Nullius in Verba
As I sit at my window, I look out at the slopes of Mount Rabat. Grey clouds, the product of sandstorms blowing in from the desert, cast massive shadows over the hills outside the city. As I watch, the silhouette of a wyvern passes across the monochrome sky. At least, I think it was a wyvern. No matter. It’s good to sit back and just think sometimes.
Nearly a week has passed since I arrived here, and most of the acolytes have treated me with something akin to kindness. Eline has been assigned as my guide to this little world, until we can be sure that the price on my head has become less of priority to ‘certain residents’.
The daily routine here consists of getting up at the fourth hour for the morning prayer (which lasts almost an hour, by the way) and doing a series of exercise regimens before the breaking of the night fast. Throughout the day, corpses are brought in from Shaal in the dozens, to be embalmed and mummified. There are a series of necropoli near the complex proper, into which most of these cadavers are carried. It’s so strange, to see the lives of these people, so unlike my own. I bet most of them have never been more than ten miles from the temple.
The priests say that the physical journey of mummification is a reflection of the spiritual one, the souls of the deceased being prepared for the Afterlife. If so, then it isn’t somewhere I would want to find myself. Deep down, I know I don’t have the kind of zeal or discipline for a life like this, but I am extremely fascinated by the details of their day job. I have no trouble working around corpses, just the opposite. I find their simultaneous presence and lack of presence oddly comforting, so much so that I volunteered to mummify bodies myself. I would remove the internal organs, placing them carefully in the appropriate canopic jars. After that, I anointed the already decaying flesh with oils and powders. Finally, I wrapped the body in white linens. Nothing fancy, but it’s a decent way of passing the time.
According to Eline, I have some natural talent. She seems kind enough, and she’s definitely not very good at keeping her feelings towards me a secret, but I can’t seem to reciprocate them. I just don’t have time for distractions right now.