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With his shimmering armor, and steadfast resolve could not save him. As the world crumbled around him a sharp pain explodes his nerves in his back. He reaches around and finds blood, his blood. Breaton turns to see a woman standing over him. She walks over and as he is about to see her face, he wakes up in a cold sweat. His heart racing, he scans his back with his hands. Making sure he has no wound, his hands pass over many scars from years of bloodshed and war. This war, did anyone know what they were fighting for? His heart still pounding fast from the dream, a soft touch passes over his chest. “Hey, everything will be ok?” She says, empathizing with these maddening visions of the death and the end of the world. “Death is near,” Breaton says over and over to himself. As he turns to his lover, he knows of his wrong doing, his full vulnerable sins he has been living with. His first one: he knows he should have married her long ago, but the sense of death always stopped him. He is faithful to her until the stars rain fire down and the earth implode on itself, he has held no other woman higher than her. She was perfect for him. As she sings a sweet lullaby to calm him, he turns to her for a superficial smile. Then he proceeds to let her know that, “I am fine.” Yet, the dream and his past ruined him. She knows this may not be the whole truth, but trusting him was what she wanted to believe. As she smiles back and she lays her head back down. A flash of emotions rides through him. Filling him with the story of how they met. Two broken people, finding love. They met at the lowest point of his life. Going through life as an empty soul, Breaton wondered if there was anything for him. Living a life full of pain, Breaton could not wash away his sins of his past. He wondered if he could ever love. Seeing the cruel lust of a mad father, he saw no reason to ever show any. He was broken. Lydia was one who understood. She accepted him for his faults. She knew he was a better man. They met in a palace gathering, where dancing and orgies told place. She was a harlot, but more of a lady in every sense of the word. Every noble lady looked at her and laughed. They said, “How much will it take for you to take our husbands for a night?” They teased and snickered, looking self-righteous but never truly right. As Breaton walked in, remaining unnoticed, she noticed him. To her, there was something noble about him, something that no one else saw in Breaton. She quickly thought began to devise a plan to get his attention. Breaton recalled her story: She grew up selling her body to have a meal. She grew up knowing nothing but how to use her body for power. An effective tool, that would backfire, Breaton always knew she was raped and taken advantage of from lesser men. She was a woman that had no name, her worth and purpose was from her body and beauty. Breaton always called her, the beauty in my life. He knew every day was better with her than without. Lightly stroking his hand on her body, he could feel and find his way through her natural curves. Knowing every wrinkle, and elegant imperfection, was still perfection in his eyes. He could draw out the beauty beneath the skin. However, he was happy sleeping next to such an exquisite woman. Her body was a sacred shrine to behold. Her fiery red hair to her precious green emerald eyes, down to her curvy and her blessed bountiful bosom, she was a gift to any man. He saw and felt the hurt she endured and wanted to take it all for himself. However, that battle was not his to fight. He was there for support and a tender kiss. As the tender memories of being together strip away the guilt of being so intimate with her and not fully being as one, he was able to live with that. He himself was a man born of a “noble” house. His father a paranoid ruler, always seeing the tainting of the blood line, encouraged sex with family members. He would make Breaton, his son practice on his mother, while he watched. He would then after he was done with his sister, “have a go at it,” He would like to say. Breaton born on house Castion was chastised for his father’s beliefs. His sister, after years of
rape and incest, took her life. Her final act, she hung herself above their father’s bed. Naked she was, bearing all the scars and hurt from her life, this drove Breaton’s father even more into madness. Seeing as everyone a traitor to his cause, he would challenge any livestock that “looked at him wrong.” His mother was just an empty shell. She was just a walking dead. Some even called her a soulless. She gave up. She had nothing to live for. Born of house Leonaird, Terila Castion was nothing of the old stories Leonaird use to tell us. Breaton devoted himself to the art of war. First mastering one handed weapons, he was considered a mast at a young age. He then moved to throwing knives, knowing that sometimes a quick strike could save time, and energy, he was always practicing. Sun up to sun down, he was with some sort of weapon. Breaton was always blamed for the death of his sister. Beaten with a whip, he had learned to hate his father. He had taken it, challenged his anger into becoming a better fighter, to one day lead an army. Until his father snapped, in a blind drunken rage, he was using his fists. Thinking he had the upper hand, Breaton has enough. In one clean swift stroke he has sunk his dagger into him. Castion’s his shocked with the wide eyes of death. Knowing his death is coming he started to laugh. Coughing up blood he got the strength to say something. “I may die, but you will die a slow death of loneliness.” “I have ruined you for every type of relationship.” As he takes his final breath, “I can die a happy man.” Breaton shaking from what he has done looks at his hands. Bloodied from his vengeful act, he drops the dagger. “What have I done?” He wanders. Still in shock he gathers up his things and decides to leave his home. He ties up his mother to the bed and sets the house of fire. This is his final act of cleansing himself from his nightmare. He chose to bury those memories, never to be opened again… Althania, Caldooginn Breaton now focused on the battle ahead completely forgetting his beloved, picked up his sword and started his drills. Lunging, thrusting, sidesteps, quickly throws daggers to the back of him, followed quickly by quick thrust to his left and right. He starts to draw some sweat from his brow. He knows what needs to be done. He lowers his sword and walks over to pull away the flap. Looking outside, he sees it still night time. He has time to rest, to settle his conflicting thoughts, and maybe finally do what is needed and right… Marry her. Life is about the integrity you possess and the will to act on it. That was once said to him as a young boy. He never thought that it would be true, but this truth was starring him in the face. He turned around, and slowly walked back to his bed; tears ever so gently falling from his face. Climbing back into his bed he held is beloved tight, feeling heartbeat, he felt blessed. Silently praying to his Creator for a blessed victory, he worried sacrifices would be made. What heavy price would he be paying? The battle horns awoke him to the call of the battle that is about to ensue. The horns march on, the day is about to break. Breaton looks on a high hillside scanning for what is about to be a bloody battle. He knows that many will not return. People he has called brother, will take their final breathe on the battlefield. He looks as though a bloodhound sniffing out his prey for a weakness in the battle formation. As he scans the sense of death fell upon him. This could be his last fight. This could be the last thought he will think. This could be his doom. For what? This stretch of land that has no value, but to add more to a country he believes lies to him. A country that once fought for freedom is now the oppressor. The one that believed every man and to a lesser extent woman had a right to choose. He has finally succumbed to imperialism. As the shock of reality slams him straight in the face, he walks into his tent to get ready. His squire at the ready to do his bidding assembles his armor. The armor that Breaton wears is worn. It is not bright and flashes everyone in the battlefield. It is dented and has been reforged to ease the tension of his armor. His armor was once great and looked upon with awe. Whitesung they use to call it. Full of splendor and wonder, many people use to wonder how it
was made. The folk tales and lore of old would have people believe by magic. That magic makes any wearer invulnerable. However, other tales say it makes a person faster than any man alive. Either way the tales makes any man going up against someone in Whitesung tremble. Others would say this is bestowed from God or Gods to their most precious creation. The real tale is not of knowing how it was made, but to look at it as it once was something to be reckoned with. As the gauntlets slip on and tighten Breaton feels a battle-hardened peace seep through him. Like water slowly filling up a pitcher. His piece of the armor makes him more resolute about his purpose. He is a soldier and he must kill or be killed. Nothing else matters. One by one the armor comes on. The gauntlets tighten the breastplate fitted and the legs guarded. His boots come on and he is fully aware of the hour that is upon him. He stands and the belt is tightened with a sheathed for his sword. He is handed his sword or the peacemaker as they call it. It was a hand holding an olive branch as the hilt and the hand also holding the sword. “Peace through strength,” was the motto that Breaton was taught and lived by. The olive branches were made of out gold and the leaves were made of emeralds. This made the sword have a legendary, yet majestic touch to it. Breaton swung the sword from side to side, listening for the humming sound of the countdown has begun, once he is handed his helmet and as he takes hold, the horns play again. There is a beating of the drums, the horns and drums perfectly in sync with each other. Breaton walks over and lifts the tent flap; he turns back to his squire, “You have been faithful to me, I could not ask for a better partner. Thank you.” He turns back and closes the flap, maybe to never see him again. The squire runs, like a loin after its prey. “Sire” the squire shouts; Breaton turns “Yes.” “Never forget, you are somebody.” Out of all the odd things to say, he chooses this. Not a love sentiment or weeping for him not to leave. The squire knew what he thought Breaton had to do. He just wanted him to remember that he is worth something... That he is somebody. He is not a blunt instrument to be used and then throw out like a used condom. He was unique, he was somebody. The squire knew. He knew him better that Breaton knew himself. As Breaton turned and contemplated what had transpired, he then was brought back to his thought. Why? Who am I? What is my purpose? He was of noble heart but a lesser lord. He was considered a grunt or foot soldier. Even though, he showed more skill and talent than all the lords in the land; they still treated him like he’s worthless. Born from a harlot of a noble lord, he was treated like worthless trinket. His mother hated him and chastised him for being a failure and his father was absent; both physically and emotionally. He lived as a shadow, only for people to be scared when they realized he would never leave. Breaton throughout his life was focused on being the best. Nothing else matter, but he has never gotten there. He has blamed and hated everything for his failures. His sense of achievement has crippled him, from trusting anyone. He is very loyal to the cause, but always weary of who will betray him. “Know that you are somebody,” took him for a shock. He was neither angry for those kind words, but didn’t know what to do. He was a weapon, pure and simple. He trained for 12 hours a day to be the best. Reading every book he could about tactics and strategy; training relentlessly with swords, maces, axes and knives. He was not going to be beaten by no one. As his mind wandered farther than he could walk, he was abruptly flung back into what was going on at the moment. The lords were gathered. This was the morning tradition, or ego induced madness. They would try to one up each other in a bout about who could win the battle or turn the tide. This usually would end in swords being drawn. Each lord that was there wore
decorative armor. They fit the knight in shining armor stereotype magnificently. The lords talked a good lot, but never were that brave in battle. They usually came up from the back of their lines and only pressed in when troops were routed. Some lords have passable skills in warfare, but they have hung onto the cloaks of their fathers and their fathers before them. They have become fat and lazy, allowing their servants to do their fighting. Their many advisors were the real men of war. They never allowed women in their ranks. Thinking that it would taint the art of war, they held to a strange and old tradition. When a country they served talked about freedom, most would rather control, than give freedom. They have been a soulless being, sucking the life out of anyone willing to be used. However, while the bickering and ego boosting was taking place, Breaton did something unexpected. He decided to be somebody and speak, “I will take the lead charge!” They all turned and looked with astonished, and bewilderment. Breaton spoke with such peaceful boldness. They all took note and began to plot his demise. They were sick of him. He was always the poster child of a true knight. Even their men would bow in reference before Breaton. Something the lord’s jealousy longed for, but never got. So they granted his wish, with one request he go up the middle and not ride in with his horse. He also must go without a helm. The words, “know that you are somebody” echoed through his soul. He fearlessly agreed to this. Knowing he was going through the thick of the battle. As he slowly took of his helm, the lords looked upon him. A man of unquestionable strength, he stood six feet tall and muscular. He wore the armor of a noble past. The center of the armor had a hand holding a olive branch. Breaton always tried to keep the peace, but more and more, he found he was the cause of skirmishes. It was all connected together by leather straps that were hidden by the armor. When the lords gazed into his dark blue eyes had the effect of drowning in the sea of confidence. As he gazed upon them with uncertain worry, be bowed in reference of their status. Knowing full well he was going to his death, he would obey to save men... As he walked to the men he would be leading he stood on a table and gave a speech. “Men! We are here to do someone else’s bidding. We have not chosen this battle, but it chose us. We have not seen our seen the ones we love for years and yet they still drive us to our death. I say to you, this day will be our day. This day we will win! This day will be the day were the battle, no, the war ends! We carry the burdens of battles with us. These painful burdens of seeing our comrades and companions die on the battlefield. We carry the gruesome images of death we have brought, to, sons, husbands, and brothers that we have given back to the Creator. We have ruined families! I say to you that this day, we will do it no more! This is our last fight! This land is yours, because you have bled for this. Even if it has not value in their eyes, this land has value to me. You fought for this. You bled for this. You sacrificed for this. You are heroes today, and for the rest of your life. WE…ARE…HEROES FOREVER!” The cheers erupted for miles. Like a rolling thunder it was heard. They all walked out with a quiet sober, for they knew what laid ahead. The battle would begin. As the lines drew in battle formations, they faced off their enemy. Fierce in every way, they wore black armor to scare their enemy. Deceiving them to think they were evil, they were
merely men. For the real enemy was hiding; buying time to strike. As the enemy stroked in they shouted their battle cry. Attempting to weaken moral, they could not shake the men Castion was leading resolve. The sounds of the horn began to play. It was time... “CHARGE!” As the two armies charged at each other, it looked like two waves rushing at each. Archers took their positions and let lose their arrows. It was a deadly rain of arrows that hammered both sides. One cut down the face of Breaton. He felt blessed to have it only cut him. While Breaton was running, there were wordcrafters speaking illusions, to confuse and scare many men into dropping their weapons. As the screams of men thinking they were on fire, filtering through his ears, he ran on. As they both picked up speed they finally crashed upon each other. The battle became a constant ebbing and flowing of an ocean, as men losing their lives, blood flowing all around; it was a spectacular site of violence and carnage. God shed a tear for his children were losing their lives. However, some Gods smiled with joy at this violence. Breaton was in the middle of battle; his bastard sword flashing, flipping the sword around, decapitating their head. He was like a composer directing a perfect deadly symphony. Men charged at him and his sword deflecting every blow. Thrusting his shield up into the chin of man, blood flowing down onto Breaton, he quickly flung around and blocked the next blow. As another man quickly was charging him, Lyndia came and blocked killing the man quickly. She was always at his side. Back to back Breaton and Lyndia craft up a bloody feast for their swords. The blood flowed generously. He swings his sword back and kills another man. He thrust it out and finishes the man in front on him with a shield in his chin. Two more charge him he quick throws his knives quickly ending their charge. Blood soaked face he continues forward. Blocking a blow from an axe with his shield, then thrust his shield after the blow was stopped. He bashed the man and then quickly swept his legs with his sword followed by a quick thrust downward with the sword. A man quickly come after him, his eyes burning with a rage, Breaton quickly lifts up his shield and then is brutally pounded to the floor. It felt like a bullet train to the gut. Breaton quickly takes out his knife starting to thrust his knife down into his foot, the grunt swipes his arm with his sword. Breaton feels the pain but focuses on the man above him. He quickly rolls over picks up his sword and thrust his sword into his throat. The blood sprays over his face. The man has a wide eyed look; he didn’t believe the vicious speed of how Breaton killed him. As the battle rages on, the ground is filled with blood. The blood stains the ground, as the clouds roll over the sky, it begins to rain. As though God is weeping for the lives lost today. The thunder rolls on as to proclaim his anguish for his creations violent nature. While this happens Breaton looks down to see his arm bleeding. He knew he needed to bandage himself, but there was no time. More were following a renewed charge and the feeling of his heart was telling him he was alone. Becoming aware of the battlefield his troops laid dead upon others, he realized that the other lord’s troops were nowhere in sight. The diversion or trick was not laid in him leading the charge, but that they pulled back their troops and let the rest to die. Seeing further down the battlefield was his sweet love. She has separated from him, which she never did. However, this felt different; he pushed that feeling away and charged forward. She was doing quite well for herself, taking down soldier after soldier, like they were new recruits sent to the battlefield; until they surrounded her. She kept fighting but with ever encounter, she grew weaker. Until, it was over, she was struck from the back and then from the side. She was then
shot by an arrow and then the final blow her head cut clean off. As this happened the screams of a man in anguish became a screams of anger and rage. He started to run, from a jog to a full sprint. Picking up a short sword along with his, he was heading straight for those who murdered his friend and lover. Along the way men were charging at him flipping both his swords so the blades were facing his back he charged. Like a cheetah after his prey, he charged. As soon as the first man was close to him thrust up with his sword short then swiped to the side with his bastard sword killing him instantly. The blood sprayed over his face. The rage welled up inside as he continues his crusade to meet her. Two men come rushing to collide with him. He drops to his knees missing both swings from their swords and slicing off their legs ends their attack. He looked forward to see where Lyndia slay body laid. He was almost there. Two more men came after him. He sidestepped a sideswipe and plunged the sword in his neck. The next man he pivoted to the right stuck the sword in his side. One final man came after and he quickly flung a knife that hit his neck. Blood was gushing out and he ran right through that. He finally reaches her, the tears streaming down from his face. There is nothing he can do. Breaton bends down with anguish in his soul, and rage in his heart. He picks up Lyndia’s body. The blood overtaking his armor, he looks at her lifeless body. Breaton wishing he would have said goodbye. He continues to soak up all of her blood, thinking that it would some way leave a mark of her on him. As he crawls over he picks up her head. Staring longingly into her dead eyes, he says goodbye. There will be no words, there was nothing. Silence took over. Then the rage sprang out. He would get his revenge. Grabbing a sword, any sword around him, he got up and began to run. He encounters man after man cutting them down where they stand. As the blood covers his swords and his hand drips of his and others blood, he continues until his pain is satisfied. Then a shout comes from his mouth, a shout of a wounded man “WHY!?!?!” As he comes to his senses he stands on a mountain of men. Both from his country and the other, he has killed them all. Walking down from the mount of dead men, he realizes what he has done. He has murdered them all. The faces of the men he was sworn to look after, he killed. The both of his swords drop from his hands like feather floating slowly down. Breaton falls to his knees with tears in his eyes. His world has been turned upside down. He screams, “Where are you?” “Do you see this?” Looking to the heavens he searches for an answer from the Creator, but receives silence. “Are you even real?” “Look what we do to each other!” As the tears continue to fall from his face be paces back and forth, waiting from some kind of answer, but nothing. He looks up; looking earnestly for an answer, but none can be found. He then starts to talk to the old Gods. Thinking someone is going to listen to him, but still silence. He was a faithless man now. Nothing to live for… The battles begins to wind down, Breaton had routed both sides. Men fearful would drop their swords and run so fast they didn’t care if their lords threatened to kill deserters. Seeing his life was forfeit, he started taking off his armor he leaves the battlefield, turning his back on what he has known. But first, he finds his sword, stuck in a man’s neck and takes it out. He then walks slowly, tired from the battle, he stops. Walking over a marsh, he notices is it full of blood. He stars at his sword. His face turns to disgust. Breaton knows there is no peace through might. He takes his sword and plunges it into the ground. Breaton uses all his might and screams. The hilt twists and breaks apart from the blade.
Breaton returns to Lyndia’s lifeless body and head. He will give her a proper burial. One fit for such a beautiful and magnificent woman. He took an axe for a dead soldier on the battlefield. Knowing what burial would be proper. He started to chop some trees down. The hours chip away hack by hack, Breaton has enough wood. He builds a pyre for his lost love. Igniting the wood his memory of his love for Lyndia slowly burns away. Watching in the fire is anger and rage burn hotter than any fire. He was cursed at every turn, and Breaton wanted vengeance. He wanted to kill Creator or the Gods. Whoever was in charge, he would plunge a sword into them. As the last of the wood is burned out, Breaton scooped up the ashes into a jar. He saw some flowers blowing in the wind. They reminded him of how the wind would blow Lyndia’s hair into her beautiful face. It always gave her a fuss. He walked over and picked them. Plucking the flowers he put them into the jar. He came by a lake in the afternoon and decided to wait until sunset to set Lyndia free. As the sun hit the lake, there was a vast array of colors painting the sky. As the purples, oranges and reds are at their brightest; Breaton opens the jar and waves the jar from side to side. The ashes and flower petals float on carried by a soft wind. The flowers petals join the colors of the sky to send of the most magnificent side Breaton will ever see. The sun falls into the mountain and darkness takes hold. Breaton is alone. He finds a flat patch of land for a place to sleep and begins to dream. As he was walking along, there came a cool soothing breezy. Almost like a comfortable presence surrounded him. All of a sudden a vast array of flower petals swirled around him. The petals dance around almost like a familiar partner. They started to form a picture. A face was starting to show. It was a face that he loved. It was the face of Lyndia. It has her smile, the way her hair moved and got into her eyes. The scar that became noticeable when she smiled. It was a way to remember her again, but it also felt like a reminder of his failure. It struck him hard into his very being. The soul of his manhood, and the fact he could not protect the one he loved. It even flashes a memory of those friends and comrades he slain. His failure stayed with him. Reminding him he could not protect the one he loved. As the wind died and the flower floated on by, he wished for it back. However, she was gone. Ripped from his life, she was gone. As the night came, Breaton built a fire. As the fire was fully a blaze, he began to reminisce. Each crack of the burnt wood flashed the memory of the battlefield. The horror of cutting down his own men, feeling the blood splash on his face, he wished it all away. As another crack broke through the image, Lyndia was there. Breaton quickly got to his feet. Walking around the memories slowly faded away. Breaton wanted no more memories, just sleep. Lying down, Breaton began to drift off; the ashes of the battle burn through his mind. He walks through it like a ghost. Seeing his men and the enemy being cut down, bleeding, and dying. He walking further, Breaton, sees Lyndia walking towards him. They begin to dance. The music of the swords clanging on each other, while the cries of the dead setting the tone of this dance. The dance of lovers dedicated to themselves. Men were being cut down, blood thrown in the air like confetti at a celebration. The eyes were locked between Breaton and Lyndia. There were no words exchanged. No sweet tendering words to be exchanged. Just the face of regret changed her. She wanted him to forget her. As the spins, and twirls, started to change Lyndia. She
became whiter, less alive. The music of the battlefield faded and blood started to seep through her neck. Breaton became to see the wounds that had killed her. He looked down and saw blood on his right hand, then a sharp pain. Putting his left hand on his chest he feels blood on his hand. Lyndia became to speak and then her head was severed from her body. That when Breaton woke up in a cold sweat. Breathing heavily, he cried. The guilt began to build again. I was no fast enough, he thought. He vowed to himself to never let another woman he loved die again. To always remember this. As the months wore on he traveled from tavern to tavern, bedding local whores, trying to forget her. As his sexual appetite became more ferocious, he would gather 3 or more women. Let the thrill of the orgy consume is very soul. All the while, his soul was dying a slowly agonizing death. No matter how many women, or how often, he could never feel whole. Even just watching and letting the women enjoy themselves never satisfy that gapping whole in his heart. Lyndia was always a part of him, he just never knew how much. Then another dream came after his group orgy was over. The biggest he was a part of. The dance was already going on, yet he was dancing with a headless woman. This time he had the bloody sword in his hand. It was dripping of blood, like he had just killed this woman. Her screaming was echoing in his ears. He looked up and was starting to dance with the headless being. The screams coming from where the head should be placed, he saw something that reminded him of who this person was. It was Lyndia. She was headless, and he cut her head off. Breaton looking down saw a knife in one hand and the head in the other. Suddenly a sharp pain was felt in the back. Breaton dropped the head with disgust and moved his arm to place his hand on where his body told him was pain. His hand felt the hilt of a dagger, but the pain was increasing. It felt like the dagger was still digging into his body. Breaton looked down at his chest, and the blade went through. The pain was pouring out of him. There was no blood, only the sense that his blood was turned to pain. Breaton was kneeling down from it and saw the head. It opened its eyes. Staring at him it said, “This is only the beginning. You will be tested, tortured. You will know pain like it’s your brother.” Breaton violently woke up from his dream, stabbing one of the whores he laid with. Her eyes wide open and pleading for her life. She was surprised and shocked by how quick her life was coming to an end. Breaton got up quickly shocked by the violence he displayed and left without a sound. Half naked and running for his life, he knew there was only one place he could go. A place where nothing seemed to live, a place where men go to die, Breaton would go to the wastedlands. Breaton stayed off the main roads, he also covered himself with mud as to consider a mad man or one of the “mud slingers.” Mud slingers are a group of people that want to return to their former self. They believe that everyone came from mud and they think that covering themselves in mud gets them closer to their “true self.” Mud slingers fight people with rocks covered in mud. They thought the mud would give them strength and hide their true weapon. Most people would regarded them as crazy, people avoid them. As the first few days went by, Breaton was more at ease that hiredarms, men that were hired to do whatever was necessary to get the job done. As long as people could pay they would do
what was promised. If someone decided to not pay or could not keep up with the payments, then hazards and enemies would come into play. Hiredarms would have no problem killing their former employer or telling the prey they were supposed to hunt where the former employers lived or did their business. Hiredarms would even kill their employer if the desire was there. They were never to be trusted fully. Breaton felt there was no other place to go but to the wastedlands. The dreaded place where people go to die or be forgotten, this was his destination. Where he lived or died it did not matter. As he went through the forest and back country he rarely stopped but to sleep. However, when he did, Breaton would perform the ancient rites of blood letting. Breaton also found herbs that would alter his mind and the world around him. Day and night he would take herb and cut himself. This was his way of purging all the injustice he had done. All the killing he had committed against humanity. It was his way of giving back what he took. He wonders through the wilderness, passing through the sea of soulless. He enters the bridge, looking down he sees men and women walking in sync and speaking something. They are the men and women that have lost all hope. They replay the hurt and regret from their lives, over and over, again. Hearing things of rape, murder, and sodomy, Breaton quickly moves. The cries of a lost generation slowly take root in his mind, the very soul of Breaton being. It is hard to continue to walk on the bridge. Their pain becomes his, and his eyes begin to change, but he defiantly walks forward. The memories of his childhood play over and over again. The intimate moments of him connecting with his sister deceives his best memories. Breaton raped her. She appears, naked and the rope that ended life, still around her neck. She says in a haunting voice, “The sins of your loyalty will harden your heart.” Now she was staring at Breaton, while he was crossing the bridge. The rope still around her neck, she is naked, she was pointing at him, screeches “This way!” “Your redemption and doom are through here,” she tells me and pointing to the end of the bridge. “Will you have the strength and fortitude to see the end?” “Or will you be the forgotten memory of a boy who could never do the right thing?” Breaton stunned, by her prophesizing, forces his legs to move. He does not have the words to say it, but his eyes have to look of guilt. Following her to the end of the bridge, he clears it. Turning it back, he sees his sister slowly disappearing. Before she is gone she says, “There is your childhood, remember it well.” He then sees his mother. Astonished on how she escaped the fire, she now is a part of the sea. Never again to be human, she is an empty shell. He knows the destination. The Mountain of the Sacred Fire is where he needs to go. With no map, he is not sure where to find the abominations. This is the place people go to become unrecognizable. The place people go to be forgotten; marking your body with painful reminders. Everything looks the same in the wastedland. It was given this name, due to the fact that man was in control of this place, and took advantage of it; slowly destroying beauty for greed and power. Men grew entitled to determining how the land would be pillaged. The story has it, that the Creator struck a plague on the land and killed everything. Now the only thing people here are the slowing of their heartbeat. No one lives long out here. So this land is called wastedland, because it was left to be wasted away by the people who were to safe guard it.
He walks slowly, step by step, letting go of the heavy burden of war. His trusty and durable armor is worthless to him. Breaton was tired of war, conflict and back stabbing. He lost everything, and thought it was his fault. As the last bit of armor slowly drops, he falls to his knees. Screaming to the Creator, “Why?!?!” “This is not my plan?!?!” The tears flow down. “You are worthless to me, I served you, and this is your reward…DEATH!” “All I have done is, follow You!” He adds, “You do nothing but watch us die, rape and destroy everything! What will you do!” Taking a breath, he whispers “what will anyone do.” The sobs have made him fall to his knees. Dehydrated and unwilling to move further, he blacks out. Breaton sees his love, Lyndia. He sprints to her, longing for her embrace. As he gets closer, she starts to have her body burned away, screaming agony. As he gets there, he only touches bone. She has been burned alive, all he holds is death. Feeling a sharp pain in his, he twists his hand to find blood. He has been stabbed in the back, and there standing over him are dark shadows. He wakes up in a fright. His heart is pounding and yet very bewildered. He is lying in a bed, but it’s not a bed of royalty, it’s a bed out of necessity. There are various patterns sewed together to make one bed. Breaton eyes move around the room to notice it seems that even the house has been pieced together. The house has architecture from all over the north, south and island realms. It was a resounding message that all are welcome. The all clashed together, but worked. It was the coming of different cultures all seeking to be healed and restored; the need to be reconciled for the sins of the past and for what was to come in the future. This was the first time Breaton felt like he belonged. It felt like home… His eyes wander all around the house, forgetting that he had almost died; he was in a sense of wonder. Seeing his arm bandaged up, he is obligated by honor to thank the person and work off this unfounded kindness. A woman walks in bad worn and from the looks of it has had a rough life. She looks at Breaton and smile. Even with all the scars on her face, her smile is genuine and still beautiful in its own way. She looks at Breaton with sincere joy of his recovery. “Well, it’s good to see you finally decided to live.” Breaton confused with this starred. Unfazed by his lack of communication she continued to press the issue. “This is what the land beyond is like; a whole bunch of mute and deaf men. Good thing I got out when I could.” Breaton turned to his side, pretending to ignore her wit. She then focused on his back, the many scars. “Now I see why you are a broken man. Sorry that life is not as pretty as what most people claim it is.” Breaton turning back looks at her, finally breaking he says, “Life is only about, men wanting power and never having enough.” Surprised by his answer, she bows and introduces herself, “Well my lord, my name is Helen and I am proud to serve you.” Breaton puzzled by her introduction said, “I am no lord. You are looking at a dead man.” Helen in a witty mood said, “Well at least we nursed a dead man back to health. What was it you were looking for out there? If it was death you certainly almost found it.” Breaton was unwilling to give in, turned, and became to fall asleep. Knowing this was going nowhere she quickly left, but before leaving she said, “Even dead men have worth.” Closing the door behind her, Breaton could not hold the tears back. He knew what she said was true, but losing everything he just didn’t want to feel pain any longer. Sleep was his only escape…or so he thought.
His sleep became his second hell. Reliving that fateful battle where he lost his love. However, in his dreams, he was the one that killed Lydia. Hands soaked in blood; he had the bloody sword in hand. He alone could have saved her, but didn’t. Thrashing about he screamed “I could save her! I could save HER!!!! WHY?!?!?!? WHY, DID YOU LET HER DIE! As the screams started to become a plea for life, he woke up to an audience. Men and women of different age, race and even degrees of pain, as Breaton would soon find out. Tears became to fall. These were not from Breaton, but from the people around him. They understood his pain. Knowing full well the horrors of war, they prayed a pray of peace. The Creator of everything, hear our cry. Let this man pain become light as a feather. Bring forth your peace and mercy upon him. Let his anger pass, and let your justice be swift. Lead him back to you. Lead him back to your love. Oh, Creator, remind us of your vast mercy and grace. Let us always be amazed by who you are. We pray and mediate with you in mind daily. Let there be no pain for today. Tomorrow is far away. Keep us in the present. Create new stories within us. Create lasting memories of the beauty that lives within us. Create in us the creation you created. Create the start of this new day with peace. Thank you. After their intimate time with the Creator as they called it, they “created” their thanks in their special way. Helen said, “It was a sign that we are all different, but love one Creator. Not the old false gods that demand obedience. She loves us no matter what.” Breaton always thought this being was a male figure, but Helen knowing his question replied, “The Creator has no gender. Always has been and always will be created us, so he or she is both genders, and yet, nether. Never forget what you were made for, or who you came from. You are special.” Breaton felt a certain fondness to this surprisingly attractive woman. However, she was not attractive in a sense of her looks, but her beauty came from within. It was bursting out once you talked to her. Breaton could not help but say, “You become more attractive every time you speak. There is something that just amplifies the beauty you already have. Why is it you are not married?” Helen surprised by his boldness tried to not answer his question. Instead she focused on him, “Why have you come to the wastedlands?” Breaton not easily duped understood that his question has a history. It also came with pain. He replied, “I have come to be forgotten. I have come to remember. I have come to write the sad stories on my body.” Helen grieved by this. She knew where he was headed. Breaton was heading to the mountain of the sacred fires. This was a place that was holy, but became a place of torment. Abominations as they were called dwelled there. They chose to remember their sad stories by carving it into their bodies. Breaton changed the subject, “What is this place?” Helen replied, “It’s a place for people to find hope again. We
instill in people that ‘hope will rise again.’ There are people who have been raped, castrated, murderers and rapists alike. They all come together to people in hope and in our Creator. We are a people that don’t believe in violence and have no weapons to defend ourselves.” Breaton interjected, “What happens if robbers or men that don’t share your ideas come?” Helen replied, “Then we die, get robbed, or worse. However, this is site that has been built several times over. It is a city of hope. Hope never dies. It may be well hidden from people, but never dies truly. We just give up on it. Hope never gives up on you. Why should you give up on hope?” Helen was intending on bringing some hope back into Breaton’s life. She was hoping to ignite a spark of hope, and persuade him not to travel to the mountain of the sacred fire. However, Breaton’s was stubborn. He was going to be with the abomination, not matter what. This was his journey, and he has to come out of it on his own. Helen knew this, but her compassion never relented. In the coming weeks Breaton felt a sense of belonging here. He felt needed. Forgetting about his journey he stayed. Helping where he was needed, even failing to convince the people to be trained to fight. He knew one day there would come a time where someone would come and destroy this place. Unfortunately for him, he was right. Late at night a band of raiders came. These raiders where known as the sacred raiders. Their name was more of an irony than anything else. They held nothing sacred. They did what they pleased, and cared about no consequences of their actions. They had a leader and his title was the Chief Priest Warrior. They rounded up everyone. Knowing this was easy prey. They had their way with the women and children. The screams came from all around. There were children naked and crying in the streets, while the women struggled to free themselves of these men. The whole town was burning. The Sacred Raiders never left a witness. There were made up tales of who they were, but no story was the same. The women were raped for hours. Breaton’s anger was igniting. He could no longer stand for this. Thrust into battle once again, he swiftly snapped the neck of an unsuspecting man raping a woman. He grabbed his neck, squeezing his Adams apple. Never letting him breathe or even move. He went to grab the raider’s sword. He cut off his penis slowly; letting the pain overtake every sense of the man. Breaton the whispered to him, “This is your reward, now take it will all its pleasure. Your power will fail you. You will never touch a woman again. I will be the last thing you see.” Breaton began to cut his balls off. Breaton went about stalking these sacred raiders. He went house by house. Finding as many as he could and slowly cutting away their pride and dignity as a man. Some of the raiders he would cut into them seedless. No more could they take the pleasure of this world for themselves. They would be left with nothing. Pain would be the last thing they would feel in this world. Eventually, word got out that a man was torturing their fellow raiders. They laid a trap for him. Set a raider to rape a woman, while the others surround Breaton. He crept up, thinking of the pleasure he had of slowly whittling away this man’s penis. Then he realized he was tricked. Raiders surrounded him, and he knew he was a dead man. Breaton was forced on his knees. The Chief Priest was looking down on him with fiery rage that burned inside him. “You have killed 15 of my men,” he said. “What did you hope to accomplish?” The chief priest looked at him for an answer. Breaton replied, “I accomplished nothing. Yet I have gained everything.” Puzzled the chief priest looked around. “Your city is burning. Your women and children have been used. What have you
gained? There is no gain here.” This verbal match seem pointless to Breaton. He no longer cared for this man’s lecture. “If you think that I have gained nothing that look at this.” He threw the pieces of penises from his men. Smiling, Breaton said, “I am more of a man than most of your men.” The Chief Priest was in a fury that he swung and knocked Breaton out. Hours later he woke up. The burned cities now only smoke. The hope he had found was burned away. Helen was there dead. Her heart cut out. She was naked. Raped for hours it seemed. They left her in this frail state. All that he loved was taken away from him again. Breaton looked up to the sky, and cursed the wishing he had died with them. Breaton looked back at Helen. She had a faint smile on her face; almost like she felted complete dying by his side. Her heart in her hand, the heart was in the same direction where Breaton was left unconscious. She gave him her heart. Taking a closer look Breaton noticed ink mixed in with her blood. He picked up her heart, and there on her hand was a crude tattoo. It read: Hope will rise again. His feeling of hope, honor, and justice rose up from him. He felt his anger rise up as well. Thinking he was to blame for all of this. Everywhere he goes, the ones he loved the most, often suffer the most. He is left to live on without them. These people were worth more than him. He was nothing. He was just a warrior without a cause, a king, or nation. A wanderer who is searching for a life he had lost. The journey was only going to get worse. Death always lingered behind him. It was his second shadow. Seeing two women that he loved die for him, it was something he could not take. He picked himself up, and started to walk. Breaton now continues his journey. He searches for the abominations. For several months he travels across the wastedland. He finally reaches his new hell. The Mountain of the Sacred Fire was once a journey for the most devout followers of the Creator. However, it became the place to never forget your guilt, shame and regret. This is a group of people who crave symbols into their skins. He walks for miles, until he reaches the Mountain of the sacred burning. This was the mountain where Creator revealed himself. It is now a place where people who are broken and never forget their pain dwell. As he enters, people are sharping their knives and holding the blade over the flame. They are getting ready for craving another regret or pain in their lives. This is a daily routine. As Breaton looks around he sees people crave words above their genitals. Marking them worthless or unworthy of children. Some crave blight on their brow, to signify never seeing the truth in front of them. Others see imperfections and mark their bodies where they wish it was different. Others mark “empty” on their chest. They live with their regret and choose to never forget. Breaton is welcomed with a bitter regret. He looks around and some have names on their arms, while others have symbols or even crude drawings of an event. It’s a gruesome reminder of what they have done. There came the chants of the abominations. These were the low drums of the hell that no one ever escaped. They were the somber tidings of what horrors people endured all for the sake of remembering. Breaton curious of how these chants when, he listened and heard this:
We must remember always. Never forgetting, never remembering. Torn from our wonderful lives, We cut into our bodies, Never forgetting. Always remembering, Let us sharper our knives, And roast on the fire. We live, we never die, Just as our cursed memory never dies. Breaton finds a spot takes out his knife and begins to carve into his skin. The blood starts to pour out. He carves Lyndia into his arm. This was the woman he lost. He then carves the words: “love, respect, and honor.” Those are the words he wished were shown during the battle. He then carves on his face a sun on his right eye and a tree on his left. Remembering the crude tattoo on Helen’s bloodied hand; Breaton carved “Hope will rise again.” For so many months Breaton was writing over again, “Hope, Rise, Lyndia, Helen.” Never to forget who they were, never to forget the place they stayed in his heart. He remembered. That is all he needed to write, that is all he ever needed. After the many months, he was left alone, and no one cared to cut with him. Finally a man deep scarred with hopeless message of fear, death, betrayal and worthlessness, came up to Breaton. Looking at him in a look with disgust, but also of bewilderment, he walked up cautiously. Inching slowly, but surely, he was like a prowling cat testing out this new animal. He awkwardly sat beside Breaton. One hand on the ground and the other on his knee ready to be used to help him escape danger, his butt lightly touching the ground, almost like he was waiting for something to jump out and kill him there. He turned his head, looking at the words Breaton scarred on his body; he spoke, “Why are you here?” Breaton surprised by the question, did not know how to answer. Breaton just shrugged. The scarred man stood up, and kneeled in front of Breaton. Staring at him he said again, “Why are you here?” Breaton turned his head and ignored the scarred man. He then moved to where his eyes were looking and spoke again, “You don’t belong here. You are not one of us.” Breaton feeling like an outcast, finally spoke saying, “Then where do I belong?” The scarred man took a minute to think, and then said “Not here.” Breaton said, “Then where?” Kneeling on the ground he looked down, drew some lines in the sand, and then said, “Your journey is marked, but this is not where it ends. You may see it end before you wish it to, but that is your decision. I am here to tell you this is not where you belong…” He paused, drawing more circles and looked back continuing, “I cannot go with you, I am marked to stay here. You are marked to wonder, fight, and eventually die. Vain as your life may be, this is what you are meant to do. I can only say this and no more.” Breaton starred at him, then, felt like everyone was staring at him. He surveyed the whole camp, and was saw everyone looking at him. Acknowledging there unwelcome stares, he stood up said thank you and left. Climbing down the mountain, he chose to find the settlement he once loved and felt at home. Roaming the desert for months, he found nothing. No trace of charred remains or even tracks from the sacred raiders. It was as though he dreamt of the place. It
became hopeless… Longing to fill the void untouched, he decided to head back through the bridge. Face his demons, and face his consequences. Face the reality that laid before him.
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