A Martyr's Tale
"A Martyr's Tale," by an anonymous martyr of the Bloodsabers, who was put to death by the wretched Qeynosians in a show of might at the end of the War of Plagues.
In the darkness, I light a candle to my god Bertoxxolous. See the flame shimmer? See how it wavers as though fending off blows? When I crush the candlewick in my fingers, the light offers no resistance but a mere sting. This is, then, how the Qeynosians are to those of us who know the truth -- they are the wick and we will extinguish them, one by one.
They are foolish, believing that they can win in the end. Though I languish in their prison cell where they fling me the rotted flesh from the battlefield as meat, I know that my faith in Bertoxxulous will be rewarded. Perhaps not now, not in this lifespan...but a reward I shall receive nonetheless. I look to no promise to make me whole, no misguided agreements shackle me.
We nearly had won that day. With the help our leader, Kane Bayle, we were positioned beneath the city. He gave us advance warning of battle plans and suggested routes we might take to ease our passage through the city's armies. The city acclaimed his leadership; little did they know then where his allegiance lay.
I was a singer at a local eatery and dallied with the men of the Guard. They pretend to be so righteous, such devoted husbands and Guardsmen. Their wives, the mistress in the marriage of a Guardsman to Qeynos, believing all the while that their men were working diligently. But I knew otherwise. I knew the truth about many of those faithless so-called heroes.
One day, I met Kane and we began our affair. He, who had suffered such slighting at the hands of his family, needed my encouragement. I forsook all others to woo him to our side, to the cause of Bertoxxulous. The conquest was easy; he was already intrigued by our god and eager to learn more. I fed him as much as I could, then took him to my mistress, who helped him learn more.
My Kane is not the blind fool his trial makes him out to be -- oh, no! Even while he toyed with me, he already knew what he wanted. He soon cast me aside for larger prey amongst our ranks, but I am not a jealous cat. We needed his strength, his knowledge, his connections. At that time, we had need of him more than he of us. I am grateful to have known him so intimately for so long.
Yes, for so long -- for Kane was one of us for much, much longer than the foolish Bayle family realizes. While they mocked his achievements, cast him aside in order to fawn over Antonius...Kane was with us. He steeped himself in our lore while he covered himself in the mantle that Qeynos wanted to see in him. They thought his work was on their behalf, but it was for us. It was for Bertoxxulous.
They have put up the gallows where we can see it from the barred windows of the prison. They think it will intimidate us, make us squirm before our deaths. I stand beside the window, my spine straight and my head up. I am not ashamed to die for my beliefs. What frightens the "good" people of Qeynos is nothing to a Bloodsaber. I have slain my own family, murdered without a care those who crossed me. No, I am not afraid to die.
How quaint. The guard who watches me was one of my patrons from my old singing days. He offered to release me in exchange for my favor! My gaze weakened him and I let him stay with me. I am not interested in bargaining with a fool. Still, I will miss some of the pleasures of this life...such as keeping the guard intrigued long enough for us to be discovered. He is now sitting in the cell across from mine, crying. The fool.
I will return to finish my work here in Qeynos. This, I already know: I will be assigned to the catacombs below, to the Bayle family's tombs. Though they despise him, they will bury Kane there...and I will follow. Death will grant me more power than I have as a minion in life. I will remain true to our cause and fight against the weak with renewed vigor.