If you are reading this, I have either met my demise or you are a nosy, sneaky pickpocket in which case I congratulate you for your craftiness; usually my own paranoia comes in handy with dealing with petty thieves who can sneak up on me to pinch something personal because I’m always expecting you. Regardless hopefully these words will ensure that someone will remember me regardless of my long term excursion away from civilization.
I grew up with a heavily inclusive group of people known as the Ercassë; or, The Thorn Bush. We lived in the woods of the same name and used the Thorn Bush as a symbol of our… unwillingness to allow the outside world into our own without at least a small bit of blood being drawn. Some could cross the Thorn bush safely, but only those contacted with one of our hunters or an older child given a brief lease to cross. The most prolific hunter in my childhood was my younger sister, Vanessiel. My family did not frown upon her bloodlust, and she brought us many a meal and any animal and beast that dared threaten her whilst hunting would find themselves suffering a terrible death. But unbeknownst to my family, our grand meals did not consist solely of wild game – but of man unfortunate enough to wander in Vanessiel’s traps. I do not know what she had against humans, nor do I understand her love to torture and to maim – ultimately the best way to describe Vanessiel was sadistic and insane and this was only the beginning of her sick nature.
You may wonder why I have spent so much time speaking of her in MY memoirs, but she changed my life entirely in multiple ways and mostly for the worse. As she continued to slaughter humans, she began to experiment on the parts she morbidly collected and attempting to raise the dead using skills she learned while in collusion with an undead beast and its vile horde. I fear the undead far more than anything currently in existence, and Vanessiel and this nameless beast are all to blame. The Beast and some of his minions demanded new bodies of stronger fortitude and greater intelligence, and Vanessiel was more than willing to sacrifice our family to the Beast. I had grown a strong belief in Pharasma, and I was protected by her from these terrible beings but no matter how well her charms benefited me there was nothing that could be done for the others, and so they began to change. Their flesh began to rot and tear as they lived and breathed, as the corrupted flesh of the Beast and his minions began to creep onto my families bones, creating unholy abominations that transcended life and death in ways that are simply indescribable. While I escaped this terrible fate, Vanessiel and the Beast created a blight that turned all living creatures in the Thorn Bush, and even the village to the South East of men, into undead beasts that possessed just enough living flesh to grow in power. I escaped the Thorn Bush, and tried to create a separate life. I became an adventurer and went on many adventures and found many victories and perilous journeys. But these would all come to an end, when I had to make a journey into the realm of the undead.
It began a normal enough quest, I was comfortable with the adventurers around me and swallowed my fear of the undead as we drank potions that would essentially render us undead for a period of time as we infiltrated one of their cities. When we entered this world, I felt a distressing familiarity – and realized that we were heading into what was once the thorn bush. I found our old home, and found it haunted by the spirits of what was once my family. Their flesh lived, but they were captive and held from passing on to another world. They begged me to take them with, to allow them to live in my memory and heart in a far more literal way than you would think. I agreed, and allowed them to become one with my own soul. I did not think of the drawbacks here, and they splintered my mind into many. They lived within me and would converse to those around me, and worse yet – they could even take control. This became a great burden during this adventure and by the end would become a damning curse that would plague me greatly and for the entirety of my life. For the final foe I fought was indeed my sister, Vanessiel. Part of the great undead flesh that consumed and transformed the land and a ruler alongside the Beast of what was now known as a city of the undead. She died by my blade, but as with my family her soul – as foul as it was – persisted and despite all attempts to reject it, she joined the stir of echoes in my mind.
I sometimes wonder if I merely went mad at seeing my family die, and that these “souls” are merely memories that have become their own personalities, but regardless of whether or not I truly have my families spirits collected within me or are merely recreating them through my splintered and twisted mind they are a part of me I can not escape and a part I have learned to fear. When they begin to show themselves to others, my presence becomes less welcome and many grew to fear me. But I was able to manage 3 years with Vanessiel being merely a nagging, violent voice and unlike the others, she never took control of me. Her rage could influence me in battle, but she could never control me for this 3 year period. But when she finally found a way to control me, my world and life crumbled to pieces.
It is not easy to admit to this, but I slaughtered and tortured four fellow adventurers. In length they suffered as I screamed, trying to reclaim my body but had to deal with my family all fighting to grasp what was no longer solely mine from Vanessiel, but her rage and psychosis was overpowering – and we were merely voices to her, projecting an even more mad and tyrannical beast upon those suffering at her hands as they heard many conflicting voices. Eventually the rage subsided, and Vanessiel droned away as I came to grips over my body once more. But I could not face civilization with what I had done, and so I traveled to the far, far east to the woods of Hanuel-Gi – uninhabitable to many due to the ferocious wildlife, but my connection and love for these beasts granted me entrance and I made myself a home as I entered a long lasting hermitage. My only company outside of the voices was a wolf I had tamed named Aleida. I used the healing skills I learned as a youth to keep her alive with me for well over 300 years, before age finally caught up with her. One hundred and 3 more years later I would get to my feet, and wander as far as I could – to the nearest city, for I finally found a way to quell the voices. I still heard them and spoke to them, but so long as I imbibed hearty spirits and slept only when necessary, they never took control. I found that they would take control only when I slept, and aware of this they frequently pushed to try and force me into sleep and it soon resulted in narcolepsy but often times I would rely on the adventurers I was once again meeting to wake me up just in time before they could do anything more than use my tongue as their own.
Otherwise, they learned their place and would sleep. I could even convince them to only talk to me in private during certain times, and I began adventuring once more. But fear and rage became an issue, because they stirred the voice of Vanessiel. I am thankful to say she is the least active of the voices within me, but when she awakens – even if she is not in control, I will lust greatly for blood. I have yet to take another innocent life, even under her influence, but I would become barbaric and cause fear in the others when she would appear – and so I often took diplomatic routes when possible and confided in my fellow adventurers to prevent provoking her.
I have enjoyed this new lease on life, and while my voices may still be an issue – I have met many new and worthy adventurers and have relived the greatest days of my life. Sadly, this may have all come to an end if you have found this journal. Only time will tell. I shall end this with a brief list and summation of my more common “voices”, for those who are curious. There are more, but these are the most likely you are to have met in your time with me. I am not including Vanessiel, solely because I feel I have spoke of her enough already.
Lathai, or “Little Boots.” – My younger brother. Childish, brash, unpredictable and impish. Not particularly cruel or violent, but impulsive, rude, and annoying.
Lótë – My Mother. The most learned of my voices, and the least likely to cause trouble outside of snarky remarks. Unlike the others, I may actually call upon Lótë to assist me in diplomacy or anything requiring great knowledge. We can share mind and tongue, and so many may have met Lótë and not even realized it unless I referenced her directly.
Nildë – A member of one of the Thorn Bush’s other sub-families, and someone I could call a far greater sister than the one I was stuck with. Nildë is charming and kind, but a bit impulsive and wild. She loves drink and the thrill of the moment, though I wish she cared more for my poor liver – whom she has been slowly killing over time because I myself can’t resist a good drink from time to time, and livers don’t particularly care for alcoholics living within alcoholics. Hah.
Hundondo – My father. The less said about him, the better. Especially in the presence of women; and to all women who have met him, I’m sorry.
Alcar – My aunt. She likes to slap things. Often to unconsciousness. Including myself.