Memoirs of Hysteria-A Terrible Decision is Made.

Taking this story back to where in the timeline it was before, the last two Hysteria posts were out of order and later in the story.  For the posts in proper timeline order, please refer to the order in the menu. This occurs after Memoirs of Hysteria, Wherein a Cat Speaks Very Fast.  Thanks for reading! Please feel free to share if you enjoy.


Out of breath, red faced, dripping sweat, smelling like a man desperately in need of a bathing, Lord Antoine Lua, Lordling of Hysteria, prideful protectorate of the Lily Dynasty, collapsed and sunk into the multi cushioned seat beside the giant-sized gilded throne. Why beside it? Less anyone forgets that none are above the greatness of the Flower Emperor. Except if one were a god or goddess.

A tall, lanky court herald enters through the extravagantly carved throne room doors. Pi has a perpetual smirk on his face, sharing a private joke with himself, though he’s unaware of this.

“Lord Antoine, I announce the arrival of Lady Kaliana, who comes in response to your request for an advisor.” Pi bows, and scurries to a corner of the room to be forgotten for the next eight or so hours.

Cue the arrival of such a being to challenge the rule of the Flower Emperor, though all present knew not. Trailed closely by her foul-tempered compatriot and stoic manservant, Lady Kaliana appears to hover a mere inch above the tiled floors. This alarmed the two knights that flanked the empty throne, Knight Captain Roas and Knight Mentor Kanti, though they showed no sign of their inner turmoil. Having risen through the ranks during Gilgamesh’s reign, the two had seen enough oddities that compartmentalizing the unreal had become second nature.

Ji, upon its perpetual black cloud, suddenly speeds ahead of Kali and Tin Fiddle, stopping directly in front of Antoine. It leans its head forward, black-skinned snout sniffling loudly as it deeply inhales Antoine’s salty fumes. Before the pair of knights can respond to any perceived threat, Ji has spun around on the spot, nods towards Lady Kaliana, and zooms out of the room, slamming the doors behind its exit.

Tin Fiddle, his perpetual scowl upon his face, his storm-cloud eyes focused on nothing, yet taking in everything, sees no threat to his mistress (although he notices an oddly patterned feline chewing on paper among the ceiling beams). He bows deeply to Lady Kaliana, completely ignoring the lordling and his knights, then takes his place to her right, arms crossed, hands hovering over hidden pommels.

Lady Kaliana flashes a ridiculously white smile towards the sitting nobleman and bobs a slight curtsy. She then offers a perfectly manicured hand, palm down, to Antoine, who stares down at the proffered hand, confused.


Tin Fiddle’s head is now on swivel, regarding everything, and speaks from the side of his mouth, as he stares up at the cat sitting in the rafters. “A nobleman kisses a lady’s hand, given the opportunity.”

Antoine gulps nervously and manages to blabber out, “But I’ve never even heard of her! And who are you to even make demands of one of my stature?”

The manservant goes still, then growls. “Her Lady Kalinia, Blessed of the Maker, graced with His Wisdom, of the Autumn’s Embrace, has traveled a distance greater than you can fathom, to answer your call for advice worthy of your ’empire’.” Tin Fiddle’s suddenly flat and almost lifeless eyes now bore into the Lordling’s. “Show some respect.”

The lordling, sweating even more profusely than before he sat down, stands and approaches the lady. As he reaches an arms length away, Lady Kaliana pulls back, and sniffs in disdain.

“Sir, you wreak something terrible. I would suggest next time you run your ten laps that you bathe before entertaining a guest.”

Antoine mutters something indistinguishable.



Lady Kaliana arches a thin eyebrow. “Twenty what?”

“I sprinted twenty laps around this bloody city, I’ll have you know!” Antoine exclaims, then points an accusing finger at his Knight Captain. “This vile soldier ordered me to, and then demanded I greet you right away!”

Slowly shaking her head, Knight Captain Roas frowns. “No, sir, I told you to bathe afterwards. You said that you were ready to meet your guests.”

Antoine stamps his foot down in frustration. “Damnit, Captain, I will do as I please! I rule this protectorate!”

Lady Kaliana smiles endearingly. “As we can all see, your Lordling, you rule with such grace. Like my dear manservant has said, I am here only to offer my services in guiding your protectorate to its fullest potential.”

Antoine returns to his seat, rests his chin in his hand, and stares suspiciously at the beautiful woman before him. “I see. And what do you require in return, dear Lady?”

The would-be advisor reaches into the purse tied to her belt, and pulls out a piece of parchment. (At the sound of crinkling paper, Annie the cat’s ears perk up.) “Please, sir, approve this document for me, and with your signature, I will be at your beck and call.” She winks, an obscenely flirtatious gesture.

Antoine blushes deeply. “A-a-and your pet monkey and manservant as well?”

Lady Kaliana’s mouth turns down in distaste. “Ji is not a monkey. Ji is a…diplomat of its’ people. Please refrain from referring to my associate as such.”

“My deepest apologies.”

“As for them being available to you, unfortunately that is not negotiable. But please, be assured that everything that they do is in my best interest.” She hands the parchment over to the lordling, who begins perusing over it. (Soft purring can be heard from above.)

Lordling Antoine produces a pen from the inner breast pocket of his robe, then hurriedly signs it. He returns the pen to its home, hands the document to Knight Mentor Kanti, then grins idiotically and claps his hands together. “I now pronounce you my advisor!”

Lady Kaliana’s tone turns cold. “Excellent, then I will begin with tasking your workers in building a residence for me across from the city cemetery. I will let you know when I am ready to begin the tasks of my post.” Neglecting to curtsey, she turns on her heel, and glides silently to exit the room. She stops at the doors, impatient, and yells at the herald, Pi. “Open the doors, cretin!”

Pi shakes himself from his daydreams, and scrambles to open the doors. Lady Kaliana then exits. Tin Fiddle, nearly glaring, shakes his head at the man in the chair, glances up at the cat, then follows suit.

Knight Mentor Kanti is staring in disbelief at the document in her hands, then shows it to Knight Captain Roas beside her, who chokes.

“You signed this?”

Antoine nods. “I did! My signature is right there at the bottom!”

“Do you even understand what she asks for?”


Knight Captain Roas’ face reddens in anger. “Then are you insane?”

“The royal therapist may have mentioned something along those lines…but no, I am sound of mind. I appreciate your concern though!”


Antoine taps a finger to his temple. “Although some of the wording was a little difficult to comprehend at points…”

Knight Captain Roas shoves the paper back into Knight Mentor Kanti’s hands, and rushes from the room, murderous thoughts in her mind. Knight Mentor Kanti looks down, unbelieving at the accursed thing.

“You know what this means, right, sir?”

“Not a clue.”


“She seemed trustworthy.”

“You just met her!”

“So? I consider myself an exemplary judge of character.”

Knight Mentor Kanti represses a scream. “You didn’t even ask her qualifications.”

“Not necessary!” Lordling Antoine raises a finger in a victorious gesture. “She has an exquisite simian associate who rides upon a cloud and a terrifying manservant! Only important people have these!”

The soldier mutters under her breath. “I can’t see why this empire is sprinting towards dis-”

“Pardon? Speak up!”

“Nothing, Lord.”

Memoirs of Hysteria-The Hawk with the Desert Rose

Check out the first entry of the Memoirs here!

One short one to follow up the other because I’ve fallen behind. ALSO. Favorite quote from the Malazan series.


To say he was out of place would not necessarily be wrong, for some of the people fleeing and screaming past him gave the briefest of consideration as to why a drunk homeless man was reclining against the burning tavern’s outer wall, his arms wrapped tightly around a clay jar of sour wine. He drummed his fingers along the container, playing a marching tune that had not been heard in the Protectorate of Hysteria for the last half century. The drunk tipped the jar back and finished the liquid contents, then wiped the alcohol from his lips with a dirty sleeve.

“You told me I would be done with this shit,” he muttered to no one in particular. “Told me I wouldn’t have to deal with any of the,” he spits the next word, “ injustices anymore.” The homeless man smashed the pot upon the cobblestones in anger.

“Gilgamesh!” he shouted at the flames surrounding him. “You asshole, you promised me that if I just sat here and drank to oblivion, I would know peace until the end of my days!” He stood up, wobbling for a moment before finding his balance unaided.

“This is the absolute last fucking time I clean up a mess for this God’s damned empire.”

The suddenly sober man glared down at the tattooed hawk inked onto the inside of his right wrist. In its claws it clutched a desert rose.

“I’m tired of this Hero shit!”, the man screamed.

He exhaled deeply, began to inhale and coughed as the poisonous smoke entered his lungs. Scowling, he spat the toxic taste out of his mouth, then raised his right hand to his mouth. He sank a sharpened canine tooth deep into the flesh between his thumb and forefinger, then squeezed the wound to let the blood flow freely. The odd man dipped his left index finger into the crimson liquid, then drew a line through the middle of the inked hawk upon his wrist. The blood suddenly boiled against his skin, but he was numb to it after all this time.

At first, only hinted at in the palm of his hand, a tiny sparkle briefly glanced, erupted into a blindingly bright light. He focused the light into a lance that legends had come to name the Ninth Weapon.

The man shrugged his ragged cloak from his shoulders and stood, lean, lithe and naked to the world. The radiance from the lance began to creep, spreading slowly over the hand clutching it. Surrendering to the light, he let the brilliance envelop his entire being.

Shining angelic wings unfurled. The Hero glanced at the five serpentine beasts dominating Hysteria’s flaming horizon.

“Fucking dragons.”

It would appear, my dear listeners, that one last Hero of the Lily Dynasty had neglected to shirk his duties.

Memoirs of Hysteria-Power Begets Power

Check out the first entry of the Memoirs here.

Hysteria burned. Flames flickered along the rooftops and city walls. High above the blaze, its serpentine body wrapped around the keep’s highest tower, an ivory white scaled dragon stayed motionless. To Bors nocturnal vision at this distance, it appeared the beast wasn’t even breathing.

“It would appear someone has irked Yolavolys,” he commented.

Tin Fiddle snorted. “That’s an understatement.”

His troll companion shrugged. “I wonder what ignited her ire.”


Bors nodded to himself. “No surprise there. Is it known what he did this time?”

“He took her dinner away before she had finished.” Tin Fiddle smiled at the screams in the distance. “And here I thought Ji loved its meals the most. This is very entertaining.”

Bors continued to stare at the blazing living tableau set before him and the manservant. “Your Lady is going to be displeased that her city is aflame.”


“Shouldn’t you be assisting her in deescalating the situation?”

Tin Fiddle yawned, taking a seat upon the hilltop, leaning his back against the oak tree’s wide trunk. “You would assume so, wouldn’t you?” He pointed at four sets of coalescing lights taking place around Yolavolys. “I don’t feel like dealing with them.”

“And who are they?”

“The Four Points of the Celestial Body.”

Bors placed his deformed face in his gnarled hands. “You neglected to mention that Yolavolys was the Celestial Body.”

Tin Fiddle giggled like a mischievous boy. “I never did, did I?”


“You really have to stop hitting me.” The manservant pulled himself from the impression that his body had made in the tree’s trunk.

“You have to stop not informing me of the shitstorms you keep dragging me into,” Bors rebutted.

“That’s a matter of opinion,” Tin Fiddle contested.

Bors squinted at the lights as they began to take form. “So the four following her around all the time…”

“To be honest, I didn’t think I had to spell it out for you. You knew that Iris was a dragon. I figured you’d do the arithmetic.” Tin Fiddle looked to the four dragons that had finally materialized around Yolavolys.

The massive beasts had taken their place of protection in accordance with each one’s aspect. One hovered above the keep tower, its’ ice blue scales causing the air to begin steaming and fogging from the immense difference of temperature between it and the inferno below it.

“Shukshik the Northern Star.”

Tin Fiddle pointed at the second dragon who was almost indistinguishable from the flames it had begun to draw from its surroundings.

“Selena the Southern Star.”

The third dragon’s bronze, earthy scaled body coiled upon itself in the air to the east of Yolavolys.

“Anya the Eastern Star.”

Tin Fiddle smiled dumbly as he looked upon the fourth and final Point of the Celestial Body, emerald scales shining hauntingly.

“Iris the Western Star.”

“F-f-ive dragons?” Bors managed to stutter out.


Bors face adopted a thoughtful appearance. “I assume that this Alignment is nothing compared to last century’s…?”

“Kali says there’s never been a more potent Alignment ever seen.” Tin Fiddle picked up the pack that had flown from his back. He reached in and offered up a handful of candied walnuts to the troll. “Here, take a handful. This firework show isn’t even in full swing.”

“Oh.” Bors tossed his maul to the ground, took a seat beside his friend and had one of the offered snacks. The pair sat in silence for a few short minutes, nibbling upon their food. “I suddenly do not care,” Bors said around a crunchy mouthful, “about the fate of this city.”

“Me neither.”

“Why has your Mistress not compelled you yet? I thought her thirst for power would extend to wanting those five as trophies. Certainly-”

A blood chilling scream came from Tin Fiddle as he clutched at his abdomen.

Bors sighed. “There it is.” He looked up sharply at the sudden black cloud coming from the direction of the city’s graveyard. Focusing his eyes further, he saw that it was no cloud at all. “The Sister moves, I see.”

A pained breath escaped Tin Fiddle.


Boom. A sudden thunderbolt struck down from the sky, slamming into the baker’s district of the city. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Six more lightning strikes. Six more times they landed in the same destination. Bors bit his bottom lip nervously. “The Fallen rises.” He looked down at his friend. “What were you saying, Toernslaav?”

Another shot of pain ran through Tin Fiddle’s body. “I said, I’m going to-”

The sentence was cut off by the avalanche of dead brown and orange leaves falling from the tree above them. The warm summer night had turned to a crisp cold. The foliage along the hilltop had lost all moisture, dying in the span of an inhalation. A death tinged wind blew from the south, scattering the leaves from the troll and the man.

Tin Fiddle went still beside Bors, his laboured breaths and erratic spasms ceasing. Bors turned his head and was aghast at what he saw.

Where his lifelong friend had been, an apparition of shadow lay, staring straight up at the sky. The shadow of the man who was known now as Tin Fiddle, rose to a sitting position, then to his feet. The tattoo chains upon his right forearm had lengthened, and taken upon a solid form, leaving three feet of shadowy linked steel covering Tin Fiddle’s star metal hand. He reached his left arm forward in front of him into what he would later tell Bors was the Abyss. What he drew out from the realm of absolute nothingness, could only really be described as a weapon, dagger shaped, forged from, well, the idea of nothing.


Tin Fiddle slowly turned his face to Bors. His eyes were completely absent of life, turned to dead, black coals.

“I’m going to kill her.

Bors did not ask who her was.

“Have you ever wanted to murder a goddess, brother?” The thing that was Tin Fiddle, once, long ago, known as Toernslaav, did not wait for a response and took off sprinting down the hill towards Hysteria.

Never waste an opportunity.

The ogre-sized troll stood and reached down to pick up his trusted maul, taking the haft in one gnarled hand.

“No, brother, I never have.” He began taking long, loping strides to catch up to his friend, hoping to pull him back from the darkness that had overtaken him before catastrophe occurred.

If anyone listened close enough, through the screams of citizens burning, and fleeing their beloved homes, one may have caught the notes coming from a lute, the heart wrenching prelude of tragedy.

Let us pull back to gain a view of the painting as a whole, my captive audience. See, there, the impossibly tiny shadow driven to live on through Death by revenge, racing towards a city of legend ablaze, pursued by an ancient of the Earth bound to this shadow by ties stronger then blood. Upon the horizon, see the white serpent encircled by her eternal guardians, the Four Points of the Compass embodied. A hurricane of ravens snuffs flames and lives indiscriminately. Lightning strikes its step throughout the dying city. Autumn’s wind rushes towards the Celestial Body.

Isn’t the convergence of power a beautiful thing?

Memoirs of Hysteria-Drunk Philosophy

Steven Erikson’s philosophizing is most of the time thought provoking, although its weird how he has some average grunt soldier expounding upon some crazy shit. What follows here is not supposed to make sense. It’s exactly what happens when an extremely drunk person tries to be deep. Sometimes there’s a tiny bit of truth, but the rest, well, oh boy.


“Why,” asked the sufficiently inebriated village idiot, “do they always come in threes? I don’t understand it. Did the gods and goddesses all sit down at some elaborately carved and overtly gold encrusted and jeweled dinner table and come up with some universal rule?”

His drinking partner, a lad with considerably more active brain cells, stared at the ceiling, prepared for the philosophical ramblings that only a true drunkard came up with.

“I’ll tell you how it went, yes, I will. You see, there were all the pantheon having one of their monthly Godling meetings, right. And then one of them young gods just had to go and ask the question of how many people it took to cause the world changing events. And the Creator, well he became all excited and went overboard with making these rules. I tell ya, this is exactly how the conversation went:

“(The Creator nodded his head, allknowinglingly. That’s a word, damnit, don’t look at me like that) ‘Alright, since you’ve asked, my young friend, today we will determine the amount of people needed to cause sufficient change in the world.

(The young godling smiled optimistically). ‘For the better?’

‘No, for the worse.’

‘That’s not what I really meant when I suggested the topic…’

‘Bah, peaceful is boring! I need strife, turmoil and sweet, sweet suffering. Happiness is overrated.’

‘Um, I see your point, I guess. Can we approve the number needed to make the world a peaceful place though? Just in case your idea, slim may its chances be, causes some irreversible damage and everything ceases to exist.’

‘You’re not going to let this be, are you?’


(A booming sigh). ‘Fine. One person can bring the world back to its proper balance.’


‘But, only after they have been brought down to their lowest, suffered terribly, and have sacrificed everything they cared deeply for.’

‘That’s a bit extreme-‘

‘No more out of you! Your suggestion has been accepted.’

‘Who made you the boss?’

‘I did. I created everything.’

(A godling from the peanut gallery chips in). ‘He’s not wrong.’

(The young godling looks around the room for any support). ‘Death, do you not care about the severity of which He suggests?’


‘Oh. Does anyone here care?’

(The silence dominates the room).

(The Creator smirks). ‘Are you done with this whole caring about the well being of life and the world?’

‘It would appear so.’

‘Excellent! So back to this rule of three’s.’

‘Oh that’s the number we’re going with?’

‘Yes, stop interrupting. There shall be One who leads, One who is subservient, but only because they are given the freedom to fulfill all their whims and desires, while the last One is not given the choice to follow. This last One shall be able to choose to betray the One who leads if offered the opportunity.’

‘Wait, does that last part not defeat the purpose of having them together to end existence?’

‘It makes things interesting. Who knows what will occur?’

‘Can this third be the one who saves the world?’

(A thoughtful expression crosses the Creator’s face). ‘Why…Yes, possibly. I am taking a shine to this train of thought.’

‘But then you’re contradicting that your goal is for bad things to happen.’

(The Creator carries on, oblivious to the young god). ‘Or, this third, in betraying the One who leads, could be the combustion necessary to cause even more terrible acts then what would happen if the first were allowed to succeed.’

‘I didn’t suggest-‘

‘This wildcard makes everything much more interesting. Will the world be saved from disaster because of betrayal? Will trust be forsaken for individual gain? Will life as they know it take a sudden nosedive into the embodiment of evil?’

‘I thought people prayed to you to make things better. To save lives? For a world with no suffering?’

‘It’s not my fault for their misconceptions. They wrote their holy book. I didn’t.’

‘You’ve never corrected them.’

‘And they don’t blame me when everything goes to shit. Why would I?’

‘You are a horrible Creator.’

‘I create. There is no universal law that what I create is for positive or negative outcomes.’

‘I assumed…’

(Hiccup, Right here is where the Creator gets all superior God and begins yelling and pounding the tabletop). ‘That’s the problem with all of you junior godlings! You’re a millennia old, yet think you know as much as the one who brought all of everything into being, including you. Assume nothing. I am the One Power. I do as I want.’

‘Clearly, you do. What if this trio were to come for you?’

‘Intriguing scenario. Let them come.’

‘What? Would this rule not guarantee you ceasing to exist? Is that not the biggest threat to your world? One without a Creator?’

‘I’m bored of making all the decisions-‘

‘You literally will not let anyone who sits in the pantheon make a decision.’

‘I said, I’m bored of making all the decisions. I would welcome this challenge.’ (Here the Creator wears a nasty grin). ‘Besides, by this rule of three that we all have agreed upon, all I would need to do to end the threat would be to offer the One who has not been given a choice to follow personal gain. I mean what mortal would turn down a place at this table.’

‘You wouldn’t.’

‘Have you met a believer among them who would say no to their God?’”

“…and that’s where the rule of three came from. And let me tell you, that is exactly how the Autumn Goddess went from a street rat to running her own season.” The village idiot took a long pull of his ale to parch his dry throat.

His drinking partner blinked once, twice. “You’re insane.”

“Am I? Whatever happened to the sorceress who caught the thieving girl in her abode under the ground? Story goes the sorceress chained the girl, made her into a living magical experiment. They also say she had a red monkey as a pet too. I heard the sorceress had a personal vendetta against the Creator after he swindled his way into being intimate with her. She went after the Creator with all the magic at her disposal, and a lot of scholars suggest she was a goddess in all but name. They theorize that she should of won. But…” The village idiot shrugged, a smug allknowing look upon his face.

“You’re suggesting that the Autumn Goddess, as a mortal, betrayed this sorceress, for a spot at this hypothetical table of the pantheon?”


“You’re drunk.”


Memoirs of Hysteria, THE GRIMDARK ONE

Did you ever meet the old Reaper?

No, not that young twit, the real one.

I stared into His eyes once.

Why? I wanted to die.

The story of that? Heh, you bard’s are scavengers.

He doesn’t have any eyes by the way. The Twin Abysses, that’s what I refer to them as. Infinite depths, blacker then the darkest caverns. The shrill screams of the fallen bled out from those empty sockets.

Hyperbole? Fool, I’ve been through the depths of this world. That’s how I found Him.

Aye, I went looking for Death, not the other way around.

I had heard the shrieks that fell from His face long before I met Him. Its what drove me to His altar.

I’ve done some wicked, evil shit in my life.


I guess Toernslaav of the Aranaea did wicked evil shit in his life.

Am I not that man? No, no after meeting with the Reaper I am not him.

No, I did not die, but Toernslaav, well he…ceased to exist.

You see, Toernslaav, he demanded the Reaper to take him. The Reaper did not deign to respond to such a demand. So Toernslaav became peeved. You see, dear bard, Toernslaav couldn’t handle the nightmares anymore. He couldn’t handle the wailing of defenceless mothers, the blank faces of the hundreds of dead children, the utter despair writ across the eyes of men who came home to the disgusting killing floor waiting for them.

Aye, you could say he finally developed a conscience. A guilty one. Not that it mattered. It only came about because of selfishness. He did not do seek to end his life out of a desire to right terrible wrongs.

So, he found himself in Death’s company. But Death was not cooperating. No matter how Toernslaav cursed, no matter how hard he struck the Reaper with his fists, Death would not abide. Only the deafening silent shrieks of those slain souls could be heard. It wasn’t until the coward Toernslaav whined, “Why Lord of Death, will you not take me?” did He deign to respond.

Did you know Death doesn’t have a mouth? What a crock of shit that ‘Death’s Smile’ is. It’s solid bone across where any man’s mouth would be.

What did He say? “Then take your own life, Toernslaav of the Aranaea, blackest of Gaoerslaav’s brood. For I do not take the unwilling. Are you so sick of it, to take it from yourself?”

That doesn’t make sense? Toernslaav thought that too. Here he was, begging Death to kill him, and He wouldn’t lift a finger.

Well, no I didn’t see if He had hands. His robes covered all the way down His arms. That’s besides the point.

No, I do not give a fuck about your story’s realism.

Toernslaav, was bewildered by Death’s pronouncement, but he had nowhere to go. So he sat with Death, and Death stood by his side. time did not stop, I daresay, but it definitely took upon a different pace. This whole time, Toernslaav thought about Death’s words, over, and over and over and over.

Until it…clicked.

No, I’m not privy to these thoughts, for I came to be the same time that Toernslaav gripped His hand. It’s the one memory of his I do not have.

This is just a prelude, dear bard, to the tale of how the old Reaper fell.

For when Toernslaav took Death’s hand, a young, opportunistic and twisted goddess took action. Through a tale that is honestly too long for me to tell, nor one I want to particularly give all details to, a curse was born through Toernslaav’s broken soul, and it became a conduit for this young goddess to siphon the power of the Death god.

She now carries the souls of the dead within her, to this day. She also refers to me as her manservant.

Yes, I know Selah has taken His mantle up, but her sister is the one with the real power.

Why do I serve her? You see these spider web tattoos? These are not clan tattoos. Why the fuck would I make myself out to look like a godsdamned bandit? These are the just byproducts of her curse upon me.

These are my chains.

I haven’t slept since that day, you know. I don’t dream. I close my eyes, and oblivion just stares back at me.

I still hear their screams. I was the conduit after all, an echo of Him in a way.

Why the iron fist? Well Toernslaav’s hand was the only thing to truly die that day. Kali didn’t want a one handed manservant so she had one cast of star metal for me. Aye, star metal, though it looks no different than iron. Sure, you could describe me as a man with an iron fist. Sounds better then star metal handed man.

Who am I now? Heh.

I am…biding my time.

For what?

You ever hear of the scholar Eyrksonn? No? Well, he had a theory that godlings do not just come from the pantheon recreating itself at Their whim. No, he believed that some men, and women, of course, could through pure, determined will become godlings. That they could Ascend.

So you ask what I’m waiting for. And to that I will say this:

Chains can be broken. And I can hold a grudge like no other. The day you see me with skin clear of these fucking markings, I advise you to make yourself scarce, posthaste.

The old Reaper wasn’t the first Lord of Death.

Selah will not be the last.

You should be scared, bard.

Or should I say, Lady of the Lute?


Aye, I know you, godling.

Memoirs of Hysteria, The Ogre Bride

Hi Bant


The deep aquamarine skies did not in anyway reflect Tin Fiddle’s mood. He sat under an old crab apple tree upon a small hilltop a few miles east of Hysteria. The ground was littered around with the sad shrivelled offerings from said tree, but Tin cared not, finding them momentarily amusing to splunch in the palm of his metal hand, wiping the remains off in the grass after every three or four that he murdered. He could tell that Autumn was in full swing, even without his personal knowledge of and acquaintance with the Goddess in the city just over there.

A crab apple was launched from his hand, a zip through the air, and a strangled caw came from the tree above. A raven fell briefly after, stunned or dead, Tin did not care. Selah was keeping an eye on him for Her sister, and that only darkened his mood. He glared at the markings of the black chains etched upon his forearms. Another crab apple missile was deployed.

The missile was fired back at even higher velocity then thrown, and would have taken Tin right between the eyes, was its trajectory six inches lower. The man with the iron fist peered warily from the depths of his drawn hood. A minute later, his confusion was cleared. An ogre-sized troll approached him, its head clearing the hilltop long before the rest of its maple bark-skinned body followed.

The monster stood well over thirteen feet, its arm span easily matching its height. Wide of shoulder and hips, long of neck, torso, and limbs, the troll dominated Tin’s field of vision. The smell of the tasty liquid that hides under the bark of a maple tree was pungent upon the air. Its arms were not overtly wide, by ogre standards, meaning they were massive by troll standards. Both arms ended in five-fingered hands that were gnarled, both when closed resembled war mauls that had seen much use. It’s right hand at the moment was wrapped around the haft of an actual war maul that would of weighed more than thrice Tin’s body. Tin crossed his arms across his chest, resting them just above the hidden pommels of knives secreted in various places upon his torso. He took a breath to steady his suddenly nervous composure and waited for the troll to speak.

“My name is Bors Kylsmal and you killed my cat.” The voice was the crunching of dead leaves upon the forest floor. It’s ugly face was scrunched in a fixture of distaste. “You will die now.”

Tin snorted. “No, no I did not.” He also dove out of the way of the war maul that came slamming in his direction.

“Yes you did, you filthy pale skin.” The angered troll readied another blow, grunting heavily as it raised its weapon.

“If I recall correctly,” Tin began, as he moved to place the old, wide trunk of the tree between himself and his peeved guest, “and I do, I left the door to the hut open and your cat, who need I remind you never ever, and I’m going to stress this fact, never, left the house for any reason in four years, wandered out.”

The troll stopped its approach. A dumb smirk took residence upon its face. “So you admit it pale skin! You killed her. Stand still and die.”

Tin continued circling in the opposite direction of Bors. “Are you even sure she’s dead? Dammit, we saw her not even two months later just as winter took hold! She ate the food you left out and ran away as soon as you went near her!”

Bors spat at Tin’s feet. “I’m dead certain she’s dead.”

“I don’t believe you.”


“Oh.” Tin tilted his head to the side as he observed the feline carcass at his feet.

“I want a new kitten.”

A strangled laugh erupted from Tin. “You strode out of the Storied Land, crossed eight oceans and four continents, terrorized, I’m sure, hundreds if not thousands of humans, to come find and half ass attempt to maim me, because your cat had a cat’s curiosity?”

Bors did not answer.

“You, by some unknown sorcery that I’m sure included sacrifice of a goat, bee hive and some poor terrified virgin farm girl , found me to request I produce a kitten in replacement of Cambria?”

The troll’s anger had dimmed. It stood in silence for a long time, considering Tin. Its breath echoed the rustle of Winter’s wind thru the debris of foliage left by Autumn’s path. When it spoke, all intensity had left its voice. “Well. Yes, that.” Tin relaxed for the briefest of moments. “And this.”


A moment, please, as Tin gathers his wits and confirms that his swollen head is indeed still attached to his shoulders.

Tin sits up slowly, tentatively turning his head to the left, then right, making sure that he has range of movement. He then looks up at the troll now standing above him.

“You hate violence.”

A nod. “I do. I also liked my cat, Toernslaav.”

“Gods be damned, I don’t go by that name anymore, and there is more to this than that!”

Another nod. “Aye, well.”

Another bout of the proverbial cat catching a tongue began.

Sometime later found the two quietly lost in thought, one standing, war maul rested across its shoulders, the other sitting, nursing a terribly sore head. The glaring sun in the sky began its decent towards its destination of another place somewhere in the world.

Bors ventured a question. “Where did your dainty hand go, Toernslaav? And how was it replaced by the flesh of a star? Did you meditate for years on end? Did you scream for long periods of time, focusing your power?”

“Funny. Had a word with the old Reaper before He flew the coop. He took the hand with Him. Goddess gave me one back.” Tin looked up in Bor’s direction. “I heard you were dead.”

Something akin to a gooses’ honk resounded across the open air. “Stupid villagers only buried me six feet below. Mind you, they did make the grave long enough. But I just stood up and climbed out.”

“Lack of foresight, I see. Never thought through what would happen if the dead troll woke up did they?”

“Apparently hitting me over the head once with a hammer, while I slept, convinced them that I was dead.”

“Did you murder them all in their sleep in return?”

“No, just the ‘warrior’ who ‘slew’ me. Favour for a favour really.”

Tin chuckled, and Bors smiled a rare smile.

“Glut still around?”

“Isn’t the gravel inspiring around this city?”

“Point taken.”

“I heard you caught snake fever. One of the Weaver’s themselves?”

“She doesn’t understand a single of of my terrible jests. Yet she laughs all the same. I think I’m in love.”

“Love, Toernslaav?”

“Okay, fine. Infatuation.”

“That, I’ll believe. On the subject of infatuation, whatever happened with the priestess, the one with the lower half ‘akin to a horse’.”

“She cursed me to have Death follow wherever I go. Actually was able to get the curse to take hold, although not in the way she would of liked.”

“Ah, is that why one of Her crows follows you even now?’”

Tin muttered a curse, looked over his shoulder and spotted another of Selah’s damned crows. He scooped up a disposed crab apple and whipped it off into the air. A satisfying strangled caw, followed by the thump of its carcass made him smile.

“I saw your father.”

Tin’s smile suddenly dropped. “Oh.”

“As far as he knows, you’re still the craven firstborn son who abandoned the family to find himself.”

“So he still thinks I’m a failure.”


“Good. Fuck him.”

“He’ll learn one day that that’s not the truth.”

“It is the truth, I’m as craven as the night is black. I just sometimes am not afforded the luxury of being a coward.”

“Cowards run. From everything I hear, you’ve faced some ridiculous odds, and not once have you fled.”

“Well when the Goddess who has you chained and enslaved starts wars on a whim, running is not really an option.” Tin looked off into the darkening sky. “What did my father say? His words, verbatim.”

“’Toernslaav left me. My firstborn, and only son left alive, left me. He is a stain upon our family’s history, and hated by all in our lands. But,’” Bors added an unnecessary dramatic pause, “’I miss him. I miss my son. Tell him he can come home, Bors of the Three. I forgive him.’ To be honest, I echo one of his thoughts. Its why I came all this way.” Bors looked pointedly at Tin.

“And which thought would that be, barkskin.”

“You left me.”

Tin blinked. “Oh.” Some sputtering before the words came through. “We…us…we were never like…you know…that.”

Bors sighed. “I’m well aware of that, Toernslaav of the Aranaea. But King Aryn disappeared, then Ben left, and Glut came back, and by the God’s, are you aware of the utter disgusting and vile mess that he leaves wherever he squats? Do you?”

“Aye, I’m aware. And I told you I do not use that name anymore.”

The troll barked a laugh and pointed a finger a foot long in length at Tin’s forehead. “Oh I’ve heard of the Goddess’s manservant, ‘Tin Fiddle’.” You abandoned me!”

Sudden understanding came to Tin then. “I missed you too, big guy.”



“I can come visit you, you know. Smash some mossy boulders to dust, like before.”

“Very well.” Bors offered his hand to his old companion. Tin grasped it and was pulled to and from his feet, but he landed softly, his balance easily kept.

A mischievous smile crept onto Tin’s face. “There’s a quarry half a mile out from the city. They’re supposed to be hauling for that bitch Goddess’s new temple, but She’s the gold to cover a delay in its construction. The foremen will just have to report an ‘accident’.”

“She’ll torture them.”

“Probably. She’s gone far past power hungry, and now borders on either side of insane and genius.”

“You will not lament the deaths of innocent men?”

“Have I ever?”

Bors signalled an affirmative. “When a man and a woman…”


The pair began a lazy path down from the crab apple tree, a silence shared of many hardships and years faced together, a love shared only by the truest of brothers, though never use that word with their names linked together, unless a death wish is something one wishes. Of the worst temper, scholars still debate who’s is more terrible.

Memoirs of Hysteria, A Midwinter’s Meme

Deal with it


Forgive my harsh language milord, but I fucking hate him.  Him, his compatriot and that, that, that thing he serves, THEY ARE ALL EVIL!”  Knight Herald Dylone’s entire body was vibrating with anger.

Lord Antoine arched a bushy eyebrow.  “Are you accusing MY appointed advisor’s most trusted servant of-”

“Manservant,” Tin Fiddle interjected.

MOST TRUSTED SERVANT,” Antoine repeated, “of being evil? Are you questioning my judgment?”

Deathly silence dominated the following moments.  Except for the seal-bark laugh of Selah, who was reading a particularly juicy note that one of her raven’s had brought to her.  Tin Fiddle noisily picked at one of his upper canines, a piece of irksome meat stuck amidst gum and tooth, his outrageously oversized gutting knife looking out of place as a toothpick.  

***Author’s note: Look, really, that knife may as well be described as a short sword, but Tin Fiddle swore he would stick me straight through my liver if I ever described his…’wyfoo’ (Whatever the bloody Forty and Two Seas THAT is???) as a sword.  He said and I quote “She’s self-conscious of her size.”  ?!?!?!

By the Eighty and One Servants, Lord Antoine, the Lady of Death herself follows Kali, Ji and this murderer around like a lost puppy!”

Selah looked up from the twittering of her storm of ravens.  “No, I do not.”

Yes, you do.”


You do! And you know how much I hate him, AND that he’s a vile evil snake! Am I not right, Lady Selah?”

Yeah, sure, whatever.”  Having lost interest in Knight Herald Dylone’s imbecile ravings, see Lady Selah return to her duty of gathering the souls of the slain, the old, the sick, and the frail.  Witness!  As she. . .

OH MY WORD. THIS IS FANTASTIC.  Lady Kali and her Grace, Iris, were caught having a romantic dinner in the fabulous Chef Cale’s private garden!”

Tin Fiddle snatched the scrap of paper from Lady Selah.  “Iris? Really? I never thought…”  A slow grin spread across Tin Fiddle’s scar-seamed face.


Let us return to our Lord Antoine’s Knight Herald Dylone and his fruitless attempt to sway his Lord’s mind…

Either he goes, or I do!”


…okay?”  Tears suddenly welled up in Dylone’s eyes.

I do not have the authority to exile him. Lady Kali put this clause into our agreement.”  Antoine produced a parchment from a pocket inside his robe.  

“‘Lady Kali, Ji, and her most honourable manservant Tin Fiddle, are excused from all acts committed in the name of the protectorate of Hysteria and the Lily Dynasty.  Any further decisions are at the discretion of her Lady Kali.

Signed, Lord Antoine Lua.’

“That’s me!”

Blank-faced, Dylone gaped, his jaw fallen past all humanly possible distance, resting upon his shining mithril chestplate.  Terribly slow, Knight Herald Dylone turned to face Tin Fiddle…

Who just so happened to have a tiny street urchin upside down in the air, held by the young lad’s ankle.  Tin Fiddle shook him violently, causing three shiny coins to fall upon the cobbles.

By the Flower Emperor himself, Lord Antoine! Do you not see this?!?”

Antoine turned as Tin Fiddle tossed the urchin into a garbage heap, that smelled pungently of rotten salmon.  

Possible spy of Yolavolys.”  Tin Fiddle shrugged. “You can never trust those cold-hearted lizards.”

You’re in bed with one of those cold-hearted lizards!” Dylone shrieked.

Antoine sternly reproached his blubbering knight.“Now, now Knight Herald, no reason to admonish this man!  He’s just doing what is necessary to protect our people!”

There is really no proper and polite way to describe what happened next.  Simply put, Knight Herald Dylone, anointed by His Holy Light’s Weapon, Gilgamesh, snapped.  Dylone’s mind played the next few moments slowly through his mind’s eye.  He had transformed and transcended into a shining, angelic knight of Justice, his katana drawn and striking true through Tin Fiddle’s black heart.

In reality, Knight Herald Dylone never even drew his blade.  He sprinted, screaming high-pitched, head first into Tin Fiddle’s metallurgic right fist.  Dylone proceeded to crumple into an unconscious heap upon impact.  The sickening snapping of facial bones was quite loud to be honest.

Lord Antoine stared down at the supine knight.  “Hmm.  I always did think he was on the wrong side of the edge.  I do apologize Mister Fiddle.”

Tin Fiddle looked up from where he was scratching markings into Dylone’s breastplate with his gutting knife.  “What? Oh, right. Uh. No problem. All for the Holy Buttercup Dynasty and all that.”  He looked at his handiwork, nodded to himself in approval, and walked away.

The Lord of Hysteria glanced at the words etched into the knight’s armor.

IM thE kNIgHt herAlD dyLONe

Which was followed by a stick figure with a line in its hand.  

Antoine laughed.  “He’ll never misplace his armor again with this!  I’m so glad. I was growing weary of him accusing Ji everytime he misplaced it.”  Whistling very off tune, Lord Antoine Lua wandered off into the heart of the city of Hysteria to resume his lordly duties.

**Author’s Note: On my word as the Honest Bard, to this day I still do not know what his duties were.