Page one: the prologue
The Grimoire known as the ‘grey note’ brings out soul's darkest secrets and desires, it can sense within a person a hidden darkness in the smallest corner of their soul. With every name written in this plain notebook a life is changed, innocent or not, dead or alive.
Throughout the ages the book had been used countless times, often resulting in myth and legends. Witches, wizards, shamans and holy men were created from this very book, mistaking magic for something else that was supernatural. An example was Merlin, a ‘wizard’ who had used the book to change men’s heart, shaping a powerful and righteous nation, yet even he had succumbed to depravity and insanity, using the book finally to kill his enemies, willing to do anything to achieve his divine vision, while letting nothing and no one get in his way. He changed the world.
Now with full possession of the horrific and alluring book, sitting by the window, a young man gazed at the Grey Note. He wondered, fascinated by the idea of a supernatural book in existence. He imagined how men claimed and controlled their victim's fate just by writing their name down.
The night grew cold and deadly silent. The wind blew gently flipping the white pages of the grey note. Lance leaned in closer, surprised to find something visible. Words… Instructions, to be specific. They were faded as if someone had tried to erase them. The book itself looks like an old tomb, leather-bound with a wooden spine, giving off a smell generations worth of old dust. The front of the book is stained with red, no doubt old blood from centuries ago. Dabbling in Latin he decides to translate the instructions, quickly discovering it to be a rather lengthy introductory.
The first page was rather quickly translated, offering him a little chuckle. Could this simply be ancient pulp or some book written by a delusional old fool? He had read up on history quite a lot, being his favourite subject. This however sounded so…. unnatural… It even made him smile. A rare sighting these last few years. Deciding to give it a shot, seeing as he had nothing to lose, he decided to pick a human. A second later he had found the perfect candidate, his relative! This person had made his life a living hell since the day he entered puberty. Remembering every word carefully he began to work.
He penned down the full name and pictured the face that went with it. The introductory had been rather precise on that part, seeing as some people shared the same name, yet not the same face.
He waited for a long time, hours perhaps, however nothing seemed to happen. At first he was rather disappointed, frustrated even, soon enough it turned to chuckling and laughter. Had he actually believed this book for more than a minute? He began to shake his head and was just about to close the book when he noticed the ink suddenly moving.
The first and last name that was written on the page was shifting from left to right, words disappearing and forming intricate sings, symbols and scratches on the paper. Within a minute the once proper English first and last name had been stripped apart and spread out on the page. New words began to form, Latin and others, forming neat lines and paragraphs. The young man was quite taken back, his face pale and mouth dry. He tried letting go of the book, yet he could not. He tried to pry his own fingers of it, yet was unable. The ink on the page finally stopped, the whole page now covered in precise handwriting, symbols and mathematical marks.
It took him a few minutes of deciphering to realise that that all of it was about his relative, describing height, weight, sizes, age, personality, traits, everything. It was as if the whole physical and psychological makeup had been recorded and written down.
The page flipped back to the first page and at the bottom was a small bar, indicating the number 50. Above it stood the Latin word for essence; essentia.
When the ink finally dried Lance was able to remove his digits from the book, fingers aching and throbbing from the ache of holding it so tightly. He noticed several more pages that looked similar to the page about his relative; however all of them were blank in some areas. Did this mean that he could write down several more names, find out about another person, their physical and mental aspects? When he finally reached the last page he found a list of things, each listing several phrases and containing a number behind it. The list was almost endless, containing commands from dying to falling in love, each of them having a tiny sentence of explanation and a precise number for how much it would cost. It barely took any time for the young man to put two and two together. He could give commands and traits to the people who were written in the book, provided that he had earned enough ‘points’ to spend.
Was this actually happening? Could this book truly be the real thing?
The young man decided that there would only be one way of finding out. He glanced over the list and found a thing that was within his point range, yet at the same time be relatively harmless. He wrote down the phrase generous and next to it financially. The effect had been written down, next up came the recipient. He then wrote his own name and specified the amount that he would require, writing down the word petty. Next came up the word repeatedly and daily. The book waited a few minutes before the words started to shift, morph and finally stay put. A small line of runes was written down at the page and below it a description and the cost of the effect; -40 points.
If all things worked out this relative would give him a set daily of amount cash, little as it might be. He knew that this relative was quite strict with money, so even a little cash would be proof enough, let alone repeating it each and every day. Little did he know that this one ‘innocent’ command would start him on a much, much darker path.