**Disclaimer: I own neither Neverwinter Nights 2 nor any of its expansions, unfortunately. Sad but true. **

They tell me that everyone infected with this curse has succumbed.

I smile, and respond that I won't.

They tell me that no one has ever survived this.

I smile, and respond that I will.

They tell me that my soul can't be saved.

I smile, and respond that it can be.

He tells me of their fates.

I smile, and respond that I am grateful that at least some still live.

She tells me that all that I have suffered was her doing, that it could have been prevented.

I smile, and respond that I understand her motivations.

I smile, always. I offer reassuring words, kind statements, and unending optimism.

I laugh at his jokes, I am attentive during her lessons, and I encourage her goals.

I look at the fragments of the mask. Three pieces, all representative of the hunger that now consumes me.

I try to suppress the feelings that have become so common of late.

The anger, the hate, the despair, the fear.

I ignore the doubt that constantly plagues me, force it down within myself.

I tell myself that I will prevail, as I always do.

And when she tells me that I look ill, I smile and respond that everything is fine.

And I try desperately to believe that it is.