11 ii) The standard gods go dim for him

The standard gods go dim for him after several years. In the cell, where he cannot stand, cannot stretch his full length, cannot feel the sun, cannot smell the wheat — he cannot be.

When the standard gods are gone, there’s nothing. Mush for a meal, served once a day, if at all. The days he’s lucky, it comes rather watery, briefly quenches his thirst. The only constant is its tastelessness.

It is at one such meal time, when the hair on his head is long gone, his beard grown wild, when from the squalid confines of his exile, from the very depths of its darkness, comes the friendly, loose, totally non-threatening disembodied voice of Old Ajralan.

Fassn listens.

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