Running that’s all she had come to know time had lost all meaning there was only the earth beneath her feet and the pounding bursting against her ribs. Her breath stuttered cold and crisp in the darkness, howls sounded behind her growing closer and frantic, NO! She wouldn’t go back she couldn’t the horrors had taken their toll on her already, mind now restless and burning. A doorway glimmered a sudden apparition in the darkness there was no time to hesitate to wonder if what lay beyond would bring more terror, she burst forth willing herself to press that bit further, the adrenaline served her as she fell forth whirling into sweet oblivion before crashing head first onto the earth below. She sputtered the thick suffocating dust of ash and sulfur filling her mouth and nostrils. Her body shook convulsing with the force of her coughing before settling. Her eyes stung as she stared around her something cold and heavy dropping in her stomach, she had no recollection of this wasteland. The earth shook beneath her bare feet hot and devoid of life, scorching the tender flesh of her soles. She hissed jumping slightly feeling idiotic, despite the heat beneath the air was thick and cold oppressing in its nature. Shakily she staggered towards a sharp jagged doorway of sorts. Built from rock it felt both cold and hot beneath her palms, rough in texture. Footsteps sounded to her left causing her to whirl frantically, the move was ill advised causing her to stumble and land awkwardly her body no longer able to withstand any movement. A laugh echoed in the dim light maniac and malicious, she squinted eyes stubbornly adjusting “Wh” she spluttered again the cough catching her by surprise. Cold fingers gripped her skin roughly, she kicked out screaming and tearing unwilling to be held down. A grunt sounded above her merging with hissing before a voice answered her “Be still outlander” the accent was neither male nor female causing a fissure of fear to tear down her chest. She redoubled her efforts, the hissing continued until a blow stunned her rocking her head back with a snap. Pain exploded behind her eyes body becoming limp and useless as she was hauled upwards. Feebly she kicked out feet easily being captured by cold hands. It didn’t take long for her to become aware that there were two, the one whom held her and the one who laughed. “Take her to the tormentor” again the accent was difficult to interpret yet contained a feminine quality. Her captor hissed back the language something she was at a loss to. The pain left her nauseous her stomach swirling with rage and sickness as they moved ambling downwards, her eyes saw only darkness now and then bright lights akin to fire, time passed once more meaningless and sure. She prayed for the pain to ease to call upon her gifts but no answer came. She would not bow to death not after all she had withstood; finally, they stopped a shrill grinding sound echoing loudly around them. The smell hurt causing her eyes to water, fierce like fire and dark, abruptly she was set down, legs slipping across smooth marble. She stumbled falling to her knees with a thud, a dull ache lingering across her body “Well well what have I got today another little wanderer far from home hm?” the voice was female rich with forgotten tongue, her head whipped to the source of the sound, darkness shrouded the figure, creating a silhouette in the dim light. She blinked “Who are you release me” her voice was rough and hoarse, the tone weaker than she wished it to be. Laughter met her words “Release you? strange it was you whom entered our gates little caster” she stiffened “Reveal yourself” silence time ticked onwards, her flesh broke into goose bumps a shiver breaking down her spine “Your heart beats so hard little caster, is it vengeance you seek? you reek of it rage caressing your skin so sweetly tell me caster who do you thirst so desperately for?” She staggered upwards “How do you know of me coward?” anger caused her to hiss eyes frantically fixed on that darkness. A chuckle sounded to her right causing her to a freeze how had she moved so quickly. Slowly the darkness withdrew to reveal a feminine silhouette hair long and dark eyes pale and burning, the sight had her whipping her head to the side instincts screaming that this woman was tainted deadly. “I know a lot about you little caster I have been watching you for some time, my you have gotten yourself into a pickle haven’t you all alone with no means to an end pity really” “Please” the words fumble form her lips before she can prevent it blood chilling at the satisfied smile the woman wears. “Your thirst is so strong caster, so hungry let’s play a game shall we, my master does enjoy such pleasures” “I play no games” her fingers formed fists body straightening breath coming faster as she braces herself for what exactly. Here she was in a foreign land which smelled of death and pain with a woman, a woman whom watched her almost lazily amusement crinkling the corners of her eyes. Those eyes meekly she gathers herself standing upright the woman remains still uncaring of the suddenmovement. How would she escape this time her rage has served her well thus far but now she was tired so tired and yet this woman watched her almostknowing what game did this creature want to play. Silence stretched for a moment and then she feels it like silk, slithering across her scalp penetrating downwards wrapping around her mind in a silken seductive spool. “No” the woman drifted closer now a soft smile curving red lips “ I guarantee you will enjoy this little game of ours “ “ours” her voice comes out meekly she chastises herself “Oh yes, you see I am a mere instrument a hand if you will my master has this little game planned just for you caster don’t you feel honored” Something about the way she says it sends a chill down her spine a tremor to course through her veins. Dark hair is illuminating by fire as shadows catch the creatures face as she turns eyeing her “perhaps I should be honest let’s call it a simple deal” her ears perked with interest deals she was familiar with the notion eases her somewhat and sparks the hunger within her voice “A deal??” Such a perfect thing for you, a chance to hurt those who caused you to burn a chance to claim back your place her eyes lowered body swaying as that voice began to whisper soothing and she found herself agreeing somewhere, in the deep recesses of her mind she knew that something was wrong that she should not listen to this voice and yet she could not resist. “You do understand the term don’t you, my master will give you this vengeance you crave so desperately if you do something for us in turn does this not pique your interest?” Despite her will her heart thrummed with the words Vengeance so sweet and pure take it listen to her she knows, this is a single chance one you must take think of how they will suffer, how you can tear them from their homes and destroy all they hold dear “Yes” the words passed her lips unconsciously “Good now listen carefully, we seek someone they are in youth and so fiery by nature your task will be to obtain this individual and bring them to me intact, should you accomplish this simple task my master will grant you your vengeance” She frowned the offer was tempting yet nothing do ideal could be free the price would be damming and yet Agree do it, why do you hesitate? Do you not crave their end to see them suffer at the hands of the one they betrayed “What is it you seek from this youth” her voice was whisper as she fell lulled by that voice “That is of no concern of yours” for the first time the amusement and nonchalance was gone as the woman took a step towards her almost challenging, on instinct she leaned back fear suppressing any notions of bravery “My apologies” her voice shook as her eyes sought a means of escape stomach churning with the significance of the danger before her. For the first time she considered her surroundings the room was large elegant marble flooring and high ceilings dominated the space a lone chaise sat in the center stray books littering the space around it. The woman gave no indication to her words “In a moment I will cast you away from this haven we have no knowledge as to this individuals location the task will be long, it may take some time but fear not caster your perseverance will reward you greatly, you will not face this task empty handed I shall give you a useful tool a means of both protection and force beasts in clothing if you will, they will serve you and only you however the bond shall sever should you perish though that is unlikely isn’t it” those burning spheres regarded her amused once more. Despite the fear the confusion and pain she grit her teeth in defiance “It shall be done”“Oh excellent I knew you could not refuse” She shivered again licking her lips unconsciously her heart begged for completion her mind whispered that this would be unwise, Yes little caster you have chosen well. Abruptly the woman turned palmsreaching out to grasp her arms the contact had a scream ripping from her lips “I forgot to mention the little matter of sealing our agreement” pleasure coated the words as pain exploded through her veins the scent of magic lay heavy in the air twisted and dark, her soul burned attempting to move as that dark energy wrapped around her bonding her. Never before had she endured such agony and just as suddenly it was over gone was the hands which held her causing her to stumble and fall. A laugh echoed beside her “One more thing the agreement is binding should you fail or stray from your obligation your lips will beg for death, no physical pain you have endured will measure to the torment my master will inflict on your essence, matters of the flesh will pale in comparison, it is what lies beneath which will suffer” her stomach tightened churning with sickness at the flippant amusement and almost glee mirroring the words. For one fleeting moment her lips parted to take back what she had agreed to to run and never return to this tainted place and yet she was already bound even now she could feel the pules wrapping around her veins sinking through to her core. “Don’t forget our terms now caster” burning eyes almost ecstatic she swallowed she hesitated “When will I see you?” the darkness closed in around her abruptly thick suffocating fiery and cool “Oh it will not be long little caster soon the entire land shall blacken and the flesh of the world shall bleed my master is coming, be grateful you have been chosen” she blinked the words drawing a series of alarms to clamor though her mind but before she could speak she was turning as the room flared with light, for a brief moment she thought she could see another figure bound behind shadow and ash with eyes so cold so empty, it was the last image she saw as she was flung body flailing backwards as she was thrown cast out all the while an echoing laugh following her until she knew no more.
“Innocence died the day of his birth, all whom walked in his shadow knew only death and for a time they were forgotten, but forgotten things often return to haunt us” A scripture from the visions of Diana Volume 2.