Statement of Nathaniel Thorp, regarding his own mortality.
Nathaniel Thorp is illiterate and had to have his statement recorded for him by Fiona Law. He started his statement by explaining a folk tale.
Once there was a bold soldier in New England. At the Battle of Bunker Hill he was weary from a night of drinking and playing Faro. He fled the battle and discovered he had been shot. Eventually he was able to find a house and took shelter in the cellar from the rain. However, in that cellar he met Death.
The soldier challenged Death to a game of chance for his life. Although Death offered Chess, Draughts or Dominos, the soldier asked they play Faro. Death agreed, saying "if you win, you shall not die.". They played for a long time, before the soldier eventually won the game by palming his bet.
As he stood in victory, Death laughed and muscle and blood started to reform on its old bones. The soldier found that his flesh was coming away from his bones in clumps. Eventually Death was returned to his original fleshy monk form, and the soldier became like Death.
At this point in giving the original statement, Nathaniel went to prove his point by cutting off his finger. He revealed that he was the soldier and that he spent 2 centuries in the lifeless state. There were other 'Deaths', he said, who would also go to dying people, but would also kill people who were not about to die.
Eventually he was freed by a game of Roulette and his flesh returned to him. When he made his statement he had been flesh again for 2 years, but food and drink made him sick and he was unable to sleep, although he craved something, he wasn't sure what it was. He suspects he's not the only one.
Nathaniel's information about his living arrangements were correct at the time of giving the statement. Fiona was unable to confirm the details as she died from complications during a liver transplant in 2003. Elias worked as a filing clerk at the time and confirmed that there were rumours of someone self harming during a statement. With the original statement was an old bone hexagonal token used for Faro which crumbled to dust when Jonathan Sims picked it up.
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This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives, and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.