“You call us the ‘Sundered,’ in that odd, melodic tongue of yours. We are the destroyed, the ripped apart: torn from a whole. It suits. Some of us wield the powers of gods, but you never call us that, Fadhil. Gods are to be worshipped; we are to be dreaded. Call us the Sundered if you like, and curse our names, for you will soon be one of us.
I can sense that your life is ending. No power in this world can stop that now. You will breathe your last on this desolate world, and your breath will join the winds that shape the dunes. Your time as a human is complete, but this is not the end of your story. After you are born again, you will be changed. You will become Sundered, cursed to wander these lands until the suns grow cold.
I wouldn't wish this fate on anyone. I did not choose you and I do not know why you are to be reincarnated and another is not. If there is one among the Sundered making these decisions, I hope to be powerful enough to end them.
But your sad fate is why I am here, Fadhil. It is not within my power to stop what is happening, but I can ease your way and honor your memory. None deserve to die alone in this world, and I can offer consolation and companionship as you go. In your final moments I will be here for you... if you will have me.
When you wake, your first life will be forgotten. Even I do not remember who I was when I was human. I remember neither my likeness nor my name, and all who knew me are dead. I am forgotten. All I carried into this new life is what I felt in my final moments of the last. Fear. Rage. But most of all, a consuming, soul-rending loneliness. A despair I cannot forget.
It does not have to be that way for you. Yes, the maggots will eat your flesh, become flies, and take your memory with them to the skies. But your name will not be forgotten. Take this quill and write it on my parchments. I carry them with me, and protect them with my life. They are my chosen burden. When I am alone, I will read the names aloud. I will scream each into the emptiness, a litany of the near-forgotten. Your anguish now will become mine. And as long as my parchments and I endure, I will grieve every name I carry.
That is my offer to you, Fadhil. I hope with all my heart that your torment will be a bearable one.”
by Jörn Meyer and Bethany Walk