The moans of the ill were constant. I could do nothing. I closed my eyes, but I couldn't close my ears, nor could I erase what I knew.

All that day, I heard Schwitzend -- who called himself a doctor! -- on his rounds. He seemed to be less of an idiot than most of the people here, and less indoctrinated into the cult of death. But that just made him worse, pure evil. He was experimenting on his victims -- patients he called them, but they were his victims. He had a large apothecary, one I would have loved to have at my disposal. But instead of using it to help those poor people in their cots, he gave poisons and other substances to them, in a purely controlled manner, carefully making note of what occured.

And his victims were grateful for the "honor"! They actually hoped that his ministrations would give them mutations, tumors, and other horrible things. One had been successful: he had a large tumor groing out of his head. He was proud, and the others envious of him.

Had I died after all, and now I was in hell?

I prayed, silently and desperately to Bianca, to take care of those poor desperate fools out there, since I was helpless.

He kept his light on late into the night, but eventually some woman joined him, and he turned out the light.

The velvet blackness enveloped me, encased me. The walls around me retreated, unseen, and I floated in the middle of a vast nothingness, while at the same time the very darkness clung to me and smothered me. A familiar bleak chill returned, ice in my bones, and the arctic whispers in my ears.

The moans, groans, and occasional screams of the dying echoed in my ears all night, there in the dark. And I could feel the frigid tendrils of the dead twining around me, through me. I heard ghostly taunts and laughter -- this is what we all come to in the end and I can do nothing to stop it, nothing to help anyone.





By the time daylight came, I was glad to see the snakeman. Because with the light, the dead retreated, and in the end, the dead are worse than the dry, musty scales of snakes, and the sharp teeth, and the hissing, slitheringness...

Ravenna, A Monk of the Biancan Order

Part the First:
Blood and Mud

Part the Second:
Murder and Mayhem

Part the Third:
Puzzles and Crystals

Part the Fourth:
Dwarves and Rocks

Part the Fifth:
Diplomacy and Daggers

Part the Sixth:
Crystal and Chaos

Part the Seventh:
Sheer Insanity

~ The End ~