A Rising Evil: Alara's Demise

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story follows a girl who has been cursed by a demon and forced to serve as a tool for him to ascend to the world's pantheon of deities.

Submitted: September 22, 2019

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Submitted: September 22, 2019

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"Our eternal maiden, in her infinite tenderness, granted us the power to love and be loved by others." The priest begins his sermon passionately, with arms open wide inviting all to listen. "This ability was shared with not just mortals, but with her fellow deities as well. Serenrea, the healing light, our incandescent radiance in the dark. Iomedae, lady of valor, honoring us with her presence not only on the battlefield but in our daily lives as well. The wealthy father, who has filled our coin purses since the dawn of civilization. Even our lord in iron, Gorum himself. They, all of our beloved deities, are not only capable of love. They embrace it. They embrace you, their children, with all their heart. Their love is as unconditional as it is limitless." The priest takes a momentary pause as he lets his calculated words sink in.

"Rejoice, my children. The gods bestow in me their word. For, what am I if not their word? They bestow in you the ability to not just hear, but to listen. For, what are you if not their eyes and ears?" He flashes the congregation an inviting smile. "Yes, the gods have a hand in all! They love and care for all who fall under their vast domain. Their love is unrelenting in its ultimate goal; to bring trust and comfort to all who worship!" The faithful can't contain their joyous applause, feeding off of the priest's passion. "They can feel your unbridled joy! They can feel every soul brimming with irrepressible faith. The amount of which is fathomable to only them. In fact most things are known by only them, the best us mortals can do is have faith. Simply believe and all will become clear to you. Your purpose will become known. If you happen to fall into a time of struggle, don't despair. Trust that your pain has a place and all of our deities' intentions are naught but to give you strength. A necessary fall before building you back up." The congregation feels the sincerity in their priest's voice.

“Trust that they will prevail fueled by your unrelenting faith!” He begins again with renewed vigor. “For, although mighty, there are forces working against their love folks. Forces that aim to spread the seed of sorrow and misery across the land. This darkness is wicked and cunning. Don’t give in to its allustrious temptations. It is false and vile and brings nothing but pain and regret.” One final pause to drive his point home. The audience is teetering on the edge of their seats, the room electric with anticipation. “Believe and trust and all will be just!” He breaks the silence. His volume rivaled by the shouts of worship erupting from the crowd. Feeding off their energy he raises his voice. “Cowering with its tail between its legs evil will be smited! Squashed beneath the boots of justice. Pray! Pray and you will acquire trust, trust and you will believe, believe and you will find unending happiness!” With that the priest signals for the choir to begin their hymns, and he eventually takes his leave.

A shadow watches his brisk departure from her vantage point, a bird of prey eyeing her target closely. Alara swoops down to the top floor soundlessly and leisurely. She strolls down the immaculately decorated hallway. Between each massive pillar hangs a banner of each of the gods. Each symbol burned into her memory since birth, such is the fate of a nobleman’s daughter. Her education taught her the same thing that windbag of a preacher down there just finished lecturing. Reality, however, taught her something altogether different. Now each symbol is burned into not just her memory but her heart as well, each brand a reminder of their betrayal. 

As the demon ran his wretched fingers across her bare body she prayed and pleaded to every one of her benevolent gods, to any and all who would listen, yet not a single one of them heeded her cries for help. Her cries pierced through the stagnant night like an arrow, despondent and anguished sounds no man or woman would ever hope to hear. Overtrodden with despair Alara made a decision that night to cease her wails, a decision made based on the fact that the gods had seemingly gone deaf to her desperate pleas. She knew they had abandoned her. The reprehensible violation had caused an abrupt cessation of all things good within her. What was once a sun in which she bathed in holy light is now eclipsed by an indomitable and immoral wrong. A darkness enveloped her and promised to never let Alara see her radiant sun again. 

This absence of light taught her a valuable lesson. Never rely solely on faith to solve your problems. If your path is obstructed find a way around, don’t just sit there and wait for the gods to remove the obstacle for you. “Pray and you will find trust.” Prayer is complacent, solve your problems with your own two hands by your own means. “Trust and you will believe.” Trust is deceitful, you can only trust yourself to help you in your time of need. “Believe and you will find happiness.” Alara scoffs at the priest’s words. Belief is false, everyone and everything has a tendency to turn it’s back on you during times of peril. Especially the gods.

Alara saunters towards the priest’s office with a slow burn seething beneath her skin. Her hatred of gods is rivaled only by her abhorrence for their mortal dogs, barking their commands at the numerous fools who eagerly lap up their words like ignorant children. They feed off the faith of others like leeches. They use people’s beliefs to fuel their own selfish desires while proclaiming it to be the word of the gods and their lies spread across the world like a plague. Although, this particular characteristic benefits her plans. It is, in fact, what brings her to this place of worship. She slips into the office unannounced her eyes glowing in the gloom of the poorly lit room, two heartless pools of violet.

The clergyman becomes aware of her presence with a start. “Oh my!” He exclaims breathlessly. “I hardly noticed you there child! How can I be of assistance?” An egregious smile spreads across her face, a look Alara has become accustomed to presenting to her toys before she has her way with them. “It’s funny you should ask preacher, what you are going to do for me is quite priceless.” As she flashes her wicked grin again the priest becomes visibly shaken and he can't seem to quell the fear building up deep within himself. Her cold, emotionless eyes penetrate down to his very soul. Her gaze bends his faith, challenging his every belief. If the gods allow such a person to exist how can he manage to trust in their divine judgement?

“Hahahaha!” Her voice is monstrous, something inhuman. It as if he is staring evil directly in the face. “If this is the extent of your resolve I am sorely disappointed in you preacher! The answer is you can’t, they can’t protect you.” His ears begin to ring and he can feel the grasp she has on his mind. A better way to phrase it is that they won’t protect you. Simply put you aren’t important enough. An intense pain shoots through his temples and the precariousness of his situation suddenly dawns on him. She's a telepath! As his fear grows it threatens to drown him in its' sheer girth. However, he can still see a brilliant light in his mind's eye. It shows him the corruption seeping out of her soul, a soul that's been tourtured, a soul that's in pain. This is, without a doubt, a sign from his gods. The hopelessness welling up inside of him is not absolute, his faith can beat it! "You're wrong!" He shouts in defiance. "Your hatred towards the gods is misplaced. You can still be saved my child, there is still room for you in the light. Our gods desire nothing more than to put an end to your suffering. They want to show you peace and mend your broken soul, to nurture it back to.."

“Hahahahahaha...you have placed me in an utter bewilderment preacher.” Alara interjects, her voice as frigid as ice. She rips the holy symbol from around his neck, playfully maneuvering it in between her fingers. “This is certainly a first, but I regret to inform you that you are merely beating...a dead...horse.” Accentuating every word by crumpling the hard metal into a misshapen lump that falls to the floor with a heavy thud. “And I am in no mood for games. Now, if you are quite done..” An odd tingling sensation runs up her legs interrupting her train of thought. It settles unnaturally in her chest as a comfortable hum fills her with warmth.

“There, you see?” The priest says, enveloped in a holy light. “Doesn’t that feel much better?” His voice is soothing and, Alara must admit, this is better than she has felt in ages. It is a brief solace, however. A fear the likes of which she has never felt subdues the golden light and twists it into a black miasma that pulses to a silent beat. Alive, it writhes in pure disgust of the light and impedes the radiance stopping it dead in its tracks.“I told myself the same thing, priest. While the demon ruthlessly tugged on my mind his perverse tendrils invaded every part of me, they mercilessly tore through every facet of my being. Sundering everything that made me, me. Through it all I held onto one thing with everything I had, my faith. I held onto the hope that the gods would save me till the very end.’’ Alara runs her shaking hand through her hair in an exasperated gesture, her face a collage of repressed emotions. “And in the end none of them answered. They left me to die. Tell me priest, how do I retain my faith after that, let alone my sanity?” She attempts to take a step towards him but finds, to her astonishment, that her legs won’t budge. A small part of her still has hope, she recovered it in this priest. However, the darkness has made her its home and it seems that yet again her hope is misguided. Dread crushes her resolve as tears well up in her violet eyes. She silently pleads to the priest, begging him to end her suffering through an anguished and desperate gaze. “I thought the light of the divine could cleanse you, but you are too far gone. I’m sorry, my child.” Locking eyes with her the priest just shakes his head sullenly, knowing that he just killed the last of her humanity. He snuffed it out through a broken promise.

Alara lifts her trembling hands up to her face. “I don’t know which thoughts belong to me anymore,” she shakily confesses. “I...I can’t distinguish the difference…”  Alara’s customary cold and unfeeling composure deteriorates, leaving nothing but her raw emotion. An aspect of herself she had to lock away long ago, she learned that it’s too painful to feel. They creep up emerging from their home deep in the recesses of her mind. They reveal themselves, yearning for the light that momentarily broke through the endless overcast.“Please..make it stop..make it stop…” She sobs. Her mind begins fighting against itself, unable to discern which thoughts are hers and which ones the demon placed there. Her deafening scream pierces the cathedral like a bolt of lightning as she collapses, motionless on the hard stone floor.

The priest looks on in horror as the turmoil inside her is released through her psionic abilities. Alara’s body levitates off the floor unceremoniously, limp and clumsy from unconsciousness as power violently lurches from her hands. Her own magic begins to nibble at her skin and lashes out at the walls around her. The entire building begins shaking fiercely unable to withstand her uncontrolled force. Through the debris the priest spots a looming figure walking straight into the eye of the psionic storm. 

Graz’zt watches the destruction with obvious amusement, altogether enthralled by the wild spectacle. The demon moves closer releasing a fraction of his mana to counteract her chaotic display. He tears through the veil between planes with relative ease and gently lifts Alara into his arms as his body flickers in and out of focus. Despite the power he has gained and the rapid growth in his number of followers the veil still rejects him. He can only bridge the gap for moments at a time but he can’t help but laugh at the utter irony of it all. She wanted to retain some semblance of control, in spite of that she was directly responsible for the loss of all authority over her abilities. He quickly reforges the seals he placed on her mind, she won’t do him any good if her mind isn’t intact. The fading intensifies as the mortal plane violently rejects his presence. Graz’zt places Alara in the center of the room, her motionless body a cold reminder of the darkness she harbors inside. “This human promises to be quite the devastating little asset,” the demon lord muses to himself as his form fades from the material plane.

The priest is frozen in his seat, the mere presence of the demon lord is enough to paralyze his every movement. As the demonic corruption spreads across her pale skin he witnesses the sweet girl with violet eyes die. She withers like a flower in the fall, succumbing to the cold morning frost. “I...have committed a great atrocity,” the priest states solemnly. “The garden has been stained red...I have failed, this maiden has been lost to the darkness and the world will know her rage.” The priest closes his eyes and offers up an apology to the gods. A long night is upon us... 

 

 


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