Twain

    .56666.

  5. #5
    Community Member Alrik_Fassbauer's Avatar
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    Nice idea.
    "Archbishop Dryden wants to talk to you to tapper this dale."
    "Archbishop Dryden wants to talk to you to tap on this dale."
    "Archbishop Dryden wants to talk to you to tap on this tale."
    English is not my first language - misinterpretations galore !

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