Santos's Journal - Year 9
After nine long years the Cardinal has finally told me I will be going out on a mission soon. He says that there have been dark rumblings just to the south of the monastery. I will accompany him and three others to seek out the evil and vanquish it. He told me that I am not to engage any enemy, but that this will be my first step out into the new world. I am very excited to be doing the Light’s work. Prefect Leoht warns me against being too fool hardy and tells me that what I will find in Majeria might not be what I think it is. I always feel like there is something that Leoht isn’t telling me, he always seems to be a few steps ahead of whatever I am about to say. Sometimes it is useful, sometimes it is frustrating. I will be leaving soon. I know that my old village is to the south, perhaps I will pass by it on the way.
I cannot unsee the horrors I have witnessed. I hate Necromancers! I will kill every last one of them. I will hunt them down and burn their flesh with my new-given gifts. I will find them all and destroy them so they never find peace and they burn forever in the white fire of my righteousness. How could they?! My parents. Why would Light let this happen to me, to them?! Light, why? They were my parents, they never did anything wrong. They gave me to you. Why?
It has been months since my encounter in my village Melan. I am, I think, finally able to compose what happened. Cardinal Ruger and I traveled with another Cleric and two Templars who were investigating strange disturbances to the south. I noted on the map that we would probably pass by my old village of Melan, I might be able to see my parents again. I know it was selfish, and it had been nine years, but surely they would remember me. On the way, Cardinal Ruger seemed quite interested in my future while the Templars and Cleric kept their distance and to themselves. We finally arrived in my village and the Templars stopped, and said we were here.
I thought it couldn’t be. It was my village. I began to move towards where my house was when I saw it. A shuffling, mangled body moved out from around the corner. I moved towards him, I knew what I had to do: heal the poor man. It wasn’t a man anymore though; he had been risen. The creature came after me. I am only thankful I didn’t recognize him. His moans and my quick startling yell alerted the others and before I knew what was going on the undead were everywhere. One of the Templars yelled, “Don’t let them touch you!” So I quickly ran as fast as I could, finding it familiar yet foreign at the same time. I finally reached my old house made out of weed reed and clay. I quickly opened the door and stepped inside, all the while the sounds of battle screeched outside. I could hear the Cardinal call for me. I moved into the house and saw a baby’s crib and toys, which didn’t make sense. I now think perhaps my parents had another child after me, someone to care for after I was gone. But there was no baby there. They couldn’t have brought my old things out, I didn’t recognize the toys. A flood of memories came back to me. This is why the Church doesn’t want you attached to possessions.
Lost in my memories, I didn’t notice the woman sobbing in the corner at first. I looked over and I could tell without a doubt it was my mother. The second I moved towards her I felt a clap on my shoulder and I turned to see my father’s face, or what was left of it. I screamed. I am ashamed I faltered; I couldn’t do anything. I just backed up stammering until I bumped into the sobbing woman that was my mother. She turned as if she were trying to rip off my leg. They were thrashing and my instincts to run took over. I suppose now looking back, it is good I hadn’t seen them in nine years. I don’t know if I could have even had the courage to run from them. But they were firmly not my parents at that moment. Almost in a daze of nightmares I pushed myself back outside where the battle was still raging. I felt heat pulse from the back of my head and then nothingness.
I awoke in what must have been moments, blurry vision and all, and I saw Ruger standing over me, his eyes bright with light flowing from his body. I looked where he directed his Light and saw a figure in purple and black. The figure was shooting back with red and purple streams, the colors of blood and plague. I staggered to my feet just in time to get behind Ruger as the Necromancer fired again. Ruger began chanting and stepping forward. Then I saw one of the Templars come to our aid. Only he wasn’t coming to help. He was far too bloody and missing an arm as he raced at me with his sword. I readied myself for battle and his sword crashed onto my shield. It knocked me down and he tried to strike again. But before he could, Ruger moved his arm and transformed the former servant of Light into dust. He focused back on the Necromancer as more undead surged on us. I was able to defeat two. I could have sworn one of them was the woman who used to sell my parents fruit.
Ruger shouted for me to move and so I did. I could feel my heart leap and the ground shake as he unleashed a force of light unlike anything my imagination could have dreamed of. I rounded a corner until finally I was alone. Not alone. I saw them shamble around the corner, just the two of them, shuffling towards me. My parents. I shouted for them to stop. I begged for them to stop. They were getting closer. I should have ended their suffering. I couldn’t. They were my parents. I had to believe somewhere inside them they were still my parents. I am ashamed, I fell to my knees, crying, begging them to stop; saying that it was me, their son. They wouldn’t, couldn’t hear, and began to scratch and bite at me. I couldn’t lift a finger against them, I couldn’t move. I was uncontrollably vomiting and crying in agony. My mind, body and soul – all the things I swore to keep the strongest – had been obliterated. And I was being destroyed by my parents.
I heard one more shout and before I could open my blood-filled eyes I was covered in nothing but dust. I have no idea what Ruger did, or how he did it, but he stood before me like a beacon of light. He knelt next to me and took me in his arms as I sobbed blood-filled tears. He had saved me. I owe my life to Cardinal Ruger. My sanity. My soul. He healed me, almost in an instant. And though I could stand, I still fell to my knees sobbing. I swore to him in that moment that I would do anything to serve him, Light, and the Church. He simply took my hand and said “In due time, you shall be the greatest servant of us all.” I intend to be. I have a promise to fill. He saved me. I owe Ruger everything I have. The mind, body and soul he saved.
Back at the monastery I was put into a deep trance. I don’t remember everything. I feel a little more at peace. Ruger says I communed with Light briefly, and he gave me the power to destroy the undead with the domain of the Sun. It is something I will certainly use every chance I get.
It is almost the end of the year. The one thing I have taken from my experience is that my pain knows no bounds, and that pain will be coming for me. “Wherever the Light is greatest, Darkness will flock to it” is what Leoht says. He also told me of his experience with Necromancers. Although I perhaps want to end their destruction in a more fevered way that Leoht suggests, he said something that I do agree with: Necromancers are the most dangerous foes to all. For every soldier they gain, you lose two. The body they are perverting for their own gain, and the loved one who will not strike them down.