Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kain, a tragedy and an epiphany

a day in the life of Kain, as seen through the eyes of Kain:

(note: the following story is an account of the day Kain lost Pitchest Black, his black long sword. The story is told through his eyes and, quite honestly, is pretty jaded and not likely the whole truth according to anyone but him. Take it with a grain of salt.)

Dear Diary:

Damn it all! What a horrible day(s?)! It started out so nice. We had a goal. Travel a bit. Find and salvage some parts of some crashed airships to build our own, and then go gallumping off into the horizon battling and drinking and whoring and looting! Oh, victory smelled sweet in the air, but it was not to be. Not quite.

The plan was simple. We would hitch a ride on a skyship out to each crash site, collect the goods, and use Twink's Tarot cards to transport us, the salvaged parts, and our...other acquired goods back to Talismonde. First however, Twink had to pay a visit to some Headmaster of the Taroteers to get her cards reactivaed. Sounded easy enough: Go to a forest in the north, find the headmaster, cook some food, and be on our way with his blessing.

So we acquired a ride on a ship with Simek's daughter, who is a pretty cool cat. We landed on a mountain next to the forest and bid the dwarfette ado.
Upon approaching the forest, Twink bid us farewell and made her way inside as we waited. After a bit, the snake decided to head inside to look for her, not adhering to our patented "let them figure it out themselves and only step in to save them from certain doom" approach. Sultrani decided it was time as well, and upon concentrating for a bit, disappeared. Yet another damn trick she didn't tell us about. Of course she can disappear, why not! (I would find out later this was not her doing. Oh well, she can keep the coolness points anyhow).

Fearing for my comrades, I called into the forest, shouting some encouraging words that they may be brave, stay the course, and remember honor dignity, and all of that crap (I'm working on that whole honor thing--not very Hyrkhallian, so it's kinda foreign to me.) I was greeted in return by said forest that sent several technicolor skeletons (did i mention the trees were multi-colored) to attack me. They were rather pathetic, and I dispatched them quickly. A few more groups came out, but I ignored them as they attacked and instead tried to decipher where they came from and the source of their power. Right as I figured this out (or so i thought) Sultrani came crashing out of the trees and landed most ungracefully on one of the skeletons (return the cool points).

However, before we could establish more than "you ok?" and "what happened" I was whisked away and found myself on a barren, many-paletted plane. Uh oh. (I'm guessing I probably disappeared much like Sultrani).

I figured I was either a.) in another dimension (not uncommon) or b.) in another damn illusion (also not uncommon). First, I tested the dimensional theory by once again attempting to ascertain the source of power nearest to me. I found nothing. THe only source of power was myself. I deduced (correctly, I might add) that I was not prisoner to an illusion. Indeed, when attacking me with shitty rainbow undead didn't work, the forest, clearly behind all of this, chose to imprison me instead.

I elected to deal with the situation much like I did all illusionary magic. However, this was a mistake. Typically, illusionary spells and powers of this nature are easily destroyed by absorbing some of all of it with Pitchest Black. Thus, I attempted this same feat once again.

It was a horrible mistake. The energy powering the illusion was extremely potent. Before I knew it, I had absorbed more than my sword could handle and it melted in my hand!

Distraught and outraged, I gathered the now pieces of my sword, hoping to somehow discover a way to reforge it.

Electing this time an alternate approach, I sat down and meditated, closing my eyes and concentrating on various things: first nothing at all, just to calm myself; then on Twink, sweet beautiful Twink and her smile; then on my sword, I wanted to will it back together! Finally I meditated on escape and finding an exit. Opening my eyes, I found myself still trapped in this Endless Illusion.

Pissed, I began walking. Judging from the count of my pace, I imagine I walked several miles before I noticed the reflection in my armor. Good old Simek, proving himself once again. Looking in the reflection, I saw the forest, and realized what had happened.

I removed my breastpiece and, looking into it, guided my way through the forest until I eventually found an exit.

Immediately after exiting, I was attacked by a giant flying snake that elected to keep it's distance and spit venom at me from afar. It was here I came upon a great epiphany. At first, I moved in to close the distance between us. But he continued to move back, and flew just out of my reach. I discovered...I wasn't interested in fighting him.

Not only did it feel wrong not having both blades in my hand, but really, it didn't seem worth it to really even engage. So i told the snake he was worthless and walked away. It followed for a spell, and amassed a gang of followers. Eventually, I met up with Sultrani and we headed back towards the others. The annoying snakes eventually left.

When I got back to camp I learned some interesting facts: that the Headmaster of the Taroteers was a hive-mind that essentially comprised of this forest; that the little bits of my sword I picked up now appeared to be bits of tree branches; that the hive-mind controlling the forest call themselves patrons; and that even worse, one demanded that Twink call it Master and serve it!

Twink, on my behalf, ventured back into the forest and requested that the patron return that which belonged me. The patron, claiming to be the soul of the world, told her that the sword was destroyed because I attacked them by calling into the forest. Ha! How interesting to hear my opponent's side of the story.

Anyway, i gave Twink the parts of the blade/branch, and we left the place. For now, the white sword will remain sheathed. I'm not sure how I intend to proceed from here. Perhaps I'll (gasp) meditate on it, after eating a hearty meal. I wonder if the snake will le me have one of it's goats...

P.S. I realized while writing this that I'm writing in Amazonion. That's because Hyrkhalla has no written language. I think this is a major deficiency. We could be much better warriors if we fought intelligenty instead of brutally. And being intelligent is much easier if you can read. I think I'm going to start trying to piece together a Hyrkhallan written language. I hear the simplest languages use pictures, so I'll start trying to piece something together using pictures (probably best to associate the pics with war and warlike stuff). And from there, I can translate some good strategy books into Hyrkhallan and teach them as well. Even if I have to start small, a small army of tacticians is better than a large army of morons.