Where…. Where am I?
My head hurts so much.
Why am I in the middle of a forest?
Where are my companions?
“Lei? Shill? Geralt? Is it a joke? Elora? Zeed? Where are you? It isn’t funny!” My voice trembles.
I take a big breath, trying to calm down my emotions, and I watch the place: tall trees all around the clearing in which I am. The darkness of the night prevents me to see anything beyond a few meters, my capacity to see trough the dark seems to be worthless.
I notice that I’m lying on the ground; I try to stand up but, under my hands, the earth is so very cold. I observe better the terrain: there’s a big metal sheet covering all the clearing and I’m in the center of it.
Suddenly a figure appears: it’s a tall man, too tall to be a simple human, almost seven feet tall, with glowing red eyes.
He emerges from the darkness, his eyes focuses on me: he gets close to the clearing center, to me, and I’m afraid.
“Who are you?” I don’t know where I found the courage to talk to the creature, he’s definitively not a man ‘cause, now, I can clearly see two small horns protruding from his brow, who’s facing me with emotionless expression.
“So, Anankis, you don’t know who I am.” He talks with a deep, calm voice while his red eyes scrutinize my face.
“HOW DO YOU KNOW MY NAME?” I scream standing up to face the man who ignores my question and proceed to talk: “Do you know what you are, Anankis?”
I hesitate: “A girl?”
He denies: “Try again. Those horns and the tail are sufficient clues.”
The man nods, moving his black hair: “Good Anankis. So, now: who am I?”
“A tiefling too?”
In a second he point a long rod against me and a threatening bloody light pulse in front of my face.
“Wrong answer, child: don’t try to say such a thing again. I’m not like you.” He lowers the rod, fixing himself up. “You’ve got a lousy intelligence despite you’re my… –“ He interrupts himself and has a sigh: “I’m your patron.”
My breath stops in the throat, preventing me to speak.
The man starts to walk, slowly, around me: “Are you surprised, Anankis? Probably you thought you’ve never met me. Am I right?”
I nod, the fear fills up my body and mind.
“You are wrong, again. Do you know, Anankis, that your powers are a concession of mine?”
He doesn’t wait for an answer and continues to talk: “And do you know that I’m the one who can deprive you of these powers?”
He moves to the nearest tree, pulling out an elegant black glove from his hand and touches an old oak: the tree becomes metal outright.
I open my eyes wide: what is happening? Am I going to be killed here, in the middle of a forest, by my own patron?
“Sune… Is this name familiar to you?” He touches again the iron tree and this, instantly, rusts away into metal dust. “I know all your moves, your thoughts…” He returns in front of me, brushing my face with the other hand, the gloved one. “…your fears.”
“Do you want to kill me?” My voice is little more than a whisper.
He ignores my question, again, and speaks: “I’m a little annoyed by your behavior, Anankis, but I’m sure you want to redeem yourself in my eyes.”
“What?” I’m so confused: a part of me doesn’t want to trust him but another part, the more savage, the part that turns hot when I’m in battle, wants to follow him.
“You want to appease me, right?”
“I think… Yes. I want to please you.”
“Good child. So I’ll give you a gift.” He extends a book: it’s a leather tome studs with iron.
“This is the Book of Shadows, a grimoire I give to you, my devotee. I trust in your new point of view, Anankis.” He opens my hands and iron dust slips from his hand to mine.
My head resumes to hurt and I’m feeling sleepy.
He turns and starts to go away.
“Remember, child: pray who you want, but you’re mine.”…To Be Continued.
The wonderful stories of Anankis Miri and her companions can be also read in the repository of RPG Tales, Scrolls Abound! Enjoy