Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:54 am
Hardship bred possibilities. Where had he learned that? It was not a Myrken lesson. In Myrken Wood, hardship toughened you. That wasn't the same thing. It was not part of his dogma or creed, part of Her teachings. For the former, hardship was to be overcome; for the later, something to be stamped out to create space for luxury and comfort. Where, then? Through living. That was the only way he had found recent truths. Everything else was noise. Everything else was distraction. Everything else was false, or potentially false. Therefore, hardship and experience bred life itself.
Also, though, they bred possibilities. In this case, he had found clarity with the loss of his right eye. He had tried, in years past, in moments of boredom before he knew better (though he had never known better; that was another falsehood), to cross his eyes, to control the focus of his gaze, to try to crack the code and find the secret to how it worked, how two eyes with a short distance between them could somehow function as one. Some people tried to understand death or magic or the weather. This would have been enough at him, staring at a tree, moving closer to it, farther away. Just looking at his finger. This was clearer, cleaner. He didn't have to think about it. Now, he just saw.
He had met men who had lost their limbs at Snowstill (that was true? He thought that was true. Where was the line exactly? He wasn't at all sure). They spoke of still feeling the limb. He didn't feel an eye. Who felt an eye? It was just there. There was a dull ache now and again, but that was different. It went deeper, that ache, all the way to the center of him. The missing eye was just a convenient entry point. It was a symbol, maybe? He was never very good with such things. By this point, he'd come to understand that he probably never would be, no matter who he was.
There were more important issues than symbolism. Symbolism was a luxury. Understanding the world around you to that degree? That was a luxury. Art. Literature. Poetry. A luxury. Did they have value? Every bit of himself said they had not just value but primacy. They were the most important things in the world. Yet, they were luxuries. He knew that now. They were luxuries he could not afford. What could he afford? A bed. Food. He had lost his eye, lost so much more, but had not come back empty handed.
He needed those things. They were not luxuries. They were necessities, they and one thing more.
He needed answers.
And if answers were to be found anywhere, they would be found at that decrepit tavern at the heart of it all.
Myrken Wood as the only home he had yet he knew now that he had no home at all. This was not because the place did not exist. It did. He was nearly upon it.
What did not exist was the person.
Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:37 am
He did not want trouble.
Even with one eye, he could handle himself well enough, better than that. There was the idea and ideal of swordsmanship of knighthood and then there was the harsher reality of being out in the wilderness and having to fend for one's self. It was more than mere Myrken survival (as if such a thing could be mere) for there was less fellowship and camaraderie, even of a bitter flavor. There was solitude and desperation instead. In some ways, ways he was loathe to admit, it had made it easier. No one relied upon him, upon him who was in his mind reared to be relied upon. He found no joy in that hollow ease but perhaps it was the only reason he survived. It had been a near thing, but it had toughened him.
Despite evidence otherwise however, it had not proven him. It had raised endlessly more questions than answers.
He desired, more than anything else, the comfort of familiarity. He had been trained (reared had been the word before; created was the far more accurate word he feared but could not so simply deny) to eschew comfort. For now at least, the avoidance of trouble was a more powerful drive than the desire for comfort.
It meant that he did not stay at the Dagger. It meant that he did not seek out family or former friends (Were they ever truly his friends?).
It had been no small task to battle his way back to Myrken Wood. He had traveled far into the wilderness and for every step one walks away from home, it is another step to return. In that, he had a singular, mindless focus. The notion rested uncomfortably in his stomach more so than his mind. If he had been forged (a safe word for it could mean many things and insulated him from the possibility that he was created from nothing at all) for anything, it was to complete simple straightforward tasks.
Now that he had arrived, everything was complicated and nothing was simple. Nothing was clear.
It was not that he was incapable of feeling fear. Perhaps if she had spent another year in her artistry she might have achieved that. Though he did not consciously realize it, he was clumsy work, a first attempt, a draft. Now that the ground had disappeared beneath him, it was not that he could not feel his fear, simply that he could not begin to understand it.