In Serein

1-6-2 Reflections on Monks & The Nature Of Revenge


So the story of my life? It’s simple really.

There were chapters missing, and I would awake somewhere briefly.

But I clearly remember the orphanage of the Holy Brothers Of The Gate.

There was no gate, the men there weren’t brothers, and if what they did to us and to each other was holy, then it was important to me to be as unholy as I could ever be.

They used us for various sports, they starved us, they beat us, they had us do all the work and taught us nothing beyond that there was far more suffering than you can ever hope to take and still survive somehow.

I was different from the other children there, taller, stronger, better grown; I was less afraid of them or of the pain and I never cried.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to.

I simply couldn’t find tears anywhere inside me, and they did try their holy best to break me. For my own good, and my salvation, as they said.

They tried to get to me through the other children and that did not work at all. There was not one who I could not make afraid of me, and I sincerely did not care if any of them lived or died or how they suffered. They were wild eyed vermin whose limbs would crack like fragile twigs.

I was covered with bruises and scars from lashings on the outside, and scars on the inside from the usage they gave me so they finally gave up on beating me, and for one month decided to have a small, weak boy get beatings instead for everything they said I did or said or thought wrong.

He died before the month was out but it gave my skin on the outside a chance to regrow and cover me over again so that was a good thing as far as I was concerned.

It would be a good thing to be able to think that I didn’t care what they did, but some years later, when I had my first command, I made the effort to take a three day detour with my headmen and went back there. We put the new generation of resident vermin out of their misery first and I made sure that each one of the monks had a good fiveday of torture, and that none of them died. They all lived on, gelded, blinded, tongues sliced to ribbons, with limbs missing here and there, because life is so much worse than death can ever be. I had learned this from them, learned my lesson well and this style of punishment became my trademark in time.

Well. Not punishment.

Let’s be clear and call it by what it was - revenge. I meant to teach them no lesson, I didn’t care if they learned from their experiences and I did not want to ever see them be redeemed. It pains me to admit my weakness - I still had feelings in those days and the burning flesh and screaming of the monks were a benediction that made me wholer than I had ever been before.

But I digress.

One day, three Serein came to the orphanage. I was hauled before them and they fingered my mind just like the holy brothers were fingering my body in the nighttimes and it was hateful to me as the last place I called my own fell tumbling like the walls of my father’s castle and lay in ruins too from that day forth.

But I was becoming used to the fact that nothing was of mine and that there was never nothing I could do, so I just breathed as I did and when it hurt, I screamed as I would, and when they told me to do things I did them as I would, and when it became too much to bear, I lost my senses, as I would.

Days later, a single young Serein came and fetched me with him. We walked for days and days and days and finally came to a tower place, high in mountains somewhere, I knew not where then, and left me with a man who took what I thought I knew of me or of pain, shattered it, and re-build us both in his image.

He was the Dark Lord of his time, Lord Sephael Timore.