Our exile is long and fraught with hardship each passing day. We have to flee fast and far, the Fire-Spawn's words cannot be trusted. Their madness, her inhumanity, will not allow them to live contently with what they have conquered so far. The people they murdered along the way were only just the beginning. I know this, for their powers will lead them down a twisted path of misuse. They will kill for the thrill of it, and revel in those they burn alive. It makes me sick just thinking about it, but it also fuels my body to fight another day. For that, I hate myself.
My band is large, perhaps the largest that now remains, and we are heading south. To unknown lands. There we might seek refuge for awhile, and grow our strength, maybe even find allies. Rowri says he once met a traveler that had come from the south. He said the man was colored a dark tan, like that of a deer. When asked why he was darker then us, he laughed and pointed up at the sun. The man went on to say the lands down south were warmer, but also full of danger. When Rowri asked him about what dangers there could possibly be, the man looked grave and said no more. I don't know what to think about that, but for the future of our band, we must press on.
Many look to me for guidance now, and I wish they did not. I am no leader, no great chief, I have not even taken a wife. Yet, many of the warriors turn to me to give direction, and follow me without questioning if I am leading them to death. I doubt myself, even now. But a small part of me hopes I am doing the right thing, and if they follow me, then I will lead them. It is dark now but tomorrow I will teach the boys who have lost their fathers, to hunt. They are scared, like all of us, but when I look at them I only see the future. They must learn, even as we flee our home. We could all die tomorrow, leaving them with nothing. Another thought I cannot bear, so I will do this, like their fathers would have. They must learn, for one day, they will teach their own children. This gives me hope every time I shut my eyes to welcome the nightmare.
Tiok was thirsty, so desperately thirsty. His throat felt as dry and parched as a desert, and his belly felt as if it was eating itself. He struggled against the chains again, but he was weak and even when had been strong, he had not been able to do anything. Even with his new strength.
He had awoken several days ago, before a figure sitting upon a throne of skulls. Human skulls. The first thing he felt was thirst, then an emptiness inside of him, something he could not explain. He didn't know what to feel about it. He had been chained then too, but on either side of him were two demonic creatures holding the ends of the chains. Like he was some sort of animal. Dangerous.
Why was he chained? He looked up at the figure again, she was unearthly beautiful and her crimson eyes bore deep inside of him. Tiok begin to speak, only to find himself hit on the back of the head. He barely felt the pain, but grew annoyed. He turned back around to see another demon, wielding a strange weapon. It looked like an ax head, but far larger, had been fitted upon a staff of wood. The demon snarled at him, and Tiok turned back around to face the figure.
She spoke then, her voice alluring, like whispers all around him speaking in layered tones. "Pets are not to speak unless spoken to. Now, do you know who I am?"
He knew the voice, it was the same one that had come through Grambo's mouth. It was all coming back to Tiok now, like a flood breaking through a dam. He had been weak and broken then and he wanted to be strong, so that he could get revenge upon the men who killed...Dratiri!
Tiok began to panic as he remembered her death and how she was gone when he came too. He spoke frantically, forgetting what the figure had said, "Dratiri! Oh no, oh no! Where is she! What have you done with her!"
he began to rise but was quickly hit again. Tiok growled, something he knew not he was capable off. But he shrugged it off as he remembered his goal, he had to find her body! He had to take her body to Ahael! He had to save her soul!"Dratiri? Oh...you mean the human girl? She is not far, little one. Only look and you shall see."
Anu pointed laughing, and Tiok followed, his eyes going wide. Dratiri's body was strewn upon a massive spike, jetting out above a large pool of blood. He wanted to wretch at the sight, but there was nothing in him to throw up. But he did have anger, an uncontrollable rage began to boil inside of him and it burst. He roared defiantly, then stood with blinding speed. Far too fast for the demons, and Tiok then pulled upon the chains, sending both demons colliding into each other as he jumped backwards, over the other demon. Before the one with the pike could react, he punched it from behind. There was a sickening crack as bone broke as it flung forward crashing into the other demons.
Now free, Tiok took one look at Anu, to find the Goddess smiling at his defiance.
He screamed before flinging himself at her, fists clutching the chains to use as weapons. Time seemed to slow down momentarily, Anu was still smiling and Tiok was fast approaching, now swinging his arms down to strike her. Then Anu's eyes moved to look at Tiok, and in that moment, he knew it was over.
The Goddess grabbed him in an instant, and slammed him down into the ground, shattering the stone with the impact. Tiok gasped loudly as he felt multiple bones break. The force of the impact felt akin to a mountain bearing down onto him. He could not move in her grip, but only watch as she shook her head.
When she spoke, her voice was no longer alluring, but full of anger. "Such defiance, over what? A dead girl? You no longer have need of such a want. She is dead. Gone. You are alive because I allowed it. You have been given your gift, because I wanted it. To even think of striking me... I should kill you. But what purpose would that serve? Your soul belongs to me, after all. No... I am a benevolent God, death is not an option. But punishment is in order... Yes... Until you submit completely my little blooddrinker, you shall be punished."
He tried to struggle, tried to speak, but could not. The next thing he knew, he was chained again. This time by the legs, arms, and a metal collar was placed upon his neck. Then the Goddess had him suspended above the blood pool, right next to Dratiri. Both things he could not have, but so desperately needed.
He was forced to watch her corpse rot, a pain beyond pain. Yet still worse was his thirst, growing every day. But Tiok would not yield to Anu, he would have rather died then submit to her will. His fate was against him however, for even as Tiok grew weaker, he felt no closer to death then he did at all times. He was no longer human but a 'blood drinker' as Anu had called him.
Soon a choice would have to be made. Suffer eternally as a prisoner, or suffer as a slave. Both options were as equally horrifying.