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Codex entry: Cautionary Tales for the Adventurous

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Codex text

It was then that he realized he wasn't alone. The abandoned camp in front of him was unbelievably welcoming, like a mirage. The fire felt like a warm hand grabbing his heart. It reminded him of a previous life, so long ago, when he was happy. Running on the sunflower fields with his boy, the sun on his face. Laying next to the fireplace, with his beautiful wife in his arms.

He felt a sharp pain in his heart. His thoughts shifted to that fateful day when everything changed. Blood was everywhere. He held the body of his dead wife in his arms. Around him the ashes of his burned house fell like snow. The stench was terrible. It smelled like darkspawn. He grabbed his axe, touched the icy cold hands of his boy, and left. He would kill them. He would kill them all. The pain in his heart was unbearable.

He opened his eyes and saw the second most terrifying thing he would see in his life--a shadowy wraith leaning over him, leeching his life away. Around him, the camp was gone, replaced by something familiar, almost peaceful: Bones, death and despair. He wondered if all his life had been an illusion, if he'd ever had a family. For a brief moment, he felt relief. You can't lose something you've never had. But being this close to death brought clarity. He knew it was real. Everything else was the illusion. You could see a smile on his torn face. He had been waiting for this moment for a long, long time. He lifted his weak arms, grasped the demon's face, and kissed it. It felt like kissing a cloud made of sand and dust. Suddenly, all sorrow left him, and with it, the last bit of life he had. Before his limp body hit the ground, it was all over.

He was finally free.

--From Cautionary Tales for the Adventurous, by Brother Ramos of Guilherme, 7:94 Storm.

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