Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Writing - A Lighthouse Interlude

Writing - A Lighthouse Interlude

Darkness stole around the coast and the fog rolled low. Out amongst the crashing of waves, silence had fallen in the abandoned lighthouse, with embers glimmering in the pit. The stewpot was cooling, and sleep which had been a long time coming to the weary adventuring party had finally seemed to fall.

In the darkness, there was a flicking motion, as though a match had been struck, but no accompanying scent of sulfur. The mage, Flip rose to his feet, finger held out while what could’ve been a wickless candle cast soft glows around the room. Around his bedroll lay belts and pouches filled with various magical components, haphazardly bundled or strewn. His vellum spellbook sat clasped shut still, while the halfling stretched. Reaching for his black leather robes, he donned them in silence and pulled the hood up. Stepping lightly around the other adventurers, he ascended the stairs long and creaking, his flickering magic held before him like a lantern.

He sat among the ruined balcony of the lighthouse for a long while, staring out at the restless tides. Other halflings might have pulled out a pipe and had a pinch of greyweed then, but Flip was not like other halflings. Instead he reached into a pouch in his cloak and pulled free the strange stone mask that the slave had worn.

It was a curious thing, slightly heavy to the touch, emotionless in a slightly strange way, hewn from a single block of stone. The fixings on the side of the mask, where it had once attached to the face of the slave were messed and bloody still, but the past nights work had seen him clear any flesh from the thing. He sat there in the dark, with careful hands applying a steady bit of flame to clean the thing, burning what was left of gore from the fixings. It took an hour while he worked, absent-mindedly reciting spell cantrips and gesturing arcane symbology over and over in his mind while he focused.

Before the moon reached its zenith he was done, a small stream of water from a magically cupped hand erased any ash, sending it cascading into the ocean. For a long while, the mage stared into the mask, for a time he imagined he could see all the slaves whose faces it had adorned through the ages, men and women, faceless and nameless now. It was a kind of falsehood, he had little skill in necromancy or communing with the dead, the mask could have been brand new for all he knew. But it didn’t dilute the rage he felt when he held it.

There was no recourse for it at the moment though but he did hold out his hand and collect a handful of smoking sparks, magically conjured. With a solemn breath, he exhaled and sent them spiraling upwards into the night stars.

I will kill those who did this to you...

Then he padded silently back down the stairs, the mask once again safely concealed somewhere in his robes, lay down and went back to sleep.