Psychoactive: Mild - Pain Relief and General Numbness
Common Name(s): Violet Drop, Flower Tears, Joybell Mushroom
Distinguishing Characteristic: Small and always varying degrees of purple, the deeper the color the more potent the psychoactive effects, short and thin stem, pure white underside
Terrain(s): Riverbanks, Streams, Temperate Forests
[Editor's Note]: Three entries are destroyed. Pages of logging and experimental exploration have been destroyed. While it is my intention to preserve these records, the pages have otherwise been destroyed by fault of my ward and her errant tendency to destroy her written words when imbibing in any number of these unusual substances. Even more, the following is what remains after a heinous and heretical relic was relieved of the witch. While I could argue that her choice was made in reason and loyalty, I personally have never trusted that Lady Scion. But those are yesterday's woes and we are now so very far from Impiltur. But what follows are the raw and natural telling of Callalily under the influence of a second dose of what she affectionately calls 'violet drops' and while beset by spirits of hunger and carnage. I have left the document untouched from her original words but would caution you, dear reader, to understand the depths of depravity I hope even today to spare the girl from suffering. Do not continue to read if you are weak of heart and spirit. Do not continue to read if you are easily sickened by the evils mortals may do. I intended to guide her hand in these writings but not even I would have dared enter the depths of her mind while beset by a horror shaped two-fold.
The Dark Promise
Known to Thaelandriel and a few other companions of the witch, The Amulet of Dark Promise was a relic uncovered within a plagued tomb outside the city of Sarshel by request of investigation by the Lady Scion. The amulet was recovered in a hall of carnage where a solitary once-humanoid had cannibalized and tore apart his fellow man with a terrible and voracious hunger. Bound with the task of keeping this relic secure and safe, Callalily did not fear influence of the amulet with her ward in place. Yet for how many horrible memories of her past she managed to avoid in creature-comforts and new friendship in Impiltur, she would never imagine the sort of audience that might be interested in watching her suffer and hunger. Mistakes were made.
I remember visiting Hag's Crest the evening before with Svarozic and Asheheart. We remained long until the great moon had risen over the horizon. I could have stayed for any number of hours behind to listen to the whispers of what remained from the mystical crone's impression on the land. Although the Hag who once called the cove by the sea home was long since destroyed, her rituals and whispers in the dark beside the turning side left what I can only describe as echos of time and routine. How many times had she walked these same sands? How many songs did she sing in hatred and envy for the beautiful sirens that drifted by shaped as sea elves? I could not begin to guess but I knew I might be able to hear and understand more clearly if I could return alone and leave my companions just before daylight.
The following morning, I remember feeling hungry even after eating the last of the bread and venison jerky. I ate and ate until realizing I was dipping into much of the day's rations. And so I decided instead, frantically, to return to the shore and take my mind from the deep gnawing in my stomach. Collecting myself, I took a second violet drop. This purple, innocuous mushroom is known for painting the mind with vivid colors and altering perceptions. I knew that two would at least ready me for sleep beside the large tree before Hag's Crest and open my mind to dream vividly and understand the depths of what spirits yet lingered behind the sea hag's departure.
The last I remember that might approach normalcy was watching the morning sunlight bleeding through the branches of the reaching, great tree overhead. The canopy's branches seemed to stretch to reach the horizon and beyond. At one point or another, I began to dream while lulled by the quiet beats of unheard drums. It must have been the rushing of my blood as this little, violet mushroom began to set my nerves on fire. What I believed first to be leaves falling from overhead, landing like tiny, emerald dancers at my open palm were beginning to leave scarlet impressions. They were melting like flakes of black ash into a solitary pool of terrible sanguine.
The blue sky stretching over the sea was a smoke-choked, abyssal nightmare of blackness. The sea was rotting as it ebbed and flowed against the shoreline I sat beside. Great carcasses of half-eaten corpses of humanoid shapes drifted against the sandy shores as a four-eyed raven plucked at the sinewy, battered contents of a small skull yet decorated with hair and a single, bloated eyeball of grey-white. I looked up from the shoreline in front of me and to the tree I rested beside to find not a tree but instead a brutal arrangement of poorly sewn together torsos. Limbs were hacked and arranged to hang in the branches of this charred tree decorated with the dead to resemble outstretched hands. Drop by drop, blood pooled in my cupped hands along with the flaking ash that fell from the black, smog-heaven overhead.
My first thought was the reminder of hunger and how my tongue was so dry. Bringing the pool of ash and acrid, dark blood to my lips I dipped my head toward the sky and extended my tongue in feeling my hands subconsciously pour the sanguine ruin over my extended tongue. Straining with the taste, I felt my body still warming in having forgotten the feverish effects of the mushroom's overdose; I tore the remnants of my clothing away and struggled forward like an agonized newborn to the bloodied sands. I knelt and began to dig amidst great, heaving sobs in bringing bloodied sand to my lips in my hunger that soon fell voracious and agonizing. My guts heaved and growled in hatred as I gifted it with only earthen grit and trickles of sinew fed from the rotting sea. Dropping globs of blood-wet sand from my trembling fingers, I was interrupted from a second handful by the four-eyed crow yet contently gorging itself on the last remnants of the remaining eye.
With that single eye-socket pecked clean and where I expected to see the outreach of its winged form to condemn my staring instead came the dark gold of a woman's arm from a disrupted veil of reality. I stared in my confused nakedness and abhorrent terror at the veil being torn open inch by inch. A sudden eruption of sable black feathers burst from the core of this terrible opening and there emerged the product of all of my nightmares. How many times had she visited me in my dreams and I chose to ignore her lunatic howling? But with this hunger and with this weakness I could not refuse her intrusion anymore than I could question if she had always been nearby in this place. Watching. Waiting.
"Datura, Durthan ... wretch," I hissed through grit teeth in feeling the slow collection of shame budding in my mind to be so naked, so filthy, and so exposed before this elegant tapestry of horror and cruelty disguised as a woman. "... Out, out of this place. You are not welcome here and you were denied once. You have no power over me here anymore than you do in our waking worlds."
The extended, dark gold arm brought forth fingers adorned in claws of black talons not unlike her disguised, raven-counterpart. A flick of her first finger and I was made to stand straight even though I was turning over and over internally with a deep and terrible hunger. Another twist of her first two fingers and I felt my arms forcibly extended. The trail of black and scarlet stain on the earth stepped forward completely from the veil revealing her in her chosen disguise of unimaginable beauty. The black-clad witch, forsaken of the Wychlaran of Rashemen, was decorated in the same transparent linen pulling along the shape of a body belonging to a girl's of my age. Endless rivets of dark, deep black hair hung like curtains beyond the shape of a face I remember wanting to tear open to find bone and flesh to see if this monster held any hope of what might resemble humanity under her many disguises.
Datura did not. And her smiling, vibrant eyes of green were as poisonous as the deep, dark purple of her lips stained over and over from the sampling of any number of night-blooms in preparation for her dark and terrible art. "... My, my. Vesna. What could you possibly know of hunger...? Yet here you are. Screaming to be satiated and fed. How fortunate you chose to collect that dark relic for your new friends. What a bold act - risking yourself to preserve peace and tranquility where you might have let those beautiful men argue for days to come over what to do with the bauble."
Clarity. Even in tasting the metallic flush of blood and the grit of sand in my teeth and covering my bare knees, thighs, and yet grinding in my teeth from my near delirious feasting - I remembered. My ward must have broken. I forged a fetish of our Bhalla made of yew tree twigs and bound the amulet in linen soaked by spring water. I sang the song of rebirth and asked the spirits of the yew tree to keep the evil contained within. This is why she could speak to me, I knew it. This meant that for all of my best efforts, the woman knew exactly where I was courtesy of the dark and terrible relic I protected. I was a beacon in the dark for this hungry, terrible creature. But although I was kept still as she pulled on my strings and made my limbs twitch for her amusement, I found the courage to speak:
"You were denied and denied again and again. Be out of this place, Datura. When I am strong enough, I will return at once and destroy you and everyone you call kin. I will have no words for you and I will not speak of--
"Hunger? Why not? Try and deny what you are, try and refuse again, I welcome your efforts. I would have given you the stars to hold in your hands that you might never be alone and the pleasures I would yet deliver to your flesh would leave you to forget the mortal pangs of hunger. Yet still you gnash your teeth and bare your claws like some lesser beast. You are a Daughter of Night-Wolves, no better than the beast-woman feared by the Lion that hungers to know you as I have. And from what I can smell of your skin, even here in this place," she began and in that moment I felt her suddenly before me with that wild, masked visage of feathers and severity staring before me. The obsidian beak of the ornate mask denoting her prowess as a Durthan witch pressed forward, near close enough for it's razor's edge to graze my throat. Her words resumed like the next verse of a song of unrelenting abuse:
"Try as I might to instruct your flesh and ruin your virgin sweetness again and again, I am yet consumed by this round face. In time, I will tell your hamlet of what you are and why you belong to me and my sisters. You will never be welcome back in Rashemen," she whispered, her voice yet ringing in my mind like a harrowing echo as her fingers seized my neck. The other hand had long since descended to grapple my sides and burn and imprint new, dark bruises until the meat of my inner thigh was beset by her nails digging and forcing them apart with what I recall only as a shuddering cry of protest. "... Try as I might to instruct you to what you are intended for. I remind you - Vesna - they will not understand what you are. They will not forgive the secret that died with your mother. You are not theirs because you belong to ours. And how I will teach you again of hunger and desire... but they are tools to torment our lessers. In truth, you will never go wanting."
The finger adorning my face descended to my lips and while every twitching muscle and trembling of my shivering features might demand I sink my teeth and tear the finger from her hand, I could not refuse the sensuality. I hungered to be touched like this again even if she was wrought by affections that demanded lies. And just when I thought some liberty would be granted, Datura withdrew her fingertip even as it played against my lower lip. Drawing terribly close in an embrace of the defiler witch, her dark arms tilted my head to the side as my throat was offered. I could not speak the words to protest her terrible promise anymore than I might remember why I was beginning to wake up.
I would not be granted release of her torment in the waking world just yet. Her long, black tongue extended far beyond that of a human woman's in her tapestry of many lies and many shapes as it drew over my collarbone and I remember a whisper or two of the salted sweetness of my skin. Where there was once delicate kisses like flower petals split and torn open in delirious and savage lust came the flat of her teeth and then the sickening crunch of her canines. She was eating me alive - crunching deliciously and savoring the way my body fell limp in her arms. Datura dug deeper and dragged her gnashing teeth like daggers to pull sinew, muscle, and the meat of my throat open. As I might drift in the agony of my own hunger, the euphoria was broken. I was waking up.
I would not ask Asheheart or Svarozic at what point they had ventured to find me at Hag's Crest or why I had begun to tear into the flesh of my hand with my own teeth. The taste of blood was real as reality came like an unheralded hurricane along with the stomach-twisting sickening realization of my own arousal, damp and unseen against my skirts yet fettered through the inflicted pleasures of my own depravity in having enjoyed something so unforgettably vile. I swallowed the flesh that was torn between my forefinger and thumb to hear the echos of an argument between Svarozic and an armored figure. As the armored figure approached, I realized then it was the Lady Scion. The voice of hunger continued to whisper lowly in incoherent murmurs from my satchel. They were demanding I make a choice and though the Lady Scion offered administration to heal my self-inflicted wounds, I stirred to rationalize the choice.
While I believe the violet drop mushroom had terrible, adverse effects to be spoken of at later times, I knew my ward was shattered by the evil held within this amulet. I know it was not Datura's design for me to accept the amulet and give her precise awareness of my location but I realized at once the weight of my foolishness. Even more, I realized my capacity for enjoying what I could only describe as ecstasy in the throngs of hunger. In surrendering the amulet bestowed on me to keep safe by Thaelandriel and Hjalmar to the Lady Scion, I felt the hunger begin to quiet.
I would have to explain myself to Asheheart and Svarozic. I knew they were staring at me and will continue to stare at me with new eyes. I did not fear their judgement but I feared what discovery was found within me. Influenced by a dark power as I may have been, reminded of the horror of Datura's ravenous cruelty in her hunger to have me at her side, I was more disturbed by the realization that some strange nightmare hunt had been cast. I would not be prey to this dark hunter anymore than I would grant her mercy.
Maybe I know myself better tonight than I have yesterday. I will not be her Vesna anymore than I will be Durthan witch. I am Callalily and my path is for me to write - even if it is awash in pages of ink, flesh, and blood.
Last edited by Mushroom Cult
on Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:22 am, edited 4 times in total.