You just received a beautiful ordamental chest piece for your efforts in clearing out the near by mine of orcs. Carved into the side of this armor are the words “Dragon Hunter.” The mold was scrubbed and washed with dragon scales, enfusing the already strong iron alloy with the durability of dragon hide. This level of alchemy is rare, expensive, and only adorned by the most worthy of heroes and adventurers. 

You slip the chest piece over your head and tighten the leather straps along the side.

And keep tightening.

And keep tightening.

And keep tightening.

But it's still way too big.

In your efforts to tighten the armor properly it slide down your shoulder and hung over your arm. Your neck is the only thing keeping it from falling all the way off. Frustration begins to build as you try to straighten the armor out. 

“I've toiled in the haunted woods. I've rescued multiple towns from hellscapes.” You try to remind yourself. 

“I've trained, practiced, and sacrificed to protect this realm.” Your words are true, but do not bring you comfort. 

“I've put more effort and work into this than anything I've ever done. How THE FUCK is it not enough!”

You try again to center the chest piece over your shoulders, and set it down. It hangs off your frame as if you are a wire coat hanger. Head down, shoulders slumped, pride shot, you walk toward a shelf in your home and feel you can barely move. The armor is heavy. Even if it fit over your shoulders, you couldn't walk more than twenty feet before needing to take it off and rest.

“How?” You wisper to yourself as you slide the chest piece off and toss it onto the floor.

“What more must I do to prove myself. Why do I bother seeking out these adventures if I'm not worthy of their glory?” You kneel and begin to weep. 

“Let the realm defend itself then!” You declare.

You did everything right. You accomplished every quest you've taken on. You have never once falterd in the presence of evil. Yet somehow you lost. 

What now?  

You are proud of the good you've accomplished, but too ashamed to show off the illfitting armor. You told everyone, anyone that would listen, of adventures you planned to go on. Each time you found a new quest, you were quick to proclaim how awesome this feels! You assured others they could and should do the same! The townsfolk ignored you, your peers laughed it off as a phase. How could you face them now? Now that they're right. You decide hole up for a couple days to hide from their judgement.

A day becomes a week a week blurs into a month. You hear of a nearby fishing village being tormented by the damned, and shrug it off as "not your problem." Though you ignore it as planned, the guilt of inaction weighs on your conscience. 

When the townsfolk request the help of a hero to help find children that have gone missing, and speak of you by name, you tell them to "Do something yourself for once!" The bitterness clings to the bottom of your soul.

You wake in the night and are greeted with crys and screams from the direction of town square. You slip out into the night to investigate and find the damned from the fishing village have possessed the missing children. The townsfolk are putting up little to no resistance. They still see the faces of innocent loved ones and can't bring themselves to believe what is happening. If nothing is done, the entire town will be lost.

Even in self exile, the needs of the realm make it to your doorstep. There is no escape. 

"Well." You say to yourself. 

"I'm going to need some armor. "


 


 

  

    

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