A Brush with the Darkside
Scene: Aboard a ship leaving the port of Albion. Malvegil the Poet sits in the main galley of the ship, sipping on a pint of beer, he then begins to talk with another traveler about his adventures in the fallen realms.
Yes, I have traveled many months within the fallen realms, yet I do not yet see any shimmer of light as it was yet promised. You see, many came to the fallen realm in search of glory, adventure. Some came to pillage, rape and murder.
That is the balance. The basics of the Cosmo’s, the ying and the yang. The Fire and the Ice.
The hooded figure of the Poet solemnly looks to the strange, he sips some of his ale and begins.
Let me tell you a saga, a short tale of my beginnings friend, and maybe you can discern some knowledge in order to help others.
It began in 1219, I arrived on the shores of Midgard. Vasudheim, a sprawling suburb of the mighty Jordheim. Armed with song and verse, and with the company of a few companions I set about making my way off the land. Little did I see the evil and corruption that now plagues the lands, it was a golden age of exploration. Slowly I honed my combat skills, and weaved songs of battle. It was then I joined a band of fighters, the Skona Raiders. Such was a massive group, will wallowed in our riches, but in the numbers the evil spread. Slowly the guild began to destroy itself. In the end the leader, wise in some ways, decided to disband the group.
Thus began the exodus.
Soon, I was alone, and the ex-members all went their separate ways. Small groups formed. Some were good, the others, the corrupt, formed the groups of murderers. I was but alone, then my friend came from the land of light to join me, a healer of sorts. Soon I found homage in a fairly new guild of innocents, seeming uncorrupt and untainted by the darkness enveloping the land, the Alliance.
I spent many seasons with them, as my comrades, but soon discovered my own power was to great. I did not want to invoke the feelings of jealousy or hatred. I left the order and went in search of myself.
I stumbled upon some of the untainted members of the Skona, they took me in. It was a nice small band ruffian’s, insistent on the taste of blood. Alas, they are fine people, but many lacked conviction to take action against our foes. I was the fist of justice, quick to deal out judgment, not one to wait around. For often the side of the Light must be passive, must not render to the pleasures and lust of killing. For often-superior numbers and power would attack me, a rage of jealousy and hate would begin to boil. Only through my songs of peace would I find solace.
For the allure of the dark side, it promises easy access to riches and wealth. The path many of the children of light take, for in the battle of evil, every defeat to the weak minded brings them closer to the darkness. I a seemingly hopeless battle, one begins to question whether or not they are fighting a losing battle. They question, in their minds, are they doing what is right.
The weak-minded they are, the sheep of the realm. Easily swayed by power, and easily tricked into foolishness. Some of these can be rooted, for they move to where the coffers are fat with glory, and often can be seen under different banners of the guilds. They soon find they are alone, finding only peace in others who are alone. They often join bands of murderers who believe the road is easy.
Karma will teach them they have made a mistake.
Even a few of these vagabonds have formed their own bands, recruiting from the crusaders of light, for the fallen them betray their comrades, justifying their betraying with stories of treachery, cowardliness, and foolhardy tales.
Yes my good friend, so you see now that I am alone and then I wander the plains of Salisbury. For the wisp of darkness hath crossed my mind. I travel, often under the cover of night, silently, humming the sagas of Sigurd and Odin, the great warriors and heroes of our culture.
There, I see a group of innocents, woefully I approach, I could kill them. Easily, the rewards, the gold…it would feed me for a month! I clench my sword, feeling the blood boil in my veins, the excitement of the kill.
I look around, we are alone, me and this group of innocents, obviously of lesser seasons, and the risk is small. I envision myself rushing into battle, black cloak twirling in the wind, the dancing blade singing under the moonlight, the blood covering the dew glistening grass.
I hear the falling the bodies, slumping to the ground, and the last breath of air extruding from the dying lungs of the fallen. The purses of these victims opening on the ground, the power of the gold is eminent as it reflects what little light is shown through the clouds that no gather over the moonlight plains.
The mist begins to gather.
Confusion and lust fill my find, how easy would it be to kill these poor fools, to send them to their doom.
The rain begins to fall.
The cool drops patter over my hood, and a sudden peacefulness fills me. I see the group running. Running from what, I edge closer, I see a mighty troll swinging flaming axes, and they stand no chance.
This is a decision I must make, save them, or let them die.
In these moments, it seems things are so fast, yet things seem like an eternity at the same time. I draw my sword from my back; begin chanting the hymns of battle. I shout the words of power; the troll looks to me dazed. His eyes begin to bleed; yet his mouth begins to move.
“Why save them?”
Twirling my blade I move in for an attack, shouting the songs of battle I strike the troll in the arm, my blade flashing through the dark night of rain.
The troll begins flashing his axes furiously; I bring my blade across his way, the corona of light flashing as my blade parries his axes. Skillfully I dropped my blade around, duck low while twirling my body, in an effort to flank the slow but large troll. Soon I am at his back, I deliver a swift slash across his hind.
The troll spins to me, his axes slicing my arms. The pain is slight, the wounds cauterized from the flame blister in agony. I begin to deliver my coupe de grace, twirling the great sword at my side I bring my weapon up and it connects with the head of the troll.
The troll cries as his lifeless body slumps to the ground. I collect my bounty from his corpse.
The party of innocents, observing in the distance, run to me cheering. They express their thanks and bow. A sense of warmth and contentment fill me. Moments ago I had thought of killing these, now I could not fathom it. It is now I have decided to make the right choice, to defend the honorable, and destroy the honor less.
The rewards of good far outweigh the rewards of evil. For their victories are shallow, and easily earned.
I look to the stranger, finishing the pint of ale.
Yes my friend, tomorrow I shall tell you more of my tale, for our journey be 3 weeks hence I return to the fallen realms.