Consider Yourself Carefully

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Consider Yourself Carefully

Post by Gorth » Wed Apr 13, 2022 11:13 am


The following is a piece of writing, from the logs provided to me by Prism. I forget the exact date at which Maya and Crispus had a confrontation at the library, but I was very adrenaline filled at the time and didn't think to log it, so I thank Prism for providing.

Anyway, I wrote this from Maya's perspective. Fair warning, there's a lot of context missing, but it's written as a journal entry. As such, there will be a few insights into her manner of thinking in certain situations.

Feedback and general discussion is welcomed and desired, and thank you all for providing such an amazing experience following this monumentally bad decision Maya made:


“A moment.” The reply was flat, almost emotionless. I would’ve liked to think perhaps I detected some emotion behind it, some weakness, but I was likely deluding myself, and he was already gone, dragging his own corpse along with him. The corpse that left a blood trail from it’s chest, a blood trail that matched the one on the blade of my cutlass. The corpse I’d made, of the man I’d thought I might call friend just a few bells ago. Stupid. Stupid for the pain I’d caused myself, my friends, everyone. And I’m sure it wasn’t over, people weren’t just going to walk away from this.
And Florenza was there, too, standing there, not saying anything, just looking up at the sky. And I was just here, waiting for him to come back so I could apologize or beg forgiveness or cry or…something, I don’t fracking know. I killed him, what did I expect? And then he was back, in his armor, with his greatsword in one hand just looking down at me. And then he spoke again, that flat, detached voice that ripped at me like no blade.
“Do you know who my god is?”
“You have told me. I care little.” It was the only response I could think of. My brain was fuzzy and addled, but something was knocking at my skull. The way his shoulders shifted just slightly, just balancing that point so he could move if he needed.
“I repeatedly told you. I haven't an issue with you. Consider yourself carefully.” And then he was swinging himself up into the saddle of his horse with a grace someone in such heavy armor shouldn’t be able to, and even despite all of this, I couldn’t help but admire his form, his movements, all of it.
“I haven't issue with anyone until they threaten those whom I love.” But not even all the zeal and true passion I put into that statement was enough to deter the charge. He leaned forward, for on his warhorse, with his height, he wouldn’t be able to reach my chest sitting straight. That tiny movement is what saved my life, I think. Because when he dug in his heels and the horse charged, I was able to slip around the blade and get my footing.
Even if I didn’t want to fight him again, my battle instincts were on now, and nothing was turning them off. So I attacked. Or tried to, bringing my cutlass up in a feint, acting as if I were about to cut at his thigh. But he saw right through it, perfectly slotting the back of the blade into my guard as I instead raised my blade to aim for his belly. It was only a nick at my chest, but it was enough to remind me he had the big blade, and the warhorse, and knew how to use both. But I still wasn’t prepared for one hand to come off the hilt and slam into my shoulder, sending me reeling a few steps back.
Let me tell you, scrambling frantically away from a warhorse is not a fun experience. But it did let me sneak a bit of snow into my palm and I pushed myself back, hiding it behind my shield. As he cantered forward to press the attack, I slipped to the other side of him, whipping the snow at his face. But I made the mistake of using the arm that he’d punched. I wasn’t ready for the twinge of pain, and the snow soared over his shoulder.
But I didn’t let that deter me, because I’d fought off worse. So the cutlass flashed forward, lodging lightly in his breastplate, enough to nick skin and draw blood. But I wasn’t used to fighting against good quality Ridgeleather, and not used to how hard I needed to pull to dislodge it, and the fist crashed into my shoulder again. It was starting to burn now, but that was my shield arm, and I couldn’t let up.
I skipped backward, hoping to bate him into another charge that I could slip away from again. And he took my bate. But I, yet again in my life, overestimated myself. His face is what distracted me, I think. Not his expression, just seeing his face, and that I was fighting someone I cared about. Not a spar, not even that spar to the death a long time ago I had with Elrond. This was two people trying to kill each other. And then the blade slipped right through the leather covering my chest and there was fiery pain and blood pushing past my lips as I hacked and coughed in the snow, nearly five feet away from where I’d previously stood.
Something hit me, then, of all times. Red was wreckless sometimes, and Red was loud and red didn’t give a frack what people thought of her. Or so she made it seem. But she did care. She didn’t give up, and that’s what she wanted people to remember her for, not that she was loud and annoying and overconfident in herself. But it didn’t matter now, because I wasn’t giving up, pulling myself slowly to my feet, blood running down my chest as I took a step forward and fell into a perfectly executed feint for his exposed side. But we’d fought together too much, I guess, and he caught the strike at his leg with his sword easily. But this had all of my strength behind it, and the two steel blades rang together like the bells of Shadgard. The warhorse apparently wasn’t ready for this loud noise, rearing slightly. I thank Nereia he didn’t kick at me, or I would’ve hit the snow again. But it through Crispus off balance, his sword coming up blindly to try to fend me off as he put all of his strength into remaining in the saddle. I wasn’t up for another full out attack just yet, but it gave me an idea. I slipped in close, trying to keep low enough that he couldn’t easily reach me with his hands, but still high enough that his blade couldn’t get at me without him turning in the saddle.
But he saw what I was doing and pulled on the reins, the horse stumbling back slightly, long enough to let him resettle in his saddle and slam his sword into my shield. But I was ready for the weight of the blade this time, and yet again, snow flew him. But this time I was ready for the pain in my shoulder, and he was blinking as the grit ran down his face and the edge of my blade was digging into his chest just where his armor ended and his flesh began. Another slash got caught just above the crossguard of his blade, but as I mentioned, he had the bigger blade. I was also still getting used to this new style of combat, and I don’t think I’d built up the muscles I really needed to use shields and heavier armor like I’d been doing. So he was able to send me skidding back across the sand, just by shoving down and forward on me.
His horse was quick to follow me, though, this time actually rearing and kicking at me. I made the awful decision of trying to block it. I succeeded, but then the weight of a Warhorse was on top of me and I was falling backward into the snow and rolling off to the side, my shield arm practically flame at this point.
I think this gained some respect from him, my fearlessness in the situation, the fact that I was bleeding but still fighting off a man twice my size while he was on a warhorse, take your pick. So he held back, let me regain my footing as he watched me for openings. And then he found it. I skipped forward a step, my cutlass flashing out, but he just took it on his arm without even flinching, driving the sword forward to shred my reinforced vest and poke deep into my chest. There was no grace to it, it was a brutal stab, and it was likely I’d not recover from it if this kept on. He knew this, withdrawing his blade with a sickening noise. But he pressed his advantage, I think wishing to end it for good. But I was used to wounds like this, so I pretended to be reeling, out of my wits, losing grip on life as I staggered closer to him. A broad swipe at my neck was met with my ducking, spinning off to his right and sending my shield up in a deadly arc that would have crushed the chest of anyone not wearing as heavy armor as him. But I wasn’t high enough to reach his chest, instead the rim of the shield slammed into his abdomen, driving the breath from him in a woosh and sending him reeling backward. But as I said, I haden’t quite developed the musculature I needed to really knock people about with a shield like this, and he managed to grab onto the horn of his saddle and keep himself on.
Two more flurries later, another wound I’d landed under his breastplate, another face full of dirt, and I could tell he was done. He turned, bleeding and tired looking, and I saw an opening. I lunged forward, the cutlass poised to sink into his back. But he turned, reach out and caught it with one hand, wrenching me to one side and streaking off.
I laid there for several seconds, bleeding into the snow, confused, tired, hurt and scared. The fracked up thing was my mind wasn’t even on the fight I’d just lost, it was replaying me killing him over and over again. The funny thing was, it wasn’t even me who landed the killing hit. I just got him on the ground, got a stab in before Elrond’s rapier sank nearly to the floor. But none of that mattered, because I was pulling myself to my feet again, again refusing to give up.
For it’s a curse, a Warrior’s heart. It never lets you give up, and never accepts defeat, never lets you ask for help. For I think, if I’d turned, and asked Florenza for help, or even Hreidun, she came. If I hadn’t threatened to kill Hreidun, or done any of the awful things I’ve done sense then, I think I’d be in a better place. Like I said, scared, confused, hurt.

I’m lying in a bed, writing this. Some of this might not be perfectly accurate, as my memories are a little fuzzy from that day, but I’ve done my best to capture what I could. For what purpose? I don’t know. Mayhaps I still wish to leave behind something, selfish as it is. All of this has been selfishness, fighting for my own love and then moaning like it wasn’t my fault. I’ll likely include this if I decide to write something for the people of Shadgard, to explain my side, but I’m not sure it’ll do any good.
If someone finds this before I get the chance to tell Crispus myself, tell him I’m sorry for everything I caused and…that’s it, really. I have no excuses, I have no reasons beyond what I’ve given. I’m done writing, though. It helped at first, I cried a lot writing it, but now it’s dried up, and my heart hurts and I can’t take it today. Mayhaps I’ll try and write more on the subject tomorrow, but don’t count on it. I don’t count on anything, anymore.
| Maya Badru, 12 aprilius, 1222.

“Inch towards daylight, or sprint towards hell. The line is thin.”
We've all made selfish bad decisions
We've all tried dishing out the blame
Convinced ourselves of our own actions
My problem is I'll never change.

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