Said to be created by winebibbers in the city of Masuta soon after the Massacre at Despiun,
and is now often celebrated in the form of song throughout the land of Akripola.
𝕯𝖊𝖘𝖕𝖎𝖚𝖓, 𝕯𝖊𝖘𝖕𝖎𝖚𝖓, 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖘𝖒𝖆𝖑𝖑 𝖕𝖗𝖔𝖛𝖎𝖓𝖈𝖊 𝖔𝖋 𝕯𝖊𝖘𝖕𝖎𝖚𝖓,
𝖓𝖎𝖌𝖍 𝖔𝖋 𝕬𝖌𝖑𝖎𝖆 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝕾𝖔𝖚𝖙𝖍 𝕰𝖆𝖘𝖙 𝖔𝖋 𝖋𝖆𝖎𝖗 𝕸𝖆𝖘𝖚𝖙𝖆,
𝖜𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖊 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖋𝖔𝖗𝖊𝖘𝖙𝖘 𝖙𝖊𝖆𝖒𝖘 𝖜𝖎𝖙𝖍 𝖛𝖎𝖛𝖆𝖈𝖎𝖔𝖚𝖘 𝖑𝖎𝖋𝖊 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖑𝖚𝖘𝖍 𝖒𝖊𝖆𝖉𝖔𝖜𝖘 𝖆𝖗𝖊 𝖘𝖜𝖊𝖊𝖙 𝖜𝖎𝖙𝖍 𝖇𝖔𝖚𝖓𝖙𝖞,
𝖜𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖊 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖉𝖆𝖞𝖘 𝖆𝖗𝖊 𝖜𝖆𝖗𝖒 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖓𝖎𝖌𝖍𝖙𝖘 𝖆𝖗𝖊 𝖒𝖎𝖑𝖉,
𝖜𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖊 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖋𝖆𝖗𝖒𝖊𝖗𝖘 𝖆𝖗𝖊 𝖕𝖗𝖔𝖘𝖕𝖊𝖗𝖔𝖚𝖘 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖕𝖊𝖔𝖕𝖑𝖊 𝖆𝖗𝖊 𝖌𝖗𝖆𝖈𝖎𝖔𝖚𝖘,
𝖜𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖊 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖘𝖕𝖗𝖎𝖓𝖌𝖘 𝖆𝖗𝖊 𝖇𝖔𝖚𝖓𝖙𝖎𝖋𝖚𝖑 𝖆𝖓𝖉 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖋𝖗𝖊𝖘𝖍𝖊𝖘𝖙 𝖜𝖆𝖙𝖊𝖗 𝖎𝖓 𝖆𝖑𝖑 𝖔𝖋 𝕬𝖐𝖗𝖎𝖕𝖔𝖑𝖆 𝖋𝖑𝖔𝖜𝖘 𝖆𝖕𝖑𝖊𝖓𝖙𝖞…
…𝖇𝖚𝖙 𝖘𝖔 𝖙𝖔𝖔 𝖉𝖔𝖊𝖘 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖇𝖑𝖔𝖔𝖉.
To say this particular day in Dispiun started out like any other would be unconscionably insincere, because it actually started out really bad. At the break of dawn, over two years ago, the residence of the tiny village of Despiun were rudely woken from their slumber by an invasion of disfigured humanoids - or were they mutations? No one really knew which, but that didn’t really matter since no one there lived long enough to appreciate the knowledge in any case.
The horde of heinous beasts made short work of the village, and no one could have called it a battle, it wasn’t, which is why it went down in history as The Massacre at Despiun. These beasts were powerful, without morals and void of discretion, mutilating and dismembering the men, the woman, the elderly and the young alike, and destroying any home that may have stood in the way of the obvious good time they were having. Even the local witch, known for her prowess in combat magic, was apparently caught by surprised and, oddly enough, defiled in her bed before - or possibly while - being ripped asunder. It was said all forty six members of Despiun met their unlikely demise that day, but that wasn’t altogether true. There was one survivor, number forty seven; a part human teen by the name of Devlin.
Devlin was fortunate enough to suffer from insomnia and left her bed to go for a walk, still some distance from the village when the event took place. From her position in the woods she heard the cries of her people, which provoked a hasty retreat to the village, only to discover the aftermath of death and destruction that awaited her.
Trauma affects each person differently. In Devlin’s case, the initial and overwhelming horror of what she witness soon gave way to emotional death, like a part of her soul had been ripped away. She went numb, standing amid the ruins of her home, the tears on her face becoming dry while the empty glaze of death stared back at her from the decapitated head of her father. She stood there all day utterly unmoving, though eventually her eyes shifted from the gaze of her father and dispassionately observed the shadows of day move across the bloodstained ruins of the village, until eventually the spectrum hues of sunset faded to the black velvet blanket of night that gradually scrolled across the world, before the depth of the universe then yielded to the pastel hues of the following dawn.
It was the glare of the morning sun striking down from above the treetops that finally had Devlin budge from her daylong stance, yet by this time her state of being had well and truly established itself as something more than emotional death. Sure, much of the numbness remained, only now it carried with it the disturbingly bitter taste of disdain, mingled with the curios sensation of being in a dream.
She wasn’t fully aware of her actions. Everything seemed distant. Her memory of events became fragmented by her disjointed consciousness while she commenced to sifting through the ruins of her home, yet somehow managed to gather a few important items before making her way out of town. At this point she felt weightless, as if she were floating, aimlessly wandered the countryside in her dreamlike state for several days before inevitable collapsing in the Western foothills of the great mountain range of Epir.
Several hours followed before someone arrived to Devlin’s aid. They were tall individual adorned in a patterned black and purple vestment that covered the entirety of their person, allowing nothing more than the emerald glow of their eyes to shin though a slot in the vestments granite-like mask. For a small while they stood motionless, looking down upon her strewn body among the leaf litter and dirt of her landing before stooping low and turning her over for long, curious study of her features.
“Infant….” Their thick, gravelly voice seemed to cause a small breeze to stir the leaves of the surrounding trees, as one slender and leathery grey finger protruded from the cuff of their sleeve and pressed in on her neck for several seconds. Retracting their finger to the confines of their sleeve, they continued to loom for a while longer with a soft rattling sound being emitted from their person. Then, as the rattling faded, they reached out with both arms and lifted her gently from ground, cradling her close as they straightened their posture and carried her away up through the foothills.
Devlin woke to find herself inside a room with rock walls and dimly lit by the flames of a fire burning within the artlessly constructed barrier of a fireplace near the centre of a smooth, stone floor. By all accounts the place looked like a well-kept cave, swept, furnished and the dark opening of an archway at both ends. To her left on the far side of the room was a long wooden box stuffed with dry grass, which was much the same as the makeshift bed she found herself lying on - but to her right, close by, and making her rise in alert to a seated position - was a tall individual slumped in a chair at a crudely crafted timber table.
Remaining on the bed, Devlin fastened herself back against the wall, eyes widening with trepidation at the sceptical she was witnessing. It could have been a man, had it not been for the large, glowing emerald-like eyes, the small slot for a mouth, the softly quivering flap that covered a small hole in the center of its face, the two gill-like slots on either side of its bald head, and the coin sized protrusion in the center of its forehead that moved in a slow pulsating rhythm. It’s arms, like its legs, were slender, yet the dense fibres of their muscular tone could be seen pressing tautly beneath surface of it’s thick and leathery skin, which over all of its body was a greyish blue color with faded markings like the speckled bands of an aging snake.
She opened her mouth to announce her concern, but her voice got lodged in her throat as the recollection of her father’s dead eyes flashed like a clip from a horror movie through her mind. She was suddenly at an impasse, utterly unaware of what to react to; the freak seated before her, or the heavy memory of the terror she had left back in the province of Despiun. Her hands clenched tight to the dry grass of her bed in a display of her anguish, as her eyes became heavy, her face paled, and the sound of her grinding teeth grated the atmosphere of the room with discomfort.
Raising gradually one arm, the individual at the table extended three of its bony finger, pointing them at her in the company of a light and somehow comforting breeze that circulated the room while the small slot of his mouth parted to pronounce the gravelled, though gentle tone of his words: “Will not hurt you…. Infant.”
Against all probability, Devlin felt her anxiety lessen, if only a little, yet enough to have her stop grinding her teeth, relax the grip she had on the dry grass, and formulate a coherent response.
“What are you?”
Having already lowered his hand back to the table, the strange individual releasing a purr like sound, as if pleasured by her young, slightly rasped voice, and then replied. ‘’I am one.” They paused, and added; “I am Madasincori”
“Madasin….” Her voice trailed off, either she was having difficulty pronouncing the name or she lost her ability to want to.
“Ma… da….” They said, the grate of their voice clearly denoting the more convenient form of their identity.
She stared for a moment, eyes seemingly out of focus like she may have temporarily been thinking of something else before, almost abruptly, she repeating the name in its shorter form.
He gave a slight nod to confirm.
She continued to inspect their person, as it now occurred to her that they were mostly void of clothing, besides that of a small patterned loincloth that closely matched the tones of their skin.
“Are you…” She paused to reflect a note of caution for posing the question, “…a man?”
They shifted the tiny black pupils of their large green eyes to one side considering an appropriate response, then peered back at her diligently. “I am he.”
“Okay….” She uttered, as by some unknown means she found herself unable to remove her eyes from his. They were locked in a silent stare. She felt a peculiar sensation, like an invisible finger was penetrating the bone between her eyes as the pulsations of Mada’s forehead began to accelerate. The rate of its beat steadily increased while the intrusive force between her eyes seeped deeper, applying pressure to her brain like a thick cloud extending its fingers through avenues of her mind. It was then that she inexplicably became aware that this creature… this man, he was entering her thoughts, perusing her memories, invading the sum of her life. Yet, for reasons too peculiar to explain, this violating force did not upset her. She was quickly feeling at ease, relaxed, even sedated as her eyes glazed over and her mouth dropped open, strangely pleasured by this connection he had made with her.
Before long, while she continued to quietly indulge in the pleasure of his intrusive presence, the protrusion on his forehead reached the point of a rapid, uncoordinated rhythm. The sound of its fibrillating beat could now be felt and heard like a disjointed musical dance through the recesses of her mind, as the table he was seated at began to tremble, the room began to quake while shards of rock began to flake from the walls and the flames of the fire rose high, lapping at the ceiling with its upstretched tongues – and it was then that she heard him speaking again – but not with words born of his mouth; the voice of Mada had entered her head, as though his very own thoughts had merged with her own –
…I have witnessed your sorrows… the tears of your heart mingle with my own...
…Your kind is weak… limited...
…Yet… I will restore you... I will raise you up high…
…I will make you all you can be….
It had been no less than an eventful journey since leaving the asylum of Mada’s cave several weeks before, an enlightening path of trial and battle that inevitable led her to this point. She had come a long way, not only in her recent trek, but also from the traumatized child she once knew. That former version of herself seemed estranged to her now, like a character from the faded pages of some old book she once read.
Tonight the stars seemed brighter than usual, blazing in a spectrum of dazzling hues and playing host to a swollen silver moon, while the sweet scent of lemongrass filled the air and hairline flickers of violet light danced about her fingers as she stood at a distance, gazing out from her hood toward the charming lights of Nadska.
She’d been standing there for some time, perched upon the rubble of a farmhouse long since destroyed while surveying the area, admiring the view. But it was getting late. She was feeling weary. Regardless of loathing the idea of interacting people, she was looking forward to sleeping in a real bed for a change, and that was something only civilization could provide. With a small flick of her wrist, the strands of electrical current rescinded, fading as they trailed up the leather of her sleeve and disappeared above the crook of her arm. Stepping down from the platform of ruins, she continued as usual to avoid the road and headed down to the riverbank, following the water’s edge until arriving a stone’s throw from the walls of town.
The two guards posted at the gates were wary at first, clutching to the hilt of their swords as they watched her approach, but they soon relaxed when she came to a stop a few meters away and tipped back her hood with one hand to reveal her face. She didn’t however utter even one word as she regarded them both with an even look then took her stare to the doors of the gate itself. For a while the guards remained quiet too, giving each other a few peculiar glances.
“Are you some sort of crazy woman?” One of the guards finally spoke, pausing to deliver a mocking laugh. “You’re either insane or stupid as a bat to be venturing about at this time of night.”
“It must be close to midnight, girl,” The second guard added, glancing at the sky as if the stars were informing him of the time, “The gates of Nadska were locked hours ago.”
Devlin held her peace, absent of expression, giving each guard a second glance and continued to stare at the gate.
“Myti got your tongue?” The first guard asked.
She remained quiet, unmoving, staring at the gate.
The second guard rolled his eyes at the other and added a ridiculing shake of his head. “You really think she’s stupid or something?”
In response to the question, the first guard took a step closer, tilting his head to scrutinize Devlin, who now shifted her eyes to meet his, narrowing her stare with obvious disdain. The look was abrupt and intense enough to startle the man, causing him to step back into position against the wall.
“Wew there, my friends,” The second guard joked, words broken with a hardy laugh, “She might kill you with her eyes if you’re not too careful!”
While Devlin returned her stare to the gate, the first guard overcame his embarrassment with an uneasy chuckle, and turned to his colleague with a heavy shrug of one shoulder. “Now what?”
“How the hell would I know?” He replied, with a shrug of his own.
The two guards fell silent, watching Devlin keenly as she continued to stare at the barrier, occasionally glancing at each other until, at last, and apparently coming up with no better resolve, one of them turned and knocked hard on the gate, calling out to the gatekeeper inside –
With a heavy clunk the doors of the gates shuttered, followed by the grinding of chains that started drawing open the doors. When sufficiently ajar, Devlin returned the hood to her head with the flick of one hand and proceeded toward the entrance.
“Keep your weapons to yourself.“ The first guard warned her. “And enjoy your stay, crazy woman.” The other one added, as she strolled on by and entered through the gates of town.
The tavern was a dingy joint, smelt a lot like stale ale and urine, but nonetheless had a cosy appeal. Given the time, there were only a handful customers when she stepped in the door. From the darkness of her hood she assessed the sparse group then headed to the bar to order a meal.
“What would you like, miss?” The barkeep asked benignly. He was a stout little man with beady eyes and perfectly round face, barely tall enough to see over the countertop. “We don’t have much on the menu at this hour, but the drinks are aplenty. Name your poison!”
“Milk.” She said. It was the first time she’d uttered a word to another human in years, and for an instant she found it kind of weird that the first word she’d mention to a man was the name of some dairy product. Still, she kept her voice at a hush, loud enough for only the barkeep to hear. “And something to eat.”
“Buttermilk or regular?” He replied with a gracious smile.
“And uh…” He said, pausing to deliver a playful wink. “Will that be leftover stew, or leftover stew? I’ve also got a little leftover stew if you’d like that instead?”
She stared at him, unwilling to respond.
“…Then stew it is.” He said, his face drooping a little at her lack appreciation for his joke.
“And a room for the night.” She added, flatly.
“Must be your lucky day,” He remarked, “just so happens we only have one more room available. That’ll be two silver and four copper pieces in total.”
“I have no silver or copper.” She told him, reaching into a pouch on her chest and producing a blue gem that she placed neatly on the counter for him. The sapphire was the size of a full human tooth, reflecting the light of the tavern with a sparkling array of blue and hints of purple and green. “Perhaps a sapphire would suffice?”
The little man went pale, gaping at the stone with his hand reaching up, fingers twitching as they hovered above it, for a moment too scared to even touch such a beautiful thing. “Is that…” He sounded to be running short on breath, “A par…. parti sapphire?” He forced his eyes to look away from the gem to meet with hers once again. “I-I-I I’m sorry, miss, I don’t have change for something like this.”
She grimaced at him, displaying the beginning of her impatience. “I don’t want change. Just give me the food and room.”
“A-A-As you wish!” He said, and quicker than the eye could see, the barkeep snatched the stone from the counter, clutching it so tight in his hand that his knuckles turned white. “Is there anything else you’d like? A hot bath? A massage? A foot rub? Maybe a gentleman caller to your room – I’m available later!”
“No.” She said, curtly.
“As you wish!” He said again, still gripping the gem like his life depended on it. “Go find yourself a table and your meal will arrive momentarily! Oh- and one more thing -” He looked around a little dazed then reaching below the counter. Straightening up he slides a key across to her. “Your room key, miss.”
“Careful you don’t lose that.” She said, glancing at his clenched fist as she took the key and turned to walk away.
The meal was disgusting. Tasted like someone literally dropped feces in it, and the smell was the same. She forced her way through a few mouthfuls prior to pushing the bowl to the far side of her small table. Fortunately the tall cup of milk was fresh and she savored the goodness, holding each sip to linger in her mouth before swallowing. Half way through her drink, however, she was taken by the unmistakable feeling of being watched.
While an old familiar rage boiled up inside, a few currents of violet electricity moved over her fingertips as she set the milk down, turning her head slowly to find the source of those staring eyes – and there it was. A Myti. Sitting a few tables away… just sitting there, staring at her with those cat-like eyes and apparently having nothing better to do than not minding his own damn business. Devlin hadn’t had a lot of dealings with Myti in her life, back in her home village they were only seen on a rare occasion when passing through, but her knowledge about the Myti people was enough to understand that this particular cat was a male and therefore, from what she had heard, almost powerless in the ways of magic.
She used one finger to peel back the rim of her hood enough for him to take a good look at her face, then she narrowed her eyes and curled her lip, snarling wickedly as an array of electrical currents flickered wildly around her eyes.
The Myti’s was apparently surprised, but more importantly threatened by her reaction to him. His eyes widened, blinked a few times, his tail swept about in an awkward manner, then he promptly looked away as if nothing had happened.
With intent accomplished, the currents of electricity subsided with the rage that had boiled up inside her. She resumed drinking her milk, finished it, and then got from her seat to head to her room for the night. As she passed the bar on rout to the stairs, the stout little barkeep was behaving erratically, muttering to himself while patting down his person and looking around in a frantic manner. Apparently he had lost something important to him…. But she didn’t stop, she just smirked softly and continued on her way up the stairs to her room. She could really just do with some sleep.