I will not survive this.
Only a few days have a I been released from prison, and already the sins of Blackheart have come down on me harder than I could imagine. We made our way to the village of Jhondaja, a trading town where we hoped to find a guide to take us to the Vally of Bone.
Belkin and I decided that in town we should split up; it would be safer for my companion if I were not with them, as Bellock surly had a sizable bounty on his head, and even with my hair cut and my beard trimmed, there are few that have seen Bellock in his rage that will forget the face.
I sold some of the items I purloined for Iz, and that proved a mistake. As I sought after an experienced guide (we were after all looking for a valley that was one of the best kept secrets in the whole of the Kingdom; the entire linage of the Ruling cast and their burial chambers) I was approached by black clad villains; they knew me not as Blackheart however, but as Gannon; they did however know that the two were one in the same, and that troubled me.
In any case, I exploited my favorite weakness about this Kingdom; honor. In The Empire, mailed Knights with huge, gleaming swords and lengthy oaths of fealty and honor will hire out sell swords to fight for them, and overpower a single man with a dozen; claiming only the prize. But here, honor still means something, and the three experienced fighters did not come at me; just the leader. Lucky too; I nearly lost to him alone. In the end, I was victorious, and as is often the case in this strange land, ruled by its cruel gods, the dying man was happy for such a death.
When the fight ended, I was weary and injured, and at this time a huge Sahmu came to me; each hand clenched and axe, and he had dispatched the bounty hunters comrades. He told me that his name was Kwuaaga Khymeni and that as Bellock Blackheart, I had boarded his ship, and butchered all aboard, cast his wounded form into the sea. As he said the words, I tasted the bile in the back of my mouth. Who am I that the world is so populated with my victims? My guilt was poison. He said he barley survived, and that he swore a vow to kill me one day. I knew I was dead then, and prepared for oblivion; for the first time I can remember the idea of death began to scare me. However, in his peoples custom, he respected my strength, the Sahmu seeing power and fighting prowess as the pinacle of acheivment in personal development and glory, and he had decided to travel with me for a time to watch and learn from me; ever with the knowledge that one day we would engage in single combat to the death.
For reasons unknown, this put me at ease. I do not trust anyone around me, and eventually, almost everyone I know comes to want to kill me. (not that I lay blame on them) Here, Kwuaaga admitted as much up front, and immediately I have come to trust the man more than almost any other I know; be he my death or a future victim. He is no friend, not to me nor me to him, but he is my companion now.
I traveled to the local Pyreneum for healing and to have some items identified (I found a strange, black stone inscribed with dark runes the color of blood on the body of the Hunter) Their leader was interested in my rapier I stole from Iz, and when he saw the stone, he said he was not want for me to leave. Kwuaaga had waited outside, distrustful of the Majik users. He has more sense than I.
The Magi tired to ensnare me, and I was barley able to make my escape; knowledge of the way they work and my experience with their order is the only thing that saved me. Before he tried to ensare me, I thought to mention Belkin, Lokar, and their charge; but I have come to find that I was more the fool for doing so. After fleeing the town, I snuck back in alone to seek advice from Festus. He was distressed, angry that I had betrayed Belkin he and Lokar (I did not realize just how secret their mission really is, and it makes me hate the Arch Magi all the more)
Festus identified my black rock as an ancient stone; one that did not need to crushed to be used, it could be cast over and over, and granted quickness and dexterity, floating around the subject all the while it was cast.
I prepared to leave the inn, and travel back to Kwuaaga whom could lead us to the Valley, planning on Belkin and his crew meeting us in the morning, when a dark and terrible thing happened. Festus’ eyes grew dark, black a pitch, and his voice became unearthly; I know it was not the wodin with whom I spoke then. The wicked spirit filled him, and my heart felt as cold as his voice sounded. He thanked me this malice, saying I had ‘done so well for him’, and then claimed credit for guided Festus and Belkin to my prison cell for my escape.
When he was done, Festus had no memory of the event, and thought me mad. I left the inn then, and not without a bottle of strong spirits.
My world is far more complex now; there is no enemy and swords will not do my work as well as they once could. I am a cursed man, and fate it seems has be firmly in her grasp.
But here I swear that I will have my vengeance. If I live past tomorrow, past the next day and the day after that I will find out who guides their hand, and plays me like a game. Whomever they be, I should just lay down and accept my fate, but I made a vow, I will abide by it, and now it is I who will envelop the dark, not the dark who will envelop me.