A year ago I did post about a Dark & Stormy Night, a story I could not decide whether it was dystopian or straight fantasy. I’ve updated it a couple times since then as events seem to warrant and I think it’s time for a new one.
To celebrate the fact that it’s now been a year and the more things change, the more they stay the same.
As a recap the story is about either
A. A mafia Don battling the Gang of 3 or 4 (now just 2ish) over a land despoiled by a semi intelligent technological menace that has gone mad
B. A powerful ancient Wizard battling a College of Wizards over a land despoiled by a dragon, guarded by trolls
Both stories involve a Plucky Band of Adventurers (now much reduced) just trying to survive and keep the land productive for their people.
Possible Chosen Ones or Knights have come & gone. There have been many myths and fables about how the Darkness (whatever it is) may be overcome and great promises have been made by wizards and criminals.
Yet here we are. Pretty much exactly where we were last year, except of course the land continues to be despoiled. Oh not at the rate it once was, but still…fires smolder, sparks are given off, the dragon flies overhead and the technology cruelly cuts ‘non-essential’ services.
There is another White Knight on the horizon, charging forward, making promises. Are they really a White Knight? Or are they a Dark Warrior, here to destroy the plague and the criminals/wizards, as well as most of the Adventurers, leaving only a few, grateful for their lives, to toil in their new Dark Empire?
And does it really matter anymore at this point?
The Adventurers now just listen indifferently to this latest knight and then do what they are told, grimly plodding on with their toil.
“Good luck with that.” they say as the Knight gallops around giving stirring speeches about how he’ll clear the land of Evil – dragons, wizards criminals and all.
“Let us know how it works out for you.” they add, without much interest, going back to listlessly cleaning their swords.
They are no longer a Plucky Band of Adventurers, they are a Weary one. They’ve been through too many battles. They have seen too much carnage. They are not warriors; they are just normal people that got caught up in events and became Adventurers by default, and they are worn down by it all. They have learned through bitter experience that the paths leading away from the land are all dead ends. They are trapped in a despoiled & probably dying land. They have heard the promises before. They’ve seen too many Chosen Knights charge toward that dragon only to fall at the hands of the trolls that guard it. They know they are powerless against the trolls. They’ve seen it all too many times.
“Just lets get this one thing sorted.” they were told. “We/I just need to be securely in charge of the land and all will be well.” the College of Wizards and the Mafia Don told them. “Just wait. Once we/I am securely in power the land will be green again.”
Well that battle was finally fought. With tremendous bad will and general skullduggery on all sides. Bullets flew! Confusion spells crackled! Fire was called down from the heavens and knives were thrust into backs!
In the end the College Gang defeated the Ancient Wizard Don in honorable combat but as another old wizard once said “If you defeat me I will only grow more powerful.” and so it has proved. Freed from the draining need to fight his peers, Don Wizard is going after the trolls and the dragon himself, with plans to come back for the Wizard Gang of 2ish later.
And then there is this new White (so he claims) Knight with his plans.
Plus the College of Criminals’ technomage zombie parasites have gone rogue and are plotting to take out the trolls and dragons and control the land themselves. But the College disagrees with this idea and so now they too are formulating their own schemes.
That’s a total of at least 4 very different competing plans.
(That we know of. Currently. Who knows what tomorrow, or next week, will bring.)
Every last one of the planners swears, and this time they really really mean it!, that their own plan is guaranteed to successfully slay the trolls, kill the dragon, disable the computer and bring prosperity back to the land
Thus the Adventurers are Weary and not Plucky.
Weary Bands of Adventurers have not entirely lost hope.
It’s just they no longer know what to hope for, beyond the land continuing to produce enough to support them and their people despite the activities of the Knights and Wizards and Dons and Dragons and Trolls. But they know it’s rapidly reaching a tipping point and there is nothing they can do but try and cover their asses for every plan.
As one Adventurer put it “They are rolling a 10 sided die and I plan on doing everything I can to make sure every side comes up “Adventurers” “
Though the rogue techno zombie parasites and their intrigues do provide some comic relief.
Who needs soap operas or reality tv or Jerry Springer type things when they have all this going on?