The Lucid Soul
Medea, the Nightshade
Born Medea of Telasero, the woman who would come to be known throughout Oolasil as ‘the Nightshade’ was once a classical romantic soul. Born last into a family of four children to wealthy landowners in the old city, she was raised with her three sisters and brother to hold wealth, nobility, and the perpetuation of one’s family line as the highest pursuit in life. Medea’s interests, however, were less political and more clerical in nature. She quickly overshadowed her siblings in the academic realm, catching the notice of her brother’s appointed tutor. She spoke five languages fluently by the time she came of age to be wed, with a growing knowledge of herbal medicine and potions. For this reason it was decided that rather than being wed off at the customary age, she would be allowed to continue her studies and choose her own suitor when she felt fit.
This would be mere years later, when she met and fell completely in love with an aspiring Paladin of Alderthane’s guard. He was everything good in the world to her then, charming to everyone he met no matter their style, yet adamant in his convictions about the state of the world, and about what was right and wrong. They got engaged, and everything seemed right with the world.
But Kelthane’s subsequent rise to power would spell tragedy for the would-be family. Medea’s true love could not sit idly by whilst his lord was betrayed and calling for the aid of his knights, but Medea pleaded with him to stay with her, to run away and make a life together far from the old city. What she loved most about him – his convictions, belief in himself, and his loyalty – is what would spell his undoing. He was slain, along with all the other Paladins.
Medea soon afterward discovered that she was pregnant with his child, but became a recluse, letting no-one else close to her as she pored through every manuscript she could find relating to one goal – returning her true love to life.
She got as far as raising his corpse with forbidden necromancy. But to her dismay, only a mindless force moved his limbs by rote in that state – his soul was departed, seemingly for good.
At last, on the eve of her child’s birth, the answer came to her in a lucid dream. A creature in a dream, made of shadows, offering her a worldly ambassador – a raven- who would deliver to her door everyday for seven days the ingredients of a concoction that, if regularly imbibed, would spell the end of her unborn child’s life. Only by using his lifeblood, the creature said, would she be able to restore true life to her fallen lover’s corpse. In return, the creature asked only that he be permitted to get to know her better during the nights that would follow in her life. She readily accepted.
To her initial shock, the raven did appear the next morning to deliver the ingredients. She knew not from whence they or the raven truly came, but she trusted her dream in desperate hope and reckless tenacity. Her child came to her stillborn after all, and she used his blood as her shadow patron had instructed her the night before, injecting it into key areas of her fiance’s body, whilst reciting a dark spell of untold origin and power, lost to time.
To her dismay, the spell appeared to do nothing. Days passed, nothing. A week, and still, there was no soul to the lifeless shambling of the pathetic corpse she had dug up. Worse still, she was beginning to be plagued by horrible nightmares, and by her own guilt at having so readily sacrificed her child’s life on the whim of a dream.
She reburied her fiance’s still zombified body in a fit of rage and sadness.
It was mere weeks later that Kelthane’s curse of undeath fell upon the land, and to her horror, it dawned upon her that her nightmares would never subside, for the rest of her now never-ending, twice-cursed life.
For her patron still visited her every night, straining her unconscious capacity for fear of every variety, for sadness, and for guilt. Her growing acclimation to the nightly visits of this shadow patron, after many, many decades of torment, eventually granted her the capacity to project its influence in a limited form, even as it wore away at her sanity.
In time she would take up a new moniker, befitting a new life in a new world order under Kelthane’s rule: She was Medea of Telesaro no longer, but Medea the Nightshade; stripped as she was of all sense of ‘home’ in either time or place. This moniker was, for a time, met with derision, until many who made the mistake of falling under Medea’s paranormal gaze fell abruptly into a state of intense drowsiness, lethargy, and fright.
After living in Oolasil for a number of years, she would meet a skeletal creature calling itself Obitu, and surmise that her attempt to restore life to her old love had been a success. Unfortunately, it was a new life altogether, and it had been raised by some evil influence to be a perfect warrior, a champion of death, disease, and malice.
As her torment grew, so did her power. The only consolation for remaining alive, she found in the extremities of physical sensation – sexual pleasure. After many decades, she would befriend the enslaved Lion Shaman Grisal, for he reminded her of the what the world was before Kelthane. He was a foreign creature, to whom the natural cycle of life and death was still fresh in mind and soul, who had the unfortunate luck to have had the curse of undeath inflicted upon him late in life.
Grisal, his recruiter ‘Legion’, and Obitu; these were the once-mortals in whose company she would find herself on missions given by demons throughout the world-tree. And these would be the heroes who would find their allegiences challenged, and identities remade, when granted mythical responsibility by the Precurser Nadaline.