Death Dances in the Shadows: Wyndwrayth – Gideon’s Journal extract

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I heard a voice today, one that could curdle milk. Initially, I dismissed it as belonging to just another victim for, ‘The Pale One’ to take care of but upon listening more closely, I could detect the sound of men verbally obeying the commands of a female. Her voice sounded so arrogant and self-assured. I was greatly impressed with her obviously natural and genuinely displayed examples of callous disregard for any of her underling’s feelings. I was instantly awoken to the possibilities of finding my replacement, and why not pick a woman? That would really stick it to the pale old bastard and anyway, why should I dismiss a full half of the population, when trying to find a replacement for someone with the wherewithal to handle Millar?

She’s built strong this one, another natural trait that would stand her in good stead, if it came to holding some control over Millar. I decided this female had to be investigated further.

The minion was far too easy to scare. I passed through him and tasted his soul. He didn’t fit the overriding needs required of a Guardian for Millar. His predominantly good nature was far too easily unbalanced by even the simplest of ‘observations,’ no matter how shallow the probe.

So, I investigated the female in question. From what I could make out, she was the essence of selfish greed. The waves of avarice, just dripped off her. I was instantly awakened to the possibility that my search may be coming to a successful conclusion. So, I brought her into my room and gently tested her desires and failings, as my predecessor should have done to me. All the time, I was drawing her into the world of lost souls’ imaginings. Her ignorance of my existence and the test were essential, if I was to truly assess her potential as my replacement. After the shambles that I inherited, it would be good to re-establish the true order of things in this position.

Christine Lee Jones, as I believe she is called, is unaware that the illusions I weaved for her, are purely to convince her that I can offer her a long life in some paradise of her own vision. She bought the fantasy of opulence and power. Never for one moment did she think that this particular illusion that I’d created, was about to end with my demise. She has yet to realise that it will be her, Christine, who will have to learn how to build another reality, both for herself and Millar.

However, judging by what I’ve observed so far, Christine has a fertile imagination that naturally leans to extreme opulence, power and greed. She appears to learn fast and her desires make her open to my coercions. So, using the link I’ve made into her mind, I’m now able to swell both her avarice and her lust for power. As I send my images, both grow steadily in her mind as her will to resist me diminishes. Soon now, I will be able to surrender to death in peace, knowing that I have done all that is required of me to maintain status quo, in this nether world, which lies between Earth and Valhalla.

I’m so wearied by this existence and I’m just so sick and tired of being responsible for Millar, that death will indeed be a merciful release. After all these centuries, the trouble that the pale devil has caused me, is getting harder to bear as the years drag on. I can almost taste the sweetness of my release, as it draws ever closer. To be honest, I’m not sure if Millar yet realises that when I go, so will most of the imagery of his present world. He knows that he alone cannot access the inner souls of his victims to draw on their images from within their moribund mind’s, or recreate them within another reality, without my assistance and that of my ruby. It is the only reason he shows me any deference at all. Without me, he would be in an interminable void of space and time.

That’s where the Guardian has his, or her power over him.

The Paladin of Souls prevents myself and Millar from accessing the full imagery of the souls he has killed and stored on this island. We are restricted to those more recent souls and those wayward ones on the edges of his protection. Millar alone would only be able to draw on some few faded images. My Ruby ring has been my salvation, combining it with his has allowed me to create a physical reality within this void.

Over the centuries, image collection and recreation has become a skill which I excel at, even if I say so myself. The addition of sounds, scents, music, texture and a sense of time have all been included in my repertoire. I can even create people to converse with…… I don’t expect a new, inexperienced Guardian will easily be able to master that scenario of knowledge, built up over the centuries. It will take time. However, we all have to begin somewhere and at some time, which is oft not of our choosing.

I know that I’m certainly not unique, he’s made that perfectly clear many times during our time together….. his way of trying to exert himself over me.  He often sorely resents the power I can wield in his world. As my predecessors apparently couldn’t read, or write, they have left no record of their time as Guardian, so I have no measure.  It is one of the reasons I’ve written this journal, not just to document my progress through this existence…. No, I hope it will help the next Guardian with the tasks, that will undoubtedly lie ahead of them.

When I tried to talk with him about the transition, he just slapped me down saying he’s,

“…been through these change over’s many times before and managed perfectly adequately.”

Well, time will tell. It would certainly help if I could find the ‘Tears.’ It would ensure my route to Valhalla and its power would help the new Guardian draw out and control the souls trapped here in our world. I must redouble my efforts.

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