Hmm…this one looks interesting! “The Darkness Within – A Sorceress’s Guide to Tapping Your True Potential.” Okay Matilda let’s see what this one is about. I’ve gone through more books than I ever imagined I’d have the attention-span for. My eyes literally started bleeding! But I think that was just another one of those weird side-effects that happens when I twiddle my fingers and work my mojo. Okay…page one.
“Is there a Darkness lurking within you?”
Quite possibly. Define “darkness.” What do you think Matty?
“The darkness, shadows, the Night…it can be a source of power. That Night could be tied directly into who you really are and who you’re meant to be.”
Whoa! This is kinda deep.
“Have you ever looked into a mirror and seen something that you weren’t expecting?”
Uh, once, and it didn’t go well for the Macy’s Cosmetics Counter Christmas Display.
“What if the mirror were able to peel away the outer layers of your persona? What if the mirror were able to shed your second-skin, your Facade, to reveal who you really are? There is power in one’s reflection for the Spawn of the Night.”
Hablar! This shit is a little creepy. Matilda, do you think this is me?
“The Spawn are special. They are chosen at birth to oppose a deeper darkness – evil. They are given the ability to embrace the monstrous and use it for a good purpose. Nightspawn – yours is a noble cause. Just. Good. Heroic. And despite this you will be seen as vile, wicked, evil – though you couldn’t be further from it. Yours is the Shadow of Plight. For your are the Bane of the Night.”
“These quotations, put forth before you, are direct citations from my research. They are direct quotes from the Writings of the Dark. If one were so inclined to learn from these teachings. One might need to read ancient manuscripts written in long-dead languages. There are spells that translate these scrawling right before your eyes…but this is not the book that will teach them. I took my inspiration from the Wanderer (NB Main p.7) who is one of the “originals” – henceforth referred to as the “Methuselahs” His writings are said to have originated on parchment scrolls nearly 10,000 years ago. These scrolls are a collection of stories about the Nightlands and the Ba’al. Another manuscript I take much inspiration from is a set of two books called The Books of Night. They were translated from tablets unearthed by archaeologists out of ancient Sumeria. The Books of night makeup the first section of a larger, only suspected volume known as the Chronicles of Shadows."
Wow! Matty, I can’t seem to put this book down! It’s not really teaching me anything but it’s got a different philosophy. One that really resonates with me.
“Tear dimmed remembrance, shed water, and gestate in a womb of time. Breathe upon me. Possessed by the passion. Fate will set you free. Infertile. Chaste be the precious when flesh is an enemy. Fair weather friend.”
These words. It’s like their mesmerizing me. Matty. I need more HeroCOLA stat!
“There will be no flowers on your grave. There will be no chains. There you keep chanting for the forgotten name. Why you feel so empty and still have everything. It’s fulfillment. You’ve got more companions when you’re all alone. If you don’t believe me, gaze into the looking glass.”
Okay, Matty, I’ve gotta set you down for a sec. Let’s take a look at this mir…er, looking glass. Hmm…oh, that’s odd. I see. Me. Uh, wait. What the fuck. Hold on a sec. I’ve gotta put the pen down.
(breathing heavily) “Oh shit. That’s me. That’s me? Uh, no…that’s NOT me. And that’s not my fucking room!” The hand-held mirror sails across the room and shatters against the floor.
(Click over the intercom) “Hazel? Is everything alright up there?”
(Shout) “Uh, yeah Zoo, accidentally dropped my vanity.”
(Click over the intercom) “See something awful in the mirror?”
(Shout) “Yeah, your ugly mug! Bugger off Zoo!”
(Click) “Whatever you say babe…”
Great! Now where am I gonna find another mirror at one o’clock in the morning?
“My inner-demons torture me. They are my vulnerable underbelly, a source of weakness, flapping their wings in my face. Damn them! They are twisted illusions and I shall no longer be afraid. Peer into them. Pierce their depths and see through their liquid souls. Feel their lies. Evil lies that will ENERGIZE. They can no longer hurt me. I am my own worst enemy.”
Wow! That’s morbid.
“The mirror is a doorway. Just like your true form is revealed when you pull back your Facade. So too is the true form of the world revealed when you peel back it’s outer layer…it’s second-skin. This world beyond our world…much like Alice in Wonderland…it is a living, breathing world replete with denizens and monsters and jobs and economies and societies and everything you can imagine. Your connection is to this world…and to the rules of this world. They are called the Night Lords and they are the source of your power. The Darkness held within you is but a fraction of their wicked, vile, intentions…but due to some cosmic balance of power the Universe has distributed some of that power to heroes, like you, to be used against the oppression of the Nightlords.”
Sorrow is my bread
And tears I drink as wine
Oblivion my happiness
Ground under teeth of time
For cold be the stone
When frost devoured the land
Consolation is no gift
Of winter’s icy hand
If you’re still reading. This is the last bit of information I can impart: If you suspect you are a Spawn you might just be. If you’ve gotten this far then you should more than suspect. You have Talents that are hidden. They lay dormant. You must expend energy to learn them and to manipulate your connection to the Darkness. Seek out the books I mentioned and have been quoting. Seek out the obscure, esoteric, occult libraries. You might be surprised to find a few notable ones in the Nightlands — and a few hidden gems right here in this dimension. If I can impart anything to you, dear reader, it is that knowledge can truly become power and the road to self-discovery is a very long and often painful one. Doing this on your own is foolish. Seek out more books. Seek out friends, companions, tutelage, teachers. You, Spawn of the Night, are not alone. We are out here…we are just like you…and we are waiting for you.
“Holy shit that’s…kinda kewl and scary at the same time. I should head back down to the “Magic of Books” this weekend and see if ol’ boy Chuck Kane has seen or heard of any of these volumes. Ancient tomes by the sound of it. What do you think Matty?"
“I thought so.
Alright, here goes nothing. It says I have to be in my true form…Morphus. The transformation only takes about 15 seconds normally but…I feel like I can make it go faster if I exert my will. So, just like my ability to surf the net-waves and travel the phone-lines. I have to be in my Morphus. Okay. I get it. Now, about this mirror. In order for this to work the mirror has to have a corresponding mirror — a “sister” — in the other world, Nightlands. Well how the hell am I supposed to know that?!?! I guess there’s only one way to find out. Over the course of the next fifteen seconds Hazel felt herself being drawn toward the mirror, into the mirror…and she fueled the vacuum with an exertion of her will and the expenditure of a slight amount of potential psychic energy. She felt her body dis-corporate, her bones shifted, rearranged, the very fabric of her existence unraveled and the threads entwined became loose strands of reality. The silver surface loomed over her consciousness. The mirror plane arced concave away from her. The world shifted. The lights went out.
Hazel’s eyes didn’t need to adjust. Her Morphus was well-equipped with Nightvision (though, she remembered that she even had some form of low-light vision in her Facade — but its range fell far short of the Morphus-version) to see in the world of twilight. She instantly felt alone, afraid, and very much…out of her element. She was standing in a room that was poorly lit. Dark tiles lined the walls. They looked like they once might have been a brackish gray. They were now scum-covered and lichen-plaqued. The stench nearly knocked her over. It was like someone had died, been eaten, digested, shat out, and then eaten again but this time vomited back up and all over…well, inch of the room. Hazel felt repulsed. As soon as she could feel anything…
She felt something other than revulsion. She felt something she had never felt before. And it was intriguing. Her supernatural senses felt a presence…something…someone nearby. In one of the cubbies. Cubby? She looked around for a moment and noticed a big mirror behind her — the one she must have hopped through. Are those stalls? Wait a minute…the basin below the mirror. Was she? Was she in a public bathroom? Ick! Is this what passes for a ladies room in this world? Gross!
Hazel heard noises, grunting and…heavy breathing coming from one of the stalls…occupied. She hesitantly knocked on the stall door.
“Uh, excuse me miss, I seem to have lost my way. Can you tell me where I am?”
A gruff, deep, raspy voice growled, “Lady, you’re in the shitter in the Armpit of Hell. The men’s shitter. If the line’s too long for the women’s shitter then you’re more than welcome to use the sink.”
Hazel turned around and examined the trough and the large mirror once again. Sink? She shuddered.
“Ah, I’m not here to go to the bathroom. I just kind of got here by accident. What are…”
“ETERNAL NIGHT!” the stall door swung upon on a rocket and SLAMMED into the stall divider. A gigantic…monster shambled out of the stall — which seemed too small to even fit his massive frame — and took her by surprise. His upper body had the dorsal fin and gills and giant gaping maw of a SHARK! Eep! His lower body appeared to be half fishtail with one leg having the appearance of a giant chainsaw. And was that a bathing suit? He was wearing an old-style bathing suit from like the 1920’s. W….T….F?!?!?
Hazel lost herself for a moment, stunned with fear. If he was intimidated by her appearance the monster didn’t show it. “Dammit lady! Can’t you see I’m busy! This isn’t your personal wayfinder service! It’s a fucking shitter!” With that he back-handed her with a meaty fist the size of a basketball and Hazel could do naught by stand there and take it. He must have been restraining himself…or pulling his punches, because she thought she should have flown backwards to crash into the mirror. Hell! Maybe she’d have gone back through the looking glass and into her room! But she wasn’t so lucky. It still hurt and she could feel blood begin to run down her nose and her lip and into her mouth.
“Ouch! Dick! Buy me a drink first? I’ve got no respect for a dude who hits girls.” She barely got a word in edgewise before he swung at her again. He didn’t look like he was holding back this time. Uh oh! Fuck it. Dodging is for pussies. She held her ground against the giant man-shark and stared defiantly back at him…towering over her. Simultaneously, she uttered one of her bread-and-butter spells, “Mystic Seine.”
The punch hit her like a MACK truck. Hablar Louise! Just as her spell went off she felt a ragged sharkfin-fist SLAM into her face and she flew backwards into the mirror. To her surprise, she didn’t break the plane and didn’t get magically whisked away to her bedroom. Shit. She had never been punched that hard in her life. Her whole face ached…beneath the mask. She tasted more blood and could feel it dripping down her neck now too. Shark-Face definitely had no qualms about hitting a girl. She could hear him snarling beneath her as she lifted herself up and off the trough-sink and swept shards of broken glass out of her hair where the back of her head had cracked the mirror. Wait. Did the net go off without a hitch?
“Yes! Nothing backfired!” she shouted. Although, for appearances, she probably ought to pretend she expected otherwise.
She checked her pockets and wished she had her phone readily available for a pic.
“Hey, bub. You’re lucky you’re not on FaceBack right now. Maybe think twice next time about hittin’ a girl, eh? Besides, I was only asking directions.” She stepped over his netted, fallen giant form while the chainsaw buzzed incessantly and resisted the urge to kick a fallen, unarmed, or possibly subdued foe. Remember your principles, Hazel, stick to your guns. Her taller, curvier, Gandalf-robed Morphus form knelt by the head of the fallen SharkFace. “Listen, guy, I know it sucks gettin’ caught by a girl. Look what I caught! It’s like I went fishing! Don’t take it personally. Just help me get out of here and I’ll cancel the spell so you don’t have to sit here like a baby seal for the full duration. Can you do that for me? Or should you start barking like a seal?” She grinned at him from up close and barked, “ARRRF! Arf arf!” Then clapped her hands like makeshift flippers.
It’s comforting to know my room is on the other side of the Shitter in the Armpit of Hell.