Fear and Vyodiea
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The band of travelers sat around a whimpering fire in the dead of night, as the chorus of the midnight woods encircled them.

"It's customary, I believe, to tell ghost stories whilst sitting 'round a campfire with company." said the Academic.

"Aye," agreed the Warrior, "I've been with a few unhappy bands, nestled around a dying embers in the mid of night. I 'ave a few tales I've picked up over the years."

"What a spiritless process." said the Loner, flicking whatever he could find into the faltering flames before him. "Tell ourselves fairytales to take our minds of the true horrors of our world? Nay, we must talk about something more worldly whilst sitting 'round a campfire."

"And what do you have in mind?" asked the Academic.

"Each soul gathered here tonight should elect to tell the others their greatest fear." said the Loner.

The Warrior and the Academic called out in disapproval, turning to the Hero staring solemnly up into the illuminated sky for concurrence.

"He is right." said the Hero, to the shock of the others. "We must take this opportunity to know each other better."

All turned to look at The Loner. As it was his idea, he was expected to begin.

"My greatest fear," said the Loner, "Is that I will never find something which makes me feel truly fulfilled."

"My greatest fear," said the Academic, "Is that one way or another, I will one day be incapable of learning anymore."

"My greatest fear," said the Warrior, "Is that the cause which I have dedicated my whole world to may be a ridiculous one."

All turned to look at the Hero, who had not yet said her piece.

"The Vyodiea." Said the Hero, and the music of the forest seemed to falter at the sound of that name.

The Loner, the Academic, and the Warrior turned to look at each other, unsure of what manner of entity the Hero spoke of.

"Although I may die in my quest for justice, I know my actions and friendships shall outlast me, at least for a time. I existed, and I fought to make the world better for those who came after me, and so death does not scare me so much." said the Hero. "But the Vyodiea can change all that. They are incomprehensible beasts from beyond our worlds, ones which our mortal eyes cannot truly comprehend. They latch on to stories, like ticks to a deer, and begin erasing the story, from the ground up."

"I don't quite understand," said the Academic. "What do you mean when you say 'erase one's story'?"

"It starts when your parents first learned of your inception," said the Hero. "the Vyodiea, after attaching itself, will modify the stories of those who intersected with your own- your parents, in this case, so that you were never a part of it. That realization is replaced with something else, and that something else becomes the way events truly unfolded, to all except you. The Vyodiea begins working its way up your story, untangling it from the stories of other creatures, erasing your memory from all who've ever known you.

Then, your parents realize that they cannot remember your birth. They can remember all of your subsequent birthday celebrations, but when they think about they day you should have been born, they can agree that your mother was in the hospital with a bad case of pneumonia, and was in fact never pregnant before this time. All those who should, realistically, remember this event; the grandparents, the siblings, the close friends, they all have the same story.

Not even death can stop the Vyodiea, as your story continues on after. Eventually, and inevitably, the Voyodiea catches up to the current chapter of its victim's story, and it's as if they never existed at all."

"Ho," said the Loner "I thought we agreed that we weren't to tell ghost stories."

"What I told was no tall tale." said the Hero.

"But should your story be true," said the Academic, "How would such a creature be known? Surely, if the creatures is as you said, it would erase any knowledge of its own existence."

"Astute as always." said the Hero "Yes, we don't know who or what we've lost to the Vyodiea, but the beasts have one enemy which keeps their evil known."

"And what manor of creature would that be?" asked the Loner.

"The Lady of Locusts herself," said the Hero. "A mysterious being of millions- Nay, trillions of minds. Legends say she has 5 Vyodiea attached to her secondary minds."

"But how would one know such a thing?" asked the Academic.

"Because all of her minds know of each other," said The Hero "And all of her minds know of all of her minds of the past. The Vyodiea must unravel their stories from the stories of countless others, while their stories continue to become entangled with future generations of the Lady's swarm. The Lady does her best to keep alive the memories of those lost to the Vyodiea."

"You speak as though you know her." said the Warrior.

"I do," said the Hero. "She is my patron. She found me after I lost someone to the Vyodiea. 'The Heart', she was called. I have no memories of her, but I have the stories of her as given to me by the Lady."

"I'm sorry." said the Loner. "I did not realize."

"Worry not." said the Hero. "Come, let's talk of something more cheerful before we bed."

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