FROM: First Sergeant Alexander Rahl
RE: The Boy and The Dark
Alexander huddled in the corner of his tiny cell wishing
that the torturers would just let him die.
But no, Kishara wanted her five champions back.
He wasn’t sure how long he had been down here; days, weeks,
months, it was hard to judge time when living in complete
darkness and isolation. This night was the first time he
had ever actually seen his cell. They had given him the
cheap torch as a gift for his cooperation. Alexander knew
that today marked the beginning of the end for him. These
daily sessions were taking their toll, and today he broke a
little bit and told the torturer everything he wanted to
know about he Battle of Fendark. The pain was just too
much for too long, and he knew that it would just be a
matter of time before the torturer managed to make him give
up a ring or two.
And Alexander did so love the light.
He warmed his hands near the torch, used it to see around
his tiny little world; a place that up to today he had only
felt by groping about in the darkness. The light made him
happy, and he knew that they would keep giving him things
as long as he cooperated.
“Reason in desperation is not reason at all.” Kironius
Mengst said that. But Alexander didn’t care. He had
destroyed the five champions once, why not give them the
rings, escape, and do it again?
He closed his eyes tightly, trying to forget he ever
entertained the thought.
While exploring his home, Alexander noticed some etchings
on the wall. He took his torch and cleaned some of the dirt
and grime away from the old writings. What he found bore
its way into his very soul.
I WILL NOT SUCCUMB!
Alexander stared at the words for what must have been
hours, letting their meanings and origins seep into his
bones. He took some water from the chamberpot and washed
what remained of the years of filth and grime away from the
words until they were clear against the stone and he stared
some more. He traced each word with his fingertips, trying
to confirm that it was real and not some sort of trick.
Alexander took a deep breath and steeled himself against
his own despair. He tossed his “gift” of light into the
chamberpot, plunging the room back into darkness.
Once again under the stifling veil of absolute night, he
pressed his cheek against the words on the wall, trying to
draw strength from the admonition that his dearest friend
had scrawled in defiance years before while suffering these
“I will not succumb!” he whispered harshly to himself.
He refused to let the guards hear him cry.
In another world far away, Silent slept fitfully, dreaming
of the horrors of Tablenhelm’s prisons.