Mark of Agony
Acolytes of Nezarec: Briar - V
The campfire crackled and echoed throughout the cave. I reached toward it, allowing the warmth to guide me. The man across from me had remained silent throughout my recollection.
"You carry the scent of him… of Nezarec."
"As do you, Briar of the Wild Brambles," the man said. The title felt unfamiliar as it left his lips. Was I still deserving of that moniker? It felt long gone. "It's faint… but still there."
"What is the true reason you've sought me out?"
There was a long pause. Then I heard him shuffle around for something in his bag.
"My family has been in Nezarec's favor for generations," he said.
I defensively gripped my walking stick, ready to draw my blade if necessary. Then I heard the thud of a heavy object, and, after a few seconds, the sound of pages turning. He spoke again.
"Our experiences will not be the last." The pages continued to turn, just loud enough for me to hear over the crackle of the fire. "Do you wish to feel his full power again?" the man asked.
Deep down, I felt an instantaneous "yes" ring loud and true. I'd spent so long fearing his influence, the sheer terror he amplified within me. But when he was gone, all that remained was a void—an all-consuming vacuum of terror.
"What do you need me to do?" I asked.
I had no way of definitively knowing, but something told me the man was smiling.