• Memory • Distant Horror

Beyond the city of Rharne lies the Stormlands, which is home to a number of farms, forests, fields, Lake Lovalus, and the River Zynyx. This subforum also includes the Stormwastes to the south.

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Distant Horror

Vhalar 90th, 718

So distant, yet so impactful, the memory of this place struck a chord with Egaro. In his nightly haunts around the lake, it was here in the woods he recalled being hunted by wolves and chased to a place where he was given a memory most unpleasant. It was a dark place in the hollow between the roots of the tree by the stream he’d rested in but Arcs ago while he waited out those hungry colorful predators.

Now, it was different. He was dead, and he just couldn’t feel the same way compared to when he lived. Everything was headspace, thought, hunger, and emotion. Gone was the beat of his heart, the gentle hum of his soul in flux with the world around it. Now, the extremes were digging away at his psyche, and he felt that growing, gradual degradation of his soul rotting in the wild world at hand.

In the Arcs that had transpired, the vegetation surrounding the darkened place that his nightmares often chose to relive, the wriggling insects moving, writhing, thriving against skin, the fear of being stung or bit by all manner of crawling critter.

Ghastly, pale eyes stared for some time as dawn turned to dusk, fixated on this place with obsession, his own emotions surrounding the subject and creating an addictive sensation to the unliving seeking to relive his haunts. By instinct, he felt he could recreate that memory so disgustingly surreal in his mind, and so as dusk found him and the world matched his memory so well, he raised his right hand and felt the air until his Ectoplasmic body could feel the membrane between worlds.

Pressing his fingers into that cool thickness, he pried it open like a heavy blanket collapsing around a central point. It pressed in all around him as he leaned in, oozing his body on through. The descent, he found, was always easier than the ascent. The Beneath wanted him there, it pulled at his body, helping him along though he knew he would be stuck in this exhausting venture if he merely stopped moving as his ectoplasmic body discorporated into a fine mushy rolling cloud of wet sludge oozing out into the world of the dead.

Here in this place, in the woods, there were few ghosts. Egaro knew those entities often lived closer to where humans formed attachments, and with fewer humans to form attachments in the wilderness, it often meant the lake was safer when before he found the place intimidating. Now, it was a welcome place to hide, to show his vulnerabilities and thrive, to refine what it meant to be a ghost.

That gelatinous billowing soup of a dead man dribbled from a slit in the air, oozing down and pooling into a sticky puddle of tar that began to coalesce and rise, a hand emerging caked in translucent black. It reached and clawed for the earth around it, pulling the rest of its body through. The head emerged - Egaro, and he opened his mouth to soothe himself with the imitation of a breath. The token struggle was soon over as the essence absorbed back into his form that had become more rooted in what he was.

Down here in the beneath where there were so few souls and shrines to venerate the dead, the thoughts that gave substance to the world around him were fleeting. Such a place took on the darker hues of grays and blacks with the faint light of an overcast sky without clouds nor sun. It was a depressing place - there was little wonder why ghosts sought the life, for their own existences were so meager in contrast, as if the very world punished them for their aberrant existence.

The work at hand remained at the fore of Egaro’s mind as he thought to how he would create this memory. In the past as an Aesir, he recalled building mounds and carving runes into large stones that represented the spirits, so would creating such a monument be a similar affair. As the thought came to mind, a vast ghostly great stone appeared before him. Fogged-over eyes stared the stone up and down, noting its perfect composition, its ideal size of a height half-again-as-tall as he was evoking familiarity. A chisel and an oily tar-coated rag appeared in his hands, and he thought little of the strangeness as if it were a simple thing, reaching up and placing the scraping chisel to the stone and dragging a vast, curved line.

As he did, he reminisced over that disgusting scene within his past. A tale bled through his fingertips and into his tool, a tale of survival he could never forget. The metal tip of the instrument made jagged lines as he scrape-scrape-scraped the entity of a many-legged grub onto the rugged surface of the moonstone. Uncovering the white chalk-like surface beneath, he encircled the beast in a ghostly moon. The process was careful, it was taxing, and as he worked he infused the memory into the surface by keeping the unsettling feelings and vivid details in his mind, carefully transcribing each and every little detail.

Next came the roots of the great tree, wrapping around. The tar-covered rag rose to dab into the nook he slowly chiseled away, creating jagged black lines that twisted and curved around, constricting a bed of oozing mulch that he carved twinkling little insects of every number of legs, mandible, or wing, or lack thereof. Little details were added to the scene, an oozing white molasses coated the underside of a root in the mural as he imagined its slimy feel congealing over his skin.

As he worked, his memory of the event grew faded, the remaining details sticking out and waiting to be added. The process aided itself, in a way, but Egaro remarked on what he was losing in the process. ”To create a Hex, I must sacrifice the memory it is made from. How many of these do I have in life. What monster will I become one day, I wonder--should I keep doing this?”

As the process came to an end, he set the chisel down, feeling weariness take his deathly form. Between traversing to the beneath and this, it made his ectoplasm heavy and dull, his emotions waning and bitter like the sagging eyes of a tired man. Still, he pushed on, tying together the final strings of memory that washed away into its surface.

Fading away, the runestone gradually vanished as a tree sprouted around it, gnarled roots stretching out to create that warm, torturous chamber that beckoned with a purpose. By now Egaro could not recall the memory in particular, only knowing that he had created it, and something felt... uneasy within, as if the memory was more important than he understood.

Leaning forward, he dropped to his hands and knees and crawled carefully into the hole. Immediately he felt the familiar sensation of living insects crawling over his hands and everywhere he touched, crawling into his clothes in their unsettling quest for the oils, prey, and detritus his once-living body could offer them. Though he knew it was an illusion, an experience woven from ectoplasm,

It was so real.
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Re: Distant Horror

There he remained, drawn to the living memory like a moth to flame. Though he knew discomfort, a deeper part of him enjoyed the treatment utterly. ”What am I turning into, now that I lay in a bed of insects that could make lesser men run in horror?” Perhaps this was the deep spiral into emotional madness the other spirits of the dead warned him about, the Phantoms skulking about in the city near to their anchors, the wild beasts once men roaming in search of prey that he gave a wide berth.

As the insects bit, stung, and greased his imagined nerves with their ways, it struck him that the devolution of his soul was not a matter of if he could hold true to himself, but when it would happen. ”It is exhausting to avoid the inevitable. Still, I must at least try, for the sake of the spirits I protect.” At this stage, he shut his eyes and began to rest as the ambient memory played over and over upon his body, like an addict who couldn't say no to something strange yet enthralling.

As he fidgeted in the dark, his body stung and bit all over by the illusion of crawling, oozing life, he thought to his past, whether or not his life until now was worth it all. "I try, I really try to keep to my tenants, but I feel I have changed. Death is as much an agent of change as life was, if only for what is lost, and what is gained in damage to the mind of my mortal soul--was I ever meant to live this long, truly?" A deep, unfulfilling sigh of habit left his nonexistent lungs with no air running through his teeth to satisfy, nor did his chest feel full of air.

”And so the next life begins. Who will this new me become, I wonder?”

Continued in the Pursuit of Hexcellence...
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Re: Distant Horror





Hex: Evocation - Focusing on a memory
Hex: Evocation - Carving a rune as an artistic representation of crafting a memory
Hex: Evocation - A long and draining process
Hex: Evocation - Memories used in the creation of a memory are lost
Hex: Evocation - Evocated memories mimic life, and can be addictive
Materialization: Ingress to the beneath is less taxing than egressing


EXP: 10


I thought it was a nice touch to describe how the arcs had changed the lands. I also liked how you went about experimenting with Hex. Egaro is a great learner if nothing else :) The self awareness of how much he’d changed was also a good thing to mention. It seems like there’s so much for Egaro to do now, he just needs to figure out what he wants. Enjoy the rewards.

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