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The sinner, the virtous and the samaritan (Norven & Dieter)

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The sinner, the virtous and the samaritan (Norven & Dieter)

Témanyitás by Dieter von Rotmantel on Vas. Jan. 07, 2018 1:23 pm

Winter has never been kind to any traveller since the first lake has frozen over at the dawn of times. Once a well-known road, an old friend, then suddenly a sharp, unforgiving challenge, testing both men and beast. No wonder I never found a liking to the chilling wind, the snow rising up to my knee, or the rime hanging from my plate, sometimes even from the end of my cape. Some would say a Rotmantel vampire has no means of frightening the poor souls more than he already does, but sadly, there is no end to bad luck. A half-faced figure in icy armor, slow, winter chilled steps, like an ancient viking draug, a reanimated corpse of a long dead nordern warrior - how could anyone trust me at that point? Even if my colors and shapes missed to scare the eye of the habitants of Neudraun, this downtrodden, unwelcoming salt miner village far in the north, I remained a vampire. A dratted sinner, one who dwells in guilt, a blooddrinker and worst of all - a southener. At no occasion, since the aftermath of the battle at Deadmen's Plains, had I been greeted with welcome at this side of the Nordenfluss. The only reason I still breathed was my solitude. A lone vampire, one without a weapon, without magic, I could do no more harm than a loose ox without it's horns. But for once, the layer of frost that covered the minds and nerves of the northmen seemed to crack, louder than the first ice at the riverback.
- This way! To the inn! Prepare a bed for him! Our Father show mercy, someone go find a wisemen or a healer. For plough's sake, move, men!
The sudden uproar and the alarming commands came from the gate, (a bunch of stakes vined and stitched together in a hurry long ago) now open wide with a carved moonshaped cleaning of snow marking the path where the buzzing crowd basicly kicked it open. They flocked to some men carrying another, but I did not get a glimpse of his features. I grabbed the elbow of a woman, seemingly in her late fourties and forced her to face me.
- Pardon my manners, meine Frau. May I ask what causes all this fluster?
- It is a bishop of the Church... - The woman spoke before she had a look at my visage, but her words suddenly stopped as she first stared at the stich across the left side of my face, then my clothing. - You... You are not one of those...
- What happened to this bishop? - Cutting someone mid talk was a rude gesture I would never allow myself in any formal occasion, but it seemed to me that there was an injury involved with this man - and as a a gentleman of medicine I could not walk by unshaken.
- He got into an accident. I do not know how bad is it, but Björn called for a healer, so... But... Why are you interested, cursed fiend! - Her sudden outburst of harsh words was followed by a cocky folding of her arms, and she even raised her chin higher to try and look down on me.
- I am a surgeon, meine Frau. A knick. I can help him.
- You think we would allow a vampire, to treat him? - Her face became so white as the salt on the streets was molding into her skin, but I got all I wanted to know.
- You need not. I do not require a permission to treat an injured patient. But you are free to look for a mediwitch or a healer while I apply initial treatment. - and as such I softly pat her shoulder while walking by, already clearing my mind of anything but the patient that was waiting for me.
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Re: The sinner, the virtous and the samaritan (Norven & Dieter)

Témanyitás by Institoris on Vas. Jan. 07, 2018 7:52 pm

Who would have thought I've got this much blood in me.
I am not entirely new to being injured in general - working far from the battlefield does not mean one can avoid weapons altogether -, but I am quite certain I have never bled this much before. Or if I'm mistaken and I have, that had to take longer.
Much longer.
A hunter's arrowhead is wide and sharp and spearlike, forged in such a fashion that it can easily sink into the prey, tearing away at everything within reach of its viciously broad edges. Once it hits you, there are no other means of getting rid of it but to somehow pull it from the wound, like one would pull a rabid wolfhound away - and the arrow acts just like a jaw-locked wolfhound, leaving a gaping hole in you as if it had the right to claim a mouthful for its efforts.
The only good thing about such an arrow is that it requires a great marksman to make it truly deadly, and great marksmen are not very common; even if you encountered one, you could be well out of his range by the time he got his aim right.
Well, this was not a hunting arrow.
But it had to be a great marksman.
After all, I have never seen any other kind wielding a crossbow.

Crossbows are not quiet by nature, but they are powerful enough to launch their bolts as far as four hundred yards, which is about as far as this one had to be to miss my spine and heart. The only people who know this weapon are too good with it to aim wrong whilst being any closer.
The bolt whipped through the frosty afternoon air and then through my left shoulder without as much as slowing down. The only thing stopping it was my horse, who - noticing something and throwing his head back - decided to take a few nervous steps sideways.
There was a dull, meaty 'crack'.
I was looking down at the short steel fletchings on the back of the bolt's shaft, stricken; a mere two inches still visible between long, dark strands of mane, steaming red against the bleak black-and-white midwinter.
And then we fell.
Without a sound.

Only upon crashing onto the frozen ridges of the road I realised how cold it had been. All of a sudden, as if they had been waiting for a sign, streams of blood ran down on my chest and my back and onto the ground under me, shockingly warm, thawing its hard, gray surface into an unwelcoming pool of chestnut grime. Never have I ever felt closer to a pig waiting to be slaughtered than at that moment - my left arm and the closer side of my neck was in searing pain as I tried to squirm my way out from under the body of the butchered stallion, waiting for the next shot to pierce right through my throat.
The shot did not come. My leg did not move.
And the blood kept on running.
And it ran. And ran.

Is there any left inside of me?
It does not feel like there is.

I've always thought that pain, when intense enough, can make a man oblivious to everything else that surrounds him, yet - strangely enough - I am instantly aware of the hasty footsteps towards me.
None of them have crossbows. By the time they reach me, my vision is blurry and unsteady, unable to follow the rapidly spinning vortex of human faces above me. Voices falter, even though I can instinctively tell they are all yelling. I cannot remember the village they belong to, even though I could see its houses sitting, nestled between the hills, ever since the last turn of the road.
Their walls and those who dwell within them not a mile away suddenly feel very, very far. Especially in this dreary cold.
I just have to give myself a moment to rest my eyes and then.
Then I'll go and talk to them.
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Re: The sinner, the virtous and the samaritan (Norven & Dieter)

Témanyitás by Dieter von Rotmantel on Hétf. Jan. 08, 2018 4:34 pm

- What could a vampire do? A Fiend? A bloodsucker?
Living a life of observation, studying és familiarising every part of mankind has a drawback: they become predictable and day by day seem less creative. The questions are all the same every time and even I, with the stoicism of my family that others see as cruelty and insensitive nihilism, grow tired of giving the same answers.
- Step aside. Please. If you care for this man enough to longe his recuperation, then it is in your best interrest to let me pass and treat him.
The few villagers, miners and peasants gathered in the small shack that functioned as a make-do inn looked confused, so I pushed on. If one does not grip the chance in front of him then human stupidity and fear can wash away even the strongest man with a noble heart. Fortunately I did not consider myself noble in any means. I was just a bastard.
- They said this man is a bishop of the Church. If he were to die here, what could stop the Cathedral to think he was ill-treated, or worse, murdered in cold blood? Are you willing to shoulder the task of explaining the death of a holy man? Or will you let me, a cursed one, an enemy treat him? What do you think, who will bare the blame for his death then?
The loudest and tallest man, a good three feet form shoulder to shoulder stood idle for two long, barely spending seconds, then turned away.
- He better be breathing when we come back, bastard!
I held off an uttered answer and approached the so called bishop. The first glanse was fairly revealing: the amount of blood that bled from his shoulder was enough to knock him out of conciousness, wich was in this state a blessing. I raised my fingers and concentrated the magicaly enslaved shadows into a short, precise blade, and without hesitation or regret I cut the leather bands holding my armplate in place. The steel fell to the floor with a wet clop, into a pool of this man's blood. I did not have much time.
- Looks like a stabwound, but narrow and circular. A very precise throwing spear, or az iron bolt. Why would someone with a crossbow attack this bishop? - The alarming attack indicated that a brethren of mine, a Schwarzjäger, a vampire that mastered the art of hunting was nearby, but I did not have the time to figure ot the reasons and means of this attack. - You are fortunate, my lord bishop, that you are unconcious. This will be painful.
And just like that, like an artist painting only with red, like an architect recreating nature itself I gave my all to stop his bleeding, stitch the severed subclavial artery together, repair the damaged muscles and did all I could for his crushed leg - all of wich was a capable enough wound to damage this man for a life.
It was merely minutes - that was all the time I had and all that I required. His life was saved only for a little, but the fight was not over yet. Death is a ptaient enemy, and I stil had the feared fever to defeat.
- Hold on to your life, priest. Your God has not yet called you away. Not before I allow him.
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Re: The sinner, the virtous and the samaritan (Norven & Dieter)

Témanyitás by Institoris on Csüt. Jan. 11, 2018 8:42 pm

The wooden ceiling looks far from here.
I can see how light the entire timberwork is; chances are the whole roof has been newly made not long ago. Had there been a fire? The kitchen, maybe, or a forgotten candle lit by someone who doesn't even belong to this household.
Whoever owns the house did a fine job of choosing their timber,
I wonder for a moment, blinking through the tears welling up in my eyes from a pain without a clear source yet. I can feel a shallow breath squeezing its way through my chest. It isn't particularly easy - breathing -, since while I was asleep, someone must have placed an anvil just under my collarbone. My vision clears out, yet focusing feels impossible: there's a forever wavering layer of haze drifting through the air, distorting the view slightly.
It looks like pine, but were it my roof, I wouldn't want anything but oak. Or fir. Fir would do mighty fine; white oak is tradition and when you build, you want to stand out. Cedarwood is another option, but that is just the thing with cedar: even if you do have the means, you can never keep its scent.
What is the point of felling and using cedar trees if you lose their scent? It feels like losing more than what you gain.
The elves would understand me on here.

What derails my train of thought is a biting, violent jolt of pain, quickly followed by others; an involuntary shiver that seems to run amok under my skin shoves and rattles everything about in me and I am suddenly forced to forget about oak and fir and elves and grind my teeth to stop myself from crying out loud.
Now that the first stabs of pain had shot through me, several dozen others follow in their trail, like a wolfpack following its leader; some sharp and deep like winter high winds, some dull and insufferably strong, more ache than agony. They are slowly, steadily spreading through every last inch of me, twisting my muscles and tendons and insides into one tight, suffocatingly tight knot, turning my hastily uneven breaths into a pathetic, soft whimper.
When did it get this cold inside? Under that perfect new roof, we really should have a lit fireplace somewhere - the strange, alien sounds and noises I'm hearing could very well be flames. But I'm still freezing, even though I can feel a heavy sheepskin throw weighing me down, and that throw is just too bloody warm. Do they want to roast me alive?
Why do I feel this cold then?

The pain and the heat and the shivering and the confusion in my head do well together to bring me to exhaustion in no time; all I can do is turn my head sideways, wishing to see more of the house with the newly fitted roof.
Where am I?
I can only remember fragments of something before this awakening, and those fragments do not make any sense. I see hardwood tables around with chairs on one side and nothing on the other: nothing but one man sitting uncomfortably close to me. I jerk away instinctively, which hurts a lot, much like a red hot lightning strike - my entire left side is on fire. This is how a thousand branding irons must feel, freshly taken from their bed of sizzling ember.
If I could take all tortures I have inflicted upon others back, all fires and all steel intruments smoking red with heat, now I would. God knows I would.
I fight the sounds of pain trying to escape me, watching the unknown man beside me through tears. I would ask him what happened, but if I tried to speak now, he would not hear anything he could possibly answer, so I merely struggle instead and keep quiet.
Or at least as quiet as possible.
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Re: The sinner, the virtous and the samaritan (Norven & Dieter)

Témanyitás by Dieter von Rotmantel on Csüt. Jan. 18, 2018 8:21 pm

The priest was alive. Shivering, tortured by fever and the silent, underhand yet near unbearable pain of the stiches hoding his arteries and skin together, but alive. I've proven capable enough a man not to damn this entire village, throwing it into the flames of the inquisition by causing the unfortunate end of a seemingly holy man - if any man can bear that title. At the very least this was the standpoint of the salt-miners and the village elder, so they let me stay for a while. Most likely until this bishop heals enough to show gratitude to them, or until the emissaries of the Church arrive to find a cursed fiend nurturing a kindred soul of theirs. I bet they wanted to see what happens. Feared the future for sure, but curiosity, the one malfunction of every single person be it sinner or saint, wealthy or poor, curiosity could make a man do many thing he neither awaited nor liked.
- What will you think if me?
I sat in front of the bed they freed up for this venerable yet unwanted guest, and watched the snow covered in linen cloth slowly loose shape as it melted from the heat of the man's fever. Once a budding, young Rotmantel said that maybe fever is a natural reaction, a mean to eradicate affliction from the body. If he was right, nature was very careless - fever never did any good on any patient I ever saw. I sensed movement from the suffering priest, as his eyes slowly opened into a narrow, almost indiscernible line and then with much effort he turned his head towards me.
- You are awake. This is good, it means the fever is not so severe that it knocks you unconcious. I do not expect you to recognise anything you now see or form understandable questions in this state of delirium, so I will spare you the effort and answer the ones that would most likely come up first. Where you are; you are in a village they call Neudraun. It is far in the North, some even say it is the last village before only trees and rocks cover tha plains up until the Northern Desolation. They mine salt here, and cut wood so it is not a very wealthy village. This building... - I looked up to the ceiling, then out the window wich was basicly an uneven circle cut in the walls filled with glass. - ... is considered an inn, so you take away what you want from that. Who am I; I am the knick who saved your life. If you are unfamiliar with the term I am a medicineman, and I can stitch your wounds together. I repaired your shoulder and your leg and now I am trying to get your fever down. What happened to you; this I do not know. You were brought here from a road nearby, with a circular shot wound in your left shoulder and a crushed leg. I suppose you were travelling by horse and the leg injury is either from the drop from the saddle or the weight of your mount if it fell. Actually I was hoping you could fill me in with the details after you are well enough to speak. Until than, I will be here. Pardon my nurturing skills, I am not much of a nurse. Usually the family or household members take care of the patient after I treated him or her, but the circumstances are... unconventional now.
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Re: The sinner, the virtous and the samaritan (Norven & Dieter)

Témanyitás by Institoris on Kedd Jan. 23, 2018 8:27 pm

The first thing I see is a small, thin strip of frozen winter sky.
I must've fallen asleep with my head turned sideways and am now looking through the slender gap between the wooden windowframe and the thick, waxed sheet of linen ordinary people use instead of expensive glass during the colder half of the year. My neck feels strained, almost overly so; as I try to turn back, a thousand fires light up inside me and they all bring pain.
I moan involuntarily, though I can barely feel it: my throat is swollen and dry, while every last inch of me feels soaked. I must have had a fever for a while - but how long? It certainly felt longer than any other fever I had; I close my eyes, waiting for the sharp pain to dull and my head to clear a bit.

To my surprise, it does clear.
The pain doesn't go away, however; it retreats to my left side instead, taking its time to run up and down from my waist to my toes and reach out from my shoulder, gripping me from ear to elbow. I feel like I've been beaten through and through with an iron rod. There's a throbbing, wanton need for water overtaking my whole body, tearing at my self-control with fearsome ease.
I choose to ignore it. For now.
I swallow - a hopeless, raspy >click< in the back of my throat - then I open my eyes again. The room gently rocks from side to side for a terrible moment, then decides to settle.
Good.
I should get up.

I manage to rise a good four inches before collapsing onto the bed, arching back with pain too sharp to endure: for a moment, I firmly believe I'm about to rip open by the seams and wait for my brain to shut itself, then the sensation calms and I have to catch my breath.
You aren't going anywhere, son. Not this time.
I look up again, nauseous from the consequences of my misplaced confidence. I probably look like I've been dead for the better part of the week. I turn to the side again, instinctively, and my gaze falls on the man I thought I've dreamt of lately.
What a bizarre vision.
And yet, it was no vision after all.
I am not used to seeing people from so far down: the angle is unusual but I cannot pin everything on that alone. He's young, very young, shy of twenty-five perhaps; thick black hair wild and unkempt with all too early white strands in it. From the way he's sitting there with his back straight, I can tell he's a tall man: long legs slender, waist narrow, shoulders broader than I expected; all in all well-proportioned, even if a little thin.
And then there's the face.
I've never seen anything like him before - his skin is mostly white, as white as mine from neck to forehead, all over except one side, where taut-looking stitches seem to hold his visage together. Something under my stomach shifts uncomfortably, and I have to swallow again.
>Click<.
I feel like I should at least sit up before talking to him, so I force my jaw shut as firmly as I can - a dull ache taking over at the roots of my teeth -, and I slowly pull my right elbow under to be able to rise a few inches.
I have been lying here like a corpse for too long.
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Re: The sinner, the virtous and the samaritan (Norven & Dieter)

Témanyitás by Dieter von Rotmantel on Vas. Feb. 04, 2018 10:13 pm

Days have passed and the angry mob with lit torches and pitchforks was yet to come. It seemed my public gutting and impaling was postponed, at least until the unfortunate lord bishop ceased living and lie still, cold as the grave. He did not, even his fever slowly died down even though I was reminded why I never nursed any of my patients. First, because I was lacking in my skills as a caretaker, I doubted that even a houseplant would survive in my hands for more than a few days. Second, and more important, that I was struck with boredom. Utter, merciless boredom, the kind that animates the dark corners and makes the night shillouettes dance and speak. Our imagination was a double edged sword, and when it got bored it showed things to frighten us. Ironic, really. Our soul thought that even danger was better than having nothing to do.
I did not feel the eariness to converse with the night shades or to stare into my own mind’s cruelest images, so I had the peasants fetch me a piece of paper and charcoal. I was never fond of books, they slowed down a traveller and made the unexperienced feel comfortable even though they should not. Nearly anyone can read about the lie and shape of arteries and veins, but few can see it inside an open, throbbing crimson wound, the living flesh of someone just as real as oneself. So in my stubborness I lacked anything to read, which left only one option: I drew. I always had a slight talent for recreating shapes and pictures with simple tools, and without a better target I drew my left hand and forearm. I payed delicate attention to the fresh, still bright rose-colored burnmark across my palm, starting from beside my thumb and rising in an uneven curve right till the outer edge of my hand. It was a holy relic, a bracelet of some sort which I tried to remove from the priest after treating him, forgeting the most simple and unforgiving rule of this land: acursed ones cannot suffer the touch of consecrated relics or lands. It was oddly different from fire or from the memories of sunlight way back when I, as every other brethren of mine, tried to defy it with sheer will. It was agressive, offensive, like a sudden, concentrated attack against the vampire curse molded into my skin. I was careless, but it was the last time.

I sensed movement. As of this point I never showed attention to the bishop’s facial features – they had no meaning to me, but now I became curious. He was well shaved – or at least used to be before days of being bed-ridden. There was a glittering in his eyes, for the first time not from the fever. It was the faint shine of someone struggling against his pride, the urge to decline all help and deny the obvious. I hastly stood up and walked to him, leaning towards the bed and hold my arm out to him to grab.
- Please, allow me to help. Your muscles must be cramped. You have been in this bed for the fourth day now. – I was not sure if he would accept my help, but it was foolish and cruel to deny him even the chance of relying on me. From this short a distance I could tell that this bishop was past his youth, although still far from his old ages. His shoulder healed in an appropriate speed, but his leg was still unusable. As it will be for the coming two weeks at least. – Do you need anything? Are you feeling hungry or thirsty? More importantly – do you remember who I am?
The time of judgement has come. What will you think of me, priest? What will you think of the patchwerk vampire who saved your life?
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Re: The sinner, the virtous and the samaritan (Norven & Dieter)

Témanyitás by Institoris on Csüt. Feb. 08, 2018 12:59 pm

I might have been louder than intended.
My bedside companion notices me being awake right away: I'm already leaning on my right elbow, half-risen from the bed when he reaches my side and offers an arm to hold onto.
I was right. He is a tall man.
I look up into his face as he speaks. And freeze.

His words bounce about in my head without meaning, for all I see is his long white canines - he speaks in a calm, collected manner, his voice soft but not powerless.
Vampire.
I feel a shiver approaching and try to fight it, but who could ever fight anything like that? Certainly not me; never. I already know I am losing this battle and with the unpleasant chill rushing down my spine, I don't even have to look down to know that it makes every single hair stand on end in its wake. I am instinctively aware that this time, should he decide to fulfill his curse and honour the age-old enmity between our people, I won't be more to him than what a small rabbit or newborn lamb is to a wolf.
Sometimes proud men forget that they can, too, fall prey to others easily; I am guilty of this, guiltier than many. Now, looking up at the young vampire with only a blanket separating me from him, unable to move properly, weak, confused and undoubtedly naked, my own vulnerability weighs on me in a way that is both painfully frightening and humiliating at the same time.
I am having a hard time deciding which one of us I feel more resentful towards.

I would lean away from him, but there's nowhere to unless I intend to fall out of bed and break my precious neck on the spot; I look up at him again, hesitant for a moment then clear my throat, trying to recall what he told me a heartbeat ago.
Ah. Do I remember him?
I shake my head warily, trying not to stretch the muscles running along my collarbone too much. The dizziness lurking in the back of my head disappeared somewhere along the way.
'I do not.' I answer, surprising myself with how dry my voice sounds. He has to witness another pathetic attempt of me trying to clear my throat. 'Do I know you?'
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Re: The sinner, the virtous and the samaritan (Norven & Dieter)

Témanyitás by Dieter von Rotmantel on Szer. Feb. 14, 2018 12:43 pm

The bishop's guise shifts into a wide and rapidly changing array of emotions as the numbness of days spent laying wounded slowly gives way to something new: cold, sharp instincts. He was quick to recognise me, not for who I am but for what I am. I could see it in his eyes widening for a split-second, his muscles contracting with a single, natural twitch and his suddenly accelerated breathing. I had no doubt that he would not take my arm, so I did not push him. I let out a soft sigh, forgeting all the manners I was taught by my stepfather for the brief time I was at the tower of the Night Ravens, grabbed a chair and set it right next to his bed. If he wanted to stand up by his own strenght, so be it.
- This is the first time we converse, yet not the first time we speak. You were still affected by the fever and the pain's delirium, and as such I am not surprised that you do not recall it. You shouldn't be either. - I replied patiently, standing at an arm's length from him for both his comfort and mine. - One could say I saved your life, which is only partially true. The villagers found you bleeding on a nearby road and brought you here. I only treated you. I am a travelling knick - a medicineman expert in surgery. I stiched your wounds, did all I could for your leg and fixed your severed blood vessels. You can check your shoulder for confirmation, altough I suspect the returning occasional aches indicate your stiches far better than eyes.
I reached for the sack containing all this priest had on him wich was in the way while I operated on him and hanged it on the chair in front of his bed.
- This is all your belongings, your weapon, every trinket and your clothes - as for the latter unfortunatly I had to tear apart your shirt, but the miners were kind enough to supply you with a replacement until you get home. Now please, tell me of the event leading to your wound. Especially if the danger is still present and could mean more harm.
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Dieter von Rotmantel
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Re: The sinner, the virtous and the samaritan (Norven & Dieter)

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