An Orc sits alone in a prison cell without visible wall, lock, or door. Gurlak is bound in a mystical cage made by vengeful wizards for the crime of falling in love with an Ayleid maid. He says he’s been imprisoned here for centuries, but by my unscholarly calculations it may now be well over two and a half millennia. One wonders at what point he give up on counting the years.
He claims that many have tried to free him, but all have failed; and yet the puzzle to my mind is simple to any who can appreciate the passing of time. And if any had the time to solve the puzzle it was Gurlak; yet having been forced to watch his love grow old and die before his eyes, never being able to hear, smell, or touch her, it is little wonder if he gave up trying.
And when finally set free from his prison, unfettered from the spell that prolonged his tormented life, he says he wants to stay exactly where he is, for it is all he now knows.
Yet the spirit of his former lover, Nuralanya, appears from the mists to take him “beyond this mortal realm”.
That we are all so lucky as Gurlak, for it seems to me that centuries of incarceration and torment are not so high a price to pay to not die alone.