Stellas 25, 296 e.m.
To continue from where I left off yesterday:
I awoke in this cold, filthy cell, my companions surrounding me. Kyrainna was awake, which relieved me. I had been worried she would never wake again. Everyone else seemed to be in as good a condition as can be expected, their wounds treated and bandaged. Well, except for Daeroth's purple, swollen arm. He said he had refused to allow an enemy to treat a wound that they had inflicted. The pride of the knights I suppose.
Through the gaps in the bars I could see a wondrous, frightening world. We appeared to be in a vast, underground caver, lit by a blood red light from a source I cannot determine. Our cell rests on a large rise, some way above the main floor. Below us, a city of shadow demons spread out across the entire cavern floor. The houses seemed to be made of some sort of pure black stone., and appeared to almost be part of the ground itself.
The first thing we did, of course, was to begin a plan of escape. I cannot write that here, however, in case our enemies read it. Just writing that we are forming a plan is risky, but if these shadows can think at all, they already know we are.
Now, to move on to this day. Do you recall a few days ago when I wrote of my dream? The strangest thing happened; I had it again. It makes me wonder if it means something. One thing changed however. I was able to see a little more than last time. Not much, but a little. This time, I could tell that the things I mistook for boulders were really some sort of buildings. Still, I could make out little else.
Captivity here so far seems to blend into an endless blur of misery. It seems to stretch on forever, the only way to tell the hours apart is by the food they bring us. The cell is always as cold as the night, since no sunlight can reach it so far underground. While we are awake we constantly keep in motion to keep warm, and when we sleep we huddle close together to share what little body heat we have. The shadows gave us a single tattered blanket to share between us, but through unanimous decision we have given it to Kyrainna as she is accustomed to the warm elven woods, where there is never winter.
Our sleeping schedules are very different, more so that at least one of us will always be awake than for any other reason.Then again, when anyone is sleeping there will always be another asleep as well to share the warmth. At one point, when both Daeroth and I were awake, we had an interesting conversation.
The silence had become unbearable, a strange humming sound from below being the only noise. Daeroth's hard expression made it obvious that he wasn't likely to start a conversation himself, so I put aside for a moment my irritation toward him and said, "Do you have a family to go home to? When this is all over."
Daeroth glanced over at me, his blue eyes slightly warmer than the cold glares I usually got from him. "Yes, once I have brought you safely to your destination, I will return to my wife and daughter. They await me in our home in Sardale, with many of the other families of questing knights. Do you have a family?"
I shook my head. "No, the cousin that hired you is the only living relative I'm aware of."
"Right, your cousin." Daeroth looked suddenly nervous, but before I had a chance to ask what was wrong, he said, "So if you have no family, what then inspires you to return home?"
His question caught me by surprise. I opened my mouth to answer, but realized that I did not know what to say. How do you answer a question like that? "I don't understand," I said finally. "Isn't it enough that I want to go home, rather than question the cause behind it?"
He studied me for a long moment, then shook his head and turned away. That was the end of our conversation.
And this is the end of this entry.