Tag: dark souls

Diary of a Swordsman – Fourth entry

I suppose i should apologise for the confusion of the end of my last entry, should someone ever actually read this. I had tired of writing for the day and so moved on to my next destination. The door contained a small room with a crazy old man in a wheeled chair that didn’t seem that concerned with getting out of where he was trapped. He muttered nonsense about the nascent darkness of my soul or something equally trite and i left him to rot down there when it became apparent he had no intention to move.

Also i got out of the pit by climbing the metal cage. It was only when i neared the top that i realised tugging on it in a certain way activated its mechanism and brought me to the top quicker than i could climb.

Anyway…

Diary of a Swordsman – Third entry

The Pit where the Rotten lay, the Black Gulch, appeared to be filled with more foulness than i had originally considered. I had lost sight of Lucatiel after the battle and while i should have headed back to Majula, i found myself dawdling. The bonfire had been lit. I could return at any time, yet something in the wretched abyss fascinated me.

One thing about this land that’s hard to truly describe is these phantoms, for want of a better word. Other warriors like myself, sometimes garbed in the finest of armours with the most wondrous of weapons and other that seem to suffer far more than i ever hard in the worst of rags. These apparitions seem to float through the world around me as i travel. I can’t say they keep me company. They seem only briefly aware of me as i am of them, but i feel they are on the same clueless mission as me. They leave messages for me, providing me information on what is to come. Sometimes a warning of an ambush, sometimes a strategy to use fire against certain foes. Far too many simply urge me to throw myself off the nearest cliff face. I cannot tell if this is out of amusement or hopelessness.

And then there’s the blood.

The blood doesn’t seem to be intentionally left behind. Pools of it drain in random spots on the ground around me. Almost intangible. The merest touch sends images of other deaths. Warriors, strong or weak falling to invisible forces without warning or reason. Seeing these seem to serve as a warning for future perils.

The Black Gulch was full of them.

Stone statues, of innocent faces with malicious intent, flood the craggy walls of these deepest of depths. Each one releases a poison slob whenever i approach, as if some force within them senses my presence and attacks like a cat whose belly gets scratched in a way it doesn’t like. I don’t know how i set them off, but they seem all but mundane in the areas i have visited so far and it appeared they’ve taken one too many of my fellow travellers along the way, However, while these were where most of the bloodstains were lay elsewhere, seemingly hanging in the darkness of the pit below me.

It took some time to get there. The oil beasts and stretching worms threatened my life at every step. It was after dispatching the second worm that i realised where the other warriors were trying to get to. In the darkness below me, with just a flicker of life, was a ledge. Another one, like where i had found Lucatrcal. I was perhaps a little foolhardy in throwing myself down so quickly and i admit, a little horrified as i found myself lying next to a corpse over a perilous cliff face. I scrambled to the next ledge for safety and was met in my efforts with a large stone door. Eager, i attacked the door full force, almost ramming into it to push it open. But it was sealed.

A keyhole suggested a lock, which struck me as the oddest thing i had seen down here so far. The statues that spat poison i knew were made by the rotten monster, carved crudely and constructed by many hands all at once.The wooden structures of the gutter were more pieced together from dregs that had made their way down there. But a keyhole and a stone door, carved out of the rock and constructed. It suggested an artisan of some kind, but the ledge it was built on was thin. Was the ledge once larger, set in such a way that one could bring the materials down without risking death, or had this door been built from the other side?

Such mysteries eluded me but were soon pushed away with the prospect that i had no way off this ledge. The existence of the corpse filled me with dread. Whatever the purpose of this former man had been he had apparently spent his last moments trapped here, unable to climb back up and unwilling to throw himself to the void even as his last energies drained from him. I would share his fate if i could not take further action. Testing the wall i could quickly see that, even were i to abandon my armour and swords and rush the suffering of the monsters above, i would not be able to scale the face before me. It was almost a shear flat save for several jutting rocks that mocked an easy start that would not follow through. I banged on the door, only wondering for a moment that it would be foolish of me not to try this when there could have been someone else on the other side holding the key.

It wasn’t long before i came to the conclusion that i wasn’t going anywhere. Up wasn’t possible, and the door was unavailable. Down was the only place to go. I confess it’s a bit harrowing on the soul to know how willing one can be to throw oneself into the abyss where they’ve previously learned that they’ll just end up at a bonfire with nothing but a loss of skin tone. Even so i threw myself quickly over the edge expecting my conscious to leave me before i even felt the bottom.

This made the ground that i fell into a bit of a surprise.

I had fallen a few mere feet, though i could swear that the ground was nothing but darkness beforehand. All the same i found myself still on the cliff-face but this time facing an open tunnel with a faint light within it. I entered cautiously, unsure what to expect. The cavern felt large and hollow, yet i could not see even my own hand. I edged further into the darkness, using the toes of my front foot to ensure i was not about to engage in another freefall.

The cavern quickly widened and i saw a strange moving plant on the far wall, throbbing slowly in the dark, seemingly content in its small movements. I soon noticed that it wasn’t by itself. It shared a partner floating alongside it. I walked to them slowly, trying not to get distracted into falling to my death as i craned my head to look at them.

Though their presence was strange their purpose seemed little more than an intriguing sight. How did plant life flourish down here in the dark? It wasn’t a question i usually considered but here at the bottom of the world all alone i found myself being rather contemplative about these things. The underground had moss and damp, but no light existed here. Did the plantlife somehow not need it?

Kicking a rock, my body froze as the plant swung round to face me. The image before my eyes brought me no small measure of confusion to its sudden movements. Whatever the plant was, it would have only been able to move like that if – forgive me. This writing appears to be trying to make the dramatist out of me. I seem to be trying for a big reveal, but my skill with the pen isn’t there and i simply appear to be making melodrama.

Simply put, it wasn’t actually a plant i had been observing. That was a trick of the dark and nothing more.

What i was actually looking at were two giants, who had noticed me and were now approaching me with seemingly hostile intent. How i could have mistaken the two in retrospect, i have no idea. Regardless, their figures were clearer now, as were their weapons. Two large clubs each, almost as big as them and certainly three times larger than me. What they had been doing down here in the dark i’ll never know, but it was only sharp reflexes that saved my addled brain in that moment, throwing me to the side and out of harm’s way. Even when rolling i felt the ground shake through my skull.

Both seemed intent on attacking me at once and i had to dodge blows before i could even ready my sword. Not that i knew what to do with it. Unlike the Rotten, whose mass allowed me to swing with reckless abandon, and the Last Giant, whose slowly lurched form allowed me to take advantage of blind spots, these two were simply much larger men who could easily step away from me should i get close enough to their ankles yet were always close enough to me to pound the flesh from my bones.

I will not deny my fear here. Fear is a strong weapon in a fight. It tells you when you’re in too deep, and though my seemingly indestructible nature brought about by continued resurrection had alleviated some of these fears, two looming monsters in the darkness coming towards me was more than enough to start it up again. I ran, uncaring for any potential holes in the ground that would spell my doom anyway.

A light caught my eye and i went for it. It seemed to glow green and my suspicions were quickly confirmed where i found it to be the luminous moss in the area. It revealed to me a pit, one i didn’t care to throw myself in just yet. I turned around, looking to steel myself, only to find the giants had stopped. They were now back in the form of plants, hiding in the darkness, still.

Were they automata? I had heard of such things. But these were large creatures and it would not entirely make sense for them to be purely machine, but they had willingly stopped as i entered this cavern and made no effort to track me further. I waited, more for my heart to slow than to wait for an opening. It quickly dawned that they had no intention of moving. But i quickly found that this meant neither could i. The cave i was in was too small for them to follow me and contained nothing more than the moss, the hole and what appeared to be a metal hanging cage to trap a human in. It rose up  through the large opening where the ceiling should have been above me. And it was then i realised where i was. A monster’s pit.

Prisoners must have been fed from here for whatever reason. The hole above me was no doubt where people started and i was where they ended. Maybe the stone door was the entrance and this was the exit. All the same, i wasn’t going anywhere.

It was at this point i felt the frustration of the hours piling on me. Trudging through darkness without purpose in a land where i can’t even die. I was vexed, which probably explained my next actions.

Realising that they could not reach me from here, and had no apparent intention of movement, the giants quickly came victim to my bow. I usually use the bow to grab the attention of others but for now i figure i would see how long i could take this. I started firing arrows into the darkness, aiming for the flower. even if i missed the target was still big enough for me to hit. Dipped in poison the blade of each seemed to rip into the giants with little fanfare. The big golems just took it and with nowhere to go, i wasted the next few minutes striking them down, my arrows apparently so meaningless that they didn’t even acknowledge them.

Which made it very confusing where the first one suddenly lurched over in pain and fell to the ground.

It brought to me a renewed sense of vigour, They could be killed, apparently by poison and blade, which made the second one fair game. By the end as he too fell to the ground. I almost felt like i had cheated. It mattered not. I was alive and they weren’t.

I went to search the bodies, the loot on such creatures possibly being too big for me to carry about. At this point i figure it was still worth the effort.  I scrambled over to them, my fear of falling now completely gone but as i approached i realised they were no longer there. Their bodies had fallen to dust.

Like so many before i suppose, but it was an odd sight to behold with creatures so large. I immediately abandoned my search and was rewarded with the discovery of a key laying on the ground, making itself known to me as i kicked it. A small simple key, but one with apparent purpose. There was only one place it would fit.

I headed for the stone door.

Diary of a Swordsman – Second entry

I met up with Lucatiel again today.

She was just standing there as always. I’m beginning to think that she hears me coming and so prepares a posture for me to find her in. She normally seems so aloof and cunning but today   i’m not sure.

The location made it odd. A dark world at the bottom of a bottomless pit, round a tomb filled with just as many large rats as caves (i met the Rat king. Seems nice considering his subjects tried to rend me asunder) in a dark world of filth where forgotten vermins hides. At the very bottom, i found her.

She was muttering something about her brother. Memories of old. She seems concerned that she’s losing them all one by one, starting with the oldest. I’m not sure her concerns are justified. Don’t we all forget stuff as we grow older? It’s like we have to push the old stuff out to allow the new stuff to fit in there. Though studies were never my strong point and i saw little reason to fill up the spaces up there, i know my mind remains intact. It seems this curse we’re afflicted with is starting to get to her, but then i don’t really know how long she’s been here compared to me. Even so, i’m worried for her.

Her fears didn’t dull her blade though. We faced down several monsters together, alongside a giant mess of filth composed of hundreds of the undead. One swirling mass of thrashing arms and putrid vomit. We dispatched it together and she seemed content for a while, though i confess i don’t exactly know how our swords alone defeated it, considering the way its body was made up. Perhaps it was our combined spirit. I hope hers doesn’t waver further.

Diary of a Swordsman – First Entry

First Entry

I got some parchment from a dead man.

It’s taken me long enough. I thought with all that was scattered around me finding parchment would have been a lot easier. The bottle of ink was simple by comparison. Just sitting on a writing desk in Majula. Mine for the taking. Thinking about it i might have been able to get away with writing on a scroll. But, that seems wrong.

I’ve been itching to write for a while now. I don’t know why. I’m not some scholar. But, this needs to be written down, for someone to find should i not make it. I apologise if my style is terrible. I’m not exactly gifted with this sort of blade.

I feel i should start at the beginning, but too much has happened that my attempts at remembering it would be dulled by more recent events. Too much feels like an understatement, yet it rings strangely hollow as well. I am lost and confused. On a quest with no meaning nor prize. A old lady gave it to me, right at the start, but that was long ago, right back at the beginning.

I shouldn’t ramble, or maybe i should. If this is to be read, i suppose i should make it orderly. But not the beginning. I’ll come back to that when i’ve cleared up the more recent events and got them out my system.

The wharf is the place i find myself starting. Dark, underground. Decrepit. Considering i had started in wondrous ruined towers that seemed to shine in the sun i am unsure how i ended up there so fast. A hole in a wall and a tunnel. Before i knew it i was visiting the underbelly of a society that didn’t seem to be aware it was the underbelly. Bandits and Brigands appeared to be living there, waiting for no one in full armour ready for battle. They couldn’t have been expecting me, yet each of them was ready for combat as if they had been training to fight me for a dozen moons.

They fell to my blade, fortunately for me. Ambush and trickery was not enough and they were weak in their skills, even those who carried two blades seemed to only have a basic understanding of combat. Their dogs were more exemplary at fighting me than they were.

The wharf contained a ship, yet the village lay between me and it. It felt like a suitable destination, one that called to me. Reaching it was taxing, the sheer number of enemy was enough to keep me paced, made me move slowly between their ranks, dispatching them in ones or twos. Were they more coordinated, they would have surely bested me.

It nearly happened at one point. I saw a man, different from the others, drinking a large flagon of what i presumed to be the local ale, if they had such a thing, on the floor above me through a hole in what was once a finely constructed house for an underground dwelling where only the scum dare lived. As i entered i expected little challenge. He seemed different to the others. Still alive, as much as i was anyway. I thought it a good sign until the demons attacked. Strange grey and leather skinned creatures. Protruding arms that they almost walked with. I had faced a few earlier, but always in single combat. As three attacked me i feared for my safety. Their blows tore through what little armour i had and i felt cuts emerged on my covered skin. The trip was wearing my blade out and i was forced to use a weaker scimitar. As i gained some distance i was able to throw a small fire device i had found, more out of desperation than any real tactical illusion. Still, it gave me the moment for victory. Which made it all the more vexing when the next one fell from the ceiling.

Six were killed in the end and the man was still drinking his ale. He was short and stout, like the dwarves of legend. What i had hoped would be a helpful soul was quickly filled with disappointment. Whether the man was had been drained by the events surrounding him or he was simply slow of mind in the first place i could not perceive, but he was another of these damnable fools seeking souls to sate his own lusts. He was willing to trade at the very least, rather than attempt to rip them from me. But i gained nothing from the experience besides a few items to protect against poisons. For all i know they don’t even work.

He was at least more helpful than the next one though. As i rang the bell to call the ship, i saw and knew full well i would most likely be forced to wage war against its inhabitants, the creatures on there being more of the bandits i had faced already. But before i reached the bell i would meet a cultured fellow, sitting watching the ship, with no apparent intention of moving anytime soon.

This man, though he was clearly educated and refined, with a beard that clearly been immaculately trimmed that day, would not give me the time of day. In a land like this where the sane are in apparently short supply, he saw it a perfect time to insult my intellect and send me on my way. I would be the first to confess i am not exactly educated but that should not be enough to not even share a few survival tips with one another. Watch out for knives in the back from people you are a pissant too, would be my wise words.

He didn’t have to warn me of the archers. They were in plain sight from the start. The men below deck however weren’t but in their rush to fight me one found himself thrown to the waters below, and the other fell by my blade quickly enough, allowing me to take out the bowmen as well.

Now, though i had seen the ship approach not five minutes before, i must say it was certainly bizarre to find it empty except for these four scoundrels. Well, almost empty anyway. But the monster i found below deck was certainly not the one responsible for piloting the wrecked vessel. In retrospect the whole experience was rather bizarre, even without the monster.

The monster was two large men, or rather two large bodies connected to one set of legs, though not in competition despite their narrow proximity. He was slow but i felt a single blow from one of his kugdals would be more than enough to dispatch me. His size and the water below deck made him slow though, and i managed to defeat him without taking a blow.

The ship started off shortly after that. It seemed aware of its own destination, whisking me along for the ride. I would have considered myself quite fortunate, to be taking on a cruise with no destination in mind but one apparently set in place, until i discovered that the final destination was a Bastille. One i had just spent my time spending hours trying to get out of, suffering death after death in the process. That’s one of the stories i’ll be getting back to.

Oh, yes, i suppose i should be mentioning that as well, lest anyone reads this with no knowledge of my current condition. I appear to have died several times now, and so far, i’ve been able to get over such an affliction every single time.

I have no idea why.

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