Session Zero - Things Remembered
The crack echoed off the chamber walls, sharp as the Soulsteel reeled back, diamond shards sparkling through the air as half of his skull was blown away. He raised a hand as if to push his hanging jaw back into place, then tilted his head, bemused. Cogg saw his remaining eye flicker, and the Champion fell amid the scent of burnt oil and ozone.
She loomed over him then, her hand clawlike as she seized the mortal’s arm. He screamed as skin and muscle tore, but she only hissed-
Her face was contorted with wrath as she snarled, shaking him, lighting his shoulder and back with a flash of agony.
Then just as suddenly as she’d struck, she grew quiescent, eyes passing over the remainder of the mortal regulators. She released him, striding towards them.
He was a hero for his quick thinking, taking up a shard that had blasted off of the slain Champion and rushing the Gremlin. With a cry he’d leapt, driving it into her spine. Though not the killing blow, it had crippled her enough to serve as the deciding factor in the battle.
After the regulators had returned to the city, they liked to ask where he had gotten the idea – the bravery – to attack her like that. He had to confess that he didn’t remember it well. His response was typically apologetic – perhaps his injuries at the time made the memories foggy, and it had happened very quickly.
The truth was that it all felt very detached. The others insisted upon what they’d seen, and he recalled enough that it certainly seemed to make sense.
Trouble was, in the nightmares he always saw it differently. Instead of the hideous monster he remembered, he saw the barest traces of a mortal woman he’d once known, a bright spark in the reaches, carved in crystal. It was more horrible than the truth, that beautiful face twisted in fury and madness.
He had been dying, and it stood to reason that he’d hallucinate her in those moments – that woman who had been brought back from the reaches, twisted, burned, with soulgem missing. He had often dreamed her as one of the fabled Angels, a soul lost to the reaches, so it was no surprise he’d imagine he saw her again.
The horror of it was the perversion of seeing her in the place of the terrible creature they’d slain that day.
But he had dreamed a lot of things as he lay in the medical wards, recovering from having his arm torn away. Very few of the dreams made sense, certainly not the way the official report did.
He seemed to mostly settle it in his mind as the years went on, although he was never quite able to rid himself of the image of her bright eyes gleaming in the darkness, always watching.