The realm of the dead is not tread lightly. The chill of the place seeps in so slowly, but it creeps upon your mind so that soon there is little thought but for the cold. It harrows away whatever scraps of self that you carry with you from life. It is no torture, but those who arrive to the Raven Queen’s domain have little reason to fight it.
The path into her halls is long – for those without life in them, it is very literally years for their journey. Watching the journey of the souls into her court is like viewing a torrent in a river, but from within the time stretches out into nothingness. The silence of the place drains you of emotion. There is no shortcut to reach the Raven Queen in the end.
But I did reach her, that I do remember. There is no joy in that moment, but neither is there fear or pain. Without words a soul’s fate is decided and enacted. Within that moment, an eternity of judgment and decision lay. I remember that she spoke to me, spoke to me truth about my life and future with absolute certainty. But I do not remember WHAT she spoke. Then the moment was shattered. I could feel my path shift from the cycle of death and rebirth and see her realm rush away from me, but for her face, held there before me as my presence was forcibly rewoven into the fabric of the world.
The truth is that I had no honor with my family, that I could find no honor in my profession, and that there was no honor in my death. Perhaps it was my fate all along. Perhaps it is a lesson that needed to be taught. And for a Dragonborn, it is a bitter lesson – that in the face of death, there is no honor, no pride that will sustain you. I clung for too long to the idea that the innocent were worth protecting, that the act of defending them was worth any cost. But what cost is it if they arrive at the Raven Queen’s domain a few years before their time. I have no illusions now about that – by her hand I return, to do her will. I hold no love for her as a master, but it is futile to resist. I care now about completing whatever it is her shadowed will has intended for me and then leaving this mortal coil. It will be a mercy to return to my rest when it is complete.