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Print at Sep 18, 2020 7:21:43 AM

Posted by cgg1305 at Jul 16, 2008 2:45:51 AM
Re: YPP's Greatest Hits! - Entry Thread (Deadline July 20th)

Write a Brigand King

Vargas the Mad
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A wise man once said we are nought but prisoners in a den and all we witness or feel is but a shadow of another realm our eyes cannot see. What if someone ventured there and was able to grasp the truth? He would pity the wisdom of the cave then, wouldn't he? And what if he did come back? Came back to tell of what he had seen. Would his fellow prisoners believe him or would they ridicule him? Perhaps they would put him to death.

So pay close attention to my words, oh reader. For this is the story of how I met Vargas the Mad, returned to reveal the Enlightened's philosophy, yet I seemingly survived.

A long time ago, in the early years of my knighthood, I started a quest for an ancient relic. After much research, I discovered that Vargas the Mad was the owner of the very last copy of the book which could reveal the location of the precious item. The Barbarian King at that time was ruling over Kasidim Island and I, knowing that archipelago rather well having dwelt a long time on Caravanserai Island, managed to equip a row-boat and shore there on the sly.

It was the night before the blockade that would see him defeated. There were many campfires lit up. Sound of drums. Pagan rites and dances.
In the shadow, I managed to sneak towards a tree next to one of the biggest bonfires where Vargas' dark monks sat in a circle.

Shortly thereafter he came. He was as tall as a giant and and his tread was that of a general. He stuck his foot on a rock, then took a deep puff from his ivory pipe, blowing it away in huge grey clouds. The whole assembly shut up. Frowning, he blasted out an "Arrr!" and an unrepeatable curse, then started to speak.

- Amongst those lubbers that tomorrow attack the island, is there anybody who has ever lived as a down-goer!? That dissolute crowd, unfeeling as an iron swabbie! Arrr!
- I remember... I wasn't but an angry young man, obsessed by the illustrious example in literature of which I wanted to be the spiritual heir: Odysseus. Errr! Not only Homer's, but Dante's too, especially Dante's. Besieged by angst, I was thirsty for answers and like my precursor, I wanted to go beyond the boundaries of human knowledge. I felt like a titan myself, as strong as Prometheus. Hehehe!

- I set sail heading straight for the Isle of Capri where the Achelois supposedly lived. Odysseus? Arrr! He ordered his men to bind him to a mast. He listened to the Sirens' song, but knew very little about them. But he got a wife. Hehehe! I got no one and I wanted to make the most of my endeavour... and know deeper. Yarrr! My sacrifice would otherwise be pointless. Wasn't it lovable to live as a down-goer? For I was feeling like an over-goer!

- "Come closer, famous Vargas. Moor yer ship so ye can hear our song", they said.
- "Am I famous? Is it me the one they want?", thought I. They tickled my vanity and desire. I felt them. Oh Gods, if I felt them! Bliss and heaven. The disclosure of a whole universe. Divine insight, it was. Then I realized that in the eternal struggle twixt culture and nature, the latter will ever prevail. What do you think Long John Silver's parrot would choose? - The assembly burst into laughter, the pack leader smirked.

- Thus - he continued - I found refuge in pure instincts. Here comes the primordial man! I feel like the ape that first brandished a bone as a weapon! Yarrr! -
Suddenly he stopped talking. His pipe had gone out. He smelled the air animal-like. Then he cast a cutting glance in my direction. Had he descried my presence among the shrubberies? I feared my neck would be broken thereafter by the blows of his berserk adepts' bludgeons.

- Now, if someone like me, questing for greatness, should be right behind that tree, listening to my words, he would think me mad. Hehehe! Wasn't Socrates speaking about the same thing when he enunciated the Myth of the Cave? Once enlightened, the freed prisoner who came back from the invisible realm would be seen as a fool, wouldn't he? Arrrg! Vargas has seen things you people wouldn't believe!
- Run away! Go back amongst the humans, that sorry crowd and their petty miseries! And tell them about Vargas, about his over-going! Tell them about the Enlightened! Go tell them, you... -

I couldn't hear any further. I managed to survive yet I felt he had cast his blackspot on me. He knew there are things one shouldn't tell. The freed prisoner who came back from the invisible realm would be seen as a fool, wouldn't he? And fools tell no tale... like dead men. I managed to survive... I... seemingly... survived... but no longer do I live.
Pishkirlin of Emerald

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