I did this quick thing while it was on my mind because I’ve been thinking about (maybe, very far down the line) bringing Clavicus back. It would be the fitting thing to do. We know Rei misses him, and how anti-climactic is it to have Azura simply throw that rather large piece of Vile’s vestige away? A tiny prologue first:
Clavicus Vile is the only known Prince who creates from himself. Barbas, a shape-shifting being acting as a sort of arm, Vile’s diplomat, his conscience and the balance to his whims. Umbra, the sword given a piece of himself meant to bring about the fall of those who foolishly used its power. And Rei Ginsei, who was given the most significant piece, his heart, to become the physical manifestation of his aspect of power. These creations are part of Vile’s being. As long as they are within his grasp, they act just as any mortal’s appendage. If they should break free…
Umbra was the first. With the help of a Dunmer mage, it escaped Vile’s influence and created a city in Vile’s own realm. Vile was crippled, but not entirely disabled. He would not allow Rei Ginsei to aid him for fear of Umbra’s influence convincing Rei to join with him. Barbas was second, when Vile grew tired of his balancing influence and banished him, effectively stripping himself of the ability to answer the calls of supplicants who weren’t near a shrine, and unable to summon his “toys” to suit his whims.
When Azura stripped Rei of his vestige – Vile’s heart – the Prince suffered a fate as close to death as a being of his magnitude could experience. He lies on a bed on a plane that crumbles slowly without his ability to maintain it. His loneliness consumes him, and his mind is possibly deteriorating. A Prince known for holding grudges has possibly found his one exception.
I heard a prayer. As eternity marches on, what would otherwise pass with a blink of my eyes, lingers like Umbra’s obscene city. I lie here now, disabled. Rejected. Smelling clothes that smell less and less like him with every second. Curled on the bed we shared in the plane I’d made just for him.
I heard a prayer, and I was curious. Every week I heard that prayer. Every week he left me souls. He was patient. For eight years he worshiped me, never summoning me, but soon his prayers turned to speech. That’s what made me fall. Anyone can pray. Anyone can flatter and prostrate, but he would speak to me. He would speak as if I were there, even if I could not – would not – talk back. He was lonely and upset. He had a friend. That friend who would ruin everything. Sometimes I think he just didn’t know what to do with himself. And at night, he would steal away to the shrine he had built in my honor, and he would talk.
That was the first time I’d felt the years drag. I desperately wanted him, more than anything. Would that I could traverse dreams like Vaermina, that I could have made love to him in his mind, that I could be responsible for the strength of his nighttime emissions.
I had toys. But none of them were Celedaen Aedeus. They were sycophants, mindless. They would never simply talk. They would never sacrifice so much to please me. I took the souls as he left them. Week after week. Year after year. I would watch him hunt and claim his prey with a transcendental ecstasy. Then one morning – the morn of my summoning day – while my star was still just over the horizon, I heard him! After those years of waiting, he was calling for me!
And I came to him.
I granted him his wish for eternal youth and immortality, but I couldn’t resist. I gave him my heart. He wouldn’t just be a toy. He would be my greatest aspect. My treasure. My jewel. It came with so much. Not just immortality, but invincibility! He would never die, ever, not from sickness, not from a sword run through his breast. I made him more beautiful, made him the beast he truly was.
White! So much white. His hair, and a tail. All tinged with red like the blood he so dearly cherished. Fangs to terrorize those who saw them. Claws to rip into flesh. Everything he could have ever wanted…except for his eyes. I couldn’t leave them alone. One eye to see at night. One eye to see during the day. He – who I named Rei Ginsei – was arrogant. He was gifted in many ways, and he knew it. Measures had to be taken lest he forget who made him a demigod. That’s also why I took his soul.
No. No, that’s a lie.
I took his soul to keep him compliant. I needed him. I needed his presence and his touch. Eternity is a long time, isn’t it? How else could I guarantee that he would stay mine? I never wanted to hurt him, my precious Rei Ginsei. I allowed him to satisfy his libido, that stubborn thing that transcends emotion. I loved him. Nobody else was allowed to love him, and without his soul, nobody would succeed, and he would never fall in love with someone else.
He was so precious, so eager to please, even if he didn’t know it. He would playact emotion when we were together, and when we were together I was so happy. Truly happy. The way he would kiss me, the way he would take care of me. Were it possible for him to die, I would have wished for my own death. I know what those people said about me. I know they said he was just a toy.
Maybe he was.
But he was my favorite.
It hurts, the conflict within me. I thought I could tolerate the seahorse until Rei Ginsei worked up the courage to slay him. With his soul mostly intact, oh, to feel him love me! To hear him say those words to me with actual sincerity! I feel myself breaking when I think of it. I should have snapped that creature’s neck when I had the chance! I didn’t. I didn’t want my treasure to resent me.
Sometimes I think perhaps he wouldn’t have. If I had acted quickly, I think he would have understood the duplicity and manipulation of a deadra who stole that small shred of soul. But I let it go. I saw my poor Rei Ginsei struggling. I should have acted and done what he could not.
It was but a flash, the time I was able to feel his love. The time we could make love and really mean it. I wish I could say my only pleasure now are my fantasies, but before I can even think about coming, I break down.
I could have stopped all of this. In some ways I should be grateful for that seahorse. Without him, who knows if I ever would’ve given my precious jewel his soul back? I would never know his love and his devotion. He was confused. He was confused and I was too harsh with him. I could have stopped at any time and rescued him. I watched him pleasure that stable hand. I watched him, hoping he would use his mouth, but it didn’t matter. He didn’t love the man, but he could enjoy his freedom with his soul. I could tell without seeing that he was hard and leaking that precious fluid inside that armor. If I had brought him home, I could have granted him relief. I could have convinced him to leave those others.
I threatened him in my rage. I told him I would confine him and keep him on a leash, but I didn’t mean it! I would have forgiven him instantly! So many missed opportunities. My precious Rei Ginsei, brainwashed in his vulnerable, fragile state. His instincts and his nature were being stripped. I should have saved him. He would have forgiven me for the things I would have had to do.
Barbas says he still pines for me. I send him to check on him every now and again. That seahorse continues to try and strip him of his identity. Barbas says once he saw him moaning for me in the darkness, asleep. I asked him if Rei Ginsei was coming for me. He cringed, the way he does, but he said he was. It gives me comfort, that in the night he still visits me. That when he does he dreams of our intimacy.
Who would think Clavicus Vile would wish for things? I wished for his love, and I achieved it, but only through his own actions. I do not have that luxury this time. I am broken. My heart is thrown to the edges of…I don’t know where that bitch of a Prince sent it. Would that I could retrieve it. Would that I could visit him. To see him. I am too weak to even do that. I only want to touch him…is even that too much?
I wouldn’t cage him as I’d threatened. Who could cage such a wondrous creation? It would be like those traveling curiosity shows the mortals view with such amusement. The ones with sabrecats and cliff racers, confined and restless. Taken from their homes to live out their lives in ignominy. I would let him hunt. I believed him when he said he loved me above all. I still believe it.
Brainwashed. My dearest creation. If only I had my heart back to give to him. Perhaps one day I will order Barbas to reveal himself.
What I would give to grant my own wishes.
Mirage has come to visit. He pines, too. Pines for his master. Pines for my sweet Rei Ginsei…