A Daily Response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Aimless
Although, I really battled to get this post to stick to anything less than a whimsical aim.
You know the drill. Skip this if you’re up to date with the story.
Check out the whole story here: Metanoia
In addition to trying to continue this story every day, in relation to the Daily Prompt of that day, I am also using this as the perfect time to experiment with the writing styles I spoke of here, as well as any others I may or may decide to bowl with. Part one of this story no longer exists until I can figure out what it was and add something there.
We all have our own methods for self-satisfaction. Some donated coin to charities because it made them feel warm and fuzzy inside. Others pursued the arts and unleashed their creativity into their medium. I preferred the simpler things of this world. I simply enjoyed revelling in the magic that was life itself. We, creatures of divine intervention, were still so fickle. Our lives could be snuffed out of existence in the blink of an eye and there was just something about that which made this my favourite pastime.
Don’t get me wrong. I considered the act of battle to be an art in its own right. Crucial to this art is the act of dying for what one believes in. That’s what I find beautiful. The soldiers in the field before me were being pushed back into their city by the Reavers. The two tides rose and fell as each commander tried a new tactic and then had it countered by the other. The art of war was not just a scene of beauty but also a battle of the mind. A war could not be won by simply outmanoeuvring the enemy, but add the manoeuvres of Hannibal to the martial prowess of von Manstein and you get a truly magnificent battle. This general, Grand Marshal Erik, he needed to move his men more. He seemed too reluctant to let them give their lives for their emblem. He was holding his true grace back. He was holding his entire army back because of his personal fears. I felt like a sculptor who had just ripped the white satin cloth off of their new piece to an eager-eyed audience only to have the cloth stuck to the face of the majestic work of art. I would not tolerate this.
The wind blew down from the mountain, it’s cold touch signalled snow. It didn’t feel imminent but I decided to head down the mountain nonetheless. Perhaps I could get a better view of the battle from up close. Maybe I’d stumble into the commander and have a word with him abut his performance here today. I knew I couldn’t approach this like I usually did. I skipped across the river, allowing the sound of water rushing through rocks to ease my soul. The serenity of the mountaintop on a calm afternoon like this, and the guttural war cries of men struggling to parry away Lady Death, were what I found the most enjoyable aspects of humanity. The one allowed on to make peace with his life and inevitable death, the other allowed one to fight with all his might for what he believed in and realise his or her reasons for living.
I walked slowly down the rest of the tattered mountain path and sat on the grass 200 metres away from the nearest soldier. I watched as the leader of the Templars sliced through his own comrades after they disgraced their code of ‘honour’. I watched his heavy blade cleave through them like a hot knife through butter. With armour that weak it was no wonder the Reavers laid such a heavy blow to their forces.
Night consumed the land but the harsh light of the full moon illuminated the corpses of the dead. The storm had still not arrived but the threat of it remained looming above our heads. It was as if the world wanted to remind everyone that with the coming rain, all the blood will be washed away and, in time, so will the memory of this occasion be washed from the minds of men and mer alike. Art is fleeting and evocative. It must be appreciated when it exists in its majesty. And just like so many artists before these, it is their death of them that makes their art ever more beautiful.
Note: The events in this story are all set is the world of Martas. Barring any copyright issues that may occur in the names of the Deities and other aspects where WOTC is clearly my inspiration, the world is all my creation and takes place in the same worldline as those in the story: Turpitude.
Image credit: Killing Floor via freeimages (license)