Those who turn from the light and find themselves entranced by the lure of necromantic power would heed well the tale of Ilken Lillett; A testament to the sacrifices which must be made to attain such power.
A figure whispered about for centuries, Lillet is a figurehead for those who are struggling to sever their ties with all they hold dear in exchange for the mastery over un-life.
Ilken Lillett, mother of two and devoted wife to a carpenter named Kote, was a loving, young family woman who enjoyed the simple things in life; meeting with a gossip-circle in the town square, rearing her children and practicing hobbies such as sewing. Living in the poor district of the city of Maltuka, she helped the family get by through selling sweaters and knick-knacks she made in her spare time. Unbeknownst to anyone, however, Ilken Lillett had a darker side.Â
When she was but a child of six, Lillett was exploring the woods around her family home. Whilst investigating the climbing potential of a particularly large oak, she heard the startled squealing of an animal in peril. Abandoning all tree-climbing ideas, she ran to a nearby clearing whereupon she witnessed a fox pounce on a scrawny hare, tearing its jugular and slaying it. Being just a child, Lillett screamed in terror at her bloody introduction to death and burst into tears. The fox - finally noticing the new intruder - fled in fear of the blustering girl, leaving its meal unclaimed. Several minutes passed while Lillett wept, standing uselessly in the grassy clearing, but eventually the child composed herself and stumbled over to the bloodied hare.
It was well and truly dead; entrails pooling on the ground from a massive laceration on its belly. Showing remarkable composure, Ilken Gently stroked the animals fur while her mind tried to sort through what she had just seen. As we all know, the mind of a child is a most dangerous thing, and after several minutes of contemplation she grew frustrated and angry. The anger grew into fury, then malice as she began to curse the world for what it is. She hated. She hated the fox for killing this cute animal. She hated her parents for not telling her about this morbid aspect of life. She hated the hare for not being faster and sparing her from watching its murder, and she hated herself for watching it and doing nothing. Finally, the intensity of her hatred morphed into something tangible; Lillett could see the life in things. She could see that life was flowing in the grass and trees and flowers around her. She could feel the life flowing through herself, and most importantly, she could feel that the hare had no life. It was a black hole of nothingness in a glade of light. But... What if she could move that light around...? As said before - the mind of a child is a dangerous thing; not knowing that something is impossible is the only way to achieve the impossible and so, using her infant mind, Lillett drew the life of the grass and trees around her and thrust it forcefully into the corpse of the hare. Grass around her wilted. Trees dropped their leaves and hung their branches in sorrow, and finally the eyes of the hare opened.
Lillett stood and looked around - the entire glade was grey and lifeless. Trees wept, grass crunched under feet, and flowers turned to ash at the touch. The child cared not for this, though; she turned back to the hare, which rose to its four feet and hopped over to her - it's guts scraping the dead grass beneath it. When the hare nuzzled its nose against Lillett's ankle she smiled - this was right. This was just. If life was uncaring and cruel, then she would make death fair.
Now the age of thirty-five, Ilken Lillett had grown up. She had two children and another ready to pop out. Kote, her loving husband doted on her and her life was good. She had never told a soul about what had happened when she was a child, and though she tried again countless times, she could never repeat what had happened. Secretly, it frustrated her to no end; she knew she could perform this amazing feat, however every time failed. Each night, after her husband was sated by her body and snoring soundly in bed, she would sneak out of the house and walk the streets of Maltuka, looking for dead stray animals.
As with all big cities, if you wander the streets at night you can eventually find anything. Ilken Lillett ran into a few people not unlike her - necromancers, they liked to call themselves; and they manipulated the dead. None were of much power, of course - any necromancer able to actually sustain un-life wouldn't be roaming streets at night - but still all who she met ridiculed her once she told them that she only met with failure.
Slowly, after each night with no success, she felt an anger build up within her - an anger and frustration just like back in the woods, only built up over months as opposed to seconds.
Kote was rocked out of a snoring slumber by the sound of the front door of his home crashing open with force, and a desperate scream of 'KOTE!!' the portly man leapt out of bed, slipped over his discarded pants on the ground and stumbled out into the main room of the house. There, Ilken Lillett had fallen on the ground. The door was still open, and large streaks of crimson blood smeared across the door and streaked across the ground to where Lillett lay, one hand clutching her impregrated belly where blood was seeping out from between her fingers. Her shaking hand raised, trembling towards him. 'Kote! I... Somebody stabbed me Kote! It... It hurts!'
Kote looked down at his love in terror - there was a lot of blood. He did not stop to think as to why she was out at night, but he had no idea what to do. 'The baby, Kote... Our child is dead. I can't feel it!'
'Oh god, oh god - what do I do, Ilken? What can I do!?'
'Quickly, get the children!' Ilken Lillett moaned in agony as Kote ran upstairs in only his drawers to fetch their two young children. When he returned, the woman was propped up against one of the walls, and she motioned to her family, tears in her eyes, 'My babies. Come, hold me...' Ilken and Kotes distraught children went to their mother, hugging her tightly. After a moment, Kote did the same, holding his family together in his large arms and closing his eyes in agony. He truly thought his wife was going to die. And in that position they remained - Kote felt like he was impossibly old and tired. All his will to live was sapped. And then he realized Ilken and the children were silent. He felt the bodies of his son and daughter - four and six years old - go limp and slump, all the warmth bled out of them. As he opened his eyes and drew back in confusion, he felt a painful chill seep through his own body. Kote caught Lillett's eyes, Wide open and filled his incomprehensible malice. Her face was still and lifeless but she still breathed. Just as Kote felt the last seconds of consciousness fade from him, he felt a shuffling and a kick on his stomach which was pressed against Ilken's. Their babe - it lived once more! Kote died not ever comprehending what had happened.
Where just moments ago it was a chaotic clutter of Screams, banging and weeping, The Lillett/Kote household was beatifully silent. Ilken Lillett stood, gently pushing the wilted remains of her family away from her. She lifted her shirt and peered down at her belly. Protruding from the side of her was the head of a sewing needle - her sewing needle. The tip had penetrated deep into her womb, piercing her own unborn child. She gingerly removed the needle, and held a hand over the non-fatal puncture. One single tear, she shed. One tear which held the excruciating agony of what she had just sacrified and accomplished. One single, perfect tear - the last she would ever shed - which held all the pain she would ever suffer in her life; she wiped it away, smiled as she felt the baby kick once more - it would be special, she knew - different than what anyone had accomplished ever before.
Ilken Lillett went on to become a mover and shaker of the necromantic order, however she is most well known for her beginnings, and how she managed to not only discard, but betray all she held dear in life for the sake of finding her power once more. She birthed her son soon after these events, but that is a tale for another time.
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? Responses (6)
This sub is awesome. I love it. I don't know why I love it, but I do. Ilken bears the caesar193 seal of approval. I will HoH this when I can.
So she birthed an undead?
Zombirth! Why not?
I see two main ideas here--a woman with wild necromantic talent who can take life from many to give undeath to a singular thing, and necroparturition (which is awesome). I think this makes a better story than something to inject into an tabletop game. I know that's not the only standard to judge a sub, but it's mine. Players would only learn this stuff through exposition and monologue, which is fine, but there's no quick hook. This is an decent NPC with a great backstory.
I don't think she is a very nice person. I would unfriend her for sure.
Crazy story that drug me right in. Hard to comprehend the ruthlessness! Welcome back SE!!
The tale does draw you in, well written, making her quite memorable. Zombirth, as Forganthus calls it....this is a new concept for me as far as undead begetting, and I Iove it. Deliciously gruesome!
I approve, and found this an enjoyable macabre tail