For days Autöri had been in silent darkness, he was one of many the dark ones had seized from his world, now locked away into the vaults of their great vessel. It felt like eons had passed in the dark, to Autöri’s gifted sight the darkness had given no solace from the terrors that came with the invaders. The darkness had promised him power, release, light and even death, each catered to a new temptation, probing and trying his psyche, every vision terrible and great.
It was on the seventh day that the door opened. He was near death then, lacking sustenance. The dark guardian looked a monster even more so than he remembered, it wasn’t the sight of the giant but the feeling of it. Its soul a flickering and faded thing, unnatural and wrong. It did not speak as it seized him by the arm, nearly breaking bone by that mere touch and guided him down the halls of the vessel.
Autöri tried to speak, but his throat was dry and his tongue stiff. Hunger ravished him as he croaked pleading words.
“Where am I?”
“Where are you taking me?”
“What are you?”
Each question begot only silence. The giant’s aura, faded as it was, did not even flicker in recognition to his pleas. He could sense other souls around him, other souls which were kept in dark chambers. The glare of their soulfires shining through thick walls.The first sign of life beyond this were the songs, sung in a language unknown to Autöri but beguiling to his ears. The cramped tunnel of steel opened up into a great chamber where dozens of hooded figures held a choir, not a single one turned to regard Autöri as he was forced through their midst.
“Help me.” he managed in a strained voice, yet nothing acknowledged the words. He began to wonder if he was even speaking at all, himself.
Beyond the singers he was greeted by more obsidian giants, their hellish green eyes regarding him as he approached an ornate dais wrought from white marble and carved with mystic symbols. Their arms, great guns which spewed green fire were held close and pointed out into the chamber. Silent and terrible guardians for the figure who was enthroned behind them.
At first Autöri did not see it was a figure at all, the dazzling light of the creature’s soul was too bright. A dominant searing flame which washed over all around it, blazing white. Never had he felt such a presence, not even the Hidden Masters compared. He was forced down onto his knees before the figure.
It too was an obsidian giant yet where his captor was terrible due to its aberrant soul, this master among them was terrible in its power and he dared not raise his head to look upon it. He wept as he felt the blazing fire scoured his mind, every thought, emotion and memory laid bare before an invading presence that no man could deny. For a moment his own sight was lost and he was blind, the world around him suddenly a void as the soulfires vanished and mere steel and sound was left behind.
Terror seized his heart.
Then he heard the voice, yet no voice uttered the words. It was a whisper in his mind, and the first true words spoken to him in what felt an age. His tears were of joy, as well as fear as he looked up at the silver masked master, the words lingering in his mind. As they would for many years.
“I have need of you.”