Inside the Shell
rated S for Spoilers. really only contains spoilers for Seduction's backstory. this takes place in the dungeons & dragons universe so the spells used are from there.
Seduction didn't discuss how his spouse died. If the topic arose, he ignored it. No one questioned him. People didn't care about his life and that was fine. It was how things should be. It was foolish for him to make connections; in the end it cut him deeply. But he always thought about how he would describe the scene.
The event unfolded in the home they shared, just on the outskirts of Nephropidael. It was a calm, coastal city. But the beaches outside were even serene, undeveloped and inhabited by few. In this tranquility chaos ensued and engulfed their humble cottage, destroying everything Seduction once loved.
They returned from a mission one day prior. They had been sent to retrieve an artifact and had been successful. Now they awaited confirmation from their employer in order to make the transaction. A signal would be sent soon. Seduction waited with them.
It wasn't soon enough.
Seduction left their side in order to take out Guillotine, a magical lobster he had received as an anniversary gift. He played with her outside in the garden. Gingerly she nibbled at the flowers, making happy squeaks. The weather was perfect, sunny. He lay on the ground beside Guillotine, fiddling with her antennae.
Suddenly, he was thrown across the yard. It happened in one swift motion. Despite all his training, he never saw it coming. Not this. Not now. Before him stood two figures dressed in red, black eyes boring into his very being. He tried to yell, but was silenced and tied, then dragged inside. One of the figures picked up Guillotine with a grin.
Once inside, the two made quick work to find their prize: Seduction's spouse. They were where he left them, waiting on the couch. When the two burst in, they didn't look surprise. No emotion flashed over their features. They did not flinch when Seduction was thrown before them. The two advanced slowly, the one who grabbed Guillotine threw her aside.
"Return it," He said. They didn't respond. The man cast a spell, throwing her back against the wall. The other turned back to Seduction; a wave of fire spread from his hand, cutting him. Behind him, the walls ignited. He tried to shrink away, but the man before him pulled a knife and drove it into his chest.
As this happened, his spouse was routed by the other. She looked down at them and gripped their jaw. When her fingers hit skin, their flesh began to rot. It decayed, falling off in chunks to reveal muscle and bone. They screamed in agony, reaching up to touch the flesh. The woman began to smile, moving her hand along their face. The man had moved aside, allowing Seduction to view the scene.
She sent a jolt of negative energy through them. Their rotting face contorted in pain once again.
And they... died.
They fell to the floor, lifeless. The fire behind Seduction spread, beginning to devour the room. He didn't care; all he wanted was to hold them. The man ripped the knife from his chest. "I'll need that back." He approached their body.
The two figures reached into their bag and took what they came for: the artifact. Seduction couldn't see what it was. In fact, he could see nothing at all as the smoke consumed the room. But he could hear them slam the door as they left. He passed out as the smoke filled his lungs.
Seduction woke up on the beach. Immediately he sat up, frantically searching for his love. They were nowhere to be seen, but was he really surprised? The sands were empty, aside from a large lobster sitting a few meters away. His chest ached, he had no idea how he survived, and he had no idea how much time had passed, but he knew this lobster, so he did not care.
He approached as quickly as he could, but stopped some feet away. Guillotine was writing in the sand, something Seduction knew she could not do.
"I'm sorry I brought you into this. Please forgive me."
It was the first time Seduction spoke in what seemed like eternity. "B-Beatrice, love... Is that you?" The lobster gave a gargle of confirmation.
Beatrice's body was gone, for sure, but their soul remained entombed within the shell of the magical beast. They could no longer communicate verbally, though their intelligence remained. That day Seduction vowed to kill the people who did this to them, and to restore their body.