Knife in the Kitchen in Shadowfire | World Anvil

Knife in the Kitchen

Upon delivery, you will not have much time. When released from this vessel, the energy will quickly wear off. You must take over the new vessel in those first few moments or you will be lost to the aether.   For me, that would be a minor annoyance. It means losing time while I prepare another to send in your place. For you? Well... for your own sake at least, do not fail.
  You have no memories of your own other than these missions.   There are hazy dreams you quickly forget when you are woken, but nothing lasts. Your Lord and Master is there each time you come to yourself, with your new mission. You are a Knife of Kustos, and you obey. There really isn't much more to it than that.   And who are you? It doesn't matter. You are the mission, and the mission is you.   This vessel is not your own, that changes every mission. Sometimes, like today, the changing of the vessel IS the mission. The vessel is just something you travel in.   You're not sure how long you lie in the darkness, you just know that when this vessel opens, you act. You act, or you dissipate and even the memory of this mission will be lost.   It is a small thing, but the mission is your purpose, it is all you know, all you are. That is enough to hold onto.   You are the mission and the mission is you.  
  Sometime later the darkness becomes a blinding light. This vessel is opened, and you waft out into the light. You have only moments now.   A kitchen. wide windows. Daylight streams in. A wooden bench. The jar that was your vessel sits next to bowls of fruit and bags of grain on the bench. There is a stove with a large pot that is belching geysers of steam. You hide yourself in the steam.   The new vessel stands before you. Short, fat and sweating. Stains on their apron.   They bring an old wooden spoon to the pot you hover above. They stir the soup, sending tiny eddies through the steam, and through you.   They bring the spoon to their mouth, and as their lips part their nostrils flair. You enter like a gentle breathe of warm air.  
There is this instant when you are not you.   Memories flood in, of this kitchen, that are not your own. Or is this kitchen just like one you once knew? But... you know that you cannot remember that, can you?   You are shorter and older in this other memory, scrawny with hunger, and your back hurts. But the vessel you are invading is young and fat. Your gnarled hands hold a long broom. The vessel's plump fingers are wrapped around this spoon.   No. Remember. You are the Mission. And the Mission is you.   You shake the other memory away as the vessel becomes aware of your presence.   The next bit isn't that hard, not now you have remembered yourself. You've done this many times. the vessel has no idea what is happening. You sallow them in moments and it is done.   This vessel is empty and is now yours.
  The smell is intoxicating, savoury. The soup delicious. You feel it flow down the vessel's throat and into its gut. You feel the warmth of the stove on its skin, and the sweat trickling down its brow. You fill the lungs and relish the movement of muscle on bone.   All so different from when you were steam.   For just a few moments you experiment moving the vessel. It is solid, plump with blood. Its feet heavy on the stone tiles. You swing the weight of its arms and the rigidity of its fingers on the wooden spoon.   You have one passing moment where you remember still the feeling of the broom in your arthritic hands. No. No. That is gone like the sallowed soul you have just displaced.   Now, it is time you get to work. Your mission is off to a good start, but this vessel is not your goal. Somewhere on the floors above this steaming kitchen, a rival to your Master expects their lunch to be served.   A meal that will be their last.

Cover image: by Midjourney


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