The Lance of Marduk

Not Dead

The Princess Diaries

Trestin, I miss you. Why wouldn’t you smile? Why didn’t you take my hand?
I’m still shaking. I’m alive.

So many kobolds. They didn’t look like much, not after that fight we had outside. The minions flanked so poorly and fell so easily. Then more came.
No-one else seemed to grasp just how tough they were. I knew exactly when we’d strike them and when we’d flail aimlessly, but the others still gawked when blood didn’t pour. That’s not to say I drew blood – at least not until I couldn’t distinguish theirs from my own…
Phalanx brought me back to my feet. Bless him, he took so much for us. Bjorn went off on his own and fell, but as soon as we reached him (was it Phalanx or Phenex? I once more stood back, incapable), he struck them down, thrashing like a madman. It was so much blood.
I was near collapsing in that small well where we entered. When I saw Bjorn and the paladin go down, I knew that was it for me. I could still heal myself, but they were our only chance of finishing the job. It was all a red haze. I knew I was going to die. They didn’t have to. I did all I could to keep them alive as long as possible, I truly did, and they outlasted me. A few more blows, I believe I struck something, and then the world swirled into a whirling miasma, depositing me into a sea of clouds and fog. It’s true, water puts out the fire.
You were there. Why didn’t you welcome me? So long I awaited that embrace, and you turned me away. You wouldn’t speak to me. You left me to choke on my tears, all that water, red water, was that blood? It was mine, my blood, my pool, my drowning, and you didn’t help, didn’t raise me up, you didn’t take me with you, why did you just stare? Why did you reject me? I didn’t know, I couldn’t save you, I did my job, and you won’t let me live with it, won’t make me die with it, what am I to do!? I know you were the one who should have lived. I should never be the one. I didn’t mean to kill you.

Bjorn. I heard his gruff, muffled voice when you remained silent. He saved my life, I owe him everything. I’m sorry for everything, everything I’ve said to him, done to him. Without him, I’d be dead. Not even death wants me. There’s nothing there waiting. I’m so sorry. To you; to the order, the living, the dead; to the gods; to whomever /’ve betrayed, neglected, or let down; to anyone polluted by my intrinsic, immutable taint: I’m sorry I’m not good enough for anything. Bjorn fell to keep me alive. Just an ounce less luck, and they’d all have died for that. I should have just died instead.

Why won’t you accept me anymore?

Phenex finished it. I have new armour. We have new gold. The kobolds are dead. Winterhaven is safe, safe from the minor threat. A few more days and they’ll be worse than dying again. We have to stop the cult. I’m nothing if we don’t. I need to mean something more than a mistake.



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