I cannot possibly envision a world before these strange occurrences had fallen upon me. It did not begin in the great catastrophe of a singular event, but rather the conditioning of years of morbid fascination in human mortality. What makes whom hurt? How to make a strong man bleed? How to make a frail woman scream? I wondered such things - not because I reveled in the pain or the sounds or the blood, but rather because I marveled at the implications of such things; I was curious of what awful realities could make even the most steadfast individuals shy from their bravery and resort to an animalistic human state. But what I ponder upon, as of late, is why I had developed these fascinations in the first place.
You have known me better than any other, Ser Walter, and I know that you have not divulged in the secrets that you've acquired from me and my own. I do not fear writing these words to you, although they shame me and mock me as a man.
I wish to talk about my past - the past that remains hidden, buried, beneath years of secrecy and lies. I wish to discuss . . . my father, Kaleb Venora, and the dealings he and my mother engaged in at the time of my early childhood. Allow me to see you in person, if you please - for I would talk to you about my past, if only for the hope that perhaps you can help me in my future.
It had been two weeks since he had turned twenty-seven, marking a duration of nearly twenty years since he'd begun his expeditions into human mortality. Ten years had passed since he'd started to be called the 'Wilted Rose' by some members of the court, those who found his demeanor unsettling and his secrets vast. Everyone would know, eventually, of his infatuations. If not in this life, then surely after he passed on - they would uncover the secrets of his ailment of the mind. There were some who knew already, and perhaps they couldn't be expected to keep the secret forever. He knew better than most to not trust mankind, for they were fickle and lying creatures. His family had instilled that truth into him for a long time, and across the many former friends he'd come to sacrifice for the sake of his secrecy, this truth became clear to him. Walter Riley was a man of exceptional discretion, however. He was a therapist who had come originally from Venora, then moved his trade to the capital of Andaris to increase his customer base as well as his earnings.
The man was a good fellow. Each time Alistair had met him, he'd felt that goodness upon each glance; it was clear as day. He knew that he would not betray his confidentiality merely for money, and the man's morality was one of particular character. He did not view magic as evil, even Necromancy. He'd talked to Alistair about his infatuations with Necromancy before, and had given him some of the greatest and most pragmatic advice - use necromancy to learn about the world around, to investigate the properties of life and death. Learn all that one can, master it, and then move on and transcend that fixation. He truly wished to see Alistair as a proper Duke, the man holding deeply nationalistic views in regards to his home Duchy.
He in fact, thusly, responded to Alistair's letter and invited him to Andaris for a meeting between therapist and friend. He did not expect money, as this was of a more personal matter. He'd been knighted by Ebony Venora quite some time ago, and owed a great deal to the family that Alistair would soon come to represent. The Necromancer could only hope, then, that this one individual who was so stark in comparison to the wily sycophants and bloodsucking leeches around him, would be able to help the future Duke grow past his fixation and channel his desires into a more legal discipline. If not that, then at least discovering the underlying reasons for his regression into the dark arts could help him to find a path that would not end in bloodshed or the consulting of evil Liches that could compromise his reputation and wellbeing.