The last of the three awoke.
The vessel it wore had been a beautiful young woman he had found drawing water at a well in one of the villages he had passed on the way here. She, like the other two, had something different in her scent. The mind of the old self noticed the red eyes, the tear stained cheek, the fading bruise. The new self sensed despair, sorrow, and the urge to seek the void. When he slaughtered the village and put the remains to the torch, he spared her, seeing her usefulness.
Now, he no longer saw the pretty young face, but rather, he saw the presence that dwelled inside her. She wasn’t as strong as he was. She had to be assisted in displacing her old self and filling the vessel, but still she would serve the purpose.
The other two had already left. The first traveled south, through Amn and Tethir, then east, away from the coast. His vessel was that of an unkempt beggar, toothless and unshaven. He had been found in a gutter along a trade route, drinking himself into a stupor. His scent was also heavy with a desire for death.
The second was sent north, through Cormyr, and into the Dales. His guise was a hulking man, shackles still attached to his wrists. He had been standing on a gallows, awaiting his execution for some crime or another. The vessel was not seeking death, like the others, but he had resigned himself to it, had given up on life, and that was all that was needed.
This last vessel, he would send east, along the southern coast of the Sea of Fallen Stars, while he himself would return to the Sword Coast, and turn north. Each of them was set to the same task, to dim the flame of life, and find others that would serve their cause.
He spoke a few words in his new tongue to his latest minion, then sent her on her way. From behind him, the smell of the priest that kept this temple came to him, and he turned.
“When can I expect your return, my lord?” the priest asked.
“Weeks, perhaps months. How long does not matter, just be ready when the time comes.”
The old man nodded, and wandered off to his duties. The one that was Cirath turned for the door, and hesitated as the slightest hint of light bloomed behind his eyes. It was not like the other times, this was not an attack. It was more like something was reaching into his mind and probing its depths. It caught him off guard for a moment. He had expected a violent thrust, an attempt to force him out or annihilate him entirely.
He recovered quickly and walled off the light, forcing it from his mind. The light was beginning to concern him. He would have to be on his guard even more so than before. Blind force could be combated, but these more subtle efforts may prove far more dangerous.
Shaking those concerns from his mind, he stepped out the door and started on his way. The Sword Coast beckoned once more.
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