Torment Diary 3

We meet a mad man and I have much difficulty in understanding his jumbled words. His name is Barking Wilder, he belongs to a faction Chaosmen (Xaositects) and according to Morte, they attract members who are crazy or chaotic enough like flies.

Barking Wilder hunches down on his knees and begins to rock back and forth, singing in a child-like soprano. "Chaos-man, chaos-man, hop-a-long home, a faction-it-is, yet we-are-alone."

"I'm looking for a lost journal. Do you know where I might find one?"

When he speaks again, his voice is level and straightforward... it is like a different, saner, person is speaking. The effect is eerie.

"More than one lost, more than one must you find. Each part of you had one, so more than one must you find." He blinks and shakes his head for a moment, as if surprised at himself, then chuckles uneasily.

"One is in a cupboard in your guest room in the hall of the Sensates, and another is on the walls of a tomb sealed deep beneath the city where the stones weep. The others are..."

Before he can finish, his right fist comes up and smashes him in the face, causing him to yowl again.

That is his last moment of clarity and after that, I am unable to get anything out of him.

I am not sure whether his words are believable. In the first place, how could the guy knows my different incarnations?

A pretty, young woman is asking for help, the bodice of her dress is torn and is stained with blood. She says some people are killing her sister. She becomes inconsistent when she mentions that one drunken man followed them ..

Noticing that the blood must be hours old for it has dried up, I threaten her to speak the truth or I will kill her. She owns up she is supposed to lure people into a nearby alley where others will rob. I let her go.

In retrospect, it looks like I made a bad decision to let her go just like that, for later in the day, many thugs in the area hunt us down. We have absolutely no chance against the gang, I and Morte run like hell to escape from their view. We have to temporarily take refuge in the Smoldering Corpse bar. I realize that given time, my injury will heal on its own. We have plenty of time to enjoy our stay here.

In the center of the bar, a flaming corpse is twisting in mid-air. His name is Ignus, one of the greatest wizards who had turned mad. He loves the flame more than anything else, and is consumed by the flame. After he had burnt the Alley of Angles, he was caught by a collaboration of many magic users. They turned him into a living conduit to the plane of Fire. Somehow, Ignus had kept himself alive by force of will alone. His lover, Drusilla, still loves him. She has sold what little she has just so she can be near him.

Barkis, the bartender, recognizes me for I had owed him. Fifteen years ago, a drunken me smashed up this place. As I had not enough money to pay for the damages, I had plucked out my eyeball and told him I'll be back to reclaim it when I have two hundred coins. That damned Barkis however charges me five hundred coins to get back my eyeball. Upon my protest, he agrees to reduce to three hundred. For what reason, should I get back my eyeball? If that eyeball is really mine, then I might be able to remember something of my past through it. For now, I have insufficient money to exchange back my eyeball, but soon, I will have after we slay the thugs.

An old man with grey beard and grey hair by the name of Ebb Creakknees, invites me with a drink. He says something that interests me, the Blood War between the baatezu and the tanar'ri. Ebb mentions that the Lady has kept the Powers out of Sigil, and ensures that the Blood War doesn't spread to Sigil.

A man by the name of Candrian Illborne, sits beside Ebb, he looks literally half-gone. There is an insubstantiality to his existence, as if some of his essence has left him. Candrian is a traveler, dreamer, and a talespinner, he had travelled to the far reaches of the multiverse. He talks for quite long about the different planes. I'm sure I can't remember half of it. He had just come back from the Negative Material Plane. He had went there to understand his body's urge to decay and the cycle of death in life and had nearly lost his existence. He was beset by shadows that sought to snuff out his soul. Candrian is able to sense that I might go there one day and he gives me a gift, a small black token that looks as if it has no dimensionality. The token had protected him from the shadows. I tell him about the paranoid woman, Ingress who can't return back to her home. Candrian has offered to help her back. I thanks him.

In another table, sits an old githzerai, his face is angular and a strange, shimmering blade is strapped across his back. He is known as Dak'kon. The githzerai shape cities with their thoughts in the shifting chaos plane of Limbo. The *karach* blade he holds is a symbol carried by one who knows the words of Zerthimon, and thus knows himself. (Zerthimon founded their race) When I asks him the question, "Do you know yourself?" and presses him for an answer, he reveals that he does not *know* himself and he does not know how to *know* himself once more. I feel a sadness, but at the same time, I feel a closeness with him.

When I asks Dak'kon about Sigil, he says that the city does not *know* itself. Sigil is in contradiction with itself, it has doors everywhere and yet these doors are locked. Somehow, I am motivated to counter him.

"You claim this city's existence is flawed. You have accepted this rather than explore the possibility that something greater may exist. That suggests you are flawed... and that you do not search for knowledge, but only for a convenient answer." Dak'kon fell silent.

"There is no *knowing* the answer to the questions we have asked. Yet the city exists. That is all."

"Yet I would maintain that we *know* ourselves by the questions we ask and the ones we do not. If we cease asking questions and accept only what we can perceive..."

"Then we will cease to *know* ourselves." Dak'kon's voice has changed slightly, become heavier. "Such words have been spoken before. I have heard them and *know* them."

"Where have you heard them?"

"The words are mine. Once, I *knew* them and *knew* their meaning. I had forgotten them until you spoke." Dak'kon's gaze travels through me, and his blade stops shimmering, bleeding of all color until it is translucent. There is a moment of silence, then Dak'kon looks up at me. "I would travel your path with you."

Do I know myself?

Am I being helpful just for the sake of helping others?

Am I being helpful so that I will gain something back, so that in turn, I will be helped?

Am I being helpful so that the evil will be punished?

Am I being helpful so that I can redeem and lessen my suffering?

Am I being helpful only to those that have also suffered?

Am I being helpful because I am more inclined to goodness?


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