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Darkly Dreaming Demographic.

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Cur 2 Chapter 16 ‘There can only be one’

“I HAVE COME FOR THE LIFE OF ONE!” a strange warbling displaced voiced seemed to screech not from the head but from the hip of the rider. -“BUT I WILL TAKE ALL IF YOU DO NOT SEND OUT THE CREATOR!” The figure was tall and seemed abnormally proportioned under a set of tuathan mail. His head and neck were stiff and motionless as if carved from wood and wax to look like that of the former king of the Tuatha; Nuada Airgetlám. The waxen face glinting ominously in the light of the magical flame sword and the torches around him.

The imposter had taken Bres’s thrown and what was left of his army. Now he marched on the last living souls that knew he was not truly Nuada. Not the Nuada that had taken this isle and renamed it so but a crude copy that nevertheless shared his flesh and would seize it by force.

“YOU HAVE ONE HOUR BEFORE I BURN THIS KEEP TO ASHES!” The hideous guttural displaced voice screeched.

Bres walked for what felt like hours towards the cyclopean spire. In a trance it seemed his march in time to some tune that no human ears could hear. A steady heartbeat exuded from the tower. Before he could fully process his surroundings he was in a throng of strange creatures some not unlike those from the ship. But others far more hideous and monstrous in aspect. So much so he didn’t care to look at them at all and just pushed forward through them to the base of the spire.

As he approached it he could make out faintly, what sounded like blades clashes. Or perhaps teeth gnashing and inhuman warbling of a crowd made up of the denizens of this eldritch keep of unknown aeons.

The base of the spire consisted of a gaping oval maw that seemed much too large an entrance for the squat toad like creatures he had encountered so far. Were they perhaps not the original inhabitants he mused to himself dreamily as he approached the sounds of combat in a daze. Drawn to the dreaming spire as if the waves themselves propelled him.

He was slowly swallowed by the grand maw, inside the keep it was large and cavernous, sounds billowing off every unevenly cragged wall. The inside was half castle half cave but also seemed almost living like it was part of a reef of coral. Or perhaps the inside of some strange prehistoric beast all bones and cartilage fossilized for a thousand years or more.

Inside there were more of those toad like creatures but from then on the mass was more inconsistent. There seemed not to be one race down here but a collection of malformed denizens that seemed to ooze from the very walls. Some on two legs, some on just one, some even crawled on their bellies like vipers or eels. Every one of them was a vile experiment not of nature but of some twisted intellect beyond man’s comprehension.

Their attention was drawn to a crude yet well adorned arena. Constructed from what looked like bones and skin of some never before seen sea creature.

Inside the arena an amorphous mass of grey shapeless flesh bubbled like porridge in a pot. Something vaguely humanoid sinking into the mass as it gurgled and belched. The crowd gibbering louder as whatever it was sunk deeper into the mass until it was completely devoured.

Immediately after that the crowd swelled once more and suddenly the former king felt a sinister energy amassing around him. As if a million bulbous eyes were focused on him alone. Instantly he could feel their slimy appendages gripping him. Forcing him closer to the hideous bubbling mass of unnameable horror.

He struggled against the horde but their collective force was as crushing as the tide itself, immovable and irresistible. Before he could cry out in protest he was himself in the arena face to indescribable mass congealing in front of him.

Panicked the former king cried out “I am Bres, King of the Tuatha, I come to seek an audience with my father!” He rose his hand into the air to display the ring his mother had given him, the ring that he was meant to present to his father so he would know him. But the ring was gone. Undoubtedly snatched up by one of the many slimy sticky appendages that thrust him into the uncertain doom he now faced.

He had turned his back to the creature to display his now empty hand, he could hear it; it’s vile belching, as it shifted and changed. Bres turned, his body stiff with fear, standing before him was an exact duplicate of himself.

Cur 2 Chapter 15 ‘Limbs’

Pain; the words lights up his brain like a falling star. Pain; the one thing that kept him alive, kept him clinging on, reminded him what he had to do, who he was doing it for, all the pain, the endless pain.

Pain. Gone. Pain. Gone.

The pain was gone.

Cur awoke from his dreamless sleep, feeling nothing. Not cold nor heat, the pain was gone. The pain he had become accustomed to, the pain that was so familiar, the pain that had become his friend and only ally, the reason he woke, the reason he slept. His constant companion reminding him that there was still life in him. Still love, somewhere buried deep down under all the pain, all the scars, the broken bones and blood.

But it was gone.

“Awake, marvelous” a voice above him cooed, and as he spoke the sound of metal implements jossling excitedly could be heard just out of sight. “So this is the one that made Ogma the silver tongued so pretty” The voice laughed mockingly “And shortened that silver tongue no less”.

There was a silence, the sound of a blade scraping against metal. Cur opened his eyes but could only look up and all he saw was a cold flat stone. The room was dark, it was night time perhaps. He could feel a slight chill coming from a crack or window.

“You came to kill me, did my father send you?”

Cur strained and grunted as he felt his bonds tightened at his wrists and ankles and neck. His wrists.

A strange feeling, a phantom hand reaching out for nothing. He cast his gaze down and to his confused horror an arm of flesh and bone replaced what once was silver and filled with pain. He felt dreamlike and painless and almost giddy.

“What did that whore give me?”

“She tried to kill you but it seems death has no sway, it doesn’t want you. And that whore is my sister”.

“Then you are already dead” Cur cackled. His booming laugh filling the dark low ceilinged dungeon.

“I’ve had some time to examine this weapon of yours.” He said as he walked around the table Cur was strapped to. In his hands he held the silver arm, a small lantern dangled from his hip and was the only source of light.

Cur strained to follow his path with his fierce feral stare, like a caged animal waiting for moment to strike. The walls were damp, almost dripping, stained red with rust or blood and he could see the tuathan’s breath hanging in the air. The barbarian saw out of the corner of his eye a table next to his head full of bladed tools and implements. He could feel air but from his limited vantage could see no windows.

“Funny isn’t it? That I would use the technique I planned to use on Nuada on the very man that took his arm and his throne and started all of this.”

“I also took his head” Cur laughed wickedly.

Miach swallowed that bitterly but tried to hide his disgust. He regarded the arm clinically as one might a piece of art or some kind of experimental device. “Still it is rather elegant” He looked at the giant laid out on the operating table “Far too elegant for something like you”

Cur strained against his bonds but his new arm was atrophied, it was weak and had little feeling in it.

“I think I’ll keep it, as a trophy” Miach said as his footsteps echoed out of the dark dingy room taking the only light source with him. Leaving Cur alone to painless black slumber.

https://www.inkitt.com/stories/action/300249/chapters/15

Cur 2 Chapter 14 ‘She’s still suffering’

Outside Ethniu’s window in her tower on the dreaded Tory isle, a storm brew over the horizon. But her body was too weak for her to lift her head.

A cool white hand touched the Fomorian princess’s forehead above her one beautiful eye as she lay in her bed.

“You’re temperature” Birog said. Her hand slowly and gently snaked under the princess’ silken bed linen and came to rest under them on her mounded belly. Soft it was to the touch, but also firm with child. The belly hummed with an energy Birog had felt only in her dreams. She drew her hand away and said nothing. She turned to a small basin next to the princess’s bed where a sea sponge rested, soaking up the pure luke warm water in the bowel.

Birog wrung the sponge out and began to gently dab the princess’ forehead.

“The quickening draws near” She whispered.

“But my father” The girl gasped “When he finds out-!”

“Your father will never know until it is too late, I have seen it” Birog said coldly, certainly, as she dabbed the the girl’s worried brow. “He cannot see that hiding you in this tower also hides you from his sight. He believes you are ill as I have lead him to do so and thus I can care for you and hide the child of prophecy from him, my part in all this.”

The girl had been slightly prone and tense and now with some disagreeableness she lay down. Still awkwardly staring out the window at the churning clouds, feeling them as if they were in her belly not in the sky at all. “What will become of me seer? What is my part after the prophecy? Will I be free?”

“Your destiny is not written my dear, no one can say, not even I”

https://www.inkitt.com/stories/action/300249/chapters/14

Cur Part 2 Chapter 13 “Rotgut”

Hey there, look content, see ya.

Haha ok, haven’t been super busy, just been in a weird place and my output has slowed to a crawl, I couldn’t even proofread. Just been feeling weird, all I’ve been able to put out is poetry. My emotions are just sort of all over the place. Could be the best time of my life, could be the worst, it’s hard to tell, only time will. So probably more of a content draught to come, just been spending hours not writing things, not being able to visualise it. I might need to take another break from it because I don’t wholey feel gripped by what’s happening right now. I dunno, just preoccupied I guess.

But hey gamepass is a quid again and I can play video games to distract myself yay. Sort of.

See you…

The snow crunched under foot as Airmed skirted the balding woods along the edges of the devil’s ladder. Taking the main path would leave her too exposed and liable to be set upon by bandits or ne’er-do-wells. But Airmed was used to the woods and knew them fairly well and could remain unseen and unheard taking her own path along the devil’s ladder.

The woods were stark and bare of leaves, the trees reaching up at the sun that blackened their bones. A bleaching white sun hung wearily overhead.

The girl was without fear as she hummed to herself calmly to distract from the cold and reddening cheeks. But there was something there on the tip of her tongue, some strange feeling. A twig breaking under foot caused Airmed to notice the stale silence. The whistle of the wind, no birds chirped or hare’s called, just the winds breath sweeping down the mountain.

She turned fitfully and saw nothing and then in the trees there sat a black crow, it cawed at her and flew away.

An unusual sound followed something akin to a wounded animal howl, a scream from a human garbled up in a bloodcurdling roar.

The girl instinctually drew a small short sword from under her furs as if she had her hand on it already. Expecting something evil and blood hungry to be lurking in midday sun stalking her steps.

“Come out now” She said almost to herself. Her eyes filled with fear but also a fatal resolve.

She looked about herself and seeing only snow and trees and dead leaves she relaxed for a moment. But then the noise came again and she could follow it. She trudged through the snow dropping her mead and the other liquid to give chase to the strange sound.

The horrible noise lead her deeper into the forest below the mountain. The noise sounded clearer as the forest became more dense with black ash trees. It lead her to a snowy copse deep in the forest. The sun was still out but it hung low and there was little light from the grey sky that would penetrate the forest. The trees stretching up like blackened skeletal fingers at the dull slate sky.

In the bushes there was movement at it lead the frightened girl to a small hollow or burrow dug into the side of a hill. From the hole blazed two empty white eyes staring at her.

The sound of sea lapping at the shore awoke the once king.

Bres awakened on a beach but where and whence he came he did not know.

“Am I dead?” He said as he opened his eyes and saw only water and sodden brown sand under him.

Bres rose to his knees and looking at the strange ring on his finger it all came back to him.

“Babd” He cried as he clawed at the wet sand.

He squeezed the clods of wet sand between his fingers. “I have nothing” He said “Nothing but this”. The ring seemed to hum strangely and he swore that it glowed for a moment.

Then an unusual sound like a ringing of a resonant bell but from under the sea. The ocean started to boil and bubble like a pot. The sea churning and turning white like that day he faced the last of the Firbolg on the beach and the sea ran white with the blood of his kinfolk. Half kinfolk, ex-kinfolk. He knew then that he should not have backed them into a corner, like he should not have done so with the people of Inish veil.

Something like a fish tail poked out of the water but did not disappear. It continued to protrude getting longer and stranger as it didn’t seem to move. It almost seemed as if it were a carved statue rising out of the unsettled water.

Then it seemed to fan out and get wider as if it were some tiny piece of some giant sea creature covered in a lacquered black shell.

As more and more of whatever it was rose slowly from the water it became obvious to him what it was. In fact seemed ridiculous to him both in not recognising sooner but also recognising it at all in it’s bizarre context.

There was no doubt that now he looked upon the bow of a ship but queer in it’s movement and incredulous in it’s rising. For it seemed almost like Bres was witness to it sinking but in reverse.

The former king of the Tuatha almost felt like a child, dumb struck. Wanting to rub his eyes in amazement as he witnessed the strange ship emerge from the sea. A ship of a design he had never seen before but also somehow seemed familiar to him.

It was black and slick like a deep sea fish and had no sails that he could determine, for why would it need them? Only fins and oars to traverse the sea.

The strange vessel broke ground abrubtly. Shifting it’s bulk on the sand like some sort of huge toad before coming to a stop a foot from where the former king was kneeling. He recoiled slightly and waited in the brief moments of silence that followed. Bres listened cautiously for movement or voices but none came.

A rope ladder was dropped from the port side of the ship, it appeared to be made from seaweed and hair. And for a moment Bres just stared at it.

Read the rest of this chapter and more weird shit here.

https://www.inkitt.com/stories/action/300249/chapters/13

Cur Part 2 Chapter 12 ‘Unearthed’

Hemlo humans.

Not much to report really just been writing and thinking, more poems and prose from your boy. But yeah been feeling really good, like better than I’ve ever felt.

Not just because I’m in love but I feel like I have some direction, a real sense of purpose. I dunno, it’s hard to process, I think if I tried to to lay it all out and really think about it I’d lose my mind.

I feel a pull from something or someone that I can’t explain and it’s so real and good and wonderful, I just don’t ever want it to end. And part of me doesn’t even want it to start because it’s so big and so powerful I feel like it might swallow me, like I might lose myself but then I think maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe that’s how it was always meant to be, to be one with someone and become something greater isn’t that how it’s supposed to go?

I dunno, I don’t wanna jinx it but I prayed for this, literally. I dreamt about this. I never thought this feeling could be real, maybe I’m still dreaming.

Anyway that aside, we have the time skip here as you can see, so things are about to get real, the birth of the ‘chosen one’. As far as my reading, I finally got around to reading that Parker book they made into a shitty Jason Statham movie and it wasn’t that much better, I mean it was better but not by much. It was both more action packed and cool and also more boring and anti-climactic. The ending was a total wash, I expected a tense tactical fight and it just fizzled out, it was sort of pathetic, totally lost me. But I see why they made a movie out of it, probably the only Parker book where there was a character J-lo could play haha. I mean this is the most lines a woman has ever had in a Parker book, probably why it was so boring and shitty haha.

It was ok, it just wasn’t that special, I didn’t feel a real tension or mystery at all despite Parker being in a weakened state should’ve heightened things and it just didn’t. I dunno, it just wasn’t very gripping, not as engaging as the other books.

But I finished it and I’m back to reading Elric which is always pretty good. I mean it’s better than the witcher haha. Watching paint dry is better than the witcher haha.

It’ll never be as cool or as gripping as the first Conan story, that was bad ass, I wish the witcher books and Elric and even the rest of Conan was as cool as that haha.

Anyway.

See you…

Six months later.

“Mother, mother?” A small pale boy called in vain alone on the dingy streets of the once shining city of Murias.

“You are alone child, no one wants you, your own mother died at the sight of you” A fowl hissing voice said.

“Filthy halfbreed”

“Look at his skin, how it shines.”

“Like a fish!”

“Disgusting”

“Fomorian dog!”

“We should cook him up!”

“Your mother was a whore who laid with a fish!” A voice laughed.

“No mother, mother, where are you?” The boy called, his voice ringing through the empty streets of the shining city, the one of four that flew above the heavens in the lap of Dannuu herself.

“She is dead child, you are alone now… and forever”

Suddenly a stirring in the darkness as one falling off a log stirs in terror, the only sound the flicking and cracking of the dim dying fire. A figure stiffly shifting in the darkness groaned. The man rose from his seated position of waking and walked slowly over to a grand fireplace taking up a poker. The lithe man stabbed and prodded at the fire hatefully as if it had wounded him in some way. The pit spitting back at him sparks and flashes of vicious bubbling light. Illuminating the potmarked scarred face of Bres the once beautiful, king of the tuatha. His face at once was talked about throughout Inish Veil. Now cursed by the bard Coirpre, the treacherous half-blood king hides in darkness for fear of losing everything. For only a perfect king can rule the people of Danu.

He stood solemnly over the fire, the light glinting and lighting up his face in a hanging mirror over the pit. He sighed and touched his disfigured face and cursed under his breath. “Coirpre, how I wish I’d seen you die, I wish I had been there when the Fomor stripped the flesh from your bones. For the fomor care not for poetry.” Bres hissed to himself in the dark. The mirror shone strangely for a moment and a ghostly figure appeared there for a passing second.

“My son”

Bres turned in fright but there was nothing in the dark waiting for him.

“Who goes there? Babd? I told you not to disturb me witch!” Bres cursed.

“It is me my boy, my beautiful boy” The soothing ghostly voice said.

“Mother?” Bres gasped “How can this be?”

“I call to you from beyond death to deliver a warning and give new hope”

“A warning?”

“One comes that would take all this that I bequeathed you.”

“Who? Who would dare?”

“Nuada Airgetlám”

“Impossible!”

“It is true, he returns to take your rightful throne. But do not fear, you must away to your father’s kingdom, he will aid you.”

“My-my father?”

“High king of the Fomor, Elatha.” The specter held out it’s hand “Take this ring, so he may know you and go quickly.”

Bres reached out his to the specter and it’s ghostly hand slipped the ring onto his finger and it fit perfectly. But the moment the ring was on his finger there was a loud ruckus from outside of the keep of Dun Bresse. The sound of something akin to a battle but then just silence and then shouting, jubilant shouting.

Bres rushed to his tower so he could see what was going on outside by the stars and fire light of the many sconces and braziers lighting the keep.

Amassed was a great gaggle of peasants. A veritable army carrying farming tools and torches as weapons and shouting foul slogans. Some Bres was sure were reciting the poem of Coirpre himself, loudly and more vulgar than was intended by the dead poet.

Bres tightened his jaw as he watched this procession “Guards!” He shouted from the tower, almost immediately a group of armed guards rushed to meet the horde with spear in hand. But something stopped them. A name and a white horse and the man on that horse slowly trotting into the brazier’s fire light. The torches of the peasants parted to allow this grand figure to pass to the front of their grim procession.

A shining tall slim figure in white and gold riding. In his hand he raised the flaming sword of Nuada. The Claíomh Solais, shining brighter than a star, the light from it so bright Bres swore he could feel it’s glow on his marked face.

“Nuada!” Bres whispered to himself. And as he himself acknowledged who it was before the keep at Dun Bresse. So too did the guards, all in turn dropping to their knees at the sight of the once and dead king in his divine perfection.

Read the rest of the chapter on inkitt https://www.inkitt.com/stories/action/300249/chapters/12

Cur Part 2 Chapter 11 ‘The Quickening’

Henlo, back again and I still hate wordpress’ new format haha. I mean wtf is this shit bro haha?

Ok so got more content, coming pretty hard and heavy with it recently, especially the poetry as you may have noticed. More of those shitty haikus from chopped up songs but now Bardic poetry straight from the motherfucking heart.

Let’s just say I have a new muse but I don’t wanna jinx it. It’s already too perfect to be true. I never even considered writing bardic poetry again, I thought the first time for the book would be the last time, but I dunno what happened. Just one day the haikus weren’t doing it for me anymore. They weren’t enough to capture how this person made me feel. They weren’t big enough and they didn’t speak to my blood, to my ancestors like this did.

I realised I was sort of larping and losing connection to something writing japanese poetry, I mean I still love it and won’t let it go, but I’m not japanese, my ancestors aren’t japanese. I mean they’re probably not irish either haha. But they’re certainly celtic.

Something inside, this person awakened a love for my ancestors, a love for the land and people, something calling back to an ancestral past I never felt before and I couldn’t ignore it, couldn’t get a grip on it with a haiku. I need to use the bardic style to properly put my feelings into words.

I don’t know what that means and I hate to speculate so soon at risk of sounding like the fool I know I am.

But yeah, I dunno, I just… sigh.

See you…

Cur’s mocking laughter echoed through hall where no other sound existed.

“Come now, come to die” He cackled mirthlessly.

“No Firbolg, he cannot be beaten” Tuan shouted from the spiral staircase. “We must away!”

“Away where beast? We fight in Magmel itself. There is no escape but through blood.”

“Perhaps there is another way.” A strange tittering voice whistled musically and seemed to be all around them like a flock of birds appearing out of thin air.

Suddenly the entire wall of the dining hall turned to autumn leaves and exploded outward. The masked men were knocked against the other wall of the castle and destroyed instantly. The boy left unharmed stared at the gaping hole in the castle wall cleared away as leaves falling into the ocean and the rocks below.

None of them could believe their eyes as with the leaves had come a giant beast standing nobly in between the carpet of maiden corpses.

A huge majestic stag stood between all gaping eyes. And atop the stag a rider in pale green armor, a helmet topped with branches that looked like the horns of a mighty deer. An axe at his hip of some alien construction and a harp on his other that gleamed with gems.

Balor was awe struck but his instinct was to kill whatever it was that had intruded in his castle. The childs face distending as before in a horrible silent scream as the eye emerged again.

The rider unhooked his harp lackadaisically and played a soothing tune. The melody taming the eye as it shrank back into the aspect of Balor which became limp and motionless.

“Alas I have come for you Firbolg” The strange green rider said in a loud jovial tone as he re-sheathed his harp.

“Who are you spirit? How would you die?” The barbarian hoarsely croaked.

“I would’st not die last of the Firbolg for I am life and life I once gave to you when you lay dying.”

“Cernunnos?”

“I know not this name sir, I am known as Bredbeddle” The spirit said, his voice full of mirth.

“The horned one sent you?”

“I know not of this horned one you speak” The riders voice was playful and full of jest.

“No games from you trickster of the woods. What have you come for?”

“I come for last of the Firbolg, I come as there is one that would meet you and put you on the path to your destiny.”

“Is this not my destiny, to be here now, to slay this Balor?”

“No last of the Firbolg, it is not his time to die nor is it yours.”

“Away with you woodsy one, I care not for your ‘destiny’, I care only to slay my enemy”

“But there are more enemies you may slay last of the Firbolg, but what of the one you lost, think to her and what it would mean to have her back.”

“Do not play with me trickster!”

“It is true what I say, you will be reunited with the one you love if you follow the path that I lay out for you”.

The Firbolg said nothing but the horned one knew his answer.

“Come now, we have no time to waste” The green rider put out his hand for the Firbolg to take.

Cur ignored it and climbed the mighty stag using the strange vine-like material that made the saddle to affix himself to it.

Bredbeddle turned to the doorway. “I had not forgotten about you my friend, come now shapeshifter, this concerns your destiny too.”

The sounds of footsteps now approaching, calling and gibbering in strange tongues.

“We must hurry, my power wains while my feet are not touching the noble isle.”

Tuan leapt and in mid flight took the form of a crow and perched himself atop the antlers of the great stag.

Within moments the room was flooded with fomorian warriors with savage barbed weapons. Their dark cloaks covering little of their flabby hideous bodies but all that greeted them was corpses and leaves.

Read the rest of the chapter on inkitt please and thanks https://www.inkitt.com/stories/action/300249/chapters/11

Cur part 2 Chapter 10 ‘The creature doomed to live’

Yay I didn’t kill myself haha. And Corona didn’t get me haha. And I have content yay.

I didn’t post anything last week but poems and stuff because I was just working on this, still kind of slow going but it’s good stuff, and it’s getting quicker. I feel good oddly. It only took the end of the world to make me feel like I was making headway haha.

But I’m actually a whole chapter ahead now, I feel a little reinvigorated, like maybe I might die with a smile on my face after all. I dunno, it’s too soon to tell but I think after this whole apocalypse thing is over my life might actually start making sense. Because lord knows it has not for some time now haha.

A body shouldn’t be this happy when all this badness is going on but I never claimed to be normal or sane and I have utterly no control over my emotions. I just feel happier and more blessed right now than I’ve ever felt in my whole fucking life.

And that’s all I’m willing to say about in case I jinx it haha.

See you…

The veil of night was lifting, a ghostly quietus fell at the mouth of the river Boyne. A rustling of the hazel trees sent shock waves into the quivering still born dawn. A woman, beautiful, her naked skin white as alabaster, her hair a dark earthy autumn hazel, like the trees that birthed the river.

She walked into the river slowly, she walked until the water was up to her ankles, her hips, her chest and until she was gone.

“Princess! Princess!” A whispered voice said. “He means to start without you! You must awake”

“Airmed, is that you?” Ernmas said groggily.

“Yes Princess, you have to hurry, I couldn’t stop stall him any longer.”

“But the sun is not even risen”

“Miach cares not for the position of the sun m’lady, only his own vainglory!” Airmed caught herself “I shouldn’t say that about my own brother I know but he is a fool and his eagerness will land us all in Bres’ keep one day.” The more fulsome maid helped the delicate Princess out of her borrowed bed. And into a robe more befitting witnessing the unveiling of the unknown. “Come now, we have little time to jabber.”

“Alright” Ernmas said faintly as Airmed lead her out of her room and into the strange hallway it felt like she was in only moments ago in the dead of night. She had hoped it would seem like a dream now but it was fresh in her mind. A part of her dreaded what she might witness at the top of that spiral staircase in the lab of Airmed’s brother Miach, son of Dian Cecht.

In her waking stupor lead by Airmed, it seemed like she closed her eyes and opened them once more in that fetid observatory that Miach had made his lab.

It was no different from the first she had laid eyes on it, the complete disarray that struck it was the chaos of a busy mind far beyond her own. But there too was an uncomfortable disquiet that hung in the air. As if a rot was nestled away in some darkened corner not yet to make itself known.

Ogma was there already, stern and solemn but also sad. He unfolded his large arms as the princes entered and made a slight bow. But said nothing and only stared at the centre of the room, where Miach tittered like an excited child.

Miach was lost in his own thoughts mumbling something to himself as he tinkered with unseen hands. Failing to notice or not caring when his sister and Ernmas entered the observatory.

“Ah marvelous, you’re just in time” He said when he made the effort to acknowledge their existence.

“Just in time for what?” The princess asked softly.

“Behold” Miach said as he directed Ernmas to the tank in the centre of the room with the opaque milky liquid in it. “We’re almost ready now, the solution has already been applied.”

“Solution?” Ernmas asked faintly.

“Yes” Miach said as he approached the stone table closest to the tank. One which had been cleared. He returned holding a strange pointed device made of glass and metal. The liquid contained within looked like water but shimmered with a dull putrescence of grey and blue as if it were petulant miasmal clouds. “My own creation, it uses the sacred waters that my father might have used during the great war but refined through my own processes.”

“And the-?”

“See for yourself” Miach smirked faintly as he directed her to the tank Ernmas was trying to avert her gaze from.

She approached it gingerly as if it were some kind of unpredictable beast or piteous retch. Slowly it came into focus. Beyond the milky liquid, pale bilferous limbs appeared, bobbing rhythmically in and out of the queer substance. As she reached the rim of the open top tank she could see it more clearly. The vaguest approximation of what was her father lay naked in the tank, it’s skin slick and squamous.

The body was motionless but for the slight undulating of the liquid. She looked at the face of her father and more closely at his neck as she could see that it was indeed the head she had brought with her. Attached by a means of some kind of metallic string. For a moment it was not Nuada’s face she saw floating in the liquid. But it was her own staring back at her with hideous stygian eyes that filled her with an unnameable terror.

It’s loathsome hand reached out and gripped her tightly by the wrist. The blasphemous thing pulled her closer to the tank. It’s hideous mouth opening filling her lungs with the foetid stench of death and decay. It uttered an accursed ullulating sound as foul black ichor poured from it’s mouth and filled the princess with darkness.

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