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Money Talks, and Sometimes it Talks of Death - by Vianni

In a desperate attempt to become rich, I started running the most dangerous trade routes, and today, I wish like to share a story about my last trade run through the Dark Woods, as well as the events immediately following it.

I walked through the mist far too quickly to notice that something was wrong; my mind was on the money I would be making once this last leg of the trade was completed. Pausing only for a moment to catch my breath, my gut told me something was amiss, but I ignored the impulse to leave, suppressing my worry with my greed. As I took my next step, it became abundantly clear to me what was wrong when a rival clan member grabbed my shoulder and slipped his blade cleanly through the gap in my armor and into the soft flesh of my lower back. The pain was incredible, blurring my vision and clouding my mind, spreading throughout my body, feeling as if every fiber of my being was burning. Thanks only to the adrenalin pumping through my veins, and the training of my teachers, I found the strength to flee the area. I ran in the mist, making turns without a second thought, my mind focused on saving myself. Lost deep in the woods, and severely wounded, I fell to the ground, nearly out of breath. Breathing hard, and facing exhaustion I knew that I had to make my stand, or die trying. Ducking behind a nearby tree and hiding myself in the shadows, I prepared my own trap for my enemy. I remember the desire for payback, the rage, and drawing strength from them to steady my blade, and prepare to strike back. He passed right next to my hiding place, looking for the blood trail that led him here. I lunged out of the shadows and slid my dagger cleanly between his ribs, delivering a wound that would be fatal if not treated immediately. He turned to face me, in moment seemed to last an eternity, his eyes locked onto mine, showing a mix of hatred and something else, although I could not identify it at the time. After what seemed like hours, but was only moments, he turned and disappeared in a cloud of purple smoke, making his retreat to some distant place where he could heal.

I have had many wounds over the years, only a few worse than his stab, but this felt worse, much worse. I made it back to my freight, after wandering in the mist for what feels like weeks, and began the descent to the sea, desperately trying to finish the last leg of my trade run. I paused by the banks of the Blood Sea, not by choice, but because I was too tired to go on. I had fought off exhaustion until then, but I finally gave in, collapsing, and drifting into unconsciousness.

I knew I was dreaming, but everything seemed so real. It was as if I were standing in Castle Square, almost overwhelmed by the activity in the area, as people keep coming and going. After taking a moment to separate myself from the bustling activity, and focus more on myself, I was struck with an odd feeling of deja vu. Quickly I realizes that I was back on my first day of my life that I could remember, my twentieth birthday. Among all the people in the square I noticed a man picking up trash in the corner. I crept up behind him, and almost on instinct I plunged my blade into his back. The man did not die, and despite his rather severe wound, he turned and retaliated, raining punches down on me. Out of desperation I wildly slashed at him with my blade, now trying to save myself. I got lucky and sliced his throat with my blade, spraying blood all over his body and myself as he collapsed to the ground like a rag doll. Feeling both disgusted with myself for killing an innocent man, and excited by the battle and the experience of combat, I rested, giving my body the time is needed to heal itself. I could not believe what I had done; yet somehow I knew many more battles needed fighting, and it excited me. As I stood up to kill the merchant who just tried to sell me trinkets, pain shoots down my back, and I awoke.

Lying on the banks of the Blood Sea, it is finally clear to me why my rival did not stay to fight. He has poisoned me, and I am dying, slowly, but I cannot move anymore and soon something or someone will come along, I can only hope someone finds me, before I die, and that they help me. The waiting is the toughest part for me, waiting while I feel my body slowly stop working, waiting while I watch the sun set, knowing it is the last one I will see. The world fades to black as the sun dips below the horizon, and I close my eyes, only to see a light beckoning me forth, instead of the darkness I was waiting for. I follow the light, walking the path, trying to find the end of the darkness.

I open my eyes, knowing I have died, but also knowing that I am not dead. It feels like I am actually seeing the world for the first time with my own eyes. Everything is the same as I remembered it, but different, and I cannot put my finger on it. Someone who I have never met welcomes me to Medievia, and wishes me a happy twentieth birthday. Still a little dazed and very confused, I step out into the square, taking in the activity around me. People are everywhere, buying, selling, gambling and some are even fighting. Slowly and cautiously I wander around the square, taking in all the sensations of a new world, yet constantly fighting this feeling of deja vu. I come to a stop in the northwest corner of the square, not by choice, but because I feel compelled to stop here. Looking around the area makes my blood run cold, this is the scene from my dream, and I cannot do anything to stop myself from sneaking up and attacking the janitor cleaning the square. I win the fight, although this time he dies instantly.

Like a bucket of ice water it hits me, the satisfaction of a kill, the experience of combat, and the lust for blood. I am reborn; an old life ends so a new one may begin. Many battles await me, and I look forward to the challenge.

That is my experience, and I hope you found it as interesting to hear about as it was for me to experience. I do hope our paths cross again someday, and that you may be part of another story sometime in the distant future.

December 29, 2006

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