Even through the exhaustion, Thorin’s brows rose slightly at this. His voice steadied a bit as he answered. “I-I honestly don’t k-know.” He sighed. “S-she might. Surinda was always very perceptive. The n-nightmares… they s-started soon after Stratholme. It w-wouldn’t have been hard to notice. But w-we never talked about it.” Deep sorrow flooded his haggard face. “In the f-final days… there was no time to w-worry about or think on such things.”
Evelos nodded. “Perhaps she has, but I think it can’t hurt to let her know again. You can help to assure her that you hate how you’ve harmed her, and that this is a work in progress for you, figuring out how to tame the nightmares. She might blame herself, you see, feel confusion and fear even if she knows the true cause. And she might have other ideas on how to help you, as well, for she knows you best, or I assume… and she may yet understand what you’re going through, quite personally. Being undead comes with… plenty of challenges of its own.” Evelos bit his lip and swallowed — a difficult memory of his own, perhaps, quickly suppressed, as he kept his mind in the present and with Thorin. “…if she loves you truly, I am certain she’ll want to be with you, to help you through this.”
Evelos then smiled. “I’ve been doing this healing and confessions thing — ah, counseling? I believe it’s called counseling now; it used to be confessions when I was still a priest of the Holy Light — that is, I’ve been doing this for many decades. And one of the things that helps the most is a strong connection to a loved one. Nurture that connection, as you take care of your body and career, and you may find some of these symptoms start to soothe on their own.
“It’s a bit of a leap of faith, but… I think you have it in you. What say you?”
Thorin listened intently as Evelos spoke. As the ren’dorei finished, he hauled himself up into a sitting position, raking his hair back and scrubbing at his tear-stained face. He looked to Evelos, his expression tired, yet determined, and he nodded.
He sat silently for a moment, before reaching up to the collar of his tunic with a free hand, and he pulled a silver medallion threaded on a leather thong from underneath. He held it away from his chest slightly as he rubbed the worn metal between two calloused fingers. Seeming to remember something, he furrowed his brow and murmured, “You try again… you don’t have the luxury of giving up.” He looked at the medallion for a moment, contemplating, before tucking it back beneath his tunic and turning his attention to Evelos again. He gave another sharp nod. “Aye… I will try again. I owe her that much.”
Evelos smiled, then he straightened solemnly and gave Thorin a salute. “Fall down ten times, get up eleven.”
Thorin inclined his head toward Evelos, hesitated a moment, and then straightened and returned the salute with the fluidity that comes with years of practice and repetition. Thorin seemed to surprise himself slightly with the gesture. “Yes… indeed.”
Evelos chuckled softly, with a little, knowing nod. “Well. First things first then, soldier. Let’s get you out of here, and your business with your employers cleared up. I will be… officially out of the loop at that point, but if you need help getting in contact with your wife, I have some unofficial strings I could tug, if you would like it.”
Thorin nodded. “Thank you. I am glad for your assistance, Evelos.” He gave a small half-bow from his seated position, the practiced motion for a moment betraying him as something other than rough-and-tumble working class. He flashed a tired half-smile, but a moment later, his brow furrowed with a thought.