Hmm... looks like my last update was almost exactly a year ago, about how rad Guild Wars 2 is. I wonder what could have possibly eaten up all my nerd time since then. *ahem*
So when last we left our tale, Jason Shaw found himself imprisoned for the attempted murder of a kid (just go read two episodes ago). The followup was played a couple of months ago, so this is largely from foggy memory, but I wanna keep this up.
Part one was the email I sent his player, to clue him in that something especially unpleasant was going on. It reads thus:
Your first awareness is a searing red glow hammering on your eyelids. The ache of that glow travels along your consciousness into your head, which feels like John Henry is inside, making bets again. A cough refocuses everything in your chest, where you’re quite certain most of your ribs are broken, and one of your lungs is exhaling more blood than air. With effort, you manage to spit a thick clot past your lips. Thank God for little victories. Weary with the exertion, you begin to slip back into sweet oblivion.
"Ah knows yer in there, Shaw. Open yer fuckin’ eyes.” The voice rasps into your ears. As you decipher the words, you can’t help but wonder how a crow could live to be seventy years old after a life working in the coal mines and chain smoking cigars. Slowly your eyes peel slightly open, and the red glow becomes a lantern, painfully bright in the darkness. In its illumination, you can make out several men, tied to posts on the dirt floor of the barn. The slightest attempt at movement reveals you to be similarly restrained, as well as sending a fresh wave of agony over you. The rhythm of John Henry’s Hammer continues, as excruciating as ever, but also sounding suspiciously like the tap-tap of rain on the barn roof.
“Atta boy,” cackles the crow again, from somewhere near the lantern. Something about that voice is familiar, but you’re unable to place it. “Ya better have more fight in ya than that.” You call to mind the feeling of frostbitten fingers and toes. The wet pain in your lungs becomes the stabbing of frigid breath as you suck desperately for one more icy breath.
A second, smaller light pulls itself from the lantern, growing slightly, slowly, revealing a small white candle, held by long pale fingers, the nails cracked and blackened. Unseen feet shuffle through the dirt and straw as the candle bobs closer, and whispered words come unbidden from your lips.
"He lights his way with the candlestick.”
The shuffling stops. “That’s right. Very good. You know, Shaw, I was beginning to think that after all this time, you wouldn’t remember me.” The candle drops lower, and into its glow a face appears. Pale and sickly, framed by uneven, greasy black hair and beard. A thin, crooked nose perches above thin lips, which peel back into a grin of yellow and black broken teeth. The face cocks an eyebrow of wire brush, and you look into those eyes. Blackness. The pupil fills those orbs, with but a tiny glimpse of yellowish white at the corners. Staring up into that face, those eyes, your mind reels. You’ve seen him before, but it’s as though you’re trying to grasp a forgotten dream, or a nightmare you thought you had locked away. The smile fades.
"Still not gettin’ it? Ah know, ah know. An awful lot has happened. An’ look at you, so big and tough. Thought you din’t need me no more, din’t ya? Well, Jason, ah don’t hold a grudge. We found each other again, and we can put everythin’ right.” The man scowls. “But ya gotta remember! You know who ah am but ya forgot!”
He looks up, listening. Outside you can hear the pounding of hooves, the rattle of a wagon. That foul face turns back to you. “You ain’t got much time, boy! They gonna string you up! Iffen yer lucky they give you a trial first. You better set yer mind to rememberin’, or ah can’t help ya.”
Voices and footsteps draw nearer to the barn.
"Time for me to go, Shaw.” With a quick breath, the candle is out, and for a brief moment only the distant lantern shines in the dark barn. Then the light of early morning breaks in as the large door is pulled open and several armed men enter. The man with the crow’s voice is gone, his still smoking candle lying at your feet.
“That’s the one that tried to shoot my boy, Sheriff,” you hear a woman call out.
A stern man with a large mustache hunkers down in front of you, inspecting your wounds and countenance. “Boy. You’re in a whole heap o’ trouble.”
That oughta wrap up part one. Part 2 will follow soon.