He eats but once a day. The sustenance of the Gods is all he requires.
It tastes like ash, the smell of sulfur assaulting his nose, no desire to consume what lies before him. There is a gnawing hunger beneath the hollow of his ribs, an ache that persists and demands. He cannot remember the last thing that had substance and did not melt into the shrinking knot of his stomach.
He endures and the hunger is all but forgotten. It is a demand of the body, easily blotted out by the illusion of the mind.
Each day he begins his descent, deeper into the pit he goes, a step at a time if it should allow. He traverses the ever familiar scenery of fire and brimstone. Dramatics at best, a presentation his grey eyes have all but adjusted to. The light is no longer glaring.
Gabranth is a coffin seeking a corpse.
His pace is slow, the chinking of his armor a muted noise in comparison to the roaring explosions of geysers. The heat is sweltering beneath his plate and he assumes in a childish notion that his face may have all but melted off days ago but he has lost his concept of time. Days could be weeks, and those weeks could be months. These calculations formed by man do not matter to the Gods. They have waged their wars longer than he has been alive.
The Judge Magister is not the only one who wanders these grounds. There had been others, some deemed worthy, and those who are not linger like ghosts. One way or another, they all go mad. It is not their choice, as even their own fate is out of their hands. Predetermined paths are placed before the warriors, steps they must walk regardless. Even as they leave this hell he explains, though he doubts they listen to the ramblings of a forgotten toy.
That is all they are, pawns. It is an existence he has known far too long. Sometimes he wonders why he was picked for such a task, and he damns the Gods as though he has the right.
Gabranth wanders because there is nothing else to do but make his ritualistic rounds. It has been too long; he thinks and now wonders when the next will arrive. His hands move to wipe sweat from his brow but his own touch is only greeted by hot steel, features comprised of jagged shapes and gears that serve no true purpose. He stands with back to the throne he often stands before. Purple rock forms a wicked chair of gaunt faces and poorly carved stone.
These are broken warriors he fights, those without purpose.
He hears it then, footsteps. This draws his attention from his own bitter musings. “Who are you?” He mutters, his inquisitive nature long gone and what once may have been a question now a statement. With each movement his plate groans and scrapes and creaks until he can at last look into the face of the most recent intruder.
For a moment he finds himself faltering in the face of such cruelty, a cold indifference that draws him in. He has been basking the heat of his own repentance for too long. How he longs for a feeling such as this. The being says nothing but instead stares with luminescent cyan eyes. “Just another stray being toyed with by the Gods.” Still he continues to look with gaze unblinking, lips affixed into an expression that resembled something of amusement. Or is it disgust? Gabranth can’t tell. The man in question laughs, a dry and hollow sound that reverberates through his entire being. He is perplexed not at the reaction but the manner of how it is presented.
Lofty, that is the only word that comes to mind as he continues to stare at the lean shape of the one before him. There is an air of superiority that the Judge Magister cannot place and he merely wonders why. Why was he laughing, the situation was not humorous in question, so why? He cannot wrap his mind around this action and instead he presses on. “No matter, chose the path you wish to take.” His tone is unmistakably venomous. “They all lead to the same end anyways. You die fighting, like a dog.”
And for now they part, though he already yearns for their next encounter as his silver eyes remain level on the wavering horizon.