The dungeon was dank and smelled of mildew. Holding his nose, the observer meandered through the passages in pursuit of the prince, who had brought his prisoner in for interrogation. A starved-looking rat scuttled across the floor, and the squeamish observer suppressed a shriek as he peered around the corner to overlook the prince. Shortly after, a knight arrived to stand guard in the hall; he was soon followed by a shy-looking woman who seemed only to linger nearby without venturing closer.
Scribbling the details in his logbook, the observer watched with concern as the knight drew his sword. With a smirk, the woman pushed the knight against the wall and flipped his helmet open to expose his face. The knight froze, his own blade held against his throat. “I’m sorry,” crooned the invoker, “but you’re in our way.”
Soundlessly, the cult leader emerged from the shadows, his dagger gleaming in the torchlight. “Much appreciated,” he told the invoker as he pulled off the knight’s helmet.
The knight crumpled to the ground as the cult leader slit his throat, coughing and gasping for air. The older cultist grinned as he whispered to the dying knight. “You, my friend, have been eradicated.”
He then sailed toward the prince, his crimson robes flowing in his wake. It seemed the young royal was preoccupied with his thoughts, and he didn’t hear the nearing footsteps as he bade his prisoner farewell. He hadn’t so much as the chance to turn his head before the cult leader’s dagger pierced his heart, and the prince fell without so much as a word.
Beckoning for the invoker to follow, the cult leader slipped out of the dungeon. As the observer clenched his fists in frustration, he swore revenge on the cultists for murdering his fellow Blue Dragon members.
The court assembled the next day, a somber mood upon them as they realized the prince was gone. “May I speak?” asked the observer, withdrawing his logbook and opening it. “Last night, I overlooked the prince and saw two visitors. One of them was a knight, who incidentally is also dead. The other one…” he lifted a finger and pointed at the man across the table, “…is right here.”
At his words, the cult leader shifted nervously. All eyes were on him, and he cleared his throat. “I believe the observer is lying,” he accused. “After all, that knight was on the prince. How would the killer have bypassed the knight?”
The court turned to the observer for an answer. “I suspect there was an invoker or a sellsword,” he replied. “Wouldn’t that be logical? Occupy the knight and attack the prince?”
“No! Well… yes. But you’re feeding the court with your lies. Who can say you’re not a sorcerer and you bombed them last night? The cult leader may have been imprisoned,” the cultist covered, but he sensed he was on thin ice.
With a sigh, the king waved at the cult leader. “Get this man out of here,” he ordered. “If we’re wrong, we execute the observer tomorrow.”
“That won’t be necessary, Your Majesty,” the observer assured him. “I know what I saw, and I saw this man kill the prince.”
As the cult leader was forced on stand, the invoker stood back and watched. She knew already that her leader would be executed, and she was prepared for it.
The court cheered as the cult leader was executed, and the observer breathed a small sigh of relief; he would no longer be under any suspicion. He would simply have to undertake the task of finding the rest of the cult before they found him.
Night fell over Castle Adiart, and the observer prepared for his next task. He suspected the invoker was masquerading as a drunk claim, so he intended to track him tonight. As he left the walls of Castle Adiart to make his way toward the tavern, he heard a whisper. There was nobody in sight, however, and the observer felt a slight chill creeping up his spine. Surveying his surroundings, he peered cautiously into a dimly lit alley. Afraid of stepping into the secluded area, he lingered only for a minute before continuing on his way. But the farther he walked, the more lost in thought he became, until he had completely passed by the tavern. The whispers came again, nearer and nearer, distracting him from finding his target. He picked up the pace and strode briskly toward the tavern as the whispers grew louder and clearer.
As he reached for the door, a hand grabbed onto his arm and pulled him around the side. His assailant slapped a hand over his mouth before he could speak. She drew back the hood of her blood-red cloak and brandished a dagger. “Ah, yes,” she said, a carefree laugh gliding after her words as she mocked the observer. “You knew what you saw, and you saw our leader kill the prince.”
Struggling to free himself of the former invoker’s grasp, the observer pushed the dagger away. “Oh, don’t worry. I’m not here to kill you,” she reassured him as she moved the dagger out of his reach, “I’m only here to take your eyes.”
The whispers came from all directions now, begging and pleading the observer to join them. They overwhelmed him, drowning his every thought in a sea of promises of ancient gods and unearthly powers. He could scarcely feel the dagger as the cultist worked, and a strange, comforting peace blanketed him as he succumbed to the voices in his head - his world had gone dark, but his mind had achieved a new level of enlightenment.
“Remember,” said the cult leader as she led her new convert away, “Your eyes belong to Mithras now.”