I find myself wondering…who were they? Were they farmers? Merchants? Shepherds? At least one was young, a teenage girl of perhaps sixteen. What might she have been? What might she have done with her life?
Pointless questions, but ones I cannot help but ask as I pile their lifeless bodies atop those of their murderers. The funeral pyre I am building is ignominious, a simple bonfire of bodies and profane monuments deserving of the flame. The stench is horrific, rotting flesh combined with the scent of burning flesh, and a tar black smoke that burns the eyes and chokes breath. A terrible sight. A terrible duty.
The bandits of the keep deserve such an undignified fate. Kidnappers, thieves, and murderers, the lot of them. A mass unmarked grave awaits their bones, outside the keep’s walls, just beyond the clearing’s edge. They will be forgotten, and their souls shall find no rest from Gadar’s wrath. As it should be.
What we found below, though, was the true travesty of this place. The one-eyed man, the one they called Ranchefus, invoked dark powers and darker rituals in a sacred chapel dedicated to Gadar. He tortured these poor souls. He made them scream and cry out, demanded blasphemies to cease his torments. He murdered them, and leashed their souls to their decaying forms, turning them into mindless undead. Even beyond death, he tortured them.
We put them to rest. We released their souls to Gadar, and I hope that he will forgive whatever blasphemies were wrested from their lips before they died. I pray for the Light to shine on them and guide them home. I pray that Ranchefus meets the devils he served, and spends eternity screaming for that service.
I pray the fire dies soon. I have had enough of the scent of death.