The creature that fed on my memories, a bastellus, the lich boasted, finished feeding on me again. Each night was worse than the one before, and now I was down to almost no magic. All of the advanced learning was gone. Only the most basic lessons from Windy remained. I wouldn't surrender those memories, though. I couldn't.
On the table to my left, Windy lay dead, her neck snapped and vacant eyes staring at me. Two nights ago—or was it three?—Windy had told the lich what he had wanted to know on promise to release me and remove the curse from Rina. Of course the creature had reneged. Rina's entire arm was now skeletal, and spread into her chest so that her shoulder and ribs were nothing more than white bone.
The lich stopped by every few hours for its own amusement, watching as we suffered, that horrible, magically projected sound serving as its voice and laugh.
I drifted in and out of nightmare-filled sleep; I tried to force myself to stay awake, but without food, I had no way to fight off the fatigue. Each time I drifted into sleep, the creature came back to inspire more horrible nightmares and feed off my life essence. I didn't have much left. My mind was scoured of nearly all memory of magic. I had lost a good part of my time away from home with my friends. I clung to only a couple memories of Virgil and Faenoth each, a bare handful of Windy as most of them were linked to my experiences with magic. I fought the creature with everything I had left to preserve memories of Markun, Alistair, and my family. And Rina.
My eyes slipped closed once more, and I felt myself pulled down into troubled sleep.
The nightmare started right away, taunting me this time with Rina restored to health and I free of this place, making our escape, only to stumble onto the lich's true lair, where Markun and Alistair lay dead, their corpses beginning to rise in undeath.
My eyes snapped open, and I blinked at the brightness of holy light; fire light, at that. I made out the shape of a familiar dwarf even as Alistair swung Markun's warhammer against my shackles, shattering them.
This didn't have the feel of the nightmare, but I had seen such episodes play out too many times before to fully trust it, but I had nothing left to lose.
"Rina," I mumbled.
"We're tending to her," Alistair said as he struck again. The force of the blow rattled hard against my wrist, causing a deep pain that could only be the shattering of bone.
I wanted to scream in pain, but couldn't muster anything more than whimper.
"Dinnae worry, lad, I can fix tha," Markun assured.
I felt pain in my ankles, next, but not as severe, then Alistair was carrying me, running through the lich's halls.