It had started when he woke up. For the most part, he still felt human; all his memories were the same, as if nothing had changed at all. However, he could tell with an almost painful awareness he was no longer the same person. He wasn't quite dead, his heart was still beating, but the rhythm was far too slow for him to really be alive. Despite the fact it had been hours (days?) since he emerged from the sea, his whole body felt soaked through as if he was still deep within its dark waters. It would be his constant reminder that he could no longer be truly alive again; that he was trapped, now cursed to live a life he had never even chose for himself.
The young man, Jason- not that an identity really mattered, now that the 'Real Him' had been lost to the depths of the Sea - made to pick himself up from the hard earth he had apparently passed out on, groaning at the stiffness in his body. He coughed, just once and gently at first, then was suddenly wracked by a violent fit that brought him down to his knees. Inky black water fell from his mouth, splashing against the ground, only to trail back to his hands and soak itself into his cold-as-death, gray-blue skin.
Jason took a few steadying breaths before finally getting to his feet. He ignored the fact he was unclothed, with only a strange, shadow-like substance misting around various parts of his body, sliding over his skin and covering the essential parts. The dried blood spattered all over him also seemed to fail to catch his notice. After all, he knew damned well what it was from, and he didn't feel bad about it, either. It's like they say, and eye for an eye. Why the Hell shouldn't he kill those that killed him? However, now that that initial rage and need for revenge had faded, he only seemed to feel…sad? He was utterly miserable, a sorrowful ache deep within that almost crippled him, yet somehow seemed to motive him at the same time. His thoughts were filled only with images of death; his own in fact. Slit wrists, hanging, drowning, burning. All these images were so painfully sad, and yet so beautiful. He would have smiled if he weren't completely depressed.
Jason just felt completely lost. Being dead-"Not dead, not dead yet!" a voice that once belonged to him echoed from the back of his mind-was possibly the most disconcerting sensation he had ever experienced, and yet, in ways, the easiest. For the most part his mind was just a blank, only a faintly connected chain of repeating thoughts drifting around, and his wants and desires had all melted away, leaving only that wish for death in any way it wanted to come to him. He couldn't feel the need for hunger, or for sleep, and he wasn't even sure the slow, steady breaths he was taking were necessary for his continued survival. The only thing he really felt were the Black Tears flowing through his veins, giving him an unnatural strength and always calling; calling out to the Sea, to others like him, reaching out to make a connection and become stronger still.
He heard the flapping of a large pair of wings, but didn't turn around to face the figure who had landed behind him. He didn't need to see them to know it was another Tear Drinker, and a really powerful one at that. The black water that made up his body almost felt as if it was trying to break its way out of him, wanting to join with the other into something even greater. The only thing keeping it reigned in was his unusually strong desire to keep what remained of his identity his own.
"I knew there was another one of you around. I could sense you from miles away." Her voice was low, seductive, and Jason could feel it down to his core, her words twisting inside him and leaving him aching as if they were the most hauntingly beautiful melody he had ever heard. "You're a lot like me. You're different than the others. I haven't come across very many like you." The woman placed her hand on his shoulder, and for a moment her fingers and his skin turned to water, mingling together indefinably, before solidifying back into blue and black flesh.
"What do you want?" Jason asked, fighting against returning to that sense of completion he had felt, and just letting himself drown in her waters until he merely became another part of her.
"You, of course." She had finally released him, gliding (her movements were too smooth to be walking) around to stand in front of him. Jason saw she was beautiful, with void black hair and blue skin like his, her whole body encased in the roiling shadows that only thinly twisted around his own. "I'm building an army. I'm gathering all the Tear Drinkers under my command for a war."
Jason had tried to keep eye contact with the woman, but those inky depths just held so much hatred it threatened to overwhelm him and he had to look away, loosely concentrating on the trio of out of place pink barrettes holding her hair to the side. "War? A war for what?"
A looking somewhere between absolute loathing and sadness crossed her features, before turning into a smug little smirk. "Revenge. I'm taking action against those who have wronged me. I intend to show them just how big of a mistake they made."
Revenge. How appropriate. Those feelings were still fresh in his mind. "Do I at least get to know the name of my commander?"
"You can call me Ophelia," she replied, something in her voice hinting that that wasn't quite who she really was.
"Would you like to know mine?" Jason hadn't really meant to ask the question, but the words were out of his mouth before he could stop them.
Ophelia looked momentarily taken aback, and he could see the unvoiced question in her expression: You have one? "Yeah, go for it."
Grave Digger. That was his new title. He had been given a position that was little more than infantry grunt, but he was okay with that. Jason could admit he wasn't very strong, and he never really had been, preferring to fade into the background and avoid conflict. However, their leader had taken a small interest in him because of his fairly unique form, and he now held a slightly higher status, being in command of an entire unit of other Grave Diggers. Not that that made any difference. He could hear them say things about him behind his back, their mournful voices strangely similar to ones belonging to others that were always stronger than him, teasing him, letting him know just how pathetic he was.
He had lost his temper once. A brief surge of anger overpowered his deep set depression, and he had mercilessly taken off the head of another Grave Digger with his sharpened spade, then proceeded to stab into the remainder of the body until all the black water had leaked out from it. The corpse had dried up and turned to dust, the waters that held it together traveling up the handle of Jason's spade to become a part of him. After that, the others had kept their distance, none of them wanting to be that one that set him off again. Even Ophelia, who had conveniently been near enough to witness to incident, had a moderately surprised reaction. Not that it was uncommon for Tear Drinkers to kill those around them, but it was typically only after time had passed, and the madness had taken over. It was almost startling how casually he returned to normal after his previous act of carnage.
Another ten days had passed since that particular occurrence, Jason discovering the other Grave Diggers listened to him just a littler bit better, even if they still said nasty things about him out of earshot, when Ophelia had personally paid him a visit.
"What will you have of me, Commander?" Jason's voice was just as flat and sorrowful as any other member of his kind, but the difference was in the way he talked to her. He was respectful, dutiful, but he didn't worship her, each line spilling from his lips words of praise and adoration for the dark beauty. In fact, he tried to avoid her as much as he could without seeming rebellious. The black tears his body was made of still threatened to rip him apart in its longing to join with her. Their lack of contact was usually preferred, anyway, since he had noticed even Ophelia's shadowy coverings would reach out towards him, calling him closer.
It was happening now, the smoky tendrils from the bottom of her 'dress' snaking out towards him and ghosting around his ankles. "We've come a long way in these last few months. All of our preparations are nearly complete, and we'll be moving forward with the assault soon."
"Why are you telling me separately? I'm assuming I'm not the first person you've told, so…" Jason crossed his arms, giving Ophelia a determinedly fixed stare as he concentrated on keeping himself together.
"Actually, you are," she purred, that same self-satisfied smirk she always wore on her face.
Jason raised an eyebrow, a little of his control slipping in his surprise, causing a few drops of inky black water to drip from the ends of his hair and slide down towards the ground to join with Ophelia. "Why in the world would you do that?"
"Why else?" Ophelia's grin widened just a bit, taking on a more sinister look. "Your lot are the first ones getting sent it. I need you and your boys to be ready in advance."
Of course. That would be her game. "Do you plan on telling the other unit leaders, then? I'm sure they'd enjoy being graced by your presence." His statement wasn't actually meant to be taken as insulting, but Jason could only be around Ophelia for so long before he became too uncomfortable with the close contact.
"No, I'm entrusting that little job to you. I have other things that I need to get done before I can give the official word, and I'm already spending too much time here discussing this with you. I still need to call a meeting with the rest of the generals. Consult with the rest of the Grave Diggers and get them prepared. I'll speak with you again in a few days."
"It will be done, Commander. Hopefully the rest of your plans will continue to run smoothly." Ophelia didn't bother to respond, flaring out her large black wings, and launching into the air with one powerful movement. Jason resisted a reflexive sigh of relief at the absence of her presence. Taking a moment to call back the streams of water that tried to chase after her, the Grave Digger went off to consult with his peers. They would not be happy with the fact their great leader had come to see only him, and not any of them.
"So you're not actually going to be there? At all?" Jason was taking advantage of his status as one of Ophelia's favorites to consult with their leader very early the morning of the assault.
"Of course not. I want Ed-I want them to be surprised. They'll figure everything out far too soon if I'm there fronting the assault. That's why I have soldiers like you, Jason."
Jason took in a shuddering breath, his fingers digging into his crossed arms as he fought to keep control of himself. He had already been around Ophelia for far longer than was really healthy for either of them. He gazed over at the woman, an uncharacteristically pensive look on his face. "You're expecting us all to die today, aren't you?"
"Not necessarily," she answered, just a bit too quickly. "If the attack goes well and you all manage to kill every last one of them, that's fine with me. However, there are a certain few I know won't go down easily. What I want is just for their forces to be utterly destroyed, which will in turn crush their spirits to the point they can no longer fight. Then, that's when I move in to deliver the final blow. To finally make them pay." Ophelia turned on him then, giving him an expectant stare. "And you better not die out there, either. You're not easy to kill, and if you do go down, I will find some way to make you pay." To prove her point, Ophelia swiped out with suddenly lengthened shadow claws, slashing Jason's throat open. Dark blood flowed from the wound and his mouth, and he gurgled in his surprise, before the bleeding just stopped. All the escaping water trailed back up his shirt, sliding back into the openings they came from, and as the last few drops soaked back into his skin, the wound healed with them.
Jason was caught in a stunned silence, his brain fighting to catch up with his body. For one glorious moment, he tasted the sweet release of death, the ecstasy at his greatest desire being fulfilled, and in such a gruesome, painful way. And then, life (or what passed for life in his case), returned in place of the void he had been expecting; needing. Once he realized he was still alive and whole, despair washed over him and he fell back into his spiral of depression. Then, as final awareness sunk in and he acknowledged the cruel way Ophelia had teased him, anger flared. However, all he could do was glare at his leader, showing her that her point had been taken.
A dark chuckle escaped Ophelia's mouth, and she gave the Grave Digger a look that could have been mistaken for fondness if he didn't already know better. "You should rest, Jason. There's still a few hours before dawn." She flipped at her hair with a hand casually, before moving away from the other Tear Drinker.
"I don't sleep," he muttered, giving her back a rather distrusting stare. "Sleep eludes those who are already dead, remember?"
"Then go cut yourself in a corner again. I don't care," she snorted, not even giving him a backwards glance as she glided away into the darkness.
A hand went to cover his other wrist, his thumb rubbing against the smooth skin. There were no marks, no scars, as the black water just fixed its host back up after he was done torturing himself with the mockery of suicide. He wasn't really discreet about the things he did in the first place, but something unsettled him about the way the woman was far too knowledgeable of his habits. He already felt far too connected to her, and as much as he longed for death, he didn't want it all to end by just letting his body fall apart and become Ophelia. It had to be bloody, it had to be gruesome, and he wanted to take out as many others around him as he could, whether they were ally or enemy. Letting go would have just been far too easy.
With a sorrow-filled sigh, Jason tore his thoughts away from the woman-creature he called his commander. He had more important things to worry about at the moment, like readying his soldiers for battle. He could almost taste their hunger for blood and slaughter, and he would only be too happy to let them have their way with the still living humans.
A group of his personal Grave Diggers surrounded Jason, calling out insults to those they found too unworthy to even be buried in the cold, hard ground as he led them to one of the strange vehicles that were somehow healing the enemy troops. He had hung back just a bit as they moved in, relentlessly assaulting the large machine that couldn't even drive away for the sheer number of grunts blocking its way. They were mostly just mindless creatures, but he had trained his units well, and their power really came through when they were working together. The Tear Drinker tilted his head to the side as something bloody flew past him, so close it left a red smear on his face.
"Tear every last one of them to pieces. Let them feel your hate, and your sorrow, leave them in despair as you bring glorious, painful death to their disgusting living forms. I want their blood to soak the snow. Turn the world red with their agony." Spades, pickaxes, and similar digging tools were raised in unison at the Grave Diggers words, many already dripping with warm blood as the enemy infantry troops seemed to fall faster than they could be replaced. The corner of Jason's mouth twitched, in what would have been a smile if he could still remember how to. Ophelia would be pleased with the current tide of battle. They were winning, and by a considerable amount, the opposition caught off guard by the early assault, with no hope of recovery.
The Grave Digger fell back, leaving behind the troops already caught in fierce battle. Jason sprinted down the snowy hill, using a Bride's thunderstorm for cover as he hurried to signal the next wave. The number of Brides and Frightwigs were greater in this unit, and his Grave Diggers were already fired up, eager to join their brothers in battle. Even better than that, he had been allowed a couple Rat Guts to send in early. Even Jason found them too grotesque to have any morbid beauty to them, and they were admittedly a nuisance with the way they played with their rats and let them bite anything they pleased. However, when utilized in numbers against an enemy, their ability to cause widespread damage and take a great deal of hits made them invaluable.
"Go! Destroy every single last one of them, I want them sent to their graves early!" He pointed uphill, directing the troops towards the sounds of battle. Just then, a massive shadow passed over Jason. For a moment, he thought Ophelia had decided to join them after all, until he caught sight of the large red wings attached to a figure too big to be his leader. Why are there demons here? If the Tainted Coil was interfering, then that would…be less than good news for the whole lot of them.
Jason charged his way up the hill, trailing after the long range units bringing up the rear, until he could get a decent vantage point. He looked down to where the red demon had flown, spotting what looked for the most part like a normal human, aside from the folded wings on his back. Turning his attention away from that specific person, he looked around for more of the bound creatures. Upon finding none, the Grave Digger allowed himself a tiny, relieved sigh. There was no sign of the Tainted Coil anywhere, which meant that wasn't a demon. Not a normal one, anyway. Ophelia had to have known about it, though, which meant the wretched woman was keeping things from him. It was so like her, and he really wasn't surprised, but the fact made him sick anyway.
Jason was jolted back to the present by something very heavy and very sharp flying past him. It had only missed him by mere inches, and it was definitely something that belonged to the enemy team. He decided he should pay more attention to what was going on around him. Getting speared by massive javelins would be a bad thing. Finishing his trek back up the hill, he checked in on how the battle was going. The sight before him froze him in place. Somehow, it was no longer going the way he had expected. Many of his troops lay on the ground, a good number of them in pieces, as blood and dark water oozed out from the bodies, half frozen by the cold environment. There were more enemy troops now; humans with large fists, or ones that carried large amplifiers that looked as if they had come from the Screaming Wall itself, and there was also just a general increase in the basic units their side had been slaughtering earlier, except now they wore red, fierce looking armor.
"Well, this is fucking bad…" Jason took off in another direction, using some of the surrounding boulders for cover as he rushed towards the river. He had to get the next wave moving, send them on their way before things turned even farther against their favor. "Move out, now! I need you all to join the battle, immediately!" A couple of the Rat Guts looked at each other quizzically, and he heard the confused mutterings of the brides, and even some of the Frightwigs scuttled around nervously, their only sign of expression since their faces were frozen in death. However, they had been trained to follow orders, and since Jason had been put in charge of leading this assault, it was their duty to listen to him. It had only taken a matter of seconds for them to mobilize, making haste to join the fray.
I'll turn this battle around, yet, Jason silently promised. It wasn't that he actually though Ophelia would be concerned by their losses, in fact, that was the sole reason why he wanted victory. It wouldn't exactly spite her, she wanted their enemies demolished, but he wanted to prove she couldn't just write them all off as expendable. Running your troops straight into the ground really wasn't the best way to command an army. After all, there's power in numbers, and when your numbers start to dwindle…Even the Tear Drinkers weren't infinite; they, too, could run out.
Loud, unusual noises that didn't really sound like combat caught Jason's attention just then. He looked to the far left of his position, and saw something around what had looked like an old geyser with a green aura seeping from it. Tall scaffolding had been raised, with red curtains bearing the enemy's insignia stung between them. Obvious sounds of construction could be heard within. Then, amazingly soon, the curtains has been dropped, and the supports blasted away, revealing a tower that…was covered in shirts? That was odd. Whatever it was, it was apparently helping the opposition, since Jason saw the green aura, which seemed stronger now, jetting from the top of the tower and shooting straight to what he remembered Ophelia calling a stage. He was sure it was giving them power. That just wouldn't do at all. Luckily enough, the next wave was being called up from down that way. He would just have them destroy it on their way up.
"Better get on that, in fact," Jason said to himself, already on the move. He was taking advantage of the fact their enemy hadn't quite started on working their way down closer to his troops, going what was more or less the long way around to reach his soldiers. He quickly explained his change in tactics to them, commanding them to obliterate the newly built tower and cut off part of the other army's power supply. They adjusted easily enough, and were eager to carry out his orders and cause any sort of destruction.
Finding a decent observation point, Jason watched the ongoing battle, giving orders where needed, and doing his best not to be caught by the enemy; after all, what good was a self healing general if he actually did manage to get himself killed? At first, he was pleased with the newest turn of events. His Grave Diggers and the foul Rat Guts had actually managed to destroy the tower, sending it crumbling to the ground in pieces. However, almost before this wave even had a chance to start moving onto their previous objective of destroying that stage, the red winged demi-demon had flown down before them, with what had to have been an entire enemy-what the Hell had happened to the troops he had seen fighting them mere moments ago?-marching up behind him. Things only seemed to be getting worse from there. The Drowning Doom was losing, and bad, while the other side only appeared to be getting stronger.
It was time to call in the final wave. Their last stand, with the most powerful units yet. Ophelia still had a few surprises left for these humans, and she had given Jason full reign to take advantage of this and use some of them. Making his way all the way over to the final assault, Jason couldn't help but feel as if victory was finally assured. Not only were the amount of troops from each unit the greatest yet in numbers, but a couple of Ophelia's favorite toys were in wait with the foot soldiers. The Organist and the Lightning Rod. The two were powerful vehicles that could both take and dish out a lot of damage, along with being excellent support for the rest of the troops.
Jason rallied them easy enough, getting the gloomy undead troops as fired up as they could be. "Kill all the living, bring victory to our lady, Ophelia!" That seemed to do it, since they all wanted to impress their dark leader. His Grave Diggers were especially eager, rallying around him without being ordered to do so, desperately wanting to bring the battle to the living humans they fought against. Jason's expression had turned purely sadistic as he lead the assault towards their enemy's base.
As the impressive army drew closer, Jason could see in the way their adversaries froze and how many of them seemed unsure what to do as they realized the sheer number of forces they were going to have to fight that he had caught them off guard. That was a welcomed plus, and now he only felt too sure of his victory for Ophelia. The woman would be thrilled with them, especially when he brought her the head of the enemy leader; he was sure now that the strange half-demon he had seen flying around was the one commanding the army they were fighting against. Now that he thought about it, the red-winged beast was probably who Ophelia had been after all along. Maybe she would reward him with his death, finally giving him a chance to rest, and leave behind this hated body. After all, once they crushed the lives out of these humans, what need would he be as a general anymore?
Jason and his army of Tear Drinkers were almost upon the threshold, now, when an unusual sound roared up over everything else. It sounded liked it belonged to large machines, and sure enough, a trio of two-wheeled vehicles rode up onto the enemy's stage, spewing fire from the massive pipes towering up from the back of them. Jason nearly froze at the sight, except that the other Grave Diggers around him kept him moving. No mistaking it, those had to be the fabled outlaws known as the Fire Barons. Nothing else could have fit their description. This could be really bad, for both sides.
"Is this the outfit that murdered the General?" the leader of the Barons, The Fire Baron himself, spoke up, addressing that damn demon. The winged creature only nodded, quite obviously determined to accept this new challenge and battle through to the very end if he had to. That, Jason relented to himself, was something to be admired. The Baron nodded, making his mind up about something. "Right then. Burn the other guys!"
Oh shit. The Fire Barons drove their machines right off the edge of the stage, and headed straight towards the Drowning Doom. Jason barely had time to process this new turn of events, when he suddenly found himself falling. Some of the other Grave Diggers had shoved him away, since even they knew their lovely Ophelia would be displeased if her little pet managed to get destroyed in the onslaught. His mind was still reeling, when one of the Brides had stopped long enough to help him up.
"Go. We'll handle the rest," she murmured, the everlasting tears obvious in her voice. Jason nodded at her once, giving her a somewhat sympathetic touch on the arm. He was always a bit fond of the tragic women, since even though all their love had turned into a poisonous hate, they could still carry a soft spot for those who did the same for them.
Taking one last look at the battle-it was over, even with his special vehicles, there was no way they could win. The Fire Barons were a force to be reckoned with, and there was no way they could take them on unprepared-Jason let his units move on without him, then turned and scrambled down the snowy hillside. He had to get back Ophelia, and report the unfortunate news to her. He would be half expecting her to murder him, except that it would be a reward for him, and not a punishment.
"OPHELIA!" Jason called out to his leader, demanding her immediate presence, regardless of the fact he had no place to demand anything of the woman. He was now deep in the swamp, having made the long trek to the other end of the frozen climate, and through the dense jungle after finding a rather treacherous way across the deep gorge. While Ophelia had found a decently easy way to get her troops from base-to-base, Jason hadn't wanted to risk being followed.
"You filthy little maggot." Ophelia landed behind him, as she was prone to do in her way of a 'dramatic entrance'. "Are you going to explain what happened out there?"
"What do you think happened? We lost." Jason was in no mood to deal with the woman's crap right now.
"You think?" she hissed, his less-than-respectful demeanor obviously getting to her. After all, nobody was stupid enough to disrespect Ophelia. "Don't get sarcastic with me, Jason. Now…What. Happened?"
"The Fire Barons showed up. Any idea who they are?"
Actually, Ophelia knew exactly who they were. She even still remembered that idiotic engineer Mangus nearly wetting himself as he had a panic attack about the possibility of the Fire Barons still being around. "What do you mean they showed up?"
"Just that." Jason couldn't stop himself from rolling his eyes. "They all rode onto the battlefield, and then for some reason they joined the other side. We didn't stand a chance."
"That shouldn't matter! You shouldn't have lost so grievously! I mean, I gave you-"
"It doesn't MATTER what you gave us!" Jason had now rounded on Ophelia, releasing all his pent up frustrations on the woman. "There's no way we could have won without being prepared!" If anything separated Jason from the rest of the Grave Diggers, it was the fact he seemed to be more angry than depressed. In most cases, his depression only served to fuel his anger.
"That's enough!" Ophelia had effectively cut off the rest of his rant, her own sheer forcefulness quelling his rage. "I'm getting tired of you thinking that just because you're a little special, you can say and do whatever you want. I really don't like your new attitude, Jason." As the woman glided menacingly closer to him, shadowy tendrils reach out and wrapped around him, pulling him closer. He knew it was pointless to try and fight back against her as she forced his body to turn into water and started absorbing him. "I don't know where you get off thinking you can speak to me like that, you impudent little piece of trash, but it ends now."
Jason had been absorbed up to his waist, now. Both his consciousness and ability to move were leaving him, and the only thing holding him up was the tendrils of smoky shadow he was leaning against. The Grave Digger realized with a passing thought that he wasn't actually any taller than Ophelia, as she was now holding him so close their lips were only inches apart. It would have been darkly romantic if he had ever had any interest in being this close to the woman.
"Do you understand me, Jason?" Her voice seemed as if it was coming from so far away, beyond the darkness that had almost overtaken his vision completely. It didn't matter. He was going to let go now, and just drown in Ophelia…
Very suddenly, he was himself again, and it was like sucking in his first breath of air after being underwater for far too long as Ophelia expelled him from her body. He landed hard, sprawled out on the ground before the other Tear Drinker. Jason was shaking as he tried to pick himself up. After he had gotten to his feet, he kept his head down, not wanting to look at Ophelia. Being pulled into her had been like drowning in the Sea all over again, and it had been just as disturbing as the first time. By Ormagöden, he did NOT like that feeling. His anger had since left him, and he made it a point to keep his temper reigned in this time as she addressed him.
"Now, I'm going to you ask again nicely. What happened? There's no reason my forces should have been so utterly destroyed."
Jason shook his head, trying to clear his mind. His awareness was slipping, and despite the fact he didn't really need sleep, his body was pretty insistent on making him pass out. "We were…losing anyway…" Jason struggled to get out. This whole 'dizzy spells' thing was not fun. "I don't know how, I mean, everything was going so perfectly at first…Even when they started winning against us, I was sure we would have had them with the final assault. It was our failsafe, our side shouldn't have lost, but then…" Jason took a second to steady himself. He knew Ophelia wouldn't be sympathetic to his plight, so he didn't even bother trying to play on it. "That's when the Fire Barons arrived, and just like that, they decided to help the other side out, and…it was just all over then. The others, they knew they weren't gonna make it, so they shoved me back and told me to leave, so I got out while I still could."
Ophelia had crossed her arms, a deep set scowl on her face while she listened to Jason's story. "Very well," she sighed, sounding bored. She was already over the incident, since she hadn't exactly been expecting a total victory, although losing the way they did was disappointing. No matter. She would take care of them next time, and she would be completely prepared for them, too. She was going to bring this war onto her territory, under her conditions.
The Grave Digger waited until Ophelia had flown away, off to do the Gods knew what, to head back into their base. He staved off unconsciousness until he had retreated into his personal tent, his vision tunneling and ears ringing the entire time. He merely flopped onto the thin blanket that was supposed to pass as a bedroll, his final muddled thoughts being a repeat of, 'get away, gotta get away…'