By the dark blanket of night, in a time that has long since passed, grew the first seeds of a tale passed down through generations. This tale told of a barren witch, whose only wish was to be granted a child. After countless attempts to bear a family, she used her magic and reached into darker planes, beyond comprehension in the errant void, something called back to her.
She spoke out into nothing, and the nothing replied in kind. Granting her this one solemn wish, with all of the grand power she held within her body, she begged the voice to aid her. As the tale has been passed down for decades, it has changed slightly over the years. The nature of the witch has not remained the same, neither so has the wager that she made. In some covens, you will hear that she gave her own life in exchange for her daughter. That this witch perished beneath the crushing weight of the void. In others, further from home than you are today, they tell a similar story, that she peered into the void and that darkness consumed her, driving her mad and leaving her grandest desire left unfulfilled.
These tales, like most, have grown tall in their retellings. I was there the day that witch spoke out into the darkness, and I listened as the darkness spoke back to her. A voice sicker than any demon ever heard, twisted with incantation and dripping with venom it made her a promise, that she would give birth to a daughter whose power would cripple and contort the proudest of wizards. For her power didn't come from the Ether. Her power was born of something much more sinister, something rotten...
This witch begged the voice that came to her and bartered her soul without a second thought. She was familiar with the dealings of the devils, their insatiable lust for human life could not be stopped, and she knew the value of her spirit. But this being didn't crave power, nor did it need her soul. It was thirsty for something much more attainable.
So, it offered this witch the chance to birth a child and promised her that the next time she lay down, she would wake with child. In her excitement, the witch found the first willing man she could and took him in the midst of the forest, and the sun set upon their time together with peerless joy filling her heart.
When the morning sun rose, the darkness had all but gone, and the woman rolled from the underbrush alone, feeling a weight within her body she danced. Her wishes had come true, and she cheered into the air, calling out to the voice that had granted her this wish, thanking it for what it had done. But the voice did not answer, as its plan had already sprung into motion.
The witch never found the man again, and as she carried her child to term her excitement only grew. Upon the day of birth, the void came to her in the midst of her fitful sleep, and with its insidious grasp reached within her, and took the children from her womb. Leaving her one to raise herself, but the twin conceived beside her... vanished into the night. Attached to the will of the void.
The witch raised her daughter, never knowing she was a mother of two. As her baby grew, the witch came down with a violent illness filled with dreams of the man she had seen. I left long before the babe was grown, in desperate search for her missing child. It has been decades, and I've heard the story told so many ways.
But I know the truth. That babe was lost to the void, and I am fearful for the day it returns.
A blistering loud knock woke Esmerelda from her slumber, outside the window the sun peeked through the ripped curtains, hung by two small twigs on her curtain rod. She rubbed her eyes as she rolled from her rest, her oversized gown scraping against the floor as she made her way towards the sound of the knock.
YOU ARE READING
Magic is difficult to use, but some are simply born with the attunement necessary to wield it without understanding. Those are the most frightening beasts, those which spin their magic from untrained hands without recognizing the dangers. The Witch...