The witch and her wolf
Art from last chapter! God this hurt.
The witch and her wolf
Art from last chapter! God this hurt.
*; Nathaniel Grave » Headcanon 01: About + tagdump
Name: Nathaniel Grave
Birthday: January 9th
Nathaniel is a sorcerer and a witch-hunter. He is able to detect and extract magic from various sources, given they contain a certain magical affinity. Through his magic, he created a demon tool, Zofia, a sentient sword with the ability to detect magic. He created Zofia as a means to detect Witches and slaughter them. Zofia was born out of his hatred, making her a rather aggressive and malicious weapon. Despite being sentient and having a mind of her own, she can not act out of bounds to what Nathaniel wills.
When Nathaniel was 15, he lost his family to witches. He ran away with his older sister, but eventually they got trapped. His sister lost her life protecting him. When she died, Nathaniel was able to entrap her soul and keep it save. Later, when he created his demon tool, he used the soul of his sister, Zofia, to emboss the tool with it. Since then Nathaniel and Zofia have been hunting down witches, while not always making it out unharmed.
Mermaid Wednesday Pick A Card Reading
Hhhh just took way longer than it should’ve.... BUT this is the custom themed platter prize done for the giveaway I held on Twitter some months back, feature WoW themed food!
Terry felt infinitely more relieved once they were back in the woods again, the trees and fallen leaves muffling their voices. They went single file along the twisting, narrow trail, with Stevenus taking the lead and Katya in the middle. So far none of the other creatures seemed to be following them. With a shudder Terry remembered that first day walking up to Archon Castle and the way that black-robed figure had sped through the woods. Why hadn’t any of those caught up to them yet? But then, Stevenus had said the magic was different here. He was about to ask the Chosen One to clarify where Archon Castle’s rule ended and the lands of the elementals began, when he noticed Katya trying to get his attention too.
Seemingly deaf to her, Stevenus kept marching uphill. He was well ahead of both of them and picking up his pace.
He only slowed once he’d reached more level terrain and wheeled around, annoyed. “What?” He reluctantly waited for them to catch up, twitching and tapping his feet the entire time.
“How far is it until we get to that troll?” Katya asked in a tone suggesting she hoped it was several hours away.
“Hard to tell. As I said earlier, this map’s not to scale.” The trail they followed opened abruptly onto a gravel path nearly wide enough to be considered a proper road. Stevenus consulted his map and added, “Not to scale at all. I wasn’t expecting this for at least another mile.”
“I don’t know about you,” Terry said, trying to keep his voice as low as he could, “but I’d rather stay off the beaten path, so to speak.”
Katya had different ideas and began marching ahead. “Come on! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve twisted my ankle!”
Terry and Stevenus had made no move to follow her, so she turned around and said, “Let’s put it to a vote. All in favour of walking on a level surface for once? Raise your hand and say ‘aye’. Aye.” She raised her hand as if she’d been trying to get the teacher’s attention through half a dozen rambling wrong answers by other kids in her class.
“Aye,” Stevenus said, holding his hand about the level of his head. Not quite so certain as Katya, but Terry wasn’t in the mood to argue even if he could sway the Chosen One to his side.
“If we’re caught or something bad happens, it’s not my fault. That’s all. The pair of you tricked me into coming along.” Terry traipsed after them. The further along they went, the more his skin prickled and his muscles tensed. He kept turning his head to peer through the trees on each side of the path, convinced he could see shadows flitting alongside in his periphery. Granted, the trail was no different than the hundreds of ones he’d been on in various state parks, since his parents’ version of a gruelling hike was where every incline was braced with railway ties and the weeds were kept neatly trimmed. Yet he couldn’t shake this stubborn cloak of menace that weighed on him more heavily with each step. Even the sky seemed darker and the clouds lower, in spite of much taller and sparser trees.
Worse, he was suddenly overwhelmed with the sense they were going in the wrong direction. He tapped Stevenus’s shoulder. “Can I see that map?”
Stevenus withdrew it from his shorts pocket and unfolded it for Terry. “Why, what’s wrong?”
“I don’t know yet.” Terry studied the map and found the spot where they’d emerged from the mining tunnel. He traced his finger along the line where they’d scrambled down the hill, followed the narrow trail into the woods, and stopped at the thick dashed line that represented the path were now walking along. Down, and then straight, and then right. They were heading in a north-easterly direction as they should be, so why did it feel so wrong? He’d long imagined he had a compass in his head and right now, the little needle pointing to magnetic north was spinning wildly. He looked up. The sun was still shrouded behind a ceiling of impenetrable grey cloud.
“Are you okay?” Katya asked, her brow knitted with worry.
“Let’s keep going,” Stevenus said, “According to this map we’re going the right way.” They continued through the woods. According to the map he’d now committed to memory, this was the only trail in the area. Nor did he see any smaller trails branching off anywhere through the thick undergrowth.
The gentle slope turned more sharply left to what looked like a giant staircase. They eased their way down high steps cut into the ground, reinforced by timbers and thick slabs of rock. Though Terry’d seen the usual topographical markings indicating hilly terrain, this decline seemed to be way steeper than what had been drawn on the map. He could also hear water rushing somewhere below. He didn’t remember any sign of a river nearby. All of his inner alarms screamed, sirens flashing red.
“If the map’s accurate we shouldn’t be having to cross that for a while yet,” Stevenus said, his breath getting ragged.
The trail forked at the bottom of the hill, with one way going across a narrow wooden bridge and the other heading up along a stony crest. They’d been heading in a downward direction for so long, Terry figured they must be below sea level by now. They all stopped to consult the map again.
“This bridge isn’t on here!” Katya said, eyes wide, her glistening face flushed pink the colour of grapefruit juice. Stevenus took the sack from Terry, knelt, and rifled through it for the other maps he’d taken. While he sorted through the various sheets of paper and parchment, Terry snacked on some bread and cheese. Katya swiped a shrivelled sausage from inside his sack and began gnawing on it.
“I see the same river and trail we came on, but Terry’s right—somehow we wound up heading in the wrong direction. I don’t understand how, though.” Stevenus traced his finger along the blue squiggly line denoting the rapids some fifty feet downhill from them.
“What about those other maps?” Katya asked.
Stevenus handed a few to Terry to sort through, though they turned to be nearly identical. The rest of the maps he’d taken were useless. He scanned each of them anyway. “They’re either of the village we stayed in or other, more far off lands elsewhere.”
“So where are we?” she asked. They were lost.
“Let’s get back uphill,” Terry said, clambering back up the steps. He wished he’d been more adamant about not taking that gravel trail. “I need to find a good lookout.”
For once, neither of them raised any objection. Nor did either of them point out that there were fewer stairs leading up than Terry remembered there being. He could have sworn they’d come down at least thirty of them and now there were only ten or so to climb. A switchback appeared ahead of him, which he reluctantly followed after seeing no other path anywhere through the woods. It was as if the very terrain was changing around them.
“I don’t remember this stone wall before,” Katya said and just as he heard her say it, Terry saw the embankment of rocks cut to the size of cinder blocks and set into the hill on his right.
“Let’s keep going,” Stevenus said. “Once we get to a ridge we should be able to see where we are.”
Higher and higher they climbed. Panic welled in Terry like an over-flowing storm drain. He knew they should’ve never come onto that path—it was too easy!
At last they reached a level area with an outcrop that afforded a wide view of the valley below. “This isn’t the same place,” Terry said, his voice shaking. This wasn’t any valley they’d crossed, nor was such a valley marked on the map Stevenus had taken. No sign of the mountain with the tower and the red light, either. Yet they should be able to see it from here. “How did we lose that trail?”
“I thought you never got lost,” Stevenus said, a sneer lurking beneath, rising slowly to the surface with each word. “Didn’t you say you practically had a GPS system in your head?”
“A compass,” he said in a tone that hopefully conveyed, go hike off a cliff. A river still snaked far below, and they were still somewhere up high, but he had no idea where. If someone were to offer him a million dollars to point in the vague direction of Archon Castle, or the dwarves’ village, he’d be unable to. Terry was totally lost. It was a sensation he’d never felt before in his life. It was like trying to get out of bed and finding your feet no longer worked and your legs refused to support your weight, or the floor had disappeared. It was like opening your eyes and not being able to see a thing, even shadows or vague outlines. He began pacing around in a tight circle, feeling so wired he could probably power a city with all his excess anxious energy.
Katya stopped him and wrapped an arm around his waist, pressing her head into his chest. “I’ve been feeling disoriented too. Almost dizzy the past hour or so. It isn’t just you.”
Stevenus studied the map again, a puzzled frown on his face. “I don’t understand,” he mumbled. “These steps aren’t on here. Nor was that bridge. Which in hindsight, we should have taken.”
Terry felt the air compress all around him. Fear spiked in him similar to stumbling into a blind alleyway only to turn around and see two armed thugs blocking the only way out. He wanted to run, anywhere, just to get away from where he was standing, but his own feet had taken root in the loamy soil. “Stevenus, I—I—”
“I sense it too!” His voice shook like someone was gripping his neck and pressing their thumbs against his vocal cords. His wavering finger landed on a spot near the tunnel they’d emerged from. “So that’s what that mark was for! We’re in an enchanted vortex.”
“Vortex?” Katya snatched the map from him. Terry held one edge of the parchment sheet and shifted it until he could see the tiny black swirl Stevenus was referring to. It resembled a loose spring or a miniature tornado, and was only visible if the map was held at a particular angle.
“I missed it earlier, thinking it referred to something we didn’t need to pay heed to.” Stevenus closed his eyes, inhaled deeply through his nostrils, and held his breath in for several seconds. He exhaled and said, “Some parts of the woods are more enchanted than others. I should have known, once we left the dwarves, and especially after we came out through that tunnel. I say we head back down into the valley—we need to cross that river at some point, anyway.”
Without waiting for them, Terry began leaping and sliding back down the path. Let Stevenus carry that blasted sack for once. The reinforced steps were gone now, replaced by a delta of trails that twisted between the rocks and bushes like tree roots. Branches rustled next to him and Stevenus leapt ahead of him panting, “Something’s coming after us. Run!”
Terry scrambled down as fast as he could. A stone rolled underfoot, sending him skidding sideways into the underbrush. He grabbed onto a sapling, the bark scraping his fingers. Before he’d a chance to get back on his feet, Katya’s scream pierced the air.
“Katya!” He clambered back up and caught sight of a tall, shadowy figure speeding between the trees, carrying a squirming Katya under one of its arms. “Let her go!” Branches whipped his face as he raced uphill after her. She’d been captured by a being roughly five feet in height, but strong, and covered in layers of tattered grey robes. Terry dove, trying to grasp the trailing rags, but they slipped out of his fingers as if they’d been slicked with oil. Stevenus leapt over him and continued the chase.
“Give her back—she’s our friend!” Terry’s voice was hoarse. He scrambled after them, skidding on the fallen leaves covering the path. A stitch pierced his side. He slowed, pressing his fingers into where it hurt most intensely, though it did nothing to ease the pain. His lungs felt raw. The damp air stank of musty, rotting foliage.
He stared up and around, baffled. It was as if time had lurched forward into autumn. The trees blazed orange and yellow. Overhead, black branches formed a skeletal canopy of gnarled fingers. Rustling to his left alerted him and he spotted Stevenus, still in pursuit of Katya and her captor. By the time Terry caught up to Stevenus, the Chosen One was doubled over, panting heavily, his face red and dripping with sweat.
“A witch. Got her. Couldn’t. Run fast enough.”
“Do you know where she took her?”
Stevenus nodded. “Let’s. Catch our breath first.” He and Terry sat on a nearby fallen log to rest. His heart pounded in his chest and his body felt sticky with sweat. He legs ached. He dreaded getting up again but they had to rescue Katya before the witch ... He didn’t dare think about what the old crone had in store for her. He’d read his share of gruesome, unabridged Brothers Grimm tales.
“The witch. Allowed me. To see which way she went,” Stevenus said, still panting. “Presumably to trap us, too. Knowing we’d never. Leave without. Katya.”
“Just as well if we wait a bit, then. Let her get antsy waiting for us to appear.” It was all Terry could do to stop himself from racing up in the direction he’d seen them heading. Trying to convince himself more than Stevenus he added, “If we sit out here long enough, she might grow impatient and begin searching for us.”
He looked up and the grey clouds had thinned somewhat. The sun dangled in the sky like a chandelier crystal. It didn’t even look spherical, but cut from stone in hexagonal facets. He stood again, growing impatient. “I can’t just sit here doing nothing. Let’s go find her. And search for a good weapon on the way.”
“I’m ready.” Stevenus led the way through a dense forest of birch trees with their white, papery trunks. They’d just turned onto a slightly wider trail when the witch emerged from behind a tree, blocking their way.
A couple sketches of Emery, since I haven't drawn him in a while. Some rambling lore below the cut.
The first drawing is not long after the failed experiment that left him in his current state. He doesn't remember a lot about that.
The second is a few years later, once he's gone back to healing and has found a few ways to hide what exactly he is. He's trying really hard to be nice.
He keeps almost all of his body covered to hide his stitches and where he's decayed (he has gloves on, if it's hard to tell). He lost his leg a while after the incident, and has a wooden one.
The amulet he's wearing also helps. It's enchanted to mask his dark magic, and the fact that he's undead, from most people able to sense magic. It also gives him a fake light magic aura, so he mostly seems like a "normal" healer. It doesn't work perfectly, and some people can tell it's fake, but it's better than nothing.
Practicing my pony style so I can open pony coms! Im super excited cause they're so fun to draw
Tigger and Gaston
A gift for Fluttershy, and a first drawing ever of my new official sona!
Terry and Katya crept along the stone tunnel that ran between the various stone buildings, listening. All the rooms they passed were empty. They came up to a locked door and called, “Stevenus!” in hushed voices. They waited, called again, and continued. Just beyond a bend was the chamber they’d slept in. Sounds of splashing water came from inside the adjoining water closet. Katya hurried up to the door and rapped loudly. “Stevenus! Are you in there?”
She stared at Terry, blanched, as gurgling sounds came from the other side. Terry pounded on the door and jiggled the handle. “Stevenus!”
The door flew open and Terry leapt out of the way just in time. A red-faced Stevenus burst out, yelling, “We have to get out of here—they’re after us!”
He dashed across the hall into a room filled with writing desks set higgledy-piggledy amongst towering bookshelves. Terry and Katya stared at him from the corridor. Scrolls and parchment were strewn across every surface, creating a sea of yellowed paper. Stevenus began gathering some of them up, seemingly at random. “Grab anything that looks like a map—there’s already several good ones I piled on that writing table—hurry!”
Terry waded between stacks of books and found a sheet the texture of wax paper covered in faded black, blue and green topographical markings. Stevenus snatched it from his fingers and added it to the rolls already bunched in his arms.. “This should be good enough,” he said, his eyes on one of the unfurled sheets as he hurried toward the exit. “One showed a mining tunnel that should enable us to bypass most of the waterways.”
Terry held the bundle of scrolls while Stevenus riffled through some of his other findings. “I have to make sure I grabbed it before we leave here ... should be in here somewhere … I found another with most of the ponds and … Good—I have it—let’s go!”
Terry helped Stevenus stuff the assorted maps and papers in their sacks and hurried outside, letting the door slam shut behind them. The wind had picked up, setting both of them on edge. “Where’s Katya?” Stevenus asked. “I thought she was right behind us.”
Terry hadn’t noticed her absence until now. He spotted her sprinting out of a building on the far side of the circle and yelled, “Where’d you go?”
She ran up to them, hugging a giant sack to her chest. “I went to get more food.” She passed the sack to Terry like she was handing off a relay torch and raced towards the path leading into the woods in a direction none of them had gone before. Stevenus and Terry hurried after her as she called over her shoulder, “That salamander was spying on us! I managed to lock him in a storeroom but that lock won’t hold for long!”
“Thank you,” Stevenus said breathlessly as he took the lead through the woods. Their footsteps sounded hollow as they thudded along the dirt path. Terry checked behind them several times. So far, no one was coming after them. They continued running, leaping over fallen logs and exposed tree roots in their mad dash to get as far away from that salamander as possible. His throat grew sore and raw. Katya skipped past him, obviously in better shape than he was. It helped that she wasn’t carrying anything, while Terry was burdened with two heavy sacks.
They slowed as the trail headed sharply upward. “Guys, wait!” Terry wanted to find a vantage point so he could get his bearings. Since coming into the woods, they’d been running blindly. He was about call for Stevenus to find a lookout when the Chosen One darted right. “Where are you going?”
Instead of answering, he picked up speed. Terry and Katya followed him down a trail that wound sharply between a narrow crevice in the rock and into narrow cavern. “Come,” he rasped! “Get in here!”
Terry and Katya reluctantly ducked inside, following the patter of Stevenus’s feet along the dirt floor. Terry slowed, unable to see a thing in the darkness. He glanced back in the direction they’d come at what was now a sliver of blinding white light. At least no one appeared to be following them. “Katya,” he whispered as Stevenus’s footsteps faded ahead.
“I’m right here.” She took his hand and he squeezed her soft, warm fingers for reassurance. “Where are we?”
“Someplace that should be safe for now.” A spark erupted and Stevenus’s face was lit by the faint orange glow. A faint gasoline smell filled the small space as he held up the Zippo lighter. They were in some sort of mining tunnel carved out of the rock and supported by thick timbers. Several metal lanterns were hung along the wall from iron hooks. Stevenus lit three, handing one each to Terry and Katya and taking the third one for himself.
“I thought you gave that away,” Katya said as he closed his lighter and returned it to his sack.
“I had. However when I spotted it in a kitchen drawer I figured we’d need it more than they.” He frowned and adjusted the wick on his lantern which has been burning overly bright. The flames in their lanterns guttered.
“Don’t think you can hide from me so easily!” The sylph’s voice blew into the cavern with a cold, intense gust.
“Go—straight ahead!’ Stevenus rasped to them. “I’ll catch up in a minute.” He set down his lantern and turned towards the cavern entrance. He began tracing something in the air with his fingers.
Terry took Katya’s hand and fled up the passage. Stones scattered as their feet dug into gravel. After a hundred yards or so, he figured they’d gone far enough. He set the sacks by his feet. “Let’s wait here for him. No point getting too far ahead of him.”
“I think I got a stitch from all that running,” Katya said, breathless and pressing her fingers to her side. “I hate when I get these.”
Terry blew out a deep breath. He took a stiff sheet of parchment out of one of the sacks and used it to fan himself. Wherever they were, it was quite hot. He resisted the urge to strip off his sweat-soaked t-shirt. The air was still, and damp, like a basement in summertime after a heavy rain.
Stevenus shuffled up to them, lantern in hand. “Interesting. It’s not so easy for her to find us.” He leaned against the wall near Katya, his eyebrows arched in surprise. “The Sylph can pick up on sound vibrations of speech but is unable to see us any more easily than we can see her. Good to know.”
“Can she follow us in here?” Katya whispered.
“She can create winds to travel along, but if she entered this cavern all she’d do is create more air pressure which would make it even more difficult for her to move farther inside.”
The explanation didn’t sound quite right to Terry, but he let it go for now. He picked up his sack he’d and hugged it in his arms, the wire handle of the lantern digging into his fingers underneath. Let Katya carry her own. “Sounds can carry through rock, though.”
“She can’t get us in here and she won’t know where this passage leads.”
“What now?” Katya held Stevenus’s lamp up while he consulted one of the maps.
“A bend should be coming up soon. If we go left, it’ll lead us back outside and I’m seeing a trail to the outer wall that doesn’t appear to be too circuitous. The only remaining question is how far we still have to go; I’m not sure what the scale is on here.”
Terry watched Stevenus’s finger trace a line that wound between pale blue splotches, which he assumed were either ponds or a spot where the river widened around a cluster of islets, then past greenish crosshatching he guessed was either a marsh or a really dense grove of trees.
“Long way from any entrance, by the looks of it.” Terry studied the black double lines encircling the lands for any similar lines crossing them. He assumed those lines represented the outer wall. Learning about maps had been one of his favourite subjects at school, rendered useless with technology like every other talent of his. Even if he were to pursue becoming a pilot, machines and artificial intelligence would be replacing them by the time he was finished school. Putting that out of his mind for now, he pointed to a river crossing with a red asterisk next to it. “What’s that red mark next to the bridge?”
“A troll!” Stevenus grasped Terry’s arm. “We may be in luck! Guardians of bridges, enemies of nymphs.”
“We have to pay trolls, don’t we?” Terry asked, acutely aware of the way his mind had split into two. He now believed there actually were such creatures as populated children’s books but reckoned as soon as he was back home in his normal life he’d probably chalk this entire experience up to a fugue or a particularly weird and vivid dream. Presently it was his regular life of school and video games that seemed unreal.
“We do.” Stevenus fumbled in his sack. “I stupidly forgot to grab some dwarf geld when I had the chance. A pile of coins was sitting right there next to those scrolls I’d been looking at!”
“I don’t have any money on me,” Katya said.
Terry patted his pockets, which he already knew were empty, just in case a quarter or dime was in one of them. He regretted returning all those coins from the market. “Me neither.”
“Who said anything about money? I remember now!” Stevenus slapped his forehead. He eyed Katya, a sly smile spreading across his lips. “All you have to do is to kiss him.”
Her nose crinkled. “A lip kiss?”
“No tongue or anything though.”
“Probably not, but do keep in mind trolls are very, very ugly.”
Katya crouched by Terry’s feet and rummaged frantically through her sack. “Er, we should offer gold just in case? I found this velvet pouch in the kitchen that might have some.”
“I said ‘geld’, not ‘gold’. Those are made from iron. I sincerely doubt you found dwarves’ gold—they keep that very well-secured and hidden. You’d have an easier time getting at a dragon’s hoard.” Stevenus gripped her arm just above the elbow and hoisted her back onto her feet. “You probably found painted ingots use to ward off faeries. And it’s only a kiss. Let’s go; we dilly-dally too long in here and we’ll have elementals waiting for us outside of every exit.”
Terry gathered the opening of the sack in his hands. He tied it into a loose knot and slung it over his shoulder. Katya and Stevenus’s sniping at each other was getting on his nerves. The two of them traipsed after him in silence. All he wanted was to get home; he should have never come to Archon Castle to begin with. Okay, so there really were fantastical creatures and he’d witnessed things that defied all logic. Wizard camp was still a scam and he’d blown his chance at becoming an initiate, no matter how remote it may have been. He had his future in the ordinary world to think about now. The mundane world. The boring world full of boring people.
The air was stifling and he tried not to think about the various poisonous gasses he was likely inhaling. All he could smell was dirt and rust, which he hoped meant he didn’t have to worry about methane or any other lethal substance. The tunnel split up ahead. “Which way?”
“Left,” Stevenus said somewhere behind him, sounding as irritable as Terry felt.
The passage sloped steadily upward, twisting and turning sharply every few paces. The walls and ceiling weren’t braced with anything here and going by the uneven stone floor, Terry guessed this was a natural formation rather than a tunnel the dwarves had carved out. They’d probably widened it though; now and then the walls were pockmarked with golf ball-sized holes where pickaxes had struck them.
At last they came to the exit, a sheet of blinding white after the darkness of the tunnels. They stopped well before the mouth of the cave and waited for their eyes to adjust. Stevenus yanked Terry’s sleeve, his finger pressed to his lips. Terry had no clue what he was trying to indicate so he simply nodded in response. He pressed his back against the bumpy wall and waited. He could use a hammock or a nice, soft bed right about now. His legs ached. So did his shoulders. And his feet.
While Stevenus gingerly stepped outside, Katya crept next to Terry and elbowed him. Terry shrugged. Why did she always have to be so impatient? He ignored her and stared out at Stevenus. The Chosen One and leapt up onto a large rock covered in so much lichen it resembled target practice for bird plop. He held his arms straight out from his sides, raised his knee, and balanced on one foot. Seconds later, he hopped off.
“No sign of the nymph for now,” he said, shielding his mouth with his hand so that his voice wouldn’t travel farther than their ears. After briefly consulting his map, he pointed to a dirt path on it, marked by a squiggly brown line.
Terry leaned out and scrutinized the same path below the cave entrance. It wound down the side of the craggy hill, twisted and gnarled like a tree root, widening as it neared the bottom of the scree. Beyond lay a lush, densely wooded valley. A river ran along the bottom. Terry gathered it was the same river where they’d encountered the nymph, only much farther upstream. They were still too far west of where he was wanting to go, if they had any chance of making it to a village before dark.
“Ready?” Stevenus took the lead. The trail was quite steep, so they took their time working their way down, taking the switchbacks wherever they could. Every now and then Terry would lose his footing, sending stones hailing down. The sky above was a wall of solid grey and he quickly lost all sense of direction. The sun could be anywhere from high above at its zenith, to nearly sunset. It was afternoon, but he and no idea how much more daylight they had. They needed to start finding shelter soon not just out of the elements, but also away from the elementals trying to hunt them down.
Tajnovit - (Croatian) arcane, eldritch, dark, occult