My Hands Are Not My Own

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This note is found on the second level of the Temple of Osyr.

I write this final letter so those who may find this know what had transpired. Know that I am not a sinister man, and would never murder anyone in cold blood. But through some evil dwelling within this place, that is precisely what had happened.

I came to these lands with my two companions, Harnen and Belik. After weeks of travel through accursed sands, we at last came to see the spires of Korvan ruins. They were stabbing up from the haze of the horizon like the rotten ribs of some great dead god.

It was not until we stepped foot inside the first tomb that I began hearing the whispers. I kept asking what the others were muttering about, but they would laugh, saying that I was merely hearing things. As our days of digging and opening tombs continued, I became convinced that they were conspiring to slit my throat. I refused to sleep. I grew weary and delusional. The whispers kept gnawing at my mind.

Yesterday, as we made our way into the latest tomb, the voices took their toll. We had found a small opening on the surface through which we were able to descend via rope. As soon as my feet touched the dusty tiles, however, I was but a passenger in my own body; trapped behind my own eyes. As my companions moved into the inky depths, my hands reached for the rope and soaked it with lamp oil. I screamed to warn the others, but I had no voice. I stared in horror as our only means of escape vanished in a brief blaze.

Deeper inside, I found Harnen overlooking a golden railing near a waterfall. My hands came up into my vision as if to push him. I tried to fight my arms down, I commanded my mouth to make any noise, but nothing came of it. I was powerless and could only watch as his hands shot out in desperation, grasping for anything within reach...the railing, the wall...me. His eyes met mine with the final fearful question: why? Then he was gone, tumbled over the railing and out of sight into the ravine.

Belik was not far from my grisly deed. I found him admiring the intricate work of gold-encrusted statue. The figure was frightening, with too many arms gripping a razor-sharp halberd as if at the ready to defend the tomb. There was an eerie quality of unlife about it that made my blood run cold.

In a flash, my hands were wrapped around Belik's arms and I lifted him with inhuman strength way up into the air before forcing his back onto the statue's weapon. I released him and watched as he slowly slid down the length of the halberd, his blood pouring down along the shaft and pooling at the foot of the statue.

It was at that moment when my last friend was dead that whatever spell had enthralled me had ended. Freed from my mental prison, I screamed and wailed and pounded on the cold stones like a distraught child. For a brief moment, I could swear I saw a withered face clad in golden armor staring back at me, but then it was gone. I can't say when or how, but I pulled Belik down off the statue. Nor do I know how long I laid there holding my dead friend. My mind was broken.

There was no hope of escape, I saw to that. By my own hand, I became trapped down here to waste away and rot to bone with my fallen companions. I needed to write this. If not for myself, then for my friends. I can only pray their spirits know in their hearts that it was not me, and they will greet me with forgiveness when I see them beyond the veil.

Gods preserve me, my hands were not my own.