With a nod, the Void Witch approached the far side of the cavern.
“Brace yourself,” Qaitax muttered to Sylus, “Even I feel ill at times upon seeing myself.”
Sylus could do nothing more than swallow hard and steady his legs.
A dim violet glow crept into the darkness. Long shadows cast across the room until a burst of light brought the scene into full view.
There, lying in a heap of gigantic lifeless tentacles, was Qaitax. Mouth hung open, drooling a viscous violet liquid. It dripped in slow droplets into a pool that had formed beneath him. Eyes on stalks hung limply outside the gaping maw. They rested on the floor, glazed over and unseeing.
Sylus was on the verge of throwing up. Taking a step back, he suddenly became aware of the reality of Qaitax’s trap. Three long, spindly pyres shot up through his body. Two in the front and one from behind. All coming together to meet at mismatched peak. Jagged and rough, they seemed to give off an energy all their own. A dim white light broke through the violet that stained everything else. They illuminated nothing around them, yet they themselves glowed clearly. The tips glowed much less brightly than the bottoms. Sylus assumed this was because they were stained with the Voidlord’s blood.
“Bone pyres,” Qaitax’s facade slithered up beside him, “An ingeniously arcane ritual. They were people once,” he turned to face Sylus, “They died to keep me here, but that’s going to change.”
“C-can’t you just…” Sylus swallowed hard, “Just break them?”
“Ah, that’s the thing about mortal blood magic, the Void fails to comprehend it. In short, I don’t know how to break them.”
“Couldn’t… Couldn’t Saari?”
Rather than explain anything, Saari reached for the pyres. her fingers barely graced their jagged surface before she was repelled with such force that it sent her careening into the far wall of the cavern.
“Saari!” Sylus ran after her.
“The only people who could break them, don’t even exist,” Qaitax chuckled. “Celibate monks. They passed on no blood so no blood ever existed that could break my bindings.”
“Then how is this going to work?” Sylus grunted as he lifted Saari to her feet.
“Well,” Qaitax drew the word out unconvincingly, “In theory, upon our rebirth, we will be a wholly new creature. I will be weaving what of your genetics I find compatible into my own. It should be enough to fool the bone pyres as they are solely charged with trapping a pure voidspawn with the power of a Lord.”
“So… what will we be? Didn’t you say your Lorddom would carry over?”
“I-I don’t think it will. Not entirely. I don’t exactly have much of it left as is. I expect the energy it will take to remake us will drain me even further. I cannot say how much power we will truly have in the end, but it should be enough to see our ends met.”
“Honestly… I just hope I’ll survive this…”
“Same,” Qaitax forced an uncomfortable laugh, “Whelp,” he clasped his arm tendrils together, “In you go, then.”
“E-excuse me what?”
Qaitax’s puppet motioned to his mouth, “Go on in.”
Sylus snorted indignantly, “You want me to walk into your mouth? Walk to my death?”
“Running may be a better option as the opportunity to rethink your actions will be limited,” Qaitax grinned, once more, unconvincingly.
Sylu stared at him, mouth agape. “You’re for real.”
“Look, unless you want me to use this tendril to push you in, you have to do it yourself. There’s not much left I can move.”
“Qaitax…” Sylus’ attention turned back to the toothy maw with eyeballs hanging out of it.
“Qaitax… what the fuck?”
“Do you want met to just… Eat you through this tendril?”
“You can do that?” Sylus nearly choked.
“Mmm, yes… I think so. You’d have to be transferred along its length into my… my…”
“Well that sounds completely awful. It all sounds awful, if i’m being honest here. So my options are march myself into your mouth, have you shove me into your mouth, or swallow me like a fucking snake and drop me out into your gut. Am I understanding this all correctly?”
Qaitax stared at him.
“Look, if you told me I’d have to kill myself, I’d be rethinking this…”
“I-I understand if you’ve changed your mind…”
Sylus scoffed as he pinched the bridge of his nose.
“It is an honor to be a Voidlord’s sacrifice,” Saari spoke up monotonously.
Qaitax shook his head in dismay, “Saari…”
“Were I an acceptable sacrifice, I would gladly march into your jaws, Lord Qaitax,” Saari’s “gaze” was locked on Qaitax’s body, “I would serve you with my flesh in a heartbeat.”
Sylus swallowed hard.
Qaitax pinched his nose.
“You want me to decide for you?” Qaitax sighed heavily.
“You know,” Sylus thought aloud, “That might not be a bad idea.”
“Then one last time, confirm with me that this is what you want. That you want to see this through to the end. That you are willingly giving of yourself to me with no promise of survival.”
Sylus paused a moment. He wanted to come up with a reason to back out, but for all his attempts, his mind came up blank.
“Fuck…” he hissed under his breath, “This is it, isn’t it?”
“Here and now, Sylus Synclaire. As soon as you agree this one last time, you will have no further choices in how we proceed.”
“Well at least I don’t have to walk myself in that mess…”
Sylus sighed, “I, Sylus Synclaire, do hereby consent to give of myself to Lord Qaitax without the guarantee of survival. Does that work?”
“Professional. Any other words you’d like to have?”
“Don’t make me suffer,” Sylus spat, “If this goes south, I don’t want to feel a thing.”
Qaitax nodded somberly, “You have my word.”
“A-and if I survive… I want control…”
Saari stepped forward, Qaitax reached out to stop her.
“Agreed,” the Voidlord replied.
“Alright then,” Sylus took a deep breath, “Let’s do this.”
Without another word, the face on the puppet split open. One moment Sylus Synclaire was staring, fixated on the pile of flesh that laid before him. The next, he was engulfed in darkness. It was a few moments before he could consciously feel himself being dragged along the inside of the tendril. From within, he could hear the faintest voice outside. It was Qaitax, but his voice was far different than before. It boomed and echoed around him.
“Good luck, Sylus.”
Soon all he heard was his own frantic breathing. There was no preparation for this kind of thing. For being… Ingested… He’d find moments he could calm himself, but they were always penetrated by primal fear. After what seemed like an eternity, he felt the tendril open up. A horrifying stench filled his nose. It was damn near paralyzing as he dropped out into the Voidlord. He was ready to scream in pain and terror as he fell uncontrollably toward his death, but alas…