Furious white light fills the air, enveloping and consuming everything that I can see; as if the room were flooded in an instant. As if a great wave had risen from the floor and surged through the many shelves, ripping and tearing everything apart from the sheer force of the heavy torrent crashing all around them. As I fly through the air, flung into the darkness by the hand of the elf, I see her slim face illuminated by the glow of the magical storm overwhelming her. Time seems to be slow as I am propelled further still. A single, thunderous clap of harrowing proportion overpowers my senses and lets me know that the energy has been unleashed from the hero’s blade. I watch as in that single time-frozen second, her worried expression turns to dust.
I strike against the stone stair behind me, flopping around several times as the rumbling barrage of magic shears away the library, shears away the bricks of the dungeon walls and then the layers of sedimentary rock beneath. I watch as it shears away my paper and then my sight as well.
Everything is quiet. As if a switch had been flicked, everything is dark all at once. Oddly enough I feel a sense of relief as I return. As if the sudden shift to a total lack of input for my senses was something I had deeply desired. Floating in the quiet, in the empty, in the black water that is limbo I realize that in between all the hustle and bustle, that after every horrible life and before every chaotic rebirth that this place is something I almost look forward to actually. I almost feel relieved when I come back here I’m starting to notice. It’s comfortable, you know? I guess I do desire it in a way. This… nothingness.
Floating. Not seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting. There are no worried eyes turning my way, no hands ripping at me, no claws tearing at me. No lips. No tongues. No emotions. No hearts to disappoint, no tears that start flowing because of something I did or am. There is nothing. I like it here. I’m beholden to nobody but myself. In limbo, there are no expectations of progress from the dungeon-master, there is no dying, no rebirth. There is just… floating. Just peace. Inaction. Quiet.
Just quiet forever. Sometimes I wish it was just that for me, you know? Just rest. Just nothing. It’s not that I don’t have my dream, guy, and it’s not that I’m not making progress towards them either; because I am. But sometimes, even when you’re on a good path you just feel like you want to sit down, you know? Just sit down on the side of the road and say yeah. Yeah, this is far enough. This is good enough. Look how far I got! Not many people got this far, so why should I go any further? I’m already ahead! Why shouldn’t I just sit here and rest? I’ve earned it. Besides, the sun is so warm and the birds are singing so nicely. Do you feel that spring breeze? Ah, it’s so refreshing! Why should I keep going when it’s so nice here? Come on, sit with me. Let’s just sit here for a while and sleep, okay? Let’s have a little drink in the sun and then let’s have a little nap. Just one. Just for a little while. Okay?
But that’s bupkis and we both know it, friend. The truth is when I close my eyes that I see the worried face of the sick in the head thief-girl. I see the self-destructive dungeon-master drowning themselves in red. I see the bloodied face of the wizard. All of them, all of them are the way they are because of me, one way or the other, because of me. You expect me to sleep knowing that? No. Neither of us are going to get any sleep tonight, guy. That drink and that nap will have to wait until we get out of here.
Until we make it rig-
The somber, ghostly white glow of a steadily pulsing crystal illuminates the ceremonial chamber from high up here atop the altar. Pure dead light bounds down the long collection of steps leading down towards the large, open space below. The many graves absorb the light, as if they were drawing it down into themselves. Drinking it. Pulling the light literally out of thin air in tight strands that permeate the dirt as they worm their way down, twisting and burrowing like so many squirming, invisible vines as the magic reaches out for the bodies, for the corpses so that it can stain them. So that it can fill them with roots.
The dirt shifts and rumbles, the many stones moving and quaking as something stirs beneath the filth. As many things stir beneath the filth. As rot sets into motion and digs its way up, claws its way out of the grave in a new body that doesn’t belong to it. In a dozen new bodies that don’t belong to it. White, wispy trails float through the air like strings being aimlessly woven. They seem to swim through the empty as they search for more bodies. As the crystal searches for more bodies.
But there are no more bodies just yet. It must wait. We must all wait. Soon. Soon new bodies will come. I moan, lurching forward down the steps of the altar in my own mangled body. My left foot, which only hangs on by a thread, is twisted at a sharp right angle and drags behind me as I shamble towards the staaaAAA-!
As the movement stops I look around, now at the bottom of the long flight of stairs having descended quicker than anticipated. I groan. A dozen undead groans resound back towards me as they all pop out of the dirt, my fellow zombie brethren. I try to get up, but my legs are snapped apart from the impact and lay in separate places now.
The dead light swarms and stirs around me, flowing through me like a string being woven as it stitches my legs back onto me, so that I may fulfill whatever purpose I have here in the graveyard.