Less is more.
The reader will imagine enough horrors if you give them broad
brushstrokes to work with.
If I were writing this scene, I would choose to use the intermediary as PoV. The crone will be inured to this process and see it as but a necessary stepping stone to her ultimate rebirth as something so much
greater. The victim will be terrified and struggling, which the intermediary can observe.
Davyn approached the door, raising his hand to knock
and it opened. She always knew he was coming. He looked at her, knowing
the transformation was incomplete, but had altered her from the woman
she had once been to this vessel of power, this half demon, half
goddess who stood before him - impatient as always.
Glancing down, he said, “The amulet worked. I captured a practicing
witch before she could cast to defend herself.”
“All is prepared?”
“Yes, mistress.” He watched as the azure lightning cracked and they
were at the inner sanctum. Her power was growing, her time was near.
The witch lay on the altar, struggling against her bonds. She wasn’t
screaming now, a faint whimper as she saw the crone was all she had strength for. “Soulless one...”
The words had barely faded into silence when Khysha placed one hand on
the witch’s head, caressing the back of her skull where the mana lay.
She spoke the words and the woman screamed - a howling wolf dying in a
trap - and the silence fell. Turning from the burnt out husk on the
altar, she felt the new power course through her, melding with the
mana she had, both naturally and otherwise obtained.
Or something more intimate, from the victim’s point of view.
She was trapped, no time for remonstrance now. She had believed Davyn,
remembering him well, but he was changed, different and dangerous. Her
spells had been useless, her power inaccessible and she knew a fear
she hadn’t felt since her childhood.
Flashes of blue light, shifting along the spectrum, both puzzled and
alarmed her. Such power could only mean one thing - the crone had come
for her. Death was a woman for a
Unable to look away, she saw Davyn and something else take form in
the chamber. No, not this way. Her power sucked from her, draining and
slaying her - destroying her soul.
Looking at Davyn, she’d known him well, she saw no hope for her nor
for him. There was a terrible eagerness in his eyes that chilled her.
The creature approached her - had it once been human? Nothing remained - just this thing, this monster. It stopped by her head. She
could not move, could not struggle. Her faint whimper came from her
body’s recognition of impending death - her soul made no sound.
The thing cradling her head, she heard the ancient words rumble from
its throat and the agony engulfed her. A rending of body and soul to
harvest her mana, her power, her life, her soul. She screamed.
She was looking down at the empty husk, burnt by the power, that had
once been herself. Only her lesser self. She was not alone; another
soul hovered near, “No time to mourn your death. We must leave before
Khysha senses us. If one ever learns to harness the power of souls,
there is no stopping them. Come”
She listened and knew it was true. The fight had changed but she was
still a warrior, still free to oppose and destroy those who took power
beyond mortal boundaries. She followed.