Hearing the sound of the shutter breaking, the baron snapped out of his thoughts and rushed to close the window and seal his room from the raging storm. It was not that he minded the trenchant wind filling his chambers, or the cold of the rain that hit on his flesh like a million tiny hammers, they were quite insignificant to his  unearthly existence. What bothered him was the screaming sound of the tempest, which was greatly distracting him from planning all the intricate steps that where needed to achieve the goal at hand.

After he shut the casement, the sound limited significantly and apart from the hollow whistling coming from outside, the space acquired a more seclusive atmosphere. The baron stood still lost in his thoughts, as he was looking through the glass at the lightless fields around his keep. He was still slightly irritated, but it was not the sound this time, but something else. Something that was always there, always lurking in the back of his head. It was like an insatiable hunger forever howling inside his gut, or like an unquenchable thirst constantly scratching his throat. Surely, he could reduce it from time to time, but he knew very well that he could never get rid of it.

"My lord..." said a soft whisper coming from the door. The baron turned and looked at the speaker knowing full well that he would not she a thing. He knew that the speaker, his servant, was an invisible outlandish conjuring, a creature of shadow with no real subsistence in this world.

He only nodded and the servant replied, "your guests are in the reception hall for quite a while and etiquette requires for your presence...".

"Do they have the item?"the baron said eagerly.

"They do..." responded the shade with its colorless tone.

The Baron exhaled a fake breath and quickly opened the window with a mighty motion. His next words were cloaked as the storm violently burst inside the room. They must wait a bit longer".

"Where shall I say you went?" asked the creature.

"To hunt"

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The priestess knelt over the steaming pot, boiling with bellaroot and mushade, and took a deep breath of the fumes. She closed her eyes and let the numbness take her. After a while but soon enough she felt that familiar sensation that was like falling into a pit of tar, into the black nothingness, into the Abyss. She opened her eyes, but she could not see, and started walking towards no particular direction, as she would always do when visiting her goddess's domain.

For a time the only sound she had for company was the tranquil splash her bare feet made when touching that liquid shadow this ghastly place had for soil. And then she felt it. That awfully powerful presence that filled the space like a tide of doom and despair. Suddenly, fear was the only thing she knew, a fear so grate and unrelenting, that touched the borders of insane euphoria and made her want to reap her own heart out as offering to the being responsible for all that chaos.

Into the deep darkness she could now make out eight long silhouettes, like giant slender daggers of glistering black carapace, stabbing the ground and supporting a monstrous black body. The priestess knew the figure of her goddess all too well, and she run closer to the giant form, craving for just a glimpse of her divine face.

And there it was, in all its horrible beauty and perfection, an elf-like body growing waste up over the black spider bulk. The goddess's skin was as dark and smooth as policed obsidian, and from her head ,like hair, sprung silver web, covering her breasts and shoulders. Two glorious black orbs, emptier than death and at the same time full of power, were the goddess's eyes, but they were not looking at the priestess. They were destructed, looking at something indefinable, something small that stood between her feet. The goddess stretched her hand, trying to reach for it, but for some reason she could not, as if there was an invisible barrier protecting it from her grasp.

The priestess went closer to look and soon enough she stood right over it. Her eyes widen as the divine knowledge was getting carved into her mind and into her soul.

Right then and there, in to the edge of existence, for the first time in her life the priestess was sure, she knew exactly what she should do.

 

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Published in Bloodvale