Small Talk


Not Everything Makes it into the Books of CrIsis…

No Name sat quietly on a log during his watch with his back to the fire, looking out into the night.

Instead of sitting to meditate, Silent Dream came over to sit by The Nameless Man. “I wanted to say ‘thank you’ for what you said to me a few days ago when I told you about how snakes bothered me. You were right about them. The Great Tree helped me overcome my fear.”

He smiled. And pat Dream on the back. In his other hand was the torn parchment. Somehow he decided to hold on to it. “Fear can control you, if you let it. Or it can keep you focused if you harness it.”

Dream nodded. “It won’t control me any more.” He paused a moment, then tentatively asked, “Was the Tree able to help you, with whatever happened in the fight with Steve?” Dream quickly added “If you still don’t want to talk about it I understand.”

“No, nothing can help with that. Maybe she can…..But no, the tree is protecting my family. It’s fine. The tree showed me what will happen later. It’s no secret, I’ve just been trying to understand. Maybe that is why he sent the letter. He wants me to remember and hang on.”

Dream looked like he was struggling to follow. Then he said, “He? Your former teacher?” Dream indicated the torn parchment in The Nameless Man’s hand. “Is that what that part of the letter was about? The part you showed us was very curt.”

He noded and tossed it on the ground in front of Dream. “I remember my old life. In life you have a name. In death you don’t. I am ‘Death’.”

Dream picked up the scrap to look at it. There was a name written on it, the name of who the letter was addressed to. Dream read it silently, then said “The spirits of the dead retain their names. Tobi had a name. Roggan still has a name. Only the body that remains…” Dream got a look on his face as a conclusion began to form. “Are you saying your spirit did not…” He has trouble saying this. “…return?”

“It is trapped in here.” He tapped the blade of Vindicator. He then grabbed Dream’s hand and put it on his chest. It took a couple seconds for Dream to realize he felt nothing – no heart, no breathing, no life. “I am cursed.” He said reluctantly. “Forced to walk between life and death for all eternity. My body will soon fade, but I will keep going. There will be no rest for me. I will be the one sending those to the other life. I am Death.”

Dream scowled in confusion as he processed this. He looked as if he wanted to ask a bunch more questions. The Man Who Once Had No Name could feel Dream’s emotions radiating in a turbulent storm of confusion. Then Dream’s expression settled and he radiated concern and determination. “That shouldn’t mean you aren’t still this person.” He indicated the scrap of paper with the name on it. “You still fight with us. You still care for your family. For the Empire. This cannot change who you are. Unless you let it.”

“I won’t be the old self, but I can control the new one. I will protect you and I will hunt down evil doers with a vengeance. I will care for my family, but I will be a lifeless husk a shell of my former self. This curse will have me see the deaths of all my loved ones. When they are gone all I will have is my reaping. I will reap the wicked and toss them into the hellfires and the good I shall guide them to their paradise.”

“Is there no way to lift the curse? You mentioned ‘Maybe She can…’ earlier. Who is she?” There was a slight radiating of hope from Dream.

“The First Sinner.” He pulled out the book of the first sinner. “Oh I found this too.” He kind of laughed.

Dream was relieved to hear him laugh that little bit. “I’m sorry to keep asking you so many questions. Does this book lead to her? Maybe we can…” Dream trailed off, remembering something. “You have resigned yourself to this, haven’t you?”

“It’s something of a legend. I do not believe there is a cure. I think that Steve was preparing himself for the immortality, but when I killed him, he decided to change me into something I hate.”

“My friend…” Dream said. He radiated sympathetic feelings. “I don’t know what to say. I wish there was something I could do to help.” There was a quick turmoil of emotions again, as if numerous thoughts are passing through his head and being dismissed. He looked at the scrap again, then looked at The Man Who Continues to Remain Nameless. “Will you tell the others?”

“One day,” he said. He pat Dream on the back again, picked up the piece of paper and tucked it into the pocket in front of his heart. “How have you been though? It seems like our ‘god‘ friend is thinking with his cock again.”

Dream smiled and relaxed. “He’s been like that for as long as I’ve known him. They’ve even written books just about it.” Dream laughed a bit. “That’s not the life I would choose.” He looked at the sleeping Nimaya with some regret. “I’ve seen how she looks at Xerx’ses. They’ll figure that out soon.” He looked back at The Once And Future Nameless Man. “I do wish he could be a little more considerate. Xerx’ses thinks he always knows what’s best for everyone and just acts on it without thought or consultation.”

“He puts self before others. That’s the true curse of the Minotaur people. They weren’t evil, they just thought of the power offered to self from the Old Ones.”

“Each person should get to be judged by their own actions, not the actions of their race.” Dream thought for a moment, then answered the other question. “I am frustrated that my carelessness injured Nimaya. That it was my power which hurt her bothers me more than her growing feelings for Xerx’ses. I knew the first night I was just a fad or whim. If it wasn’t for Grignak I never would have even…” He smiled and blushed. “No matter. I know it was my carelessnes that hurt her, but I also think it was a sign from Bast. Grignak could probably tell me for sure, but… Who knows what fun he’d have at my expense this time? You were right there too, warning me that he was up to something. I wonder if this is the CrIsis version of ‘hazing the new recruit?’ Am I being ‘Sniped?'”

No Name looked disappointed. “You can’t blame yourself for that. Even the mighty Xer’xes and Ylren miss their targets. Plus you want a faithful one. Someone that flips that easy is not right for a kindhearted one like you.”

Dream was embarrassed for a moment by the compliment but then became serious again. He nodded in response then changed gears. “What about you, now? Is it too late to change your teacher’s mind by writing him? I think we all agree the Western Empire is where we’ll go next once our obligations up here are handled. He shouldn’t have abandoned you like that.” He Who Chooses To Remain Nameless could sense concern for him coming from Dream.

“He knows I will come. He is testing me. We give each other a hard time.”

Dream looked at him questioningly for a moment longer, then his concern subsided. He looked up at the moon’s position. “I should begin my meditations now. We still have a long way to travel tomorrow and the next several days. I won’t tell anyone what you’ve told me until you feel the time is right. If you wish, I can even block it from my mind to prevent any prying from discovering it. I hope someday, maybe with the help of that book, you can be freed from this curse. However I can help you, I will. Just let me know.”

“Thanks, just when in danger get behind me.”

“Of course,” Dream said with a hint of amusement. “How else can I have your back?”

Reader’s Note: This conversation occured on the 9th of Corg but was only recently viewed in a vision by Malkin as he read a summarized version of these events in Silent Dream’s journal. These events do not get recorded in the public Books of CrIsis, but do show up in the true/Godly versions.

Pictures from and Hobby Hovel.


4 Responses to “Small Talk

  • So glad this is finally out. I will really miss No Name.

  • It will be different for certain, fare thee well No Name.

    It was learning about the growing animosity that made me accept and stop fighting to get Xerx’ses back. Even this small stint of his return feels vastly different. It’s to finish a task and return nothing more or less. Xerx’ses can help his former comrades here without hesitation so he chooses to do so. How those still among CrIsis feel about him is not lost on him. His time is over in that regard.

    • There was not meant to be any animosity present in this log. It was simply two comrades opening up to each other followed by some small talk/ light gossip to try and lighten the mood.

  • This conversation came about as a fun unexpected bit of side RP with The Man Who Once Had No Name. I’ve been holding onto this log since before we fought Terosh. Dream gave himself partial amnesia with this conversation so that The Man’s name and where his spirit resides couldn’t be picked from his mind.

    This conversation fed heavily into how Dream handled No Name’s revelation of his insanity after Terosh. Internally, Dream was highly concerned that rejecting the undead would mean unwittingly rejecting No Name. If Indaris had rolled the chance to talk to Dream before he left then Dream would have ultimately shared this conversation and secret with him in an effort to get Indaris to stay and understand why we couldn’t just outright reject the inclusion of undeath. This was also why Dream didn’t just immediately check for and clear the insanity from No Name. What seemed obviously odd to everyone else was seen very differently by Dream.

    It feels good to finally get this out after all this time!

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