078: kalros the warlock (d&d)

i first heard the whispers when i was young, too young to understand them. i lived with my aunt in the town of whitehaven, in a small house barely bigger than a shack. i slept on a straw-filled mattress on the living room floor while my aunt slept in the kitchen. she never told me what happened to my parents, and i never decided to ask. but as a young boy i remember running through the muddy streets, bypassing carriages and commoners as i searched for the source of these voices, who, over the years, became increasingly more clear. the voices would ask me to do many things, but since there were so many of them, all asking for something different, it became impossible to do anything for any of them. i spent many years as a young adult hiding in my ramshackle home, unable to move, listen, or speak, succumbing to the cacophony of voices pounding in my skull.

my aunt, worried my affliction was due to devilry in whitehaven, hired a squirrely man to take us and our things to the nearby city of tunstall, an enormous walled city in the middle of the cordellian steppe. in the city we found anonymity the likes of which i had never seen before. i knew no one and no one knew me, and during the day the city was bustling with people. the noise was comforting and often i would wander around in the marketplace to drown out the voices in my head with the voices of real flesh and blood around me. my aunt set up a small patch of farmland right outside the gates and married a particularly well off tailor, and so much of my day was spent selling our excess produce and convincing young noblemen to utilize my step-uncle’s services. this meant parading through the streets wearing the most fashionable clothes. i was, essentially, a pauper in a prince’s clothing, working tirelessly to impress the local nobility by affecting my own.

eventually it worked, and as the lord of blah blah blah began getting his suits tailored by my step-uncle, the money started pouring in. in two years, from age thirteen to fifteen, i went from eating turnip stew most days of the week to dining nearly every night with another member of the aristocracy. as i mingled with nobility, i found the voices had all but disappeared … except for one. a low, powerful rumbling voice that caught me unawares as i slept, or slowly entered my thoughts as i walked the streets. unlike the other voices, it was commanding, confident, smooth and seductive. and also unlike the other voices, it did not tell me what to do. instead, it told me what i could become if only i gave myself over to it.

on my sixteenth birthday, after a feast and a long night of drinking and cavorting, i laid in bed, the voice speaking to me, telling me about where it was hidden and how desperately it needed to be free, to fix the world that was rotting from the core outward. all of this was very appealing to me, and still is. i asked it if it had a name. it said it would tell me its name only if i agree to aid it for the rest of my life. i agreed. it said its name was “blargorth,” and upon hearing that word, i felt a shiver go down my spine, and a sensation i can only describe as a cracking open of my mind, allowing so many thoughts, visions, and magical incantations into my head, burned there for eternity. i felt a wholeness i had never felt before, and a calm contentment that i now find myself seeking again and again. for blargorth does not speak to me like he used to. instead, i am a vessel for him. this power is tremendous, but it also has left my mind voiceless save for my own, which has become a troubling thing. i am used to the cacophony, and this new silence has been deafening in its own way.

because of this i am searching for him, and believe his whereabouts to be deep below god’s eye, in the caverns of the churning depths. thus, i am here on a mission, a criminal of purpose. i … would rather not speak of the crimes i have committed to get here, unless you really want to know, and there is plenty of ale to drink. but that is why i am here.

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