The sands slipped through his fingers like the love of a woman taken away by a whim of fate...
Balorac was sitting in the sand, playing with it, drawing meaningless symbols and wiping them away. Beside him stood his trusted bottle of brandy, one of the few things he could rely on during days of despair.
A few days had passed since that fateful night, but the ache was still there.
And the emptiness. There had been emptiness, but it was for the first time that he was so painfully aware of it.
To add insult to injury his shoulder started to act up again, as if to add a physical dimension to his pain.
This was the place where it all began, the hope, the temptation and the weakness on the banks of the accursed Styx...
Sunset had come, but even though the sweltering heat had lessened there was a sticky kind of warmth that would not go away and that made you feel dusty.
Sometimes he longed for the crisp cold of Brandoc, his Cimmerian homeland that had never really been his home.
But now he just wanted to go to his balcony and enjoy the last rays of the sun.
Through the dusty streets he walked, seemingly unaware of his surroundings. People tended to avoid him anyway.
He climbed the high and narrows stairs and as he opened the door to his quarters his eyes narrowed.
The place was clean; the scrolls left on the table had been stowed away in the right cabinet and the empty bottle of Blackthorn brandy from the day before was nowhere to be seen.
This could not have been Rahul, who never cleaned after himself as a rule, or Akethra, the little Argossean girl that he paid to clean once in a while, because she was visiting her sick mother in Argos.
After all, he arranged for her trip on one of the sleek Blackthorn barges...
Suddenly his alertness peaked as he heard steps from the bedroom coming his way.
A tall and elegant woman with jet-black hair, pale skin and blue eyes dressed in simple blue gown and wearing a veil walked into the room. Before he could react she took a scroll out of her sleeve and handed it to him.
It said that she was mute, Maegahra, also from Argos, and a friend of Akehtra. Akethra had arranged for her friend to mind the quarters in her absence, but hadn’t bothered to notify Balorac.
It all was very plausible.
So Balorac greeted his new maid in a gruff Balorac-way and told her to prepare the tub on the balcony so he could enjoy the sunset from there.
As soon as she was out of the room, he opened an ornate box with some samples of the merchandise and took out a small purple and orange sack. He took a pinch of the gold-coloured powder inside, snorted it and sighed deeply as he did.
From there everything became dreamlike, hazy...
He somehow managed to get into a golden ornate tub that he had gotten from a Nemedian noble who had not been able to pay his debts to Blackthorn. He grinned as he recalled how he had dragged it to his consecutive homes in Nemedia , Brythunia and finally Stygia .
‘Funny how you can get attached to silly things sometimes...’ he thought and chuckled to himself.
The lukewarm water cooled his skin until it tingled and made his senses soar. The setting sun blazed like the red hair of a Vanir woman and that mental image made him smile.
As the Golden Halo did its work and his mind left balcony above the Khemi souk and as it travelled all the familiar visions came to him... of the horned man, of the blood-covered child and of the grave of Nimue, the first woman who had cared for him and who had returned to offer him redemption in the shape of a red-haired warrior woman.
In his timeless state he became aware of a female voice, familiar as his own.
‘I hope you enjoyed your little experiment, Balorac.
I warned you not to expose yourself and you ignored my advice.
You tried to be like them, the normal people who live, make love and die without ever looking over the corn field.
You are destined to be more than that. You will reap the harvest, for me.
May the pain serve as a permanent reminder that there is but one woman in your life and it’s a goddess...’
The voice faded away and Balorac opened his eyes.
The first things he saw were the stars that littered the black Stygian skies. He uttered a foul curse, got out of the cold water and strapped on his ancient armour.
A life, born from a weak pulse, a pulse that grows stronger and stronger. A pulse that gives life to a body and a mind. You feel strong, so amazingly strong. Like if nothing in entire Hyboria can stand against you, not even Toth-Amon himelf can stop you. But even so it will end like this? A warrior that so few days ago thought he could make a difference in this world. Defeat mighty warlords and mages, mount the finest of Stygian women. Beaten. Beaten by foolishness. Foolishness and cold. Jorg tries to raise his head, trying to muster the last scrap of forces to get up, to get on. But it is over, he knows he is going to die, the end is already here. The pulse that had grown so strong was yet again become as weak as a newborn child’s.
It all started 47 days ago, Jorg and his brother Ghorm had grown tired of the everyday life in the little village of Verselio. They dreamt of greater things. They both knew that they had been put into this world to accomplish bigger things than herding their father’s goats. The thrill of sneaking into the barrel makers daughters and look for hidden treasure under their skirts. Jorg wanted more, he wanted to see Stygian women, the library in Tarantia, and test his strength on the Cimmerian warriors. He was a big and strong man, and no one in the village could measure up to his skills in both sword and bow. So finding a place in the big world would be no problem. Ghorm was more the quite type, but with the same hunger for excitement and wisdom. The few books that were in Verselio he had read many a time. Jorg actually believed Ghorm could recite some of them by heart. So late one fall they began their adventure, Ghorm had found a old map and the road to Tarantia did not look that difficult. The adventurers found quickly out that the road on a map differs a lot from the real road.
They had not gotten far before the trouble started. The Nemedian plunderers were not overly skilled, but they were many. They spared the life of the two, but took all the equipment and provisions of any value were taken from them. So was the map, the adventurers did now not know where they were and what road to take, but they bit their teeth together and ventured on.
By a mountain pass known as Ymirs Pass Ghorm took ill. Ghorm had neither the physic nor the health of Jorg and the cold was too strong for him. They found a cave and Jorg got a fire started. Around them they heard Yeties and cavebears, this was no place to stay put, but Ghorm was in no condition to move. They agreed that Jorg should try and get down from the mountain and get help. So Jorg got out into the snow yet again, it was falling even thicker now. He did not come far before the strength went out of him. Jorg fell to the ground, it was over, nothing could save Ghorm now. The last thing Jorg remembered from the journey was a tall man figure bending down at him.
Jorg woke up in a city in Poitain, the man that had saved him was a mage by the name Calfuray. He had found Jorg in bad condition with terrible frostbite and took him to his guilds city where the priests had healed him. As soon as Jorg got his strength back he borrowed a horse and got back up into the mountains too look for his brother, but it was useless, Ghorm was nowhere to be found.
Jorg stayed with his ned companions, but many days and nights he spent in the mountains looking for his brother with no luck. His frustration he got out by fighting alongside his new brothers and sisters in Legio VI Victrix
Dreken Ternin - Licenced inquisutioner of His Excellence bishop of Old Tarantia.
RP story... IC back-ground. Hopefully soon some of it based on In-Game RP soon.
Me, Your obedient, Mitran servant
-I'm Inquisutioner, my dear boy - I sayd low. -Do you know what Inquisutioners are doing?
He nodded without a word.
- Will you tell me?
- They're hunting people and burn them at the stakes? - He sayd unsurely.
I sighed. Why, in name of the God, in our hard work even kids see only this part of it. Well, i must agree it's most spectacular part of it, but not the only one, and trust me, my dears not the most important.
- No, Benjamin - I sayd back and carefull sat at the edge of the bed. - Inquisutioner is shepherd, my boy, that is taking care of defenceless herd. Protect it from the predators, from everyone of those, who wants to hurt the inconent sheeps. But you see, child, the shepherd's mission is easy. He see incoming wolf and drive him away with fire, shout or noise, sometimes with course. But what to do when wolf doesn't look like a wolf?
- What do you mean, sir?
- What should shepherd do... shepherd who knows that wolf can take form of a sheep? Or form of a tree? Or stone? Or even worser: make shepherd though that wolf is one of his sheeps and is ready to attack the inconent creature in mindless rage? - i tried to speak slow, because i wanted him to understand me.
- Normal wolfs can make things like that? - he asked after moment of thinking.
- Normal wolfs can't. - I replied. - However there are many people in the world that finds pleasure in affliction of others. I'm here to defend those that can't defend themselves alone. I came here, because i've been told, that maybe you, Benjamin, needs a defence.
My name is Dreken Ternin and i'm inquisutioner of His Excellence bishop of Old Tarantia. Benevolent, calm and full of humility and full of divine timorous man, who found his calling in solacing of sinners, in pushing them onto a road guided by Almighty Mitra, Angels and saint Church... - If i would be writing a diary, it should start exatly like that. But i'm not writing diarys or chronicles and i dont think i will ever start doing it. Not only in fact that there are some places in man's soul and thoughs that no one should ever look at, but by reason of worldliness of my work. I'm only one of many workers of our Saint's Father's Church. Mitran attendant. Most common events in my life are fights with bugs and louses in the Inn, where i'm allowed to live by friendliness of the owner, war veteran from Potain.