Journal of Merrix Ruh'lanzoun
by Peter Hebenstreit
A BEGINNING AND AN END
What foul deeds one does for the sake of vengeance--for revenge--for love. How can one's innocence be shattered so effortlessly? How, in this life, can one truly believe in gods--in fate--in destiny? I believe in the gods. I have no choice in the matter. You see; I have shaken hands with demonic beings, and what a sad, depressing world we'd live in if the only deities were cold, calculating megalomaniacs.
I am Stygian, yet so distant from that word is my world that I no longer look at myself as being on the same evolutionary stage. I have been torn down to the primal needs and desires of the conscious mind. I wander the lands not for knowledge, not for power or glory--I wander because I pray at some point, somewhere...I'll find a reason for my existence.
From most assumptions, I am in my latter twenties of age. I know not when I was born--my first memory is that of my current caretaker, Imochet; looking down at me and telling me I was alone in this world and that he would try and rectify that situation. He provided for me adequately. He was a good man, a hard-working man. A jeweler by trade; he made a modest living. That modest living is quite possibly the reason my mother abandoned me at his steps when I was around the age of four. Perhaps, she knew I was doomed to starvation if I was kept by her. I know not the true answer, although the ratio of good reasons to bad are sorely and overwhelmingly negative.
When I was around seven(again-all ages are approximations), Imochet sat me down and told me all he knew of my mother. You see, he "knew" her--though the relationship was by far not your typical one. My mother was a slave to a rather wealthy man--one who was notorious for his brutality towards women. He beat her, abused her, and forced her into prostitution. This of course, is how I came into existence. You could say I have hundreds of fathers, though no one ever offered to assume the role. So, here I am--a who*e's son. A bast**d. And four years after my birth, I was introduced to life's painful lesson of loneliness and abandonment. So severe was this lesson that to this day, I find myself lashing out at those that had the privilege of knowing and sharing memories with both parents.
INTRODUCTION TO DARKER DAYS
It was such an intense feeling. A macabre experience of pleasure and torture; every moment I spent with my demon back when we first met was a unique event onto itself. From my conversations with other "Demonologists", I have found that my meeting and eventual partnership with my demon was and is rather unique. While most Demonologists yank their demonic servants from their natural surroundings and then bind the demon to themselves; Moko(my demon's preferred name) came to me. Without my knowledge or request, she appeared to me during the time in which I had begun to transform into the physical man I am today.
My first encounter with her was by assumption: a complete coincidence. Moko attests to the same; though I have come to realize Moko's ability to lie surpasses a human being's ability to breathe. So there I sat at Imochet's workbench, polishing a new batch of amethysts he had received. I felt the heavy press of cold on my neck and head. Now mind you, the cold embrace of Winter was five months away, so the shivering my body involuntarily started to perform had me puzzled, confused, and scared. I looked about to see if Imochet was just having fun with The Bast**d Son of Sukhmed but no one was present in the room besides myself. The cold embrace happened twice more, and on that third time, I leaped from my chair, spun around while clutching a chisel in hand(What good that would've done, I know. But when panic sets its gaze upon you, logic is not the primary concern). What I saw before my eyes was a perfect blending of beauty, death, and evil. There she stood; a young woman--naked from top to bottom. After the inital shock of seeing a beautiful creature completely disrobed wore off, I then noticed the pair of bat-like wings coming out from what appeared to be her shoulder blades. This, of course, introduced me to my second panic attack. After I regained the ability to speak, I asked who or what she was. This appeared to entertain her greatly. She introduced herself as Moko, and told me that she had become bored with her current agenda(to this day, no explanation of this "agenda" has been given). So, being that as it was, she was "phasing" around, watching humankind live their lives, and had become intrigued by me.
[At this point in my writings of my life, I need to point something out. When a beautiful, naked woman tells you that you are intriguing; you tend to skip past the part of the "bat-like wings" and go straight to ensuring you stay intriguing for the rest of your existence]
THE SWEET SEDUCTION
For months on end, Moko would appear to me frequently. We always had something to talk about--she was my first friend. Now, mind you I am no fool and I knew what she was. She never denied her allegiances. Not once did she ever threaten me or intimidate me. Yet, I felt that this relationship was a permanent one, even if I had the notion to suggest an end to it.
As time flew by, Moko decided she wanted to teach me the art of Infernal Magic. Coincidentally, this was also around the time that I felt a deeper connection between us growing--both in the romantic way yet at the same time; she began to nurture me as a mother would have done. I guess she saw the void in my soul and wanted to fill that--but the primary thing that accomplished was confusion over these conflicting emotions and a deep-seeded fear that at some point, one aspect of our relationship would have to give way to the other. Which did I want? What did I need? I yearned for the loving touch of a mother's kiss on the forehead and the promise of unconditional love. Yet, I also found what appeared to be my first true love springing from the demon-beast before me. I finally decided to let the conflict play itself out naturally and focus on enjoying my time with her.
My powers grew rather quickly after the initial first few months of accidental explosions, mass murder of cattle(Lightning can get messy), and a few summonings in which I had tried to phase Moko to me but instead found myself staring at a 9ft tall, bipedal slug-like creature. [SIDE NOTE: slug-like creatures do not enjoy being repeatedly bombarded with lightning spells until all that is left is a heaping pile of charred slime. They find it detestable and rather rude.]
As the years past and I attained mastery over the powers taught to me, I found myself at the point where it was time to forge ahead and make my own way in life. Reflecting back, I see now that I was quite secluded from the world once Moko showed up in it. My relationship with Imochet was more and more becoming strained. I, of course, told no one of Moko. She instructed me that bound demons were commonplace but having a free-willed demonic creature walking the streets among humankind would result in her banishment or death--and most likely the same for me. I assume the hierarchy of society does not find powerful beings capable of destroying cities and town, with no tether or leash, to be very amusing.
So finally the year came when I had promised Imochet that I would leave my home to carve my path in life. A few days prior to my scheduled departure, he came to me. I was just rising from my slumber when I opened my eyes and saw he was seated at the foot of my bed--staring at me. He had a worried look on his face. When I inquired as to his presence, he informed me that through his contacts and connections, he came upon the knowledge that my mother had recently been murdered.
I could not handle it. I had heard nothing of or about my mother since I was told of her existence those many years ago. Why the information now? Had he known where she was this entire time and kept her from me? Was this all just fate? Why did it hurt so much to hear this news when Moko was more of a mother to me than she was? My head began to get dizzy and at first, I felt the need to vomit. But slowly--creeping at the beginning though gaining momentum--RAGE! Unadulterated ANGER! Hatred towards my life. Anger at my mother. Confusion towards Imochet. I felt powerless--an infant--nothing I did or did not do many any consequence. Nothing mattered. I wanted her dead. Good! She should burn in the fires of eternity! I wanted her love! Oh, please just once to feel her wrap me in her arms! Why did she leave me? What did she look like? Why didn't Imochet tell me any details? What was he hiding? Why was he trying to manipulate me?
He is my enemy. He thinks me a child? A weakling? He thinks I have no power or control?
THE POINT OF NO RETURN
When I was finally done, his body was mostly comprised of ash and a few slices of random flesh splattered about the dwelling. I had been smart. The first thing I did was scorch his tongue. No one ever came to his rescue--I know now that no one was the wiser as to what happened that fateful morning.
In my trance of death, I vaguely remember seeing Moko materialize halfway through my torture and murder of Imochet. I recall a smile on her face; though I could not figure if it was because she saw the absolute mastery of the skills she taught me or if her mind had a grander scheme to it all. It mattered not. The result was the same. Imochet was dead--unrecognizable to any but those of magical means of detection. I stood in my bedroom, soaking in the events of the day and a twinge of a smile slowly began to form. I had control now.
No longer would others stamp out my hopes and dreams. I no longer had anyone holding me back. No more nightmares of a mother that never was. No more pretending to have a father. The world had taken everything from me. Now it was time for me to take it all back.
I had Moko by my side. We would wander the world--taking what we wanted or needed and never apologizing. No room for regret, sorrow, or remorse.
My quest was now to become the most powerful being in existence. The gods would kneel before me. I would recreate the world in the image of perfection that Moko had discussed to me on numerous occasions.
It all had looked so easy. Life was mine to take control of and dominate. I had no idea how wrong I was. The tiny bits of humanity I had left was about to be completely washed away in a torrent of rage, lust, and the desire to never feel pain ever again.
BIRTH OF INSANITY
I have traveled to many locales these past few years since Imochet's death. I feel as though I have only scratched the surface ofo lore and artifact that Hyboria has to offer. To fully realize my true potential of power, I must find and pillage them all! Only then can I begin to right the many wrongs of this world.
I have slaughtered many along the way. How many wives will not see their husband come home at day's end due to me? How many children have I orphaned? The children--oh, the innocent children--how many have I mercifully sent to their gods instead of having to live this wretched existence?
My training with Moko is endless. She has been there every step of the way--guiding me, directing me, loving me. My internal conflict ended abruptly approximately two weeks after the death of Imochet. We were traveling on our way to Khesatta when night fell upon us and we began to set up camp. Normally around this time is when Moko fades away to handle other personal issues in his life(I assume), but that night she stayed. As I covered myself in the thin, holey blankets I took from Imochet, she laid beside me and began to stroke my face. An eerie wave of calm swept over; coupled with an immense pulse of fear. She had me in this twisted mix of emotion, enveloped within it. All I could do is close my eyes and hope that this moment would not be my last-- or if it was to be--let it last forever. The exquisite sensation dancing together with the hot breath of death made my spine stiffen. I felt her cold, moist lips on my forehead--she knew my dreams--my desires. When I opened my eyes to gaze at her, I took in her perfect shape. For the first time in many days and nights, I let myself peer at her as a completely sexual being. She excited me--I yearned to feel her, every inch of her. And so, I did.
[Author's note: I wrote and wanted to include the entire sex scene in this final copy but decided not to due to the chance of someone reading it and becoming offended. I hope anyone reading this understands and accepts my choice and enjoys the entirety of the journal even with this omission.]
I awoke a few hours later--driven awake by a terrifying nightmare. As I sat up, I peered over to my side and was pleasantly surprised to see Moko still there beside me. She was lying down and it appeared she was meditating(To my knowledge, demons do not sleep. Oddly enough, it never occurred for me to ask until now). Beads of sweat glistened on my sun-worn skin and my hands were still shaking. I paused a moment to catch my breath and get my bearings.
--What did I dream about? I dove into my memories and when I finally remembered, it shook my heart and stabbed it with unabashed pain.
There was a little girl, maybe 8 or 9 years old. She was staring at me. Her voice--it was inside my head. Such an innocent, beautiful voice. Oh, she's speaking to me! I had to strain to hear the words:
To reach the peak of the unobtainable mountain You must drench the ground in blood Take the hands of the winged-one Use them to squeeze the life out of the hated one For you walk the path to kill the man The being called Conan!
My pulse raced as I remembered her words. This is insane! Me? Kill the King? But then I realized the nightmare had not concluded. I calmed myself and drifted back into the haze of memory:
There--the girl in front of me again! What was in my hand?...Oh no...a knife! What? What am I doing? Oh god...no! I watched helplessly as within this dream, I began to flay the girl. It was not the exact act itself that troubled me so; but the effort, precision, and care I took to make sure no extra cuts or slices were used that would impact the quality of the skin. I can hear her screams in my mind--to this day, the nightmare wakes me up from time to time. Moko says I'm just reliving it because I'm wishing I could actually perform a skinning so clean--so accurately. She may be right. I hope to the gods she is not.
Before the dream ended, I watched myself finish the skinning, use an incantation to ignite the body, and then I handed Moko the finished product. Wait! When did Moko appear in my dream? Why is she here? Why is she always there?
I slowly brought myself out of the meditative dream-trance and tried to make sense of it all. Truly, it must only be a dream? I told myself this countless of times but I believe Moko had other ideas. She informed me that my training would be intensified soon, in preparation for the impossible task of infiltrating the Aquilonian throne room, and finally to kill the King, Conan.
I flatly asked her why. I had no reason to dislike the man, let alone kill him. Besides that logical reasoning, I was by no means within the same caliber of warrior as he. My magic was, is, and forever will be stronger and stronger as each day passes; but if even a fraction of the myths, tales, and legends are true--I would be nothing but a post-dinner amusement for him.
Moko did not like my lack of faith in her training. She decided to show me just how much she disapproved, though her timing was unexpected.
The days had begun to dwindle as night's grasp came sooner. Moko and I had been traveling for months--looting underground caves, pilfering ruins, and on occasion, setting up ambushes on heavy-traffic areas. My wealth, knowledge, and power had tripled by my own account and I had realized the fact that murder, torture, and insanity now had a firm hold on my life. Rather odd actually--when not in the moment...when I'm not killing another...the idea of myself a murderer, torturer, and madman seem an impossibility. It's almost like I'm two separate people. I do not understand it and every time I try to make sense of it all, my brain hurts and Moko quickly gets me back on track.
Today's plan was a simple one. We had found some Acheron ruins on the outskirts of Tortage. Moko felt a strong pull to that location. So, we ventured forth to steal whatever we could find, and if we were lucky--run into a few unfortunate souls with heavy purses and weak stomachs.
What we ended up finding would change the course of my life, my relationship with Moko, and the quest I was on--forever.
Merrix 01:40, 3 June 2008 (UTC)