“This is a list of potential candidates,” Richenda said. She drew close, her body a pale lithe nightmare in the stark light, beautiful and terrible. “Powerful mages, sorcerers, and wizards all. They have all suffered tragedies, and only they have the necessary power to create what I desire.”

The Weaper took the list, scrawled in a delicate and flowing hand. “Why not do it yourself? I don’t need to tell you how powerful you are. A soul transfer should be simple as winking.”

Richenda tossed her head, with a fan of stringy midnight hair splaying across the light. “If it were a mind transfer, or awakening a dead body, or even summoning an Abyssal, it would be,” she said. “But to transfer a soul? That requires not only power, but a deep and abiding love.“

“Hmph,” said the Weaper. “Surely there is someone you feel that for.”

Richenda whirled, a dangerous look in her eye. “Perhaps there was,” she said, sadly. “Perhaps there is,” she added, with a playful note. “Perhaps there will be,” she finished, playing her hand across the Weaper’s chest. “But…”

“But?”

Richenda took hold of the assassin’s belt, hanging crosswise and filled with throwing knives, and lifted. Blood ran from her hand, but she only laughed her stale cannibal breath as the Weaper pitched and moaned, strangled by the belt that held them aloft.

“But I do not care to sacrifice such a person, whether they be past, present or future!” She bellowed. “I have sacrificed enough, wouldn’t you say?”

“Y-yes,” choked the Weaper. “N-no…”

Richenda flung her assassin across the room with a strength that belied her thinness, her paleness. “It doesn’t matter what you say or what you think,” she continued. “I will enter the mistress’s sanctum, and I will have what is inside, if I must devour the Quitch herself to do it! And you will carry out my instructions without another question, or I will do it myself after I have had my fill of you, is that clear?”

The Weaper sat up, choking. “Crystal.”

“Good,” said Richenda. “It needn’t be anything fancy. A human body with a human mind and a nonhuman soul. The crystal I’ve given you will tell you for sure. And when you find them, make sure that they are the sole survivor.”

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