Rotten Reasoning

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

Rotten Reasoning

Postby Alric Lysane on November 3rd, 2021, 11:42 am

2nd Fall 521 AV - The Rotting Mansion – Exterior

Alric had felt a somewhat philosophical mood overtake him over the past score or so days, his mind becoming filled with ruminations and concerns. Perhaps it was a sign of age, he reflected, given that mid-twenties was practically a ripe middle age for Sunberthan ragamuffins. Not that he had any ambitions to dive down the mineshaft anytime soon. Still, he found himself wondering about the direction of his life, his purpose and even whether he had any to call such. Much had happened to Sunberth in his short lifetime but he had done little for himself but scratch up enough to have a leaky shack to call his own and a few pieces of clothing.

“Though you could say many do much worse” he told himself, breath misting across his face as he finally arrived at his destination – The Rotting Mansion. Or at least, what was left of it.

It was ghost of a shell of what he remembered it being when he had come to look up, wide-eyed, at what he could dream of having. Younger days of course and dreams that had been violently torn apart a few years past. There were no dreams of power, influence or wealth now. Not in the traditional sense.

Sunberth had declared a new age of misrule and thrown down the tyrants. He wasn’t against such a move in principle but he had to admit, despite his pride for purest freedom, it had made life somewhat more difficult and a tad more…beige.

What is the point of life if you can’t make what you want out of it? he wondered to himself as his gaze flickered across the ruins of what had once been tantamount to a dynasty.

He had heard rumour and whispers of this place, that it was haunted and suffering, dark and secretive. That treasure lay within for those who could kill the dead – which meant pretty much no one. Where had once never dared tread he now stood, not wishing to enter but suitably wary of the grounds even he was pacing upon. The last thing he wanted was some damned ghost dogging his footsteps, especially a Dalagnar. What had happened to the family was as just as you could get in Sunberth, the mob had spoken.

“To have lived a life of power and striving, stabbing definitely, to have it all taken away,” he mumbled and tugged his cloak closer about himself, “to be left a memory that will pass into legend and not know realised ambition”

He hadn’t really thought about it before, but could he truly say that Sunberth’s attitude towards no authority was what kept the city strong? Or did it weaken it in ways he hadn’t ever considered? He didn’t pretend to have the answers but he had hoped that a piece of ragged, riotous and ruined history might help him decide what it was that he wanted in life that the city would even let him have.

He found a fallen section of rubble on the very edge of the ground, weathered and clearly even older than the mansion itself, and sat upon it to watch the windows for any signs of life.
Last edited by Alric Lysane on November 9th, 2021, 5:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Alric Lysane
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Rotten Reasoning

Postby Alric Lysane on November 3rd, 2021, 12:42 pm

He knew the history of Sunberth as well as anyone did, though few seemed to go beyond legend and tales. Most explorers who tried to penetrate the more ancient corners of the city tended to die quite suddenly. Every so often some rumour would do the circle of the taverns – ghosts sighted and artefacts found but lost again, monsters and so on. The superstitious lists were endless. He was far from immune, he knew, he had a healthy respect and caution towards the city’s history. Not least because he did like breathing. Besides which the idea of spirits and monsters, though not scaring him to death, were things that he only got involved with if he had something to gain from it worth the price.

No…seeing as his own parents had been prone to such adventures and then didn’t return from one and were presumed dead he had developed more traditional past times like robbing, stealing, gambling and lying. They had served him well enough so far. Yshul as his witness he had had better luck than many. The problem wasn’t what he did it was how he saw it ending. Sunberth was a truly free city and he loved that but it meant it was truly free to stomp him into the dirt whenever it liked.

“What did you want really? Did you want to be a master? Of the people?” he wondered quietly, daring not to raise his voice too high in case he drew in the angered dead.

It was a question that nagged at him more and more. He had been told that what had happened was just and he had helped do the deep as everyone had. He hadn’t lit the torches or readied the tools of death but as a member of the swarm he had played his own part. He still firmly believed that a would be tyrant should suffer such a fate…it was just that he now wondered if that was what the man had truly wanted.

“Would I have done anything differently to you Robern?”

There was no answer, for which he was truly thankful. Naught but the shattered holes where windows used to be and an open mouth of a door, smeared with soot all and detritus poking out here and there. It was almost a mockery and perhaps that was why it was left standing. Legends of hauntings aside it would have been easy for the wrath of Sunberth to tear it all down, brick by brick. No, it had been left standing.

A warning.

He felt sure that he wouldn’t have killed and tortured as it was said Robern had, and with much evidence to support it even when it came to hearsay. On that he supposed he was different and perhaps that meant he was not destined for particular greatness. It did seem that momentous times in Sunberth stemmed from such things, with the opposite rising up to throw it back down. Or so the tales said. He wasn’t sure he was a ‘hero’ either. So what was he and what did the future hold?

He was silent for a time, even within his own skull, simply watching the relic of the past. Nothing seemed to change, no figures were seen. No sudden cracks or falling of items. Not even the suggestion of movement or life of any kind. If haunted places were like this he’d have to start venturing into them he noted to himself, only half-serious.

What do I want? the question he had sought reflection to answer rippled across the surface of his mind.
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Alric Lysane
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Rotten Reasoning

Postby Alric Lysane on November 3rd, 2021, 9:19 pm

He scratched his beard with a frown as he fumbled with his belt pouch and set about getting a pipe ready, eyes darting this way and that in case he was about to be assailed by the dreaded dead whilst he was distracted. As he took his first puff he paused and blinked before barking a laugh. He would never have been so casual as that about superstitions a few seasons ago. Now…well perhaps he had to admit that associations were rubbing off on him. Or perhaps it was circumstance. Regardless he puffed away with amusement as he continued to carefully watch the windows.

“Want is so hard. Need…need is easy. It’s only ever been about need,” he muttered thoughtfully, “food, water, warmth, shelter…companionship?” he asked at the end.

He couldn’t claim that that was a necessity for him. Ever since he had been hauled to the orphanage he had learned to be by himself, to take care of himself. He was made to contribute to the orphanage and its repairs, cleaning and endless lists of needs. Yet he had never really formed many friendships and most of those had vanished once he had left. Peer pressure was more about creating a tribe hierarchy than caring for each other. Was he different now? He was not sure he had met anyone he needed though he was not sure what that felt like. The last time he had felt it was with his parents and it seemed so long ago, buried beneath years of grit and grind.

“What happened to you?” he asked, his free hand toying with the signet ring at his neck, tracing the indentations through his glove, “was it worth it? Did you know what you wanted? Was that why you left in the first place?”

The questions were endless and he had asked them on and off for many years. Perhaps, though, he had never really asked them the right way. He cast his mind back to those early years and what he remembered of them. He felt sure they were happy and he knew he was loved very much. He’d have been enslaved otherwise. Flashes of memory remained beneath the dirt but they were fragmentary and incomplete. He remembered being taken to strange places, usually somewhere with old, cold stone but he couldn’t remember where those places were or their names. Cold wet nights with rain hitting something rhythmically whilst laughing around a fire.

He growled and frowned at himself that he couldn’t remember anything else, his mood souring slightly. It almost felt like it made it all a lie, that the memories he did have were just rosy and self-formed for his own comfort.
“What was it that could drag you from such happy memories? Is that what you need to do in life? Find something that matters that much? If so I’m right up shyke creak” he laughed then, a deep and free laugh powered partly with frustration and resignation.

As he settled and hummed around his pipe-stem he thought he caught a flicker in one of the windows. He watched it for some time, daring not to move and ready to run if he saw anything dangerous. After ten chimes or so he saw nothing else and settled back into his ponderings. It was starting to get colder and his rear was starting to get numb and he had yet to have much in the way of revelation. He had hoped that the remnants of such a modern failure would help to give him some sort of impetus but it was merely enhancing the shadowy sense that it was all for naught.

“Is it just about survival then? About making sure you’re ledger is more balanced than your competition by the end? Making sure you’ve got just that little bit less shyke of a situation? I refuse to believe it” he tapped his pipe against the rock and stamped on the small embers before putting it back away.
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Alric Lysane
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Rotten Reasoning

Postby Alric Lysane on November 13th, 2021, 4:12 pm



He frowned in thought and cast his mind back once more, trying to remember anything that might help give him a sense of stability, a way forward from his current position at the bottom of the heap and towards a future that might be more prosperous, if not immediately filled with a sense of purpose and direction. He knew there were places that might provide riches and trinkets beyond imagining, they were no secret really it was just that it was all but impossible to access. The mines were likely filled with things, old items and more but no one had a map and he’d probably die quite quickly. There had always been rumours of deep rooms below the Temple of the Unknown but again accessing them wasn’t possible. The manor on the island, the crypts of ancients and other places…all of them dangerous and difficult.

He didn’t mind risk, but he wasn’t suicidal. Yet his parents seemed to have managed from what he had remembered. Perhaps not the places he could think of but somewhere, long forgotten sites. They had never seemed poor if they hadn’t been rich. He sighed at his lack of memory and for the lack of reason why. Still, it was somewhere to start surely? He wasn’t an idiot, he could learn and find these places if he tried hard enough. Was it enough to give him purpose? Perhaps not, but it was something, a direction he could travel. If nothing else it would pass the time between the dreary and grimy days of larceny and other things.

“Books…I need books. I remember that much. There was a room with them somewhere…a library,” he muttered to himself, nodding slowly and this resolve firming up, “there will be things in those tomes that will be useful. Records perhaps, names and places, rumours and legends. Myths…myths are but truths forgotten but still told”

The phrase came to him, his father’s voice this time, and he knew it to be a true memory if a fragmented one. He looked over the Rotting Mansion once more and his mind tingled, he could imagine that he could feel the mysteries. It was a feeling he had forgotten, the urge to explore and discover. He had a flash of memories then, most of them to do with simple puzzles and challenges – designed to both keep a child occupied and teach a certain way of thinking. They were muted, blurry, but he could remember the feeling. The same feeling that he felt now…and the triumph when it was figured out. He could almost taste it with anticipation.

“I will be back, one day, and I will find something. Doesn’t matter what…but I will,” he said to the mansion, “ghosts be damned”

He turned then and made his way back into the dirty city of Sunberth, the hive of scum and villainy, superstition and true freedom. It may take him many seasons but he would try, it couldn’t be any less dull and dangerous than his current life after all.


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Alric Lysane
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