A Call Beyond
Chapter One: Time for Encounter

"I, Louise Francoise Le Blanc de La Vallière, in the name of the Five Pentagon Powers, following my fate, summon a familiar."

The girl spoke the incantation in a manner suitably dramatic for the occasion but with perhaps a little more wand motion than strictly necessary.

This is it. Louise thought to herself as she stared expectantly at the rune-filled pentagram on the ground before her. This is the day that I prove that I am a true mage of Tristain.

However, despite her words and increasingly hard stare at the pentagram, nothing appeared to be happening. A voice rang out behind her.

"What's the matter, Louise the Zero, did you fail again? Just as expected!"

Louise was about to turn back and give the speaker a taste of her mind but instead bit back her words and directed a meaningful look at the teacher, Professor Colbert, overseeing the ritual. The elderly man cleared his throat and spoke with a hint of irritation in his voice.

"Please quite down, Miss Von Zerbst. The Familiar Summoning Ritual is a sacred ritual dating back to the Founder Brimir himself and requires the utmost concentration." He continued in his more usual, calm manner. "Miss Vallière, it is not unusual to not succeed the summoning spell on the first try. Please focus and try again."

Ha, that'll teach you to interrupt me Zerbst. Louise took a deep breath and focused on the pentagram before her again. This time, it'll work for sure.

And so, she chanted the incantation again with practiced intonation but to little avail, as once again, nothing appeared to happen. Usually, when her spells failed, that is, every time she cast a spell, the result was quite explosive and whoever dared to laugh at her would quickly be coughing up soot. Yet now, there was no reaction whatsoever.

No matter. Louise thought. It is probably not unusual to not succeed the spell the second try either. Sure, all her classmates had gotten their familiars on their first attempt of the summoning spell, but they were just the odd ones out. In fact, her classmate Tabitha had managed to summon a dragon. That had to be unusual. Calm down, focus, and get it right this time! She spoke to herself with conviction. Louis began the incantation for a third time.

The world did not appear moved by her conviction and once more nothing happened. Snickers broke out behind her. Distraught, Louise looked to the elderly Professor once more and tried, but failed, to speak with an even voice.

"S-sir, I think I made a mistake with the runes. Can I check them one more time?"

Colbert looked back at her with kind eyes. "Of course, miss Vallière. The runes have to be written down exactly like in the ritual manual or the spell won't work."

Louise nodded and knelt down to examine the runes interwoven in the pentagram on the ground before her. They were perfect, of course. She had written them down at least a hundred times during her preparations for this day. Preparations that were all for naught it seemed. Surely, Professor Colbert had seen that the runes were faultless as well or he would have stepped in earlier. He was simply giving her a last attempt out of pity. Louise almost snorted. A Vallière being pitied? Her mother would kill her. Deciding that there was no point in mucking about on the ground needlessly, Louise stood back up, straightened her skirt and faced the pentagram for the fourth time. She spoke no words and made no wand motions. Instead she clasped her hand together in silent prayer.

Is there anything, anyone out there who can hear these words? Please help me, I beg of you.

Louise stood there for a while, looking the sky before facing reality and the pentagram entirely bereft of a familiar of any sort. She heaved a great sigh of resignation. Her classmates jeered at her again, but Louise tuned them out effortlessly. Professor Colbert placed a hand on her shoulder and probably said something reassuring, but Louise didn't hear what he was saying. No, Louise couldn't hear what he was saying. There was a sound in her head. Subtle yet pervasive, it blocked out all other sounds.

As if reeling back upon being noticed, the noise grew in volume. Louise clasped her hands to her ears but to no avail. It was as if the noise was coming from inside her head. Louise had no words to describe what she was hearing, it was a somehow sticky sound but inspired in her a primal sort of fear. A fear born from man's insignificance in front of a raging sea.

Upon this realization, Louise's sight wavered for a moment before she caught a glimpse of symbol. Yet this mere glimpse was enough for its visage to forever be burned into her brain: Numerous paths or streams of varying lengths flowed parallel to one another. Each of a different kind, of a different origin. Yet no matter the stream, in the end they all converged as one, going down. So deep down.

Louise did not stop screaming until consciousness left her.





And so it begins. I won't have an author's note every chapter but I thought I would clear up a few things regarding the story.

First off, the symbol Louise envisioned is the Caryll Rune of "Great Deep Sea" which is also the story cover image.

Secondly, while this is partly a Bloodborne story, there will be no beasts and no hunters. Only the cosmic horror aspect of Bloodborne will be incorporated.

Thirdly, you do not need to be familiar with Bloodborne lore to read this story. It will be told mainly from the point of Louise, who also has no idea what just happened.

Finally, this is my first time writing fiction, so any and all criticism is appreciated!