I have dragged my bare feet across the jagged rock floor of Tenebris for weeks.
I ran and hid with my bloody intestines in my hands.
I fended off the dark fiends who wish to claim me for a trophy.
It does not matter who they are or what they are.
One by one they all fall at my feet, dead.
My reputation drew too much attention.
Had I been any other woman cast out to the Realm of Shadows I would be ignored, or at the very least used and immediately discarded.
But these fiends see me as a prize.
Do they think they claim me?
I am Elysia.
No man, no creature, no Supreme Lord shall ever claim me.
I have roamed the ghoulish fields and plains of Tenebris until I found him.
Or perhaps, he found me.
A building forged from the bones of the warmongering dead.
So tall of a structure it reached into the haunting abyss lingering above this damned realm.
The dark, thick heavy door opened with a bone-chilling creak.
Blue flames on floating black candles dimly lit my path as I wandered through the librarian labyrinth.
Endless rows of shelves filled with books made from the skin of Sarcadians and Tenebites.
Twisted staircases sprawled across the infinite room with no purpose other to confuse new guests.
I meandered for what felt like hours until I reached the pinnacle.
And there I found him.
Dozens of bony arms stretched out long like an octopus.
Dozens of skinny hands furnished with vile mouths filled with vile teeth.
A skeletal face that would horrify children as soon as they gaze upon him.
Dark, deep red eyes that must have seen so many things there would be not enough time to recollect everything.
A mouth so large it could bite a ship in two.
A mouth that has uttered damning words for millennia.
He had heard of what I done to that bastard child of mine yet wanted to hear it with my own words.
I told him and he bellowed a wheezy laugh.
He insisted I tell my tale again.
I grew angrier every time I recounted murdering that baby.
The words I spoke were drenched in more hatred and spite with each repeated recollection.
My host took pleasure in each rendition of my story as though hearing it for the first time.
When he had heard enough, he introduced himself to me in a surreal gentlemanly fashion.
The Chatterer of Secrets.
He welcomed me to his sanctuary and offered me assistance.
He restored my body and revitalised my energy.
I asked why he wanted to know my story so many times.
He wanted to know if the revenge I desired was worthy enough of his help.
He would be willing to help me?
Immediately, I assumed he wanted a doll to play with.
I am no toy. I told him this, but I was mistaken.
He wished to see Atriarch suffer.
“A being that should not be,” were the words he uttered.
I, too, wanted Atriarch to suffer.
The dark magic known to the Chatterer of Secrets is limitless.
And I desired to immerse myself in his knowledge.
I asked for him to teach me.
He obliged with one condition.
Again, I assumed he wanted to use me.
Again, I was wrong.
He wished for me to bind Tenebris to my will.
He wished for me to rule the Realm of Shadows as its dark Queen.
This would allow me to extract the vengeance against Atriarch that I desire.
Yes. That is exactly what I desire.
I have long said I am no one’s possession.
I have long said I am no one’s puppet.
But perhaps it is I who is destined to be the oppressor.
Perhaps it is I who is destined to be the master.
Yes. It is I one who shall be in control.
The All-Father shall fall.
The Dark Mother shall rise.
— “The Elysia Monologues: Chatting with the Chatterer”, Bruce Boward, 216 AO