The Whisperer in Darkness

Day 9: Restrained Reminiscence

Though it proved mildly successful a few days ago, Wistark does not attempt to loosen his bonds. He is exhausted and starving, and the insides of his trousers are covered in his own filth. These are not adequate reasons to give up on escape, of course. Today would be a very good day to do so – Spyro watched the majority of the camp’s jailors march away several hours before. Really, Wistark’s main problem is the smallest finger on his right hand. It has been cut off. Impossibly tight knots are hard enough to undo in normal circumstances. Undoing them with a hand that sends jolts of unbelievable agony your way with every motion is on another level of difficulty altogether.

After three days in solitary confinement, Wistark had been escorted to a wooden hut. At the time, he was simply glad to be outdoors. Once his eyes adjusted to the light, he saw enough of the camp to know that it was recently built and had a tall, wooden perimeter fence. Not easy to escape, but not impossible. Especially for a master of fire. However, inside the hut he was tied to a chair and interrogated by the man with the raspy voice. The same twisted figure who had given the order to turn Grimlock into an archery pincushion outside the hidden base (its location given away by Norman when he walked through the city with a hogtied Droog across his shoulders).

The raspy voice had asked several questions, quietly audible despite the din of a noisy male crowd somewhere outside. Why did you go to Raylack? Who was Joseph Curwen? Wistark refused to answer the first question but answered the second honestly. A desk stood at the wizard’s side, on which were arranged knives and tools of clear malicious intent. What did you see inside the Thinny? How many other gates are there? Wistark was interested to hear the Thinny described as a ‘gate’, but his truthful, ignorant answers did not go down well with his interviewer. Raspy signalled, and the guard at Wistark’s side stepped behind him and whipped him on the back.

How did you close the Thinny? What do you know of the Elder Shades? The answers to these two questions came from the same source – the Necronomicon. Wistark again answered truthfully. There was no reason not to – the story of the Risen Adventurers was in newspapers from one end of the kingdom to the other. Raspy cackled menacingly and leaned in close, his face riddled with the marks of some pungent disease. Taking a knife from the desk, he took Wistark’s bound hands and selected the smallest finger on his right hand. He pressed the knife against it and leaned closer still, his face mere inches from the wizard’s own.

He began to saw against the finger with the knife, cutting through the skin with ease to grate against the bone beneath. He increased the pressure slowly, building up to the necessary strength with as much delay as possible. Blood spurted from the wound onto Raspy’s hand. Looking at it with distaste, Raspy chopped through the rest of the finger with one jerking wrench. Wistark cried out helplessly, feeling sick as he watched a small part of himself fall to the floor beside his chair. Raspy came in close once again and spoke, “Remember this pain. Remember this pain and associate it with the name of Bango Skank”. The twisted man nodded to the guard, and Wistark was taken back to his shack and retied to the post within.

In the hours since, Wistark has done naught but bleed, his fighting spirit washed aside. As dusk fell he listened to the birds, trying to recognise the species of each singer by the sound of its song. Now they are silent and the wizard has come out of his stupor, fueled by his hatred of Bango Skank and the rasping man. The door to his tiny hovel opens silently. Wasp comes in and is pleased to find Wistark both awake and alert. Unsheathing a short sword, she cuts him loose. Wistark falls onto his face but, grimacing in pain, slowly gets back to his feet. Starving, beaten and exhausted, the wizard is fueled by nothing more than the dangerous need to survive.

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Wistark

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