(Please Note: I received permission from the prophet support forum to run this quest for me and Doran. Since we are not having Syroa make any appearances, her relaying a message to Alistair and Doran is something that has been allowed.)
The night before had been one of terror. Desires overcame him in his sleep, and the evening was rife with whispers into his ear. Ones commanding lust, fury, deception and alteration; whispers he'd begun to recognize, in the three months since receiving Sesser, as the words of the devil. Syroa. He tried to ignore those words, always - he tried to pretend her voice was not present. But always, and continuously, he could feel a barbed tongue upon his ear. It had become a vice. He'd woken up to that same feeling, and he'd felt it in dreams, too. It wasn't the nightmares of Emea that plagued him, now - but the nightmares of her domain.
This time, though, the words were different, and distinctive. He could feel them almost as if inked across his skin, to the point where when he awoke, he stripped himself of his nightly attire and checked across his body. No letters were found. Instead, on the wall, he could see words written with the texture of flowing blood. Their message changed, letters flowing out into more, branching and taking weaves and turns. Before his eyes, he saw a command:
Child. Lover. Brother. Enemy. Friend. Forsworn. Dog. Instrument. Traitor. Liar. Kinslayer. Kingslayer. You have held many identities, many wants, and all of them have been despicable. Yet you are one of many, and though I may have thought once that no man could be lower, there is in fact a greater blight upon this Kingdom than you. His name . . . was Malek. A man of great reputation - one of the most skilled swordsmen of Rynmere. Yet he was skilled with a second blade, too, and with that second sword he sought to conquer men and women alike. He was followed by bastards and broken hearts across the whole of the Kingdom, desperate to find the thing he was missing, while causing want, need and desolation along his path.
In truth, without even his knowledge, I had marked this man. This . . . Malek. Yet in time, I grew tired of his antics. Despite his skill, he was truly lost and forlorn, without any ambition but to ravage his body in drugs, sex and alcohol for all of the long life I had provided. An appealing follower for a time, but one that outstayed his welcome. He . . . is no longer of my charge. Instead, I decided to have him entertain me in another way, in a more fitting form. A creature that prowls the night, just as he did, but with an intention far more visceral than earthly pleasures. He came upon the same lads and lasses he always had, but instead of providing them a night of temporal fulfillment . . . he would provide them with anguish, horrors; a terror not known to them, except perhaps where they reside now.
I provided him with a lovely ability . . . the compulsion to, in the throes of passion, become a monster incapable of reason or fulfillment. A fiend, slaughtering his lovers and friends alike upon the moment of reaching his desired fulfillment.
Yet even in this form, he was not complete, and critically unworthy of my time. This man, Malek, has defied all of my gifts. He has learned to suppress the provocative sensations I have given to him, minimizing the results of his . . . transformations and sparing his surroundings his sweet, vicious embrace. Instead, he finds himself in a cage of stone when his passions inflame, and he has bindings of magical means installed by those who pity him - when my gift sparks within him, so too does this etheric suppression, an affront to my will. You will hunt him down for me, creature, and end this blasphemy against my eminence. Or I shall hunt you.
The town of Rayleigh, in the land of Gawyne. You are already there. Curious, isn't it? Go downstairs, to the hovel you've found refuge in, and seek a man of a familiar face. He, too, has been led here - and on the same task.
The words faded, the blood disappearing, as if seeping into the walls. Alistair's eyes went alight with an amber shade, something prevalent only when his mark flared with energy. Syroa had contacted him, and she'd made her desires clear. The restless night he'd had before was not from nightmares or a misplaced addition to his diet - it was her claws raking across his back, yet again, reminding him of his predilection towards her wants, willing or not.
"Fucking hell," he cursed. Why was he even here, in Rayleigh? He didn't remember the journey. It was as if the sleepless night had happened without his vision, or consent.
The man put on his clothes, quickly, staring at his face in the mirror as he did so. Despite how off he felt, and how tired, he looked . . . totally okay, if not better than. He was practically glowing - he looked healthy. For all he loathed Syroa and her influence, he had to remind himself of what she had given him, too. Was this her gift? Was this her curse? He didn't know.
But it wasn't wise to defy her. The man, after settling on the rest of his clothes, decided to take a trip to the base floor of the inn and do as she commanded - seek a familiar face.