After sailing to Aulonia, but before the meeting of the 3 armies…
I have spent the last 25 years trying to forget this place. Trying to forget the pain, anger, and useless scenes of death that accompany a moment’s thought of this place. But, after 25 years, here I am, on a ship, I hate boats, going right back into things.
Surrounded as I am, by a hodgepodge of police, gang members, thieves, citizens, veterans and some naive fools, it is difficult to find time and space to be alone. Writing this on the back of old leaflets of parchment, in between talks with Richard, training, and teasing friends, I want to reflect on my side of things here.
We are sailing from Ravenshore to Aulonia. Not too long ago, magical folk started disappearing and further investigation showed that Duncan’s, that’s King Duncan’s, men had entered Ravenshore and continued their ever-going genocide of anyone magical. The death of one of their men caused a breach in the treaty between Ravenshore and the rest of Aulonia allowing invasion for Duncan and his men.
But, this you know.
What you might not know is how some of us were able to fight off their first wave and, along with Sir Richard, the White Knight, some of us are sailing to meet with Sir Author and Sir…James, the Grey and Black Knights.
Days passed between writing the above, and writing this. I had to deal with some things and settle some thoughts. I served with James during and prior to the Barbarian Invasion. I did some pretty horrible things, all for the good of my country. But, I was deceived. I was left to die. Holding a hill against a barbarian horde, their fire-breathing hydra burned most of my body and left me for dead. Moving to Ravenshore, I had to work for years to be accepted into society, and to control my emotions. I wasn’t happy; but I wasn’t dead either.
Things were fine; I had a job, something to do, and it was ages since the dreams haunted my sleep, when all this happened. Now, I’m here.
I have met some interesting people as of late. As I said before, I had a hard time fitting into society; scars and a tendency to remain in the background do little to make one personable. But, I have joined with some comrades actually worth my time. Skilled already, I have spent my time serving as a constant reminder that preparation is crucial. It has been awhile since I wore my gear, but it feels exactly the same as ever. Strong, but light, it is a part of me I had forgotten, or rather, had cast off, for years. It just sat in my closest, collecting dust, like me.
The training has gone well. Most are willing to listen, so long as they can be convinced they have something to learn. I haven’t gone easy on them, either. Blinding them, binding them, hitting from all angles, I am trying to get these people to think quick, and act on the notion that the unexpected is common. One comrade in particular, Jim Quarion, has taken quite the initiative. Strong, fast, but young, Jim’s a sorcerer. Ya, magic user, in these times, plus magic is…just not dependable in my opinion. Too many people with too much power and not enough control. But, anyway, Jim has been training with me to learn to control his power, and also to switch to his sword for backup. He’s clever, I’ll give him that, and as long as he keeps his mind clear, he’ll do well.
The rest of my comrades have all sorts of strange and complicated backgrounds, and I’m sure I’ll get more into that later. But, for now, let me wrap this up.
I am told we will arrive, weather-permitting, on the shores of Aulonia tomorrow. I have all my affairs settled back home. My shop is being watched over by my apprentices and the Trade Guilds. I have instilled a sense of caution and planning amongst my allies. But, I am not fully settled, myself.
Part of me still burns with an anger forged two and a half decades ago. I am still haunted by dreams; dreams which burn throughout the night and leave me sweating and screaming. Good thing I sleep in full armour and with a rag in my mouth. The ones who don’t fear me just think me insane, and well, that’s about as good of a definition as any.