The Dark

Interlude: Return of the Lost Heroes

A victorious return and a cryptic departure.

Written by Bresil

Feh emerged from the pyramid of deathly encounters much as his companions had, with great relief and in need of some serious therapy. It seemed like a fortnight had passed in those walls and with each dawn a new horror was unleashed to bring down misery and pain upon the journey. Even one so well versed in the merits of suffering and strife, as Feh certainly was, could take but a portion of that place.

With the new dawn shining bright upon their faces the troupe of wayward adventurers set back upon the easier path, towards civilization and a warm meal. Feh was hungry as though he’d never eaten before. If there was fresh beef to be had at their destination, he would be ordering an entire cow.

Everyone seemed a bit on edge in those first hours, although certainly relieved, and so the trip was awkward. Conversations happened but it was the sort of stuff expected in the aftermath of a great tragedy, calm and polite words in obvious avoidance of the misery recently shared. Feh had time to contemplate things in this new peace. A journey of shared triumph, the meeting of destinies, the masterful accomplishment of conviction. An ease washed over him and the world beyond faded into a blissful haze.

“We are free of the place,” he thought to himself, “and it was as I predicted. The men at my side did accomplish the unthinkable and here we stand in great triumph against what has thwarted so many before us. We are without equal in this area.” The thought seemed to cause elation, at first, and then a sorrow. “But if we are without equal, and none can challenge this band of battle hardened stalwarts, what then is there for us to do?” That question caused a great anguish in Feh.

As the band grew nearer to town, and the subject of every recent experience faded further and further into the recesses of immediate contemplation, Feh’s instincts took over.

“That is it then,” he said.

His companions turned to him. “What ‘is it’ then?” asked Soveliss.

“Everything my friend. It is everything. We have done what it is I said we would do and now we are finished. The lesson is complete, for us all.” Soveliss, and the rest of the men, looked at Feh strangely; a common look between the two parties. Before they could interject with more questions Feh continued, “We set out to best this prison, this pyramid of shadows, and that we have done. Not handily but effectively and without great loss. On the path of righteous vindication we have been. Through the trials of suffering we have emerged and in victory we celebrate. Come, let me treat those of you interested in indulgence to a feast of feasts, a party without equal in the town that surely will welcome us as heroes!”

A bit befuddled by the offer, a general agreement was acknowledged and the usual ‘what the fuck is he talking about’ glances passed between the newly bonded friends. They strode towards their port of safe harbor intent on finding the revelry so justly deserved.

True to his word, the moment they reached town Feh saw to everything. He ordered baths and pampering for all who wanted such treatment and took to the streets in search of whatever exotic indulgences could be gleaned from the current inhabitants. In truth he put out what could be considered a small fortune. Everyone in town was alerted to the exploits of he and his friends and all were invited to come share in their celebration at the setting of the sun. Every cook, baker, and beverage provider in town was paid handsomely for what goods they had in stock and tasked with transforming them into something special.

By the time he and his lost souls found their bearings again, uncovered the skin beneath the bloodied grime they’d been wearing for days on end, and got back in touch with the reality of their current surroundings it was time to let it all go. Plates of food were beginning to come out of kitchens and barrels of ale were flowing freely into the mugs of overjoyed townspeople and travelers alike. Music filled the streets and every corner of every building burst with a light and laughter that only days ago would have been thought unimaginable to the conquerors of the great shadowed prison.

“Friends,” Feh addressed his companions, “this is my gift to you. Drink, eat, and be merry for tomorrow we are sure to come back to the harsh realities of our lives. This night is a treasure we all deserve and in it we should immerse ourselves. Take time to enjoy what is fleeting and let the contemplations of our harrowing journey wait for quieter times.” Several of his new friends began to speak and were promptly interrupted, “No, stop. Whatever you have to say is for tomorrow. Tonight is a thankless reward and pure self fulfilling indulgence at my strong behest. So please, go already. You deserve this and more and we should all shut up and spend my money until we are worthless to the world at large.”

With that the strange nose less monk hooked arm in arm with a passing wench and disappeared into the serpentining crowd of rapidly inebriating commoners.

The night was… different for everyone but enjoyed by all. Many townspeople say that was the best night of their lives, others have no idea what even happened. All anyone is absolutely certain about is that in the morning Feh was nowhere to be found. The room he had acquired upon their return was empty, cleaned even, and the monk had vanished. His companions, those he’d shared so much with, surmised that he must have found some other calling and that the extravagance he put forth was his sending off, a sort of counterbalance to the suffering they’d endured. There but for a short time, Feh left his mark on those men in a way they hadn’t imagined possible. Aloof and strange, he showed them something that they all suspected would likely remain a once in a lifetime experience.


Act 3 – Pyramid of Shadows

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