It, uh, was, well... an experience.
For a moment it did activate, and when it did he could sense... everything. All of the plants around him, throughout the city, mayhaps even further.
The life force flowing through them, the whispers of... something, something indecipherable and ancient, yet instinctively recognized and known, if nog understood, flowing through the plants, the trees, the fungal webs below them.
He was the roots of the trees holding entire mountains together, the blades of grass spread across the island, below the ice and snow, within the soot filled cracks, hidden with the oasises lost within the sand, and further, the moss of caves both known and hidden, yet to be revealed and opened, if they ever would be.
He was the island, and the island was him.
It was amazing, breathtakingly beautiful, and an experience unimaginable. The only problem as he would've then noticed is that he didn't know how to make it stop.
Then the pain began.
The sensation of the mask, the feelings it brought had changed, now it was... not hungry, not cruel, but... impassive, still as 'loving', if it could truly be called love from this alien entity, as before, but now also... needing, wanting, wanting him, his body, form, and mind. To make him ever further a part of it.
And that was but the mental-inner subconscious portion of the change. The physical aspect was here the pain truly came into play.
It was as if something was attempting to tunnel into him, through his eyes, ears, nose, pores, and anywhere else that was, and could become open, and with it came more of the want, the whispers he knew were at some level a part of him, yet that he wasn't supposed to understand as he did now.
They were whispering to him promises, so many promises, that they would love him forever, that he would forever be able to bask in their sensation, that he would never have to worry again, do nothing but be a part of them, and telling him of how much they loved him, how happy they were that he'd be a part of them, that he could be a part of them.
He was just as suddebly torn from the sensations and their whispers. Finding himself forcibly yanked into a sitting position as The Collected, now recovered, ripped the mask from his face.
The thing niw monstrous, its interior overgrown with sharp tipped vines and tendrils, each dripping with blood, its eyes sealed and grown into a pair of writing, inward pointed spikes, its exterior twisted, 'wood' rotting and withered, it's leaves decayed, drooping, and dripping with rotted slime, and screaming to an intensity and unnatural sound matching that of The Collected's own as he struggled with the writhing thing. Keeping it from latching to himself as he continued to scream an endless writhting mess of incomprehensible noise, and repetion of,
Throwing in a final scream of, "KILL IT!" that was barely heard over the things writhing, impossible, eldritch screamings of pain as he threw it into the still blazing forge, and held it in with his own hands as it struggled to escape.
Not releasing it until the final tendrils slowed their struggles, collapsed, and turned to charcoal beneath his palms, and tore his hands out of the flames, each blazing white with heat, and sizzling with a strong smell of charred meat, yet somehow intact up to the runes themselves, and practically drowned them in the bucket of cooling water with a cloud of steam, and near whistling hiss of hot air.