The Horror in the Mirror

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The Horror in the Mirror

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:45 pm

Lorr Silja shuddered as he turned away from the mirror. He fastened the buttons of his shirt and slowly returned the black gloves to his hands. The scars were bleeding a dark ichor that betrayed a poisonous infection. "I should be dead," he admitted.
Facing away from his pale reflection, he thought about the piece of orichalcum lodged in his chest, near to his heart. "I am a broken man and I dare not recall what transpired after the voices entered my very being. The suaven... The fashuva... So much hate. So many voices..."

The mirror had been brought to his rooms after he requested his dearest sister's staff to provide one. She had had all of the mirrors removed, perhaps out of concern for his mental health, and they would not bring any until he threatened them, yelling loudly enough to open the gap keeping his neck attached to his right shoulder. The gap had already healed but it had proven how weak the binds and the stitches were.

He thought about returning to the reflection but sat down in a comfortable high chair across the room.

"I owe her my life. I owe her my life but nothing else. Therefore I will not take her life, unless she kills me first." Lorr felt an itch under his left armpit and when he scratched it, a long worm-like horror poked out. He removed it from inside of him with a horrified half-shriek. "Am I dead?! Am I coming undone?!? What has happened to me after the voices and breaths overwhelmed my mind? If only someone knew, had witnessed enough to tell me... I know that I could recall it now, I can feel the memories pressing in the back of my healing brain, and yet I dare not explore these dark reaches again."

"I owe Zsanosz my life too. I won't claim Insult or Injury against him for his betrayal. Business is business though and I shall deal with him as needed. I suppose I can trust him enough to keep me alive again. Ah! If only I had my youth and the strength to control my lands again! I hold the titles necessary but no one quite knows how weak I am, or if they do, they see no need to tear me apart once and for all."

His hand brushed the Yaseri relic. Her whispers were soothing him. When he heard her, the other voices echoed quietly in his skull unintelligibly and he could concentrate. However, as the Suaven of Truth, Yaseri offered something he barely had the courage to face: what he had become...

"Am I a tulpa? A spectre? A puppet? Is this Shanri real? Is it a fantasm sprung forth from the mind of Iyl?" he would ask... The answers were always the same, and he shuddered each time he heard the truth, for the truth frightened him more than anything else he had ever faced.
"Sparrow, I'll call you back. I've just gutted a man with a shard of wood and I need to make sure he's dead... I think you're right, Sparrow. I am a bad, bad man..."
~~Dr. Xander Crowe, WORMWOOD.
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The Morning after the Empress' Althua

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:24 am

The Morning after the Empress' Althua:

Lorr woke up groggy in his lavish room at his sister Isla's castle. The screams of the Suaven were not intelligible in his dreams, but their symbolism and imagery was truly devastating to his psyche. Reality, as painful as it was, started becoming a relief from the mental and emotional torture of the dreams they sent him. If only they would let him face them individually instead of as an overwhelming force.

"So much for Sorcery," Lorr said out loud. "The Operas were right. The obsession ven have with the Sorcerer Kings ultimately leads to Doom... So many examples among my peers. I dare not name them all for fear that they might hear me..."

Lorr sat up in his bed, looking down at the stitches. He said to himself, "In the end, Art is Truth. Beauty is Truth. Art will set me free from this unbearable Wrath." His fingers lingered on the orichalcum piece and he felt it move slightly, as if it were a puzzle box unlocking from the slightest touch. Lorr sighed and whined "Ah! More Sorcery... Removing this little mystery from my chest would surely prove fatal. Hmm, well perhaps. I suppose I may not be able to die, at least not the conventional way. When I rid myself of the Wrath that torments me, then I will deal with this device. Until then, I must rest, and I must think."

Lorr called out to servants who brought him a large breakfast. He ate slowly and carefully, not bothering to cover his wounds, cuts and sutures for the sake of the veth. He noticed how scared of him they were.

When they left, he touched the orichalcum piece in his chest, and smiled the smile of artists inspired by the vast potential of Beauty. At last, he had a plan.
"Sparrow, I'll call you back. I've just gutted a man with a shard of wood and I need to make sure he's dead... I think you're right, Sparrow. I am a bad, bad man..."
~~Dr. Xander Crowe, WORMWOOD.
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Re: The Horror in the Mirror

Postby wunderworks » Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:34 am

A letter had arrived. It sat almost quivering on the silver platter waiting. It was the veth's hand that was shaking, but the effect made him uneasy.

The letter was on pure white crisp paper, the most expensive, and the calligraphy was perfect without being too ostentatious. It was from Zsanosz.

It began:

Dearest Lorr,

Though this is not common between our people I wish to ask you to forgive me. I believe I am wrong. You did not try to sully my honor. I apologize. The facts only came to my attention recently, and I had wanted to act on them earlier, but your nefarious contraption kept me from telling you. And so I wish to offer you a favor in return for your forgiveness. Your sister, Isla, helped me collect your body and repair it as well as it could be repaired. I dared not stay at her castle any longer than nec. for fear of other issues coming to light, and at the time, I was unable to find a suitable place to house you. That, and Isla's rather enthusiastic guards helping me place your bits and pieces in one of her wagons.

I know what troubles you now. I feared that it would fall on me for even helping you. But I do not think the Suaven unjust. But they can be roused to anger, and I know of a way to sooth them. To release the hatred that has accumulated within a person. The Sajakvir Jorja. The Reverent White Hands, the holy Suaven action, the journey towards reverence and peace. It is the journey many Q'Val undertake. It is the reason many become Q'Val in the first place, not realizing that one does not need to be Q'Val to step along the pilgrim's path.

I know a Q'Val, he is rough, uncouth, and far too often silent. But he is devoted, more than almost any other I have seen. He can show you the steps along the path. Not all of them, for as I have learned, the path for each is different. And yours will be far longer than most. But it is something I can help you with. A gift I offer you in hopes to assuage your anger towards my rash and youthful actions. But if it does not, it is still a gift. Something I give you freely, with no determination of receiving anything in return.

If you wish to take the first steps along this journey than speak to Usagi, Q'Val of Ashthuura Thorne. I have it on good intelligence that he will be at the next Althua. I know you may not have planned to attend. I surely will not, but if you desire this, than I know for certain that the fellow Usagi will be at this particular Althua. It appears to be a base, common, and popular party, full of veth, and travelers Unnamed, but it will be where you can begin your journey.

May you find silence,

Zsansoz Steele
Author of World of Dew a samurai noir sequel to John Wick's Blood & Honor

"Forbearance is the root of quietness and assurance forever. "
~ Tokugawa Ieyasu ~
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Re: The Horror in the Mirror

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:19 pm

Lorr was decidedly amused by the reactions he was getting from the servants. Would they begin avoiding him or would the pride in working for their mistress overcome their fear? Another possible thing Lorr could play with and pass the time.

He took the letter from the reflective platter and breathed a dismissal to the servant, who escaped quickly, embarrassed to have become afraid of Lorr's thinner frame.

Lorr recognized the letter and style right away, and his eyes betrayed caution when reading it. He read it twice, realizing he held his breath at certain passages. The memory of the machine, the "nefarious contraption" were still hazy. Blood. And the grinding of gears. Pain. And the unbearable screaming.

Lorr called for a servant to bring a chalice and the finest wine his sister Isla would let him indulge in. A few minutes later, the same servant returned with what he asked.

He began writing a reply.
"Sparrow, I'll call you back. I've just gutted a man with a shard of wood and I need to make sure he's dead... I think you're right, Sparrow. I am a bad, bad man..."
~~Dr. Xander Crowe, WORMWOOD.
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Re: The Horror in the Mirror

Postby Nihilistic Mind » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:32 pm

Lorr wrote in a speedy and careless manner, composing excitedly, as if composing an opera, the muse inspiring him and his pen and ink blots trying to catch her.

"Dearest Friend,

"I can count on one hand the blessings I have and you are one of them. There is little to forgive but a misunderstanding, Zsanosz, and if anything the actions you took to ensure my safety beyond the curse that befell me speaks louder than your anger and frustration ever did when you terminated our contract. I could never find a valet as valuable as you. I almost feel that my error was in promoting you at all, and thus changing the order of things, but I know better than that.

"I admit that my sister has been caring, almost kind, though that comes with the territorial threat of being siblings, at least in her eyes. To me, she is family. To her, I shall remain Mother's favorite, and thus a threat. She is not a duchess yet either, and I'm quite certain this poses a problem to her. Her self-esteem is so fragile when it comes to the subject of me. As protective as she has been, I imagine the price of saving my life, with or without your help, will appear to me more clearly when I try to leave her care.

"But my body is mending itself nicely. As you suspected, it is my mind that has not yet mended itself fully. I fear that the burnt, grey devil that is my destructive ally will haunt me. He was an enemy of my sister and I offered him shelter, as was required of me. I protected all of you by keeping him close. Alas, the song of the Sorcerer-Kings sang freely when I was nearest him and his dreaded book. And yet, while the memories leading up to the greatest Althua Shanri has known thus far are still vague, the exact events and working of the machine and how it all worked seems more like a dream to me than anything else.

"And yet, here I am, alive. Mostly logical and sane. But as you can tell, the wrath of the Suaven afflicts me deeply and is at all times my greatest concern. I will therefore follow your suggestion and seek the man Usagi. I will likely need to pilgrimage for a long time, perhaps until I myself fall into Solace. I am ready to accept my fate. Among the hateful whispers, there is one which continues to guide me. She has been gentle. And then, there is the other one, but her words are like poisoned honey to me now. Inviting but false.

"Thank you kindly, dearest Friend Zsanosz. I owe you most everything.

"Lorr
"Sparrow, I'll call you back. I've just gutted a man with a shard of wood and I need to make sure he's dead... I think you're right, Sparrow. I am a bad, bad man..."
~~Dr. Xander Crowe, WORMWOOD.
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