To Make a Body
Time was irrelevant. It was as if Beren existed in both the present past and future, but to a minor degree of a few days. A state of anticipation and dread filled his mind as he desperately clung to his very being. The sensation of losing himself and ceasing to exist crossed his mind more than once. A fleeting spirit form, an abomination upon the very earth and a spite upon the creator himself. He could not retell the events that led him to the underground crypt of the pygmy, nor the sensation of tirelessly staring at his rotting decapitated head upon a wooden table. The candle next to it barely illuminating the face of a transfixed angered stare with eyes wide open.
“Not too often do we get to stare into our own eyes eh?”
Beren remained silent, the last time he spoke inside the crypt he recalled the walls moving in a fashion similar to an earthquake. It did not frustrate him, he was never a long winded individual in his mortal life. In fact his villagers raised him as an orphan, ever since his family died in the civil war against the Scorn.
Regaining his focus the abomination known as Riken, stumbled around in its stable hissing in a sense of approval, as Vex made a cheerful sound. Following his eyes back to the little pygmy he noticed her hard at work over a human corpse. Her open grimoire glowing an odd green, giving intent of an obvious effect of necromantic magic.
In his mortal life Beren would have run at the thought of such foul god forsaken magic. Why he followed in suit was more a sense of purpose, to ease the odd sense of passing time that he had no control over. He has only heard of myths and legends surrounding magic and non human creatures. He was aware of the barbaric ogres to the far mountainous south and the strange humanoid avian birds to the north, from whence his kingdom would often go to war with. But since then they have all been wiped out almost extinct, the strength of the human race prevalent and absolute.
His thoughts were put off once more as an odd sound of exploding flesh caught his attention. Bits of flesh scattered around the room as organs and other entrails littered the ground and walls of the crypt room they occupied. The few lanterns around the room were covered in blood and necrotic slime, the bright yellow light escaping turned a dark shade of red. The room felt more ominous for the setting it was already established in, as the walls danced with the illumination of dripping oozing blood.
“Heh, I guess it’s a good thing my matron is not here to witness this.” Vex grumbled as she pulled out some rags and began wiping off the lanterns and her work place. She seemed to go about her business as though this was the social norm for her. Beren watched with interest as she hummed a tune in the back of her rough throat as she moved in quick motions, with an eager and utter determined look on her face.
Beren’s thoughts wondered to the events leading up to the preacher escaping him. His transfixed anger and despair still caught in the moment of him escaping his grasp. He had no leads other than obvious followers of Scorn influence and a name of a mage, Covon. Sitting in a levitating stance with his legs crossed he drummed his fingers on his knee trying to coax his anger to subside. The events in his mind playing over and over again with only the rotten head in front of him to remind him once more.
Beren looked to the side and noticed the sunlight entering from the creak of the crypt door. His perception of time baffled him once more as what he could assume was hours passing within minutes. Vex gingerly walked up to Beren and presented him a rather peculiar leg, as she took a knee before him. As if a squire offering a sword to his knight, Beren felt an odd emotion of humor in the pit of his soul.
“Human anatomy is rather fickle and not easy to transition and be useful.” She stated as she rolled the leg around in her hands showing Beren the fruits of her labor. The leg looked human enough save for the missing skin and limited amount of muscle showing. An unusually large glowing tendon and metal rods running up and down the length of the leg from the femur to the ankle were to note. She slowly bent the leg to simulate the reflex and flexibility of the extremity. Pulling out a small hammer she gently tapped on the bone. “I reinforced the bone to be denser, since your body won’t have much use for bone marrow.” She stated with a smirk her glowing yellow eyes sparkling back at him waiting for some sort of approval.
Beren stated as the room shook slightly in response to his deep ghastly voice, suddenly startling Riken the abomination within his make shift stable. Vex giggled to herself as she cooed at her pet and went back to her work. Beren watched her affair for a long while, his gaze finally removed from his decapitated head. He wondered what she meant by her matron along with how such necromantic energies worked. Fascinated he watched as she worked tirelessly on the next leg, then to the arms making them all appear similar but with a monstrous appeal. Her grimmoir turning from page to page seamlessly on its own in hopes of keeping up with her quick hands. If he were to adorn this corpse that she was shaping, he would be certain to wear garments to cover such grotesque features.
“I will say this may be my finest work. Soldiers are always a good use, their bodies full of vigor and strength typically young as well.” Vex stated as she flipped a page in her grimoire, her right hand glowing with a translucent green. “Necromancy is a harsh magic Beren.” Vex began hoping to make small talk as she began working with a spine, the bones cleaned of any flesh and blood. “My kind abhor such magic feats not passed down from the Fae.” She coldly stated as she began looking through a set of rib bones that still had flesh attached.
Beren had heard of the Fae, an ancient race that disappeared from the mainland and is rumored to live on an island in the dark misty sea. Their embassy of a city was ransacked once the civil war began severing any ties to such an ancient society. The one society and land unclaimed by the Scorn, a living testament that evil can never truly prevail.
“But who am I to judge” Vex continued oblivious if Beren was paying attention to her story or not. “I do not know if the Scorn sacrificed them or are making them work in the mines. But one thing is for sure, I will enact my revenge upon them one way or another.” She coldly stated as green energy erupted in front her as she molded the rib cage to the spine. Bone and flesh seeping together in a welded form, the sight of bone dust dancing in the air. Beren sat there as she worked diligently assuming what she said to be true. If the Scorn had ravaged her tribe she would have just as much claim to the lives of that accursed empire as he did. His eyes transfixed to the beast beside him in a small make shift stable. He wondered if he will end up as grotesque and inhuman as that creature. With what humanity he had left, will it remain whole once he possessed the vessel Vex was creating.
Beren stated as softly as he could, hoping Vex would translate what he was trying to ask. The air in the room rumbled which caught Vex’s attention. The limited words used still startled her and made her hunch her shoulders in sudden fright. She looked around and eyed Beren, then Riken pondering his words. Scratching her chin she went back to work as she spoke.
“Riken was a baby calf elk when I happened upon him in our hunting party. My kind did not realize we killed its mother and had an ultimatum to kill him to appease to its mercy.” She stated flatly as she picked up a small hooked tool from her bag and some thread before proceeding. “I took him in and named him Riken, I felt responsible for killing his mother and vowed to protect him.” She ended as she continued to work on the vessel of a body. Her threads weaving in and out of the cold flesh, the green energy making sure it would not tear. Beren could not see the body itself only the extremities on the table, strong and monstrous in nature, barely fit for a mortal human. Beren's face went sour, upset his question was only partially answered. Thinking hard on another word he chose.
The word ranged in the air clear as a bell and even evoked a rat to scurry into a hole in the wall. The flames flicked from the sudden force of wind while the table beneath Vex moved slightly messing with her precise threading. Looking faintly annoyed she stared back at Beren with a scowl. As if a painter was constantly being interrupted from an aspiring goal.
“Yes he died. The scorn came and killed everyone, only reason I survived was because of Riken. He died on top of me as I hid beneath his corpse.” She coldly stated as she turned around and eyed the abomination with tears welling up in her eyes. “I buried him and I sought vengeance on the Scorn, but amidst my travels I was no match even for a common human let alone trained soldiers. So… I went on a quest to find a power strong enough to defeat the scorn.” She stated wiping her eyes, a sense of determination and defiance in her character unspoken. “I met a cult surrounding the principle of life and death. I met a master of the necromantic arts and pledged undying loyalty to their matron where I received my grimoire. My life span was halved and I gained new powers and knowledge to enact my vengeance. I rose Riken from the grave and adorned him a new body with what parts best suited his strength. It may not truly be Riken, but it is still a copy of who he once was.” She ended as she turned back around to the body she had been working on hoping to hide her sorrow. “Helping you will bring me peace and hopefully revenge on the accursed Scorn. Just one step among many” She ended as she pointed towards the dark corridor of the crypt. "Down there I have been amassing an army of my own. Seven years of honing my craft and creating my art." She looked back at Beren with a rather sinister look he had not seen before. Her sharp teeth and hollow yellow eyes obvious with an unflattering smile.
Beren sat there taking in everything she had stated. He understood loss, but Vex had forgone that aspect and beyond with the cult she seemed to abide herself by. More questions arose him as he pondered the gods of the world. He had never learned magic and religion of the world only of a creator and lesser gods that inhabited a plane far from the land mortals dwelled. Beren shook his head clearing his thoughts as he kept his mouth shut for the remainder of the night. His curiosity to explore more than the entrance of the crypt eating at him. Unsure of what stitched horrors Vex had been working on before he had met her.
“I am off to bed I will finish this in the morning.” Vex stated suddenly as she stood up and stretched while lazily slumping into a stray bed face down. With a low yawn she curled up with her grimoire clutched in her hands. “Tomorrow we will adorn your head and complete your vessel, for now let me sleep, magic takes a strain on my body and I tire easy.” She added as she turned over and closed her eyes in a fit of utter fatigue.
Beren nodded as he turned his gaze back to his decapitated head on the table. Vex had set a green magic to it that helped the decaying stop. But Beren could tell the skin looked dry and leathery with only the brown eyes to note, accompanied by a stern malevolent glare on its face. A glare that would be the death of those who will oppose him. He removed his gaze from his head and let the perception of time take his toll on him, as he felt distorted in his reality. There was no going back.