A form sat huddled in the corner of a small cell. It rocked slowly back and forth, light from the hole in the ceiling glinting occasionally from the pendant clutched in its hand. The man sat up suddenly, bringing the pendant toward his face and staring intently at it for a while.
He had lost track of how long he'd been held in captivity. Years? Centuries? It all seemed the same to him. Time flowed around him like a river, and he was stranded on an island in the center. Death would never come for him. Death was only ever a temporary respite. That's why he had been brought here. They couldn't kill him, so they had detained him.
He failed to feel any emotion when he recalled his final moments of freedom any longer. He remembered nothing of his life when he'd been alive, but he had come back to life with the same pendant he now clutched tightly. It comforted him to know that it had held great significance to him in life, though he couldn't remember it, else why would it have returned with his tortured soul? He recalled only dying, his soul preparing to depart to another plane when he felt himself pulled back, something within his soul refusing to let him find peace in death. The next thing he knew he was sitting next to a freshly dug grave. He didn't look at the name, he didn't need to. The darksign on his flesh told him everything. He needed to leave while it was dark. It wasn't long before he ran into a person out for an evening stroll.
They glanced in his direction before shouting for the guard. He tried to flee, but to no avail. He was cornered and bound. He was helpless to prevent being bagged and transported, the guard having received orders on how to deal with the undead, to the prison in the north. Originally guards had patrolled the halls, keeping the other undead in check, but that was long ago. Long had it been since he had heard sounds other than the shrieking wind and howls of the undead who had long since hollowed. The only thing that had kept his mind intact was the pendant. It gave him something to focus on other than the absolute solitude.
Lost amidst his thoughts he was slow to notice the figure hovering above him, looking down at him through the hole in his cell. He shrank back instinctively, keeping a wary eye on the intruder. A knight by the looks of it, as his ornate armor and shield would attest. The knight lingered a moment longer before disappearing from sight. The man sat pressed against the wall, still keeping a watchful eye skyward. A heartbeat later a corpse was rolled through the hole, falling to the ground with a dull thud. A few of the hollowed undead moaned in protest of the unwelcome noise, but quickly quieted to their usual muted groaning. The man caught sight of the knight peering in a final time before heading out of sight.
The man stared at his new cellmate, evidently not undead, for a long while. Eventually he worked up the courage to stand and examine the corpse. The corpse was outfitted with a worn suit of chainmail armor, complete with a helmet that hid its face. A key was tied to his belt. The man cautiously reached out and prodded the corpse. When it didn't react, he proceeded to strip the armor off the corpse and don it himself. His own clothes had deteriorated to a sorry state, and it was refreshing to don new armor. The armor was a bit tight, but nonetheless easy to move in. The man removed the key from the belt of the armor and examined it. It seemed to be old, almost as old as the prison. He moved toward the door of his cell, wondering if it what he thought was even possible.
It had been many a moon since he had looked around his cell, or even contemplated escape, but here he stood at his cell door. Angling his neck so as to see the front of his door, he noticed a keyhole. Looking back to the key in his hand, it seemed as though it might fit. Moving closer to the lock he slipped his emaciated arm through the bars, slipping the key into the lock. He had difficulty turning the key in the aged lock, but indeed it did turn. Trepidation filled the man as he put his hands on the door, a voice in his head pleaded with him to sit back down and embrace the solitude of the cell. There was no telling what waited for him on the other side of the door. Better to stay here where he was safe.
The man brushed the thought away. Determination flowed through him as he pressed his shoulder against the rusted metal and shoved. With an angry screech, the metal scraped across the weathered stone and opened. The man stared down the tunnel, torches enchanted to never burn out casting dim light upon the walls. The man strode forward, eager to face whatever lay ahead.