An Ancient Evil, Chapter 4 – Purgatory

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Jason the Fallen One is surprisingly protected by the High Gods

Overwhelmed by the Power of the terrible being that is attacking me in my crypt, when it seems that my very soul is quickly sucked dry, I suddenly awaken and look around.

I am in a misty place surrounded by faint, ghostly forms that drift aimlessly around. The High Gods must have spirited me far, far away from the monstrous being that had sought me out, but what place is this?

Jason in his coffin...

Jason in his coffin…

As I stir I realize that I am laying on rough, stony soil, and as my vision rapidly clears I see that I am in a vast plain enveloped in an eerie darkness. However, even absolute darkness would not trouble me, as I know many ways both natural and otherwise of detecting my surroundings. Veils of that strange mist swirl about me, parting occasionally to show tiny, colorless stars. The positions of the stars are like none that I have seen on my countless nights on earth, yet are somehow vaguely familiar. This is rather perplexing, until suddenly it dawns on me where I have both seen these stars and this forbidding landscape before.

I recall being in this place after my mortal death as the man named Eannatum, but just before I awoke in my earthen grave on the night of my vampire resurrection over 7 thousand years ago. This is a purgatory for condemned souls. Indeed, on closer inspection the thick swirls of mist all around me are actually formless spirits who bear no resemblance to their former mortal bodies. Pitifully they wander aimlessly about in this sterile wasteland, and I wonder if they even remember who they once were when they walked the earth as living beings.

This is a forlorn place, devoid of that sense of peace that the silent tomb affords. But, then my attention moves to a bluish light rising on the horizon, the light faint at first but rapidly growing brighter. It is the moon, but unlike the familiar moon I know so well from countless nights!

It is bright blue and twice the size of the earthly moon. Majestically it rises in the cold night sky.

This alien moon’s harsh brightness has a hypnotic quality, and as I gaze up into it a human face slowly superimposes over it. Incredibly, it is a face familiar to me from long ago. Why, there they are, the high cheekbones and full lips, the pale blue eyes once so comforting but now so mysterious. Even in my bewilderment, a delightful warmth steals over me as I recall this face from my mortal past. I see my human mother, Ahassunu! It is so good to see the face of this gentle woman who lovingly bore and raised me after I reincarnated from Fallen God to mortal baby. She knew nothing of my troubled distant past and loved me unconditionally.

Ahassunu’s gentle voice whispers softly to me, “Even immortals must die sometimes.” A cold wind suddenly kicks up around me as I stare up in wonder into her ghostly face. “When He comes to you again, then death may also come to you, delivered by the High Gods themselves!” The way “He” is spoken fills me with both dread and loathing.

I know that the “He” reference is somehow tied to that visitation in my sarcophagus. But…death coming for me again – how can this be? Impossible! My spirit is immortal; even though imprisoned in this vampire body, were that body destroyed, my spirit would still live on! As I ponder this, Ahassunu’s face slowly fades from the strange blue moon, but not before I hear her say “You must prepare the way…”. Suddenly, utter darkness descends once more.

With a start I awaken, laying as I was before in my ornate stone sarcophagus. The troubling words of my mother’s apparition are still fresh with me as I slowly raise up the heavy lid and sit up. There is no sign of anything angelic, daemonic, or unknown – I have been left in peace. “Even immortals must die sometimes” – those words echo menacingly in my mind. A warning, certainly, one that I dare not ignore on this most extraordinary of nights.

I arise, the sound of my boots on the marble floor echoing loudly in the stillness of my hidden crypt. Powerful spells summoning dark forces must be cast soon. Most importantly, there is a young mortal man named Eli who I must visit immediately. Though he does not yet know it, his destiny is to become a powerful modern-day wizard wielding great supernatural power. With this untapped power Eli also holds the key to my salvation. He is easy to find; he lives in the large ranch-style house next door to mine. I have followed both him and all his ancestors since ancient Roman times. From this distant bloodline Eli has inherited that great power that has always drawn me (and other supernatural beings) to his family. With ease I instantly vanish from my dark tomb and appear in Eli’s bedroom next door.

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