Awake. I'm awake? I don't understand. How am I awake? My eyes sting, my head throbs, and my heart aches. My vision is blurred as I try to focus on where I am; where I am shouldn't be here, that much is very clear to me. I don't understand. This makes no sense. My memory is all fog. This cannot be.
Do not fret. You are confused. I know this is an odd situation you have found yourself in. This is not an accident; this is by design. You are here for a reason, my friend.
It's a whisper, almost, the sound of the voice in my head. Even the small vibrations of it rattling around cause my head to feel as though it will explode. I close my eyes to try and cause the pain to stop. Please stop. It hurts.
I know it hurts but it will pass in time. Yes, it's true, you shouldn't be here by all accounts and it should be noted there are others who would be infuriated by your very presence here but they cannot do anything in this realm. This is my realm. You are mine here and I won't let anyone touch you.
"W-w-wh..." I can't speak, the words hurt my throat which feels tight and as if thousands of needles pierce it from the inside. I try to swallow to help soothe the pain and it feels like trying to choke down a rock.
Do not speak, friend, for I will answer all. Although, even with my vast knowledge of time and existence there is only fragments that I am privy to knowing. What is the last thing you do remember? You do not have to speak, I can hear it all in your mind.
My memory is too shrouded; too foggy to actually pinpoint anything. I don't know who I am nor do I know where I am but, somehow, I know this is not how it should be and that I am not supposed to be here; I'm... I'm not supposed to exist.
Tis true you are not supposed to exist, although, who really decided that? Some false gods who cannot comprehend the infinite stretches of time and space? They are only gods in their narrow understanding while I am cognizant that there are countless realms beyond this one or the one you are originally from. There is no limit to the many shattered universes amongst the stars. To the small thinkers, yes, you should cease to be, but to those of us who know better, you are across numerous planes of existence.
I... I don't understand. You are claiming I shouldn't be here but yet I am here. How has this come to be? Is this a dream? Am I dreaming? Or am I dead and this is a form of punishment? My memory is foggy but I have this deep seeded feeling that I am not good and that I did things that deserve punishment. So, is that what this is? I am finally being punished for whatever it is I have done?
Hah hah hah hah! I admire you feel that is something you deserve even with no clear reason to feel that other than, well, a gut instinct. But, no, I assure you, this is not a punishment and is, actually, quite the contrary. In fact, I would almost dare say you are being rewarded for your past. I know of you; I know of what you did and who you are, even if you do not. And, to speak quite plainly, I am a great admirer of your work.
What have I done? Who am I?
I will show you a piece of what happened. As I said, even I cannot completely refill your mind with all your memories; that is something you will have to remember in time. However, I can help you to remember something. Please understand, I do not wish you harm, but this will hurt tremendously.
It's as if I am being cut to shreds by blades coming from all directions as my head throbs to the point that I believe it will kill me and whatever this is will be for nothing. But, then, amidst the pain, I can see something as if I am watching it through eyes that are not my own. There is stone and it feels underground with a dampness almost radiating from the walls themselves. A man is on a table, a sword driven deep into his chest while another man stands over him. I look at the man standing over; he wields a knife and walks to the one upon the table, putting the knife's edge against his throat. The knife wielder says something but it is muffled and I cannot quite understand it. The knife is held high ready to be plunged deep within for a kill. There's a woman; I see a woman behind him with something in her hand. There is an explosion from it and it stings my eyes even in this memory; the explosion sends something through the knife wielder's head causing it to erupt and shatter into pieces with flesh, blood, muscle, and brain matter to paint the room.
Wait... I know this. I'm not watching this... I am here; the knife wielder was me.
Yes, it was. This was your death, my friend. The man whom you were trying to kill I can feel a deep energy of rage from for you. He seemed to be an old enemy of yours from a time that is long. The woman, however, I feel confliction as if she needed to do what was done but there was some sort of kinship for you. A relative, perhaps, or possibly even a lover.
I don't even recognize myself. Why was I seeing this memory as if I am watching it as another? Why did I not see it through my actual eyes?
Because you are watching it through mine. This was the moment I was able to reach out to you. Right at that moment I was able to take your essence and bring it here. To you this may seem like years prior but if you could understand how time is perceived by me this would feel as though this memory you are witnessing happened mere seconds ago.
I was supposed to die. Why did you change that? I still do not understand why I am here, wherever here even is.
You have work to do here, my friend. There is always work to be done in this realm. I have many champions but you, well, you are a special one. I know you will soon begin to remember and you will understand your truest basic instinct: you wish to inflict pain on others; your own inner turmoil and suffering is something you wish everyone to feel. That's what I want; that's what I need. I need not the man but the monster that you created. I need the swine-faced killer.
Swine-faced... I feel that word as if it's some fiber of my being: swine. That's what they were, the people I hurt, swine.
Indeed. Can you feel it? Can you feel what you are to do?
I open my eyes and the stinging isn't as severe. I focus and find I am in a room in a bed. There is a small fire going in the fireplace on the other side of the room. I slowly sit up which is agony and I breathe heavily. I do not recognize these surroundings. But I know there is something familiar about it all the same.
Andaria they call it. You knew it as something different in your realm but, here, it's been Andaria for centuries.
Andaria. I try to stand but cannot. I try to catch my breath. I should be dead but, instead, I am not. I am here for something else. And although this voice tells me it is for something dark I cannot shake the feeling that there's something else I cannot quite see yet in my memories. My destiny, to me, is truly unclear.
That's when I see the small glimpse of the memory again; of me standing above the man on the table. My speech is muffled and the words are not recognizable yet again but, this time, one word is very clear. The hearing of it causes sweat to form on my brow and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. This is what I feel inside; this feeling is who I am.
"Carver," I barely choke out, "they would call me the Carver."
To Be Continued...