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The Dark Woman III
Stumbling out of the mausoleum, he found himself in the ruins of a once-proud city. It did not take him long to realise that these ruins were the remnants of his own capital. It appeared that he had lain in an unholy slumber for a very long time. And now his kingdom was lost, run over by his enemies, and his former subjects were enslaved or dead. Stunned with shock and disbelief, he wandered aimlessly through the ruins. To his own amazement, however, his heart did not race as furiously as might have been expected. In fact, it did not beat at all. Stricken by panic and confusion, the king went on and on until he came across a small group of travellers, who had sought refuge in the ruined city. The meeting was not a coincidence because he had felt their presence for quite some time and purposefully directed his steps towards them. In fact, all of a sudden a hunger had taken hold of him such as he had never experienced before. He rushed towards the strangers as fast as he could, his mind inexplicably clouded by this weird hunger. When he finally returned to his senses, the travellers lay dead before him, their bodies twisted and mutilated. He was confused and aggrieved to find that the only living beings he could have asked about what had happened were dead, but at the same time he felt strangely intoxicated by a feeling of mad triumphalism. The weird hunger that had troubled him was nearly gone and he felt stronger and more alive than he had ever done before. He fled the city that very night, running away from his painful memories. He made it his habit to travel only by night as he found that daylight caused him insufferable pain. Today, little is known of his fate or of what is driving the creature that once was a king. Some say the demon he devoured has taken control of this new form, while others claim that the accursed king is driven by guilt, looking for redemption from the sins he committed against his people, distorted though his vision of redemption might be. Yet another group of scholars claims that the accursed king is bent on revenge against the dark gods who plotted his downfall or perhaps against the gods of light who let him down in the hour of need. What is certain, though, is that he fathered many others like him who share his curse, and that he has lived longer than any mortal creature should, enduring the aeons and watching the ever changing world frozen forever in the moment of death that did not lead to true death.

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