Robes of Ce'lgon
One of those priests stopped by the village today, I couldn't understand a word they said. Yet...Cihue was drawn to them, somehow. They gave her a robe of her own— she hasn't taken it off since.The Robes of Ce'lgon are breathtaking garments worn only by followers of an unknown faith. They are not seen commonly, but have been spotted throughout the known world. Almost, it seems, with increasing frequency...
When one first receives their robes, they are fairly simple in design. These flowing, lilac robes appear to be made of linen— yet feel extraordinarily light. They are faintly transparent as well— not enough to fail at covering those donning them, but enough to give them a somewhat ethereal appearance. They are made of a single monotone piece. After a week or two, however— they begin to change. A teal fabric wraps itself around the torso, as a more saturated one wraps over one's shoulders from the back. Like a great tongue unfolding, a thick pink strip grows from the neckline, ducks beneath the teal wrapping, and lowers itself until it rests between one's shins— and splits at its tapered end. At this point, the wearer begins to hear strange, quiet voices.
Cihue asked me if I'd been hearing whispers in the wind— I have heard no such thing. She said that she does not understand what they say, only that she should continue to wear those "holy" robes. I suggested that she should stop wearing them— and she simply walked away.Shortly after, a translucent lilac scarf will sprout from the small of the wearer's back— and drape itself over each arm before allowing itself to hang freely between these points. Despite appearing loosely worn, this scarf does not slip from its position. Upon its back is a black symbol, depicting something unfamiliar to all who spot it. Yet— this unfamiliarity is alluring, and draws the curious closer to the robe-wearing individual. By the next day, thin teal strips will loosen themselves from the arms and legs— strips so light that they float like ghosts in the air, gently trailing behind the wearer as they move. The wearer's gait will become laboured, and shaky, their limbs trailing ahead of themselves— as if being puppeted by an outside force.
Cihue stopped talking to me, or anyone else in the village. She simply sits in her home, and recites passages from a scripture we do not know. No one has seen her exit for so much as food in a week.Then, the robe completes itself. A mask of wrapped teal strips is formed over the wearer's face, with two stunted horns at its top— each proudly accented with another floating strip. Once the robe has fully grown, the wearer beneath is a husk of their former selves. The covered portions of their body are shriveled and hollow— with fabric now filling the gaps where bone, muscle, and tissue once were.
More than a means of communication, these are alluring words that can lull the listener into a light trance through unknown means— as if they were literally weaving new thoughts into their victims' minds. Few are able to resist once spoken to, and none are able to reject the priest's offer of a new robe. The priest will leave the area shortly after, leaving the recruit to undergo their transformation alone. Despite this, all priests of Ce'lgon act and speak in the same manner, and spread across the world in what appears to be a coordinated fashion— despite rarely meeting one another. As if possessed, once a new priest has finished their transformation, they will leave their home and begin to wander the world to grow their number.
I begged her to stay, to think of her family, her friends— but she simply kept walking. As if I wasn't there. Her brother attempted to hit her out of anger, but something stopped him short of doing so. He went home looking as if he'd seen a spirit, and hasn't talked to anyone since.
Ethereal abilitiesPriests of Ce'lgon possess a number of strange abilities— most notable among those being their ability to survive without food, drink, or rest. It is believed that these priests could walk forever, without so much as a moment's rest. Any would-be attackers are unable to hit their marks. Each is chilled and halted by some unseen force, none have dared speak of what they encountered.
RemovalIf one wishes to remove robes of Ce'lgon— they must undergo a significant act of willpower to do so. This can only be done within the first week, after which, they can only be freed by third parties. After the first month, it becomes increasingly dangerous for anyone to attempt to free someone donning the robes— as their body becomes further integrated with the eldritch fabric. Removal after this stage often leads to death, if not severe injury.
Someone had to stop her. Someone had to remove that horrid robe— and I was the only one willing. I took a deep breath and ran towards Cihue— immediately grasping her mask, and pulling back in an attempt to remove it. It was eerily cold to the touch, yet I pulled with all my might. My muscles ached with the effort, yet it didn't budge— as if it were now a part of her. An otherworldly shriek emanated from behind the wrapped thing, as the floating tendrils atop it writhed in pain. A sudden flash caused my body to freeze— both from a sudden, eerie cold, and from the sight I beheld. For but a moment, I saw the face behind the mask. Whatever being now inhabited that body was something entirely inhuman— a visage woven of eldritch threads in dizzying fractaline patterns. What struck me most were its eyes— eyes that once belonged to Cihue.