I'd not attempted this spell before, but I'd known how to do it since my mind magic affinity skill had ranked up. Essentially, the spell allowed the wielder to invade the mind of the other. Garralosh had almost successfully done something similar with pure, raw emotion, but my attempt was more sophisticated. Since she had opened herself up by exploding across the bridge, I'd be a fool to throw away the opportunity. Matching the titanic croc physically was impossible, I needed to use other methods and this could be my silver bullet.
Borne on a gleaming craft of pure mind mana, my consciousness crossed the bridge and plunged deep into the turbulent waters of Garalosh's mind. It's a weird sensation, I have to say. My body fades away from my thoughts and I no longer receive feeling or sensation from it, the pains aches and general rush of sensory information is gone and the universe turns black.
Then like a diver knifing into water I pierce the barrier around my enemies thoughts and I'm beset on all sides by her emotions. Let me get this out of the way. She's nuts. It's madness in here! All around I sense violent, roiling emotions that smash into the spell that shields my mind. Flashes of memory appear and disappear with explosive speed, each one a shard that stabs toward me in an attempt to hurt and maim.
I see Garralosh, large and powerful, feasting on the broken remains of a gigantic, multi-headed centipede. Wounds cover her frame but the exultation of victory burns in her chest as she gulps down the Biomass.
A flash and then another memory surfaces.
Croca-Beasts quiver in fear as I look down on them through their mother's eyes. All she feels is rage, hunger and drag on her soul that never seems to cease. Beneath her front feet, pinned to the floor is a commander, heavily wounded. With a savage twist of her claws, its life is over and it's time to feast.
A human wields a massive axe like an extension of his own body, his movements powerful and fluid. He's impossibly strong and batters Garralosh away when she pushes close. Her mind is afire with hate and a desperate, frantic yearning. She's so close. The deep tunnels are just beyond her reach! With flash, the human vanishes from her sight but an explosion of pain shatters her mind and looking down, one of her limbs is gone.
I shove these memory shards away and push deeper, my spell plunges further into the recesses of her mind. I feel like a ship's captain sailing directly into the teeth of a hurricane. The further I go, the more her memories batter me and try to drag me down. But I press forward. If I can get deep enough I can seize her mind. In the best case scenario I'll be able to seize control of her body. She won't be able to move a muscle whilst I chop her down. It's risky, but any way of fighting her is risky!
A giant lizard with attendants on either side stands fearlessly before her might. An offer is made, a bargain is struck. Garralosh can barely understand it, her mind no longer used to moving in such convoluted ways. She needs to eat. She needs to go deeper. That is all she can understand.
My perception grows darker as I descend, like a stone sinking to the bottom of a pond. More memories assault me. Endless scenes of hunting, of killing and feasting. I see Garralosh grow younger and younger as I go further back. Less evolved, smaller. Desperate battle after desperate battle flashes past. Her life an endless stream of fights where her life was on the line. She was wounded severely countless times, but always emerged victorious.
I can feel my vessel starting to crack under the pressure, but I don't think I can go back. Would the spell even make it? I don't know! Part of me is worried, but the other part has become fascinated by the incredible scenes I'm seeing. I want to know more!
There are other memories beginning to surface now. Long buried, they are washed out and faded. Perhaps only my mental assault was able to bring these out at all. How long had it been since Garralosh thought of herself as a human? Perhaps at some point she had simply begun to imagine that she had never had another life, that she had always been a monster.
But deep in her mind, she remembers.
I see a girl, a young woman really. Perhaps in her twenties? There is anger and fear in her. She lashes out, a knife in her hand. Red splashes and she runs, laughing, crying. She doesn't get far, she's cornered. They're angry, but she doesn't care. She tries to push through. Black.
Even further back.
She's younger now. It looks like she's in a school? I can see kids in uniforms, regular classrooms. It's confusing. It doesn't look as if Garralosh lived on Earth much earlier than I did. Things look outdated, sure. I don't see any computers. But it isn't as if it's the eighteen hundreds or anything. More like the eighties…
Yikes! Judging by that guys hair, this has to be the eighties. That's weird! Does this mean time flows differently between Pangera and Earth? Or perhaps our souls have been held by the System, unconscious in a state of limbo until we get seeded into the Dungeon? Maybe I died and just slept for hundreds of years!
Focus Anthony. Got stuff to do right now. Have the existential crises later.
The world through Garralosh's eyes is grey, isolated and threatening. She flinches away from people. Except when they come for her, then she moves toward. I can see why Gandalf made her a crocodile. Her bite was pretty savage even as a human…. Yeouch.
The fatigue is real. It's been a desperate struggle to get this far and frankly, if it weren't for the support of the Collective Will Vestibule, still trickling energy into me, I'd be in far worse shape.
But I've made it. Hovering before me in the dark is a sphere of pure white. I reach out, and I seize it.
[You really should've spent some more points on Will.]
My advice doesn't seem to go down too well. The thing that embodies Garralosh in this strange blank space we find ourselves in, thrashes and twists like a mad thing in my grasp, desperate to rend, to tear, to bite!
[Steady now,] I command and bring my mind to bear to force her to be still.
She fights me the whole way. Even after I manage to get her still, she still writhes with rebellious energy. How long has it been, I wonder, since she wasn't in control?
[Let's have a chat.]