So, madness. Insanity. I see a lot of stuff from people either here on this site or in my classes about insane characters and I just thought I'd share my own thoughts on the matter. It also helps that I'm currently writing an essay on the linguistic mapping of Darl Bundren and Quentin Compson's respective madness so this is as much for me as it is for you.
First, what NOT to do.
The screams had faded to soft whimpers and Zalinara smiled at the disfigured wreck that had once been her rival. “You’re dying, you know. Slowly.”
The woman murmured something she could barely hear.
“Mercy? There is no mercy, and no hope either.” The warlock held up a shard of crystal that glowed with a sickly purple light. “This is a bit of your soul. Once you die, we can start all over. And over, and over ...”
“ … and finally, we would like to extend our best wishes for His Lordship’s safe and triumphant return from fields of glorious battle.”
Zalinara blinked, momentarily panicked by the realization that she had not heard a word of the man’s address. She smiled at the delegation and inclined her head with a regal motion, using the time to recover. She was in the Morning Room, not her work room, and they were presenting a request for something or other.
It was night time at the Dawnfire Estate. The day fruitful beyond a doubt. Embraelle safe. Arya contained. Sibling rivalry squashed. The murder investigation closed. Lord Firestriders issues resolved. Silent's descent prevented. Darroc Bastion Dawnfire sleeps finally and his thoughts are scattered like so many drops of blood and each tear as important. Each stain sank deep to take root.
Don’t know how I got here.
Most of this blood isn’t mine.
Except for the gut wound,
Gods this hurts.
This was stupid, but had to kill something.
Got to get back before I’m missed.
Don’t matter, I’ll make it back.
Have to be there for him.
Hate them so much.
Zalinara Brightwind paced the confines of her room; in the course of the night she had gone from upset to angry to furious. That ghost, that spirit, that nether-damned THING Silent had shown up to spoil a perfectly nice evening. It had looked like her, been dressed like her, and had been spouting things she would barely admit to herself. And in public!
She couldn’t have that damned creature spouting her secrets in the middle of Silvermoon. And more warnings about Halodante. If that little tart spoiled her plans …
You’ll do what?
Destroy her, of course.
Zalinara is weak. She feels.
Zalinara does not exist. She is a mask.
And behind the mask?
Nothing. Only malice and will and the Void.
And what of Sev …?
Do not speak that name.
She was broken and remade.
She is dead.
But yet lives.
You lie. You are not empty.
You are your mask.
Good morning, Doctor.
You don’t recognize me? Come now, I saw the glint of recognition in your eye when you saw me yesterday.
Ah, now you remember.
No, I’m not dead, obviously. Even though you ran and left your patients to the Scourge.
Why? Well, I can’t run the risk of someone recognizing me. My family only managed to get my death sentence suspended and being executed would be an annoying setback.
Do you see that, on the wall? That shows everyone in Silvermoon and how they’re related. Everyone important to me, that is. If I were a spider, it would be my web.
Yes, my theories were correct. Yes, it does mean what you think it does.
Why doctor, you’ve soiled yourself.
Do you see that swirl in the middle? That’s the Dawnfire family. Such lovely people: murder, incest, rape, sadism, hereditary insanity. You’d find them professionally fascinating, I’m sure.
She burst through a low-hanging cloud, spiraling back down to shoot through it again.
Clouds were unusually warm. She couldn’t describe it to anybody.
It simply had to be experienced.
Wisps trail after her as she cavorts, heart singing.
Flying couldn’t be put to words. It was joy beyond joy.
If only she could share.
Golan had been pretty scarce. She hadn’t seen a trace of him since the night he played with her head.
She couldn’t blame him—she wouldn’t want to face her after that, either.
Still, she was waiting. The next time she saw him, she was going to slap him across that smug face of his.
The elf with the rock-eye was insane. She was convinced of it.
She couldn’t understand the psycho-babble coming out of her mouth.
Her hind leg was bleeding as she pinned Gredle to the ground.
It did not take me long to piece everything together.
The Lord, disappeared and unreachable through his servants... Velion off his leash, hunting with Theryl. The locked chapel door.
The whispers were insidious. Even She knew. I could not stand aside, and be derelict in my duty once again. I would not.
For hours I lingered outside the door the chapel, listening, the dark coffee I had brought for him slowly growing cold as I heard the stirrings therein. No amount of knocking would he hear. No response. Only his own ramblings, which in this dreadful state did fill me with pity. Pity that I would never speak of. My hands traced alien patterns on the door, caressing the wood, my brows knitted together as I tried to think of some sort of plan. I am no connoisseur of pain. He had hit the harsher, second stage of withdrawal. He needed to inflict pain, and slowly his mind would twist further with madness, possibly hinting at permanent damage.
Prison in Silvermoon was better than prison in Kezan...
But prison, is still always going to be prison.
"If you're aware you're friendship... Then he is wrong. And that says something to me," Kharris says in an even voice to the figure of the human girl that walked at her side down the streets of a Lordaeron that no longer existed. "I'm not exactly sure what yet. But it says something to me. It may not be important. I don't think it is to the mission." Her feet are quick, sure, and purposeful in a graceful but ground-eating paced stride. Now and again she rubs both hands across her skirts again as her own thoughts go back to the mentally conjured image of her own husband. Her green eyes peer ahead, watching and waiting for some sign or direction that would show her what could possibly be amiss in the ever-changing mindscape within the Bishop of Silvermoon’s brain.
March 5th, 0 A.S(After Shattering)
Silvermoon City, Quel'Thalas, Eastern Kingdoms
She sits at the desk, it's a quarter to midnight
She's been drinking, two, three, perhaps she's used the same glass more than once
It's nothing but a pile of wax, the candle's burned to the bottom
Cheap ink, it dries too fast to correct, it will crack if you roll the parchment up
I did not remember how he had gotten between the dagger and I.
Her insidious whisperings, the scratchy yet persuasive sound made my ears twitch. The boy could not see her. The boy had no idea what was in that sword. And the boy was not animated by something altogether unwholesome and unclean. I wonder if other Death Knights could see her. Maybe. She lounged languidly upon my bed, her heavy kohl lined eyes half-lidded in absolute glee. She purred at me to dispatch the child and finish with my work... Her legs swung back and forth as she watched, laying on her stomach, propped up by her arms and hands.
(( Written by request to explain events that happened in The Round Table. Deals with child and spousal abuse, as well as vivid torture and vivisection. ))
"She deserved it..." Lips peeled back into a cruel smile as these words were spoken. "She is such a nuisance, if I didn't have such use for her, I might kill her and be done with it..."
Faintly glowing green orbs narrowed as his head tilted back in thought, "And your foolishness... promising things you can't possibly keep. You're more of a nuisance than she is, but I'm forced to live with you. How very unfortunate for us both."
Shut the Hell up, you know you didn't have to beat her like that! It was uncalled for...
A twitch, and his head lowered, long locks of shaggy white hair falling down around him to hide his features as his body shook with silent laughter. The rain pattered down gently around him as he stood in the Brill graveyard, muffling the sound of his laughter as it grew louder.
[Again, some bad language in this makes it NSFW - but probably not bad enough for a 'mature' rating]
Friday evening STILL continues......
The night was quiet, especially for a city that always had something going on. Seven stood alone in the looming presence of Sunfury Spire with the moon outlining the crown of the towering structure. She had worked alone before, but she had never truly been alone. Even when she was sent out to scout or kill someone by herself, she always had a connection with at least 8 others. Without the ambient noise of other people going about their daily activities the nights had become excrutiating for her. The pure silence of this particular night was causing her mind a great deal of distress.
Her mind had begun filling in the silence with its own made up noise. She heard the others as well as the commands of Sidhara playing back in her mind creating the warm and comfortable mindlessness she had been so accustomed to. However, she knew none of it was real since her connection with the others had been severed and she no longer received commands from Sidhara.
(And now, for the long overdue and suitably absurd conclusion to "Absent without Leave." Thanks to everyone who participated and helped craft this experiment in long-distrance RP! For reference, this is where events left off. This finale takes place several months ago prior to Turrin's return to "real" Azeroth. For the conclusion, I've opted to revert back to a 3rd person narrative, since it's no longer so much an interactive story. I should also forewarn any prospective readers that the following will make very, very, very little sense without having read at least part of the previous events from the "Absent without Leave" thread, particularly as I have a tendency to gleefully skirt the 4th wall, the fact that this is dealing with a dream-world reality, and due to all the prior events that this conclusion builds upon).
Anchorite Zxitra watches me with pity. "You must leave the Exodar and not return until further notice. Until we have..." I turn my gaze away politely. "Memna, I am- Your presence is a disturbance for the relatives of those lost. We cannot afford to lose more of our people to hate and wrath."
"V-visit me on Ald-dor R-rise?"
Zxitra shifts. I note the tension in his hands as he folds them before him with a formal bow. "When time permits, the Naaru willing." He hopes not; I hear this in his voice. Well should I know the peculiarities and tonalities of my own brother. Some days, I cannot recall his name.
The tides shift and pull me away. "L-l-light be w-with you, Anch-chorite."
Agony bursts behind my eyes as my five senses skew and bleed away beneath the mental assault. "Th-this is n-not b-becoming of y-y-your s-station in l-l-l--"
I leaned against the doorway of a shop and watched Kharris walk away, hips swaying as she moved with her dancer's grace. It'd been good to see her again, I'd missed her cheerfulness and irreverence. Talking to her hadn't been so great. Well, the talking was okay; what we'd talked about, not so okay.
A man brushed against me with a muttered "Sorry." I flinched at the sudden rush of heat in my groin. Visions rushed to my brain; our naked bodies pressed together, kisses burning my face and neck, impaling myself on ...
Stop. Stopstopstopstop. I forced the images out of my brain with an effort that left me sick to my stomach.
I had to get this taken care of. It'd been bad enough when Kharris had mentioned Iloam, although I'd been able to hide that. I'd almost lost it when she mentioned Ythgar Vinguld.
The attack had devastated Xannivard, pierced deeply into his pride, creating an inferno of anger. His Sanctum, his place of recuperation, of devoted experiment and creativity, where he kept his family safe, desecrated by Faceless, by Drakys… by Laurai. It angered him how easily his defenses had been surmounted, his creations bested. How easilyAshe, his daughter, had been taken.
He seethed, his body roiling with potent Fel-magics as he stepped over the rubble of ruined walls, of the dismembered abominations of Faceless, his plagued and suffering Creations. His strongest creation, a drake of the Red flight a twisted being he had spent months creating and bending to his will, was now banished to the nether, with no way of being retrieved. What remained of his forces now began to repair his home, calling upon the magic to seal holes caused by Faceless’s devastating magic’s, to seal doors destroyed by Radiae’s advanced technologies.
Moving through these motions... these simple motions, as if I had them from birth. Killing... it's not a big thing on it's own, it's one of the few ways to make it by in this world, killing. I make a forward thrust, twisting the blade so I can follow through with a lateral swing, bring it back around dragging their weapon away from me and carving up what's left of the body with a diagonal slash. A time ago I might've felt a little sad or might've gotten a little high from the bloodlust after killing something, but now it's a dead feeling... now I think I'm starting to understand why all the old veterans act the way they do. There is one thing that is starting to happen more often now when I killing a person...
I see faces, not just one, but many. Crystal clear as if it's the actual person to whom the face belongs to.
((to the tune of "I Miss You" by Avril Lavigne))
Where did you go? Why am I alone? I miss the time we fell to my home, the world of shadows and sadness. Seeing the beauty of your body crushing above the gravity of the earth in nagrand. The wonder of your face as it contorted in unheralded pain and brutality. Walking with pure joy in the world of hte unliving. Seeing you shake and squirm in nervousness and crying to go back to the living! Such, arousal!
"Aouregan looks in the darkness of Acherus as the Drudges fight over corpses too far gone to be used as Knights. She ponders that one night and a tear of cerulean blood falls to the ground, the drudges greedily clamoring near her for more. Almost knocking her over just for the single tear. She seems unfazed by their activity, as she solwly pulls out her ceremonial waraxe.*
It was almost like a puzzle.
She settled down on the ground, crossing her legs and resting her hands on her knees. Her eyes closed, and she focused on her breathing. Slow and steady. In and out. Her mind easily slipped into a meditative trance that was able to keep her calm and focused for decades now.
The air around her heated, the grass curled away from her, shriveling and darkening. The cold air of the Howling Fjord reacted, too, condensing and causing a ring of mist to surround her. Sweat glistened on her skin.
A letter lies upon a table in a dark room, flickering torch light casting a sinister glow over the simple parchment. An unseen hand slowly unfolded the letter. The hand smoothed the letter out and placed it carefully in the center of the table, the torchlight illuminating only the parchment. It was blank. A hunced over figure sat, setting ink well beside the parchment in alignment with the top of the paper, and dipped a quill in.
The large hand began to scratch the quill across the parchment.
To the Admiral of Blackwater --
A great shadow follows every man. Every woman, every child. It is under your command that this shadow thrives. To what end? Your own splendor? For all that I have seen, one would assume my soul to be silent. Gone. Diminished, in the least, but I still feel. Do you? Do you hear the cries of those you have put to death? Those your servants have removed?
It was all around her, in her, on her, she sent it out, the power bursting out of her, ripping voilently out through trembling arms and fingers. The clefthoof bull charged her in vain, bellowing his agony as the burning spells worked their way into his muscles and ate away at his bones. As quickly as the fight had begun it was over, but she did not stop.
Another hulking beast lumbered into her vision, and she let out a gleeful cry as the process started over again. Sweat drenched her clothing, tears streamed from her heat-dried eyes, and there was a strange pull in the back of her mind, something that nearly made her hesitate before downing this beast and starting upon another. Nearly.
When I come around it feels a lot like my senses are filing in one by one, and with a lot of reluctance. I don’t blame them. I hear a man muttering a soft and desperate prayer. I feel cold, damp stones beneath me. I smell dirt, and mildew, and some weird, gamy smell I recognize but can’t quite place. I don’t even want to open my eyes now. The cold doesn’t bother me as much as it probably should. I’m more bothered by the fact that I’m not breathing. It’s funny how you take the little things for granted, things like how the blood rushes in your ears, or how you have to swallow every now and again. My throat’s dry as parchment, but I’m not thirsty. I can’t remember the last time I ate, but I’m not hungry. My clothes are still damp from the rain, and believe me this place is a long way from cozy, but I’m not really all that cold, either. So, for all the things I don’t feel, I figure I shouldn’t feel like crying. But I do, and it’s not fair, because I could really do without all the emotion right now.
And all the while that guy, whoever he is, is praying.
We often relive the moments we most want to forget. I can’t remember who told me that, but it’s true.
It all happens so fast. Phoebe drags me around the corner, into one of the little alcoves meant for prayer and quiet reflection. There won’t be any of that here now, and I know this because her tongue is in my mouth. She tastes like strawberries. She pushes me against the wall, and I have to hold my arms up to keep her from tearing my robe off. I notice something glinting in the candle light when she steps back.
“Are you crying?”
I didn’t notice before, but then, things happened kind of fast. She smiles, but it doesn’t reach her eyes.
“Phoebe…” But she silences me with another, even deeper kiss. This time, when she pulls away, she puts her fingers against my lips.
“Just be quiet,” she says. “You’ll ruin the moment.”