Thursday, December 14, 2006

Dust and Dissolution

He sat on a throne of oblivion, pondering a kingdom of non-existence. It was his goal, the destruction of all. Not for the carnage, not for the killing, and not for the act of eradicating all that is or was. No, he cared nothing for bringing the end. He merely wanted the end to come.

His hand, black as the void and ancient beyond reckoning, moved over the globe that was his eye on the multiverse. Where it touched, a blight spread through reality, withering where it passed. A dark storm, his gesture corrupted, strangled, and dessicated everything it moved across. If he'd been capable of emotion, he would have smiled to see the Demise as it formed.

But such a gesture required feeling...

...and flesh.

In truth, he had no body, no form to speak of. He was the Shadow, the Darkness at the Last. He was the Final Moment, the Stilling Echo. He had no true shape, though his reflection in the hearts of those who followed him was often given some boundary so their minds could conceive of him in their own terms.

In their eyes, in their thoughts and souls, he was a tenebrous humanoid, featureless and frigid, darker than the deepest night. His eyes were cold stars of pale white, his hands ending in talons and his body exuding shadows like the blaze of a funeral pyre.

He had no name, needed no name, yet still they gave him one. he did not dissuade them, these living things that willingly embraced his message of destruction. He never asked for a name, never imparted in their minds a wish for any form of title, but despite his constant silence they had crowned him with a word that conjured in their hearts all that the End of All meant to them. His name, to them, was the first and last sound at the final, fading tick of the cosmic clock.

Tharizdun.

Lord of Madness. Master of Death. The Endbringer.

Some followed his church hoping to be spared. Others worshipped him seeking the power to bring ruin. A few were simply insane and swore themselves in their insensate ravings.

Fools, each and all. He cared nothing for them, could not care if he wished to. He had no wishes. He had no loyalty and asked none in return. His cult gained power through their own faith, not through any gifts he chose to bestow. He gave nothing and took nothing. They were ants, building temples in the shadow of a rock that would fall upon them without a moment's hesitation when the time came to do so.

But, and truths like this were when the dark one was at his most rational, even Tharuzdin had to admit his mortal minions had their uses. They were fools, yes, and damned to the very last one, but in their brief time alive they could serve his ends. He typically ignored them, let them do as they wished under the onus of his uncaring doom, but the Endtime was nearly at hand.

If the multiverse was to be destroyed, if the Kingdom of the Void was to be, he would have to take an active role in Armageddon.

And to do that, he needed hands and eyes in the Living World. He needed pawns to move across the board of Existence. He needed weapons.

Yes! Weapons! Ways to strike down his enemies, foes for whom he had names and faces. He knew who opposed his will. If darkness was to fall, he would have to deal with those standing in the path of the night.

It was time to move his hands, open his eyes, and call upon his servants. His mortal armies...

...and his immortal "allies".

One in particular needed to be pushed into play. Eyes and hands, indeed. If he could appreciate irony -appreciate anything- such an analogy would have amused him. As it was, he only paused as the thought of how appropriate his terms were where his greatest servant was concerned. Willing or not, there was one who would do as he commanded. One whose power to act in the lands of flesh surpassed his own.

The dark hand reached out and touched the edges of another's power. Instantly, attention focused angrily on Tharizdun.

And just as instantly, it was rebuffed by so much ageless might that the indignant deity flinched away from it lest it get burned by Oblivion's ire.

"What is it? What do you want?"

The darkness coalesced, becoming real enough to communicate. The six before him would fall, and this god of evil would be their bane.

"I have need of you." Tharuzdin let a small amount of power bleed through the contact, just enough to show both the sheer titanic energies that gave him the right to command and to express the reward of divine might being offered for faithful service.

"You... you have my attention. What do you want me to do?"

If it could feel anything, the darkness would have been pleased.

"Something very simple for you, Vecna..."

"I want you to kill for me."

2 comments:

Erisraven said...

Great imagery. Eager to see more!!!

Streaka said...

Excellent, of course. Truely, and your writing has consistently been, worthy of submitting as a novel idea