The voice belonged to a woman whose name Ravine could not place. Though it was nothing more than a faint whisper in her ears, its venomous contempt spoke volumes to the warlock.
She whirled around in the darkness that surrounded her, trying to find the owner of the voice—a body, soul fragments… anything.
“You betrayed us,” the voice hissed. It had changed tone to that of an elderly man. “You stole our lives, witch!”
That wasn’t my intention! she cried out to the disembodied voice. I panicked! I didn’t mean to–
“Give it back.” The voice was that of a young woman, pleading to her. “Give it back to us.”
There was a brilliant flash that almost blinded the warlock as Ravine covered her eyes to shield herself from the harsh light. Lowering her arms, she found herself no longer in the darkness, but in the middle of a snowy wasteland. There were no mountains. No trees. Just a barren landscape covered in frost. Sprawled in front of her only a few feet away, were the bodies of her victims. A thick layer of snow had already covered their scorched bodies, their faces frozen in shock and terror at the moment of their deaths. The snow around them was stained crimson from the wounds they sustained.
The winds bit at her, chilling the warlock to the bone as she dropped her knees into the snow, staring at her deed—her sin. The snow was beginning to soak through her robes, auburn hair plastered to the sides of her face. I panicked. I was afraid. I had to. I had to keep them quiet. I couldn’t let them tell anyone… A number of excuses ran through her mind, trying to justify her actions so she wouldn’t go mad.
The three voices spoke out all at once. “You could’ve spared us. You could’ve let us all live. You should’ve known better. Now you’re just a murderer, stealer of souls.”
To her horror, the bodies began to stir in the snow. One-by-one, her victims rose from their makeshift graves, staring at her with empty eyes. They slowly shambled towards the warlock, their hands reaching out to grab her.
“This is what you wanted, Ravine.”
She spun around upon hearing that familiar voice. Vissic stood behind her with his Felguard—arms crossed, and a smug look to match on his face at her predicament. The bits of frost that rained upon them didn’t even touch him, as they evaporated just inches before landing. Compared to her, he looked pristine—untouched by the cold that swirled around them. Her eyes narrowed in hatred. He was the reason why she was in this mess in the first place. What a fool she had been to go to this man for advice!
“You wanted power, and I gave it to you. It feels good, doesn’t it?” His tone bit mockingly at her, which only served to enrage the warlock further. She raised her hand to him, gathering the shadows into her hand…
Ravine felt something hit the back of both of her legs—as if someone had hit her with a large sledgehammer. She grunted in shock, falling forward into the snow. The shadows gathering in her hand died away at the lost of concentration, and she heard his laughter ringing in her ears. The smell of blood and gunpowder was strong on her nostrils as she struggled to move. She could feel the pain now as it dawned on her that she was shot—twice even. She didn’t even hear the shooter come up from behind her, much less the pulling of the trigger until it was too late.
Weakly, she turned her head. Where there were once dead corpses, now there were faces of people she knew—friends, former guildmates and comrades. They all began speaking at once, looking on with sad, angry eyes.
“I can’t believe that you murdered them…”
“What did these people do to you?!”
“Oh, my Ravine… How could you think of doing this?”
“Am being very disappointed in you, Ravine Mhenlo.”
“I thought you were different from the rest of them. You disgust me, Ravine.”
Before she had a chance to respond, there was another gunshot. Her whole world went red.
Ravine immediately sat upright in her bed in a cold sweat, one hand holding her forehead. Her quickened, irregular gasps for breath were the only sounds she could hear in the early morning.
What…. what was that?
Slowly, she lowered her hand, staring at her open palm. She was expecting to see blood, but there was nothing.
The events of the night before hit her like a cold shower. There was the attack on the harbor, and then my leaving from Ordo. And the Doom Ritual… That same feeling of dread that she felt in her dream began to rise up in her again.
“I don’t… feel so good,” she muttered quietly, as she placed her head in her hands. Though she desired the comfort from her friends now, she wanted even more to stay away from them.
She was a murderer now. There was no way that they would accept that.