Curse #1: The Beginning: Qalia

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Author’s Note:

This is an interesting opening. With the way the series is formatted now, Qalia isn’t introduced until much later on, but here we are opening with it. This was a symptom of me “Starting from the Beginning”. I went so far back that I kinda robbed the story of some major plot revelations. I really struggled with where “the beginning” was. How far back was a good place to start? This was too far.

It depicts the summoning of Qaitax and the creation of the Voice. For starters, this is not at all how the Q’taxians come into possession of Qaitax. Also, the Voice has been altered into an Archon. AKA a mortal that’s been gifted part of the Void while maintaining free-will. As opposed to a thrall which is a mortal who’s mind is consumed and used as a puppet of a Lord.

This whole version is really messed up and I think its the worse version I ever wrote. Feel free to leave your thoughts because I’d love to know what people think about this weirdness.

ALSO parts of this are still cannon. Certain elements are carrying over, but most of it is utter trash in my opinion.

Anyway, enjoy the beginning of the mess!

Qalia

In the darkest chamber of the earthen halls, the yellow robes gathered around their foul creation. Above them they could hear the sounds of panic and despair. They knew what they must do to save their people. Not all of them, but those who were willing to risk the darkness would surely one day find the light.

A woman garbed in the finest white silk with a crown of horns upon her head appeared between them clutching something to her chest. Bowing their heads, they parted for her. With a deep breath and words uttered in a long dead language, she threw the device to the floor. It burst open casting a dull purple light on the yellow robes. Three pieces of metal came together at three corners accentuated by the presence of a perfectly spherical violet gem. A strange god had taught them this design, yet it took them generations to master it. Before her laid the last ounce of hope for her people. She turned to the yellow robes once more. They bowed their heads as though the sight of her was unbearable to their darkness addled eyes. Long moments passed as she stared at the device. The chaos above seemed to grow louder in her ears. The things were coming. The creatures they had called pets or food had finally turned on them. It was their time to take the surface of their world. Tears welling in her eyes, she stepped into the triad that laid before her. It took every ounce of her willpower not to jump out of it, but with the utterance of the first word from the bowed heads of the yellow vestments around her, the first stone came to life. Paralyzed with fear, she watched as another crystal slowly came to life. They were chanting and muttering all around her. As the third crystal began to glow, her fear shifted to resolve. This was the moment she had spent all her life preparing for. This was her moment. Through her, she knew her people would finally be safe. Through her, a god of their own would be born. The last crystal burst alight.

Nothing.

The robed figures ceased their chants. They stared at the woman in the middle of their contraption. It was her fault. They had done everything perfectly. Exactly to the specifications of the old god. It was her. Mortal error. What had she done to displease their soon-to-be god? They began grumbling and muttering insults.

“Of course she failed us. She was not given the gift of the old one. It should have been one of us…”

“We assumed a female would have suited our needs…”

“Clearly she’s of inferior stock. Perhaps she is not a virgin as she has so vehemently claimed to be?”

Sinister chuckling followed with forlorn sighs.

“All is lost, then,” one of them finally breathed, “We had but one chance. Gone…”

“BECAUSE OF YOU!” another lashed out throwing the woman to the floor within the trinity, “You…” he seethed as he threw his hood back, “Our species is lost,” he knelt down. She closed her eyes tightly, fighting the tears from her eyes as his dry, scaly fingers wrapped around her neck, “Because. Of. You.”

In an instant, a brilliant violet light filled the room.Her eyes burst open, emanating a violet glow of their own. The man before her had seemingly vanished. She could feel a strange coating of something warm and sticky on her face. Raising her hands she found them covered in blood and viscera. Looking to the men before her, she watched them shrink away. She could feel something strange and foreign fill her body. One of them stood tall before her while the others had backed themselves against a wall.

“I knew you were a fine specimen,” he laughed, “We made you, after all, to the specifications of a god. By our hands, you are perfect,” he laughed, “Now, whore, bring unto us our god and saviour.”

She could feel a snarl crossing her lips. The man before her burst apart as if something had pulled him from every angle. Not even a scream came from his lips before his body laid in tatters on the floor.

Energy welled up inside of her. It burned and ached. It wasn’t her’s. It wasn’t of her world. It was something distant, cold, angry… hungry. She slowly raised herself to her feet as a tear burst open behind her.

“I COME!” she bellowed at the top of her lungs, “I HAVE ANSWERED YOUR MORTAL PLEASE NOW BOW BEFORE MY MIGHT!”

Tendrils slithered like shadows through the rift, making their way around the entirety of the chamber lit only by the violet glow of the portal behind her.

A robbed figure stepped forwards.

“Not yet,” another hissed, holding him back.

The woman raised her arms before them, “KNEEL BEFORE ME AND DESPAIR!”

A ball of ever writhing tendrils finally emerged from the tear. It’s mouth slowly gaped open, a tongue of woven tendrils emerged.

“DEFIANCE?” she laughed, “MORTAL DEFIANCE IS A COMMON YET WORTHLESS TRAIT,” one of the robed figures stepped from the wall and dropped to his knees, “FINALLY,” a wicked grin crossed her lips, “SOMETHING TO EAT!”

The creature’s tongue lashed out at the prostrating mortal.

“BEFORE YOU DINE UPON ME, O LORD OF THE ABYSS, GIVE UNTO US YOUR NAME THAT WE MAY KNOW WHO IT IS WE WORSHIP ON THIS DAY AND FOR THE REST OF OUR PEOPLE’S LIVES!”

The tendrils stopped mere inches from his face.

“NONE SHALL SURVIVE THIS ENCOUNTER,” the woman’s voice boomed with an unnatural tone, “YOU WILL ALL SERVE ME WHOLLY AND COMPLETELY!”

“Then who is it, that we have so recklessly sacrificed ourselves to? What god were we fool enough to entice to our crumbling world?” his hood hid his sinister smirk.

“A NAME?” though she still uttered a voice foreign to any mortal being, curiosity was evident. She laughed. It echoed through the tiny chamber, “SO THAT YOU MAY BEG FOR YOUR WORTHLESS LIVES?”

The knot of tendrils behind her continued to writhe in place. The robed men against the wall could feel the other tendrils creeping closer toward them from the start shadows the harsh light cast about the room.

“That we may know who to thank for ending our suffering,” the man’s sneer was nearly evident in his words.

“OH NO, MY LITTLE MORSEL, YOUR SUFFERING HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN! A THOUSAND FOLD WILL I MAKE AND UNMAKE YOU. A THOUSAND FOLD WILL I BREAK YOU DOWN ONLY TO REBUILD YOU FOR MY OWN PLEASURE. AN ETERNITY TRAPPED IN THE CONFINES OF ALL THAT I AM. SERVING NOTHING BUT MY ETERNAL GRATIFICATION,” she let loose a shrill cackle, “FOREVER MY PLAY THINGS!”

The tongue wrapped around his neck. With a sharp jerk, he was pulled into the creatures ravening maw. Blood gushed against the woman’s back staining what little white remained of her garb.

“SO SURE OF HIMSELF, HE WAS,” she laughed as the sound of masticating flesh filled all of their ears, “I CAN TASTE IT. A PLAN. HE WAS SO CERTAIN HE COULD FULFILL…” a loud gulp signaled the end of the body’s torture, “I WILL PRY THIS KNOWLEDGE FROM HIS SKULL.”

“We seek only to offer ourselves as your servants!” another man stepped forwards, “Our world is long lost to the Void. We seek only to expedite our end. Devour us, o Lord of the Realm Betwixt. Devour us that we may serve our final purpose!”

The woman glared at them. Distrust written on her features.

“WAS THIS CREATURE… POISONED IN SOME MANNER?” she asked slowly in confusion, “IT IS NOT LIKE MORTALS TO WILLFULLY END THEIR EXISTENCES, BUT IF THAT IS THE CASE,” the tendril’s maw burst open once more, “I WOULD BE MORE THAN ECSTATIC TO GLUT MY BEING UPON YOUR FLESH!”

As they exchanged words, the writhing monster and the woman failed to notice three of the robbed men had placed themselves at each corner of the trinity. Suddenly, the creature was very aware of something wrong. An eye burst open from the inside of its mouth. Slowly protruding, it looked down to find the formation beneath it.

“WH-WHAT IS…” the woman’s body became rigid, “A TRAP!” she bellowed, “YOU SOUGHT TO ENSNARE THE MIGHTY QAITAX! FOOLS!” The tendrils began withdrawing through the tear, “I WILL RETURN FOR YOUR BLOOD OF MY OWN ACCORD YOU INSOLENT-”

The chanting began all at once. “BY THE WILL OF THE THE VOID, THE MOTHER AND THE FATHER, MAY THIS ONE BE BOUND TO US! LORD QAITAX IS OURS!” The robed figures bellowed out at once.

The ones standing at each corner burst into flames as their bodies were stretched into rigid beams of flesh and bone. The pylons met above the writhing demon forming the frame of a pyramid around it. The rift slammed shut, severing several tendrils that had tried to escape through it.

The cry of pain uttered by the woman was unearthly and was echoed a hundred times over by the creature itself.

“I AM A VOIDLORD! I AM A GOD! YOU CANNOT… CONTAIN…”

A loud bang filled the room as the frame lit up with the same violet light that emanated from the crystals in the triangle. The woman collapsed to the floor.

“MEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!”

With another bang, all light left the room.

A deafening silence filled the darkness.

“Wh-” the woman’s voice had lost all its power yet her eyes were still aglow, “What has…” she collapsed to the ground, “What has happened to…” the sound of a thousand tendrils falling to the floor echoed in the stone chamber, “What has happened to me…”

“L-Lord Qaitax, w-was it?” with a snap a dim warm light filled the room. A yellow robe torn to shreds stood before them, “I am Brother Jal. I speak for my people.”

The woman snarled, her entire form covered in the blood of her people.

The man sighed, “Please, Lord Qaitax, we only need a fraction of your strength to save our people…”

“Release me,” she snarled, “And I will waste no time devouring every mortal life on this rock.”

Brother Jal sighed heavily, “Oh, My Lord, there was never any intention of freeing you. You belong to us now. I only ask that you serve us willingly. Should you not, you will find yourself under far greater torment than you could ever deal to us.”

“I will not succumb to the will of mortals,” she hissed.

“Oh, but you will,” Brother Jal laughed, “You will,” he turned to the remaining robbed figures behind him, “BROTHERS OF THE SHATTERED SUN! ON THIS DAY OUR WORLD IS SAVED! ON THIS DAY OUR FUTURES ARE SET IN STONE! WE WILL SURVIVE!”

Weak yet emphatic cheers echoed in the chamber.

“ON THIS DAY, WE FELLED A GOD THAT WE MIGHT LIVE!”

Stronger cheering followed.

“QALIA ETERNAL!” he bellowed.

“QALIA ETERNAL!” the cried out in return.

“Now!” he shouted, “To deliver this news to our people! The Halls are finally safe for them. May we dwell here for generations to come! For the Halls of Qalia! For the future of our people!”

“FOR THE HALLS!” the remaining robes bellowed.

“What has become…” the woman whispered as they robed men made their way out of the room. A stone door slammed shut. The yellow light dimmed. “What has become… of me…”

Tendrils laid motionless on the floor.

~

In the dark emptiness of her own mind, her consciousness returned. Opening her eyes, she saw nothing. A voice, echoing inside of her…

You belong to me now, mortal.

She struggled to keep an unwavering air of sternness.

You have but two choices…

She could feel it’s breath on her face. The slithering of its tendrils. The gnashing of its teeth. The writhing of its tongue, saturated in the blood of those who had once controlled her.

I can consume you. End your existence. No toying. Only death.

Though she couldn’t see, she clenched her eyes shut tightly. The offer was tempting…

Or… You can serve me in life.

Her eyes shot open, the world still empty to her.

“How…”

You accept my will as your own. You do as I command. You serve me and only me.

Her mind wandered at the implications of becoming the servant of a monstrous god. Then again, she had already lived her life as a servant to evil men. She didn’t care what their intentions were, their tactics were vile and repulsive. She knew full well she didn’t have to suffer as much as they’d forced her to. Perhaps through this god… She could not only be free of them, but…

Destroy them… the creature finished her thought, Not all at once though, little one. No. We will bend them before rending their wretched lives.

This was the offer that was too good to pass up. Death would have been simple. She’d be free, but tormenting them? With the power of a god behind her? A wicked smile crossed her lips.

“At what price, then, my Lord?” it was clear her mind was already made up, but the question was still had to be asked.

A simple price. Every drop of your blood that is born into this world belongs to me. For as long as I am imprisoned, your blood shall serve me, it paused a moment, the females. Like you.

She bowed her head, “I believe my descendants will understand. What of my duties?”

Obey me and put my will before all others. If I command you to do something that goes against the will of your people, I expect you to carry it out. Can I expect such service from you?

“Yes, my Lord, I will do as you say,” she bowed before him, “I am yours to command.”

A gust of stale air washed over her as tendrils wove themselves around her. Not an ounce of her flesh was left open to the world around her. They squeezed her body tightly, before releasing her. Collapsing to the floor, she struggled to catch her breath. The eye crept out to face her once more.

I will not remain in this prison for eternity, it narrowed at her, and it is your blood that will help set me free. Do you accept this?

“Yes,” she choked out between breaths, “So long as my freedom and the freedom of my blood goes with you.”

The eye seemed to smile at her, Very good.

It withdrew into the maw giving way for another tendril to approach her. Resting against her forehead, she could feel a searing burning sensation.

There, the creature whispered as it withdrew its appendage, You now belong to me. You are both my voice, my tool, and my charge. An ounce of my power is now yours. You are free to use it as you see fit, but when I call upon you, you must answer.

Every fiber of her being felt as though it had been lit on fire. Rather than pain, however, she felt… exhilarated.

You are my will. My weapon. My voice. None can deny the mark I’ve given you. Those robbed digestives will have no course of action but to obey you. And should they ever seek to control or destroy you, the gaping maw grinned, You have my strength at your disposal.

Struggling to her feet, she bowed to him once more.

“Lord, Qaitax, was it?” she cleared her throat.

Yes. And you are?

“Lord Qaitax,” she stood tall and spoke firm, “I am Sennetal of Qalia. Your loyal and faithful servant.”

Yet to be proven, but from a cursory examination of your consciousness, I have little reason to doubt your claim.

“Oh, I will prove it to you, my Lord. You will not regret your faith in me,” her smile grew to maddening proportions.

Should I ever, well… Qaitax gnashed its teeth at her.

“There’ll never be a need for that,” she laughed, “For it seems our wills align quite well.”

Indeed.

“What, then, is my first task in your name, Lord Qaitax?” Sennetal bowed to him once more.

Go forth and claim your rightful place among your people. Secure my voice among them and the future of your blood.

“As you will, my Lord, so it shall be done.”

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