They came for us in the night.
It was a night like any other, where me, my parents, and my older brother had dinner together. Afterwards, my father had tucked me into bed, and my mom my brother. As the moon rose high I closed my eyes and dreamed little girl's dreams, and all was well. For a while.
I awoke to a terrible cacophony that seemed to shake the house, and I heard screams issuing from inhuman throats. I remember the way that horrible noise made my skin crawl, and even now it gives me shivers. Amid the sizzling, explosions, and roars, I could hear my father shouting in languages that I had only begun to understand.
I was hearing words of power. Words of magic. My father is one of the most powerful mages in the Kingdom of Kerlandia, and my mother his near equal. Even as I remember creeping out of my room to see what was going on. My foolish attempt to see what my parents were doing most likely saved my life that night.
Our home is large, as befitting such prominent people like my parents, and I had to walk along dark corridors while all the while listening to howls of inhuman creatures. Looking back, I was probably frightened out of my wits, but it was so numbing that my body didn't remember to freeze up.
I came to the front door of my home and opened it to see what was going on outside. I was awed. My father and mother were standing up to a mob of terrible creatures, their forms too alien and twisted to remember correctly. Even as they galloped, lurched, and crawled towards my parents, my father and mother resisted them with arcane lightning and eldritch barriers. I was so awed by the destructive beauty that is combat magic that I didn't realize that my parents were fighting a losing battle. For every creature felled two more took its place, and my parents were slowly being pushed back.
Suddenly, my father looked back at me--how had he known I was there?--and yelled at me to get inside. In that horrible moment of distraction, the storm of destruction faded just a tiny bit, and the creatures charged through the gap. My father was brought down under a pile of monsters, even as they fell blackened and ruptured by his final death-curse. My mother fought valiantly, but what two mages could not do one could never hope to accomplish. She, too, was driven into the ground, and her dying curse ended more than a quarter of the creatures that were coming for me. I stared at where my parents had fallen, buried under monstrous corpses, and I would have joined them if a pair of strong hands had not yanked me back into the house.
My brother was a mage-in-training, and he was powerful. And he must have known--just as my own grieving mind did--that he would die should he stand up to the hoard of monsters. Yet, he pushed me deeper into the house, barricading the front door with his own magic as he yelled at me to find a place to hide. I ran so that I would not have to see him die, too.
I hid in the first place that came to mind: my parents study. My father and mother kept all manner of mystical and arcane artifacts there. I huddled in the corner and let my bruised psyche attempt to quiet itself, but I could not. I don't know how long it was before the creature broke the door down, but by then I had found a trinket of my mother's, a golden choker necklace that was studded with gems, a beautifully wrought piece of jewelry. I clutched it to myself, near my throat and closed my eyes as the monsters stinking breath swept over me.
Personality: I loved my family, even my brother, who, as many young girls can attest to, are sometimes sheer pains to be around. I loved what we had had, and what we were. I remembered my brother often teasing me for being so quiet, jokingly saying that I would make an excellent cloistered nun. I laughed back with him, and still to this day I remember what it was like to laugh so freely. I remembered my father poking at me about some boy at school I fancied, and I had laughed more. I remembered my mother holding me as she stroked my hair, telling me about what a magnificent person--both physically and in temperament--I would someday become. I remembered my father's lessons, how he would so often press me for answers. I remember singing with my mother, playing with my brother. I remembered all those things that night as I awaited my death. Except death did not come for me that night.
The necklace I had held close to me suddenly moved in my hand unbidden, wrapping around my throat tightly. I tried in vain to pry of its choking hold, but I could not. I tried screaming, but no sound came. Even as the hideous maw of the monster yawned open to bite into my flesh, I felt power surging through me. The constriction on my throat was more than physical now, and I felt something bonding to me on a level I didn't understand then, and still do not understand now.
| Standard Normal human strength.||Agility:|
|Standard Normal human agility.|
|Standard Normal human endurance. ||Mind:|
|Superior Highly educated and ingenious. |
A smart cookie.
In that rush of magical power, the monster that had been standing before me halted and looked at me in puzzlement. Even as I stared at its hideous visage, I could see something new. Something that should have been impossible. I could see currents of magic imbuing this creature, unholy magic that was binding this creature to this world. I see how it twisted and writhed about the monster, animating its will for some dark master.
It remembered its mission, then, and began to reach a clawed hand for my face. Moving swiftly, I moved with both hand and mind, reaching out and sweeping away the magic that surrounded the creature. Instantaneously, the creature looked bewildered, and then horrified, as the magical conduit that tied it to this plane faded away. With a shriek, the monster discorporated, its magic disrupted.
I picked myself up off the floor and looked around the room. There was no trace of the monster that had come after me, but I heard more of the creatures scrabbling around outside. I started thinking of a way to somehow escape that house, each idea more and more fantastic as only the mind of a panicked twelve-year-old can dream of. Amid these impossible schemes, I remembered what had just happened.
I sank to my knees and began to cry. It wasn't right, though, as I remembered. Tears slid down my face, yet I uttered no sound even though all I wanted to do was to howl into the night. Why? I can't remember, yet I was sure something was preventing me from using my voice. Perhaps the choker now wrapped around my neck had to do with it.
Even as I grieved silently, I heard something else enter the room. Another creature. Like the first it comes towards me, malevolent and bestial. And again power that I had never had before reach out and touch the creature's mind. I watched it look at me with rage in its eyes, and it draws in breath to issue forth a bellow that would bring all them upon me.
But it does not. The monster's eyes flutter, and it stumbles about the room before it falls, silent and slumbering.
It had been rendered harmless, at least for the while, but the sleeping creature still frightened my young mind, and I had fled the room. I was careless, panicked, and frightened, and it wasn't hard for me to attract the creatures that had killed my parents. I watched them filing out of rooms, through the windows, even tunneling up from the floors. I was surrounded.
- Power: Force Field
- Kit Power Link: Empathy
I had cheated death three times already, and now it looked to be my time to join my family. Looking back at that moment in time, part of me actually welcomed it. No more fear, no more pain, just peace. Quiet. Silence.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw one of the monsters charged, its taloned paws outstretched to rip my head from my body as all around me its brothers hooted and howled in rage and hunger. And then nothing.
Not the release of death, but silence. I was still there, a scared little girl who had lost everything. But no claws closed around my neck, and no inhuman roars reached my ears. I looked up, and saw the ravening creatures pounding on nothingness, unable to touch me.
I don't know why I had done it, but I reached to touch the necklace around my neck. As I had felt it out my eyes widened as I fingered the circumference of my own neck. The choker was not just wrapped around my neck, it was bonded to my neck, as though it and my flesh were trying to become one. Directly over my throat lay the largest gem of the necklace, a bright sapphire that seemed to pulse in the darkness. I noticed, though, that it no longer seemed constricting. It felt... like a part of me.
- Power: Spellcraft
- Kit Power Link: Empathy
- Area Effect This attack causes damage in a large area.
- Seeker This attack hunts and follows its target.
- Ranged and Melee Attack! Attack is equally effective at range and up close.
I wondered--and I still wonder, as a matter of fact--what it was. It was my mother's necklace, yet it had to be more than that now. Hadn't my mother shown me that necklace, and how I would someday inherit it. It was meant for me, either soon or in the distant future, and I wondered if my parents had done something more to that piece of jewelry to make it more than just a pretty trinket.
I stood up and looked around, where the creatures still pounded on the invisible barrier, snarling and gibbering as they tried to get to me. It was then that my grief and terror turned to rage. I remember clearly now, how I had wanted to scream in pure fury at the creatures, but my anger was so draining that my throat locked up. I was saved again.
It's so clear in my mind now, what happened next. I had looked at the creatures around me, and in frustration, grief, anger, and terror, I whispered "Stop."
Just that single, whispered word. Stop.
There was an explosion, and suddenly I was no longer surrounded by the creatures. Something had hurled them back, sending them crashing through the walls of my house.
My eyes had widened at the point, and I stood, confused, as I watched creatures who had been farther away pick themselves up from the floor, dazed. The ones that had stood closer were... simply no more. Just smears of ash on the ground. I was amazed at the destruction I had unleashed, yet I was terrified by it. I had no idea how! No incantation, no complex symbolic gesture, nothing.
Yet I had cast powerful magic. I had no time to ponder this, though, since the beasts had regained their feet and were loping towards me, murder in their terrible eyes. They advanced, unimpeded, and I waited for the mysterious magic to defend me again.
Nothing happened. I drew in a breath, and I reached out with my will and disrupted some of the creatures, sending them back to whatever damned place spawned them and yet others stumbled and fell to the ground, slumbering. But it would not be enough. When would it happened again? When would it--
I hear a snarl from behind me, and a creature prepares to leap. Panic again grips me, and a panicked "No!" leaves my lips.
And then magic exploded outwards again, ordered by my shaky will, and the monster was flung away.
In a flash of magic and revelation, I realized what had happened. What I had become. This necklace had been meant for me, had been crafted for me by my parents. Only now had I realized the powerful magic that resided in the choker, the jewels empowered to help me channel my own magical talent, like my mother's bracelet or my father's rings.
Channel it where? Through my voice? Why? Why would my parents curse me with an heirloom that made the quietest utterance a thing of destruction? Even now I still ponder it. Had I claimed it too soon? Had my parents not completed it yet? Was my own magical powers not ready to be handled in such a way?
I didn't know then, and I still don't know now. What I had known then was that I had nothing left, and that this house would become my family's tomb... as well as the creatures that had taken their lives. I looked up into the sky, where the moon stares down at the carnage of my home. All that I love lies destroyed, and I grieved not only for them, but for my shackled voice that will never speak or laugh or cry ever again.
At least, not without consequence.
I screamed my grief and rage out into the night. I might have screamed "No more!". Or perhaps "Leave me alone!"
I do not know. What I do know that as soon as my shout left my lips, the world had exploded around me.
It's now six years since that day, since a twelve-year-old Nataylia Terrol lost her family and her voice. Six years since I've been wandering the land, training myself to never speak unless I bent my will around the magic that issued forth every time I opened my lips. I had laughed, once, at a theater show, and I had destroyed the stage and several buildings behind it. Luckily, I had caught myself in time and controlled it so no one was killed.
I have explored my magic, and I'm slowly feeling my way through the terrible power I now have. It's hard when one cannot laugh, or cry, or speak words of love to one she holds dear. This choker is a gift and a curse.
Wandering from one plane of reality to another, I find myself in a new place, where concrete towers reach to touch the sky itself. This is not my land or my people, but I can see the strength of the ones who commit evil. I had not been powerful enough to save my family then, so I'll try to make up for that.
I just have to say a word.
I had long since given up hope of ever indulging in something I used to enjoy as a little girl. With this choker wrapped around my throat, I would never sing again, for a single note would leave ruin around me. Yet I missed it. My mother had said I had a beautiful voice, but I can't know now. Even if I did risk a single verse, my voice has had such little use it would probably sound horrible.
On one of those days--one of those days where I would find a secluded spot, far away from people, to meditate--I sat atop a large rock, staring at the setting sun. It is such a beautiful sight, with the clouds painted orange and the twisting shadows dancing as the wind blew the plains grass about. Suddenly, I feel tears in my eyes. Sorrow at having my voice shackled suddenly turns to rage and a muttered curse escapes my lips and reduces a nearby boulder to gravel. Seeing the destruction I have wrought, I clench my jaw shut and allow the anger to pass.
The following morning, I am awake to watch the sunrise. I find it even more beautiful, since the darkness is fading and giving way to light. It's optimistic, in its own way. I suddenly remember a song my mother used to sing, a beautiful tune that always found me in my mother lap, listening. Such a beautiful song. I can hear it in my head, as if my mother were still alive and singing it to me.
Then, with a start, I realize I do not just hear the tune in my mind, but through my ears. It is my voice. I have been singing. I stare in astonishment at the area around me; nothing has happened. I had spoken, but nothing had happened. But how? A laugh or a sigh or a snort reduced boulders to dust, yet a song did not? Perhaps there was something special about that song, that memory. Perhaps...
I smile, and close my eyes. With the sun warming my face, with my mother's voice echoing in my mind, I sing.