(( Related: . Quick and dirty journal ahead of tonight’s . ))
Hungry. Curled up in her cell, Idella tried to distract herself with anything else. Days after consuming the soul the dread lord claimed he gifted her and she no longer could offset hunger’s distracting cry. It nearly overtook her, rising in waves and lasting for hours, then thankfully subsiding. She couldn’t explain why it temporarily abated; perhaps it was her body attending to other needs. From the new fit of her clothes, she was distantly aware that she lost weight. Her hair dirty and matted, her clothing similar, and her skin ashen, Idella still spent little time or thought on her appearance. Her prevailing thought was her next meal.
The dread lord happily taunted her. His visits always came with the offer of food, of meals brought just beyond the bars of the cages. Still she refused, unsure whether her stand was simply out of stubbornness or kept her from the Legion’s temptations. The only offering she took was water, knowing full well she couldn’t survive long without it. It was the one concession she made. Deep down, she feared whatever water they supplied her made her hungrier, thirstier, or if it was simply paranoia born of out starvation that nagged her.
People can survive weeks without food, Idella told herself, attempted to comfort herself. If she could prolong this as best she can, offset the loss of her wits and atrophy long enough, she could keep herself together for an eventual rescue. She spent hours reviewing just how fellow Templars could rescue her, but beyond the sights she strained to see outside her cell, she had little knowledge of where she was kept or the fortifications surrounding it.
The atrophy had begun and was already painful. It frightened her, but perhaps more frightening were the other long hours spent thinking of the hunger. Her loss of her wits scared her most, left her open to the dread lord, less observant on details she hoped were crucial. The hunger re-invited panic into her mind, flooded her senses. Coupled with hunger pains was a panicked paralysis, threatening to overtake her till she screamed. Forcing it down, she recited mnemonics from her studies, rune alphabets and other small memorization tricks she created when she studied magic. The repetition and memories comforted her, and a small slice of nostalgia crept it. She allowed it. Harmful is it could be in larger doses, it kept her mind preoccupied from darker thoughts.
It was then that ideas came. Quiet at first, but within the memories of her old studies, Idella felt a patient tug. A suggestion came to her, something she thought was perhaps buried in the countless pages she read and bubbled to the surface:
The demons here are countless. The atrophy will eventually kill you. Offset it with their life force.
So obvious was the suggestion Idella chastised herself for not thinking of it before. She spent little time dwelling on how the idea came to her, more thankful that it finally occurred. Some of her wits returning, a sense of determination flooded her with a bit of energy. Waiting at the bars of her cage, she timed her spell with the changing of the guard. It was a simple incantation and cast. Perhaps if she were of a different mind, the strangled cries of the demon as she drained its essence would have stopped her, but as tested as she was over days without food or sunlight, her spell did not abate. Draining the felhunter fully, she waited until another demon came by to cast a second time. Just as the suggestion hinted, she felt a new vitality, a relief to the physical strain the lack of food put on her. The hunger remained, but the ashen tone to her skin had taken a slightly pinker shade. Yes, she could survive on this. The hunger would eventually kill her, but she only needed to prolong her time here. It would not be forever. It couldn’t be forever.
Briefly, she felt a distant horror at herself for what she’d done. A familiar cycle stirred in her, threatened a blush, stammering excuse, even tears to her eyes. With effort, she shoved it aside. The hunger would come back. The dread lord would return, tempting her with succulent food. Tears would make it worse. Crouching by her bars, she lay in wait for the next demon to come along.