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Joined: 23 Nov 2012
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Brother Grimm's Story
    Posted: 23 Nov 2012 at 15:23
Since I started this game, which I am thoroughly enjoying by the way, a lot of people have commented on my choice of name for my character and have jokingly requested a tale.  Well I do love a good tale (hence the name) not to mention a bit of mystery.  I have really enjoyed reading some of the stories and poems in this forum.  Given my name I felt I should try to make a contribution and I thought I would try to tell an ongoing tale based on my Illyriad character.  This is the first part - I have also put it on my profile and I will eventually update it there.

                      Grimm's Story

Part 1 - Introduction

Once upon a time there was a little boy who had no name.

His mother and father were poor travelling folk and had abandoned him as he slept beneath a hedge where they had spent the night and upon awakening the little chap had made his way to a nearby village.  The folk in the village led hard lives and had little time for waifs and strays so no-one troubled to give him a proper name, referring to him only as ‘boy’ or ‘you’ or ‘brat’.  He slept with the dogs and beasts on the floors of outhouses and barns and was fed scraps in return for performing odd jobs and chores for the villagers.  And so it was that the boy grew into a young man and like so many others who are downtrodden and oppressed he accepted his lot for he knew no other and had no-one to give him a dream to follow.

It happened one summer night that the young man was restless and could not sleep.  He had lain in the open, for it was a sultry summer night, and the place where he lay was close to the great mountain which stood hard by the village – a place shunned by the folk there, for they said that the peak was haunted by spirits.  As the boy rose from his resting place, his attention was caught by a movement on the peak, a flickering of lights in golds and greens and reds and yellows moving slowly down the mountainside.  His first instinct was to run, but the boy was mesmerised by the wondrous display of lights and so, instead, using the low bushes which grew at the mountain foot as cover, he made his way to meet the shimmering procession.

For it was indeed a procession.  Peering in awe from his hiding place he realised that the lights emanated from a line of figures which moved slowly but purposefully down the mountain.  As they drew closer he saw that there were knights equipped in shining plate and carrying shields bearing strange devices, fierce orcs with green skin glowing and bearing mighty spears, tall elves with fine  bows and quiverfuls of arrows slung lightly across their backs and bearded dwarves of fearsome visage and grasping gleaming weapons forged deep beneath the earth.  As the boy watched transfixed, gazing in wonder from one figure to another, he saw that each was insubstantial somehow, fading in and out against the starry sky and surrounded always by the myriad lights which danced like sparks around each one.  He saw too as they passed close by that each of these beings, of whatever race, bore an expression of deepest longing and sadness, of something lost.  Like ghosts.

(To be continued) 



Edited by Brother Grimm - 27 Nov 2012 at 21:30
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 2012 at 16:34
It's a good start! Looking forward to the next part. :-)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Nov 2012 at 10:27
Same here. Interesting start. Good luck with the rest.  Smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2012 at 21:35
Thank you both for your encouragement.  Here is the second part:-

Part 2.  The Knight of the Broken Heart

As he crouched, transfixed, one of the ghostly company seemed to falter and moved apart from the advancing line.  After a momentary pause, this lone figure seemed to start and to his horror the boy saw that it was moving purposefully towards the scrubby bush which was his hiding place.  It was a great  knight, dressed for war in chain and plate, and yet his sword was sheathed and his armour, though tarnished, bore no scratch or dent.  His face, behind a grizzled beard, was racked with pain and his arms clutched tightly at his breast.  Staring unerringly at the spot where the boy lay he lowered his arms and with one hand removed the gauntlet from the other.  Only then did the boy make out the glowing device emblazoned across the breastplate.  A living heart, sundered in two as if by some mighty blade, lay pulsing there and drops of blood like tears mingled with the dancing sparks surrounding him.  It was then, pointing a crooked forefinger directly at the fearful boy, that he spoke.  “I choose.”  The words reverberated across the bare mountainside and seemed to fly up to the stars behind the peak and into the woods and vale beyond the sleeping village.

For a moment panic gripped the boy and in his confusion he rose from his resting place and made to flee, but the thunderous bass of the knight’s proclamation seemed to grip at his senses and instead he fell in a heap, out in the open at the knight’s feet.   Many a stout heart would have succumbed to  fear there, lying alone before the terrifying figure in that rocky landscape and cloaked in a darkness relieved only by the relentless sparks pursuing their ghastly dance.  Yet this boy raised his head and spoke – for here was one who had known no love or certainty or happiness whose loss he feared and who faced these terrors here as mere extensions of those he had faced each day at the hands of his unfeeling fellow creatures during his miserable existence.   “Who are you, sir, and what causes you such pain?”  And then the knight replied:-

“I am the Knight of the Broken Heart, or so I am known among this company.  Once, when I was but a callow youth like you, orphaned and cast out, I sought to make my mark upon this world and set out on the highways and the byways of my land.  One summer night, while sleeping by the roadside, I dreamed a Guiding Spirit woke me and carried me high up to a mountaintop and there, in a cave, my Spirit showed to me a truly wondrous place.  It was a world like none I had ever dreamed of, filled with mountains, rivers, seas, with hills and plains and forests, great jungles, deserts, bitter fields of ice.”

As the words tumbled from his lips the boy discerned a change in the knight’s features as, from beneath the pained and grizzled visage, an expression of purest joy was glimpsed.

“The land my Spirit showed me teemed with life, with birds and beasts and settlements of every race from tiny villages to mighty cities whose walls and towers touched the clouds.  A place where friendship thrived and music, song and jest were daily celebrated and deeds of honour and valour performed.  But a land, too, where evil stalked and devious plots were hatched and executed and a place where the undead walked.  And there my Guiding Spirit put me down and told me that my dream was real and gave to me a place to rule and asked me only this.  ‘Only to me be true in all you do’.  So I became a ruler in this land and life was good for my cities thrived and my people were happy and I was much in the company of the kind and honourable and gentle and loving folk of this land and my scouts and merchants and armies travelled far and wide to discover its secrets.  And always I remembered what my Spirit spake;  honour was the watchword of my people and always we would strive to protect the weak, to look kindly on the foolish, to bestow charity both on those deserving and those less so, to use the word before the sword and above all to have a  generous heart.  And life was good.”

At this point the knight paused and the gaze of his piercing blue eyes, which up until now had held the boy, was broken and his expression was glazed as if for a moment transported to another time and place.  And strangely it was the boy who broke the silence, for the knight’s tale had fired within him a curious imagination long starved of nurture.  “What befell you, good knight?”  At once the knight responded, his whole body seemingly convulsing as he clutched at his heart involuntarily before resuming his narrative.

“There was no warning.  It was a bright summer morn and life was burgeoning and vibrant all around.  As was my daily habit I made my way to the chapel in my castle to seek my Spirit and to reaffirm my vow.  There as I knelt to meditate and meld my mind with His a terrible crack was heard and a pain of indescribable intensity gripped my whole body, driving me into unconsciousness.  Just before the darkness descended I saw the stained glass window in the chapel, bearing my device, a living heart, shatter into a thousand pieces.  That was the last I ever saw of my land, my people, my friends.  When I woke, close by to this place, I was confused and knew not where I lay.  Yet I sensed that many months, or maybe years, had passed and that I ne’er again would return to that land where once I dwelt.  So I looked once more to seek my Guiding Spirit but as my mind reached out to His, He was not there and I sensed only a terrible sickness in His place.”

Once again the knight dropped his gaze, but this time it was to look to the east where the faintest flecks of newborn light now streaked the dark horizon.  When the knight turned to him once more the boy  sensed in him a new sense of urgency which he had not seen before and he noticed too that the ghostly procession had turned and was now proceeding apace towards the top of the mountain.  Gazing intently at the boy, the knight extended his arm in his direction and a curled forefinger beckoned.  “Come!”

One might wonder what thoughts filled the lad’s head as, just for a moment, he escaped the knight’s piercing stare and glanced down the mountainside towards the village.  One can only imagine what memories of whippings and mockery and untold unkindnesses informed the decision that he made then. Or perhaps it was simply the absence of love and hope in his life up to this point which decided him, for maybe the knight’s tale had shown him hereto unimagined possibilities.  In any event the boy arose from the stony ground and joined the knight at the rear of the trail of lights.

And two events are worthy of recall as they made their way to the summit and there passed across the threshold of a cave concealed in the rock.  As soon as the boy made to join the knight the lights surrounding him seemed to glow more brightly and a greenish glow detached itself and seemed for a moment to dart playfully about the boy’s head and just for a moment he glimpsed, or imagined that he did, a grinning set of upturned fangs and then a pointed ear within the lights.  Just before they entered the cave the boy looked to the east where day was advancing rapidly and saw a sight he had not seen before for silhouetted against the growing dawn a congregation of great black birds tumbled out of the sky, cawing triumphantly.


Next Time:-  In the Cave of Tears


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2012 at 21:57
Now I'm getting even more curious! When I reached this part:

"The land my Spirit showed me teemed with life, with birds and beasts and settlements of every race from tiny villages to mighty cities whose walls and towers touched the clouds."

it stole a smile from me and I thought I knew where it was going, but you left me at a cliffhanger. Could those birds be crows? ;-)

Anyway, that's still a mysterious introduction so far, and I'm looking forward to the rest!

Edit: I was checking your profile and saw you have an introduction there too, but I don't dare reading it before the end of this one, for fear of spoilers! :-)


Edited by Kabu - 27 Nov 2012 at 21:59
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2012 at 22:48
Crows, Kabu?  I couldn't possibly comment.  What is on my profile currently is a duplicate of the first two parts posted here.  In future I will simply paste the link to here on my profile for subsequent parts.

Thank you once more for your interest.


Edited by Brother Grimm - 27 Nov 2012 at 22:51
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