The Council turned to each other in deliberation.
The Dreaming, the place they inhabited, was lit by the fires constantly changing colours due to their tenders’ forever shifting emotions. Today they were bright green and smelled of fear.
It was directed to the small figure standing in the center of a large, acid-blue circle. Protective spells surrounded them, words leeching out the power of the one trapped inside.
Silence. Powerless. Empty. Compliant. The words, written in the language of the Dreaming, called Waking, were powerful enough to make every person and being in the room feel as if they were running a marathon. Sweat dripped down faces and the Council spoke amongst themselves.
“Read the crimes!” Michael, the leader, ordered. A small woman with pointed ears, one of the few fae-like creatures the Dreaming had, calmly picked up a scroll. Murmurs picked up as she spoke, and the name of the criminal was never truly heard.
But no matter. Everyone, may they be Dream Catchers or Weavers, knew what he was. Who he was. The name was no matter.
“‘According to the laws placed upon the Dreaming some years ago, it is with great displeasure we list the crimes,’” she read. “‘The accused stands with the charges against him. Assault on various members of the Dreaming, contact with the Dead Men, the murder of three Fae, and most grieviously of all, the charge of being made a Corruptor.’”
Jeers erupted from the crowd after that, and someone threw a stone. But they were soon quieted by the glare of Lucius, Michael’s twin in every respect but for appearance and personality.
Lucius rose, his blond hair ruffled by the slight breeze. “He is guilty!” he shouted. Cheers erupted. “We now sentence him to the harshest punishment a Corruptor can face. He will be turned to stone, only his mind remaining. He will be banished to some far corner of the Dreaming, never to return.”
None noticed the criminal slowly pulling out a length of gold twine. He muttered in a guttural language, making everything as inconspicious as possible. Winding the twine, he tightened it, the formerly soft thread sharpening and cutting into his fingers. He drew several small sigils on the ground, then drew a bloody circle around them. Quietly chanting, he pressed his palm to the drawings.
Arise. Attest. Arise. Attest. Nyx will come and the Dreaming will be blest. Arise, arise, my lady Olika, speed my travel. Let me be within the mind of a weak human. Let me corrupt him.
The sigils glowed faintly blue before branding themselves into the polished floor he lay on. A small voice spoke in the back of his mind.
Your wish has been granted, Corruptor. I have found a man for you to corrupt. Of which will you take? Mind? Body? Soul?
All I can, my lady Olika.
Then we must hurry. Cover the circle before it is discovered. The man must be corrupted.
Of course, my lady.
Lucius began the chant, a roiling thunder so powerful it shook the Dreaming. The Waking began to affect him, but darker magic surrounded him.
You will be with only mind, the Lady Olika warned. But the man must love you. Heart and soul. Can you take it?
The man threw back his robes, revealing electrically sparking blue eyes and a face like stone. His hands were still tipped red. Slowly, he dissolved.