Author Topic: Teodor Berisha's leatherbound journal  (Read 404 times)

tanikozo

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Teodor Berisha's leatherbound journal
« on: July 13, 2023, 09:10:30 AM »
[Amongst a sea of seemingly random numbers and dates, the meaning of which decipherable only by the author, a short journal entry is written with immaculate handwriting]

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It has been almost a couple of months since I had to bolt off from my home. Naturally, a change of scenery and going my own way was always on the cards for me, one can handle so much isolation, scrutiny and distrust from his fellow villagers before deciding to embark on a journey in search of a slightly more amicable scenery, so to speak. Then again - I regret that I had to leave the way I did. Can not really blame my foster folk for evicting me, vraja is dangerous and frightening for the uninitiated, they've been as well raised to fear and distrust what is not immediately clear to them - as other folk here tend to be, not to mention my incredibly unfortunate heritage being reasonable enough grounds for distrust. But, again, can you really blame them? Such is the land we live in, supernatural beasts prowl at every corner and most of us live in squalor and misery under the boot of He and His cronies, why would anyone not be suspicious of everything non-mundane in such climate, especially when I deal with energies that are said to be wielded by the Count's elite escadrons if the rumours are correct. My arcane aptitudes are also popularly known to be the main crux of the creation of Caliban. I dread the possibility of this being the truth almost every single day, I dread with the entirety of my being that I may be the "mastermind", so to speak, behind my adoptive brother's twisted visage and the reason behind my foster mother and father's immense grief and tears. If arcane vraja is indeed the cause of such malformations, then there really is no excuse and if this popular hypothesis is proven to be absolutely factual - I will need to seriously take a moment to ponder about my use of magic, even refrain from using it ever again. Though -- the two people I spoke with on the subject, both wielding similar powers so to speak, state that it's more than likely a hoax and there is no proof. It is my hope that my magical talents can be honed to a degree of immense prowess, a weapon for me to make the world slightly less unjust and cruel with the help of my newfound companions, whom I value greatly.

I often wonder if my estranged father, during one of our very few and very brief meetings out of the blue, left those tomes, compendiums and scrolls behind on purpose, so I can take up his mantle of a witch(if he even is one?). Why did he do it, I know not. Extremely doubtful that it was a display of his muted parental instincts, hoping that arcane knowledge would keep me safe if danger ever befalls me? No...-perhaps he more or less decided to sign my death warrant that way, hoping that a Wachter patrol would witness me finger waggle and then drown me in the river. His extremely smug grin and unnervingly cheerful and carefree demeanour frustrates me to this day when I recall his appearances. Is his thick Vistani skull unable to harbor any sort of shame or guilt for leaving behind a helpless orphan? I hate him and my heritage, I despise the things I have to go through every full moon and that in my veins flows the blood of the people willingly acting as the eyes and ears of the Devil.

Things with my newfound kin have been going very well. It hasn't stopped surprising and melting my heart whenever I am reminded about how kind, welcoming and warm those people are. I am in awe when looking at some of the veterans of the Kinship, destroyers of countless imortji and neuri. My only frustration is how far I am from my companions in terms of ability and talent, I'd hate to continue hiding behind them, as arrogant or overly ambitious it may sound - I wish to be one of the forerunners of their valiant efforts in combating the terrors of Barovia. One day I aspire to be an illuminating presence for the common folk, a hero in their eyes and a screaming example and proof that people such as myself, whom are pushed aside and put down often due to factors outside of our control, can in fact be good people. Maybe then, when I've distinguished myself as a valiant fighter against Noapte's minions, I can return home and see my sister and play with her again, maybe then I can convince my folk to accept my wombtwisted brother as their child.


tanikozo

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Re: Teodor Berisha's leatherbound journal
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2023, 12:19:43 PM »
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It has happened and we were victorious, so to speak. It's all so bizarre, there is not a single waking moment for myself ever since that carnage I witnessed that I do not doubt whether what happened was really real or a figment of my imagination. The reality is that it is the truth - I was part of the force that dispatched a cohorte of von Zarovich soldiers and, regrettably - Vallaki and Wachter militiamen. It felt...euphoric. The Devil's personal soldiers were crushed beneath our heels, the enforcers of His cruelty were undone - just a stone's throw away from a couple of villagers and common folk. Hopefully the Count's ire is not directed towards them in particular, one can expect everything from this tyrant and his rabid dog Valentin.

Indeed, one may question the pragmatic aspect of this operation - as cynical as it sounds, perhaps the few lives that we managed to save were not "worth" the massacre. I disagree entirely. It is beyond the children and domn Loric, so to speak, it is a statement and a rallying cry to each native in Barovia that the Count's forces are not invincible, that people are willing and shall act in defiance to His will. The farmers who may have witnessed the bloodbath, as frightened as they may be, will remember that a horde of outlanders, elves, witches and what have you - descended upon the red and black clad soldiers who terrorize them each year demanding exorbitant taxes, slitting the throats of the folk who dare to defy them.

We have challenged some of the Barovians' view on outcasts such as ourselves by doing what we did, it is an uphill battle to change their perspective just like that, but I am certain that at least a minority of them are starting to ask questions..."Why would a couple of baby eating fey risk their lives for children?", "Are all witches really evil, craven and underhanded?"...We may not be alive for this change, but one day, I am positive - the people of Barovia and former Gundarak will wake up, as long as we continue to fight the good fight. They shall all live in fraternity, bonding over their mutual hatred towards the overlord of this land, paving the way for his destruction someday. It will not happen with no Erlin cultist Gundarakite rebel cells who claim to champion their people, it will not happen with a group of assorted outlanders, it will not happen with a group of disgruntled Barovians - it WILL happen through the labour of all whom, no matter if they took their first breath in this land, are willing to give their last one for ALL of its people. The path to salvation and a better life lays firsthand in people sorting out their own differences and squabbles and just then the Devil may be vanquished, which I think of as a certainty as long as my big homeland musters up the courage and lays old grudges to rest. If the Devil still stays, even in that scenario so to speak, the people shall still live better now that they help eachother and are not afraid and hateful of the different.

This is how I rationalize my own and my Kin's actions the past couple of days. Even if this does not cause a dent in the Count's stranglehold, even if the people of Barovia are not inspired by us to be more accepting - I still am not and will not be sorry for what had happened. As much of a buffoon and blabbering idiot I may seem, for the lives of the uncorrupted children and domn Loric - the man whom even if I did not know personally beforehand, is the patriarch of my family, I am ready to do whatever it takes. The truth is, my aspirations and dreams for which I've already written about, are second to my Kin, even if I am very, very passionate about them. I can not afford to lose one of them and be alone again, I will do anything they ask me to do - that is the truth. Admittedly I was dissatisfied a bit with how unambitious we were in our goals for Barovia, but I'd have persevered with Kin, even if to this day we simply towed the line with the Vallaki Garda and helped out people with whatever little we were able to provide and not be evicted from there at the same time - for that is noble and good as well.

Still I yearn for acceptance from my people - the folk of Barovia, still I dream of people banding together, even if under the shadow of the Count, but I can simply grit my teeth and protect what I have acquired - my Kin. I can not help but wonder how my sister and brother are faring. Hopefully I am able to see them someday.

tanikozo

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Re: Teodor Berisha's leatherbound journal
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2024, 11:29:36 PM »
[After a long pause, a distraught Teodor Berisha unfurls his journal and puts his thoughts and worries in ink]

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I can not believe what has happened to my Kin. For the first time in my mostly miserable life, I got my hands on a real and loving group of people who I could call my 'family' in every sense of the word, and now it seems that it has been mostly fractured. Some have died nobly, in pursuit of our values, for which I shall always remember them, others have been understandably drained from what has transpired and have retired for which I do not blame them, considering what has happened. A lot of Kin appear to be on a leave as well, hopefully all of them are safe. My biggest consolation is that I still have Penelope, though it's best to leave her deal with those nature vraja duties she has, for the time being. My lofty goals regarding Barovia - its people, the fight against Noapte seem to be indefinitely postponed yet again, I failed to find a means to freely navigate the Mists as I had planned on doing during my sabbatical - seems like my cursed Vistani blood is not enough.

Oftentimes I wonder if it was all worth it, as cynical as it sounds. Would we be in a better position to help common folk in Barovia if we let domn Loric and those children die, would our family be intact and in result be there to help Barovia in other less major, but still important ways? I don't know, maybe, but even if I could turn back time, I still would've scrambled to save those poor children and domn Loric, I still would've supported assaulting the rabid iadul dogs of the Devil in Wachter lands - even if I knew it'd lead to this current state of affairs. It is not logical perhaps, but doing the right thing is not always the most tactically and strategically sound route, so to speak. Maybe the remaining Kin and I myself should be less brash in order to continue existing as selfish as it may sound, I don't really know. What we did last year was right and I think was what we should have done, but it seems foolish at times, considering it resulted in the current state of things... yet I have no regrets about it, again, it is just painful that a large part of us is now adrift, deceased, demoralised or has disappeared. No ideas come to my mind about what to do, I don't know about the others but my addle brain can not conjure up an idea, nor do I have the qualities to lead and offer guidance like others did in the past.

Perhaps I am unnecessarily pessimistic and gloomy, a fair few of my Kin seem to be still around and besides - for the ones that have retired I should be happy. But not so distant memories creep into my mind - of picnics at the beaches of Dementlieu, of sharing tea at the Lodge, of battling monsters together....it all ended too soon for my liking, I should've cherished those moments more.