The Shadow Rising

Eye of the Beholder

1

He slumbered. The spelljammer drifted through the astral sea, effervescent clouds of thought and feeling made flesh that parted in the wake of the force unleashed by the spelljamming helm. It pleased him to consider this truth, just as the mind bends before superior will. Such had his own acceded to the agreements in accordance with the will of Vlaakith, upon The One In The Void. He too slumbered.

Gith city

Their seekers and pirates raided planar disturbances accross this passage. The Dominions were at work, that was beyond doubt. Some great purpose drove their mortal agents in a flurry of necessity, a futile exercise that grasped at mere scraps of the power already in the hands of the Gods. Why these races worshipped such tyrants he could never comprehend. The Great Mother knew all, and as such was to be feared. One did not seek her counsel. Her blessings were insanity, and death. He saw no difference from these others. Perhaps that was it, they had already taken one blessing, and but sought the other to escape it.

Chaos above decks, something had been found. Noise, as the taste of ice and pain mingled with blood and fury. No doubt that hard-edged captain sought to prove himself. The taste of these screams was different, the dying were the Githyanki. The pact. He woke more fully from his slumber, made his way towards the chaos. Those abominations followed him. If it were not for the pact. He let the thought die. The pact.

Planejammer

The deck was in chaos. Scores of the dead drifted admidst the clinging ice and radiance, the seas awash with the substance of their tormented demise. One of the fools made its way towards him, and screamed in anguish. Such it went, they advanced and they retreated. They screamed. Such it always went, until they died. The captain engaged some of them, floating in a whirlpool of blood. One careened in circles, their lopsided figure carrying more momentum than its pitiful frame could account for. Fools. The perfect form was a sphere.

Beholder coloured by natures fury

The captain retreated, his marines decimated. Good. Bring them closer, to devour. His exultation was short lived, to be replaced with wry amusement as one they kept prisoner impaled the captain on the sword he valued so highly. Fools. What greater weapon is there than one’s own being?

This new one would suffice, he turned its will against itself, made it battle these others. Ha. One of them, the taint of undeath upon it, screamed at her touch. Good. He gazed upon the others, any who dared approach, and they too, screamed. Agony was the only reward for such arrogance. One of those abominations was destroyed, his imperfect form, his imperfect will, unable to match results with it’s pure brethren. Good. It died the death it deserved. A tiny one stood before him, defied his will, approaching the holy perfection of the true form. No, that was something else, something it wore. It too screamed, in sorrow, and defiance. His gaze was turned. How dare it!

Some of those under the pact remained – causing bloodshed amongst the others – but not many. He growled, these ones were bent by his will with ease, but recovered quickly. They were tools of the Dominons, he saw. He contemplated, and dismissively kept those beside him battling each other. Such futility pleased him. Perhaps they would learn how futile their own lives were, but small hope of such wisdom comprehended by these. The taste of suffering once more brought him from out his reverie as one of those shielded by the pact died, its agony expulsed unto the sea, clouds thick with torment. That other hated abomination was fleeing, half-dead, barely a distraction. The newcomers had regrouped, edging ever closer, just at the outskirts of his gaze. No matter, with concentration they would still fall beneath it. Nevertheless, the frustration he exuded was palpable, its taste bitter. Now his thoughts must be fully upon this folly, rather than his higher contemplations.

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That newest one seemed to have aligned itself with the others – these ones always did so when not commanded otherwise, the taste of their fear stronger than distrust. They tried to manouvere around him, unused to the perfection afforded by the true form, unable to comprehend its majesty. They were near death, he could see that. Their will was faltering. Several of them hesitated, just beyond his gaze. The last of the pactbound screamed a final scream, and the Geas lifted, a cape of water draped over his mind suddenly shimmering into mist. His joy had a taste full of sweetness, soured momentarily as one of those fools severed a stalk. Those were always a trial to regrow. No matter. Let them keep to their folly, he was tired of this dance.

“The pact is abandoned,” he said, as per the agreement. He now answered only to a will of his own.

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