For the prompt: "Legacy of Kain, Janos Audron/Raziel: Memory loss - Lead me, I am blind."


There is something scratching at the back of his mind, half-forgotten, submerged, like a voice speaking deep underwater. If he turns his head it's not there and the feel of it is gone from him. He could not tell you what the voice sounds like, only that it speaks in a distorted mumble and no matter how still he stands, how silent the chamber around him, he can never make out its words.

He has travelled far now, doggedly dragging along his wiry body - all tight cartilage and clicking bone, wrapped around with the rattle and flap of dead wings. He has slipped through timestreams and stumbled through broken empires, from age to age and back again. And all along the way it has been there with him. A voice. A feeling. A memory that will not fully form.

It is not lurking in the shadows. It is the shadows - the angle of them where the pillars lean at odd slants. Raziel stands with his back to Kain's cracked throne looking out across the plaza and feels as though he should be seeing something else. There should be someone at his side, or perhaps in front of him and at times he thinks if he were to just be able to hold on to that thought then it might be possible to see their face. But each time it slips away and he's left cold again and frustrated, the shadows of the Pillars just shadows once more.

In time he comes to realise that he has someone else along with him on this quest of his. Someone that stands just out of sight, ever around the next corner, or gone on ahead into the room beyond. When he stands at the height of ancient ruins and runs his claws along the surface of faded old murals, feeling the paint flake and fall away on the winds, that someone is there. If he leans his forehead close to the wall it's almost as though the strange figures could shuffle their wings and whisper to him, had they still the power and he the ability to listen. Whatever they might say is stolen away by the gusting winds and carried up higher than he could follow.

Sometimes as he glides he feels it there with him – a flash of something dark that might be wings and he twists, losing his height rapidly and tumbling back to earth in shock. There's never anything there but the gloomy clouds glowering down upon Nosgoth's shattered visage. Still, there are signs in everything, there in one moment, gone a second later, like a cloud passing across the sun. Sometimes he looks at them for a long time before he turns away, others he cannot force himself to ignore.

He follows a trail of raven feathers until it leads him astray, so far from his path he's lost a day of travel and then, when he finds the bird, savaged by beasts and nothing more than a pile of dead skin and dark feathers, he's chilled colder than the Spectral Realm by the sight of it. Furious, he leaps away, the pounding of his hooves making a deep, monstrous heartbeat on the loam beneath.

He cannot understand it. He is not fast enough to catch it or strong enough to hold on to it. He cannot remember. Regardless, he finds himself standing in the Spectral, head tilted to one side, listening for words he can't quite make out. He sees feathers out of the corner of his eye, floating away on the breeze, gone before he can reach out to clutch at them. There are paths amongst the oldest forests of the mountains that he has trodden before with someone that loomed over him and had the sweet scent of incense upon their body, though he could not tell you where that thought comes from.

Raziel does not understand this strange companion. The signs that stare out at him from the walls are too obscure for him, like mist between his grasping claws. And yet there is almost a comfort in the feeling that he has been here before, that these paths and places should not be so unfamiliar to him. That he has trodden them in some other time with another at his side.

Deep within where once his heart would have lain, he believes that he will meet this other again. There is no indication that this should be so, save for the signs and the half-memories and the voice that speaks when he isn't listening. One day, the other will be too slow, or will pause for just too long, and Raziel will find him again. Until then, he will continue to follow.