Rising Wrath

Footpads and Fireballs

Things are getting more and more disturbing. It was weird coming into an ancient Thassilonian ruin and finding a statue that was a perfect likeness of me, except dressed as a wizard and with an expression that can best be summed up as “homicidal.” But then the dreams started, and they’re getting worse. But even dreams was nothing compared to what happened today.

I’ve been traveling with that paladin that Amethyst was looking for, the one who she thought was her boyfriend and who seems to view himself as a ladies man. I’m going to have to bug him to let her down gently and not break her heart, she really is too sweet a girl for that and doesn’t deserve to be led on by a womanizer… but I digress. We were traveling, and got waylaid by bandits. I am sorry to say that we were completely overwhelmed. I rather miss Hope and our companions… they made for good (if occasionally aggravating company), and there was always a sense that we could depend on each other and that we could work our way out of most situations we encountered.

That, it appears, is no longer true. We were tied up and taken to their hideout, a camp in the middle of the forest. There were no prospects for rescue, and the prospects for escape were dim. Fortunately, the bandits decided to have a party, and I managed to persuade a particularly drunken one to untie me so he could sleep with me. Everything was going well, up until the point that one of them noticed that their comrade had gone into the bushes and hadn’t come out. My attempt at throwing my voice to sound like a drunken bandit was not successful.

They told me to come out, and I didn’t have much choice. They were going to kill me anyway the next day, but they decided to do it then and there instead. I felt anger, and fear… anger that these scummy bandits were about to kill me and my traveling companion, that we had allowed ourselves to be caught, that I could not even have the pleasure of selling my life dearly and dying with a weapon in my hand… and fear that I would never find out who I was, that I would never see Hope again, that I would never listen to Sheriff Hemlock bark orders at me again, that I would never get to drink another mug of cider or ale in the Rusty Dragon, never get to listen to Ameiko’s stories of her adventuring days or her music nights where she’d pull out her shamisen and play all night long, never get to listen to Shalelu’s stories of her own adventures, of goblin hunts and travels far and wide… I couldn’t stand that. I knew I was about to die, and that I could do nothing about it.

And then the voice came.

I blacked out and found myself standing in darkness. From somewhere around me, a voice called out, but I couldn’t tell exactly where it came from, nor could I see who spoke. The voice was horrifying… it sounded a little like me, but yet not me, or perhaps me if I’d been born an arrogant, nasty bitch. Her voice was foul and evil-sounding, full of mockery and disdain for me. She asked me if I wanted to live or die. I said I wanted to live, but not if it meant giving up my soul to whatever this thing was. And that’s when she finally appeared… it was like looking into a mirror, except with my face twisted into a sneer, my eyes full of rage and hatred and madness and a lust for blood and battle. She reached out and grasped my head, pulling herself closer so her face was right in front of mine. “Don’t worry, sweetheart,” she said, “this one’s for free.”

And then I blacked out for real, and knew no more.

When I came back to myself, it was to a sight that looked like a painting of hell. The entire camp had been obliterated in what looked like a massive fireball. Everything was flattened; the nearby trees were on fire; there weren’t even the screams of dying men, because they were all dead already. The smell of their burning flesh, on the other hand, was definitely still around. Curiously, my companion was completely unharmed, even though he should have been right in the path of the fireball. I could only stand there in a kind of daze, looking at the destruction that I was apparently responsible for.

I was jolted back to reality by a scream. The drunken bandit who had wanted to have his way with me must have woken up just in time to see me apparently unleash fiery death on his companions, or at least soon enough to see the aftermath, and realize that he wanted to get away from me as quickly as possible. He took off running in the opposite direction. There seemed little point in chasing him; enough people had died for one night, and I thought that after what he’d seen, perhaps he’d be scared straight.

I know practically nothing about my own past, nor this thing with my voice and my face that is lurking about in my head. All I know about her is that I don’t like her one bit. She might have saved my life, but I don’t imagine there was any kindness involved, only self-interest. Perhaps, since she has taken up residence in my head, if I die then so does she, or at the very least she would be inconvenienced by my death. I don’t even know what this thing is, but I know enough to be wary and suspicious of it.

I wish Hope were here. It would be nice to have someone to confide in, someone who I could tell these things to and who wouldn’t look at me like I was crazy… well all right, Hope might look at me like I was crazy, or make one of her snarky, deadpan comments, but she wouldn’t run off screaming. She would probably have something useful to say, or at the very least she would just be there to listen, and then to say something funny to lighten the mood once I’d finished. Like it or not though, Hope isn’t here right now, and I’m not sure she’d still be in Sandpoint even if I turned around right now and went back.

No, I must press on… though when I find out about my past, I wonder if I am going to like the answer. There is some other me, or at least something that has borrowed my face lurking around in my head… and I really hope that when this is over, that that thing isn’t in charge.

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