|Name:||Walk Into Madness|
A short story by Zombiejiger that fits into Metafantasy.
Note: This story was recovered from the ruins of a castle on the planet known as earth. It has since made it's way into the Library of Life and Death in Necropolis. The manuscript was penned by the human form of an Eldritch Thing named Charolaeavn.
Ah, I see that you have found this small book of mine. Let me introduce myself. I have been known as many things during my long, long life. You can call me Archduke Carolus, as that was my title and name during the events of the records you are reading now. Be warned if you are weak of mind, you'll find this story to be quite shocking.
I was an Archduke in the realm of Ogan (Such an beautiful name) on the supposedly flat world called Terra (I sincerely hope you have realized the truth that my associates and I realized long ago, the world is round. The imbeciles of that time never listened to a higher mind). I had great wealth, owned a castle and commanded two dozen knights in my service. Not only that but I was regarded as one of the greatest sorcerers of the time (And I was). All was mine to own, but something was missing.
What, you ask? You'd think I had everything. A castle of sparkling black stone that glistened in the starlight, many stories tall and filled with lavish decorations. A personal guard and army, answerable only to me and the King. But I needed something else!
A companion was what I desired. Maybe for different reasons than you think, however. Anyways, I spent all of my years as Archduke in my castle, reading and learning in the ways of the ancient magicians, those with powers and abilities so great and bold. Thrice every year I would go to the King's court for the display of wizardry and would display my prowess before the kingdom. But I knew I had no equal here or anywhere else in the realm.
Until one year I met her. Baroness Gloriana. She was perfect, but as I said earlier... different reasons. We met in the court as I performed, showing the latest spell I'd perfected. I could cast a dragon from blue fire and send it whirling around the room, but not a hair or thread would be singed. Magnificent indeed. The Baroness had a distinct interest in the magical arts, and so we struck up a conversation afterwards.
She wished to learn more, and of course I obliged. I could tell something was special about her - I could see it in her eyes. They were bright and blue, beautiful and piercing. Perfect. Within them I could see such potential, the doorway to a world far beyond what she could imagine. And I held the keys. We talked of magic, spells and charms.
"How did you come to be so talented?" She asked.
"I've had innate talent since birth," I replied. "Although not all magic is inborn. I could even teach you some simple spells, if you wish."
"Really? Well I accept!"
"Excellent!" I grinned. "When do you wish to start the training?"
"In a week, exactly two weeks before the stars align?"
Absolutely perfect. A week later she travelled to my castle with her entourage of guards and handmaidens. And so we started the lessons, starting with creating light from the palm. A simple parlor trick, for one of my superior talents.
The Baroness caught on quickly, much to my satisfaction. She was shaping up to be better than I had expected. And so we continued, on and on and on for months. As I said, she was an excellent learner. Soon we moved on from lights to casting fire to a simple form of hydrokinesis. This she particularly enjoyed, and delighted in forming shapes with the rainwater after the storms.
Eventually we began to take walks through the forests surrounding my castle. Here I taught Gloriana of the innate abilities of the animals and of their small, bright souls. We did this for months, and soon her skills were as those of the lesser magicians. The night before the stars would align, I took her hands in mine.
"Walk with me one last time."
She started. "Last time? What do you mean? Are you leaving?"
I smiled. "I'll explain as we walk."
So we walked through the forest, gazing at the stars as they shone through the trees.
"I must leave soon. Tomorrow, in fact," I said. "But I have one last thing to show you."
"Might I ask what it is?"
"You might, but I won't tell you." I smiled slyly. The Baroness laughed.
"Well, I'll just have to guess. So where are you going tomorrow?"
"Home. I'm returning home for the first time in what seems one thousand years."
"I'll be sad to see you go, but I hope you enjoy it."
"Oh, I will. It will be a shame to have to leave one like you."
The Baroness giggled as I grinned down at her.
We walked on in silence for a while longer, until we reached a clearing in the woods. I gave an exaggerated flourish.
"And we are here! Now watch!"
She never felt a thing. I shifted to my true, fragmented form, the broken remains of what my brethren reduced me to. The Baroness, with her perfect blue eyes, had the innate power to feed me. As I said, she never felt a thing. Lost her mind, poor soul. Must have been the shock of my tentacles and third mouth. But a worthy sacrifice, for no longer was I trapped on this accursed world, marooned by my brethren so long ago!
Alright, so now I'm sure you're wondering what exactly I am. Mortals call me an Eldritch Thing, among various other names, as I have mentioned. Long ago my comrades stripped me of my wondrous powers and left me alone, broken and shattered. Over the years I fed upon the humans containing magic to regain my strength. I acquired a human form, no longer to haunt in the night.
At the time of this story, I regained my freedom and returned to the stars on this fateful night. Do not worry. I have taken human form only once more, to leave this manuscript within my castle. A warning to foolish mortals who may think highly of their magic. Despite what you may think, I, Charolaeavn, am not wicked as some of my race. Norr-Sarga in particular, now she hates you creatures. And remember... things you don't understand lurk within the universe, and if you call upon us with impunity, we will devour you...