Seeing its face is to look into the depths of sorrow. Its eyes dive to the very pits of human despair. Black. Soulless… the Makonga is worse than I could have ever imagined.
It does not come all the way to you. It stands in the shadows, on the cusp of your ability to see it, hanging in the darkness like a dream half-forgotten. But it is also half-remembered, like every monster to haunt one’s childhood just beyond the reach of one’s bedside candle.
The Makonga calls for you in a language only your heart understands. It reaches for you without ever lifting its withered arms. It sings to you without ever opening its dead dry voice.
The Makonga hunts us.
We made it out into the Akari Grasslands today, but had to set up our camp before even dreaming we could see trees. There are five days of marching ahead of us before we reach the jungle. If we can reach the jungle.
I saw the Makonga during my watch, my back to the fire, my sword in my lap. I saw the Makonga and I cannot unsee it.
The face is like a skull as the stories say. What they don’t describe is the sheer sadness of that face. It is lonely. It is broken. And it wants nothing more than the company of the living. This is its power, to compel its victims to join it in the darkness. To bid them come die willingly.
I can only imagine its power grows if it truly wears the face of a loved one, for I found myself thinking of everyone I have lost. Bolton, Kantoo, even my longing for Dionus was piqued by the phantom in the dark.
But chief among them all was Naline. To follow the Makonga was to be rejoined to her. I could hear the promise in my head, as if placed there by my own thoughts yet so out of place as to stand out: “Follow and be free.”
I wept, though I could not take my eyes from the beast before me. I did not wish to rouse my companions for fear that they might prove weak where I was barely able to hold on myself. But I cannot express the gravity of my loneliness in those hours, mingled with the terror that only a waking nightmare can concoct in the soul.
Finally I took to writing all this in my journal. Somehow I know it will not come for me, and I must do everything I can to resist its call.
The Lost Children haven’t approached, though I see them flit around the edges of the firelight. They wait for us to join them in their haunt. To lose ourselves to their master, whose thirst knows no end.
We must find a way to free ourselves of this beast, or we will all go mad.