Someone feels like sunlight, floating on a breeze. Shifting, changing, burning without kindling or smoke. Something that moves by fluttering like a ribbon or soaring like a hawk through the sky. Once, but no longer. The someone feels... directionless. Pulled adrift. Tied in place and pulled by a tide and unable to find purchase in anything within reach. Unable to find form where they once had one. Fizzling awkwardly under the skin instead of gracefully dancing through shapes. It's strange. Uncomfortable.
Oh, that's not the right word. That's not the right word at all.
Painful. Yes, that's the one. It hurts. The word didn't come to mind at first, because it's such a strange kind of pain. It hurts in two kinds of ways, from two different directions. The burning log, when before there had been a living tree. A tamed candlelight, flickering within a cold and tempered lantern, when before there had been wildfire. The pain of being broken and the pain of not being able to reach. Of trying to tear out of one's own skin in some mad bid for freedom, of twitching strangely in a way that would have been unnatural before. The horror of trying to twitch in a way that feels right, and it not going. Of trying to breathe and not knowing how to anymore, and suffocating in a room of clean air.
One confusing fumble cracks a bone that seems too-fragile. Another, scraping too-strong nails against stone. There is something around the throat of his soul, and he can't twist free -
But he can stop choking himself against it, and then at last, he can breathe. The air is strangely weighty and cold. His limbs are both too heavy and too light. The world spins and it stays far too still. Something reaches through his throat to hold something like his heart, but there's nothing there at all.
There is only a simple circular stone room, with a man lying in the center. A strange necklace of twisting gold and burning rubies hangs around his neck. There are deep scratches into the stone beside him, red with lingering heat. On one side of the curving wall, there is a door without a handle.