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Author Topic: Tirus: Autobiography of a Vampire  (Read 1100 times)

wbridgeusmc

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Tirus: Autobiography of a Vampire
« on: March 31, 2023, 03:33:32 am »

In the large bedroom, lit dimly by a candle burning on the table, he stooped over the piece of parchment and sighed. His mind rushed with ideas and memories of his past. Strong, yet agile fingers dabbed a quill into the inkwell that was placed beside him and he touched pen to paper…

In his long life, many centuries since the last time he took any notice, he had written  many books. He wrote books on historical figures, wars, Hell, he had even written about plant growth in the northern hemisphere. How come every time he tried to write his autobiography it all went blank for him?
He sighed, the candle flickered a bit and he set the quill back in the inkwell. There were so many reasons to be hesitant about sharing his life story. Primarily because he was a Vampire. A hideous monster that struck fear into the hearts of men, elves and dwarves. He wasn’t stupid, he had survived this long and for a good reason: He didn’t set deep roots and his true name was a well guarded secret. This, unfortunately, meant he would need to create a new name for his book. A fresh persona. It didn’t take long to come to a decision: Tirus Longstrider. Tirus, his father’s first name and Longstrider was his mother’s maiden name.

He smiled at the thought of his parents but it slowly faded as he struggled to dredge up many memories of them.
He began to write, a few squiggles there, some lines there and before he knew it he was going line to line, recalling whatever he could remember.
It was such a tragedy living so long. It was something he couldn’t share with anyone, an ailment he could not complain about. A human’s memory was only good for so long. Having only been created to recall a Human’s lifetime amount of information, he struggled hard to remember things so long ago. The memories he could dredge up were faded, shadows dancing on the wall of his mind  and scattered with detailed moments that were somehow significant enough to remember.

Growing up in the small town of Galechannel he was destined to be a Hearthperson under the command of his local leadership. Tirus struggled to remember the faces of his friends and mentors, but he couldn’t do so and he slapped the desk in frustration.
Just shadows…
After his 19th birthday, Tirus was officially inducted into the Galechannel military and given his first mission. He was to destroy a bandit camp just outside of town, near a monastery. Excitedly, he recruited his friend Alath…Gy…just Alath, the last name lost to history.
The two of them set out to dispatch the bandits and in his excitement they rushed into battle with little thought on how to accomplish their task. The two soldier’s were quite fortunate that the bandits were ill trained and they easily took them out. When it was clear that they had accomplished their mission, they excitedly poured over the loot. It was Tirus’ first battle and he rejoiced, adrenaline still pumping in his veins. Alas, this would be the last time he would feel such excitement.

In his reckless fervor, Tirus scouted the area while Alath cleaned up the remainder of the spoils. That was when he saw it…
Tirus could remember in extraordinary detail the statue nearby the camp. It was dark obsidian, detailing a figure he did not know, in some type of torment. Evil, he thought, something the bandits must have worshiped. Maybe they had been some sort of death cult?  In this moment, his temper raged, his muscles tightened and he yelled out in holy righteousness as he toppled it over.

Why? Why would he do such a thing? Tirus sighed as the words dried on the parchment. He had been such a fool. If he could do anything, if he could go back in time he would stop this from happening. This horrible mistake from a young child was one that he would feel the ramifications of for centuries more to come.
That night as Alath and he lay under the stars, camping on the outskirts of Galechannel, he awoke with a thirst unlike anything he had ever experienced. Tirus upended his waterskin and drained it easily, then he did the same for his secondary waterskin. He greedily gulped down the water, but it tasted strange, stale even.

His hands shook, his head throbbed. This would be his first night on the hunt for blood.
Tirus was extremely fortunate to not have seen Alath on the first feeding. Very lucky. He was unsure of what to do, how to hunt, how to find the blood he craved, but he knew he must do something to stop the aching hunger.
 
With blistering speed, envious to the competitive runners in the many foot races he had seen, he set off to town, not sure of what he was doing. Looking back now, he realized how foolish he was. His actions that night would guilt him, even today, he felt guilty for the fisherman he ran into. The poor man was fishing by the river that ran down the middle of town.

In one fell swoop, he had knocked the man unconscious, drank his blood almost dry and killed him straight away. He was satisfied, sated and thinking clearly when he saw the mess, the grotesque pale face of the man he did not know. His face was stuck in a half yell, half startled terror that he remembered so well that it disturbed Tirus as his thoughts drifted back there.
 
In a panic, he disposed of the body in the river and he cleaned himself of the blood and gore. He was scared, but his heart didn’t respond to the emotion. The blood no longer flowed in his veins, the only warmth he felt was from his victim’s fresh donation.
He ran off in guilt, crying tears of blood mixed with water until he reached the camp. Lying next to the fire was Alath, snoring softly in the cool night air. Tirus sighed, weary from the day and he lay down on his bedroll. He didn’t need to sleep, he didn’t need to eat or drink, but he did need to think. His mind raced, what to do? Could he be with his friend on adventures if he risked going blood crazy like this again?

Centuries of learning later he could confidently say yes, he could certainly control his hunger. However back then, as a new vampire, he didn’t know this to be the case. Out of an abundance of caution, he returned victorious to his commander and ended his adventuring career with Alath. Before leaving town, he told them goodbye, he was off to explore and when they asked him when he planned to return, he shrugged and told him the path was calling him.

He never returned while they were still alive.

Guilt from the killing haunted him for quite a while. Unsure of how to hunt, he restricted himself and ached with hunger daily. He roamed the countryside, staying away from the populated areas, feeding on bandits as needed until he realized that he could feed on sleeping people silently and without violence. This was much easier and they didn’t seem to remember the blood draining the next day when they came around.

In the beginning, for the first hundred years, he wandered the world, gaining notoriety with his dancing in the Tavern’s that dotted the landscape. There was a time when he was quite popular and his name began to spread far and wide for his abilities, legendary on all accounts. Time was not on his side here, unfortunately. He was forced to lay low for a few decades, his lack of aging would give a clue to his dark curse. In time everyone he knew had died, leaving him another fresh start.
 
Tirus returned to his old town, making it a trek he performed every 25 years, just to see how it was faring over time. The names of the villagers changed, buildings aged and were repaired. Goblins even attacked and stole some of the treasures there. His family name had ended with him, as his parents had no other children and this saddened him a bit. Nowadays, Galechannel is an old ruin. Abandoned long ago as the Goblin menace tore across the face of the continent. In fact a LOT of the towns were becoming abandoned and in a strange musing he had, he imagined the world would one day be barren, with no souls save for those like him.
 
They would soon wander back and forth, out of their minds from the lack of fresh blood, driven insane by the lifeless landscape strewn about with the skeletons of what was once before...

He pressed on, the aimless wandering ended on a strange note that he remembered freshly, even today.
In the town of Kontlon he met…her…
She was a beautiful human named Rith Enilmusda.
Tirus was meeting with the town heads, using his talents and knowledge of warfare, he intended to find the Goblin leading an army marching on the town. When he met Rith, he felt his chest throb in a way it hadn’t done in years.
He nodded politely, flattered her and joked with her until he realized that she felt as strongly towards him as he her. They spent a few days doing nothing more than talking, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Finally, the Lord in Kontlon had come to an agreement with him on terminating the enemy’s leadership, in particular Zom Junglewraiths.
Tirus bowed and excused himself, he had a War to conduct and a reason to return to Kontlon.

Tirus ruled the night.
He stalked the Goblin groups marching towards Kontlon and struck their squads of five or six, easily eliminating them before they could react to his assault. During this time period he killed over a hundred Goblins as they waged war with the Kingdoms. Then the real hunt began.
Tirus entered the dark pits, tracking down the Goblin leader Zom in his deep cavern where he hid his treasure and prisoners. In the pitch dark room, Tirus hunted him, stalked him, listening to his heart beat wildly in his chest. Tirus could hear his blood circulate in his body as he yelled out in fear at the speed in which he descended upon him. Tirus struck quickly, rendering him unconscious and drinking greedily. As his life faded away, he tossed him over the side of an unbelievably deep pit, killing him instantly.

Time was inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. He seemed to lose track of it so easily, especially when he was on campaign. He returned to Kontlon to declare the General dead, the enemy was nearly defeated and when he saw her, he gasped in astonishment. How much she had aged, ten years or maybe more, astonished him. In his shock, he had to announce to the Lord that he was the nephew of the man who met him many years ago.
The pain he felt in his chest as he spoke to the woman he had felt something for all that time ago, now aged and having lost the youthful exuberance, he had to explain to her how her soulmate had perished in battle…

He held back his tears as he excused himself and fled into the woods. His name would carry on for many years as a successful combatant during the The Incinerated Clashes and he needed to redo his entire life in order to return to his entertainment career.
Time fixes everything. This was an unfortunate truth. The pain and love he felt faded away, not entirely of course. It lingered inside of him, even today he could feel it tug at his emotions.
 
Moving on though, he returned to the dancing life. He was always amused when the revelers compared him to his old persona, “He sure could dance! You are just as good as he was!”
Tirus would smile, dance, accept tips and sleep on the Tavern owner’s dime. He explored across the continent doing this, living in Taverns, drinking fine wines and spirits and sampling blood as safely and discreetly as possible.
 
When war broke out he would tag along and wage a campaign against the enemy until either he became bored of it or defeated the threat. This is where the danger came in. He would define it as danger anyways. The danger of boredom. Yes, as amazing as it seemed he became bored of fighting, drinking, dancing and singing. He couldn’t entertain forever, he couldn’t kill everyone. The excitement of life he once had was fading away fast.
How long could someone wander around and entertain themselves for?
 
He was insanely wealthy, he owned a few homes in a variety of towns and had the finest armor and weapons. Despite all this, he was getting tired of changing and hiding his identity. A slip up of any kind could cost him his life if he wasn’t careful, but he felt no reason to preserve his life any longer.
Tirus would spend many days looking out at the vast ocean surrounding the continent. He would watch the incessant ebb and flow of the waves. In time, the water would erode the beach, it would destroy the earth and reclaim it in due time. Everything had a finite lifespan in this world. Everything, except for himself unless he chose to recklessly end it.

Self-preservation sure was a bastard! It kept him from making such a foolhardy decision and he cursed his existence as he realized that in the end his mind and body would be as emotionless and unfeeling as stone...

Tirus set the quill down gently and set aside another sheet of parchment. His brain throbbed as he probed its depths for any information he could put onto paper. He reviewed the words and judged them to be quite masterful in their use. He had been writing for decades now, but after reading what he had written he frowned sadly, felt the tears come easily and he crumpled them in his hands.

With a deep, dark and cold pit in his chest he tossed the papers into the trash and he sighed in despair. In a final show of defiance to his long, pitiful and lonely life, he threw the trash can across the room, shattering a glass window in the process in his moment of tantrum. He sighed, defeated.

Life was so unfair. So unfair and cold.


Commentary: I have been following many posts for a long time and although I am not an experienced Dwarf Fortress player, I've dabbled in Adventure Mode for a few years now. Every time I've had a character, they seem to take on a life of their own and I wanted to share one of my most recent adventurers. Obviously, many of the incidents were taken and expanded on and I met many NPC's that made me feel something for the character as he adventured across the landscape. I did indeed abandon my adventuring party in fear that I would kill them one day (I missed what infliction I had and I feared I was a werecreature, so I distanced myself from society until I was sure I was a vampire. Haha!

I hope you enjoyed the story, I love writing and it seems like DF and writing go hand in hand.

Thanks! I might post more as I adventure and expand the story further. So, maybe a part 2 will be coming down eventually.
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Salmeuk

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Re: Tirus: Autobiography of a Vampire
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2023, 09:30:53 pm »

nicely done. this is a great example of how expansive this game is. Someone unfamiliar with the game might be surprised by just how much of this account was actual gameplay.
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wbridgeusmc

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Re: Tirus: Autobiography of a Vampire
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2023, 02:52:06 pm »

Thank you! I already bore my wife and kids with my tales and adventures I have exploring the random worlds I create. I know for some it is a big turn off having no guidance in the world, but for me, I let my imagination take over and create a purpose for myself. I have also seen some story worthy characters in the Legends Mode and that's where I got the ideas for a character that has lived for centuries. There's a lot of heartbreak and excitement when you dig deep.  :)
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Mobbstar

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Re: Tirus: Autobiography of a Vampire
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2023, 03:03:29 pm »

Beautiful and succinct despite its length.  I agree, Dwarf Fortress is so much better when propping the plot with fluff.

One thing I find curious is that Tirus never mentioned his appearance in any way.  I can't make fanart like this.  Guess he hasn't seen himself in the mirror lately.

Wilfred of Ivanhoe

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Re: Tirus: Autobiography of a Vampire
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2023, 11:54:28 am »

Very nice! I like how you filled in the blanks of your adventure experience with embellishments that captured the angst of living as a timeless being. Thank you for writing and sharing, sincerely.
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(1) You grab your golf bag and take out your gun. But then an Orc comes over and sensually gives you a massage. You decide to marry the Orc and live together. Unfortunately, the Orc walks over a slime mine and blows up. You commit suicide, unable to bare the thought of living with out your one true love.