Odyssey of the Damned
Entry One - Tomb of The Dead Jarls
Passage Through the Night
I am left with only my thoughts, my body hidden even to myself, ever a disorienting experience. My vision jumps and crawl without the anchor of eyes and my breath issues forth sickly and unfelt. The harbor gutters below, thick falling snow like a funerary shroud. Left with only my racing mind, disembodied, I question: was this the right path?
Some might name me a traitor; all would name me a coward, simply listening to the hushed din of my compatriots ringing out over the night like thunder drowned in velvet. I have left them to the blades of our foes – but much more stands in our way than lengths of fire-hardened ore. Mighty stone walls buttressed and barred by law and edict. Within , our ship lashed with rope, our sole escape from unknown lands. Between it all rests heavy the promise of a senseless death and empty regrets.
My path has grown dark now, cobblestones beaten bare by countless steps, slowly creeping in as the night hours deepen and foot traffic becomes a fleeting memory. The golden light of lanterns plays across the frosted glass – unobscured by the billowing breaths of the truly alive. Slowly and methodically I must peel the ghost corpus from my clammy flesh – the snow felt upon my skin for the first time tonight. Rapping loudly upon the door, subdued candle flames dance within the window, I hear foot-falls from within.
A thin aging man with no mirth answers the door, “The night is cold and dark stranger, why are you here?”
I frown, “Aye, no doubt. My company has need to leave this place tonight,” I jingle my coin purse as the heavy coins chink within.
The harbor master’s irritation slips somewhat, “Smugglers?”
Smiling wryly, “After a fashion, we’d heard about the ancestor cult in the mountains,” I gesture to the lofty heights ringing the town to the east as they flash a black deeper than night and a haze of red begins to fall across the moon. Feigning a shiver, I watch the man’s eyes fill with horror, “The living and the honored dead, they cannot exist side by side any longer. The Immaculate Faith will see war come to these lands – war heavy in the blood of sons and brothers upon hands that will only be washed with tears. My company seeks to relocate your ancestors far from this place and see peace return to your people.”
The man has become as pale as I. He ushers me inside to make a deal with the darkness that light may one day shine once more.