The Weight of a City

Power seems so delicious. Being able to at a word or the stroke of a pen order thousands of hands to perform a task. To move a mountain through the stroke of a pen, to unearth treasures or grow crops to feed thousands. All through a name and a word.

But there is a second half to this equation. A cost. At least for honest men there is. If you care about your fellow man. The horrifying thought that you’re weighing costs in lives and man-years instead of silver or iron.

Seven Thousand Seven Hundred and change people. The wrong word, the wrong choice, the wrong action and I could consign Seven Thousand people to their doom. Maybe not through an immediate death, but the deaths of a hundred cuts. A missed meal here, a dropped delivery, a poorly repaired fortification, and their doom comes for them.

Incompetence is not allowed in this arena. The leader needs to be swift of mind, pure in spirit, strong in will. Unshakeable. How can i explain to my men that i’m scared for them. That i worry about all of them. I can’t. It looks weak. It speaks of foolishness.

I’ll shoulder what i must. I’ll keep on moving forward, and i’ll improve to become what i must to protect these peoples. They deserve the best me i can possibly be.

A new brand


Perhaps a bit silly of a name but I am bursting with pride. My nearest friend, my confidant, my shadow. A man who’s never questioned orders, and carried them out with extreme efficiency.

I ask the world of this man, and he gives it and more, joyfully.

I am at a loss for how to express my joy for him, to bring him into the brotherhood as a full man. He’s more than earned it through his hard work, the blood shed and the trust we’ve shared.

Go forth then, and may every man quake when they hear that they are the newest target of Sigurd ShadowStep

The loss of a squire

My damn squire died. The poor idiot was caught with his pants down and was eviscerated by goddamn vampire spawn.

Vampires. I thought they were Rogalian propaganda. I thought that it was a joke. What a fool I have been to ignore the warnings.

If I had known better I could have perhaps prepared him better, set up the company better.

A mistake I intend to rectify. He’s buried now. I had such hopes for him. What a waste.

The contest of Faiths

Humanity calls to humanity. I wonder what that feels like. Do you sell your soul in one big chunk, a deal with malefic as they say? It seems that way with the dark forces. Trade away your humanity in a lump sum for nearly limitless power.

Feed the evil, and as the night grows darker, malefic forces drive you. Strengthening your flesh. Melding yourself with death, twisting the minds around you.

How tempting it must be to have the price of the exact thing you want within your grasp, carrying you easily, hewing gouts through your foes and preventing your harms from slowing down.

God asks us to take the high road, the hard path. I can feel him falling further away with each terrible choice I am forced to make. I know he still guides my hand, he carries me through situations no man should be able to survive, as a parent protects their children and the army carries its commander.

I see her. Shes warped and twisted already, spitting venom and becoming more powerful with each passing moment. I’m terrified of her.

The worst part is I helped make her. Dozens of my choices led to the death of her family and I can almost understand how she felt this was her only recourse. I carry so much shame for those choices, and find it impossible to not feel terrible over it.

Perhaps if she can find the deserved release I can find some modicum of peace.

We both have our gods guiding our hands.
Let us see whose is stronger.

Strategy and Tactics

Games. “Games” they call them.

A constant clash of wooden equipment, bruises, headaches, pain, victories and losses.

Months of brutal training. I hear the mumblings. The resentment of a new commander.

I am not Sir Der Ritzen, and only am covering for his work out of necessity.

The Væringjar are brutally efficient warriors and are truly trained to a steel’s edge, but the steel is only as good as the hand that wields it.

I have spent my life on a small team. Fighting, Hunting, Hiding. We had become like ghosts in the woods, extricating, learning, and killing. But I had never developed the strategy. I still lose to academics in Tafl and Cyess for the love of Benalus!

In the heat, in the very moment I am competent. I still have so much to learn in tactics, but I know them. But when it comes to strategy I am green. I have a wonderful tutor, but I do not know enough and I worry I’m not learning fast enough.

I hope when it comes to be steel and not wood that the hand is ready.

A public Notice in Runeheim

I, Sir Knut Bjornsson of the Order of the White Star, in service to Her Lady Dragomir, swear publicly that I will ferret out and execute the heretic wise ones in service of the hollow song invaders before the snows break for spring.

(Repeated in Njord)

The first pages of a fresh journal

I figure its time to start writing my thoughts down. People love to record the histories of noble men and heroes, so maybe I can shed some light on what the day to day really is.

Im a Knight now. Sworn in service to one of my best friends, or at least sometimes it feels that way. I worry about her, shes very alone, she has no true confidants, and even to me she can’t tell everything.

I am scared of her. I respect her. The ancient hestrali spoke of love many ways. I dont feel the romantic and sexual love i feel for my wife, i feel brotherhood, and i know through my time in the field that that is love too, not sexual, but something deeper. A trust.

I know I should feel differently now that I have a title, but I just feel the same. Deperate to do my job well. Scared when i get into real fights, and hopeless when faced with the thousand mineutia of the day.

I feel a weight creeping in. Like a pressure on my very soul, as if my company is now more than it used to be. I’m scared for my friends and daunted by the responsibility I bear for them.

Originally I had wished to write of privelage and responsibility, of how station is its own burden, no matter how high or low one is.

I am finding it difficult to care. The prices and weight of this ring is heavier than it should be. I need time. I will clear my head and train.

Perhaps someday I’ll be worthy of being Ser Knut of the Order of the White Star. But as of right now? Im jealous of Ser Alastor. At least he is able to rest fully.