Phantasmagoria - Chapter 4

Author: Albie


The amber liquid coursed down Thomas' throat, bitter and hot. He coughed lightly, flecks of residue sparking as they encountered the hot flames of the campfire.

 "Well? Anything different?" asked the companions, each with a look of intense anticipation. Thomas surveyed the town carefully, probing the darkness around the buildings intently. Looking up into the eaves, into the sky, all seemed clear.

 "Nothing...that's odd...that should have really worked..." "Maybe it takes a while to take effect. Like it takes Kelloran tons of time to see the obvious!" laughed Stone.

 "Ha ha, very funny...idiots." grumbled Kelloran, trying without success to hide the laughter in his own voice.

 Chells looked up thoughtfully, "What about feeling different, any sense heightened? After all, it may not be with sight that Kelloran actually "sees" them, Thomas... it may be some other way that he interprets as "sight".

 "I never really thought about it like that Chells, I always assumed that I saw them with my eyes. I have seen some pretty amazing things that didn't require extra senses. We have been in the presence of the gods themselves, and while I have always tried to avert my gaze as I feel that I should, I have seen them as if they were flesh."

 "Most of them were, at one time or another," said Stone.

 Thomas stood up slowly, still gazing about as if he were trying to see the air in front of his face. "Maybe it's not something that the essence of Kelloran was enough bring out in the potion anyway...but the potion did activate. Normally if you put materials of non- aligning property bases in a substrate solution of personally attuned material stabilizers, with a catalyst of functions 1 to 5, with a level b gradient neutralizer or a-" Thomas stopped talking as he looked down to the stupified expressions of his friends. "I mean it swirled around and activated. I has to do something. I'll be right back, I'm going to go look something..." Thomas trailed off as he headed over to the apothecary, Kelloran, Stone and Chells all looking to one another to see if the others has the vaguest clue as to what Thomas was babbling about.

 "That's why I'm no Alchemist," said Stone. "Too much damn math." "

I think I sort of followed what he said about the..." Kelloran cut off quickly as a ragged scream from Thomas' shop cut through the night. The two living companions hustled through the blackness, bursting into the shop. Chells had already materialized inside. Thomas' prone form was convulsing and vomiting over the wooden planks of his floor. Stone quickly rolled Thomas on his side, trying to stop him from choking. Kelloran ran through a quick mental checklist of ailments, but feared the worst for his friend. It didn't seem like poisoning, but a side-effect of the potion he had concocted.

 Spitting what he could from his mouth, Thomas groaned, muttering "It worked. No Angels though. Potion of Kelloran Vision. Whose idea was that?"

The other three looked at each other in anticipation. "Well, what did you see?" they said almost in unison.

 "I think I saw what Kelloran will see in the near future. It is a potion of vision, but not a potion of sight. Stone, you were looking into that red fungus in the woodlands right?"

 "Yeah, why? And I thought you couldn't make a potion of vision..." "

What I saw was the entire forest, covered in red, but not empty, things were crawling and writhing and living there. Things not of this plane. I can't be sure, but it seemed like I was near the Altar of the Lost Gods, and was kneeling as if in prayer, but I looked down and saw my hands shaking. They were Kelloran's hands though, I recognized the Restorers Ring. When I looked back up, there was this enormous misshapen thing of claws and fangs and beaks and eyes that was rolling towards me. I tried to move, but was frozen in place. It opened a mouth, and some kind of purplish mist washed over me. I could smell the rotting putrescence that spewed forth, burning both my lungs and my eyes. Then I was here with that vileness still clinging to me. Uggh.."

 "Any ideas Chells?" said Stone looking up. He paused when he saw Kelloran's ashen face. "Don't worry, Kell..."