A NIGHTMARE COMPLETE

(Below is a small bit of character development for an old character in a new iteration of his life.  It should be noted that the character in question, Jakoh, is meant to be a nightmare himself, a “sacred shadow,” to remind men of their own mortality and to be an arbiter of life and death.  Jakoh is also known for speaking in a familiar yet foreign tongue, Esperanto.)

Nightmares always plagued his warped mind.  When he closed his eyes to sleep, the darkness was filled with horrors beyond reckoning–indescribable, yet always familiar.  If one could only see into his mind during those “peaceful” hours of his day, when he wouldn’t undoubtedly eat the flesh of any who dared to tread too close, perhaps an understanding as to his behavior could be found.  Though, people such as that were few and far between… and he made it well-known that beings who possessed such capabilities were on his watchlist.

Regardless of his predisposition to shun and avoid those more powerful than himself, it didn’t change the fact that he currently slept.  Through his mind raced a thousand years of torment, both inflicted upon him and that which he inflicted.  Serpents slithered through the holes of his broken body, stitching him together into a working monster.  Rats followed in his wake, a devouring swarm of disease and pestilence.  Crows heralded his approach, though their calls were more akin to screaming banshees than the cries of birds.  He corrupted everything he touched, but… how did he witness it?  This–this was not him.  He was an arbiter, chosen by gods to dispense justice.  This was the executioner–the remorseless and completely unbiased part of his own psyche.  The part of him that declared every man, woman, and child guilty.

He tried to crawl away before the stoic demi-god could harm him–but it was already too late.  The earth itself morphed at the god’s command, binding him in the coils of a stony constrictor.  Air was pressed out of his lungs, and he heard his own bones crack and crunch under the force of the creature’s body.  A futile struggle ensued, which only ended when the shadowy executioner finally stood before him, the snake uncoiling and leaving the broken man to the god’s will.

Gasping for breath and coughing out blood, he tried to push himself up to prepare to fight.  The gauntleted arm of the arbiter reached out, seizing him by the neck and lifting him high into the air.

Thou art judged… guilty.  Guilty of conspiracy against the Queen.  Guilty of killing the All-Seer.  Guilty of eluding death.”  The words themselves struck like a thousand arrows to his soul.

In the waking world, he twitched in his sleep, trying to escape the arbiter’s grasp.  His shuffling and seemingly terrified demeanor had attracted the attention of a passerby.  “Are you okay?  Sir?”  The words, though heard, were not processed to mean what had been said.

The shadowy, cloaked mass of the arbiter tilted his head.  “How dost thou plead?”

IT WAS YOU,” he suddenly barked in the real world, lunging forward and gripping the passerby with hands that had morphed into sharp, elongated claws.  He seemed to be falling apart, as rips and tears in his physical form were apparent.  The two crashed hard on the ground.  “Mi ne estas kulpa. Mi estas justeco. Mi estas vero. Mi ne forgesu, kaj mi neniam pardonos. I will never forgive.”  The judgment had been wrought–this rather innocent passerby was torn to pieces, eviscerated in mere moments by the rage and ire of a man who thought he was the embodiment of justice itself.

His shoulders heaved as he took in shaking breaths, dragging blood-soaked claws across his face.  “Mi nur signifis komplezi vin, mia reĝino…”  The amalgamation laughed derisively as his claws fell away, revealing a face most demented.  His laughter grew in volume for only a few chuckles before it descended into quiet crying.  The path of the arbiter was a difficult one….

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