Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Memories Can Be Painful

"I will love you until the end of time," she said.

And he smiled.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

"So, do you?"

Rialto Mathene blinked his sun dazzled eyes and looked across the balcony where he sat at his house guest. Known as the Banded Mage due to the liniment soaked bandages that wrapped him from head to foot like a newborn mummy, he had retired from adventuring to settle down in the logging/seaside town of Davron's Throw. He now lived off his vast wealth from casting spells on the fly and supplicated it with work as a sage, translator and scribe.

"I'm sorry, what was that?" he asked.

  Hamisch the Great rolled his eyes and repeated "Do you ever think of the old days? Y'know, when we were mercenaries for the Sand King? Or those 2 years we spent as privateers for the Old Dominion? I dream of riding across the plains of the Great Continent, charging at the barbarian hordes. My axe in one hand, my shield strapped to the other, the reins in my teeth," Hamisch smiled, showing the broken, brown remains of those once pearly white teeth, now more resembling weathered tombstones. "Ahhh... those summer nights at the Grape and Cup in the City of Canals? The weather so warm that the women swam in the canals nude, and what they did wear really didn't do much to cover them. Remember?"

  Hamisch looked across the shaded balcony at his host. Rialto closed his eyes and bowed his hooded head. "No, I don't. And don't speak to me of women."

"Oh, come on, Rialto. Surely she'll try again if you ask-"

  "Christiana the Pure is much too busy with her role as Royal Priestess. The last time I asked her to reincarnate her sister, she said as much. Fourteen times, she said, was too much. She said The One God had communicated to her saying that Persephone had earned her rest," the mage spat, his derision plain for the world to see.

  Rialto looked back across the balcony at his former companion, remembering those heady days when he, Hamisch, Christiana the priest and her sister Persephone the paladin and the sometimes thief, sometimes assassin halfing Tomlin Lowbarrow traveled far and wide, earning fame and glory. Rialto and Persephone married but continued adventuring. Until that one fateful day on the west coast of the Great Continent. He looked down at the hands that jutted out of the sleeves of his robe, wrapped in bandages by his manservant Fong Wei. Rialto had long since become accustomed to the smell of death and medicine that enveloped his body. He often wondered if any of his customers ever complained about the stench out of his hearing.

  The doors opened behind them, and Fong Wei stepped out. "Dinner is ready, master".

   Rialto painfully rose from his seat and glanced at his guest. "I never think of the old days. And never ask me that again."



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