Archive for March, 2013

Leshanna History – Dark Pact

Thursday, March 14th, 2013


When I was young in the Underdark, I practiced with the spiders for hours every day. But I also practiced at the magiks. I studied for years and years, but I was never able to do much of anything.  It was my Drow mother’s hope that I would be a wizard but all of the practice and training never amounted to anything. After years and years it was becoming clear that I would never be a wizard.  Still I practiced hours every day, spent hours with the spiders and prayed every day to Lolth to recognize my devotion, to grant me some power and to make me Drow.

For years this went on…Finally I lost all hope and gave up my training, the spiders and the prayers. During my training times, I would sneak off and explore the Underdark.

One day I was in an old ruin part of the city. As I explored, I found a hidden passage way to caverns under the city. For months, every day I would sneak away and explore the caverns.  This was a place that was ancient, in all my studies I never read anything about this place. How could people not know of its existence? The artifacts that I found there, seemed to not be Drow, but something completely different.  And the magic, it was so powerful.  I had always failed with the magiks, but in that place I could do everything.  I was powerful and strong. .. but every night I would return home and it would all be gone again. And all of the sadness and loneliness would come rushing back.  I was nothing again.

This happened night after night, till I decided to run away and stay in the caverns. I would rather be alone in the caverns and have power than live above as nothing. So I packed my stuff and escaped out into the ruins. I went deeper into the ruins than ever before. As I ventured further in, the rough cave walls changed to cut stone.  Then the cut stone changed to detailed carved architecture.   It quickly became clear this was a temple, but to who?  And the further in I went, the more power I could feel.   It was driving me forward.

Until, at last, I reached a large room with an elaborately carved seal.  I reached out and touched the seal – there was so much power right on the other side. But it wouldn’t open. There was carved writing all over the seal, but it was no language that I had ever seen. I stayed in front of it for days, trying to understand the language. Trying to understand how to open the seal, trying to figure out how to get to that power.  Until getting that power was the only thought left in my mind. I stayed there until I had used up all of my provisions.  I had believed I would be able to find food and water in the caverns, but I was wrong.  There was no life here at all – nothing. And with no food and little water left, despair began to set in. I knew I had to have that power. I knew it would change everything. But there was no way to get it.

I began to cry like I had never cried before. A lifetime of loneliness and failure, of not belonging, a lifetime of disappointment. It all came rushing out. It was too much to bear and I curled my hands into the tightest fist I could make and pounded on the seal and screamed to let me in.  I hit it until my hands bled and my throat was raw. I did this for hours, until I was exhausted and there was nothing left. No pain, no tears, no disappointment. Nothing but emptiness. It was in that moment that I gave up and I laid down on the ground ready to be done with everything and just die.

It was that moment that the seal began to slowly roll to one side.  I sat not moving just watching this door finally open.  And then I saw what was inside, it was nothing but darkness. It wasn’t just any darkness, it was thick and inky and neither the light from my torch nor any magic light could pierce it.  And then I felt it… there was something in the darkness.  Some type of being and that was the source of the power.

I was frozen with fear.  All this time, it never occurred to me that the source of the power might be a being.  With the door open, the power was so strong, it crashed against me like a wave.

I started to scoot away from the door. I needed to run away from here as fast as I could. I couldn’t tell what was in that room, but the power was stifling.  I would have no chance against what was in there.

Then there was a booming voice – it was everywhere – “Why so frightened little fey?”

I couldn’t tell if it was a physical voice or just in my head. But it was all encompassing.  I stopped trying to get away and just froze.

“Why so much despair?” the voice boomed again.

I was stunned and speechless and scared.  And again the voice bellowed out at me, “What did you come here hoping to find?”

This question was so simple and the answer was all I had thought about for months and months.  It had consumed me. I stood up and replied “Power, I came here in search of power”.

“Many adventures have come here in search of power, what makes you special little one?”

And that question brought back all of my hopelessness and despair.  It rolled off my tongue and I told the story of my life.  My birth, being raised by my Drow mother, my life in slavery – not being a Drow, all my studies and my failures.  And after all I had said everything about my life, I said “I’m not special – I’m nothing”.

The voice let out a laugh that rattled the very inside of my brain. “That is very true little fey.  It is not often an adventurer understands their true nature.”

“Oh” I replied.  Despair filled me. This powerful being had just confirmed what I had believed to be true about myself.

The voice interrupted my thoughts “Do not take that remark personally, all your kind is nothing, so do not despair in that” and then there was a long pause and the voice spoke again “So tell me, if you had the power you seek, what would you do with it?”

That seemed to be a very difficult question – the truth is – I hadn’t thought what I would do with it.  I had just wanted it. So I said – “I don’t know. I only wanted it so I could be strong – I only wanted it so I could have power instead of people having power over me. “

And then a flood of emotion filled me and there was darkness in me that I had never felt before. I said “I want to prove that I am something, and I want to crush all that would hurt me. I want to hurt them instead and feel them break under my hand”

Another thunderous wave of laughter poured from the darkness.  Then the voice spoke again, “And one final question, how would you pay for this power?”

I thought of the few items I had brought with me. There was nothing of value.  “I have nothing. I don’t think I can pay for it.  I want this power!  Is there some arrangement that we can make?”  The thought of being this close and not getting it was too much.  I would do anything to have it.

And with that a black column of inky darkness pulled out of the doorway and slide into the room.  It moved like smoke and liquid. It swirled around, faster and faster and then it disappeared.  In the space it had occupied now stood a gleaming ebony pedestal.

I took a few steps towards the pedestal and I could see that there were two items sitting on top of it.  One was an empty crystal glass vial.  It almost seemed to glow with a faint blue light. The other item was a dagger.  But it was not just any dagger.  It looked like it was made from darkness itself.

The voice said – “I can give you the power you seek for just a vial of your blood”.

I picked up the vial. It was so cold in my hand; I thought it might have actually been made of ice.  I pulled the stopper out and put both pieced back on the pedestal. Then I grabbed the dagger.  A feeling of dread filled me to the point that it took all of my strength to hold on to the dagger and not throw it far away from me.

“Fill the vial and you will have what you came here in search of”.

I held up my empty hand and let the blade cut into my palm.  The blade burned and stung my flesh; I feared that the dagger may have been poisoned.  But at this point there was no stopping. Once my hand was cut, I threw the dagger to the ground and picked up the vial.  Already there was blood all over the dusty stone floor.  I held the vial under my hand and let it fill with the blood pouring from my hand.  I was starting to worry how I would get the bleeding to stop.

Once the vial was full, I put the stopper back in.  I stood there for a moment looking at this icy vial with my blood in it.  I knew this was a truly a dark trade I was making.  But in that moment, I knew I would do anything for the power that I was seeking.  And the greater the power the more I would sacrifice to get it.

A smoky form reached into the room from the blackness. The black smoke seemed to solidify into a inky black arm with a long bony hand on the end. The long black fingers opened wide and reached for the vial. Before it grabbed it, the voice asked “The blood, you give it to me willingly?”

“Yes” I replied.  Confident that I would do whatever to the get power I was after.

“Then give it to me.”

And the hand reached out and took the vial. As soon as I had given the blood, I knew I might live to regret this, but if I did get the power it might be worth it.

The hand, while still gripping the vial, extended out its index finger so that the hand was now pointing at me.

“Enjoy your power little fey. “ The outstretched finger touched my forehead.   The pain was blinding.  I thought I had been betrayed and I knew in my heart I was going to die.  Then everything went black.

When I finally woke, I reached up and touched my forehead.  It didn’t hurt, but I could feel a change in me. I looked at the hand, fearing how bad the wound was, but there was no sign that it had been cut. Then I looked around.  The room was empty.  The pedestal, the dagger and the blood on the floor – all gone.  Most importantly the seal was closed again.  I went up and touched it, but there was no longer the power flowing behind it.  But I could feel the power in me.  I packed up all my stuff and decide to return to my Drow mother.  I would show her that I now had power. I would hope that my absent all this time would be forgiven when she show how powerful I had become.  I knew she would be angry but she of all people would understand how important my new power was.

I made the return trip, from temple to cavern back to the Underdark.  I slinked back to my mother’s house.  When I entered the house it was empty. It seemed that it was the quiet hours of the day, when people read, prayed and trained. This would mean I would be able to move about the house without encountering anyone.   I went to my chambers. I was not sure what I would find.  Would my things still be there? Would she have already replaced me with a new pet?  I opened the door and saw they were exactly as I had left them. I breathed a sigh of relief. This meant she was hoping I would one day return. With that my heart filled with joy and hope. I dropped all my gear and I ran to her chambers to inform her of my return.

I stood outside her door. Never in my life had I intruded into her chambers.  I was scared to knock and just stood there looking at the door. Just then one of the house slaves turned the corner carrying a tray of refreshments for my mother.  I knew this slave, it was J’ar.  He was a kobold and had lived in the house with us for many years.  I generally got along with him and was pleased to see him again.  Kobold slaves don’t often last long in the Drow houses and I was glad he had not been sent to the pits yet.

“What do you want here?  You know better than to disturb the mistress in her chambers”. J’ar hissed at me.

“But I have returned, certainly she will make an exception for that news. Do you think that she will be angry that I have been gone?  Have you heard her speak of it?”

“Returned from where?  I doubt that she knows you have gone anywhere.  She went in her chambers after the morning prayer and has not left since.  No one has been to see her, so whatever you have done, she doesn’t know about it.”

“No, I’ve been gone for weeks or months.  I’ve been gone” I blurted out confused.

“You are crazy today.  Do not let your mother hear you speak such words or you may no longer find yourself with her favor.  You were here at the morning prayer.  I saw you. It has only been a few hours since then”. J’ar stated angrily and then pushed past me to deliver the tray.

I returned to my chamber.  I looked around the room. It did seem exactly as I had left it.  Then I saw it.  A tray containing the half eaten meal from the day I left. The food was still fresh.  I sat on the bed in disbelief that only an hour or two had passed. It didn’t seem possible. It couldn’t be possible.

Later in the day, when I saw my mother, I pretended like nothing had happened.  She did not question me, no one seemed to know that I had been gone. It was like nothing had happened.  I almost felt like it had been something that I dreamed, except for the power.  I still had it.

I decided it was best to not reveal what had happened. Over the course of the next several months, I introduced my new powers to my mother.  Slowly at first, small pieces of magik.  I could see the relief in her face.  She had started to lose faith in me as well.  “I knew you had the spark of the arcane.  It just took you a while to learn to harness it”.  Shame washed over me, because I knew I had not harnessed it.  But it was my power now, it didn’t matter, it was mine.

Over the next year I trained every day again, learning to use my new power.  I even worked with the spiders again. They never would speak to me, but I enjoyed their company and I confessed to them the events that happened. Spiders can be very good listeners and they never seemed judgmental about things I told them.  It felt good to talk about what happened.  I had many questions but there was no where I could go to get answers.

I never prayed to Lolth again.  Those prayers went unanswered.  And my power, I had bought with my own blood.

There was only once that I tried to return to the caverns.  I hoped to look around and see if there were some answers about the dark being I had made a deal with.  But when I went to the ruined part of the city, the passage way back to the cavern was gone.