The air was cold at the old lost shack in the swamp. White puffs of warm air were escaping his lips, melding with the mist that had overtaken the marsh. There was no light in the cabin, and everything was so dreadfully, painfully cold.
He pushed the door, and the faint glow of the moon that managed to pierce the fog poured in. The shack was completely empty, save for the open book in the middle of the floor.
A wave of fear washed over him.
He knew that book. He knew what was inside. He had kept it with him always, securely hidden away under lock and spells.
Yet there it was. Laying on the ground, open like a wound.
The planks at his feet creaked as if in response to his intrusion, like a slumbering beast stirring awake. Suddenly a gale poured in from the door, shaking all the windows open and disturbing the pages, flipping them incessantly.
The wind did not relent. It strengthened, sucked inside the shack with increasing intensity, tossing his hair about and pulling him in, making him have to grasp the rotting door frame to not fall in. All the while the pages flipped and flipped. The book trembled and shook like a wounded bird trying to take flight.
Then the groan rose. Like the sound of twisted wood at first. A low, continuous growl at only got louder and louder, slowly shifting in pitch and tone until he could finally hear the voice behind it.
It spoke in words he did not know, but knew the meaning of. Unknown words than did not register with his mind, yet resonated in his bones.
Shadows grew long in the shack. They bled from every corner, every crack, dripping from every rafter and leaking from the very spot he stood. They coalesced in the middle of the room, pooling around the book, feeding it, feeding the voice inside.
Just as panic began to settle in his heart, he felt something in his hand.
The sword —his sword– dark and jagged and dull-looking, was humming in his right hand.
The voice in the book hissed and growled and laughed all at once. The whole shack twisted and warped around him, a large beast puffing up in front of a threat. He understood what he had to do then.
Grasping the blade in both hands he stepped forward. The voice turned into a shriek, blasting him back as the whole cabin shook under his feet. He braced himself, using the sword like a shield to cut the gale that was trying to push him back.
Step by step, he drew closer. The voice roared and rambled crazily, threatening and taunting, blasting him left and right, trying to make him falter.
When he was close enough he lunged forward, stabbing the fluttering pages, and the voice let out an ear-shattering wail.
Instead of parchment, leather and wood, the blade felt like it had sunken into flesh. Dark ichor sputtered from the pages, and the entire shack flinched from the jab. It screamed with pain and anger, promising endless torment, but he only grasped at the hilt firmly, and pushed down.
Slowly, the blade sank through the book and into the ground. The sword jerked as it tore through flesh and broke through bones, and dark miasma poured out of the wet pages like blood from a beating heart. All around him the wooden shack buckled and writhed, planks splintering, rafters falling apart, clay walls cracking. The dark ichor hissed and bubbled as it ate through the wooden planks. The pages curled and trembled like a dying spider.
He pushed and pushed, until the blade was through to the hilt. Then there was peace. The voice died out, the walls stopped shaking, and the book was a mere mass of bubbling tar.
He slowly pulled the blade out, and saw how it had changed.
Instead of a jagged blade, the edges were smooth. Instead of a dull grey, it glistened like a ruby. Instead of a dull finish, it looked mercilessly sharp. Even the hilt and guard had morphed into something else.
He held the sword aloft to admire it, surprised and confused. Another voice rose then, a voice without words, a singing echo that vibrated from the weapon he was holding.
Now you know what to do
Fiel woke up with a start. The sun was rising over Hoelbrak. Outside people were grumpily waking up from their ale-filled nights, merchants were setting up their booths, hunters and fishermen were coming back with their early catch.
He was laying in his bed of furs, spread next to the armor stand, now featuring a brand new set he and his mother had finished the day prior. She and his little little sister were still sleeping on the other bed, closer to the fire pit. When he shifted to sit up, he noticed that he was holding something.
His blade, the one given to him by his former mentor, the one he had left unnamed and unused for years, the one that had spoken to him in his dream, was in his hand.
His fingers tightened over the hilt.
Yes… he knew exactly what to do now.