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Waning Memory - The Tower

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2022 7:59 am
by Nieba
Caution: This story involves death and blood.

A voice calls out to you.

“Iscnec?” The voice echos through your mind. It sounds familiar in some distant way. Like a long-lost relative. “Iscnec? You okay?”

Your vision is blurred. The hazy outline of a wooden table takes shape, with two others across from you at the opposite side; one seated, one standing. You feel a tinge of unease twist in your stomach as the seated figure speaks.

“Iscnec, don’t get cold feet now!” the seated figure speaks in a playful, feminine tone. “You went through the trouble of getting me and Gerhalt to agree to this expedition, you should really-” The woman’s voice is cut short, interrupted by the standing figure.

“We’ve got the map that leads to the Tower, as well as the interior.” The standing figure is tall, easily over eight feet. He motions vaguely towards the seated figure before continuing. “She’ll operate as our guide. I’ll keep you two safe. We’ll follow her lead to the threshold, and then you play your part...”

Your stomach churns as the room spins and the blurred figures break apart like mist. That’s right; you remember now. You’re Iscnec, aspiring treasure hunter! One of the Seekers of the Six, and you’ve tracked one of the Six to a place only known as “The Tower.” The surge of memories knocks the wind out of you. You fall to your hands and knees, gripping firmly at tufts of dew-laden grass.

“Er… Iscnec you alright?” The feminine voice speaks and her form comes into focus. Bird-like, with wings in place of arms. Her wing is gently folded across your shoulder as she asks about you. Your stomach settles and the pain subsides. The bird-like girl helps you to your feet once more.

You stand at the threshold of an impossibly tall tower, its upper floors easily piercing through the clouds and fading into the distant sky. The pair of doors in front of you have an elaborate locking mechanism, one which you recognize. You feel a surge of determination as you stare the mechanism down.

“Don’t fail us now, Elfling.” The tall, masculine figure speaks, sounding quite serious. Your gaze shifts towards him, revealing some hybridization of human and horse. “Go on. You get the doors open, and she’ll scout out the staircase we need on the ground floor.”

You nod to both of your strange companions. As though through a will of its own, your body steps forwards to the door, and procures various lock picks and probes from a small bag along your waist. You’ve no idea what you’re doing, but it’s working! Click. Grind. Slide. Click! Within a matter of minutes, the set of doors let loose a loud pop and swing open, revealing the inside of the tower. Whatever it is your body has done, it’s worked.

“Ayyy, good work Iscnec!” The bird-girl walks past you and through the doors, giving you a firm pat on the back as she passes.

You feel yourself smile, though your stomach writhes again not long after. Something feels off. The horse-man steps past you, stopping next to the bird-girl. He motions for you to follow.

“The Tower. Good work, Elfling.” The horse-man smiles down at you, and continues to speak to you. No voice escapes his lips, all you hear are footsteps ahead.

The gentle beat of drums begins in the distance behind you. The bird-girl is walking down the hall while consulting a map. She turns to look back at you, and lifts a wing up. Motioning for you to move forward, it would seem. The beating drums march closer. You feel the piercing gaze of the concerned horse-man. The drums march closer still.

“Iscnec don’t be such a worry-” the bird-girl’s voice echos through your mind, and the drums come to a sudden stop. A series of harpoons fly across the hallway, carrying the bird-girl with them to the other side as she falls limp in a splatter of blood against the wall. Her expression is one of confusion and terror, eyes darting between you and the horse-man.

“NIEBA!” The horse-man’s voice cracks like thunder in your mind as he runs ahead to the bloodied body of the bird-girl. “Nieba, what in the-” his voice fades into a distant memory just out of your reach.

You watch the horse-man frantically trying to remove harpoons from the fading bird-girl. Your stomach begins to burn. Instinctively you look down to your abdomen, seeing the tip of a long blade which has been run through you.

“You’ll not have the secrets of the Dream.” A deep, raspy voice whispers into your ear, sending a chill down your spine. You’ve heard this voice before, but where?

You feel your body tense up as a boot strikes your back, hurling you to the floor. You collapse, unable to feel your body as your vision blurs back into a milky darkness.

The beating drums begin again. You hear heavy footsteps advance past your helpless mass, towards where your companions are. The drums beat louder. You hear the brief clash of metal, followed by a wet mass dropping to the floor and rolling towards you. A heavy body collapses into itself.

“Luck of the Six is with this one.” The raspy voice creeps through your fading mind like a snake through grass. “She will do nicely. Take her. Dispose of the other two.”

- Memory of Iscnec, Seeker of the Six (Deceased)