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*Journal of a Guardsman in Yew* [Grd - Europa]

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#1
Nathaniel Hawk

Nathaniel Hawk

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Sunday the 18th of October.

Identity.


Today the division I've been so proud and in awe of being part of was disbanded. The Captain claimed that this was neccessairly as the division lacked leadership and organisation. As much as I agree to this, I cannot help to feel the sadness lingering in my heart.

I thought I had it all figured out. Being a marksman was not only a uniform, but a way of living. I did not do more than required of me, which left me with much more time for the things I enjoyed... reading... hunting... training my wolves. With the calmness around Yew, this was exactly what I had planned to live and die. I had no ambitions to continue further than to reach my old rank of an accepted marksman.

With the generalisation of the Yewish guardsman, we marksmen stood there to prove otherwise. That we're not only a bunch of brutes, thinking with no more than our weapons.

Now I'm lost. I'm told to put on the uniform of an Ironarm. How am I to adapt to the mentality of the Ironarms? People I have nothing in common with... Only time will tell...

#2
Nathaniel Hawk

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Sunday the 24th of October.

Acceptance and lodging..


I've been preforming the duties of an Ironarm for a week now. And I have to say its beginning to grow on me. As some of the old marksmen seem to remain with their utter dislike towards what happened to us, I've seem to have grown to accept it. In the Ironarms uniform I've come to realise several things.

We had only ourselves to blame for losing our divison. We were to proud, and too self-centric, without anyone with the ambition to see us move forward. We were all attending to our own business and having our own goals. This is something I've learnt from and found great humility within.

I'm finding myself more appealed to the duties of an ironarm. Foremost the training of the junior guardsmen. At times it's easier to teach the youngsters, as they seem more willing to listen. If I'm able to form them into honourable guardsmen rather than the general brutes we see amongst the ranks, I believe I've achieved something.

I feel I'm changing. Both in the way I treat my fellow guardsmen, along with what I think of them. The duties I preform makes me feel useful, and that I matter. Something I've not really felt while being a marksman.

There seems to have been a wave of new and very potential recruits. I've decided to form a junior course for them. Hopefully this will not be interrupted. After all, peace have remained in Yew for so long. Which I'm nothing but glad for.

Ma'am Walker have allowed me to stay in the guestroom of her house until I've found my own place. Since my house was raided and burnt to the ground by brigands during my longer trip to Nujel'm, I haven't really bothered with finding a new place. During summer, I do enjoy what the wilderness have to offer. Hence I've spent many nights camping by myself with my wolves. Yet, in the winter, camping becomes more of a burden than an enjoyment. Ma'am Walker didn't want a monthly payment for the lodging, instead I've offered to cleave the wood for her, something I tend to each morning now. She's a good hearted lady, it's a shame to have heard about her unfortunate happenings with the waywatchers and her husband. It saddens me to see how she so unwillingly wears her uniform in the morning. I wish there was something I could do to make her proud of wearing it again. But I fear such is a lost cause...

My search for a new spot to build my upcoming house have gone rather slow, there's been a lot to do with the rest of the militia, leaving me very fatigued after a day of duties. Yet, I shouldn't put this to side. Knowing how rumours spread within Yew, I wouldn't want anyone to aim false rumours against myself or Ma'am Walker. She certainly would do better without them. Hence I will need to find something as soon as possible.

Time to put on the armor and head out in the rain once more.... it's strange... I'm actually looking forward to it.



#3
Nathaniel Hawk

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Sunday the 27th of November.

Plague..

Only within a few days the plague had spread almost in every corner of Yew, we had to take several actions in order to at least get some control of it. People were burnt... houses were burnt... some believe that the only cure that can be found is the one of purity through fire. Our actions is nothing I take pride in, but nonetheless I find them needed. And as a result we've managed to get parts of Yew rather safe from the plague.

The filth that I've witnessed will however never escape my memory. The infected have several times tried to infect me my vomiting, spitting and bleeding onto me. Yet my shield have saved me several times. Now there's even rotten corpses that attacks us... and if we set them on fire, they blow up, covering everything with their moist flesh. Its been several nights now that both myself and other guardsmen have been exposed to their fluids. And I find it quite strange that only one guardsman have been infected so far. Might be because of the facial protection.

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We've managed to seal us off as good as possible, yet Stonekeep keeps getting pounded heavily by the beasts of the infected ones. For one night, I thought I could finally relax in the baths. Yet, remaining concerned I decided it was better if I drank water than anything else. Which was a good decision as the covians showed up and made sure to tell us how awful we were for taking a night off. Right after they'd done that, the Captain came rushing from Stonekeep saying there was a horde of beasts that had invaded. "Great..." I thought to myself. And promised myself that it'd be the last time I leave Stonekeep to go off duty until the plague is over. United with the Covians, who had been sent to us in interest of their Council, we started cleaning the area up from all certain beasts. We made sure they received same facial protection as we had.

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We managed to fight off the beasts, however the following days proved to become even worse than before. The landscape seemed to have started to take effect of the plague as well. Pits of mushy gore and blood have started to appear in various places of Stonekeep. The only thing we could do was to fill it with some dirt, which was something myself and trainee Cox attended to for a whole day. I hope these anomalies won't be lasting. I do fear the worse...

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Our food and bandage stashes had been ruined. Somehow an infected managed to slip into the safe-house and vomit allover the supplies. Due to this I was ordered to lead an expedition to gather some fresh meat. It seemed that the plague hadn't managed to reach beyond the shame passage. This is where I found the leathers for the facial protection gear. So I could only assume that the meat that could be found there was still untouched by the plague. An expedition was sent out to gather the food needed. To my notice, it seemed that a drow had been assigned by the church, to make up for her sins. I saw the opportunity to use her as a packhorse. We managed to get over a hundred pieces of meat, which was not much considering how many bellies they had to feed. But at least it was enough for a day or two.

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We're still unsure what happened with the Emerald Coast. Such an explosion is something I've never witnessed before. And what we found on our way there is something that will haunt me forever. Could it have been the infected? What was its purpose? These are questions I have difficulties with.

The struggle continues, we have several standing orders that needs to be completed. There's rumors that someone have found the recipe for serpentwyne... this is the only hope we have for those infected. If only the process of finding it could go faster...

#4
Nathaniel Hawk

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Wednesday the 1st of December.

Infected...

Today I took some of the trainees out to gather some samples. What I thought would be an easy task, soon enough proved to be the complete opposite. I made trainee Frost take command, as I thought he could do with some leadership training.

As we passed the east outpost we could already begin to hear the howls from the infected. And soon enough, we were all under constant attack. They came from several directions of the forest, with all 4 of us standing back to back, I still found it difficult to know exactly where the attacks came from. The trainees fought well however. I suddenly felt something sharp penetrating my leg, followed by a knock to my head. Making me pass out for a small moment. When I finally came to, I noticed how my left leg was aching as hell. Taking a closer look I soon enough a wound that was covered in blood and mucus.

It took a while before we started to retreat, and the pressure on the trainees was very large. We managed to get past the east outpost, when another trainee fell unconscious to the ground. This was when I pulled myself up and told them all to stick close to me. Everyone being pretty battered we limped our way towards Stonekeep.

It was not far from the crossroads we were attacked for a third time. This time we used all our last efforts to fend the infected off. And soon enough, they were all beaten to the ground.

Samples were collected from the still corpses, and we quickly headed back to safehouse in Stonekeep to tend to our wounds. The trainees seemed to be fine, however my leg was a different story. The gash was deep, and it was covered in fluids from the infected. I quickly headed to the healers once the situation was safe, giving the samples to Killian while heading there. When I arrived, I puked blood allover the floor. The healers looked at me as I was already dead, and cleaned my wound.

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Limping back to the keep I soon enough told Killian to place me in quarantine.


#5
Nathaniel Hawk

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Infected day 1.

I'd never image it would come to this. I can feel my body beginning to rot from the inside. The amounts of vomit I've puked today. The bits of flesh that I've felt scraping up my throat as the fluids came up. This was not supposed to be how my time ends. There was too many things that I've left incomplete.

My beautiful daughter, oh how I hope you've found safety. I've never been present in your current lifetime but there does not go a moment when I don't think of you. The parenthood I'd offer would had been vague to what you currently have. And not to speak of, we'd both be burned if anyone had found out the truth. It was for the best that you were raised in a house of higher standards. Because that is what you deserve.

But now it saddens me. That a blessing like you is an experience I've missed out on. Neither is it something I'll ever get the chance to live again. You were my first miracle... now I'm in need of a second...


#6
Nathaniel Hawk

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Infected day 3.


Since I've gotten the infection, I've started to pray, each day. Last night my prayers were answered. An angel came to me, wings burning like the most intense inferno. The heat burned on my decaying skin. And engulfed the rest of the cell. I was forced to cover my face. The pain was unexplainable and went through my whole body. I wretched on the ground as the pain was added by a loud screeching scream. Then suddenly.... it all disappeared.

I'm still unsure what to make of this... was it a sign from the Higher being? Or ... perhaps a sign of the Guardian...

I must continue praying...


Infected day 4.

My meditation is no longer helping me. I feel the infection starting to take grip of my sanity... voices.... voices everywhere. I must shut them out! I cannot eat, I cannot sleep. All I feel is that I need to get out! Out from this fucking cage! They keep me locked in as a beast. Why? I'm still sane. Wait... I put myself in here, why did I put myself in here?...I'm infected, that's right. Why do I feel so vibrant then? Nothing's wrong with me... perhaps it was only the flu. I feel as strong as ever, like I could lift boulders twice the size of myself! I'm sure I'll be able to break through this cage tomorrow...

#7
Nathaniel Hawk

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Recovery day 1.

I didn't know what was actually occurring. But suddenly I was tied to a chair, and had several people staring at me. I struggled to keep myself in sanity, the voices had become screams within my head. Waiting for my essence to succumb to the insanity of the infection. All I heard was mumbles, I've already lost my body to the infection. Many of the people surrounding me looked at me as if I was beyond hope.

My head was forced back, and my mask was removed. I could see many disgusted faces once it was removed. I probably wouldn't want to see myself in the mirror sometime soon. My mouth was forced open, and Father Julian filled my gob with some liquid from a vial. The taste was bitter, very bitter. I forced it down with the remaining control I had of my body.

I began cramping allover my body. Noticing how my limbs started to shake tremendously. Then it all became dark for a while. And I'd lie if I say that I didn't think that my time was over. I felt the urge to breath which was my only focus. I suddenly came to my senses with a long gasp for air.

I could already feel that I've begun taking control of the rest of my body. The voices had also become quite dense and only remained in murmurs. Fatigue came over me. And no wonder, as I hadn't slept for several days. After exchanging a few words with Nathan Hawke, I was brought back to my cell. Where I instantly fell into deep slumber.


Recovery day 2.

Strange... as I woke today I felt re-vitalized and restless. I was still aching in my body. But the voices in my head no longer existent. I jumped up to my feet, moving the bookcase away from the window, peering out. The sun and snow covered surroundings blended me. But as much as it hurt, its beauty forced me to keep looking. It sure was a beautiful sight.

I noticed my uniform was laying in the corner dented and stained in various places. I decided to give it a good cleanup. Now it shimmers brightly as ever. I couldn't bare myself from putting it on.

It felt good. I moved over to the window bars again, sticking my nose out to take a deep breath of fresh air. The odour that currently lingered in the cell is nothing that I'm too comfortable with. I need to get out, back to duty. And I need to do so now.

I've laid helplessly on the ground for several days. Unable to think clearly. Now its time for my recovery, and I do my best to train whatever parts of me that have been weakened during this last week.

I've been granted mercy by the lord and his men. The cure was my salvation. Brought to me by the hand of the faithful. I will make sure to spend the rest of my living days serving Him and the church better than I've been before. In an everlasting gratitude.

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#8
Nathaniel Hawk

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Avatarmass.

While we were permitted on leave, I decided to set sail for my hometown. The journey was not without complications though. Even after the first day on sea we encountered several pirate ships along with merchants and orcs. Orcs! It has surely been a while since I saw them at sea. In conclusion, the sea have become much more populated than I remember. I taught quite a lot regarding naval battles during my way home, and Ahmed, the Captain of the ship and my old friend from the trading company days who I had arranged to travel with made sure to refresh my memories regarding seamanship.

Quite a few people were lost at sea during those days of sailing. Not only in the battles. But also at nighttime. The crewmen blamed mermaids luring the seamen into the depths of the ocean. Others claimed they jumped to save themselves from the infection, which seemingly they believed anyone from Yew carried. I saw a hint of worry in Ahmeds eyes when these rumors started. I myself understood that mutiny was something a Captain would rather avoid. To ease some of their minds I promised to hold a great feast at the evening of our arrival. On me and my family's account. Yet a few still remained skeptical.

The days went on, and I began to feel quite fond of the life at sea. Not that it was all a joyride, I made sure to take my part helping out as a crewmen. Ahmed approached me one evening to ask about my well being. Which I thought was a rather odd question as I felt as strong as an ox. He replied: "That's just it Nathaniel... you haven't slept for 4 days.. and yesterday morning I noticed how you hauled up the anchor.... by yourself! That thing usually requires 5 persons to raise! You should be glad nobody else saw you but me..." there was nothing I could reply to this that made it sound logical other than act out a sudden fatigue and head down to the lodgings.

That night I couldn't sleep. I sat by the edge of my bed, gazing down at the grayish looking wound I received from the infected soon more than two months ago. I could feel the blood rushing through my veins at the speed of light. Yet my heart beat no faster than a regular man. I was not tired. But I should be tired. 4 days without sleep? Ahmed must surely have been wrong. Yet, I do remember 4 sun-setting evenings. And 4 breaking dawns. I took another look at the wound, stroking my hand over it. Feeling suddenly aroused from the touch of my own hand. I suppressed the feeling, clutching my hand back to the edge of the bed. "What was wrong with me..?". The energy, the strength, the sensitivity... is this the result? Was the cure not strong enough? No, this was something else. It's a blessing from the higher being himself! It must be, why else would he send Pyros to visit me on my dying bed? Or one of his servants to aid me with the cure? My mind was spinning, and in the end I started to do press ups until I got tired. I don't know how many it took, but eventually I fell asleep.

The morning had already dawned when I opened my eye. "Land in sight!" the man in the crows nest shouted. I took my clothes on and headed up on deck, where I was met by the warm winds of Nujel'm stroking my cheeks. In the far distance the city silhouettes were becoming more clearer, and a feint shine could be seen coming from the marble palace.

It was strange to see home again. Not much had changed during my years of absence. The bazaar was still crowded with people. The scent from the spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits was still the same scent that I could remember over 40 ago. Time surely has gone by fast, but I do not feel old. Most of the ones you dared to call "friends" had traveled away, or passed on.

My thoughts were interrupted by someone calling for me. It was Berbas my cousin, who also had gotten a few gray strands amongst the white hair. "Come with me! They're waiting for you!" he said hurriedly, yet I told him I'd first be paying my respect to the resting ones. Otherwise I'd never get out of the festivities with the relatives and friends of the family to do so. He nodded understandingly to me and told me to come to the theater as fast as I could.

The road towards the crypts was dead and quiet, who had time to visit their ancestors when there's so much festivities to prepare? My mothers and fathers crypt was well tended to, which made me glad to see. Seemed like people had still not forgotten our status here. I had to stop right before entering the crypt. Perhaps I had become stronger physically from the infection... yet facing my parents was something that required more than that.

As I stepped inside, there was an odor of death, shame and hatred. But also love. If it had not been for the filth laying next to mother I would most likely have enjoyed the visit. I will never find forgiveness for what he did. And now she's laying next to the man who brought death upon her. Nobody believed me when I tried to tell them as a child. I remember every day I had attempted to tell that my father had killed my mother, was followed with a night of severe beating. While I stood there, I surely wanted him to rise from his death, so that I could knock him back into the grave again. My stomach had already turned a few times from the perverted mix of emotions which had been forced upon me. I placed a rose on my mothers grave before turning my back, heading out again to the fresh air, to freedom. Much alike the freedom I felt when I left Nujel'm 30 years ago. I filled my lungs to escape the haunting emotions, but failed utterly, and found myself hurling a bit away from the entrance. Casting a last look at the crypt. "I hope you burn good in the abyss..."

The festivities had already begun. Filled with several different relatives, citizens and the crew of Ahmeds ship. All who used to be puppets for my father. I remember hoping that they had some strong liquor to try and make me forget the evening in total.

As I don't recall anything from last night. I guess they did.

The ship sets out back to Yew tonight. Although, after what Ahmed discovered and with his crewmens suspicions. I've had to find someone else to take me along.