Perhaps a hundred buildings. Perhaps six times that inhabitants. It is 10:00.
While on the surface all was silent, in truth, something far more terrifying was happening. There was an alien scent on the air, not an unpleasant one, that tantalized the senses for miles around, tormenting you with it’s malign potential, and with desires unquenched.
A horse broke loose from it’s stall, tearing apart it’s harness, foam around it’s lips, and kicked two handlers to death before running until it couldn’t move and convulsing on the ground, it’s heart overwhelmed, covered with a thick lather, it's eyes rolled back in it's skull.
Another horse, usually a well behaved mare, threw the maiden that was riding it, trampling her to death, then ran after the other horse until it too couldn’t move and passed out from exertion.
Two elven rangers broke into cold sweat despite the chill on the air, and began trembling as feelings swept by, their hearts pound against their chests like base drums.
And as the feelings spread, they only intensified. Wood shivered and warped, slowly at first, then rapidly, forming faces with the knots and grains that seemed to scream, but with agony or passion was anyone’s guess. Perhaps there was no difference. The trees creaked warningly, and the earth yawned, yet no one notices.
A small trickling fountain suddenly cracked open, gushing merry water from its depths, which began to flood the town, despite it being on top of a hill, yet the water seems as thick as treacle, oozing seeming a more accurate description then flowing.
Items left unattended began to throb with invisible tumescent energy. But even this passes the town’s inhabitants by, for it is nothing to the effects occurring on them.
There was an unclean trembling in all things, struggling for release. And it could not be held back for long. Inhibitions faded, loyalties dimmed, and the bonds of trust frayed and broke. Passion filled the hearts, minds and souls of all, unchecked and uncontrolled, turning a quiet place into a revel in wild abandon, an orgy of passion, completely uncontrollable. All they could do was guide it.
Glorfindel, an artist of modest skill who made his living decorating houses with the swirling patterns and designs elves love so much, became feverishly inspired, fanatically sketching and drawing, creating masterpieces far beyond his skill, that he would never be able to come close to again.
Then suddenly he slashed his wrists, feverishly painting in his lifeblood to better express the unattainable perfection of his visions, ignoring the lightheadedness as long as he could, before he collapsed, his work incomplete and his lifeblood insufficient to the task. He’d be dead in minutes, yet he only wept for his masterpiece that he’d never complete.
The physical tingling of desire is not the extent of Slaanesh’s desires, as the elves were realizing.
A minstrel strumming his lute at the steps of a gazebo suddenly opened his lips to spill songs of such beauty, so perfectly capturing unrequited love that the crowd who came to hear it wept, some of the younger men dying from broken hearts, before the singer chokes and drowns on the lyrics as she struggles to be free from her imperfect throat, no longer willing to waste time breathing as it would interfere with the harmony and timing of the song.
Calistan, a poet who had been working on a verse for nearly seven years, suddenly threw it in the fire with a wrenching movement and began furiously scribbling, trying to capture the exquisite words that blazed hot trails through his mind, capturing both exquisite sorrow absolute and unabashed desire to perfection, then, midway along the second verse midway through a simile, claws out his own eyes just to see what true darkness is like.
New lovers come together, then fight, unable to deal with the passion coursing through their veins, seeking only release. More then a few kill each other in the frenzy of the moment, while others come together again and again until they pass out from exhaustion.
As the passions of the inhabitants reach critical points, the world softens, assuming warm colors and gentle, rounded, glistening forms, while blades sharpen, emotions run hot, and madness flares in the mind.
It is in this moment, that the catalyst of these changes arrives.
Vaarsuvius, if anything, has become even less mortal looking. The black veins have twisted into odd shapes, sharp and lethal, yet elegant and refined. The elf’s skin is now totally transparent, stretched taunt over delicate flesh as white as milk. Eyes that were formerly forest green are now as black as the void between stars, and a mad smile, capricious and changing as the ocean is lit up on the elf’s face.
The face, too, had changed. The angles had sharpened, planes had come to the fore, and the chin was now pointed like a dagger. The elf had always been thin, but now was so gaunt it looked like someone had forced the wizard into a cauldron and boiled of all its flesh.
As the elf walked, life sprang up, grass growing rapidly and seeds sprouting towards the sun. Vaarsuvius didn’t care. Ahead was the wizard’s destination, a tan cottage with red shutters, and a white picket fence.