Transformation (A look to the Past)

Memories began to flash through Kryphon’s mind as he choked on his own blood, pressed against the floor in his library. They raced through his mind, sharp as the blade that pierced his mortal flesh, consuming all his senses in a desperate attempt to make sense of what was happening. Sense no longer mattered however, nor did the pain that blurred his vision and made all sounds distant, and remote. He was going to die. What was to become of him upon death? More memories flooded through his mind, now. Memories of serving the Ebon Skull as a slave, and before that , a student at the Magic Academy. He remembered his studies, the Elders, the…the book. The book that he himself had found and hid from all others in his greedy youth. The book he still held close and revealed to no one. Within the book were many spells, rituals, histories and lore, that he had often practiced and studied in the solitude of his Dark Tower. The book spoke of a place called the Shadowrealm, and of the Shadowlords that held Dominion within. Most of the spells and rituals contained within the book could not be used by mortals, but Kryphon kept it hidden all the same. One ritual in particular came now to his mind, one intended for Mortals. In his youth he had often thought of returning to that dark chamber from whence the book came in an attempt to perform this ritual, but with time it had fallen through the cracks of his study and been lost to the endless work placed before him by his Elders.

His body began to spasm a bit, no doubt reacting to the stygian arms of Oblivion caressing his flesh, beckoning his soul to give in to Death. To accept that which is inevidable for all mortals…If only he had the strength to return to that place..To perform this ritual and continue Oblivion’s work upon the world of men.. Sounds echoed through his skull as did visions, but surely they were false hopes generated by his mind. Weren’t they? He focused hard and made out the vision and voice of Ceinwyn. He had no idea how or why it came to pass that she was here before him now in his tower, and it mattered not. Her voice became a source of focus and strength now as he reached out for her. Upon her face was a look Kryphon had never seen her reveal. It was an expression of worry, and concern. She asked if there was anything she could do and he instructed her to retrieve the book. Quickly she ran to the place he had it hidden and brought it back, anticipating further instruction. Kryphon looked up to her and asked "Are you prepared for combat?" in a weak voice that was hardly his own. She noded surely and withdrew her blade.

The place they were about to travel was a temple the Shadowlords once used when traveling to the realm of men. It was a place of sacrifice and shadow, protected by the mindless Dead who wandered it’s halls oblivious to anything, but their own agony and torment. As a youth he and a few other students had traveled there after having read of it’s existence. They did so of course against the wishes of the Elders, and were met in force by the Dead Hordes. One within the group didn’t make it, and the others just did escape. It was in their paniced retreat that Kryphon found the book, and it was the book, that was going to change him now… forever.

Gathering all the strength he could, Kryphon summoned the ethereal horse, he so often used to travel. He then pulled from his robes a runebook that held the location, marked within. He spoke the words of power and triggered the stored magic of the book, which took affect and ripped a hole through the air, filling it with a blue glow. Ceinwyn looked over to see him on the ethereal horse, blood dripping from his wounds upon the floor, then looked to the gate, and noded again as she readied her swords and stepped through the Moongate. Kryphon noticed the look in her eyes upon seeing the blood, and knew well the restraint she displayed in not giving in to her lust for blood.(Ceinwyn having been a Vampire). Once on the other side of the gate Kryphon could see nothing. All was blanketed in darkness and only sounds told what was happening. He cast the simple spell of night sight upon himself, and his eyes confirmed the sounds of the Dead meeting the edge of Ceinwyn’s blade. Again he began to choke, his punctured lungs filling slowly with his own blood. Time was running short he knew. He projected his mental command to the Ethereal Horse and it took chase after Ceinwyn, who slashed and dodged her way through the hordes of the mindless Dead that protected these halls. At the end of the dark hallway was a set of stairs leading upward.

Kryphon gave a weak indication that that was the way and Ceinwyn made her way up, dispatching two ghouls along the way. Through the halls and passages they went, Kryphon showing the way, Ceinwyn creating the path. Kryphon was amazed at her skill with a blade, and her presence among foes. It was as if she knew every move they were about to make before making it. She dodged a clawed slash and in the same fluid movement caught the attacker across it’s neck beheading it, then moved her blade into position to parry another blow, all within the blink of an eye. Finally they reached their destination. It was a large chamber covered in runic symbols, and cast in deep shadows. Even under the affects of his Night sight spell Kryphon had trouble seeing through his already blurred vision. He indicated to Ceinwyn that this was thier destination, as he dispelled the magical horse that had carried him all the way. Ceinwyn took up a defensive place behind where Kryphon was and looked over her shoulder to see him on his knees before a large alter. She could barely make out what he was doing but she could see him pouring the contents of a bag onto the alter and heard from his voice words, that even she had never heard before. As he spoke these words his voice began to raise in volume, and intensity, despite his weakened state. All the while she cut and slashed the Dead who sought to intterupt him. Suddenly a large crash irrupted from the ceiling of the chamber, and the dead were among them no more. Giant tendrails of shadow errupted from the hole in the ceiling , and made their way toward Kryphon. Ceinwyn saw them and quickly headed straight for them, until Kryphon looked over to her and and noded his head no. His eyes were lifeless and distant, as he sat motionless.He still held something in his hands, though what it was, she could not make out.

The tendrails then reached him and constricted around him squeezing tightly. Kryphon screamed out in pain and agony, as the tendrail lifted him into the air digging their way into his flesh. They sucked from him mortality, and in it’s place filled him with shadowstuff. Ceinwyn looked on in shock as she watched his skin turn to the color of light ash . She also noticed his wounds were beginning to close up and regenerate. Kryphon’s screams stopped and he took in the shadows freely, embracing them, binding with them. Then as sudden as they had appeared the tendrals dropped him to the ground and ascended once more through the ceiling. The room fell silent as Kryphon sat upon the floor, shadows dancing all around his form, his head bowed down, his arms streched to either side. Ceinwyn walked towards him as he lifted his head to reveal crimson eyes, glowing, cutting through the shadow of the chamber. He rose and moved towards her, shadows still swirling about him, renewed, with a wicked grin upon his face. In his hand he held a Black crystal Skull that glowed purple within. He smiled to her, and without saying a word, cast another moongate, and they were gone. He now walked with the blessings of shadow, and with them, came Immortality.

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