Some times my dad would tell an old tale, usually at night when the fear of the dark was at its highest. It was an ancient tale of the dwarven kings. He always claimed it was the at the dawn of the first age of dwarves.
He would set the tale in a small town. He would give it a lively atmosphere with children playing on cobbled streets and shop keepers tending their stalls. All would be well and shiny.
One night though someone went missing and no one noticed, but the town drunk, of course no one would believe his mad ramblings about a ghostly figure in the darkness. As more and more people started to vanish from the streets his ramblings got more and more scared.
The drunk would ask was why can you not see it? It follows you home. Do something! Run! However the people would only go about their day and ignore the poor man and would not even acknowledge those that were gone.
Eventually he decided that he needed to do something about this monster. He sobered up, stole a key to the guard house and took a weapon and some meager armor. At first star the next night he set out hunting the beast that was stalking the streets; knowing that tomorrow he might be forgotten to. After the first pool of blood he came across he had come to the realization that there was nothing he could do. His training was too far gone and he could hardly wield a sword. He needed help, but who would believe him. He sought the help of the lord of a nearby town who laughed him away. From what he could tell on the faces of the other people the town whose insignia he wore was foreign to them. as if it never had existed.
He returned to his town to see that it was burnt to the ground, nothing remained.
A storm in the middle of the night, or a fire had destroyed everything. not even bodies remained.
My father could never continue the story from here, back then I never could really understand why. Now I do. The loss of someone is hard, but the loss of the memory of someone is some times harder. Having something that shares the memory of some one who knew you as a brother, but as hard as you might try you can not recall them. That is what pain really is. That is what fear really is. The Loss of Loss. How do you fight something that you cannot remember. Maybe what we need now is some music.
Rest in piece Maia, The bard whom we once knew. May you play songs for gods.
What we need is what the drunk had….sadly I never heard what caused him to be free of the monster’s grasp.
~Ren Guardsman of Caliminorn.