Veiled conversion

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By: Anoshia Posted on: October 27, 2006

[The following journal entries were taken some years back from an anonymous captive, written during his imprisonment within one of Mhaldor's gibbets.]

The 15th of Ero

They think themselves so clever, locking me up. Fools. They do not realise the weakness of their city, for I know my brethren will find me soon. Yes, it is only a matter of days before I am freed from this horrid encasement! The one who took me, such a foolish girl, demands I write in these pages, and so I will. But I will not pen the praise of her and her kind. No, I praise you Gods of Valour. Look down upon me in my suffering. Deliver me from these bars, I pray to you...

The 17th of Ero

Two days have passed since I last saw my captor. The land here is so wretched; it is no wonder the occupants are such atrocities. Surely such is evident through their means of torture. I appear to be elevated above a road of some sort, and all around me loom dead trees. No life festers here, though I can plainly see why! If the people do not turn you away, it is this disgusting environment. Oh and the fog... The sickly, suffocating fog. I could sense the summer months coming when it grew even more dense and toxic. I pray my days in this cage are numbered. Gods of Light, look upon your servant. Have You forgotten me in my hour of need? Please, I beseech you!

The 23rd of Ero

Several days have passed since I last tasted water. The rain on this island burns the tongue and scathes the throat... I do not wish to drink it, but I know I must to survive. My skin has begun to peel from exposure to the wretched heat, and my legs are weak from so many days of standing... This squalid fog, it suffocates my glands. There is no life in this barren wasteland, and only the maggots and flies fill my gut. If you find this, you must come soon... Across the road, a few paces away, the heathens have encased another victim within a gibbet. A man, I believe, though I cannot truly tell for welts mar his sodden form. The sorry fellow has succumbed to something horrific, and all night he wails, though I know in vain. I wish so desperately to slap him at times, he is a fool for not realising that he too is doomed...

The 2nd of Valnuary

I find strength to write to you, though it is a bittersweet strength indeed. You see, she returned today. With her were two others, though I could not make out their faces from beneath the ebon folds of their garments. One carried a heavy pail of stinking water, and the other a package. Slowly, they lowered me down. First my thirst was quenched by the liquid they bore, and the malicious taste of the foul substance was only ceased by the burning of my gullet. Next, through the bars she passed me what appeared to be some sort of rank meat, and I refused to touch it. But lo! She stabbed me in the side, and it was only when I felt I would surely lose my very stomach that I took a bite. The meat was horrid, unlike anything I've ever tasted. Hastily I gnawed on the chewy surface, barely able to keep from puking. And then I saw it... On the fleshy, rawhide side, there was a marking that distinctly resembled that of a mindseye tattoo, and I realised what kind of meat she had given me...

Oh how they laughed at my horror, the foul cretins! I will show them someday, when I am released from these confines and my strength returns! How they will weep when my blade draws blood, oh how they will weep!

The 4th of Valnuary

One visited me today, a younger member of their horde. He took to me at nightfall, when darkness cloaked the sanguine land beneath a blanket of thick stygian gloom.

I do not know his name, though he called himself Malefic. He brought me a small parchment of bread and a phial of clean water. Ahh, how good the water felt upon my scorched lips! I pray the boy is well though, for it was only a matter of moments before he was discovered. They seethed in anger when they realised what the lad had done, but I assured him that Light would spare him for his good deeds. They dragged him away, heading north upon the road. Lords of my homeland, I pray for a hastened deliverance. I too pray for the man across the way, for I believe his life will surely end in a mere amount of days. He hangs so limply now from his cage, with his arms loose and twisted, jutting outside of the bars. I had feared he had already left this world, but a vulture took perch above the man's head, and I knew he was still breathing when he was able to swat the bird away after it managed to scrape a piece of flesh from his wrist...

Is this the fate that awaits me? Have my Gods forgotten me? Surely I will live to see the Jewel's streets once more.

The 7th of Valnuary

My bones ache from the feel of metal. The heat is consistent, maintaining its excruciating temperature deep into the hours of the night. Where are my friends, my city mates? My Gods? Am I to die in this steel chamber, alone and forgotten?

The suffering is too much... I cannot last much longer now...

The 11th of Valnuary

I realise now that I am alone. Those who I held dearest have abandoned me, and the Gods have cast me from Their thoughts. Why, in my time of greatest need? Is it only through this wretched suffering that I see the true nature of those I've served for so long?

The land swelters beneath the crimson rays of sunlight. I grow weak, and my thirst is unquenched save for a few sparse droplets of fetid rainfall. These iron bars that encase me serve as my only support, for my legs cannot stand to face the countless hours of my caged life. She returns occasionally, though even my subjugator has lost all interest in my cursed form. Even now, as I pen these words, I feel strength ebb from my weary fingers. My life wanes, and my end draws nigh...

The 13th of Valnuary

I stand defeated. All hope is gone. Though I despise these Mhaldorian heathens, I am coming to understand their path, for it is only suffering that has remained to see me to my final days...

The 13th of Valnuary

The nights are short, though I feel a long, unending slumber quickly approaching. I pray no longer to You, Gods of the receding Light. No, my prayers now echo hope for only bereavement. I should have seen it long ago. I should have realised that there is no bond of brotherhood or bequest for servitude amongst those of my past. They deserve to feel this, this suffering...

The 17th of Valnuary Forgive me, Lord of Suffering, for my ignorance of Your power...

[The writings cease after this entry, followed only by a few ineligible scratch marks. I, for the purpose of teaching, will elaborate on what occurred next.

The man was brought down from his confines by his captor, and his body was riddled with signs of death. The journal was taken from his possession, and he was quickly clothed in a makeshift robe of sackcloth. For two days he was overseen, nursed back to some semblance of health on mead and bread. Once he began to drift out of sleep and could open his eyes to look upon us, the man was discarded in the Pash Valley.

His comrades soon found him strewn out across the ground, barely capable of speaking when they excitedly questioned him about his escape. Praise was sent forth to the Gods for delivering the man back into his friends' arms, but the festivities were as soon to cease as they were to rise, for the man would have nothing of his former life. He spat at them and cringed beneath their anxious eyes, refusing any offering of substance or medicine. It was only after the gathering finally relinquished and left in utter bewilderment at the man's obstinacy that he was able to craw away, and was found dead months later after vultures had picked his lifeless bones dry.]