Canas: Ah, excuse me. You are…on our side, are you not? Fighting with us?
Renault: …… I suppose I am. I am Renault.
Canas: It is an honor. I am Canas. I have a question.
Renault: …You don’t waste much time…
Canas: Ah, yes, well, excuse my manners. But I am on a journey to gather knowledge…
Renault: A scholar, eh…
Canas: Yes. Well… For the moment, I am more like a shaman traveling to hone my skill in the ancient magic. But at heart, I am still just a scholar, as you say. I heard, Bishop, that you have been to the Dread Isle… Could you perhaps tell me a little about it? About the creatures to be found there? About the ones with eyes of gold?
Renault: You mean…morphs?
Canas: Ah! So you do know of them! Where did you learn that name?
Renault: Well. A long time ago, I…
Canas: Bishop, I must ask you… Do you think these morphs have souls?
Canas: Yes. I am dreadfully curious to know. The Elimineans say that all creatures possess souls… All those created by the gods, that is. But what of those created by man? And these manufactured beings… do they dream? Do they think–and suffer–as we do? Or must their emotions be…crafted…by another?
Renault: …… Well… That I do not know.
Canas: Did you know that the word “morph” appears even in a few ancient texts? Brought to life by man, crafted to resemble him… I never thought any of us would actually have seen one.
Canas: Renault, where did you first learn of these morphs? Are they mentioned in the Eliminean scripture?
Renault: A long time ago, I… Enough. I don’t want to talk about this.
Canas: Oh. Well that is… truly unfortunate. You see, we know so little of Nergal.
Canas: Why, for example, did he begin creating morphs? After his falling out with the Archsage Athos, did he feel alone in the world? Did he need the company of someone who could understand him? Was he forced to…create…such a being?
Renault: …Not exactly.
Renault: He has no care for his creations… He merely brought them into this world to serve him. His only interest is himself. Those…things…that he discards… They lose their way… and wander. And he cares not. Morphs…are the mere fact of existence…once meaning has been stripped away.
Canas: Renault… How do you know so much?
Canas: Nergal began creating morphs centuries ago. Even Athos knows so little… So…how could you…?
Renault: …… I don’t know. My own past is…a mystery.
Canas: Ah, Renault! Wait for me! I must ask you something!
Renault: What is it?
Canas: …… Now, I ask you this, only for the sake of knowledge… Knowledge…is the reason for my journey… I understand there are some things you would rather the others did not know… So, please do not answer if you do not wish to.
Renault: As you wish.
Canas: Please tell me… These morphs Nergal has created… How can you know so much about beings that are centuries old?
Canas: I will give you the answer I suspect may be true. You know, because you were there. Nergal was alone after he and Athos separated. The only ones around him were his morphs… Perhaps then, you are…
Renault: …… What?
Canas: …… …I have never thought one should back away from knowledge, but…I hesitate to ask…
Renault: Is that so… Then I will ask you a question.
Renault: You asked me before… Whether or not morphs had a soul… What do you think?
Canas: …… Before…I would have said that I do not know… But now, perhaps I do… Morphs…do have souls… That is what I believe…
Renault: …That is not a bad answer. Your reply deserves another good answer… When Nergal first created his morphs, he was not alone. He had one assistant. A mercenary who wanted desperately to bring back a friend he has lost in battle. This mercenary volunteered freely for Nergal’s experiments, knowing they would make him less than human…
Canas: Bishop Renault, are you saying–
Renault: This was a long, long time ago…