Dream Magic: Awakenings
"I met Master Joe during a particularly nasty nightmare episode. He made me stop and
realize that death was imminent if I continued on this path. He offered me an out; it came
with a heavy price, but considering the alternative it wasn't a difficult choice."
"With his help, I hacked away pieces of myself, keeping only the clearest parts of who
I am. I died - but my body survived. Ironically, since only the clearest, strongest parts of
me remained, I could handle even greater power than before."
Mr. Smith rolled up his left sleeve. He flexed his fingers a few times, and the skin on
his arm turned transparent. A flow of red and black energies constituted the hand,
reminding Eric of the violent energies of the bear-demon as it tried to break free.
"With most of my emotions gone, all I had was my mind, which I was forced to hone
even more to contain the power flowing within. I turned my understanding into a benign
prison for myself, and that allowed me to live the way you see me today."
Mr. Smith rolled up the other sleeve of his suit and let the skin on his hand turn
Eric saw a black swarm composing that hand. Bugs? He strained his eyes. Symbols?!
He saw letters form words, numbers jump in and out of equations, and other symbols he
knew not what they meant or how they were interacting. They flowed with a staggered
motion in and out of Mr. Smith's body, forming the black hand shape that was visible.
"As you can see, symbol-weaving is very important to me, as it keeps me from losing
control and bursting out in flames."
Mr. Smith rolled down his sleeves and clutched his hands. The violent energies
meshed with the myriad symbols, and his skin rematerialized.
"The reason I shared my tale with you is because I see a similar hunger for power in
the three of you. If you continue on paths of power, work on self-discipline, since only
you can save you from yourself. Keep your ambition in check, and you won't fall into the
same trap I did."