...The mule could not carry him for much longer. Nor could he any longer carry The Curse. The journey was long and arduous, but The Tower of the Mad Wizard at long last rose before him.
The imposing edifice, hewn from Black Stone in times long forgotten, failed in its task to instil fear in him, for his hollowed spirit could no longer house such emotions.
The reflection in the shallow waters of Lake Crn gleamed from the Erudian Greatsword's hilt as it rested in its worn-out scabbard, and the tranquil surface shone with the ephemeral image of a man with nothing left to lose.
The mule came to a halt and bent its front legs at the knee, allowing the man to dismount before finally collapsing. The steel blade of a knife now glinted in the mist, and blood stained the dark waters before him. The silence was not broken by it. Yet another piece of flesh, his nose, had parted ways with the rest of his visage.
If he could never again smell the morning dew of Neverwinter Meadows, his nose was of no use to him whatsoever. The eyes had to stay though. He made sure of that by sewing them into his skull. And the hand too, the hand that unsheathed the Erudian relic from its scabbard, leaving it to fall on dusty ground.
The man proceeded onward.
The slumbering landscape, listless and eternal, was perturbed only by his determined footsteps as he treaded the waters.
Determined and slow… There was no need to rush - what had to happen was sure to happen, and beyond that nothing mattered, there was no afterwards to speak of.
He stopped in front of the stalworth gates and whispered: 'Come out, old man.'
The hinges creaked eerily as the gates began to open. The waters subsided, disappeared.
There soon appeared a dark figure upon the threshold: enveloped in black robes there he stood, with piercing eyes that had borne witness to countless ages long past, directing his unwavering gaze at, and through, the tired man at his doorstep. There was yet something else in those eyes, something that the man had seen many times before. There was fear.
The old man spoke: 'It seems we are at the precipice!'
The man, retorting, whispered: 'No. We are at the end.'