Darkest Dungeon 02: Journal of Nathan Boreas

It would appear that I erred in my earlier assessment. In my defense, I was absorbed by dread and utterly convinced that I was to die tonight. But instead of charging and lancing me through like a gutted fish, the stranger dismounted and pulled back his worn hood. And when that young face was revealed to me, I almost succumbed to weeping with joy. Instead of a scurvy cutthroat or surly highwayman, it was young Daniel who stared back at me. I had seen him a few times before, though we never spoke much. My father paid him to be a man-at-arms, not to talk the day away. Not even with me.

Despite the dreadful rain, he shot me a cheery smile. “Fine weather this night, is it not?” The audacity! I recovered from my initial surprise and retorted with a suitable aristocratic scowl. Within the span of but a few heartbeats, the man had dropped his smile and adopted a more deferential stance. Seeing him suitably cowed, I then proceeded to shake some information out of him. He started rattling off some story on how he had seen the commotion and decided to track me down. It appeared that my father did not send him after me. I could care less truth be told. My interest only extended as far as the loaded sacks, dangling from his saddle. Just the thought of some food made my stomach growl.

 

I declared that I had no intention of returning to the manor and that he would be a fool to try and convince me otherwise. The oaf gave me a quizzical look. Blessed with powerful muscles, not with a powerful brain. Overpowering me wouldn’t even make him break a sweat, should he chose to pursue that course of action. But I was counting on his sense of loyalty and duty to refrain from acting against his social better. It worked. Hesitantly he told that he knew of a coaching inn not too far up the road. I leapt at the chance to be out of the drizzle and get some warm food in my gullet. The fact that it was in the other direction of the Boreas estate only served to sweeten the deal. Before long, I was back in the saddle, racing towards this haven.

When we arrived, I naturally assumed that the young man was trying to pull off some sort of cruel joke. The inn, if one can call such a ramshackle excuse of a building an inn, seemed like something out of a nightmare. The worn roof was pockmarked with holes and most (if not all!) windows were either cracked or broken. Even the lanterns swayed droopingly in the wind, as if in a state of extreme melancholy. On the whole, it seemed as if the building wanted to collapse in on itself but lacked the energy to actual accomplish it. Displeased, I raised this issue with my squire, who could only shrug his shoulders apologetically. Cursing him and all his kind under my breath, I stomped off and nearly kicked down the rotten front door.

The innkeeper and the guests stared at me as I blundered in. I had only encountered these dregs of humanity once when I was forced to pass the night in a commoner establishment. One look and I felt history repeating itself once more. The smell did not help either. A mixture of stale sweat, unwashed bodies and the acrid odor of fresh rain mingled together to assault my nostrils with incredible force. I was forced to hold my wet handkerchief to my nose lest I faint on the spot.

I called for the bartender to tend to our horses and then serve us with a hot meal and fine ale. To my surprise, he refused! The nerve of the man! It is that rebellious streak that divides the commoners from the nobility. If only we could get rid of the whole lot … Perhaps this new plague that I have been hearing about just might do it … But, back to the innkeeper.

The man refused, citing ill-health and the demonic downpour. I yelled at him, venting my outrage with almost religious fervor. The piggish man with his bulbous red nose simply snorted in reply and pointed out that this was his inn and thus, his castle. We were free to leave if we did not approve of the situation. I was about to explode with outrage when suddenly my young companion stepped forward and volunteered to tend to the horses himself. In one fluid motion, he reached in a small sack hanging from his belt and threw two gold coins at the innkeeper. The old fart grinned at the small fortune, nodded and then disappeared in what I would assume was the kitchen. Still fuming, I sat myself on a chair nearest to the door. I felt eyes reaching out from across the room and I searched them out. One slender men, half concealed by shadow. Two coachmen, one stuffing himself with some sort of sausage, the other snoring on folded arms. Three souls, all in all. I kept my neck on a swivel. One cannot trust ruffians.

We didn’t talk much as we wolfed down our food. The meat was abysmal and the ale barely fit for the gutter, but it would make me get through the night. Discreet as he was, the young man-at-arms refrained from inquiring too much about my recent … falling-out with my father. He did, once we had settled down, inquire as to what my plans were though. I had not given much thought on what to do next. I assumed I could ride south and meet an old friend. Without supplies or coin though … I read that a man can survive up to a week without food, but I am not to sure whether that applies to a steed as well.

Mistaking my brooding silence for a sign, the young one piped up. Prattling on and on on how my father would forgive me and that all would be well, he did. My mind was weary from the past events and in order to escape his naivety, I declared that I was tired and that I would retire for the night. The boy just nodded and sent for the innkeeper to show me our quarters. Now I sit here, on a flea-ridden bed, already scratching at my skin. The proprietor had claimed that this was his finest room, but considering his leer and common uprising, I am quite convinced that this was just his way of exacting revenge. I am restless and cannot wait to speed away from here. I will not be returning to my father’s estate, that much is certain. The best way to accomplish that is by going through with my original plan. I will go to Sven Marksson at Umber and spend some time with a more sympathetic and, more importantly, intelligent spirit. And then … who knows?

I will have to move quickly though. If the boy finds out, he will be on my tail and I can do without his incessant nagging. When the sun comes creaking through the dusty glass, I shall make my way downstairs and head off with both horses. Stonebridge is not too far from here and I am sure that one of the peasants will be happy to buy one of the horses off me. Should fetch me enough supplies to reach Umber, I believe. The lad will have to walk back home, but he is used to that. He is a commoner, after all.

Advertisements

Darkest Dungeon 01: Journal of Nathan Boreas

My name is Nathan Boreas. I am the first and only son of John Boreas and the heir apparent to the Boreas Estate. Though we might not be counted amongst the largest noble families or the wealthiest, our lineage is long and strong. It is my destiny to become the next Lord Boreas. Every waking moment was spent to prepare myself for that goal, both physically and mentally. After tonight’s heated discussion with my father though … I fear for a few cracks in that glorious future. Even now, his barbed insults linger like kisses on a cheek. I fought back of course, as it is expected of a young scion. But in the end, my own tongue struggled to keep up with the incessant barrage. His anger-infested words slammed home, one after another, each fueling my righteous anger. The resulting blaze eventually consumed my ability to speak with clarity and dignity.

How could the fool not see what he was doing? He desired too much, too fast. We were dabbling in matters that should not be taken lightly. Yes, we can harness it. Yes, we can use it to our advantage. But one must learn to crawl before leaping across the abyss. Careful analysis, limited experimentation, that is the way forward. As sound as my arguments are, it was all for naught. In the end, my own fury had gotten the better of me and I saw no further recourse but to storm off, away from him. Mother had tried to intervene and mediate, as she is wont to do, but the both of us brushed her wisdom aside without nay a thought.

Slamming the doors behind me did aid in bleeding away the frustration. Father always spoke fondly of his precious doors. The exquisite carvings, the fine treatment of unyielding wood… on and on he went about it. The man is a fool for squandering my rightful inheritance on these trivial material items. Real power lies with knowledge, not fancy doors or shiny baubles. But try to get that notion through his thick skull! As my cheeks burned with indignation, I raced to pack my belongings and saddle my horse. At the back of my head, logic tried to reason with me. It knew I was being rash, acting without my typical restraint. But stubbornness and a bruised ego held it at bay. And thus, I spurred my horse on and drove it through the marbled gate, into the night beyond.

I was too preoccupied to notice the telltale glows of the village lights. Nor did I see Fat Albert until my mount nearly ran him over. The heavy man barreled out of the way in the nick of time, his curses trailing on the wind as I pressed on. As I am scribbling this down, I feel a slight pang of remorse. Fat Albert wasn’t a bad man, always kind to all. Not too bright in the brain cavity, but then again, none of the simpletons that passed for citizens in Blackmoor were. Even Father Grimaldus, supposedly the representative of God on His Earth, struggled with deciphering the complex “black blots on the paper pages”. I have never put much stock in religion because of damned fools like Grimaldus. If he only knew what my father and I were up to this past year … he would have had us all burned at the stake.

How fitting then that my escape seemed to make even the Penultimate Greybeard In The Sky look down and frown on my escapades. The heavens burst open and hurled a dastardly downpour to the land of mortals, soaking me to the bone in the process. Navigating the narrow paths leading out of the moor proved a challenge on a good day. Doing it by night during a roaring deluge is something reserved for the mentally insane. The last thing I wanted was to suddenly drop, horse and all, in one of those black holes of nightmare.

As I was too far out from Blackmoor, I sought shelter underneath a rocky overhang while the sky continued to wail on me. My hands fumbled about in my soaked pack and I found my flint and tinder. The torch I snagged from the saddle bag. Once the wax was aflame, I took stock of the remaining items I brought with me. My heart sank quickly. Besides flint and tinder, I had the (now ruined) book by alchemist Nicolas Flamel, a few ingredients in sealed containers, some clammy pieces of paper, ink and a rough map of my country. All items befitting of my status as a well-off scholar, of course. Sadly, more mundane items were absent. Even the finest scholars need food to eat or gold to purchase tomes of knowledge. Not to mention that dry clothes are preferable to wet ones. It seems that I will have to return to the estate. The thought of having to grovel before my father ties a knot in my stomach, but I have no ch

 

Someone is approaching. And I am without arms to defend myself. Curse my folly.

Darkest Dungeon 00: Index

Part 01: Journal of Nathan Boreas

What is Darkest Dungeon?

Darkest Dungeon is a hard-core RPG about the stresses of dungeon crawling. You will lead a band of four heroes on a perilous side-scrolling descent, dealing with a prodigious number of threats to their bodily health, and worse, a relentless assault on their mental fortitude! Five hundred feet below the earth you will not only fight unimaginable foes, but famine, disease, and the stress of the ever-encroaching dark. Darkest Dungeon focuses on the humanity and psychological vulnerability of the heroes and asks: What emotional toll does a life of adventure take?

Darkest Dungeon is not a game where every hero wins the day with shiny armor and a smile. It is a game about hard trade-offs, nearly certain demise, and heroic acts. Prepare to experience an RPG like nothing you have played before. (Source: Darkest Dungeon website)

More information on Darkest Dungeon (DD) can be found on the official website and the kickstarter page.

What is Before the Dark?

Before the Dark is a fanfiction shortstory, set in the Darkest Dungeon universe. As seen in the House of Ruin trailer, the Lord of the Estate wrote back to his heir, begging him to return and reclaim his birthright. This story will follow in the footsteps of that lost heir. Why did he leave the estate? What happend during his absence? Will he return? Readers will learn all this and more. Before the Dark will also provide the prologue to a future After Action Report. This AAR will commence once Darkest Dungeon is officially released.