The Battle for Light's Hope had been resolved without him.
He was dimly aware that, somewhere off of the left periphery of his remaining vision, something of enormous moment had occurred. An important conversation among important people, brandishing important artifacts and making important decisions. It is good, he thought, lastly, to know that things will continue. At least, I am going to presume it is good.
Second-hand cognizance of dull pain and clinging filth only reached him when someone else's hands palmed his head, though he had long ceased to smell the rot, plagued spillings, and liberated mortal articles. Light and dark were the only things he perceived. Someone was turning his head, foolishly, to face the far luminous haze of impending morning. He looked to the dawn, but the sun failed to crest. How odd that it should change its mind after all these years.
Others in a similar situation have been known to describe how they endured: "I followed the Light," they say. "It stayed with me, before me. It led me home." Had he been blessed with a similar experience and told the tale, perhaps things would have turned out differently for him. Perhaps he would not have been passed over by the Highlord as he selected the Crusade. Of course, this is all speculation.
Ultimately, he returned with only a hunch that time had passed and a sense of shock at his own consciousness.
I'm still alive.
He would later imagine that he had already mustered an inkling of what would overshadow the story of his life thenceforth: a protracted campaign to legitimize and recapture the series of manias that ensued shortly from this realization.