The Journal of Giacomo

Campaign: Kingmaker

All the Things that Drifted Away (pt. 2)
They came as all monsters come. They came with a bloodlustful determination like fire in their otherwise empty eyes. One hero fell, overcome by the onslaught. Another was gravely wounded, eviscerated and fell. The true horror shortly followed. The emissaries of the frigid hells were not content to mearly take blood and life, they began pulling the fallen back towards the terrible demise we had moments ago escaped.
Arrows flew about as we resisted the assault. Truely it was the skilled accuracy of the archers that won the day, but as the battle raged their efforts had little of my attention. What transpired before me that afternoon seeks me in my slumber, forbidding me peace.
They called her Donella, I later learned. She was beautiful. She was overcome. The lovely elf was felled before me just as the lovely human was taken in time past. Again, I get ahead of the story.
The eelhounds attacked the woman as they did the rest of our adventuring fellowship. It was first that they would tackle the unfortunate soul to the ground, then they would return with them to their domain, a terrible fate from which escape was feared dreadfully impossible. The elf was accosted in such a way and it was my only recourse, I assessed in my panic, to struggle against them and deny them their prey.
I am not a strong man. Neither in stature nor in emotional fortitude, I break as weakly fortified walls fall to well placed assaults. I held against their efforts for a time, but they were too many, I was not enough. As I held her, I felt a foreign object in her clothing. A weapon, I dared to hope. Hope so often goes unrequited, but in this moment I found the empowerment I so longed for. It armed my unarmed hand and I lashed out against one of her slithering captors. I drew blood, my tranference laced rage imbued upon the blade, but it was not enough. It was hardly enough. I am never enough. Not for her, and not for her.
They took her into the waters, leaving me, mocking me as the past mocks the present across an insurmountable chasm. I was in two places. I was on the muddy shore, broken. I was years ago, newly broken. There was to be no redemption for me. What did the storyteller see in me when he picked my up from the rubble that fateful night? Why was I brought here only to continue to fall tragically short?
It came from the right of me, the greatest of the terrible creatures of the waters. It charged for me as it would any prey, I was nothing special, I was nothing unusual. I was the afternoon's meal, nothing more. I thought of the water: cold and violent, unkind and hateful. I thought of life: cold and violent, unkind and unwelcoming. I thought of death and I wondered if those stories were true, the stories I most enjoyed, the stories that lovers find each other again on the other side. Would death be cold and terrible or warm and welcoming?
I thought of the miller's wife. I did not know the woman. I looked at the serpent. I saw something in its eyes through the hungering fires, I saw just enough to make contact. I did not know the miller, but I know of man: his hopes and dreams, his hurts and fears. I did not know of their union, be it happy or miserable, but I know the ideal. I know great stories of the ideal. I tell great stories of the ideal.
I wanted to die this day, but for them, for the ideal, I would not. It was a movement of my hand at first, a graceful motion began my act. I had it, its eyes told me. I can always see it in the eyes. There were no words, words were not for the fierce and simple, nor was there a sound that could overpower such ferocious animosity. There was only my act, and my movements disarmed him. He stopped before me, the terrible creature, and he could come no closer.
This is who I am, the weak and powerless man who moves the minds of king and begger, beast and devil. The story would not end with our demise, I told him without words. He relented, he remained, then the arrows came. The burning fire in his eyes was finally snuffed by the ranger's awe inspiring precision.
The battle continued a short while, ending with our tragic victory. One of the fallen was revived through the holy magics of the champion. There was joy in that, but I myself found little. I stood by the shore, the woman's dagger in my hands, and I mourned for her and for her and for all the things that drifted away.

11/13, end.
Viewable by: Public
1 comment
All the Things that Drifted Away (pt 1.)
"This is your town!" they exclaimed. Truely, it is not, and it was quite the blunder on my part to reveal such through a glaring display of ignorance, however I forgive myself the error in light of the circumstance: this farce of justice I have stumbled upon is the greatest example of that which I am charged to seek out.
I am Giacomo Casanova of the Bardic Brothers Casanova. That is not my real name and yet it is, since a name is mearly the intangible spark of memory that separates the familiar from the unknown. A name like a memory is transient. It is assigned and reassigned, given and acquired, possibly mistaken, and like all memory eventually forgotten. All things transient as all things mortal: names, memories, possessions and lives pass away. They pass as water slips through one's fingers.
The thought of the things that slip from our grasp haunts me terribly, but I get ahead of myself.
The introduction at hand is of the bard who came, quite purposefully, in search of wrongs to right. It was here in the village by the pond that he found them.
A man stands accused of a crime. The crime of murder, heinous indeed as all assaults against life are, is not one that I suffer lightly. It is a greater crime, however, to besmirch the name of justice when the penalties in question involve the further taking of life. There is foul business running unchecked that a man can be sentinced to death without the proof of his crime. It is for this reason that I dove into the lake, to find the empowering proof that would bring true justice to the matter at hand. If he is a murderer, so be it, but let there be known truth before death is wielded in the name of justice. If he is innocent, the man must be freed and those responsible for this miscarriage of justice be brought to account.
"This is your town!" they exclaimed. Truely, it is not, but this is my land, and this is my kingdom. This is my life that I journey to take part in such conflicts. This day's struggle, in retrospect, chills me as did the merciless river that bright afternoon. But again, I rush ahead.
It was a still pond but it was a raging river. At the base of the pond, true to the tales, was a magical millstone that served as a portal between our world and that of the fey. I was nearly overcome, as were we all, by the swift apathy of the unexpected current to be found upon our arrival. My friendship was won with little delay when the group of adventurers to which I had been introduced bearly minutes prior struggled to save my life. It was a conflict of sentient life against the impersonable wilds of nature as we swam for shore. As life flees death we fled from the inevitable fates toward which we were mercilessly drawn. At the crest of our victory, once relieved of fear for but a moment, a greater threat rose from the water as if the river itself was not content to let its prey escape.
They were the guided hands of the scorned predator, the eels that rose to the surface. I could not count them, I dared not count them for I faced them all unarmed, unarmored. Be they ten or twenty, they were too many and there was one among them who stood out, as much as snakes stand, above them. Like all things terrible and inevitable, they came. What followed was not my end, but I wish it were, as I always do, in place of all the things that drifted away.
Viewable by: Public
1 comment