Zira's Shell

For Ghosts who follow their debt-taker.

Cold swept down from frigid mountaintops against already old stones of a Dark Age castle. Winter slicked the ramparts as night fell across the European expanse.

Naeem stood at a long and narrow bridge, helmet shielding her face from deafening wind and stinging snow. She'd left her bloodstained fingertips in Old Russia, gone West, until they no longer called her Warlord. Here, she had heard the Lightbearers hunted and felled a dragon. Maybe some of its magic remained… enough to start anew.

She followed the whispers through the storm and rubble. Ran her fingers over scars in the stone. This was the place the old warrior had told her to go, and so she pressed deeper into the keep, until the whispers turned to words, and the bones of a great beast laid at rest before her eyes.

She approached the skull at the center of the skeleton. "Dragon. Ahamkara."

The language that filled the room ceased to be ambient, their attention focused on her. They drew desire from her heart, and passion from her blood. She spoke, as if by instinct.

"I wish for your kindness."

The whispers twisted into hissing laughter. She almost felt the skeleton's anticipation, vibrating through its dry-hollow marrow. Then it spoke to her. "Kindness. There is so little left. And the cost, so high… The gulf between your want, and your reality… this is truly what you wish for?"

"I've spent my power poorly, like you, to survive. That is why they hunted us. Killed us." Naeem stepped forward slowly. "Wouldn't you rather be loved than feared?"

The Ahamkara bones were silent in consideration.

"I know the Lightbearer who slew you. I know you respect their determination," Naeem pressed. "Grant me kindness. Let us share that kindness. Let us make them love us as much as we were feared."

The voice focused again. "Charity does not sate my hunger."

"Then do not be charitable. Let me face the debts of your wishes, while those who benefit live freely."

The voice hissed and cackled. "You would take their debts upon your head?"

"I have as many lives to give, as the weight of their debts." Naeem placed a hand on the skull.

"Your wish is granted."

Young Ahamkara's Spine

Category: Ahamkara

Ghost Fragment: Legends 3