Fan fiction:The Journal of Leoric
The Journal of Leoric, King of Khanduras is a fan fiction piece by Mr. Zongo, originally posted on his Blog This story was posted on April 7th 2011.
--Notes: The following story is a work of fiction created by me and submitted for the Blizzard Creative Writing Contest in 2010. The story is set in the world of Diablo, which is an intellectual property of Blizzard Entertainment. These are the journal entries of King Leoric, who was the beloved ruler of Khanduras, and also the victim of possession and corruption by the Demon Lord Diablo. The journal entries begin with his initial possession by Diablo and follow his descent into darkness and madness.
The Journal of Leoric, King of Khanduras[edit source]
By Mr. Zongo
Entry #1[edit source]
I am fearful. The last two nights I was visited by truly horrifying nightmares. My mind perceived images not of this world, terrifying images. Images shrouded in darkness and the burning fires of Hell. I remember them vividly, as if truly experienced and not just dreamt. The former of the two dreams started unimposing enough. I sat, alone, in a field. Towering, snow-capped mountains in the distance sat atop a throne of rivers and forests. Surrounded by flowing long grass and various types of flora, I breathed cool, clean air. The air filled my lungs with each breath, in and out, clean and pure. I noticed it eerily silent for being so windy. I could feel the cool touch of the grass beneath my hands and feet as I sat admiring this paradise of unimaginable beauty, like nothing yet seen in this world. This peaceful realm did not last for long.
The plants began to turn black. Not just dying, but being corrupted. They existed physically as they did before, only changed. I could make out what appeared to be very tiny diamonds or crystals, the size of a grain of sand, on the surface of the corrupted materials. They were few in number, spaced far in distance, but luminous beyond comprehension. They pierced my soul, demanding me to view them. I knew not then, and I know not now, the purpose or importance of these gems in this new world surrounded by unspeakable malevolence. The sky darkened. No sun exists here. The night attacks like a Barbarian in battle, leaping into the fray without fear or concern, and without warning I am surrounded by the arms of Hell. A city rises up from the ground. A grandiose city with massive arches, towering steeples, and all of it stretching as far as the eye could see. People are formed from the black mass of evil below their feet. They rise up from the ground, made from the same material as everything else. Soulless beings wrought with confusion and agony. They begin to slump around, moving in and out of the darkness, crying out to deaf ears.
I can see lanterns beginning to light the streets and homes of these dark entities, casting darker shadows in an already dark world. Fear creeps through my body like a plague. My every fiber is frozen in place by the terrible things I see. Suddenly there is a loud noise. A high pitched whine, followed by a bellowing explosion of massive proportion, it sends a wave of pain through my body. The hair on my face and head singes from the awesome heat. People are running, screaming in terror. Screaming for their lives, and the lives of their children and loved ones. One by one they fall, the fires of the city growing by the second, consuming everything in its path. The heat from the flames is such that whole bodies are destroyed entirely before reaching the ground. As I watch, incapacitated with fear, I hear a voice.
No, I do not hear this voice. The voice pierces my soul entirely; it speaks to my entire body, and ravages my physical form. The words of this voice are incomprehensible to me. I believe them to be of a language never spoken by human tongue. The voice goes on for minutes, increasing in volume and urgency, when finally there is one final explosion emitted from the center of this dark metropolis. The cloud of fire and unearthly horrors grows from the point of impact at an alarming rate, enveloping everything in my field of vision in a matter of seconds. In the end, even I am consumed by the blast. My body is ripped apart into thousands of pieces and thrown through the air, I watched myself die, expressionless. I felt the heat, felt myself being dismembered.
I awoke in a cold sweat, drenched in the physical representation of the fear that so recently submerged my soul in a lake of pure evil. I could not speak of this to anyone. I told none of this to my priests nor my Archbishop, Lazarus. To speak of such things would possibly be disastrous for the progress of Khanduras. We are at a crucial turning point in the history of our people, and we mustn’t be distracted by inconclusive imagery from dreams.
The second of the two dreams, unfortunately, was even more frightening and vivid than the first. I fear the images will dominate my mind until the end of my days. Immediately the horror began. No benign visual temptations to lull me into a false sense of security. Back to the city that was the site of so much death the night prior. This time I find myself in a kneeling position, as if in prayer.
Skeletons of the faceless masses lie scattered across the city; the faint echo of their cries for mercy rattles my soul. The city is destroyed, only the scattered remains of stone walls that once towered above now lay in smoldering piles, still taller than ten men. A few fires still linger, providing a red glow that flickers in the distance, casting deep shadows that envelop the matter on which it is cast. No light escapes from these shadows. Still, despite the darkness and depravity of the world around me, I see the playful flickering of the gems I saw in the first dream. They huddle together by the warm glow of these lingering fires, shining even brighter than before, although smaller in number. They are surrounded by the dark matter which has consumed everything in this land, turning plants, rocks, and the very ground beneath me into something else. Something unworldly.
“Help me.” The words are weak, barely able to escape the being who vocalized them. “Help me.” Again, the plea for help. I look down to see the blackened remains of a human arm reaching out to me. The skull of this poor soul glares at me with an empty expression. In the distance, other skeletons are beginning to move as well. Standing on their legs, they stumble over toward me, each of them begging “Help me.” I struggle in my own body. Fighting my limbs to move. Nothing happens. I am frozen in place, helpless to the oncoming mass of nameless undead.
They surround me, their plea for help becoming a deafening roar. I feel the first hand placed on my body and it sends a shockwave of pain throughout my core. These skeletons were as incendiary as the blast that tore me apart. As they grabbed at my body I could smell the burning of my own flesh against the hot surface of their skeleton bodies. Piece by piece they consumed me, consumed my very essence and self. The skeletons rejoiced in their nourishment. I am now a floating soul, baring witness to my own destruction. A helpless voyeur to my own death.
Suddenly there is another whine, like the one in the previous dream, followed again by a large explosion. The skeletons fall to the ground into pieces, silent now. All is silent. Then, a rumbling. Bones begin to shift in place, back and forth. They begin rolling toward the spot I once knelt, moments ago. As the bones reach this spot they begin to swirl into a spiral of wind and human remains. The spiral continues to grow as the bones collect. The winds from this terrible cyclone roar and scream. Again in my head I am visited by the same voice. Incomprehensible, and growing in volume and urgency once again. Louder and louder the voice and cyclone grow as one, when suddenly a word I understand.
The word echoes in my brain. Submit, submit, submit. Before I can rationalize what just happened to me, out from the cyclone, an outstretched arm appears. The arm and hand are composed of the bones from the skeletons that just ripped my flesh apart and my own body and blood. Out steps a demon of enormous size, ten times the size of a normal human. The creature is disgusting and hideous and yet bares my resemblance. It lets out a terrible scream. In the distance more rumbling, followed by what can only be described as an army of skeletons congregating at the feet of the creature. Then darkness.
Again I am awoken in terrible physical condition. I remember every moment of the visions I had. My skin still bares the sensation of being torn apart, fresh in my memories. I am tempted to confide in someone the terrible nature of these visions, but once again I am reluctant to speak of such things with anyone for fear of persecution or judgment. Insanity is not a suitable characteristic for a king, and I fear for my own consciousness. I must be strong in the face of these trials; I must remain composed in the face of my subjects and peers alike. Perhaps these are isolated incidents.
Entry #2[edit source]
The night terrors continue. It has been many days since the first, and I am concerned for the condition of my own sanity. In my dreams I now see myself from outside myself. I fear I am no longer dreaming but rather witnessing. My senses have dulled, but not just the obvious ones. Food tastes bland and diluted, flowers smell like compost, and all around me the world is becoming bleak and grey. Beyond that I have lost my humor, even my lust for female companionship has dwindled significantly. I cringe at the thought that I may be losing my humanity, if such a thing is possible.
Every night I see terrible things, each worse than the night previous. Insect like creatures tearing apart innocent people and feeding on their flesh. Worms and maggots writhing around the corpses of the dead. Horrifying creatures with many faces terrorizing the populations. Every night, in these dreams, I die. Every dream ends with my own gruesome demise. I have been hung, decapitated, devoured, drowned, melted, pulverized, and stabbed. Each morning when I awake I feel a piece of me has perished with the dream, and each morning my senses are dulled even further.
Another note of interest is the presence of the sparkling gems in the dark matter. Every night they grow in intensity and dwindle in number. I still do not understand their presence, but when I gaze upon them I am filled with a sense of hope, and also a sense of dread. The image of myself as a monstrous skeleton creature persists as well. The creature is growing, however. Each time it is large than the last, and more horrifying. Often times it is also wearing a crown made of bone. The creature has killed many men. Wave after wave of hero charged forward only to meet an unfortunate demise. I have yet to discuss these issues with anyone close to me, although I am also noticing a change in behavior in Lazarus.
Entry #3[edit source]
I now believe the beginning of these dreams was the moment a demon entered my body. It is the only conclusion I can draw. How else could I explain these terrible nightmares? My condition has worsened considerably. The visions of my nightmares have begun appearing in my everyday life and occurring with some frequency. Today I was speaking to an advisor, and as he addressed me concerning an issue of minor importance I saw the sky outside turn blood red. Through the windows I could see black clouds forming. Above me the ceiling set ablaze, disintegrated into ash, revealing the devilish scene above. The words escaping my advisor began to morph into the language of the voice from my dreams. His skin melted and his features distorted. His body began stretching and contorting, his spine elongated and horns sprouted from the front of his skull. I dropped to my knees and hunched over. My hands began to merge with the floor beneath me as I tried to scream, but not a sound was heard over the demon chanting beside me.
Then I hear my name being called. I look up to see the advisor looking at me with great concern. “Are you feeling well?” I cannot begin to imagine his reaction if I were to describe the events that just took place. I am irritated. The responsibilities and duties as King seem mundane and unimportant. My judgments are often quick these days. I am swift to punish by death any and all who oppose me, which is a dwindling minority now. I must remain firm. I must remind the citizens who is in charge of this land.
The advisor I talked to earlier today was put to death. I could not risk him telling anyone about what he had seen. I believe them to be suspicious of my actions already, such a tale would only provoke more treasonous thought within the priesthood. The only man I still trust beyond myself is Lazarus. I am still a capable man, capable of leading this country to greatness. I cannot let my own personal anguish prevent me from doing what I must do for this great land. I will continue to make decisions and rule this realm with absolute power, regardless of my condition.
Entry #4[edit source]
The demon’s power is growing. I can sense its presence more and more with each passing day. His voice calls to me, his hand reaches for me, and his images are destroying me. I am not sure how much longer I can maintain my sanity for.
I am weak. These terrors and visions have devastated my physical being into a laughable mass of human depravity. Even now, as I write these words, my hands tremble and my eyes strain. My frail frame is a shadow of its former glory. Strong muscles and virile skin have given way to a malnourished rib cage and festering sores. More often than not I am visited by this terrible realm of my own personal anguish. Still I fight, however. I must not give in to the darkness growing inside me. In an effort to regain my previous glory I am sending Lachdanan to the North to slaughter the treacherous people who speak ill of me. I will remind these wretched souls who the king of these lands is.
More and more dissenters among the masses. People speak ill of my name. How dare they? How dare they speak ill of the man who brought order and prosperity to this land? Wicked people, thankless masses of locusts that should be exterminated. Less and less I think of my priests as advisors and more as traitors, whispering their foul intentions into my ear with quiet desperation. I AM THE KING. I will proclaim to them such, and they shall not forget it for as long as they breathe the air in my kingdom. I will rain down upon the population a horrible wave of punishment and exile unlike anything before.
Last night I returned to the city of my dreams. The site of my rebirth. In the blackened world of dark matter no more flickering gems exist. The beacons of light consumed entirely by the shadows which surrounded them. And only the skeleton king remained.
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