All I have to do is tune into it. That what they tell me, my teachers. Tune in and align my will with it’s power.
What does that mean? It’s a skull, what power does it have? Wasn’t last semester’s lesson about objects not having will, not having their own power? What the Hell?
Nervousness permeates the small school. This attunement is a big deal, despite what everyone tells me. Others that come to their Attunement Day have left the next day. I can only assume it’s because they didn’t attune, didn’t tune into the skulls power.
No one can talk about it. Three students are older than me, and it’s not like we’re friends, but they keep giving me encouraging looks in the hall.
The gave me black robes, embroidered with black thread that catches the light at certain angles. Runes of power and magic infused in the robe, and they just gave it to me. Everything is supposed to be earned, so why have the given me this?
They led me down the Forbidden Hall, which seemed to change to monochromatic the further in we got. As if something sucked all colors away – my skin held no pigment, and my hair no longer shone coppery red. What did this mean? Who was I without my outward appearance?
The door was massive, at least 20 feet tall. Their words whispered, one teach in each ear, telling me the final reminders. Their words washed over me and I closed my eyes to focus on hearing them both. I had to open the door, enter, and tune into the skull that hung suspended in the middle of the room.
I nodded when they finished and waited for them to retreat, their own robes whooshing around their silent footsteps. When I opened my eyes, I noticed the door had carved faces, and they moved slightly. One mouth seemed to scream, full of agony, but when I focused on it, another face moved as if it laughed hysterically. No matter where my focus was, other faces moved.
Just like everything else at this school, this clue meant the lesson I attempted had to do with focus, or not focusing. Something like that. Why was this so difficult?
I mastered my thoughts, and pushed my body forward. Focused on the handles, I moved to the right and touched the cold black metal. A flash of bright light made me wince away from the crack. Beyond the door, the room was well lit, by a fixture in the 40 foot ceiling. It was so bright, I couldn’t tell what created the light. It was as if I walked into a perfect cylinder, dark grey walls, perfectly smooth, so my eyes just moved off them. The floor had thick black carpet, that seemed to eat the light.
Floating about 4 feet off the floor, centered in the circle, was an ancient skull. An animal skull by the looks, but I wasn’t sure. It looked innocent, but the feeling it gave off was threatening. It was once bleached white, but time and being in this place seemed to gray it, with some splotches around the cracks.
Knowing I had all day to spend in this space, I sat in front of the skull, and studied it. It’s teeth had been sharpened un-naturally, likely after death. The points did not shine with enamel like the bases did. The eye holes seemed to pull me toward them. I resisted the urge to grab the skull. I wanted more control.
This object, whatever it was, held power of its own. What did that mean? I was to surrender to it? Tune into the power, what did that mean, exactly? I closed my eyes and mediated to center myself. During mediation I could ignore all outside stimulus and quiet my inner stream of doubt.
After an unknown amount of time, I opened my eyes, and felt a bit of shock. Bother the door I had entered, and the skull had rotated. They were still aligned, if I entered now, I would still face the skull. Had I been moved while I mediated, or had the walls and skull rotated 90 degrees clockwise on their own?
I stood behind the skull. The door framed the skull, it’s ebony surface seemed to be designed to create a stark contrast to the skull. With both hands, I reached forward and grabbed the skull from under, as if to lift it up.
The moment my grey skin touched the grey bone, I felt the power trapped in the skull greet me with hunger and joy. The bloodlust and thirst cramped my stomach and began to transform my body. The last moments I held control of my own thoughts, I knew the school was a trap, seeking the next fool to allow this power to possess them. I was a vessel, and the entity in the skull easily won.
I had been shunted to the back of my own mind. I could see everything through the eyes that were once my own. My body walked with a confidence I had never possessed, and entered back into the world of color. The teachers and students reacted with equal excitement and fear.
“The Age of the Werewolf has finally returned.” The headmaster said, and bowed low to my former body.