Suvacel's body outwardly rested in slumber, save for surges in the night that rocked the camp like minor earthquakes. Even so, outwardly, there seemed peace. The body rested in the land of Waking. In the land of Dreaming, however, the monster that had stalked her dreams the last two nights and had haunted her day with taunts and barks of fell laughter, a beast in armor that had at the ready a terrible swift sword of lighting and power and which was a primordial fear. She was not religious, none who had the power with hands to do what others did with the witch-fires of the mind would be religious.
But the terrifying Force in these dreams was less a person and more a living storm made manifest, a verifiable tangible God confronting Its Creation, a predator that stalked its prey at the jungle's edge. In the strange chants and incanations, the blasphemous I-Nishi-Azarath! and the name Zezhelanzanai! there was monstrosity, a lurking horror that turned the pleasurable light of understanding into a balefire that blinded and scoured and scarred the eyes. It was a light that gleamed and scarred, a voice that echoed with the remarkable malice and understanding. She was not religious, but the voice seemed to echo as more than a mere voice, as the very power and unholy force of something that was more than flesh and blood, or if it had ever been had long-since ceased to be.
Then that night the creature finally took its full manifestation. A brilliant and terrifying light seared her eyes and that mocking voice echoed, not with barely coherent thought-speech, but with a purpose:
I am come to light a fire in the earth and even now it is kindled!
I have found the clay and formed of it flesh, and the flesh has been given the breath of life!
The force and the strength that is my will pours in light into darkness, it separates the good from the evil!
To me has been given to stand with a scythe and to harvest the weak from the strong!
Of skulls of the harvested shall a throne be built, of blood that flows unhindered shall redemption come!
A figure formed from the light. It was built like the Baranir of Earth, those strange creatures with long lower limbs, shorter upper ones, the only creatures of such kindred without heavy ridges on the face. Well, to a degree. The face was unnaturally round, almost dish-shaped with massive eyes with crystalline sclera that formed an eerie pattern like the cells upon stars. The monster towered over her, and even at her height that dwarfed the true Baranir, the beast grinning with an unnaturally wide smile that flowed with an eerie bonelessness.
A mocking baying howl that split stars followed:
As I stand I burn what I will heedless of what is consumed in ashes.
In the future I shall howl for blood and care not from whence it flows
In the far future I shall stand an idol of dreams fulfilled in the most cruel of fashions.
She was expected to whine and clutch her ears but her eyes glowed.
"I've seen you in flashes of memories from my sisters and gene-sire."
The monster laughed..
Of all my creation, it would be the weakest and the stupidest to seek to defy me.
I who hang stars alight and set them to glow with time unhindered.
I who formed you and those like you, the power and the glory that is mine to wield, mine to claim.
I set stars to glow, I form the wine-dark sea.
Mine the hands that heal, mind the hands that kill, mine the hands that sow, mine the hands that induce famine.
Mine the song that makes the wind and the feline howl.
The tall monstrosity in armor strode to her, lifting her effortlessly with a single hand by the throat, baying with the voice of a mad god that howled on a throne of skulls and then became eerie forms that shifted in no consistent pattern. The foundation-stone of Chaos:
Not perhaps in full. Chaos is itself, there is no predictability. I am the firstborn and yet there was another who preceded me.
The creature laughed and then hurled her with a minor flick of its wrist. She stopped in midair, hovering.
"I hear idle boasting and the winds of madness."
The creature gazed at her.
So speaks the will of one who is arrogant, a simple-minded tank-brain.
"You call me simple?"
The beast stopped and gazed at her, indecision on its face.
"To you is given omnipotence, omniscience, ominpresence. The power to break and forge entire universes anew. This you use to appear in the land of dreaming because you are too brutal and straightforward with it to challenge the Lightdancer."
Suvacel laughed with a terrible sound.
"You call me a simple-minded tank-brain when you have the power of a God and wield it for petty things that are beneath many and many an ordinary mortal which you decisively are not. I do not wield psychic witchery because I need it not. My hands are the great tools I need. If I can achieve with the flesh great things, what need have I to invite Outer Light or Darkness alike? I am myself and I need be none other."
The monster hissed. A finger beckoned and the eyes shifted, visions of infinite space that held her spellbound, a voice that rumbled with anger growling into her ear, causing her nerves to shriek in agony.
You have no authority to speak against me. I formed you out of nothing. If it were to amuse me I could kill and resurrect you in a spiral until that flesh you boast of smashes entire planets in throes of madness.
Then she awoke to find the monster holding her by the throat, physically, a bejewled gauntlet digging into her, the rumbling power of madness oozing from its voice that wormed through her thoughts.
You alone of my creation have achieved the theft of something of the Lightdancer's.
I shall let you fight her, tank-brain.
The beast laughed, an echoing sound of cruelty and madness that flayed and infected the souls and minds and bodies of those who heard it.
Oh, yes. You shall fight her. And when you fail this next time, the Creator shall take its Creation and give you the experience of what you were meant to be.
Do not mistake my allowance of amusement as a potential to threaten me.
Placed gently onto her feet, she then heard a psychic assault of such power that she yielded to it unthinkingly, one word that achieved its goal with not just her but all the camp.
An army knelt, and before them stood in glowing terror of eldritch nature a figure in green armor who extended her right hand, palm upward, eyes gazing with not malice but a strange kind of detachment.
They heard a voice that taunted them:
Now you know what true power is.
The Lightdancer smiled in meditation, a smile that sent a deep chill through the eyes of those who saw her.
Her own voice echoed with the unfathomable power that united existence itself.
So at last is the true puppetmaster revealed. How simple it is to manipulate those who see power only in the image of the mailed fist.