“Kthul! Wake up and pay attention.” The high priest snapped angrily. It was another day just like the rest, Kthul was sitting in his classroom learning about the ancient gods and goddesses.
He hadn’t chose to become a priest of the gods, it was sort of a family business however.
Going back for as long as anyone in his family can remember, for ages past his family bloodline had a calling for magic and being in touch with the gods.
Kthul, just like his father and his father's father, was to one day become a high priest within the village or perhaps the nearby town.
He heard once about one of his ancestors even becoming the supreme high priest for the entire kingdom. The power of the gods can take you to incredible places, his father would always tell him.
That is, if you listen and obey to what they ask of you.
Kthul wasn’t entirely sold on the whole idea of simply bending to the gods will at any moment,
he felt as though there was something more to be done with the power of the gods at your disposal besides just healing the wounded, and safeguarding the town from dark magics.
Regardless there he sat, learning about how to channel the power of a god to cure a minor cold.
He found it somewhat ironic that with all the possibilities this is what they learned, hints why he had fallen asleep in the middle of class.
He found himself bored and uninterested, wanting more than what the priests or his family could offer him.
Still he worked at his studies and did his best to pay attention in the day long classes to appease his father and family, to continue on the long lived family tradition respectfully.
Class had finally dismissed for the day and Kithul began his walk home, a long hike through the thick wooded forest of the mountain.
Kthul did not mind the hike, in fact he appreciated the quiet,
a moment to be left alone with his thoughts and laugh at his own jokes that if spoken out loud would probably land him in the local stockades.
The canopy of the forest was so dense he had to stand inside for a second and let his eyes adjust to the darkness before proceeding.
Not a spot someone would want to go blindly running into and end up getting hurt or unable to call for help, that plus this part of the forest was infamous for its savage animals,
and even rumored to be the home of a dark sorcerer.
Kthul had never believed these tales, he had walked this route hundreds of times and the worst thing he had come across was a bear that was more interested in the wild berries than him.
Besides, he had the power of the gods so what could possibly go wrong? He would always think to himself with a chuckle.
After a minute of letting his eyes adjust to the dim lit pathway Kthul proceeded into the forest and on his way home where his mother would be getting super ready,
and his father would be just getting home from a day of performing healings and blessings. The path was small, nothing more than a game trail but he knew it well.
He walked along admiring the trees and testing his knowledge on the local herbs that grew in the area,
taking note of the locations where the more fun herbs grew so that his friends and himself could come and experiment with them in their free time.
As he continued down the pathway he could see something off in the distance that he hadn’t noticed before.
It appeared to be a cave of some sort and he decided to go investigate it, despite it getting even darker with the setting sun.
He cautiously approached the cave listening carefully for any noise coming from within.
It was dark, to the point that he could not see into the cave for more than a few feet so he just stood there and listened for a minute when the hairs on his neck started to stand on end.
Almost frozen he stood there as he heard a faint sound coming from within the pitch black cave.
He listened carefully but couldn't quite make out what the noise was, it was very faint and sounded distant.
It almost sounded like a very faint voice screaming in the distance,
almost out of earshot so he stood there and focused harder on the noise beginning to channel the light to project into the cave and expose whatever had been making the noise.
Sweat began beading on his forehead as he concentrated on his channel when all of a sudden with a swoosh,
there was a ray of light that penetrated the darkness of the cave exposing what lay inside. He stood there looking into the cave, the noise had stopped and the cave was entirely empty.
Suddenly every alarm bell in his body began to go off, but he could not move.
With an even louder swoosh the darkness of the cave had pushed back against his channel nearly knocking Kthul to the ground. Not only had the darkness pushed back, but it was channeled.
Kthul could sense someone else channeling but it was unlike any channeling he had ever seen, or felt before.
Whatever it was they were channeling was more powerful than anything he had seen or felt before.
The channeling stopped, and the cave returned to being just a dark, damp, eerie cave with the voice returning to call from within even louder.
“Kthul…” The mysterious voice said in a calm manner. “Kthul… come closer.” It continued. Something about this voice felt welcoming to Kthul, and almost homely.
Despite his urge to walk right into the darkness, Kthul stood just on the fringes of the dark and commanded with a loud voice;
“Who are you? What do you want and how do you know my name?” He asked, trying to sound as authoritative as possible.
“It’s not about what we want, it’s about what YOU want.” The voice replied back in a chilling tone, almost mocking Others attempt at sounding in charge.
“We’ve been watching you for longer than you know, we know your family, your routine, the classes you take and the people you call your friends. We know more about you than you do yourself.
We see your dreams, and are inside your head every hour of everyday. You yearn. You hunger. And you thirst for something more than what this life has to offer you. We can help you.
” The mysterious voice said. Kthul could feel a smile coming from within the darkness, he stood there and thought for a minute.
“And what is it that your offering me exactly?” He asked, unsure of what else to say.
“Power, and the ability to live whatever life you so choose.” The voice answered. “Anything you would ever want can be yours, you just need to come closer, and take a step into darkness.”