Steel and Silk

A Mind Broken

The darkness surrounded me. I say me, but at the time, there was no me. There was just the void. A void caught between the frozen lands of the north and the desert lands of the south. Who am I? What am I? These questions invaded my mind. I could no longer answer them. Even if I tried, all I would hear was Yefimov. What does it matter? We’re done for, he’s too strong.

Ahriman? He’s saying something. “I am here little sister. It will be alright.” I knew he’d come, eventually… But was he too late? What happened? I can’t move. But does it matter? Epona… How I’ve missed you. Did he win? I am done for? Vashka, he seems alright, worried.

My mind is returning slowly… But it’s not enough. Vashka suggested the witch, Ahriman hesitantly suggested it again, asking me to choose. Why should I choose? I need air, I need to get out of this town. I agreed. The witch had me buried in snow, and she… Awoke my blood.

Flashes of a time long gone. My kin, my ancient bloodline. There is magic in this blood, it’s been used and abused… We’ve used and abused it. No. They have. My mind has been filled with a sense of we, but I am Khazari, our individuality is not so easily broken. I am what I must be, what I always had to be. I am strong. Even in the face of those who would break me. My hand still hesitates before grasping the hilt of my sword. My sword, Bataar’s sword… Did Ahriman find it? Of course he did. I am still frightened… of what the sorcerer is capable of, of sorcery itself. Ahriman tells me this is natural. He tells of the spirit bear, Araataan, that scared me so long ago, back when I thought nothing could scare me. So naïve… How did Ahriman resist… How does he steel his mind? I must know… I cannot survive that again. If we are to face this sorcerer, I must know.

Manduhai was due south, we left to meet up with her. She had gathered a merry band of thugs and highwaymen. If we were bringing them, I wanted to know if they could stand up to trained soldiers, so I asked them to show me what they had. It also helps me not think about what happened… They were weak, compared to Vashka’s men. This force would not be enough, we needed an army.

Therefor, we returned towards Vashka, he has an army. After what happened, there is not doubt in me that he will aid us. We met with him in the village of the witch. He agreed to aid us, saying that it will take time to gather the army, that we would gather it on the way.

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Riklurt MrGreany

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