A 'heart of fire' was an apt description of me. A harsh blaze burned within me night and day, a fire that demanded to be fed. It was a fire that was never satisfied, and I often wondered if it would burn eternally. What did this fire feed on? Many things . . . but I believe it was the fuel which first kindled it that made it so relentless. I am the altar of Armenelos the Golden.

It was the wood of Nimloth, the White Tree, that was first kindled upon my grate. Painful and suffocating, but more satisfying than any other burning, it awoke a hunger that could not be quenched by any wood. The stench and smoke that rose from Nimloth was like nothing else those flames ever consumed.

Compared to many of the following offerings, though, it was not painful at all. I remember the second kindling all too well; she was so young. Who she was I do not know . . . I only remember her blue eyes . . . such a contrast to the flames. It was agony and ecstasy as the flames stole around her, consuming yet caressing golden hair and pale skin. Her screams were music and torture at the same time.

There were many more like her, and each was consumed with hunger and pity. Human flesh was the only thing that came close to satisfying the flames like Nimloth had, but I hated it. It was like an addiction that one can never be free from . . . and the young ones were the worst. There was terror in all the victims, yes, but the terror was unfathomable in the children.

My very nature rebelled against the flames each time - an altar was supposed to be a holy thing - yet I craved the flesh. Each night was spent feasting on the innocent - and the Faithful - and each morning was spent cursing the Giver of Freedom.


Author Note: Edited for a typo, no other changes.