Agents and Reagents: Ingredient Classification 24: Afterword

Having faithfully and proficiently completed the task given to me by the Master, I see now that I have some fifteen pages left unfilled in the back of my Journal. Doubtless I cannot leave these pages blank, lest I risk the Master concluding that I have not carried out my duty as exhaustively as he wished. But how am I to fill the remaining pages? Some kind of treatise of my own? It must be something that will please my Master greatly, but what?

I shall try to sleep on it. I feel more weary than usual this evening, but I fear that I may not get the rest I so evidently need. Today a clumsy Redguard merchant named Uwafa scratched me about the face with his gauntlet finger while dusting me off, after we piled sacks of bone meal into our backroom shelves. He apologized profusely, and administered some kind of ointment, but the tiny scratch has begin to itch quite fiercely.

I will see how it looks in the morning.

Day 2
Today I examined the light scratch that ruddy-faced and barbarous oaf Uwafa laid across my cheek. The ointment he applied seems to have done more harm than good. My scar deepens, slightly inflamed and deep red in color. Perhaps I should apply stitch work? No, that would simply add to my vanity.

Day 4
Stendarr’s mercy overlooks my predicament. I added concoctions and elixirs to my wound, but these offer only a temporary relief. By sun’s down today, my scratch became infected, and my cheek aches. The skin around the tear throbs and swells, now a deeper red with brown flecks.

Day 5
Now the oozing. I change bandages twice daily, and wince at the pain from my eye socket down to my jaw. I sent Bardus out for nirnroot to help alleviate my predicament, and he returned with dragonthorn, and his own set of scratches. Idiot! I hope he suffers the same infection.

Day 7
A night spent in pain, sleeping only on one cheek, as my other wills out like a bladder. My food is mashed and administered through the opposite side of my mouth. The discoloration extends to my lips, and small, sickly red pustules now with along the wet and cracked fissure of my face.

Day 10
Another night of agony, a heated pin in one trembling hand, and a wiping cloth in the other, lancing the cluster of larger pustules that inhabit my disfigurement. Oozing pus greets me in the mirror, although this seems to be turning gray. Bardus has taken to calling me “Gangrene Sorick,” and laughing.

Day 13
I chew unrefined moon sugar leaves continuously, but the pain is insufferable. Alarming growths and bulging where half my face was. Black veins from the rip, where no stitching can mend this most visible of wounds. My days are spent out of sight, lst I scare the customers.

The handwriting for the next section of the text is jagged and uneven.

Day 14
Mara weep for me. Four days without sleep. The boils form faster than I can deflate them. Food is taken with a straw, but my stomach refuses solids; my only sustenance is soup and magic. My chamber is coated in vomit. And the smell! Red growths turning purple.

Day 16
Bardus checks on me infrequently now; he has both hands full running the shop. The infection spreads, further cracks and small fissures rip up, and the purple discoloration is across my entire face now. I find it difficult to think. My rest is troubled by frightening dreams of writhing worms.

Day 17
Today I woke to a black rose on my bedside table. A gift from a well-wisher? I cannot be seen visiting the healers! The purveyors of elixirs cannot cure their own staff? We’d be drummed out of Wayrest. Laughter in my head. Weeping sores from popped boils, as my skin hardens into a cursed abomination.

Day 19
No one would recognize me now. My curse cannot continue without my death. Books on disease are written by the unsure, but my lament is that of a man with corpus disease. Why, then, do the brewed potions not heal me? Skin torn, overstretched, a face Molag Bal would revile.

Day 20
My anguish deepens at my manhandling by that Uwafa. A voice from the void: “The candle in your head is slowly going out.” My skin rots. The tip of my right ear fell into my soup today. I would cry if I could. I look like an ogre cursed by Hermaeus Mora. Pustules around the armpits and nethers now.

The handwriting is at an angle, with uneven spacing between the words.

Day 21
Head purple. Agony. Wretches. Worms beneath the skin. Only I can see. Listen! Understand?

The handwriting is a sloppy cursive.

Day 22
I am writing this because Gargrell said so. He is chained in the secret room . No more feeding. He wrote rude words about me in this book. Now he’s mad and screaming. Master doesn’t return for one more week. Should I pray to Arkay?

Day 24
Ran him through with a spear but he froths at the mouths and coughs his guts everywhere. Hit him again and he scratched me. Corpus husks in the cellar. Hope the chains hold. Closed the shop. Might burn everything. Goodbye.

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