It began with an itch. A mere tickle in the back of his throat. But the
itch could not be scratched, and so he coughed. That of course, made the
itch worse. So he coughed some more. This cycle continued until he could
no longer remember a time when his throat did NOT itch. It kept him up at
night. Every night in fact, until he grew pallid and weak from exhaustion.
Eventually, he could no longer remember the last time he HAD slept. The
body can only go so long without sleep, therefore the fatigue gave way to
fever. It was a violent, sweaty, retching fever for which there was no
cure, and quickly devolved into a terrible delirium. Despite the valiant
efforts of his caretakers, he slowly began to starve. The starvation became
a pain so severe that pain was the only thought he could ACTUALLY form. He
tried to scream, but could draw only ragged breaths. Those breaths reduced
into gurgles. And the gurgles, as gurgles often do, faded away in darkness.
Pain. Painnnnnnn. The pain, it was exquisite. Like flames licking the
flesh from his bones. Like the marrow slowly melting inside. Like... He
awoke with a start. Flames. Everywhere. He tried to take flight, but his
feathers had long since been charred to the bone. Rolling to his feet from
the pyre, he stumbled through the flames, coughing, blinded by smoke.
Screams. Everywhere. Through blurred vision he could see shapes darting to
and fro. But all he could think was to try to get as far from the fire as
possible. He ran. Into a forest, branches thrashing against his face and
limbs, rocks and twigs biting deep into his bare feet. He ran until his
legs could carry him no further, until he could take no more breaths.
Breaths. How long since he could remember taking a breath? He breathed in
deeply then, filling his lungs with the cool night air, and exhaled
victoriously. He was alive. But at what cost? He turned back the way he
had come, expecting to hear the cries of pursuit, but found only silence.
He was burned, badly. That much he knew. They must have thought him dead
and tried to burn the body. Plague was it? Only one way to find out. He
set off once more through the forest, seeking a body of water. To cool the
insatiable burning, and to see what had become of him by his reflection in
the moonlight. His head was spinning, but he soon found what he was
seeking. And a grave mistake it was. For when he finally gazed upon
himself, the terror was overwhelming.
Realization: the act of becoming fully aware of something as a fact.
Realization, you see, is the easy part. Accceptance, now THAT is hard. One
year later he had fully healed from his wounds, if that is what you could
call it. His wings, or what were left of them, had shrivelled and fallen
off. New, brilliant ones had taken their place, larger and more magnificent
than any he had ever seen. But they came with a terrible price, as if
leeching the very lifeforce from his body. Each month after they had
formed, he would fall ill once more with a virulent plague, each time
proving to be as horrifically painful as the first, albeit short-lived. He
began to curse them, he even tried cutting them off. But they grew back,
and so too, did the pain and suffering. He began to curse the Gods, for who
else but they could save him? And yet he could not be saved, even from
death. He had tried to kill himself, before he had ever considered cutting
off the wings. It had not worked. Then he began to curse the Plague
itself. And that is when realization finally set in. This was none other
than the handiwork of Rodyn, God of Plague. An everlasting curse, his final
rebuttal to the realm of Serin. At that, hate began to grow in his heart,
until it consumed his every waking thought. Hate for what he had become,
hate for those who had not, and hate for Rodyn above all else. And there is
only one unassailable cure for hatred: The deliverance of pain.
Under the tutelage of the torturer's guild, he grew strong and
terrifying. His new identity, Gretch, had become his obsession. He sought
to eclipse even his mentors, to bring suffering in ways that had never
before been contemplated. All in hopes that one day... That one day...
What? What DID he hope to accomplish? To kill a dead God? Dismayed by his
sudden revelation, Gretch left Seringale, some even say Serin, to seek
answers. Then one day, he returned. He seemed focused... Relieved. And
that scared even the guildmaster, with good reason. Gretch was training
harder than ever before, mastering skill after skill after spell, with an
unmatched ferocity and dedication. Gone were his deliberations on hatred,
and even of Rodyn. He spoke of a Gift, of his goal in delivering it to the
world. In his dead eyes was a glimmer of hope, and on his face a hideously
This abomination is a masterpiece of stark contrast. It's pale, diseased
form and grotesque visage bear closest resemblance to a vampire, but it's
wings are utterly magnificent. The beautiful, pearlescent feathers wrap
about this creature's body like flowing robes, shimmering in every
conceivable pastel hue. From a distance, it might appear as an angel
descended from the heavens, clad for war. Yet at close range, it is a
horror of the the grandest design. Translucent skin highlights the dark,
bulging veins beneath. It has no hair, no nails, hardly any teeth. It's
lips are rotted away, revealing the receded gums and sharp, blackened bits
that do remain. And it's eyes... They were perhaps once blue like many
avians', but are now clouded and milky such as the blind. They still
appear, however, to dart about with predatory intent.