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Dungeons and Daggers

March 14, 2015

I stare at the dagger, the sun's cold light creeping up on me in the fearful cracks of the stone walls. My silver breath frosting the blade, like the silver spirits trapped inside the children and women, men and mages of this forsaken dungeon. At least there is a window, even if it remained pathetically small. The enticement and hope on the children’ faces are like knives to my heart. The ghosts just grumble, but even they know, as well as the dagger, that there was Something about this year, and it wasn't good.

Something. It echoed in my heart, the glimmering, glistening word that whispered of change, which perhaps was the prison of my own self. Since the defeat of the king, of my country, the people, since the survivors had been dumped in the castle dungeon to die, Something slept. The humans aged and went old, leaving behind naught but young men and children, young ones who did not understand what was happening to their tender lives. And then they too grew old, and their children now stared at me, the one they considered immortal, the one with the dagger. They hoped of Something. Hope. Hope sapped their souls like death. Something.

"If the Dagger does not answer, trouble not you," the old man whispered. The oldest man, who had survived for more than two centuries. Old when it started and old when it shall end. No one knew how he did it, not even me, and no one remembered a time he was young. He rested his frail hand on my shoulder now, and I felt the toils it had been through. "We shall try again, next year. Nothing more can be done."

"I don't know." My voice is a whisper of myself. "I can feel it, the Mana from the blade, but it does not answer. I feel--"

I can't say the word. It catches in my throat, like phlegm on a cold day. Something.

The children continue to stare at me eagerly, but the adults have given up hope. They don't want it to sap their souls anymore, they want to be free of this gate and continue on the road, even if death is the toll. I don't blame them.

"You said that last year, you and your forsaken dagger," one of them growl. A ghost breathes down my neck, but that doesn't help me. The Eve is not past yet, and the dagger has still to pass judgment. I take a deep breath, commanding my soul to obey me, and not to become another wandering specter.

"It's not over yet. There is yet judgment to be given. We must still hope. For--"





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