“Five months. It has been five months since the purge. Five small months and the world has become an upside down place. A shadow of our former selves. We had turned inward to feed on our own heart. In the short time since mankind decided that it would be better off without the Fated, the world has become a shell of its former self. As Gafhuir hollows out our world from the inside, our souls and bodies feel its loss as if we were but shells, ourselves.
I saw some of it with mine own eyes. As a soldier who had seen much more bloodshed than I’d care to admit and I had become hardened to the cruelty and tarnished morals that walk hand-in-hand with war. Still, what I saw of The Purge still shakes me to the very core.
I was stationed near the beautiful city-state of Desdelen, fifth infantry of the Imperial Army. I was just a front lines grunt stationed outside of the city on the shores Lake Renschault. Our orders were to create an encampment and fortify the area. This was nothing new so not a single one of our regiment thought anything might be amiss. The Pearl had us all fooled.
When I think about it, and I can tell you that I make every attempt to avoid such thoughts, I find it hard to understand how no one saw this coming. None of the soldiers knew what lie before them, and even The Fated did not see upon their Looms the mark of death that awaited them, gobbling up their threads just a little further down their timeline like some great and greedy maw filled with sharp, gnashing teeth.
No one knows why so many of the Daggers were with us on that day, but that is the nature of the Souls-Who-Bleed. They had infiltrated our ranks and become just like us. Men of infantry helping to stockade and fortify the area. And when the fires started, it all seemed very surreal. An act against the Fates so foul that Pearl would forever be marred by the act.
Magnificient and Raimented Pearl had her army surround our camp in the small hours before the dawn. I could feel an electricity in the air as I awoke to the sound of liquid dripping on a hard surface. As I opened my eyes, just next to me – mere inches from my face, blood had began to pool upon the stone slab I used to arrange what few personal items I had. Dangled above me in some grotesque mockery of the human form, I could see Marcelle, whom I believed at the time to be a member of my infantry. As it turns out, he was one of the Daggers who The Pearl had been sent to dispatch. He was lashed and tangled in the cordage of my canopy overhead, his flesh mangled. The sound I heard was the blood striking my stone basin as it dripped from his brow.
All around me there was fire. No one was meant to escape that day. Sometimes I curse the gods and the fates for making it so that I would have this awful weight to bear. The knowledge of the truth that all around me are denied. The knowledge that the Daggerfated did not attack us and flee into the night, as The Pearl’s propaganda would have everyone believe. And they do. Fates save us, they believe.
Since that day, I have watched as my compatriots and those I protected as a soldier turning against those who would do the most good for us all. I watch as the atrocities that turned Desdelen into the Void-Swallowed hole it is today continue throughout our lands. I watch as the Tribunals fade from our eyes, and our lives grow ever darker.
I spend my nights in taverns and brothels to ease my mind, waiting for the day her agents will come to stifle the breath of truth. The gods have abandoned us. And soon, the Fated will as well.”
– Lt. Reinholdt Sesorzhan, Fifth Day of Ascending Cloud Year 337AP