|Favorite Wonder:||Temple of Temporance|
He always began with "culva", the Lanun word for love. He went through his list, intoned each word and its meaning. At the begining they were all recited from memory, but each week he added a few more, and he had to read from the journal he kept for the task when he neared the end of the list.
She died 2 years ago. He had promised that he would take her to the Aegean Isles, always postponing it. During times of war he was needed for battle, in other times he was needed to maintain the peace. Threatening armies retreated from cities once they found out he was in them, enemies unwilling to negotiate were eager to offer peace when he carried the treaty to their capitals' gates.
But there is no good deal that can be made with demons. He had just returned from negotiations with the Infernals, a deep blue demon with a goat's head and shattered bones had agreed to the peace treaty but with several demands. He had lost most of them and that infuriated the demon. He threatened, Einion ignored the threats and demanded complete surrender. The demon had no choice.
The treaty was signed, it agreed to end hostilities between the Elohim and the Infernals. That all crimes previous to the signing of that treaty would be forgiven. The demon signed, and smiled.
The smile haunted Einion for the 3 days it took to return home. While the others celebrated his success, the end of the war, a dark cloud hung over Einion. When he opened the door to his secluded manor-house he understood why.
The stench slammed into him but he had been on enough battlefields to realize immediately what had happened. The curse of knowledge is that it kills hope, you know what has happened, what is happening, what will happen regardless of your desire to remain ignorant.
Einion walked through his house, wanting to run to his wife but unwilling to move any faster than a walk through the horrors around him. Blood was everywhere. An elegant glass cabinet in the foyer had had her faced pressed up against it. You could still see the prints of her face and hands in the dried blood, and the fragile shells she had painted herself were inside undamaged. No one had pushed her against the glass, she had been possessed and rubbed and held her face just enough to leave the mark.
It was like this in every room. She had climbed unto the rafters in their sitting room and tied her long hair to the rope braces. Then she had leapt off, her hair and patches of flesh from her head still dangled there. The paintings that hung in the hallway to their bedroom had been painted over with cruel messages to him, all in her handwriting. Einion tried to ignore them.
There was a grey light coming from their bedroom. It made odd jumping shadows in the hallway, like a tattered flag being waved in front of a lantern. Einion expected to find her dead, but she was unable to die.
Her skin was gone, she had carved it off herself, she had torn and pulled most of her joints out of their sockets, and they now hung and flopped at odd angles. The light was from a grey symbol on her chest. A mark that wouldn't allow her to die, but wouldn't relieve her of any of the pain she was experiencing. Her soul was trapped in a tortured body. Her body writhed in pain, her soul could be seen stretching out of it, trying to escape, but held fast by the symbol's power. She had been driven mad by the pain and screamed soundlessly.
Einion wept as he knelt by the bed. He cast the spell to dispel the symbol and once it was gone, once he killed her, he collapsed by the bed and prayed for her forgiveness.
His Rue-de-guar (shield bearer) found him there that evening when Einion failed to show up to the celebration banquet they had planned for him. The city suffered with their favorite son and his tears were shared by the youngest child to the most veteran warriors. When the city called out for blood, that they must break the truce, only Einion said no.
He addressed the Council of Ayes: "If you grieve for me, lay down your arms; if you love me, do not march to the battlefield but return to your wives and children. Let your ships be those of trade and exploration, your dreams be of children playing in the yard and long years spent amoung friends. I go to bury my wife, with whom I had too little time; do not allow your time to so easily slip by."