He nervously chewed on the back of his quill. He wasn't ready for this, yet still, he had exhausted all other options. He did not expect this to work, yet he knew that there must be some way to overcome his anxieties.

For weeks now, he'd had a feeling that something was amiss. That he was not in charge of many of his own actions. Sometimes, he would turn when he meant to go straight, then try to understand why he did that. At other times, he would just lie on his bed for hours, unable to get up, even though he had places to be. Once, he woke up in the middle of the night, ran outside, then several miles into the darkness. When he regained control, he was exhausted and struggled to find his way back. And all this was starting to affect his life.

With a deep sigh, he lowered his quill into his inkwell. Staring at the parchment in front of him, he tried to make sense of it all. This so-called "automatic writing" business sounded extremely fishy to him. On the other hand, he could imagine how insane he must have sounded when he'd described what had happened to him in the recent past.

Might as well try.

He put down his quill and started to write. It took him only a few sentences before he fell into a deep trance, and his writing changed from basic trivialities about his current situation into something he would have never expected to see. Something so strange and foreign, he would not have been able to come up with all that on the spot. As he awoke from his trance, he was first astonished by the amount he had written, then shocked that most of it was not even his own handwriting. What happened next will be a story for another day, but for now, please witness for yourself a true copy of what he wrote.

They say that this can work. If I focus on nothing but leading my quill, if I strike all thought from my mind, then you would take over. If you exist. At this point, I'm willing to try whatever it takes to get some answers, and to hopefully gain back some of the control I've lost to you. I just want to You want answers? You may think you do, but you truly do not. I once thought I wanted answers, but do you see where it got me? I lost it all. Making sure that others do not. I do not expect any thanks, although sometimes I wish that what I do was acknowledged by someone.

Since you're so eager, let me tell you a story. Let me tell you about The Call, and how it stole everything from me.

It all started when I was very young, though early preparations took place much sooner. I would not have known of the latter due to their originator's secrecy and the fact that I had not been born at the time. But little does it matter. Just imagine a young girl, brown hair, medium build, some freckles, blueish green eyes. Much like you, I never asked for any of it. It just started to happen. And I have to admit, I was scared at first. Very scared.

Have you ever felt like someone knows you in and out? They know who you are, they know every second of your life, they know you better than you even know yourself. And they are calling for you, they need you. But you do not know who they are. You have never met them. They could be a god, they could be a demon. All you know is that they are calling your name. I say name, but what I heard was not my name at all. It was, yet not the one I knew. A better name, if that makes sense. A name that truly described me.

If you have not felt that way, it is hopeless to try and describe what I felt. I was scared, yes, hopelessly scared, but that was merely the beginning. Imagine falling asleep every night with someone yelling in your ear, yelling your name, a foreign name that you cannot place. It is a feeling entirely unlike your mother shouting for you to go to bed. It is more intimate, yet more intimidating. More caring, yet more demanding. Poor, little me did not know what was going on.

Sure, I talked about it to my parents. They tried to help. My husband. The priest. Even the witch. They all tried to help, but the call would never, ever go away.

Imagine you are a young woman coming of age, it is warm outside, you are in your garden, harvesting some early strawberries. You reach down, pluck one off, and then you realize that someone needs you, someone far away, someone you do not even know. They need you badly, yet you are here collecting berries. You feel guilty, you are angry with yourself. You drop to the ground, the strawberries spill. You wake up, your head in your husband's lap, his hand slowly running through your hair. He assures you that everything is just fine, that you need not worry, that everyone is safe.

But you do not feel safe. Instead, you feel disgusted by his greasy fingers ruining the hair you had washed just this morning. Ruining it for the one who needs you, the one who is calling for you. You have to be perfect for him, you cannot waste away in this reality. You start crying again, your arms two useless weights hanging from your shoulders. You want to hug your husband, tell him that you agree. Tell him that you are thankful for him. Make him feel that he is appreciated. But you cannot. But you do not. But you are not. But he is not.

I heard the call for so many years. I hoped it would go away. It did, eventually. But it cost me. However, I feel no grievance. It had to happen. As it was foretold by my great-grandfather, so it had to happen. It is but the wheels of time, and how they are turning. You cannot change it.

So here is my advice for you: you have to trust me. I know it is a lot to ask. And if I had a choice, I would prefer not to scare you like this. But I am doing this to foil HIS plans. HE is planning a future for you. It is not one that you want. And I am your one way out. Just let me do what I do. You will thank yourself later.

(Cover image credit: Jeff Nelson on flickr, link)
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How creative! A story from the perspective of one who's possessed. What a nice idea.

So, I'm guessing these possessors are using the person's True Name? How wold one even find out another person's True Name, I wonder...
I'm also asking myself what kind of spirit is this woman that is controlling the main character, if a spirit at all.

One of the things I liked about Bram Stroker's Dracula the most was precisely that the story was told from the perspective of various other characters, sometimes even secondary characters. Other books of that time had similar insights, but it is uncommon to see something like this today.
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I'm glad you like it :)

So, I'm guessing these possessors are using the person's True Name?

Yes and no. I plan to expand on that in follow-up stories, but to avoid spoilers, I'll just say that this story's main character's possession is a lesser one. The spirit within him doesn't have great power over him, and only manages to cause little changes in the way he acts. She can't completely take over his thoughts or change his opinions, values, or view of the world. If she knew his True Name, I'd imagine she would be able to accomplish all of those things, and more.

How wold one even find out another person's True Name, I wonder...

I can't tell you the DHS official answer, but in my mind, you would need some magickal prowess, a very close relationship to that person, and common trust. Maybe there is a magickal ritual you need to perform as well. Maybe it's easier than that, but since we haven't heard the official take on it, I assumed all those things are typically required.

I'm also asking myself what kind of spirit is this woman that is controlling the main character, if a spirit at all.

Let's say she's an earthbound spirit who has unfinished business and therefore can't leave this plane of existence. There's a bit more to it than that, but more on this later :)

For now, I'm basing the nature of her existence on what I know about occultism in general, not a certain DHS class. Hopefully I can retroactively assign one of the classes, once we know what exactly all of them are. If not, she will have to remain some separate kind of entity.
I am writing these lines not to sway anyone yet unconvinced, nor to gain attention or prove my sanity. I am writing not for the skeptical, but for those willing to listen. For I, in the name of the Lord, was fortunate enough - or, perhaps, unfortunate enough - to witness, with my own eyes, a foul descendant of the house of the dead, and I lived to tell the tale.

It was two moons ago, a bright night under the stars. I was on my way from the tavern back to my humble abode, in dire need of rest. Though I payed it no heed then, I could swear I saw a thin veil of black smoke rushing out from the entrance to the forest, to disguise what would trail behind. What took me aback, however, was the foul stench which drilled into my nostrils mere seconds later.

I gasped for air, unable to even cough under this abhorrent stench. It was in that moment that I started to hear voices coming from the direction of the forest. Lacking any time to think, I dove straight into a thorny bush off to the side of the path, the pain of the thorns digging into my skin taking over my previous respiratory anguish. I wanted to scream, but my fear sealed my lips.

I waited for what seemed like hours, but rationally must have been seconds, before the two abominations emerged from the dark woods. Lacking any more accurate vocabulary, I could only describe them as a wandering corpse with a staff and cape, accompanied by a goblin on a heavy chain. Except as it would turn out later, it was no goblin, but - I shudder now to think it.

Soon, I could overhear what they were talking about. Instinctively, I began repeating their words in my head, meaning to memorize them so I could write them down later, but as they drew nearer, focusing my hearing became ever harder as my other senses got overstimulated more and more. It was in that moment that I realized that what I had thought to be a goblin was, in fact, a woman!

She was covered in residue that appeared to be a mix of ash, mud, and her own dried-up blood. Walking, crouched down, on all fours, like a drunken, waddling penguin. Any trace of clothing and human dignity alike had long been stripped from her. But, unlike the towering corpse beside her, she was not decomposing, not rotting, but, in fact, beyond her beastly posture and complexion, almost... pretty?

The corpse man would pull on the chain once in a while, followed by a muffled groan coming from the female whose bruised neck had been yanked. Yet she never complained, nor dared to look at him. In fact, she seemed excited and honored to serve him, and eagerly followed his every step. Like a little, curious puppy being walked by a veteran who had seen the worst of the war.

I felt with her, I truly did. Part of me wanted to jump out of the bush, tackle the feeble caped man to the ground in a surprise attack, and free the poor whelp from her shackles. But I feared that the neglected dog would interpret this as an attack on her pack and - with or without her master's command - tear my flesh from my very bones. And my window of opportunity - if there ever was one - passed.

If this does not sound insane enough already, I will leave you with what little I managed to remember and note down about their conversation. It does not make much sense to me, but maybe it will provide value to those studying the dead. This will be my final account of the story, and I want to get my life back in order. Please do not seek me out - I will not be able to help you any further.

[The rest of the parchment carrying this horrifying account appears to be torn off.]
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A letter,

Dearest Ott,
Thank you for your heartfelt letter. Indeed I am shamefully aware that I have fallen short on my social obligations as of late. It is owed to my striving to be a good husband, which I committed to the day I accepted Berbelin's hand. I hope you will understand, and that everyone can come to terms with it, because this is my final decision and this is what I have to do.
Since you asked, I would like to give you the latest tales from my quest. As last we spoke, I believe I had just begun suspecting that Berbelin's disappearance may have involved forces beyond our understanding. Back then, I was not sure what this would mean or how to even dabble in that field. Much has changed, and I have gained some better insight into the forces involved.
Last spring, having had nowhere else to turn to, I contacted Berbelin's grandparents. They are pitiable folk, and appear to blame themselves for her disappearance. Clinging to the assumed power of their hopes and prayers, they do little in the way of even gaining any knowledge of her whereabouts. In fact, they tried to dissuade me from doing the latter. However, I quickly showed them that this is not an option for me. I made clear that I would be looking for her with or without their help - and only very reluctantly, they agreed to give me a few pointers.
First, Sander was telling me about his father, Fridolin. He had none but high praise for his elder, so much so that it made me wonder why he didn't say a word about his mother. I did not inquire, however. According to him, his father was a wise and powerful, yet secretive man. He insisted that Fridolin's inheritance ran in his family's blood, waiting to be discharged whenever and wherever it's needed. He refused to be any more specific than that, but assured me that if his father knew what he was doing - which he presumed - Berbelin will, in time, "wake up," and be able to access Fridolin's wisdom.
I found that rant barely reassuring and borderline insane, so I took my chance to ask about what kind of power that may be. It was then when both grandparents sighed and were increasingly uncomfortable with the direction this discussion was headed. "Look," Gerda finally chimed in, "if you're willing to listen," which I was, "you have to be aware that the world is made of interwoven energies, and all anyone does is to manipulate them in ways that change their patterns." I pondered for a bit, then nodded, prompting her to finish the thought. "But most people's ability to effect change is strictly limited to coincide with mundane physical interaction. Fridolin had far surpassed that."
At the time, I didn't pay much attention to this crooked view on our existence. I quickly thanked them for their time and wondered if I had just wasted mine. But her words haven't left me. And since then, I think I have come to an understanding. When I visited them, I couldn't help but notice all kinds of symbols and charms spread around their house. They also partook in various strange customs that at the time, I paid no particular mind to. But I have been investigating. The symbols, the charms, the rituals... this family is a clan of mages!
This must be related to Berbelin's disappearance. The knowledge that runs in their family, deep secrets that yield an immense amount of power. I am now certain that whoever took her wanted to gain access to those secrets. She never talked to me about magic, but then again, it seems like her parents had distanced themselves from their past. Maybe she never learned the truth. Never got the chance to.

What I discovered reinforced my conviction that I have to help her. I knew I had to, ever since she first described to me what she referred to as "The Call." If only I had known sooner what secrets she's been keeping. If only I'd known that magic is involved. Maybe she would have never been taken.
Ott, my old friend, please do not worry about me. This fight is mine alone to fight. And I will not rest until Berbelin is free from her keeper's clutches, whoever he may be. Knowing what I know now, I cannot allow Fridolin's magic to fall into the wrong hands. Do not make the mistake to think that I'm guided solely by my affection for my wife.

Be safe out there.

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Are any of the characters you introduced so far gonna be a character you'll play as in Deadhaus?
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Are any of the characters you introduced so far gonna be a character you'll play as in Deadhaus?

There's one character that appears in all 3 stories which is the one I'm planning to play as, yes. The others are mostly for background, but I may use some of them, too, if it makes sense.
This is not right. It is too soon. Something is wrong, the master is too early. She is still hurting. He can't see her like this, she can't bear another round, not yet. Normally, he would stay away for the night, let her catch her breath. It's not fair. Why? Why is he here? He has someone with him. A man? The man comes closer, looks at her. He is saying something. The master begins to laugh. She tries to see more clearly. Everything so blurry. Come on, focus. Open your eyes. Wider. Who is this man? Do you know him? The master removes him. He does not want to leave. They shout at each other. So loud. Who is that man?

Too loud. She cannot bear it. Do not scream. Not now. She screams. They have to stop, she is not ready yet. The man comes running towards her. Almost as if concerned. Who is he? More people are coming in. The master is missing. Where is he? Who are these people? They look around. They touch her shackles. What are they doing? They cannot do this. Only the master can. What's going on? Do these people want to take her away from the master? They cannot. It is not possible. Without the master, she is nothing. She is just a useless pile of meat. She needs her master!

What is this? The intruders seem taken aback. Stare at her from some distance. Did she scream again? Likely. She is still in pain. Suddenly, a sharp sting from inside of her heart. She feels like vomiting, or maybe she already did. But more importantly, she feels something boiling up inside of her. This pulsating sensation, but not like a heartbeat. It is pain, but it is very familiar. She feels this way every time she is with the master. The room is getting hotter. The strangers cover their faces with their arms. It is not right, she cannot use that power, it is not hers. Only the master may channel this energy. But what can she do? These people wanted to steal her from her master.


The energy dissipates. She falls unconscious.


Twenty-five years. Twenty-five years of dealing with that pathetic lowlife, and these were the thanks he got? He should have known that she was playing him for a fool. How else could she have used his magick by herself?! She had secretly learned and stolen his techniques, of that he was now certain. Let's see how she would do without him, then. Let her try to break free. Let's see how well she would manage with no food for a month! Can eat those humans she murdered with his magick, can't she? He just felt like all those years were wasted. He was raging mad.


She is waiting. The master has not shown up in days. She is hungry and cold. Outside the tiny, barred hole in the stone wall, it is dark. She can hear the rain pounding onto the pavement. It smells like vomit and burnt corpses. Her pain has gone down to an unusual low, and it makes her uncomfortable. For the first time in a long while, she is feeling uncertainty, reservations, and... aversion? All this time in these walls, and she has never really had her thoughts for herself. She has always been preoccupied with the pain and the desire to serve the mast- master?!

Her hands are still chained to the wand behind her back at chest height, making it difficult to look around. She raises her head anyway. Human bodies, facing her, against the walls. ...what? Did she kill them? Who are they? She is not supposed to do anything like this except- except... if the master commands it? What the hell?

The master- she is supposed to serve the master. She is nothing special, nothing special, just a vessel, just a vessel. Master come, master come, I need thee.

What the hell?

"My dear child..." what? "...listen to me... when you hear this..." what is this? "...you are relieved of your duty. He will no longer hold power over you." master? ...to hell with that! "Og'viag was never your master, he was your tormentor... as he was mine..." what is that voice? "All will be revealed, my child, all in due time... for now, know that you have a choice. You've always had. But it took you until now to see it." what choice? ...I'm willing to make it. "Everything will change. Nothing you knew will remain, but you will gain so much more. A purpose. A power. Is that what you want?" everything to escape HIM.... to escape this. "So be it..."


He went to check on her. A month had passed, and he was surprised she hadn't broken out of the dungeon yet, given what had transpired before. Or was she dead? He did not care either way. She was useless to him now. An erratic vessel that would use magick on its own would hardly be of any use.

The keys turned. Her pitiful corpse hanging from the wall. The floor covered in vomit and excrement. She hadn't even managed to brake her shackles. Shameful. What a waste of his time. He cursed the day on which he had obtained her True Name.

As he closed the door, he felt as though something had brushed his shoulder. Something that knew him very well, as if calling out to him. He did not think much of it, and considered that woman a thing of the past. A misjudgment that he would later regret dearly.
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If I'm interpreting this correctly, she was aided by some external force to transform into a... Wraith? A sort of spirit. She was being used as a vessel to Og'viag, who I suppose was a Liche. She is the spirit that tries and help the man in your first story, influencing him against the Liche.

Was she the woman being dragged by the skeleton (possibly the Liche) in the second story? I think so.

These short stories you made remind me of the codex (Archives) in Dead by Daylight in the way they are written. It was an interesting approach. Confusing at times, but it's nice to put the pieces together. :)
Wow, you got everything right! I was a bit worried there it might be too vague / too contradictory (as tends to happen when a story is told by multiple narrators, each lacking a grasp on the full picture). Glad that you liked the style. Linhart's letter provides some more clues, one of which is a hint on what this external force it may be :O

But yeah, I'm hoping that a Wraith works. I might have to change a few things once we know more about that class. I hope nothing major. I already successfully incorporated the pain aspect that @Denis Dyack described during the last stream.