• Solo • I Must Not Fear (Graded)

Fear is the Mind Killer

21st of Vhalar 719

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I Must Not Fear (Graded)

Litany Against Fear
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear - From Frank Herbert's Dune Book Series
© 1965 and 1984 Frank Herbert
Published by Putnam Pub Group
ISBN: 0399128964
21st of Vhalar 719

The sudden reappearance of the token of his childhood that blasted webbed medallion was a mystery. One that had stoked a fear in Woe that he hadn't felt since the nightmare that was his stay in Yaralon. He didn't know from whence it came, or how it came to him. Speculation did him little right here, other than to chase shadows and see enemies around every corner.

A little fear was beneficial, apprehension, suspicion, these were all similarly colored threads in the tangle. Yet, where they grew dark, into the realm of hysteria and terror, that was where they could prove most deadly to the one suffering their effects. He must avoid that dark center at all costs.

With my aid, you will move beyond these pedestrian emotions. Woe thought to himself and knew then the spark was speaking through himself. You need not be troubled by these twinings of mere mortals. These vestiges of humanity. Grow beyond it, I believe in you.

The Empathy spark often took on a positive aspect, encouraging Woe to grow beyond his morose inclinations. And as tempting as it was to wallow in misery, he couldn't fight this battle against the spark. It had a point, on some level. Had he not given up part of his humanity when he sought to learn magic from Brigantia?

Woe unhitched the dirty leather string from his neck and placed it on his makeshift spider altar, where his wolf spider dwelt, keeping watch on his inner sanctum of sorts in Etzos. There, hung from the candelabra, of eight candles. There it should remain, barring some weird fluke of chance, he would not find it wrapped around his neck again. It was the bane of his existence and should be destroyed as a part of his past that no longer held relevance.

As Woe knelt before the altar, he pondered his fear, he felt for the knot in his tangle that he'd formed earlier, to keep his anxiety in check. Here was the dangerous part. Always a risk when one meddled with magics on oneself. It was one thing to scout out or interfere with another person. It was something else entirely to rearrange and reprogram oneself. Dangerous is what it was.

Yet he allowed that knot to come undone, releasing all the anxiety and fear he'd denied himself. He took a deep breath, letting it wash over him, through him. Anxiety and fright gave way to terror and hysteria. He found himself rebounding along with those fearful hues, from the darker shade to the lighter.

He did not cry out, though he wished to. Woe used his training in behavioral modification, in tandem with the spark's magic, to tame his fear. Little by little, every frightful stimuli that had haunted him of the last few days, was tied into another part of the tangle through Entwinement of the fear with threads of confidence and self-belief.

He hedged himself against the fear slowly, not hemming it off, nor dismissing the concern entirely. To do so would be to deny one of his strengths, his instinct to detect potential disasters. It wouldn't do to reprogram himself with a daredevil personality, would it?

But with every strand of fear, he entwined with confidence, his anxiety became less of a tyrant to rule over him, and more of an advisor to warn him. He thought on things as the alarm continued to flow through him in waves, on things that frightened him. Exposure, crowded spaces, the Raggedy Man...

Yes, he'd met the legendary killer of Etzos. Through some freak accident, when he discovered the Sintra medallion around his neck once more. What a strange bit of serendipity that had been?

He thought on those cold, empty eyes, the dark chains, and cloak around him, signaling some extraordinary magic that ensconced him. He was more than a mere mortal, more than a killer. Like Woe, he knew magic. Unlike Woe, he was far more advanced in his. It shone in his mutations and strange, warped physical body.

The way that man looked at him, the way he spoke to him, Woe recalled to memory. His words were like cold indifference dripping with seething hatred. The softest consolation would be enough to make a child piss himself. Hell, Woe practically evacuated on seeing the way the man looked at his medallion.

From these visions of terror, Woe did not walk away. He kept them in his mind. He wove the threads of fear into the parts of his tangle where confidence lie. He was learning how to hedge his concern with magic. Where the blunt ends of panic and hysteria would've taken hold, he placed the sharper and more refined edges of caution and suspicion. With his magic as his whetstone, he ground the rough burrs of primal anxiety into a weapon that would cut through the fog of horror.

As he walked in horror, he moved from Sintra's shrine. He made his way into the kitchen-turned-office and down the ladder into his torture chamber. There was enough room there that he could practice with his blacksnake. He would use the darkness to inspire fear and the movement of his whip as a trigger. The simple, leather blacksnake whirled through the air as he meditated on the emotional switches. The triggers and mechanisms that would activate his adrenaline.

And as his adrenaline grew, the whip moved faster, his arm's motion more resolute and accurate. Yet nothing good would last forever. His body adjusted to the release of adrenaline through each of these drills. They continued until he had grown used to them. And as he did so, he required greater terrors to run through his mind. He envisioned a set of those dark chains around his body, crushing him, keeping him still as if in some warped spider's web. And there, Raggedy Man would have him at his mercy. He was using karambit or gladius, to butcher him as if he were a hog on a meathook. He would see Magpie behind him, smirking and laughing as the dirty bastard dog tore him to shreds. He thought he could trust Magpie, but now he knew better. There were no friends or trusted allies in Woe's world. He was alone.

So it must be for the Webspinner.

His whip made circles in the air as it knocked aside tools from the shelves. Each little tap of the tip of the narrow unhinged yet another device from the wall. He felt his spite growing. Wary of tangling it up with the fusion of confidence and fear, he ignored it. The exercise was a time for fear. And yet, what greater impetus for anger than fear? He stopped his activities and drills for a moment, taking a second to breathe in the air.

It was gradual, but he calmed down. His adrenaline cooled. After he'd achieved a moment of peace, he was back to the perimeter, the outer edges of his tangle. From there, the more dangerous emotions would not bubble up from the saturated center.

There he remained. Bit after bit, he cleared his mind of those imagined scenarios — spies around every corner, murderers around every bend. There was no one here but Woe, and the darkened walls of his torture dungeon.

This was the place where he felt most comfortable, most himself, and most in control. He held his whip in both hands, by the handle knob with his right, by the narrow coil with his left. He could feel the metal beads inside the core of the whip. Woe erased all thought of anything but the sensations at hand, in his fingers, his toes. The surrounding darkness and the glint of tools on the walls were the faces of those he feared or hated. He was learning to calm his mind, to tame and control his emotions.

Then, when it seemed he'd reached the eye of his storm, he leaped up and began unleashing fury on the wall. He took pieces of memory, bits of everyone who'd spite him in the past. From the time Fridgar had switched places with him in the jail, after tricking him. To Ali... that masked nobleman's sneer as he deconstructed Woe's propositions during the debate game at Cassander's ball. Then onto the imagined treachery of Magpie and the Raggedy Man. He remembered the 'honor' of the Yari, of their brutality and unyielding disregard for the living. For the sanctity of the dead. He had nothing but spite for their ways. They knew nothing of order, nothing of rightful authority. They only answered to blood, so that was what he wished to take from them.

With every lash of the whip, he scored the face of every Yari he knew. He began to experiment with his magics. He entwined and embroidered, mixed the tangle that gave rise to his anger with that of, oddly enough, contentment and happiness. Green and red combined with intensity at first, but he was able to knot them together in such a way that he could use them as a tool. Contentment kept him from going overboard with anger, lent endurance to the strength that his hate lent him.

By the end of his exercises, he'd near mastered his fear and hatred and learned to control them. He wished not to suppress them, as the rebound was of equal value. He had prepared to face death, when next danger found him, and give it an accounting that wouldn't shame him in the process.

word count: 1710
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Re: I Must Not Fear

Review Rewards

Name: Woeful

Points awarded: 10

[*]Discipline: Maintaining a lock on your fear/loathing.
[*]Empathy: Entwine: Weave confidence with fear.
[*]Empathy: Entwine: Weave Anger with Contentment
[*]Empathy: Hem: Controlling the release of fear.
[*]Meditation: Calming down after enduring a torrent of emotion.
[*]Psychology: Fear prompts the body and mind to release a burst of energy.

Injuries: Mmm... maybe some MINOR Overstepping for a trial or two, but Woe seemed pretty in control, here

Wow. For the word count, this was remarkably... packed, I suppose. And you started it with a Dune quote! How could I not enjoy it? I especially loved the almost masochistic aspect of Empathy, delving deeper into your own fears specifically to harness and master them. Using the whip as a meditation tool was a nice touch, also. Now off you go, enjoy your rewards and fear not the Raggedy-Raggedy, that Raggedy Man...

If you have any questions, comments or concerns in regards to this review, feel free to PM.
word count: 167


  • Habitually dressed in boots, breeches, tunic, and cloak.
  • Long hair down to the shoulders, usually swept back or in a rough ponytail
  • Prefers a trimmed beard and mustache


  • Star-shaped scar on each palm.
  • Air around him seems to thicken and become more turbulent the closer a person gets to him.
  • Pitch black eyes, from tear ducts to the pupils.
  • Arms from shoulder to palms appear as if heavy chains are wrapped around them.
  • Wisps of black smoke constantly drifts around his body, forming the rough outline of a cloak. The more agitated he becomes, the thicker the layers get.
    Note: the torch-motif medallion Kasoria wears negates the visible effects of this mutation.
  • Roughly circular pattern across breastbone, constantly transforming, and resettling
  • Sunken, closed eyes in the back of hands; they open when stared at
  • Skin takes on the tone and quality of whatever material he's just Transmuted
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