Birdseye Fishsticks

Human cleric, insane


CENSORED lived with his mother and father out in the woods, away from civilzation. His father was a retired adventurer, a cleric, who fished in the nearby streams and dealt with various merchants that regularly pass by on their routes. CENSORED’s father was very skilled in curing the fish he caught. This allowed them to last long enough to be a viable commodity.

CENSORED’s father spends a lot of free time working in the basement (the doorway to which is magically warded to keep people out, especially a young inquisitive boy), where he keeps all kinds of notes and spells from his adventuring days. CENSORED draws lots of pictures for his father. CENSORED’s first picture of himself and his parents is hung by his proud father on the basement wall. CENSORED’s father spends much of his spare time with CENSORED, teaching him rhymes and songs in a strange language (Primordial).

Every year or so CENSORED’s father’s friend from his adventuring days visits and they talk about the good old days down in the basement. But on one visit they head down to the basement and not long later Birdseye hears his father’s voice shouting. His father’s friend then bursts out of the basement and runs off into the night.

A week or so later two merchants stop by, which isn’t that unusual. However, this time they appear to be having an argument with CENSORED’s father. They want something from CENSORED’s father’s adventuring days but his father claims not to have it. CENSORED walks off into the woods to explore and play.

Later that day, whilst playing in a clearing in the woods, he hears his mother’s scream and turns to see some beastly looking monster emerging from the bushes in the distance. There’s a bright orange flash and it falls to the ground burning. CENSORED’s mother appears and screams “RUUUUN!!” before running off away. CENSORED runs home to get his father but nobody is there. Late that night he hears someone come into the house. He goes downstairs and sees a man resting by the basement door. “Father?” CENSORED asks hopefully. The man turns. It is his father. His father is stunned as he looks at Birdseye but then a smile of relief spreads across his face. He tells CENSORED “Go back to bed, boy!”. And so he does.

The next morning CENSORED is downstairs and his father comes home, dragging a man towards the basement. The man’s face is covered but he’s dressed as one of the merchants that stopped by. “What are you doing?” CENSORED asks. But his father just shouts back “Leave me be, boy!!”. He takes the body down to the basement. Later that day CENSORED can hear shouting and crashing coming from the basement. His father comes out but he ignores CENSORED.

The next day his father seems very moody and generally ignores CENSORED. His mother is missing and hasn’t been seen for a couple of days now. CENSORED asks his father where his mother is and his father just snaps back to shut up. After a pause his father apologises and tells him the man in the basement has done something with his mother, and that he’s trying to find out what he did with her.

That night another man comes by and talks with CENSORED’s father outside. Again, this man is demanding something from his father, but his father seems to have given in. He begs for more time for him to find it. They exchange some hushed words and with a worried look on his face CENSORED’s father turns and points at CENSORED. The stranger’s eyes widen as he stares at CENSORED. He starts to take a step towards CENSORED but stops and whispers to his father. CENSORED barely makes out the words “Boy… prophecy… artefact…”. The dark visitor seems to dissolve into the darkness, all the while staring at CENSORED. A chill runs down CENSORED’s spine.

A few nights later CENSORED is woken by the sound of shouting. He goes downstairs. The shouting is coming from the basement. The shouting ends and a few minutes later his father comes out. He’s flustered and in a rush, his arms full of notes and tomes. He drops a parchment and leaves without noticing. CENSORED collects it.

The visits by various men and the disappearance of CENSORED’s mother seems to affect his father more with each passing day. Over the next few months his father slowly gets angrier and angrier, spending all his time in the basement. At the same time CENSORED becomes more and more afraid. Every week or so at dawn CENSORED’s father goes out and comes back in the morning. He no longer fishes to trade with the merchants but uses coin. CENSORED learns to fend for himself. He catches fish in the streams and cures them by drying, salting, smoking and pickling them as his father used to do. CENSORED even improves on the taste.

CENSORED spends his time fishing and generally finding food in the woods. He spends as much time as he can studying the parchment, which he learns is written in the language his father used to teach him. He eventually comes to realise it is a ritual, something to do with the dead. He decides to kill a rabbit and attempt the ritual. He finds a rabbit, kills it, attempts the ritual but nothing happens. Suddenly he hears a woman’s voice. “Hello”. He looks up to see a beautiful woman, who, if he’s not mistaken, appears to be glowing. “Who are you?” he asks her. “My name is Melora. I knew your mother. In fact, she used to work for me.” She stares at him with sad eyes for a moment and then continues “Do you like my gift?” she asks as she gestures towards the ritual parchment. “I found this, you didn’t give it to me,” he responds. “Perhaps not,” she concedes, “But I arranged for you to have it. A friend of mine, Sehanine, owed me a favour. Speaking of gifts, life itself is a gift, one that should never be wasted,” she scolds. Birdseye looks down at the parchment and dead rabbit and says “I’m sorry, I wanted to know what it does. I can barely read it. I don’t know how…” but when he looks up she’s gone.

One day CENSORED is sat in the woods studying the ritual parchment when he hears rustling behind him. He spins around to see a young boy, about same age as CENSORED himself, sat under a bush watching him. The boy introduces himself as Ignis. At first CENSORED is stunned but eventually greets Ignis and offers his own name. Ignis has no home and lives out in the woods. CENSORED says that he too more or less does the same. He takes Ignis home to ask his father if he can live with them. CENSORED’s father emerges from the basement. “Father! I was playing in the woods and I met a friend!” His father looks at Ignis then back to CENSORED. “What were you doing in the woods by yourself?” he asks, intrigued. CENSORED looks at Ignis, then down at the floor. “Nothing,” he says. “You’re a liar, boy!” his father shouts as he takes a swing at CENSORED. Ignis steps in the way and is sent crashing across the room. “Ignis!” screams CENSORED as he rushes to help him up. CENSORED’s father returns to basement muttering that he has no time for childish games. CENSORED thanks Ignis and Ignis tells him that he’ll always be there to help him.

Over the next few months CENSORED and Ignis are inseparable, and they become the best of friends. One evening, whilst fishing together, Ignis tells CENSORED that he has a secret. He knows where there’s a dead body. CENSORED tells Ignis that he’s too afraid to go and see it but Ignis tells him there’s nothing to be frightened of; he’ll look after him. Ignis takes him a little deeper into the woods, where CENSORED has always avoided going, to a shallow grave, which appears to be quite old. There is indeed a dead body, but the flesh has long since been consumed by time and worms. CENSORED explains what he thinks the ritual does. He thinks it may be “Last Sight Vision”, which might allow him to see what this person saw last.

The ritual requires certain components though. After the next visit by a merchant CENSORED runs after him, out of sight of his father. The merchant asks if his father is alright. CENSORED says he hasn’t been the same since his mum went missing. He asks if the merchant can provide him with the materials he needs. However, the merchant says he doesn’t have them now, and even if he did they’re quite expensive. But when he stares at CENSORED he feels a great deal of pity and he sighs and says that when he returns in a few weeks he’ll bring more than enough – on one condition. He would like some of the cured fish as his father no longer provides it.

A few weeks later the merchant returns and they make their exchange. CENSORED and Ignis try the ritual. CENSORED follows the ritual and suddenly sees his father’s contorted, enraged face with blood-shot eyes staring at him for a few seconds. Then it ends. CENSORED runs home with Ignis chasing after him. CENSORED runs to his bedroom, slams the door, jumps onto his bed and buries his face in his pillow. His father comes in and demands to know what is going on. He sees the dirt on CENSORED’s hands and knees and demands to know where he has been and what he has been doing. CENSORED is too afraid to tell him; he doesn’t even want to think about it. Ignis sits stone-faced, he doesn’t say a word. CENSORED’s father leaves in disgust. CENSORED thanks Ignis for not saying anything. Ignis reminds him that he’ll always stick by him.

Sometime later they come to a familiar clearing in the forest. A chill runs down CENSORED’s spine. As if guided by long lost memories he walks towards a particular point on the edge of the clearing. There are the charred, mostly eaten (by animals) remains of what looks to be a human. Ignis suggests that they try the ritual on this body but at first CENSORED is too afraid. Again, Ignis reminds him that there’s no need to be afraid. CENSORED agrees and they attempt the ritual.

Ritual on second body: CENSORED sees his mother and father sat together. A merchant watches over them with a crossbow aimed at them. His father appears to be dazed. The merchant shouts at CENSORED “Find the boy and KILL HIM!” CENSORED turns and runs, he runs very fast, sniffing the air. He comes to a clearing. The boy is at the other end. He prepares to leap out to get him but he hears someone running and screaming from behind. He spins around. It’s CENSORED’s mother! There’s an orange flash and it ends.

This vision lasted longer than the first, and Ignis and CENSORED conclude that with practice, as with most things, one must get better at the ritual. After resting they decide to head back to the first body and try the ritual again.

Second ritual on first body: CENSORED is sat with his dazed father, with the merchant pointing a crossbow at them. Someone else is there too, an accomplice. The merchant shouts at the accomplice “Find the boy and KILL HIM!” The accomplice suddenly changes into a humanoid wolf and runs off. With his last strength CENSORED’s father suddenly jumps at the merchant. In the confusion CENSORED runs off after the accomplice. He gets there just in time, and zaps him with a lance of fire. He sees a child sat at other end of the clearing and hears the shouting of the approaching merchant. CENSORED screams “RUUUUN!” and then takes off away from the child, shouting to get the merchant’s attention. CENSORED’s father suddenly jumps out of the bushes, tackles him to the ground and strangles him to death.

After telling Ignis about this vision Ignis says CENSORED’s father must be dealt with for what he has done. And there must be something in the basement that explains all of this. They don’t know how to get into the basement though (it’s warded and magically locked). They come up with a plan…

One day CENSORED’s father is out dealing with a merchant. Ignis hides and when CENSORED’s father comes back in CENSORED says he heard something in the basement. His father rushes down. CENSORED picks up a vase and throws it against the basement door. His father rushes out, screaming at CENSORED. As his father turns back towards the basement Ignis comes out of hiding and hits him over the head. CENSORED’s father falls to floor and CENSORED and Ignis quickly bash his head in. They stand back and watch as CENSORED’s father’s appearance dissolves into a distorted figure. They stare at each other for a while in puzzlement. They quickly perform the ritual…

Ritual on dead father: CENSORED sees the merchant and his caravan walking off. He turns and walks into the house. A boy approaches him and says he heard something down in the basement. CENSORED rushes to the basement door. He whispers something. CENSORED recognises the word, it’s the name of his mother! He opens the door and goes downstairs. Down in the basement he looks around. There are notes and books everywhere. The place is a mess. On the walls are pictures drawn by CENSORED as a young boy. But on one wall is a corpse, in chains, and it appears to be the merchant from so many years ago. There’s a crash from upstairs. CENSORED faces the corpse and asks it “What is that boy up to now?!” He turns and rushes upstairs. He approaches the boy, screaming at him. He turns and heads towards the basement door, and collapses to the floor.

CENSORED tells Ignis what he saw. Ignis suggests that to open the basement door you need a password and that the password must be the name of Birdseye’s mother. Birdseye agrees and they try. They approach the door and Birdseye announces the name of his mother. He tries the doorknob and it opens! They walk down into the basement. Without wasting a second they perform the ritual on the dead merchant.

Ritual on dead merchant: CENSORED’s father is stood in front of him with a blade. He’s screaming questions about “the artefact” and “the prophecy”, demanding to know where it is. But suddenly CENSORED hears another voice shouting, this voice is also his fathers. But he’s shouting in the strange language he taught CENSORED as a young boy. He focuses on a drawing on the wall. It’s a child’s drawing of CENSORED’s family. The voice shouts <”CENSORED! I am your father!”> The vision focuses on CENSORED’s father, still shouting and waving the knife. <this>s too late. Ignis never learned to swim and he sinks like a rock. Birdseye is devastated, but vows to fight on, helping those who need help in the name of his friend.

Birdseye Fishsticks

Destiny's Calling CaptainMayhem