The Face of the Gorgon

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Rebecca
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The Face of the Gorgon

Postby Rebecca » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:55 pm

Jevran ran and ran, his breathing ragged and a searing pain flowering through his chest. Further down the hill, the undead followed, tireless. What essence the mage had possessed was long gone in his struggle to survive this place, and he felt he would no be able to go on much longer: only fear fuelled his body now.
Suddenly he stumbled and fell. Tears of exhaustion ran from his eyes. It was over.
“Well well, you seem to be in a bit of a pickle”
Jevran’s head jerked upwards. “Who, who is there?” he gasped. But there was no one in sight. Trembling, he glanced towards the rapidly approaching undead. “P-please, whoever you are, help me!”
“Oh, little mortal, you want me to ‘elp you? I could do zat, yes, indeed I could! But why would I do such a sing?”
“I- I have… money? I can pay!”
“Pay?” answered the voice, amused. “Yes, you can pay… but money isn’t what I want.”
The warm tears ran down his face faster than ever. “W-what then? I’ll do anything!”
“Anysing?” Glee streamed through the voice, and barely concealed within it, ravenous hunger. “It is but little I require of you… a vow of faiss, and a snippet of your mind… nossing more, nossing less. Pledge yourself to me, and allow reality itself to bend and conceal you from ‘arm.”
“My mind?” Jevran asked, suddenly more afraid of this unseen creature than he was of his pursuers. “What are you?” he whispered. And with that, the mage felt divine energies surge through every fibre of his being.
A demon woman stepped out of her magical concealment into visibility, black and lustrous wings rising against the skies of the Hopewastes, dark ichor running from her eyes upon purple skin. Divine magic flowed heavily from her being as she looked down on him.
“I was a mortal creature once, made by a god, now becoming one: I am ze Gorgon. Give yourself to me. Do this, and I shall defend you; worship my name, and you will ‘ave my blessing. Give up ze weaker part of your mind and be faithful to my divinity, and you need no longer be a slave to zis reality zat would strip you of your existence. What say you?”
Delicate, silver-tipped claws were extended towards the shaking human. “What say you?”
The undead were upon him. One lunged. “YES!” he screamed in terror.
There was a flash. A blast of power bent the air, and the undead, which, by every rule of logic, should have collided with the mage, seemed to distort around him and pass smoothly to his other side. It continued to swipe at him, but the effect remained the same each time: reality rippled around him.
He stared into the true face of the Gorgon, the one that had been revealed when, hearing his pledge, she had ripped away its fleshy coverings. Dark tendrils of power touched his mind, unspun it, and wove its threads through his reality, deforming it. In the space that remained where that shard of mind had once been, there grew a mirror image of that part of the Gorgon’s mind which he beheld.
“Do you see?” She asked, smiling as her upper face began to reform.
“I see, my Lady” he answered.
“Zen go fors, and bring my terms and my blessing to ozers. When I ascend, zose of you who pledged yourselves to me in ze early days shall rise wiz me as my Chosen ones.”
Jevran bowed, and, twitching slightly, walked away into the Hopewastes, drawing on the power as he went… and as he did so, his mind continued to warp.
The figure on the hilltop watched him go. Where should she head next? Perhaps one of those settlements full of those denied entry into the Bastion. Yes, the people there might be amenable. Desperate or corrupt, or both. There was another flash of magic, and she vanished from sight.
Uukumanu - ranger and spirit seeker
Tuvstarr - Black Queen of Pharon Glos
Imliss - High Elven researcher in Blood Magic
Aetheldred - Sorcerer and psychomancer, daughter of the Völva of the Blood of Alfhild

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Rebecca
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Re: The Face of the Gorgon

Postby Rebecca » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:45 pm

The first settlement was one of ramshackle hovels surrounded by makeshift barricades, filled with perhaps three score inhabitants. The first to feel the shift in power were the mages, naturally attuned to such variations. The flow of divine energy sent their senses reeling, and those celebrants who had lost their link to their god sank to their knees, weeping with renewed pain at their loss. The Possessed jerked and turned, alerted to something kindred in the nature of this divinity. Waves of magic thundered over the settlement until even the peasants sensed the arrivant. The lines of space began to twist, and the inhabitants felt themselves drawn to the centre of their settlement, summoned partly by the pull of divine power and partly by some strange, niggling desire of their own they could not quite name.

There stood the demoness, smiling widely, wings quivering with excitement.
“Perished mortals, I offer you liberation from your fears. I am ze Gorgon, I am ze demigod of Pandemonium, Realm of Madness. Pledge yourselves to me, allow me to remove ze lesser part of you in my ascension, and I will bind zis reality in service to your desires. It will defend you, and you shall be saved.”

One man stepped forwards. He had a rugged countenance, and he squinted at her suspiciously. “Demigod? Liberate us? You may have power, but how do we know you speak the truth? You may be one more creature of this damnable place, bent on devouring us, or our souls, or whatever it is those things out there want.”

She turned towards him. “A pertinent question.” One clawed hand reached up, digging into the flesh behind one ear. It ripped her face aside.
The man fell to the ground screaming, his flesh putrefying before the settlers’ eyes until each bloated cell collapsed under its own weight and the body broke in a burst of slime. But besides him, two others had fallen to their knees, gibbering with their hands clasped before them, expressions of beatitude upon their faces. About them her energies swirled, leaving them unharmed amid the whirling images that sprung forth in each eddie of reality, impossible life forms sprouting and disappearing, creatures wavering upon spindle thin legs of azurite, or else silvered limbs that swam like eels; images of landscapes so alien they left the watchers dizzied and sickened.

She looked back to the rest of the crowd. “And now you have seen: I will have no doubt, only faith. Faith in me will save you. Faith before and above all else.”


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


The shantytown stood empty. Now, all around the Hopewastes, settlements lay abandoned.

The Exodus had begun. The time of the great congregation would soon be at hand.
Uukumanu - ranger and spirit seeker
Tuvstarr - Black Queen of Pharon Glos
Imliss - High Elven researcher in Blood Magic
Aetheldred - Sorcerer and psychomancer, daughter of the Völva of the Blood of Alfhild

User avatar
Rebecca
Posts: 352
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:37 am
Location: London/Sheffield
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Re: The Face of the Gorgon

Postby Rebecca » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:37 pm

Odd sights would have met any who ventured near the east coast of Gweria over the following weeks. Large groups of people could be spotted dragging gigantic black stones from the sea: these stones were not of any matter known to the world of Velmaneth, but of one specific to the spirit realm of the Hopewastes, with lustrous depths that resembled moonbeams in swamp water. Neither did the teams pulling the sledges on which these stones were placed progress across the land continuously, but appeared to lurch as if space itself contracted and expanded about them.

They dragged their loads to the cliffs where the fortress of the Well of Echoes would have stood in the land of the living; and, slowly, there grew a monstrous acropolis.
Those who beheld it from afar shuddered, and called it the Crawling City. Looking up, an outsider would have received an impression of impossible geometries, vast surfaces spanning over distances too great for the eye to follow, yet compressed onto that single hill. It didn’t fit. Entry would have been unachievable to any who didn’t have the particular blessing of the presiding entity, and those who tried would perish in an unnatural labyrinth filled with angles that shouldn’t be capable of existing; that appeared obtuse, but behaved as if they were acute, trapping the unawakened; diagonal planes that turned out to be sheer drops, or convulsed in other manners still. Demonic figures flickered about its margins, ready to guide those who might wish to offer up their application for entry, knowing that a trickster could easily be abandoned to the appetites of these crawling monuments.

At night, greenish light twisted in the air above the city, blazing above the Pyramid – that is, what would have been a pyramid, if parallel lines could truly meet like that in any sane universe – which dominated the land about, radiating material darkness as well as light. In the streets, the revellers danced in an unholy celebration, driven to frenzy by the exhortations of the purple-robbed priests.

At the heart of the Pyramid, the Gorgon lay back in her throne of carven serpentine, holding court with the greatest amongst her faithful, basking in this massive manifestation of faith. Where her wings had once been, there now streamed the same liquid darkness that coalesced above the city, streaking purple, green and gold about the chamber as divine power throbbed through them in ever greater quantities.
Uukumanu - ranger and spirit seeker
Tuvstarr - Black Queen of Pharon Glos
Imliss - High Elven researcher in Blood Magic
Aetheldred - Sorcerer and psychomancer, daughter of the Völva of the Blood of Alfhild


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