My Deal Ilanna,
Without you to light its halls, the castle became my tomb. I wanted to bury my heart within so that it might decay into ash, freeing me from your fading whispers. Instead, it pounded resiliently within my chest. It reminded my of my vow to find you and pushed me onward even when I consigned myself to a slow death within the decaying walls.
As with the aftermath of my village, I found no dead bodies. Even the elves I had seen die in the entrance disappeared. All that was left were dark halls filled with the evil that stole my love. After a time, it began to speak to me, promising to grant me vengeance in exchange for my hatred. It whispered a familiar name…
Shadows crept around me, tempting me with power. I followed them deep into the heart of the castle. Doors shuttered with heavy chains broke apart ahead of my entrance. The shadows grew more defined the farther we walked until they looked like tall, gaunt corpses. They hid their faces from me, always averting my gaze as if they didn’t want to incur my wrath.
They brought me before a black door to a room that looked as if it had burst up through the floor. Stone fragments littered the ground and the smell of fresh earth clawed at my nostrils. Without hesitation, I heaved against the door until it opened. A familiar arrangement of books lined the walls with a small desk there in the midst. I swept my hands over the volumes of knowledge I had sorely missed. I pulled down a tome and read over the words I struggled to remember during my imprisonment.
The markings were unmistakable, this was the very same room that I had found underneath my village. I was never happier, for I had once again found the tools to power, only this time, I had a definitive goal in mind. With the untouched food stores in the castle, I knew I could live there for several months at least, probably years. I would need all of that time to prepare myself to confront the force that took you away from me.
Burying myself in the wisdom contained in that room, I continued my training at my own pace. Without Lyanis holding me back, I grew by leaps and bounds. After each lesson, I practiced my spells on the shadows, bending them to my own will. They became my slaves in my crusade to escape. I used them to try every avenue of escape to no avail. Still, I persevered.
Two years passed until my food stores dwindled to a critical level. I lived like a king with dark slaves performing all my bidding. I finally recognized the wards with which Lyanis had sealed me in the castle. My freedom lay close at hand. Outside the castle walls, I rose a few skeletons to roam the hills and bring me back what I needed for a spell of freedom. Once gathered, I broke the ward and left the castle, never to return.
Free as I now was, I knew I needed more time before I sought you out, Ilanna. I resettled my old village, using skeletons as workhands for a new batch of crops I planted in my father’s fields. I worked it until I could sustain myself. The years tumbled by until a group of curious traders stopped by to inquire as to the nature of the village. Honesty was my best weapon. After a show of my undead workhands, they granted me favorable trading agreements.
I lived well and advanced my training until this point, where I have learned all I can from my dark room. Each of its volumes lies within my strong mind, ready to be put into practice. I’m still unsure why Lyanis anchored the evil that penetrated the castle to me so he could escape with you, or rather, lead you to your imprisonment, but I will discover those answers when I rescue you.
I hope to meet him again, so I can resolve our differences. Only now can I see how he manipulated me into drawing the attack on your castle. He used me as bait and I will know why when he lies in the throes of death at my feet.
I was a boy whose life was stripped away in the night, but now I am a necromancer that death refused to visit. I have tamed the very evil that overpowered your castle and I will carry it back to the hands of those responsible. They will regret death’s negligence.
I know you are still alive, Ilanna. I’ve heard rumors that I will not write here, lest this journal falls to enemy hands, that my time to seek you out is now. I have taken great care to pen the words so that when I find you, you will know of my struggle. Our love will have its day.
All I do is for you.
Death’s Neglected Son