The Inquisitor

Written by Faceless Mike

Second of Zephus, 218 AD.   *drip*
Another droplet trickles down a finger.
*drip*
“Are you too stupid to understand me or is this stupidity masquerading as bravery?”
*drip*
His body hung from the ceiling suspended by his ankles. Blood dripped down to his face and hands from gashes all over his torso. “I spared you a mind flaying to be generous but make no mistake, for I will get the answers I seek.”.
He began to mumble a few words from his mangled jaws. Blood bubbled from his mouth as his voice struggled to gain purchase on what might be his last words…
“For The Empire…”
He had not finished these final words when he was interrupted by the slashing open of his own flesh. His garbled breathing began to slow as he choked on the blood filling his mouth while both seeing and feeling his innards ooze out, over his face, before hitting the floor.   “Will you be as foolish as your brother in arms? I do have all eternity to make this as painful as my imagination allows but my patience is beginning to run thin. Dritor, come here. Heal that gash on his side and see to it his heart is strong. I don’t want him leaving us before I get what we need.”   The Liche nodded and began to rub some ointment on the captive’s side, then began muttering some words as the instructor walked back into the shadows. “What do you believe gives Paladins their strength?” came a ponderance from the darkness, as the instructor melted into the corner of the room. The stonework walls glistened as if wet in what appeared to be a dimly lit basement cell. All the soldier could see past the Liche’s legs, while hanging upside down, was a wooden table next to a door upon which sat a single lit candle. Its flame danced with an emerald glow he had never seen before. Everything else in the room was shrouded in shadow.   “I believe it is their faith and unwavering devotion to...” replied the Liche. “I was not asking you!” snapped the instructor to interrupt, not wanting to give any assistance to the one whom the question was really directed to. As the soldier once again opened his eyes from the pain of the supposed healing this Liche was performing on him, his focus was drawn to the slight clink and clank of metal boots slowly approaching his face from the shadows. As they stopped directly in front of him, the figure began to kneel down to meet the soldiers' gaze.   He found himself confronted by the reddened eyes of the Vampire who had slaughtered his brothers, and now he was faced with a choice. One which weighed not just on his soul, but possibly on the fate of all humanity. “I’ll ask you once more...What do you believe gives Paladins their strength?”   The fading soldier summoned all his strength attempting to calm his mind with thoughts of simpler times to help quell his emotions for fear he may give something or anything away to the undead. He knew he carried information important to his inquisitor, but not sure what that may be. No matter what, he did not wish to give them any satisfaction.   The instructor quickly stood upright and headed out the door as if summoned by the pitter patter of bare feet upon cold stone. As he left, the last words the Soldier could discern before blacking out was the instructor asking “What are you doing here?!” to the unknown owner of the bare feet as the door clicked shut. He closed his eyes and begged to draw his final breath...  
  A short time later the door swung open violently, startling awake the soldier by the sudden commotion of the instructor returning to the cell. The soldier begged the gods to release him from this nightmare.   “We are out of time and this appears to have all been a waste of it!” the instructor frustratingly informed the Liche. ”Or... has it?” he remarked, whispering to himself while gazing at what he had in his hand. “His body is broken, as too is his mind and soul.” he added, looking down at an object he held once more.   “If you cannot lure a rat from its Den, then simply send a snake in after it. Dritor, bind him with the Ethereal chains and send him to find the owner of this.” he instructed as he tossed a badge to the Liche. “But where did she get this? Doesn’t this belong to him?” replied Dritor, catching the small broach like object and examining it. The instructor turned his heels and began to leave while the soldier wished himself to death, pleading with the gods to take him before the Liche could summon whatever it was he had been instructed to do..   “Nothing… Nothing gives them strength. They Worship False Gods and turn just as easily as you or any other child of the sun.” he remarked as he left slamming the old door behind him, leaving the Liche to finish his work.   Dritor turned his attention to the soldier and gently whispered “This is going to hurt, forever….”

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