Tie Me Up
KaiYa Rais Journal
My Internal Monologue 1:
Hungover. Hungover. Sore as hell. Need whiskey. Aaah. Have whiskey. I really should not have Bramble do so much for me. I’ve taken care of myself for almost 50 odd years, I can keep doing it. Oh but it is so nice to have him around.
The others are awake. Gods, I thought I looked bad in the morning. Need more whiskey. Aaah. Have whiskey. What bad news is knocking on the door now. Of course, the sister and her runt. Yes, yes. Usual. Hmmm, whiskey. Find allies, got it. Hmm, there has to be some things in the Necropolis that hate the Fallen as much as I now do. Can’t take power without taking it from something else. Oooh, shiny stuff. Well, at least the sisters know how to make a materialistic dragon happy. Hmm, more whiskey. Oh lords, the shield talks. How disconcerting. What a poor bastard. Offer him an ale. What a prick.
Library. Ugh, coming down. Aaaah. More whiskey. World is kinda spinny. Mean old witch. Should just break the door down. I’ll be sweet. Ok, damn that to the nine hells, let the paly talk. That worked. Ok, old druid.
Nice bear. Nice doggy. Old druid. Sort of a prick. Most people are. Ok, paly talked, we’re good. Oh god that is a huge fly! Why do we follow things like this? Has no one but me stepped back to ponder the sheer ridiculousness of our endeavors? Am I the only one?
Freaky guy. Hmm, undead arm. Oddly fascinating. Be nice not to feel pain. My bones are too old for this line of work. Kill Hadrien, two birds with one stone. I hope I hope I get to smash his smug face in.
Sneak. Quiet. Like the wind. Whiskey. Aaah. Quiet. Sneak. Like the Wind. Ahhhhhhhhh! Skeletons! Ahhhhh! Fighting. Kill. Bleeding. Kill. Bleeding a lot. Let it go, let it all go. Fade away. ............................................................................................. ............................................................................................. Wow. I survived. Need whiskey. Thank you whiskey. Paly is being sort of a prick to that lady. He probably likes her. Hard to imagine him with anything stiff downstairs that wasn’t made of metal. Now I did imagine. Out of my brain! Out of my brain! Whiskey! Whiskey! Ahhhhh. Break door down. Break door down. Ow. I’m getting old. Backup.
Yes, adore me. I am the greatest. Indeed, a score of demons. Thank Gods I’m useful. Yes, notice. Attention. Approval. Oh shut up you pathetic little runt. Pricks in shiny armor. Backup, yay. Really shiny new warhammer. Fun new toy. Why do I always seem to inherent the relics of my people? What have they done for me? Why must I be the one to bear the burden of their failures? To carry on a tradition that has given me nothing and tries to take everything from me. Whiskey. Whiskey. Whiskey. Shiny toy.
Sneak. Quiet. Like the wind. Scary dragon bones. Don’t touch, easy trap. Big hole. Wow. Really deep hole. Brave little otter. Poor Knight. Oh crap there goes the Paly. Whiskey. Down the hole.
Crap. Kill Hadrien. Kill Demon. Kill. Bleeding. Bleeding more. Fade away. Kill. ..............................................................What the hell was that? ..................................................................................... ..................................................................................... Got ya you stuck up blood sucker. New trophy. Hurt real bad. Whiskey. Whiskey. Still hurting real bad. Time to go home. Hmm, big room. Lots of people. Oh crap. Oh crap. Wow, this looks fun.
A Day I almost Got My Throat Ripped Out:
So Waspberry is not a wonderful thing. But it did allow me to get a bit of a laugh at the cost of my companions. I don’t think they appreciated it though, which saddens me all the more. The battles we have fought, the people that have died because of us, they linger like ghosts in our minds. All we have left is laughter at the end. My father used to tell me that it is better to die laughing than to live sullen. I hope he laughed when I was left in tears.
I am more alone now than I ever was before. The kid is gone and it hurts in a way I have not felt since I was barely more than a hatchling. Kolskar is gone, running for his life rather than fighting like a warrior. The kid was dispatched on some new mission. Inside, I know he will not come back, at least not as he was. The kid is dead. The three that saved me are gone, only I am left.
It’s not that I don’t like the paladin or the druid, but they are not like me. They are idealists, they believe in Gods and goodness and peace. They are slowly suffocating under the weight of the real world, that the dark in the night is deeper than the light that shines. The two let me near beat two Forsaken to death, which I think is an improvement for them, but I know it is a tragedy. They have yet to sacrifice that part of them that burns bright with hope, they have not needed to. But I am afraid they will, that they will become forever broken like me. I am stronger now than I have ever been, new battles and sorrows have made me harder, colder, and fueled by rage and misery. But that is only because I care less and less. The part in me that once loved, that once felt like the next sunrise would bring with it something better, it has withered away so that my heart may keep beating. All in all, I think the last thing I have left is my desire to not let another one of my companions fall. If anyone deserves to meet the Raven Queen, it is me. The other two, they are still children. I wish that they would remain so. I am becoming more sentimental with age as well it seems. I hate that about myself, but then it is just another thing to add to the list.
It is no wonder I cannot stop drinking. That and the pain. I would like to note, if anyone ever finds this journal in whatever pit I have inevitably died in, so far I’ll add Demon to the list of creatures I’ve faced. I barely made it, but they are on the list. I’ll march straight into the nine hells if I have to, but before I take my last breath, I’ll watch them smother under the weight of their own blood. Vampires. Demons. The End Times. My life was never meant to be this interesting.
But here I am alone, a broken down old snakehead. At least Bramble keeps the house stocked with quality drink.
Another Day I didn’t die:
It’s been one of those days, as good as I am comfortable having but with plenty of the ill to make sure I am always aware this is my life. We got separated from the kid and the guide, I’m sure the kid is ok, but I got stuck with the tiefling and the rat. To make it even more fun, the other tiefling made her presence known, along with a man with the most glorious hat. I will have that hat one day, oh yes, it will be mine. Long story short, she’s looking for treasure, I’m looking to get paid, we go help out.
The usual sewer trip. I hate being underground. Monsters, traps, obstacles. I miss the sky already. We make it through, make some money, a quite decent amount really, and save the day I suppose. Princess, trapped, death and mayhem. I got a nifty ring, a lot of gold, and a chance to be defecated on by a dragonbat. The twists and turns my life take are often mind boggling.
But here I am, scribbling thoughts down in a path of blessed water, watching the others loot and talk about how to save puppies and hatchlings and whatever else. They’re good folk I guess, but by all the gods they annoy me. Oh well, I hope the kid is alright.
A Day I didn’t die:
But by the Nine Hells, everyone else almost did. When you stand upon the brink, looking across the field of battle, in my case, usually the alley or tavern of battle, in this case, the sewer of battle, things become very clear. Maybe it is the blood on the ground, the blood in your eyes, the weight of your weapon, or the rage in your heart, but the world becomes a simple, beautiful, and haunting place. I don’t want to die. That is all you hear. All you feel. And you know the only way not to die is to crush the life out of something else. I killed an assassin today. A real assassin, not some shiveled up cutpurse with delusions of grandeur, but a born to the core killer. It was a team effort, even in my race’s unnatural bravado, I cannot claim I could have beaten him alone. But Scarius is dead, I have his teeth as a trophy, and I snapped his neck with my mace. It was a good day. The kid took a real beating though, Scarius remembered the last time they tangled and made the kid pay. He took it like a real brawler though, kept getting up and eviscerated that Vai the same time I landed my mace. Even the elf druid, the sea rat, he took a few licks that I’ve seen kill men twice his size in one shot. I gave him my armor. He clearly needs it more than me, not to mention I suppose I owe him for saving me from the water. The Paladin took one hell of a beating too. He was one click shy of dying to whatever poison Scarius loaded his daggers with. But hell, these folks are a much tougher lot then they look to be sure. The shopkeeper is missing, not a surprise. I just hope he’s ok. He would have helped with Scarius. He would have helped quite a bit.
But it’s over. And new trouble begins. That is the way of the world. Everything turns, nothing ends. We had time to celebrate, which felt good. I haven’t had a real celebration in years. The rare moments where I drink to remember, not to forget. But now we are in the Undercity, the damned Undercity of all places. I swore that I’d never be back here, that those days of going down into the bog for a few gold coins and maybe a piece of swag were done. I’d rather be back on the boat. But on the happier side, we get to hunt slavers. I do love to kill Slavers. So far, we have a few notches on our weapons and I hope that by the next time I scribble my thoughts down, we’ll all have dozens more. It’s not everyday you get to annihilate an entire gang of slavers. But it should be. Maybe if I get real lucky, they’ll send us after Pring next. I hate that little son of a Grell. I really do cherish the idea of caving his skull in.
But, in the end, it is in the quiet moments that we have to live within. It’s easy, no, it’s fun to maim, kill, drink, and stumble through life when you are there in the thick of it. But now, in the quiet times, alone in a room, listening to people sleep off far more food than they should have eaten, all of it comes back and you have to live with it. You have to feel the ache in your hands that was once the life of someone else. You have feel the pain in your body, the last tangible memory of a creature that only thought “I don’t want to die” as it fought with everything it had not to, but it did, because you were a better killer. It doesn’t matter if it is because Bahamut came down and saved you or if hundreds of little doe-eyed children were at stake, you won because you were a better killer. And I guess this old lizard is just that.
A Day I almost died, twice:
I’ve literally drank my half my weight in cheap ale and the morning after did not hurt like this. The Gods must be watching me and laughing right now. I was apparently unconscious for some time, not a rare thing for me, but such as it is, my head is still dull and my mouth tastes like powder. I wake to find several more people that seem hellbent on annoying me. There is another elf, a druid of some kind that can turn into the biggest damn sea rat I’ve ever seen. They did save my life after another elf knocked me unconscious trying to “save” me. Another tielfing, this one a bit more to the stereotype. She’s quick with a blade, makes me nervous. And a bit jealous. I hate competition when it might be fair. That’s too much of a risk. I wake up to see the little spell thrower is dead. Poor little girl. She was sweet. I think I miss her, but I can’t let Kolskar know. I think he’s taking it in his usual way, choking it down. We’ll split her gold and move on. She’s just another person that died too young for somebody else’s problems.
So to keep track of my life and how it has turned so abruptly: Dark Elves, Vai Assassins, Vampires, Undead Pirates, Hill Giant. Oh, and I have a glove that isn’t really a glove that nearly burned my hand off and I can’t remove. I must never, ever, wear anything my compatriots give me. Two months ago, my biggest worry was not being murdered in one of my usual drunken stupors by another thug looking to make a name. Now, I’ve been damn near cut in two by the captain of a ghost ship, knocked unconscious by a red-robed elf, and I collapsed the face of a hill giant. My life is about a thousand times more interesting than it should be if I expect to live, but then I’m an old snakehead, and this is about as meaningful as my life can get. I guess I should be happy that I probably won’t live to see my 54th birthday. Nothing worse than a broken down old man, a drunk, and a thief that can really only drink. I should be happy that I’ll die before I’m completely useless. But then the words of my parent’s come back to me, and I know the Gods love their irony: “Those that wish to die often find themselves troubled to do so”.
I hate being on a boat. I’m sure that when we get back to Ptolus, yet another cryptic clue will be waiting, yet another chance to either humiliate myself or die. Maybe we’ll get a week off. Maybe we’ll get the chance to relax. Maybe I’ll get a chance to hunt down Pring and Scarius. That would be an ideal vacation. But knowing my luck, I’ll end up in the dungeons below the city or flying through the air or wrestling with a Dragon or trying to make the Raven Queen smile.
There is not enough ale in the all world for this to end well.
A Day I didn’t Die:
My mother would often tell me that it was the quiet moments that would take a warrior’s spirit. She was right about pretty much nothing else in life, but what a damned odd thing to be right about. So proud she’d be of me, sitting in a dirty apartment, watching the door, waiting for the next inevitable backlash of whatever I’ve gotten myself into. Avenger my ass. I can’t lie, the gold is damn good so far, not to mention the swag. But dark elves, vampires, and a never ending torrent of annoyance tends to take the shine out of pretty things. I know I’m old now. Not because my head still aches from an ax to the side of it, or that my hip is starting to give way just a bit more when I try to tumble, or that my knees are screaming murder after running down that damn drow, what makes me know this overgrown reptile is not long for this world is that the pretties aren’t so pretty anymore. Despite my greatest efforts, the gold I’ve earned so far doesn’t measure up to the fact I feel like I matter. A rare and inauspicious emotion for me.
Damn those people can snore. If anybody is watching us watching the girl, or just watching the girl, they damn well know where we are and what we’re doing. If Kar-tune could see me now, how he’d laugh. A shop keep, some magic thrower, a half-breed kid with a rather disheartening ability to murder my patience and utterly eviscerate our enemies, and now some metal head Bahamut-loving, utterly confused tiefling. I better end up dead, a prince, or somewhere in between because otherwise I’ll never live this down. Another piece of hanging evidence of my age, I think back to my youth and wish I was still there rather than knowing I’m still there. Just an old brick-bat, the type of guy that the new ruffians snicker about and mouth respect. My father once said that great warriors of Arkhosia would retire to lives of quiet dignity when they could no longer fight their enemies or when they had no enemies left to fight. More proof that my entire race is comprised of morons. There are always more enemies to fight and dignity is never quiet. Dignity is loud, ugly, a weakness and a lie. Better to live without it and survive than die because of it. I wonder how much a comfort my parent’s dignity gave them before the end? Did it make the wounds hurt any less? Did it make death something to embrace? Did it make wasting their lives protecting a rotted city seem any brighter? I’m sure the answer is no.
It is these quiets moments that take your spirit. I’m not so sure I believe whatever I say, and I’m not so sure I care about anything. Worse, I’m not sure I can’t care about anything anymore. Even the kid is starting to grow on me, and the shop keep makes me laugh, even if he doesn’t see it. Even the tiefling floated me some cash, the quickest way to earn my loyalty, at least it has been in the past. I’m now just an old man, thinking of days long since gone and thinking about what they mean, rather than what it’s front of me. There probably isn’t a lot in front of me