The Tower [not GW related] Part 3

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She looked out one of the Tower's windows, smiling sadly. She had been there so long she had forgotten even her name. She was simply The Maiden now. The last warrior had been weak, afraid of everything. She tried to cast aside what she felt for him as soon as he had embarked on this fool's errand. Strangely, she found it possible.

The only reason she was allowed to do that was because there was another, preparing. Intensely focused on his task, devout in his belief that he would succeed, no matter the cost. The force of the love she was made to feel for this one could have been described as elemental. Through the Tower's dark magicks she saw everything he did, from the way he sharpened his runic blade, to the way he was now arguing with a warlock.

She could never hear words, nor thoughts, but she could always feel intentions. Even intentions the Warriors never acted on. In the distant past one had wanted to elope with his cousin, another had wanted nothing at all to do with the Tower, but was forced into it by his domineering father. How he had wanted to kill that man. There had also been female Warriors over the decades, or was it centuries, that she had been imprisoned.

However, none of the previous Warriors had had the dreams. Dreams which she was forced to watch, every few weeks at first, then every few days. Now, she knew, sadly, that he would be forced to have that dream every night for the rest of his life. It might even drive him insane. He seemed stronger than that, determined to achieve what he saw as his ultimate goal in life.

With interest, she saw that that goal was not, in fact, having her as a wife, or queen, or lover. It was simpler, nobler than that. He was going to free her. The conviction in his heart was so strong that it almost brought her to tears when she first felt it.

She knew he lived simply, and had a meagre amount of savings left. He slept in comfortable, relatively speaking, bed. He owned a cat, a stray he had found near the parchment with the Tower's Curse writ upon it. He cared for the cat deeply, as if it were another person, whole and true.

Later she watched him as he took all of his armour to sacred house. With horror she realised that the symbol on the house was that of Morrde, Lord of the Dead, Ruler of the Shadow Kingdom. Why would such a noble Warrior be seeking blessing from the worst of the Gods. A fragment of old, old folklore slipped into her mind, unbidden.

Morrde was not originally seen as the worst of the Gods, or even a bad deity. He was the epitome of the good king. He ruled his lands with a fair and even hand. The Lord of the Dead was not feared, he was respected. People were meant to die, that was the natural course of things. He would judge whether their actions had been worthy, consigning them to do penance in the Shadow Kingdom, or elevating them to the Plane of Spirits.

Over time this image changed, Deize gaining the power of judgement over good and evil, Morrde simply becoming the ruler of the Shadow Kingdom, a place of eternal torment. Perhaps this warrior also believed in the old legends, and was asking Morrde to judge whether his actions were just and true.

It was twilight. In the lands around the Tower it was always twilight, or dusk, sometimes the sun would set, but it never seemd to rise. The moons never rose either, and the stars never shined. There was always too much light to see the stars, but not enough to see through the clouds. It was as if the Tower, and its lands, were locked into one small part of the day.
The Maiden stood on the top of the Tower, above everything else. She looked at the ground, seeming to be many leagues away. Perhaps if she died, she wouldn't have to feel the heartwrenching loss that the death of this Warrior would cause. Thin layers of a ragged white dress flowing around her in the breeze, she jumped.

Once more she found herself in the main room of the tower, the air around her tinged with green. Every time she might be hurt, or injured, she appeared here again. She didn't know how, but suspected it had something to do with the curse placed upon her. The shadowy beings around the Tower never bothered her, never even seemed to acknowledge her presence. She could barely see them, in the fading twilight, and there was no way she could ever reach the ground or influence them.

She was never hungry, never thirsty, within the Tower. She thought perhaps this was another way of it torturing her. She could never again know the rough or sweet taste of food, the silky refreshment of clear water. It seemed to her both horrible, and yet, strangely pragmatic. If she did not need to eat or drink, she would not need to use a privy, and the Tower would never need supplies in order to keep her well nourished.

She would never be sick, could never be hurt, could not eat or drink, she could do nothing but sleep, or watch, while within the Tower. She would never know the full range of human experience. She would only ever know love, loss, and hate. She couldn't even remember why, or how she had been put into the Tower in the first place anymore. The thought she was losing her memories saddened her greatly. Perhaps that was yet another form of torture employed by the Tower's long dead architects.

She thought about the Warrior again. About how he was certain he would free her. In her heart she truly wished that he would be the one to free her, but in her mind she knew that he would die screaming, just like all the others.

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