How to Die

I died. Actually, we all died. Several times. Many times. Brutally, slowly, quietly, loudly, day after day.

Quite interesting really. Most of it is a blur. Perhaps one day I will remember. I remember the first time I died, I remember my mom talking to me, saying that I had to come back now, and I remember picking up the Hammer after a particularly full and bloody battle. A fine Hammer. We all tried it out. We had to kill All Grins for him to give it up. Dwarves. He was better the next day of course.

But we did our task, fought many battles, celebrated many days, and we are back. My mom was key to us coming back. We seemed to be stuck there for awhile. Maybe weeks. I not sure. Time is weird there, here, well, somewhere. But she called to me and said, "Mord. This is your mother. You remember me, right? What are you doing, boy? Get back here. Now." So I says to her, "Who? Oh, yeah. Hi Mommy! Just been killing and dying. It is nice here. Sure, I'll come back."

I think I had this conversation a few times with her. It was hard to pull back. Barrel and Throw Down also helped; I don't think they enjoyed themselves as much. Though Throw Down did seem to love incinerating everyone, friend and foe alike. He got a bit gleeful at times and cackling. Yeah, I hacked him to pieces a couple of times. I hope he did not notice. Ysgard is a great vacation spot!

But the most memorable moment was early on. We had just arrived and were asking some questions. A nice looking fellow came over and said that he would love to help us. Asked us if we were new here. We said yes. He looked at us and asked if we had ever died. We said no. He said, "Oh, well, let's see what we can do about that."

We grew nervous at that. By this time, we were in a tavern, or rather a tent with a bunch of people drinking. He yelled, "We got first timers, boys. Hold 'em down."

We resisted, but there were too many of them. They held us down while he explained. "You see, the first time is the sweetest. The fear, the struggle to live, the pain. All of it is so fresh and real in all of you right now. You see, here is my good mate. I've killed him over and over again. So much so, he barely feels it. See." And he stabbed him right in the heart. And the fellow died with barely a whisper. But somehow, the dead fellow seemed to shrug it off. Not sure how, seeing how he was dead. But it definitely did not seem a normal argh death.

"So you see, I enjoy killing, but killing only matters that first time, maybe for a few times. Pretty soon, you will not even notice it. But here, right now, all your energy is devoted to keeping you alive. I am going to enjoy this."

And he started killing each of us, slowly, painfully, grotesquely. We were held so we could see each of our comrades die, that last light in the eyes going out. The whole room was quiet with reverence and disgusting joy. This was one sick place.

Finally it was down to just me. The last of the party. For this day.

I struggled mightily, but this just encouraged them. They tore at me, bits and pieces of me just being taken. And then the plunge of the knife into my gut. I could feel it, searing and cold, pain ripping through me. Nothing like I ever felt before. And I went beyond that which any of the others had done.

"A die hard, huh? This is a treat. Maybe I will come back for you tomorro--argh, no, just to see, ahhh."

I looked through the haze of blood and pain and saw flashing steel, bright as a sun, though the day had gone. I saw the whole tent in chaos and combat, the dead piling high. I tried to call Kord to heal me, but I could not summon the strength.

Exquisite pain, tears in my eyes, barely able to breathe, I lurched forward and fell on this tall, shiny fellow.

"I am sorry, son. There is nothing I can do to save you tonight. May we meet in combat so that I will deserve to do this. But now, this is all I can do." And so I felt, the bright blade, the energy of electricity coursing through it, electrifying me, as it ripped through my heart, pain shooting all through me in a bright flash, leaving me in the dark. All alone. My first death. But not my last.

Mords of Wisdom: Endless fighting and dying are always nice, but remember to come home.