Friday, June 06, 2008

He who is the Land

Another excerpt from The Tome of Strahd deciphered by Naaran...

I stood there, watching the struggles of the three women I had bound to the altars surrounding me grow weaker and weaker as I watched their lifeblood drained from their necks. As I watched the blood flow down carefully cut flutes to fill an intricate channel on the floor I licked my bloody lips, savoring the holy blood that stained them. The blood of these three women was as holy as one might expect from a saint, and stung my undead lips faintly in a subtle ecstasy that almost reminded me of some of the delicacies I enjoyed in life.

One by one the saints of this land stilled in death; their blood continuing to flow out of their lifeless forms, shriveling them and desiccating their corpses, transforming them into hideous disfigured husks. Continuing with the ritual, I began to chant, and the pattern at my feet started to pulse and glow with an unholy light and I could feel power crackle in the air. Faint lines of smoke began to trail from the corpses of the women toward me, encircling me, twining about my form like a lovers caress. Small arcs of electricity began to flash in the thickening haze, causing my weak minded servants to cower against the walls in fear. But their fear was not shared by their Master! No, I could feel my powers strengthening as I sapped the very powers these women sought to protect to further bolster the might that I gained through my dark pact that led to my undeath!

With an unexpected suddenness, powerful bolts of lightning arced out from my body to strike each woman full in the chest! The shriveled bodies of the three saints began to jerk and convulse as though still alive, simultaneously arching their backs against the altars they were bound to and letting loose pain and hate filled shrieks that echoed around the chamber. I watched, rapt, as their chest cracked open with a horrible snapping noise, prune-like lumps of darkest red emerging from the holes to hover in the air above each figure. With newfound insight taken from the land I realized that what I had just witnessed, what I had just been the impetus for, was the creation of three creatures, not of undeath, but of the underworld. I watched as one by one the hate and malice filled eyes of the three newly created hags slid open to fasten on the blood red stones that had once been their hearts, hovering inches above them.

It was then that I forced oaths, bound by the powers of Barovia, from them to serve me as stewards to the fanes of this land that I had twisted to my own designs. I know they loathe me and seek my death at any cost, but I know too that they are bound to me, and to this land, and cannot stand against my power, even combined as one. I regret only that the ritual was flawed; I control the powers of the land of Barovia, but my keys to that power are tied up in the shriveled hardened hearts of those three disgusting wretches. I do gain some pleasure however, knowing that the hags who hate me so will defend my power to their deaths just to protect their once blessed hearts…

1 comment:

scott said...

Wow. That's an awesome journal entry.