The familiar comforting power, like tongues of flame, poured from my soul as I fixed the necromantic binding in my mind. Heat pooled and swirled with purpose in the palm of my hand. In that instant a distracting sensation burst through my focus before I could banish it and lingered afterwards like a foul smell. With strange resistance I felt the tattooed lines on my palm grow warm.
In a herculean act of will, I bound the invocation together and in one final push I cast my spell towards the shining ghost. Dark spectral chains tore through the twilight and ensnared the apparition. Breathing deeply, I took the moment to reflect on my fatigue and sense of hollowness in wake of the casting, such a bitter cost for such a seemingly simple conjuration was a concern should I have needed of it again. I cursed my recklessness for not testing it before I came.
A sudden motion in my peripheral drew me back to the moment. The phantasm had somehow slipped free and darted towards me. Time felt like it slowed to a crawl around me as I stepped back, my heel losing traction sending me falling backwards and in a testament to my own ego, instead of reacting to the threat my mind fixated on the failings of my binding. Did I disrupt the symbol of the weave so much with my nails, had the rituals effects shaken my mind more than I realised, had the necromancer cheated me when he sold me the formula, or had I simply performed it incorrectly?
As I collided with the ground, reality caught up with me all at once. Too slow channel another spell, or find my knife, the spectre flicked it’s serpent-like body, as if swimming through the air, and all at once it was upon me. Grimacing in anticipation, I recoiled, bracing for its strike. But none came.
The phantasm coiled around me like a constrictor, it’s grip undeniably present but ethereal and strangely warm, in some ways it felt not unlike a sociable house cat begging for attention. Bewilderment paralysed me as I searched frantically for a reason. In the stories ghosts were violent tormented creatures that haunt ancient constructs like the cathedral with deadly malice. It’s soft head nuzzled its face into my palm, interrupting my thoughts.
Cautiously at first, I stroked my hand along it’s head and down it’s regally fin-sailed neck. It felt like it’s skin was charged with static from before a storm. Like a more solid cloud I felt, when I touched it, almost as though my hand would pass right through it. Gradually I felt myself relax, the perception of danger fading. As I petted the… thing, absently I concluded it probably wasn’t a ghost, this thing was aggressively social and was possessed of both physical form and warmth, All traits inconsistent of no description of ghosts I had ever heard.
I almost laughed in excitement, the cathedral’s mysteries were just beginning to reveal themselves to me.