The Tale of Captain Johne





I awoke still lying on the shore of the lake. The bodies of my friends and the shards were gone.

The arrow in my chest had been removed. The wound had been healed.

I tried to end my torment with Nosfentre's sword.

But the wraiths—they will not let me die.


* * *



The wraiths are gone.

I eat very little these days. I often roam the shores of this island for hours. Sometimes I imagine meeting my friends. They are sitting around a campfire. "Come Johne," Faulina says, patting the earth next to her. "Join us." Both Nosfentre and Astarol nod their approval. So I sit with them and we talk and laugh, dine and drink, until they fade away, leaving me alone in the Underworld. I continue to talk, even though they are gone, and stop only when I begin to weep.

I am sorry, my friends.

I am sorry.


* * *



They returned.

I was eating dinner when the wraiths emerged from the walls of my cabin. They did nothing, merely watched me as I ate until, at last, I screamed at them to leave. When they did not, I dropped to my knees and begged.

They said nothing as they vanished into the gloom.


* * *



The wraiths. They torment me.

Each night they grant me visions.

Britain, Jhelom, Moonglow—the wraiths show me the evil they have begun to foster in these towns, the darkness they cultivate within the good folk of Britannia. No one is aware of them or their purpose, not even Lord Blackthorn, whom the wraiths visit each night as he sleeps, watching him, haunting his dreams, nurturing his fears and ambitions.

Oh, Faulina . . .

What have I done?


* * *


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