Cypher ~ The Unbound
Cruel Adept Who Consorts With the Dead
On a holiday in a rented cabin in the woods, Ash discovers an old book hidden in the basement. It is old, and wrinkly – there seems to be the faint design of a face, screaming in terror upon it.
Taking it upstairs, he and his friends read from it for funsies and accidentally summon demons who wreak mayhem upon the poor mortals. Ash is the last survivor, and strikes an agreement with the netherworld entities – in return for his life, he shall champion them, and feed them souls. However, there is a catch; they leave him alive, but take his soul. Ash now inhabits his corpse, doomed with the knowledge that once he dies, he will spend eternity in Hell. however, this has an unexpected bonus – so long as he siphons off of the souls of others, his husk will never deteriorate (from natural causes).
Another side effect is that he has a nasty headache that he can’t seem to get rid of.
Passing several years pretending to be dead, and secretly killing troves of people, Ash studies the book he found, the Necronomicon, and unlocks many of its secrets. One day, as he flips through the pages, he finds an undeciphered ritual, which he belives to be a portal to the underworld. Hoping he can find and kill the demons who doomed him for eternity as revenge, he attampts to complete the ritual, but due to the fact that he hasn’t translated it correctly, the ritual misfires – a circular portal opens up, its edges dripping blood in slow, viscous streams. Ash heads through it, taking the Necronomicon with him, and blacks out. When he wakes up, he finds himself lying outside in an open field, the blue sky above, soft grass below, and mysteries all around…