Flynn struggled in the chair, the vines binding his wrists to the armrests refusing to yield. He pulled with his considerable strength, every muscle in my body screaming in desperation, but to no avail. His eyes darted left and right, panicked, as the horrible little creatures waddled forward, the larger among them carrying a huge blade. The reality of what was about to happen dawned on him and he tried with the last of his strength to break free.
The blade cut clean through his arm, and as the agony coursed through him, he woke up.
Flynn sat bolt upright, cold sweat clinging to his face, breath ragged. He grasped at his hand – still attached. He was not in the great garden. He had not fought ethereal spiders, nor become the fancy of horrific bodily mutation. He was not with the greedy cleric or the dread necromancer. He was not the Lendelwood Butcher.
The bard could not adequately explain what had happened, for there was no way he could convey the experience to any of his companions. How could they hope to understand? In one single instance, Flynn’s mind had been torn open as the combined experiences of Brandobia’s greatest monsters forced their way in. He could see it all… he could FEEL it all. Some nights he could sense the chill touch of the hobgoblin general snaking its way into his very soul, his very being. Some nights he would be dragged into that leering green mouth, sucked into the very essence of nothingness. Some nights he heard the Earth Spider whisper, as it did to Krinn – words unintelligible, motives unspeakable, the very music of madness. This night it was Vox, a being so vile that his kind dared speak of him only as a fairytale. But he was real. Flynn knew he was real, for Flynn had held the whip, tightened the screws, twisted the blade. He had been the Profane. He had been all of these… creatures.
Whatever happened when Flynn had cast the spell on that golden finger, something unplanned had happened. It was… too much. No riddles, no visions, no mere strands of information. When he thought of those men, those murderers and malcontents looking for any port in a storm to ravage, it was as if he’d been there, among them.
As Mercy had been… that bastard. That lying, treacherous…
Flynn sighed. No good would come of cursing his ancestor now. Living as Mercy must surely had been curse enough. What mattered was the present – Flynn Flashwood had seen things buried by history, things deliberately and carefully hidden from civilization’s records. He had, indeed, seen things that no man was meant to see. He wished he could unsee it all. He feared going back to sleep, back to that world of fire and blood and anguish.
Perhaps he should stay up, just this night. It was quiet, after all. This strange marshland was been eerily peaceful, and they were safe in the hut. Yes, Flynn would work on a new song, maybe, to put his mind at rest.
The voice echoed mockingly through the dark, dark night air.