Because I’m lame I haven’t done much writing for myself or for fun lately. I know, I know. That’s not the way to became a world famous writer. Clearly in order to do that one must write vampire romance or porn passed off as actual literature so that Costco will sell it. Still, I did write this for a friend in an effort to help him develop a character. I thought it was cool.
Ganelon galloped across the plane towards smoke in the distance. As he rested hours earlier he witnessed a vision of a town overrun by adventurers slaughtered with hideous cruelty and robbed of anything of value. He awoke in a cold sweat but did not hesitate as he grabbed him armor and strapped it to his fit and firm body, his shining sword attached to his belt. His horse was tired from riding earlier but did not begrudge his trusted master the ride and pushed further than most animals are capable, he gracefully moved toward the danger.
Dawn was breaking and the sun rose over the horizon to uncover what evil deeds were done in the night. Ganelon reached the edge of the small farming community and leapt from his mount. He whispered a prayer to Torm and asked his god for guidance and strength as he searched for survivors.
Immediately the paladin’s heart sank as he found a farmer disemboweled just outside his home, a rusty short sword lay next to him. The champion blessed the man and prayed that his soul finds rest. He knew that the man died in agony—it was captured in his dead eyes and contorted face.
Ganelon stepped into the thatched cottage to find the farmer’s slaughtered family. A boy had his head smashed in like a melon, the wife had been stabbed through the chest, but not before being used by whoever attacked them. Ganelon shut his eyes tight and clenched his fists. He tried to remember a prayer of justice but only anger filled his mind.
He strode out of the home and proceeded into the center of the village which contained only a couple of basic buildings: a tavern, church, and blacksmith. A few homes were centered on the town around a well. Ganelon had seen dozens of villages like this one and he knew the people who lived in them. They were simple and peaceful; hardworking and loving. They did not deserve the fate that found them.
Everywhere he went he found the same. Death. The attack came in the night like a thief and stole their lives away.
Ganelon dropped to one knee by the well, partly out of exhaustion and partly out of despair. He began to sob and held his head in his hands. He begged Torm for an answer or direction. How many times had he witnessed scenes like this? How could his god of justice allow such things? How could Ganelon prevent this from happening again?
He sobbed for many minutes before an answer came. “Seek you answer in the chapel,” a voice spoke to him. Ganelon shook it off. He did not recognize it as the voice of his god or even his own instinct. The call seemed foreign. The deep and soothing voice beckoned him again, “Meet me in the chapel and I will show you the answer.”
Ganelon could not continue to ignore an obvious divine call, even if it was strange to him. He had asked questions and answers were being offered. He stood up weakly and turned until he faced the chapel.
It was crudely constructed from adobe bricks and bore no mark of any deity. The bricks appeared haphazard and random, almost chaotic, made from different clay and assembled in an unskilled manner.
The paladin stepped forward his tears drying on his face and his muscles relaxing. He glanced about him but only saw the carnage left from the attack—the loss and pain of dozens. His resolve strengthened and he marched toward the chapel.
The doors were smashed open and laid splintered about the entrance. Ganelon paused to allow his eyes to adjust to the dim light. He studied the scene before him for a moment but it resembled the rest of the village. It seemed that some of the villagers came to the chapel for protection but were not spared. Another dozen were hacked to pieces inside the chaotic chapel and tossed about like garbage.
As he assessed the situation the voice called once more, but sounded real and audible instead of internal. “Help me,” the voice whispered. The champion could scarcely make it out but he was confident that he heard the words. “Help me,” the voice repeated from the front of the chapel in the direction of an alter.
Ganelon rushed to the alter and pushed it aside to reveal a young boy with blood splattered on his face and hands which clutched a tome. “Where are you wounded?” the paladin cried, desperate to save this last soul.
“I’m not,” the boy breathed.
“Praise Torm,” Ganelon sighed as he sat back.
“But Torm had nothing to do with it paladin,” the boy explained his voice accusatory and deep.
Ganelon pushed himself up and glared down at the child. “What do you mean?”
“Everyone is dead except me. Where was Torm? Why did he not defend us?”
Ganelon paused because he had no answer. He too wondered why. “What happened here? Who did this?” he asked instead, choosing to change the subject.
“ Wouldn’t you like to know?” Again the boys voice changed, but this time it was almost gleeful. The paladin looked into his eyes and was transfixed, drawn deep into them as he watched them swirl like a tornado.
“Yes, I would like to know what happened here,” he answered, his voice trailing off.
“No, I mean, wouldn’t you like to know why Torm didn’t protect us?”
Ganelon did not answer for a long moment but finally replied, “Yes, yes I would.”
“The answers you seek are in this book. Read these pages and you will understand why this village was attacked and my Torm did not protect us.”
Ganelon looked to the tome. It had no marking on the cover. There was nothing interesting about it except for the chaotic spattering of blood that covered it.
“Take it,” the boy suggested.
“I shouldn’t,” answered Ganelon though he could not imagine why.
“But only if you take this tome can you understand why this tragedy happened. Take it and all your questions will be answered.” The boys voice was soothing and calm, his eyes pleaded with Ganelon even while they danced and spun.
Ganelon reached for the tome and the boy lifted it toward the champion. Ganelon carefully gripped it and considered the possibilities before opening the cover. He was drawn to it and knew that he had to know the answers to his questions.
“Torm did not save us,” the boy whispered with an energy that flowed into Ganelon’s own hands, urging him to open the tome, “because chaos cannot be made into order.” As Ganelon opened the tome and gazed at its words they swam around on the page making it difficult to read them. The champion studied harder trying to make sense of what was written there but the harder he tried the more the words ran from him, trying to hide their meaning from the champion of Torm. Frustrated he sat and concentrated further focusing all of his energy onto the page. Time stood still and Ganelon poured his soul into drinking the words of the tome.
At last a smile crept across his face. He gently closed the tome and looked around him. The boy was gone. The bodies were gone. He stood up and walked to the smashed doors of the chapel and looked out. What once was a town was nothing more than a desolate waste with nothing but weeds and rocks tossed about haphazardly.
“I understand,” Ganelon declared. “Chaos is the only way.”
A shadowy hand gripped his shoulder. “Yes my disciple. Chaos is the way to enlightenment.”