“You’ve always been a disappointment, Bariq.”
“…I know, Voivode. I was always found wanting by the Great Mother.”
“Fear not, Bariq…you are not beyond redemption. There is one more place you may find the strength needed to help me best the Conqueror’s forces.”
Bariq kept kneeling, until he stood up and looked at the Voivode.
“You will be safe there, but you will also be reshaped into something greater. If you survive.”
“What choice do I have?”
“What choice we always have.”
Bariq nodded, and sullenly made his way to the exit of the throne room. As he went outside, he looked upon the walls. Hundreds of soldiers were manning them, their bows aimed at the outside. He looked to the path leading to the exit, and saw a great war beast being constructed upon the last earthen impaler, where the former voivode was once eternally tortured. And he listened to the sounds of constant war, sighing at the thought that maybe the heroes did nothing to break the cycle, as they thought.
He pulled up the hood of his cloak and faded from view. It was easy enough to escape from the castle when no one could see. The trek to the Cathedral of Flesh would be more harsh, though thankfully none of the Conqueror’s forces would see him.
Hopefully, there would be some knowledge left in its halls. Not for him, but for those who were once his friends. Because what’s happening would only draw the attention of those things beyond the mountain.