Hiding in the hole in the trunk of a tree, I spent weeks in intense agony as my wounds healed. Maggots writhed in the flesh of my head and I had to remove them one by one with a sharpened twig. I had what seemed like a lifetime to contemplate the evil that had been done to me—and to imagine my revenge. When I was well enough to venture out, I wrapped moss over my wounds and fashioned a turban with the cloth of my sash. I found a man wearing a Scythian style boiled wool hat I thought would be perfect. It had flaps over the ears to conceal my shame. I would have killed him and taken it, but I still felt weak. Instead, I gave him three coppers and he turned over the hat, which smelled deeply of the foulness of his head. I gagged, but one adjusts to such things.
I once again entered the forest and began to practice my spells and curses with a diligence I had never had before. I would perfect my craft. Now I had not only the inborn talent, but also the greatest motivation a man can have—revenge. Day and night the vision of Rustem insane with fear filled my mind. Again and again I imagined the tortures I would inflict upon him. He would rue the day he went up against the Sorcerer Gaumata. Even now I feel the urge to rub my hands together and feel the heat of my hatred.