God surprised me one last time.
I had not expected to survive the encounter with Lycanon, praying only that my death might accomplish God’s will. But survive I did. My brothers the monks climbed the mountain and found my ravaged body where it lay upon the fallen stones of Lycanon’s temple. The demon was no more; of it there remained not a sign. Yet I still lived.
They carried me home. It took a long time for my wounds to mend, and in truth they have not mended in full, nor will they. I grow a little weaker day by day, without the strength of the Doghead to sustain me. Yes, the beast is gone. The curse is broken. Twice since that night on the mountain the moon has waxed to fullness, and I have not undergone the transformation from man to beast. Not I, nor anyone else. All of Arcadia’s sons who were subject to Lycanon’s curse are freed.
I now understand God’s plan. Neither I nor my parents had sinned, that I should become stricken with my affliction. Rather it happened so that God could be glorified. Only another Cynocephalus, the physical embodiment of Lycanon’s power, could by opposing the demon lord hope to conquer it. Only another monster could slay the monster. I am God’s instrument. Lycanon had called me the “Lapdog of God” in derision. No lapdog, I. Rather I was God’s fierce hound.
I cannot recover. My life is ebbing away. I feel no pain, only a growing weakness. I do not have long now. I have spent these past weeks writing this, my story, because it is important that it is told, that all who read it may know of the glory of God. To you who have read these words, I leave you with one other, my exhortation to you, my brothers and sisters of a latter age. One word. Believe.
I have no regrets, now that my life has run its course. Quite the contrary. I look with great anticipation to this final transformation, one not of flesh into monster but of flesh into spirit. I will see my beloved ones again, my Samaethea, my Elsora, dear Kethryn, lost to me so long ago. All my dear friends who have passed before me.
Will I see you there, Oran? Have you made the journey yet, my friend, or do you still live in this physical world? If the latter is so, I know that we will meet again in time. Will you be surprised to see that I did make it to the Kingdom after all? I confess that it somewhat surprises me.
Here, then, ends my story. The tale of a man named Reprobus, burdened with a terrible evil, who with God’s grace overcame it, a man used by God to vanquish that evil from the earth. A man born with one name, but who dies with a new one: Christopher.
Peace be to you all, always.