Currant Choir

by

Yaertle

4.5 - Inquisitorial Log: Alpha

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Inquisitorial Log: Alpha

Author: Nathan E. Harkon

Reason of Investigation: Possible wide-spread demonic influence.

Target(s): Lumenhart family, servants, entourage, as well as the citizens of Gelidgate and its associated holdings.

Chief Suspects: Headmaster Council of Gelidgate, Berthold (a guard captain) and Icarus Of Gelidgate (supply convoy administrator).

Special Interests: Leon Lumenhart, Sofia Lumenhart.

Sofia Lumenhart - My initial investigations into the council of headmasters is the reason why I've been sent to this gods-forsaken backwater in the first place and I am very thankful to report that miss Sofia is as innocent as she could be, in spite of her connection to the likely corrupt council of high nobility. She has vowed to keep the truth of my presence at the manor a secret, as well as to aid me in my quest to uproot the corruption within the city-state itself. Truly, she is an avatar of her dynasty.

Leon Lumenhart - Though not as famed as the rest of his esteemed bloodline, this youth has been the center of my, as well as that of many others, attention as of late. This is due to him having supposedly been the victim of a demonic possession, or so goes the tale I've crafted as per your order, your holiness. The credence of this 'tale' has both grown and fallen sharply in the last few days.

Truth be told sire, nothing about this makes any sense. The boy is clearly under some form of influence, demonic or not, as his personality has nigh completely shifted from how he used to be a mere week or so prior! I must ask, didst thou have a holy revelation about the boy, thusly sending unto me, the order to lie? Regardless of the truth of the matter, rest assured that I shalt continue to be the boys aide in the coming days until whatever has caused this incident is brought to light.

In any case, one of the first observations that I have made of the boys supposed 'demonic possession attempt' is that, naturally, he has no memory of ever fighting a demon. I was fully prepared to explain this, as the 'trauma' the boy must have experienced was high enough to turn his hair white, after all. Thankfully, that old fool of a mage proved himself useful by confirming my 'hypothesis'.

And yet... I have had the chance to witness the boy 'fight' today. Merely a few strikes against a simple training dummy, really. Unfortunate then, that those few blows were enough to send a man's mind spiraling, causing the fool to flee the scene screaming obscenities delivering the news to all those present. I shall have to execute him, as this very man is the selfsame Berthold that my fellows of the Holy See had thought to be a cultist in disguise or at the very least, an infiltrators puppet. I am no longer so certain whom he serves, if a devil or some other evil, but his is a life that requires ending. Perhaps, ruffling through his corpse may yet yield some information? Such a death may put pressure on the boy as well, for he will surely be blamed for it by the ignorant peasantry.

To further explain what I, and one of my targets in this case, had witnessed, would be to describe seeing a child fight as if he were an animal. I sincerely doubt that he even saw the wooden blade in his hand as a weapon, rather than a fang. Twas' clear from how he barely held the blade that it was his first time ever wielding a sword, a fact confirmed later by his family and yet...

The way he stuck that dummy shall forever be carved unto my memory. If it were a man, first his blows would have disabled the man's knees, slashing harshly against them in a way that would definitely sever the arteries in both. Then, the shoulder joints, intent firmly on dislocating the arms, even managing to slice through a dummy's right arm-stick from the purity of his force alone. Not exactly an impossible thing, using wood to cut other wood, but the boy is of a lithe build, barely any muscle at all. Perhaps, even more lethargic than the usual spoiled brat found among a noble family.

He managed to do it though and that was not the end of it, for he then sent the sword straight through the things head, even as his hand went blue with bruises. A regular child would have long since begun to squeal and cry from the pain, but he did not. He barely even noticed it...

In fact, it is almost as if...

As if the lie about him having fought a demon within his own mind for an uncountable amount of time is... true? He fights with such fervor, like a beast that's spent its entire life cornered. What I mean is that he only went for the killing blow at the end of his series of strikes. Should he have done so from the start, I would have thought differently, as demons often do not waste time on their kills if they can.

No, a demon would be childish enough to slash the neck or pierce the head as he did, but they would do so as the first strike. Instead, the child focused on creating weaknesses out of the dummy's weak spots, as if automatically under the impression that the target dummy is somehow an opponent that is stronger than he.

Mayhaps, I am looking a little too deeply into it, but the child's inconsistencies do not stop there. As I had explained to Lord Geoffrey, the uncle of the boy, the youth possesses an unnatural amount of ambition and pride, more so than his previous self could have even dreamed of. He barely reacts to accusations and never excuses his actions, not even when directly confronted...

And to think Sofia feared the danger I would present to the boy... hah, no. This child, if he is a devil in disguise, he is truly a unique demon, for he has yet to tell a lie from what I can see. The boy speaks so uncaringly, so tactlessly, so... infuriatingly bluntly!; that I just cannot see him as anything other than a purely arrogant brat. Yet, I've known him since before his sudden change.

I know that this is not his true self and yet, it feels so... natural, so potent, as if he'd always been this way just that he's been hiding himself. I swear, if this turns out to be some kind of reverse-logic manipulation from a demon, I will burn myself alive in repentance for my failure to see through it!

To explain my ramblings, I shall tell thee of a few examples of what I had experienced for the past few days; the child had expressed a desire to conquer orcs. Conquer, not exterminate, but to rule over the grey skins, with the logic that doing so would bring peace to the realm, or at least, that is what I believe to be the case. A truly heroic act, worthy of his dynasty. I feel obliged to aid him, should it be an honest effort, that is.

More than that, he has been casually drinking entire bottles of the blessed holy water as if it were some form of milk! Instantly! Half the bottle! Not even a crazed alcoholic could handle that much, but that makes me suspicious. A demon should have burned from the inside from the amount of holy water that the child has consumed but... perhaps, the water is not strong enough.

Therefore, I hereby request that thee provideth me with waters of further quality, to see if they will have any effect at all upon the child. By the gods, not even I can drink the amount he has downed in front of me and still remain standing!

Furthermore, the boy has expressed certain... unsavory opinions, ones which I shall not share here, for the sake of his privacy. After all, we are far too civilized for such talks and I hope to instill some measure of civility into him during my time here. If such a thing is possible, that is. I, for one, think that the boy is simply insane instead of being possessed by a demon.

The problem with this, is that he expresses them so freely, uncaring if anyone hears, uncaring of what others might think. Thankfully, I am his lone companion these days, but that is perhaps the worst part of it! I am an inquisitor! And yet he shares with me his blackest, darkest secrets so freely, as if to taunt me?!

I must admit... being here has already begun to take a toll on myne mind, your holiness. I would be grateful should you send one of my colleagues to support me in my quest.

To collect my thoughts, I believe the boy is possesed of a level of pride that would most definitely attract a demon, yet it is also what could have given him the willpower required to survive such an encounter. His fighting style is likewise indicative of one whom has fought akin to a cornered beast for most of their life against a terribly more powerful opponent.

Knowing that myne own accusation is a lie however, gives rise to other suspicions... I have tested the boy in multiple fool-proof ways already. Logically, factually, he is not a demonic host. Surely.

And yet, I cannot shake the feeling that he is... something, else. There is an aura of sheer wrongness around him, as if he were somehow inhuman, whilst wearing the flesh of a man, or boy. An alien, disturbing feeling, one that I hadn't ever felt before in all my years hunting demonkind!

Nay, ... I have faced devils, tore them out of their human shells... this isn't it. I should not get caught up in my own lie and thus fail to deliver the truth, as well as justice!

On a final note, the boys mana has turned itself red. Crimson, like ... bright blood, if it were fire? Fire blood? I have not the words to describe it apart from perhaps saying that its appearance is that of heated metal, yet somehow molten and liquid, yet stable and cohesive. He turned it into a glove to strike the dummy, in front of the entire yard.

We all watched as the magic burned a hole through the metal chest plate the thing was wearing. I have never felt so stunned, so horrified by something so simple. Then he walked over to a tree, but instead of a red glove, he made it into a scythe, protruding from his hand, and struck the tree. The sound... gods... the sound...

Merely remembering it is giving me shivers. That cruel, red glow... the black coating on the wound... why, it is as if the spirit of the tree itself screamed when it was sliced. I have never witnessed such an art, yet he seemed to have done it mostly by instinct, as if it came to him, naturally. The mage assures me that this is only some form of 'Hard-Light' weapon often used by spellswords, but I do not remember any 'spell sword' having crimson mana.

This requires further investigation. One thing that comes to mind are the ancient tales of bloodthirsty revenants, revenge-bound blood phantasms of old whom used blades forged out of their own, pure hatred and fury. Their blades, as I recall, were said to 'burn through' their foes? The boy seems to have developed something similar, but is it an accident? A burst of talent and instinct in unison?

Or something more sinister. I shall report my findings in the next letter.

Gods be with us both, cardinal.

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Yaertle

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