The Kursed are different, Malekith tells himself. Power and pain are the only beacons they seek in the mad, white wastelands flowering through Yggdrasil’s fingers. Power to fare forward through heaps of shattered bodies, pain to give their fury a locus; these are the two dark bolts of clarity that they will follow until their flesh disintegrates. As for the rest, they must remember it — but only dimly, like shapes glimpsed in rising smoke. They must remember dear ones, but not their deaths. They must remember home, but not its long lesions of terrible silence. They must mourn without knowing exactly why, they must take savage solace in their task, it must be simpler for them in some ways. Malekith tells himself this must be so.
A familiar weight is in the corner of his vision; Algrim, looming attentively nearby. Somehow, ludicrously, he seems almost unchanged. Still steady, still strong, waiting for whatever may come. But now he waits wordless and now his eyes track back and forth absently while he stands ready in close shadows. He looks to Malekith often, watches him as if nothing else is real.
It is a great honour and a great sacrifice to accept the covenant of the Kursed, Malekith thinks. All strength is born from suffering. If nothing else, they must always remember treasured things from their former lives. A word, a secret, a face. His heart aches for them. They must remember everything that they have lost.