As the sun was rising above the world, a lone Dragonborn was sitting in front of the ashes of his campfire. He had not slept.
Watching the sun rising, he was trying to remember how he got there. Almost everything was a blur…
He could just remember something. A name… A simple name to which he held onto like a light in the night…
“Luze…” he whispered.
He remembered it all. The fear, the pain… The cold sting of the sword that tore through the flesh of his throat… But as his eyes closed, he remembered looking at that Human who had tried to protect him… He couldn’t understand why she wanted to save him and he still couldn’t now that he thought of it.
Kriv put his hands on his scar. He remembered dying. It wasn’t as bad as he thought… Easier than falling asleep.
It wouldn’t have been so bad to stay that way, Kriv thought. He yearned for rest, for a single moment in his life where he wouldn’t have to do something. To hunt, to maim, to kill…
But of course, he woke up. Even death wouldn’t want him for too long. He remembered being in a strange place surrounded by strangers… His life was theirs they said.
Kriv smiled. “Of course it would be, he said to himself, you don’t have a life”. A life is a home, a family, friends, someone to care about…
“Luze”, he thought. That thought seemed to calm him as he slowly removed his bloodstained armour. His chest was strained with old scars and black veins and his skin had turned slightly grey. He took a deep breath and shuddered in pain.
“It won’t be long now”, he thought. He could have died back there… He was ready to die. Of course, it had to happen all the way back into Xantharl’s Keep. Fate had a funny way of playing with its preys for Kriv had to come back where he had once died to fight again.
Carnage… That’s why he’s been brought up for. He remembered slaying the guards of the village, killing them one by one, never stopping. He did not enjoy it. A machine of war they once called him. Was it what he was? A simple tool to use when killing was necessary?
And in all that hell, he saw them… reunited once again where they once fought together. What was it that he felt then? It wasn’t anger. It wasn’t hatred. It was fear. Yes, he was afraid…
Not for his own life. He would’ve welcomed death. He was afraid for them, for Luze.
Then she fell. Taking a blow that should’ve ended him forever. Luze…
Kriv clenched his fists, fighting off the tears in his eyes. He couldn’t think of her right now.
He walked up to the stream near his camp and dipped his hands into the cold water. He drank from it, slowly. Swallowing was getting more and more difficult each day. Soon he wouldn’t be able to eat anymore.
He stood up and looked at the sun rising up in the sky. He wondered where she was now… He hoped she was safe… He hoped he would see her again…
That’s when he realized it… He missed her.
Kriv was ready. He kicked the ashes of the campfire with his foot, making sure no traces of his stay could be noticed after he was gone. A thorough search would eventually find signs of his camp but he wouldn’t make it easy for them to find him.
He didn’t think anyone was after him but it was an old habit. He took his Warhammer in his hand and looked one last time to the horizon.
He had held Luze in his arms, begging her not to die. And she did not. Twice she had saved his life and this was a debt he would see to be paid.
He opened his pouch and took out a small chess piece. Her gift to him.
It was worthless, but to Kriv, it was now his most precious possession.
She had put her faith in him when no one else would. He would not disappoint her. He could not…
“Until we meet again”, he whispered.
He put the chess piece back into his pouch, ready to leave but stopped. He had felt something at the bottom of the bag and took it out.
It was his ring.
The Ring of the Zhentarims… The ring he bore before meeting Luze… Before all this.
He knew what he had to do. He walked to a rock and put the ring on it. Using all his strength, he smashed the ring with his warhammer.
The ring was broken into pieces, destroyed. Kriv felt lighter… His past life had died in Xantharl’s Keep. For the first time in years, he felt free… He felt… reborn.
Kriv disappeared into the horizon, hurrying to accomplish his mission. Not for any masters. Not even for himself.
Only for Luze…