“My name is Griffin. I am the son of the Goddess Circe and the God Hades. I am the God of Inversions. My duty is to stop The Rift at all costs. I exist. My mind is my own. I serve no one.” Griffin kept repeating those words to himself over and over. It was the only sound he could hear to keep himself focused. The deeper he dove into the Rift Relic the stronger the darkness became. His senses growing duller and duller…its presence suffocating and stealing away his every breath. “My name is Griffin…I am the son of the Goddess Circe and the God Hades…I am the God of Inversions…My duty is to stop The Rift at all costs…I exist. My mind is my own…I serve no one…”
“Poor lost child…” A grim voice echoes through the darkness. It’s every word shaking Griffins core. His focus cracking at each syllable. “Come…I await you…”
The voice disappeared from Griffins mind as the darkness began to take shape. The endless void transformed into a field of shadows. The sky revealed a black moon that shone a dim red moonlight. Following the path laid before him, Griffin kept his guard up at all times. The further down the path Griffin walks the stranger it becomes. Buildings that tower to the heavens like none he had seen before began to surround him. Their walls made of an ungodly mix of flesh and machinery he couldn’t fathom. Blood flowed from the ground skyward. He walks up and down staircases that spiraled to no end. Was he on the floor still? Or was this the wall? Did he already switch back without even realizing it? Perhaps the Black Moon would be a guide to help him…no…no matter how he spiraled the Black Moon never moved an inch.
“I am Griffin. Son of Circe and Hades. I must stop The Rift at all costs.” Griffin thinks to himself.
“What is it you seek lost child?” The grim voice says. The world started to shatter. The mountainous buildings now falling apart. Only their inner metal frames remained. Rustic and in ruin. Griffin stumbling to his knees at the sudden destruction and the sheer pressure of the voice.
“I…The Rift…I must stop it and any who use its power.” Griffin said defiantly. Returning to his feet, he finds veins of darkness wrapping themselves around the metal beams. As if strangling what little life they had left in them. He must not get distracted. Taking a moment to catch his breath, Griffin presses onward. “I am son of Circe. I must stop it at all costs.” His mantra was all that kept him moving through this dark land.
“Is this truly what you seek?” The grim voice asks. Its words echoing from the beams. The veins of darkness twisting and reaching for Griffin.
Griffin’s heart felt tight and the pain was excruciating. He tries to speak but no words escape his lips.
“Come…” The grim voice says softly. The veins of darkness inching their way around Griffins body. Slowly binding him in their darkness. “Rest your weary head lost child…” The veins continue to tighten their hold until there was nothing left to cover. “I…am here…and we will never be apart…”
Succumbing to the darkness’s warm embrace, Griffin drifts motionless through the void. The voice would guide and protect him. It wouldn’t steer him wrong. All he needed was absolute faith in it.
“We are Scuro Angelo. We are that which purges the light. We will silence it at all costs.” Griffins voice was no longer his own. It echoed in tandem with the grim voice. His right arm now one with the Rift Relic. It’s armor beginning to trail along the darkness and consume Griffin slowly. “We are Scuro Angelo. We are that which purges the light. We will silence it at all costs.” This was what he came here for right? To purge the light? “We are Scuro Angelo. We are that which purges the light. We will silence it at all costs.” Was there something else? It felt…odd…but it was so warm and comforting a thought… “We are Scuro Angelo…we are that which purges the light. We will silence it at all costs.” No…this wasn’t what he came here for. “We are…we…we are Scuro Angelo…we…purge the light…must…silence…” This wasn’t him. This voice is not his own. “We…we…” He must regain what he was. He must not give up. “We are…I…I am Scuro…we…” Fighting as hard as he can, he tries to recall what he had to remember. “I am…Griffin…Light…must…protect…light…”
Fighting with all the strength he can muster. Griffin tears the Rift Relic and his forearm off entirely to free him from its control. The upside to his senses being dulled was not being able to properly process the excruciating pain he was experiencing…some of it anyway…Too much energy would be wasted reconstructing it. He’d need it to keep himself conscious. To keep only one voice in his head.
“I will stop The Rift no matter the cost…”
“You would deny what you were born to do? Your destiny?” Scuro Angelo asks.
“I am my own man…” Griffin begins, his eyes glowing bright in the darkness. “My fate is my own to choose.” Ignoring Scuro Angelo Griffin sits down, closes his eyes, and begins to meditate.
“I can feel you….Searching….Looking for me…Do you believe you can find me and protect yourself at once?” Scuro Angelo asks.
Griffins resolve was strong, however, the more energy he exerted to find the inner reaches of the Rift Relic the harder it was to resist Scuro Angelo. “Your words mean nothing to me.” Griffin responds. A chill is sent down his spine as he experiences a new sensation. Something smooth and wet rubs itself across his brow. Gently feeling the curvatures of his forehead as another does so on his neck.
“You do not need to search any longer lost child…” Scuro Angelo says. “I…am here…”
Hearing those three simple words caused Griffin to pause. For one second it felt as if time itself had stopped. Was Scuro Angelo the thing he was feeling? Is he bluffing? What does he look like? How will he stop him? Will he be able to do it without Regal Paladin? Will his lack of Aetherial abilities be his downfall? Will his mind be overwhelmed by it? The following second Griffin opened his eyes and came face to face with Scuro Angelo. A towering jet black hound with its skin a mesh of flesh and machinery. Its fur covered with soaking wet tentacles with a sea of eyes hidden beneath. Its jaw split into an insect like mandible with countless teeth hidden within. Not even the mad alchemist’s creations looked nearly as horrific. Was this the beast’s true form? Griffins mind began to bend and the pressure he felt seeing Scuro Angelo was infinitely more powerful than from his voice alone. Griffin’s eyes were fixated on Scuro Angelo and he was unable to divert his gaze. Scuro Angelo finally speaks but Griffin can’t hear the words. The sound that escaped its gaping maw was too much for him to bear…to even understand. For a moment his heart stops as does his mind. Any and all defenses were gone in the face of Scuro Angelo. For all his confidence and ability…Griffin now knew how truly outclassed he was. All Griffin could do was sit and wait for the inevitable. Seeing Scuro Angelo’s jaws slowly open and approaching him…it was oddly comforting knowing it’d be over swiftly. For a moment…the thought of his mother Circe came to his mind and brought him great comfort. He could die with his mind at piece…