(A possible series I am playing around with.)
“This is not a story of revenge. My home was not burned down. My loved ones were not raped or murdered. The blood on my hands is there for a different reason. Some people just deserve to die! You see, I am…. different. There are now many names for it, I prefer the Zaqma religion’s. So if you wish, I will tell you of my ‘Burden!’
I am of the Widokian. And we worship iron and steel. Once a child is old enough to hold a sword, they are taught its ways. It matters not if it is a boy or girl, to the iron there is no difference. Once you became a bladedancer, usually after many years, you were then sent to join some local rich man's war. Or if sensible men ruled, you left to seek employment in farther away lands. Eventually you came back, and shared your knowledge and earnings. And if you were never seen again, well, it was assumed you were just a poor student. At the age of seventeen, I pledged my blade to Duke Wilzen, he said he wanted more land. He also said he would pay well. Other things were said, but being young and certain, I did not care to listen. So I fought. My father would have put it like this. ‘Even if you can take man's greatest possession, if you had not yet received a woman’s greatest gift, you were still just a boy.’ On the day of what we all expected to be the final battle, my small world changed. Needless to say this was in a time of few sensible men.
I went to sleep in my tent the night before, the same as always. If I did dream, I do not recall them. When I awoke nothing seemed out of place. I quickly dressed and rushed to get something to eat. Only when I was nearing the back of the line did I notice something was different. The man at the end seemed to have something perched on his shoulders. At first I thought it was some kind of animal. Odd but not alarming. As I got closer I realised it was not an animal. It was people, or at least their faces. All of them looked tormented. Their mouths were open as if they wanted to scream. It felt like they were looking directly at me. Panicked, I glanced around to see if anyone else saw this as well. No one else seemed to notice. But! As I was looking I saw that he was not the only one with such, phantoms, on him. They were on several people. The number and faces were not the same. Sometimes it was just men or women. Others both. For one it was only children. Not one person with them showed the slightest awareness of their presence. After a few moments I realized I was not in any danger, at least physically. Either they could not, or did not, wish to harm me. I knew I could not hear them, so I tried to see if they could hear me. I said, ‘who are you?’ The man in front of me turned to look, and said, ‘Geoff.’ From the faces, there was nothing. I nodded to the man, and he turned back around. So communication was not possible. I thought it had to be the faces of their loved ones. But, why didn't everyone have the ghosts? Most people didn't, I looked and saw nothing on my shoulders. I decided to go talk to the Zaqma monk that was with us.
He used many words, some escaped me. These are the ones I caught. He said, ‘that his god gave certain people gifts. They were called, ‘The Burdened.’’ Mainly due to the fact that whoever was blessed, spent the whole of their lives proving their worthiness. The gifts themselves varied, but it was possible I was now in possession of one. I found this unlikely. His god was not known to me or worshipped by my people. He assured me this did not matter, for his god was a mysterious one. To his thinking, I was now able to see the unfortunate victims of killers. I told him we were surrounded by killers, and not everyone had these echoes. He said, ‘killing a man trying to kill you was different, than just killing someone out of sin.’ I asked him what sin was. He gave a strange look, and after awhile he sighed. Then said, ‘it is a list of things god made that should not be done.’ I thanked him and left. I did not want to insult the man. But I found it amusing that a list from a god was needed. A man ought to know what should and should not be done.
The things that happened after I spoke to the monk started me on the path I walk today. The name I was given at my birth is, Qurdarian. Few people know me as such. Tomorrow if there is enough wine, I will tell you of my other name. The one you are probably more interested in. I will share with you why I am called, ‘The Demon Of Three.”’