This was started with the prompt, “As our story came to a close, I realized we were the villains all along.” Where I went became a bit of a mess. I created a species, the drelkensoul, for N’Zembe, but didn’t have a solid idea how the function. Not only that, but I didn’t have any sort of plan and my loose plot was a convoluted idea. This may get a rewrite/complete restart, but for now, here it is:
As our story came to a close, I realized that we were the villains all along. By then, though, it was too late. All was said and done, we had already faced our judgment, we were dead. I had always assumed that after death was nothing, but it seems I was wrong. Otherwise I would be unable to record our story. It is my hope that others will avoid our path to destruction, learn from our mistakes, be better than we were.
I don’t blame anyone who assumes this whole tale, including our deaths, is a hoax. But what does it matter? I lived it, so did they. I won’t try to convince anyone of the truth of my recollection by claiming to have been tasked to write my adventure by one of the gods. Yes, there is a multiplicity of deities. There are many, both benevolent and malevolent, in balance.
This is not a religious text, so I shall move on. Surely it is more important to know who we were and what we did that was so terrible. At least, terrible in retrospect. I never realized until after we had died that we had done anything wrong, inflicted pain upon so many. I didn’t know what we truly were until it was too late.
I had my suspicions that we were villainous, but never were they very great. Our people were not known for their kindness anyway, but rather our cruelty and ruthlessness. We were drelkensheath.
I’m not sure how old I was when I became aware of another entity within me. Yes, another entity. A literal separate being inhabiting my body.
We fought for quite some time over control of my being, the external portion of it, at least. Eventually, I was offered a compromise.
Share this vessel with me, and I will grant you unfathomable power–power that will free you from your dependence on the sea. I can still hear those words in my mind, even now that I’m dead.
Knowing the alternative was to continue fighting, as the spirit had made clear he was unwilling to leave, I readily agreed.
Peace brought a strange sense of cohabitation within my own body. I was no longer one person, but two in disguise, if this other creature was even to be considered a person. Are they even a creature? The gods are unwilling to entertain my questions, so I’ll likely never know.
When I rose upon the fertile land, I soon met others like me–drelkensheath who were now cohabiting their own bodies, vessels as the spirits called them. We decided to band together, the seven of us. Perhaps we’d survive better, figure ourselves out quicker, understand these new abilities.
“Hey, we need to leave! Everyone get up!” I yelled at the five still laying on their mats.
Adesola consistently woke up early enough for us to leave, but she had also been out of water the longest–she was the most at home on land.